Monday, January 30, 2006

DP Boss issues come home to roost ahead of poll

Inspite of an attempt to muffle coverage of DP President Sebaana Kizito's campaign, some of the issues he has hit head on during the campaign are coming home to roost. On DP's poverty to prosperity theme, new evidence is emerging that Uganda's social and economic infrastructure can barely support Uganda's growing population. At a low key function in Mpigi district 40 miles from the capital, Education Minister Geraldine Bitamazire acknowledged that UPE was becoming a joke due to poor facilitation for the majority of pupils that has contributed to poor performance among UPE students across the country. Sebaana has described UPE as a freight train traveling on collapsing rail tracks, "bonna bakone". Early in the campaign Sebaana hit at the lack of strategic management in the energy sector. This week, the government admitted that years of bad decisions in electricity generation that focused on over-damming the source of the Nile have left Uganda vulnerable after falling levels of Lake Victoria have led to shutdown of one of the 2 dams in Jinja. Uganda's installed capacity is 190Mw less than 25% of total electricity demand. In Kampala, the National Water Sewerage Corporation announced that it needs $4 million to re-align its pumping equipment at Port Bell. On poverty, Uganda's poverty levels are rising. Hospitals can barely offer basic medical services to routine patients. Entebbe Hospital and Mulago Hospital have already published their woes in the national media.

Ballot boxes, ballots arrive for Feb 23 poll

The Electoral Commission has began announcing polling stations for the Feb 23 poll but failed so far to publish the voters' register to candidates and candidates' agents. Over the weekend, the ballot materials arrived. Unconfirmed reports had a senior muslim cleric being arrested with a cache of unauthorized cargo at Entebbe International Airport. This cargo consisted allegedly of ticked ballot papers. No further information was made available by customs officials working with Uganda Revenue Authority.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Military Might dominates NRM 20th Anniversary

The UPDF rolled out its hardware for the public ahead of the Feb 23 elections. This event marks a significantly hawkish tone by the incumbent before the elections. The President after coming face to face with significant sections of opposition on the campaign trail has retaliated using the fear factor to control his vote slippage. At the same time, it is not clear whether all is well inside the UPDF. The Sunday Monitor 1.29 reported that soldiers were protesting non-payment of salary arrears. The pre-election mantra that soldiers would remain independent of politics is wearing thin. Defense PS Noble Mayombo 41, has been accused of running errands for the ruling NRMO. Brig. Kasirye Gwanga 62, has been appearing publicly on behalf of NRMO candidates in Buganda. At the same time, UPDF appears to have suffered some casualties recently in the north. Lt. Col.Magezi a long standing UPDF officer and CDR of the 505th Brigade in Northern Uganda died from gunshot wounds suffered during an LRA attack.

Weekly Observer publishes list of Parliamentary Candidates

Here is the DP list:

DP Buganda candidates
1. Christine Namuleme (Mubende)
2. Maureen Nakato (Kiboga)
3. Noelina Kulazikulabe (Kalangala)
4. Ikiria Christine (Kampala)
5. Andrew Kulazikulabe (Bujumba)
6. Erias Lukwago (Kampala Central)
7. Latif Sebaggala (Kawempe North)
8. Sebuliba Mutumba (Kawempe South)
9. Sarah Kanyike (Makindye East)
10. Mukasa Mbide (Makindye West)
11. Bagunywa Nkalubo (Rubaga North)
12. Joseph Balikuddembe (Rubaga South)
13. Kenneth Kakande (Nakawa)
14. Joshua Mayanja (Kiboga East)
15. Stephen Luutu (Katikamu North)
16. Deo Sekitoleko (Katikamu South)
17. William Kizza (Bamunanika)
18. Tomusange Kayinja (Bukomansimbi)
19. Ssewangana Henry (Bukoto Mid-West)
20. Joseph Kagolo (Bukoto West)
21. Ssenfuma Mubiru (Bukoto East)
22. Mathius Nsubuga (Bukoto South)
23. Jude Mbabali (Bukoto Central)
24. J. B. Kakooza (Kalungu West)
25. J. B. Kawanga (Masaka Municipality)
26. Moses Kasibante (Butambala)
27. David Mayinja (Mawokota North)
28. Charles Kasozi (Mawokota South)
29. Joseph Semwanga (Kassanda North)
30. Musoke Gonzaga (Buikwe North)
31. Richard Bogere (Buikwe West)
32. Bayigga Lulume (Buikwe South)
33. Nambooze Betty (Mukono North)
34. Derick Mutema (Mukono South)
35. David Kateregga (Nakifuma)
36. Ssemanda Mugenyi (Kabula)
37. Godfrey Kaggwa (Kakuuto)
38. Damiano Lubega (Kyotera)
39. Abdu Mukasa (Mawogola)
40. Alia Nabayego (Ntenjeru North)
41. James Kakooza (Ntenjeru South)
42. Samuel Lubega (Busiro East)
43. Bukenya Hussein (Busiro North)
44. Joseph Mutebi (Busiro South)
45. Kiwanuka Charles (Kyadondo East)
46. Kikungwe Issa (Kyadondo South)
47. Kawuma Muhamed (Entebbe Municipality)
48. Joseph Nsereko (Busujju)
49. Stephen Kibuuka (Mityana North)
50. Joe Senteza (Nakaseke)
51. Agnes Mayanja (Masaka)
52. Harriet Nalubega (Mpigi)
53. Irene Nakiganda (Sembabule)
54. Rebecca Birungi (Wakiso)
55. Susan Nabuuma (Mityana)

