Chicken tonight employees sent to jail for assaulting Katatumba

By Sania Babirye

Three male employees of Chicken Tonight  Restaurant Kabalagala branch  have been charged  and remanded to Luzira prison in relation to the assault of local artist Angela Katatumba early this month.

The suspect include 26 year old Olubrworth Chuka, the manager,  Okirot Denis a guard and a 19 year old waiter Kaddu John .
The three appeared before Makindye court chief magistrate Elias Kakoza and pleaded not guilty to three counts of theft, doing grievance harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Prosecution states that the trio, on 1st April 2018, at Kabalagala Makindye division, stole cash worthy 6.2million shillings, the property of Angella Katatumba.
Prosecution further states that on the same day, the security guard at the same place, unlawfully caused grievance harm to Angella Katatumba.
These are also accused of assaulting a one Oneil Burke occasioning him actual bodily harm.
The suspects have been remanded until the 4th of May this year as investigations into the case continues.

World Bank impressed with social media tax debates

The World Bank Senior Economist for Uganda Richard Ancrum Walker says he is impressed with the public debate around proposed new taxes, including that on social media usage.

Addressing journalists in Kampala, Walker said that for long, public debate in Uganda has been about expenditures and not revenue mobilization. Walker said he is happy that this time, there has been a lot of public debate on the administration of revenues, which is crucial for Uganda.

In her tax proposals for the financial year 2018/19, the government intends to introduce new taxes including among others, the 100 shillings daily tax on social media user, the one percent charge on every mobile money transaction and taxing of savings and credit cooperative organizations (Saccos), among others.

The Uganda Revenue Authority also wants banks to furnish it with customer details as one way of generating revenues, although the president has since halted the move. Also on the cards is a proposal to tax each international call at 330 Shillings.

The new tax proposals like that on users of social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram, have generated public uproar, with most voices opposing it as “double taxation” on grounds that such social media users already pay taxes on the airtime and data, as well as on the smartphones.

In 2016/17 financial year, the Uganda Revenue Authority collected 13 trillion Shillings, which is less than half of the national budget of 29 trillion Shillings. In order to cover the deficit, the government has to borrow externally and domestically, as well as sourcing from development partners.

The implication is that the borrowing increases the debt burden, as more and more monies are used to repay the debt, including more borrowing. In the current budget, nearly three trillion Shillings is for debt repayment.

Reacting to the World Bank stance, political economist Prof Julius Kiiza, of Makerere University, agrees that the increased focus and debate on different sources and nature of government revenues is healthy and encouraging.

According to Prof Kiiza, the debate should be deepened to include government’s double standards of providing generous tax holidays for so-called investors, while, as he puts it, “squeezing the daylights out of ordinary businesses and citizens who are already struggling”.

Prof Kiiza says even without proposing new revenue sources, the government is already losing so much in revenues to dubious investors who, in addition to benefiting from tax exemptions, also use offshore dealings to fleece the country of lots of money.

He says the debate on resource mobilization must also focus on the citizens holding duty bearers accountable for every single coin they collect and spend.

Writing in The Daily Monitor recently, economist Dr Fred Muhumuza of Makerere University, the new tax proposals are symptomatic of so much chaos in the country and that it is hard to determine what will happen when the proposed taxes take effect.

Dr Muhumuza wondered what could be the real intention behind the new taxes like the “WhatsApp” tax considering that such users are already taxed for buying airtime and data. He thinks the tax is more to do with curtailing freedom of information and expression.

According to Dr Muhumuza, using the Internet is more of a production than a consumptive venture, and should be promoted.



Kirumira demoted to inspector of police

By Segawa Robert

The former DPC Buyende District Mohammed Kirumira has been convicted and demoted to the lower rank of Inspector of Police.

Police court which was chaired by  Denis Odongopiny acquitted Kirumira on 3 counts and was  convicted on 3 other counts.

Kirumira was acquitted on 3 counts of bribery , corruption and torture of a one Hassan Kayongo.

He was  also convicted for defaming his fellow officer on allegation of theft,  and neglect of duty.

However Kirumira described the accounts of conviction as laughable and added that he is going to appeal the sentence.

Rotary health camps to spread nationwide

By Wasswa Deo
Rotary Uganda is targeting over 50000 patients to receive a wide range of healthy services during the annual Rotary family health days.
The campaign was launched today at Muyenga international hotel and will kick off  Saturday 21st April  in communities of Kikubamutwe,Kabalagala and  nearby places.
Speaking to the journalists, Fulgensio Jjuuko, the district chair rotary family health days noted that the health camps will be setup country wide to ensure that all people who need these services benefit.
Cancer screening ,  general medical  treatment,  HIV testing,  eye check up,  dental,  family planning and safe male circumcision are among the free health services to be offered.

Man commits suicide after killing wife

By Robert Segawa
A jilted husband has committed suicide by hanging him self inside the house after hacking his wife to death.

Badru Mulinzi 35 year old man resident of Nasuti village in Iganga district was found hanging near that of his wife Hadijah Nabirye that was laying in a pool of blood with deep wound on head.

It alleges that the couple had a misunderstanding after Malizi accuse his wife of having an affair with another man.

The Busoga east police spokesperson James Mubbi confirms this saying the bodies of deceased have been taken to Iganga Nakavule hospital for postmortem.

Mubbi asked the couples always to seek advise from police family protection in case of domestic violence.

