Court sets date for Hearing of Kabafunzanki trial

By Sania Babirye

High court judge Margret Tibulya has been assigned to hear the corruption case against  State Minister for labor  Herbert Kabafunzaki and two others.

These are charged with two counts of  conspiring to solicit for a 15 million bribe from the Proprietor of Aya group of companies Mohammad Hamid.

On the 28th of June Anti corruption court chief magistrate Agnes Alum committed Kabafuzanki  alongside his political aid Mugabo Brian and a relative Lubowa Bruce for trial in the high court.

This is after state prosecutor Barbara Kawuma informed court that the DPP had opted  for the the three to be tried by a judge saying a judge was in better position to try the case due  due to the circumustances of how  the  case was commited and the people involved it.

Anti corruption court Deputy Registrar Susan Kanyange has set the 18th of July as the date when hearing of the case will commence and ordered Kabafunzaki
together and his co accused  to appear in court for trial

Prosecution states  that between the 6th and the 8th April 20217 at Serena Hotel in Kampala district,  Kabafunzaki directly solicited and accepted  a 5 million shillings Bribe from an Indian Investor Muhammed Muhammed Hamid,  the chairman Aya group of companies as an inducument to clear him of sexual harrasment allegations levied against him by his former employee.

Some of the evidence that the DPP intends to adduce before court include a CCTV footage from Serena hotel that shows the interaction where the minister received  the alleged five million bribe in a khaki brown envelope from the Aya  boss and later giving it to his political assistant for counting who  later hid the money behind the curtains when police came to arrest them.

Ministry of lands official arrested for issuing land titles in wetlands

By Sania Babirye

The land commission of inquiry chair Justice Catherine Bamugemeire has ordered for the immediate arrest of the senior registrar  of  titles in the ministry of lands and urban development Lwera Atalo Bwogere for issuing titles in wetlands.

Atalo who was appearing before the seven member commission was arrested and taken to Wandegeya police station after justice Catherine Bamugemeire accused her of giving contradicting evidence regarding issuing of  land  titles in wetlands especially in Wakiso district.

On Thursday, the commission discovered that land titles were issued in Kijabijo wetland under her order however Atolo angered justice Catharine Bamugemeire when she alleged that she was not aware that the land was a wetland while she was issuing the said land titles.

37 year old Atalo  has been working in the ministry for the past 12 years and before she became a senior  registrar of titles  she was stationed at Wakiso district.

The said titles are said to have been issued between 20th  January 2016 to 8th February  same year.

Labaratory assistant arrested for failure to account for missing HIV testing kits

Remmy Yesiime, a laboratory assistant attached to Kabira health center III in Mitooma district is in trouble for alleged theft of HIV testing kits.

Yesiime was picked up on Monday following an impromptu inspection conducted by Emmy Ngabirano, the Mitooma Resident District Commissioner in response to complaints by residents.

According to Ngabirano, during the inspection, Yesiime failed to account for more than 500 HIV testing kits delivered to the facility. He explained that the number of people tested at the facility is far less to the missing kits.

Yesiimye acknowledge the disappearance of the HIV testing kits but denied knowledge of how they left the facility. He was locked up at Mitooma Central Police Station pending investigations into the matter.

Henry Mugarura, the Mitooma District Police Commander, says Yesiimye is being held misuse of office and theft of government properties under SD Reference number 05/19/06/2017.

Emmy Ngabirano, the Mitooma Resident District Commissioner, says they are determined to get rid of health workers misusing their positions at the expense of residents.

 

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Police arrest two officials for stealing the Arua hospital autoclave

Police are holding two officials from Arua Regional Referral Hospital over theft of an autoclave machine. The device is used to sterilize and kill microorganisms in laboratory instruments, glassware and medical equipment.

The arrested officials include an Assistant Procurement Officer, Robert Dombo and the hospital Driver Nathan Oluka, who was found selling the machine within Arua municipality. Oluka later told police that he was working under the instructions of the Assistant Procurement Officer.

Josephine Angucia, the regional police spokesperson for the West Nile region says police has opened wider investigations into thefts of equipment at Arua Regional Referral Hospital. She says prior to the latest incidence, the hospital management had reported theft of hospital scrap and a number of other items.

Angucia says that the thefts seem to be the work of an organized racked within the hospital. She adds that one of the arrested individuals named a few other officers with whom they connive to steal government property.

Arua regional referral hospital has been cast in bad light in recent times. Last year in October, 14 children reportedly died due to lack of oxygen in the hospital.

A similar incident resurfaced on New Year day 2017 when a baby suffocated because the hospital lacked oxygen and the only expert who should have attended to patients was not available at the time.

Recent reports indicated that a number of patients died at the operating theatre because of power outages. However, URN was not able to independently verify the allegations.

