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President Museveni pledges support for Oulanyah Education Fund.

By Racheal Nuwahereza

President Yoweri Museveni has described the deceased former speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah as a great cadre of the ruling NRM party who used his talents well to benefit the country and made an impact at his young age.

While addressing mourners on Wednesday at Kololo independence grounds, Museveni said: “As NRM, we started dealing with Oulanyah when he was the chairperson of the Parliamentary legal committee. Although he was still in UPC, we noticed him and saw that he had potential. We supported him to take up the duties of Deputy Speaker, he took that time to multiply his talents. He used his talents well. He was a good orator .He was hardworking. Losing Oulanyah now is a big loss. He was somebody who was coming up and the country was going to get a lot of benefits from him.”

According to the president, many governments before the ruling NRM government, tried to solve the problems in Northern Uganda that dated back to 1966 and failed, Oulanyah sped it up when he was voted as the NRM vice chairperson for Northern Uganda last year.

“He had already done good job in uniting northern Uganda. It had been messed up by bad politics. When he became vice chairperson, in short time he had deepened unity. I need to salute Oulanyah and commend him as an example. He broke away from sectarian politics of opposition and made good contribution to the country,” said Museveni.

President Museveni addressing the mourners during Late Speaker Oulanyah’s State Funeral service at Kololo Ceremonial grounds on Wednesday.

The president also warned against tribalism that had started to manifest itself following Oulanyah’s death.

“I don’t want to hear talk of northern. He was not speaker of north but Uganda. When you hear opportunists talking of northern Uganda, tell them to shut up. NRM supported him not because he was this or that but because was good cadre. He would never have won if NRM didn’t support him. Ugandans supported him because of his patriotism and pan Africanism and not because of his clan,” said Museveni.

“We have lost so many people, from 1972 when we fought Amin to 1986. I know more about the pain of losing people. However, instead of crying, we said we must continue and succeed so that those who died did not do so in vain. Let us succeed for Jacob Oulanyah,” he said.

President Museveni bows at the casket bearing the remains of Late Speaker Jacob Oulanyah during the State Funeral Service at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds on Wednesday.

“I want to salute the Chief Justice for the idea of the Oulanyah Education Fund. Instead of just crying and mourning, you should be looking at how to help the children. Government will contribute to that fund so that the children continue,” said Museveni.

He added that parliament has resolved that every March 23, which is Oulanyah’s birthday will be honoured as the Jacob Oulanyah Memorial Lecture Day. 

Government reveals what killed Oulanyah

By Racheal Nuwahereza

Oulanyah succumbed to multi organ failure -Dr Jane Ruth Aceng

Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of health has confirmed in a brief medical report that the former speaker of the 11th parliament Jacob Oulanyah succumbed to multiple organ failure.

The casket containing the remains of Speaker Jacob Oulanyah placed in Parliament for a special sitting on Tuesday.

In a report presented during the special sitting at Parliamentary on Tuesday, Aceng informed parliament that Oulanyah’s ill health started in 2019 when he discovered a big swelling in the neck.

“He took it upon himself to seek medical attention in Germany where the swelling was analyzed and established to be cancerous. It was removed and he was started on treatment which he finished at the Uganda Cancer Institute,” said Aceng.

Hon Rebecca Kadaga lays a wreath on the casket containing the remains of Rt Hon Jacob Oulanyah during the special sitting at Parliament on Tuesday.

Aceng however says after he had completed treatment for this swelling, he later developed some challenges during the lockdown and election period when he was unable to be in hospital.

“On 23 January January 2022, he was admitted to Mulago Hospital for twoo weeks and during that time, he was being prepared to travel to get gene therapy treatment known as the CART-Cell which did not require more chemotherapy which had suppressed the bone marrow,” she said.

Aceng added that tests were carried out, biopsy tissues recalled for further analysis and the bone marrow analyzed.

Aceng revealed in thisreport that the heart failed, the lungs failed and the kidney failed.

“The liver started failing while he was still in Uganda and the lungs started collecting fluid. The heart and the kidney started failing while in Seattle, USA” said Aceng.

Aceng also revealed that while in Makerere, Oulanyah sustained an injury during a student strike there which led to the loss of his spleen (an organ for manufacturing red blood cells) which resulted into splenectomy.  

He had lymphatic system depletion and challenges with stem cell, poor immune system response because of chemotherapy.

