State fails to commit Mumbere for trial

By Babirye Sania

The Jinja chief  magistrate court has adjourned to the 16th of June 2017 mention of the case against  Rwenzururu cultural leader Charles Wesley  Mumbere.

Chief magistrate Francis Kagwa adjourned the case after prosecution led by  James  Muliro informed court that they are unable to present committal papers today sending Mumbere and his Royal guards  to the International Crimes Division for trial as it had been expected asking for more time .

The magistrate has  also  extended  Mumbere’s bail to  16th June .

The Omusinga is charged alongside his premiere Thembo Kitsumbire and 172 royal guards including children and women.

The offenses range from murder,  terrorism, treason, robbery, attempted murder and malicious damage to property which were  allegedly committed between  March and November 2016 within Kasese region were over 100 people lost their lives.

Man remanded to Luzira for defying UCC directive on public radio speakers

By Sania Babirye

A man who defied  a directive from the Uganda Communication Commission against  operating a public radio speaker commonly  known as Kizindaalo has finally  pleaded guilty to the charge.

Gerald Ssemwanga who has been on remand in Luzira prison since  last week accepted the offense before  Buganda Road court  Chief Magistrate James Eremye Mawanda .

He was charged with  installing and operating a public raido apparatus without a license contrary to section 27 of the UCC Act but first denied the charge.

The magistrate has now set the 6th of June  to hand him his sentence and remanded him to Luzira prison   until then.

A content Regulation manager with UCC  Paul Mukasa testified against Ssemwanga on Monday  this week that they arrested Ssemwanga on the 27th of March 2017 from Kabawo zone in Rubaga division in Kampala district  illegally broadcasting before confiscating his equipments.

On the 8th of February 2017 UCC issued a  directive ordering all people operating the commonly Bizindalo without a license to dismantle  and take them down because they were operating illegally .

Pupils required to carry parents’ NINs for national registration -NIRA

Pupils whose parents have not registered for national identification cards risk being left out in the upcoming registration exercise in schools.

Michael Muganga, the National Identification Registration Authority- NIRA deputy Public Relations Officer says that all students will be required to carry a copy of their parents’ National Identification Number (NIN) for them to be registered.

He was speaking at the launch of mass registration of children aged between 5 and 16 for the national identity card project Eastern Uganda at Sunset hotel in Jinja on Wednesday.

Muganga adds that the unregistered pupils will be affected because the government will not plan for their needs in schools including examinations. He adds that the registration exercise that kicks off on May 29 and ends on August 25 is aimed at getting the exact number of children in schools so that the government plans better.

The State Minister for Primary Education, Rosemary Seninde said that the government spends over 20 billion shillings on ghost pupils.

Seninde says that the identity number that will be given to each student will be captured on the report cards such that even when a pupil changes the school, the education ministry can follow up by tracing the identity number. She notes that with such a policy, the government will be able to reduce on the school dropouts since there is easy follow up.

The pupils will however not be given National Identity cards. Instead, they will be given a national identification number which will be used for the issuance of a National ID, once they turn 16. During the initial registration in 2014, the authority captured data for citizens aged 16 and above.




Stella Nyanzi’s lawyers challenge demand for mental examination

By Babirye Sania

Makerere Researcher Dr. Stella Nyanzi charged with two counts of cyber harassment and offensive communication all related to computer misuse has taken her Mental examination battle to the constitutional court.

Dr.Stella Nyanzi has filed a constitutional petition against the attorney general challenging various sections of the mental treatment  act  as being unconstitutional.

Dr.Stella Nyanzi’s lawyers led by Peter Walubiri told Buganda road court chief magistrate James Eremye Mawanda this morning  that the1938 law is not  in line with the the Uganda constitutional enacted in 1995.

Walubiru says they are Challenging various sections of the mental treatment act that violates her rights to a fair trial, inhumane treatment, and to be accorded  administrative fairness.

Walubiri has also told court that they have followed up the constitution petition with  an application in Buganda road court  to stay the Inquiry under the mental treatment act seeking to determine if Dr.Stella Nyanzi  is of sound mind or not.

