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Baker Batte Lule

Kampala, Uganda
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About Baker
Baker Batte Lule is a journalist based in Kampala, Uganda.
English Ganda
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
Business Finance Politics

Crime preventers won’t go with Kayihura, says coordinator

04 Apr 2024  |  observer.ug
Blaise Kamugisha, the national coordinator of crime preventers in Uganda, discussed the role and significance of crime preventers in an interview with journalist Baker Batte Lule. Kamugisha emphasized that crime preventers should not be disbanded following the dismissal of Gen Kale Kayihura, the former inspector general of police. He outlined the responsibilities of crime preventers, which include working with the police on security matters and engaging in economic activities to combat the root causes of crime, such as unemployment. Kamugisha also addressed the contention over the number of crime preventers, claiming there are 11 million across the country. He denied allegations that crime preventers are armed or that they are used as political tools by the state, asserting their support for the president is voluntary. The interview also touched on the recent sacking of Kayihura and the future of crime prevention in Uganda.

Ugandan innovators create a dual-purpose hay and silage machine

04 Apr 2024  |  observer.ug
The article discusses the I-Growth Accelerator event organized by Uganda Development Bank Limited and the Resilient Africa Network, which is an agricultural innovation awards program aimed at promoting local start-ups in Uganda's agricultural sector. The Innovation Consortium, a group of young individuals, created a hybrid hay and silage machine that won them runner-up position and a prize of Shs 10 million. The article features an interview with Byron Ssemalago, the group's leader, who explains the process of making silage and hay, the cost of their machine, and the benefits it offers to farmers. The machine is unique in its dual functionality and affordability compared to imported machines. Ssemalago and his colleague Brian Atuhaire, who also holds a degree in accounting and business management, aim to improve the machine with the prize money and cater to the specific needs of Ugandan farmers before expanding to other countries.

Nakawa MP Michael Kabaziguruka

04 Apr 2024  |  observer.ug
Michael Kabaziguruka, the Nakawa MP, despite recovering from a recent accident, participated in a parliamentary debate on a controversial age limit bill, which has now become law. The law eliminates the upper age limit for presidential candidates and lowers the minimum age to 18, while also extending MPs' terms from five to seven years. Kabaziguruka, who opposes the bill, views it as an illegal attempt to prolong President Yoweri Museveni's tenure. He criticizes the process as fraudulent and the amendments as self-serving for MPs. Despite the challenges, he believes it was important to defend the Constitution and be on record opposing the bill. He also expresses hope that the judiciary will rule against the parliamentary decision and that the people of Uganda will resist any constitutional overthrow.

Staff say she used CMI spies against them and referring cases to CMI which staff say could have been handled internally.

04 Apr 2024  |  observer.ug
The article discusses the controversies surrounding Jolly Kaguhangire, the former executive director of the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA). Kaguhangire, known for her previous work at the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), was interdicted by the UIA board due to allegations of corruption, abuse of office, and nepotism. The article explores her attempts to restructure UIA, which led to internal resistance and accusations from staff. It also touches on the history of UIA, mentioning previous directors and the challenges they faced, including political sensitivities and vested interests. The article suggests that the infighting and scandals at UIA could deter investors, which is problematic for Uganda's economic growth.

Retired Supreme court judge John Wilson Tsekooko

04 Apr 2024  |  observer.ug
Retired Supreme Court judge John Wilson Tsekooko discusses his life after retirement and reflects on the state of the judiciary in Uganda. He expresses concern over corruption within the judiciary and the influence of the executive on judicial decisions. Tsekooko recalls his time as a judge, including his rulings against President Yoweri Museveni in the 2001 and 2006 presidential election petitions. He also comments on the retirement age for judges, suggesting 75 years as ideal, and touches on the recent constitutional amendment that removed presidential age limits. Tsekooko calls for honesty and respect for human rights from Uganda's leaders and criticizes the exaggeration of achievements and promotion of ethnicity.

Religious leaders must ask for forgiveness - Niringiye

04 Apr 2024  |  observer.ug
Dr. Zac Niringiye, a retired assistant Anglican Bishop of Kampala and now an activist, has criticized Ugandan religious leaders for their silence and complicity in the face of political manipulation by President Museveni. Niringiye, who campaigned for free and fair elections in 2016, reflects on the violence post-elections, the compromised electoral system, and the removal of presidential age limits. He acknowledges the vulnerability of religious leaders to state power, citing instances where they accepted gifts like cars from the president, which he believes undermines their moral authority. Niringiye calls for repentance among religious leaders and a united stand against the current regime's tactics. He also discusses media self-censorship, the breakdown of security in Uganda, and the need for a national dialogue to renegotiate the country's future, emphasizing that Museveni and his team must be pushed to the negotiating table.

Mourners witness clash of titans at Nkoyoyo’s funeral

04 Apr 2024  |  observer.ug
The funeral of Dr Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, the retired Archbishop of Church of Uganda, was marked by a public disagreement between two prominent Muslim leaders, Prince Kassim Nakibinge Kakungulu and Sheikh Shaban Ramathan Mubajje. The event, held at the Anglican Martyrs’ shrine in Namugongo, was attended by various religious and political figures. Mubajje, who chairs the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, ignored Nakibinge during his speech, while Nakibinge recognized Mubajje's rival as the true Muslim leader. The funeral also became a platform for religious leaders to address the tension between the Church and the State, with Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga urging the government to see the Church as a partner rather than an adversary. The article also touches on the political climate in Uganda, particularly the criticism of parliamentarians for voting to lift presidential age limits and extend their terms.

