Kirumira murder suspects committed

By Sania Babirye

The two suspects charged with the murder of the Former Buyende District Police Commander (DPC) Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Muhammad Kirumira and a female companion Stellah Nalinya Mbabazi have been committed to the High court for trial.

Abubakar Kalungi and Hamza Mwebe have been committed by Wakiso chief Magistrate court after the Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP) ordered that the two be sent to court to be tried over the gruesome murder that shocked the nation.

The suspects appeared this morning before grade one magistrate Noah Sajjabi and state prosecutor Kamusha Amelia informed court that she had instructions from the DPP Mike Chibita to have the suspects committed to a court with jurisdiction to try the accused.

According to committal papers presented in court today, the two suspects were found to be linked and in constant communication with ADF operatives who are believed to have orchestrated the killing of Kirumira on the 8th of September 2018.

Further evidence contained in the committal papers also shows that

Abubakar Kalungi did confess to murdering Kirumira and Nalinya a mobile money agent operating and staying in Bulenga in Wakiso district.

The DPP also says he will rely on the said confession evidence to prove the charges against Kalungi a resident of Mirimu Zone in Ndejje Sabagabo -Makindye .

Kalungi is also said to have led the investigators at the crime scene in Bulega and rebraled to police that he had visited the crime scene before and during the shooting .

Further evidence also shows that Kalungi led the investigators to the home of one of the ADF suspects ; Abdul Kateregga at Namugoona- Luyinja whom he implicated as being the person who masterminded the killings.

However according to the evidence, Kateregga was shot at by investigators as he tried to escape arrest in October 2018 .

DPP further says that he will be tendering before the high court the confession statement of Kalungi, telephone and Data print -outs , medical examinations of the two accused that confirm that they are in a sane state to stand trial and the postmortem reports showing that the 2 deceased died of gun shot wounds.

The DPP says investigators managed to arrest the 2 suspects were arrested after the investigators trialed their movements and communication between Mpigi , Gulu and Namugoona through Mobile phone data.

These have now been remanded back to Kigo government prison until when High court will set a date to hear their case .

MTN’s Chief sues Government for illegal deportation

Following his abrupt deportation from Uganda, the former MTN Chief Executive Officer Wim Joris Vanhellepute has taken his alleged illegal deportation to the High court in Kampala.

Vanhellepute has now dragged the Attorney General to High court seeking orders to quash his deportation .

He was deported after the minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Jeje Odongo issued his deportation letter on the 14th of February 2019.

However Vanhellepute contends that , the said order that labelled him as an undesirous and prohibited immigrant is illegal because for the past 25 yrars he has lived in Uganda, he has been a law abiding citizen with no criminal record.

Vanhellepute who is currently in his native country Beligum after being forcefully returned back ha now instructed his lawyers from Birungi and company advocates to file a suit demanding damages from government for violating his rights bu not giving him a fair hearing before being deported.

He also says he was detained in an illegal detention and treated un-just.

He also also narrated in his letter of intention to sue that on the 29th of January 2019, he was summoned by the Special Investigations Unit at Kireka were he accused of communicating to the deported MTN staff before being asked to record a statement.

He further claims that he was then ordered to report back at SIU on the 14th of February 2019, were he was detained and later driven to Entebbe Airport were he was handed over to aviation security and at 11. 59 pm , he was deported through an SN Brussels Flight.

He said that although he tried to explain to the police officials that he needed to communicate to the deported staff because they had not yet officially handed over office, they did not listen to him but did as they wished with out being given an opportunity to explain himself to Minister Odongo before signing the Order that declared him unwanted in Uganda.

He further claims that he was not given any opportunity to talk to his Ugandan wife; Barbra Adoso and 2 children who are residents at Lubowa in Makindye.

He now wants court to declare joris’ deportation unlawful on grounds that he had a valid work permit and a running Visa which was due to expire in May this year .

Serial killer Arinaitwe’s appeal heard

By Sania Babirye
Sentenced serial killer Richard Arinaitwe has today appeared before the Court of Appeal to challenge his life imprisonment sentence after he was convicted of murdering an American volunteer in a Hotel room at Equatorial in 2003.

Arinaitwe has appeared before three justics of the court of appeal led by justices Elizabeth Musoke , Ezekiel Muhanguzi and Hellen Obura.