In this application they want magistrate Mawanda to determine if the proceedings under the mental treatment act should continue or be stayed while the law is being challenged in the constitutional court.

The magistrate has now set the 7th of June to hear the application for stay of proceedings.

Prosecution States that between January and March 2017 at  Kampala district,  Nyanzi while having no legitimate purpose of communication posted on her Facebook page suggestions and proposals referring to his Excellency president Museveni  that he is a pair of buttocks.

If further alleged that Nyanzi  willfully and repeatedly using electronic communication posted offensive messages via Facebook with an intention of disturbing peace and the privacy of president Museveni.

Court grants bail to MAK students who led Stella Nyanzi demostration

By Babirye Sania

Buganda road court has granted bail to four Makerere University students who were  remanded to Luzira prison for allegedly holding a unlawful demonstration on the 10th of May  2017 demanding for Dr Stella Nyanzi’s release.

The four students include  Kahigi Edmund, Roy Rugumayo, Hanington Mugarura and Stephen Ariho.

Buganda road grade one  magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu  has ordered each to  sign a court  bond of ten million  shillings to ensure that  they return to court next week for hearing of  their case.

The four were part of a group of 10 students who were arrested at the  gates of Buganda road court  demanding for the immediate  release of Controversial Makerere university researcher Dr. Stella Nyanzi who had  been in Luzira prison over a month on charges of cyber  harassment .

Nyanzi was later granted  bail by  the same court and returns to court tomorrow  for her case mention.

Prosecution states that on the 10th of May 2017 at Buganda Road court Kampala without lawful excuse the  four students  made statements calculated to incite violence against the public .

113 arrested, several weapons recovered in police operation against criminal gangs

By Segawa Robert
Police have recovered weapons and tools used to terrorize Kampala and surrounding  residents during an operation that was carried out in the past two weeks.
According to Kampala Metropolitan police commander Frank Mwesigwa, the police first made a watch list of over 100 hardcore  criminals. They were followed, leading to arrest of over 113 people and recovery of  weapons.
Mwesigwa showed journalists weapons including an AK47 rifle, pistol with 9 rounds, axes, pangas, knives, pick axes and hammers among other tools recovered from criminals.
He said the criminals had been arrested from areas of Bwaise, Kiwatule, Najeera, Makindye,Kira and the city centre.
The KMP commander said most of those arrested are repeat offenders who had been released .
Mwesigwa said 92 of these criminals have been charged in courts of law and remanded to Luzira.

Besigye calls for closure of Nalufenya

Former presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye, together with councillors from Kawempe Division, has demanded immediate closure of Nalufenya police station, a facility that is at the center of the recent torture allegations.

Councillors led by Harris Akampurira, who represents Makerere University, launched a campaign code-named ‘Nalufenya Must Fall’ saying that they were not satisfied with the report by Members of Parliament and demanded that if serious investigations are to be done the facility must be closed.

They argue that what takes place at Nalufenya Special Investigations Centre, located in Jinja District, is a violation of articles 24 and 44 of the constitution. Akampurira further says that police actions in Nalufenya run counter to the prevention and prohibition of torture Act, and all the international conventions that Uganda is signatory to.

Micheal Wamala Ziggwa, the city authority councillor for Kawempe South Councillor, wondered whether police will replace scooped people’s body parts when they find out that they were innocent.

He demanded that the facility be closed so that proper investigation is made.

The leaders demanded that human rights bodies together with inter-religious council of Uganda should all address the nation on what is happening on torture.

Since the leaking of photographs of tortured Kamwenge Town Council Mayor, Geoffrey Byamukama, and other suspects detained on allegations of killing former police spokesman, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, there has been wide condemnation of the acts of the security agencies.

Besigye said Nalufenya is just a manifestation of what he called captivity that Ugandans have been put into.

Besigye noted that Ugandans must not only focus on Nalufenya but look at all other forms of injustices.

He highlighted the former Nile Mansions, current Serena Hotel, which was a centre of torture and human rights abuse during Obote II government and the Nakasero State Research Bureau which was used by Idi Amin’s security agents.




