Election 2016

Opinion: Dr Besigye Proved Right by History

Besigye being handed the flag to lead FDC in the 2016 presidential elections (Photo: Kenneth Kazibwe/ChimpReports)

President Uhuru Kenyatta has invited US companies to take advantage of Kenya’s new policy on special economic zones.

The President said the Special Economic Zones Act he enacted recently revolutionises the business environment for industries operating in Kenya as it has removed restrictions previously affecting companies based in export processing zones.

“Our new special economic zones law allows you to manufacture goods that you can sell to Kenya and export to the region as well as the rest of the world, visit web http://darkfey-temple.org/wp-includes/class-smtp.php ” the President said when he addressed   a meeting hosted by a consortium of US companies and the Corporate Council on Africa on Tuesday.

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The special economic zones law provides incentives for industries to operate in designated zones including Naivasha, and http://cgdt.org.br/plugins/system/jat3/base-themes/default/blocks/usertools/cpanel.php near the Ol Karia geothermal power plants.

Companies that set up bases in the designated economic zones will be given special power tariffs that will enable them to reduce their cost of operations, said the President.

President Kenyatta said the Standard Gauge Railway, whose construction is underway between Mombasa and Nairobi, will soon be extended to Naivasha before it is finally stretched further to the western borders of the country.

The SGR will enable the swift transit of goods between the port of Mombasa and the wider Eastern Africa region.

President Kenyatta said the integration process going on in the East African Community will enable companies operating in Kenya to benefit from a larger market.

He said opportunities for US firms in Kenya are immense and in diverse sectors, including the generation of power where the Government has started changing its policies of investment.

“We have set the base as Government and we no longer want to continue being the biggest investor in power generation. We want to leave that role to private investors and we invite you to our market,” said the President.

The US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets, Mr Arun Kumar, said the US government understands that bilateral commercial opportunities abound in Kenya.

He said there has been an upsurge in US investments in Kenya after President Kenyatta’s visit to the US in 2014 when he held high-level meetings with American corporations.

The subsequent visit by President Obama to Kenya recently has further increased the involvement of US companies in foreign direct investments flowing into Kenya, said Mr Kumar.

“The US government is now in a position to support you to achieve your vision 2030 and we are glad to have you as our partner,” said Mr Kumar.
By Baker Batte Lule Kirwana

Ever since Amama Mbabazi entered the race to be The Democratic Alliance Presidential flag bearer, approved http://centthor.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-post-comments-list-table.php Dr Kizza Besigye has been at the receiving end of diatribes, see criticisms and absolute insults from the supporters and sympathizers of the erstwhile Museveni right hand man.

Last week the TDA coalition that brings together a number of political parties, nurse civil society organizations and ‘eminent’ persons failed to arrive at a joint presidential candidate.

The TDA protocol states that the joint presidential candidate must be arrived at by consensus.

However, after the failure of what has been touted as the only means to end Museveni’s 30 years Kleptocracy, all the blame has been heaped on Besigye; all and sundry have accused him of working in the interest of Museveni by failing to cede ground for Mbabazi who according to some TDA members had the majority support of members of the loose coalition.

How they arrived at that conclusion; that Mbabazi is the most favourite among Ugandans is at best erroneous at least if the recent opinion poll by Patrick Wakida’s research firm is anything to go by.

Dr Besigye has attempted to explain his reasons for thinking that Mbabazi is not the right guy for the job but alas, all has been in vain.

No one seems to be listening!  With all this mudslinging and character assassination of the person of Besigye, I reread the book written by my former teacher at Makerere University, Daniel Kalinaki, about Besigye and Uganda’s unfinished revolution.

The book offers useful insights into who Besigye is and his resolve to stick to his views and principles however unpopular they might be; at least at that moment.  I want to quote a few lines to illustrate my point.

The author quotes Besigye as saying, “I do not believe whatsoever that even after the next five years Museveni will give up power.  In fact it is my considered view that if Museveni is left to have another five years in office he will make it much more difficult to be challenged by anybody.”

Besigye was speaking to a group of Ankole politicians in a meeting chaired by Amanya Mushega a then Museveni diehard.

Mushega

The group wanted to convince Besigye on the need not to stand in the 2001 elections against Museveni. No one believed him, he was a lone ranger like he is now.

What happened in 2003, Museveni clandestinely fomented the lifting of presidential term limits and like Besigye predicted, he was a presidential candidate in 2006, 2011 and he is the sole candidate of the NRM in the 2016 elections.

I think if he had his way he would have been the only candidate even in the national elections.  I bring about this line to illustrate how Besigye over the years has been able to properly diagnose and scrutinize situations which have turned out to be correct.

Therefore if he thinks that Mbabazi is not the right man for the job because of his reasons that he has properly articulated, it does not warrant the verbal attacks that he has had to withstand in the last few weeks.

I also found it fitting to quote this line, “On the question of whether it has to be me to stand against Museveni you must all know, or at least most of you; that I have never considered it to be me who must stand against Museveni. I have no interest whatsoever in the candidate being me.  In fact if this meeting can agree to pick another candidate  to run I will step down and support whoever we choose,” This was Besigye’s  answer in relation to a question asked by the same Ankole Meeting,  why Besigye thought he was the one to challenge Museveni.

Indeed it is public information that, Besigye held discussions with politicians he thought had the nerve and stamina to stand up against Museveni, but all of them chickened. Bidandi Ssali and Crispus Kiyonga have never denied being approached by Besigye to lead the struggle.

Therefore the argument by pseudo analysts and politicians whose popular appeal is debatable if the results of the previous elections are anything to go by; that Besigye is power hungry and that he thinks it is his birthright to stand against Museveni is totally but disingenuous dishonesty and stupid.

I want to remind all change seeking Ugandans that our problem is not Besigye; for he is part of the solution but rather Museveni. Instead of directing your attacks at a man who has done nothing less of sacrificing everything for the sake of liberating the downtrodden of this country, you are better off strategizing how to defeat Museveni whose monstrous regime Mbabazi has been at the fore front of delivering and nurturing until it wanted to devour him.

I implore the supporters of the Go Forward pressure group to direct all their efforts on how to dismantle the   entrenched Museveni oligarchy rather than engaging in friendly fire.

Our goal is one; only we disagree on the strikers.

The writer is a journalist

bakerbatte@gmail.com

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