“These were also contributory conditions which included lymphatic system depletion. We had multiple bacterial infections discovered here and several viral infections discovered in Seattle and unfortunately, the treatment for viral infection further suppressed the bone marrow,” said Aceng.

“He started having gastrointestinal bleeding because of lack of platelets and we couldn’t stop the bleeding, he also had drug resistant bacteria which is usually hospital-acquired when you spend long in the hospital,” she revealed.

All this resulted from Progressive Recurrent Defused Large B Cell Lymphomia; a type of cancer and the chemo he received.

Oulanyah passed away on March 20 at the University of Washington Medical Centre, Seattle, USA where he had been taken to receive specialized medical care.

US Senator petitions Biden to withdraw invite to Museveni, sanction Muhoozi

By Racheal Nuwahereza

Robert Menendez, the Chairperson of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has petitioned President Joe Biden asking him to withdraw an invite to President Museveni ahead of the 2022 US-Africa Leaders’ summit over alleged violation of human rights in Uganda.

In a letter dated March 28, 2022, Menendez also wants Lt Gen  Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the  Commander of the Land Forces in the UPDF, also son to Museveni sanctioned by the US for his alleged participation in the torture of novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaijja.

Menendez states despite Lt Gen Muhoozi denying knowing who Kakwenza is, Rukirabashaijja, firmly alleges that Muhoozi personally participated in at least one interrogation session.

Citing the 2021 general elections, Menendez claims opposition candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu was tortured and illegally detained alongside other party members and leaders adding that Museveni has long relied on torture, violence and illegal detention to punish his critics.

He adds that no one has been held accountable for numerous instances of other security force abuses such as the 2016 Kasese massacre in which more than 100 men, women, children were killed or the 2020 killing of the 54 civilians protesting the arrest of Robert Kyagulanyi during the course of his election campaign.

Menendez also argues that President Museveni has on two occassions changed the constitution to remain in power, overlooked democratic processes, turned a blind eye to rampant corruption, and subjected civil society, political leaders to illegal detention, violence and torture with impunity.

“Mr President, if the outcome of the elections in Uganda does not reflect the will of the people, I will be calling for the Biden administration to re-evaluate our relationship with the Museveni administration. Uganda’s stature and importance as a security partner should not prevent the United States from speaking out in support of democracy, and taking action in support of those Ugandans fighting for democratic freedoms,” said Menendez in a Senate record statement about safeguarding democracy in Uganda.

“Despite this troubling track record, Uganda remains one of the top recipients of US foreign aid and security assistance. While the US has issued statements and expressions of concern after human rights violations come to light, such statements are insufficient. Personal targeted sanctions would have greater impact,” Menendez added.

Menendez now wants the US to sanction all Ugandan officials implicated in the violation of human rights, eliminate army officers from any form of training with US army, and also sanction the individuals running detention facilities where Ugandans are illegally kept.

He says that recent sanctions against Gen Kale Kayihura and Maj Gen Abel Kandiho came a little too late and could not necessarily impact.

Uganda has of recent accused the West, especially the US government of meddling into its affairs.

Former Uganda Airlines CEO, Muleya, demands UGX 3.5 billion over termination of contract.

By Racheal Nuwahereza

The suspended Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Airlines; Cornwell Muleya has written to Waiswa Bageya, the airline interim Chairman Board of Governors and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT) indicating that he will take legal action against the airline over unlawful suspension and termination of his employment contract.

In April 2021, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, the minister MoWT, suspended a number of senior managers at the airline for at least three months. The 13 affected top managers included the CEO Muleya.

This was on the orders of the President Museveni to pave the way for investigations into allegations of financial mismanagement, collusion and nepotism in staff recruitment among other issues.

Cornwell cuts cake at Entebbe International Airport during the celebrations of the Airline’s first anniversary in 2020. (File photo)

After nine months on suspension, interim board of directors chaired by Bageya, took the decision to terminate the CEO’s contract and that of the director commercial and procurement, Rogers Wamara on February 18, 2022.

The decision to terminate their contracts came weeks after Auditor General, John Muwanga, noted in his latest audit report that Uganda Airlines was losing billions due to the delayed conclusions of the suspension cases.

Muleya says he shouldn’t have been suspended and terminated without following proper procedures of the law adding that he was not accorded an opportunity to respond to the allegations nor was he heard before sending him on leave of absence.