Cost of the Presidency: Museveni's Sacrifice or Uganda's Burden?

04 Apr 2024  |  observer.ug
The article by journalists Alon Mwesigwa and Baker Batte Lule examines the budgetary allocations for the Ugandan presidency, highlighting the costs associated with President Museveni's office. Despite Museveni's claim of serving without material benefit, the presidency's budget is substantial, with significant funds allocated to facilitate the president, his activities, and his family. The article details various expenditures, including the president's salary, travel costs, hosting of delegates, and maintenance of State House facilities. Comparisons are made with other government departments' budgets, and comments from officials like Frank Tumwebaze and Hebert Okworo Ariko provide context to the president's remuneration and institutionalized benefits. The piece suggests that while Museveni's salary may appear modest, the overall cost of the presidency to the nation is considerable.

Youth Agripreneurs with their harvest

04 Apr 2024  |  observer.ug
The article discusses the initiative taken by a group of nine unemployed Ugandan youths who formed 'Youth Agripreneurs', an online agribusiness network to market vegetables. Despite their initial reluctance due to the challenges associated with agriculture, they were supported by organizations like the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Makerere University, and the National Agricultural Research Institute with disease-free seedlings and pest control products. They created an online application to connect with customers, eliminating middlemen and ensuring better prices for their produce. The group now works with 21 farmer groups and has a customer base of 1,200, but faces challenges such as transportation and customer responsiveness to emails. The leader of the group, Becky Nakabugo, emphasizes the importance of using the internet for development activities rather than social quarreling.

Uganda awaits landmark court ruling

04 Apr 2024  |  observer.ug
The article discusses the impending decision by the Constitutional Court of Uganda, which could influence the country's political landscape for the next decade. The court's ruling is on the legality of the 2017 constitutional amendment that removed presidential age limits and extended political office terms from five to seven years, potentially benefiting President Museveni. The amendment has been challenged as unconstitutional by opposition leaders, including Winnie Kiiza. The article provides background on the amendment's passage, marked by violence and controversy, and profiles the five justices who will deliver the verdict. It also touches on the possibility of an appeal to the Supreme Court, regardless of the outcome. The author, Baker Batte Lule, provides insights into the judicial history and tendencies of the justices involved, offering a glimpse into how the ruling might unfold.

Abdallah Kitatta

04 Apr 2024  |  observer.ug
The article discusses the arrest of Abdallah Kitatta, the leader of the notorious Boda Boda 2010 gang in Uganda. It explores the reactions of the residents in the villages of Kisanjufu, Baamutakudde, Kasenene, and Nakkumbo, where Kitatta is from. The writer provides a background on Kitatta's life, his rise to prominence, and his alleged criminal activities. The article also touches on the fear and respect Kitatta commands in his community, as well as the controversies surrounding his acquisition of land and his relationship with law enforcement, particularly with the Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura. The piece highlights the community's mixed feelings about Kitatta, with some acknowledging his support and others condemning his alleged crimes and the impunity with which he operates.

Fred Ssebata with a member of Matendo Promoted Singers

04 Apr 2024  |  observer.ug
The article features an interview with Lord Fred Ssebatta, a prominent kadongokamu artist in Uganda, who recently won a competition organized by Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) and chaired by Gen Caleb Akandanwaho, also known as Salim Saleh. Ssebatta, who has been in the music industry for 39 years, won 50 million Ugandan shillings for his song about agriculture, 'Enkumbi Eyamba'. He discusses the history of kadongokamu, its decline after the deaths of key figures in the genre, and his efforts to revive it through educational songs. Ssebatta also talks about his personal life, his start in music, and his views on the current state of the music industry. He emphasizes the importance of music with a message and criticizes the trend of music that prioritizes entertainment over education. The article also touches on Ssebatta's plans for the future, including promoting agriculture and OWC activities through concerts.

Joel Ssenyonyi: New Leader of the Opposition in Uganda's Parliament

22 Dec 2023  |  observer.ug
Joel Ssenyonyi has been appointed as the new Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in Uganda's Parliament, succeeding Mathias Mpuuga. In an interview with journalist Baker Batte Lule, Ssenyonyi discusses the challenges ahead, his readiness for the role, and his intentions to foster a cooperative relationship with the speaker of Parliament, Annet Anita Among. He emphasizes the importance of holding the government accountable, particularly in budget allocation and service delivery. Ssenyonyi also addresses the dynamics within his party, the National Unity Platform (NUP), and the decision-making process that led to his appointment. He outlines his leadership approach, which will involve both collaboration and firmness when necessary, and expresses his desire to work with all opposition parties in Parliament. Despite some skepticism about his age and experience, Ssenyonyi is confident in his ability to lead and is committed to improving the legislative process in Uganda.

