Arua porous boarders undermining efforts to fight COVID19

By Alice Lubwama

The Parliamentary Technical Committee on Covid-19 has asked government to handle the issue of porous borders and illegal border entries in Arua district as an emergency because it undermines the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The committee task force is in the West Nile sub region to assess the preparedness of government institutions to handle the Covid-19 pandemic in the region.

While touring the border point of Vurra and Ondromacaku in Arua the vice Chairperson of this committee Spellanza Baguma noted that there was no proper distinction between the Uganda and DR Congo border. “During our tour, we noted that there was no man’s land between the border points between Uganda and DR Congo which put Ugandans in harm’s way to contract corona virus,” she said.

She adds that the people of Arua were not observing the presidential directives of social distancing and wearing masks and thus putting themselves at great risk.

The Acting District Health Officer Arua Dr Paul Drileba, told the committee that the district is facing challenges in the delivering the samples and getting results from the testing centers.

He says it takes the district four days to get results of the drivers due to the lack of transport because they used to transport it to Kampala by buses before the lock down.
, we have found it hard to transport the samples for testing,” Drileba said.
The authorities have now resorted to collecting samples from all the testing centers before taking them to Kampala for testing, which has had its own challenges.

Hon. Fred Baseke, also a member of the committee said that while visiting Arua Hospital, some of the hospital staff like nurses were not wearing protective gears yet the district is already exposed.

Dr Filbert Nyeko, the Director, Arua Hospital, revealed that there are 12 people under quarantine at the hospital, including two children.

Child mothers on the raise in Arua

Increased number of teenage mothers in a Arua district is worrying officials.

Arua Regional Referral Hospital is overwhelmed by the high number of teenage mothers seeking maternity and antenatal services.

Sr. Lilly Awili, the in-charge Maternity Ward at Arua regional referral hospital notes that more than 20 girls below 20 years deliver at the facility in a month.

She noted that of the 19 births registered on New Year’s Day at the hospital, 8 were underage girls who experienced obstructed labour resulting from excessive bleeding.

Sister Awili says that child mothers should regularly seek antenatal services so that complications are detected early.

Sr. Doreen Byabu, the in-charge of Oli Health Center IV in Arua Municipality said the health unit receives pregnancy complications of teenage mothers. She says that teenage pregnancy can lead to devastating health consequences for girls as adolescents are not yet physically ready for pregnancy or childbirth.

Statistics from the community development office Arua indicate that cases of young mothers are on the increase and this has been attributed to school dropouts which make the girl child more vulnerable and gender-based violence.

Richard Obia the Community Development Officer-CDO Arua says that they have embarked on massive sensitization campaigns in the sub-counties of Ullepi in Madi Okollo district, Uriama in Terego and Ayivuni in Ayivu county to help young girls to avoid early pregnancies.

Some of the complications associated with pregnancies among underage girls include high risks of infections, delivery complications, fistula as well as maternal death.

~story from Uganda Radio Network

Police officers demoted over participation in Arua saga

By Sania Babirye

The Police Disciplinary Court has recommended the demotion of five Police Officers in connection to last year’s chaotic Arua Municipality parliamentary by-elections.

While announcing the ruling at Arua Municipal Council hall this morning the Police Disciplinary Court Chairperson, Dennis Odongopiny said the officers were found guilty of negligence of duty.

He has now sentenced Superintendents of Police-SP Robert Junena Okia, the former West Nile Zonal Field Force Unit Commander, Jonathan Musinguzi, the former West Nile Region Police Commander and former Arua DPC, Abbas Senyonjo to reduction in rank to Assistant Superintendents of Police.

The same court sentenced Senior Superintendent of Police, Edward Mugweri, the former West Nile Region Crime Intelligence Officer to reduction in rank to Superintendent of Police.
More than 4,000 residents of three sub counties in Bunyangabu district are living in fear of eviction from their homes by Mathias Kintu who says the land belonged to his late grandfather, Yohana Maingira.

However the occupants of the land have dismissed Kintu’s claims.

Now the Defense and Veterans Affairs Minister who also doubles as the Bunyangabu Member of Parliament promises to talk to Kintu to allow government to buy the land for the

Gulu court pushes Arua saga court hearing to next year

By Moses Kidandi

Gulu Grade One Magistrate Isaac Imoran Kintu has adjourned hearing the case against Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine to 10th January 2019.

The accused Bobi Wine,MP Kassiano Wadri, and 26 co-accused had appeared before the court today for mention of their case.

The state claims the accused stoned one of President Museveni’s car, smashing it hind windscreen on August 13 during Arua Municipality by-election campaigns.

Police said they had completed investigations into the case,however Prosecution led by Mr Paul Weponde informed court that they were not ready to proceed with the case since the police had not submitted evidence to them.

Gulu Grade One Magistrate Isaac Imoran Kintu is now urging the prosecution team to speed up inquiries to ensure that an expeditious takes off since most of the accused persons come from outside the jurisdiction.

The magistrate has ordered the State to expedite investigations to avoid further inconveniences after the defense team led by Mr Henry Komakech Kilama argued that the accused persons are incurring a lot of expenses traveling from Kampala and Arua to attend the court sessions.

Mr Kilama also asked court to issue fresh summons to CID officers from Arua and Gulu districts to explain about his clients’ properties that were confiscated from them during custody such as vehicles, IPads, phones, laptops and money.

Arua midwives ask for electricity extension in their health centers

By Deo Wasswa
Midwives in government health center threes in Arua district want the government to extend electricity to these facilities to ease their work especially during night.

