UPDF soldiers sent to jail over mobile money dealer murder

By Sania Babirye
Four people including two former UPDF soldiers have been found guilty and consequently convicted this morning of the murder of a mobile money dealer at Zzana in Wakiso district .

In a unanimous decision, the seven member General court martial chaired by Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti has ruled that state had adduced sufficient evidence to prove that private Bob Anichan , private Dennis Mangusho , Stanley Mulunda and Issa Ntale did murder Nalwadda Harriet and her employee Moureen Nakabubi on the 10th of June 2019 at Zzana cell in Wakiso district and robbed them of 6.8 million shillings .

While convicting them, Lt.Gen.Gutti stated that they have Carefully evaluated the evidence of the 16 prosecution witnesses including their convicts who pinned them over the said murders.

The army court has also relied on the evidence from the investigating officers, crime scene and eye witnesses that proved that the convicts who are also former convicts of similar crimes did murder and rob the victims using two illegal SMG guns

Last week the four convicts chose to stay silent as their defense and left it to court to analyze the prosecution evidence adduced against them to prove whether they are guilty or not.

Despite being convicted today, the group still have pending charges before the same court.

Prosecution states that on the 10th of June 2019 at Zzana cell in Wakiso , private Bob Anichan , private Dennis Mangusho, Stanely Mulunda and Issa Ntale shot dead Harriet Nalwadda together with her employee Moureen Nakabubi before proceeding to murder Edward Walugembe another mobile money dealer of Nateete Church zone in July.

UPDF soldiers accused of murder ordered to defend themselves

By Sania Babirye
Four suspects including two Uganda Peaple’s Defence Force soldiers have been ordered to defend themselves for the murder of a mobile money dealer in Zaana in Wakiso district.

This is after the General Court Martial sitting in Makindye chaired by Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti ruled that a case to answer had been produced against them.

Some of the evidence the seven members team unanimously based on included that of 16 prosecution witnesses including spouses of the suspects who incriminated them and testimonies of various eye witnesses among others.

The army court ruled that they have carefully evaluated the said evidence and found it substantial in linking them to the said murder and the accused must prove their innocence.

These have now been ordered to start their defense on the 9th of this month but three of tge suspects have informed court that they have chosen to stay silent as their defense.

This means that the suspects will not give any testimony or present witnesses to prove their innocence but court will base on the evidence adduced by state to rule on whether they are guilty or not.

Only one suspect will take the stand to defend himself.

They are charged with murder and aggravated robbery of 6.8 million shillings that belonged to Nalwadda , 400, 000 shillings and a Samsung phone the property of Mwesigwa Kigongo which they allegedly robbed on 14th of May 2019 at Nateete .

The group was already found guilty of robbery and being in possession of two SMG riffles and according to state, they used the same gun to commit the said crimes after serving their sentences.

These were charged and remanded to luzira prison on the 22nd of July this year.

Prosecution states that on the 10th of June 2019 at Zzana cell in Wakiso , private Bob Anichan , private Dennis Mangusho, Stanely Mulunda and Issa Ntale shot dead Harriet Nalwadda together with her employee Moureen Nakabubi before proceeding to murder Edward Walugembe another mobile money dealer of Nateete Church zone in July.

Mobile Money agent killers charged, remanded

By Sania Babirye
Five people have been remanded to luzira prison in connection to robbing and killing mobile money agents .

The army court that resumed duties today after Lt.General Andrew Gutti being sworn in for his third term has charged the five for allegedly killing two female mobile money dealers after they robbed them of 6 million shillings.

The five including two civilians a bodaboda rider Ntale Isa also known as Ganja, a casual labourer Mulunda Stanley also known as Jumba and soldiers including Pte Mwangusho Dennis, Pte Anichan Bob formerly attached to Kabamba Barracks and Lance Corporal Mubaale Edward formerly attached to Land Forces Headquarters have been arraigned before the army court and denied the charges.

They have now been remanded until next month for further mention of their case as investigations continues.

Prosecution states that on the 10th of June 2019 at Zana Bunamwaya in Makindye Ssabagabo in Wakiso district, using two SMG guns robbed 6 million shillings from 33 year old Naluwadde Harriet whom they killed together with a one Nakabuubi Moureen 25 years old..

On that fateful day at around 10:45 pm, the victims were ambushed allegedly by the said assailants who were ridding on three unidentified bodabodas.

The victims are said to have been shot at while heading home as they left the shop.

Namungaza furious at MP who want mobile money taxes off

By Alice Lubwama

The state minister for Lands Persis Namuganza has asked Ugandans to embrace the advantages that will come with mobile money instead of regretting the decision by parliament to create this tax.

Speaking to the journalists at parliament, Namuganza said that since the time Government scrapped graduated tax many Ugandans resorted to begging instead of working a practice that has stagnated the country’s economy.

Namuganza now suggests that the graduated tax be reinstated if people do not want to pay taxes such as mobile money. She has also accused her colleagues in opposition in parliament for trying to make government run into the crisis when they tried to block the mobile tax when it’s one of the items which was planned to fund the national budget.

Out of the 288 MPs present in parliament yesterday, 164 voted in favor of the Excise Duty Amendment Bill No 2, which provides for the 0.5 percent tax instead of the initial 1 percent, while 124 rejected the tax.

