The leadership of the Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA) has threatened to take disciplinary action against the opposition party’s president, Beti Kamya, who currently serves President Museveni’s government as minister for Kampala.
UFA accuses Kamya, the party’s founding president, of neglecting her presidential duties in the party, making public utterances different from what the party believes in and acting in contempt of its organs.
Minister for Kampala Beti Kamya
Addressing the media in Kampala on Friday, UFA’s acting secretary general, Kennedy Oluma, said they will convene a national delegates’ conference in 30 days to determine Kamya’s fate. UFA will also use the conference to draft plans to push for the attainment of federalism in Uganda.
“We have no powers to dismiss anybody. We have to go through the delegates’ conference and what the delegates’ conference decides, we shall tell you,” Oluma said.
According to the UFA constitution, the delegates’ conference, working on the recommendations of the disciplinary committee, which registers complaints from the party members, can then suspend a member or revoke their membership.
Party officials pointed out that the move was not to condemn an individual but to enable them to run the party efficiently.
Since her appointment to cabinet as minister for Kampala by Museveni, Kamya has given less time to UFA, a party she founded and has made statements in support of President Museveni, changing from her earlier critical stance.
Oluma called Kamya’s appointment a means to cripple the party, “which we detest.”
“We do not want to make an alliance with the ruling National Resistance Movement [led by President Museveni]. Any notion that we are in alliance with NRM is extremely against our party,” he said.
In August last year, Kamya promised Museveni that she would deliver to him 80 per cent of the votes in the capital Kampala, an opposition stronghold, should he stand in 2021.
According to the constitution, 73-year-old Museveni will not be eligible to stand for president since he will have surpassed the 75-year cap.
Kamya also weighed in on the debate that government plans to change the constitution and remove the age limit clause, saying that the president “should rule as long as he wants.”
The party, however, distances itself from their president’s remarks.
“That is not the party position. That is just her opinion and she has the freedom to say whatever she likes but she is not the official party spokesperson,” Jimmy Mayanja, the party’s vice chairperson, Buganda region, said.
Kamya’s deputy and head of the party’s disciplinary committee, Bonifance Oniba, said efforts to bring their president to the committee over her statements have been futile since “she has snubbed several of our sermons.”
This, Oniba said, is the reason they have resolved to hold a national delegates conference to determine Kamya’s fate.
Efforts to reach Kamya for a comment were futile by press time; however, in recent media utterances, she has affirmed that her appointment as minister doesn’t mean she left UFA.
President Museveni has banned all daily levies charged on informal business groups such as market vendors, gonja (roasted plantain) sellers, and maize sellers as well as taxis.
In a July 22, 2017 letter to the prime minister copied to the Kampala, Local Government and Finance ministers, Museveni says these groups should only pay annual licenses and operate without daily hindrances.
“…these operators buy an annual license of, may be, Shs 50,000. That should be all. Nobody should charge them daily fees of, for instance, Shs 1,000. There should be no fees for Kampala and fees for the up-country vendors. It should be one consolidated fee,” wrote the president.
This comes as a relief to taxi operators and vendors who have consistently complained about multiple taxation, especially in Kampala and Wakiso.
Mustapha Mayambala, the head of the Drivers and Conductors Central Association (DACCA), said on Saturday he had heard rumors of this letter but no official communication had been made.
“It is good if the president has written again because he had earlier informed the ministry of local government to do the same and they did not implement that directive,” Mayambala said.
Mayambala said the directive had probably started taking effect since daily charges at various stages in most parts of Kampala, Wakiso and Entebbe had stopped.
“But we still have problems with Luweero, Masaka, Kyotera, Kayunga and some parts of Wakiso who still ask for daily payments,” he said.
On average, a taxi is charged Shs 5,000 at every stage in respective local government jurisdictions. This means that a taxi can pay up to Shs 30,000 if it were to move through six districts on a given route.
According to Mayambala, “this is illegal money since it does not go into government coffers but is only shared among local government officials.”
In December last year, President Museveni directed the local government ministry to harmonise these fees. In a February 2017 memo, minister Tom Butime announced the introduction of monthly parking fees of not more than Shs 80, 000 for every taxi with effect from July 1, 2017.
