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.

Nizeyimana fired over abuse of office

By Sania Babirye

The deputy registrar of the executive and bailiffs division of the high court Deo Nizeyimana has been interdicted for abusing his judicial authority.

According to the interdiction letter written and signed by the chief registrar Tom Chemutai dated 29th june 2020, Nizeyimana has been fired on he orders of the acting chief justice and also deputy chief Justice Alfonse Owinyi Dolo.

In the said letter, Nezeyimana is further accused of producing poor standard of work contrary to the judicial service Regulations and conducting himself in a manner prejudicial to the image,dignity and reputation of the service .

Evidence shows that on the 2nd of June 2020,Nizeyimana issued an ex- pate Garnishee order in a case between Total Uganda ltd and O A Basid ltd where the assistant registrar of the same court had issued an interim order of stay of execution in the same matter on the 2nd of October 2019.

Nizeyimana also is said to have issued the said order in defiance of the chief justice’s directives suspending execution proceedings inline with the National Directives to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

The said order was also issued without notifying the respondent.

The chief registrar says his Nizeyimana has been forwarded before the judicial service commission for disciplinary action and ordered to hand over with immediate effect all government property’s and court files to the registrar of the high court.

The letter further states that Nizeyimana will be receiving half salary and is bared from leaving Uganda without the permission of the chief registrar.

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

Acid attacker sent to jail

By Sania Babirye

A 34year old house wife has been charged and remanded to Kigo government prison on charges of attempted murder after she allegedly hired people to pour acid on a man she had defrauded 25 million shillings from by falsely promising to take him abroad for employment abroad.

Doreen Ndaula a resident of Gangu Makindye in Kampala has been remanded after she pleaded not guilty to the said offense before Makindye court chief magistrate Prosy Katushabe.

She has been remanded until the 22nd of this month for trial after state prosecutor Lydia Nakato informed court that investigations into the matter are complete.

Prosecution states that Ndaula on the 3rd of June 2020 at Gangu Makindye attempted to murder Collins Kawuki whom she defrauded 25million shillings promising to take him abroad for jobs whereas not.

According to evidence before court, the accused person after failing to take the victim abroad hired two men who pored acid on him.

She was arrested on Wednesday after the victim identified the car the hired hooligans used to pour acid on him.

The two men were traveling in the said car however after pouring the acid on the victim, they were forced to abandon the car because it failed to start and the victim was able to identify it as that belonging to the suspect who was also his friend.

Sakwa’s interdiction case dismissed

By Sania Babirye

The high court in Jinja has dismissed an application in which interdicted Jinja RDC Eric Sakwa was challenging his interdiction by the secretary to the office of the president Hajji Kakande Yusuf calling it unlawful.

Justice Jeane Rwakakooka has ruled that Sakwa’s interdiction was lawful despite him being appointed by president Museveni because he was still bound by the public service standing order.

Justice Rwakakooka has further noted that Sakwa did not adduce any other evidence to prove that his interdiction is not governed by the Public service standing order other than an appointment letter by president Museveni.

Sakwa had also challenged the 4th may 2020 letter of interdiction on the grounds that it didn’t have president Museveni’s signature,but justice Rwakakooka has also dismissed the said argument on grounds that by virtue of the public service commission Regulations, Hajji Kakande being a responsible officer in the President’s office had the legal authority to interdict him since Sakwa is a public officer until he is cleared of charges of manslaughter and robbery.

The judge has also dismissed Sakwa’s claims that he was interdicted without being heard ruling that his interdiction was not subject to the right to be heard since interdiction is but a first set to disciplinary proceedings and that he decision was also rational since Sakwa’s was arrested, charged with manslaughter and remanded to prison.

Justice Rwakakooka has further ruled that Sakwa unlawfully added hajji Kakande to the said suit but by law, the attorney general was the only respondent to the said suit and declined to order any compensation to him.

Sakwa had claimed that the said interdiction was fake because it was only president Museveni with powers to interdict him among other grounds.

However, president Museveni on the 21st of May sent Sakwa on forced leave until hearing and determination of his manslaughter case.

