Two convicted of murdering Rwandan university student

By Sania Babirye

Two suspects who were charged with the murder of 19 year old Columbian University student Andrew Gatare in 2015 have been convicted of murder by the High court in Kampala.

Justice Angelin Flavia Ssenoga has convicted Ronald Mutebi and Geoffrey Lubwama aka Jeff for the murder of the Rwandan National who was attacked on the outside Kampala Serena hotel were he had gone to watch fireworks on New years Eve.

This is after two court assessors Rehema Babirye and Bogere Betty advised court to find the suspects guilty of the offense stating that evidence adduced by the state was sufficient enough to prove the murder case against them.

The victim apparently met his death at around 2pm as he was looking for a bodaboda around Nile Avenue to his home in Kololo after watching fireworks.

The convicts first robbed him of his valuables including a black berry mobile phone, his wallet containing unspecified amount of cash before murdering him.

At the time of his death, Gatare was pursuing electrical engineering at Columbia university in Canada and was here for the Christmas holiday.

His lifeless body was found by police and was later pronounced dead at Mulago hospital and a postmortem carried out revealed that cause of death was trauma due to a deadly weapon on his head which was identified as a hammer during trial.

The suspects were arrested after police tracked the black berry mobile phone they had stolen from the deceased .

However, Mutebi a resident of Kazo had sold the phone to a one Damulira at 60,000 and upon arrest of Damulira, he informed court that Mutebi had sold him the phone and he had paid a down payment of 40,000 shillings.

When Mutebi was quizzed by police,he confessed to the murder and stealing the phone with his accomplice Lubwama.

These have further been remanded to Luzira prison until the 22nd of this month when they will be handed their sentences.

Court of Appeal squashes George Kakoma’s 50BN compesation

By Sania Babirye

The court of appeal has repealed the 50 million shillings it had awarded to Uganda National Anthem composer the late George William Kakoma for violating his copyrights to the song.

In August 2010 the high court declined to grant Kakoma who died in 2012, 5.2 billion shilling he had prayed for the recovery of damages, compensation and royalties for infringement of copyright and costs to the suit and instead awarded him 50 billion shillings saying the initial figure was astronomical and extortionist following a suit Kakoma filed against government in 2008.

However, being dissatisfied, the DPP appealed in court of appeal saying, Kakoma had been already paid a token of appreciation in 1962 amounting to 2000 Ugandan shillings hence no need for further compensation.

And today, the court of appeal has ruled that Kakoma does not deserve to be paid any compensation.

In the suit, Kakoma had alleged that government must be him each time the National Anthem is played.

Justice Yorakamu Bawmine while awarding Kakoma the 50 billion had stated that it was not in dispute that Kakoma had composed and wrote a musical composition which he entered into a an open competition for adoptions of a national Anthem and declared winner leading to its adoption into Uganda’s National Anthem.

And that in 1997, Kakoma did write to President Museveni suggesting a once and for all down payment of 40 million or a house in Kampala so that he signs off his copyright interest at a proposal of , 1,500, 000 Euros at 3500 exchange rate per pound.

The judge ruled that Kakoma had exclusive rights over his own composition which has stood the test of time but the payment would make government to have exclusive rights to the National Anthem .

He further ruled that Kakoma had filed the suit 46 years after the event justifying the delay due to the political turmoil that was going on in Uganda at the time and however, after returning from exile in 1986 he embarked o negotiations which never yielded any positive results.

The judge also said that the case gave useful reference in terms of future conduct in case of intellectual property.

The two parties had tried to have the matter settled out of court but after various attempts without any postive outcome, the matter was later resolved by court in which Government was ordered to compensate Kamoga.

Copyright is the set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work including the right to copy, distribute, and adopt the work.

Copyright lasts a certain period of time after which the work is said to enter a public domain.

Labor minister says she will not ban labor exporting companies

By Deo Wasswa
Uganda Government will not ban labor exportation to Middle East countries regardless of the growing complaints of the Ugandan domestic workers being mistreated by their employers in these countries.

At the beginning of this week Mukono Municipality area member of parliament, honorable Betty Nambooze Bakireke, implored Parliament to prevail over government to ban labor export companies, over the mistreatment of Ugandans working in Middle Eastern Countries.

Addressing journalists at Uganda media Center minister for Gender, Labour and Social development, Janat Mukwaya said that she is not going to put a ban on labor exportation because it’s not productive.

