Public Order Management Act declared null and void

By Sania Babirye

The constitutional court has after six years delivered the judgement outlawing the public order management act ruling that the entire public order management act is inconsistent with the 1995 constitution of Uganda.

In a majority judgement, four out of the five justices led justice Kenneth Kakuru, Geoffrey Kiryabwire,Elizabeth Musoke and Cheborion Barishaki have declared that the said that is used to regulate public demonstrations and gatherings by police raised issues of constitutional interpretations there by declaring null and void section 8 for being unconstitutional.

According to the justices, the act sets a limitation that are far beyond what is demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society and as such void by giving police powers to clear and give permission to public demonstrations and gatherings.

The government through the attorney general had defended the said act claiming that it used it to keep peace, order, and tranquility in the country especially in urban areas to protect shop keepers and businesses from undue interference, however, the four justices have dismissed the said grounds stating that in every democracy,the economy is propelled by Democratic principles and not repression, emphasizing that repression stifles economic growth.

The justices explained that even traders, teacher, doctors, vendors among others would want to be free to demonstrate against unjust taxes and other unjustifiable policies which can be achieved if there isn’t such a law that curtails their protests, public gatherings and demonstrations.

In 2013 civil society organizations including FIDA,DANIVA,rtd.Bishop Zack Niringiye and MP Muwanga kivumbi petitioned the constitutional court seeking orders to declare the POMA inconsistent with the 1995 of the constitution and in contravention of Uganda’s international legal obligations.

“The action of the respondent in enacting and assenting to Section 5 and 6 of the Public Order Management Act, which sections are substantially and materially similar to Section 32(2) of the Police Act that was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court in the constitutional petition number 9 of 2005 – Muwanga Kivumbi Vs Attorney General – is inconsistent with and in contravention of Article 92 of the Constitution,” the petition reads in part.

The petition was filed in the wake of the opposition walk to work protests in which FDC’ former presidential candidate was protesting against the increasing cost of living.

However, these claimed that the act was formulated to curtail and silence their voices and also questioned police’s powers to give them permission to hold public gatherings.

Ajarova urges hotel owners to improve their facilities during this period

By Annah Nafula

Uganda Tourism Board CEO Lilly Ajarova has called upon Hotel and lodge owners to utilise the break aimed at stopping the spread of COVID 19 to improve their facilities.

While speaking to Capital FM, Ms. Ajarova said this was a global crisis whose duration is uncertain. She said this while in the break hotel owners should explore ways to improve their services while they follow the stipulated guidelines given by government.

“I wouldn’t expect hotel owners to just sit and wait for the end of this period but rather organize to make necessary repairs if there any needed. In the vent that some have no money to do repairs, this is a good time for them to take stock for their businesses and also conduct one on one trainings for the staff members.” Said Ajarova.

According to Ajarova, UTB is continuing to reinforce the government guidelines on personnel directly working in the tourism sector. She continues to urge all these people to stay safe and take all the necessary precautions during this period.
Uganda Tourism Board is working tirelessly on a strategy that will be used to market Uganda after the crisis she added.

Traders ask for government’s intervention on rent

By Robert Segawa

Traders under the Kampala city traders association ( Kacita) are asking the president to compel Landlords and building owners to excuse them from rent during this period when the country is facing a near complete lock down due to the outbreak of COVID19.

Association Spokesperson Isa Ssekito says ever since the president ordered closure of boarders it has been very difficult for traders to make sales. He says many of them have resorted to staying home to follow the government directive of minimizing movements while others simply have no stock to avail to their clients. He also says they are very few buyers in town who are buying basic needs other than things they can do without during this period.

Ssekito therefore says because of the pressure landlords are placing on these people during this stressing time, many are going to be forced to take loans so as to pay rent which he asks that government intervenes before it is too late.

Museveni to use spies to curb on rising food prices

By Annah Nafula
The president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has asked traders in particular those who are selling food stuff to stop hiking prices. While speaking to the Nation in his forth National address on COVID19, the president expressed disappointment in fellows who are increasing the prices of food stuffs that he says are grown in the country.

“I have two options for those ones, I will send spies who will pretend to be buying, if they find that you have hiked food prices, your license will be revoked.” He said.

The president also said that as an alternative measure he will be looking at finding NRM cadres who will sell the same food at parallel prices so that the traders don’t take advantage of Ugandans in this period.

