Justice Chibita slaps fresh charges against Major Kiggudu suspected murderers

By Sania Babirye

The Director of Public Prosecutions Mike Chibita has this morning formally withdrawn charges of murdering Maj. Muhammad Kiggudu and his bodyguard   against the acting Deputy Amir of the Tabliq Muslim section sheikh Yahaya Ramathan  Mwanjje and 3 others.

Sheikh Mwanje and his co accused  were already being tried in the high court  for murdering major  Kigundu after DPP committed them for trial on the 15th of march this year.

Today  state prosecutor Lillian Omara while appearing before trial  judge Wilson Kwesiga   presented a withdrawal letter from the DPP dated 4th/September 2017 clearing Sheikh Mwanjje and his alleged accomplices over the murder .

Despite the clearance, the suspects have been remanded back to Luzira prison after the same DPP slapped fresh murder and terrorism charges against them and four others on Wednesday.

In the fresh charges that were read  by Buganda road court chief magistrate Jamson Kareemani,  Sheikh Yahaya Mwanjje, 2 boda-boda riders from   Nsangi stage ; Muhammad Buyondo and Abdul Wahaab Ssendegeya  and Musa Ssekandi  are said to have aided a Terrorsit group ADF with support in form of training and recruitment between years 2010-2017 in various districts of Uganda.

They are also  jointly charged with Yusuf Nyanzi, Jibril Kalyango,Noordin Lutaaya, Bruhan  Balyejusa  for the murder of Maj. Kiggudu and his body guard Sgt . Stephen Mukasa on  the 26th/November 2016 at Masanafu trading center.

The eight are expected to return to court on the 13th of this month when the DPP is expected to commit them for trial over the new charges.

Sironko mudslide victims receive food relief from Government

Government has finally delivered 500 bags of maize flour to mudslides victims in Sironko district. The maize flour was delivered to Sironko district headquarters on Tuesday evening.

The flour is meant for distribution to hundreds of families affected by the August 28th, 2017 mudslides in Bufupa Parish in Masaba sub county.  The mudslide claimed the life of one person. Nine other people are still missing.

The mudslides also destroyed several crop gardens, livestock and houses living several residents in the dire need of relief. Vincent Woboya, the Budadiri East MP, says the district will come up with a program for distributing the food relief to the intended beneficiaries.
Herbert Mulekwa, the Sironko LC V chairman, says the district disaster committee has already completed its assessment. “On Wednesday, I had to work hard to make sure that vehicles carrying food were able to reach the mudslide victims,” he said.
Alex Banga, the Masaka Sub County LC V Councilor has welcomed the relief support. He however, says there is need for most support for the mudslide survivors since some of them are still occupying schools and churches.
Eunice Nandudu Maku, the Masaba Sub county Female Council has thanked government for supporting the mudslide victims. Mary Nabafu, one of the mudslide victims, says they had lost hope thinking government had ignored them.
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Ugandans are faced with food insecurity, officials blame it on past drought

The population of food-stressed Ugandans has increased to 26.5 percent from the 16 percent reported in July 2016, according to a report from the Office of the Prime Minister.

This new report, presented by the State Minister for Karamoja Moses Kizige to the cabinet, followed a National Food Security Assessment Report for January 2017 which highlighted a rise in the number of food-insecure Ugandans to 11.4 million from 1.3 million people in November 2016.

Thirty districts were assessed for food and nutrition security. They include Arua, Maracha, Nebbi, Yumbe, Iganga, Kiryandongo, Namutumba, Isingiro, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Kasese, Kabale, and Kyenjojo among others.

In many of these, a big percentage of the population can only access one to two meals a day while 4.5 percent of the country’s population does not have any food stocks and are classified are being in a food crisis.

The Office of the Prime Minister attributes this current food security to prolonged dry spells resulting in crop/pasture failure and livestock deaths, crop and animal pests like fall army worm and foot and mouth disease as well as inadequate knowledge on water harvesting, storage and use of water for irrigation.

Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja also said that the fall army worm had adversely affected the food security of the country but that government had embarked on a nationwide awareness campaign on recognition, management and effective insecticides to kill the worm.

