Justice Tuhaise recuses herself from Kabaka land case

By Sania Babirye

Supreme Court Justice Percy Tuhaise has recused herself from a land and compensation case filed by City Lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi against the Kabaka of Buganda.

Mabirizi petitioned the Supreme Court asking Justice Tuhaise to remove herself from the said case, on grounds that Justice Tuhaise had heard the same case in the Court of Appeal in which she ruled against Mabirizi , forcing him to petition the Supreme court to challenge her decision.

And as a result, Justice Tuhaise stepped down from the said case explaining that for justice to be served, she cannot be a judge in her own case which she had set aside.
Meanwhile, Mabirizi revealed that he has since then challenged the decision by other four justices on the panel to not recuse themselves from the same case in the East African Court of Justice.

On the 5th of this month, Justices including Apio Aweri, Faith Mwondha, Paul Mugamba and Mike Chibita refused to recuse themselves from the said case after Mabirizi accused them of unprofessionalism.

Mabirizi states that the said justices can not hear his case because he dragged them before the Judicial Service Commission for allegedly violating their Judicial Oaths and investigations are ongoing.

“They all have to go because am not comfortable with either of them trying my case independently well knowing that I have a petition against them seeking for their removal from their respective offices”. Mabirizi stated.

Mabirizi adds that he has filed an application to stay their proceedings until they recuse themselves.

He also expressed his frustration with the slow pace that his appeal has taken since filing it in 2018.
“When I filed this appeal in 2018, I expected speedy justice but the court delayed because its hearing was not fixed until 2020, we need speed and I need it, but the most important thing is fair hearing. We can not compromise a year aspect of fair hearing in the name of expediting the hearing”

According to Mabirizi, on the 19th of March this year, he wrote to the Judicial Service Commission seeking for the removal of the said justices from office of the Justices of the Supreme Court on grounds of conduct in a manner prejudicial to the good image, honor, dignity and reputation of Judicial service and discrimination of Justice Kisakye, on basis of her sex which was in contravention of the code of Judicial Conduct and abuse of Judicial Authority.

Mabirizi accuses the said justices of allegedly helping the Chief Justice Alifonse Owinyi Dollo to confiscate Supreme Court Justice Esther Kisakye’s dissenting judgement in the concluded Presidential election petition filed by National Unity Platform Party President Robert Kyagulanyi.

He states that the alleged misconduct of the said Justices, breeds animosity between him and the justices, and questions their Impartiality in a case were he is an appellant.

The Supreme Court dismissed two Applications filed by Mabirizi challenging the Kabaka of Buganda’s powers to collect annual nominal ground rent commonly known as (Busuulu) on Kabaka land by Buganda Land Board last year.

In the main case to be heard tomorrow, Mabirizi is challenging the Court of Appeal ruling that overturned an order by High Court’s Justice Patricia Basaza to Kabaka to give Mabirizi all particulars in regard to the kingdom’s accounts in the names of Buganda Land Board.

Mabirizi claims that many people’s freedom and rights to property have been violated by the kabaka’s actions of charging between 100,000 and 600,000 for compulsory land.

In 2017, the Court of appeal quashed the high court order on grounds that it was unlawful since Mabirizi did not prove to court that he was representing many other people whose freedom and rights to property had been violated by the Kabaka’s actions.

However, being dissatisfied with the court of appeal ruling, Mabirizi petitioned the supreme court to have the said ruling over turned.

Mabirizi wants among other things the supreme court to order Kabaka to produce all the particulars of the people living on mailo land and details of the money collected from them since 1993.

Ascent Capital Africa announces USD100 fund to be invested in East Africa

By Alice Lubwama

Ascent capital Africa a private equity fund has announced a 100 million dollar fund to be invested in mid sized companies across east Africa region.

Addressing journalists in Kampala today the country director Ascent capital management Africa Richard Mugera said that out of this money at least 30 million dollars will be invested in companies in Uganda.

He adds that they are targeting SMES in manufacturing, education, health and Agro processing sectors wholesale and retail trade with proper book accounts to take up this opportunity.