This prompted taxi operators plying the eastern Ugandan route – Kampala-Jinja-Iganga-Mbale – to go on strike at the start of this month (August).
Butime’s directive meant that taxis would pay Shs 80,000 in every district of operation on top of the Shs 120,000 charged by KCCA.
This confusion is what the president wants to stop, proposing a standard fee. In his letter, the president reasoned that if the owner of a taxi or his employees made profits, they would, in turn, be charged income tax.
“These excessive direct taxes for these or any other groups are not correct. Once these groups get some income, they will start spending; that is how the government will get income through consumption taxes,” Museveni concluded.
In May 2013, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga announced that parliament would start its own radio and television stations to educate the public on the role of the legislative body.
With guaranteed funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Kadaga had hoped to have the project ready by the end of the 2013/2014 financial year.
However, the long wait could be coming to an end as the outlets are expected to go on air next month. But an internal fight over control of the multi-million shilling project threatens to derail it.
It is understood that the fight is mainly among three top parliament officials; Chris Obore (Communication and Public Affairs), Dison Okumu (Planning) and the deputy editor of The Hansard, Esther Mwambu.
Okumu is said to have taken the lead in the procurement of services and equipment related to the project, which has left other officials feeling sidelined.
For instance, he contracted WBT Consortium to offer consultancy services for the radio and TV studio designs.
According to documents seen by this writer, the consultancy firm, which was paid Shs 80 million for the job, is owned by Vision Group employees Mark Walungama and Bill Tibingana, and one John Bwirehi. Some sources have linked radio personality Joel Isabirye to the group.
According to our source, the consultancy services were privately sourced as opposed to public bidding. Such a procurement activity would be sanctioned by the Parliamentary Commission, the administrative arm of Parliament, the source said.
However, according to a member of the Parliamentary Commission who spoke to The Observer on Monday, such a decision has never been taken.
“I don’t remember [the commission] procuring any consultant. In fact, as far as we are concerned no consultant has ever been engaged,” the commissioner said.
The consultant nonetheless concluded the job and submitted a report at the end of June.
Last week, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) placed an advert in the press seeking the public’s views on an application by parliament for a television broadcast licence.
Securing the license was part of the tasks that had been given to the consultant but it took the intervention of the Kakumiro Woman MP Robinah Nabbanja, a parliament commissioner, to obtain it.
“It was the decision of the commission that she heads a sub-committee to fast-track the implementation of the project,” said commissioner Peter Ogwang (MP Usuk).
UCC had reportedly refused to allocate a frequency to parliament, having taken a decision years ago to suspend issuance of licences for Kampala on account of being crowded. Parliamentarians had to exert pressure on UCC Executive Director, Geoffrey Mutabaazi, to get an exception.
“After passing [the resolution] that we set up a parliament radio and TV, we then got information that they were denying us the frequency because UCC was not issuing any more frequencies for Kampala because it is crowded,” Arinaitwe Rwakajara (Workers) said.
Parliament came up with the idea of setting up its own broadcast houses based on the experiences of legislative bodies in Zambia and South Africa.
“We have been using UBC but it has too many programmes yet elsewhere in the world, parliaments have their own media that specifically talk about what really parliament is as an arm of government,” Ogwang said.
He added that parliament is in advanced stages of procurement and its TV and radio are expected to hit the airwaves by September, giving regular information about parliamentary activities.
However, some parliamentary commissioners said they were not privy to details of the project’s total cost, which some officials have put at approximately $350,000 (Shs 1.26bn). Asked to reveal the total cost, Okumu, the director of planning, said he too doesn’t know.
“I also don’t know; it is not a parliament project but a UNDP project. They are the ones doing all the procurements, the advertising, and all the consultants are being paid by UNDP,” Okumu said.
He added that the donor is expected to place newspaper adverts by next week calling for bids to construct the studios and other related activities.
Asked to comment on the alleged fight between him and other directors for control of the project, Okumu described it as “complete nonsense”.
He said: “There is a project team headed by commissioner Nabbanja. Whoever is saying [that] is confused, doesn’t know what he is talking about, should not associate with it [the project] and should not talk about it.”
