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.

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.

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

Court sends man to jail for life over murder

By Sania Babirye

A 36 year old man has been handed a life imprisonment sentence after being convicted of murdering Lira businessman Emmanuel Etenede in 2016.

Justice Anthony Ojoko Oyuko has handed Moses Adrapi a resident of Ozuku village a life sentence after finding him guilty and consequently convicting him of murdering Etenede on the 24 of November 2016.

While convicting him, justice Oyuko ruled that state had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the convict with malice aforethought did murder the businessman.

Justice Oyuko relied on the over whelming evidence adduced by prosecution including two eye witnesses who saw Adrapi and others still at large shoot dead the deceased .

He also considered the dying declaration that the deceased made to his relatives while in hospital where he had been rushed for treatment in whichever he implicated the convict as his killer.

The convict and others still at large who were ridding on a motorcycle are said to have ambushed the deceased at Oduparaka trading center at night and shot him in the stomach with an AK47.

The deceased died at the hospital where he was immediately rushed for medical attention.

Handshakes, hugging banned as government take precaution against corona virus

By Deo Wasswa

The ministry of health has banned handshakes and hugging in a bid to prevent the spread of Corona Virus that started in Wuhan China.

The minister for health Jane Ruth Aceng has also announced that all passengers arriving in the country through Entebbe International Airport will be sprayed with sanitizers to avoid importation of the virus, while travelers from China, Italy, Spain, USA, France, Netherlands, Germany that have been ravaged by the disease will be subjected to 14 days of self-quarantine on their cost upon their arrival in Uganda

She noted that the government has reviewed the evolution of corona virus in the affected countries to ensure they come up with appropriate measures to deal with the disease.

Minister noted that Travelers from 16 countries where the virus is on high such as China, Italy, Spain, USA, France, Netherlands, Germany among others will be subjected to 14 days of self-quarantine on their cost upon their arrival at Entebbe airport.

The ministry also confirmed that as of now, no any case of corona virus has been identified in Uganda.

However service providers especially boda boda riders are asking government to provide treated surgical masks to boda boda riders as a means of preventing them from being infected with Corona virus.

It should be noted that areas like Acacia have been known to host a decent number of foreigners that people offering especially transportation services are asking government for serious precautionary intervention.

Capital radio managed to speak to Ssenyonjo Joseph a boda boda rider at Acacia who expressed the fear that if Corona virus enters Uganda they will be infected since they transport different people who come from different countries.The nature of their business doesn’t discriminate who they transport and who they leave.