She note that whether you put a ban or not Ugandan children continue to go abroad due to high level of unemployment in the country, saying they should only focus on finding a best way to place these children abroad.

The minister added that Uganda has signed more bilateral agreements to protect Ugandans working abroad, particularly in the Middle East.

According to her these countries among other includes Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and several other countries to ensure better working conditions for Ugandans working in these countries.

Mukwaya noted that apart from better working conditions, these bilateral agreements are also aimed at reducing unemployment in the country.

Currently statics from the ministry of gender labor and social development shows that there are over 80,000 Ugandans working in Middle Eastern countries.

Minister Janat Mukwaya’s comments come amidst of fresh uproar over the mistreatment of Ugandans working in Middle Eastern Countries.

Last evening Parliament directed the Labour Minister to give a detailed status report to the country, on exported Labor, indicating which Labor export companies were blacklisted and those granted license.

UNRA to repair Jinja Kampala highway

By Deo Wasswa
Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is set to commence emergency repairs of some sections of Kampala-Mukono- Jinja highways.

The planned work is intended to improve the pavement surface for road user comfort and reduce on the prevailing traffic queuing along the section as a result of poor road surface.

According to Mark Ssali UNRA spokesperson, the project which is expected to last for 9 months for the stretch between spear motors (Nakawa) and Mukono will commence on Saturday 13th July 2019.

Addressing press in Kampala today, Ssali said the first phase of emergency repair will take place in the section between Bweyogerere flyover and Namanve.

He says construction will be done at night between 11pm and 5 am to enable normal traffic flow during day time.

The 13 billion shillings project has been contracted by Energy project-Niskogradnia.

Bajjo granted bail

Andrew Mukasa of Bajjo events has finally been granted bail by Buganda road court.

Grade one magistrate Stella Amabilisi has temporally released Bajjo on a four million cash bail while his three suruties have been ordered to deposit a 20 million non cash bond.

State had earlier objected to Bajjo’s bail application on grounds that he is likely to uttter more inciting statements supported by an oath of the investigating officer which the magistrate has dismissed after she was in agreement with Bajjo’s lawyer Erias Lukwago that the alleged oath did not have the place were it was sworn from nor the name of the commissioner as the oath act law requires.

She then granted Bajjo bail and told him to not make another alleged inciting statement.

She has now adjourned further mention of the matter to the 25th of July 2019 for mention

Prosecution states that during the month of June 2019 at various places of Masaka , Ibanda and Kampala, the suspect willfully and repeatedly with intent to disturb the peace and privacy of the person of the President , Bajjo recorded an audio and posted it on social media containing inciting messages using his mobile phone.

Bajjo has spent almost four weeks on remand after he was remanded on charges of inciting violence against the person of the President on the 18th of June this year.

On the 24th of june, Bajjo through his lawyer Erias Lukwagoc presented suruties including Abbey Musinguzi also known as Abitex, opposition political activist Moses Bigirwa and TV producer Aloysius Matovu Kiza whom are all personal friends and business partners.

However prosecution asked court to deny him bail on grounds that he is likely to engage in more acts of violence if granted bail and that since investigations are ongoing, he might interfere with them.

The court also red afresh the charges to Bajjo and this time, he understood them and denied ever committing them.

On the 18th of this month, Bajjo was charged with inciting violence against the person of President Museveni for his political opinion and offensive communication after spending five hours in court cells.

On the charge of offensive communication, prosecution states that with an intention to disturb the peace and privacy of president Museveni , without any legitimate purpose recorded a video using his mobile phone containing messages threatening to overthrow the government of Uganda before the year 2021.

Bajjo pleaded not guilty to the first offense but when it came to the second offense, he pleaded guilty forcing his lawyer Lukwago to ask the magistrate to read the charge in Luganda the suspect best understood.

The magistrate however failed to get an interpreter and remanded him until today to gave time for court to find someone who is fluent in Luganda.

Bajjo threw court mainly his supporters into panoc when he accepted the second offense which carries a maximum sentence of seven years before his lawyer came and informed the magistrate that his client did not understand the charge being red in English.

Bajjo is being accused by police of distributing a video through social media and according to police, Banjo was calling upon people to engage in an up raising against President Museveni and his government.

According to the charge sheet, Bajjo is said to have committed two offenses at various places within Masaka, Ibanda and Kampala.

