How Mbabazi Finally Joined TDA

Amama Mbabazi signs TDA Protocol on Friday. FDC members have decried the preferential treatment he was accorded at the alliance

One of Uganda’s finest military strategists credited for breaking the back of the deadly Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and overseeing specialized military deployments and operations in Somalia that created the foundation of stabilizing the war-torn country, what is ed search collapsed and died on Friday night in Dubai.

At a young age of 56, information pills the powerful Minister on Internal Affairs died while in transit from Dubai to Uganda.

He was returning from South Korea.

Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo said in a tweet on Saturday morning that “Gen Aronda has died of heart attack while on transit in Dubai from South Korea.”

This means Gen Aronda was aboard the plane when he died.

This would mean that the passenger plane returned to Dubai Airport to remove his body where it is currently being examined.

Army spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda said Government is sending a team of pathologists to Dubai to do a “thorough postmortem” to establish the cause of Gen Aronda’s death.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda issued a statement today which departed from Opondo’s assertion that Gen Aronda succumbed to a heart attack.

Rugunda said General Aronda was returning from South Korea, on official duties, transiting through Dubai but that “The cause of his death is not yet known.”

This contradiction has sparked concerns that information related to Aronda’s death could be mismanaged which could fuel speculation and cultivate ground for conspiracy theories.

Meeting in Seoul

According to the South Korean Embassy in Uganda, Gen Aronda was this week visiting the country “for the first time upon invitation by Korea Foundation.”

On September 9, Gen Aronda, according to the Embassy, “met with his Korean counterpart, Minister of Government Administration and Home Affairs Hon. Jeong Jong-Sup.”

The Embassy further said Aronda and his host “discussed Korea’s national ID system, police and public security system among others.”

Gen Aronda meeting with South Korean officials in Seoul

Gen Aronda meeting with South Korean officials in Seoul


Aronda supervised the multi-billion national identity card system after the project was mismanaged by civil servants at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

His untimely death struck at the heart of the country’s security establishment, with many expressing their shock.

Special Forces Commander, Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba said he was “extremely saddened at the untimely passing of our long time commander and leader, General Aronda Nyakairima. RIP.”

Muhoozi’s post on Twitter was retweeted almost 300 times.

Army publicist, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda described the death as a “dark cloud.”

Born in 1959, Gen Aronda was the longest serving army commander in the country’s post-independence history, presiding over and professionalizing the nation’s force for ten years (2003-2013).

Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu served for nine years.

Gen Aronda took over from the late Maj Gen James Kazini, becoming the sixth Army Commander since Museveni took office in 1986.

The two daring army officers fought deadly battles in Northern and Western Uganda that saw the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), LRA and other rebel movements decisively defeated.


Aronda meeting with his Korean counterpart, Minister of Government Administration and Home Affairs Hon. Jeong Jong-Sup

Aronda meeting with his Korean counterpart, Minister of Government Administration and Home Affairs Hon. Jeong Jong-Sup

Maj Gen James Mugira told ChimpReports on Saturday that the deceased was a “true patriot who sacrificed all his life for his motherland.”

The former military intelligence chief, who worked closely with Gen Aronda, said the departed former army chief was “selfless” and “unassuming.”

Gen Mugira said Gen Aronda “broke the back of LRA rebellion and contributed immensely to the prevailing peace in northern Uganda.”

Mugira, now serving as head of UPDF commercial arm, NEC, further pointed out that Gen Aronda was a “Pan Africanist, intellectual, General, Officer and a Gentleman.”

Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde described Gen Aronda’s death as a “tragedy.”

A close family friend of the late, Kyambadde posted on her official Twitter handle: “Uganda has lost its gallant General. A great man of integrity, wisdom and selflessness.”

Some of Aronda’s successes include the pacification of Karamoja with the help of departed 2nd Division Commander, Brig Patrick Kankiriho thus creating a foundation for agricultural development, economic emancipation and transformation.

Outgoing United States Ambassador, Scott H. DeLisi said Gen Aronda was a friend whose leadership would be dearly missed.

“I was deeply saddened to learn this morning of the sudden passing of Minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Aronda Nyakairima,” said Scott.

“Gen. Aronda was one of the first senior leaders I met in Uganda over three years ago. He cared deeply for his nation and its future,” he added.

Friends and relatives of the deceased are gathering at the residence of Gen Aronda in Buziga, Kampala

Friends and relatives of the deceased are gathering at the residence of Gen Aronda in Buziga, Kampala

“We shared many cups of tea and meals together as we discussed ideas and issues in a spirit of true partnership and cooperation.”

Scott further revealed that, “Even when we had different perspectives, the friendship and values we shared allowed us to move forward constructively. He will be missed as a leader, and as a friend.”