Tensions Flare at FDC Delegates’ Conference

06 Oct 2023  |  observer.ug
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda's main opposition party, experienced a significant split with two factions holding separate delegates' conferences. The Najjanankumbi faction, led by Kibuuka Mukalazi, re-elected Eng Patrick Oboi Amuriat as party president and Nathan Nandala-Mafabi as secretary general. The other faction, led by Wasswa Birigwa, appointed Erias Lukwago as interim president. Accusations of mismanagement and misuse of funds were leveled against Nandala and Amuriat, who were also accused of receiving funds from President Yoweri Museveni. Despite procedural issues and internal disagreements, the conference proceeded with elections, with Yusuf Nsibambi being appointed as party whip in parliament. The conference was marred by tensions, especially during the announcement of the results for the secretary for Organization and Mobilization, leading to a brief disruption. Calls for unity and reconciliation within the party were made, but it's unclear if the factions will come together.

Opponents are denied bail and stay longer in jail

23 Aug 2023  |  observer.ug
The article discusses the use of treason charges by the Ugandan government as a tool to suppress opposition and keep critics in jail for extended periods without conviction. It highlights the recent arrests of MPs and opposition figures, including Bobi Wine, following the Arua municipality by-election incident where President Museveni's convoy was allegedly attacked. Human rights lawyers and opposition leaders argue that the government is using these charges for political harassment, with the intention of keeping individuals in prison as a form of punishment before any conviction. The article also touches on the difficulty of obtaining bail for treason charges and the lengthy judicial process, which often results in the state losing interest or the accused being acquitted. The legal framework for treason in Uganda is outlined, emphasizing the severity of the charge and the ultimate punishment of death if convicted.

Opponents are denied bail and stay longer in jail

23 Aug 2023  |  observer.ug
The article discusses the use of treason charges by the Ugandan government as a tool to suppress opposition and critics. It highlights the case of MP Bobi Wine and others who were arrested and charged with treason, which critics argue is a tactic to keep them in jail for extended periods without conviction. Human rights lawyer Julius Galisonga and others argue that the government uses these charges to punish individuals before any conviction is made. The article also recounts the experiences of other politicians like Kizza Besigye and Michael Kabaziguruka, who have faced similar charges. The legal opinion in the article suggests that treason charges are difficult to prove and are often used to intimidate and incapacitate political opponents. The article also touches on the role of the military courts and the challenges in obtaining bail for those accused of treason.

Preeclampsia: Uganda's Silent Maternal Killer

23 May 2023  |  observer.ug
Lauren Akampurira from Kampala, Uganda, faced a life-threatening condition called preeclampsia during her pregnancy, which led to the loss of her child and damage to her kidney. Despite being a major cause of maternal and child mortality, preeclampsia is often undiagnosed due to lack of awareness and inadequate healthcare facilities, especially in rural areas. Dr. Annet Nakimuli and midwife Rose Aliba from Mulago Hospital emphasize the importance of regular blood pressure checks for pregnant women. The Ministry of Health, represented by Dr. Jessica Nsungwa, has secured funds to improve healthcare services and equipment to better diagnose and manage conditions like preeclampsia. Uganda commemorated the inaugural World Preeclampsia Day, highlighting the need for more attention and research on the disease.

Inside the Usafi mosque raid

28 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
The article discusses the raid on the Usafi market mosque in Uganda, which was conducted by police and the army following intelligence that a suspect in the Susan Magara murder case was hiding there. The raid uncovered over 100 people being held in the mosque, including children and women. The mosque, which had ties to the Islamist ADF group, was led by Abdul-Rahman Faisal, who had established a radical and extremist following. Despite previous complaints and reports about the mosque's activities, action was delayed due to a lack of actionable intelligence. The Uganda Muslim Supreme Council and other Muslim groups have not condemned the attack, suggesting a disassociation with the mosque's ideology. The police have 154 people in custody and are continuing investigations, while the army has not confirmed the whereabouts of Faisal. The article raises questions about the relationship between the mosque's leadership and the state, and the effectiveness of the police's intelligence-led operations.

Violence Erupts in Arua on Final Campaign Day

17 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
The article reports on the violence that erupted in Arua, Uganda, during the last day of campaigns for the parliamentary by-election. Supporters of independent candidate Kassiano Wadri and his mobiliser, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, were searching for the detained politicians, who were suspected to be moved to Gulu. The violence resulted in the death of two people, including Bobi Wine's driver, Yasin Kawuma. Police spokesman Emilian Kayima assured a safe voting environment. The opposition and security forces offer conflicting accounts of the events, with the opposition denying allegations of attacking President Yoweri Museveni's convoy. Several MPs and political figures were arrested amidst the chaos. The NRM called for an explanation of the attacks on their members and chairman. The article also touches on the impact of violence on elections and voter turnout, citing recent by-elections where violence preceded opposition victories.

Church-State Relations in Uganda: Archbishop Lwanga's Stance Against Government Surveillance

10 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
Tensions between the church and state in Uganda escalated after Archbishop Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of Kampala publicly disclosed a plot to harm him, claiming the government had recruited church members to spy on him. President Museveni, who responded by criticizing Lwanga for using the media to express his concerns, had a phone conversation with the archbishop to address the issue. Lwanga has been known for his outspoken criticism of the government's human rights record and its treatment of democracy. The situation recalls the tragic fate of Archbishop Janan Luwum, who was murdered under the Amin regime in the 1970s. Lwanga's recent comments were made during Good Friday and Easter Sunday services, where he also advised those against him to join the government. Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo expressed suspicion over Lwanga's motives, while church officials and Reverend Father Deogratias Kiibi Kateregga defended the archbishop's right to speak out.

