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Uganda: Ministers in shocking and surprise defeat during nominations for next year polls

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

The semi official government mouth-piece, the NEW VISION reported this morning that four ministers were defeated in the NRM primaries to choose parliamentary candidates for next year’s general elections.

Provisional results show that ministers Janat Namuyangu, Simon Ejua, Simon D’ujanga and Dr. Emmanuel Otaala were trounced by little known opponents.

Namuyangu, the state minister for water, is also woman MP for Pallisa. She wanted to abandon the affirmative action seat created to boost women representation in Parliament and had sought to be directly elected for Kibuku constituency.

Incumbent Saleh Kamba beat her in the race marred by violence. Kamba polled 21,539 votes compared to Namuyangu’s 5,738 votes. The elections that started at about 3:00pm were concluded at about 6:00pm on Monday.

Mubarak Kalungi, the returning officer who came from NRM headquarters in Kampala, declared the results yesterday morning at Kibuku district NRM offices.

Kalungi said Namuyangu called him at 4:20pm on Monday, saying she wanted to pull out of the race to contest as an independent.

In Vurra county in Arua district, transport minister Simon Ejua lost to Dr. Sam Okuonzi.
Okuonzi scored 16,041 votes, while the minister managed only 9,756. The result excludes two villages where election materials reached late.

Labour minister Dr. Emmanuel Otaala suffered defeat at the hands of new entrant, Jacob Oboth Oboth.

In a somewhat close race, Otaala scored 11,123 votes, 6,712 votes less those for Oboth.

Elsewhere, security minister Amama Mbabazi (Kinkiizi West), public service minister Seezi Mbaguta (Rukungiri), former health minister Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi (Rujumbura) and former health state minister Capt. Mike Mukula (Soroti Municipality) won.

Mbabazi won in Kinkiizi West with 36,522 votes ahead of his rival Gad Rugaju, who got 10,808.

According to partial results released by district registrar Hillary Tindiwensi, Muhwezi was leading in four sub-counties, while his opponent, Dr. Alex Kamugisha, won only in his home sub-county of Buhunga.

Mbaguta was also in the lead in the sub-counties of Bugangari, Bwambara and Buhunga, while her main challenger, the incumbent Woman MP, Winifred Masiko, was also leading in Rukungiri municipality and Ruhinda sub-county.

In Amuru district, the former minster for northern Uganda, Betty Bigombe, had a landslide victory as the flag-bearer for the Woman MP seat.

Education minister Namirembe Bitamazire was cruising to victory for the Butambala Woman MP seat, according to provisional results. By 5:45pm yesterday, Bitamazire was ahead of her closest rival, Mariam Nalubega, by 3,951 votes.

In the contest for the Butambala constituency seat, the incumbent Kaddunabbi Lubega recorded a resounding victory by garnering 97,211 votes against his rival, Faisal Kikulukunyu’s 10,660.

The Amuru district NRM registrar, Sunday Ola, said with 95% of the votes counted, Bigombe was leading with 8,366, followed by the Peace Recovery and Development commissioner, Elizabeth Alimadi, with 1,008 votes, while Concy Adoch Nyapolo polled only 430 votes.

In Oyam district, the Woman MP, Beatrice Lagada, maintained her position with 4,687 votes, followed by Joyce Otim with 81 votes. For Oyam North MP, Savior Ogena won with 2,543 and his opponent, Francis Onena, got 400 votes.

In Mityana South, Henry Kamya Makumbi was nominated unopposed as the NRM flag-bearer. Makumbi, who has been the LC3 chairperson for Mityana town council, wants to unseat Ssozi Kaddu Mukasa (Independent).

In Nwoya, senior presidential advisor on northern Uganda, Richard Too-Dwong won with a landslide victory. He polled 4,922 votes, while George Willy Mwaka, the runner-up, scored 1, 411 votes.

In the race for the Nwoya Woman MP seat, Lilly Adong fetched 6,142 votes, while her fellow contender, Rose Mary Acayo, polled 1,056 votes.

In Omoro county, former MP Jacob Oulanyah won, while in Gulu Municipality, Michael Ochora triumphed. Oulanyah got 6,384 votes, while George Omona got only 311 votes.

In the newly-created district of Ngora, Dr. Abraham Isamat emerged as the NRM party flag-bearer after trouncing five other opponents.

Isamat, who has been the Ngora district veterinary officer, got 14,370 votes in the four sub-counties that constitute Ngora.

Jacqueline Amoding became the district Woman MP flag-bearer unopposed.



Uganda: Man suspected of Kampala twin bombing confesses his link to Al-qaeda group

Report By Leo Odera Omolo

MUHAMOUD Mugisha, one of the suspects charged with the July 11 Kampala twin bombings, yesterday appeared at Nakawa Magistrates’ Court and recorded an extra-judicial statement.

He recorded his statement before Grade One Magistrate George Obong, after he offered to record an additional statement related to the blasts.

Mugisha, 24, is among the 32 suspects who were charged on August 16 with terrorism, murder and attempted murder at the same court. He is a resident of Kiwunya Zone, Nakulabye, in Rubaga division, but is of Rwandan origin.

The magistrate declined to divulge what Mugisha said in his confession, saying it would be prejudicial and against his work ethics.

But a source said Mugisha confessed to being an “al-Qaeda’s linkman in Uganda”. According to the source, Mugisha confessed that by the time the bombs went off, he was in Luzira Prison, where he had been charged with illegal possession of a Ugandan passport.

He was released on bail on July 29, and arrested a few days later at the Malaba border point on his way to Kenya enroute to Somalia.

The source added that Mugisha said “he is well travelled and has always made frequent trips to Kenya to meet his al-Qaeda superiors.

The source added that Mugisha confessed to being a close friend of Isa Ahmed Luyima, who has since recorded an extra-judicial statement, saying he “smuggled the suicide bomb jackets” into the country. The jackets were assembled in Somalia.

Security was tight at the court and the magistrate’s chambers were sealed off by security personnel for the entire period of the confession.

At least 79 revellers lost their lives in the bomb blasts that went off at Kyadondo Rugby Club in Lugogo and the Ethiopian Village Restaurant in Kabalagala as they watched the 2010 FIFA World Cup final. Somalia’s al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the blasts.



Tullow loses billion of dollars and its exploration right in Uganda oil field

Economic AND Business News By Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City.

The Irish multinational oil firm, Tullow Oil is likely to lose billions of dollars under its existing exploration deal, which appear to be heading to the rock.

The simmering battle between Uganda and the oil exploration companies boiled up over last week with Irish firm, Tullow Oil losing its rights in the 400 million-barrels Kingfisher oil well, located I Western Uganda.

This development is well captured in a shocking in article published this week by the influential weekly, the EASTAFRICAN. The report revealed in detailed account the fallout between the government and two Oil companies, Tullow and Heritage oil.

The development comes just weeks after Tullow oil paid its business partner in the blocks, Heritage Oil, nearly USD 1.5 billion for its stake – in a move that the industry players- had already described as “reckless”.

Citing section 20 {1} and {2} of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Ac/Cap 150,the Uganda’s Minister for Energy Hillary Onek last week made point blank clear to Tullow and Heritage that the period within which they should have applied for a Petroleum Production license for the Kingfisher field expired in February 2010.

“In accordance with the powers entrusted in the Minister under Section 19 {1b} of the Act, I hereby direct that the Kingfisher {Kajiburuzi} Discovery Area has ceased to form part of the Petroleum Exploration Area 3A {EA-3A} under the Petroleum Exploration License grated to you on September 8,2004.”

The Minister’s letter went on, “You are therefore either jointly or severally to cease carrying out any activities under the Discovery Area,” the Minister says in an August 17 letter to the two companies.

While Heritage may be home and dry as its shareholders share out part of the proceeds from its USD 1.45 billion exit from Uganda, its east while partner Tullow, which has spent some USD 3.1 billion in acquisition and operations in Uganda, has been left severely exposed, adds the report.

Against the conventional wisdom, Tullow rushed to pay its partner the full exit costs, even before the deal had secured full approval from the Ugandan government over a pending tax dispute, the report says.

Uganda had refused to clear the deal until Heritage paid USD 408 million in capital gains tax. As the deadline for expiry of Tullow’s pre-emption rights loomed in early July, the government relented, giving conditional approval to the deal after Heritage offered to pay 30 per cent of the dispute sum- USD 121 million-to the Uganda Revenue Authority, with the rest to be deposited in an escrow account pending the outcome of the arbitration proceedings in London.

