State fails to commit Mumbere for trial

By Babirye Sania

The Jinja chief  magistrate court has adjourned to the 16th of June 2017 mention of the case against  Rwenzururu cultural leader Charles Wesley  Mumbere.

Chief magistrate Francis Kagwa adjourned the case after prosecution led by  James  Muliro informed court that they are unable to present committal papers today sending Mumbere and his Royal guards  to the International Crimes Division for trial as it had been expected asking for more time .

The magistrate has  also  extended  Mumbere’s bail to  16th June .

The Omusinga is charged alongside his premiere Thembo Kitsumbire and 172 royal guards including children and women.

The offenses range from murder,  terrorism, treason, robbery, attempted murder and malicious damage to property which were  allegedly committed between  March and November 2016 within Kasese region were over 100 people lost their lives.

Stella Nyanzi’s lawyers challenge demand for mental examination

By Babirye Sania

Makerere Researcher Dr. Stella Nyanzi charged with two counts of cyber harassment and offensive communication all related to computer misuse has taken her Mental examination battle to the constitutional court.

Dr.Stella Nyanzi has filed a constitutional petition against the attorney general challenging various sections of the mental treatment  act  as being unconstitutional.

Dr.Stella Nyanzi’s lawyers led by Peter Walubiri told Buganda road court chief magistrate James Eremye Mawanda this morning  that the1938 law is not  in line with the the Uganda constitutional enacted in 1995.

Walubiru says they are Challenging various sections of the mental treatment act that violates her rights to a fair trial, inhumane treatment, and to be accorded  administrative fairness.

Walubiri has also told court that they have followed up the constitution petition with  an application in Buganda road court  to stay the Inquiry under the mental treatment act seeking to determine if Dr.Stella Nyanzi  is of sound mind or not.

In this application they want magistrate Mawanda to determine if the proceedings under the mental treatment act should continue or be stayed while the law is being challenged in the constitutional court.

The magistrate has now set the 7th of June to hear the application for stay of proceedings.

Prosecution States that between January and March 2017 at  Kampala district,  Nyanzi while having no legitimate purpose of communication posted on her Facebook page suggestions and proposals referring to his Excellency president Museveni  that he is a pair of buttocks.

If further alleged that Nyanzi  willfully and repeatedly using electronic communication posted offensive messages via Facebook with an intention of disturbing peace and the privacy of president Museveni.

Court overturns decision on Katakwi MP Akurut

By Sania Babirye

The  Court of Appeal has overturned the Soroti high court decision that had nullified the election of Katakwi district woman MP Violet Akurut.

Three court of appeal justices led by deputy chief justice Steven Kavuma  ruled that the lower court trial judge David Wangutusi applied the law wrongly  when he treated the MP as a public servant for failing to resign  her position in the  Human rights commission  90 days before she presented herself for nomination.

The justices ruled that Hon Akurut  is not a public servant as it had been stated because she is not an employee of the Human Rights Commission and  commissioners are not public servants.

The court has now reinstated her as the district  woman MP and ordered the petitioner to pay her costs of the suit.

In July 2016 the MPs victory was cancelled on grounds that she never resigned her  public service position as a commissioner with the Uganda Human Rights Commission after a voter a one Simon Peter Emorutu challenged her victory and ordered for fresh elections.

Woman sues Norvik hospital over alleged sexual abuse by an employee

By Sania Babirye

Norvik Hospital Ltd has been dragged to the high court by a patient who claims to have been sexually  assaulted by one of the  male laboratory technician .

Sharon Nalule claims that in October 2017 while  at the hospital , she was seen by  Dr. Simon Nuwagaba , a gynecologist who  recommended  that she carries out a urine test.

Nalule claims that when she went to the Laboratory she met a male Lab technician who conducted a test which was never requested for by a  doctor.

Nalule says the lab technician ordered her  to remove her knickers , lie down on a bed and later pushed his hand hard in her private parts while  pretending to look for urine.

She further explains that after the incident  she went back to see Dr. Nuwagaba and explained to him about the painful test she had undergone which shocked the  doctor  too.

She says that when Dr. Nuwagaba asked the lab technician he first  denied the incident but when they revisited  footage from the CCTV camera he accepted the shameful act and asked for forgiveness when the camera showed him talking and entering Nalule  in the examination room for the second time.

Despite the hospital’s human resource manager and Dr. Nuwagaba’s efforts  to intercede for the lab technician Nalule is demanding 300 million shillings in compensation  for the  alleged sexual abuse that she went through at the hands of  one of the hospital’s employees .

