Court orders MUK to compensate Nyanzi

By Sania Babirye

Makerere University has been ordered to pay costs to its jailed researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi after the university failed to file on time a response to her application against the University for refusing to re-instate her at her job.

The order has been issued by high court judge Lydia Mugambe after justice Mugambe dismissed submissions by university lawyer Hudson Musoke that he failed to file its written response because he was not notified in time.

The case had come up for hearing, however this could not go on because Hudson claimed to have been notified only yesyerday about the application giving him not enough time to file his written response.

But when she checked the court records, the judge discovered that indeed the university was served on the 20th of November 2018 .

As a result, justice Mugambe ordered Makerere to compesate Dr.Nyanzi for denying her a right to a speed trial and justice.

Mugambe further issued summons to the Director of Human Resource at Makerere to be cross examined on the evidence he tendered in his sworn affidavit opposing Nyanzi’s application.

In October this year , Makerere University’s appeal tribunal lifted her suspension and directed that she be be re-instated with all salary arrears paid and promoted to the level of a Fellow Researcher with immediate effect.

However , Makerere University did not honor the directives causing Dr.Nyanzi to sue the university.

Nyanzi is currently on remand at Luzira government prison on fresh charges of posting obscene birthday poem on Facebook where she attacked president M7 and his late mother and she has also refused to seek bail despite the judge advising her to do so .

The case has now been adjourned to the 9th of January 2019 for hearing.

Lusanja residents were wrongly evicted

By Alice Lubwama

Government has confirmed that the residents of Lusanja were illegally evicted by one businessman Medard Kiconco.

In his statement before parliament, the attorney general William Byaruhanga confirmed that the residents were illegally evicted and the judicial service commission has started disciplinary action against the chief magistrate Esther Nasambu and court registrar Rwatoro Baker for issuing an order that led to illegal eviction of residents of Lusanja.

The attorney general also said that the investigations discovered that the magistrate took a decision on the case without defenders filing a defense, declaring them as trespassers and ordering for demolition of their structures as wanted by Kiconco.

The investigations further found that the chief magistrate Esther Nasambu handled the case without visiting the site and lacked jurisdiction to handle the matter among others.

The judicial service commission has now preferred three charges against Nasambu among being conduct prejudicial to the good image of service, producing poor standard work and unsatisfactory performance of duty.

The attorney also said that the judiciary was still investigating the court bailiff Moses Kirunda who carried out the eviction adding that the case has been taken to the land division of the high court to seek justice.

The judiciary through their spokesperson also confirmed that the court order had been issued for the people of Sekayonyi zone in Mperererwe and not Lusanja.

However the Members of Parliament demanded that the police and other officers involved in the illegal eviction should also be punished and the people of Lusanja receive compensation.

This prompted the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga to select a five member committee to draft a motion on how the residents in Lusanja who were illegally evicted should be compensated by government.

President’s office distances itself from minister Amongi’s claims about compensation

By Sania Babirye
The troubled Lands Minister Betty Amongi has been disowned by the office of the president in relation to withdrawing huge sums of tax payers money from the land fund  to compensate alleged claimants.
Minister Amongi had claimed that she was   directed  by the president’s  office while she was being grilled by the land probe commission over illegal compensations.
However while appearing before the same commission chaired by justice Catherine Bamugemeire, the principle private secretary to the president Molly Kamukama rather denied the allegations and explained that when petitions concerning land matters reach her office , she usually writes back and  directs the relevant ministry to manage, investigate the complaint and after investigations then writes a report back to the minister.
Kamukama revealed that instead,  minister Amongi undermined the  directives by directly taking it upon herself to withdraw money from the land fund without reporting back to the office of the president or being cleared by the same office as required.
Last week , Minister Betty Amongi told the land probe commission that  she  received several directives from the president to urgently pay- off beneficiaries of  the Uganda Land fund ; whose land has been taken over by government for either settlement or  economic development .
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire has for that matter suggested to Kamukama that the office of the president should not  even wait for the commission’s report and recommendations  but to immediately  deal with such people who steal money from the land fund and deprive off the right beneficiaries.

Acholi ministers demand 726UGX compensation for their lost cows

Two ministers; Hillary Onek and Henry Oryem Okello, are demanding 726 million Shillings as compensation for 1,210 head of cattle lost to National Resistance Army (NRA) fighters during the bush war.

A dossier of the Acholi War Debts Claimants Association, a loose coalition comprising of 22,000 members, indicates that Henry Oryem, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs is seeking additional funds for 182 goats taken alongside his herd of 640 head of cattle.   Each animal is valued at 600,000 Shillings.

The document is however silent on whether the government officials are claiming livestock owned by their parents or not. It says Henry Okello is a member of the association from Lapana village in Pugoda parish in Namokora Sub County, Kitgum district.

Eng. Hillary Onek Obaloker, the Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Refugees and Relief, on the other hand was registered as a claimant in Lanywang West Village, Labigiryang parish in Palabek Kal Sub County, Lamwo district.

The Acholi War Debts Claimants Association was formed by 14 people in July 2005 to seek compensation from government for the property and livestock lost during the NRA-led rebellion which ended in 1986. Government has already agreed on an out-of-court settlement of 1.4 trillion Shillings in compensation for property and livestock lost during the war.

The claims are based on the fact that NRA soldiers who had just come to power in 1985, looted about 500,000 head of cattle, 12,000 goats, 2000 sheep and 200 pigs and destroyed a number of properties.

However, Joseph Ojara, a retired veterinary officer and member of the association in Gulu district says government facilitated many claimants to fraudulently inflate the number of their livestock by ignoring veterinary records of the last animal census conducted in 1989.

At least 10 billion shillings has been advanced to members through two different sets of leaders; Eng. Noah Opwonya and Norbert Adyera. In 2016, government conducted fresh verification of members in a bid to ascertain the extent of the claims.

But Dr Fredy Oyat, another member of the association says the silence on findings of the verification exercise is worrying. He appealed to government to make its findings public to facilitate payment of members.

 

 

 

-URN