UACE results out, 98.5% pass

06 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
The Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) released the Uganda Certificate of Education (UACE) results, showing a 98.5% pass rate, with 60,941 candidates qualifying for university. However, there was a decline in performance and fewer cases of examination malpractices compared to previous years. Uneb withheld results from 79 candidates due to malpractices. The results also indicated a gender disparity, with a lower failure rate among female candidates and a higher enrollment in humanities compared to sciences. Uneb chairperson Mary Okwakol and First Lady Janet Museveni commented on the importance of science education and the need for quality teaching. The overall number of students sitting for UACE decreased by 2.9% from the previous year. Uneb faces legal challenges for withholding results over malpractice concerns.

Court of Appeal Decisions: Matsiko Out, Panadol Retains Seat

05 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
The Court of Appeal in Uganda has overturned the election of Rukungiri Woman MP Winnie Matsiko (NRM), following a successful petition by FDC's Betty Muzanira. The court ruled that Matsiko had bribed voters during her campaign and criticized the Electoral Commission for not adhering to electoral laws during the tallying process. Justices Alfonse Owinyi-Dollo and Paul Mugamba ordered a by-election and directed both the Electoral Commission and Matsiko to pay Muzanira's legal costs. In contrast, the Court of Appeal upheld the election of Iganga Municipality MP Peter Mugema Panadol, with Justices Steven Kavuma, Catherine Bamugemereire, and Cheborion Barisaki finding no merit in the bribery allegations against him.

App-based boda bodas transforming transport in Kampala

05 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
The article by Baker Batte Lule discusses the transformation of the boda boda (motorcycle taxi) industry in Kampala, Uganda, due to the introduction of app-based services like SafeBoda, Uber, and Taxify. These services have brought regulation to a previously chaotic sector, reducing crime, accidents, and disorder. The journalist shares personal experiences with these services, highlighting their affordability, safety features like crash helmets, and adherence to traffic laws. SafeBoda, the pioneer in this market, offers training and benefits to its riders, who can earn a significant income. The article also touches on the resistance from traditional boda boda operators and the positive outlook of government officials on the impact of these tech companies in organizing the industry.

26-year land battle: Gen Muhwezi, Mubiru feud escalates

05 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
The article details a 26-year land dispute in Kampala, Uganda, involving former minister Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi and James Mubiru, who claims rightful ownership of the land after his father's death. Mubiru's attempts to legally secure the land were met with resistance from individuals claiming to have bought the land, including Muhwezi. Despite threats and legal challenges, Mubiru obtained a certificate of ownership from the Buganda Land Board and a court judgment reinstating him as the rightful owner. However, Muhwezi's lawyer, Ahmed Kalule, argues that Mubiru's court orders were illegal and that Muhwezi is seeking to correct the situation through the High court. The dispute has involved arrests, allegations of torture, and a contested eviction enforced by court bailiffs.

Dickson Kwesiga: From transporter to successful recycling plant owner

05 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
The article profiles Dickson Kwesiga, the owner of Aquila recycling plant in Kiteezi, Uganda. Kwesiga, a mechanical engineer and former transporter of Rwenzori bottled water, identified an opportunity in the recycling business to help local women suppliers and compete with existing plants. Despite initial financial struggles, including rejection from banks and the burden of moneylenders, Kwesiga's plant now successfully exports multiple containers of crushed plastics, primarily to India. The plant buys polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics, sorts, cleans, and crushes them into flakes for export. Kwesiga faces challenges such as high operational costs, competition, and reliance on external markets. He emphasizes the importance of perseverance in business and his contribution to environmental conservation and job creation.

Farmers win big in UDB innovation awards

05 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
Eight Ugandan farmer groups have won a total of Shs 45 million in innovation awards from the Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDB). The I-Growth Accelerator 2017 competition aimed to promote innovation and commercialisation of local start-ups in agriculture. Gudie Leisure Farm won the top prize of Shs 25 million for their natural fertiliser, Orgapesticide. The second prize went to Hybrid hey machine, and third to Ecosmart Pad for their reusable sanitary towels. Anja de Feijter from Agribusiness Support Center highlighted the importance of agriculture and the need for farmer training in financial literacy to make them bankable. Gabriel Ajedra, the state minister for finance, encouraged youth to engage in agriculture and innovation, praising UDB for their support and lower interest rates for loans compared to commercial banks. The event was held at Hotel Africana and partnered with Resilient Africa Network (RAN Lab).

Retired Supreme court judge John Wilson Tsekooko speaks on life after retirement, judiciary corruption, and Uganda's democracy

05 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
Retired Supreme Court judge John Wilson Tsekooko discusses his life post-retirement and reflects on the state of the judiciary and democracy in Uganda. He expresses concern over corruption within the judiciary and the influence of the executive on judicial decisions. Tsekooko recalls his time on the bench, particularly his rulings against President Yoweri Museveni in the 2001 and 2006 presidential election petitions. He also comments on the retirement age for judges, suggesting 75 years as ideal, and touches on the recent constitutional amendment that removed presidential age limits. Tsekooko calls for honesty and respect for human rights among Uganda's leaders and criticizes the exaggeration of achievements and promotion of ethnicity.

