Professor Sempebwa’s case pushed to later date

By Sania Babirye
Hearing of an application filed by Celebrated law professor Fredrick Ssempebwa in which he petitioned the Supreme Court seeking orders to declare the Attorney General William Byaruhanga unfit for the position of Attorney General for disregarding the supreme court electoral reforms recommendations arising out of the 2016 Presidential election petition judgement has flopped.

Hearing of the case was expected today but court heard that the William Byaruhanga was outside the country on official duties.

Now hearing of his application has been pushed to next week.

The application will be heard by Seven Justices including; Justice Stellah Arach Amoko, Eldard Mwangusya, Faith Mwhodha, Lillian Tibatemwa, Richard Buteera , Augustine Nshiimye and Jotham Tumwwsigye .

On the 26th of March this year, Prof. Ssempebwa together with other law dons including Fredrick Jjuko and Kituo Cha asked the same court to hold Byaruhanga in contempt of court for allegedly failing to follow up on the said reforms to see that they are implemented and report back to court within two years to check on their progress.

The petitioners claim that Byaruhanga is a senior lawyer who needs to be demoted from an important position as Government chief adviser because his actions and behavior is unbecoming.

They claim that the Supreme court ordered him to make a follow up on the concerned two arms of government regarding the implementation of the above recommendations and report back to the Supreme court within 2 years which has he never did forcing them to seek legal redress.

On the 31st of March 2016, Nine justices of the supreme court led by chief justice Bart Katureebe, ruled that President Museveni lawfully nominated by the electoral commission in accordance with the Presidential Election act which saw him win his fifth term in office.

These however gave 10 key electoral reforms that the Attorney General had to implement before the 2012 General elections.

The attorney General was also ordered to follow up the said reforms together with other state organs including Parliament and the executive and also report back to court on which measures government has taken to see that the said reforms are implemented which has never been done.

Some of the said recommendations was that Government should review the 10 day period within which to file a presidential election petition and the 30 day period within which the court must analyze the said evidence and determine the matter which to the justices was not enough time.

These recommended that the time be amended and increased to 60 days so that the petition can be heard in ample time within which also the new president must be sworn in.

The supreme court also recommended that evidence in regard to the election petition be both oral and affidavit evidence to allow oral examination since affidavits on its own can seem to be unreliable because witnesses tend to be partisan.

These also recommended that the period within which to hold a fresh election once one is annulled be increased from 20 days to a longer and more realistic period since sometimes the hearing and determination of such petitions take longer and also the fact that the electoral commission has had problems in fully holding a free and fair election due to problems like securing funds and importation of electoral materials and those materials reaching in time at polling stations.

These also recommended that a law in regulate the use of analogy in the conduct and management of elections be enacted and within time to train the officials and also sensitize voters and other stake holders over the law.

These also recommended that the law in regard to the use of state owned Media should be adjusted to allow all presidential candidates given equal time and space on state-owned media.

These had found out that state owned Uganda Broadcasting Corporation UBC did fail in its duty of availing all presidential candidates including the opposition equal time.

They therefore recommended that any state organ or officer who violates such laws be punished.

Other recommendations included prohibiting the giving of donations by all candidates including the sitting President who is also a candidate so that there is a level playing field for all.

These had observed that the president continued to give donations even through out his campaign, that the said recommendations be enacted within a period of two years to avoid last minute hastily enacted legislation on elections, the Attorney General to be able to respond to some of the allegations brought against state officers among others and that all public officers should not participate in any political campaign .

On the 1st of March 2016, former Prime minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi also a former presidential candidate who was the third run-up behind FDCs Ret.Col.Kizza Besigye petitioned the supreme court seeking challenging President Museveni’s victory citing massive election irregularities that were held on the 18th of February 2016.

Mbabazi sued President Museveni together with the Uganda Electoral Commission and the Attorney General.

On the 20th of February 2016, President Museveni was declared winner with 60.62% , while Besigye scored 35.61% and Amama Mbabazi came third with just 1.39% of the total votes cast.

Other Justices on the panel included Justice Jotham Tumwesigye, Esther Kisaakye,Mary Stella Arach Amoko, Augustine Nshimye, Eldad Mwangusya, Rubbu Aweri-Opio, Faith Mwonda and Lillian Tibatemwa.

Government should commence civic and voter education

By Daudi Zirimala

The Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) has implored the Independent electoral commission to prioritize civic and Voter education a head of 2021 elections.