According to a notice from his lawyers Muwema & Co Advocates dated March 28, 2022, Muleya is seeking UGX 3.5 billion in damages, payment arrears and other costs from the airline, failure of which will lead to a legal challenge.

“Despite the above glaring irregularities, our client was directed to keep away from the company premises without any lawful or just cause. Investigation into alleged mismanagement by our client never took place. In fact, no investigation report has ever been produced to this end,” said Muleya through his lawyers.

Muleya explains that whereas his employment contract provided for dismissal from employment on grounds of serious misconduct or gross negligence, it did not provide for termination.

The lawyers noted that their client never furnished with the particulars and nature of his offense which contravened regulation 1(11) (a) of the disciplinary code Under Schedule 1 of the Employment Act 2006 adding that his suspension was illegal because it exceeded the maximum period of four weeks allowed under Section 63 (2) of the Employment Act, 2006.

Through his lawyers, Muleya now wants immediate reinstatement as the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Airlines, an unconditional apology for material inconvenience, reputational damage and the loss he suffered.

Muleya who had been earning UGX 60 million per month inclusive of allowances and other benefits wants the airline to pay him UGX 3.5 billion in damages and other costs including salary arrears. 

Helicopter crash in DR Congo claims lives of Eight UN peacekeepers.

By Racheal Nuwahereza

UN and Pakistani officials have revealed that eight UN peacekeepers were killed after 1 PUMA Helicopter crashed while undertaking a reconnaissance mission in the troubled eastern Democratic republic of Congo (DRC).

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General in New York confirmed the crash which occurred on Tuesday and claimed lives of six Pakistani troops, a Russian and a Serb.

The UN spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric says no one survived after the said helicopter crashed in North Kivu province where the eight U.N. peacekeepers on board had gone to monitor the situation where there has been fighting.

The UN Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) said earlier in a tweet that it had “lost contact” with one of its helicopters which was on a reconnaissance mission in the Rutshuru region of North Kivu province where Congolese forces have been battling M23 rebels.

UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) peacekeepers patrol areas affected by the recent attacks by M23 rebels fighters. (Courtesy Photo)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his “deep sense of shock and grief”, his office said, paying tribute to the global peace effort by the country’s armed forces.

The UN mission said the cause of the crash is yet to be established as an investigation is underway.

Congolese military authorities in North Kivu said M23 rebels had “shot down” the aircraft. But the group denied this, instead claiming the Congolese military was responsible for the crash.

Meanwhile, the Congolese army continues to accuse Rwanda of supporting an armed rebellion in the east of the vast country alleging that M23 emerged from an ethnic Tutsi of Rwandan origin.

M23 spokesman, Willy Ngoma, in a video message, said the movement was strictly Congolese and did not receive “any assistance… from any neighbouring country.”

Oulanyah’s family to enjoy several benefits, UPDF takes on construction of his house

By Racheal Nuwahereza

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces engineering brigade is racing against time to complete construction works on the multi-billion mansion of former Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah in Ayom Lony village, Lalogi Sub-county, Omoro district.

UPDF Engineering brigade has started the completion of the house of former Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah. (Courtesy Photo)

Douglas Peter Okello, the chairperson LCV Omoro district, said they are hoping to ensure that the body is housed in the mansion, in a presentable condition, as the funeral ceremonies are underway toward April 8th when his body will laid to rest.

The Acholi parliamentary caucus has through Lillian Aber, the Kitgum Woman MP refuted media reports that the unfinished country home for the late speaker Oulanyah is hampering the return of his body from the United States of America.

Meanwhile, the law under the 2011 Parliamentary Pension’s Amendment (No.2) Act stipulates a number of benefits the spouse of the speaker will enjoy following his demise.

According to Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) Act 2011, schedule 4(c) the spouse of or spouses of the speaker is entitled to a monthly allowance equivalent to 60% of the monthly allowance payable to the deceased speaker.

She is also entitled to a one four-wheel chauffeur driven car with a cubic capacity of 3500 to 4000, two security guards and two domestic staff.

The spouse of the late speaker is also entitled to a health insurance policy of up to fourteen currency points per month. According to the act, currency point is equivalent to twenty thousand shillings which means the spouse will get UGX 280,000 as monthly insurance.

The Parliamentary Pensions Act, 2007 section 16 (a) (b) provides that “where a member dies when he or she is not eligible for pension under this act, his or her spouse or children shall be paid; a refund of the contributions calculated with interest and a gratuity amounting to two years annual salary based on the last salary earned by the member before his or her death.”