Majority of the MPs who rejected this tax also voted against the lifting of the age limit of the president.

MPs vote to maintain mobile money tax

By Alice Lubwama
One hundred thirty six members of Parliament have voted in favor of the mobile money tax this afternoon. 237  managed to vote . There was misconduct by  MPS when Speaker of parliament announced commencement of voting. The first results were nullified leading to roll calling.
Discontent  members of these results like Honorable Paulsen Luttamaguzi says that the NRM legislators  were given a 15 million bribe to allow the bill to be passed.
The NRM caucus held a meeting on Monday and asked its members to shun the minority report vote which advocates for the scrapping of the mobile money tax. MPs such as Fred Baseke of Ntenjeru South, Pamela Kamugo, the Budaka Woman MP, Geoffrey Macho of Busia municipality and Walyomu insist they will not support their party position.

Parliament last Thursday  suspended the debate citing lack of quorum after majority of the MPs in the House supported the minority report signed by MPs Patrick Isiagi Kachumbala county , Moses Walyomu Kagoma county and Paulsen Luttamaguzi (Nakaseke South).

Government reduced the tax to   0.5% from  1% following a public outcry, mainly the mobile money dealers that the tax had affected their business , they also threatened to close shops if government does not amend the law.

Parliament slices mobile money tax to 0.5%

By Moses Kidandi
State minister for finance David Bahati has clarified that the 0.5 % TAX on mobile money will apply to only those that will be receiving money from senders.
Bahati was explaining some of the cabinet decisions following a public out cry protesting the 1 percent tax that  was initially passed on all mobile money transactions in the National Budget for the financial year 2018/2019.
ICT minister Frank Tumwebaze  has urged the public not to panic parliament is this afternoon also expected to pronounce its self on the same matter that has already been concluded by the cabinet.
The legislators are  also expected to deliberate on the two hundred shilling OTT Tax that has been levied on social media.
Last week opposition MPS  and activists led by  Hon Robert Kyagulanyi  of Kyadondo East  were involved in a stand off that with Police as they protested the social media tax.

URA, telecom companies dragged to court over 1% taxes on mobile money

By Sania Babirye
Uganda Revenue Authority and three Tele-communication companies have been dragged in the Kampala high court for allegedly illegally  collecting the 1% tax levied on Mobile money deposits .
According to the petitioners  John Robert Tukyakira and Anthony Odur, the tax that came into effect since the 1st of july 2018 is unlawful and URA alongside MTN, Airtel and Africell telecommunications companies are collecting the controversial tax illegally and erroneously thereby   infringing on  the citizen’s fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution.
They also claim the tele-communication companies cannot ably account for the illegally collected money from depositors on behalf of URA.
They are  now seeking court to compel the  respondents to refund all the collected monies from the public and and also   court to issue a permanent injunction stopping URA and the  tele-communication companies  from collecting the said  taxes from Mobile money depositors .

Mobile money fraudster rackets invade Gulu

Police in Gulu are investigating a new racket of mobile money fraudsters.  According to police, the fraudsters hack into the account of mobile money dealers and steal their float.

James Asubu, the Officer in charge of Crimes at Gulu Central Police Station, says on average he receives three cases of fraudulent transactions each day. Asubu says several mobile money operators have lost millions of Shillings in fraudulent transactions.

He says the fraudsters work in groups and move from place to place to defraud dealers. Asubu faults the dealers for rushing to send cash without receiving anything in return.

Fatuma Nalubega, a mobile phone dealer in Gulu main market is the latest victim of the fraud. According to Nalubega, she lost Shillings 1.5 million to the racket.

Nalubega says the fraudsters tricked her using the identity of her boss to transfer the money on their accounts.





Simbapay cross continental Mobile money service emerges in Uganda

Persons living in Europe now have another digital money transfer platform through which they can send money to mobile phones in Uganda.

The new service by SimbaPay, a London based money transfer provider, allows Ugandans living in the United Kingdom and other European Union countries to remit money to anyone in Uganda using an app.

Transfers made using SimbaPay are credited within seconds to recipients’ mobile money wallets and can be accessed from any Mobile Money agent instantly. The same service has been extended to Ghana.

“This is the perfect Christmas gift to Ghanaians and Ugandans living in Europe who have been asking when SimbaPay will expand coverage to their home countries” Nyasinga Onyancha, the Chief Executive Officer of SimbaPay said in a statement issued this morning.

He adds that by delivering money via existing mobile money wallet services, many recipients who could not access formal financial services can now do so. Uganda has over 20 million Mobile Money subscribers.SimbaPay also delivers mobile money transfers to Nigeria and Kenya.

The Company joins a market already occupied by WorldRemit, whose customers have since April 2016 been able to send international remittances instantly to MTN Mobile Money wallets in Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

Another App known as wave is used by Ugandans in United States of America to send  mobile money to subscribers in East Africa.

There are over 3 million Ugandans in the Diaspora whose remittances increased from USD 411 million (1.4 trillion Shillings) to $915 million (3.2 trillion Shillings) in 2014, according to the 2015/2016 budget speech by finance minister Matia Kasaija.

Most remittances to Uganda from the Eurozone come from the United Kingdom which, according to a 2012 report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), was a source of USD 176 million (630 billion Shillings) that is sent to Uganda.