DP Northern Uganda candidates
1. Grace Ogwang (Lira)
2. Alima Santo (Vurra)
3. Zachary Olum (Nwoya)
4. Lyander Komakech (Gulu Municipality)
5. Edema Boniface (West Moyo)
6. Donge Opar (Jonam)
7. Ebil Ottoo (Agago)

DP Western Uganda candidates
1. Misairi Mukwenda (Ntoroko)
2. Barnabas Rushango (Bufumbira North)
3. Damian Mutahigwa (Kitagwenda)
4. Shaffic Ssimbwa (Bukanga)
5. Alex Jordan Mukuye (Isingiro North)

DP Eastern Uganda candidates
1. Rachael Kagoya (Bugiri)
2. Monica Logose (Pallisa)
3. Fred Mwesigwa (Luuka)
4. Michael Waiswa (Butembe)
5. David Kamusaal (Jinja Municipality East)
6. James Lyagoba (Buzaaya)
7. Jonathan Mokata (Budaka)
8. Rainer Kafire (Kibuku)
9. Charles Okwi (Soroti Municipality)
10. Deogratius Pade (Samia Bugwe North)
11. Abdallah Kasakya (Bunya South)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

DP Bash hits London Saturday

DP members in London will have an evening of drinks, dance and egumire songs at 593 Barking Road, East Ham, East London. The fundraiser entry fee is GBP 10,00. It starts at 4 p.m. till late.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

DP Fundraisers kick off in style

The DP USA Branch in Boston will host a fundraising dance at Club Rendesvous at Club Rendesvous on February 4, 2006. The address is 569 Moody Street, Waltham. Entrance fee is US $20.00. Other fundraiser locations and times will be announced for London, Washington, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, and Canada.

DP USA Boss for California Debate

The Ugandan Community in California (UCOC) is hosting a debate on the theme, Political Pluralism-whose package should Ugandans embrace? on January 28, 2005 at St. Marks Episcopal Church (HALL) located at 14646 Sherman Way, Van Nuys, CA 91405 at 2:00 p.m. Leaders of DP, FDC and NRM go head to head on why their political agenda is the best way forward for Uganda. DP USA Chair, Lawrence Kiwanuka, FDC Envoy Anne Mugisha Bwomezi and NRM Chair Edriss Kironde will square off on that day.

Sebaana optimistic about final vote numbers in Western Uganda

Winding up a tour of western Uganda that took him deep into the countryside visiting areas never before visited by presidential candidates, DP President Sebaana Kizito upped his voter forecast from 15% to up to 40% in the west in the Feb 23, polls. DP's modest policy goals have resonated well with the general population along with a clear message that Museveni's time is up. This supports independent tracking data that has NRM and DP separated by about 4-6 percentage points.