NBS journalist Twaha Mukiibi was badly beaten by police officers

05 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
NBS Television journalist Twaha Mukiibi was hospitalized after being assaulted by police during an interview with Paddy Sserunjogi, also known as Sobi, a former gang leader. The incident occurred amidst a crackdown on the Boda Boda 2010 group, linked to police chief Gen Kale Kayihura. Mukiibi recounted his assignment to cover petty crime in Kampala, which led to his interaction with Sobi and the subsequent police attack during a follow-up interview. Despite identifying himself as a journalist, Mukiibi was beaten and tear-gassed by officers. The police claimed it was a case of mistaken identity, but Mukiibi disputes this, citing his visible journalist ID. He expressed concern for his safety and the potential repercussions from Sobi and his associates.

Row over Lukuli land escalates with sale by Kasirye Gwanga

05 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
The article discusses a land dispute involving Maj Gen Samuel Kasirye Gwanga, who has sold a contested piece of land in Lukuli Makindye, despite ongoing ownership claims by Mowm Construction Ltd. The land, valued at over Shs 1.5 billion, has been a point of contention for over a decade. Kasirye Gwanga, who is also a presidential advisor, had previously resisted eviction attempts, claiming the land belonged to the army, which was later refuted by the UPDF. President Museveni had intervened, promising to compensate the claimants, but no payment has been made. The sale has led to environmental concerns as trees were cut down, and KCCA is assessing potential violations. Mowm Construction Ltd's lawyer, Charles Odere, expressed surprise at the sale and is considering legal action. The Buganda Land Board (BLB) is also disturbed by the sale, which was done without their consent.

Gen Elly Tumwine

05 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
Gen Elly Tumwine, Uganda's Security Minister, has publicly clashed with the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, over the occupancy and management of Nommo gallery. Tumwine, who was speaking on CBS radio, refuted Kadaga's directives for him to pay Shs 1.6 billion in rent arrears and to vacate the gallery, claiming it belongs to visual artists and not the government. Kadaga had criticized the appropriation of the gallery by individuals like Tumwine, who are veterans of the 1981-86 bush war. Tumwine accused the parliament and others in the government of plotting to steal the gallery and of being involved in corruption. Chris Obore, the director of communication and public affairs at parliament, responded by urging Tumwine to respect institutions and seek a proper audience with the speaker rather than engaging in media exchanges.

Celebrity priest who touched souls with Mowzey Radio’s requiem mass

05 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
The article discusses Reverend Father Deogratias Kiibi Kateregga, a priest who gained national attention in Uganda after his sermon at the requiem mass for the late artist Mowzey Radio went viral. Father Kateregga, known for his candid preaching style, received an outpouring of support and media attention following his sermon, which critiqued the celebrity lifestyle. Despite the newfound fame, he remains humble and committed to his priestly duties. The article provides a background on Father Kateregga's life, education, and roles within the church, highlighting his dedication to service and his ongoing studies in Journalism and Communication at Makerere University. His sermon was praised by various individuals, including Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga and Pastor Wilson Bugembe, for its powerful message and the courage to speak the truth.

Dan Muliika on Uganda's Political Landscape and the Need for Constitutional Reform

05 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
Dan Muliika, the former prime minister of Buganda Kingdom, criticizes the political and constitutional development of Uganda in an interview with The Observer's Baker Batte Lule. Muliika argues that the 1995 Ugandan Constitution is flawed because it was not written in a language understood by the majority and was not representative of the indigenous communities. He suggests that Uganda's regions should convene to draft a new constitution that reflects their aspirations. Muliika also condemns the recent constitutional amendment allowing the president to contest indefinitely, labeling it as a tool for exploitation by the current regime. He calls for a grand national convention to address the country's governance issues and criticizes the current state of the executive, legislature, and judiciary, implying that Uganda is a failed state. Muliika also expresses his dissatisfaction with the handling of land issues, including the Justice Catherine Bamugemeire commission on land.

Col Fred Bogere on his opposition to lifting presidential term limits

05 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
Col Fred Bogere, a former army representative in Uganda's parliament, spoke about his opposition to the lifting of presidential term limits in 2005, which he saw as a betrayal of the country's democratic principles. Despite intense pressure, including from President Museveni and the late Gen Aronda Nyakairima, Bogere stood his ground. He discussed the consequences of his actions, his eventual retirement from the military, and his views on the current state of Uganda's leadership and the potential for chaos and conflict. Bogere also reflected on his military career, the stagnation of his rank, and his aspirations to pursue journalism. He criticized the 2017 constitutional amendment to lift presidential age limits and expressed concern over the direction of the country, including the role of the military in politics and the fast-tracking of promotions within the army.

Sewanyana appointed to UN Human Rights Council

03 Apr 2023  |  observer.ug
Dr. Livingstone Sewanyana, the executive director of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), has been appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council as the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order. The appointment is a recognition of his nearly 30 years of experience in human rights advocacy. The selection process was competitive and transparent, involving an online application, interviews by a Consultative Group, and approval by the Human Rights Council. Sewanyana was the top-rated candidate among others from Jordan, Spain, Italy, Bangladesh, Egypt, Albania, and the United Kingdom. His role will involve assessing UN member states' progress on development goals related to healthcare, democracy, education, and other social indicators, and he will present an annual report to the UN Human Rights Council.

