A frank memo to Bobi Wine supporters

By Andrew M. Mwenda

Since I posted my criticism of your hero, Bobi Wine, you have been hurling insults and abuses at me.

You have devoted all your emotional energy for an entire week in a vain effort to respond to me. It is clear the sting of my post was deeply felt.

You are angry, not because you think I am wrong, but because my truths about your hero is very painful to bear. That is why I haven’t read anything that really answers the issues I raised.

I care only in passing what you think of me in large part because most of it is fiction. I am not looking for your votes.

I write what I believe. If you don’t like what I write, just quit this page. But of course you will stay because you know multitudes of Ugandans follow me and trust what I say. Otherwise you would not be responding to me.

Andrew M. Mwenda

Very few of you responded with the most rudimentary arguments to the issues I raised against Bobi Wine or the facts I adduce against his empty political slogans.

I only criticized his lack of historic and contemporary facts. Criticism of his person was only incidental. Your responses proved more that Bobi Wine and you his supporters reflect the crisis of Uganda not a solution to its challenges.

One of his admirers, a one Henry Mutebi, wrote a long dissertation of 2,257 words to reply to my post of only 542 words.

He devoted his considerable intellectual talent in dissecting my personality, even claiming I am mentally ill and need psychotherapy. Perhaps I am. I will check at Butabika.

I read his piece to the end.

In spite of it being entirely an attack on my character, he sounded intelligent.

What a waste of brains! Like most of my critics, and typical of Uganda’s opposition “intellectuals,” he did not contest a single argument I made or debunk a single fact I adduced against his hero, Bobi Wine. Instead he made my character the centerpiece of his letter.

Bobi Wine

Let me address myself to my relationship with President Yoweri Museveni.

I deal with him, when necessary, often. I have found him, in spite of all his faults, a much more liberal, tolerant and open-minded person than you his opponents.

I only go to see him when there is an issue I consider of serious national concern. And I go with well-researched facts.

And to his credit, each time I have gone seeking a particular decision, Museveni has always listened carefully to the facts I present to him and he has always accepted my recommendations.

Where he has disagreed with a particular recommendation, he has explained to me the basis of his disagreement and in most cases I have always found his counter argument convincing.

If there is any bribe he has given me therefore, it is this expression of maturity in leadership. Hence unlike his opponents who rely on rumors and hallucinations to inform their opinions on public policy, Museveni is scientific.

That is why he is president and they are activists and singers.

I admit I find most public debate in Uganda emotional and ill informed. This is a statement of fact not a moral judgment.

People have a right to their ignorance and to express their frustrations emotionally. I don’t blame them even though I despise it.

Secondly most Ugandan elites I encounter online are lazy, intellectually dull, always thinking within the box and taking no lessons from history.

Many feel the sting of my attitude and mistake my irreverence for arrogance. I have no apologies for this.

In an ideal world, I would like to see Uganda develop a serious opposition that can challenge Museveni’s hold on power.

The problem is that most of those who pose as the alternative are worse – uncouth, intolerant, anti-democratic, uninformed and angry. And I know most of you will mistake “most” for “all.” The opposition lack alternative ideas and believe their anger is sufficient to cause change.

Look here friends. You are angry and I share many of your frustrations. But anger does not make history. Power does.

And power may be supplemented with anger, but it relies on much more fundamental realities – organization, strategy, social networking etc. Only organisation and strategy can convert anger into purposeful political action.

Otherwise anger leads to mob action. Mobs don’t get things done. They destroy things. If you removed Museveni as a mob, Uganda would go the way of Somalia.

None of you wants (or needs) that. You and your cult leaders need to learn this lesson. You may hate me for telling you this basic truth. I don’t like being hated. However, if it is the price I have to pay, I am will willingly do so.

You want power. But your cult leaders don’t understand its dynamics. Power is not something you find and just pick and take.

Power (especially Museveni’s power that you want to wrestle from him) is cultivated, accumulated, harnessed and consolidated.

