Court stops injuction of Luwafu B zone

By Sania Babirye

High court judge Yasin Nyanzi has issued an interim injunction against NEMA from evicting people residing in Luwafu B and heritage zone found in Kasanga in Makindye division.

NEMA accuses the residents of encroaching and degrading the said wetland in June. The Executive Director Tom Okurut wrote to the residents to vacate the said land with all their property and clear all structures that had been erected on the wet land within three weeks.

However, being dissatisfied, the residents petitioned the high court challenging NEMA’s actions and also sought an interim injunction against their eviction until the hearing and determination of the main case in which they challenge their entire eviction.

In their main case, the residents claim that the said land belongs to them and have acquired land titles.

Now justice Yasin Nyanzi has issued the interim injunction until court hears and determines their main case.

Boda boda operator accused of theft sent to jail

By Sania Babirye

A boda boda rider who turned on his customer and robbed her of handbag containing two mobile phones and a national identification card has charged with theft and remanded at Kitalya government prison.

The suspect is identified as 36 year old Amos Ayesiga a resident of Makindye Nabisalu in Makindye division, Kampala district.

He has appeared before Makindye court grade one magistrate Patience Lonah Tukundane and denied the offense.

He has been remanded until the 8th of July to start trial.

Prosecution states that on the 23rd of May 2020 at Kibuki in Makindye division, Ayesiga robbed his customer Janet Akuto of the said properties.

Court of appeal dismisses Bank of Uganda case against Sudhir

By Deo Wasswa

The court of Appeal has dismissed a multi-billion case against businessman Sudhir Ruparellia and his Meera investments company in which the Central Bank accuses him of siphoning over 397 billion shillings from Crane Bank .

Three justices of the court including; Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny -Dollo , Cheborion Barishaki and Steven Musota have unanimously ruled that after a careful perusal of evidence; they too find no misconduct against Sudhir that would warrant litigation and hence forth they have ordered Bank of Uganda to pay costs incurred by the businessman to defend himself in both courts .

In their ruling read to court by registrar Mary Babirye, the Justices have also confirmed that at the time of filing this suit in January 2017, Crane Bank Limited was already in receivership and a non -existing entity whose life time was terminated /ended when Bank of Uganda sold its assets to DFCU in October 2016.

The justices have been in further agreement with trial Commercial Court judge David Wangutusi that being in receivership; Crane Bank had no capacity to institute legal proceedings against its former Director or could anyone drag it before court because it as no assets to be claimed for.

But having been dissatisfied with the above position ; Bank of Uganda petitioned the Court of Appeal last year to challenge the decision of Justice Wangutusi to condemn it to pay costs yet he did not fully hear the case but disposed it off basing on a point of law .

The court of Appeal has instead also further condemned it to pay costs having found out that the Central Bank wrongfully dragged Sudhir to court .

Bank of Uganda and Crane Bank had wanted Sudhir and Meera to pay back over 397Billlion shillings that it claims the 2 fraudulently took out of crane Bank where Sudhir was owning 100% shares.

Immediately after the court ruling; Sudhir who was in company of his son Ranjiv explained that he will be seeking millions of dollars in costs .

Tumukunde’s case pushed to August

By Sania Babirye

City hall court has adjourned further mention of the case in which 2021 Presidential hopeful LT.Gen. Henry Tumukunde is charged with treason and four counts of unlawful possession of fire arms and ammunition to August this year.

Lt.Gen.Tumukunde who was granted bail on the 11 of May after spending almost three months in Luzira prison appeared before city hall grade one magistrate Valerian Tuhimbise .

State has informed court that investigations into both cases are still ongoing asking for more time to be completed

On 18 of March 2020, Tumukunde was remanded to Luzira prison after he pleaded not guilty to all five counts.