Behind the FDC's victory and NRM's refusal to concede in Jinja East

30 Mar 2023  |  observer.ug
The article discusses the aftermath of the Jinja Municipality East by-election in Uganda, where FDC's Paul Mwiru won against NRM's Nathan Igeme Nabeta. The NRM, led by Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba, is challenging the result in court, citing electoral malpractices such as multiple voting, voter bribery, intimidation, and violence. The NRM's election taskforce chairman was allegedly attacked, and their supporters faced threats. Mwiru's supporters, however, claim the NRM has no case and point to their own grievances, including raids and arrests by soldiers. The election is seen as a reflection of national sentiment, particularly regarding President Museveni's popularity after the constitutional amendment removing presidential age limits. The opposition's unity, especially the support from DP, was a significant factor in Mwiru's victory. Internal wrangles within FDC and NRM also influenced the election outcome.

Kayihura still in the dark over his detention

20 Mar 2023  |  observer.ug
Gen Kale Kayihura, Uganda's former inspector general of police, has been detained at Makindye Military Barracks for three weeks without being informed of the reasons for his arrest. His lawyer, Elison Karuhanga of Kampala Associated Advocates, stated that Kayihura has not been interrogated or charged, despite the constitution requiring that an arrested person be produced in court within 48 hours. Rights activists are calling for his court production, while others arrested with him, such as Col Ndahura Atwooki, have faced legal proceedings. Sources suggest Kayihura has been advised not to fight for his rights, as it could lead to the revival of previous cases against him. The UPDF spokesman, Brigadier Richard Karemire, indicated that Kayihura will be arraigned when the army is ready. Meanwhile, Karuhanga has denounced a negative media campaign against Kayihura, claiming misinformation and denying reports of Kayihura's ill health and denial of medical attention.

Susan Magara's father speaks out on daughter's kidnap, murder

02 Mar 2023  |  observer.ug
Susan Magara, a 28-year-old cashier at Bwendero Dairy Farm, was kidnapped on February 7 and found dead 21 days later. Her father, John Fitzgerald Magara, spoke at her requiem mass, detailing the family's efforts to negotiate with the kidnappers, who demanded a $1 million ransom. Despite the family paying part of the ransom, Susan was killed. The Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, and police were involved in the case. The family and mourners are seeking answers from the government and the Uganda Communication Commission regarding the increase in kidnappings and murders, and the use of unregistered phone numbers by criminals.

Boda Boda 2010 rebrands to regain control

01 Mar 2023  |  observer.ug
The article by Baker Batte Lule discusses the rebranding of the notorious Boda Boda 2010 group to Boda Boda Industry Uganda Ltd following the arrest of its patron, Abdallah Kitatta. Despite Kitatta's incarceration, the group is attempting to regain control and acceptance in the boda boda industry. The Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence arrested Kitatta and his associates for possessing firearms, leading to public outcry and the disbanding of Boda Boda 2010. However, former members are now regrouping, with alleged support from rogue police elements. The new group, claiming to represent 32 boda boda associations, faces opposition from other industry players who view it as a continuation of Boda Boda 2010. The Kampala minister and security officials are working towards unifying the boda boda associations under one leadership, a move that has been met with both support and skepticism from various stakeholders.

Kitatta Objects to Military Court Trial

20 Feb 2023  |  observer.ug
Abdallah Kitatta, the patron of Boda Boda 2010, and his co-accused have challenged their trial in the Military Court Martial, claiming they are civilians and should be tried in a civilian court. They face charges related to illegal possession of military equipment. The prosecution, led by Maj. Raphael Mugisha, stated that investigations are ongoing and the court's jurisdiction has been challenged. The defense lawyers requested more time to prepare submissions on why their clients should not be tried by the military court. The hearing has been adjourned to February 27, with the accused remanded to Luzira prison. The arrests are linked to the murder of Francis Ekalugar, a hospital accountant whose burnt body was found after he was kidnapped.

Museveni's Inauguration: A Path of Challenges and International Scrutiny

12 May 2021  |  observer.ug
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is inaugurated for a sixth term, extending his rule to 40 years by 2026. He faces challenges such as public skepticism, shifts in loyalty in Buganda, and a youthful electorate that favored his opponent, Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) of the National Unity Platform (NUP) in the recent elections. Despite winning the election, Museveni's victory is marred by accusations of human rights abuses and a crackdown on political opponents, leading to international condemnation and U.S. visa restrictions on Ugandan officials. The NRM manifesto promises economic growth and improved living standards, but opposition figures express doubt about Museveni's ability to deliver on these promises. The article discusses the political climate in Uganda, the international response to Museveni's actions, and the outlook for the country's future under his continued leadership.

Tourism in Uganda.

Technology in the transport sector.

Story about the terrosism threat that the country is grappling with and how the state sometimes hide behind it to commit attrocities against civillians.

Uganda's HIv/Aids problem

Explaiining President Museveni's long walk to being president for 33 years and counting.

A story about a prominent huma rights activist Dr Stella Nyanzi the state likes to jail.

A story about a prominent Muslim leader convicted of terrorism speaking to me about the verdict

A story about the Allied democratic Forces commander complaining about torture in Uganda's maximum prison

Family of boy Strictly TV star Stacey Dooley posed with in Uganda speak out amid Comic Relief row

08 Mar 2019  |  Mail Online
The article discusses the controversy surrounding a photo posted by BBC presenter and documentary maker Stacey Dooley during a Comic Relief trip to Uganda. The image of Dooley holding a Ugandan child sparked a debate over 'white saviour syndrome' and was criticized by Labour MP David Lammy and others. The article delves into the background of the child, Mwesigwa Waiswa, and his family's situation, as well as the local perspective on the work of Comic Relief and the impact of foreign aid and media portrayal. It also touches on the broader issues of voluntourism and the ethics of foreign aid workers in Uganda. The article includes responses from Comic Relief and highlights the complexity of the situation, with differing views on the benefits and potential harm of such charity work and media coverage.

