Battered journalists drag Lt.Col.Namanya to court

By Sania Babirye

Four journalists have dragged the Uganda Defense Forces soldier Lt.Col.Namanya Napoleon to the high court demanding compensation.

They are accusing the soldier of allegedly commanding the attack on them by Military police on the 17th of February 2021 at the United Nations Offices in Kololo while covering National Unity Platform Party President Robert Kyagulanyi take his petition on Human Rights Violation and Freedoms.

These victims including John Cliff Wamala, Josephine Namakumbi,Twesigye Geoffrey and Nabakooza Shamim are also suing government through the attorney for the alleged torture.

Through their lawyers of Mugisha and Company Advocates, the journalists want court to give them justice which they say, will set a precedent on how security agencies should treat journalists and also declare that beating journalists is a violation of their rights.

They further want court to declare that Media personnel should be free to practice their trade without any intimidation or battering from security agencies because beating journalists causes them both physical and psychological torture.

The applicants also want court to declare that the Security personnel’s conduct was derogatory to the fundamental rights of journalists which they are meant to uphold and respect and also award them costs to the suit.

Court is yet to summon the respondents.

NUP sues Government, Uganda Police, UPDF and Uganda Prisons

By Sania Babirye
The 49 National Unity platform party members who were charged remanded to both Kitalya and Kigo government prisons by the general court martial on charges of illegal possession of four fire arm magazines have petitioned the high court seeking for their immediate release.

Through their lawyer Katana Benjamin of Lukwago and company advocates, the applicants have sued the attorney general, the chief of the Ugandan Defense forces,commissioner general Uganda prisons and the Inspector general of police for continuous violation of their rights .
These are accusing the security agencies of among other things holding them beyond the mandatory 48 hours without being charged and in un-gazatted detention centers including Kasijjagirwa and Makindye military barracks, defying a Masaka order to grant them bail,and denying them medical attention of their choices despite having visible signs of torture.

They also claim that their trial at both Masaka chief magistrate court and the the general court martial and denial to access their lawyers, next of kin and medical doctors of their choices also violates their rights guaranteed in constitution of Uganda.

These now want court to order for their immediate release and also declare that their trial both at Masaka and Makindye army court is illegal and was in violation of their constitutional rights including to a fair hearing before the army court since they were also denied access to their lawyers while being charged and remanded.

They also want court to declare that the actions of the head of Uganda prisons to defy the orders of the Masaka chief magistrate to release them after giving them bail and instead hand them to the UPDF leading to their further illegal detention at Makindye military barracks was a violation of their rights and freedoms.

The NUP members want court to declare that the procedure leading to the detention was irregular, unlawful and marred by gross human rights violation specifically the right to a fair hearing and freedom from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and also issue a permanent injunction restraining the respondents from further trial and prosecution on the alleged illegal charges.

They have also asked the court to order to stop the said security agencies from having their officers from removing their name tags from their uniforms and car number plates for easy identification of the violators of Human rights and the DPP to commence investigations into the said officers.

Italina company donates respirators to UPDF to fight COVID-19

By Sania Babirye

Treatment of COVID-19 patients has been boosted after an Italian company donated respirators to the UPDF to fight the pandemic.

The Chief of Defence Forces General David Muhoozi received two portable respirators for the treatment of COVID-19 at Bombo Military Hospital and State House Military Hospital.

The machines were donated by Leonardo Company through the Italian Embassy in Uganda.

The Italian Ambassador Massimiliano Mazzarati lauded the selfless service the UPDF soldiers have offered within Uganda and the peacekeeping efforts within the region.

He cited the AMISOM peacekeeping mission in Somalia where the UPDF has been pivotal in restoring peace in the once ravaged country in the horn of Africa. Somalia has been at war with militants including the notorious Al-shabaab.

“We thought of something more concrete to cement our friendship with the UPDF and the best way to express this appreciation is in terms of donating these two respirators especially during these times of COVID-19” said Ambassador Mazzarati.

In his remarks the CDF thanked the Italian ambassador Mazzarati for having chosen to support UPDF in the fight against COVID-19, with the respirators that are one of a kind in Uganda.

He expressed appreciation to Leonardo Company for maintaining their longstanding relationship with UPDF.

The ceremony was held at the ministry of Defence headquarters in Mbuya, a suburb of Kampala and was attended by Senior military commanders of the UPDF Marines, the Air Force , a delegation from the Italian embassy and Leonardo company.

Police, military raid NUP base in Kamwokya

By Robert Segawa

Joint security forces have today rounded up over 30 people in city operations aimed to arrest tailors sewing military pips on political party colored materials.

The operations were manned by joint security Forces led by UPDF, Police, local defense and crime intelligence.

According to police spokesman Fred Enanga the operations were carried out in areas of Kamwokya, Mulago, Kawempe and Kiyembe where many suspects who were tailors were arrested and taken to CPS

The materials impounded include, caps, T-shirts, overalls mainly in red and yellow Berets with military Pips.

Enanga also reveals that the operations were aimed at stopping people who put on military wear like berets and pips on their political uniforms , and warned against the vice saying if these people can put on military uniform parts then they are left with holding guns .

In a related incident, deputy police spokesman Kampala metropolitan ASP Luke Owoyesigyire warned all those who are planning to engage in Members of Parliament nominations slated for tomorrow and Friday in Ntinda Nakawa division area to follow traffic guidelines that will be issued to them .

Owoyesigyire further urged the interested people not to engage in any processions as they go against the ministry of health guidelines.

