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  • in reply to: Gen Elly Tumwine Accused of Undermining the Legislature #282
    Free Uganda

    According to the Ministerial Policy Statement 2014/2015 for the Presidency, President Museveni’s Personal Assistants stand out as the most highly paid Civil servants in the Country.

    For Example Employee on file No.2035 Irene Wetenga Karamagi earns 96,000,000/= Monthly, No. 1941 Anna Babinaga earns 96,000,000/= per month,

    N0.1932 Anite Mukabera earns 87,600,000/= monthly,

    No.1918 Rhoda Acen earns 87,600,000/= monthly,

    No.1849 Najjuma S.S. Farida 87,600,000/= monthly,

    No.1847 Florence Hashaka Kabaheza earns 87,600,000/= monthly,

    No.1845 Beatrice Nyakaisiki Byenkya 87,600,000/= monthly,

    No.1233 Byamukama. B. Francis 72,000,000/= monthly,

    No.1943 Erias Mugisha 67,200,000/= monthly,

    No.1925 Benon Abahoho Tumusiime 67,200,000/= monthly,

    N0.1747 Lugaya Joel earns 67,200,000/= a month

    and yours truly No.1334 Tamale Mirundi earns 9,846,672/= monthly while his “junior” Sarah Kagingo earns 27,121,680/= monthly. Well the President’s Office Messenger earns more than a Doctor at 1,908,408/= .

    in reply to: Uganda Government disjointed Cooperative movement Activities #244
    Free Uganda

    A whistle blower complaint claims Pine Investments, a company owned by a minister, has been unfairly propped up to prevail over three other companies in a bidding war for the sale of about two to three acres of land in Kampala to government to build the headquarters of Afro Exim bank in Uganda.

    Afro Exim Bank is a bank, which lends money to largely government institutions to run public projects. The bank apparently approached the president seeking to set up shop here. The president granted its prayer but only on condition that the bank’s headquarters are based here.

    When the bank officials agreed to the condition, the president asked the ministry of Finance to look for prime land within the city for Afro Exim bank to build its head offices. According to the whistle blower complaint, the ministry of Finance in October 2019 advertised a tender for the purchase of two to three acres of land at the urging of President Museveni for Afro Exim Bank to build its headquarters.

    The four duelling companies include; Pine Investments Co, Vara Enterprise, Imperial properties and SGL. So far Pine Investment Co. which is co-owned by a minister seems to have the upper hand. It has the priciest land of all the four bidders. It’s offering 2.2 acres at Maccanonrd near Nakasero Primary School (Intervac Road) at $4 million approximately Shs 14.8 billion per acre.

    Vara Enterprise is offering 2.4 acres in Bugolobi and each acre is priced at $3.1 million or Shs 11.5 billion. SGL has three acres in Kololo Lugogo bypass on the main road with three access roads. It is selling an acre for $ 2.7 million or Shs 9.9 billion.

    Imperial Properties is offering 2.8 acres on Queen Elizabeth Avenue Residential Area. We couldn’t establish its price. The whistle blower complaint roundly queries Pine Investments Co. quotation of $4 million per acre.

    “There is no land in Kampala ever bought or sold at $4m per acre, this is way overly priced and marked with political influence.  The attorney general Byaruhanga William, is a shareholder of Pine Investments. Afro Exim bank is housed in the building of Pine Investments in Nakasero at Rwenzori Towers.”

    The complaint addressed to the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga also firmly requests her, “…to stop the loss of taxpayers’ money and advise the ministry of Finance and government valuer to stop awarding the bid to Pine Investments and choose a winner on the basis of correct valuation and merit of location/commercial area on the main road and above all easy accessibility of the bank to its customers.”

    The whistle blower complaint claims Pine Investments is leaning on minister of Finance to nudge the Government chief valuer to sign off the deal in Pine Investments favour. The valuation Committee, according to the whistle blower had rejected Pine Investments bid for two reasons; it is overpriced and encumbered. But Pine Investment has leaned on its powerful shareholder to muscle through its bid.

