HERE IS WHY PEOPLE POWER’S LUMBUYE LIED ABOUT ONLINE MEDIA & KAMPALA BLOGGERS
By Mulengera Reporters
For his extremist views, Diaspora-based political agitator Lumbuya has lately become one of the most known online bloggers pledging unsolicited loyalty to Bobi Wine Kyagulanyi Sentamu’s People Power Movement. Some of his extremist moments manifested when he openly called for violence against opposition leaders he deceptively perceives to be stumbling blocks to the political ascendance of Mr. Kyagulanyi who he claims to be his choice for the next President of Uganda (notwithstanding all the espionage allegations the likes of TVO have made branding him a 5th columnist working to perpetuate the Museveni regime).
In his recent social media rant, Lumbuye went native and hit his targets below the belt when he claimed to be an authority on things he turned out to know very little about. He profiled and read out a list of the people he said were the state operatives hiding behind the numerous Kampala online blogs yet their sole aim is to shield the Museveni regime while undermining Mr. Kyagulanyi. In his broken English, Lumbuye (whose demeanor portrays a guy who is very unsophisticated) incoherently struggled to link each of the very enterprising young men and women legitimately toiling to run their news websites to the state apparatus in one or another.
We at Mulengera News realize that because a fraction of social media audiences tend to be gullible, Mr. Lumbuye’s rant shouldn’t go unrebutted. We know a lot more about each of the persons he demonized in his rant and we consider ourselves obliged to unmask things and briefly give truthful profiles of some of the people he demonized. And here we go;
Dickson Mubiru; He runs the Bwino newspaper, a vibrant political weekly that comes out every Tuesday. Contrary to what Lumbuye said about them, the Bwino guys have (for their own reasons) been very pro-Bobi Wine in their reporting to the extent they lead with him on their cover almost every week. Some media peers, including us at Mulengera News, have actually faulted them for predictably leading with Kyagulanyi every time they come out. Lumbuye says they are funded by Museveni intelligence which isn’t the case. Far from what Lumbuye rants, the Bwino guys are a group of young but very experienced men who previously worked for Pepper Publications which they quit to start Bwino. As Lumbuye stated, its true the same group also operate the Grapevine news website which actually bashes the NRM more than it praises it. Lumbuye says they are state-funded yet the truth is these guys are just out toiling on their own and its very likely if they ever had the sort of resources Lumbuye attributed to them, their Bwino project would be very far.
Stanley Ndawula; Lumbuye branded him a state-funded journalist behind the Investigator news blog. But the truth, the way we know it, is that this sarcastic son of the Rakai-based CoU reverend would be very far with his journalism practice if he accessed and enjoyed the resources, levers and the pampering Lumbuye attributed to him.
Sarah Kagingo; Its true the PRAU President has a history of closely working with the Museveni system and especially Gen Salim Saleh-and that’s part of her history. We all have histories we are associated with including Lumbuye himself. As of now what we truthfully know is that Sarah Kagingo must produce competitive news for her Soft Power to remain vibrant, dependable and visible; otherwise the Ugandan readers (sophisticated as they are) would have shunned her news blog. And giving real news (as opposed to regime PR) is certainly what she has been doing and continues to do regardless of who her sources might be in CMI to which Lumbuye linked her. In the Ugandan journalism practice the spoon-feeding Lumbuye hinted on doesn’t exist and even if it did, that in itself can’t lead anyone anywhere. You must have WORK, as Mr. Wine termed it in his Kyarenga hit. So, it follows naturally that Kagingo and her Soft Power are what they are today largely because of genuine hard work followers see in their WORK rather than being associated to Gen Saleh or any other big person in the country. Such connections are good starting points to successful media practice but not sufficient anywhere in the very competitive space that the Ugandan online media is increasingly distinguishing itself to be.
Willy Byarabaha; In his rant, his greatness Lumbuye portrayed him as the man behind The Insider news, which is totally untrue. Willy is into showbiz and never into the type of hard news that The Insider does. The only truth in the Lumbuye rant is that the young man is a brother to another Byarabaha of Red Pepper and that is all. Whatever success he has accomplished in his media practice has been because of hard work and nothing to do with RP’s Byarabaha being his brother. Neither is it because he is the intelligence services proxy Lumbuye painted him to be.
