Minister Jeje Odongo says Entebbe murders are ritual sacrifices

Ritual cleansing, domestic disputes and land conflicts could have fueled a spate of mysterious killings in parts of Katabi Town Council and Nansana Municipality, Wakiso district.

In a preliminary statement presented to parliament, Internal Affairs Minister Gen. Jeje Odongo said that police investigation currently points to the three as the motives behind the wave.

A total of 21 women were gruesomely killed between May 3 and September 4, 2017. Their bodies reportedly had signs of manual strangulation while others had sticks inserted in their private parts.

“In the case of Nansana Municipality murders, eight of the nine women were murdered by the same criminal gang for ritual purposes,” Gen Jeje said.

He explained that the prime suspect, a one Ibrahim Kaweesa alias Tetemwa who had just been released after serving a ten-year jail sentence, confessed that he had been hired by a businessman identified as Phillip Tumuhimbise to kill 12 women to enable the businessman to draw human blood for ritual performance to enhance his wealth.

According to Odongo, Kaweesa led police in the reconstruction of all the eight murder scenes demonstrating his participation and that of his associates.
Odongo added that technical evidence and witness testimonies from Katabi Town Council point to one serial killer identified as Ivan Katongole alias Jenus, also a businessman.

“Credible witnesses have indicated he is the mastermind behind these killings, contracting people and actually participating. His motive being for ritual purposes to get human blood and body parts in order to build his wealth, including his commercial buildings under construction at Kasenyi Landing Site,” said Odongo.

The minister said that police has evidence linking the suspects and businessman Katongole.

Minister Odongo told Parliament that 44 suspects linked to the murders have been arrested so far with 22 charged in courts of law. He says that the remaining suspects are at different stages of processing, also to be arraigned in courts of law soon.

However, several legislators contested the government statement with some pointing the murders to a boiling conflict. Kumi Woman MP Monica Amoding said that the nature of the murders sends a message which government has failed to explain to the country.

“Are you in charge of the internal affairs of this country? Is this not something that can be associated with conflict? Is this not a conflict starting up in this country?” Amoding questioned.

She added that attribution of the murders to rituals was too simplistic.

Nakasongola Woman MP Margaret Komuhangi also ruled out the murders being made for purposes of rituals saying that the gender committee of parliament had investigated cases of human sacrifice and it was never reported that rape is involved in cases of sacrifice.

Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi said that the killings represent a bigger problem in the country which needs urgent attention. He said that government must not wait for the problem to escalate to try and act.

The Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza said that the police do not seem to be taking stock of the numerous killings in the country adding that other groups of people have been killed in the country with nothing to report about.

Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda acknowledged that police was not perfect in its work but hastened to add that tangible progress has been made in investigating the notorious killings.




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.

Security tightened as Kyadondo East goes to polls

Voters in Kabbubu polling stations N-Z in Kyadondo East have expressed mixed feelings after police directed them to vacate the premises after voting.

Kazimbazi Lawrence, one of the voters who has just cast his vote, says the police order means they will not stay at the polling stations in order to guard against possible irregularities.

Muhammad Balikowa, the Officer in Charge Kabbubu Police post says the electorates are being dispersed to avoid commotion by boda boda motorists who have formed groups at the entrance to the polling station. These groups were directing people to vote specific candidates, according to Balikowa.

He advises them to monitor the elections from a distance.

The Kyadondo East parliamentary seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the High Court nullifying the victory of Apollo Kantinti, a member of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FCD). Court cited non-compliance with the electoral laws, disfranchising voters and failing to secure custody of election materials.

Kantinti is in the race to reclaim his seat alongside four other candidates including Sitenda Sebalu who is standing on the ruling NRM party ticket.

It is Sebalu who petitioned court after losing to Kantinti by a margin of 326 votes in the February 2016 parliamentary race.

Other candidates in the race are Independents Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu also known as Bobi Wine, a local musician, Nkunyingi Muwada Sowedi Kayongo Male. Though Kyagulanyi and Nkunyingi stood as Independents, they have both identified with FDC before.

After casting his ballot at Magere Polling station, Kyagulanyi called for calm among his supporters.

Flanked by his wife Barbara Itungo, Kyagulanyi arrived at Magere at 8:30am and cast his vote at 8:45am.

