Let the tyres explode!

President Museveni has managed to keep his movement cadres in line by instilling fear of a ruthless reprimand should any even dream of rebellion. The treatment meted out to NRM hotshots like Gilbert Bukenya and Gen. Henry Tumukunde just to teach them a lesson is enough reminder that the commander in chief is not to be slighted.

This tactic has never come in handier than now when the party feels threatened by the rising popularity of its former secretary general Amama Mbabazi who it is believed will be looking to score a good number of defections from the ruling party to bolster his presidential campaign

Amama Mbabazi’s open rebellion and breaking of ranks with the top General that many believed was grooming a successor in the now Go forward candidate has only heightened the paranoia and suspicion that has come to characterize the seat of power as Museveni attempts to extend his grip on power to 34 years.

Despite writing off the former premier NRM loyalists were dismayed when Amama managed to unhitch his wagon from the yellow bus and remain politically relevant. The meticulously organized former premier has not only managed to keep his head above water but has used the momentum of his much publicized ejection from the NRM fold to launch a formidable presidential bid that has seen the NRM leadership running around in circles to purge the party of any Amama influence.

M7 and AM

During happier times

The fact that RDCs showed open support and even lent assistance (read soldiers) to certain preferred candidates in the chaotic NRM primaries is proof that the specter of Amama’s influence is seen as a real and much dreaded threat to the party’s success in 2016.

In the course of one week last month two NRM loyalists attributed their failure in the primaries to the undue influence or harassment from the RDCs of their respective districts. Omodo Omodo the NRM vice chairperson of the youth league blamed his loss in the Oyam North primary on the RDC of Oyam who deployed security personnel to oversee the theft of votes that would hand victory to Col. Okello Ongola.

Omodo has since pledged his allegiance to Amama Mbabazi along with a sizeable contingent of former contestants in the NRM primaries

While the Ibanda North MP Xavier Kyooma was reportedly shocked by the Ibanda RDCs complicity in the blatant vote rigging that was masterminded to ensure his rival Guma Gumisiriza won the primary election, Kyooma could only offer guesses as to which party boss was behind this kind of injustice, but what was clear is that he was being labelled as an Amama sympathizer.

Amama may or may not have any kind of sway over NRM members but the party top brass are not taking any chances, the rank and file seem to have latched onto this mood and are now conniving and scheming to take advantage of this state of affairs in order to malign and discredit opponents.

As if sensing that this trend was bound to flare into a major crisis the president moved to persuade party delegates at the recently concluded delegate’s conference not to label each other as Mbabazi stooges stating with emphasis that the former premier has no hold on party members.

The president may have sounded convincing but it is an open secret that this election will surpass all previous ones in the amount of resources the incumbent will employ to neutralize the threat posed by the presidential bids of two former comrades in arms.

This is why it is a matter of life and death for NRM party members to win the party flag in MP and local government races, this is why the primaries have been plagued by open rigging and ugly violence – the party’s blessing arrives with a considerable war chest and military musclemen that any politician will kill to possess.

But with two formidable opponents to defuse this time around how much money is enough? Could this be the year of the run off? Is what some analysts are asking – and if such a scenario were to materialise will one opposition candidate throw his weight behind the runner up to the incumbent? Is the question I’m posing as I muse over this fascinating election.

Anyway, as we normally say in Luganda at the start of an engaging contest – Zaabike emipiira

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LET’S HIT RESET!

The unsightly and despicable scenes of police brutality playing out on the political scene ahead of the 2016 elections may look familiar and indeed involve the same protagonists who grab our attention every election season, However this time around the fulcrum of the power struggle as the polls fast approach is a repressive law that has become a common talking point as the ruling party unleashes wanton terror on its opponents to uneven the playing ground in favor of the incumbent.

The public order management act has now become a recurrent source of contention and conflict between angry opposition activists and the police.

Enacted amidst controversy and dramatic scenes in parliament in 2013 the act was a deliberate and sinister ploy by the NRM regime to shackle opposition activities and render political parties and their sympathizers immobile.

Many opposition activists have rightly argued ad nauseam that the law infringes on the fundamental right to freedom of assembly and association as spelt out in Article 29 of the constitution, the proponents of the law argue that those rights need to be regulated to maintain peace and order.

No one is disputing that line of debate but any regulation must not repudiate the inalienable rights of citizens.

Police-arresting-Kizza-Besigye-in-Kasangati

Without going into specifics the law gives the Inspector General of police sweeping powers to determine, decide and rule if and when or where a public meeting will take place.

And even though public meetings by organs of registered political parties and convened in accordance with the constitution of the party were excluded from the definition of the term public meeting in section 4(2) e of the act, the government has characteristically targeted political parties in an uncompromising vicious crackdown on gatherings.