Okumu added: “I am only chairing a technical team of 11 people and that team has some other directors like those of ICT, Communications and Research.”
Obore, the director of communication, also denied knowledge of any fight for control of the project. He instead told this writer that Speaker Kadaga is upbeat about its near implementation.
“She is happy that donors have the willingness to fund the project,” Obore said.
Nominations for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party presidential candidates are set to kick off today, formally drawing the battle lines in a contest that has drawn about six contenders for the leading opposition party’s top job.
The current party president, Maj Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu, is expected to be nominated today as he seeks to retain a position he has held for the last four years, after the controversial 2013 election in which he beat current party secretary general Nathan Nandala-Mafabi.
Muntu, who replaced founder president Dr Kizza Besigye, is being challenged this time round by five other aspirants. They are former Kumi MP Patrick Amuriat Oboi, Kawempe South MP Mubarak Munyagwa, Moses Byamugisha, Dan Malcolm Matsiko and Moses Lukubira.
Muntu will head to Najjanankumbi for his nomination in a procession that will start at Bweyogerere at 8am. According to the chairman of his nomination team, Kira Municipality MP Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, Muntu is expected to arrive at the FDC headquarters at 1pm. Immediately after his nomination, Muntu will address a public rally at Jokas hotel field in Bweyogerere.
“The rally will not be limited to his nomination speeches. He will also address other national issues like the constitutional amendments,” said Ssemujju, who is also the FDC chief whip.
Muntu’s main challenger, Patrick Amuriat, who is backed by the ‘defiance camp’, will be nominated on Tuesday. Nomination programmes for the other contenders were not readily available by press time.
According to Hussein Lubega, a member of the party’s Electoral Commission (EC), not all the six aspirants who picked nomination forms had returned them by Saturday. Only four aspirants had submitted their forms duly signed by at least 20 delegates in support of their nomination.
The party’s EC spent most of Saturday verifying whether the forms had been signed by genuine delegates.
“We want to make sure that the signatures given to us are of real delegates. We are calling each of them to find out whether indeed it is them who signed the papers,” Lubega said.
Campaigns are expected to kick off on August 17 while voting by about 1,500 delegates will be held on November 17.
WHO IS SUPPORTING WHO?
Reports emerged last week that a group of party members close to the Besigye-led defiance cabinet were persuading Munyagwa and Lukubira to bow out of the race in favour of Amuriat.
Amuriat is the defiance cabinet’s minister for Lands and is believed to be easier to deal with than the unflinching Muntu, who has often stood his ground on matters that he feels strongly about.
For instance, Muntu has forced FDC members to back official party candidates as a matter of principle in elections where sections of the party would rather have thrown their weight behind a popular opponent.
“There are many activities that Besigye and group want to recruit FDC into but they have always been met with unwillingness on the part of Muntu; so, they think defiance and other activism activities will be better embraced with one of their own,” a senior member of the party who declined to be named told us.
However, Munyagwa, who did not deny the overtures by the Besigye group, ruled out the possibility of stepping down for Amuriat.
“Some of our defiance members believe that Amuriat is of advanced age. He is cool-headed, etc, but none of us is not cool-headed. It is the situation that has changed us,” Munyagwa said.
Out of the pool of six, the party’s top brass appears to be divided between Muntu and Amuriat. According to a well-placed party source, besides Ssemujju, Muntu has to his side deputy presidents Alice Alaso (Eastern), Reagan Okumu (North) and Patrick Baguma (Western).
He also has the support of Winfred Kiiza (Leader of Opposition in Parliament), MPs Angeline Osegge (Soroti Woman) and Ibrahim Kasozi (Makindye West).
Amuriat, on the other hand, has won over Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwaawo, the Lubaga division mayor, Salaamu Musumba, secretary general Nathan Nandala-Mafabi, his deputy Harold Kaija, treasurer Geoffrey Ekanya and his deputy Wilberforce Kyambadde and secretary for mobilization Ingrid Turinawe.
Ahead of the nomination exercise, The Observer sought to interview all the six aspirants who have picked nomination forms.
While some of the aspirants were available to offer extensive interviews ahead of the nomination days, others could only provide brief insights into the reasons why they have offered themselves for the party’s top job. Below, we look at the latter category.