According to party spokesperson Micheal Osinde, currently civic and voter education is fragmented, uncoordinated and done in isolated piece meal interventions by mostly of various actors from ministry of information and National guidance to National Leadership institute in Kyankwanzi, ministry education among other agencies.

He says that civic and voter education often comes late,close to voting time when some voters have already made up their minds yet financial and other resources are also spread thin across various organizations.

Speaking to the media at the party headquarters, Osinde said that there is need to first pass the draft civic education policy 2013 and then to establish, agree on the concept of civic education and coordinate effectively.

“Civic and voter education should not be a one off,but it should be a process,a culture and part of peoples daily lives,we should move out of civil servants,NGO workshop and schools to trade unions,farmers groups,market vendors association,sports clubs,traders associations and Families.” said Osinde.

The civic and voter education is captured in the 1995 constitution,the national development plan II,Uganda’s vision 2040,African Union Agenda 2063 and the sustainable development goal number 16 on peace ,security,justice and building Institutions.

He further noted that there is need to promote platforms that facilitate interactive engagements among various stakeholders from politicians to policy makers, researchers, academia, practitioners and the general public in which the ideas of the democracy that Ugandans desire as a country are discussed openly and truthfully to generate minimum consensus.

Woman sent to jail for killing special hire driver

By Sania Babirye

A woman who allegedly hired a special hire driver and later murdered him in 2016 has been charged and remanded to Luzira .
The suspect is identified as Namazi Aidah.

She has been charged with four others including Musisi Julius, Bogere Johnson, Owino Calvin and Mugisha James.

They appeared before the high court in Kampala and denied the charge of murder and aggravated robbery using a deadly weapon .

They have been remanded until the 20th of May when hearing of their case is expected to begin.

Prosecutions states that on the 12th of August 2016 at the Natete traffick lights,Namazi and his co accused hired Nsubuga Nordin a special hire of vehicle number UAL 671Y to Mitiyana Kigalama and later strangled him before dumping his body in a bush.

These are also said to have robbed the deceased of his car.

They are to return back to court in the 20th of May when hearing of their case is expected to begin.

Luttamaguzi : Put measures to curb corruption on Uganda Airlines

By Moses Kidandi
President Yoweri Museveni has renewed his call for establishment of an East African airline.

He made the call at the revival launch of Uganda airlines at Entebbe International airport.

The president said, “it is important to have a consolidated airline arguing that this will be one of he factors for the delayed revival of Uganda airlines.”

He expressed confidence that the revived Uganda airlines will not fail and will help Ugandans reduce expenses on travel abroad because annually Ugandans have been spending 400M $ on travel abroad.

However, legislator and also member of the Parliamentary committee on physical infrastructure Lutamaguzi Semakula says Government should come up with stringent measures to prevent corruption if the airline is to survive.

Funds required to monitor lotteries and gaming board

By Alice Lubwama
The finance committee of parliament wants Government to provide sufficient funds to the national lotteries and gaming board to be able to acquire a monitoring system for the gambling business in the country.

The chairperson of the finance committee of parliament Henry Musasizi note that the board requires additional 8 billion shillings to able to monitor the illicit gambling currently going on in the country.

“There is a lot of illicit gambling taking place, there areas of laxity and gaps in enforcement and also areas of monitoring which needs to be strengthened and all this requires funding.” He said

Musasizi also say that if the lotteries board acquires a monitoring system, it will be able to bring revenue to the country in excess of 75 billion shillings per annum.

“The board was given a target of 45 billion shillings every financial year but by 31st of December last year, it had already collected over 22 billion shillings.” Added the legislator. Musasizi is optimistic that if this board is given more funds to
operate, it would hit its target of 45 billion shillings by the end of
this financial year 2018/2019.

On regulation of the gaming in the country, the mp said that they want Government to restrict foreign companies from the gambling business and encourage domestic companies to participate so that the country can earn something from this industry.

“If you’re a fully foreign owned company why should you engage in gambling in this country, because at the end of the day the money you’re getting you will take it somewhere else.” Musasizi wondered.

The lawmaker also said that if the country is to achieve the desired objectives of gaming without causing adverse effects to the society it should be heavily regulated.
“We cannot close down gaming completely but can we ensure that we protect the gamblers from the adverse effects ,for resistance the young people who are getting addicted to gambling which is disastrous to the country.”

The National Gaming Board is mandated to issue licenses for Lotteries, Casinos, Gaming and Betting in Uganda.

The board is also mandated to License, Supervise, Enforce and resolve disputes. It also has powers to conduct investigation, examination, inspection and issue guidelines, directives or instructions for the proper management of the industry.

