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.

Basalirwa welcomes new court ruling

By Sania Babirye

The six members of parliament representing the newly formed municipalities whose seats had been ejected from parliament have welcomed today’s ruling by the supreme court that stayed their elections.

Hon.Asuman Basalirwa one of the Members of Parliament whose seat as Bugiri municipality legislator had been one of those that were nullified says following today’s ruling, they are going to execute their duties and represent their constituencies very efficiently.

Asuman told journalists that before the ruling, they had been executing their duties with uncertainty.

He says that with this ruling, their statues have been confirmed and will now work more effectively as they wait for the supreme court to determine their main consolidated appeal challenging the said constitutional ruling.

Teacher charged with raping two sisters

By Sania Babirye

A teacher has been charged with two counts of rape and obtaining over 6 million shillings from the sister of the victims after he pretended to be the Director of BABA TV and Radio station in Jinja district and promising to give them jobs.

The suspect is identified as 27 year old Muyinda Moses alias Kawanguzi a resident of Namulesa village in Mafubira trading center in Jinja district.

He has appeared before Jinja court grade one Magistrate Happy Kyomuhangi and pleaded not guilty to offenses including two counts of rape, in trafficking of persons, impersonation and obtaining money by false pretense.

He has been remanded at Kirinya government prison until the 16th of June after state prosecutor Elima Doreen informed court that investigations are still ongoing.

According to the charge sheet, the suspect pretended to be the director of Baba TV and Radio when the victim’s desperate big sister approached him for employment of her two young sisters.

Muyinda is said to have asked for 6,976000 million shillings to secure their employment between the 23rd of March and 13th of April 2020.

The victim’s sister later handed the two women and the the said money to the suspect.

However, the suspect together with others still at large took the two women between the 26th of March and 3rd of April at Mirembe guest house in Mafubira trading center, held them captives and unlawfully had canal knowledge with both of them without their consents.

Stella Nyanzi’s supporters camp at court demanding she is formally charged

By Sania Babirye

Supporters of Former Makerere university researcher Dr. Stella Nyanzi and Bivulu promoter Andrew Mukasa of Bajjo events have for the second day camped at Buganda road court hoping that the two would be finally be produced in court and charged.

Bajjo and Dr.Nyanzi were arrested on Monday with a group of other human Rights activists marching their way to the prime minister’s office protesting the failure by government to fully distribute food to vulnerable Ugandans during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown and currently detained at central police station Kampala.

The supporters led by Lord councillor Muhammed Segirinya, yesterday camped at Buganda road court from midday after they were heard information that the two would be produced in court that evening but in vain.
Today, the same group says they believe that police will eventually produce their people in court for formal charging so that they can secure bail for them.

According to Segirinya, they have been told that each suspect will require four people to stand surety for them.

These are facing charges of doing a neglect act likely to spread a dangerous disease COVID-19 among others.

Court orders 16 to clean Makindye division

By Sania Babirye

Makindye magistrate court has ordered 16 people who were found gathered in a motor vehicle garage to clean Makindye division offices for two hours.

The 16 led by Isaac Ssali have appeared before Makindye court chief magistrate Prosy Katushabe and pleaded guilty to doing an act likely to spread a disease COVID-19.

While sentencing them, the magistrate ruled that the convicts were first time offenders, did not waste courts time and resources by pleading guilty to the offense and had been on remand at Kitalya government prison close to three weeks is enough.

Prosecution states that on the 29th of April 2020 at around 1pm at Ndeeba in Kampala district were found gathered in a group at a garage and selling spare parts well knowing that such acts will spread Covid 19.

Eight UPDF soldiers charged

By Sania Babirye

The Division Court martial, of the UPDF 1 infantry Division, has charged 8 UPDF and LDU personnel of different offenses to which some pleaded guilty to.

The seven member court, chaired by Col. Sam Mugyenyi, charged the suspects with offenses ranging from man slaughter, careless shooting while in operation, failure to protect war materials all deemed capital offenses by the UPDF Act.

The suspects include a LDU officer Asuman Juma Musuya who was charged with man slaughter after he allegedly .

According to court, on the 25th of Jul 2019, while cleaning his gun, Musuya failed to take necessary safety precaution leading to killing of his fellow LDU Atanansi Mumuli.

The accused, accepted the charges and was convicted on his own plea. He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment,starting from the date of his arrest.

Another LDU, Kirungi Sadik of Kira bn was charged with failing to protect war materials under section 122 of the UPDF Act.

He pleaded guilty of the charges and was convicted on his own plea.