    According to the whistle blower, the government valuer received only one bid to sign off and that was Pine Investments’ bid.

    Interviewed for a comment yesterday, attorney general William Byaruhanga acknowledged being a director of Pine Investments Co, but said he is not aware his company is selling land to government without following proper procurement processes.

    “I am not aware about Pine Investments selling land to government though I am one of the directors in that company. I can only advise you to contact the finance ministry for clarification,” he said.

    Interviewed for this story yesterday, Finance minister Matia Kasaija said the land that was allocated to Afro Exim Bank was government land located in Nakawa and not bought from any other person.

    “We did not contact or advertise any bid to buy land for Afro Exim Bank. The land that we allocated to the bank has been owned by government and is located in Nakawa,” he said.

    Kasaija also challenged the whistle blower to present evidence indicating that his ministry wrongly bought land from Pine Investments without following the right procurement procedures.

    Free Uganda

    Two years after suffering a devastating defeat to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) in the age limit amendment bill, the opposition has bounced back with another bill that seeks to re-introduce term limits.

    This development was announced by Shadow Attorney General (AG) Wilfred Niwagaba at the Leader of Opposition’s boardroom today.

    While unveiling the bill to the press on Tuesday, Niwagaba expressed optimism that this time round NRM legislators who form the majority will support the ideas therein.

    This he pointed out was due to the fact that with the 2021 elections fast approaching, these legislators who have in the past stalled every opposition move will be afraid to consider their personal interests above those of citizens.

    “We do believe the majority of members of parliament of NRM will this time round vote with their conscience, vote for the people’s interests not the interests of specific individuals whose interest is to perpetuate themselves into power,” Niwagaba retorted.

    The Opposition bill, which was gazetted on November 13 2019 also seeks to do eject the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) from holding seats in parliament.

    Elaborating on this, Niwagaba explained that this is geared at saving the national army from the murky partisan politics to concentrate on their sole purpose of protecting Uganda’s territorial integrity.

    It also intends to reduce ministerial slots from 81 to 21 and abolish Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and remove the post of Prime Minister.

    In the same vein, the amendment also wants ministers appointed not to double as Members of Parliament and also for the Vice President to be voted upon as running mates to presidential candidates.

    Niwagaba says all these amendments are aimed at reducing public administration costs, which jumped from 623 billion to 978 billion shillings in the ongoing 2019/2020 Financial year.

    “We don’t need all that baggage.  So we are cutting down costs and also saying appoint ministers who are not members of parliament so that we have proper separation of powers,” he added.

    in reply to: Gen Elly Tumwine Accused of Undermining the Legislature #94
    Free Uganda

    Dokolo Woman MP, Hon. Cecilia Ogwal, has said she was confronted by Security Minister, Gen. Elly Tumwine, while in the Parliament lobby last week.

    She said Tumwine accosted her following a statement she made in the House that he had pulled a gun on her in the Seventh Parliament.

    “Gen. Tumwine got out of the House and found me seated by the pigeon-hole lobby with colleagues. He came to me with a lot of anger saying ‘you are a liar! I never pulled a pistol on you,'” Cecilia Ogwal said.

    She made the revelation while appearing before the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline. The committee was tasked by the Speaker to investigate reports that the security minister belittled Parliament and the Speaker; and made threats to the Dokolo Woman MP.

    Cecilia Ogwal read excerpts from the Hansard of the plenary sitting on Tuesday, 23 July 2019 in which she explained why she raised the matter against Gen. Tumwine.

    She also told the Committee that the incident of Gen. Tumwine pulling a gun on during the Seventh Parliament followed a heated debate in the House on the subject of indoor spraying of DDT.

    “He was promoting the use of DDT but we were opposing it because we wanted to protect organic farming. So when he felt that our arguments were too strong for him, his response was to hold the gun at me,” Cecilia Ogwal said.