Nalufenya operatives in the spotlight again for refusing a mother to breastfeed her child

Operatives at Nalufenya police facility in Jinja district are on spot for blocking a mother in their custody from breastfeeding her 7-months-old baby.

Justine Nakakeeto, the only female suspect in Nalufenya police facility was picked up together with her 7-months-old baby from Kikoni, a Kampala suburb in April this year. She is accused together with 12 others for recruiting youths into criminal gangs to terrorize people in Masaka, Kampala and Wakiso districts.

However, Amooti Katebalirwe, the Acting Chairman Uganda Human Rights Human Commission, says that Nakakeeto was blocked from breastfeeding her baby.

“We were informed that she is not allowed to breastfeed her baby. We will ask the Inspector General of Police-IGP Kale Kayihura to explain this in our next meeting,” Katebalirwe told URN at the UHRC headquarters in Kampala on Tuesday. Police spokesperson, Asan Kasingye confirmed the detention of Nakakeeto at Nalufenya.

“When I went there, I found a woman who was in custody but am not sure whether she was with her baby there,” said Kasingye. Adding that, “there is no law restricting detention of a breastfeeding mother and it’s her decision whether to go with her baby or not. I just don’t understand how she can be stopped from breastfeeding a baby she is with in the cells.”

A source that talked to URN on condition of anonymity, says Nakakeeto was stopped from breastfeeding her baby during interrogation. “We thought if she feels the need to breastfeed and the pain, she will confess to her involvement,” the source said. In her statement, Nakakeeto explains that she was picked up together with her baby from her bar in Kikoni where she was found serving her customers.

This is not the first time operatives at Nalufenya police facility are under the spotlight for human rights violation. The operatives drew angry reaction mid this month when some of the suspects held in connection to the murder of former police spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi appeared in court limping with fresh wounds on their body.

They accused the operatives at Nalufenya police facility for torturing them to confess their alleged involvement in the murder of Kaweesi, his body guard Kenneth Erau and Driver Godfrey Mambewo.



Gay men publically flogged in conservative Aceh in Indonesia

Religious police in Indonesia publicly caned two men Tuesday for having consensual gay sex.

The men received more than 80 lashes each, inflicted by hooded men inside a mosque in the city of Banda Aceh as hundreds of people watched, many of them recording the scene on mobile phones.

“The convicts will be returned to their family after being caned publicly as the caning is considered a social sanction,” Yusnardi, head of the Sharia police force in the conservative province of Aceh, told reporters. “Hopefully it will be a deterrent for people not to do anything against Islamic law”.

“Flogging sentences and the criminalization of same sex relations are both flagrant violations of international human rights law,” Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Josef Benedict said. “The international community must put pressure on Indonesia to create a safer environment for the LGBTI community before the situation deteriorates further. Nobody should be punished for consensual sex.”

The two men were arrested in March after local residents who suspected they were gay broke into their rented room and found them having sex.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, but Aceh, the most conservative province in the Muslim-majority country, introduced anti-homosexuality laws in 2014.

Tuesday’s public caning marked the first application of the law; however, hundreds were also caned for offenses including gambling, drinking alcohol, and women wearing tight clothing in 2016.




Raw deepens in UPC as elders accuse Akena of secretly dealing with NRM

By Robert Segawa

The conflicts in Uganda People’s Congress party have deepened after a section of the Akena’s leadership team today morning attacked him and demanded that he resigns.

The party members accuse their leader of conniving with ruling NRM party .

While addressing the media at melting pot, Moses Higenyi Kemba the UPC administrative secretary  expressed disappointment saying he regretted campaigning Jimmy Michael Akena as the party president in 2015. He further claims that Akena lied to Ugandans about being a staunch UPC . Higenyi said that he was shocked to hear that Akena as an individual received over 6BN as bribery by the ruling NRM and Museveni.

Higenyi says that as a party they are pro- structured dialogues involving all shareholders but not individuals. He adds that if Akena begins to openly denounce and challenge NRM,  as party they are willing to work with him . The party elders however have requested Higenyi to begin an ousting campaign of Akena he doesn’t change.

Furious Higenyi says that Akena’s actions of secretly working with NRM  are evil and unacceptable.