“I Pray to God that many people will vote me today so that our dream as Kyadondo East people bears fruits,” Kyagulanyi told some of his excited supporters. As he left the polling station, he appealed to his supporters to look after the voting process. “I ask you (supporters) to stay at the polling station to protect our votes. Represent me at polling station and I will represent you in parliament,” he said.

Kyadondo East has 93 polling stations and 72,818 registered voters.



Court Martial issues arrest warrant against Kabaziguruka

By Sania Babirye

A warrant of arrest has been issued against the troubled Nakawa municipality MP Micheal Kabaziguruka.

The arrest warrant has been issued by the seven member team court siting in Makindye chaired by Lt.Gen Andrew Gutti after Hon.Kabaziguruka allegedly failed to turn up in the general court martial to take plea to charges related to treachery and security of the country.

According to Maj. Raphael Mugisha the UPDF lead prosecutor, Kabaziguruka has refused to appear in court for mention of his case since he was granted bail.

Maj. Mugisha told court that although Hon.Kabaziguruka secured an Interim order in the constitution court against his trial in the army court, the order had since lapsed after the same court annulled Injunction orders issued by a single judge.

The prosecutor says that following that development Hon.Kabaziguruka can no longer use the expired order as a defense not to appear in court.

Major Mugisha has now asked court to order military police to arrest Kabaziguruka saying that on two occasions the MP has been summoned and personally telephoned to appear in court but all in vain.

Maj. Mugisha has also told court that investigations into the case are complete against Kabaziguruka and 25 others but Hearing cannot start in the absence of one accused person.

In October 2016 high court Justice Yasin Nyanzi granted a 10 million non cash bond to the MP while his four sureties including FDC party president Gen Mugisha Muntu, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, Hon. Moses Kasibante and Hon.Ibrahim Ssemuju were ordered to pay a 100 million non cash bond after being on remand at Kigo prison since June 2016.

Kabaziguruka is charged together with other 25 people including UPDF officers for allegedly contriving a plot to infiltrate defense forces and prejudice it’s security to overthrow the government of Uganda by use of firearms .

The offenses were allegedly committed between February and June 2016 in districts of Kampala,Wakiso and Luweero.

Security minister Tumukunde warns that unverified simcards will be switched off after deadline

By Robert Segawa

Over 11 million people have so far verified their sim cards in the on going sim card verification exercise using there national IDs as per UCC directive.

While addressing journalists, minister of security Henry Tumukunde said government is determined to switch off sim cards of people who have not complied come the deadline which is 19th May this year.
 Minister Tumukunde advised citizens whose sim cards are not verified to comply  in the remaining time adding that the exercise is aimed at strengthening the country’s security.
He calls upon telecommunication companies not to further give out sim cards which are not registered.
Meanwhile the executive Director of Uganda Communication Commission Godfrey Mutababazi says they  are expecting to register about 23 million simcards of which 70% has been registered.

Boda Boda cyclists in Mbarara call for regulations in night operations

Boda boda motorists in Mbarara municipality are calling for restrictions and strict monitoring of their night operations. The boda boda motorists say thugs take advantage of their operations to attack them and innocent night commuters.

At least 17 boda boda cyclists have been killed and 11 others injured in Mbarara municipality since January this year. The cyclists are now engaging Police for possible intervention into the matter.

Ben Muhoozi, a boda boda cyclist, says the failure to regulate boda Boda operations may lead to disastrous consequences.

Alex Wamaye, another cyclist says that the current state of affairs is worrying. He asks the authorities to move fast and save the situation, saying currently anyone with a motorcycle can freely join the boda boda sector.

Alex Monday, another concerned boda boda cyclist says the unexplained disappearances of their colleagues are becoming the order of the day.

Mohamed Mpagi, the spokesperson Mbarara General Boda boda Association, says regulating the business will prevent more loss of lives. He wants the boda boda cyclists to ask the night commutters to identify themselves using their national identity cards or any other valid documents before they carry them for their own safety.

Robert Nabimanya, the Mbarara District Internal Security Officer, says some of the boda boda motorists operate in violation of the security guidelines that require them to always wear identification cards, reflectors and inform their stage chairpersons on their movements.

