A sombre mood engulfed Chato and its surroundings Friday afternoon as the casket bearing the body of deceased Tanzanian president John Magufuli was lowered into the grave.
The lowering of the casket at 1650hrs was followed by the ceremonial 21 gun-salute by the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces.
Buried at his family’s grave yard, it was indeed his personal wish to be buried at his ancestral home, a place that the deceased had many fond memories of his formative years.
Thousands of mourners from several parts of the country led by President Samia Suluhu Hassan and other top government officials turned up to bid the former head of State farewell.
Alongside the President, there were also former presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Jakaya Kikwete and the present of Zanzibar Dr. Hussein Mwinyi and his predecessor Ali Mohammed Shein.
Just Like in Dar es Salaam and other parts of the country, mourners started arriving as early as 5:00am, ready to witness the final farewell event in honour of their hero and role model, Dr. John Pombe Magufuli.
The late President died in Dar es Salaam last week on Wednesday March 17 while undergoing treatment at Mzena Hospital.
Announcing the death the president the then Vice President, Mrs. Samia Suluhu Hassan said the President had succumbed to a heart condition called atrial fibrillation something that he had struggled with for more than 10 years.
Patience Uwimana a 23 year-old mother who was recently filmed brutalizing her five-year-old son has been sentenced to two years in prison. Patience a resident of Byuma Village, Kyazanga Town Council in Lwengo District was on Wednesday convicted by Masaka Grade One Magistrate, Ms Christine Nantege for torturing her son on February 8, 2021.
Uwimana’s brutal acts became public on March 10 when a video clip went viral on social media showing her caning her son before kicking him in the chest and stepping on his head.
The state prosecutor, Mr Natal Angwadya had asked court for a deterrent sentence on grounds that Uwimana is an ex-convict who was recently released from Kisoro Prison for attempted murder. Mr Angwadya further told the court that the mother of two had not showed any signs of remorse throughout her trial. “Your worship, the act done by this woman is unforgivable. There is a need for this honorable court to send a clear message to the community that torturing innocent children is felonious,” Mr Angwadya said.
“I pray that she is given a deterrent and custodial sentence, your worship,” he pleaded. However, Uwimana pleaded for a lenient sentence claiming that she acted out of anger. “Your worship, my neighbors used to attack me, saying that I gave birth to a thief because he would allegedly steal everything he came across. I ask for forgiveness because I over reacted out of anger basing on what my neighbors reported to me,” she said.
The magistrate said Uwimana did not waste the court’s time because she pleaded guilty to the offence. However, Ms Nantege said that the convict had a duty to protect her son from any harm and injury. “The state has failed to prove that you [Uwimana] have ever committed any other offence and therefore, there is nothing to show that you have a criminal record.
Assault has a maximum punishment of five years but because of your plea of guilt, I sentence you to two years in prison,” the magistrate said. The magistrate told Uwimana that she had a right to appeal against her sentence if she was not satisfied within 14 days.
The election of about 40 MPs including Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and some ministers has been challenged in courts, with their opponents seeking to have victory nullified.
The rivals allege voter bribery, lack of academic papers, election fraud and violence, non-compliance with electoral laws, among other issues. The country went to polls on January 14 to elect the President and new Members of Parliament.
The Forum for Democratic Change’s (FDC) Proscovia Salaamu Musumba has filed a petition at Jinja High Court challenging the election of National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) Rebecca Kadaga as Kamuli District Woman MP.
Ms Musumba accuses Ms Kadaga of bribing voters and election rigging. Ms Kadaga won with 92,388 votes while Ms Musumba, a former MP, got 26,851 votes. In Mityana, the Minister for Information, ICT and Communications, Ms Judith Nabakooba, petitioned Mubende High Court seeking to overturn the victory of Mityana District Woman MP-elect Joyce Bagala Ntwatwa.
Ms Nabakooba, who came second in the elections with 48,078 votes, accuses the Electoral Commission and Ms Bagala of conspiring to steal her victory. Ms Bagala of National Unity Platform (NUP) was declared winner with 64,305 votes. Ms Nabakooba alleges that EC failed to do its job, thereby denying her victory. The minister alleges that several presiding officers connived with Ms Bagala’s agents to alter declaration of results forms.
When contacted about the petition, Ms Bagala said she was served a copy on March 17, 2021, but added that she was confident she will win the case. Kawempe North MP-elect Muhammad Ssegirinya of NUP has also been taken to court for allegedly forging academic documents.
