Sheikh Yunus Kamoga applies for bail siting old age and deteriorating health

By Sania Babirye

The convicted and jailed  Tabliq sect leader Sheikh Yunus Kamoga has applied  for bail  before the Court of Appeal.

The bail application comes  after Kamoga challenged both his terrorism conviction and life time imprisonment that was handed to  him by the international crimes division of the high court in July this year.

Through his lawyers of Muwema and company advocates, Kamoga says he is of advanced  age of more than 60 years and has several ailments including Ulcers and High blood pressure making his health  not suitable for prison  conditions.

In July this year, three justices of the international crimes division of the high court led by justice Eziekel Muhanguzi sentenced Kamoga and 5 others to life imprisonment and 30 years in Luzira prison after convicting each of them of verbal terrorism.

The group was however acquitted of murdering rival sheikhs Mustapha Bahiga and Hassan Kirya due to lack of evidence.

The group has since then challenged both their convictions and sentences in the court of appeal saying they were harsh and excessive .

Kamoga’s bail application however comes at a time when state prosecutors under the DPP resumed their strike over poor pay and poor working conditions.

Residents discover another body of Sironko mudslide victim

Residents have recovered the remains of 16-year-old Sam Wayanga, one of the Sironko mudslide victims more than a month after the incident. Residents recovered Wayanga’s decomposing body from the scene of the mudslides on Monday.
Wayanga is a former primary five pupil of Bufupa primary school in Bufupa parish in Masaba Sub County in Sironko district. His father, Peter Nangoli told URN that they have been searching for his son’s remains since they were buried by the mudslides in August this year.
“I thank God we have finally recovered the body of my son and given him a decent burial,” he said.  The deceased’s remains were buried at his father’s home in Lusave village in Bufupa parish on Monday evening. The recovery of Wayanga’s body brings to two, the number of bodies recovered from the mudslides site.
At least nine people were reported missing following the mudslides, which claimed one person and displaced hundreds of others.  The body of Namono, also a pupil at Bufupa primary school was recovered on September 18th, 2017. Eunice Nandudu Maku, the Masaba Sub County Female Councilor, says Wamanga’s body was recovered with the help of dogs, which led them to where it was found.
She says residents dug through the rubble with machetes and hoes to retrieve the body. “The mudslide scene is too smelly, Residents found dog eating Wayanga’s remains,” she said. Nandudu expressed disappointment that Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA withdrew the excavator that was deployed to retrieve the remains of the mudslide victims.
Alex Bunga, the Masaba Sub county LC V councilor wants government to resume the search for the remains of the other missing persons. Bunga says there is high hope of recovering the remains of the other mudslide victims but they lack the necessary tools.
He says residents have been trying to retrieve one of the bodies, which is trapped in the rubble since last month in vain because they are using rudimentary tools. Bunga is disappointed that government abandoned the mudslide victims and left them on their own to search for their missing relatives.
Joshua Namuuni, the Salanje Village LC I Chairperson, says they are trying within their limited means to find the bodies of the remaining missing persons. Herbert Mulekwa, the Sironko LC V chairman, says they need excavators to search for the missing persons because the mudslide scene is full of rocks.
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Byandala has a case to answer says Anti-corruption court

By Sania Babirye

Anti corruption court Justice Lawrence Gidudu has ruled that the former works minister Abraham Byandala and his six  co accused have a case to answer in the Mukono- Katosi road saga in which government lost over 24.7 billion shillings in shoddy upgrade work.

According to  Justice Gidudu, the Inspector General of Government Irene Mulyagonja proved a pr-mafacie case against the accused after presenting 23 witness.

Justice Gidudu has explained that Byandala and others authored documents and that they must individually explain why the authored them,  including the now minister without portfolio explaining to the tax payers why he did not take due diligence before signing off the  contract to a fake company costing the nation billions of shillings.

The IGG thorough her attorney Sarah Birungi charged Byandala  with Abuse of office , causing government a financial loss and disobedience of  her orders to stop the works on the Mukono-katosi -Nyenga road.

