November 2013
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Day November 13, 2013

If NTV hired Andrew Mwenda, then what’s their agenda?


Ugandans at heart,

Have you guys watched Andrew Mwenda on NTV recently? He is doing PR for the Museveni and Kagame on the TV but what I don’t understand is why should NTV pay him for something he’s already paid for? Double payment for spin! If NTV hired him, then what’s their agenda? Accomplices in crowd manipulation maybe? He talks museveni and kagame in the whole program.

Authoritatively I will tell you that Mwenda was appointed a special envoy by President Kagame during the M23 talks in Munyonyo. My inner being strongly feels against his presence on NTV between news anchoring; like he is there to pronounce some false prophesies and predictions to viewers! I think he is saying nothing at all but noise! His analysis lacks objectivity. What is happening now we are witnessing the death of Mwenda and now he joins his colleague Teddy Ssezi Cheeye.

The issue Mwenda raised recently was that there is no Muhoozi project in 2016 and that may be Janet would make a strong candidate if president Museveni is not standing. Reading between the lines-the main purpose of the discussion is to introduce a certain chapter (expecting the worst) to Ugandans’ minds and thereby create debate and as we speak now; either of them Janet M7& Muhoozi have a place in people’s minds as potential presidents of Uganda. It is a form mind corruption and that’s why it’s referred to as manipulation. That’s why I don’t trust Gen.Sejusa too because he also indirectly introduced almost a similar debate among Ugandans and now the whole thing looks real.

If someone can in all good conscience even think of proposing Mrs Museveni as a presidential successor to her husband, that person has got to have some ulterior motive. It is an insult on more levels than one to the people of Ugandan to even bring the issue up for debate in any forum least of all by someone who credits himself as a thinker and loves to rubbish the rest of Ugandans as non thinkers!!! With all respect to the good lady, Mwenda’s suggestion that she could be suitable material to lead Uganda reeks of mercenary behaviour!

Better still those who loved and read Mwenda in the past really need to set a date for a funeral, and drink and dance to the memory of a young man who once had a brain to match his motor mouth! Now he has the motor mouth!!!

For starters what happened to democracy and constitutionalism? I thought that the Vice President, the Speaker and the Chief Justice, were at the top of that queue or doesn’t our constitution matter? Maybe am missing something in my pedestrian Ugandan thinking but are Janet Museveni and Muhoozi Museveni anywhere in that queue? Why are we talking about them at all except for the fact that they carry a Museveni name?

So, in short M7 bought airtime from a media house he considers hostile to him to be praised by a former employee of the same media house who used to bash him but now full of praises for the same M7. We have got a Smart, smart president and to dislodge him, it’s going to be so difficult. M7 set a wrong precedent- if you want to be his friend, first abuse him 100 times in public to get his attention. I recall the voices of Kashillingi, Fox Odoi, Omar, the likes of Owori.etc as u know the list is endless. The only person who joined NRM top cream without first resorting to that course of Action is Hon. Frank Tumwebaze who joined cabinet at a time when all the young MPs had turned their guns onto their authorities. Frank was the only sweet voice among the young MPs. Remember there was also a complaint of cabinet being stuffed with an old useless line up.

That the Ugandan army is not corrupt because there is no serious debate about it on Facebook is a shallow analysis of corruption in the Ugandan army Andrew Mwenda.

We all must agree that Mwenda is a very cunning fellow who researches widely in a Ugandan society where the quest for knowledge/information is at its lowest. He therefore uses his wide knowledge to twist facts and intimidate/bully many of those who pay attention to him. To counter him therefore one has to be courageous and informed. There are times when he talks like some well learned intellectual, only to spoil it with a tone of rubbish claims.

As a private businessman, Mwenda knows his magazine can be closed permanently, just like they did temporarily to his Independent, and more recently the Monitor and RP. After all his leading advertisers are Sudhir (highly connected to State House) and Kagame (a prodigal son pushing the EA project). I think the fear of poverty, made him fall for the Guerrilla’s carrot and stick negotiation tactics. His flamboyance could not permit him to endure economic hardships that had knocked on his doors, when the independent was closed off.