However, the report says, Tullow proceeded to pay the remaining USD 287 million into an account with Standard Chartered in London, effectively putting the money out of reach of Uganda regardless of the outcome of the arbitration.

This development angered Ugandan officials, setting of counterattack that culminated in their invoking the law against Tullow.

Minister Onek last week told the EASTAFRICAN that the oil production Sharing Agreements signed with exploration firms were clear that tax disputes would be exclusively referred to Ugandan law.

“There is a whole page about tax in the Production Sharing Agreement, which puts tax disputes under Ugandan law and only other issues are subject to arbitration in London. There are also provisions for a tax tribunal under Ugandan law to which Heritage could take their dispute. Remaining 70 per cent of the dispute sum should have been deposited in a Ugandan bank, not Standard Chartered London.

“We therefore consider the agreement under which Conditional Approval was granted invalid until all the conditions for conditional consent are fulfilled,” Mr Onek said, adding that Uganda would not continue dealing with a “dishonest company”. There are so many other companies willing to come in.” he said.

Tullow is now carrying the cross all by itself having paid Heritage the full price of its exit from Uganda. While Heritage had earlier agreed to exchange USD 150 million of its dues for interests in any other field held by Tullow, sensing what was coming; they upped the game and got USD 100 million in cash instead.

This is part of the money they used to deposit the USD 121 million with the URA effectively leaving them in a position to deliver the USD 1.33 billion they had promised their shareholders.

The report says that Tulow was desperate to close the deal because it had not been completely honest with its shareholders. For months, it had been making positive statements about the Ugandan business, which pumped up its share price on the London Stock Exchange.

Such misrepresentation, says the report, include data on oil finds by Heritage, which at the time did not belong to Tullow. A collapse of the transfer deal would expose this, threatening the USD 3.1 billion that has so far been spent by the company in Uganda.

Tullow’s USD 3.1 billion exposure in Uganda is made up as follows. The USD 1.1 billion Hardman buyout, USD 500 million exploration of block 2 and the USD 1.45 billion Heritage buyout. Block 3A expires in September 7, while Block 1 expires next year.

Questions are also emerging on how Tullow racked up such huge costs for its operations in Uganda.

While Heritage spent USD 150 million to explore 6,279 square kilometers, Tullow claims to have spent USD 500 million on much smaller area. Unless there are demonstrable geological differences to justify the costs, belong to Tullow’s costs, which are deductable fro sales.




Kenya: Who will is likely to win the special Senate seat for women in Homa-Bay County?

News Analysis by Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City.

AFTER the colorful promulgation ceremony, which ushered the new constitution last week people appeared to have settled down strategizing how to clinch the various key and middle cadre positions, offered in the new system.

Political parties and their local operatives are also gearing to go for the best. Key positions, which seemed to be attracting hot contests, are those of the Senate seats, County Governors and deputy governors.

The fact that the lucrative ministerial clots will no longer be the exclusive preserve of the parliamentarians, and that the President has the prerogative right and power to pick his Ministers from anywhere including the private sector has made parliamentary seats less attractive to many.

The majority f the incumbent MPs are rumored to be contemplating switching from contesting seats in the August House to the more covenanted Senate, and County governorship.

Among the current MPs in Luo-Nyanza whop are rumored to be in the process of shifting from parliamentary representation to the Senate include the Bondo MP Dr.Oburu Oginga, who is also an Assistant Finance Minister, James Aggrey Orengo, who is the Lands Minister, Dalmas Otieno,the current Public Service Minister.

But none has come forward to confirm the rumors making the round like bush fire. But the new constitution is not silent over this. It stipulates that if the President decides to appoint a sitting MP,, the legislator is bound to resign and relinquish his parliamentary seat for the Ministerial clot. And as such the person honored with cabinet appointment loses nothing, and it would even be better for the MPs to defend their seat and once elected could easily attract the eyes of the President to appoint them to his cabinet depending on their previous experiences and their abilities.

Some of the current MPs, however, have been heard in private conversations, saying that the next cabinet appointment would be highly competitive because the President might be forced to source his cabinet team from the academia and successful CEOs in the private sector and professionalism. Some of the next Ministers could be fished from the various institutions of higher learning.

One area in Luo-Nyanza where the Senate seat reserved for women representative has attracted the highest caliber is the Homa-Bay County in the greater Southern Nyanza.. Four names of prominent women in the region are being fronted by the electorate, as the possible contestants, though none has declared her interest in the seat.

Ms Millie Odhiambo, the ODM nominated MP led the park as the possible party nomination for this seat, which covered six parliamentary constituencies, which included Mbita, Gwassi, Ndhiwa, Rangwe, Karachuonyo and Kasipul Kabondo. There is the possibility that the region could attract one more extra parliamentary seat when the proposed additional 82extra parliamentary constituencies come to force within the next two months time.

Odhiambo hails from Mbita constituency in Mbita district. Born in the political family of the late Harrison Odhiambo Opiyo, who represented Ndhiwa in the defunct Nyanza Regional Assembly between 1963 and 1967 when the Majimbo Constitution brokered at the 1962 Lancaster House was abolished and scrap. Her father for many years was associated with KANU at the district branch level and died in a drowning incident whole serving as the party branch secretary for South Nyanza branch.

A trained lawyer by profession and highly eloquent, Odhiambo is considered as one of the few firebrands in the 10th Parliament, though she is a moderate politician who contributes a lot during the debates on various important matters and Bills of national importance.

Another prominent name is that of Mrs Rosylin Onyuka, the retired former Nyanza Provincial Director of Education {PDE]. She too hails from Kasipul-Kabondo constituency in South Rachuonyo district.

What is likely to complicate the matter for both Onyuka and Odhiambo is that they both hails from Mbita.Onyuka is the daughter of the late Ex-Senior Chief Damianus Ajwang’a, who served as the location Chief for{Kasigunga} Gembe Location in both colonial and independent governments

Onyuka has served as a secondary school teacher, headmistress of the various Girls Secondary Schools in the region, AEO, DEO before being promoted to the position of the Provincial Director of Education, a position which she served with seal. She commands the most populous Rachuonyo region and seemed to be in a better position to clinch the Senate seat if no other aspirant emerged from the same region with the same reputation and popularity.

The other possible contestant is Mrs ConsilataYambo, alias Nyaseme who hails from Gwassi.She is an executive with the Israel National airline, the El-Al in Nairobi and had contested the Gwassi parliamentary seat in 2007 and lost during the ODM primaries. She is said to be tough and experienced politician, but would need a lot of public relations in order to market herself throughout the vast region, because she is said to be unknown in other areas like in the Rachuonyo region and Rangwe.

Another possible contestant is Mrs Monica Amolo, a perennial parliamentary election loser in Ndhiwa constituency. He popularity even in her own Ndhiwa home turf is questionableas her attempt to unseat the abrasive Ndhiwa MP Joshua Orwa Ojode on two previous elections using her contact with politicians from Siaya and Kisumu region had hit the rock in 2007,she garned about 14,000 votes against Ojode’s 48,000 but owing to an error made by the presiding officer who announced her name by mistake as the winner, she moved to the High Court to claim the seat which she never won. He case was summarily dismissed.

She is the second wife of a prominent Kisumu practicing medic Dr. Amolo from Kanyikela Location, Ndhiwa district who was for many years the Hospital Superintendent at the New Nyanza General Hospital {Russia} but now practicing in town. Her background is however, unknown. What is known about her is that she is a political associate of the Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo and a friend of Mrs Ida Raila Odinga.

MONICA Amolo unlike the three other aspirants lacked the safe home constituency as she is said to be not very popular with women folk in her Ndhiwa home turf due to her controversial kind of politics.

There could be more prominent women planning to join the same race. As the situation stands now, no prominent woman is being mentioned in Rachuonyo North and in Rangwe constituencies, but as the time go, more are expected to plunge themselves into the race in the near future.

What is certain is that the three women with the background in Luo-Abasuba communities will have the edge due to their own past performance and family backgrounds.




Kenya: The triple tragedy murder that shocked the residents of the lakeside city of Kisumu

Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City.

[{Photos at the courtseyof the STADARD} ]

The sins of a brazen father now on the run; a love turned sour; and four wasted lives - three of them children too young to defend themselves against the person they all looked up to before hell broke loose.