According to the petition filed in the High Court Kampala, Mr Ssegirinya alleged to have forged documents bearing Richard Sseggirinya. His election is challenged by his political rival Sulaiman Kidandala.
Ms Betty Ssentamu, who lost Gomba District Woman MP race to the incumbent and NRM candidate, Ms Sylvia Nayebale has also petitioned court. Ms Ssentamu alleges that the election process was marred by voter bribery and intimidation. Ms Ssentamu is the sister of former presidential candidate and NUP president, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine.
The petition was filed in Mpigi High Court last week. “We have gathered enough evidence, including video clips of people in army uniform intimidating voters, people being given money at polling stations and arresting our agents,” Ms Ssentamu said.
The election of Kampala Central MP, Mr Muhammad Nsereko (Independent), has been contested by his closest rival Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu of NUP. In his petition filed on March 10 at Kampala High Court, Mr Nyanzi, the older brother of Mr Kyagulanyi, raises 17 claims which include electoral malpractices.
Mr Nsereko was declared winner with 16,998 votes against Mr Nyanzi’s 15,975 votes. This is the second time Mr Nyanzi is attempting to overturn Mr Nsereko’s victory. On January 22, he petitioned Mengo Chief Magistrate’s Court to order a vote recount, but the application was dismissed on account that he was raising electoral offences which could only be determined by the High Court.
In Nakawa West, Mr Shukla Mukesh Babubhai is challenging the election of NUP spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi Besekezi for alleged ballot stuffing and falsification of electoral results.
Mr Mukesh alleges that EC based on Declaration of Result forms,that were not signed or witnessed by the presiding officer, to declare Mr Ssenyonyi winner. In Makindye-Ssabagabo Municipality, Mr Emmanuel Ssempala Kigozi (independent) has contested MP-elect David Sserukenya’s victory citing lack of the required academic qualifications.
Mr Kigozi states that Mr Sserukenya (NUP), who is a senior medical laboratory technician, was illegally nominated for election. In Rubaga South, Ms Eugenia Nassolo (DP) has challenged the victory of Mr Aloysius Mukasa (NUP) for lack of requisite academic qualifications and not being a registered voter in the constituency.
In Mbarara, Mr Jeremiah Kamurari Birungi (Independent), who lost to Mr Nathan Byanyima (NRM) in Bukanga North Constituency (Isingiro District) filed a petition in High Court on March 5. He claims that Mr Byanyima was not validly elected because he lacks the requisite academic papers.
The court has not yet set the hearing date. In Jinja, the incumbent Kagoma County MP, Mr Moses Walyomu’s election has been contested in court by his closest rival Frederick Munyirwa over vote rigging and election violence.
Jinja South East Division MP Paul Mwiru has also petitioned Jinja High Court to nullify Mr Nathan Igeme Nabeta’s election (NRM). Mr Mwiru filed the petition on March 11. He contends that there was falsification of results in favour of Mr Nabeta.
In Jinja North City Division, the MP-elect, Mr David Isabirye Agha, has been taken to court for allegedly forging academic papers to contest for the seat. The loser and NRM flag bearer, Mr Muhammed Bidondole, filed the petition against the FDC winner on March 11.
Mr Bidondole alleges that Mr Isabirye used forged academic papers of Akamada Mutubu for nomination. Mr Fredrick Munirwa (NRM) on Thursday petitioned the court challenging victory of incumbent MP for Kagoma Constituency in Jinja District, Moses Walyomu over lack of academic documents.
In Bunya East (Mayuge District), Waira Kyewalabye Majegere sued MP-elect James Kubeketerya over election malpractices. In Bunya South (Mayuge District), Mr Iddi Isabirye has been dragged to court by the loser and incumbent, Mr Robert Ntende, on allegations of lack of academic qualifications, election violence and bribery.
In Bukooli South (Namayingo District) two former contestants including incumbent Stephen Mayende Dede and Mr Akim Wasige Wamudanya challenged Mr Abdu Adidwa’s victory over vote rigging. In Bunya South, (Mayuge District), the winner, Mr Isabirye has been dragged to court by incumbent Mr Robert Ntende on allegations of lack of academic qualifications, election violence and bribery.
In Oyam South, Ms Queen Dorothy Amolo, a former Independent candidate, has petitioned the High Court in Kampala challenging the re-election of Ms Betty Amongi, the Minister for Kampala.