I have always told my friends that whenever people join the ruling party, they stop reasoning and thinking and it is the party that thinks and reason for them. Mwenda should stop confusing people, what i am so sure of is that he is a state machinery trying to confuse Ugandans with his unfounded analysis of the First family.

I think NTV need to rethink their position on Mwenda’s analysis on news night. Ugandans have lost hope in this guy called Mwenda and we would not want to lose hope on NTV because of Mwenda. Mwenda’s analysis is always leaning to the first family. If you were to put the Mwenda who worked for the Monitor in the same room as the Mwenda today, neither of them would leave the room alive! The old Mwenda had nothing to lose. He only had the conviction of his thoughts and the power of his pen. The current Mwenda is a part of the furniture! When the ship goes down, he goes down. He is interested in maintaining the status quo of which he owns a fair sized slice.

william Ekwelu

WHAT DRIVES MUSEVENI’S CHOICE OF MAJ. GEN. W. MBADI.


The recent elevation of Wilson Mbadi to the rank of Maj. General and his appointment as one of the three top Commanders of the NRA is part of the ongoing countrywide counter Insurgency campaign.

Wilsom Mbadi is a Mukonjo by tribe of Kasese district. The Bakonjo occupy the greater part of the strategic Mountain Rwenzori. This mountain that borders with DRC has a history of harbouring guerilla groups. In the 1960s, fighters of the Rwenzururu Freedom Movement established bases in the Rwenzori mountain. UNLF-AD under Cheif Ali established bases in the Rwenzori Mountains during the early 1980s. When the going grew tougher for Museveni’s NRA in Luwero in 1984, it retreated to the Rwenzori Mountains. The NALU of Amon Bazira had bases in the Rwenzori mountains during the late 1980s. Since the mid 1990s, the ADF guerillas have enjoyed sanctuary in the Rwenzori mountains. For all these fighting groups, the Rwenzori mountain has provided them with tactical advantage.

The local residents who are the Bakonjo have rendered a hand in one way or the other to the fighting groups. However, for quite sometime the voting pattern of Kasese district has been a source of worry for Museveni. Suprisingly, Kasese district is an opposition FDC stronghold throughout the western region. Though the district has a number of other tribes like the Batooro, Bakiga and Banyankole who are found in urban centres, it is the indigenous Bakonjo who are the majority in the mountainious areas. The indigenous minority Basongora, occupy a small area in the lowlands.

Therefore the majority of the voters in Kasese district are the Bakonjo. At one time the opposition party (FDC) shadow Minister of Defence was an MP from Kasese. The PRA guerilla group had a good number of Bakonjo boys. Maj. Muhindo who deserted the NRA is suspected to be with PRA. A number of ADF fighters are Bakonjo hailing from Kasese
district.

The Bakonjo enjoy an advantage accross the border in DRC where they have close ethinic linkages with some communities there. The Bandandi and Banyabwishi ethinic communities in DRC are close cousins of the Bakonjo in Uganda. They occupy strategic areas along the Rwenzori mountains on the DRC side. They extend to areas of DRC accross Lake Edward, Bushenyi, Kihihi, Bwindi/Kanungu in Uganda. This includes the strategic Kanyabayonga rised ground in DRC. An influential Munyabwitsi and now a DRC Minister Mbusa Nyamwisi was a one time Museveni backed rebel leader in Eastern DRC before the two fell out.

On the northern side of the Rwenzori in Uganda’s Bundibugyo district are the politically dormant Bambas. By ethinicity, the Bambas have no linkage with any ethinic group in DRC. Instead, Museveni mobilised the Pastrolist Hema communities accross the Semuliki River in DRC during the Ituri conflict. To fully secure that geographical sector, he linked them with the Ugandan Batuku ethinic pastrolist group in Ntoroko. He has granted them district status and is now working on issolating them from the Tooro Kingdom.