On the treason charge, Prosecution states that on the 5th of March 2020 while appearing on a morning show at one of the local Tv stations in Kamwokya, the Rt. Lt Gen made utterances which were calculated to instigated the Republic of Rwanda to invade Uganda and cause a unlawful change of government

On the unlawful possession fire arms and ammunition, its states that on the 13th of March 2020 at his office Impala Avenue in Kololo,was found in possession of 2 guns; an Ak47 and a pistol . Prosecution further states that he is charged with unlawful possession of 34 rounds of ammunition’s without a valid firearm license

Tumukunde however told court on the charges of being in possession of firearms and ammunition, he was in lawful possession of the said gun since it was given to him with the said ammunition as a retired Gen .

Treason, is a capital case bailable and triable only by the High court .

Woman stabs neighbor to death over free government food

By Sania Babirye

A businesswoman has been remanded to Kigo government prison after she allegedly attempted to murder her neighbor by stabbing him in the stomach for refusing to sell to her government relief posho and beans he had received in the ongoing COVID-19 lock down.

The suspect is identified as 27 year old Mariam Kukundakwe a resident of Kasanvu zone Kisugu parish Makindye division in Kampala district dealing in retail shop at Kisugu in Kampala.

She has been arraigned before Makindye court Grade one magistrate Patience Lonah Tukundane who charged her with attempted murder.

She has been remanded until the 8th of July 2020 to be able to take plea before a chief magistrate.

Prosecution states that the accused with the help of others who are still on the run on the 5th of June 2020 at Go-down zone Kisugu attempted to cause the death of Elias Twinomuhwezi.

Court heard that the accused stabbed the victim in the stomach using a knife after a serious quarrel accusing him of refusing to sale to her government food.

Court finally allows DPP to take over Kuteesa case

By Sania Babirye

Buganda road court has allowed the the Director of public prosecutions to take up the case against foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa and institute criminal proceedings against him for authorizing the return back of three family members of businessman Ben Kavuyu from USA during the ongoing COVID-19 lock down.

Grade one magistrate Stellah Maris Amabilisi has also ordered that all those intending to open private prosecution against Minister Kuteesa should pass on the necessary documents and evidence to the office of the DPP who is mandated by law to institute criminal proceedings on behalf of the state .

However, the magistrate has not instituted charges against Kutesa and his co accused as sought before handing the case to the DPP which has angered a private lawyer Ronald Otee who dragged Kutesa to court .

Otee stated that he is going to appeal the premature handing over of the case to DPP without the lower court confirming the charges.

Ronald Otee with Otee and company advocates from Soroti, dragged Kutesa to Buganda road court to be privately prosecuted jointly with the three members including Barbara Kavuya the wife, his daughter Blanche Kavuya and grandson Isiah Tiba Byabashaija who returned into the country on the 18th of March through Ethiopian airline.

Through his lawyer Nicholas Opio and Derrick Tumusiime , the petitioner wanted court to draft up charges including
doing a neglect act likely to cause the spread of an infectious disease (Covid-19) and disobedience of lawful orders; which two offenses carry a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment in jail upon conviction against the used.

But on Mobday, when the application came for hearing, the Director of public prosecutions through Jana Kitimbo asked court to take over the matter stating that its only the office of the DPP that can institute criminal proceedings on behalf of the government.

In his petitioner Otee claims that Kuteesa’s actions wee in breach of a Presidential Directive that bars people from flying within and out of the Country during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while other Ugandans abroad including medical students in Wuhan were denied the same privilege.

Otee states that on the 24th of March the minister of health using the public health act passed an order into law prohibiting any person from entering Uganda effect from Monday 23rd of March to april 23rd which was later extended and remains into effect up to date as measures to contain the virus.

The lawyer however notes that on the 18th of May 2020, the said persons entered Uganda and continue to stay in Uganda and as a result committed a criminal offense together with minister Sam Kutesa who authorised their return via Ethiopian airline.

He says that the actions of minister Sam Kutesa to allow only that family to return home was discriminative in nature since other Ugandans who wanted to return were not given permission or those who wanted to leave.
Meanwhile, Kutesa has again authorised the son of Kavuya to escort his pregnant to AghaKhan hospital to deliver their baby through Cesarian section

Kuteesa could face court for breaching presidential directive

By Sania Babirye

Buganda road court has set this Thursday the 18th of June to decide on whether the Director of public prosecutions should institute criminal proceedings against foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa after he authorized the return of three family members of businessman Ben Kavuyu from USA during the ongoing COVID-19 lock down.