She accuses the former works Minister to have defied the order and instead influenced  the procurement process  and proceeded  to sign  the contract to an incompetent company  ETAW.

In his written submission, Byandala had claimed that he had the mandate  to give policy directives as a minister however Justice Gidudu has ruled that Byandala must explain whether  in his policy directive, it involved  directing UNRA to sign a contract to a ghost company.

Byandala’s co accused include the former Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) officials Berunado Ssebbugga, Joe Ssemugooma, Wilberforce Senjako and Marvin Baryaruha.

These are  charged with Abuse of office and negligence of their official duties resulting into the loss and must explain to whom they paid the  money to construct the road since EUTAW has never been seen at the site .

Others include  city businessman Apolo Senkeeto who has been ordered to defend himself against  allegations of theft and obtaining the contentious 24.7 billion  shillings  by falsely representing himself as the president of ETAW -Uganda, the ghost   company.

The last suspect is Isaac Mugote of   Housing Finance Bank who has been ordered to explain why he failed to verify the securities presented by ETAW before releasing out the money which  securities would have been a fall back position to government after investigations revealed that the company is non-existent.

However Byandala and his co accused maintained their innocence and had asked court to find a case of no answer against them on grounds that prosecution had not adduced  sufficient evidence to warrant their defense .

The accused are facing  24 counts of abuse of office,disobedience of lawful orders,influence and peddling,obtaining money by false pretense and embezzlement among others.

According to the IGG,on the 14th of  November  2013  Byandala ordered the signing of a contract between UNRA and Etawu, a construction company before due date for construction and upgrading of the road leading to the loss of  24.7  billion shillings to a company that was not qualified.

Former KCC employee sues KCCA boss over unpaid salary

By Sania Babirye
The   executive Director of Kampala Capital  City Authority( KCCA)Jennifer Musisi has been summoned by the high court in Kampala on allegations of illegally terminating an employee without paying his 1.9 nillion shillings in  emoluments in 2012.
According to  documents before court Musisi is being sued by a one Patrick Kisoke  a former clerical clerk with the dissolved  KCC.
Kisoke claims that he worked as the Kampala City Council clerical  clerk from 1999 until July 2012 when his services were terminated  by  Kampala Capital City Authority on grounds that his office had been abolished by the new statute.
Kisoke  however is alleging that his termination was irregular because his letter was backdated to read that the defunct  KCC had retired him and therefore he is a stranger to KCCA  yet in actual sense he is sure that the office of the clerical clerk is still in existence.
Kisoke is now accusing the Executive Director of having a personal grudge against him to the extent of even refusing to instruct the public service ministry to process his retirement benefits.
The high court deputy Registra Sarah Langa has now given Musisi and the attorney General 15 days within which to file their defense.

Shops down town open to business amidst “togikwatako” tension

Streets in Kampala’s central business district (CBD) are bustling with activities despite public anxiety and heavy deployment over the upcoming presidential age limit debate in parliament.

With the deployment of police and the military in several strategic locations, speculation was rife that people would keep off the Central Business District in anticipation of demonstrations over the proposed move to remove Article 102(b) of the Constitution.

The motion for the amendment of the Article, which caps the presidential age at 75, is expected today after a failed attempt last Thursday. Amid the anxiety, various political groups and civil society organizations are mobilizing supporters to come out and challenge the planned amendment.

Last week, when the matter was expected in parliament, police engaged demonstrators in running battles, paralyzing business in several areas. But shops in Kampala are all open with business going on normally. Taxis and other motorists are also operating normally.

Jacob Okoku, a resident of Kireka, says he had feared to go to the city centre but is surprised with the calmness.

The Constitution Square in the centre of Kampala has been declared out of bounds for unauthorized personnel. The Square, usually a target for demonstrators, is closed to the public with tapes blocking all entrances.

While the police and military are stationed in the middle of the Square, crime preventers are manning the entrances, turning away people. Armored vehicles and fire engines are on the ready, in anticipation of any riotous developments.

Noah Bukenya, a boda-boda cyclist at the Square, told URN that the crime preventers started their operations in the wee hours of the morning.