Outside the house, the heavy rain battering the roof muted their final cries, including that of a helpless girl who was raped before being killed by her own father.

There was blood all over the beds in two different rooms. All four lay motionless — a mother and her three children gone in a flash, because of the murderous rage of a man who passed himself along as a caring father to the young ones, and a loving husband to Pamela Achieng, 38.

Nyalenda residents in Kisumu, Kenya, could hardly contain their tears after catching a glimpse of the scene where a man killed his wife and their three children, on Sunday.

He slit their throats in a grisly incident and ran away. Tears flowed as stunned and petrified residents of the grisly killings.

Speechless and numbed by the sheer horror of the crime, they just looked at the bodies —found more than six hours after the macabre killings. Some just wept uncontrollably.

The horror unfolded in Kisumu’s Nyalenda on Saturday night — and Kenyans came to know about it as they trooped to church on Sunday buoyed by the talk in town that this August would be as jinxed as all the others have been.

It was a chilling trail left by the bicycle operator said to have gone berserk, something his former neighbours cannot comprehend, especially when they look at the old family pictures from which the innocent children radiate a charming smile.

Defiled daughter

Signs of the feeble struggle Pamela and her children - Winnie Anyango (13) Michael Obwago (9) and Bryan Otieno, (6) put up were discernible from the panga cuts on their necks and heads, and the mess that was their once rented house.

The father reportedly also defiled his first-born, Winnie, in the incident believed to have taken place around 10pm. In one room, the bodies of the children lay on one bed in a pool of blood.

In another lay the mutilated remains of their mother.

The beds and sections of a wall bore blood. There were cooking utensils, water containers and a bicycle next to the bodies of the children, in what doubled up as kitchen and bedroom.

There were cries from children, women and men as the bodies were loaded into a police Land Cruiser.

Michael obwago, 9, Brian Otieno, 6, and Winnie Anyango who were killed in Nyalenda slums, in an earlier photo.

"Mungu wangu, mbona wameuliwa? Huu ni ukatili (My God, why have they been killed? This is inhuman)," wailed an elderly woman.

The women screamed and wailed as the bodies were removed to Nyanza Provincial Hospital and police gathered evidence.

The suspect, who ‘inherited’ Pamela six years ago under customary rites, disappeared to an unknown place, leaving the neighbours to speculate on what drove him into such barbarity.

Whatever differences he had with his wife, only he knows why he let the children bear the brunt of his anger.

Anyango was a Standard Seven pupil at Lutheran Church Primary School, less than 200 metres from their home, while her brothers were both attending Pandpieri Primary School, about a kilometre away.

When schools reopen next week, their desks will be empty, and their classmates traumatised and confused.

Pictures of the young ones taken about a year ago, and obtained by The Standard, show the children’s innocent faces, looking with hope into the future.

Police say they have launched investigations to apprehend the suspect.

Beastly act

"This is inhuman. It is difficult to comprehend why he killed them. We will arrest him, and he will face murder charges," promised Kisumu police chief Mr John Mwinzi, at the scene.

Mr Mwinzi said the eldest child was defiled before being hacked to death.

"There are signs that the assailant defiled her daughter before hacking her. I have never seen such a beastly act," conceded the crime buster.

He too explained the suspect could have taken advantage of the heavy rains that pounded Kisumu on Saturday night to murder his family.

Some neighbours reported they last saw the assailant at around 8pm, as he ventured out to take a bath.

Government officers carry bodies of the four family members hacked to death in Nyalenda slums, Kisumu.

Pamela, known to her friends as ‘Mama Winnie’ sold porridge at Oile Market. Those who knew her said she was friendly. Samson Odhiambo, a brother in-law, said she was ‘inherited’ by her killer six years ago.

"They have been (the deceased and suspect) living together for all this period. I got to know about the incident today at around 8am," said Mr Odhiambo.

Judith Akinyi, an employee of Achieng, who is also her neighbour, said she only learnt of the bizarre killings in the morning.

"We woke up to find blood marks on their doorsteps. Upon entering their house, we found the bodies on the beds," said a sobbing Akinyi. She revealed Pamela quarreled with her husband on Friday night


uganda: Museveni has announced his intention to capture both presidency and NRM leadership

Reports Leo Odera omolo In Kisumu City

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has announced his candidature for the NRM chairmanship and as the flag-bearer for the party in next year’s presidential elections.

Museveni is welcomed by NRM supporters during one of his national tours to mobilise households to improve their income

Museveni is the current chairman of the NRM, the ruling party. If re-elected by the national conference in September, he will become the party’s flag-bearer in the 2011 elections, and on the path to another term in office.

The NRM will hold its special organs conference on September 6-7, while its national conference will be held on September 11-12 at Namboole stadium.

Dr. Elizabeth Nabatanzi and Capt. Daudi Maguru, the President’s former aide, have also declared their intentions to contest for the party’s chairmanship.

Speaking at Kamukuzi in Mbarara municipality on Saturday, Museveni told leaders of people with disabilities, women and youth leagues that he submitted his nomination papers to the NRM electoral commission on Friday for the chairmanship of the party and flag-bearer for the NRM in next year’s elections, according to a State House statement.

He urged party members to support his candidature in the delegates conference. “I am happy to hear that disabled people are embracing my candidature,” announced Museveni, who was the chief guest at the commissioning of the Western Uganda Centre for People with Disabilities.

He appealed to members of the NRM delegates’ conference and all party members to endorse his bid so as to cement the gains the country has realised since NRM came to power in 1986.

He said together with other historical members of NRM, they fought and brought peace and stability, revamped the country’s economy, boosted revenue collection and ensured economic stability.

He noted that as the country goes into a phase of socio-economic transformation, some members of the historical team need to be kept in positions of leadership to provide the much needed expertise and experience to propel the country ahead. He added that the NRM enjoys a lot of support nationally.

“The Speaker of Parliament had to call off parliamentary sessions because NRM MPs were going for party primaries. Other parties could not raise the quorum for Parliament to sit, which shows that we are in charge,” the President said.

On the poor functioning of the party structures, Museveni attributed it to lack of funds, but said everything possible was being done to fund the smooth running of the party.

He warned State House staff against interfering in the ongoing NRM primary elections. “State House staff are my workers and they shouldn’t do things I didn’t send them to do,” Museveni warned.

The President’s remarks followed a report from Dan Kimosho, who is contesting for the western region youth MP, that some State House staff were meddling in the youth parliamentary elections.

Museveni was the chief guest at the commissioning of the centre for people with disabilities. It will host regional offices and a training centre. It was initiated by the western region MP for PWDs, Hood Katuramu. The President contributed sh70m towards the completion of the centre.

He said the NRM recognises the need for affirmative action for PWDs, the reason he supported legislation to have them represented politically from the grassroots to the national level and in all NRM party structures




Reports leo Odera Omolo

THE Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) party, one of the five political parties that form the Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC), has opted out of the coalition over what it called irreconcilable reasons.

The party is expected to announce its fallout today after a meeting at the Christ the King Conference Hall.

The decision to pull out of the coalition was arrived at over the weekend after a consultative meeting with the party’s national leaders.

“There will not be speculations about our position. We shall tell Ugandans whether we remain in IPC or we move out,” said UPC secretary general Joseph Bbosa.

However, sources in the party said the leaders agreed to pull out. “The problem is how the party does it without hurting other opposition members,” a source said.

A split arose two weeks ago over how to move forward with the fight against the Electoral Commission (EC).

While UPC wanted the IPC not to participate in any activities organised by the EC, other members wanted the coalition to prepare for next year’s elections as it continued to fight the commission.

UPC President Olara Otunnu on Saturday said the core reason for the IPC was to have the commission disbanded. He added that the commission was not capable of delivering free and fair election.

Otunnu appearing on a Vision Voice talkshow

But the IPC chairman and FDC president, Kizza Besigye, maintained: “We can discuss other issues but we can never boycott. We can fight the EC as we prepare for polls. We think a change in the commission is possible even towards elections.”

Sources said it was too late for UPC to reconsider its position, since the IPC campaigns end today and voting is tomorrow for a single opposition candidate.

The bickering is said to originate from the party’s disagreement with the dominate opposition party, the FDC. UPC accuses FDC of dishonesty and hijacking the coalition for its own gains.