Therefore in the Rwenzori region, it is the politically active and naturally secretive, industrous but determined Bakonjo who remain a problem to Museveni. His schemes of issolating the minority Basongora from the Tooro kingdom and granting them a separate district may not materialise as the Bakonjo remain a domminant force in Kasese. The appointment of Cryspus Kiyonga as Minister of defence has not realised the intended results on the ground. The District Chairmanship of a reknown former NRA highway robber, Col Dula Mawa has not made the desired impact.

It is against that background that Museveni elevated Wilsom Mbadi to the top of the army leadership. Wilsom Mbadi joined the NRA after it come to power. He can read and write and may have attended lower secondary school. He had his basic military training at Kabamba training school. As was the practice then, he was among those few selected to remain in the training school to be trained as an instructor. He was seconded by then Capt. Benard Obola and Capt. Clovice Kalyebara who were senior instructors at Kabamba. He served as a parrade/drills instructor at Kabamba for about two years where he earned the rank of Corporal. Later he was taken with other instructors to Singo training school under then Maj. Clovice Kalyebara to continue instructing recruits. It was at Singo that luck struck and Mbadi was selected to attend the Caded course at Sundhurst. Upon return he was commissioned. Such offers occassionally come up. Vet. Dr. Maj. Sabiiti Mutengesa also attended the same course before he was persecuted into exile. Museveni being a believer in tribalism, has always elevated army officers along such considerations. Katumba Wamala is one such example. Mbadi was lucky to have served with Aronda under the tank brigade who cleared him for body guard to Museveni. Now, Mbadi has the task of convincing the Bakonjo to back Museveni but moreso reach out to his cousins in DRC.

INFORMATION IS POWER.

Posted by:
Robukui
robukui.1@gmail.com

IS ANDREW MWENDA A MEMBER OF NRM?


Throughout the 80s, 90s and until recently Museveni’s major ‘obstacle’ to his autocratic designs has been the free press. Gross abuse of human rights, corruption and abuse of office have been exposed by the independent press though operating in a very tough environment.

While at The Monitor, Andrew Mwenda distinguished himself as a Journalist who could withstand Museveni’s intimidation. Besides his superb superior capacity to provide an accurate annalysis of political and economic situation from a geopolitical and global persipective, he excelled in security matters. In that way, he gained alot of fame at local and international level. But moreso, he won the confidence of whiste blowers and patriotic individuals who through him volunteered alot of sensitive information.

Behind the scenes, Andrew Mwenda was in bed with the first family. He engaged as a fiance the first lady’s cousin sister, Fifi who lives in the USA. He became closer to the first son Muhoozi as a personal friend. His elder brothers Major Baguma of ISO and Col. Kayanja Muhanga formerly of JATT and now the Commandant of Military Police are Museveni’s close confidants in the NRA. His sister Margret Muhanga was in the New Vision before she became the NRM woman representative for Kabarole district. He husband was the NRM district chairman before being appointed as the head of the National Forestry Authority. His mother was an NRM local council leader and is now a leading low NRM opinion leader in Kabarole. His father (RIP) was historically a UPC member until the NRM came on the scene but still he did neither showed open support nor opposition to the NRM.

Starting with getting closer to former Rwanda’s head of External Intelligence, Col. Patrick Karegeya during the height of tensions between Uganda and Rwanda, Mwenda caught the attention of Paul Kagame. After he quit The Monitor at a time when Col. Karegeya had fallen out with Kagame, Mwenda was thought to be feeding Kagame with information pertaining to the movements and activities of the dissident army Generals. The run away Generals had to cut off all links with Mwenda. Later, using his magazine The Independent he openly toot up the tast of whitewashing the Kagame administration in a public relations campaign. It is believed he brokered a deal that saw relations between Museveni and Kagame rejuvenated to the present honeymoon in Eastern Congo and the EAC.