He is a long-time party mobiliser from the newly created Rukiga district who thinks it’s his time to climb to the helm.
“The youth are excited about my candidature. The fact that one of their own is going to be on the ballot paper is already an achievement for them,” Byamugyisha said.
Byamugisha became active in the FDC activities during the 2010/11 presidential campaigns as an aide to Kizza Besigye.
He was later given a job at parliament as one of a policy analysts attached to the office of the Leader of Opposition in Parliament.
In 2015, he picked nomination forms for FDC presidential flag bearer for the 2016 general elections but pulled out of the race in Besigye’s favour.
The Kawempe South MP is a newly recruited party member having joined the party in 2015 from the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
That was the culmination of his fallout with the SDP party leadership after he attempted to dethrone Michael Mabikke whom he accused of selling the party to former vice president Prof Gilbert Bukenya.
The former Kawempe division chairman is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Laws degree at Makerere University. Munyagwa told The Observer there is nothing new he is bringing to the party but like in football team, he is going to change the style of the game.
“Our party constitution says that FDC will peacefully seek power but when you look at our opponents, they are chaotic. Museveni has been an entrepreneur of chaos for a very long time; so, when such an opponent looks at you talking about peaceful means, he will just laugh knowing these tactics can’t change government,” Munyagwa said.
He says Uganda is under a military occupation; so, there is need to change the FDC constitution so that it talks about how to deal with this occupation.
“We have to change the nomenclature of the party to reenergize our people to be able to deal with the enemy we are encountered with.
Our party headquarters will be called the revolutionary house, even me as the party president I will be called the commander in chief.”
Aged 58, Muntu has been the FDC president since 2012. Although his current term of office expires in November, Muntu handed over office to party vice president for eastern Uganda (Alice Alaso) in order to contest for a second term in office.
Muntu served as Uganda’s army commander from 1989 to 1998, director of Military Intelligence, from 1987 to 1988, division commander from 1988 to 1989.
Muntu’s nomination committee chairperson, Ssemujju Nganda, said Muntu in 1981 and joined the Luwero war that brought Museveni to power, but fell out with the NRM leadership over governance issues.
“Muntu broke ranks with Mr Museveni in 2003 when the latter sought to change the Constitution to remove the two-term presidential term limits. He joined hands with others to form the FDC,” he said.
During his time in the FDC, Muntu has served as a member of the East African Legislative Assembly for ten years.
Before that, he was also an MP in the sixth parliament. Muntu has also twice challenged Dr Besigye to be the FDC presidential flag bearer.
According to Ssemujju, Muntu will name his campaign team after his nomination and further consultations.
Kenya's election commission was preparing to release final results Friday from a hotly-contested vote in which the opposition has already claimed victory, fanning tensions in the east African nation.
The National Super Alliance (NASA) opposition coalition on Thursday demanded that its candidate Raila Odinga be declared president, claiming massive fraud was behind preliminary results that place him far behind incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta.
Foreign observers praised a peaceful, credible voting process on Tuesday, but the mood quickly turned sour with Odinga rejecting results after only a few hours of counting.
Odinga first complained the electronically transmitted results were not being backed up by the required forms and then hours later he unveiled details of an alleged hacking attack to manipulate results.
NASA then doubled down with a claim the election commission (IEBC) was concealing true results contained on its server that showed Odinga to be the winner.
"We demand that the IEBC chairperson announce the presidential election results forthwith and declare Raila Amolo Odinga... as the duly elected president," said one of NASA's leaders, Musalia Mudavadi.
The charge ratcheted up tensions that have seen Kenya on a go-slow since voting day, with many businesses shut, civil servants staying at home and streets largely empty.
People want justice
Protests have remained isolated to Odinga's strongholds in Nairobi slums -- where police shot dead two protesters Wednesday -- and the western city of Kisumu.
But memories are still fresh of a disputed poll in 2007 that led to two months of ethno-political violence, leaving 1,100 dead and displacing 600,000.
While veteran opposition leader Odinga, 72, also claimed 2013 polls were stolen from him, he took his grievances to the courts and ended up accepting his loss.