On the 29th of April, Jinja court Chief magistrate Jessica Chemeri released Sakwa on a non cash five million court bond after spending five days in Kirinya government prison.

The 38 year old is charged with man slaughter by causing the death of Isanga Charles,theft of empire waragi worth four hundred thousand and malicious damage to property.

He is charged jointly with 19 year old Bumali Kazimbyewa a mechanic & and 31 year old Simba Muhammed a businessman in Jinja.

Prosecution States that the three suspects and others still at large on the 22day of March and 17th of April at Lwanda village in Jinja district unlawfully caused the death of Isanga Charles.

These are also accused of robbing 800,000 shillings, three creates of beer, 8 trays of eggs,sachets of empire drinks and soda all valued at 429000 belonging to Isanga and there after used violence on him on the same day .

The suspects are also charged with damaging Isanga’s counter on the same day.

Tumukunde granted a UGX 50M non cash bail

2021 Presidential hopeful sec Lt.Gen.Henry Tumukunde has been granted bail by the High court in Kampala.

The former security minister who has been on remand at Luzira prison since the 18th of March has been released by Justice Wilson Kwesiga after reviewing his earlier tough bail conditions he had issued.

In the review, Justice Kwesiga has now accepted his sureties including his wife Stellah Tumukunde, brother in-law Hannington Karuhanga and family friend Matthew Rukikaire as substantial sureties .

Justice Kwesiga has now ordered that Tumukunde signs a 50 million shillings non cash bail, deposit his passport in court and has also ordered his sureties to execute a non cash bond of 50 million shillings and make sure that he returns to court when needed.

The judge had first ordered Tumukunde to produce at least two serving army officers at his rank or above his rank approved by the chief of defense forces to stand surety for him.

However, Tumukunde filed an application seeking a review of the said conditions saying as a retired soldier who is charged with treason, he was not able to find a serving army officer at his rank or above who would be willing to stand surety for him and that by law, it did not apply to him.

And today, Justice Kwesiga was in agreement with Tumukunde and ruled that given the nature of the offense he is a charged with, no Military officer of his rank or above either retired or not was or is willing to associate with him.

Justice Kwesiga has also ruled that the said bail terms be applied before city hall Magistrate court where Tumukunde is charged with offenses of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

On the 4th of this month, Gen.Tumukunde’s wife petitioned the high court seeking a review of the tough bail conditions that were issued by Justice Kwesiga if he is to be granted bail.

Some of the conditions he challenged included an order that Gen.Tumukunde must at least presents two sureties who are serving army officers at his rank or above his rank with an introduction letter from the chief of Defense forces to stand for him yet he is a retired army officer not subject to military law or otherwise.

Other conditions challenged included; Tumukunde to reconsider re applying for bail 30 days after the country wide ongoing lock down, allow him to represent a duplicate certificate of his residence at plot 12 Kololo hill drive and finally grant him bail pending trial.

According to his Wife Stella Tumukunde, , the said conditions made it practically impossible for Gen.Tumukunde to realize bail and high court should squash them and grant her husband bail immediately pending trial and determination of his case.

She stated that all military officers at Rtd. Gen.Tumukunde’s rank or above his rank are serving in the Government of Uganda either in the UPDF or in other government positions and can not be allowed to stand surety for him on alleged charge of treason.

She further stated that Gen.Tumukunde had already substantial sureties presented to court including herself, his brother in-law Hannington Karuhanga, his friend Mathew Rukikaire that are substantial sureties.

She also challenged the one month extension given to state to complete their investigations after lifting of the ongoing lock down before Gen.Tumukunde re applies for bail claiming that its not certain when the lock down will end and that police is not affected by the lock down since they are among the listed essential service providers who continue to operate their daily duties including the investigations and can access the alleged witnesses even in the ongoing lock down.

She adds that the suspect cannot interfere in any ongoing investigations since the particulars of the alleged offense is clear including the talk show on which he allegedly made the statement, the date and time and the television and police extracted the said video footage.