    She added that Gen. Tumwine, at the time, ‘physically attacked’ the Deputy Speaker (Jacob Oulanyah) when the latter was Chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.

    Cecilia Ogwal alleged that there was tampering of evidence saying, “Gen. Elly Tumwine, being the minister of security, could have ordered the tampering of the evidence as recorded by the CCTV cameras.”

    The Committee Chairperson, Hon. Clement Ongalo-Obote said Cecilia  Ogwal’s witness would be included in their report to the House.

    Bukonjo West MP, Hon. Godfrey Katusabe, also appeared before the Committee and said that Gen. Tumwine made statements that belittled  Parliament and the person of the Speaker.

    Katusable said that this followed his meeting with Gen Tumwine when he approached the minister following the shoot-to-kill orders to the residents in Kasese district who were rioting over the closure of the Mirama abattoir.

    “The security minister told me to tell my people to keep away from a place which is their daily source of livelihood, or else they would be shot,” Katusabe narrated.

    He added that on getting a negative response from the minister, he informed him that the matter would be raised on the Floor of Parliament; the Minister then retorted by making derogatory statements about Parliament and the Speaker.

    Katusabe added that he was fearing for his life following an incident where a car with armed personnel rammed into him. Hon. Wilfred Niwagaba (IND, Ndorwa East) advised Katusabe to raise the security threat on his life in Parliament so that it is on record.

    Other witnesses who appeared before the Committee were Amuru Woman MP Hon. Lucy Akello and Nwoya Woman MP Hon. Lilly Adong.

    The Committee now waits to interface with Gen. Tumwine before compiling a comprehensive report that is to be presented to Parliament within two weeks.

    in reply to: Gen Elly Tumwine Accused of Undermining the Legislature #61
    Free Uganda

    Gen. Elly TumwineThe Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has asked the House Committee on Rules to investigate Security Minister, Gen. Elly Tumwine, over comments he allegedly made disparaging Parliament.

    Bukonjo West County MP, Godfrey Katusabe, who raised the issue said that Gen. Tumwine made the comments when informed about the shoot-to-kill order following the deployment of the Police and army to quell riots in Kasese district when Mirama abattoir was shutdown.

    Katusabe told the Plenary chaired by Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, on Tuesday, 23 July 2019 that Tumwine made comments downplaying the influence and power of the Speaker and the House, to intervene in the matter.

    “Gen. Tumwine reacted and said ‘Who is the Speaker?’ This country was liberated by the military and not Parliament,” Katusabe quoted Tumwine.

    Hon. Medard Sseggona (DP, Busiro East County) moved a motion to refer Gen. Tumwine to the Rules Committee for investigation.

    “The Committee would take the occasion to take him through some form of induction and also inquire whether he actually made the statements,” Sseggona said.

    MPs rejected a proposal by the Attorney General, Hon. William Byaruhanga, to allow the Security Minister to explain himself about the allegations on the floor of Parliament.

    “The rules of Parliament are that since the allegations have been made in this House, it is our humble view that he (Gen. Tumwine) comes here and gives a response,” said Byaruhanga.

    MPs said that since the comments touched the Speaker, it would tantamount to conflict of interest since she was chairing the sitting.

    Hon. Cecilia Ogwal (FDC, Dokolo district) advised that the Security Minister desists from defending himself on the floor of Parliament but faces the Committee that would investigate the allegations and present a report.

    The MP also said that Tumwine had pulled a pistol on her in the 7th Parliament, a case she reported to the Sergeant at Arms, who is in charge of security in Parliament.

    Gen. Tumwine told MPs that he had discussed the security concerns in Kasese district with Katusabe, and that provisions to harmonize the impasse had been established.

    Speaker Kadaga asked the House Committee on Rules to also investigate the concerns raised by Cecilia Ogwal on threats by the Security Minister and present a comprehensive report.

    “Hon. Members, I am not happy to be in this seat today because part of the issues raised concern the office of the Speaker. The only fair thing to do is to establish whether he said those things,” Kadaga said.

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