Media barred covering ISO official case

By Sania Babirye

The media and the public in general have today been barred from attending the trial of a custodian of confidential documents at the International security organization (ISO) Kisembo Steven who is accused of revealing secret security documents to a Sudan representative in Uganda.

This is after prosecutions led by Senior State Attorney Gladys Nyanzi asked the trial Judge Steven Mubiru to have the case heard in camera due to its security sensitivity .

Nyanzi explained that they had five witness ready to pin the suspect, and that the evidence is not for public consumption since it involves the National Security of three Countries including Uganda, Sudan and Algeria.

On the 18th of December 2018, Kisembo Steven was charged with the offense and pleaded not guilty to the two counts.

Prosecution led by Nakafero Fatina states that between 2009 and 2010 and September 2013, while at the International security organization offices in Nakasero, Kisembo revealed and disclosed the presidential weekly security briefings to the Sudan representative in Uganda Jodder Muhammed.

State further claims that the said person was not entitled to know the confidential security government information.

Parliament halts death penalty debate

By Alice Lubwama
Parliament has halted debate on the Law Revision (Penalties in Criminal Matters) Miscellaneous (Amendment) Bill 2015 intending to give judges powers to decide whether one who has taken away another life be sentenced to death or not.

The deputy speaker Jacob Oulanya suspended the debate after realizing that most of the members of parliament did not understand the principles of the bill.

On Wednesday this week, the debate on the same bill hit a snug when the speaker allowed the legislators to read the report of the Bill from the Committee of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, but despite the time given to understand the bill, the debate kicked off with most MPs giving opinions contrary from the objective of the Law.

The private member’s bill seeks to remove all references to the mandatory death penalty prescribed in those laws and to restrict the application of the death penalty to ‘the most serious crimes’; to remove the restriction on mitigation in the case of convictions that carry a death penalty and related matters.

According to the mover of the Bill also Busiro East MP Medard segona, the legislation was necessary to address the ruling by the supreme court in case of Susan Kigula, in which the court ruled that the sentencing will lay in the trial judge’s discretion.

Bigirwa released unconditionally

By Sania Babirye

The Law Development council LDC has ordered that opposition Democratic party youth member and political pressure group people power activist Moses Bigirwa be released unconditionally.

Grade one magistrate Roselyn Nsenge made the order on grounds that the law of Publication of false news is no longer in existence since the supreme court nullified it.

However, state led by Roselyn Kipora has asked the matter to be adjourned to seek the Director of public prosecutions opinion on the matter.

But Bigirwa’s lawyers led by Samuel Muyizi Asuman Basalirwa and Paul Kakande have raised an objection saying the case should either be closed or have the matter referred to the constitutional court for interpretation.

The magistrate has now adjourned the matter to the 28th of January 2019 to rule on whether or not to have the matter referred and ordered both parties to make written submissions.

On Friday the 4th of January, grade one magistrate Roslyn Nsenge remanded Bigirwa to Luzira government prison after charging him with inciting the public and giving false information in relation to allegations he allegedly made while appearing on a talk show over Ugandan Musician turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine
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He was arrested on the 29th of December in Kawempe after a talk show on Top radio in which he is accused of having incited the masses and gave false information by alleging that the ruling NRM government intended to kill people power Movement leader and also Member of parliament for Kyadondo East Robert Kyagulanyi during the Arua by election which left the MPs driver shot dead.

He was first detained at Kawempe police station and later transferred to Wandegeya police station before being brought in court on Friday to be officially charged due to pressure from the opposition.
According to prosecution the alleged false utterances were meant to instill fear in the public.

Kanyamunyu pleads not guilty, trial date set

By Sania Babirye
Mathew Kanyamunyu together with his girlfriend Cynthia Munwangari and his brother Joseph Kanyamunyu have pleaded not guilty to killing social worker Kenneth Akena in November 2016.

The three have appeared alongside other 50 capital offenders in a criminal session presided over by Justice Steven Mubiru.

Joseph Kanyamunyu has also pleaded not guilty to the charge of being an accessory to murder after he allegedly removed a pistol that was allegedly used to shot Akena from Matthew Kanyamunyu’s car at Nakasero hospital were they first rushed the victim for medical attention.

The judge has now set the 21st of January 2019 to start hearing the case.