Through their lawyers of Tumusiime, Kabega and company advocates , Wameeli company advocates, Stella Tumukunde then asked the high court to review the said conditions and immediately grant her husband bail since he is resumed innocent until proved guilty and also the fact that applying for bail is his constitutional right on top of being a retired army officer who is not subject to military law .

On the 14th of April, Justice Wilson Kwesiga declined to grant Tumukunde’s bail application.

He was in agreement with State that completion of their investigations have been affected by the ongoing lock down due to COVID-19 and that if Tumukunde’s is released, he is likely to interfere with the ingoing Investigations.

He however, gave state one month from to complete the said investigations so as to reconsider, Gen.Tumukunde’s bail.

Justice Kwesiga also found Tumukunde’s sureties including his wife Stella Tumukunde, his son, FDCs vice president Salamu Musumba and former army commander Gen.Mugisha Muntu not substantial.

He ordered that Tumukunde provides at least two serving senior Army officers above his rank who have the abilities to prevail over him and compel him to adhere to the bail set conditions including compelling him to report back to court when needed.

Justice Kwesiga explained that in previous instances, the courts of law have been humiliated by granting senior police officers like Gen.Tumukunde bail only for such senior army officers to defy the said bail conditions including reporting back to court yet the sureties that stood for them could not compel them to report back to court.

He then advised state to complete their investigations especially evidence that they think Tumukunde will have influence over if granted bail and also advised the applicant to avail court with substantial suruties that can compel him to return back to court if granted bail.

However, justice Kwesiga did agree with the defense that Tumukunde is of an advanced age of 61 which is an exceptional circumstance for granting of bail despite being charged with a capital offence, has a fixed place of abode and the presumption of innocence until proved guilty among other grounds.

On the 8th of this month, state asked court to deny Tumukunde bail on grounds that he is likely to interfere with the ongoing investigations.

According to an affidavit that was sworn in by the investigating officer SP Richard Mugwisagye, from the CID, Gen.Tumukunde is a former minister of security who might use his influence to interfere with investigations,on top of him being a former director if ISO, commander of the 4th Division of the army in Gulu and recently retired senior army officer.

State further claims that the suspect is charged with a capital offence of treason which upon conviction carries a maximum punishment of death, and that he is likely to abscond from bail if granted to him by court.

The Rtd lt. Gen.filed his bail application on the 20th of March after being remanded to luzira prison on treason charges on the 18th March by city hall court

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.

He also face other 4 counts of unlawful possession of firearms.

Prosecution states that on March 13th 2020 at his office Impala Avenue in Kololo,was found in possession of 2 guns; an Ak47 and a pistol and 34 rounds of ammunitions without a valid firearm licence.

Boda boda cyclist sent to jail for slapping a female passenger

By Sania Babirye

A boda boda cyclist has pleaded guilty to assaulting a passenger after he slapped a female passenger over a misunderstanding.

Joseph Ssemakula pleaded guilty before Makindye court chief magistrate Prossy Katushabe and convicted on his own plea of guilty.

He has however asked court for a lenient sentence saying he has learnt a lesson for the period he has spent in police custody.

He has now been remanded to Kitalya government prison until the 13th of this month when he will be sentenced.

Prosecution states that on the 6th of February 2020 at Nsambya Kirombe, the convict assaulted Annet Nabagereka.

According to evidence before court, the victim hired Semakula to take her to a bar at Nsambya Kirombe but reaching there the accused slapped her after they developed a misunderstanding over the amount of money to be paid.

Mabirizi drags Justice Sekana to JSC over misconduct

By Sania Babirye

Controversial City lawyer Male Mabirizi has petitioned the Judicial service commission to have High court Justice Musa Sekana dismissed as a judge due to alleged incompetence and misconduct.

Mabirizi’s petition before the JSC comes after Justice Sekana dismissed his petition in which he thought to have Electoral Commission chairman Justice Simon Byabakama removed from office saying he was holding the said office illegally since he never resigned officially as a judge.

Mabirizi claims that Justice Sekana was not only incompetent but his actions during hearing of the said dismissed case was a judicial fraud.