ISO arrests upset police

10 Aug 2018  |  observer.ug
The article discusses the tension between the Uganda Police Force and the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) over the latter's methods of arresting civilians and alleged torture in undisclosed locations. Police leadership has remained silent publicly but internally expresses discontent with ISO's actions, which seem to encroach on police duties. The situation escalated when military intelligence began arresting senior police officers and civilians associated with the former police chief, Gen Kale Kayihura. Despite the constitutional and legal provisions outlining the roles of the police and ISO, there are concerns about the legality of ISO's arrests and the potential for 'friendly fire' incidents. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mike Chibita, and human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo commented on the legal recourse for victims of human rights abuses like torture.

Journalists Narrate Ordeal in ISO Detention

06 Aug 2018  |  observer.ug
The article details the experiences of journalists Stanley Ndawula and Charles Etukuri, who were kidnapped by operatives from the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) in Uganda. Ndawula, the Chief Editor of The Investigator, was abducted and interrogated about his reporting on a man allegedly tortured by ISO and his investigations into Movit Products Ltd boss Simpson Birungi. Ndawula was later released with a warning about his reporting. Etukuri, a journalist with New Vision, was also kidnapped by ISO and interrogated about his reporting on the death of a Finnish national and accused of being a Rwandese spy. He was released after pressure from legal teams and social media campaigns. The article also briefly mentions the arrest of an MTN engineer by ISO in connection with the murder of former AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi. Both journalists reported physical and mental torture and expressed concerns for their safety post-release.

Police buckles under pressure, allows women's One Million March

29 Jun 2018  |  observer.ug
The Women’s Protest Working Group (WPWG) in Uganda has been granted permission by the police to conduct the One Million March in Kampala to raise awareness about violence against women. The police had initially denied permission, citing that security concerns had been addressed by high-level officials, including President Yoweri Museveni. However, the activists, including Lydia Namubiru and Dr. Stella Nyanzi, argued that the government's response has been inadequate and that action, not just speeches, is needed. They also highlighted the underrepresentation of women in security agencies as a factor in the lack of prioritization of women's issues. The march aims to protest the increasing number of women's murders and kidnappings in Uganda.

First Lady, Museveni clash over Mubs principal

30 May 2018  |  observer.ug
The article discusses a public disagreement between Ugandan President Museveni and the First Lady, Janet Museveni, who is also the Education and Sports minister, regarding the reappointment of Prof Juma Waswa Balunywa as the principal of Makerere University Business School (Mubs). The First Lady had instructed the Education Service Commission to advertise Balunywa's position ahead of his contract expiration, suggesting a new leader was needed. However, President Museveni overruled this by directing the reappointment of Balunywa, citing his loyalty and effective administration. The situation escalated when an emergency council meeting at Mubs appointed Associate Professor Moses Muhwezi as acting principal, which was quickly countered by the President's directive to reinstate Balunywa. The article implies that Balunywa's political influence and personal relationship with President Museveni played a role in the decision.

Mabirizi’s star shines in Mbale

27 Apr 2018  |  observer.ug
Hassan Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka, previously criticized for his legal actions, gained respect after his performance in a court case challenging the Constitution Amendment Bill No. 2 of 2017 in Uganda. Mabirizi, known for suing the Kabaka of Buganda and accusing judges of bias, questioned the impartiality of certain judges on the panel. Despite not being an enrolled advocate, his extensive preparation and understanding of the law impressed many, including opposition figures Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda and Erias Lukwago. Mabirizi's motivation for filing the petition stemmed from a distrust in politicians and a sense of duty to prevent the country from descending into chaos. He invested significantly in the case, often sacrificing sleep for research. The case highlighted the need for government accountability, with Mabirizi insisting on not pursuing a diploma in legal practice, preferring to maintain his independence from the constraints that advocates face.

Museveni the latecomer

25 Mar 2018  |  observer.ug
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has urged the newly appointed judges to avoid corruption and maintain the integrity of the judiciary. Speaking at State House Entebbe during the swearing-in of 11 out of 16 new judges, Museveni emphasized the importance of public trust in the judiciary and the need for judges to adhere to their oaths to deliver justice impartially. He also highlighted the need to overcome colonial legal rigidities and expressed satisfaction with the younger generation joining the judiciary. Chief Justice Bart Katureebe echoed the president's sentiments, stressing the expectation of high moral integrity from the judges. The president apologized for his late arrival due to commissioning a barracks for the Special Forces Command. The article also lists the names of the appointed judges to various courts.

Amuriat basks in first 100 days 'achievements' at FDC helm

19 Mar 2018  |  observer.ug
Patrick Oboi Amuriat, the president of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), has claimed that the party is more united under his leadership than in the previous five years. Despite a divisive campaign, Amuriat, who defeated the incumbent Gen Mugisha Muntu, emphasized that the party has seen new members join and former members return. He has reached out to former rivals, including Muntu, to promote unity. Amuriat also highlighted the party's achievements in his first 100 days, such as party cohesion, reclaiming the FDC's 2016 victory, revitalizing structures, and supporting youth and women's development. The FDC has won significant positions, including the Jinja municipality East constituency and university guild presidencies at Kyambogo and Makerere. Amuriat's leadership has overseen various activities and engagements with political figures across the spectrum.