UPDF denies social media reports about peace talks with LRA

By Robert Segawa

The Uganda People’s Defense Forces has revealed that it is not yet time to talk about the request for peace talks by the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) with the government of Uganda.

There were social media reports the previous week indicating that the leadership of the Lord Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony had requested for the peace talks with the government

While addressing the media at Uganda Media Center Lt Col Deo Akiiki the Deputy UPDF spokesperson noted that he can neither confirm nor deny the request for peace talks by Lord Resistance Army because they have not yet received confirmation from the government.

In a related Development Lt Col Deo Akiki revealed that the UPDF will maintain it’s deployment on the Western Boarder of Congo due to the ongoing military attacks by the Congo Militia in Eastern Congo.

Security heads called to train their officers in human rights observance

By Alice Lubwama

The African center for treatment and rehabilitation of torture victim has called upon heads of security agents mainly Uganda Police and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces to ensure that their officers are trained in human rights observance as a way of reducing the cases of violence leading to torture, as the country approaches the next election.

Addressing the media in Kampala today the program officer center for treatment and rehabilitation of torture victims Kagoye Alex, said that the cases of torture victims tend to rise during the election period as was evidenced in the recently concluded NRM primaries calling for protection of Ugandans to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

The center also urged the security agents to further investigate the errant officers and ensure that they are prosecuted individually as perpetrators of torture.

Kagoye said that although the prevention and prohibition of the torture act was enacted eight years ago, they are yet to see individuals prosecuted especially security officers who are the main perpetrators of torture.

“But we are glad that there cases of individual cases of security officers in court like in the case of honorable Zaake where individuals will be held accountable,” Kagoye said.

The organization also wants the electoral commission to invest in civic empowerment about the roles and responsibilities during after the election period to reduce to reduce on the possible cases of violence leading to torture.

They further urge Government to respect the decision of the constitution court on the public order management act and facilitate freedom of peaceful assembly in addition to complying with its state obligations under the African charter and other regional and international human rights instruments.

The chief executive officer African center for treatment and rehabilitation of torture victims Samuel Herbert Nsubuga appealed to the president to appoint the chairperson of the human rights commission, saying that since the demise of the late chairperson Maddie Kagwa the tribunals cannot sit to handle the cases of torture.

UPDF warns public to desist from violence in this political season

By Moses Kidandi

The spokesperson of the UPDF Brig. Flavia Byekwaso is urging Ugandans to desist from being pulled into involved in acts of violence during elections.

Addressing journalists in Kampala today, Brig. Byekwaso sighted the massive violence which marred the NRM primaries in different parts of the country adding that such acts sometimes can degenerate into a deadly situation.

She further asks politicians not to force their ideologies on electorates who seem to have divergent views as this is the only way the country will have peaceful elections.Truck Violence.Eng&Lug.

In another development, she confirmed that Mr.Moses Nkonge Kibalama has been arrested for safety since his life was under threat from unknown people.

Moses Nkonge Kibalama became famous after he pronounced allowing Hon. Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi to become NUP’s presidential flag bearer in the coming elections which party he has fully owned for long.

The LDUs are back but only for night duty

By Sania Babirye

The army has reinstated all local defense units who have completed their refresher training to resume operations only at night in support of the Uganda police to curtail criminal activities.

In a statement released by the newly appointed UPDF spokesperson brigadier general Flavia Byekwaso, the reinstatement follows an outcry by local leaders and the general public about the increased criminality especially in the night due to the withdraw if LDUs.

The statement says that these petitioned security leaders to have the LDUs back to curtail criminals.

The statement further says, the LDUs will Participate in intelligence led limited operations as requested by police. They will however not participate in any daytime enforcement of COVID-19 directives as listed by ministry of health and president Museveni.

General Byekwaso has called upon the public to cooperate with the forces to ensure security for all Ugandans.

Maj. Gen. Kyanda cautions LDUs against indiscipline

By Sania Babirye

The Chief of Staff Land Forces (COS- LF) of the Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF), Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda has
urged Local Defense Force to improve the way they work so as improve their public image.

Maj Gen. Kyanda made the call during the ongoing refresher training at Kakiri Barracks by LDFs.

He also described cases of indiscipline by some LDUs as very grave act against the good image of the UPDF.

“In the UPDF, we have no space for any form of indiscipline; there is no amount of indiscipline that is small to us. A mere abusive language or annoying gesture to the civilians is too grave an act to do. You must work towards correcting these mistakes as you conduct your operations,” said Maj Gen Kyanda.

He further told the LDFs that they are part of the UPDF and members of the larger national security structure of Uganda and must measure to the expected disciplinary standards.

This course is intended to inculcate and uphold in you the time-tested UPDF ideology of a Pro-People Force,” he told the trainees.

He added that after the course, the LDFs will be able to execute their duties more effectively.

UPDF soldier sent to jail over murder

By Sania Babirye

A serving Uganda People’s Defense Force soldier attached to Air force Nakasongola District has been charged of murdering a senior army officer by the General Court Martial sitting at Makindye.

Corporal Max Omutoojo has appeared before seven members court chaired by Lt Gen Andrew Gutti and pleaded not guilty to the said offense.

He has been remanded at Makindye Military barracks until the 25th of August for further mention of his case after state prosecutor captain Ambrose Baguma informed court that investigations into the matter are still ongoing.

Prosecution states that corporal Omutoojo on the 8th of May 2020 while at Nakasongola barracks with malice aforethought unlawfully caused the death of Major Sulaiman Wafula after he allegedly refused him to go to the village to do his personal work.