On the 15th of June, Bajjo was arrested immediately after he addressed a press conference in which he announced that he was going to organise a nationwide a marathon in support to Kyadongo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu to help Bobiwine raise money which he has allegedly lost following blocking of his concerts .

On the 17th of June the Uganda police spokes person Fred Enanga issued a press statement.

According to the said statement, the Special Investigation Directorate under the Criminal Investigations Directorate has taken over inquiries into the case of incitement to violence through social media by Andrew Mukasa of Bajjo Events.

The case relates to the comments he made in “Luganda” local language and circulated online.

When translated, Andrew Mukasa of Bajjo events warns H.E. The President of their plans to oust him before the year 2021, and further warns the military of similar plans to oust the President, and indicates with confidence how he had people backing him.”

The suspect consciously ran the risk of being charged for inciting violence, treason or misprision of treason, since the law protects the honor of the President as a democratically elected leader.

The Security Forces wish to warn all individuals and groups, that posting videos glorifying violence using undemocratic means is an infringement on the law.

We therefore, advise the public not to share such videos. As law enforcement agencies, we also pledge to work constructively with all stakeholders to understand the dangers of incitement to violence.

We are also aware of attempts by those who patronize the suspect to divert the attention of the public and investigators from the major investigation, by dragging the person of the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), into the arrest of Andrew Mukasa.

We want to put it clear that the private car number plates indeed belong to our sister agency who logistically supported the police operation. Such number plates when the situation demands, can be used to achieve tactical or operational results. The DIGP last used those number plates in May, 2018, while appearing before the Parliamentary Appointments Committee.

He has since been allocated an official police vehicle and now has no attachment to those private numbers plates. The investigations will continue and the suspect will be handled in accordance with the laws of the country.

New partnership to give farmers digital access to markets

By Deo Waswa

United states Africa development foundation, International center for tropical Agriculture and MasterCard have entered into a public –private partnership to empower tens of thousands of small holder farmers in Uganda.

The partnership which was signed today 10th, July 2019 at Kampala Serena hotel during Farmers summit seeks to extend the reach of the MasterCard Framers Network platform, giving farmers digital access to markets, Valuable inputs and Financial services.

According to Salah Goss, head of MasterCard labs for financial inclusion, the partnership will leverage technologies to improve the agriculture value chain, especially to the farmers, buyers, and value added services providers.

She noted that Buyers can access information about the availability and quality of produces immediately after harvest, and farmers will have real time price information.

“These are just a couple of example of how the MasterCard Farmers network streamlines the interaction between farmers and buyers, while potentially marking it easier for farmers to establish a credit footprint for future loans’’ she added.

Salah noted that, farmers will be provided innovative ideas that have the potential to grow and also have a deep social impact on the lives of rural people living in poverty throughout the country.

According to her, for the several years, the country has registered substantial economic growth but much of this growth has not benefited the rural poor, especially smallholder farmers who are mostly women and who depend on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods.

She however, revealed that majority of rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa remain financially excluded, and More than 70% of these families derive a large portion of their income from agricultural activities.

Nyanzi asks to meet judge chamber

By Sania Babirye
Troubled Former Makerere University researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi who is charged with disturbing the peace of President Museveni and his late mother has asked the trial Buganda road court grade one magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu for an opportunity to meet her in chambers.

Nyanzi through her lawyers Isaac Ssemakadde has informed court that they have an immediate issue which they need to talk about out of court.

Ssemakade has explained that the matter should only be heard by the trial magistrate and the state prosecutors which the magistrate granted.

Now the hearing has been stood over for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, even today, court heard that all the expected defense witnesses including an expert in hacking Mustapha Mugisha who was supposed to be the first defense witness have again refused to turn up in court.

On the 28th of June, Ssemamakde revealed before court that although their client had chosen to remain silent right now, however, they had 20 witnesses led by President Museveni and CID of the Uganda police force Grace Akullo to argue their case and have Nyanzi freed and asked the magistrate to summon President Museveni, Grace Akullo among others.

However, Kamasanyu declined to summon President Museveni on grounds that being a sitting President, he has immunity from prosecution and that according to article 98 (4) such summons are illegal because “while holding office the President shall not be liable to any court proceedings in any court, however,He may appear voluntarily if he so wishes.”

Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu wondered how some of the alleged defense witnesses including the complainant President Museveni can give evidence to exonerate Dr.Nyanzi over cyber harassment and offensive communication charges.