President Museveni

13 Feb 2018  |  observer.ug
The article discusses Col Fred Bogere's defiance against the Ugandan establishment in 2005 when he refused to vote for the removal of presidential term limits, which allowed President Museveni to extend his political tenure. Bogere, now retired, reflects on the intense pressure he faced following his decision, including being summoned by President Museveni and the late Gen Aronda Nyakairima. He criticizes the current state of Uganda, mentioning the violent incident where the Special Forces Command stormed parliament and removed opposition MPs. Bogere expresses feelings of betrayal by the country's leadership and laments the missed opportunity to be part of positive change in Uganda. The full interview is to be published in The Observer's print edition.

Kitatta's wife sues top police, army bosses over 'illegal detention'

26 Jan 2018  |  observer.ug
Sumaya Ninsiima, the wife of Abdallah Kitatta, has filed a habeas corpus motion against top police and army officials in Uganda, claiming her husband's detention without trial is illegal. Kitatta, the patron of Boda Boda 2010, was arrested in connection with the murder of Francis Ekalungar, an accountant at Case hospital. Ekalungar was killed on January 2, and Kitatta has been detained since the previous Saturday. Ninsiima's motion alleges that Kitatta has been denied legal representation and has not been charged, violating his constitutional rights. The motion was filed through Joseph Kiryowa and Company Advocates at the High Court Civil Division in Kampala. The court has not set a hearing date due to the ongoing annual Judges' Conference.

Performance in Islamic primary leaving examinations drops

18 Jan 2018  |  observer.ug
The Uganda Quran schools Association (UQSA) released the Islamic primary leaving examinations (IPLE) results for 2017, showing a decline in performance compared to 2016. Out of 3,014 pupils from 193 schools, fewer achieved first-grade results than the previous year. Sheikh Haruna Jjemba, the secretary general of UQSA, attributed the decline to teachers focusing on coaching rather than teaching core material. However, schools that adopted a dual curriculum of Islamic theology and secular education showed improved results. Top-performing schools and the best and worst-performing subjects were also highlighted. UQSA, founded in 1997, aims to unify Quran schools in Uganda under a single syllabus and central examination board.

Janet Museveni to table bill against exam malpractice

12 Jan 2018  |  observer.ug
Education and Sports minister Janet Museveni announced plans to introduce legislation with severe punishments for schools and teachers involved in examination malpractices. This statement was made during the release of the 2017 Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) results. Uneb chairperson Prof Mary Okwakol highlighted the ongoing issue of cheating in exams, which she considers a national security threat. The Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) is currently withholding results for 2,559 candidates due to suspected malpractices. The released results showed an improvement in performance, with more candidates qualifying for post-primary institutions. Boys outperformed girls, although more girls sat for the PLE. The selection process for Senior One is scheduled to take place at the Uganda Manufacturers Association hall.

Retired Archbishop Nkoyoyo Passes Away

05 Jan 2018  |  observer.ug
Retired Archbishop of Uganda, His Grace Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, passed away at the age of 82 due to pneumonia at Kampala Hospital. He had been battling cancer for over a year. His burial is scheduled for Tuesday, January 9, at the Anglican Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo, making him the first Archbishop to be interred there. Nkoyoyo was known for his visionary leadership, having led the Church of Uganda from 1995 to 2004. He was instrumental in upgrading the Bishop Tucker Theological College into the Uganda Christian University and initiating various projects, including orphanages and schools for the disabled. He was also a passionate evangelist and preacher. The Church of Uganda and Archbishop Stanley Ntagali have expressed gratitude for his faithful ministry and celebrate his life as a man of God.

Chinese consortium lodges complaint over Uganda's refinery deal

08 Aug 2017  |  observer.ug
A Chinese consortium has lodged a formal complaint against the Ugandan government's decision to award a $4 billion oil refinery project to the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium, which includes American and Italian firms such as General Electric and Saipem. The Chinese consortium, comprising Guangzhou DongSong Energy Group Ltd and others, claims they were the best bidder and accuses the government of unfair practices and bad faith. They deny reports of internal disagreements and withdrawal from the bidding process, as suggested by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. The consortium is considering legal action if their concerns are not addressed. The ministry's due diligence report had ranked the DongSong Group-led consortium as the best, but neither of the top consortia could realize the project without government support. The article includes responses from both the consortium and the Ministry of Energy, with the latter asserting that the process was verifiable and open to scrutiny.

Muslims deserve fair treatment too

21 Dec 2016  |  observer.ug
The article discusses the arrest of eight Muslim leaders in Uganda, including Yahaya Ramathan Mwanje, in connection with the murder of Major Muhammad Kiggundu. The author expresses concern over the disregard for due process in cases involving Muslims and criticizes the silence of politicians and activists on the matter. The article also touches on the denial of bail to the accused, contrasting it with other cases where bail was granted swiftly. The writer accuses President Museveni of Islamophobia and suggests that the government's failure to protect Muslim leaders may be due to either incompetence or complicity in the killings. The article concludes with the author's frustration over the government's priorities, focusing on political dissent rather than public safety.

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