Ms Amolo alleges multiple vote rigging in favour of Ms Amongi. In Mbale City, Ms Lydia Wanyoto, the NRM flag bearer for Mbale City, petitioned the High Court in Mbale to nullify the election of her rival Ms Connie Galiwango. Ms Wanyoto lost to Ms Galiwango, who contested as independent with a difference of about 10,000 votes. Ms Wanyoto lodged the petition on March 2 alleging vote rigging.
Mr Ivan Masaba of NUP, who contested for Northern City Division MP seat in Mbale City, has also petitioned High Court to nullify the election of his rival, Mr Seth Wambede (NRM) The former NRM candidate for Sironko District Woman MP, Asha Nabulo, has petitioned High Court in Mbale challenging the victory of Ms Florence Wamala Nambozo for alleged bribery and lack of the required academic qualifications.
In Pallisa, Agule County, Mr David Ochwa has petitioned Mbale High Court to nullify the election of his rival Mr Polycap Ogwari over gross irregularities. In Budaka County, Mr Joshua Omayende (NRM), who lost to Mr Arthur Wako Mboizi (Independent), filed a petition in Mbale High Court challenging the victory of Mr Mboizi on grounds of gross irregularities.
In Butaleja, Mr James Waluswaka, the incumbent MP for Bunyole West, has petitioned court to nullify the victory of Mr Geoffrey Mutiwa Eric on grounds of lack of academic papers and ballot stuffing. Mr Geoffrey Ekanya, the elected MP for Tororo North County has been dragged to court by his rival Annette Nyaketcho, who alleges vote rigging. Ms Nyaketcho filed the petition in Mbale High Court on February 15.
Ms Sumaya Balunywa Aliza, a former candidate for Eastern Youth MP, has petitioned High Court in Mbale to nullify the election of Bernard Odoi Onene Mutusa (NRM) due to election irregularities.
In Kabale, the High Court issued a 10-day notice to the Electoral Commission (EC) and Bukimbiri County MP-elect in Kisoro District Eddie Kwizera Wagahungu to respond to the petition filed by one of the former parliamentary contestants.
“You are hereby required to file your answer to the said petition within 10 days from the date of service. Should you fail to file your answer as herein directed, court shall proceed to hear the same and deliver Judgment in your absence,” reads the notice issued by the court registrar Mr Julius Borore, on Wednesday last week.
Mr James Owebeyi is challenging victory of the newly elected MP for Bukimbiri, Mr Kwizera Wagahungu. In Rukungiri, Mr Fred Turyamuhweza has petitioned High Court, challenging victory of Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi Katugugu (NRM) as Rujumbura MP. Mr Turyamuhweza is the current MP on Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) ticket. He claims Gen Muhwezi bribed and intimidated voters. He filed the petition in Kabale High Court on Friday.
Gen Muhwezi told Daily Monitor on Sunday: “People only needed change,that is why they voted me. If I had bribed them, I would not have defeated him in his home sub-county [of Ruhinda].”
In Ngora, the MP for Ngora County, Mr David Abala, is challenging Ms Juliet Achayo Lodou’s election. Mr Abala filed the petition at Soroti High Court last week alleging irregularities. The other petitions, which have been filed at Soroti High Court include from Kaabong East constituency, where Mr Sam Lokeris is challenging MP-elect -Emmanuel Komol’s victory.
The State Minister for Veteran Affairs, Mr Christopher Kibanzanga, has petitioned court in Fort Portal seeking to nullify the election of Mr Moses Acrobert Kiiza as Bughendera County MP. Mr Kibanzanga, the incumbent Bughendera MP, lost the January 14 polls. In Toroma County, Mr Solomon Ossiya of NRM, petitioned court to nullify Mr Andrew Joseph Kolou’s victory.
In Karamoja, Mr Samson Lokeris, the Dodoth East MP, has petitioned high court challenging the victory of Mr Emmanuel Komol. Mr Lokeris alleges that some polling stations were closed as early as 3.30pm denying many of his supporters chance to vote.
Mr Paul Ole, a former candidate for Matheniko County in Moroto, has petitioned court to nullify election of Mr John Baptist Lokii for alleged voter bribery and intimidation. In Kampala and Wakiso at least 10 MPs are facing similar petitions against their election. In Nansana Municipality, MP-elect Hannigton Nsereko Wakayima’s victory was challenged by FDC’s Hamisi Musoke Walusimbi over vote rigging.