“An example is when the former katikkiros were recently called to an FDC campaign launch in the Buganda region, which was disguised as an IPC meeting. It is this kind of behaviour of FDC using IPC to widen its political base that has made us move out of IPC,” the source said.

Political analyst, however, note that UPC’s pulling out of the coalition would hurt the opposition. “Going alone, will fracture the opposition,” said law professor Golooba Muteebi.



Kofi Annan has added his weight to the Bashir visit saga and asked Kenya to clarify

Reports Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

THE former UN Secretary General Dr.Kofi Annan ha added his weight to the on-going controversy surrounding the visit to Nairobi by the Sudan President Omar Al Bashir in total defiance of the ICC warrant of arrest.

Dr Annan who together with other African Emminent Personb brokered peace in the country in 208 following the disputed presidential election,which plundered the country into chaos that killed close to 1300 persons and displaced over 300,000 asked Kenya government to clarify of Sudan President visit to Nairobi last Friday and reaffirm its commitment to the ICC.

The International Criminal Court has expressed its displeasure with the presence of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir in Kenya and has indicated it will report Kenya to the UN Security Council.

The information flowed as Kenyan MPs reacted swiftly and angrily against the government for allowing al Bashir to attend the promulgation of the new constitution and said Kenya has suffered irreparable damage internationally.

Sources at The Hague said the International Criminal Court (ICC) was planning to report Kenya to the UN Security Council amid revelations that.

President Mwai Kibaki offered guarantees not to arrest Bashir before the Sudanese leader accepted to come..

But Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula defended Bashir’s presence disclosing that President Kibaki invited the indicted war crimes.

suspect and declared Kenya will not allow "anyone to make friends and enemies" for it.

As angry MPs demanded answers from the president and his government Wetangula declared that Kenya is unwilling to enforce international arrest warrants against Bashir he claimed will "destabilize Sudan" and its Comprehensive Peace Agreement CPA or which are in conflict with two African Union resolutions urging African nations not to arrest the Sudanese despot.

"All heads of state are invited by their peer and their peer is His Excellency the president," said Wetangula as he disclosed that Kibaki personally invited Bashir and added that "we invited our neighbours and Sudan is our neighbour."

Deputy Defence minister David Musila who belongs to the Parliamentarians for Global Action-Kenya Chapter (PGA) said "Kenya has suffered irreparable damage internationally" and declared that it was incomprehensible for Kenya which he said was emerging from impunity with a new constitution "to allow Bashir to attend our ceremony."

PGA is a body that oversees the implementation of the Rome Statute, which Kenya domesticated by passing the International Crimes Act in December 2008.

Musila said by inviting and protecting an indicted war crimes suspect the Kenya government was telling the world that it does not care about the rule of law and international opinion.

Musila said a clique in government kept Bashir’s invitation secret until this morning when he emerged on the dais at Uhuru Park in Nairobi. He said PGA received information from its headquarters in New York on the eve of the promulgation of the intended visit but PGA was not aware as the list availed to the group did not have Bashir’s name.

"After receiving the information from our headquarters in New York, we made efforts to know whether it was true, but we were told the first Vice President Salva Kiir will represent the country," said Musila.

PGA Chairman and nominated MP Musa Sirma said: "It was an ambush to us that a person of the nature of al-Bashir comes to Kenya for a function of democracy and human rights," said Sirma..

The MPs who included Isiolo South MP Abdul Bahari and Matungu MP, David Were, said they are not taking the matter lightly and will on Tuesday next week seek a ministerial statement from the government on the circumstances that led to al-Bashir’s invitation and why he was not arrested..



UGANDAN magistrate is arrested for soliciting bribes money

Writes Leo Odera Omolo

A COURT clerk attached to Kisoro Magistrate’s Court, has told court that he witnessed the arrest of his boss, David Cheptuke Kaye, who is accused of receiving bribe from a suspect.
Deo Tereraho on Thursday told Justice Paul Mugamba at the start of the trial that two detectives from Inspectorate of Government told him his boss had received a bribe.

Cheptuke faces one count of corruptly soliciting for gratification, and two counts of receiving gratification. Cheptuke is alleged to have received 200,000 from Angella Uwayesu and John Bosco Nyundo so that he could grant bail to Dennis Masekura, Richard Ntirengaya, and Scovia Busingye.

Prosecution, led by Timothy Ojara, from the IGG’s office said Cheptuke on February12, at Kisoro Magistrate Court received sh100, 000 from Angella Uwayezu so that he could grant bail to her three nephews who were charged with malicious damage of property.

In another count, Cheptuke is alleged to have received sh100, 000 from John Bosco Nyundo as final payment.

Dennis Masekura, the second prosecution told court he got information from Kisoro district speaker William Harerimana, that Cheptuke was demanding more sh100, 000 as final payment for granting bail to Masekura and his brother.

Japheth Twinomugabe, a Police officer attached to IGG’s office in Kisoro told court that he arrested Kaye from his chambers after he searched him and found him with sh100, 000. He said the serial numbers of the bank notes matched those recorded prior to the arrest. The money was tendered in court as exhibit



Kenya: Hwo Bashier was sneaked into country via the officially closed Wilson Airport

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

Sudanese President Omar al Bashir curiously flew in through Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, and not the traditional Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, The Standard On Sunday can report. And Kenya closed its airspace to facilitate President Bashir’s arrival and departure in a well co-ordinated and guarded operation known only to a few, sources said.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga was kept in the dark over the surprise visit, which has kicked off an international storm in view of President Bashir’s status as a wanted man at The Hague.

Security sources indicated that Bashir had negotiated his security and received guarantees before honouring Kenya’s invitation.

The Sudanese leader, whose arrival at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park in the company of Tourism Minister Najib Balala took Kenyans by surprise, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly perpetrating genocide and crimes against humanity in the country’s Darfur region.

He attended the national ceremony to promulgate the new Constitution but skipped the luncheon hosted at State House, Nairobi, by the President.

And on Saturday, Kenya continued to be the butt of international consternation and anger, following United States President Barack Obama’s Friday statement on his disappointment and the International Criminal Court’s report to the United Nations Security Council.

"I am disappointed that Kenya hosted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in defiance of International Criminal Court arrest warrants for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide," said Obama.

Obama reminded Kenya that it had committed itself to full cooperation with the ICC and added: "In Kenya and beyond, justice is a critical ingredient for lasting peace."

But the Government remained defiant, declaring that Kenya would not allow "anyone to make friends and enemies" for it.

On Friday, Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula had defended the presence of the indicted war crimes suspect and disclosed that President Kibaki had invited him for the ceremony.

Investigations by The Standard On Sunday showed that Bashir was sneaked into Kenya through Wilson Airport, easily the region’s busiest airport, which had been ordered closed for the whole day on security grounds by authorities.

The country’s airspace was also closed for four hours to secure Bashir’s safe entry and departure at Wilson Airport, sources said.

Top civil servants, Mr Francis Muthaura (Head of Public Service), Mr Thuita Mwangi (Foreign Affairs) and Mr Francis Kimemia (Internal Security), co-ordinated Bashir’s visit and ensured all other Government officials were kept in the dark, we learnt.

Initially, Muthaura had indicated at a Wednesday press briefing that Wilson Airport would be closed for two hours for security reasons.

Regional leaders

At the briefing, PS Mwangi had whispered to Muthaura that there were three regional government leaders who would be coming but that they did not want to be named.

Journalists’ efforts to prod him to disclose the high-level State guests came to no avail as he refused to divulge their identity, saying they had requested not to be named for security reasons.

There were conflicting reports about the time his plane touched down but sources indicated that his plane took off at 2.30pm.

On Saturday, the ODM wing of government called a press conference to announce that Prime Minister Raila Odinga was not consulted over the visit. The controversy surrounding Bashir’s visit stole the limelight from the historic celebrations, which ushered in the new Constitution with pomp and fanfare.

Last night, it was feared that the thorny issue could jolt the working relationship that President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have enjoyed since they started campaigning for the Proposed Constitution ahead of the referendum.

The Orange Democratic Movement protested against Bashir’s presence at Friday’s promulgation of the Constitution and demanded an explanation over the circumstances of his invitation.

Cabinet ministers Anyang’ Nyong’o, James Orengo and Amason Kingi said Friday’s function was to present to the world a major achievement, but had been rained on by Bashir.