He said that since 2014 they have invested in six companies in East Africa and increased employment by 12% in the region.

Mugera further says that 80% of the companies they have invested in are successful.

He said that they raised the funds from prominent investors such as Belgian Investment Company for developing countries, CDC group in the U.K, Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, the international finance corporation and the Norwegian investment fund.

Man arrested for poaching

By Sania Babirye
24 year old Man who was arrested inside Murchison falls National Park hunting has protected animals has been arraigned before court and charged.

The suspect is identified as Okabo Walter Opio a peasant and resident of Gweng-Diya village Pamin-Olango.

He appeared before Buganda Road Court grade one magistrate Fedlise Itao who charged him with Entering wildlife protected area and hunting in a protected Wildlife area.

He however denied the charges and was remanded to Kitalya government prison until the 27th if this month as investigations continues.

Prosecution states that the suspect and others still at large, on the 3rd of May 2021, at Latoro in Nyowa District, hunted in Murchison falls National Park wildlife protected area without permission by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

The same Court also remanded 25 year old Kisa David to Kitalya government prison on charges of unlawful possession of protected species contrary to the Uganda Wildlife Act.

Its alleged that Kisa David and others still at large, on 2nd May this year, at Kiyogoma village, had in their possession Pangolin scales weighing 49.4 Kgs without a Valid Wildlife Use licence.

Day 2: Kadaga swears in, seeks 3rd term as speaker

By Alice Lubwama

67 Members of Parliament have been sworn in this morning during the second day of the ceremony and among them, is the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga also Kamuli woman MP.

After taking oath, Kadaga said that she was planning to submit her documents to the NRM electoral commission to express interest for the office of the speaker seeking her third term in office.

Kadaga also said that if elected the speaker of the 11th parliament she will make sure that the construction of the new chamber is completed to ensure all members of parliament can comfortably carry out their duties.

The Central Executive committee of the NRM party on Monday directed all members of the NRM party who are interested in contesting for the post of the speaker and deputy speaker to take their documents to the party’s electoral commission.

Buyanja county and also minister for finance Matia Kasaija was also sworn in today.

Kasaija advised Ugandans to take advantage of government programs to fight poverty rather than continue involving themselves in the system of hand to mouth.

He said in the coming term, the Government will ensure people engage in economic activities that will bring in money in order to reduce poverty;

“He said that when people are poor there easily manipulated, they cannot look after themselves well and eventually they will die early.” Kasaija said.

Tororo north MP Geoffrey Ekanya said their commitment as opposition will be to design a new frame work to move the country forward , he said the method they have been using in the past seem not to have delivered them.

“We have to design a strategy that will promote east African integration, and transition similar to what the people of Tanzania and Kenya did negotiating with President Nyerere out of power, if don’t do that , we hate what happened in Libya, Congo , Somalia and other countries.” he said

Ekanya said they will need to reach out to the NRM so that they know that they are time is up and they guarantee them peace and stability beyond president Museveni.

Mabirizi wants Kasaija and 3 three others arrested for personation

By Sania Mabirizi

City lawyer Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka has instituted private criminal proceedings against four former minister including Matia Kasaija,Edward Katumba Wamala, Abubakar Jeje Odongo and Benny Namugwanya Bugembe and wants court to issue an arrest warrant against them.

Mabirizi is accusing the former Ministers of personation after they allegedly continued to carry out government duties as official ministers despite their terms in their respective offices including that of Minister of Finance, Internal affairs, works and Transport and Minister For Kampala having expired on the 12th of May 2021.

In his letter addressed to Chief Magistrate Buganda Road Court dated 17th May 2021, Mabirizi, is accusing the former government officials of continuing to impersonate themselves as ministers and wants court institute criminal proceedings against them.

In his affidavit to support his private prosecutions against the four, Mabirizi claims that on the 12th of May 2021, the five year term of of Cabinet expired, and accordingly, all minister’s offices became vacant, but in the 14th of May 2021, Gen.Katumba Wamala held press conference at the Uganda Media Centre in an official capacity as minister for works.

