Special hire driver killer sent to jail for 50 years

By Sania Babirye

A Kampala resident and also shoe repair who murdered a special hire driver and later robbed him of his motor vehicle in 2016has been jailed 50 years.

This is after Masaka high court judge Nabisinde Wilfred found 30 year old Kasekende Ibrahim guilty of murder and aggravated robbery.

The victim was identified as Musa Mukasa .

Kasekende and together with a one Yasin Lukyamuzi hired Mukasa on the 24th of July 2016 from Kampala to Kalungu.

These had claimed that they were traveling to go see their relatives but when they reached Lukaya just like other special hire killer’s, these two also asked Mukasa to stop so that they can ease themselves.

When he stopped, they then strangled him to death and took off with his ipsum car and dumped his body at Maguluka Kabale in Kalungu district.

They had asked for leniency claiming to be first time offender who are remorseful, However, the judge ruled that they committed a capital offense bu brutally killing the victim and needed a deterrent sentences.

The convict was arrested after he was caught in Bukomasimbi trying to sell the deceased’s car.

Prominent Cranes supporter, Uncle Money sent to Luzira over manslaughter case

By Sania Babirye

A bodaboda rider has pinned Prominent Uganda Cranes fan and the vice chairperson Kasubi zone 4 in Rubaga division Jackson Sewanyana of beating and kicking a resident after suspecting him of being a thief which eventually caused his death .

Sewanyana who is also commonly known as Uncle money has been charged and remanded to Luzira prison on charges of manslaughter jointly with a 27 year old Ssenyonga Benson.

Today, as hearing started , a one Abdallah Zaake Tumuhirwe a Boda-Boda rider at Munaku stage informed Buganda road court chief Magistrate Miriam Akello Ayo that on that fateful day of the 16th of August 2019 at about 8:30pm as he was going about his duties he saw uncle money holding the deceased and also victim Sirajje Tumusiime by the collar leading him towards Royal hotel.

And that while there, they met his co accused Ssenyonga and others who started kicking and slapping the victim while beating him with electric wires.

The witness has further informed court that the victim was facing the floor with both his hands and legs tied with a rope and was sweating profoundly.

He says that through out his beatings, the victim was pleading for mercy and that it was at this moment after watching the helpless victim that he decided to ran to call his Imam and that by the time they returned, uncle Money, his gang and the victim had disappeared.

He further revealed that after three days he learnt that Tumusiime’s body was at the Mulago Mortuary.

Prosecution has also tended in a still photo of the deceased tied with ropes as a prosecution exhibit.

These pleaded not guilty to the offense and were remanded until today for hearing of their case since they had no lawyer present in court to argue their bail application .

If convicted the two could face life imprisonment which is the maximum jail sentence.

Uncle money is accused of inciting a mob to lynch a one Siraje Hakim Tumusiime after they suspected him of being a mobile phone thief. .

Prosecution states that On the 16th of August 2019 at about 8.30pm, the late Tumusiime who was a phone dealer at Mutaasa Kafeero plaza in Kampala city received a phone call that made him leave his house in Lubya zone .

That later , uncle money was seen holding Tumusiime by the hand and leading him behind Royal Hotel where he allegedly handed him over to stick wielding youths led by the defense secretary Ssenyonga.

The evidence further states that the youths beat and kicked Tumusiime before uncle money transferred him to a unknown destination.

That after three days of searching, Tumusiime’s body was found at Mulago city mortuary with numerous wounds leading to the victim’s family to report a murder case at Old Kampala police station .

Court orders for production of the two re-arrested Kaweesi murder suspects

By Sania Babirye
Kampala High court judge Henrietta Wolayo has ordered the state to produce the Kaweesi murder suspects who were re-arrested on the 11th of this month immediately after being granted bail.

These include Yusuf Nyanzi and Gabriel Kalyango.

According to Justice Wolayo, the state must justify why it is keeping the said suspects in prison yet they were legally granted bail by justice Lydia Mugamba.

During court proceedings, state prosecutor Brian Musota failed to explain to court why the said suspects are illegally being detained for now 17 days without being charged or produced in court.

According to Wolayo, the two are part of the four suspects that were re-arrested at the International crimes division of the high together with their lawyer a few minutes after being granted bail, however, the third suspect Mugerwa Yusuf’s file was allocated to a different judge.

Now the judge has ordered that state produces the two on the 30th of September which is next Monday at 2pm in court without fail.

This will enable court to assess if the said suspects are being detained legally or illegally.

The production warrant comes after the their lawyer Anthony Wameli filed an application seeking for their production in Court or be released.

Wameli contends that his client’s fundamental rights to liberty are being violated.