Court heard that, on the 10th of Dec 2019, Kirungi Sadik’s firing pin and bolt were found missing from his gun, thus the offense.

The Defense lawyer, prayed for a lenient sentence since Kiringi was a first time offender, did not waste court’s time and was remorseful of his act.

On his part, the convict pleaded that he had a pregnant wife and was the sole bread winner for the family. He pleaded for a lenient sentence. In consideration of the above, court sentenced him to 6 months’ detention starting from the day of conviction.

LDU Ntabakirapose John, was charged with desertion, a capital offense under the section 146 of UPDF Act of 2005. He denied charges and was remanded until the 26th May 2020.

Similarly, Pte. Bogere Kigoma Pius, was also charged under the same section. He accepted the charges.

State prosecutor, Capt Pigan Mugisha pleaded to court that the convict be given a deterrent sentence.

On his part, the defense council Mrs. Kensiime Merian mitigated that Bogere was a first offender, he did not desert with a weapon and was the sole bread winner for the family.

She therefore, pleaded for a lenient sentence.

After a careful and lengthy deliberation, with consideration of mitigating factors, court sentenced him to 15 months’ detention from the date of his arrest.

Others charged were, Pte. Kabwana Jimmy, for careless shooting in operation against Section 125 of the UPDF Act, While LDU Olingi Joseph, was charged with obtaining registration by false pretense and denied the charges and was remanded until 26th May 2020.

German national charged with aggravated defilement dies in jail

By Sania Babirye
A frail 79 year old Germany National Bernhard Bery Glaser who is charged with aggravated defilement and child trafficking has died in Luzira prison this morning after battling skin cancer.

On Wednesday, High court judge Moses Kawumo ordered the Bernhard to pay 30 million cash if he is to be granted bail to travel back to his country for treatment.

However, he failed to raise the money and was remanded back to Luzira prison until he could meet the bail money.

But this morning, the prison’s spokes person Frank Baine has confirmed that Glaser has unfortunately passed away this morning.

He was charged by Masaka high court in March 2019 with 28 counts of defilement , indecent assault, aggravated child trafficking and opening of a unapproved children’s home .

While granting him bail Justice Kawumi stated that the suspect was indeed sick and had also presented substantial sureties including the LC5. chairman of Kalangala David Lugoolobi among others.

He also ordered that that he reports back to court until he is fine enough to stand trial and banned him from traveling to Kalangala district.

In January this year, his lawyers led by Caleb Alaka and Evans Ochenge presented another medical report from the Director of Uganda cancer institute Jackson Oryemu to Masaka high court stating that Blazer’ had terminal skin cancer called melanoma which has spread to other parts of his body and is in urgent need of proper medical attention that cannot be provided by Uganda’s cancer institute.

In July 2019, Blazer had asked for bail, however Justice Winfred Nabisinde denied him bail after the institute had stated that the cancer was manageable here in Uganda.

The foreigner who is based in Kalangala district and was running an NGO Ssese Humanitarian services for over 10 years at Mwena..

Through his lawyer Evans Ochenge, the paedophile had first sopted for pre bargaining in which a suspect pleads guilty to a lesser punishment.

The suspect was apparently running the said organization claiming to be looking after and rehabilitating child victims of sexual violence, sex trafficking and those who are at risk of sex abuse before turning on them and sexually assaulting them and trafficking them.

By the time of his arrest he was looking after 20 girls between the age of 3 to 20 years of age.

The suspect who had been in Uganda since 2007 was arrested on charged of defiling 18 minors although he was later set free and during his recent arrest by security operatives from the CID, 11 children were also rescued from his care.

The residence were he was staying with his victims had also been registered as the office for his NGO as a Sexual and Psychosocial centre.

So far two girls of 12 and 14 years accused him of defiling them since 2007.

Private security guard steals from items worth UGX 2.6M from ware house

By Sania Babirye

A private security guard who allegedly turned around and robbed a building materials’ warehouse he was guarding has been charged by the Makindye magistrate court and remanded to Kityla government prison.

The suspect is identified as 22 year old Kassim Majidu.

He appeared before chief magistrate Prosy Katushabe and pleaded not guilty to the offense of theft and was remanded until the 15th of this month for trial.

Prosecution states that Majidu and others still at large on the 14th of April 2020 at Masajja Ndikutamada zone in Wakiso district, stole 4 metallic doors, 50 pieces of floor titles and 10 pieces of iron sheets all valued at 2.6 million shillings the property of Hajji Sulaiman Kalema.