16 February 2014

Uganda: Wolokoso - Akora Taunts NRM Man On 'Gay Cash'

In a country with conservative Christian values, it seems many people are puzzled as to why President Museveni has refused to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Some now speculate that the president's motivation can only be financial, that he does not want to upset his donor friends, who are starting to look friendly again, after the Kazindagate corruption scandal in the Office of the Prime Minister.

With the ruling party, NRM, failing to disclose the source of its funding, Maruzi MP Maxwell Patrick Ebong Akora recently taunted his Kabula colleague James Kakooza at Parliament that the ruling party may be surviving on donations from the gay lobby.

"Kakooza, you have come back to eat our parliamentary food yet your food and the financial facilitations from the homosexual groups are in Kyankwanzi," said Akora, adding that the opposition would soon question Museveni on his ties with the gay lobby.

But Kakooza shot back with bravado: "Our party has its money. We have been in the power for 28 years. How can you say that we have been surviving on the homosexual money? That is your propaganda!"

Kadaga's rival sharpens axe:

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga may be indomitable and regarded as one of the most influential politicians in the country.

But her rival in Kamuli, Hajjat Rehema Watongola, does not, in Kampala speak, want to know. Watongola is preparing to confront Kadaga for the second time, having lost to her in 2011.

She has been combing the district and meeting youth and women groups in anticipation of the showdown. She believes that it is time for Kadaga to leave the stage for another person, having represented the district since the NRC days. Well, if Kadaga decides to contest again, we cannot wait for the battle.

Sleeping RDC shocked by S. Sudan question:

Tororo RDC Ddamulira Kyeyune is certainly a hard worker. He rarely misses a public function and his defence of his president is next to flawless. But it seems the work is stretching the good man. This was evident at a Tororo council meeting earlier this month.

Ddamulira attended, but apparently because of his heavy schedule, he could barely stay awake. As he dozed off, a question for "Bwana RDC" came from the LC3 chairman of Mella, Peter Olira, who seems to be among the businessmen affected by the recent instability in South Sudan. Olira asked Ddamulira to explain why the UPDF had been sent to South Sudan.

Ddamulira did not hear the question, but he seemed to have been jolted out of his power nap by words like "UPDF" and "South Sudan". And on realising that the RDC had been ambush, the councillors burst into uncontrollable laughter.

Ddamulira later sobered up and requested Olira for a pardon, sending the meeting into another round of laughter. But like a true child of the revolution, Ddamulira recovered to ably explain that the UPDF presence in South Sudan was necessary given the market factor that Uganda enjoys when that country is at peace.

NRM makes big Sironko statement:

NRM has literally thrown the first punch in the fight to capture Sironko district from the opposition Forum for Democratic (FDC), come 2016.

After Nathan Nandala-Mafabi (NNM) thoroughly defeated NRM in 2011, the ruling party is desperate to improve on its haul of six out of the thirty-four members of the Sironko district council. All parliamentary seats also went to FDC's NNM (Budadiri West), Famier Wadada (Woman MP) and Isaias Sasaga (Budadiri East).

But NRM recently made a loud-yellow statement of intent by opening a magnificent and fully furnished party office near the district headquarters. Well, Wolokoso will be watching those battles. And given that NNM may not be as passionate about defeating NRM as he was the last time (after he was snubbed by party boss Muntu), the ruling party may be relishing the fight!

Is Gen Kayihura really leaving?

Five months ago, Wolokoso told you that President Museveni was considering taking Gen Kayihura to URA and moving Allen Kagina to the soon-to-be-established Petroleum Authority.

We do not know why the president has taken so long 'considering', but Mr Museveni - like a true war general - is known to enjoy surprising his charges. He has been known to defer decisions or change them when he senses that his plans have leaked.

Well, the Kayihura-to-URA, Kagina-to-oil story refuses to go away. Social media has been buzzing with talk that Kayihura has applied to retire because of ill health. Wolokoso's information is that this ill-health thing may be just a lullaby. Our bet is that one of these days, the president will tell URA:

"This is my general in whom I am very pleased. He has led the police well and there is no more Besigye in Kampala. Please listen to him and let my taxes come!"

Wolokoso has heard from incredibly credible sources that URA officials first got wind of Kayihura's likely arrival at the tax body late last year. Well, that may have been after they read this page in September; but whatever their source, we hear some staff went into panic mode, fearing that the general is as committed to the president as Kagina is committed to top-quality work and results.

The fear is that Gen Kayihura may not tolerate any URA staff with even a millilitre of oppositionist blood, while Kagina has been all about the money and performance.

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