To take it from him, you have to evolve superior organization and strategy, better social networks and a broader vision for our country than simply pointing at his weaknesses and mistakes, real and perceived.

Incidentally I think you constitute a majority. But you are deluded to believe you have ever won a presidential election.

I agree Museveni’s system fiddles with votes in some areas. But this is because they are strong and better organized.

And such fiddling is not the reason you lose. He would win without it. You are not organized to turn your numbers into an effective political force. And the trick of Museveni’s victories is simple: look at voter turnout.

In 2011, Museveni got 5.4m votes (68%) and voter turnout was 58%. That translates to about 38% of registered voters. So 62% of Ugandans, a huge majority, didn’t vote for him.

Besigye got 2m votes (26%). But he has never asked himself why 42% of Ugandans, more than those who voted Museveni, did not vote. Instead he has deluded himself into the belief that he won and his votes were stolen. This is tragic.

I thought 2016 results would teach him something. Alas they didn’t.

Last year, Museveni got nearly 6m votes (an increase of only 500,000 or 8% growth). Controlling for the increase in registered voters, Museveni got no growth at all.

He declined by 8.2%. Besigye got 3.5m votes (an increase of 1.5m votes or growth of 75% in absolute votes). Besigye’s growth was largely, if not entirely, because of a 10% increase in voter turnout from 58% in 2011 to 68%.

All these voters showed up not because of improved FDC organization but greater passion to get rid of Museveni.

You need to supplement passion with organization and the results will be bountiful. But you are too angry and emotional to listen.

The facts are obvious. If more of you showed up to vote, you have a chance at winning. But to get so many of your potential supporters to the polling booth requires organization, something your cult leaders ignore and that you don’t understand.

The fact that you and your cult leader cannot see this simple fact is certainly tragic for your cause but obviously makes Museveni a very happy man. You are not the enemy he hates. You are the enemy he loves and enjoys to have.

Right now you are under organized, disorganized or unorganized. You can act, but only as a mob.

As I have already pointed out above, mobs don’t get things done. They destroy things. Majorities don’t rule. Well-organized minorities do.

To convert your numbers into an effective political force, you need two things: organization and strategy. Unfortunately your leaders lack both. Museveni is not in power by accident.

So your Bobi Wine and his rants against Museveni can give you psychological comfort that someone cares and is fighting for your interests.

It is also possible he is well intentioned. I know you will ignore the fact that he is ignorant, emotional and lacking in an alternative vision for our country and strategy to get rid of Museveni.

So you will choose psychological comfort over painful truths. But if I have to die for telling you this painful truth, it will be a happy death.

NWSC to connect new Masaka Referral Hospital

National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) continues to promote hygiene and sanitation across the country.

Latest info reaching our desk has it the water body is set to connect the new Masaka Referral Hospital on the national grid. The management of NWSC has confirmed to us that plans are underway to connect the hospital.

“Promoting Sanitation and health, Plans are underway to connect the new Masaka referral hospital onto the NWSC Sewer network,” NWSC.

NSSF Deputy MD Geraldine Ssali’s tenure ends amidst controversy

The current National Social Security Fund (NSSF) act which allows the Minister for Finance to appoint the Fund’s board could be the cause of potential clashes among employees. This is according to an analyst who asked to remain anonymous while commenting on the recent firing of the NSSF Deputy Managing Director Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa by the Fund’s board. The analyst believes there are legal gaps that could have led to Ssali’s insubordination thinking she was not accountable to the Managing Director (MD) Richard Byarugaba.

Geraldine Ssali

“The law needs to be revised to allow the board to appoint both the MD and the Deputy Managing Director (DMD) and thus keep them in check. You cannot effectively supervise someone you did not hire or cannot fire. There is an urgent need to address the administrative gap because both MD and DMD are appointed by the Finance Minister. For this reason, the DMD finds it convenient to disrespect the board and the MD. This needs to be addressed,” said the analyst.

