Friday, December 31, 2010
PRESIDENT MUSEVENI IS UGANDA'S MAN OF THE YEAR 2010!
NEW VISION NAMES 2009 BEST AND WORST
By Vision reporter
UGANDANS have voted US President Barack Obama as the man of the year, followed by President Yoweri Museveni and former UN diplomat Olara Otunnu.
The almost 1,300 people who responded to the New Vision Best and Worst survey chose Obama for being the first black American president, winning the Nobel Peace Prize and promoting unity and peace.
Museveni is at second position for being visionary and courageous, building the economy, managing security well and stopping the war in northern Uganda.
In the biggest surprise of this year’s poll, UPC stalwart Otunnu came third. The readers appreciated him for returning home after almost a quarter of a century and planning to contest for the presidency.
At position four is the Kabaka, Ronald Mutebi, who is hailed for cancelling his tour to Kayunga, thus saving many people’s lives.
He is followed by Norbert Mao, who is commended for promoting peace in northern Uganda and Cranes coach Robert Williamson for winning the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.
At position seven is UPDF boss Aronda Nyakairima, who is credited with stopping the LRA war, followed by Justice James Ogoola, hailed for his fight against corruption.
The woman of the year is once again the First Lady, Janet Museveni. She is appreciated by the readers for fighting HIV/AIDS and promoting development in Karamoja.
At second position is Miria Matembe for speaking out against corruption, followed by the Queen of Buganda, who is praised for promoting the education of girls.
Also featuring in the top 10 of best woman is former IGG Faith Mwondha for her role in fighting corruption and the 14-year-old girl of Bushenyi who threw stones at the man who attempted to defile her, killing him in the process.
New Vision readers classified the Government’s refusal to clear the Kabaka’s visit to Kayunga as the national blunder of the year. The decision triggered off the September riots in parts of Buganda which claimed the lives of over 20 people and damaged alot of property.
Other blunders listed are the death of former army commander Maj. Gen. James Kazini at the hands of his girlfriend, and the President congratulating Mwai Kibaki upon his controversial re-election.
Also among the top 10 blunders are the extravagant high-profile summits held in Kampala, such as the refugees summit and the AU summit, and corruption scandals such as CHOGM, NSSF and the National Forestry Authority (NFA).
Worst woman of the year is Lydia Draru, the woman who confessed to killing Kazini although she argued that she acted in self-defence.
She is followed by Beti Kamya (FDC) who is criticised for abandoning FDC, and DP spokesperson Betty Nambooze whom readers blame for causing trouble, supporting riots and engaging in unconstructive criticism.
Worst man of the year is Kato Kajubi, the businessman who stands trial for sacrificing a 12-year-old boy in Masaka. He is followed by opposition leader Kizza Besigye whom readers view as rude and arrogant, not telling the truth and intimidating the Police.
At third position is the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Ogenga Latigo, for travelling with a school girl at night and drunk driving.
Joseph Kony, the LRA leader who fled to the Central African Republic, features only in fifth position, unlike in previous years when he was consistently voted worst man for terrorising northern Uganda.
Works and transport minister John Nasasira came out as both the best and worst performing minister.
He is hailed for completing the Jinja-Bugiri road and the Northern Bypass, and criticised for the country’s poor roads network.
Nandala Mafabi was voted best MP of the year for the way he directed the public accounts committee. He is followed by Erias Lukwago, praised for performing his duties well.
Beti Kamya is both the third-best and worst MP. While accused of betraying her party by some, she is praised for her ability to mobilise the masses by others.
The three main achievements of the year, according to our readers, are the completion of the Northern By-pass after years of delay, the passing of the Land Amendment Bill and peace in Northern Uganda.
Ranked as best investigative stories were the details of Kazini’s death, the CHOGM probe and the sh900m stolen from NFA boss Damian Akankwasa, money he kept under his bed.
Bobi Wine, Pastor Wilson Bugembe and Bebe Cool were voted the best local musicians while athlete Moses Kipsiro, footballer Bryan Omwony and tennis player Duncan Mugabe were considered best local sports people.
UGANDA’S 2009 TWISTS AND TURNS
By Moses Mulondo
In January, in what the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) leaders dubbed a ‘good gesture’, President Yoweri Museveni pardoned UPC’s Chris Rwakasisi who had been imprisoned over gross abuse of human rights during Milton Obote’s regime.
Although it has not yet materialised, optimism emerged when President Museveni directed minister for presidency, Beatrice Wabudeya, to set up public fora called ‘Barazas’ at the sub-county level for the local leaders to account to the local people for the public funds they received.
Chaos in FDC
In the first half of the year, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)-Beti Kamya storm resulted into a fight between party supporters at the party headquarters. Kamya who had been suspended and later pardoned, seems to have declared FDC a closed chapter. She started her own political organisation, Uganda Federal Alliance on which she has been sailing to carry a federalism message around the country.