56 year old Oulanyah was last week announced dead by President Museveni from a Seattle based hospital in the United States where he had been admitted since February.

Government has through National Organizing committee revealed that the body of the deceased will land at Entebbe International Airport on Friday 1st April.

The UGX 2.5 billion Burial Program for Late Speaker Oulanyah released.

By Racheal Nuwahereza

The National Organizing committee headed by the Minister for Presidency; Milly Babalanda has confirmed in a statement that Former Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah will be laid to rest on April 8 which will be observed as a public holiday.

The body will lie in state in Parliament on Tuesday April 5 and on Wednesday it will be taken to Kololo ceremonial grounds for a state funeral.

Detailed Program:

Friday 1st April 2022 at 2.00 pm the body will arrive at Entebbe International Airport aboard Ethiopian Airlines.

The casket will be received with full honors. A few leaders and family members will be allowed at this ceremony.

After which the casket will be handed over to A-plus Funeral Management.

Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th April at 9.00 am the body will lie at the home of the Speaker in Muyenga where friends and well-wishers will pay their last respects.

There will be a small service conducted and attended by few people on Sunday.

Tuesday 5th April 2022 at 9.00 am the body will be moved to the Parliament of Uganda where the Rt. Hon. Speaker will lead the Members of Parliament to pay their final respects.

The body will spend the night in Parliament.

Wednesday 6th April 2022 at 9.00 am the body will be taken to Kololo Ceremonial Grounds for a State Funeral.

His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda and NRM National Chairman will lead the nation in paying tribute to the late Speaker of Parliament. 

The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda; His Grace Dr. Kazimba Mugalu will be the main celebrant.

A maximum number of 1,500 persons including Members of the Executive, Members of Parliament, Members of the Judiciary, Foreign Dignitaries, Heads of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Family Members and Leaders from Acholi sub-region will access the grounds.

After the Ceremony, at 3.00 pm the casket will be airlifted to Omoro, Lalogi village; the Speaker’s ancestral home where it will be received by the family and Acholi leaders.

There will be a night vigil at the home.

Thursday 7th April 2022 the body will lie at Lalogi for final respects by members of the public.

Friday 8th April 2022 the burial ceremony will start at 9.00 am. The day will be observed as a Public Holiday as declared by H.E. the President.

The National organising committee has also prepared UGX 2.5b budget to cater for the above activities.

Part of the proposed burial budget causing Mayhem.

The breakdown of how the 2.5billion will be spent.

“𝐀-𝐏𝐥𝐮𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬 – UGX 226m

𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐞 – UGX 248.7m

𝐀𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐢 𝐌𝐏𝐬 – UGX 312.9m

𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐲 – UGX – 158.5m

𝐁𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐃𝐚𝐲 – UGX 1.1b

𝐅𝐮𝐞𝐥 – UGX 124m

However, according to our independent analysis, nearly half of the controversial UGX 2.5b proposed budget will be spent on the actual day of burial in Omoro as it excludes medical and funeral home bills in the US as well as expenses of flying back Oulanyah’s body.

Milly Babalanda has called upon the public to stay united and calm; and follow the security guidelines issued as they observe and celebrate the final journey of former speaker Jacob Oulanyah.

“Members of the public need to know that the Speaker of Parliament is 3rd in rank in the country’s leadership and he deserves a befitting burial, which anyway is legally provided for. Therefore, I would draw your attention to the burial activities planned for rather than dwelling on discussing budgets,” said Babalanda.

Bunagana Primary School closed to accommodate Congolese refugees

By Racheal Nuwahereza

Authorities in Kisoro district have suspended activities at Bunagana Primary School to secure accommodation for thousands of refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo streaming into the district.

According to reports, an estimated total of 13,000 refugees crossed into neighbouring Uganda on Monday after M23 rebels attacked Congolese army bases in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Emmanuel Mwunvaneza, the Kisoro District Education Officer says the Primary school has been sourced as the most secure location to receive and act as a reception for thousands of Congolese refugees who are still flocking in masses adding that all Primary school going children in the school have been asked to stay home until further notice.

The Situation at Bunagana Primary School where Congolese Refugees are camping ahead of their relocation.

Kivu Security Tracker (KST) said via their twitter handle that on Monday morning, M23 fighters attacked FARDC positions in Runyoni, Chanzu and Ndiza in Rutshuru territory in North Kivu.