Kanyamunyu’s girlfriend and also co accused Munwangari has asked for a french interpreter since she is not fluent in the English language.

The judge has also extended their bail applications until then.

Meanwhile, Kanyamunyu and his co accused have hired a team of lawyers led by senior criminal lawyer McDusman Kabega, Caleb Alaka and Evans Ochenge to see that they are set free.

On the 31st of January 2017, the Nakawa court grade one magistrate Noah Sajabi committed Kanyamunyu and his co accused to the High court for trial on the orders of the Director of public prosecutions.
According to the DPP, there is sufficient evidence to prove that on the 12th of November 2016 along Jinja Highway in Kampala district opposite the Uganda manufacturers association Matthew Kanyamunyu shot Akena for accidentally scratching his car.

According to the summary of prosecution’s evidence Matthew and Cynthia claim that they were good Samaritans who helped to rush the late Akena to hospital after unknown person shot him which state is contesting.

The DPP also separately charged Joseph Kanyamunyu with being an accessory after the commission of an offense accusing him of hiding his brothers pistol that was used in the offense. .
Prosecution states that on the 12th if November 2016, Kanyamunyu while driving along with his lover Munwangari at night got into an argument with social worker Akena whom he accused of scratching his car and shot him three times in the stomach.

Kanyamunyu is later said to have disguised as a good Samaritan and rushed injured Akena to Novirk Hospital on Bombo road where he died shortly .

However, Akena is said to have left a dying declaration implicating Mathew Kanyamunyu as his shooter.

Prosecution says it intends to prove the dying declaration through Health workers at Norvik hospital who talked to the deceased before passing away.

The three were granted bail in October 2017 after spending one year and nine months on remand at Luzira prison.

Nigerian fraudster opts to compensate his victims

By Sania Babirye
A British of Nigerian origin Charles Lambert and his Kenyan counterpart Caroline Waithera Waweru who are charged with Giving false or misleading information have further been remanded to Luzira prison until the 21st of December 2017.

The two had returned before Nakawa court chief magistrate Agnes Alum for their bail applications hearing,however their lawyer Moses Mugabe informed court that they are in negotiations with the victims lawyer Waiswa Ramadhan of Katuntu and Company advocate to see how the suspects can compensate the victims they defrauded millions of shillings.

Lawyer Waiswa has revealed that they began with 50 victims but the number keeps on increasing and right now they stand at 200 victims.

He says that the negotiations are to see how Lambert will compensate them and how much and the particular time frame in which the compensation is to be done.
The Chief magistrate has welcomed the negotiations and advised both parties to involve prosecution in the process and return to court on Friday this week to inform her about the status of the negotiations.
Lambert the Chairman of the Developmental Conglomerate Ltd and Waweru the Director of the said Company were further remanded to Luzira prison until today after their lawyer Moses Mugabe failed to present bail application as scheduled.

Mugabe informed court that although he was meant to argue Waweru’s application, he instead presented Court documents for Charles Lambert forcing the magistrate to adjourn the case .

It is alleged that between October, 2017 and November 2018, in various parts of Uganda Lambert and Caroline disseminated misleading information to induce members of the public to purchase shares in his Company, knowing or having reason to believe that such information was false.

Court demands answers on Kitata’s ownership of fire arms

By Sania Babirye

The General court martial has ruled that the jailed Boda Boda 2010 patron Abdulah Kitatta with 9 others have a case to answer about the alleged charges of unlawful possession of fire arms and ammunition.

Army court chair lt.Gen.Andrew Gutti has made the ruling after proving that prosecution led by major Rapheal Mugisha had adduced sufficient evidence to prove the alleged charges.

Those ordered to defend themselves with Kitata include Ngobi Sowali,Kibirige Joel , Mugema Hassan, Ssebatta Hassan, Twinomujuni Amoni,Sekajja Ibrahim and Ssebandeke John

While the three who have been acquitted include Kayondo John, Sengooba Hassan, and Ssemwogerere Sunday.

While acquitting the three the court ruled that the suspects were not at the crime of the scene by the time the offenses were committed.

This month prosecution led by major Rapheal Mugisha concluded its submissions with four witnesses asking court to find that Kitata had a case to answer.
Prosecution presented four witnesses including private Richard Kasaija who testified on the 21st of June that he was part of the police team that arrested Kitata, and that they recovered an SMG gun, three pistols guns, 50 rounds of ammunition, Military uniforms and caps in Kitata’s room and car that was parked in the hotel’s back yard.