Masaka Hospital bosses arrested for embezzling funds

Two top officials of Masaka Regional Referral Hospital are in trouble for alleged embezzlement of billions of Shillings. They are Dr. Florence Tugumisirize, the Director Masaka Regional Referral Hospital and the Principal Hospital Administrator, Ereazer Mugisha.

The duo was picked up in a night raid by police and officers from the State House Drug monitoring Unit paralyzing health service delivery to patients. Five other officials attached to the finance department whose particulars haven’t been established have also been arrested.

Some of the operatives who conducted the raid told URN on condition of anonymity that the suspects are wanted for the theft of billions of Shillings. According to one of the sources, the officials are implicated in the Auditor General’s and State House Health Monitoring Audit Unit reports for failure to account for over 5billion Shillings.

John Mwaule, the Masaka District Police Commander declined to comment on the arrests, saying investigations are still ongoing. The arrested officials are in custody at Masaka Central Police Station. The suspects have not yet commented on the matter as they couldn’t be reached by our reporter.

Swaibu Sulambaaya, the Chairman of Patients Masaka Regional Referral Hospital, says they are happy with the arrest of the top administrators. Sulambaaya alleges that the hospital suspended patient meals illegally yet government releases money to feed patients without financial support.

Last year, the Auditor General faulted the hospital management for allowing the shoddy construction of the maternity and children wards. Government released Shillings 10 billion for the work.

 

 

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Office of the Prime minister accountant knocks and kills three on spot

Michael Openytho, an accountant with the Office of the Prime Minister based in Arua district is in trouble for knocking dead a boda boda rider and his two passengers. Openytho is in custody at Arua Central Police Station.

He is wanted for knocking dead Alex Feni, a boda boda rider, Joseph Tabule, a teacher at Ringili Primary School and his wife Loyce Andezu, all residents of Kuluva trading center in Vurra County.

John Ekollo, the Officer in Charge of Arua Central Police Station, says the accident occurred on New Year’s Day at Ewava primary school along Arua- Nebbi high way. According to Ekullo, Openytho was driving to Kampala and crushed the trio as he attempted to overtake another vehicle, about six kilometers from Arua town.

“After knocking the trio dead, the vehicle veered off the road and plunged into a big tree,” said Ekollo. He says although the vehicle registration number UAX 500W was damaged, Openytho was pulled out without any injuries.

Police attributes the accident to reckless driving, adding that Openytho will appear in court this week. Police has handed over the bodies of the accident victims to their relative for burial later today at Kuluva as investigations are ongoing.

In another incident, seven people escaped death narrowly on Tuesday afternoon after the vehicle registration number UAL 209L they were traveling in burst its right rear tyre and overturned three times near Ogoko health center three along Arua-Wadelai-Pakwach road.

According to police, seven occupants were travelling to attend a funeral service at Pawor Sub County in Lower Madi constituency. A medical doctor only identified as Orach, one of the occupants who was seating in the co-driver’s seat sustained cuts on his right arm.

Six people died in West Nile region over the New Year break according to the Regional Traffic Officer, Washington Labeja.

 

 

 

 

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Six held over missing accountability of municipal infrastructure development money in Fort Portal

Six officials of Fort Portal Municipal Council have recorded statements at the central police station after failing to answer queries raised in the 2013/2014 Auditor General’s report.

The officials were held this morning on the orders of the Local Government Accounts Committee of Parliament.

Members of the Committee, who are currently in Kabarole district, summoned the six municipal council officials to provide accountability for more than one billion Shillings meant for the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development -USMID project.

The officials are the Town Clerk Paul Omoko, Acting Principal Treasurer Diana Kamwenge, Municipal Engineer Herbert Kayihura, the focal person USMID project, Alice Komuntaro, Municipal Law Enforcement officer Roger Mulindwa and Procurement Officer Mwajuma Kobusinge.

USMID is a World Bank initiative designed to improve performance of selected Local Governments (LGs) to improve urban service delivery.

The legislators led by their chairperson, Aswa County MP Regan Okumu, put to task the officials to explain how the funds were used. Quoting the 2013/2014 Auditor General’s report, Okumu told the officials the funds were not put to proper use. He noted that some of the roads in the municipality that were supposed to be worked on under the project remain in a bad state.

Okumu also questioned the appointment of Komuntaro as the project’s focal person and yet she lacked the qualifications.

The officials failed to answer any of the questions put to them by the legislators.

Okumu warned them that he will hand them over to the police if they remain quiet.

They however kept their silence forcing Okumu to ask police officers to take them to Fort Portal Police Station and record statements.

By the time of filing the story, the officials were still at the police station.

In 2012, Fort Portal Municipality failed to utilise 3.2 billion Shillings meant for the USMID project.