“In the medium term, the ministry through the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) is screening natural agents that can kill the army worm.” said Ssempijja.

He added that his ministry was also engaging manufacturers of pesticides to set base in the country as they in a long run develop a bio control agents and breeding for resistance.

 

 

 

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Tooro Queen mother warned against evicting people from land

President Museveni has warned Best Kemigisa, the Queen Mother of Tooro Kingdom against carrying out illegal land evictions.

Museveni issued the warning while appearing on Voice of Tooro radio station in Fort Portal on Wednesday night as part of his nationwide campaign to explain the proposed Constitutional amendments on land.

The warning stems from complaints from some callers against the Queen mother. Steven Mugurusi, a resident of Kitumba requested the President to reign in on Kemigisa. In his response Museveni directed Kemigisa to stop the evictions, saying they are contrary to the law. “The law is very clear; no one should be evicted from their land. That person (Kemigisa) should stop,” Museveni said.

Kemigisa has in the past come under criticism for evicting families using Uganda Peoples’ Defense Force (UPDF) soldiers attached to the security detail of King Oyo. Some of the families are in Kitumba and Kidukuru villages in Fort Portal. Last year, Kemigisa threatned to evict more than 70 families from a piece of land measuring 25 acres in Kitumba. She said that she wants to use the land to construct a school.

Museveni also said that should the evictions persist, the actions of Kemigisa should be brought to the attention of the local leaders in the district and action taken. “It’s good you have told me who is evicting people from their land. This should stop and the leaders in the district should take note and do something”, Museveni said.

In May, Tooro Elders under their umbrella, Isaazi lyAbaantu Bakuru Ba Tooro petitioned the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Land Commission over Kemigisa’s actions. On the controversial leasing of crater lakes to Ferdsult Engineering Services Limited by Kabarole district local government, Museveni said that the investor should have thoroughly consulted the community surrounding the lakes before restocking the lakes.

“The fishermen have been using the lakes for a long time, they should have been consulted before restocking started. I don’t see any problem with both parties sitting to find an amicable solution”, Museveni said. Kabarole District Local government in 2015 allegedly leased twenty crater lakes to Ferdsult Engineering Services Limited to restock them with Fish.

This prompted Kichwamba Sub County residents to challenge the matter in court. In June Fort Portal High Court Resident Judge, Justice Anthony Ojok Ayuko cancelled the deal citing irregularities. Ferdsult and Kabarole district local government have since appealed the judgment.

 

 

 

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MPs THREATEN TO DEMONSTRATE OVER THE DELAYED CONSTRUCTION OF MBALE –TIRINYI ROAD

By Edwin Muhumuza

Members of parliament from the eastern region of Uganda have vowed to demonstrate on Monday next week if the Uganda National Roads Authority does not embark on works to finish the Mbale-Tirinyi Road.

Their disappointment stems from the numerous loss of lives along the road, whose construction was halted amid a scuffle between the contractor and UNRA, over shoddy work.

Fourteen Members of Parliament from Teso, Busoga, and the Elgon region have convened to voice their discontent against UNRA’s Executive Director,  Allen Kagina, accusing her of incompetence.

Among the main issues raised include increased road accidents, arising from haphazard construction works.

The cost of doing business on that road is very high, we are about to demonstrate in a match much worse than that of Amuru” said Nambeshe John Baptist.

A whooping shs.73bn has been sank in that project but you can hardly see that results.He added.

Kumi Municipality’s Aogon Cyrus said ,”do we always have to come to the press for somebody to do something for us. It should be done by Monday,or else we shall raise our feet eyes, the road must be fixed!

“The state of this particular road is a death trap since 2015,the entire road was excavated and has caused us trouble, everyday we witness accidents in Namutumba town council.”said Akamba Paul,representative for Busiki county.

Early this year the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) terminated their contract with construction company Dott Services on the rehabilitation of the Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale road, after a presidential directive to UNRA Executive Director, Allen Kagina to stop giving contracts to Dott Services which he referred to as ‘fraudulent’, before he made a U-turn.