Election alert, Electoral Commission holding back Voter's Register

Four weeks before the election, the Uganda Electoral Commission has still failed to release the 2006 electoral register. The Electoral Commission has also failed to publish the full list of polling stations that would accompany the register. In 2001, the rise in number of voters lagged the general population edging to 10.4 million from 8.4 million while the population rose from 16.6 million to nearly 22 million. Candidates have to appoint polling agents and train them to cover more than 18,000 polling stations nationwide, in itself a logistical nightmare.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Campaign Numbers, DP surges ahead

Internal polling numbers are showing a jump in DP's support at the expense of the other political parties especially after DP's successful tour of Western Uganda where FDC appears to have abandoned some areas completely after the nominations debacle where their candidates stood down for NRMO candidates. NRMO has a slight lead on 41%, DP is on 37%, FDC is on 15% and UPC is on 7%. DP is on the path to recovery in Kampala district where party wrangles threatened to tear the party into the middle. DP candidates have a projected total vote share of 46-48% nearly enough to lift the majority of the parliamentary and local government races. NRM is on 5% after Museveni's very tough campaign in the city. In parts of the country where DP candidates are not on the ballot, independent candidates are promising to caucus with DP members in Parliament should they emerge victorious. Sebaana Kizito has withered personal attacks or remained mostly immune to them forging ahead without the distraction of getting into nasty tirades with Museveni.

Campaign diary:

Sunday 1/25: Buhweju & Ibanda

Monday 1/26: Mbarara

Tuesday 1/27: Mpigi & Butambala

Wednesday: 1/28: Masaka

DP shifts campaign to the battlegrounds

John Sebaana Kizito completed campaigns in Western Uganda this week. He was very well received in the Rwenzori region, ascending Mountain Rwenzori addressing rallies in Bundibugyo (pictured), Kasese, Bushenyi, Kabale, Rukungiri, Kanungu and Kisoro. In some areas, he was the first presidential candidate ever to penetrate that far including the Ishasha sector and Busanga, which border with the DRC. Sebaana's message has focused on moving the country from poverty to prosperity and need to change from the muscle bound approach towards resolving political disputes in Uganda. In Kasese and Kamwenge, he bemoaned the collapse of the western leg of the Uganda Railway as a result of which lots of agricultural produce goes to waste. In Kyenjojo, he received the FDC Chairman back to DP.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

DP Candidates get nominated throughout the country

DP candidates were nominated to run for Parliament in different parts of the country last week. These are a few of DP candidates running for office:

Christine Kaija, Kampala Woman MP
John Baptist Kakooza, Kalungu East
George Serunjogi, Kalungu West
John Kawanga, Masaka Municipality
Henry Sewanyana, Bukoto Mid-West (Lwengo)
Jude Mbabaali, Bukoto Central
Matia Bireke Nsubuga, Bukoto South
John Senfuma, Bukoto East
Fred Kabuusu, Kyamuswa
Noeline Namugenyi, Kalangala, Woman MP
Damiano Lubega, Kyotera
Dr. Henry Lumala, Mawokota South
Sarah Kanyike Sebaggala, Makindye East
Joseph Balikuddembe, Lubaga South
Florence Bagunywa Nkalubo, Lubaga North
Bireke Nambooze, Mukono North
Derrick Mutema, Mukono South
Absolom Bwanika Bbaale, Katikamu North
Erastus Kibirango, Bamunaanika
Mutebi Joseph Balikuddembe, Busiro South
Issa Kikungwe, Kyaddondo South
Fred Mwesigwa, Luuka
David Babi Kamusaala, Jinja Municipality East
Leander Komakec Jr, Gulu Municipality
Latif Sebaggala, Kawempe North
Sebuliba Mutumba, Kawempe South
Elias Lukwago, Kampala Central
Rainer Kafire Juliet, Kibuku
Zachary Olum, Nwoya
Richard Ottoo, Agago
Dr Okullo Anthony, Lamwo
Joe Senteza, Nakaseke

More to follow:

DP Campaign chair winds up working visit to New York

DP Campaign Chairman Norbert Mao, the outgoing Gulu Municipality MP winds up a visit to the US this week. During his stay in New York and Washington D.C. he met with party officials and ordinary party members to discuss strategy ahead of the February 23, 2006 election. He also attended a memorial service for the late Dr. E.Katongole, Uganda's first Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Broadcasting who died two weeks ago in Westchester County, New York.

