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Uganda: 2016 year-ender review


Jan.1: Police stakes Shs 20m on Aine’s head

The year started with the campaigns for the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections in full-gear. The head of security for one of the candidates, former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, had gone missing. Christopher Aine had gone missing in mid-December 2015 following a scuffle between Mbabazi supporters and those of Mbabazi in Ntungamo which resulted in President Yoweri Museveni vowing to clamp down hard on Mbabazi’s agents.   Aine’s family accused the Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura, of detaining Aine. There were reports he had been killed. Possibly to show his clean hands, he placed an offer of Shs20 million for anyone providing information leading to the arrest or the whereabouts of Christopher Aine.

The 33-year old Aine resurfaced later on April 8 and appeared in news broadcasts in company of the President Yoweri Museveni’s younger brother, Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh, who is the Senior Presidential Advisor on Defence and Security. Aine, who Saleh, described as “my son”, claimed he had been hiding in Dar es Salaam, capital of neighbouring Tanzania. He offered no proof.

Jan. 15: Presidential candidates engage in first ever televised debate

With just weeks ahead of the Feb.18 general election, seven of the eight candidates in the race convened for the first ever presidential candidates’ debate. Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, Maureen Kyalya Waluube, Dr. Kizza Besigye, Joseph Mabirizi, Maj. Gen. Benon Biraaro, Amama Mbabazi and Abed Bwanika attended the live televised debate. Only the incumbent, President Yoweri Museveni stayed away. Museveni said later, that he never participated in the debate organised by the Elders Forum and the Inter Religious Council of Uganda because “speech competitions are for high school students.”

But in a classic twist, the President attended the next debate on February 13 when he debated topics ranging from Uganda’s foreign policy, economic integration, Uganda’s war in Congo, and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Jan. 26: Museveni celebrates 30 years in power

President Yoweri Museveni and his NRM government held celebrations at St. Leo’s College, Kyegobe in Fort Portal, Kabarole District in western Uganda. Over 700 people were awarded medals for, according to Gen. Elly Tumwine; the head of the award committee chancellery, contributions they made to Museveni’s struggle to come to power in 1986 after a five-year bloody rebel war. The anniversary was in honour of Museveni being the longest-serving ruler in post-colonial Uganda.

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