Kabuleta’s case against electoral commission slated for hearing on 14th August

By Sania Babirye

The Electoral commission has asked the High court to dismiss a case in which presidential aspirant and veteran journalist turned , preacher Joseph Kabuleta is challenging the directive by the Electoral body to hold scientific/digital campaigns for the coming 2021 General elections.

The said case had come up for hearing before Justice Esther Nambayo, however, lawyers representing Uganda Electoral commission have told court that Kabuleta pre-maturely brought the said petition before court without first exhausting necessary steps within the Electoral commission .

According to EC , section 15 of its Act, has avenues through which such matters raised by Kabuleta can be resolved internally and if dissatisfied with the outcome, then someone can seek court redress.

EC further told court that the said petition was filed before court and should not be heard.

Justice Nambayo has set the 14th of August to giver her ruling.

Through his lawyers of Anthony Wameeli, Kabuleta was court to stop the scientific revised election roadmap until when the country is able to hold normal elections without restrictions.

Kabuleta also wants orders compelling government to declare a state of emergency and postpone next year’s elections in order to enable citizens express their will and consent on how they should be governed .

In his application, Kabuleta claims that digital elections dictated by the EC under the guise of preventing further spread of Covid- 19 pandemic , are meant to give incumbents an advantage over new contenders because the former category already has control over the existing media out-lets on top of having enormous followers on social media.

He further claims that the scientific elections will frustrate public participation in matters regarding their governance as it gags people from freely expressing their views to contending candidates and bars others from offering themselves for election .

On the 16th of June 2020 EC declared a scientific revised 2021 general elections banning politicians from holding public political rallies due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic .

Kabuleta says the pandemic is just an excuse to violate people’s rights basing on mere anticipations that the situation will be worse at the time of holding campaigns yet there are countries like Ghana , Burundi , Malawi and America where aspiring candidates hold public rallies at the moment.

FDC rejects scientific elections

By Sania Babirye

Opposition Forum for Democratic Change has rejected what it has described as digital elections because they allegedly compromise the quality of the outcome.

FDC says holding a normal election on the dates stipulated in the Constitution (January-February 2020) as announced by the Electoral Commission is a big risk. However, FDC also notes that if the country chooses to do so, then, the said elections must be transparent as commanded by the Constitution.

Addressing the media during their weekly press briefing, party spokesperson Ibrahim Semujju Nganda said that the Constitution provides for only normal elections where candidates freely interact with the electorate and any attempt to modify these elections will be unlawful.

He says as a party, they made it clear to the Electoral Commission that extension of the term of the President and Parliament as is being suggested in some quarters cannot happen because it is not supported by the Constitution.

According to Ssemujju, the People’s Government and the FDC are in final phases of producing a position paper that calls for a transitional arrangement of when the term of office for the president, Parliament and local governments should come to an end.

He says they will circulate this document to all political players, civil society and to religious leaders to facilitate a national dialogue and consensus.

“We think the country should allow the term of office for the current administration to expire. When it does so, an interim council should run the government and organize elections when the pandemic is over. The nature of the council and its members should be agreed upon by all political players in the country.” Semujju said.

Ssemujju says this will resolve the current impasse and that Parliament can make the necessary changes to the Constitution and electoral laws to accommodate this situation.

KCCA elections to be held on Thursday

By Robert Segawa

Kampala Capital City Authority has set 5th March as the election date for the post of speaker and his Deputy. This comes after the president Museveni signed the new KCCA act of 2020 in November 2019.

Addressing journalists at the Media center the minister for Kampala metropolitan affairs Betty Among said the five divisions of Kampala will also hold the elections on same date at their division headquarters.

According to the set guidelines for the poll, only the Lord Mayor, his deputy, division mayor’s, executive director, town clerk , RCC , division mayor’s chief magistrate and journalists will be allowed to access the voting area.

She further adds that mobile phones and other recording devices have been prohibited to from voting exercise.

Three people have so far shown interest in the race among them FDC Doreen Nyanjura, Abubaker Kawalya, and NRM Bruhan Byaruhanga.

Besigye arrested after failed attempt to meet Kamizingi traders


By Robert Segawa

Former Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye has been arrested and detained at Nalufenya police station.

Policelearned that the ex FDC president was planning to meet traders and their leaders of Kamizingi market this afternoon so this morning they surrounded Sun Set hotel where he spent the night. Besigye was then arrested as he left the hotel to Kamizingi market.

On Tuesday, Dr. Besigye was arrested and detained at Nalufenya police station after police blocked his planned meeting in Njeru municipality

He was arrested together with former leader of opposition Wafula Ogutu and Bugiri municipality mayor.

Police arrests Bobi Wine, transfer him to Nagalama Police

By Robert Segawa
Police has arrested and transferred to Nagalama police the leader of the People power movement, Honorable Robert Kyagulanyi and several other members of the party as they commenced consultations for the 2021 presidential election.

According to the police spokesperson Fred Enanga, 16 people have been arrested and detained at Kasangati police as they proceeded to Our lady of Good counsel play ground Gayaza where the consultative meeting was scheduled to take place.Among these are three Honorable members of Parliament. Enanga identified those arrested with Hon Robert Kyagulanyi as Hon Latif Ssebagala, Hon Asuman Basalirwa together with 13 others . He says these have been held for interrogation.