Sebaana on opportunities created by freedom

Candidate Sebaana Kizito has taken a swipe at the stridently militarist tone taken by the President in the past one week of the campaigns. Sebaana Kizito while addressing rallies in Kasese and Fort Portal over the weekend told voters that the struggle for freedom can be accomplished without firearms and bloodletting responsible for most of Uganda's problems today. In Kasese, he promised to reopen the issue of the Obusinga, the traditional institution revered by the Bakhonzo whose return has been blocked by outgoing National Political Commissar, Crispus Kiyonga.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Poverty dominates Candidate Sebaana Kizito's western leg

DP candidate Sebaana Kizito has completed rallies in Kibaale, Bundibugyo and Kyenjojo. He crowns the mid-western tour in Kabarole. Hammering on the issue of poverty, he has pointed it is a lack of political will that has left a huge swathe of a very productive reason, Singo and the Mid-west wallowing in poverty. Agriculturally rich Bunyoro has stayed behind because no effort has been targeted at developing local industrial capacity or even export capacity for its produce inspite of its proximity to the DRC.

Monday, January 09, 2006

DP Campaign Heads West

In the next week ending January 14, 2006. DP's campaign heads down to Western Uganda, hitting Uganda's breadbasket, before making a gateway entrance back in Masaka on January 15, 2006.

DP's last 3 rallies in Mbale, Mityana (pictured left) and a short day trip to Luweero have highlighted the incumbent's endless use of rhetoric to shy away from dealing with mismanagement of the economy. Sebaana Kizito has also articulated the connection between poverty and the endless wars prosecuted by the incumbent.

DP candidates have harnessed the president's visits all over the country. They are youthful and full of vigor. Susan Nabuuma is the 5th DP candidate who will fight for a straight Parliamentary seat in Kassanda. Joseph Serwanga will go head on in Mityana South represented by Nshimye Sebutulo.

DP women to-date: Rainer Kafire (Kibuku), Florence Bagunywa Nkalubo (Lubaga North), Betty Nambooze (Mukono North), Sarah Kanyike Sebaggala (Makindye East), Susan Sebuuma (Kassanda South).

Saturday, January 07, 2006

DP Issues score highly in voters minds

Sebaana Kizito campaign in Eastern Uganda ended on a high note with a mammoth rally in Mbale District. This momentum has swept into the Mid-west. DP's rally at Mityana was one of its biggest ever rivalling the Gulu rally.

Voters are tuning in to the little discussed issue of unemployment, under-employment and its connection to poverty. Uganda's economic story has been told in terms of statistical tables rather than improvements in quality of life. Along the trail, Sebaana has highlighted DP's commitment to focusing on increasing the level of employment in the economy; and reducing costs for doing business.

For Farmers: the Agricultural-Industrial Bank will be set up to help cooperatives organize farmers, through provision of credit, promote collective bargaining and distribution of farm inputs. Small scale businessmen will access credit to enter into food processing and value adding activities for urban markets in Uganda.

Foreign Investors: Sebaana has proposed parity, equal and fair treatment of both foreign and domestic investors. Investors will have to show they cannot find qualified manpower in Uganda before importing skilled and semi-skilled workers. Domestic investors will receive tax credits for hiring and maintaining 5 new workers on payroll for one year.

Ending the war: DP's manifesto has articulated carefully that ending the war will free up the Ministry of Defense's allocation to civil projects including reconstruction of the north, introducing employable skills in the armed forces, and directing some of its expenditure to the most economically ravaged areas. This is the DP peace dividend.

Promoting reconciliation: DP has committed to promoting genuine national reconciliation to secure the peace dividend. Uganda's confrontational politics has partly led to the institutionalization of patronage that buys expedience over competence and what is good for the country.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Sebaana hits at privatization of strategic sectors & unemployment

DP President Sebaana's campaign hit the road to the East this week. Highlights of his rallies included mammoth crowds in Jinja, Iganga and Mbale; The rally in Mbale is pictured left. He promised to reverse the privatization of strategic sectors in the economy including energy where UEB was sold to another state owned enterprise Umeme. He hit very hard on jobs and unemployment which are symbols of an economy that has lost traction. Sebaana also clarified that there is no formal alliance between FDC and DP informing DP supporters that DP is the most credible political party to lead Uganda.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Developments in Besigye Trial