NSSF Uganda MD Richard Byarugaba

Early this month, the NSSF board voted to not renew Ssali’s contract which expires on 29th October 2017.

Her performance had been deemed “unsatisfactory” over the three years she had been with the Fund.

In 2016, Ssali was suspended by the NSSF board on grounds of indiscipline. She sued NSSF, the board chairman Kaberenge and Byarugaba and the courts cancelled her suspension and reinstated her in office pending investigations into her alleged insubordination. However, two days after the court order, the security guards at Workers House, blocked her from entering her office forcing her to go to court and sue the Byarugaba and Kaberenge over contempt of a court.

NSSF board members

She later held a meeting with Finance Minister Kasaijja and some members of the board and it was resolved that she be reinstated but on condition that she withdraws all the cases against NSSF in the High Court.

Kasaijja is yet to approve the board’s recommendation to not renew her contract since he has the last word.

BOU’s Justine Bagyenda set to be investigated by IGG

Bank Of Uganda (BOU) Executive Director in charge of supervision, Justine Bagyenda, is set to be investigated by the Inspector General of Government (IGG), it has been revealed.

Sources say that the Inspector General of Government (IGG) is in final preparations to investigate the Bank of Uganda Executive Director in charge of supervision on the allegations that she evaded paying income tax for ten years on revenues earned from her Naguru Apartments.

To Face IGG Investigations: Justine Bagyenda

The ‘filthy’ rich Bagyenda is said to have rented her apartments to the top officials of the defunct Crane Bank, earning millions of shillings without paying income tax as required by law.

The investigations set to commence soon were confirmed by Munira Ali, the IGG Spokesperson.

Munira said the first meeting was held between the IGG and the petitioner, Dick Kimeze, to basically understand the ground and the issues raised by the petitioner before investigations into Bagyenda’s alleged tax evasion can begin. She said the second meeting is scheduled before investigations can begin.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Mr Kimeze reported Ms Bagyenda to IGG for non-payment of taxes.

Ms Bagyenda had of recent come under attack from some members of the public on the manner she attained wealth. She is said to be one of the richest ladies in the country with property in leafy suburbs of Kampala and surrounding areas.

Mid this year Ms. Bagyenda came under criticism for allegedly failing to enforce her mandate, something her critics said had led to the closure of a couple of commercial banks including the Crane Bank, that is now under receivership.

Also, at about the same time reports indicated that the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) was set to begin investigations into allegations that Ms. Bagyenda made incorrect declarations contrary to the Leadership Code, 2002.

According to sources speaking on condition of anonymity, officials from the IGG’s office were set to meet with city lawyer Dennis Nyombi, to ascertain whether Ms. Bagyenda made false declarations about her assets including land and houses.

Among the property she allegedly falsely-declared are houses in the leafy suburbs of Ntinda, Naguru, Bugolobi and Kulambiro.

“When I wrote the letter I got confirmation from the IGG and I was to get an appointment with the official handling the matter but later on the person went abroad and we have now scheduled between 10th  and 20th  to meet,” lawyer Nyombi, who is representing ‘whistleblower’ Dick Kimeze, said.

In his allegations, Mr. Kimeze also avers that the properties owned by Ms. Bagyenda are way above what she has earned during her employment over the years.

The IGG spokesperson Ali Munira confirmed their office had received the petition against Ms Bagyenda.

“Some lawyer wrote requesting for a meeting to discuss the wealth of the lady (Bagyenda); the meeting has not taken place,” Ms. Munira said on phone then.

Ms. Bagyenda has not commented on the matter.

Photos: Sheraton Kampala Hotel @50 Dinner

Sheraton Kampala Hotel last week celebrated 50 years of priceless memories and vowed to create more.

The hotel has amazing views and serene spots you can choose for relaxing evenings and fun weekends, delicious food and unforgettable dining experiences that keep you coming back and the staff at the hotel is always ready and happy to serve the customers…lovely it is!!!

