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Red Pepper Uganda
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Highlights and Lead Stories from the Red Pepper Uganda's first Tabloid.

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Wednesday, November 15 2006

Intelligence bust new plot to oust Gov't
BESIGYE PLANS MASSIVE CITY TRADERS STRIKE
'He plans to bring Museveni to his knees with series of crippling strikes'

Opposition FDC leader Dr Kizza Besigye is planning a series of strikes in the city including mobilising traders onto the streets, especially in December.

Intelligence sources said the week-long strikes at Makerere and Kyambogo universities were part of the general plot to bring the city to a standstill.

Makerere University was closed this week and all students sent away when they rioted in support of their striking teachers. The teachers were demanding the pay-rise promised by the President in 2004.

Sources said Besigye wanted the strikes to intensify in December to hit the Uganda Revenue Authority peak season. The series of strikes would also threaten and disorganise plans for next year's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

The traders would be also protesting the proposed tax regime that covers the Property Tax due to come into force next year.

One of Besigye's prominent lawyers attended most of the meetings by the striking staff. Besigye last week hosted the Makerere guild president Gerald Karuhanga at his Mbuya home. He thanked, with sarcasm, the students for completing the year peacefully while their teachers were starving. Karuhanga reportedly relayed this comment to many students via sms.

The students reportedly interpreted this as a challenge and they joined in the strike the following morning.

Soon after he lost the February 23 presidential election, Besigye said he would move countrywide and mobilise people into popular civil disobedience to make President Museveni's third term a nightmare. Besigye has also repeatedly said Museveni will not rule up to 2011.

Sources said he had also wanted the two million displaced people in northern Uganda to remain in the camps and not to return home.

Intelligence sources said Besigye had planned to incite the war-weary people in camps to storm out and march towards Kampala in protest against the government. (See related story in Intelligence Briefing)

"A sea of people would be a big problem. How do you handle even one million people descending on the city?" said an intelligence source.

The plans for strikes were hatched after Besigye and the FDC dropped ideas for an armed struggle. FDC held several retreats, mainly at the Ranch-on-the-Lake Resort with the main agenda of how to fail Museveni.

The key leaders in this scheme include Dr Muniini Mulera, based in Toronto, Canada, Sam Akaki based in the UK and Anne Mugisha Bwomezi. The local leaders are Bdadiri MP Nandala Mafabi, Reagan Okumu and Augstine Ruzindana.

Sources said the FDC has advised the students to take a sabbatical leave or a dead year or place themselves into outside universities.

The sources also said the FDC had poured money into the leadership of MUASA (Makerere University Academic Staff Association) to encourage them continue with the strike. The FDC has also penetrated the medical workers who are now in the final stages of staging a strike.

Intelligence sources further said the FDC has encouraged the medics to make unrealistic demands. Doctors reportedly want a take-home pay of Shs2m and nurses are preparing to demand a Shs0.5m salary. Workers MP Martin Wandera, who is also a senior figure in the FDC, is reported to be coordinating the medical workers.

According to our source, the FDC has also penetrated the civil society organizations to come under one umbrella and raise their voice. These NGOs will portray Uganda as becoming more corrupt. They will also call on the international donors to reconsider the funding to Uganda. The coordinator for this sinister plot is Wafula Oguttu.

Oguttu was until recently board chairman for the Anti-Corruption Coalition.

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