Some of midwives we spoke to said they face challenges to communicate with mothers during delivery times because their mouth are being used to hold torches or cellphones to light properly.
Bako Mary , one on the midwives at Riiki Health center III, located in Oluko Sub county in Arua district says because of little communication during that time, some times they lose some babies.
Riiki health center has only two midwives, yet the facility receives a total of 35 – 45 mothers for delivering on monthly basis.
Bako was speaking at an event where , World Wide Fund, donated solar panels to over 25 health facilities and schools in Arua district to help on improving health service delivery and promoting education in the district.
While handing over the donation, David Duli, the country director, of world Wide Fund has asked the beneficiaries to use the equipment efficiently.
He also urged the government to think about reducing on the prices of solar equipment to make it affordable to communities.

Barbie celebrates Bobi amidst worse bit of their wedding oath

Wife of  Kyandodo East Member of Parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu aka Bobi Wine took to her Facebook to celebrate their seventh anniversary amidst their current challenges.

Legislator and Singer has not be able to go back home since the Arua political scuffle that led him to be jailed by the army and later by police. Today, Bobi Wine and 33 others are appearing before court in Gulu to hear their bail request.

In her words,

“Bobi my love, today is our seventh wedding anniversary. Unlike the other anniversaries in the past, this one finds us in a court room in Gulu. It finds you in clutches, unable to walk by yourself. It finds you before a judge, making an application for you to be released on bail so that you can go for medical treatment. It finds you in physical pain. On such days in the past, we would go to the beach or somewhere across the Atlantic. We would cut cake, have some wine and celebrate with our children. But today here we are. Still not sure if you’ll get your freedom or if you will be taken back to prison.

But let me tell you this. I have never been so proud of you. I am very proud that you are not before this judge because you did anything wrong. Not because you stole public funds or killed a person. You are before the judge because of standing for what you believe in. You have always told me that your dream is to live in a country which works for all citizens. Everyday, you are working towards that. Our troubles these past days are a result of that effort. What I can do is once again promise to support you every step of the way. Not because Iam your wife but also your best friend.
On our wedding day on 27th August 2011, you composed for me the best song I’ve ever listened to ‘For better for worse.’ You promised to be with me through thin and thick, in sickness and in health, in sorrows and joy. I promised you the same. Here we are on that worse bit of the oath. 😏
Happy wedding anniversary my Love; FOR BETTER,FOR WORSE. IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH.”

~Barbie Kyagulanyi


Opposition politicians held in connection with death on Bobi Wine’s driver

Opposition politicians who were arrested on Monday night  in Arua Municipality are being held in connection to the shooting of Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi’s driver  Yasin Kawuma.

The politicians some of whom police claim were found armed with pistols at the time of arrest include;  Gerald Karuhanga, MP Jinja East Paul Mwiru, MP Mityana Municipality Francis Zaake, former MP Micheal Mabike and candidate Kasiano Wadri.

Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima while briefing the media at police headquarters said investigations will tell who exactly fired the bullet that killed Kawuma  between us and the people arrested since some of them were found with fire arms.

Kawuma was shot dead while sitting in Kyagulanyi’s car around hotel Pacific.

Arua gets new District Police commander ahead of by election

By Robert Segawa

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martin Okoth Ochola has this evening transferred the District Police Commander (DPC) Arua over Monday’s attack on the Presidential motorcade.

DPC Abbas Ssenyonjo has been transferred to Masaka District with Immediate effect in a message signed by the Director Human Resource Administration Moses Balimwoyo .

Ssenyonjo has been replaced by the DPC Masaka Henry Kintu .

The following officers have been transferred with immediate effect, Ssenyonjo who was in charge of the security of Arua Municipality during Monday’s final campaign but is alleged to have failed to control the crowds hence leading to an attack and obstruction of the Presidential Motorcade as security forces including police and the Special Force Command (SFC) tried to disperse the crowds wearing colors believed to be of supporters of independent candidate Kasiano Wadri.

During the scuffle, four people are said to have been shot with  one dying on the spot. Yasin Kawuma a driver to Member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi wine was shot dead while seated in Bobi Wine’s vehicle around hotel Pacific in Arua Town.

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.

Man accuses Bishop Odoki’s security guards of torture

Security personnel deployed to guard the premises of the Bishop of Arua Diocese, Sabino Odoki at Ediofe Cathedral are on the spot for alleged torture.
Jamal Waka, a resident of Aiivu Village in Pajulu Sub County accuses the guards of arresting him and torturing him on Thursday last week as he was returning from a trade fair at Arua Hill Bomah Grounds.
According to Waka, after torturing him, the guards handed him over to Arua Central Police Station, which kept him in the cells for six days before he was produced in court on Wednesday.
Waka appeared before Arua Chief, Magistrate William Robbs Komakech who granted him non cash bond of Shillings one million. He is expected to return to court on January 18th 2017 for the mention of his case.
Shortly after his release, Waka told URN that on the fateful night, he was walking back home from the trade fair at around 1am when he was intercepted by a combined team of Police and UPDF officers guarding the Bishop’s home accusing him of abusing Bishop Odoki.
According to Waka, on sensing danger he tried to flee but the security officers hit him with a stick and he fell down.

According to Waka, he spent close to a week in the police cell without any medical help.

Alingozi Kamura, a brother to the torture victim says the action of the security personnel is uncalled for. He says it was wrong for officers to descend on unarmed civilian and torture him to that magnitude.

Police have not yet commented on the matter as the West Nile Region, Police Spokesperson; Josephine Angucia was not available by the time of filing this story.

This is the second case in, which Police officers are being implicated for torturing a suspect in West Nile region within a space of two weeks.

Over a week ago, Joseph Okongo, an office at Pakwach Police Station also beat up a suspect over mistaken identity.

Okongo has since then been summoned by the regional professional standards unit to respond to the charges of torture.