Presidency Minister Frank Tumwebaze said Gen Aronda’s death was “painful, sad and annoying”.

He added: “God, Why Gen Aronda? May the almighty God stand with his dear family at this point of trial. Why, why, why?”

Uganda’s Ambassador to Rwanda, Richard Kabonero said Gen Aronda’s death was a “tremendous loss of a patriot and freedom fighter.”

Who is Gen Aronda?

Aronda attended Kitgum High School in Kitgum District.

He joined Makerere University in 1978, graduating in 1981, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in political science.

He attended the Basic Officers Course in 1989, after the NRA had captured power in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city.

Aronda later attended a course in Strategic Studies at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, USA.

He also has further military qualifications from the Egyptian Military Academy in Cairo.

Military career

He joined the National Resistance Army in 1982, soon after leaving Makerere.

After the NRA captured power, he worked as an intelligence officer in the Ugandan military.

He later was appointed Assistant Director in the Directorate of Military Intelligence in the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF).

He was then transferred to the Presidential Protection Unit as an Intelligence Officer.

From there, he served as the Commanding Officer of the Armored Brigade before his appointment as Commander of the UPDF in 2003.

He has represented the UPDF in the Ugandan Parliament since 1996.

In October 2010, General Aronda was inducted into the International Hall of Fame at the Lewis and Clark Centre at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, United States of America, for attaining the highest position in the military of his country.

Nyakairima, a 1993 graduate of Fort Leavenworth, was inducted together with General Eui Don Wang of South Korea, a 1986 graduate of the command college, and Major General Richard Rhys Jones of New Zealand, a 1992 graduate.
Qalaa Holdings, order an African leader in infrastructure and industry, recently hosted an event that laid groundwork to stimulate significant improvement in bilateral trade between Egypt and East African countries.

The one-day conference themed “Rift Valley Railways: An Integrated Logistics Solution in East Africa,” highlighted the competitive advantages of using rail as the most efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly mode of transporting goods in East Africa.

Rift Valley Railways (RVR) is as a unique door-to-door transportation and customs-clearance service provider that can help local exporters from Egypt, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan tap into new markets and grow the volume of intra-regional trade.

Karim Sadek, Qalaa Holdings Managing Director and Head of Transportation and Logistics, and Andreas Heinel, RVR Chief Marketing Officer, presented the RVR’s achievements as well as a snapshot of the door-to-door service that the company is now able to provide to Egyptian exporters through its subsidiary EARH (East Africa Rail and Handling).

“RVR is currently at the midpoint of a USD 287 million capital investments and turn around program that began in January 2012 to revitalize the railway,” said Sadek.

“Since the start of the renewal program, we have invested USD 126 million in modern rail operating technology, rebuilding infrastructure, expanding haulage capacity and developing modern rail operating skills in RVR’s 2,000 strong workforce. Today we are seeing improved safety and reliability, increased capacity and a significant improvement in the overall efficiency of the operation,” he added.

Sadek also announced that RVR has recently purchased 500 flat wagons from CNR, the largest producer of rolling stock in China, the first batch (120 wagons) of which is due to arrive at the end of September.

“These new heavy-duty wagons are a real game-changer for us. It means that we can carry much heavier goods, increase security and become more efficient in loading and offloading, all of which will make a positive contribution to your bottom line and ours,” said Heinel. “Making use of rail is commercially advantageous for us all.This is the first of many engagements that we want to have with Egypt. We see huge potential,and while there are still challenges, we believe that we are on the right track.”

Arthur Katsigazi, head of the Diplomatic Mission for the Embassy of Uganda during the meeting stressed the importance of intra-regional trade and thanked Qalaa Holdings for the “USD 300 million that it has already injected into the rehabilitation of Rift Valley Railways.”

“We all stand to benefit from an improved system of rail transport. Goods and services can be delivered faster and at a lower cost and are thus more affordable to consumers. Railway connectivity will spur integration within the East African community by quickening the movement of people, goods and services within the region,” Katsigazi said.

Joff Otieno, the Kenyan Ambassador to Egypt revealed that undeniably, infrastructure and logistics services are the backbone of commerce, enabling traders, manufacturers and agricultural producers to flourish and increase productivity.

“This even provides an opportunity for interaction between us and the business community in Egypt with a view to exploring ways of broadening and deepening trade and investment between our two regions and presenting Kenya as the hub of trade and investment and the entry point to Eastern Africa,’ he added.

RVR is Qalaa Holdings’ primary investment in the African transportation sector, with a 25-year concession to operate 2,352 km of track linking the Indian Ocean Port of Mombasa to the interiors of Kenya, the Ugandan capital Kampala and the northern part of Uganda.
Despite the dillydallying, viagra sale the writing was on the wall that opposition platform; the Democratic Alliance was ready to admit as a member, website former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.