During the same address, the president encouraged Ugandans to use local soaps and water to wash their hands as much as they can. He said they should not pay so much attention to sanitizers but continue to use local soaps which he stressed kills the virus once correctly applied with water.

“We are also still closely observing public transport, if the situation gets worse, we might stop public transport.” The president said.

The president said he was a looking at the option of reviving the road master bicycle factory in Luwero so as they can manufacture bicycles for Ugandans. He says the beauty about using bicycles is, one chooses the company they move with and cycling is healthier than sitting in a vehicle.

Until now, Ministry of Health has reported 9 cases of COVID19 victims in Uganda, in his speech the president said all these were being managed and were responding well to treatment.
“The people who escape and try to hide are endangering themselves and others unnecessarily.There is a possibility that you can treated” he said.

The president has reminded Ugandans to not allow anybody coughing or sneezing near you. He has advised operators of public transport systems not to allow such people in the vehicles.
He is also discouraging members of the public against doing anything without washing their hands with soap and water. Lastly he has implored the public to desist from touching their eyes, nose and mouth since the virus attacks and thrives in these soft skins/tissues.

Sick Gen. Tumukunde sent to Luzira

By Sania Babirye
Rtd.Gen. Henry Tumukunde has been remanded to Luzira prison by city hall court grade one magistrate Valerian Tuhimbise.

This is after Gen.Tumukunde was charged with treason and four counts of unlawful possession of fire arms and ammunition.

He has however pleaded not guilty to all five counts.

On the treason charge, Prosecution states that on the 5th of March 2020 while appearing on a morning show at one of the local Television stations in Kamwokya, the Rt. Lt Gen made utterances which were calculated to instigated the Republic of Rwanda to invade Uganda and cause a unlawful change of government.

On the unlawful possession fire arms and ammunition, its states that on the 13th of March 2020 at his office Impala Avenue in Kololo,was found in possession of 2 guns; an Ak47 and a pistol . Prosecution further states that he is charged with unlawful possession of 34 rounds of ammunition’s without a valid firearm license

He has told court on the charges of being in possession of firearms and ammunition, he was in lawful possession of the said gun since it was given to him with the said ammunition as a retired General .

Prosecution led by Viola Tusingwire has informed court that investigations into the said counts are complete and ready to bring witnesses on the 30th of this month for hearing.

Tumukunde has now been remanded to Luzira prison also until the 23rd of this month on the treason count, however court has explained that on that day, Tumukunde will not physically appear in court but will appear under the video conferencing link at Buganda road court on treason charges.

He will appear before city hall court again on the 30th of this month to start trial on unlawful possession of fire arms and ammunition.

Treason, is a capital case bailable and tryable only by the High court .

The magistrate has also refused submissions from his defense team to grant him bail over ill health.

Court ruled that Luzira prison is well equipped to manage his poor health conditions.

Gen.Tumukunde however did not stand in the court docket because he was sick.

Gen Tumukunde was brought at court amidst tight security by counter-terrorism security personnel.

Only family members, his lawyers and state prosecutor were allowed to enter court and his nurse who brought a bucket with his medication in court.

Many journalists were blocked from accessing Court room as security locked all the entrances to the court room.

Tumukunde was assisted into the court room by two plain clothed detectives because he can not walk by himself.

Female taxi operators want bylaws in place to protect them n job

By Alice Nalubwama
Plan international Uganda has called stake holders in the transport business to make by-laws and policies that can guide the operations of the female conductors with in the business.

Lydia Tebekanya the coordinator of the safer cities adolescent girls project at plan international says because they are few than the male conductors in the transport business they are abused by both the passengers and their bosses, the drivers who at times sexually harass them in order to keep their jobs.

Allen Mukiibi a third year student at Muteesa Royal university Mengo is one of the female taxi operators in Kampala city.

She decided to join the business on realizing that her parents were not able to raise her tuition fees and requirements.

“We are seven children, and when I finished senior six, my parents could not raise all my school fees, so i decided to look for a job in order to raise part of my fees and requirements.”

Mukiibi works for five days in a week and on weekends she goes for her studies, but her biggest challenge as works in a taxi is those men who always touch her private parts, telling her how she was so young to do that kind of job.

“But me I don’t care about what people say because, when I get money I buy my requirements at school and even pay part of my fees.” Annet Mukibi now advises other young girls not to despise any job where they can get income to earn a living.