In Katikamu North, Mr Gaddafi Nassur (NRM) has challenged NUP’s Denes Sekabira’s victory for alleged bribery. Mr Hassan Kirumira (NUP) of Katikamu South was also dragged to court by NRM’s Patricia Magara. Meanwhile, a bodaboda rider, Mr Christopher Matabi, from Bamunanika Constituency sued MP-elect of NUP Robert Ssekitoleko over voter bribery.
Top officials, including new President Samia Suluhu Hassan, and governing party supporters attend service at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Mourners in Tanzania have lined the streets of the country’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, to pay their respects to President John Magufuli, days after the government announced his death after nearly three weeks missing from public view.
People on Saturday wept and threw flower petals as the coffin, towed on a gun carriage by a military vehicle and draped in the Tanzanian flag, was transferred from a church to Uhuru Stadium where religious leaders recited prayers at a service attended by top officials and supporters of Magufuli.
“Before I saw the coffin, I didn’t believe our president was really dead,” said flower-seller Pauline Attony after watching the motorcade pass.
Among the mourners was Magufuli’s successor as president, the country’s former Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Hassan, who was sworn in on Friday to become the country’s first female president, led a government procession filing past the coffin, offering her condolences to Magufuli’s wife.
“It is too soon for you to go, father. You touched our lives and we still needed you,” said one mourner, Beatrice Edward. “We lost our defender,” said another, Suleiman Mbonde, a tradesman.
Many wore black, or the green and yellow colours of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, but few inside the stadium or among the packed crowds outside wore face masks.
Magufuli had long denied that COVID-19 was a problem in Tanzania.
He had declared that prayer had rid the country of the disease, refused face masks or lockdown measures, stopped the publication of case statistics and championed alternative medicine, decrying vaccines as “dangerous”.
After the deaths of a number of senior figures – officially from respiratory problems and pneumonia – the president popularly known as the “Bulldozer” had to concede that the virus was still circulating and was indeed a danger.
While Hassan says she will take over where Magufuli left off, many hope she will usher in a change in leadership style from her predecessor, under whose rule there had been a sharp crackdown on the opposition, media and civil society.
All eyes will be on her handling of the pandemic.
On Saturday, the new president convened a special meeting of CCM but it concluded without news of appointing a new deputy.
Under the constitution, the 61-year-old will serve the remainder of Magufuli’s second five-year term, which does not expire until 2025.
She has announced a 21-day mourning period. The late president will lie in state in several locations across Tanzania before his burial next Friday in his home town of Chato.
Samia Suluhu Hassan has been sworn in as Tanzania’s first female president following the death of John Magufuli. The former vice president may cut a different leadership figure than her predecessor.
Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as Tanzania’s president at State House in Dar es Salaam on Friday, making history as the first woman to hold the top job in the East African country.
The 61-year-old’s inauguration comes two days after she announced the passing of President John Magufuli.
Prior to his death, Magufuli had not been seen in public for over two weeks, prompting speculation that he may have been suffering from COVID-19, which he had repeatedly denied was a problem in Tanzania. The government has blamed Magufuli’s death on heart problems.
In her first public address as president, Suluhu Hassan — who is affectionately known as Mama Samia — said it was a difficult day in her political career.
“Today I have taken an oath different from the rest that I have taken in my career,” she said. “Those were taken in happiness. Today I took the highest oath of office in mourning.”
However she assured Tanzanians that Magufuli, “who always liked teaching,” had prepared her for the task ahead and encouraged national unity.
“This is the time to stand together and get connected,” she said. “It’s time to bury our differences and show love to one another and look forward with confidence.”
Suluhu Hassan will complete Magufuli’s second five-year term in office, which began in October 2020 after he won general elections. Hassan also announced 21 days of mourning for the controversial former president, as well as public holidays on March 22 and March 25, when Magufuli is due to be buried.
Suluhu Hassan began her political journey in 2000 after she was elected as a special seat member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives and appointed a minister. At the time, she was the only high-ranking female minister in the Cabinet.
After serving two terms, she sought election to the National Assembly in 2010, winning the vote by more than 80%. President Jakaya Kikwete appointed her as the minister of state for union affairs and in 2014, she was elected as the vice chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly tasked with drafting Tanzania’s new constitution.
In 2015, Magufuli selected Suluhu Hassan as his running mate — a surprise choice over many more prominent members of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party.