This after a private lawyer Ronald Otee with Otee and company advocates, dragged Kutesa to Buganda road court to be privately prosecuted jointly with the three members including Barbara Kavuya the wife, his daughter Blanche Kavuya and grandson Isiah Tiba Byabashaija who returned in the country on the 18th of March through Ethiopian airline.

Through his lawyer Nicholas Opio and Derrick Tumusiime , the petitioner wants court to draft up charges including
doing a neglect act likely to cause the spread of an infectious disease (Covid-19) and disobedience of lawful orders; which two offenses carry a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment in jail upon conviction against the used.

However, when the application came for hearing before grade one magistrate Stella Amirisi Amabilisi today, the Director of public prosecutions through Jana Kitimbo asked court to take over the matter stating that its only the office of the DPP that can institute criminal proceedings on behalf of the government.

In his petition, Otee claims that Kuteesa’s actions were in breach of a Presidential Directive that bars people from flying within and out of the Country during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while other Ugandans abroad including medical students in Wuhan were denied the same privilege.

He then requested Buganda road court to draft a Charge Sheet against the four persons.

Otee states that on the 24th of March the minister of health using the public health act passed an order into law prohibiting any person from entering Uganda effect from Monday 23rd of March to April 23rd which was later extended and remains into effect up to date as measures to contain the virus.

The lawyer however notes that on the 18th of May 2020, the said persons entered Uganda and continue to stay in Uganda and as a result committed a criminal offense together with minister Sam Kutesa who authorized their return via Ethiopian airline.

He says that the actions of minister Sam Kutesa to allow only that family to return home was discriminative in nature since other Ugandans who wanted to return or leave the country were not granted permission.

Court orders government to pay UGX12M compensation after losing case

By Sania Babirye

The Kampala high court has ordered government to pay a one Gabula Africa Evans Ronald 12 million shillings at a 10% interest rate per annum and costs to the suit in compensation after ruling that he was unlawfully arrested and tortured by security operatives for one month while being coerced to confess to dealing with Ugandan based Australian cardiologist Dr.Agrey Kiyingi.

Justice Patricia Basaza Waswa has ruled that Gabula was indeed unlawfully arrested, detained and tortured which infringed on his fundamental rights and freedoms to protection from deprivation of liberty, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Gabula dragged government to the high court accusing officers of the Special Operations Unit (SOU) under the Police Force of unlawfully arresting and torturing him under the commandant of Nixon Asingwire and Samuel Okello in 2014 which was an infringement of his fundamental rights and freedoms.

Justice Basaza ruled that indeed the government did admit to the said allegations since government never denied his torture claims either
by way of a written statement or defense.

She further ruled that Gabula’s torture evidence presented before court which was never challenged by the attorney general but supported by the medical report from the African Center for treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and an account given by an eye witness -bystander proved that the actions of the Police officers named, were actions done by a Special Unit of the Police Force, done during working hours, on consecutive days.

Justice Basaza in conclusion ruled that although done in unauthorized place and manner, the Police Officers were acting in the course of their duty for which the Attorney General, representing the State, is vicariously liable and ordered government to pay the said compensation at a 10% interest rate per annum from the time of the judgement

In his defense, Gabula told court that after being arrested on the 26th of December 2014, at 10am, at Game, Lugogo Mall by plain clothed security operatives sent by a one Nixon Asingwire, he was whisked away to (SOU) head offices at Clement hill n the boot of a car, handcuffed and face covered were he was slapped, kicked beaten until he lost consciousness as police officers advised him to confess to dealings with a one Dr. Kiyingi which he declined to do, on the basis that he did not know the person.