"We do not want to see any violence in Kenya. We know the consequences of what happened in 2008 and we don't want to see a repeat of that," Odinga told CNN in an interview.
But he repeated his assertion that "I don't control anybody. People want to see justice."
Kenyatta looked set for certain victory, with 8 million votes to Odinga's 6.7 million, according to the IEBC public website whose results are being cross-checked against polling forms from constituencies.
However, NASA provided documents purportedly obtained from IEBC servers via a "confidential source" showing that Odinga had 8.04 million votes, leading Kenyatta on 7.75 million.
We need peace
IEBC chief Wafula Chebukati responded to the NASA claims, detailing that their "evidence" was riddled with arithmetic errors and came from a Microsoft database, while the electoral commission's system was running on Oracle.
In the Kondele neighbourhood of the western city of Kisumu -- where protests erupted on Wednesday -- hundreds of Odinga supporters took to the streets, banging drums and blowing vuvuzelas after his party declared him the winner.
"We are happy," said 35-year-old Anthony Karaba, as a police helicopter hovered overhead.
"We need peace and we need the correct results."
The IEBC insists its electronic voting system -- seen as key to avoiding fraud -- was not compromised.
Britain and the US joined foreign observer missions in urging party leaders to be patient and refrain from inflaming tensions ahead of the release of final results.
Former US secretary of state John Kerry, leading an observer team from the Carter Center, expressed confidence in the IEBC.
"We believe the IEBC put in place a detailed, transparent process of voting, counting, reporting and securing the vote, all of which lends significant credibility and accountability," Kerry told journalists.
Before the election the race between Odinga and Kenyatta was seen as too close to call.
It was billed as the final showdown between the two men whose fathers Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Odinga were allies in the struggle for independence, but later became bitter rivals, setting the stage for decades of political rancour.
Kenyatta, 55, is seeking re-election after a first term in which he and his Jubilee Party were credited with a massive infrastructure drive and overseeing steady economic growth.
Odinga describes himself as a social democrat who wants to fight inequality.
A Chinese firm claiming to have been cheated out of a deal to extract gravel has petitioned Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, seeking her intervention.
China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is battling with Welt Machinen Engineering company over the ownership of the mineral-rich Kamusalaba rock in Lorengedwat sub-county, Nakapiripirit district.
Welt Machinen belongs to Ben Koriang and Felix Oroma, sons of Peter Lokeris, the minister of state for Minerals.
At the centre of the protracted three-year standoff is the Shs 20 billion payment for construction material by the Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra), which was deposited with the court registrar before the two parties clear their legal dispute.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga
CRBC claims the Shs 20bn was earnings from the completed Moroto-Nakapiririti road project. In a letter dated July 28 to Kadaga, CRBC says the matter was “affecting their businesses in Uganda” and are therefore seeking her protection.
“Withholding Shs 20bn through such irregularities does not give us confidence as investors from protection from speculators who want to take advantage of genuine business,” the letter reads in part.
CRBC claim they entered into an agreement with the Nakapiripiriti district local government on May 13, 2013 to operate a quarry and extract rock for road-building purposes from Kamusalaba.
CRBC was awarded and subsequently signed the contract with Unra for upgrading the 93-km Moroto–Nakapiripirit road.
They further claim to have invested $2 million in machinery but later, according to their letter to Kadaga, Welt Machinen Engineering claimed ownership of the land on which the quarry was based.
Subsequent legal battles with Welt Engineering have stalled progress on the rock and also sucked in President Museveni even though he has not yet responded.
On June 29, CRBC wrote to President Museveni, saying: “As investors we have executed work legitimately in the national interest, we should not suffer inconvenience of having to fight with speculators who want to take advantage of the court process as they have nothing to lose.”
Following an outbreak of measles in Kampala and Wakiso, the government has embarked on immunisation of children in the two districts, according to senior ministry of health officials and district health authorities.
The director general of Health Services in the ministry of Health, Dr Anthony Mbonye, said the ministry has put in place a number of measures to control the spread of the disease.
They include investigating the extent of spread of measles within the districts of Kampala and Wakiso and educating the public about the signs, symptoms and dangers of the disease.