Gambling is extremely popular among young Ugandans, with recent statistics indicating that more than 70 percent of Ugandans under 30 are engaged in various forms of gambling.

Gamblers in Uganda have access to a total of over 400 betting websites, both local and international operators.

According to the lotteries and gaming act 2016 only individuals over 25 years of age are eligible to participate in gambling.

State wants Kitata and others convicted

By Sania Babirye

The state has asked the army court to find guilty and consequently convict the jailed Boda -boda 2010 chairman Hajji Abdullah Kitata and his co accused.

These are charged with unlawful possession of firearms , ammunition and Military gear.

While making their final submissions before the General court martial sitting in Makindye which is chaired by Lt.Gen.Andrew Gutti, Raphael Mugisha the state prosecutor informed court that they had adduced sufficient evidence to prove the charges against Kitata and his co accused.

On the 8th of this month, Kitata’s defense team closed their case and asked court to acquit him.

These led by Shaban sanya told the army court that their client is innocent and should be freed on all charges on grounds that prosecution failed to adduce sufficient evidence to prove the alleged charges including the required ingredients in the said charges.

According to Kitata’s defense team, the state did not produce any concrete evidence to link Kitata to the recovered golden pistol and an SMG riffle which were allegedly found on him at the time of his arrest in a Hotel room at Vine Tea hotel in Wakaliga a Kampala suburb.

The lawyers stated that prosecution through out the trial, did not provide any evidence from an independent witness out of the four witnesses including any staff of Vine Tea Hotel , footage from a surveillance camera, a ballistic report or an Investigating officer who would have proved beyond reasonable doubt that Kitata was indeed in possession of the guns in the said hotel.

During the trial two out of the four state witnesses including the arresting officer claimed that they had arrested Kitata and also recovered the said items on kitata from his hotel room.

According to Sanywa, his client’s prosecution is cosmetic and one intended at pleasing the public since parliament had already singled out Kitata as one of the alleged untouchable

UMEME’s 2BN investment would reduce power accidents

By Moses Kidandi

Electricity distributor UMEME is investing two billion shillings on emergency refurbishment works of the Iganga-Bugiri power distribution line to check power outages.

The repairs, which will begin in May and end in September, will be a welcome relief for the utility’s over 1,000 customers served by the line.

Blasio Kasobya, the UMEME area customer service engineer, explained that the dilapidated old line, which passes through swampy areas, has been in dire need of repair.

“The line was in poor condition. It used to go off for at least 10 times a month with an average duration of three hours. This is definitely not good for our customers,” Kasobya noted.

Stephene Illungole UMEME’s media manager says the restoration of the line will lead to a reduction in the duration of outages and their frequency. Kasobya disclosed that the works will involve the upgrade of conductors and the insulation of outage prone points along the swampy section of the line. It will also involve the erection of up to 450 poles and strengthening of a 112-kilometre cable.

UMEME’s move to refurbish the line follows approval on April 16, 2019 by the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA).

UMEME said the renovation of the power line will be a big boost as it allows the connection of more people to the network in its support of the government access agenda. Mr. Selestino Babungi, the UMEME managing director, said the works will be expeditiously carried out to offer customers assured and more reliable supply with less outages.

“Not only will the works provide reliable supply, the quality of supply will also be greatly enhanced,” Babungi pledged his customers.

“Unfortunately, during the repair period, there may be intermittent supply as a result. We appeal to our customers to bear with us during this period for a great and better service delivery at the end of the day,” Babungi stated.

Police fire teargas to disperse angry supporters of Bobi wine.

Robert Segawa

Police and military was heavily deployed at Busaabala One Love Beach a head of the Kyarenga Concert which was scheduled for today Monday 22 April.

By dawn police had mounted road blocks along Busabala road in Wakiso district, police patrols every were and teargas trucks parked at the main entrance of One love beach to block Bobi wine to access the venue.

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Police has arrested the Kyarenga extra concert organizer for defying orders.

Those arrested include the Kyadondo East member of Parliament body guard Edward Ssebufu aka Eddie Mutwe, Abbey Musinguzi Abbitex and Bajo were detained at Katwe police station.

The organizers insisted the concert will go on since they haven’t received a letter from the police stopping the concert.

Police says the organizers failed to stand by security guidelines, officers are currently battling Bobi wine supporters at ONE LOVE beach Busabala who want to access the Venue.

Supporters are now throwing stones at police, forced the forced the force to answer with teargas and rubber bullets to disperse them.