Anti-riot police is also deployed at the Democratic Party (DP) headquarters at City House. A police patrol pickup full with heavily armed policemen is parked at the entrance to the DP offices as other police men are positioned around the building.

DP coined the anti-age limit removal campaign slogan, Kogikwatako, which has since caught on with different ethnicities coining their own versions.

Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Emilian Kayima, says the deployment is in response to, as he put it, “what’s going on in the country”.

City House also houses the offices of the youth wing of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).

 

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Kanyamunyu applies for Bail for the forth time

By Sania Babirye

Mathew Kanyamunyu Muyogoma who is charged with the murder of Kenneth Akena a social worker at Lugogo in Kampala in 2016 has applied for bail for the fourth time.

This is after his three other bail applications were  declined with the recent being on the 23rd of August this year when high court judge Yasin Nyanzi ruled that he did not have exceptional circumstances including old age and poor health that are the main conditions for bail to be granted.

In the fresh bail application before high court criminal division, Kanyamunyu still claims that bail is his constitutional right and the notion of presumption of innocence until proved  guilty.

When High court Judge Yasin Nyanzi declined to grant him bail he advised him  to apply for bail as many times as possible but under a different judge since circumstances which the judge  based on to deny him bail have never changed since then.

With this new application, the application will either be heard by justice  Wilson Kwesiga or Anglin Ssenoga.

Prosecution   states that  on the 12th of  November 2016 along Jinja High way in Kampala opposite  the Uganda Manufacturer’s Association  (UMA) , with malice a fore thought, Kanyamunyu shot at Kenneth  Akena who later died from Norvik hospital in Kampala.

Akena is said to have accidentally scratched Mathew Kanyamunyu’s  car but when he got out to apologize Mathew Kanyamunyu who was in the car with his girlfriend allegedly pulled out his missing gun and shot him three times in the stomach.

He died at Norvik Hospital where Kanyamunyu who claims to have been trying to save him as a good Samaritan after he was shot had taken him for medication.

Akena  however is said to have left a dying declaration saying he was shot by Kanyamunyu.

Mwanje and others return to court for trial over Kigundu

 By Sania Babirye

The former acting Amir of Nakaserero Mosque  sheikh  Yahaya Ramathan Mwanje and seven others have been committed to the international crimes division of the high court to be tried over murder and terrorism charges.

This morning senior prosecutors Lillian Omora and Jonathan Muwaganya informed Buganda road  court chief magistrate Jamson Kareemani  that the Director of Public prosecutions Mike Chibita has directed them to have the accused committed after completion of investigations.

 On the 6th of this month Sheikh Mwanje and his first three co accused  were charged afresh with Murder, Terrorism and aiding a terror group ADF after the DPP withdrew his first murder charges that Sheikh Mwanje and three others were already being tried in the high court.

The process was to allow state to add four more suspects and slap fresh charges of Murder, Terrorism, and aiding a terror group  on all the suspects so that the entire group can be tried together.

The new suspects  are part of the 14 people  who are also charged with the murder of former police spokesman AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

They include Yusuf Nyanzi,  Kalyango Jibril, Balyejusa Noordin and Bruhan Balijusa.

Other suspects include 43 year old bodaboda rider  Buyondo Muhammad a resident of Nsanji, 37 year old Sendegeya Abdul Wahab a bodaboda rider in Kyengere Nsanji and a 43 year old  business man in Masanafu  Sekandi Musa.

According to  the new charges Sheikh Mwanje and his co accused with others still at large,  on the 26 of November 2016 at Masanafu trading center Rubaga division murdered Major Muhammad Kigundu and his body guard  sergeant Stephen Mukasa.

The state further says that the suspects between 2010 and 2017 within the different district in the country aided and abetted terrorism by way of recruitment and  rendering support in form of training ADF members .

Meanwhile Nyanzi and Kalyango are  separately  charged with belonging and confessing to belong to ADF between 2010 and 2012.

The chief magistrate has however bared them  from  pleading to the new charges since they are capital in nature and only tried and bailed by the high court.

They have all been remanded to Luzira prison until the court will finally set a date for hearing of the case.