“Others are undertaking routine immunisation programmes of children and management of all suspected cases. I appeal to the public to avoid direct contact with children infected or suspected to be infected with the disease,” he said.
Mbonye requested residents of the two districts to report suspected cases immediately and take any suspected children to nearby health facilities.
“Take unvaccinated children under five years of age for immunization to the nearest health facilities,” he said.
The Wakiso district health officer, Dr Mathias Seviiri, told The Observer yesterday the disease is likely to affect children aged six months to five years. He said the biggest number of victims is likely to be children who have never been immunized or failed to complete their doses.
“We are now undertaking daily vaccination at all the health centres in Wakiso district starting with babies of six months. We are putting emphasis on the most affected areas,” he explained.
According to Dr Seviiri, the most affected areas include Kasangati town council, Nansana municipality, Makindye Ssabagabo, Kira town council, Busukuma, Wakiso town council, and Gayaza.
Dr Anthony Mbonye said a total of 67 suspected cases of measles were confirmed in both Wakiso and Kampala. He said all the five divisions of Kampala, and several suburbs in Wakiso district are affected.
“Measles is an airborne disease that affects mainly children aged between six months and 10 years of age although it can also affect adults,” he said.
Some early symptoms of measles include high fever, whooping cough and red swelling eyelids, muscle and body aches, irritability, running nose, watery eyes and rashes.
Because it is an air-borne disease, it can spread very fast in heavily populated areas, of which both Kampala and Wakiso are. Some residents in Wakiso and Kampala districts claimed the measles outbreak was due to the increased number of refugees in the area.
However, the minister of Health, Jane Acheng, refuted the claims, saying, “We have cross-border control measures where we check all people entering the country.”
Security forces move past burning tyres in Kisumu
Confusion continued to reign in Kenya for a second day after polling, with the two leading presidential rivals both claiming victory ahead of the announcement of the final official results, which the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is expected to make late today.
Yesterday, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati told the media the electoral body had ordered all its officials to submit the forms 34B by noon today for validation.
“We have asked all our officers to send in the forms by 11am tomorrow. Once we’re done with the validation, we will immediately tell Kenyans who their next president is,” he said.
However, last evening, the opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) of Raila Odinga piled more pressure on IEBC, saying in a press conference that the electoral body must declare their presidential candidate as the winner of Tuesday’s election.
Addressing the press conference flanked by Odinga, Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi, a former vice president, claimed they had received information from sources within IEBC suggesting that Odinga had won the polls.
“We demand that IEBC announce the presidential election results forthwith and declare Rt. Hon Raila Odinga and H.E Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka as the dully elected president and deputy president of the Republic of Kenya respectively,” the statement read.
However, with results from 97.6 percent of polling stations counted, Kenyatta continues to hold a strong lead. Presidential results released by IEBC on its website show that incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta has garnered 8,113,480 votes (54.24 per cent of the total votes cast) while Odinga, his closest challenger, has 6712934 votes (44.87 per cent).
President Kenyatta has largely stayed out of the media spotlight since casting his vote, just like his deputy William Ruto. Even the social media accounts of the two leaders have been uncharacteristically quiet since voting day.
The silence of the incumbent has left all the attention on Odinga, whose statements about the hacking of the IEBC website by elements who could have attempted to manipulate results in favour of his rivals have stocked sporadic violence in Nairobi and parts of Kisumu, the opposition leader’s stronghold.
Yesterday, IEBC boss Chebukati admitted its database was a target of an unsuccessful hacking attempt, according to BBC. Chebukati said “hacking was attempted but did not succeed.”
Odinga and his Nasa team have maintained their claims of foul play even as several electoral observers such as the Inter-Governmental Agency on Development (IGAD) yesterday said Kenya’s elections were conducted in a “transparent manner.”
“Based on what it has been able to observe, the IGAD observation mission preliminary conclusion is that the general elections were conducted in a peaceful, orderly, and transparent manner and in accordance with the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Kenya.
IGAD calls on all political parties and candidates to respect the will of the people of Kenya and to refrain from any act that might be of disruptive nature to the peace and stability of the country,” said the IGAD statement.