"Many party members and supporters have called us to raise concern about this unexpected presence of President Bashir on a day when we were promulgating the most democratic constitution in Africa, with a Bill of Rights that has very far-reaching human rights provisions," added Nyong’o.

By inviting the Sudanese President, Nyong’o said, the world shifted its attention to Kenya for violating its new constitution as well as international law and treaties, particularly the International Crimes Act.

"We would like to point out to Kenyans, and the international community as a whole, that this was indeed a very unfortunate visit that could put into question the commitment of the Government to implement the Constitution of the Second Republic in letter and spirit," said Nyong’o.

Orengo termed Bashir’s visit as a stain on the historic celebrations as well as an act of impunity on the part of Government.

"This is not a good beginning for us because we have compounded an act of impunity on a very important day," said Orengo.

Kenyan suspects

He, however, disputed suggestions being peddled that ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo would have difficulty laying his hands on the Kenyan suspects linked to the 2008 post-election violence.

The Lands Minister said the Government had contacted Ocampo to slow down the Kenyan case to give room for a friendly environment to usher in the new Constitution and that he had agreed to it.

"Our deeds must indicate that we will protect the Constitution to match the oath that we took, including the international laws," said Kingi.

On Friday, the ICC expressed its displeasure that the Kenyan Government did not arrest Bashir, and has reported the country to the UN Security Council.

Kenyan Members of Parliament reacted swiftly and angrily to the presence, accusing the Government of chipping away at the country’s resurgent international credibility.

As the angry MPs demanded answers from the Government, Wetangula declared that Kenya was unwilling to enforce international arrest warrants against Bashir as it would "destabilise Sudan" and its Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Also, he said that any such action would be in conflict with two African Union resolutions urging African nations not to arrest the Sudanese despot.

"All heads of state are invited by their peer and their peer is His Excellency the President," said Wetangula as he disclosed that Kibaki had personally invited Bashir and added that "we invited our neighbours and Sudan is our neighbour."



Uganda: New districts in country to create 3,000 more jobs to the local people

Writes Leo Odera Omolo

THE demarcation of 23 districts effective July 1, has created 3,000 jobs.
The new districts include Nwoya, Alebtong, Bukomansibi, Gomba, Mitooma, Serere, Napak, Kole, Buvuma, Kween, Kyankwanzi, Lwengo, Agago, Butambala and Namayingo.

Each of them needs at least 150 staff. Some of the district leaders who spoke to Saturday Vision said they wanted to recruit immediately, while others want to fill the positions after elections.

Currently, the new districts are operating with skeleton staff they inherited from their mother districts.

Buvuma district, for instance, has only two members of staff - a chief administrative officer (CAO) and his deputy.

“Buvuma got only one person from Mukono,” the chairman, Alex Mabirizi, said. “We need 20 more staff to be able to run the district in the short term. At the moment, we are considering getting staff from other districts Mukono.”

Similarly, Butambala has only one employee in the education department, yet it needs five. “The district intends to recruit as soon as possible,” says LC5 chairman Bavekuno Kyeswa.

Kalungu district, which was carved from Masaka, currently has only 12 staff, says Juliet Nakatte, the CAO.

In Lubirizi district, the LC5 chairman David Kisembo, says they have so far got only heads of departments, who have embarked on planning for the district.

Mohamed Nakeba, the chairman of Kibuku district, says he got 27 staff from Pallisa district. “The good thing is that they are committed and are doing the work meant to be done in other offices which are not yet filled.”

The Nwoya district chairman, Patrick Okello, told Saturday Vision that he had 26 staff. “We need more and at the moment we are considering borrowing the services of the neighbouring district service commissions to recruit for us.”

Those eyeing the jobs in the districts should also consider the opportunities in the mother districts which remained with gaps after giving out their staff to the new districts.

A district like Mukono which gave out about 25 staff to Buikwe and Buvuma will also have to fill those positions.
Apart from the 3,000 jobs in the new districts, there are also some opportunities that exist in the districts which started operating in the previous financial year, such as Buikwe.

The Buikwe LC5 chairman, Matthias Kigongo, says the district has 24 staff some of whom are occupying two or more offices.

Kigongo says the district will recruit more staff after the general elections. Buikwe has not secured a district service commission and as a result, cannot recruit staff. He says the new leaders will set up the commission.

In Namutumba, the LC5 chairman Michael Saire, says they have had only 55% of the required staff since 2006, when the district was created.

In addition to the districts, the eight new municipalities are also planning to recruit.

They are Mukono, Kasese, Hoima, Ntungamo, Busia, Masindi, Bushenyi and Iganga. Mukono Central Division chairman Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga said they need about 129 employees in the municipality.



Uganda: Museveni tell the African bishops to promote development and social transformation

Writes Leo Odera Omolo

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday evening hosted the visiting African and foreign Bishops to a dinner at State House Entebbe. The prelates are here for the second All Africa Bishops Conference in Entebbe at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel which ends tomorrow.

As they arrived atop the hill at snail pace in three minibuses, many were awe struck by the breath taking beauty of the palatial structure, imposing majestically over Entebbe town. They ate and drank, with the President who called on them to champion social economic transformation.

“It is very important that the church leaders, political leaders and traditional leaders understand that social-economic transformation is the main problem in Africa”, the President said.
Museveni told them that as shepherds of the people of Africa, they ought to appreciate that Africans are among the most under-developed in the world.

African societies, he stressed, must undergo changes from peasant, feudal settings to middle class and skilled working class societies, according to a state House Press release.
He noted that Bishops had plenty of time to interact with the people and pass on the message of social transformation.

The President asked the Church leaders to encourage people to work and not to sit idly thinking God would make things happen miraculously. Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of the Church of Uganda assured his fellow prelates that the people of Uganda were hospitable and open hearted.

He thanked President Museveni for his support to the conference, saying over 300 bishops had attended the conference.
Yesterday, the bishops deliberated on ways through which the church could fight against climate change and food insecurity.

In a keynote presentation, Dr. Rose Mwebaza, a senior legal advisor on environment at the Nairobi-based Institute of Security Studies, said the continent was bound to suffer endless hunger and high disease burden due to climate change.

“The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says the greatest hunger in the world is in Africa. And climate change is going to exacerbate the problem through increased drought, floods and disease burden,” Mwebaza said.

She challenged the clergy to mobilise believers to start up simple energy technologies like biogas and reduce dependence on wood and curb deforestation



Kenyan MPs and human rights groups are up in arms against Basahir’s visit to Nairobi

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

Swearing-in of MPs under the new Constitution went on well. However, those who might have failed to take the oath will be barred from sitting on committees or engaging in any other business, House Speaker ruled yesterday.

Speaker Kenneth Marende said the new Constitution, however, has a saving provision for MPs who may fail to attend the swearing-in ceremony on the day of commencement of the new charter due to ill health or other unavoidable circumstances.

He said those who failed to swear allegiance to the new laws are required to take the oath on the "next sitting of Parliament", which is Tuesday.

In a ruling before the swearing-in began, Mr Marende barred any interruptions from MPs who wanted some of their colleagues stopped from taking the oath on grounds of financial, moral impropriety, criminal trials, and investigations.

The decree followed an attempt by Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale, who petitioned the Speaker to disallow ‘tainted’ MPs from the oath, which Marende rejected. But no sooner had the Speaker delivered the ruling than Khalwale stood up, apparently to interject or seek a second

hearing, but was told to stand down.

Ruto applauded

By last evening, the ceremony was progressing well, including dutiful swearing by ministers and MPs opposed to the new charter to uphold and defend it.

Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto, who stridently opposed the new Constitution, was applauded as he swore to defend it.

MPs Millie Odhiambo, Peris Simam, Rachel Shebesh, and Jebii Kilimo came to the chamber clad in national colours.

Four parliamentary seats – Makadara, Starehe, Wajir South and Juja – are vacant following High Court nullification of the their elections.

MPs shocked

Meanwhile, angry MPs demanded answers from the President and his Government on the move to invite Sudanese President Omar el Bashir to the fete.

Defence Assistant Minister David Musila said it was incomprehensible for Kenya, which he said was emerging from impunity with a new Constitution, "to allow Bashir to attend our ceremony".

Mr Musila is a member of the Parliamentarians for Global Action-Kenya Chapter, which oversees the implementation of the Rome Statute. Kenya domesticated the statute by passing the International Crimes Act in December 2008.