Suluhu Hassan is also the country’s first president born in semi-autonomous Zanzibar. She attended school at a time when very few Tanzanian girls were offered the opportunity of an education outside the traditional roles of wife and homemaker. She is also a practicing Muslim.
Tanzanian activist Maria Sarungi said the significance of her background should not be underestimated in the context of Tanzanian politics.
“I think the fact that she’s Muslim and she comes from Zanzibar speaks volumes and I think the swearing in ceremony itself has been very symbolic, not only for Tanzanians but for many women and young girls around the world,” she told media.
The first major challenge facing Suluhu Hassan will be her government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic going forward.
Under Magufuli, Tanzania adopted very few measures against the spread of COVID-19 and made no efforts to secure vaccines for its population.
“I think there still needs to be continued pressure on Suluhu Hassan, on her government and also everybody else to make sure that the coronavirus is not politicized,” said Sarungi. “That it is taken up and dealt with in a scientific manner … and also starting to prepare Tanzania toward a vaccination plan.”
Suluhu Hassan will also need to secure the support of the CCM party, which has been in power since Tanzania’s independence. As a Muslim woman, she may face some pushback from the party’s entrenched Christian stalwarts.
“We cannot talk about Suluhu Hassan’s presidency without talking about the ruling party CCM,” explained Sarungi.
“I think the CCM will determine and have a very big influence on her presidency. What needs to be seen is who is she going to become when she’s not the one receiving orders, but giving orders.”
However, Suluhu Hassan’s first public address offered some few clues as to how she might approach her new role.
“It was too controversial in the sense that she talked about reconciliation and burying the differences,” said Sarungi. “This is a very flippant remark when there are serious issues including abuses of human rights…These are issues that she needs to start grappling with in a more meaningful way.”
Suluhu Hassan’s leadership style is purportedly quite different to Magufuli’s.
The late president was dubbed “The Bulldozer” for his brash and intolerant approach towards policymaking.
In contrast, Suluhu Hassan has been described as a much more diplomatic political figure, known among her colleagues for following the correct procedures and calmly managing conflicts among MPs.
“She does have good negotiation skills,” said Sarungi. “I think the fact that she’s very calm and doesn’t often show emotions but is firm, as well as the fact that she’s got a sense of humor. And of course that contrasts very sharply with the late president, Magufuli.”
Whether she will remain loyal to Magufuli’s controversial policies or push for change remains to be seen. Her predecessor drew criticism for banning pregnant girls from attending school and urging women to stop taking birth control pills.
However, many Tanzanians still expressed approval and respect for the decisions Magufuli made while in office.
Tanzania’s President John Joseph Pombe Magufuli 61, has died at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, the country’s vice president announced in a televised address on Wednesday. He was 61.
“President John Magufuli died of a heart ailment that he has battled for over 10 years,” Samia Suluhu Hassan said.
She added that the president had been receiving treatment at Mzena hospital since Sunday, and announced 14 days of national mourning.
Hassan is now the acting president of Tanzania. While a date for her swearing-in has not yet been announced, she will be Tanzania’s first female president.
After days of speculation that Magufuli was ill with Covid-19 the country’s Prime Minister dispelled the rumors last week. Magufuli, who usually made weekly public appearances at Sunday church services, had not been seen since February 27, fueling reports that he was ill and was being treated abroad.
Kassim Majaliwa said he was surprised people were questioning the president’s whereabouts, adding that the leader was “fine and continuing with his daily activities,” as he spoke during a Friday prayer session at a mosque in the country’s Njombe region, according to state broadcaster Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation.
Magufuli was one of Africa’s most prominent Covid skeptics.
Early on in the pandemic, Magufuli dismissed the seriousness of the Panndemic in his country urging his citizens to “pray coronavirus away,” believing the “satanic virus can’t live in the body of Jesus Christ,” and blaming the growing number of positive cases on faulty test kits.
In June, he claimed his country had eradicated coronavirus “by the grace of God,” questioned the safety of foreign Covid-19 vaccines and made no plan to procure any shots for his country, instead pushing for the use of herbal medicine and steam treatments.
Tanzania hasn’t reported Covid-19 figures since April 2020, prompting the World Health Organization to call for Tanzania to publish data on the coronavirus and ramp up public health measures.
Last month, the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam warned that Covid 19 case had been surging since January.
Magufuli known as “The Bulldozer” for his tough stance against corruption and for his hardline policies, Magufuli swept to victory in October 2015 as Tanzania’s fifth president.