He also accuses Kasaija of speaking to the press on the same day at the same government media center as minister for Finance, while, on the 15th of May, Jeje Odongo allegedly personated the minister of Internal affairs and officiated at the taking of office of the new Executive Director, National Identification and Registration Authority.

Mabirizi further alleges that on the 14th of May 2021, Namugwanya had a press conference and personated the Kampala minister ,where she gave updates on the swearing in of new Kampala Capital City Authority elected leaders.

Mabirizi claims that as a civically active Ugandan who has been closely following the Constitutional, Hunan Rights and Rule of Law trends in Uganda, he knows that the above actions by the said former ministers constitute offences of impersonation, contrary to section 38(1) of the Penal Code Act, for which the accused should be charged and tried.

He adds that the said alleged offences were committed in Kampala Capital City Authority in Central Divison, within the criminal Geographical jurisdiction of the Court.

However, it remains to be seen if state will allow him to privately prosecute the said Government officials since it keeps on taking over all his privately instituted criminal proceedings including that of Ministee Kutesa in which he allowed a family to fly back into the country during the Lock down among others.

Other privately instituted criminal cases by Mabirizi that have been taken over by state include that against Chief Justice Alifonse Owinyi Dollo for allegedly bullying a fellow supreme Court judge Esther Kisakye in the concluded Presidential election petition filed by National Unity Platform Party President Robert Kyagulanyi and his case against Kyagulanyi over his academic transcripts.

However, after state taking over the said cases, many do not get to be prosecuted but state just loses interest in prosecuting them.

National livestock census postponed

By Edwin Muhumuza

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry ( MAAIF) has postponed the livestock census to May 24th to June 4th 2021 across the country.

‘The change was occasioned by the two public holidays this week that affected the delivery of materials and the recruitment exercise.’ according to a statement signed by Edgar Mbahamiza, the communications manager.

Enumeration had earlier been scheduled to take place between the 17th to 28th May covering all the 135 districts of Uganda as of June 2019.

‘We shall be collecting data from household based farms as well as private large scale institutional farms’ said Chris Mukiza, the Executive Director of the Bureau, adding that data collected will be held confidential.

The indicators derived from the national livestock census will help in understanding of the performance of livestock activities in the country in order to inform evidence based planning, investment decisions, policy formulations and interventions for promoting the subsector, Mukiza added.

Addressing journalists in Kampala, the state minister for animal industry, Bright Rwamirama said the process is intended to establish credible statistics at a cost Shs11.5bn.

Uganda last conducted a livestock census in 2008

UTB flags off Gold Medalist Cheptegei

By Edwin Muhumuza

The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has flagged off reigning world marathon champion Joshua Cheptegei to participate in the 60th Ostrava Golden Spike 3000 meter race in the Czech Republic.

Dubbed the ‘Silver back of the pearl of Africa’ , Cheptegei will attempt to break the world record in the event which is also one of his build up activities as he bids for the Tokyo, Japan 2020 Olympics in July 2021 and early August.

While seeing him off on Saturday, UTB Marketing Manager Claire Mugabi said Cheptegei was officially unveiled as a tourism ambassador in January and from the moment he was unveiled he has worked with them in various tourism promotion initiatives including hiking mountain Rwenzori.

‘He spearheaded the Rwenzori challenge where he led a group of people all the way to the peak of Margherita to promote the mountain Rwenzori. Even in February we saw him participate in the championships in Monaco France where he emerged winner of the 5000meter race.’Mugabi Noted.

Cheptegei topped the list of the nominees for Laureus sportsman of the year 2021 awards among the world’s top 5 elite sportsmen of the year to compete for the award with superstars such as Lebron James, Lewis Hamilton, Robert Lewandowski and Rafael Nadal.

“As the tourism board we are very happy that we are reaping the benefits of this partnership. He has contributed tremendously to putting the positive message about the tourism of our country, promoting the different products we have as Uganda but most importantly he has gone about promoting Uganda as the most beautiful and safest country in Africa on account of the president’s effort to keep the country safe from COVID-19.

On his part Cheptegei said that, just like a silver back, he was optimistic that he will rise strongly determined to take on the world and become the best, giving the world an impression that Uganda is a land of possibilities.

