Gov’t Fuelling Divisions Among Muslims – Opposition

Bank of Uganda is set to roll out a set of interventions to arrest the plummeting value of the Uganda Shilling.

The Central Bank announced this morinng that it would take measures to tame the continued depreciation of the shilling arising from speculative tendencies.

“Whereas the US dollar continues to strengthen globally and local demand for dollars with the resumption of business continues to pick up after the festive season, ailment the Bank of Uganda has noted some speculative tendencies that have exacerbated the depreciation of the Uganda shilling, ” reveled the Bank in a brief statesment

The declaration however, doesn’t entail the particular measures that the Central Bank intends to take to this effect.

It is anticipated that the currency could weaken even further as the country moves toward the general elections next year, due to stronger domestic demand and exchange-rate moves.

Since early last year, shilling has continued to lose value against the US Dollar and currently stands at 2,855 per dollar in Kampala.


The petition by a one Benjamin Alipanga seeking a temporary injunction halting the ascending to power of the newly-appointed NRM Secretary General, here treasurer and their deputies until his main application is disposed of by court has failed, ambulance the Constitutional Court ruled Thursday.


“I have carefully considered the submissions of both sides plus evidence brought to me, ” said the Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma as he prepared to give his judgement.

“The conditions for granting injunction are that there must be prima facie case that is capable of succeeding,” he noted.

“The burden is on applicant to show his application will succeed. These are matters to be dealt with at trial of main petition,” added the judge.

Kavuma said court must be well furnished with evidence that there is a serious issue, a condition the petitioner did not full.

“I am not satisfied there will be losses suffered when I don’t grant the injunction. Nothing will change when I grant the injunction,” he added.

“I am left with no doubt that the balance of convenience weighs in favour of the respondents.”

However, Kavuma noted that, “considering the law and evidence, it is not wrong to say the application has some issues to be interpreted by court.”

The ruling is a big blow to Mbabazi to halt the NRM leadership from ascending to power.

On Wednesday, Alipanga’s lawyers led by John Mary Mugisha, Friday Kagoro, Fred Muwema, Michael Akampurira and Severino Twinobusingye asked court to block the new NRM leadership  from assuming their duties until the determination of the main application which seeks court to permanently reverse all the party’s constitutional amendments of the December 15 Delegates conference.

The lawyers further told court that there is need for a temporary injunction stopping the implementation of the NRM Parliamentary caucus resolution that urged the current party chairman to contest as a sole candidate for the ruling party during the forthcoming 2016 general elections as well as restraining popularizing of the sole candidature.

“Going ahead with the said amendments infringes on the constitution thereby depriving the applicant the right to be heard by the court in the main application. Article 71 of the Political Organizations Act emphasizes observing internal democracy within which was not the case while amending the party constitution,” explained Mugisha.

The petitioner's lawyers vowed to appeal the ruling
The petitioner’s lawyers vowed to appeal the ruling

“There was no promotion of competition when they ring-fenced the position of president and resolved to implement the sole candidature in the 2016 general elections. They only aimed at closing out Amama Mbabazi in doing this.”

Mugisha further noted that the evidence of banners, posters and other adverts intended to popularize the Kyankwanzi sole candidature are in contravention of the constitution adding that appointing the Secretary General, Treasurer and their deputies instead of being elected is a contravention of Article 71 of the Political Organizations Act which he added would breed impunity and anarchy.

“We are not dealing with implementation of the NRM Constitution but rather matters of national importance as it relates to governance of the country,” Muwema noted.

However, in their defence, the ruling NRM party lawyers led by Kiwanuka Kiryowa, Martin Mwambusya, Enock Barata and Ahmed Kalule explained that the NRM Parliamentary caucus appointed a select committee that made its report, presented it and debated it before being adopted on December 15 whose part of the amendments have since been effected by the party.

“It has been acted upon contrary to what Alipanga says .On the issue of electing members, the  constitution does not say all members must be elected but only those on the ruling organ of the party to which the Secretary General is not,” explained Barata.

Pro-Mbabazi youth protesting outside court premises
Pro-Mbabazi youth protesting outside court premises

“The Kyankwanzi resolution was passed in February 2014 but why should Alipanga wait for almost a year later to petition this court? What has gone wrong now that he didn’t see right at the start a year ago? The actions being complained of were done by relevant organs of the party whose members number in millions not the one person who wants this reversed.”

According to the ruling NRM party lawyers, Alipanga wants to freeze activity of the heart of the NRM administrative unit which they said is unacceptable.

Martin Mwambutsya who represented the Attorney General asked court to dismiss the case because there’s no merit in it as all grounds of application are for enforcement under Article 50 of the constitution.