On the 11th of this month the three were re-arrested by plain clothed security operatives and although police acknowledged their re-srrest, their whereabouts still remains unknown.

Their re-arrest received public criticism from the general public and the judiciary with the chief justice asking the minister of constitutional affaires Kahinda Otafire to adress the incident saying re-arresting of suspects after being granted bail is unconstitutional and steps on the independence of the judiciary.

Court to release rape suspect due to missing victim

By Sania Babirye
A man who sneaked into a hostel and allegedly raped a student in 2015 might walk free anytime if the state fails to trace the whereabouts of the alleged victim.

Kenny Chrispus who has been in remand at Luzira prison since his arrest in March 2015 is one of the suspects appearing before Kampala high court judge Yasin Nyanzi in a criminal session of capital offenses that will last 40 days.

He was charged with rape but denied the offenses.

However, the judge could not set a date for hearing of the case after state informed court that the victim who is also the key witness is missing.

State further informed court that since they cannot trace the key witness, she needed more time to consult with the Director of public prosecutions on the said file.

This means that if state can’t find the victim they might be forced to discontinue the case and ask court to discharge the suspect too.

In cases of rape and defilement, suspects usually end up escaping justice due to the disappearance of victims and their families, refusal by victims to testify or change of places .

Sometimes this is due to delayed justice forcing the victims to lose interest in the case, stigma or families of the victims settling secretly with the suspects.

Justice Nyanzi has now given state up to the 26th of this month to consult with the DPP on the case file asked prosecution about the status of the witnesses or a possible discontinue of the case .

The suspect allegedly committed the offense on 21st of March 2015 at Bilabwa hostel Makerere zone in Kawempe division within Kampala district.

Parliament’s store keeper convicted of stealing a DVD set

By Sania Babirye

A civil servant working as a permanent staff at parliament has had his 8 month jail sentence for stealing a DVD video recorder squashed by the high court in Kampala.

Ochen Peter who was a store keeper had been convicted of stealing the said DVD worth 800,000 shillings and ordered to serve 8 months in Luzira prison and ordered to refund the said money.

However, being dissatisfied with the lower court judgement, he appealed both the conviction and sentence maintaining that he was innocent .

Ochen had stated that on the alleged day of 2nd May 2019 when the alleged theft took place, he was at Mulago hospital caring for his son who had been admitted at the hospital.

Ochen had also presented admission letters and a discharge form that showed the admission and their discharge on the 7th of May five days after the said theft took place.

However, the lower court dismissed his evidence saying that he was the one with access to the store were the said theft took place.

And today, high court judge Yasin Nyanzi was in agreement with Ochen that evidence adduced showed that he was indeed at Mulago hospital nursing his son who was had testified in court that his father was at hospital that day taking care of him and could not leave his sick sin at 11pm in the night alone at the hospital to go to Parliament to steal the said DVD .

Justice Nyanzi has also faulted the security at parliament of failing to at least show Ochen at parliament premises that day as alleged.

In conclusion, Justice Nyanzi observed that Ochen was never at Parliament that day and that indeed state failed to link the convict to the scene of crime.

He is also concerned with the convict that he was not the only person with access to the said room since other people including his supervisor had access too.

He then squashed both the conviction and sentence and set Ochen free ordering that being a public servant, the said illegal conviction should not have a baring to his job .

Man accused of rape sent to Luzira prison

By Sania Babirye

A man who used a knife to rob and after rape a woman has been remanded to Luzira prison.

The suspect has been identified as Sentongo Ramathan.

He was arraigned before Kampala high court judge Yasin Nyanzi and he denied the offense of rape and aggravated robbery.

He has now further been remanded to Luzira prison until 26th of this month for trial to commence.

Prosecution states that in the month of January 2015, at Wandegeya Katanga zone in Kampala district, Sentongo Ramathan and others still at large robbed the victim names disclosed 4,500,000 Ugandan shillings before raping her on Knife point.

Bobi Wine fails to show up in court again

BY Sania Babirye

Prosecution with it’s four witnesses have been left puzzled in court today after Kyadondo East Member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu for the third time failed to turn up in court for his illegal protest case over OTT in July 2018.

On the 16th of August, Buganda road court grade one magistrate Katty Joan Acaa adjourned the matter to today because state did not have any witness available in court to testify on top of Bobi wine also being absent and adjourned the hearing to today .

However, today state led by Kyomugisha Barbra came ready to pin Kyagulanyi and his other co accused over the charge only for his lawyer Abdullah Kiwanuka informing court again that his client was again away in Kenya on official duties.

The prosecution witnesses that were ready to pin Kyagulanyi include ASP Bakaleke Joseph, corporal Joram Ndyahabwe,ASP cadet Ojakola Ochan and ASP Kulaigye Edgar who are all police officers .

