The Observer (Kampala)

27 January 2013

Uganda: Wolokoso - New Twist in Musumba's Quest for Top OIC Job

Last year it was all but confirmed that Isaac Musumba, the former MP for Buzaaya and Regional Affairs minister, would get the job of secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

However, the story line took another twist after Saudi Arabia, the leading funder of the organization, unilaterally decided to take the slot. This reportedly did not impress Uganda and some African countries because it was the turn for the continent to occupy the top seat. As a compromise, Saudi Arabia agreed to the creation of the position of Assistant Secretary General for African Affairs, handing Africa and Musumba a lifeline.

We have now learnt that President Museveni recently wrote to the Saudi king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, drumming up the credentials of Musumba. We understand that Nigeria has also fielded a candidate; so, Uganda is not taking anything for granted. Government has tasked Asuman Kiyingi, the minister of state for Regional Coopetation to lead a delegation of Ugandans to Egypt to lobby for him. We wish Musumba good luck!

Pecos Kutesa turns officers' mess into his office

Maj Gen Pecos Kutesa was on katebe [undeployed] for such a long time that he grew frustrated and spent most of his time drinking. But in 2010, the president had a rethink and appointed him the head of military doctrine in the army.

Kutesa, who was one of the most daring fighters in the treacherous Luweero terrain during the bush struggle, has now taken over the officers' mess in Kololo, John Babiiha avenue, as his new office.

Soldiers can be seen roaming the premises, which for a long time was an incarceration centre where officers like former Internal Security Organisation (ISO) boss Brig Henry Tumukunde was jailed for close to two years.

Minister Onzima enjoys ride in Toyota Corona:

The minister of state for Local Government and Maracha MP, Alex Onzima, is not only amiable but also down-to-earth. Last week, the minister, who is entitled to perks such as a chauffeur-driven Land Cruiser vehicle, was seen being driven in a Toyota Corona [Kibina] heading towards Namugongo, a suburb in Kira town council.

He seemed to enjoy the ride and was not in any spot of bother as he shared the front seat with the driver.

Lukyamuzi gets new offices:

At one time, John Ken "The Man" Lukyamuzi shared a makeshift office with his son in Nakulabye, which, in the evenings, would be converted into a bar.

But the maverick Lubaga South MP has now acquired a better office in Najjanakumbi, which is opposite the FDC headquarters. More often, his constituents gather at his new offices to ask for help from Lukyamuzi who is amongst the longest-serving MPs in the august House.

Clergy meet Museveni over Mukula:

When legions of his supporters in Soroti town threatened to demonstrate, the army and police were deployed. But former junior Health minister Mike Mukula's kinsmen will not be deterred from demanding for his release, after he was convicted of stealing Shs 210m from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) funds.

Now we have learnt that clergymen from Soroti last week met the president at his country home in Rwakitura to plead for leniency for Mukula. Meanwhile, Mukula, who is incarcerated at the Murchison Bay section of Luzira prison, enjoys a VIP status, revealed those who recently visited him.

Wanyoto to head Kenya observer team:

The former East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) representative, Lydia Wanyoto, has been appointed to lead the East African region observer team in the Kenyan polls slated for March 4. Wanyoto will be leaving for Kenya in a week's time to begin her work in an election pitting two scions of the founding fathers of Kenya, Jubilee's Uhuru Kenyatta and Cord's Raila Odinga.

Ugandans, just like others in the region, are keeping their fingers crossed after the neighbouring country in December 2007 exploded into ethnic bloodletting following a contested presidential election.

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