Uganda, from where the gold medalist hails and is called the ‘silver back’ is because it is home to 50 percent of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, the most preferred tourism destination for gorilla tracking.

A silver back is a male mountain gorilla that takes care of its family like a human being. It is strong, resilient and so protective.

UCC organises digital training for entrepreneurs

By Phiona Namutebi

Uganda Communications Commission in partnership with Federation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises has kicked off a campaign dubbed Digital Literacy for entrepreneurs across the country to help boost their small and medium businesses.

While speaking to the press, the Executive Director John Walugembe said, “this campaign is intended to render digital skills to over 1000 small and medium entrepreneurs so that they continue managing their businesses online amidst the challenges that came with COVID-19”

Walugembe added that according to the research made by the federation,67% of the small and medium entrepreneurs are digitally illiterate which undermines the growth of their businesses therefore they should embrace the use of digital techniques.

He noted that small and medium enterprises can grow their turnover by over 50% if they adopt the use of digital tools.

The federation also wants the government to reduce tax on data so that these entrepreneurs easily access the internet and do their businesses online because the data tax of 12% is too high for them.

Due to that high tax, even the few entrepreneurs who are digitally literate have failed to do business online as Walugembe said.

Being that the cost of digital tools such as phones is so high, the federation also wants the government to lower their prices so that every entrepreneur can at least afford one hence leading to the growth of small and medium businesses in Uganda.

Century bottling company boss asks industrial workers to got for immunisation

By Moses Kidandi

Industrial workers are being asked to scale up the need to be immunized against COVID-19 as more strains are reportedly threatening a sharp rise in infection.

Speaking after a series of the vaccination exercises of factory workers at century bottling company, Simon Kaheru the Public Affairs and communications Director of Coca Cola Beverages Africa said that immunizing Industrial workers is important since they produce products that go into communities.

Soldier jailed 50 years for killing Eritrean business man

By Sania Babirye

The High court in Kampala has handed a 52 year Jail sentence to a UPDF soldier after convicting him on charges of murdering an Eritrean National and Businessman Daniel Michael Weldu in October 2016 and later robbing him of his of his properties.

Captain Mangeni Bumali aka Akeem, attached to the Special Forces Command(SFC) has been sentenced together with his co convicts including lawyer Benon Duncan Lumu and a one Andrew Kisitu.

While sentencing the convicts, Kampala High Court Justice Flavia Angelin Ssenoga ruled that the convicts committed a plea meditated murder without being remorseful, yet they had an option to not committing it.

She further ordered the convicts to compensate Weldu’s family 200 million shillings in property they robbed from the victim and further refund the money belonging to the victims which the convicts transferred from his Bank account in Stanbic Bank.

While convicting them, the judge noted that prosecution had adduced sufficient evidence to prove that with intent to murder, the convicts caused the death of Weldu.

However states attorney Jonathan Mugwanya has asked court to sentence the convicts to death on grounds that the convicts committed a capital offence by gruesomely taking away someone’s life without any form of remorse because they wanted his property and money.

The convicts are said to have kidnapped the victim and drove him to Jinja were they robbed him before driving him into neighboring Kenya were they killed him from.

Evidence adduced by prosecution further shows that the convicts while driving the victim to Kenya, stopped in Jinja and bought petrol .

And after reaching their destination, the shot him three times in the Chest before setting his body on fire using the said petrol to hid evidence but Kenyan locals managed to put out the fire before it completely burnt him out.

After murdering him, the convicts later took off with the deceased’s property including 18,000 US dollars in Cash, his car a Toyota Prado valued at over 220 million shillings,wrist Watch and a Mobile phone.

These were charged with three offences including Murder, Kidnap with intent to murder and aggravated robbery.

Evidence shows that the convicts Kidnapped the victim on the 27th of October 2016 from Kololo, a Kampala suburb with his office at Nakumatti Mall.

The deceased was a businessman with businesses in both Uganda and South Sudan and a resident of Muyenga.

The convicts had lied to the victim that they would help process fir him a VISA to German.