Intelligence Report: During the festivities to mark the 62nd birthday of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, His Royal Majesty decried why government had deliberately refused to hold grassroots elections for the local leadership.
The Kabaka said that the local leadership, if put in place, was in good position to defend the local population from the rampant tendencies of insecurity that had rocked the country.
He also wondered why government was hesitating to facilitate the elections of these local leaders, seventeen years since they were last held in 2001. The last time Ugandans made attempts to elect their village leaders was foiled by a legal injunction filed by the then FDC leader major Rubaramira Ruranga in 2006,
At that time there were contestations on how to hold elections under a multi-party dispensation. These elections had smoothly been run under the movement system which was scrapped and replaced with a multi-party system.
Under mysterious circumstances, court agreed with major Ruranga, who has since crossed back to NRM, and the consequence is that Ugandans have not got the chance to elect their local leadership for almost two decades.
They had been scheduled to be held last year after the general elections, but they were postponed to march this year, and then postponed to a yet to be named date allegedly due to lack of resources, plus a pending Court case similar to that of Ruranga.
Any rational Ugandan finds the excuse (lack of resources) bizarre given the stupendous manner the Ugandan president has been splashing the very resources he claims not to have, in the national treasury.
The Untold Story
The truths or rather the untold story why the president doesn’t want Ugandans to hold grass root elections are as varied as they are political. During the 2006 elections, president Museveni was faced with one of the most unpopular periods of his reign after orchestrating a largely unpopular move to amend the constitution to scrap term limits on the presidency.
Although the constitution was amended and term limits lifted, he lost the biggest chore of the senior members of his NRM party including his childhood colleagues like the late Eriya Kategaya. Other senior NRM members and members of cabinet included Sam Njuba, Bidandi Ssali, Miria Matembe, Sarah Kiyingi, Amanya Mushega and many others who defected to the opposition over the same.
Although the president stood again in 2006 and won the election against all odds, his political situation on the ground worsened. All intelligence reports indicated that he had lost most of the goodwill he used to enjoy from the grassroots.
It was therefore tactically wise not to expose this growing unpopularity of the NRM by not allowing the masses to vote their leaders. Uganda is known to have a rough estimate of over 57000 villages. Holding elections under unclear political circumstances was therefore deemed to be very risky to the NRM leadership.
Apart from the unforgivable factor of lifting term limits, which he could do nothing about, the president therefore spent quite some time studying the actual reasons why he had lost the political appeal that he used to enjoy with the Ugandan masses. And by 2017 three major factors that had tremendously made Museveni totally unpopular emerged.
- The Brutal Police
Almost all Intelligence reports gathered pointed to the brutal police under the tutelage of Gen Edward Kalekyezi Kayihura Muhwezi. The president got persistent complaints about how the police was conducting itself in a way that would cause the downfall of his regime.
Although Gen Kayihura had done things that protected president Museveni, he also made mistakes which were about to cause his downfall. The president was informed that local Ugandans were alarmed at the level of tribalism in the police force where almost all the district police commanders hailed from one region.
He was also informed of the level of crime cartels orchestrated by the senior police officers. At one time he warned kale Kayihura that his forces had been infiltrated by criminals but No corrective measures were put in place to rectify the situation by the latter.
By late 2017, the president was eventually left with no choice but to sack his beloved IGP and replaced him with Okoth Martins Ochola. He has also gone to order the closure of Nalufeenya, the treaded symbol of repression. It seems Gen Kayihura’s sacking had immediate dividend for the president as he started getting good feedback from the population.
- The Land Conundrum
But then another issue had emerged that was giving the son of Late Mzee Kaguta sleepless nights. The land issue had affected almost the entire country making Museveni appear very unpopular amongst the masses.
At one time the late Gen Aronda Nyakayirima and his entourage were embarrassed when local women of Acholi undressed before them, because of fear of losing their land. The president tried to make countrywide tours to preach about land and the illegal evictions but the situation only got worse.
Despite of the fact there is a law that governs land evictions, the local mases have become victims of the rich Ugandans who are evicting them without any mercy. After realizing that neither his RDCs, police nor even his personal intervention could resolve the land conundrum, he made a decision to institute Justice Catherine Bamugemereire’s land commission.
This explains why the commission wields so much powers to indict anyone, any time, in any part of the country. Since the inception of this Bamugemereire commission, the land crisis has toned down tremendously around the country.
In this even the most powerful loyalists of the NRM like Hon Jim Muhwezi and Ronald Kibuule have been upstaged from the land they acquired illegally. But president Museveni knows that he still have another lion to tame. And this brings us to factor number three.
- Mengo and the Church
For some reason, president is aware if there is any lion that has the capacity to unseat him from the presidency, then it’s the dangerous combination of Mengo and the Catholic Church.
President Museveni is increasingly worried that despite of making so many concessions to Mengo like the surrendering of several land titles to them, the Buganda kingdom doesn’t seem impressed to his expectations.
He has also found himself entangled in unexplainable beef with the Catholic Church-which explains why he recently met archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga.
The president intends to resolve this impasse by appointing a prominent Mengo personality with a strong catholic background to a very influential position in his government. Although he had appointed a prominent catholic Edward Ssekandi, it doesn’t seem to have worked to appease the Catholics and Mengo.
Sekandi’s failure to court the support of the church was portrayed when he was heckled off the microphone by the people during the Easter festive season mass. This was followed by antigovernment statements echoed by several catholic bishops. This not only alarmed president Museveni, but it literary scared him.
It’s believed that NRM Vice Chairman, Al-Hajji Moses Kigongo was tasked to come up with two names that would fit the billing of a popular Catholic, Muganda and with strong command of Mengo. Kigongo, intelligence reports inform us, came up with the names of Ruth Nankabirwa and Buganda Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga.
We have got rumors that the president decided to opt for Katikkiro Mayiga, who, by his position, can only be appointed either Prime Minister, but most fittingly, Vice President. We have been told that two emissaries have since been sent to Mayiga to convince him to accept the position. But whether or not he Mayiga will accept remains a question.
We have been reliably told that after making important interventions in the police, immigration, Umeme, the president now feels he’s steadily gaining his popularity and the ground is safe to allow the local elections to commence.