The likes of Mwenda are what are refered to in intelligence as Agents Provocatuers. They disguise as ardent critics so as to attract, trap and compromise (expose) dissenters. Therefore, is Mwenda a top member of NRM or an opportunist?

INFORMATION IS POWER.

Posted by:
Robukui
robukui.1@gmail.com

But how come Museveni shifts goal posts everyday??


Africa should embrace ICC, says Museveni. New Vision 2 June 2010 page 3.

“PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has described the review conference of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as an opportunity to discredit the claim that it is a court for Europeans to judge Africans. Speaking at a state banquet in honour of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, and heads of delegations of the ICC member states at State House Entebbe, on Monday, Museveni urged Africans to embrace the ICC, saying it would benefit them. The conference, which will review the Rome Statute of the ICC, opened on Monday at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort. It will last until June 11. The conference represents the first opportunity to consider amendments to the statute and to take stock of its implementation and impact since it entered into force in 2002. Over 2,000 representatives of states, non- governmental organisations and inter- governmental organisations are participating. Museveni noted that for Uganda that suffered war atrocities, the conference is a chance to interact and share experiences with the victims of the wars. He said Uganda has joined the rest of the world in condemning acts of terrorism and genocide. The President said the restoration of peace and security, good governance and the Prosperity-for-All programme were top issues on the agenda of the National Resistance Movement. He said Uganda has been honoured to participate in the peace building processes in the region and pledged to continue protecting human rights and work for peace.”

That was 3yrs ago. It is now 2013.Museveni is now opposed to the ICC prosecuting African suspects not because he believes that Africans are unfairly being targeted, but because the president sees an opportunity here to have a “client president” at State House, Nairobi.

Were AU to prevail upon the UN Security Council and have ICC defer or terminate Uhuru’s case, Uhuru would forever be grateful to Museveni. Uhuru would then be at the beck and call of M7.

With Kagame already toeing Museveni’s line, and Kiir, up north, never really independent enough to say no to Kampala, the only obstacle to Museveni’s dominance in the East African region is Tanzania’s Kikwete.

Now you know why Kikwete is being sidelined.

And Museveni, always the fox in the house, will be first person to initiate a fake reconcilliation efforts to bring Kikwete to the fold. I hope Kikwete does not fall for such a ruse.

Edward Pojim

Below is the ‘old’ Andrew Mwenda’s resignation letter. Ask him if he remembers this letter.


The Managing Director
Monitor Publications Ltd

Dear Mr. Tom Mushindi

RE: RESIGNATION

This is to formally inform you that I have decided to resign from being a Political Editor of Daily Monitor newspaper and from being a radio talk-show host on KFM. I have considered your request to return to Monitor and decided against it.

I have also considered your request that I at least resume writing my Sunday column and again decided that I should take more time before I accept to do so. Since I have been on unpaid leave from Monitor for a long while now, I would like my resignation to take immediate effect.

I have worked at Monitor since January 1994; first as a student intern during my first year as a student of journalism at Makerere University and since September 1996 as a full time employee. In fact, I am currently the longest serving journalist at the newspaper. During this period, I served Monitor with dedication and integrity.

Almost every year of my work at Monitor, I won a certificate of excellence. I broke the biggest stories in the country, hosted the greatest names on radio, and in many cases even attracted the largest advertisements. Monitor readers and KFM listeners responded generously to my articles and radio shows because I upheld our core values of independence, truth, accuracy, courage, and balance.

Monitor was for me more than a workplace. It was more importantly an institution that embodied the values that I cherish dearly – freedom, liberty, independence, and professional journalism. The founders of Monitor did not begin the newspaper for money. They did so to create a platform through which Ugandans could freely and openly debate public issues. This attracted me to Monitor. Over the years, Monitor faced many threats from the state as a business. However, at no one time did the founders sacrifice its core values and heritage to safeguard it as a business.

In fact, many of us suffered state harassment, went to jail, and spent years in court on criminal trials for defending free expression in Uganda. Right now I am personally facing 15 criminal charges for expressing myself freely.