In the appeal, Arinaitwe is faulting high court Judge Rwamisazi Kagaba who convicted him of murder and sentenced him to death for wrongly trying and convicting him yet he did not have a lawyer to represent him.

However, in 2002 when Arinaitwe was being tried he refused a state attorney that was provided to him and instead asked the judge to allow him to represent himself in the matter since ge was a law student at Makerere university though in his first year.

In December 2003,Arinaitwe was found guilty of stabbing to death Cecillia Maria Goetz; an NGO worker who was in the country by then to follow up the utilization of HIV/AIDS funds.

But he was spared death when the Supreme court made a ruling ruling outlawing the mandatory death penalty on murder and also ordered that all inmates on death row who have spent more than 3 years without being executed should have their sentences mitigated before the High court.

He was asked produced before High court justice Joseph Murangira who substituted his death penalty with life imprisonment.

However, Arinaitwe through his lawyer Elizabeth Asiimwe is also contesting the life imprisonment on grounds that it is too harsh and excessive .

He now wants the court of appeal hand him a much lighter sentence not exceeding 29 years.

He is said to have stabbed her to death at Hotel Equatorial here in Kampala on the 28th of July 1998.

He is a trouble maker who tried to strangle then Buganda road court judge Jane Alividza while appearing before her and it is said that when he was remanded, he was found teaching fellow inmates how to strangle people.

Arinaitwe was trained in Marshal art and kick boxing.

However, through out his trial he maintained his innocence and denied to have been at the scene in the deceased’s hotel room although a receptionist testified to have seen him in the room.

Security tight at High court as Muslim clerics murder suspects await judgement

By Sania Babirye

The international crimes division of the high court will at 2 o’clock  deliver its judgement  in a case in which  14 people are charged with masterminding  the murder of several Muslim clerics in the country.

All the 14 suspects have arrived at high court amidst tight security.

Security has also been Tightened at the court premises with anti terrorism police squad surrounding the court.

Relatives of the suspects have also come in large numbers to witness the scheduled judgement and have been subjected to maximum check up at court entries with only those having valid  identification allowed inside the court premises.

On the 11th of July 2017  three court assessors  Robert Lubega Sseguya, Judith Muhairwe and Muhammad Ddumba advised the the international crimes division of the high court to acquit all the accused due to lack of evidence. .

In their joint opinion read by  Robert Sseguya Lubega,  the assessors  told the three justices led by justice Ezekiel Muhanguzi,Percey  Tuhaise and Jane Kiggundu that prosecution had totally  failed to prove beyond  reason  doubt the charges of murder, attempted murder, and terrorism against Sheikh Yonous Kamoga the leader of the tabliq sect and 13 others.

The trio told court that despite prosecution claiming that sheikh Mustapha Bahiga left a dying declaration implicating sheikh Kamoga as to have killed him, the doctor who worked on him before he passed away Dr.Emma Muwema in his testimony told  court that he did  not hear the late sheikh  Bahiga utter   sheikh Kamoga’s name in his alleged dying declaration.

The assessors further told  court   that the accused led by sheikh Kamoga could also not have been behind the death of sheikh Hassan Kirya because by the time of his death all the accused where on remand .

The assessors also faulted prosecution for failing to bring before court alleged threatening messages which they claimed the two slain sheikhs receieved from some of  the suspects  before they were actually killed yet police had claimed to being in possession of such evidence.

The assessors  observed that prosecution did not  show how other suspects were linked to the murders giving them  no option but to ask court to acquit them.

The assessors opinion  however is not biding to the judges final judgement since they can choose to regard or disregard it.

The accused led by  Sheikh Yunus Kamoga are charged with the murder of Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga at Bwebajja in December 2014 and Hassan Ibrahim Kirya  at Bweyogerere on June 2015 after they were gunned down by unknown assailants.

High court wins people’s choice award for court ruling made about missing baby

Ugandan High Court decision has won the People’s Choice Gavel at the 2017 Gender Justice Uncovered Awards for advancing the rights of women and girls.

The annual Gender Justice Uncovered Awards are hosted by Women’s Link Worldwide, an international organization to shed light on the positive and negative impacts court decisions have on the lives of women and girls around the world.

