By Alice Lubwama
Uganda’s representative at the Pan African Parliament also Ssembabule Woman MP Anifa Bangirana Kawooya NRM, has been elected unopposed as Vice-Chair of the Women Caucus, during the East African Caucus Meeting of the continental legislature in Midrand, South Africa.
The African legislators are currently meeting in Midrand for the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Assembly where they will debate a wide range of issues affecting the continent.
Kawooya becomes the second Ugandan legislator to hold a position of leadership in the Pan African Parliament after Hon. Jacqueline Amongin, who is currently the Chairperson of the Committee on Rural
Economy, Agriculture and Natural Resources.
In her position as Vice-Chair of the Women Caucus, the legislator has an uphill task to advocate for issues of women and girls on the continent where Female Genital Mutilation and child marriages are
Photo Credit: New Vision
By Alice Lubwama
As the parliamentary committee on commissions, statutory authorities and state enterprises concluded its investigations into the 6 billion shilling hand shake today, some MPs on this committee want Government officials who were involved in the oil case negotiations to refund the 23 million shillings they got as sitting allowances because there is no evidence that the meetings took place.
One of the members Itungo Nathan from Kashari south say that the attendance list which was used to pay the allowances is not evident enough to show that the meetings took place without the minutes.
Itungo say that the attendance list could have been forged for the sake of getting the allowances.
Photo Credit: ChimpReports
By Robert Segawa
The Kampala lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has threatened to mobilize the residents in protest against the amendment the re-tabled Kampala Capital City Authority bill 2015 which he says doesn’t only de-franchise peoples’ power but also restrains and scraps off the mayoral powers.
While addressing the media at city hall, Lukwago says that the cabinet has been given 45 days to finalize everything that regards the bill. Lord Mayor and his team are going to use the same period to join with other Kampala people to meet and sensitize Kampala residents.
Lukwago adds that on addition to defiantly using residents; they are to use legal avenues to file a petition seeking for a redress over violation of article 1 which democratically gives people power.
Lord Mayor however challenges the minister for Kampala Betty Kamya to front referendum if she believes in power of the people over the councilors selecting devise and authority lord mayors like the new amendment proposals instead of hoodwinking Ugandans.
He attacks minister Kamya for failure to table the authority budget increment which has deterred development especially infrastructure and garbage problem leading to poor sanitation in the city and the Kitezi dumping area over flood. Lukwago adds that she is just being used president Museveni.
By Ofwono Opondo, Government Spokesman
Government of Uganda takes exception over a litany of negative and non-factual or conjured accusations by the US Ambassador Deborah Malac made on the 3rd May 2017. Her condescending and rumbling statement exposed her bias as she sought to make Dr Stella Nyanzi the only subject of the press freedom day although Nyanzi doesn’t qualify as a media person, and this isn’t to suggest that her rights to free expression shouldn’t be respected within realms of Ugandan laws.
By focusing on Nyanzi, Ambassador Malac showed she has not bothered to understand the state of the media in Uganda. While giving her thoughts during the World Press Day, Ambassador Malac made over the board statements to the effect that the Uganda government suffocates freedom of expression and harassing those involved in the profession. Malac cited the case of Makerere University lecturer Dr Stella Nyanzi, who was arrested and charged before competent courts of law under the Computer Misuse Act 2011, calling her the champion of free speech. Misuse of computer and internet is a crime in Uganda, as well as many jurisdictions around the world.
Dr. Nyanzi is not being tried before a hastily established kangaroo court. She is before a gazzetted Court and all the due processes of the law are being followed. She is accessing her lawyers and enjoying the liberties entitled to any suspect in Uganda.
Foremost, Uganda has values and ethics that form and define our country which Ambassador Malac is at liberty to disagree with. These values were further formulated into laws by our Parliament and these need not be similar to those of the United States. As a sovereign country we legislate for our citizens according to our norms and not necessarily USA ideals or whims. I believe the US has its values and code of conduct that govern her citizens as well.
Though Uganda continues to uphold freedom of expression as guaranteed by our constitution, government shall apprehend and prosecute those involved in suspected criminal transgressions in all its forms. The Ambassador should note that her government to this day continues to pursue and hunt Edward Snowden and Julian Asange for alleged criminality inspite of their claims to protection under US freedom of expression laws. The two are currently in exile, Snowden in Russian, and Asange is holed up in the embassy of Ecuador in the UK for close to a decade now. They fear they cannot be afforded justice in USA. Clearly Snowden has found more freedom in Russia, which Ambassador Malac doesn’t find odd as she praises her America.
Uganda has value systems and it is these systems that define us. For example, can Ambassador Malac site at least one case in her America where a university lecturer like Nyanzi has undressed to nudity before her students as a form of civil protest?
For the record Uganda enjoys a great degree of media freedom and freedom of expression, and continues to build on earlier successes across all media and communication platforms.
Uganda hasn’t reached that level and is unlikely to pursue that a good model. We have over 300 radio stations, over 30 TV stations, over 20 print media and a vibrant social media.
All these have no form of censorship and are free to criticize and expose government excesses of all kinds. The courts of Uganda have also ruled that the media is free to tell untruths. Uganda government enjoys a robust and relatively good working relationship with media and we shall continue to nurture this relationship.
However we feel we have a duty to protect our citizens from criminal behavior that endanger our people under the guise of freedom of expression.
Photo Credit: Daily Monitor
By Sania Babirye
The court of Appeal has overturned the decision by the Masindi High court that had nullified the election of Ernest Kiiza as the validly elected Masindi Municipality Member of Parliament.