However the defense led by Kitata’s Shaban Sanya had asked court to acquit Kitata on grounds that prosecution did not provide sufficient evidence to prove the alleged charges.
On the 17th of july 2017 , Sanywa accused CMI of planting a golden pistol and ammunition that were allegedly recovered in Kitata’s room at Vine Hotel in Wakaliga in Lubaga division on the 20th of January were he was arrested while in hiding.

Kitata and now 9 others are charged with unlawful possession of firearms and Military gear.

Kitata faces 5 counts of being in unlawful possession of an SMG gun, 3 pistols and 50 rounds of live ammunitions that prosecution states were found on him on 18th/January 2018 at vine hotel in Wakaliga.

According to Prosecution the above items are a monopoly of the UPDF.

ISO son to argue temporary insanity

Prosecution in the murder case against the son of ISO director Col. Kaka Bayenda has revealed that the plea bargaining deal with the suspect has failed.

On the 12th of December, Bagyende with his lawyer Nsubuga Mubiru asked High court judge Anthony Ojok Oyuko to allow him plead guilty to charges of murdering his girlfriend Enid Twijukye in exchange of a lighter sentence.

Today both parties were meant to inform court about the progress of their discussions but instead prosecution’s Koseph Kyomuhendo informed court that the negotiations have failed asking for a full trial for the suspect.

However senior criminal lawyer representing Brian Bagyenda told court that his client is still interested in the plea bargaining adding that by the time the alleged murder took place, Bagyende was on medical treatment at Butabika Hospital.

Nsubuga explained that his client was under temporary insanity when the alleged offense of murder was committed.

Nsubuga has now asked for a two week adjournment to see if the plea bargaining deal will be successful.

Meanwhile lawyer Mungriek James, representing Bagyenda’s two accused has informed that his clients are not interested in any any plea bargaining deal and ready to go for a full trial.

Now the case has been adjourned until January 14th 2019 for hearing and further remanded until then.

In march this year, Nakawa court grade one magistrate Noah Ssajabi committed Bagyenda and his two co accused after state prosecutor Joyce Anyango informed court that investigations into the case are complete.

These were charged on the 1st of February 2017

Bagyenda who is a Pharmacist is jointly charged together with Bainomugisha Innocent a cleaner and a casual labor Vicent Rwahwire.

Prosecution states that on the 4th of January 2017 at Luzira , Njobe road in Kampala district , Bagyenda together with his co-accused with malice a fore thought murdered 22 yr old Enid Twijukye a student at Ndejje university and dumped her body in Namanve forest; 11Kms away from the scene of crime.

Nambooze returns to court today

By Sania Babirye

The Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze Bakireke is expected to appear before Nakawa court to honor her second criminal summons.

On the 8th of November, Grade one magistrate Noah Sajjabi issued Nambooze with a second set of criminal summons after she failed to turn up in court for mention of her case in time.

Nambooze is charged with incitement of mebers of public to commit offenses against Government officials , an offense she denied ever committing .

Prosecution states that on the 9th of June 2018, through uttering and writings in the media, Nambooze incited the public to attack and murder public figures however guarded they could be since government could not secure them .

Namboze was summoned by police to explain her words just after a few days when assailants had attacked and gunned down the former Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga near his home in Mattuga.

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.

Man charged with defiling further remanded

By Sania Babirye
Kampala high court judge Wilson Kwesiga has declined to set free a 36 year old man charged with defiling a nine year old girl.

Kasango Peter is among a group of capital offenders whose case is among the 50 criminal cases being heard by Justice Kwesiga in the ongoing criminal session to have the delayed cases heard and disposed off.

The criminal session also gives suspects a chance to confess to their respective offenses for a lesser punishment under pre bargaining and reduce case backlog.

The suspect denied the charge claiming that he did not even know the alleged victim and that he has also been on remand at Luzira prison without trial since June 2016 when he was charged.

However, the judge has instead set the 7th of January 2019 to start hearing his case and consequently remanded him to Luzira prison until then.

Prosecution states that between 13th and 14th June 2016, in Rubya zone in Namugoona, the suspect defiled the miner.