Uber improves safety and security for its users

By Patricia Osman
Uber Uganda has announced its latest safety and security improvement, an Incident Response Team call-back line.
Aaron Tindiseega Uber Country Manager says they are always looking for ways to improve communication with their community adding that this updated support feature provides riders across the region with 24/7 access to discuss safety-related matters with Uber’s Global Incident Response Team.

Security guards attacked by gangs with machetes

By Robert Segawa

Two security guards working with New Uganda Securiko Ltd in Mubende district are nursing grave injuries after they were attacked by robbers armed with hummers and machetes.

A gang of six thugs dressed up in black overalls are reported to have attacked Aponye Uganda Ltd a produce factory in Bakijulula village Southern division Mubende municipality with the aim of robbing money.

Norbert Ochom the Wamala regional police spokesperson says the thugs armed with hammers badly injured two security guards and robbed their gun loaded with four rounds of ammunition, mobile phones and one ATM card. The victims are Umar Ramadan a night watchman and Amuza Bagada a security guard with with New Uganda securiko Ltd.

Ochom however added that the thugs’ effort to Break into the factory strong room to steal money was disrupted by another security guard identified as Robert Mwesigwa who escaped during the attack.
He notes that police visited the scene and is pursuing the attackers with the view of apprehending them to face law.

Security tightens ahead of Abiriga’s burial

By Robert Segawa

Security is tight in and outside Arua town municipality as military and police officers patrol this morning after residents turned riotous and destroyed property at the home of the fallen Arua municipality member of Parliament Hon Col Ibrahim Abiriga last evening.

The bodies of Hon Abiriga and his brother who were assassinated on Friday near his home in Kirinyabigo in Kawanda Wakiso district were airlifted by the military helicopter to his home in Arua town.
However, residents who had come to receive the body of their legislator turned rowdy and destroyed tents, plastic chairs and vehicles which had delivered caskets forcing the family and mourners to run into disarray.

A vehicle belonging to A PLUS  and local NGO, police motorcycles were destroyed as angry residents moved to grab the bodies forcing family to seek refugee from nearby police station. Equipment belonging to journalists including cameras and audio recorders were destroyed as scribes scampered for their lives.

UPDF soldiers from Bondo military barracks were summoned to reinforce police to calm the situation by firing live bullets in the air to calm down the situation.
Hon Abiriga and his bodyguard also his brother will be laid to rest at their ancestral home in Arua municipality today Monday.

UPF procures choppers worth 88 Billion UGX

Uganda Police Force has acquired two more helicopters and a fixed wing aircraft from Italy. The purchase of the two engine helicopters at the tune of Shillings 88 billion (USD 23.9M) began in 2015 while that of the fixed wing aircraft began in 2017.

The fixed wing aircraft cost Shillings 30.3 billion (USD8.2M). The two helicopters including the GrandNew and a W-3A Sokół as well as the fixed wing aircraft are being assembled by PZL-Świdnik, an AgustaWestland company in Italy.

According to the police policy statement, government has so far released Shillings 86 billion of the required Shillings 110.3 billion for the aircraft deal leaving a balance of Shillings 24 billion.  The aircrafts will be used for law enforcement, surveillance, rescue missions and transporting police bosses as well as other senior government officials.

Police spokesperson, Emiliam Kayima declined to comment on the procurement, saying it was classified. “These are classified equipment whose details we shall not divulge. However, they will go a long way in adding value in as far as ensuring effective policing is concerned.

They will greatly improve our operations as we deliver on our cardinal, constitutional mandate,” Kayima said. The procurement of the two helicopters brings to five the number of helicopters in the police air force wing.

Police bought two helicopters in 2015 from PZL-Swidnik, which trained eight of police pilots as well as 10 officers on how to repair and maintain the aircrafts. According to the website of PZL-Świdnik, the W-3A Sokol is an intermediate twin engine helicopter, which is “highly effective, rugged and reliable, capable of operating in all types of climates and environmental conditions.

They  are equipped with a cargo hook, rescue hoist, search light, loudspeaker system, rappelling kit, FLIR, surveillance cameras and provisions for firefighting equipment and an emergency flotation system.

The W-3A Sokol’s maximum take-off weight is 6,400 kilogrammes and is capable of carrying up to 14 people, as well as cargo. It can be used in law enforcement, passenger transport, troop transport, air ambulance, search, rescue and firefighting. On the other hand, the GrandNew was chosen for its performance and advanced technology.

According to Leonardo Company, the GrandNew is the premium, latest-generation light twin helicopter, evolved from the globally successful Grand platform, enhanced with the latest global navigation satellite system for all weather operations.”

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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