Tight security as Kirumira faces court

There is heavy deployment of counter terrorism Police at the Naguru police headquarters. The deployment comes ahead of the judgment by the Police Disciplinary Court on the cases leveled against Muhammad Kirumira, the embattled former Buyende District Police Commander.

The Police Disciplinary Court is expected to pronounce itself on the accusations of corruption, unlawful excessive use of Authority and neglect of duty brought against the accused. Prosecution alleges that Kirumira committed the offences during his tenure as the Officer in Charge and Old Kampala Police stations in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

This morning, heavily armed counter terrorism police officers deployed strategically around the Police headquarters and blocked members of the public from accessing the premises. Only police officers were allowed entry leading to a scuffle with Kirumira’s relatives.

The counter terrorism team is under the command of Assistant Superintendent of Police, Grace Kentaro. She explained that non police staff will only be allowed into the building at 2pm since they have to guarantee the safety of the ongoing police disciplinary court proceedings.

Our reporter saw police officers grabbing some of the people including journalists who tried to push close the court premises.  Police Spokesperson, Emilian Kayima, told journalists that they received instructions to stop people from accessing the police disciplinary court, adding that he will brief the media after the court session.

The decision by police court to deliver judgment behind closed doors has not gone down with Kirumira’s family. His brother, Shafique Kawooya described the decision to block hundreds of people from accessing court room as unfair.

On Tuesday, Kirumira clashed with police when unsuccessfully attempted to force journalists in the country. He later declined to appear in the court for the judgement, saying he will only return after journalists and members of the public are allowed in the court.




Sexually assaulted Mak students urged to report to attain justice

By Patricia Osman
The Makerere University Academic Staff Association chairperson Deus Kamunyu is calling upon all students who have been sexually assaulted by staff to come out and report the matter adding that they will be helped to attain justice.
This after a female student exposed a senior administration assistant at the academic registrar’s office sexually assaulting her in his office on social media.
Edward Kisuze was who was immediately suspended is now being held at Wandegeya police station as investigations into the matter go on.

Heart patients stuck in Heart institute due to lack of space

By Alice Lubwama
The Uganda Heart Institute says that it is stuck with a number of patients mainly children who cannot undergo operation due to lack of space.
The director Uganda Heart Institute Dr John Omagino tells the health committee of parliament that children seeking heart surgery cannot access the operation room due to limited space until one year has elapsed and it is difficult for surgeon to share the room.

Armed groups sexually assaulting young refugees fleeing Congo

By Patricia Osman.
A new assessment by Save the Children has found that 10% of newly arrived children fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo were defiled during their journey to Uganda and 27% assaulted by armed groups.
Johnson Byamukama, Save the Children’s Emergency Response Director in Uganda says the assessment which interviewed 132 refugee children aged 10-17 about their protection and education needs also found that hunger was the biggest issue facing children on their journey affecting 81% while Sickness affected more than 1 in 2 children at 53%.
Byamukama says a lot more needs to be done as the conflict in DRC is one of the world’s forgotten crises.

More witnesses being grilled at the age limit hearing

The government legal team led by the Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana has been probed at-length over emerging information that Parliaments decision to entrench the Presidential term limits is not reflected in the Constitutional Amendment Act 2017.

Parliament in December last year passed the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2017. The bill among others lifted the presidential age limits and restored the Presidential terms limits.

The Parliament during the committee stage also adopted a motion by Budadiri West MP, Nathan Nandala Mafabi urging that the term limits should not only be restored but also entrenched.

By agreeing to the Mafabi motion by majority vote, Parliament had in effect moved the article about the restored term limits and included among entrenched articles of the constitution under article 260. Article 260 details articles of the constitution whose amendment requires the holding a referendum.

The constitutional court hearing in Mbale was plunged into a lengthy exchange between the judges and the Attorney General’s legal team after it emerged that the entrenchment of the Presidential term limits is missing from the Act assented to by the President.

The Court has been probing into the matter since Tuesday when Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige was cross-examined on the fact that the Nandala Mafabi amendment seemed to have not been extracted from the official record of Parliament-the Hansard for inclusion in the amended Constitution.

The Acting Director of Civil Litigation, Christine Kaahwa seemed to have opened a can of worms for the Attorney General’s legal team when she submitted that article 260 of the constitution was not amended.

Deputy Chief Justice, Alphonse Owiny-Dollo followed by other judges seemed to disagree with Kaahwa’s submission leading to a lengthy probe.

Justice Owiny-Dollo said his side was relying on the record tendered by the Attorney General, not the petitioners.  The Clerk to Parliament on cross-examination on an affidavit she swore in defense of the amendment, admitted that the speaker had put a question in relation to the Nandala Mafabi motion and the House decided on that.

The question at the hearing was whether the Constitutional Amendment Act 2017 as it is, reflects the decision of Parliament.

Kaahwa insisted that the claim that article 260 was amended would create an absurdity because the final Act does not show that article 260 of the Constitution was amended.

Justice Kenneth Kakuru overruled Kaahwa’s submission saying submissions from the respondents led by Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana was causing confusion.

The Deputy Attorney General who is leading the respondent’s side later admitted that the Nandala motion had been adopted by Parliament. Rukutana’s admission attracted another round of questions from the judges. Justice Remmy shot first followed by Justice Owiny-Dollo.

Rukutana later said that the said article could be inserted after a referendum is held.

The government according to submission to the court is planning to hold a referendum in line with the Constitution Amendment Act 2017