He claims that Justice Sekana admitted that he worked for EC for over 20 years and yet in 2006, he represented the Electoral commission in a case that was challenging the nomination of FDC presidential candidate Col.Kizza Besigye.

Mabirizi is further faulting Justice Sekana of refusing to excuse himself from hearing the said case due to conflict of interest when he asked him to do since he had represented EC before, and the fact that Justice Byabakama was his colleague as a fellow judge.

Mabirizi has also alleged that during the hearing of the said case, justice Sekana unfairly treated him when he threatened to throw him out of court and cause his arrest on top of justice Sekana telling him that he was submitting rubbish many times which shows that he was biased.

While dismissing Mabirizi’s case, justice Sekana accused Mabirizi of filling the said petition out of the required time.

By law, Mabirizi was meant to file the said case within the first three month of justice Byabakama’s appointment but instead Mabirizi filed his case almost three years since he filed it on the 29th of November 2019 yet Justice Byabakama was appointed on the 7th of January 2017.

Kasiwukira’s murder’s 20 year jail term

By Sania Babirye

Three court of appeal justices have upheld a 20 year jail sentence handed to Sandra Nakungu and Jyden Ashiraf who were convicted of killing famous Kampala business man Eria Ssebunya Bugembe alias Kasiwukira in October 2014.

In September 2016, Kampala High court judge Wilson Masalu Musene found them guilty of forming a common intention to murder Kasiwukira and sentenced each to 20 Years in Luzira prison however, the same judge acquitted Kasiwukira’s wife Sarah Nabikolo over her husbands murder.

Nakungu a sister in law to Kasiwukira and Jayden a police officer attached to Muyenga police post however appealed both their conviction and sentence on grounds that the would be key suspect in the said murder Sarah Nabikolo-the widow was exonerated of any wrong doing by court yet to them, she was the ringleader.

However, three justices including Elizabeth Musoke, Helene Obura and Ezekiel Muhanguzi have ruled that the judge properly applied the law to the facts of the case and rightly found that the death of Kasiwukira was unlawful and caused with malice aforethought in his judgement.

The justices were also in agreement with justice Musene that there was a common intention formed by Jayden and Nakungu to murder Kasiwukira and conceal it as a fatal accident .

They further ruled that the two state witnesses who saw the convicts commit the murder had their evidence collaborated by two other witnesses whom the convicts had earlier approached to commit the said murder.

Justice Musene reached his decision to acquit Nabikolo whom the prosecution had said was the sole funder of the mission to kill her husband ,basing on the fact that there was no single witness who pointed a finger at her that she was seen in meetings with Nakungu and Jayden plotting to murder Kasiwukira.

The convict Jayden was formerly attached to Muyenga community police which is a Diplomate Zone where the late Kasiwukira resided.

The judge ruled that prosecution evidence squarely placed Jayden at the scene of crime as he was seen by several witnesses seated behind the steer ring of the killer vehicle that knocked Kasiwukira dead on the morning of 17th October 2016.

Justice Musene then rejected Jayden’s defence that he was promised 20million shillings ,a job transfer and a big house by businessman Godfrey Kirumira if he implicated the widow Sarah Nabikolo and her sister Sandra Nakungu of Kasiwukira’s murder.

These have so far served three years into their 20 year jail sentence.

Man sent to jail for murdering own wife

By Sania Babirye

The Mpigi magistrate court has remanded to Kigo government prison a man who stabbed to death his wife.

Salongo Vicent Bugingo has been charged with murdering his wife Nalongo Nantongo Juliet is him he had 8 kids with.

Grade one magistrate Moreen Mokoya has however been barred him from pleading to the charges since he is charged with a capital offense that is only tried and bailed by the high Court.

Prosecution states that on the 24th of December 2019 at Nabisenke village in Nkozi, the suspect stabbed his wife to death in a domestic violence related incident .

However, Salongo after committing the alleged crime is said to have reported himself at police claiming that his wife was involved in an accident which caused her death.

Police later went to his home and found the deceased in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds on her stomach, head and private parts.

He returns to court on the 28th of this month as investigations into the matter continues.