Rwandese illegal entry case adjourned

By Sania Babirye
Hearing of the case against a Rwandan National charged with illegal entry and stay in Uganda has failed to kick off due to the absence of the trial magistrate.

Nakawa court grade one magistrate Fiona Sheila Angura is the presiding judge but she is apparently away on official duties.

Now the case has been adjourned to the 5th of this month.
On the 11th of March,grade one magistrate Fiona Shiela Angura granted a two million cash bail to Ishimye Moses Lutale after spending almost two month in Luzira prison.

Lutale was temporarily released after State Prosecutor Justine Feni informed court that he found his sureties substantial.

Daniel Walyemera who is the lawyer to the suspect says his client was arrested in December 2018 near CMI premises in Bugolobi where he claims that he had gone for fellow ship in the nearby house.

Walyemera revealed that his client was arrested by security operatives from the chieftaincy of Military Intelligence apparently loitering near one if its installations .

He was arrested after he failed to identify himself when security operatives asked him for his identification.

Walyemere claims that his client’s stay in Uganda is legal because he had stayed in Uganda for six months and citizens from East Africa member countries are allowed a six month stay having been arrested in December 2018 yet he entered Uganda on the 26th of October 2018.

Its alleged that the applicant entered Uganda on 26th October 2018 using Katuna border and by the time of his arrest he had stayed in the country for two months.

In May 2018, a court in Kabale convicted Eight Rwandans on charges of entering and staying in Uganda illegally and sentenced them to 13 months in prison or pay a fine of 300, 000 shillings each.

These pleaded guilty before Kabale magistrate court to have entered Uganda on the 28th of April illegally through the Katuna border with out valid travel document.

They were charged with contravening the Uganda Citizenship and immigrant control laws.

The sentence came after two senior Ugandan police officers including the Isingiro District Police Commander Richard Erimu Okiror and CID officer Charles Ndamanyire were arrested in March for setting free13 Rwandan Nationals who had illegally entered Uganda through Kisoro district .

In 2017, the Rwandan Government protested the alleged arrests of its citizens like Hisele Gatsinzi,Rene Rutangugira and James Bayingana but the Ugandan government through its spokes person Ofwono Opondo denied the allegations saying no Rwandan is being arrested and illegally detained by Ugandans.

Opondo clarified that any Rwandan who has been arrested has issues with the law and have since been produced in court to prove their innocence.

However , when both president Museveni and Kagame held talks in Uganda in March 2017, they blamed the tension between the two countries on lack of information sharing and cooperation within their intelligence chiefs.

President Museveni while addressing the media claimed that there was no fundamental conflict between the two countries nor border problems and that the allegations of Rwandans being harassed in Uganda was due to lack of corporation between Uganda and Rwanda.

These then promised to share information equally on citizens related matters and strengthen cooperation to eliminate the alleged tension and President Museveni argued officials from both countries to always work together to solve such problems.

However, this talk did not yield more positive returns and the tensions escalated forcing Rwanda to close its border in February this year.

The border closure has since been attributed to the political tension between the two countries with President Kagame claiming that the tension has escalated because both countries have failed to solve their differences.

Kigili claimed that the famous Katuna border had been closed to allegedly allow for the finishing of the one stop border since its completion had been delayed for two years but surprisingly, advised its citizens to not travel to Uganda for their own safety as stated by Rwandan Foreign Minister Richard Sezibera.

Legislators in Somalia vote president at an airport amidst tension

Somalia’s MPs are electing the country’s president in a heavily guarded aircraft hangar in Mogadishu, as the rest of the country is not safe.
Traffic has been banned, schools have been shut and a no-fly zone imposed over the capital to prevent attacks.

Despite this, suspected militant Islamists fired mortar rounds close to the venue on Tuesday night.
Somalia, marred by religious and clan conflict, has not had a one-person one-vote democratic election since 1969.
That vote was followed by a coup, dictatorship and conflict involving clan militias and Islamist extremists.

Somalia’s rocky road to democracy
The elections are part of a lengthy and complex process to help the East African state rebuild its democracy and achieve stability.
More than 20,000 African Union (AU) troops are stationed in Somalia to prevent militant Islamist group al-Shabab from overthrowing the weak government.
How safe is the airport?
The election hall, a converted aircraft hangar packed with MPs, is at the Mogadishu international airport complex.

It is viewed as the most secure site in Somalia, as the main AU base is there.
The vote was moved to the airport complex from a police academy because of growing fears that al-Shabab could strike.
The 2012 presidential vote was held at the academy, and the 2007 and 2004 vote in neighbouring Kenya and Djibouti respectively.
Who is running?
About 20 men ran for the presidency, but the number has been reduced to four after the first round of voting. The second round is under way, and the top two will battle it out in a third and final vote.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is standing for re-election and he has gone through to the second round.
At least 16 of the original candidates have dual citizenship – nine of them hold US passports, four UK passports and three Canadian passports, according to a leading Somali private radio station.

It means that if US President Donald Trump’s ban on Somali citizens entering the US comes into force again, some of them could be affected.
Many Somalis obtained dual nationality after fleeing the decades-long conflict. The US, UK, Kenya and South Africa are among countries where many Somalis have settled.