Work at standstill as judicial officers continue with their strike

By Sania Babirye

The Judicial Officers strike has entered its second day with many suspects who are on bail stranded at court as they reported for  their bail extensions and case mention .

This morning many suspects who are out on bail returned for their bail extensions only to be informed by clerks in the registry that they did not have any instructions to extend their bail.

This means that suspects who are out on bail are not  subjected to report back  to court until judges return to work  and  set new  bail  dates and case mention .

However some  suspects have improvised with their lawyers by agreeing with prosecutions on which date they should return back to court for mention of their different cases  as the indefinite  strike continues.

 But suspects who are on  remand in Luzira prisons have not been brought to court by prison Authorities.

Some of  the key cases that flopped today include the Corruption case against State Minister for Labour Hebert Kabafunzaki and two others where prosecution led by Barbara Kawuma and his lawyers agreed that they return back to court on tge 11th of September hoping that by then  the judges and magistrates strike would have ended.

It still remains to be seen what will happen to other suspects who are out on bail and have not been  given another date to report back .

This is likely to make many suspects untraceable by fleeing or changing their places of abode.

 

Telecoms fail to verify four million sim cards due to mismatching NINs

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology says that details of nearly four million Sim Cards submitted by subscribers cannot be matched with the provided National Identification Numbers (NINs).

Vincent Bagiire made the revelation while appearing before a parliamentary joint committee chaired by Tororo North MP Annet Nyakecho.

The committee consisting of MPs sitting on the committees of defense and internal affairs, Equal opportunities and that of ICT was tasked to assess the progress of the sim card verification exercise whose deadline is next week Thursday.

In his submission, Bagiire said that different telecom companies submitted the total number of their subscribers to the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) with a view of matching the sim card numbers to the provided NINs.

“Some of the individuals who sent numbers were found to exist and could relate numbers to particular individuals but some were not found, they could not be matched to a NIN,” said Bagiire.

He said that out of the 16,921,861 million Sim Card details submitted by MTN, the biggest telecom operator, 15,982,381 were verified with only 13.4 million registration details found to be matching with the NINs.

Bagiire however noted that 2.5 million MTN Sim Card registration details cannot be matched to a National Identification Number (NIN).

For Airtel which is the second largest telecom company, out of the 11,232,568 million Sim Card details submitted, nine million were verified by NIRA with only eight million registration details found to be matching with NINs. At least 941,000 Sim Cards were found not to be matching their NIN details.

Bagiire further revealed that Africell submitted three million Sim Card details to NIRA out of which two million were verified with 1.4 million found to be matching with the provided NIN details. At least 542,111 could not be matched to the provided NINs.

For Ugandan Telecom (UTL), 236,891 thousand Sim Card details were submitted out of which NIRA verified 159,141. A total of 136, 708 matched the NIN details provided while 22,434 could not be matched to the NINs.

Explaining why some Sim Cards could not be verified even after the provision of the National Identification Numbers (NINs), Bagiire attributed this to mistakes carried in the NIN while registering.

He also highlighted malpractices within the telecom industry saying that some individuals within the telecom companies are involved in a scam he described as “Sim-boxing”

According to Bagiire, Sim-boxing is where a fraudulent subscriber can terminate international calls through local phone numbers in the respective country to make it appear as if the call is a local call.

For parliament’s ICT committee chairperson Annet Nyakecho, the numbers that cannot be matched to NINs could be ghost Sim cards which are purchased by different individuals for unknown reasons.

All agencies involved in the registration of Sim Cards are expected to appear before parliament’s Committee on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on Thursday to give a definitive position on whether the August 31st deadline will be maintained or not.

The deadline for validation of Sim Cards was initially extended from May 19 to August 30 to give more time to telecom companies to complete the verification of subscribers who had not obtained National Identification Numbers at the time.

Only 11 million sim cards had been validated by May 2017, according to data released by the Uganda Communications Commission.

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Kamoga and two other face life imprisonment

By Sania Babirye

The international crimes division of the high court has handed a life imprisonment sentence to the Tabliq sect leader Sheikh Yunus Kamoga  , his brother Multabh Bukenya, Siraje Kawooya and Fahad Kalungi.