Mbarara District Police Commander, Jaffar Magyezi told URN that Police is already in touch with the management and association of the cyclists to ensure that their operations do not lead to loss of lives. He says police has also increased on its vigilance to ensure that all night operations are done within safe and secure environs.



Police declares Greater Masaka region safe

By Robert Segawa

The Uganda police force confirms that the greater Masaka region is safe after arresting close to 90 criminals including the 3 ring leaders.

The confirmation comes after several criminal attacks were reported in areas Masaka, Bukomasimbi and Lwengo that left three people dead.

Addressing the press today at the Media center the police spokesperson Assan Kasingye says that 33 suspects appeared in court while 56 are still under investigation.

Kasingye adds that other groups of 19 suspects are to appear in court today on charges ranging from aggravated robbery, attempted murder and theft.

He adds that security patrols conducted by the joint security forces are still going on to clean out all suspected criminals.

Police plans to train 2000 Scenes of Crime of scene officers

At least 2000 Scenes of Crime Officers-SOCOs will be trained by the end of this year, the Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura has revealed.

According to Kayihura, although police has recruited several officers, the force still faces a challenge of the limited number of officers who can pick and examine evidence from crime scenes.

He disclosed this while passing out 162 police officers upon completion of a six months course at the Non-commissioned Officers’ Academy (NCOA) in Jinja district on Tuesday.

Kayihura also noted that there is need to change the criteria used to retire officers, saying many of them have been sent home on account of age yet they are still physically active.

Lt. Col. Saad Katamba, the Commandant of Non-commissioned Officers’ Academy noted such trainings are intended to improve on the proficiency of the selected personnel in the conduct of their duties and developing professionalism in order to respond effectively to the ever evolving social, political and economic environment.

Felix Kaweesi, the Director Human Resource Uganda Police Force, explained that the officers’ basic course and the non-commissioned course are bridging courses suited for officers who have been holding ranks of command and leadership but were never prepared before promotions.




New detection machines to improve security at Entebbe airport

By Deo Wasswa
Civil Aviation Authority has installed the new modern and automated baggage detecting handling system at Entebbe international Airport to tighten security.
John Kagolo, the director Airport and Aviation security says the machines which have been in place were installed 20years back and were having problems, causing flight delays.
The new system has a highly sensitive detection mechanism and specialized equipment which tresses any sign of having any hazardous machine or object in the baggage. Immediately after detecting any suspicious baggage, the system automatically reject that baggage from the transit and sends its image to security control room to conduct further checking.

Man accuses Bishop Odoki’s security guards of torture

Security personnel deployed to guard the premises of the Bishop of Arua Diocese, Sabino Odoki at Ediofe Cathedral are on the spot for alleged torture.
Jamal Waka, a resident of Aiivu Village in Pajulu Sub County accuses the guards of arresting him and torturing him on Thursday last week as he was returning from a trade fair at Arua Hill Bomah Grounds.
According to Waka, after torturing him, the guards handed him over to Arua Central Police Station, which kept him in the cells for six days before he was produced in court on Wednesday.
Waka appeared before Arua Chief, Magistrate William Robbs Komakech who granted him non cash bond of Shillings one million. He is expected to return to court on January 18th 2017 for the mention of his case.
Shortly after his release, Waka told URN that on the fateful night, he was walking back home from the trade fair at around 1am when he was intercepted by a combined team of Police and UPDF officers guarding the Bishop’s home accusing him of abusing Bishop Odoki.
According to Waka, on sensing danger he tried to flee but the security officers hit him with a stick and he fell down.

According to Waka, he spent close to a week in the police cell without any medical help.

Alingozi Kamura, a brother to the torture victim says the action of the security personnel is uncalled for. He says it was wrong for officers to descend on unarmed civilian and torture him to that magnitude.

Police have not yet commented on the matter as the West Nile Region, Police Spokesperson; Josephine Angucia was not available by the time of filing this story.

This is the second case in, which Police officers are being implicated for torturing a suspect in West Nile region within a space of two weeks.

Over a week ago, Joseph Okongo, an office at Pakwach Police Station also beat up a suspect over mistaken identity.

Okongo has since then been summoned by the regional professional standards unit to respond to the charges of torture.