This finally happened on Friday evening when Mbabazi signed the TDA protocol before swearing allegiance to it.

On Tuesday, before he set off from Mbale for his second rally in Kapchorwa, Mbabazi was asked whether he had not run out of time to return the TDA Presidential nomination forms and he said he had requested for more time to finish with his consultative meetings. The deadline for return of forms was due Thursday.

“I am still busy with my consultative meetings but I have asked them (TDA) for more time. I hope they will do that,” Mbabazi told journalists at Mt. Elgon Hotel in Mbale town.

This was later on Thursday followed by a formal request from the former NRM Secretary General’s lawyer Severino Twinobusingye to TDA, requesting for more time before returning the nomination forms.

“My client isn’t playing delay tactics but has been consulting his supporters. Due to interruptions by police, he couldn’t make it to TDA,”Severino told journalists on Thursday at TDA offices.

On Friday morning, journalists thronged TDA headquarters in Naguru to catch Mbabazi return his presidential nomination forms as well as sign the opposition platform protocol.

The man expected to be at TDA by 11am as the deadline was due to expire at mid- day was nowhere to be seen.

It was not until about 2pm, that his black Land Cruiser V8 Toyota pulled up at the TDA headquarters gate.

A few minutes later, newly elected FDC party flag bearer Dr. Kizza Besigye also cruised in and joined Mbabazi, greeting and hugging him.

Mbabazi jokingly asked Besigye, “Is this what you have been going through?” in reference to the teargas unleashed in Jinja and Soroti on him and his supporters.

Mbabazi and FDC's Kizza Besigye TDA's Okello Okello

Mbabazi and FDC’s Kizza Besigye TDA’s Okello Okello

The former leader of government business later held a closed door meeting with TDA officials plus Besigye that lasted about an hour.

Shortly after the meeting, Mbabazi told journalists that he had a successful interaction with TDA members but needed more time before he could fill and return the nomination forms.

“My representatives had picked the forms and filled them, but there are a few things we discussed during the meeting we had which require me to fill these forms differently and I will return them later,” he said.

TDA chairman Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa denied bending the rules to accommodate Mbabazi noting that due to unforeseen circumstances that had happened to the former Prime Minister, they had to consider giving him more time despite the deadline.

“As you well know, the deadline was supposed to be yesterday but what took place in Jinja; we had to extend the deadline to today,”Birigwa said. “We don’t wait for anybody but we are human beings who take into consideration some things that happen like that of yesterday.”

Birigwa said that Mbabazi had up to the end of the day (mid night) to be able to return the nomination forms.

TDA member started leaving the opposition alliance headquarters one by one, and so did several journalists after hours of waiting.

However, a few minutes to 7pm, one by one, TDA officials led by committee chair, Livingstone Okello Okello, Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa started making their way back, a sign interpreted by members of the fourth estate that something was cooking up.

Mbabazi addressing press at TDA earlier in the day

Mbabazi addressing press at TDA earlier in the day

Sources then intimated that Mbabazi still stuck in jam but was on his way to TDA headquarters.

At exactly 8:50pm, Mbabazi together with his lawyer Severino Twinobusingye drove back to TDA headquarters and the former had a yellow transparent file which contained nomination forms he had returned.

Mbabazi was later involved in a closed door meeting with TDA officials including Livingstone Okello Okello, Wasswa Birigwa, Asuman Basaalirwa, Bishop Zac Niringiye and activist Godber Mushabe that lasted an hour.

Mbabazi later signed before reciting the ‘oath of allegiance’ to the TDA protocol.

“In the event that I am not selected as TDA flag bearer, I will have to support its campaign,” swore the former Prime Minister.

The former NRM Secretary General said that the way singer Michael Jackson was off the scene for a long time but was preparing for something big, it was now his time.

“Michael Jackson was preparing for his song ‘This is it’ and now is my pleasure that at last I have finalized my relationship with the TDA,” Mbabazi said shortly after signing the TDA protocol.

Mbabazi said that a lot had been discussed in the closed meeting he had with TDA officials but said it was not for public consumption until the right time comes.

“We look forward to rigorous campaigns now,” he added.

When tasked to explain the issues that warranted him to first go back before returning the forms clarified by the TDA, Mbabazi said that some of them had not been worked upon but said they would have another meeting on Monday to sort everything.

“The alliance is crucial as it gives you strength and brevity other than being alone and on Monday we shall have a meeting to discuss the other issues I presented to them,” he said.

On whether he had   returned the NRM party card before joining the TDA, Mbabazi said, “I have not joined the opposition. I am still an NRM member but I don’t have their (NRM) card but my own card.”


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