She says that she feels offended and was hurt by the uncontrolled sexual desires of the accused whose actions subjected her to over bleeding and pain.

Court is yet to pronounce itself on the matter.

Nalufenya tortured suspects drag attorney general to court

By Babirye Sania

The  Attorney General has been dragged  to the High court by five suspects who claim to have been tortured by police while in detention at the now famous  Nalufenya police station based  in Jinja district

The five who are part of the many suspects charged with the murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi have been  led by a one Godfrey Musisi Galabuzi.

According to documents before court  the lead petitioner Galabuzi claims that police from the anti terrorism unit commanded by D/SSP Johnson Olal on the morning of the 23rd of  March 2017 invaded his home and arrested him, his wife Grace Nankya and 3 of his workers and drove them to Nalufenya police cells.

He further explains that while at Nalufenya they were told that they did participate in the murder of Kaweesi and that his wife  was responsible for cooking food and feeding the killers.

Galabuzi claims that they were promised large sums of money if they confessed to the crime before being subjected to assault and torture which included being placed  in tinny congested  and poorly ventilated  rooms, fed  on one meal a day and sprayed with toxic gas which suffocated them and affected their sight.

The suspects represented  by  Ladislous  Rwakafuuzi a human rights lawyer claim that they  were later charged with terrorism and murder but released on bond at Kira road police station.

That  one of the suspect identified as private Musisi was later arraigned  before Nakawa court and charged with conspiracy to murder while the remaining 4 suspects have never been taken to court.

The  5 suspects are now seeking court to hold the Attorney General of Uganda liable for the acts of the police at Nalufenya which they  claim are degrading and inhumane  .

The Attorney General has been given  15 days to  file his defense.

Court throws out Sim card second registration petition

By Sania Babirye

High court judge Steven Musota has set the  8th of June to rule on a case challenging the second time SIM card registration/ verification exercise using only the National ID as the official document.

This morning justice Musota dismissed an application for the interim order against Uganda communications commission from going ahead and switching off all Simcards that have not been verified for the second time.

While dismissing the application the judge ruled that the application was file long before government extended the ultimatum to tomorrow.

Justice Musota has now ordered  lawyers representing  both UCC  led by Edwin Karugire and  Eron Kiiza the applicants lawyer  to file their written submissions on the remaining issue of only recognising the National ID as the official document for this exercise.

Kaweesi murder suspects sent to Luzira Maximum prison

By Sania Babirye

The 22 suspects charged with the murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi the former police spokesperson have been remanded to Luzira prison.

The suspects had returned before Nakawa magistrate court for mention of their case.

However prosecution led by Joyce Anyago has informed Grade one magistrate Noah Sajjabi that investigations into the case are still ongoing.

They have now been remanded until the 1st of June 2017.

These are charged with 5 counts including murder, terrorism and aggravated robbery.

Prosecution states that the the suspects on the morning of 17th/March 2017 at Kulambiro within Kampala district shot dead AIGP Felix Kaweesi, his body guard Kenneth Erau and his driver Godfrey Wambewa as the trio drove in the official Uganda Police vehicle to work.

East African community official granted bail after torture accusations

James Ocen Okuja, the Principal Assistant Secretary in the East African Community Affairs Ministry is in trouble for alleged torture. Ocen appeared before Alex Mushabe Korecho, the Lira Chief Magistrate on Tuesday afternoon on two counts of torture contrary to section 24 of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012.

He is accused of torturing and inflicting serious injuries on 31-year-old Paul Ocen, a UPDF soldier attached to the 63 Infantry Battalion Headquarters at Palaro Barracks in Gulu and Lameck Owong, a resident of Acengryeny in Dokolo district.

Prosecution led by Washua Bengu, the State Prosecutor told court that Ocen tortured the duo when they went to celebrate International Labor Day at his Dokolo hotel. According to Bengu, the two were part of several revelers who were rounded up by Ocen and others still at large on allegations of trespass and vandalizing hotel property.

It is alleged that after rounding up their victims, Ocen and his accomplices tied them with ropes and tortured them overnight before he called the Dokolo District Police Commander, Aminsi Kayondo Lukanga to collect them the following morning.

Prosecution alleges that the suspects were smeared with a mixture of ash and salt before they were assaulted with hot metallic objects. Ocen pleaded not guilty to the charges and applied for bail through his lawyer, Innocent Omara of Omara Innocent and Company Advocate on grounds of ill health and being of advanced age.