He further revealed that during the course of his illegal detention from December 22, 2014 to January
21, 2015, he was subjected to other forms of torture including tying his hands, his legs, his mouth being cut off
(sic) with a scissors and disfigured, beaten with belts, whipped by three men which forced him to bled from the mouth, elbows and legs and being poured on cold water for dozing .

The officers also Placed a hot nosal of the pistol on the wound of his mouth, gave him a piece of posho and water that tasted like alcohol with severe pain in his teeth and was later taken tov Kireka to the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) and later to Mbuya barracks.

Man jailed for assaulting girlfriend after she refuses to leave his home

By Sania Babirye

A 29year old man who is accused of beating up his stay in girlfriend for allegedly refusing to leave his home as requested has been remanded to Kitalya government prison.

The suspect identified as Herbert Mpagi is a businessman and a resident of Masajja Makindye Ssabagabo.

He appeared before Makindye court grade one magistrate Patience Ronah Tukundane and pleaded not guilty to the offense of assault and causing actual bodily harm.

He was however remanded until the 23rd of this month after he failed to meet a 400,000 cash bail.

Prosecution claims that on the 11th of May 2020 at Masajja the accused person unlawfully assaulted Elizabeth Ahumuza thereby occasioning her actual bodily harm.

According to court documents, the suspect had asked the victim to leave his house but she refused to go after she had rumors that he wanted to bring in the house a new lover.

Court orders evicted MPs back to parliament

By Sania Babirye

The supreme court has vacated a constitutional court ruling that had nullified the election of six members of Parliament from the newly formed municipalities.

Six out of the seven justices led by Justice Stella Arachi Amoko have instead ordered that the affected legislators to stay in Parliament until a consolidated appeal in which government, the MPs and the electoral commission challenging the same is heard and disposed off.

According to the Judges, the pending appeal raises serious constitutional and legal matters that must be resolved and that since the petitioners did demonstrate seriousness in pursuing the appeal, it was only fair and just that the eviction order is halted and have the appeal prosecuted first.

The justices have now ordered that the said order stays in place until further directives are made .

On the 27th of December 2019, the constitutional court evicted the MPs from their seats following a petition by former Bufumbira East MP Kwezira Eddie challenging their legality saying the said municipalities did not exist since they had not been demarcated and were formed after the 2016 general elections which the constitutional court was in agreement.

The constitutional court had Stated that the said MPs had to wait until this current 10th Parliament ended and contested in the coming one.

The MPs who were kicked out of Parliament include Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa, Sheema’s MP Dr.Eldard Mwesigye, Kotido’s MP Abraham Ziloki, Nebi’s Hashim Sulaiman, Ibanda’s Tarsis and Apach MP Patrick Ochan.

However, in February 2020, the government of Uganda through its attorney general and Electoral commission appealed the said eviction and asked the supreme court to over turn the constitutional court ruling on ground that it was unconstitutional.

According to principle state attorney George Kallemera and Eric Sabiti who is representing the electoral commission, the constitutional court ruling is unconstitutional because it is in contravention of the will of the people who elected the said MPs to represent them.

Appearing before the seven panel led by Justice Esther Kisakye, both lawyers submitted that the said affected MPs were unfairly evicted from Parliament since the lower court did not give them a chance to defend themselves.

These further stated that the constitutional court also had no powers to declare the said seats vacant and are challenging its legality in the supreme court still with a high chance of it succeeding.

According to the lawyers, if the ruling is not stayed, their case in which they are challenging the constitutional court jurisdiction to declare the six seats vacant will have been taken by events and rendered useless on top of their clients suffering irreparable damages.

However, the petitioner and former Bufumbira East Member of Parliament Kwezira Eddie led by his lawyers Ben Wacha and Wanders Ogalo asked the supreme court to dismiss the said petition in grounds that it is baseless.

According to Wanders and Ogalo, the respondents failed to clearly state how they will suffer irreparable damages because no right to a fair hearing was violated since the said positions were newly created and the affected MPs were not party to the constitutional petition and did not even ask to join as a party.

They said that if the MPs sought to be party to the said petition they should have filled their grievances in the same lower court instead of running to the supreme court and court has reserved its judgement on notice.