Friday, May 26, 2017

VIDEO: #Museveni shields @FrankTumwebazeK against Kadaga's 'Rwandese artillery' barrage - #Uganda @HenryTumukunde @KagutaMuseveni

Last week parliament debated and overwhelmingly resolved that the registration of SIM cards exercise should be extended for one year. The motion had been moved by the Leader of Opposition in Parliament. The decision was premised on the fact that citizens were undergoing a lot of hardships in trying to beat the deadline. The executive did not rise any objection on the floor of parliament.  Unknown to the Speaker, Museveni had directed his Prime Minister, Rugunda to chair a meeting of security agencies that fixed the deadline.  

Information Minister, Frank Tumwebaze thereafter called a press conference where he insisted that government was to stick to the deadline.  He argued that Parliament's resolution was simply advisory and not binding. Indeed, government went ahead and switched of the unregistered SIM cards.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga later moved the house to refer Minister Tumwebaze to the parliamentary committee on discipline for contempt of Parliament. She said; "...we cannot accept this disregard of the people's voices, their challenges and problems. It is a high level of arrogance." Members of parliament became furious and vowed to impeach Minister Tumwebaze.

Museveni realised that the Speaker, Kadaga had once again not only scored by identifying with the oppressed Wanainchi but was heading for another battle with the executive for which she was bound to win.  He moved very fast to convene a ruling party caucus in which he declared that the exercise of registering SIM cards was extended to August 30th, 2017 thus ending the impasse. He advised Tumwebaze to apologize on the floor of parliament. Instead, Tumwebaze attempted to dupe parliament by reiterating the executive's position on the matter. 

He said; "I take responsibility for communicating a government position because that is the work I was given. If that angered this house, I take responsibility and I apologise."  The Speaker whose interpretation of Tumwebaze's so called apology was that of continued arrogance, referred the matter to the Disciplinary Committee for advice. However, she went ahead to caution the Executive thus; " The country has lost revenue collections because of rigidity of the executive." She went ahead to advise the government to always read the public mood and act in the interest of the people.

Above all, Museveni realised that the Kadaga/Tumwebaze war of words was heading for another level - name calling. Ever since Museveni suspected Kadaga to be harboring presidential ambitions, he has carried out a series of offensives aimed at undermining her credibility. Over the years, he has used different regime cadres to fight his wars with Kadaga and this time it was Tumwebaze's turn. In September 2015, she owed up to an audio recording that had gone viral in which she had accused Banyankole and Banyarwanda for turning Uganda into an oligarchy.  

Despite the existence of anti-sectarian law, Museveni feared to take action against her but behind the scenes 'the leopard had been trickled in the anus'. In October 2016, Kadaga told off anther Munyarwanda, Frank Gashumba thus; "Uganda is really a linient country; how can Gashumba, a Rwandese, abuse us in Uganda?  He can't do that in Rwanda." Gashumba had earlier made a public statement that "Kadaga belongs to the Stone Age."  It obvious that had the fire that had been generated by the SIM card impasse not been timely put out, Tumwebaze was headed for a "Rwandese artillery" barrage from Kadaga.

Kadaga has to a significant extent put up a spirited fight in preservation of parliament's sanity against Museveni's concerted efforts to undermine and subdue it into his rubber stamp. Having assumed the position of Speaker in May 2011, a few weeks later she chaired the Appointments Committee that rejected six of Museveni's nominees to Ministerial positions. Shortly after she presided over a sitting that rejected the 61b shillings thermal power subsidiary. In October 2011, she presided over a sitting that debated the oil sector and the controversial contracts that Museveni keeps secret. The House threatened to censure Prime Minister Mbabazi and Misters Sam Kuteesa and Hillary Onek. 

The regime accused her of being in league with the opposition to undermine the government. During the regime MPs' Caucus meeting, Museveni accused parliament of rushing to pass things without caution. In May 2012, she told The Observer that those accusing her of favouring opposition didn't understand what multiparty means; " means many parties and it means that they should be allowed to speak. Some people think that when you are in opposition, you are not allowed to speak. But that member is not an enemy."

In December 2012, she stood her ground to recall parliament from recess to debate the death of M.P Nebandah who was feared to have been killed by the Museveni regime. She rejected the government autocracy report but instead appointed a team of Doctors to carry out an autopsy but were arrested by Museveni who vowed not to allow parliament debate the death, in his infamous phrase; "Over my dead body".

In April 2013 Museveni expelled the so called 'Rebel MPs' from his party and wanted them to subsequently lose their seats. The Speaker, Kadaga refused to expelled them prompting g Museveni to go to Cadre Kavuma (Constitutional Court) which granted his prayers. Later the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Kadaga's position and Museveni humiliatingly lost that battle. Kadaga's Appointments Committee rejected Museveni's appointment of Aidan Nantaba to a ministerial position. When Kadaga was away in Canada, Museveni used her Deputy Speaker, Cadre Jacob Oulanya to approve Nantaba. Since then, the regime adopted to sideling Kadaga and using Oulanya to push for its selfish interests in parliament.

In an interview with Urban TV and Bukedde TV in late 2014, Kadaga expressed his wish to run for the presidency.  She also expressly stated that she couldn't be silenced by anybody when she is convinced about something. With the 'change of guards' in April 2016, Museveni attempted a final move to get rid of Kadaga by intimidating his top cohorts under Central Executive not to nominate her. He wanted Jacob Oulanya to replace Kadaga. 

He argued; "I want a Speaker that I will work with, and not to fight with." Despite the huge financial bribery to MPs, still Kadaga triumphed and retained her position of Speaker for the 9th Parliament. As if Museveni was not yet done, early this year he used Cadre Kavuma of the Constitutional Court to block Parliament from debating a daylight theft of 6b by Museveni's cohorts. 

Kadaga stood her ground and threw out what she called "the stupid order" before indefinitely suspending Parliament. Museveni had to swallow his pride and relented. However, when Kadaga put in place a committee to probe the cold-blooded murder of over 100 people in Kasese by security forces, Museveni withdrew his cooperation and the probe collapsed.

Therefore, last week's SIM card registration impasse was a Museveni scheme in furtherance of the fight against Kadaga.

Source: Change of Guards Blog

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