Mwanje  was arrested in November 2016 and detained  at Nalufenya until January 2017 when  he was finally charged.

Heavy rain in Isingiro washes homes and livestock away

Hundreds of people are homeless in Nyamiyanja and Birere Sub counties in Isingiro district following heavy rains that have been pounding the area since Sunday. The rains have destroyed several homes, several acres of banana plantations and livestock.

The rains also washed away Kishuro and Katanoga bridges and devastated Nyamiyanja gravity water flow scheme. The most affected are Eijugangoma, Nyarwenshama, Twamagondo and Nyakibare in Nyamiyanja Sub County where several crop gardens were destroyed completely.

Joseph Besigye, the LC 3 chairperson, Birere Sub County, says the displaced people have taken refuge in churches and schools. According to Besigye, they are still assessing the magnitude of the destruction before deciding their next course of action.

Jeremiah Kamurali, the Isingiro LC V Chairperson, says they are concerned over the disasters, which he blames on environmental degradation. He says there is need for residents to adopt modern farming methods to avert future challenges.

 

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Civil society urged to strengthen digital departments

By Edwin Muhumuza

Civil Society Organizations are rooting for the strengthening of cyber security in a bid to safe guard them- selves from attackers.

Executive Director, Defenders Protection Initiative, Yona Wanjala, said that non-governmental organizations around the world have been a target by state agencies accusing them of terrorism and money laundering a move they say has been as a result of cyber -attacks.

His remarks came during a digital security conference, at the Kampala Serena Hotel ,that brought together several organizations with aim of ensuring digital safety as they run their operations in the country.

NGO Forum Executive Director Richard Ssewakiryanga says work done by non-governmental organizations is too sensitive and therefore the need for digital security to safe guard it.

He adds that there has been break-ins where computers have been stolen leaving the fate of some organizations uncertain, and therefore the need for them(CSO’s) to increase budgets to prioritize Information Communication Technology.

Over the past five years there has been a wave of break-ins into the premises of non-governmental organizations, mostly those specializing in protecting human rights.

Despite the Uganda Police Force saying it has commissioned investigations into most of the incidents, the leaders of the affected organizations say there has hardly been any progress on this front, and not a single report detailing the progress of investigations has been issued.

They accuse the police and the government of being insensitive to the plight of civil society organizations at best, and at worst they say the State could be complicit in the break-ins. The police deny the accusations and say they are actively working to remedy the situation.

Semwanga’s body will not be exhumed, court rules

By Sania Babirye

The High court in Kampala has dismissed an application that was seeking  orders to  have  the body of the late Ivan Ssemwanga exhumed  after he was buried with legal tenders.

On Monday,  high court judge  Marget Oguli -Oumo  declined  to grant a concerned citizens Abey Mgugu’s request in which he sued  A-plus funeral management  that was in charge of the burial and funeral arrangements on grounds that A-plus was not responsible for the supervision and enforcement of respect of currency notes in its contract with the deceased’s family.

Justice Oguli Oumo has also ruled that Mgugu does not have a cause of action  against A-plus because it’s   not the  company that  threw money into Ssemwanga’s  grave, some thing which would have given rise to this case.

She has further  exonerated Bank of Uganda which the petitioner had accused  of  neglecting its statutory duty to protect currency on grounds that the  Bank of Uganda Act gives it no duty to enforce respect of the Ugandan currency and those from other jurisdictions such as the US dollar and the South African Rand that Mgugu claims were also thrown in Ssemwanga’s  grave.

Mgugu had petitioned the high court because he wanted Ssemwanga’s grave opened and have the money put back into circulation.

He had accused A-plus funeral service and Bank of Uganda of failing to protect a legal tender by looking on as the youths from the Rich gang threw money  into the grave as Ssemwanga was being buried on the  30th of May 2017 at Nakaliro village in Kayunga district.

However Bank of Uganda still has a pending case before Justice Stephen Musota  where another concerned citizen Robert Ssenfuka  is also seeking Ssemwanga’s body be exhumed and put back all the money that was buried with him  into circulation.