In February, the competition between Dr. Kizza Besigye and Gen. Mugisha Muntu over the presidency for the FDC dominated the media. Although Besigye won, some party MPs were unhappy with his role in compelling Sam Njuba to compete for the party’s chairmanship even when he was uninterested. Abdu Katuntu who had been unopposed, called it an act of acrimony in the party.
Mbale municipality FDC MP, Wilfred Kajeke, resigned his parliamentary seat in July over claims of rampant corruption in the country, abject poverty and famine in the northern and eastern regions.
Kings meeting stopped
Many monarchists were left aback when the Government stopped a Muammar Gaddafi-sponsored Kampala meeting of kings from the Eastern Africa region which was scheduled for January 13.
The Government said the meeting would engage traditional leaders in politics, which the constitution prohibits. Over 200 kings, princes, and traditional leaders were expected to attend.
Early this year, there was a standoff between Uganda and Kenya over Migingo Island on Lake Victoria until Uganda removed her flag from there.
In March, President Yoweri Museveni’s launch of patriotism campaigns generated controversy about how it should be handled. The opposition challenged Museveni and his NRM party to set the first patriotism example by uprooting corrupt officials in the Government.
After refusing to appear before Parliament’s vetting committee, Faith Mwondha, the former Inspector General of Government (IGG), President Yoweri Museveni appointed Raphael Baku, as acting IGG.
Local Council elections
The elections in May painted a picture on the various parties’ popularity on the ground. The ruling NRM party won the elections with 82.8% of the total vacancies, FDC got 7.9%, DP 1.7%, 0.7% for UPC, 0.01% for Conservative Party and 6.7% for independents. The Lubaga division LCIII election which the NRM candidate, Peter Ssematimba, won made the biggest news.
MPs from West Nile, Acholi, Lango and Teso sub-regions threatened to secede from Uganda if northern Uganda continues to be ‘marginalised’.
Around June, a new rebel group, Uganda Patriotic Front, was revealed. The group is reportedly financed by some Acholi Ugandans in diaspora. Eleven suspected rebels were remanded to Luzira Prison.
Ramathan Magara was convicted of manslaughter for the killing of two supporters of opposition leader, Dr. Kizza Besigye at Bulange.
The NRM party abolished electoral colleges to allow all party members participate in electing the party’s flag bearers at the various levels.
In July, Uganda assumed chairmanship of the UN Security Council with focus on promoting peace, conflict resolution and peace building.
UPC sued UPDF over allegations that most high ranking army officers were from western Uganda.
The return of former UN diplomat and UPC stalwart, Olara Otunnu, to Uganda after over 20 years created a media stir in August. He is currently traversing the country campaigning for UPC’s presidency.
Ignoring the opposition’s call to overhaul the entire Electoral Commission (EC), the President re-appointed Dr. Badru Kiggundu and other commissioners to head the EC. The move was opposed by the opposition parties.
Relocation of the capital
In a bid to oppose the proposed expansion of Kampala by the central government, the Buganda Lukiiko called for relocation of the capital city so that Kampala remains Uganda’s commercial city.
The Bunyoro issue of foreigners’ (Bafuruki) dominance in their land became captivating in August. The Bunyoro cabinet threatened to vote for only leaders who would address the past injustices committed against Bunyoro which led to an influx of other tribes into their land.
The riots, land bill
Riots rocked Kampala and neighbouring areas as angry Baganda protested against government’s decision to stop Kabaka Ronald Muwenda from visiting Bugerere County in Kayunga district. About 20 people died and property worth millions was destroyed. This saw the bimeeza banned and four radio stations — CBS, Ssuubi FM, Akaboozi and Radio Sapientia closed. Subsequently, the Kabaka met the President at State House, a move that cooled the tempers of the two sides.
While the talks between the Kabaka and the President were expected to be ongoing, the Land Bill which Mengo had vehemently opposed, was passed by Parliament. It is just awaiting the President’s signature to fully become a law. It was no surprise therefore, that at the recent Buganda conference, the Kabaka said Ugandans had been denied their right to have federalism.
No delegates conference for DP, UPC
DP’s Delegates Conference that had been slated for November never took place due to internal squabbles and irregularities in the party’s grassroot elections which ended prematurely. Mid this year, DP’s financiers withdrew their support for the party over internal conflicts.
UPC also could not also hold its Delegates Conference in November as planned over internal disagreements. Four senior party officials — John Okello-Okello, Peter Walubiri, Chris Opio and Benson Obua secured a court injunction halting the grassroots elections and stopping the party leaders from using party funds.
However, UPC officials were ordered to settle their matters out of court recently.
In December, four political parties, FDC, UPC, CP, and JEEMA signed a protocol that led to creation of a common electoral platform which requires them to field joint candidates in the 2011 parliamentary and presidential elections.