Musila said by inviting and protecting an indicted war crimes suspect the Government was telling the world that it does not care about the rule of law and international opinion.

He said a clique in Government kept Bashir’s invitation secret.

Musila said PGA received information from its headquarters in New York on the eve of the promulgation of the intended visit, but Kenyan chapter was not aware because the list provided to them did not have Bashir’s name. "After receiving the information from our headquarters in New York, we made efforts to know whether it was true, but we were told the first Vice-President Salva Kiir will represent the country," he said .

Nominated MP Musa Sirma, who is the local PGA chairman, said they were shocked when they saw Bashir arrive at the fete.

A group of Kenyans placrad carrying demonstrators braved the security ring around Uhuru Park and displayed their leaflets and displeasure demanding that the visiting Sudanese President Omar El-Bashir be arrested forthwith to answer the ICC ciminal charges of abuse of human rights.



Kenyan paper alleged that William Ruto is under the intensive CIA surveillance

Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

A Kenyan newspaper has made startling revelation to the effect that the country’s Minister for Higher Education William Kipchirchir Samoei Ruto,who last month led a spirited campaign against the new constitution when he led the No camp in the just concluded referendum voting has of late become the target of major Western Intelligence community.

In a well written report appearing in its column this week, the WEEKLYCITIZEN, which is credited for political, economic and security gossips says intelligence analysis’s in Kenya, the East African region and other parts of the world who follow local politics for instance South Africa, Nigeria, the USA, Russia and the European Union, China, Japan and India are said to be busy exchanging notes on the dynamics of local political visa-a-vise Kibaki succession.

The article which sounded like a public relations gimmicks sponsored by the Minister himself for the purpose of face saving after he suffered political humiliation in the referendum outcome, sounded like the work of someone who has perfected in fiction writings, but cannot be rubbished simply, Kenya being what it is as a country, which is full, of politics of deceits, manipulation and maneuvers of this kind.

It says all these countries mentioned above wants to have a clear picture on political, social and economic arenas.

“And the one world leader with the most comprehensive dossier on Kenya and its political leadership before and after the referendum is the US President Barack Obama, the report says, adding, “He dearly wishes to court a reform and rapidly democratizing Kenya the land of his father, as part of his own legacy at the White House.”

After all, it was Obama who applied the greater pressure on the quarrelling principals of the grand Coalition government to get them put the final pieces of the constitutional review in place, more pressure even that exerted by the former UN Secretary General Dr Kofi Annan, the donor and development partners combined.

Obama had applied so much pressure on Kenya that he politely refused the birth place of his father and forefathers his first stop in Africa as President of the Unite States choosing instead Ghana.

The WEEKLY CITIZEN attributed the information contained in the article to impeccable diplomatic and media circles, that one person Obama the America spymasters keeps tabs about on Kenyan political leadership is the high riding Higher Education Minister William Ruto.

The report adds that Ruto’s CIA dossier is updated now and then and is closely monitored more than of President Mwai Kibaki and the Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Ruto’s file is only one of the CIA files history on a Kenyan to be marked “Secret”. Pundits and observers alike were quick in expressing doubt about the accessibility of the CIA files by an outsiders, arguing that the CIA documents are the most inaccessible in the world.

“Only other Kenyan who have had CIA files rd-flagged in this and updated regularly is that of the late President Jomo Kenyatta his communist leaning deputy Jaramogi Oginga Odinga in the period of 1959 and 1961 and during the cold war between the UIS and its Western allies and the Russian and its Eastern European communist blocs.” And the late Tom Mboya, although he was pro-America was being monitored for fears known to the CIA That was during the Kenyatta regime.

It went on reporting hat in the Daniel Moi era, Nicholas Kipyator Kiprono Biwoot, the “Total Man” was placed on CIA list in the period between 1989 and 2002.

Jomo Kenyatta went on to become the first Prime Minister and President of Kenya and a strong ally of the British who told the Americans to leave him alone. Biwott too went on to become a valuable link and asset to Kenya-Israel relations with Jerusalem urging the American to tae him off listed category.

But Kenyatta, and Biwott enemies in America were not as powerful and influential as Ruto’s. First, it is said that Obama has no time for Ruto, although if he sincere with himself he must have been impressed b young Ruto’s one man army that threatened to upset the Kibaki-Raila-Kalonzo-Uhuru-Mudavadi apple cart in the referendum.

According to the CITIZEN, informed sources say Ruto top the list of those in the No camp who are banned from travelling to the US. Another cabinet member banned is the Attorney General Amos Wako.

It is imperative to note, Ruto and Wako files has many comments on the margins entered by the Ambassador John Corson, President Obama’s senior most envoy on African Affairs and a former US ambassador to Kenya.

In political circles, the CITIZEN wrote,” It is said that the current US ambassador to Kenya Michael Renneberger’s continued stay in Kenya had seen slowly leans toward the Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The envoy’s looming departure is seen as God sent in certain quarters.

Ambassador Renneberger’s survival tactics has befriended the Obama family in Kenya and to an extent those in America. t is rumored in high political circles to the effect that the envoy is using Obama’s step sister Dr Rita Auma Obama was instrumental in having Raila Odinga visit the US and even have photographs with Obama and his family during a high profile head of states meeting at the White House.

The recent dossier to give Ambassador Renneberger a clean bill of health by the Obama Administration after Ruto and those in the No camp had complained hat he was directly involved and interfering in the country’s local affairs. By being pro Yes signifies a lot.”

The CITIZEN widely quoted a retired former Kenya top intelligence operative from the Rift Valley Province who it claims keeps close ties with both Ruto with a section of CIA,which had trained him, the file on the Eldoret North MP reads as if it was filed by Ruto worst political enemies in Kenya. It contains most adverse information right down from financial and private life details.

It contains the Minister’s CV, political history, strong opinion and dislikes of his strength and weakness, his use of opportunities and threat quotient. The Ministers bank account and his association with powerful forces in the Moi regime has taken a number of pages, the Paper claimed.

Of great concern is the force, behind the Minister’s economic muscles that was able to sustain and fund a formidable No campaign by traversing the country at will. The US is reported to be so bitter with the former President Daniel Arap Moi launched the campaign within a campaign to discredit Ambassador Renneberger and other Western support for the Yes side against the No side.

Privately, the CITIZEN wrote,” Ruto seems to have no bad words for the Kenyan intelligence, yet nothing but bitterness for the special relations between Raila Odinga and the US Ambassador to Kenya and Corson.

The WEEKLY CITIZEN for its anti-Raila stance, which has seen the paper coming out with the banner headlines considered of being adverse to the politics of the Prime Minister for almost one year incessantly on weekly basis, and this particular article could be part of the well orchestrated campaign against “Agwambo”

The article says that Ruto is convinced that his file with the American is written in Nairobi by two or three people and then passed on to Corson and onward to President Obama.

It is suspected that with the support of American international force, every political system need a scapegoat and Ruto is increasingly worried that he together with the Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta be the sacrifice lamp.

The report went on,” In fact the worry among the two politician is with the adverse Western intelligence, and ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo will make a brief for them and associates when it come to the first round prosecutions at the Hague for the post election violence. Sparing on delaying targeting some of the other players on the other side of political divide who until recently was profiled for arrest interrogation and prosecution.

“The question is, will America use the muscle power to clip Ruto and his allies by influencing the Hague?




Tanzania: Opposition parties in nation are gearing to wrest power from CCM after five decades

Political News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

WITH only two months to go before the October 31 poll in Tanzania, election fever has gripped the country as voter registered in record number.

This is at a time that the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi {CCM} faces the stiffest challenge to its uninterrupted five decade long dominance fro a re-energized opposition that seek to combine its members to wrest control of the Tanzanian parliament.

Tanzania National Election Commission chairman Lewis Makame was last week quoted by the influential EASAFRICAN weekly as saying that about 21,210,187 voters of the targeted 22,210,187 voters have already been registered in the permanent voters register.

Justice Makame said this figure is equivalent to 94 per cent and higher by 23 per cent than the 15,919,749 voters who were registered in the 2005 elections.

A total of 55,000 polling stations will be set up country-wide for the forthcoming polls, which it is estimated will cost Tshs 60.2 billion {USD 395 million}.

At the same time news emerging from the Tanzanian capital of Dar Es Salaam says the ruling CCM party faces a spate of defections as disgruntled losers in the party’s primaries crosses over to the opposition side.