He presented his uncle Faustine Pule, a resident of Adari b village in Dokolo and his sister, Otak Esther Okuja, the Lira District Senior Accountant as his sureties. Bengu objected to the bail application, saying Ocen could use his influential position in society to interfere with the investigations and compromise witnesses in the case.

In his ruling, the Chief Magistrate Alex Mushebe Kerecho, said being of advanced age and his medical condition, the accused requires continuous medical attention, which the state may not provide. He also said the prosecution had failed to adduce evidence showing that the accused would jeopardize investigations and compromise witnesses once given bail.

He granted Ocen bail and directed him to deposit his passport in court and execute a cash bond of Shillings 300,000.  Each of his sureties executed a non-cash bond of Shillings 500,000. Ocen, who met all the bail conditions, is expected to return to court on May 31st for the commencing of the hearing of his case.

The suspect who was dressed in a Dark-Blue suit and dark blue necktie doted white, appeared nervous throughout the fully packed court session. He loosened up as he walked out of the court room with his son. Once found guilty, Ocen could get up to 15 years in jail as provided for in the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012.

Section 4 (1) of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012, provides that a person who performs any act of torture commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for fifteen years or to a fine of three hundred and sixty currency points which is equivalent to Shillings 7.2 Million or both.

 

 

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Kanungu GISO and three others sent to jail over murder

The Kanungu Magistrate’s court has remanded four people accused of the gruesome murder of Alfred Betondera, a teacher at Nyakatare Primary School in Western ward.

The suspects are Medard Suubi Turyatemba, the Nyamirama Sub county Gombolola Internal Security Officer-GISO, Deus Niwagaba, Joab Twesigye and Evelyn Nasiima, all residents of Nyamirama Sub County in Kanungu district.

The suspects appeared on Monday before Duncan Ben Sande, the Kanungu Grade One Magistrate. Prosecution told court that while at a drinking joint in Kanungu on May 4th, 2017 at around 2am, the deceased developed a misunderstanding with Suubi.

It is alleged that the suspects ganged up against the deceased and assaulted him. He died while being rushed to Kanungu Health Centre IV for treatment. The suspects fled into hiding until they were picked up by Police.

Duncan Ben Sande, the Kanungu Grade One Magistrate didn’t allow the suspects to enter any plea since his court lacks jurisdiction over capital matters.

He therefore remanded the suspects to Kanungu Government Prison until June 12th, 2017 when their matter will come up for mention in court.

Stella Nyanzi sent back to jail

Makerere University Researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi has been sent back to Luzira by Buganda Road Magistrate Court pending an application for the revision of her case filed in the high court by her lawyers.

Lawyer Nicholas Opiyo asked for an adjournment of the case pending determination of their application seeking to block a planned psychiatric examination against Dr Stella Nyanzi. The mental examinations were sought by the state during Nyanzi’s maiden appearance before the magistrate’s court early this month.

Nyanzi is charged with two counts of cyber harassment and offensive communication contrary to provisions of the Computer Misuse Act. Nyanzi was also charged with using the internet to disturb the peace and right to privacy of the president.

Prosecution alleges that Stella Nyanzi used her social media pages to refer to President Yoweri Museveni as “a pair of buttocks.” She denied the charges but told court that she always writes ‘metaphorically’ to deliver messages to ‘those in power’.

In reference to her vulgar and erotic posts, prosecutor Jonathan Muwaganya filed an application on April 10, asking court to order that Nyanzi is subjected to a psychiatric examination. Muwaganya told court that Nyanzi has a history of erratic psychiatric disorder and was once a patient at Butabika Hospital. The application was based on the affidavit by SP Mboniva Emmanuel, one of the police officers investigating Nyanzi’s case.

But her lawyers rushed to the High Court to challenge the request saying that the state wants to use the mental test to declare Nyanzi an idiot and send her to a mental health facility. Lawyer Opiyo told court that the defense team hoped the high court application would be heard before today’s appearance. However, High Court has set tomorrow as the hearing date for the application.

Opiyo said that the state’s application was brought in bad faith and with utmost act of ambush to deny them an appropriate response. He said they need time to respond to all arguments raised by the state in its application for mental health examination. He also argued that the defense team received a copy of the application after arriving at the court.

Presiding Magistrate James Eremye said Nyanzi was sent back to Luzira on the request of her defense team.

Nyanzi had recently taken up a campaign code-named ‘Pads for Girls’ in which she castigated government for failing to fulfill its commitment to provide sanitary pads to all schoolgirls. The provision was part of President Yoweri Museveni’s campaign pledges ahead of the 2016 general election.

 

 

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