And as a result, the magistrate has given Bobiwine one more chance and adjourned the matter to the 28th of October warning Bobiwine to not miss again or faces being Issued with a warrant of arrest.

Bobiwine is jointly charged with his brother Fred Nyanzi, his body guard Edward Sebuufu aka Eddy Mutwe, Julius Katongole and David Lule

In July this year, further criminal summons were issued against Bobi Wine after he failed to turn up in court. The magistrate also ordered the state to avail the defense team with all their alleged evidences against the accused including the alleged exhibits . On the 2nd of May, Buganda road court grade one magistrate Esther Nahirya granted bail to Bobiwine via a video conferencing system.

Bobi wine became the first person to be tried using the new technology that was launched by the chief justice Bart Katureebe on the 15th of April this year to allow judges to try inmates without necessarily being present in court but through a video link in Luzira prison.

Bobi wine was remanded to Luzira prison on 29th of this month by grade one magistrate Esther Nahirya afrer he was charged and pleaded not guilty to offenses relating to disobedience of statutory duty .

The magistrate also failed to grant him bail and refereed his bail application to the 2nd of May.

His lawyers led by Asuman told court that his sureties had been blocked to access court with some arrested and detained at Nagalama police station in Mukono in case of Hon.Francis Zaake while others had their documents like local council letters confiscated by police.

The magistrate then ruled that Bobi wine should be remanded briefly to allow his lawyers organize their sureties and the magistrate also advised them from bringing high profile sureties that attract too much attention.

According to the amended charge sheet tendered in court , Bobi Wine was surprisingly charged over offenses he committed in 2018.

The charges are apparently in relation to his protest over the now social media tax (OTT) which he is said to have allegedly committed on 11th of July 2018 at City square with in Kampala city.

Bobiwine is accused of holding a public meeting without giving notice to any authorized officer or police who would ensure that all participants of his meeting are unarmed and peaceful .

Prosecution states that the actions of Bobi Wine were contrary to sections 5 and 10 of the public Order Management Act of 2013.

However before accepting to go on remand, Bobi Wine addressed and in his own words he said:

“Your honor I am confident because it is not me on trial but this court on trial because I have not committed any crime. I have not stolen public funds or killed anyone. I am here because I have spoken against this government and specifically president Museveni. Your honor i am here brcause i have spoken against unfair taxation so i am fighting for everyone and for you”.

Leader of opposition did also criticize reasons cited by state while objecting to the bail application of Bobiwine.

This is after state prosecutor Timothy Francis Amerit told court that sureties like Hon.Miria Matembe were insubstantial since she was of advanced age of 64 and not capable to feasibly compel Bobiwine to adhere to court orders.

However, the leader of Opposition said that it was ironical that the State recently just amended the constitution and lifted the presidential age limit to allow even a person of over 100 years to rule the country yet,the state is objecting a person of 64 years to only stand surety.

Other opposition politicians like Allan Sewanyana criticized what they called a move by the judiciary to impose the video link conferencing for his bail application.

Ssewanyana claimed that the judiciary had violated the procedures of the video conferencing since it was the suspect who requests it through its lawyers but instead, the judiciary imposed it on Bobiwine without allowing him to give his opinion on whether he wanted his application to be heard via a video link.

Meanwhile Hon. Kyagulanyi Robert also did address court for the second time before the court pronounced itself on his bail application.

In his own words, Bobiwine said: “I thank you for this opportunity to address court. It is not we on trial but the court. Whatever you decide isn’t my business. My business is the truth, what is morally right… If standing for what is right is going to keep me in this prison, so be it. After all I have a lot of work to do, even here in prison”.

His legal team led by Asuman Basalirwa asked court to grant him a non cash bail on grounds that Bobiwine willingly subjected himself to the legal process and that he is neither on criminal summons or warrant of arrest.

Basalirwa also argued that the charges preferred against Kyagulanyi did not involve any violence because the main reason he was arrested even the state realized its significance and revised the OTT tax which means he was on the right cause for everyone including state.

He added that that Hon .Kyagulanyi was a peaceful man and had never been convicted of any offense under any courts of law and that through his music career, he had been helping police to fight crime.

He added that Hon.Kyagulanyi was a family man with four children and a young wife and that he was not a flight risk because he is an MP representing the people of Kyadondo East on top of being a sole bread winner for his tender family.

Asuman Basalirwa also presented three sureties including Hon.Miria Matembe whom he said is a personal friend of Bobiwine in the struggle,42 year old NRM Member of Parliament for Kasambya county Hon.Mbwa Tekamwa Dog and Hon.Nsamba Patrick of Kasanda East who is Bobiwine’s neighbor and also a colleague.