Yesterday police impounded two trucks full of speakers which were hired by the organizers of Kyarenga extra concert, and one truck was driven and parked at Natete police station while the Where about of the other are not known.

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According to the letter signed by Director of police operations Asuman Mugenyi who says the previous concert of Kyarenga was characterized with multiple incidents of theft, public nuisance, violation of traffic rules and misconduct.

Mugenyi in his letter further says police intelligence shows the concerts are a risk to public safety.

He has therefore ordered the Territorial commanders to block the concert which is scheduled for today Easter Monday.

The operation is headed by deputy police Commander Kampala metropolitan area Geoffrey Namuwoza who says police presence in area is aimed to keep law and order.

According to Kyadondo East member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi wine yesterday said so far 124 concert have been blocked by police since October 2017.

Today, singer Bobi wine locked him self in his car at a road block in Busabala.

UPDATE: Bobi Wine was later arrested.

Arch Diocese Dr. Cyprian kizito urges Christians to continue fasting.

By Robert Segawa

Christians have been asked to use today’s way of the cross as a sign of unity despite the main differences they have amongst each other.

Leading a joint good Friday prayers under Uganda joint Christian council ( UJCC) at Old Kampala SS pray ground after the Ecumenical public way of the cross , the Archbishop of Church of Uganda his Grace Stanley Ntagali expressed fears that if we fail to get United by the death of Christ on the cross, then we cannot be United.

He meanwhile says the nailing of Jesus on the cross is a sign of light for the people who are staying in the dark, this should be celebrated as a great Friday.

Ntagali urged the public to embrace Christ in their lives as to stop all things against his teachings such as ,injustices, domestic violence ,corruption which he says is rampant in our country just because of greedy and selfish people .

He adds that on this Easter people should do things which glorify God, desist from domestic violence, corruption hence peace in our families, communities and country at large.

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He has advised parents to keep a keen eye on their children because now days they face many challenges such as sugar Mummies, and daddies which disrupt them adding all this come because of parent neglect to their families.

Different people at Old Kampala playground have prayed for peace in the country, families, those in hospitals and communities as well.

On his part as new Chairman of Uganda joint Christian council the Arch Bishop of Kampala archdioceses Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga called upon all Christians as well as Ugandans to have a good life.

He pointed out the challenges such as corruption, nepotism, tribalism, violence against women and children, rampant killings of innocent men, women and children , manipulation of people, witch craft in our society and yet Uganda is a country that believes in God.

Archbishop Lwanga also wondered of many children begging on streets of Kampala who are learning bad behaviors, defilement, early marriages, child labor and exploitation of many children lives with single parents and some end up spending hour’s alone with maids which is dangerous to our future generations.

He further pointed out poverty caused by land grabbing and eviction in some parts of the country, change in rainfall patterns caused by the environmental degradation which has left number of families faced with dry spells leading to the death of cattle which has led to hunger and over dependence.

Archbishop Lwanga Consoled the business community who have been affected by closure of the Uganda Rwanda boarder, and prays that the two leaders meet and resolve the issues amongst their two countries.

Bishop Lwanga while leading the Christians on the ecumenical public way of the cross from Rubaga cathedral,Rubaga road, Kabaka Njagala, St Balikudembe parish Mengo Kisenyi, St James Church of Uganda, today , said that Christians should not stop doing what they have been doing during lent because the needy ,poor still exist and need prayers for protection from doing Wrong .

Bishop adds that our love to God must be extended to our families and communities and this in turn will help peace to prevail in our country

Parliament should bring back bleeding disorder bill

By Daudi Zirimala

The Minister of Health in Charge of General Duties Joyce Moriku Kaducu has called upon members of parliament to bring back the bill on bleeding disorders for debate to enable the ministry to plan thoroughly on bleeding disorders.

Speaking during the World Hemophilia day in Kampala, Dr Kaducu said that the bill was differed for further consultation when it was brought in parliament but it’s high time for parliament to debate again passes this bill to cater for hemophilia conditions.

She said that hemophilia foundation of Uganda is working hand in hand with the ministry of health to create a dedicated heamohopilia center in Mulago and regional referral hospitals and equip the centers with factors and reagents for testing heamophilia.

Heamophilia is an inherited genetic disorder that impairs the bodys ability to control blood clotting when blood vessel is broken and people with heamopholia do not bleed any faster than normal,they bleed for a much longer time.Over 2583 people are estimated to have heamophilia in Uganda and only 3.2% of the 2583 are diagnosed,96.8% remain misdiagnosed.