The Civic United Front {CUF}, which dominated politics of the twin Islands of Zanzibar and Pemba and the CCM, the Chama Cha Maendeleo Na Demokrasia {Chadema},which is the strongest opposition party on the mainland Tanzania, say they are confident of retaining not only the seats already held, but also of taking away a sizable chunk from the CCM, which has dominated the House for over 18 years since the introduction of multiparty democracy in Tanzania.

In the 2005 general election, CCM won 254 seats, CUF 22, in the Union and House of Representative together with Chadema and the Tanzania Labor Party took five each with the United Democratic Party bagging two seats. Seven seats were vacant.

CUF chairman, Prof.Ibrahim Lipumba was also quoted by the EASAFRICANM as saying that his party would be fielding mostly young candidates to run for parliamentary seats countrywide, with the exception of a few constituencies.

Prof Lipumba said that CUF has already nominated 120 candidates from the mainland and 50 from the Isles to vie for the Union Parliamentary seats. The party has also nominated other 50 from Unguja and Pemba to contest in the Zanzibar House of Representative. The party intends to nominate more than 200 candidates for the Union.

Political pundits say CCM is running scared given the rising anti-incumbent sentiment, alternatively chastened and encourage by the results of its just ended primary elections.

The ruling party is also grappling with the fallout from widespread irregularities, with the opposition counting on winning over veteran CCM members who have lost in the primaries but still command, a large following within CCM.

Prof.Lipumba said CUF has invited CCM members who lost in the just concluded election primaries to join the opposition.

“If there is a phrase the ruling CCM won’t like uttered, It is “the boot”. According to CUF, the opposition parties have been complaining after every election that their votes were stolen, only for CCM to scoff at them, this time the boot is on the other foot

“This time, the malady has befallen them. We hope the situation will offer an opportunity to the ruling party to address the problem of corruption in election more squarely under a free electoral commission,” said Prof Lipumba.

At the same time Dr. Willbrod P.Slaa, the Secretary General of CHADEMA, said CCM has lost the moral authority to fight corruption. He said his party’s presidential candidate, said if CHADEMA takes over the government; it would make it a priority to fight corruption. His party aims are to reach every corner of the country in its quest to win more civic and parliamentary seats. The party is currently has five elected MPs and as many special seats parliamentarians. It also has some councilors in different districts of the country.

Dr Slaa, however, warned that under the new election financing law, which requires people contributing to political parties to give their names, physical addresses and other particulars, many people giving cash would be apprehensive about giving out cash lest they are harassed by the government for supporting the opposition.




Kenya and Uganda in EAC new railway pact

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

THE Rift Valley Railways (RVR) and the Ugandan and Kenyan governments have signed a revised concession pact to pave way for the release of about $250m (sh2.2 trillion) to boost operations along the Kenya-Uganda railway line.

A woman disembarks a Rift Valley Railways passenger train at Nambole during a Bukedde show in 2009

Jim Mugunga, the Privatisation Unit spokesperson, said the agreement will fast track the introduction of a professional operator to manage the network and attract development partners to invest in the sector.

Finance minister Syda Bbumba and Kenya’s trade minister Amos Kimunya officiated at the function that took place at the finance ministry offices in Kampala on Wednesday.

However, yesterday Bbumba referred all inquiries regarding the date of commencement of works to transport minister John Nasasira, whose phones were all switched off.

“All the terms and conditions are determined by the transport ministry, mine is divestiture,” Bbumba said.

The two governments have been at loggerheads with RVR’s principal shareholder, Citadel Capital, over the inclusion of two crucial railway lines in a concession.

The company was contracted to manage the Mombasa-Kampala railway line for more than two decades.

The signing ends the row between the Egyptian equity firm and a section of Ugandan and Kenyan businessmen, who did not want the Tororo-Pakwach and Kampala-Kasese railway lines included in the concession, against Citadel Capital’s demands.

The two lines, leading to two regions endowed with minerals, oil, and agricultural potential as well as the sprawling Southern Sudan market, are now in the concession.

The development also confirms Citadel Capital as the principal shareholder in RVR (51%) with Kenya’s investment powerhouse TransCentury taking up 34% of the shares. Ugandan investors bag 15%.

However, in a bizarre twist, RVR officials, who did not want to be named, said there had been no signing following a cancellation letter from the finance ministry on Monday.

“The letter suspended the signing till further notice,” said an RVR official, who declined to disclose the details of the letter to New Vision.

RVR Uganda managing director Christina Wadulo said she was on leave and unable to comment on the matter.

The revamping of activities along the Kenya-Uganda railway have dragged on since 2005, when the Kenyan and Ugandan governments handed over the railway management to RVR, which was then under the shadowy South African investment firm, Sheltam Rail.

Controversy crippled in after the firm’s chief executive officer, Roy Puffet, secretly sold off 49% of RVR shares to wealthy Egyptians, who demanded to chair the RVR board.

This sparked off a bitter row with other shareholders, who included Kenya’s TransCentury (20%), Centum Ltd (10%), Tanzania’s Mirambo Holdings (15%), Prime Fuels of Kenya (15%) and Babcock Investments Holdings of Australia (10%).

The shareholder’s stakes, apart from TransCentury’s, were later liquidated after the World Bank intervened to settle the boardroom wars.



Uganda has proposed to lease oil wells to prospectus investors

Economic and Business News By Leo Odera Omolo

UGANDA has repossessed an oil field in Hoima after exploration company Tullow Oil failed to meet the Government’s terms.

Accordingly, the Kingfisher (Kajubirizi) discovery area has ceased to form part of the petroleum exploration area Tullow had been licensed to manage in 2004, energy and mineral development minister Hillary Onek said yesterday.
The area was technically referred to as 3A(EA-3A).

Block 3A and Block 1 were jointly operated by Heritage and Tullow. However, Heritage sold its interest to Tullow.

In a letter, Onek said Tullow’s licence had expired.

Under the law, Tullow should have applied for a production licence within two years of discovering the oil, which it did not. “The period within which you are supposed to have applied for a petroleum production licence for the Kingfisher (Kajubirizi) field expired in February 2010,” he told Tullow managers.

The development means that Uganda can license another player since it does not recognise Tullow’s transaction with Heritage. Accordingly, Tullow risks losing $1.45b, which it paid Heritage for the asset.

Athough Heritage and Tullow discovered the oil in 2008, none of them applied for a production licence.

“There was either lack of interest in the block or the operators were not willing to provide Government with plans for oil production,” said an expert in the oil industry.

Tullow alluded to a delay towards production in the affected field.

“The Government has indicated that they will not grant an appraisal licence extension until the tax matter is resolved,” the firm said in its bi-annual report to shareholders on Wednesday.

The Government had required Heritage to pay tax on the income they got from the sale of the field, which they did not do. Now the Governent wants the tax paid by Tullow who took the asset.

“In the short term, it is, therefore, anticipated that there may be some slow down in activity.

"While effective ownership of the assets has been transferred to Tullow, the Government wishes to resolve the tax dispute prior to granting final approval to proceed,” Tullow added.

In an apparent contradiction, the firm also said: “The Government of Uganda has, however, indicated that a dispute with Heritage over capital gains tax needs to be resolved before the purchase from Heritage…”

The Government insists Heritage must pay all the taxes due to the transaction amounting to $404,925,000.

Heritage is not willing to pay and has referred the matter to the London Court of Arbitration.

The fate of Tullow’s $1.45b it paid to Heritage is not clear.



Uganda: Museveni opened all Anglican Bishops conference in Kampala and warns of religion extremism

Reports LeoOdera Omolo In Kisumu City

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has warned against religious intolerance, saying it is one of the reasons that prompted him and his comrades to go to war in order to stabilize the country.

Addressing the All Africa Bishops Conference in Entebbe yesterday, Museveni said the formative years of religion in Uganda were characterised by friction between denominations.

Bishops sing after the All Africa Bishops Conference was officially opened by President Museveni at the Imperial resort Beach Hotel

“There was friction between the Protestants and Catholics and later between the two and Muslims. Protestants came in 1877 and the Catholics in 1879, but by 1890, we already had a civil war. You can imagine the confusion allegedly in the name of God,” he said.

From 1888, he noted, people were killing each other ‘on behalf of God’. “I don’t know where they met God to instruct them to go and kill each other, you should study this,” he told the prelates, throwing them into laughter.

