Macron under fire for skipping Rwandan genocide commemorations
We will not ally with weak people, says FDC
Kampala. The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has said they will not join an Opposition coalition which does not have capacity to take over power from President Museveni.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, Kampala, yesterday, Mr John Kikonyogo, the FDC deputy spokesperson, said they are determined to take power and cannot entertain people who promise a lot but deliver nothing.
“All we want right now is to take over power. We are obsessed with power. These people who are peddling their coalition things should look for other people and not FDC,” Mr Kikonyogo said.
His comments come after the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Democratic Party, Social Democratic Party and People’s Development Party to form what they called a strong DP bloc last Friday.
Also present were other Opposition leaders; Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu of Alliance for National Transformation and Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, of People Power, a pressure group, and Justice Forum party, among others.
The Opposition leaders accused Dr Kizza Besigye, the FDC flag bearer in last elections, of always shunning partnerships which could breed a strong force to push President Museveni out of power.
They also accused him of discouraging the public from participating in elections on account that polls will not bring the desired regime yet he continued contesting in the same exercise.
Mr Kikonyogo said forming a coalition with weak parties would deny Ugandans the chance to choose what and whom they want.
“We have tried this before and were disappointed. They always call us assuring us that we would get someone through consensus ... which is unfair. This is why we shall not accept this,” Mr Kikonyogo said.
“We have now gone into a countrywide consultation. We want to see what the people want because last time when everyone saw Mr Amama [Mbabazi], they thought he was the messiah but in the end people voted for Dr Besigye,” he added.
In 2016, the Opposition formed The Democratic Alliance (TDA) to choose one candidate to challenge President Museveni in the elections.
Dr Besigye and former prime minister Amama Mbabazi were the front runners.
However, both contested against Mr Museveni after TDA failed to make a pick.
Recently, Dr Besigye said he pulled out of the TDA deal when he asked Mr Mbabazi on what strategy he had to stop the vote rigging by the ruling NRM party. Mr Mbabazi said he would reveal his plan after he had been elected the joint Opposition candidate.
Two suspected kidnappers of US tourist Sue Endicott, guide arrested- police
Suspected kidnappers of US tourist Kimbley Sue Endicott have been arrested. Endicott and a Ugandan tour guide Jean Paul Mirenge Remezo were kidnapped by four gunmen, who hijacked their safari vehicle from Queen Elizabeth National Park on April 2.
The gunmen had demanded a ransom of $500,000 (about Shs1.8b) using Ms Sue and Mirenge’s cell phones.
Police said the two were rescued from the Democratic Republic of Congo by a joint effort involving the Uganda police force, Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and sister security agencies.
Reports indicate that the US military also provided support to Ugandan security forces to accomplish the mission. The support included intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets and liaison officers, according to US news outlets.
Ms Sue was handed over to the US Embassy in Kampala by Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola on Monday.
Two of the four gunmen have reportedly been apprehended. The two were only identified as Hakim and Kwarishiima. Sources said the suspects were flown from Kanungu District in western Uganda where they were tracked using a device which was placed in the ransom money they received before setting Ms Sue and Mirenge free.
"The joint security team actively investigating the kidnapping incident and successful recovery of an American tourist Ms. Kimberly Sue Endicott and a Senior Tour Guide, Jean Paul Mirenge- Remezo, has made some arrests of suspects, on suspicion of being involved in their kidnap," police tweeted on Tuesday.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga confirmed to URN that there were some arrests made in regard to the kidnap. He, however, declined to divulge details.
"I can confirm that there were some arrests but I am yet to get details. I will brief you when I get the information," Enanga said.
US President Donald Trump on Monday tasked the Ugandan government to hunt the kidnappers and bring them to book.
“Uganda must find the kidnappers of the American tourist and guide before people will feel safe in going there. Bring them to justice openly and quickly,” President Trump tweeted.
The kidnap cast a shadow on Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the most visited tourist attractions which is home to lions, hippos, crocodiles and various types of antelopes.
Credit: Daily Monitor Uganda
EAC governments raise taxes to curb gambling addiction
Kampala. East African governments have renewed efforts to bring the betting industry under strict control amid claims of tax evasion and fears of a growing gambling culture and addition among the youth, who are mostly unemployed.
Kenya and Uganda have moved to vet industry players with threats of revocation of licences to tame the proliferation of betting, gaming and gambling outlets.
Despite imposing a punitive tax regimes, restricting the importation of gaming devices and impounding and burning gambling machines, the sector has continued to record growth.
Uganda levies a 35 per cent tax on betting, while in Kenya, the same was reduced to 15 per cent after lobbying by sector players.
While both countries have resorted to drastic measures to contain a sector that has largely become a social and economic menace, Tanzania enacted a strong regulatory framework through the Gaming Act, 2003.
In the 2017/18 financial year, Tanzania collected $36 million from gaming and betting.
But religious leaders recently lobbied President John Magufuli to ban betting altogether to control addiction among the youth.
Just this week, Kenya announced that licences for all betting agencies stand suspended as from July 1, and that their renewal will be subject to proof that the companies are tax compliant.
President Museveni recently directed the Ministry of Finance to stop licencing sports betting, gaming and gambling companies due to the negative effects the industry is having on the youth.
A recent GeoPoll rapid survey carried out among youth between the ages of 17 and35 in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa show that millennials in sub-Saharan Africa spend $50 monthly on betting through their mobile phones.
Source: Daily Monitor