The first phase of the project was supposed to start in 2012, but no works had started, despite the availability of the funds. Some of the key projects that were meant to be worked on include the expansion and tarmacking of roads, renovation of the Bus Park, improving the drainage system and construction of more markets in the three municipal divisions, among other things.

Municipal officials argued then that the funds could not be utilised because the two contractors who had been selected to do construction works refused to start work under unclear circumstances.

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Chris Brown released on bail after arrest over alleged assault with deadly weapon

Chris Brown has been released from police custody after being arrested Tuesday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos, tweeted early Wednesday morning that the musician had been released, adding, “The allegations against him are demonstrably false.”

The arrest at Brown’s Los Angeles home took place after a nearly 14-hour standoff, the Associated Press reported, and ended when police obtained a search warrant to enter the residence.

A guest at Brown’s home, Baylee Curran, said that he pointed a gun at her face after he became angry when she complimented another man’s diamond necklace, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Police did not confirm any of the details surrounding the alleged altercation.

Police described Brown as being “cooperative,” and did not confirm if they recovered any weapons from his home.

Brown was released on $250,000 bail at 11:19 p.m. local time, according to jail records. His next court date is set for Sept. 20.

LAPD arrived at the scene after receiving a call from a woman needing assistance at around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Brown, 27, denied any wrongdoing via social media, inviting police to obtain the warrant.

“You’re going to walk right up in here and you’re going to see nothing,” he said in a video posted to his Instagram.

The investigation was transferred to the LAPD’s Robbery Homicide division because of its high profile status.

After police served the warrant, Brown and his guests were brought outside while authorities did a protective sweep.

Police said all occupants would be interviewed about the incident.

Brown’s representatives did not immediately respond to ABC News’s request for comment.

 

 

 

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URA rearrests Fuelex boss for invading taxes

The Uganda Revenue Authority has rearrested the owner of Fuelex fuel stations for allegedly smuggling into the country fuel and evading taxes.

John Imaniraguha was arrested at Entebbe International airport as he attempted to flee the country with his family, though his next destination was not known at the time of filing this story.

The businessman who was paraded before the media at URA’s Nakawa head office, had two days go been arrested by URA’s law enforcement officers who handed him over to Jinja Road Police Station but he vanished under unexplained circumstances.

While addressing the media shortly after his arrest, Sarah Banage, the Assistant Commissioner Public and Corporate Affairs, said the arrest of Imaniraguha is a relief, eight years after being on the wanted list.

She added that the businessman’s acts of smuggling fuel and selling it at a lower market price, had distorted the fuel industry and that his eventual arrest will level the fuel market ground.

Banage explained that they have enough evidence to pin Imaniraguha in courts of law and that very soon, they will be produced him before the Anti-Corruption Court and formally charged.

This is not the first time that the businessman finds himself in the wrong books of the tax body.

In 2010, URA closed his Nalukolongo Fuelex branch over tax evasion of over shillings 42 million.

The closure of Nalukolongo Fuelex station followed intelligence information that a tanker loaded with about 50,000 litres of fuel worth shillings 42 million had been offloaded at his station and yet the same tanker had earlier been cleared by URA at Busia border as being destined for Congo, meaning it had been exempted from paying taxes.

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Police arrests two men for flying a drone

Police in Nakasongola are holding to two people suspected of spying on the Uganda People’s Defense Force air base using drones. The suspects are Donald Wasake and Chris Mutenyo, both employees of Inachee Uganda Limited, a business advisory firm in Kampala.

They were picked up on Wednesday from Nakitoma village in Nakitoma Sub County in Nakasongola district. Lameck Kigozi, the Savannah Regional Police Spokesperson, says the duo was picked up following reports from residents that they were flying a drone with cameras in Nakitoma Sub County.

According to Kigozi, it raised suspicion that the duo could be using the drone to spy on Nakasongola UPDF air force base or other security installations.  He said when interrogated, the duo couldn’t present any proof showing that they had been cleared by Civil Aviation Authority-CAA or Police to fly the drone in the area.

Our reporter couldn’t reach the suspects to get their side of the story. In their statement at Nakasongola police station, Wasake and Mutenyo claim that they were using the drone to map some land. They claimed that they were hired by Synergy Partners Limited, a real estate development firm to survey their land and decided to use a drone.

By time of filling this story, Police was planning to transfer the duo to Kampala Central Police station for further investigation. Although drones have been in use in other parts of the world for some time, they are new phenomenon in Uganda.   Despite the fact that several Ugandans have acquired drones for different uses, government is yet to enact regulation to control their usage.

President Yoweri Museveni mesmerized voters across the country in the just concluded presidential campaigns when he decided to use drones to capture footage and pictures at his rallies.

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