That rivalry, Museveni added, went on into the 1970s, climaxing into the (former dictator) Idi Amin regime.

“This problem is one of the issues that formed my political awareness and together with my colleagues, we were determined to stop it. As a Christian, I challenged this and said: ‘This is not what God told you to do; you are all wrong’,” he said, to thunderous applause.

He reminded them of the story of the Good Samaritan who helped a man who had been beaten up by robbers, yet he (Samaritan) was not of the victim’s social caste.

“I am always looking for the Good Samaritan. Jesus said we shall know them by their deeds. Not clothes, titles or names, but by their deeds,” he stressed.

He described the religious wars going on in the world as okuhimbagira, “to disorient oneself in a very fundamental way”.

“You fight this one, fight that one; what is your problem? That I am a Muslim? If you are, so what? If I am a Christian, what’s your problem?”

“You are what you are, I am what I am and everyone of us is here in their own right by the permission of God; so you must accept me the way I am.”

He said there were some groups in Kawempe on the outskirts of Kampala some years ago who wanted to riot because somebody had eaten pork.

“I don’t eat fish because my people call it snake. I don’t eat chicken because my people think it makes one unstable, don’t eat pork and sheep but I am the number one promoter of piggery in the whole of Uganda.

“I think tolerance is firmly based on the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan,” he said.

The President, who was jolly and kept cracking jokes, invited the clergy to visit Uganda again, saying it is unique, being on the equator but experiencing permanent snow on Mt. Rwenzori because it is 5,000 metres above sea level. Only Kenya and Ecuador in South America, he added, have such an experience.

Addressing a press conference later, Orombi said they had met the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, over homosexuality which has split the Anglican church.

“He recognised that he has complicated work to do. We impressed it on him that he had totally gone in a different direction and he has to sort it out,” Orombi said.

He said the church in Singapore, south-east Asia and Africa had decided to stick to the Word of God and the Anglican Communion was strengthening its ties with them.

“We sympathise with his (Williams) position. It’s like having unruly kids in his house and he can’t sit down to eat food. We told him no more diplomacy on that matter,” he said.

Experts on family issues, maternal health and HIV/AIDS also made their presentations.

Dr. Peter Okaalet said the 10 killer diseases in Africa like malaria, HIV/AIDS and accidents are preventable.

“Africa has failed to prevent these 10 killer diseases because its health system is overburdened to the extent that it cannot deliver anything,” Okaalet said.

“Most of the budgets of the African countries offer $10 to $20 for health per person every year, which cannot do anything.”

Sylvia Mwichuli said Africa has the potential to end poverty. “Africa is not doomed, it has a lot of potential and South Africa has just exhibited it when she hosted a successful World Cup recently,” she added.

Mwiculi observed that the gap between the rich and the poor who struggle to live is very big and needs to be bridged urgently.

She challenged religious leaders to support people and groups of people who advocate for the positive change on the continent.




News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City.

WITH only three days to go, the government is yet to reveal the exact number of foreign dignitaries who will attend the Friday’s promulgation of the new constitution.

He colorful ceremony will take place at the Jamhuri Park, Nairobi. Government spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua said the detailed program will be issued to-day {Tuesday} by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President Ambassador Francis Muthaura,who is also the head of civil service and secretary to the cabinet.

However, a statement by the Presidential Press Unit also confirmed that ceremony’s details of events will be issued comprehensively by Mr Muthaura later today.

But highly placed sources in the capital, Nairobi have intimated that over six heads of state, mainly from the East African Community member countries will be in the country by Thursday evening.

Those foreign dignitaries expected to attend this historical ceremony will include Presidents Jakaya Kikwete {Tanzania} Yoweri Museveni {Uganda},Paul Kagame {Rwanda} , President Pierre Nkurunziza {Burundi}, Silva Kir of Southern Sudan and South Affrican President Jacob Zuma.

Members of the Panel of Eminent Persons who midwife the National Peace Accord in 2008will also attend the high-profile ceremony.

President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the Vice President Kalonzo Muyoka will lead the cabinet Minister in taking the new, but solemn oath to protect and uphold the new constitution.

The function will be preceded by military parade complete with 21 gun salute in honor of the Commander-In Chief and mark the birth of the second Republic of Kenya.

In a departure from a tradition, the military for the first time will sing the national anthem alongside the instrumatalics.

The 21 gun salute is a military tradition that is exclusively in honor of the Commander In Chief and signifies the birth of a new Kenya like it happened at the independence celebrations in 1963.

The military will display its best skills like what the Chief of the General Staff Lt.Gen Jeremiah Kianga had hinted earlier’

Meanwhile President Kikwete’s attendance is still in doubt following sad news that the head of state of Tanzania had collapsed while delivering a speech in the country’s lakeside town of Mwanza last Sunday.

Kikwete according to the same source had collapsed after delivering a speech on Sunday, during the African Inland Church of Tanzania seminary held in a stadium in Mwanza Town.

PRESIDENT Kikwete and the State House sources in Dar Es Salaam later attributed the collapse to fatigue.

It says, midway through his speech, President Kikwete had asked AICT followers converged at the stadium to allow him to speak while seated, saying he felt rather exhausted.

President Kikwete, however, quickly recovered and continued to preside at the well attended function.

But even when seated, his voice gradually failed and slumped on his chair shortly after winding up his speech prompting his aides to surround him and carried him away to an isolated room within the stadium, apparently for First Aide.

The panic gripped AICT followers who were anxious to know what had befallen President Kikwete, compelling the AICT presiding Bishop Musa Magwezela to appeal to the congregation to pray for the quick recovery of the head of state.

The Mwanza Regional commissioner Abbas Kandoro who had accompanied the president’s aides as they carried him away immediately returned to the stadium after five minutes and allayed fears over the head of state’s health

He said the President was in good health, and blamed his collapse to fatigue and exhaustion could by busy schedule of the on-gong presidential election campaign.

Kikwete reappeared at the stadium 15 minutes later and assured the crowd at the parked stadium that he was well,. H said the exhaustion had taken toll on him and continued to preside over the ceremony.

He launched a fund raising drive and pledged T shs one million towards the development fund of the Tanzania Albinos Society in Mwanza region..

“ I am now strong.. I now want to take this opportunity to lkaunch the fundraising drive let me first start by offering my personal contribution of Tshs 1 million,” he sidamid cheers.




Uganda: UPC leader Dr. Olara Otunnu is undecided over opposition parties alliance

Writes Leo Odera Omolo

THE Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) is still consulting members on the proposal to field a joint presidential candidate in
the 2011 elections, party president Olara Otunnu said yesterday. The Inter-Party Cooperation, a loose alliance of five opposition parties, is trying to agree on a joint candidate.

Otunnu, however, caused panic last week when he failed to turn up at Kololo Airstrip for the nomination of the candidates.

After a crisis meeting with the IPC on Monday, Otunnu said the UPC elders would make the final decision.

“Why was this coalition formed? Is the coalition taking the right path? What have we achieved?” Otunnu asked.
UPC accuses the IPC leadership of dishonesty. It says the group’s rotational chairman, Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change, is manipulating the coalition in favour of his party.

The emergency meeting, chaired by Besigye, was attended by Ken Lukyamuzi (CP), Asuman Basalirwa (JEEMA) and a representative of the Social Democratic Party.

After the meeting at the IPC headquarters on Katonga Road in Nakasero, Besigye said the meeting had addressed UPC concerns conclusively, but Otunnu said otherwise.

On the allegation of dominating the IPC, Besigye said it was not true and instead blamed inadequate communication. He said UPC needed to deal with its obligations.

The meeting agreed to hold a conference on August 31, to allow members who wish to participate to be nominated. IPC will also hold two public hearings on Friday and Saturday in Kampala and Jinja.

On his part, Otunnu said: “UPC is systematic in dealing with critical issues. UPC will fulfill its responsibilities, while sticking to its principles.”
He said the party first needed to conclude the ongoing process of setting up structures nationwide as it prepares for primaries in September.

Meanwhile, DP yesterday appealed to the opposition to instead agree joint parliamentary and local government candidates.

It said each party should, however, field its own presidential candidate as the best way to deny Museveni an outright 50% win. The parties should only field a joint candidate for a re-run, DP boss Norbert Mao said.
Political analyst Prof. Golooba Muteebi thinks otherwise.

“Going alone, will fracture the opposition,” he argued.
“Unity is what they need.”