Winnie Byanyima and Jack Sabiiti made statements in Kampala on the alleged bribing of Judges Kikonyogo and Kasule this week. Ms. Kyakuwa, Col. Besigye's accuser will most likely wind down her testimony this week. Key revelations include her being accomodated by State House in Entebbe for the past five years under the protection of the Presidential Guard Brigade. Ms. Kyakuwa also had a child subsequent to the rape case with a one Nick Wavamunno. This is not the first State House intervention in a rape case. In 1998, Candida Lakony alleged to have been the woman in a picture being raped and forcefully shaved in her pubic area. That allegation led to the near closure of the Monitor newspapers. Candida Lakony inspite of promised State protection was imprisoned and died shortly after. Former MP Winnie Byanyima was instrumental in taking her to State House for "safe protection".

Campaign Diary

Iganga: 03/01/2006

Bugiri & Mayuge: 04/01/2006

Mbale: 05/01/2006

Kiboga & Bukomero: 06/01/2006

Mubende & Mityana: 07/01/2006

Hoima and Kibaale: 08/01/2006

Masindi: 09/01/2006

President Museveni leaves Kampala dispirited but not broken

As questions about his 20 year rule continue to mount, the president struck a conciliatory tone in his New Year address. Museveni joined DP candidate Sebaana Kizito in highlighting the need to urgently end the war in the north. It also appears that Museveni has given a greenlight to his government to enter into negotiations with the DRC about the damaging ruling by the International Court of Justice pinning Uganda for illegally invading the DRC and committing war crimes. Museveni's campaign in Kampala was a tough one that fell apart after DP PresidentSebaana Kizito pinned him for attacking KCC's administrative failures yet he had singly set out to frustrate KCC's revenue collection efforts. In a surprise rapid fire response, Sebaana Kizito chided Museveni for having a short memory having signed the Property Rating Act in April 2005 only to turn around to "repeal" collection of property taxes. Another opposition party FDC finished the icing on the cake by pointing out the the Central government gave KCC only Shs 23.5 billion a year in appropriations ($10.5 million) while State House consumed Shs 85 billion a year. Museveni has moved shop to Kabale. The end of year economic news was also mixed. Inflation rose at its highest level in three years while annual exports only fetched US$ 1 billion about the same dollar level as 1991 casting further doubt on the Museveni economic machine peddled by donors who have pumped in more than $5 billion in the economy since 1986.

Kizza Besigye released, trial begins in High Court

Judge John Bosco Katutsi, a veteran trial judge at the High Court released Col. Rtd Kizza Besigye Monday in Kampala. Judge Katutsi simultaneously began hearing the criminal case, Uganda v. Kizza Besigye. Besigye's release was met by euphoric crowds in the city of Kampala. Kizza Besigye's accuser Joanita Kyakuwa 28, pictured began her sometimes graphic, sometimes halting testimony in the High Court. Col. Kiiza Besigye has denied both rape and treason charges. Case is adjourned to Tuesday 03/01/2006.

DP Candidates Round-Up

DP women candidates continue to sew up DP nominations for directly elected seats around the country. Mengo Minister Florence Bagunywa Nkalubo and DP Treasurer General Sarah Sebaggala Kanyike will run in Lubaga North and Makindye East. Broadcaster Nambooze Betty (Pictured left) is up in Mukono North. More candidate news to follow. DP VP Reiner Kafire will defend her Kibuku County Seat while Africa Democratic Union Parliamentarians Chair Winnie Makumbi is campaigning in Mengo Municipality.

Sebaana campaigns in Teso, starts Eastern Leg Wednesday

John Sebaana Kizito wound up the first leg of his campaign on New Year's Day returning to Namirembe for Church Services on Jan 01, 2006. The northern tour included visits to IDP camps where Sebaana promised to disband them, and end the war in northern Uganda. Sebaana's cue appears to have been taken on by Museveni who committed to doing the same in his New Year Message. State owned Bukedde in a survey of 40 voters in the Northern districts gave a three way result; Kiiza Besigye on 13, Sebaana Kizito on 13, Miria Obote on 9, and Museveni on 3, and Uncommitted 2. Sebaana kicks off the battle for the mother of battlegrounds Busoga campaigning on unemployment, poverty and DP's pro-growth, pro-industrialization agenda.