But Ssemakade insisted that their alleged witnesses including President Museveni who is the complainant are not a mistake and are part of the defense’s strategy to see that his client is set free and the said charges dismissed.

He then sked magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu to issue court summons to all their 20 witnesses to appear in court without fail to defend Dr.Stella Nyanzi so that she is set free.

Other witnesses include Prof.Sylvia Tamale(Feminist activist prof.Fredrick Juko a former law prof.atMakerere university, Columnist Allan Taaka, Feminist Mildred Apenyo, princess Solome Nakaweesi, ass.prof.Dr.Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala at the Makerere university school of law , Bishop Zaaka Niringiye,Rev.Father Gaetano Batanyenda among others.

Ssemakade further asked court to prioritize the first witnesses to be summoned to testify led by President Museveni, Dr.Mayambala,Eng.Frank Kitumba who heads ICT at Makerere university and others can follow later.

He also informed court that today, they did not have any of the 20 listed witnesses available in court to testify and asked for an adjournment.

When the magistrate wondered why Nyanzi who was not present in court could not defend herself, Ssemakade has replied that the accused for now remained silent and will be defending herself through her summoned witnesses.

Ssemakade however refused to affirm to court if Dr.Nyanzi’s decision to remain silent for now meant that she will be choosing to remain silent in her defense.

The frustrated magistrate reached an extent of informing Semakadde that without him bear clear on the way his client is to defend herself, he has nothing to write in relation to today’s proceedings or on how she can help the defense team in summoning President Museveni and other witnesses.

Nyanzi is at Luzira prison after refusing to seek bail and she is facing charges including attacking the privacy of President Museveni and that of his late mother , Esteri Kokundeka through her social media Facebook page.

Prosecution states that on the 16th of September 2018, while armed with a motive to disturb the peace of President M7 and that of his late mother , Nyanzi posted obscene messages on her official face book page(Stellah Nyanzi) while attacking the privacy of the President .

Stella Nyanzi’s first witness refuses to testify in his favor

By Sania Babirye
Drama continues in the cyber harassment and offensive communication case against Makerere University researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi after their first defense witness refuses to testify in her defense in court.

A certified expert in Computer hacking and information system Audit, forensic and survey investigations Mustapha Mugisha has today appeared before Buganda road court grade one magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu and instead informed court that he did not know why he was summoned in court today.

He informed magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu that for the past 10 years, he has not been practicing his profession after losing interest and cannot be of any help to Dr.Stella Nyanzi ‘s defense.

He further explained that his opinion is not relevant and therefore he cannot give it.

And as as result prosecution led by Kitimbo Janat wondered how the defense can not inform their own defense witness on the matter before court so that a witness can be in position to defend their client.

Prosecution then asked the magistrate to excuse Mugisha since he did not know why he was summoned which forced court to adjourn the case to tomorrow the 10th of July 2019.

She has also ordered Ssemakade to present the remain 18 defense witnesses tomorrow since she on my have them two days including today and tomorrow to present their witnesses and both the defense and state make their final submissions on Thursday and close the case.

However, it should be noted that Ssemakade objected to the two days given to him to present all his 19 witnesses since court declines to summon President Museveni as a defense witness despite being the complainant.

Ssemakade instead told court that he needed three months to fully have all his witnesses testify in court, a request the magistrate declined to accept.

The magistrate has also warned the defense team from presenting defense witness who are clueless to as why they have been summoned.

She then advised Ssemakade to first prep their witnesses before bringing them to court to save courts time.

Defense lawyer Isaac Ssemakade has refused to accept the witnesses’ reasons for not giving his opinion saying he deliberately chose to not testify in court because the case is sensitive since it involves the President of Uganda.

On the 28th of June, Ssemamakade revealed before court that although their client had chosen to remain silent right now, however, they had 20 witnesses led by President Museveni and CID of the Uganda police force Grace Akullo to argue their case and have Nyanzi freed and asked the magistrate to summon President Museveni, Grace Akullo among others.

However, Kamasanyu declined to summon President Museveni on grounds that being a sitting President, he has immunity from prosecution and that according to article 98 (4) such summons are illegal because “while holding office the President shall not be liable to any court proceedings in any court, however,He may appear voluntarily if he so wishes.”

Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu wondered how some of the alleged defense witnesses including the complainant President Museveni can give evidence to exonerate Dr.Nyanzi over cyber harassment and offensive communication charges.

But Ssemakade insisted that their alleged witnesses including President Museveni who is the complainant are not a mistake and are part of the defense’s strategy to see that his client is set free and the said charges dismissed.

He then sked magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu to issue court summons to all their 20 witnesses to appear in court without fail to defend Dr.Stella Nyanzi so that she is set free.

Other witnesses include Prof.Sylvia Tamale(Feminist activist prof.Fredrick Juko a former law professor at Makerere university, Columnist Allan Taaka, Feminist Mildred Apenyo, princess Solome Nakaweesi, ass.prof.Dr.Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala at the Makerere university school of law , Bishop Zaaka Niringiye,Rev.Father Gaetano Batanyenda among others.

Ssemakade further asked court to prioritize the first witnesses to be summoned to testify led by President Museveni, Dr.Mayambala,Eng.Frank Kitumba who heads ICT at Makerere university and others can follow later.

He also informed court that today, they did not have any of the 20 listed witnesses available in court to testify and asked for an adjournment.

When the magistrate wondered why Nyanzi who was not present in court could not defend herself, Ssemakade has replied that the accused for now remained silent and will be defending herself through her summoned witnesses.

Ssemakade however refused to affirm to court if Dr.Nyanzi’s decision to remain silent for now meant that she will be choosing to remain silent in her defense.

The frustrated magistrate reached an extent of informing Semakadde that without him bear clear on the way his client is to defend herself, he has nothing to write in relation to today’s proceedings or on how she can help the defense team in summoning President Museveni and other witnesses.

Nyanzi is at Luzira prison after refusing to seek bail and she is facing charges including attacking the privacy of President Museveni and that of his late mother , Esteri Kokundeka through her social media Facebook page.

Prosecution states that while armed with a motive to disturb the peace of President M7, Nyanzi posted obscene messages on her official face book page(Stellah Nyanzi) while attacking the privacy of the President .

Works engineer and wife jailed over elicit enrichment

By Sania Babirye
A principle Engineer in the ministry of works and transport together with his wife have been remanded to Luzira prison on charges of illicit enrichment and money laundering amounting to over 6billion .

These include Eng. Umaru Katingole and his wife Hawah Sengendo also known as Kawa Bitone the senior community development officer Wobulenzi town council Luwero district.

They have arraigned before anti corruption court grade one magistrate Moses Nabende who refused them to enter any plea because they are charged with a capital offense that is only tried and bailed by a higher court.

They have been remanded to Luzira prison until the 24th of this month after prosecution informed court that investigations are still ongoing.

These are accused of illicit enriching themselves which is disproportionate to their income.

They were arrested on the orders of the inspectorate of government .

It alleged that in 2015, Katongole was in possession of property valued at 6.2bn which was disproportionate to his income, past known sources of income and asset.

Katongole is also accused of having transferred them to Darkins Uganda limited on the 25th of August 2015 for purposes of disguising the illicit origin of the properties which led to his arrest.

It’s also alleged that Katongole and Sengendo between the 4th of April 2011 and 6th August 2015, at tropical bank limited main branch in Kampala deposited 2.8bn on account for the purpose of concealing and disguising the illicit origin of funds knowing or having reasons to believe that the said funds were proceeds of crime.

Minister Bahati says refugees are not to blame for under development

By Deo Waswa

High teenage pregnancy rates, high school dropout rates, unemployment and lack of access to reproductive health services are some of major challenges that have persisted in the country despite the efforts put in place by government, private sector and civil society organization to ensure development of the country.

According to the state minister for finance and planning David Bahati, while addressing journalists about government’s preparations ahead of world population day celebrations due to take place on 11 July at Paridi stadium in Adjumani district.

According to him, Teenage pregnancy has remained high at 25% which translates that one in four girls getting pregnant before the age of 19, and as result, many adolescent girls are denied their right and opportunity to education which traps them in a cycle of poverty.

He however noted that the coming of refuges in the country is not a threat to the increasing population of the country because the rate at which they produce is far below than the Ugandans(Nationals)

Currently Uganda has a population of not less that 40.3 million people and by the year 2050 the population is projected to increase up to 101 million people.

In Africa Nigeria still ranked no one with population of about 191 million people, followed by Ethiopia with over 104 million people, Egypt in third with over 90 million people and Uganda in 10th position.