Following his unconstitutional arrest in Njeru Presidential aspirant Amama Mbabazi was wrong when he claimed the police have no right to halt a meeting, they do have the power under this unfair act. Advocates of this law will say there is no violation of freedoms and that all there is, is a requirement to seek permission to hold any public gathering or assembly or if unable to, consider another date and venue. I have always thought that this ‘permission’ is akin to me seeking authorization to write this article and only if said permission is given can I go ahead to publish.

You cannot put a caveat on freedoms, if any regulation is necessary it must be seen to facilitate rather than eliminate one’s civil liberties. The police must not be allowed to bar one from carrying out a peaceful demonstration but they can bar any protestor from accessing certain roads or buildings for the purpose of maintaining order. Just about the only useful aspect of the law is Section 12 and 13 that gazette restricted areas.

Of course this opinion has always been disputed by NRM party Loyalists who view any demonstration or protest as a threat to the their continued stay in power, The NRM more than anyone else knows the power of movements and just how potent effective mobilization for a common cause can be. Their morbid fear of demos was only compounded by the Arab spring and more recently the overthrow of Burkina Faso president Blaise Compaore’ by popular revolt late last year.

Kate Byom wrote on the Freedom house blog in August last year that the laws like Uganda’s POMA are so broadly worded and frequently misused that they effectively deny or restrict the ability of citizens to demonstrate.

She goes on to say “Public order acts are common across the continent, partly as a holdover from colonial rule but the governments of Uganda, Zimbabwe and Swaziland are modern pioneers of sorts, demonstrating to their peers how these laws can be adjusted and employed to limit the opposition’s ability to mobilize support.

As a heavily militarized police continues to do the NRM regime’s bidding, the ugly scenes currently being witnessed will only accelerate into an ugly climax with no winner. Playing with loaded dice the NRM will claim victory none the less in 2016, ushering in another five years of doom and gloom for lovers of civil liberties and transparency.

So far so good!

From Starz comes yet another action drama series packed with enough blood, sex and steel to keep us glued to our TV screens for endless weekends to come, I may be guilty of a little embellishment here but I’m hoping that if the first three episodes are anything to go by Then BLACK SAILS is every bit of the captivating addictive action drama the kind of which we’ve come to expect from this network, am I being too expectant? You could be right, there are a few turn offs in the opening episodes but the opening sea battle scene of the first installment is well executed and provides an ample glimpse of the kind of merciless destruction and mayhem we can expect from the gory battle scenes.

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Set in the 1715 two decades before the events described in R.L. Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island ‘the show directs our focus on a band of pirates who have made their home on the Caribbean island of New Providence and live out their lives plundering merchant vessels on the high seas and spiriting their loot and booty away to their enclave to squander on booze, whores and food. They live according to a strict pirate code and sell their loot through legitimate merchants who have no qualms about profiteering from stolen goods – enter Eleanor Guthrie the daughter of a smuggling kingpin whom I have to admit fails to impress as she seems to wield too much power over a ruthless and murderous bunch of blood thirsty pirates regardless of whether or not she’s the only conduit through which they can sell their booty.

The lead character’s borrowed from Stevenson’s book are Captain Flint a fierce buccaneer with a highly complex persona and Long John Silver a clever common sailor who joins the pirate crew to save his life. The two cross paths and have their destinies intertwined as they both seek to uncover a route to instant wealth and riches beyond their wildest dreams, the ultimate prize – A Spanish treasure ship

Although it has just begun we have no worries about getting glued to a show that might have the plug pulled on it as it’s been renewed for a second season. Forgive my unbridled enthusiasm but I think we’re in for a treat.

 

 

Malala’s Moment

After reading Assed Baigs article in The Huff Post, I found myself thinking………

Assed Baig may have a point when he says that Yousafzai Malala’s story has been picked up by the white media to champion the selfish interests of their western governments in a propaganda campaign aimed at justifying their intervention in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Baig points out that the NATO led bombing campaign has led to more grief and suffering than any Taliban bullets can ever cause, which again I won’t dispute, my problem with such an analysis is that it gives too much credit to the Taliban, it paints them as the victims and not the butchers and monsters that they really are.

The US led Invasion led to an unprecedented bombing and attrition war the likes of which the region last suffered during the USSR invasion but Islamist extremists like the Taliban had for decades waged a war against their own people more devastating and crippling, their systematic reign of terror and violence, the state sponsored injustice and oppression against women, the public beheadings, amputations and floggings were all dragging Afghanistan back to the dark ages. The Taliban believe and understand only one language to advance their agenda, force and violence.

I personally find nothing wrong with the west in fronting Malala as a poster girl for the fight against such atrocities and injustices committed against the people of Afghanistan, whether or not they have ulterior motives the campaign the western media has built will do more to ease the sufferings and torment of a nation that has seen its fair share of brutal and murderous religious extremism.