The rebel group fighting in Eastern part of Congo Sabinyo MTS Ranges in particular was engaged by FARDC forces near Bunagana border in the of North Kivu province. The fighting continued until around 11am forcing locals to flee towards Uganda.

Elly Maate, the Kigezi region police spokesperson confirmed the development in a statement which revealed that the intensity in fighting forced Congolese citizens to flee their country for their lives.

“All security agencies however have taken charge of the situation including Uganda Police Forces, UPDF, intelligence services and UNHCR among others. The situation is under control and UNHCR has started ferrying Congolese to Nyakabande settlement camp,” said Maate.

Congolese refugees ahead of their relocation

A statement released by the Congolese army on Monday evening confirmed the attack revealing that the M23 rebels were being assisted by the Rwandan army. The area on the DRC side border of Bunagana is said to have been captured by the rebels.

Thomas Tayebwa elected new Deputy Speaker of Parliament

Ruhinda North MP and former Government Chief Whip, Hon Thomas Tayebwa has been overwhelmingly elected as Deputy Speaker of the 11th Parliament following the resignation of Rt.Hon Anitta Among. He got 379 against Okot P’Bitek’s 82 votes.

Tayebwa, 40, replaces Anita Among, who was earlier elected speaker to replace the late Jacob Oulanyah.

Hon. Thomas Tayebwa pictured with his predecessor Rt Hon Anita Among during the NRM caucus meeting on Thursday.

The Ruhinda North MP’s political career traces back to the year 2006 when he stood for Youth parliamentary elections on FDC ticket but lost.

In 2016, he retreated and came back under NRM party representing Ruhinda North, Mitooma district. He served as member of National Economy Committee and Natural Resources Committee 2016 to 2021.

In 2021, he was elected back to parliament representing the same constituency and in May same year, he was appointed the government chief whip by President Museveni, a position he has held until today when he became duly elected the Deputy Speaker of 11th Parliament.

Although no confirmation has been made, Oulanyah’s body is expected back into the country this weekend.

By Racheal Nuwahereza

Anita Among elected Speaker of 11th Parliament.

By Racheal Nuwahereza

Bukedea District Woman MP and former deputy speaker of 11th parliament, Rt. Hon. Anita Annet Among has on Friday been duly elected Speaker of the 11th parliament of the Republic of Uganda.

In a special sitting that took place at the monumental Kololo Independence Grounds, a total of 468 MPs voted, NRM’s Anita Among garnered 401 votes while her rival, opposition-backed Hon. Asuman Basalirwa got 66 votes and one Invalid vote was registered.

The ceremony that was graced by President Museveni, Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, members of parliament and several other dignitaries saw Hon. Anita Among become the second female post-independence Parliament Speaker as declared by the Chief Justice.

Rt. Hon. Anita Among swears in as the Speaker-elect before President Museveni and the Chief Justice, Owiny-Dollo.

Among was on Wednesday endorsed by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) caucus after the Central Executive Committee (CEC), the top organ of the party nominated accepted her candidature in the speakership race.

“In Hon. Anita Among, we have a leader who’s tested. Her manner in handling Parliament is beyond reproach. It’s on record that Anita has presided over programmes intended to help the poor. Memebers, I seek your support to vote Anita” said Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja upon nomination.

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja(right) endorsing Rt. Hon. Anita Among(left) for the Speakership position.

“I thank all MPs who have taken time to be part of this democratic process. I appreciate the 66 members of Parliament that have bestowed upon me the title of shadow Speaker, although it’s not provided for in the rules of procedure,” said Asuman Basalirwa as he conceded defeat.

Bugiri Municipality legislator giving his remarks as he conceded defeat.

Hon. Adolf Mwesige, the Clerk to Parliament, thereby declared the seat of Deputy Speaker of Parliament vacant. The ruling NRM party will be fronting Hon. Thomas Tayembwa who will face opposition’s Okot P’Bitek Moses.

Article 82 (2) of the constitution of the Republic of Uganda provides for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker. Article 82 (4) of the 1995 Constitution refrains Parliament from conducting any other business other than the election of the Speaker at any time that office is vacant. 

The position of the Speaker fell vacant following the demise of the Speaker Jacob Oulanyah who died on 20th March 2022 in Seattle, USA where he was admitted in February this year. Oulanyah’s body is expected to be repatriated this week.


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