Police was forced to fire live bullets and tear gas to disperse the gatherings as it effected the arrest.

During a press briefing at police headquarters Naguru Enanga said, “the meeting is supposed to be in a closed venue or a Hotel not open space like Our Lady of Good counsel play ground.”

Last year electoral commission okayed Hon Kyagulanyi to go on with his consultation meeting in a hall not open space.

The sixteen people arrested will be charged with not obeying lawful orders and participating in unlawful meeting.

Wrong Move, don’t attack media, Deborah Malac tells govt of Uganda

BY Our Reporter

The U.S ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac has said the government’s attack on the media is a step in the wrong direction.

Malac, who was on Friday delivering a keynote address at a World Press Freedom Day national conference at Golf Course Hotel, said Uganda Communication Commission (UCC)’s recent directives to radios and TVs is indicative that media is under assault for doing its job.

On Wednesday, UCC ordered six televisions and seven radio stations to suspend its staff over alleged breach of minimum broadcasting standards. The affected media houses are; NTV, NBS Tv, BBS Tv, Bukedde Tv, Salt Tv, Akaboozi Fm, Beat Fm, Bukedde Tv, Capital Fm, CBS Fm, Kingdom Tv, Pearl Fm, Sapientia Fm, and Simba Fm.

Malac wondered why UCC hastily issued directives without defining sections of broadcasting standards that were allegedly breached by the media houses.

She pointed out other “quite concerning” trends curtailing media freedom in Uganda such as the closure of radio stations, hiking levies paid by radios and TVs, and proposal of new regulations. This repression of media, Malac said has a long-lasting effect on the media environment in Uganda.

Photo Credit: Faisal Kasirye
Photo Credit: Faisal Kasirye

Malac also referred to 2019 World Press Freedom Index where Uganda dropped 8 places–from 117 placings of 2018 to 125–out of 180 states ranked. Such performance and repression, she says send a wrong message to Ugandans.

Malac reaffirmed US mission support to the promotion of press freedom in Uganda and strengthening the organization of journalists.

“We, of course, must use our collective influence to urge the government to improve its record.

Today, as we have done in the past, the United State strongly urges the Uganda government to take action to protect and defend press freedom and to hold individuals who violate this freedom accountable,” Malac said.

Meanwhile, the European Union has expressed concern over the restriction of freedom of expression of the media and assembly in Uganda.

In their joint release issued on Friday, the European Union noted that they are deeply concerned by a series of recent incidents restricting the freedom of expression and assembly in Uganda, in particular, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC)’s decision to suspend staff of 13 media houses over allegations of breaching minimum broadcasting standards.

“We are also concerned about the excessive use of force by the Uganda police and security forces against peaceful protestors and opposition.” The statement reads.

“We urge the Government to ensure the implementation of all the relevant laws and regulations in a way that allows all Ugandans irrespective of their political affiliations, to exercise fully and without fear, their basic democratic rights enshrined in the constitution,” the statement says.

EU also underlines the importance of upholding judicial processes and stressed the importance of full respect for the rule of law and the right to a fair trial as set down in the constitution.

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

UPDATE: Justice Stellah Amoko & Mwangusya’s ruling on Age Limit Bill

By: Babirye Sania

Justice Stellah Amoko of the supreme court has dismissed the consolidated appeal and confirmed the decision of the constitutional court sitting in Mbale that ruled that the age limit bill was constitutionally passed. While delivering her judgment,she has explained that the Bill did not make a charge on the Consolidation fund because the said 29 million shillings that were paid to each Member of Parliament for consultation was already put aside by the parliamentary commission to run its activities, ruled that the speaker of parliament had a right to Amend the order paper and include the Bill hence she did not smuggle it in as it had been alleged by appellants and further also ruled that there was no proof from the appellants that members of the public were denied access to parliamentary gallery during the reading and tabling of the Bill in Parliament.

Still in the supreme Justice Eldard Mwangusya has ruled that the process of debating and passing the bill was null and void, but added that although some of the issues raised by the appellants were valued, however, they would not warrant an annulment of the age limit law. According to him the absence of a valid certificate of compliance from the speaker to accompany the bill means there was no Valid assent to the Bill into Law by President Museveni because there was nothing to ascend to. He says that issues like the constitutional failure to summon key witnesses like speaker Kadaga are valid but were not fatal enough to all the amendment of the Act.

Mwangushya ruled that lack of public participation and consultation also defeated the faith in which the Bill was brought since consultations were curtailed by security. He also declared that the rights of Mps and other members of the public who would have wanted to follow and participate in the debate was infringed upon when the doors of the gallery were closed.

President Museveni sued over “another rap” song

By Sania Babirye

President Yoweri Museveni has been dragged before the commercial court by a local Musician Richard Kaweesa for allegedly stealing his song “Another Rap” which he used in his 2010 presidential campaigns and later acquired copyrights to the song.

Kaweesa is also suing President Museveni together with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau for failing to carry out due diligence before illegally registering and granting President Museveni copyright adding that he produced the said song using a few Kinyakore words that were contained in the president’s speech of the 9th of October 2010 at Statehouse.