Once in a lifetime? Maybe not.

Trying to take the shine off ‘OUR’ world cup are you?  Well you do have a point when you say that no other African country can organize a tournament of this magnitude, what with the poor infrastructure, not just in transport and communications but in health and food establishments as well, But I will have you know that this world cup has given more Africans and Ugandans as well a chance to experience first hand the excitement and glamour surrounding one of the world’s biggest….. scratch that ….. the biggest sporting event in history, Super bowl don’t count in Africa.

Who would have guessed twenty years ago that a people just emerging from the throes of an oppressive apartheid regime would be able to single handedly organize one of the most successful world cups in history (2002 had to be jointly organize by Japan and South Korea two world economic superpowers) for those not in the know the world cup audiences down south have only been surpassed by the USA and Germany world cups.

The vuvuzela is made in China and so is your wall clock but whose original idea was it anyway, why bitch about imported paraphernalia, the global village has given Africans a chance at exporting their culture, expect to see vuvuzelas in the premier league or the bundesliga.

This world cup has been a lesson both to Africans and to the entire world, to the Africans it has taught us that we can finally take our place in the world (tree houses or not) if we shun the kind of tribal and sectarian politics that has permeated every fibre of our being, we can kick poverty and disease out of our midst if we emulate the South African example of Danny Jordaan and his team who have done an exceptional job and have shown the world that Africa is capable of rising above the snare of corruption and inefficiency (CHOGM thieves should be taking notes).

To the world the tournament has lent further credence to the age old belief that one man’s fight for freedom, for a better future and for a united people can make all the difference, this has been Mandela’s world cup, yes you’re right Daniel it has been South Africa’s world cup, but most of all it has been AFRICAS world cup and don’t you dare think you can make us think otherwise.

DARE TO DREAM AFRICA!!

This has been an outburst against Daniel Kalinkai’s column in today’s Monitor.

Just Sayin’

Currently watching Royal pains a USA cable tv show that simply rocks, am lovin’ every second mostly because Evan, Hanks blundering, pathetically clueless brother brings some  refreshing half witted humor, he may lack the seemingly incoherent intellectual banter that makes Eli of SG-U or Topher of Dollhouse so appealing but what he lacks he more than makes up for with his innovative schemes and his self professed love for the good things in life not the least of which is of course sexy ladies of which there are plenty in the Hamptons which is by the way in case I forgot to mention where this show is set. and if you’ve watched the show do you notice a startling similarity between Evan and Kevin Walker, yes, Sarah and Kitty’s bro. You could say it’s private practice meets brothers and sisters.

The show has been renewed for a second season thank god, Is it just me or do you guys also curse the american tv producers who renew all the crappy shows and cancel the good ones. I loved Kings, Bigshots, Dirty sexy money, MVP and help me out here which other good shows have been cancelled Oh yeah! The deep end.

Cant believe there are people who actually sit through Supernatural without falling asleep or Sanctuary without throwing up, any ways the dude from Spartacus Whitfield I think his name is has been diagnosed with some thing something Lymphoma doesn’t that just suck, so the show cant go on simply because of one reason only, he’s the mother fucking star. but trust those bayaye mbu they are going to shoot a six episode prequel while the dude recovers, lets all pray for the Maafakah coz that show is simply EPIC, if only it was shot on location, green screens are making people lazy, or richer or both.

So tomorrow is Monday, somebody kill me now, let the cold hands of death embrace me so I don’t have to wake up tomorrow.

A KA POLITE ONE

Just came up for air, that’s all, been a while, not sure what to say, maybe I’ll just take a swipe at music fans who like b.o.b’s ‘Nothing on you’ what a boring piece of work, I know I’m getting old but even then, there are some songs that don’t deserve to be number one. Speaking of which isn’t Raymond vs Raymond the tits? I mean is that one sublime spectacular album or what? that dude should never have gotten married in the first place, I mean some guys were just born to be bachelors, a gift from god to the female species,  am sure even princess would agree.

Mean while Lulu came into office sporting some elegant braids on her head, she gave new meaning to the word hot, if I wasn’t in my second week of therapy for sex addiction I would have asked her to have my ……….what are they called? little irritating things that wail and make noise, gulp milk like it’s H2O and expect you to change their stinkin nappies after that.

Somebody ask Jny what I did to him, he don’t come for lunch no more and the last time I called him up for a swallow guess what he said, he said he was just going to take a ka polite one and go to bed, yes a ka polite one, much as I was disappointed I couldn’t help but smile at the slang, a ka polite one indeed.

I didn’t think I would make it this long above water but hey what do you know? here I am breathing easy, but just like Jny I came for a ka polite one, now am gone.