He said resolutions should be taken to the High Court for Judicial Review not for constitutional interpretation.

Lawyers speak out

Mbabazi’s lawyers led by John Mary Mugisha said they have instructions to apply for appeal so that the ruling can be reversed or discharged.

Applying under rule 55 of the court, the petitioners’ lawyers said they can informally apply when dissatisfied and sought an “expeditious action in this request.”

NRM lawyers said they were satisfied with the ruling and that they would be available any time to hear the main constitutional petition which they said would permanently resolves the saga.

According to one of the petitioners’ lawyers, Fred Muwema, “the case was not about stopping the swearing-in ceremony of the appointed NRM members but challenging implementation of the December 25 resolutions and therefore there is no big deal in the inauguration.”


Meanwhile, immediately after the court session, pro-Mbabazi youth stormed the premises with placards displayed in favour of the former prime minister.

According to the youth, they were not contented with the ruling of the deputy Chief Justice, saying it was unfair to the former.

“The outcome of the ruling has been manipulated by top NRM officials who sat in Entebbe in the morning as one of their tricks to kick out Mbabazi but all this is unfair to the former Secretary General,” noted one of the coordinators of the  Pro-Mbabazi youth group, Habib Mboowa.
Opposition political parties have rolled out a group of lawyers led by Ondella Ogalo to defend the outstanding victory of their joint Member of Parliament, page Lucy Akello who defeated the NRM candidate in the recently concluded Amuru woman MP by-elections.

Jane Francis Amongin Okili, page the NRM candidate who contested and lost to the opposition, look in her December 29 petition to Gulu High Court accused her opponent and the Electoral Commission (EC) of connivance to rig her votes.

“Ms Akello engaged in vote rigging, vote stuffing, and electoral malpractices, I am not satisfied with the electoral commission; it did not conduct the parliamentary elections for Amuru in accordance with the principles laid down in the Parliamentary Election Act,” she stated in her petition.

Opposition Democratic Party president Norbert Mao has told journalists in Kampala that the opposition is set to win the court case since all the grounds laid down in the petition are baseless.

“The grounds put down by Okili including ridiculing her during campaigns by calling her a non-Acholi, are all baseless just being used as a way of accounting for money that never resulted into victory,” Mao noted.

Mao added that it is now time to defend the victory of the people of Amuru: “Their victory is now being trampled upon which we shall not allow.”

FDC flag-bearer emerged victorious in the November polls beating the NRM candidate with over 600 votes gathering 7, 420 votes against 6, 761 votes.

However, it should be remembered that Women’s Democracy Network Uganda an NGO expressed discomfort over sectarian sentiments in the poll immediately after the elections.

“The ugly head of discrimination against women in politics reared its head yet again in the Amuru by-elections for district women MP,” said the NGO.

“The NRM candidate (Jane Francis Okilli) is from Teso but married to a person from Amuru while the opposition candidate (Lucky Akello) is a person from Amuru but married to an Itesot. The two camps used the marital status of the two women to discredit their candidature and yet the law is very clear on who can contest for election for the position of MP.”

Several opposition political parties have for long blamed the NRM government for weakening all power institutions in the country by creation of different disgruntled factions within them.

Erias Ssegujja Wamala, troche a member of the National Consultative Forum (NCF) and Chairman of the National Peasants Party (NPP) has appealed to government to ensure that it brings together all the Muslim factions in the country to arrive at the best solution for the problem once and for all.

“It is the responsibility of government to unite all Muslim leaders in the country and stop fueling the fighting, story ” Ssegujja noted in an interview.

Ssegujja noted that unlike during the late President Idi Amini’s regime were Muslims were united under one body and leadership of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council; the Muslims of today are having different groups that still accrue benefits from government.

“Government has continued to offer security and financial support to all these different Muslim leaders that have failed to unite and this has caused dissatisfaction amongst their followers leading to the attacks on each other.”

Ssegujja noted that these factions include; Kibuli-based Mufti, Sheikh Zubairi Kayongo’s camp that have always been rivaling with the Old Kampala-based camp of Sheikh Ramathan Mubajje.

“The embattled Tabliq leader, Amir Sheik Sulaiman Kakeeto has also always been at loggerheads with Sheikh Yunus Kamoga and fights between their groups are endless yet they are both supported by government.”

He urged government to bring all the leaders to a round table so as to find solutions to the increasing attacks on the Muslim community.

“This is an increasing and determined group of Ugandans whose grievances if not solved, might get them out of control which will be very dangerous to the country’s security and stability,” he said.

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