South Sudan

Uganda Army Speaks on Nimule-Juba Attacks

President Yoweri Museveni on Monday addressed members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) on the dangers of electioneering and cash splashing in election campaigns.

The president only brushed on the issue in a few seconds and referred the 10, troche 000 members at the party’s national delegates conference to read in detail his speech which he put together in a 74-page booklet.

In the booklet, Museveni appears trying to spice up his somehow worn-out “we will fight the corrupt” mantra, by cautioning politicians against big spending in elections.

He describes as a “mistake” the use of money in elections, which he says distorts the purpose of leadership.

This, he says, has not been his style of leadership and that history would remember him for his sacrifices.

“A political leader is not a welfare officer, he is not an employee of the population, he is not a service provider. (That is done by civil servants). His role is to lead – to show the way by speech (advice and sensitization),” he says.

The grave mistake that politicians commit, Museveni says is “wrongly attempting the extreme futility of running constituencies using their personal money, by providing petty sums of money to their supporters.”

“I call this futile because an individual cannot manage to support the families in a constituency or a sub-county. They attempt to find-raise for this church, the other mosque etc etc. What is the result? Heavy indebtedness by the leader, to the extent of having their properties sold off.”

“This is not only total failure of leadership, but endangers the security and independence of our country. We cannot have financially beleaguered people deciding the destiny of the country. This mistake must stop.”

The president goes on to back this stance in principle that out of such pressures, politicians end up agitating for higher salaries “before we have dealt with the issue if infrastructure.”

He then paces to claim a higher moral ground, that his system of leadership has not been money-driven.

“At a personal level, you could look at my testimony. In the last 50 years of my contribution to Uganda, I either get no salary, (eg 1971 – 79) or I get very low salaries. However, using whatever little money that I earn or borrow, I prudently invest that money. The consequence is that my low government salaries notwithstanding, I am a rich man, by the route of the private sector (farming).”

He says he has sacrificed immensely and trusts that the future Ugandans would see that “their president since 1986 was lowly remunerated and his descendants  are entitled to something better.”

“We have already done this for pensioners, and even the former leaders, (Presidents, Vice Presidents and Prime Ministers). We have revised upwards the money that we pay their families. Let us take care of Uganda. Uganda will take care of us. It will remunerate our descendants.”

Mr Museveni throughout his communication at Namboole appeared frustrated by the conduct of the delegates, some of whom indicated to him that their interest at the conference was money.”

A section of delegates complained bitterly about bad food served to them before chorusing chants that they wanted money.

Government spokesperson Mr Ofwono Opondo was later to confirm that each one of the 10,000 delegates bagged Sh 500,000 on top of meals and accommodation.

Observers, however, are likely to argue that Museveni’s lengthy speech doesn’t indicate whether or not his election campaigns have been exemplary to his junior politicians he blames.

His remarks come when dust has barely settled after Governor Bank of Uganda Prof Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, claimed to have been compelled to release money for the 2011 General elections, which is thought to have triggered one of the country’s worst inflation in history.

In April last year, the president caused a stir when he carried a sack of money and handed it to a partisan youth group in eastern Uganda.

The opposition have also severally lamented of the incumbent Museveni pouring national resources in funding his campaigns.
12:22pm: The Ugandan army has appealed to travelers and traders using the Nimule-Juba road to be more careful following an attack on two vehicles on the route to the Capital of war-torn South Sudan.

“This is a caution to Ugandans plying Juba Nimule road. UPDF and SPLA are concerned and assessing the security situation, order ” said UPDF spokesperson, pills Lt Col Paddy Ankunda on Wednesday.

“Two vehicles were burnt and one John Tamale injured. Take caution along Juba Nimule road.”


8:30am: The South Sudan rebels have boasted of destroying a military convoy loaded with food items meant for government soldiers in the Equatoria region, raising fears that a peace deal between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar won’t be realised soon.

The rebels’ publicist, Brig Lul Koang told Chimpreports on Tuesday night that they had closed the Nimule-Juba road which links Uganda to South Sudan.

“The gallant SPLM/SPLA Forces under the command on General Martin Kenyi marked the day this morning by closing Salva  Kiir Mayardit lifeline to the outside world linking him directly to his mentor President  Yoweri Museveni of Uganda,” boasted Koang.

“In two separate combat actions, Salva Kiir’s first bloody nose in Equatoria, the SPLM/SPLA Forces under the command of Lt. Jada Anthony Tibi, attacked, demolished and burnt down three trucks loaded with food items intended for Salva Kiir’s militia,” he added:

“The local people helped themselves with the food. The rescue forces that came was also attacked, one Toyota pickup mounted with heavy machine gun was destroyed and the remaining force ran in disarray in the direction of Juba. The SPLM/SPLA have now closed the Nimule-Juba road to traffic.”

This website was yet to verify the rebels’ claims of shutting down the highway to Juba.

Uganda army spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda said he would keep us “updated” on the latest developments.

However, if true, this could compel Uganda Special Forces commando units to use combat action to clear the rebels’ pockets of resistance along the Juba-Nimule road.

For some time, reports have indicated that Machar’s plan has been cutting off Uganda’s access to South Sudan before rebels launch a huge offensive on Bor and Juba.

This would hurt Uganda’s economy since South Sudan traders use rad transport to carry merchandise to the war-torn country.

Statistics from the Ministry of Trade indicate that South Sudan is Uganda’s large trade partner with annual export revenue of over $358 million, implying a monthly income of about $28.4 million per month and over $900,000 per day.

In an article to the Washington Post this week, U.S Secretary of State, John Kerry said, “to move forward, a transitional government with a mandate to create security agencies that protect all of South Sudan’s people — regardless of ethnicity or political alignment — is imperative.”

He added: “That government must develop a transparent system for managing the country’s resources and agree on an inclusive constitutional drafting process that focuses on improved governance. Given the level of past violence, a reconciliation plan must also be established, accompanied by efforts to investigate atrocities and ensure that those involved are held accountable for their crimes.”

The South Sudan rebels, who don’t appear to be inclined towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict, said the latest “military action in Equatoria will drive the last nail into the coffin of Salva Kiir’s regime.”

Koang added: “Taking place just at the borders with the neighbouring Uganda, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni must now be worried and panicking about the fate of the soldiers he brought into South Sudan to assist Salva Kiir.”

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