In reply prosecution objected to Bobiwine’s bail application on grounds that his sureties were not substantial.

State prosecutor Timothy Francis Amerit told court that one of the Surety Hon. Miria Matembe was of advanced age of 64 and therefor not feasibly capable to compel Bobiwine to adhere to court orders.

Amerit also objected to the two MPs on grounds that the two MPs were are equals to Bobiwine and as a result had no legitimate authority over him including forcing him to return before court among other grounds.

END

City lawyer Kiiza dragged to court over defamation

By Sania Babirye
A litigant has gone to court seeking orders to have the Uganda Communication commission to stop Kampala Lawyer Eron Kiiza from allegedly posting what he terms as defamatory statements on his social Media accounts against Justice Joseph Murangira.

Mukasa Paul, a legal assistant with Muwada and company advocates has asked Buganda Road court holding at law Development center to also compel UCC to print and certify Facebook posts,YouTube content and website information of Kiiza because they intend to use the said content to act as evidence when seeking relevant orders from court to stop Kiiza from allegedly defaming the person of Justice Murangira through his social Media accounts.

According to Mukasa,some of Kiiza’s content is defamatory and if not stopped by court, justice Murangira will suffer substantial loss in regard to his name and ridicule among the right thinking members of the profession and the community.

These want UCC to also avail them with audio,video or any other published record by any radio, television, print media related to the alleged defamatory content against the justice from either Kiiza or any other person.

He says that such posts have invited unmitigated and wide spread condemnation, reducible and threats to the person of justice Murangira by a cross section on social media users in Uganda and a cross the world by endangering his safety,reputation and credibility.

In his application, Mukasa says UCC has powers control and regulate content in relation to communication in Uganda.

Youth committed to free trial

By Sania Babirye

Two youths who were arrested for allegedly stealing two hand watches and two pair of shoes from road passers using a hummer have been committed for trial in the high court.

19 year old Michael Nabuka and 25 year old Brian Kimera have been committed by City hall court grade one magistrate Beatrice Kainza.

This is after state informed court that the Director of public prosecutions has completed investigations into their case and wants them committed for trial

Some of the evidence which the DPP intends to adduce against the accused show that on the 14th of July 2018 at Kyamuka zone Kyebando in Kawempe division, the two accused persons with the help of a hummer robbed Cosmas Mukalazi and Christopher Mubiru of their watches and shoes.

Prosecution further states that the victims who owns a joint shop that deals with electronic on the same date around midnight while going home they landed in a gang of 6 men who attacked them beat and hit them with a hummer on their heads and lost consciousness.

It’s alleged that upon regaining consciousness they noticed that their shoes and watches which they were put on were robbed.

These have now further remanded to Luzira prison until when the high court will fix a date for trial .

CJ Katureebe sets up task force to investigate corruption in judiciary

By Sania Babirye

The Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe, has set up a six-member Task force, headed by the Inspector of Courts, Ms. Immaculate Busingye, to investigate allegations of corruption in the Judiciary.

According to an Office Instruction dated 30th of July 2019, the Task force has been tasked to commence business with immediate effect and report back to the Chief Justice within 60 days.

The newly set up task force is in response to investigative reports by media houses that exposes tendencies of corruption by judicial officers and a promise by the chief justice to investigate the alleged tendencies .

The Corruption Task force will then receive the media recordings with a view of identifying the implicated Judiciary staff, who would then be invited to have an interface with the Team.

Then force will then make a report to the Chief Justice with recommendations on the way forward by the 30th of September 2019.

The other Taskforce members are Mr. Vincent Emmy Mugabo (Registrar/Public Relations Officer), Ms. Susan Abinyo (Registrar Magistrates Affairs and Data Management), Mr. Godfrey Kawesa (President UJOA), Mr. Ayebare Tumwebaze (Assistant Registrar in the Office of the Chief Registrar/Projects), and Mr. Solomon Muyita (Senior Communications Officer).

The Instrument further states that the Chief Justice may extend the tenure of the Task force if need arises.

On July 9, the Chief Justice welcomed efforts by Vision Group to expose acts of bribery and corruption tendencies in the courts.

Justice Katureebe subsequently had an interface with the media organizations top editors, partly to commend them for the efforts, but also caution them against sensationalizing the issue of corruption in the courts.

The Chief Justice said his administration will ensure that any court staff captured receiving a bribe will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

“What has been happening is people say they have paid money for court services, but they are usually not willing to bring the evidence to us.

“We encourage such audits in all courts, and we are willing to do it as a partnership. Our aim should be to take action on the culprits by the Judicial Service Commission.”

He said the Judiciary shall continue to encourage court users and the public to use the available fora to come out and give evidence for firm action to be taken against the errant court staff.