But excitement over Magufuli’s intolerance for corruption was shortlived as he began a clampdown on democracy and critical voices
numerous media outlets, while his government undermined judicial and parliamentary independence, implemented a partial ban on public rallies, harassed MPs, closed online political space, and prosecuted critics under defamation and sedition laws.
In June 2017 Magufuli announced that pregnant students would not be allowed to return to school after giving birth.
“In my administration as the President no pregnant girl will go back to school… she has chosen that of kind life, let her take care of the child,” he said at a public rally in 2017.
As news of the president’s death emerged, opposition leader Zitto Kabwe offered his condolences to Magufuli’s family. “This is an unprecedented moment for our United Republic of Tanzania, and one that will undoubtedly move us all in very personal ways,” the leader of the ACT-Wazalendo party said in a statement. “My immediate thoughts are with Mama Janeth, and the whole family of our deceased President.”
He also offered “blessings, courage and patience” for Hassan. “My fellow Tanzanians, let us continue to pray for patience and understanding. This is a moment to show our maturity and integrity as a nation,” Kabwe added.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was one of the first world leaders to express their sympathy at the death of Magufuli. “My thoughts are with his loved ones and the people of Tanzania,” he wrote in a post on Twitter.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta paid his respects to Magufuli in a televised address Thursday morning and declared a seven-day period of national mourning in Kenya.
“Africa and the world has lost an illustrious leader whose vision, passion and immense leadership propelled the nation of Tanzania forward… in the passing on of President Magufuli, I have lost a friend, a colleague and a visionary ally whom I worked closely, particularly on our commitment to forge lasting bonds between Kenya and Tanzania,” he said.
At least four supporters of the National Unity Platform (NUP) who were allegedly abducted in January 2021 by gunmen believed to be security operatives have resurfaced.
They include; Buwama Town Council Chairperson-elect Abdul-Rashid Nkinga alias Jjaja Katikanyonyi, Baker Kawooya, Emmanuel Bazira and Muhamaddi Ssekimpi.
Mr Nkinga said he and his colleagues were on Friday dumped by their captors in Kibukuta swamp near Jalia City highway stopover in Buwama Town Council along Kampala-Masaka highway at around 11pm after spending several days in unknown detention.
“We were ordered not to speak to you (journalists) before being ordered to get out of the drone which drove us back while blindfolded,” Mr Nkinga said.
The four are said to be among hundreds of opposition supporters who were arrested during and after the January 2021 elections in which operation President Museveni said was being conducted by security operatives against criminal elements who had planned to cause violence ahead of his swearing in later in May.
“They look frail. They allege acts of torture and some of them only react by crying when you ask them about their detention,” Mr. Umar Ssemujju a resident said.
Bank of Uganda Governor, Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile. He said central bank is concerned with the increase in government (Photo/Courtesy)
Bank of Uganda (BoU) Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile has today Friday March 12, 2021 afternoon quietly appeared before the appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting ahead of starting another five-year term in office following reappointment by President Museveni last month.
Journalists who waited to hear from Mr Mutebile ahead of the exercise and after were disappointed as the long-serving governor was led into Parliament through the secluded President’s Office wing and also led out through the same outlet. There was no communication as to what transpired in the vetting room by press time.
The governor has navigated a stormy period that the central bank has endured in the recent years. The year 2019 was particularly hard for BoU, with the sensitive institution plagued by bad publicity amid multiplicity of accusations.
Former Deputy Governor Louis Kasekede left the bank in January last year after the President declined to renew his contract, despite a number of reminders from Finance minister Matia Kasaija. The decision left many speculating on what would be the fate of long-serving Governor Tumusiime-Mutebile, whose tenure then had a year left.
When the President appointed Dr Michael Atingi-Ego as Deputy Governor in March last year, many thought it was the beginning of the transition from Mr Tumusiime-Mutebile’s two-decade reign at BoU.
But as Ugandans were guessing over when the government would reinstate the Internet that was switched off days to the January 14 elections, Mr Museveni communicated that he had extended the governor’s term for another five years. The re-appointment was announced on the eve of the election.
“We have learnt that the President has re-appointed Prof Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile as Governor of Bank of Uganda for the next five years,” Mr Kelvin Kiyingi, the deputy director of communication at BoU, confirmed on January 18. Yesterday, Mr Mutebile appeared before the Parliament’s Appointments Committee for vetting before his re-appointment would be confirmed.