The three justices led by the Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma, Cheborion Barishaki and Alfonse Owiny-Dollo unanimously ruled that Kiiza’s rival and also NRMs Former Minster for Information Kabakumba Matsiko did not produce sufficient evidence in relation to the allegations of voter bribery.
The justices have also ruled that the lower High court judge Elizabeth Nahamya failed to properly and independently evaluate the evidence adduced by Kabakumba before nullifying Kiiza’ s victory .
Hon. Kabakumba had accused the Bishop of bribing voters with salt, balls sports jerseys and well construction however the judges have ruled that Kabakumba failed to reveal the details and particulars of the voters who did receive the alleged gifts from either Hon. Kiiza or his agents.
In July 2016 Hon.Kiiza’s election was nullified over voter bribery by the Masindi high court after Hon.Kabakumba filed an election petition challenging his victory.
Photo Credit: GMEPA
By Sania Babirye
The court of appeal has overturned the decision by the Soroti high court that had nullified the election of NRMs Serere County MP Patrick Okabe over lack of the requisite academic papers and non-compliance with the law.
Three court of appeal justices led by the Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma, Cheborion Barishaki and Alfonse Owiny-Dollo have ruled that the petitioner Josep Opio Linos from UPC party did not have the capacity within which to challenge Okabe’ s victory since there is no evidence that he was validly elected as a candidate to contest in the concluded elections .
The justices have also ruled that Opio did not have the required 500 signatures from voters to challenge the elections.
The justices have further ruled that there is evidence that Opio’s nomination was rejected by the returning officer after finding out that his 2 nominees were not registered voters.
That even though Opio appealed to the Electoral Commission, there is no minutes on court record showing that the 5 members of the commission sat and either unanimously or by majority vote decided to nominate him.
In conclusion the justices have ruled that the election petition was not valid to be considered in the High court.
In September 2016 Justice Billy Kainamura nullified Okabe’s victory on grounds that he used different names on his academic papers during his senior four at Ayer secondary school where he used Ocen Oliba Patrick while on his nominations he used Patrick Okabe.
UPC’s Opio had also accused EC of omitting his name on the ballot papers denying his supporters a right to vote a candidate of their own choice.
Photo Credit: Chimp reports
By Sania Babirye
FDC’s Sizomu Gershom Rabbi Wambedde has retained his Bungokho North Constituency seat in Mbale District.
This after three court of appeal justices led by deputy chief justice Steven Kavuuma upheld the Mbale High court ruling that declared that he was the validly elected area MP.
While dismissing the appeal the Justices ruled that the appeal lacked merit saying they did not agree with Mashete since Rabbi means “Teacher “of Jewish Law which tittle the MP acquired but does not mean a king of Jews as he had alleged.
NRM’s Mashete Magomu Peter challenged his victory on grounds that the MP Sizomu Gershom Rabbi Wambedde being a cultural leader, (rabbi) king of the jews did not have the right to contest for a political position.
Mashete had also accused MP Rabbi of lacking the requisite academic qualifications for election as MP of Bungokho North Constituency, having presented to the Electoral Commission verification letters from UNEB instead of his O and A level Certificates that he says we’re lost.
He has also been ordered to pay costs of the suit.
Photo Credit: Jewish Journal
By Sania Babirye
FDC’s Apollo Kantinti has lost his seat as MP for the Kyadondo East Constituency after the court of appeal three justices led by Richard Buteera’ Cheborion Balishaki and Paul Mugamba upheld high court judge Henry Kaweesa’s ruling that nullified his victory over noncompliance of the electoral laws on the side of the Electoral commission.
The justices ruled that the way EC conducted the elections substantially affected the result in a substantial manner on grounds that it was not clear on who won the Kyadondo East constituency election since results from 9 polling stations were not included in the final tally.
The justices further noted that over 5000 voters were de-enfranchised when their cast votes were not given the same weight like others in the final tally.
The court of Appeal has also ordered that fresh elections be conducted after declaring the seat vacant.
The court of appeal has also ordered that EC and Hon.Katinti pay costs to NRMs petitioner Sitende Sebalu.
In July 2016 High court judge Isabirye Kaweesa nullified Katinti’s election on ground that the Wakiso district returning officer Sarah Bukirwa did not comply with the electoral commission laws after declaration forms from seven polling stations went missing tan amounting to failure to protect voting materials that were in her custody.
This is after NRMs Sebalu filed an election petition contesting Kantinti’s election on grounds that the Electoral commission had conducted the said election in an improper manner.
However Hon.Katinti appealed the ruling on grounds that the trial judge did not evaluate properly all evidence that was brought before him when he cancelled his victory.
By Robert Segawa
Following the suspension of DP vice president for Buganda region Betty Nambooze Bakireke, DP president Nobert Mao addressing the media at the party head offices says they are going to hit the ground hard to destabilize her agenda and others who he calls masqueraders aiming to kill the party.
Mao says they either get in line or get out of the party instead of spreading sectarian propaganda in guise of building the party hiding in colors of Kiiza Besigye who he accuses of continuing to destabilize the party by his selfish interests.
He regrets everything that happened to the people of Masaka but SUUBI part2 are responsible for all the mistreatments Masaka residents went through last Sunday.
Meanwhile Mao calls upon the elders to counsel some DP members from Buganda and also asked Nambooze and group to stop spreading sectarian that Acholi and Banyarwanda are taking over DP.