It is our firm stand in defence of liberty that inspired many people and brought us readers and listeners. These gave us revenue and attracted advertisers which made the company successful as a business. By placing our core values above commercial concerns, we created a public space that many Ugandans, many of them in high government offices, came to value dearly.

However, during my fellowship year at Stanford University, I was saddened to learn that the major shareholder, Mr. Karim Al-Hussaini (commonly known as The Aga Khan) unilaterally suspended my articles from being published in Daily and Sunday Monitor.

Although the board of directors revoked the decision, I am not convinced that Monitor can regain its independence. I have consulted widely and thought deeply about Mr. Al-Hussaini’s arbitrary directive and reached a conclusion that the editorial environment at Monitor is no longer conducive to free and unfettered debate of public issues in the country especially the presidency.

The interference of the major shareholder in the editorial details of the newspaper is a tragic development. This is especially so because of his other business interests in the country. He has increasingly undermined the paper’s editorial independence and its contribution to democracy and accountability in our country.

I have been informed by journalists and editors that they are not allowed to write stories critical of the president and his family. The air in the editorial rooms is suffocating. I hold the values of independence from the state so dearly that I cannot work in such an environment.

In sending his directive, Mr. Al-Hussaini was abusing his powers as a major shareholder. Media shareholders are not supposed to deliberately undermine the professional independence of media organisations.

Mr. Al-Hussaini can only do this in Africa because somehow, anyone who is anything on our continent tends to act with impunity. A president steals from and kills his own citizens. An investor makes decisions about the company and disregards shareholders, employees and the values and the heritage of the organisation.

That has been the persistent message of disillusionment on our continent! I have done some consultations and learnt that Mr. Hussaini did not consult other shareholders in both Nation Media Group and in Monitor Publications Limited – who actually hold the majority shares in both companies – before sending his directive. He did not even consult the board of directors of NMG in Nairobi, nor of MPL in Kampala.

This arbitrary use of power is symptomatic of the way Mr. Museveni has been ruling Uganda and what I have been critical of. Does Mr. Al Hussaini think that only his interests matter and those of other shareholders don’t? Does he think that MPL employees are not stakeholders in the company – even if they are not shareholders?

Doesn’t he consider the aspirations of the Ugandan people? Africa has seen many investors” who traded blood diamonds, gold, Colton, oil etc as the countries in which they made huge profits collapsed under the weight of ethnic strife, civil war and abject poverty. I hope that Mr. Al-Hussaini has taken lessons from that experience.

I have also learnt that the instructions from Paris are that Monitor should desist from writing about the first family. I have been reliably informed that Mr. Museveni had a meeting with Mr. Al-Hussaini and another with the executives of Nation from Nairobi. In both meetings, Mr. Museveni showed them an article I had written before leaving for Stanford titled “Isn’t the first family fleecing us?”

The article laid bare incontrovertible evidence on how the state in Uganda has been turned into a private estate of Mr. Museveni. I am reliably informed that Mr. Museveni requested both Mr. Al-Hussaini and the Nation executives not only to stop my articles from being published in Daily Monitor, but for me to be fired from the company.

Sometime in 2006, Mr. Museveni addressed a meeting of the Central Executive Committee of his ruling party. He told them that he had defeated the opposition in Uganda and that both the FDC and Dr. Kizza Besigye were in disarray. Mr. Museveni then said the only remaining opposition is Andrew Mwenda. “He is the only one who uses facts and figures to challenge our policies and programs in the newspapers and on his radio show. How can this one boy hold us at ransom?” Museveni challenged his party colleagues. He then promised that if the NRM cannot challenge me intellectually, he will seek to silence me from the Ugandan public debate.