The 71 year-old, who was first appointed governor in January 2000, remains the longest serving chief executive of the bank since its creation, guaranteed to complete 25 years by the time his new tenure ends in January 2026. The second longest serving governor was his predecessor Charles Nyonyintono Kikonyogo, who served from 1990 to 2000, while Leo Kibirango comes third after heading the bank from 1980 to 1986.
But what does Mr Tumusiime-Mutebile’s continuation mean for BoU? The executive director of Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG), Mr Julius Mukunda, says Mr Mutebile is needed to continue and guide the new deputy governor, Dr Atingi-Ego.
“I think Mutebile has been one of the best governors in Africa. He has been winning accolades in recognition of his performance. There is no doubt that Governor Mutebile can manage where he is now and the fact that now there is a new Deputy Governor with a very good background in economics, wide range of experience and also being an insider having worked there before, I am extremely confident that the current affairs of the bank are managed very adequately
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has vowed not to attend the third IPOD summit which is scheduled to take place on 05/03/2021, at Kololo independence grounds Kampala.
In this summit, Presidents and secretaries General of the Democratic party (DP), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Justice Forum (JEEMA), National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) are expected to attend the summit that will be chaired by H.E. Gen.Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the chairman of the IPOD summit as its was agreed upon in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was signed by these political parties.
Its remembered that, the IPOD Council of Secretaries General in its meeting held on 23/02/2021, resolved to organize this summit with a view to dealing with the current political challenges that the country is face with forestance in the just concluded general elections witnessed high levels unprecedented violence, lawlessness, riots, protests, hate speech along tribal and sectarian lines, misinformation and disinformation among many other electoral vices that continue to undermine electoral democracy and threaten national security and social cohesion.
Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, FDC’s party spokesperson on 01st Monday this week during the party’s weekly press conference said that, FDC is not interested in this summit due to that fact that they are concerned with total breakdown of the rule of law in the country. ” The military aided by the president of Uganda General Yoweri Museveni has now fully taken over full control of all institutions of the state, he added.
Ssemujju also expressed his grievances saying, there are more than 1000 people who have been arrested illegally by the military, illegally tried and remanded by the military to various prisons including Kigo and Kitalya. He adds that hundreds of young men and women are still detained at Mbuya by Chieftaincy of Military intelligence (CMI), special forces command, and joint Ant Terrorism. “The young men are undergoing torture day and nights, some have been tortured to death and others maimed beyond recognition,” he said. He says that, this is one of the reasons why FDC didn’t interested in this summit thus calling upon immediate and unconditional release of all Ugandans held by the army, and the army should also disclose names of those who have died in their hands.
The inter party organization for dialogue (IPOD) has declared its third ordinary summit of leaders which is scheduled to take place on 05/03/2021, under the theme ” Dialogue for National Cohesion”.
The current chairperson of IPOD council also secretary general of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), Justine Lumumba Kasule on 01/03/ Monday said that, the summit shall take place at Kololo independence grounds Kampala whereby presidents and secretaries General of the Democratic party (DP), Forum for Democratic Changes (FDC), Justice Forum (JEEMA), National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) are expected to attend the summit that will be chaired by H.E. Gen.Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the chairman of the IPOD summit.
Lumumba revealed that, the IPOD Council of Secretaries General in its meeting held on 23/02/2021, resolved to organize this summit with a view to dealing with the current political challenges that the country is face with.
She disclosed that in the just concluded general elections witnessed high levels unprecedented violence, lawlessness, riots, protests, hate speech along tribal and sectarian lines, misinformation and disinformation among many other electoral vices that continue to undermine electoral democracy and threaten national security and social cohesion. ” its now the right time to sit down and discuss issues affecting our citizens to build a free, peaceful, democratic and stable country,” she added.
Gerald Siranda secretary general Democratic party welcomed the summit saying as political leaders, its their duty and responsibility to contribute meaningfully to a process that can generate solutions to the existing political challenges of the time.
Fred Ebiru secretary general Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) reveled a number of issues expected to be discussed related to expanding the democratic space, upholding the rule of law, protection of the human rights of Uganda citizens, enhancing electoral integrity and reviewing the role of security agencies in electoral processes among others will also be discussed.
He says that, the summit is also expected to review and make a follow up on the previous summit resolutions including but not limited to the agreed position on the effective implementation on the public order management act (POMA).