In January, Justice Lydia Mugambe rules on the case of a missing baby from the national referral hospital Mulago. She ruled that a public hospital’s negligence resulting in the disappearance of a couple’s baby resulted in psychological torture for the parents and violated their rights to health and access to information. The couple was also granted compensation of 85 million shillings.

In an online process, Justice Mugambe’s decision garnered 3,829 votes to beat 17 other rulings that were nominated for the best judicial decision from all around the world.

“The court decision stood out because it recognized the need to not only address the human rights of the couple who were parties to the case, but also the failure on the part of the state of Uganda to fulfill its obligation of the right to health”, said Lydia Muthiani, Women’s Link attorney.

According to Women’s Link, Justice Mugambe’s decision specifies that a woman’s inability to access sufficient antenatal care demonstrates a failure on the part of the State to fulfill its obligations under the right to health. It also points out that States also have an obligation to devote special attention and resources to women whose circumstances make them vulnerable and those who suffer from multiple forms of inequality.

The Court also pointed to overburdened hospital staff which led to errors as another example of the failure to comply with obligations under the right to health.

A social justice advocacy organisation, the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) and the parents of the child sued the attorney general and executive director of Mulago hospital for unlawful disappearance of their baby.

“We applaud the Judiciary for upholding health and human rights of Jennifer Musimenta and her husband Michael Mubangizi,  at a time when they had no recourse for justice”, said Moses Mulumba Executive Director, CEHURD.

“This award comes at a crucial time (because) the ruling required the Uganda Police to make a report on the where about of this couple’s child within six months but we are yet to hear from them,” he added.

Other rulings from African Courts that have won an Award:
The High Court of Tanzania  takes the Bronze Gavel (court ruling with a positive effect on women and girls’ lives) for its ruling instructing the government to ban child marriage and set the legal age for marriage at 18 for both sexes.

The Golden Bludgeon (court ruling with a negative effect on women and girls’ lives) went to the High Court of Kenya for its decision to acquit a man for carrying on a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl, on basis that girls often make false reports of non-consensual sex.



High Court judge okays challenging of MP Kato Lubwama’s election

High Court judge Margret Oguli oumo has dismissed with costs an oral application in which MP  Kato Lubwama was asking her not to give voter Habib Buwembo the go ahead to challenge his election over fake academic papers.

Earlier Margret Oguli had ruled  that Habib could challenege Kato Lubwama’ election over fake academic documents but MP’s lawyer Isaac Ssemakade argued that voter had filed the petition out of the required time needed to do so.

Justice Bamwine announce new changes in High court

By Sania Babirye
Principal Judge, Yorokamu Bamwine has announced transfers of judges  of the high court. Justice Wilson Masalu Musene, who has been heading the Criminal Division of the high court has been transferred to the new High Court Circuit in Mpigi and replaced by Justice John Wilson Kwesiga who has been heading the  Land division. Justice Dr. Andrew Bashaija  is now the new  head  of the Land Division.
 Justice Godfrey Namundi has been   appointed the deputy Head of the Land Division while Justice Elizabeth Kibula Kabanda, who has been caretaker judge of the Mpigi Circuit, returns to the Criminal and Family Divisions of the high court. The changes according to the principle judge are meant to ensure effective delivery of services within the judiciary and take immediate effect.

The attempted fight at High Court.

By Sania  Babirye

There was commotion at the High court when relatives of Kampala business woman Dona Katushabe who was murdered at Pine car bond were denied access to the court room.

The relatives wearing black T-shirts with pictures of Katushabe were told to first remove the t-shirts before entering the court room which angered them.

They started shouting asking court not to grant bail to Pine car bond owner Muhammad Sebuufu who was appearing today for bail hearing.

They also attempted to fight members of the media who attempted to take their photographs.



By Robert Ssegawa

The 31 people accused of murdering Muslim clerics have arrived in high court amid tight security.

Security has been tightened at the high court where the trials expected to kick of today.

All roads heading to the international crime division of the high court are also blocked.

The hearing will be before the panel of 3 justices Ezekiel Muhanguzi, Percy Tuhaise and Jane Kigundu.

The suspect include the leader of tabliq sector at Nakasero mosque Sheikh Yunus Kamoga alleged to have mastermind the murder of several muslims across the country.