Sheraton Hotel, Kampala marked 50 years of existence last week.

“I congratulate its management and staff upon this feat. I also congratulate the other proprietors of other hotels like Serena, Protea, Africana and others who continue growing the hospitality industry.

The Sheraton Hotel has a monthly revenue of $1.25 million. If these seven acres on which the hotel sits were a potato garden, I do not know how much it would reap. At independence, we had small hotels that wouldn’t meet international standards.

In 1987, however, as Uganda prepared to host the PTA Conference, the NRM government refurbished Apollo (Sheraton) and Nile (Serena) hotels which had deteriorated.

I am glad that more Ugandans are moving into manufacturing and services sectors, expanding from agriculture. This will grow our economy. Again, congratulations to Sheraton Hotel,” Chief Guest President Yoweri Museveni said.

“Thank you for honoring us with your presence”, Sheraton management said.

Here are some of the moments from the event Sheraton at 50 that took place at the hotel.

Frank Tumwebaze among the best dressed MPs

Kibaale East County in Kamwenge District Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. Frank Tumwebaze is among the best dressed Members of Parliament according to Chris Obore, The Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Parliament of Uganda. The former journalist at the Daily Monitor also listed Hon. Elijah Okupa and Hon. Edmond Ariko of Soroti Municipality as the among the best dressed male MPs.

Hon. Frank Tumwebaze

However Chris Obore refused to list the best dressed among the female MPs saying he doesn’t want to be misunderstood. Obore made the post on his social media wall. Frank Tumwebaze also doubles as the Minister for ICT and National Guidance.

Hon. Elijah Okupa

“Hon Elijah Okupa leads the pack among the ever well dressed MPs. Former director at parliament and now Soroti Municipality MP Herbert Edmond Ariko has continued where Capt Mike Mukula left -always suited appropriately. Frank Tumwebaze is in there. I don’t want to say which female MP leads the pack lest I get misunderstood. You can name them. Life is not about hard stuff all the time,” Chris Obore posted.

Chris Obore

‘There is nothing between President Museveni and Bobi Wine’- Frank Tumwebaze

The Minster for ICT and National Guidance who also doubles as the Member of Parliament for Kibaale East in Kamwenge Hon. Frank Kagyigyi Tumwebaze has said there is nothing between President Museveni and Bobi Wine.

While appearing on NBS Television this morning, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze said, “President Museveni is known for talking and using his brain. Let’s not mix issues. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine is popularly known for his music but eventually people will separate music and politics. I haven’t heard the issues Bobi Wine is raising apart from going to several places staging music concerts”.

On 55th Independence Day celebrations, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze said, “In every sector, there is growth we never had. Look at health facilities, almost every sub-county in Uganda has a health center”

“When you look back, decade after decade, there is need to celebrate independence. As a Ugandan, I’m very proud. The course was not lost, we are still on track since we got independence. We were not regressing but our GDP since 1986 shows that the country is progressing,” the Minister added.

“Those talking about poverty in Uganda don’t offer solutions, they only exaggerate and politicize it. We need to get rid of policing each and everything,” Frank said.

On Parliament scuffle, the minister said, “Religious leaders should call for calm and dialogue. They cease to be neutral when they condemn the speaker who rid Parliament of impunity. When you condemn the Speaker and you don’t condemn those blocking parliamentary activities, what interests do you have?”

Get more through this link https://www.facebook.com/nbstelevision/videos/1526263907464569/

Spice Diana accuses Police of brutality

Diva Spice Diana has accused Police of brutality after her performance at KCCA Carnival. The singer was heavily beaten by Police after her last night’s performance at the annual carnival.

She is currently admitted at a city medical facility receiving treatment after she was beaten by police officers. Reasons as why Police beat her up aren’t yet known and the Uganda Police has not issued any statement concerning the matter.

“ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!! This goes to police force in Uganda. Today after my first performance at the carnival I was beaten so badly and disrespected by ruthless so called police officers and I am nursing wounds,

Dear #bivulu promoters as you invite us to entertain and happen with our people, also show some respect and value our dear lives therefore heir trained and professional police officers for security and not gamblers that have a lot of problems in their families and they try to console themselves by beating up innocent people like animals .And many of my fellow artists and innocent civilians have fallen victims which is unfair in our own country.

We give you power to protect us, keep law and order but ts you the same people that go against the law and do vice verser .why should we be treated like strangers in our own country. You employ heartless humans with no sense of humanity.

Today i have seen t with my two eyes, many of my brothers and sisters have been treated in a manner that is unnecessary, i have realised that the current police z nothing but useless, the way they handle situations is not professional yet they say they are trained, they never apply their so called skills but only use their arrogance and so called powers to disrespect and torture there fellows humans like animals.

Don’t forget that no one has more power than God. They hit you up the way they want knowing that even if you report, they still win, and still find hurts to ask for money from you just because they have a say that POLICE TESINGIBWA MUSANGO

You hurt innocent souls, but you forget that some of you are parents

So sorry to those that have fallen victims

The way you treat someone today, ts the way you will be treated tomorrow

To whom t may concern. Mukyusemu for a better UGANDA,” Spice Diana posted.

‘Be Aware of Conmen; report them to Police Immediately’ – Frank K Tumwebaze

The Minsiter of ICT and National Guidance Hon. Frank Tumwebaze has warned the general public to be aware of conmen using the name of his Ministry to steal from innocent members of the public.

The Minister said such people should be reported to Police if found to be punished by the law. Below is the minister’s official statement on the issue;

“I have received reports that some conmen yet to be identified and claiming to be working in my office as my Personal assistants, are calling different youths in diffident districts and inviting them to come to Kampala for onward movement to Kyankwanzi for training. And that they are asking each willing person to pay shs 200,000 purportedly for transport and feeding while in Kyankwanzi. This is false and nothing else but thuggery! I advise any person contacted to immediately alert the Local Police, RDC and DISO.

Districts where these incidents have so far been reported include Buhweju, Mitooma, Bushenyi and Lira. All security officials (RDCs, Police, DIsos) should be on the lookout for these conmen. Thank you,” Frank Tumwebaze.

Remarks by, Hon Frank K. Tumwebaze at the 12th International Conference on ICT for development, Education & Training

Uganda’s Minister for Information Communications Technology and National Guidance Hon. Frank Tumwebaze while representing the First Lady and Minister of Education Hon. Janet Museveni, At the 12th International Conference on ICT for development, Education & Training Linking Education to Employment delivered the following address in Mauritius.

Our host, The Hon Minister of ICT and innovation of Mauritius, Hon Ministers of ICT and Education from the African continent and other parts of the world, Educationists, ICT practitioners, Content developers, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning to you all.

I am glad to be here and I bring you greetings from the Government and people of Uganda. My colleague, the Minister of Education and First Lady, Hon Janet Museveni, should have been here but was unable to make it because of other earlier planned commitments. She sends both her apologies and greetings. Thank you Our host for organizing this e-learning conference. E-learning or e-education is a very important component for any e-government master plan. Any digital blue print that we must discuss and adopt as a continent, should certainly encompass this aspect of e-education. E-learning therefore, is and should be part parcel of any country’s digital journey. This conference therefore is very timely and relevant .

In order to understand where we are, we must reflect on how we arrived here, look at the challenges faced and leverage them to plan our future. In the grand scheme of things, we have gone through several revolutions starting from the agricultural to the information age we now live. The first is where we relied heavily on agriculture as the main source of livelihood. The motivation to produce more output led to mechanization and industrialization. This is where the service industry was born that required specialized skills. The successes of the industrial revolution, further propelled us into the information age where information and communication technologies have taken center stage. Similarly, in this age, we are experiencing the rise of service based labor that requires fast adjustment in workforce skills to remain relevant. Furthermore, the speed of technological change is faster than other revolutions which requires us to transform how we carry out teaching and learning for our children, to make them relevant and avoid getting disruptions. In the earlier revolutions, Africa lagged behind. However, technology now gives us a platform on which to grow and become active participants in this information age.

