Museveni unapologetic on killing of terror suspects, govt ready to vaccinate 21 million Ugandans, NSSF Bill ping pong continues with President meeting stakeholders, Burhan meets jailed Sudan Prime Minister, agree to move forward

President Yoweri Museveni has said his government will stop at nothing to end the spate of urban terrorism that had rocked the country. Last week started off on a sad note in Uganda’s capital Kampala as attackers set off two bombs at the Central Police Station in Kampala and at Jubilee Insurance building, outside Parliament. A third bomb was diffused while a fourth was intercepted as the attacker left his home for where he was meant to place it. A total of 3 people were killed in the bomb at CPS and Parliament Avenue. More than 30 were injured.

Police and sister security forces swung into action arresting several suspects, whom government has linked to the Allied Democratic Forces, a hitherto defunct rebel outfit that used to terrorise several parts of Uganda before they were relegated to the jungles in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

While addressing the nation on Saturday November 20, President Museveni stated that remnants of the ADF were returning and scattering around urban areas in Uganda to cause havoc. He however assured the country that the terrorists had exposed themselves when they attacked Transport Minister Katumba Wamala in June, killing his daughter and driver. CCTV footage helped security to trace the attackers and scores have been killed, several others arrested, and a number of leads have been uncovered that are helping security to narrow in on the masterminds of the attacks.

Mr Museveni decried the manner in which the masterminds are taking advantage of youths and using them to carry out the attacks. He lashed out at supposed detractors who claim that security was killing the wrong suspects. Citing one Kirevu who was killed as he allegedly resisted arrest, Mr Museveni said had it not been that Kirevu had been clearly linked to the attacks, there was no way security forces could have known about his existence.  The President assured the nation that his government was getting to the bottom of the matter on terrorism.

Museveni used the same address to rally Ugandans above the age of 18 to go for vaccination. He stated that the government had secured enough vaccines to immunise 21 million Ugandans above the 18-year threshold. He added the government was now exploring booster doses.

Earlier in the week, President Museveni met with stakeholders including worker’s representatives, the Parliamentary committee on gender, the Managing Director NSSF Richard Byaruhanga , the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija, among others and agreed on key issues surrounding the National Social Security Fund Bill.

The Bill which was first passed into law by the 10th Parliament and later returned to the 11th Parliament by President Yoweri Museveni, for reconsideration, provides for midterm access to the funds by NSSF savers.

Parliament has differed with the President concerning the management and supervision of the fund. Parliament wants management reverted to the Ministry of Gender, while the government had initially wanted to provide for dual supervision of the Fund, putting the Ministry of Gender in charge of the social security arm of the Fund, which deals with the welfare of workers and their savings while the Ministry of Finance, would supervise the Investment arm which deals with the business component where savings are invested in assets to generate income.

President Museveni wrote to Parliament objecting to the suggestion for dual supervision. In his view the split oversight mandate would cause delays in decision making and create loopholes for corruption.

Meanwhile in the neighbourhood, Sudan’s General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok have reached a deal for the latter’s return and the release of the civilian leadership detained since last month’s military coup, mediators said Sunday.

‘A political agreement has been reached between General Burhan, Abdalla Hamdok, political forces and civil society organisations for Hamdok’s return to his position, and the release of political detainees,’ senior Sudanese mediator Fadlallah Burma, who is also the acting head of Sudan’s Umma political party, told AFP.

Burhan on October 25 declared a state of emergency, ousted the government, and detained the civilian leadership, actions that drew international condemnation and protests across the country.

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