Andrew Irumba; The self-made man from Toro is an activist and has always been a struggler, as opposed to being the spoon-fed media practitioner Lumbuye described in his rant. Since his days at Red Pepper where he cut his journalism teeth like many other online news publishers, the Spy Uganda proprietor has always been a hassler. Its therefore simplistic and insultive for anyone to allege he is merely a proxy of the Ugandan state to undermine Bobi Wine whose 2017 election he actually worked very hard for as the Lumbuyes of this world enjoyed Pizzas and sandwich in the comfort of the western capitals.
Tadeo Senyonyi; What was ranted about this down-to-earth Catholic fellow from Kakumiro is further proof Lumbuye knew nothing about what he purported to communicate. All he did was to get people’s names and the news blogs they are associated with. Senyonyi is known for many things, since his days at Red Pepper where he edited business and client supplements, including his contempt for the way Museveni governs this country. He actively resents the NRM, a fact even his woman MP Robinah Nabanja (now Minister) knows very well. And Senyonyi hasn’t disguised his views about governance in Uganda. He has often disclosed as much on social media and one doesn’t need to investigate anything anywhere to understand what he politically stands for. Yes, people can sometimes pretend to preach water during the day only to take wine at night once in the comfort of their houses but the truth is the Business Focus founder and co-proprietor is not any of those things Lumbuye said about him.
Giles Muhame; The very reflective young man from Ibanda has made it this far with his Chimpreports largely because of hard work, resilience and networking. He is actually a pioneer in Uganda’s online media practice having quit his promising reporting career at Red Pepper to found his Chimpreports (was preceded by the Rolling Stone newspaper effort) close to 10 years ago. He had just graduated from Makerere University when he rang some of us that fateful evening to announce “it was nice knowing and closely working with you colleagues.” Workmates who saw him quit, including some of us now at Mulengera News, considered him a gambler who stood no chance but Muhame soldiered on and his gambling eventually paid off and, in the process, he inspired many subsequent online media practitioners. He naturally must be having sources in security, which is ideally a desirable for any serious journalist, but it would be simplistic to explain the success of Muhame’s media practice as merely deriving from the nasty things Lumbuye said about him.
Richard Wanambwa; The man from Mbale has without a doubt always had his vast sources and news gathering network deeply inside the security services but that alone doesn’t make him the monstrous anti-Bobi Wine regime apologist that Lumbuye portrayed in his rant. And by the way it’s a strength for any media practitioner worth their name to be deeply networked because that is the only way to access exclusive information and subsequently deliver it as news for the benefit of your audiences. And that reporting intelligence news has always been Wanambwa’s niche is a public secret that Lumbuye doesn’t have to prompt anyone about. It has never been a secret but that alone doesn’t place the very talkative Masaba boy anywhere on the payroll of any security or intelligence organization as Lumbuye suggested. By the way, contrary to what the Lumbuyes think, in Museveni’s Uganda it’s extremely hard to have one’s name placed on such payrolls because there is simply too much greed, cronyism and corruption. What we have are individual friendships and acquaintances explaining the symbiotic relationship that sometimes exists between a prolific journalist and key intelligence services heads. It happens sometimes but it’s extremely uncommon in Museveni’s Uganda. That symbiotic relationship (of an intelligence chief being in position to trust & occasionally leak things to the public through the media) is what simplistic minds like Lumbuye construe as being on so and so’s payroll in return for hostile publicity targeting Mr. Kyagulanyi Sentamu.
Mr. Lumbuye also spoke about two other online journalists-Cde Bob Atwine and Raymond Wamala. Our view is that they naturally have news sources in the Uganda Police Force and other security agencies simply because it’s the bit they have specialized reporting about for many years since their days as crime reporters at Red Pepper. Indeed, their Spyreports news website specializes in similar reporting which they can only do by having rapport with officers and men in the same agencies (and it’s a matter that doesn’t have to do with targeting Bobi Wine or anybody else that Lumbuye considers to be politically very important in this country). He also spoke about people at Mulengera News and we only wish only a fraction of what he alleged were true. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 or email us at Mulengera2040@gmail.com).