These developments are important. They should have been sufficient evidence that in the absence of a strong opposition political party, Monitor provides the most effective public forum through which alternative ideas, policies, and programs can be debated in our country. But it also shows that Monitor needs to be bolder; to pry more into the activities of Mr. Museveni in his efforts to personalise the state. Instead, Monitor is being forced by one shareholder to cover-up the decay taking place in our country.
In return, the major shareholder is given more investment deals in Uganda. I am a citizen of Uganda, not a mercenary. I therefore cannot betray the future of my country in order to retain the privilege of working or writing for Monitor. The future of Uganda is more than anything that money can buy.

Mr. Museveni has always employed blackmail to get his way. He has severally threatened to close Monitor in order to force the paper to lose its editorial independence. He closed Nation TV for two months in order to force Mr. Al Hussaini to clump down on Monitor’s independence.

While I respect the interest of Mr. Al-Hussaini’s to increase his investment in Uganda, I despise his attempts to do so at the expense of freedom, liberty and democracy in our country. Indeed, only a democratic dispensation can guarantee the security of his property rights in Uganda. Succumbing to blackmail only makes him more vulnerable to more blackmail not only in Uganda, but the East African region.

For example, what will happen if Daily Nation in Kenya publishes an article unfavourable about Mr. Museveni? Won’t Mr. Museveni threaten to close Monitor or KFM or Nation TV in Uganda in order to force Mr. Al-Hussaini to clump down on Nation in Kenya? Totalitarian control does not come in a gallop, but in a creep.

Before long, Mr. Museveni may be encouraged to employ his blackmail to influence the media coverage of presidential and parliamentary elections in Tanzania and Kenya. Mr. Al-Hussaini is setting a dangerous precedent in our region. Indeed, his business interests and monopoly of the media in this region may threaten our emerging democracies.

When I visited Monitor, the air in the newsroom and other editorial rooms smelt terrible. Reporters are afraid to write stories because they are unsure of the consequences. A previously proud, ambitious and highly intelligent crop of independent journalists have been intimidated into acquiescing to the machinations of an illegitimate regime. A thriving and independent media house has been turned into a supplicant of a corrupt, tribal, and nepotistic dictatorship.

Because Monitor has succumbed to bribes and intimidation from the state, it is no longer the institution I was once proud to serve. It has lost its soul. It has betrayed its readers and listeners. It has betrayed Uganda. It has betrayed Africa. It has betrayed the cause of liberty and freedom. It has betrayed humankind. I cannot be an accomplice to this death of a dream whether because of state intimidation or of sweet heart business deals between the chief of state and the major shareholder. To do so would be identical to the action of Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

As you take on this challenging job, I would advise you to seriously consider your own position at Monitor. You are a highly respected journalist with international credibility. It will be tragic if you go down in history as the man who presided over the adulteration of an independent newspaper in Uganda that was setting an example for the rest of Africa. It will also be tragic when you fall like many other Africans, especially the politicians, who have sacrificed the future of this continent at the Alter of a job.

I feel very proud of the contribution Monitor has made to Uganda’s faltering democracy. I also feel proud of my contribution to Uganda through Monitor. Monitor made me who I am, and it will remain a cherished institution in my heart. I thus leave Monitor not with any bitterness, but with a lot of pride in what we stood for.

But I also leave with a lot of disappointment. It is tragic that the business interests of one person – the major shareholder – have so gravely trampled the interests of all other shareholders and the aspirations of the people of Uganda for freedom and accountability.

I wish Monitor good luck and hope that it will find the wherewithal to rehabilitate its damaged reputation in the hearts of the people of Uganda. I hope that you will be able to convene a joint meeting of the board of NMG and MPL to discuss the increasing interference of the major shareholder in the editorial work of monitor.

As for me, I can never betray the cause of liberty. Liberty is an ideal for which I am willing to live for, work for to see strengthened and if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Sincerely

Andrew M. Mwenda

cc. Linus Gitahi NMG CEO
cc. Wangethi Mwangi, NMG ED
cc. Martha Elimu, HR Manager
cc. HR Director, NMG
cc. Peter Kimanthi, FC
cc. Joachim Buwembo, ME
cc. Peter Kaba, Radio Manager
cc. MPL Board
cc. NMG Board

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