Shisha smokers fined Ugx 480,000

By Sania Babirye

Three people who were found smoking and selling Shisha at August 80 bar in Bukoto have been ordered to pay a court fine of 480,000 shillings or in default serve one year in Luzira prison.

This is after the three pleaded guilty to the offense of selling and displaying tobacco products.

The convicts include 30 year old Muhumuza Alphonce a resident of Nakawa division,23 year old Joanita Nabase a resident of Najeera and 33 year old Jerry Bigena a resident of Kisasi in Nakawa division within Kampala district.

Court has also issued criminal summons to a waiter at August 80 bar Serunkuma Abdul to appear in court and answer to the said charges on the 23rd of this month.

Prosecution states that on the 6th of March 2020 at August 80 bar, the convicts were found displaying /smoking flavored tobacco product which is in contravention of the 2015 tobacco control act.

Minister Mutuuzo asks Ugandans to take precaution against Corona Virus

By Robert Segawa

Schools, worship places, and public gatherings have been cautioned to be extra cautious and put in place measures to safeguard masses against Corona virus.

The call was made by State minister for Gender, labor and social development, Hon Peace Mutuuzo during the launch of Inter- Ministerial Forum on Disability inclusion at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.

Minister Mutuuzo says although Uganda has not yet received any case of Corona virus,we are not immune and that the neighboring countries that already reported cases, so security should be extra cautious in protecting boarders by testing people to see if they have Corona virus before crossing to Uganda.

She encouraged the public to stock more food at home if possible. She also advised people to have enough Sanitizers, wash hands many times as they can using soap as well as stay at home if possible.

Sheikh killer to stand trial despite confessing

By Sania Babirye

The General court martial has set the 13 of March to start hearing a murder case against a 40 year old security guard Mugoya Biasaali despite him confessing to murdering sheik Masood Mutumba in Bugiri district in February.

This is after Prosecution led by Lt. Raphael Mugisha maintained that its not true that the self confessed killer murdered the Muslim clerk alone as he claims but committed the offense with seven others.

The case had returned today for prosecution to read to court how the suspect committed the said murder offense, so that Biasaali can be officially convicted.

Buy when Lt. Mugisha maintained that the the said convict committed the said offense with seven others, Biasaali refused the said facts and maintained that he had murdered the deceased alone because he had causes him enormous pain.

This forced the army court chaired by Lt.Gen.Andrew Guti to record his statement as not guilty since he had denied committing the said crime alone.

Biasaali a Supervisor at SGA UgandaLimited, a Private Security Company Mugoya Biasaali is charged together with Balidhusa James attached to Local Defense Unit, Jagenda John Mary a Special Hire Driver and a resident of Lubowa Seguku in Wakiso District, Alex Mugoya alias Waiswa a Security Guard with Harsh Security Company a resident of Bukedea District, Amos Kojja , Sulaiman Konta, Charles Mwandha and Asharaf Mugoya all residents of Lwemba village in Busimba Zone in Bugiri District who denied the said offense.

They have been back remanded to Luzira prison until the 13th of march to commence trial.

60 year old sheikh Mutumba was gunned down outside his home in a gruesome incident that was witnessed by his 10 year old son on the 14th of February at Lwemba Trading centre in Bugiri district.

According to the deceased’s son, the assailants were traveling on a motorcycle .

Police arrests man for burning three churches in Kasokoso

By Robert Segawa

Kiira division Police is investigating circumstances under which 21 year’s old man set three churches located in Kasokoso village in Kiira Municipality on fire leaving property worth millions of shillings destroyed.

According to Luke Owoyesigyire Kampala metropolitan deputy police spokesman, the three churches set a blaze are St.Noah Catholic church Kasokoso, Liberty church of Christ international and God’s Tour promising church also located in Kasokoso.

Owoyesigyire says that some of the things that were destroyed include reverends’ cloaks, church books, alterwine, curtains, plastic chairs , sofa sets, TV sets worth millions of shillings .

He adds that the culprit gained entry into churches by breaking through windows.

Owoyesigyire further adds that this morning the suspect surrendered himself to Kiira Division police armed with three brand new knives. He was identified as Ngobi John Reagan 21 years unemployed resident of Kasokoso beach Kiira municipality Wakiso district

During interview the suspect revealed that, he burnt these churches because of anger arising from the fact that churches preach prosperity but he has remained poor. Police will take him to Butabika for medical check-up as investigation are on going