This is after the court convicted them of Terrorism Monday.

While sentencing them the three justices led by Eziekel Muhanguzi, Percy Tuhaise and Jane Kiggudu ruled that Kamoga and his other convicts   should spend the rest of their lives in prison because they  committed  terrorism and yet they should have developed communities since they were  religious leaders but instead they chose to  orchestrate the crime.

Other convicts Yusuf Kakande,  Fahad Kalungi and Sekayanja Abdul Salam have been sentenced each  to 30 yrs in prison after the court ruled that they  were just followers

The six  were convicted on acts of terrorism against a group of other Muslims with whom they had religious wrangles.

These acts include verbal murder threats and attack on  their reputation such as in the case of Buganda Prince Kasim Nakibinge and Deputy Supreme mufti Muhammod Kibaate whose names and photographs were printed on fliers and distributed to  various  mosques arguing  Muslims to shun them.

On Monday  the same court acquitted the six and 8 others on the charge of murdering fellow  Muslims sheikhs; Mustafa Bahiga and Ibrahim Kirya over luck of evidence .

The justices ruled that all the 36 prosecution witnesses failed to directly link the 14 suspects to the murder charges and attempted murder of sheikh Haruna Jemba.

Security tight at High court as Muslim clerics murder suspects await judgement

By Sania Babirye

The international crimes division of the high court will at 2 o’clock  deliver its judgement  in a case in which  14 people are charged with masterminding  the murder of several Muslim clerics in the country.

All the 14 suspects have arrived at high court amidst tight security.

Security has also been Tightened at the court premises with anti terrorism police squad surrounding the court.

Relatives of the suspects have also come in large numbers to witness the scheduled judgement and have been subjected to maximum check up at court entries with only those having valid  identification allowed inside the court premises.

On the 11th of July 2017  three court assessors  Robert Lubega Sseguya, Judith Muhairwe and Muhammad Ddumba advised the the international crimes division of the high court to acquit all the accused due to lack of evidence. .

In their joint opinion read by  Robert Sseguya Lubega,  the assessors  told the three justices led by justice Ezekiel Muhanguzi,Percey  Tuhaise and Jane Kiggundu that prosecution had totally  failed to prove beyond  reason  doubt the charges of murder, attempted murder, and terrorism against Sheikh Yonous Kamoga the leader of the tabliq sect and 13 others.

The trio told court that despite prosecution claiming that sheikh Mustapha Bahiga left a dying declaration implicating sheikh Kamoga as to have killed him, the doctor who worked on him before he passed away Dr.Emma Muwema in his testimony told  court that he did  not hear the late sheikh  Bahiga utter   sheikh Kamoga’s name in his alleged dying declaration.

The assessors further told  court   that the accused led by sheikh Kamoga could also not have been behind the death of sheikh Hassan Kirya because by the time of his death all the accused where on remand .

The assessors also faulted prosecution for failing to bring before court alleged threatening messages which they claimed the two slain sheikhs receieved from some of  the suspects  before they were actually killed yet police had claimed to being in possession of such evidence.

The assessors  observed that prosecution did not  show how other suspects were linked to the murders giving them  no option but to ask court to acquit them.

The assessors opinion  however is not biding to the judges final judgement since they can choose to regard or disregard it.

The accused led by  Sheikh Yunus Kamoga are charged with the murder of Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga at Bwebajja in December 2014 and Hassan Ibrahim Kirya  at Bweyogerere on June 2015 after they were gunned down by unknown assailants.

Woman gang raped and murdered in Entebbe

By Robert Segawa

Another woman has been killed in Entebbe Wakiso district bringing the total number  to seven women killed in the area in last two months.

The body of 35 years old Aisha Nakasinde was discovered in a bush this morning a few meters from Kasenyi barracks in Nkumba Kavundira village in Katabi town council.

Its believed that Nakasinde was gang raped by attackers and  inserting sticks in her private parts and throat.

Nakasinde is the 7th woman to lose her life in similar manner as murder increase in Entebbe. Last week  Sarah Nakajjo was also murdered in a similar way.

Police has taken the body to Mulago hospital for postmortem.