A team headed by former US Secretary of State John Kerry also called for calm and restraint on Thursday, after protests called by the opposition turned violent on Wednesday claiming the lives of at least five people. Kerry told Al Jazeera the allegations needed to be examined but “not a reason to stop the process or question the entire election”.
“The [counting] process is still ongoing, the counting is happening now. And as long as it’s done appropriately, you have an ability to have full integrity of this election. The integrity is still intact.” Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president in charge of the African Union observer mission, has praised the poll so far.
“It would be very regrettable if anything emerges afterwards that sought to corrupt the outcome, to spoil that outcome,” he said.
Yesterday, the head of public service in Kenya, Joseph Kinyua, instructed all civil servants to resume their duties with immediate effect. Kinyua further asked all principal secretaries to submit a list with names of civil servants who will have reported to work on Friday, August 11 in various ministries and departments.
Running Kenya’s poll, according to The Economist, will cost some 49bn Kenyan shillings (about $480 million), with campaign spending said to have cost just as much, making Kenya’s election more expensive per person than that of the United States of America.
The District Woman MP for Buyende, Veronica Babirye Kadogo has retained her seat after the Court of Appeal dismissed the case where her rival, Annet Mary Nakato contested her 2016 victory.
Nakato, the NRM flag bearer, first lost the petition in Jinja High Court in August however, she contested Judge Geoffrey Namundi’s verdict and filed an appeal, the case that was finally ruled in Kadogo’s favour.
In the verdict that was read in the Court of Appeal chambers on Monday, Justice Deo Niyenzimana dismissed the case with costs, sending Kadogo’s supporters into loud cheers.
The verdict was affected on grounds that the plaintiff failed to prove allegations of malpractices including vote rigging, bribery, ballot stuffing, pre-ticking, and intimidation on Election Day.
“I read the accusations which I balanced with Jinja High Court ruling and saw no additional evidence to prove the claims. I concur with the High Court verdict and therefore dismiss the case with costs” he said.
He added that Kadogo’s election was free and fair, which doesn’t necessitate a fresh election.
Kadogo, an independent MP enjoyed the “sweet” victory in absentia as she’s currently attending the Pan African Parliament in South Africa, where she’s one of the representatives of the Parliament of Uganda.
“I am indeed glad for this milestone. The court has ruled in favour of the electorate. Now that it is done, it is time I embark on serious work minus stress,” Kadogo said on WhatsApp.
Uganda said on Monday it had agreed preliminary terms with a consortium of investors, including General Electric to build and operate the country’s first oil refinery, reviving a much-delayed project.
The Government geologists estimate Uganda’s oil reserves at 6.5 billion barrels, of which 1.4-1.7 billion are considered recoverable.
The Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium, which also includes Yaatra Ventures LLC, Intracontinental Asset Holdings Ltd. and Italy’s Saipem SpA, was picked after a review of more than 40 companies, Uganda’s Energy Ministry said Monday in a statement.
The oil is due to start flowing in 2020 and the government is keen to build a refinery to process it and retain a larger slice of profit
Uganda has been seeking a new developer for the $4 billion facility since negotiations with groups led by Russia’s RT Global Resources LLC and South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction Co. collapsed. GE has recently expanded in the industry by teaming up with Baker Hughes Inc., while Saipem, a $4.1 billion company based in Milan, has operated for more than 50 years.
“The risk to the project getting delivered is smaller because those companies are both very good at what they do,” Alan Gelder, vice-president of refining, chemicals and oil markets at consultants Wood Mackenzie Ltd., said by phone.
Gelder said it’s hard to estimate a cost for the project because Uganda doesn’t yet have all the infrastructure it needs to bring equipment into the landlocked country.
The government expects to conclude a project framework agreement with the developers over the next two months, according to the energy ministry.
“The consortium has proposed to government a financing approach and a path to establish, develop and operate a commercially-viable refinery company with a strategic benefit to the country and the region,” the ministry said. “The oil refinery is expected to spur growth of petrochemical and other related industries in Uganda.”
Energy and Minerals Development Minister Irene Muloni said in November that France’s Total, one of three oil explorers operating in the country, wanted to take up a 10 percent stake in the refinery project.