Linking Education to Employment.

Based on the above background, our education systems in Africa, largely have been slow in keeping with the speed of change in the information age. We still see a heavy use of the old traditional methods of teaching that rely on instruction from the teachers on pre-defined content and pathways for learners. Whereas this was working a few decades back, we cannot continue using the traditional methods in this fast paced word. As a result, we are churning out more youth from these learning environments into a workplace whose skills requirements are changing leading into a mismatch between formal education and employment. In studies carried out by UNESCO, there is now a realization that we need ‘to move beyond simple access to schooling and address deeper issues of education and relevance’ in this age. Today, there are increasing opportunities within, employment for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The solution today lies in mainstreaming technology into teaching and learning so as to meet the current and future workplace skills demanded.

The World Economic Forum research on the future of jobs and skills in Africa indicates that, ‘as one of the youngest populations in the world, it is imperative for nation states in Africa to ensure that adequate investments are made in education and learning that holds value in the labor market and prepares citizens for the world of tomorrow.’ And the world of tomorrow starts with the world of today. This is the world defined and driven by ICTs. It’s important therefore, that policy makers and Political leaders appreciate this fact.

Furthermore, there will be strong demand for professionals who can blend digital with traditional subject expertise. In order for us to link education to employment, there is need for us to start discussions on the following fronts:

  1. a) First, there is need to create a unifying environment where policy makers, educationists and businesses can collaborate to define the employment requirements. This will create evidence based information on which to start reform in our education systems right from elementary to university;
  2. b) Second, the educationists need to leverage this information so as to create ‘future-ready curricula’ that enables us to constantly release into the workforce, youth that are agile and relevant for technology driven economies; and
  3. c) Third, beyond the formal education paths most focused on in Africa, there is need to similarly transform our traditional vocational education and training into institutions that leverage technology to produce youth that are robust in their critical thinking.

At the core of achieving the above, is technology-assisted learning to help transform our approach and current education practices. E-learning is one of the affordable ways of blending technology both within teaching and learning. It has the following advantages:

  1. a) Scalability which helps with ease of design and rollout in learning environments;
  2. b) Enhanced capacity due to breakdown of traditional barriers of time and distance to access knowledge;
  3. c) Availability of a medium that achieves higher knowledge retention in learners;
  4. d) Cost savings due to the avoidance of high financial costs of accessing knowledge from developed countries; and
  5. e) Support for innovation to develop localized content that fits our various demographics.

To achieve the advantage of the above, we’ll need concerted efforts from both Government and private sector in Africa to address the challenges we face in creating an enabling environment as noted below;

  1. a) Increasing access to affordable and reliable broadband to enable both rural and urban areas equally access the internet resources for learning and collaboration. Internet here becomes critical and therefore a very necessary utility and enabler.
  2. b) Reducing the cost of access devices such as the computers, laptops, smart tabs and related software to make them more available for learning;
  3. c) Re-tooling our teachers and other educators to adopt ICT and educational technology and apply the same to enhance teaching;
  4. d) Teaching our students to become computer literate and provide them the necessary foundation to confidently learn using technology; and

e)Supporting innovations and Leveraging them to create local educational content to complement existing traditional methods.

With the above in mind, it’s clear that the only way the youth in Africa can transform into a competitive labor force, is highly dependent on how policy makers and educationists quickly respond and continuously adapt to the speed of progress in the information age. This will gradually remove the blur in the linkage between education and employment.

I thank you for listening to me.

Frank K. Tumwebaze

Minister of ICT & National Guidance