Child rights activists unite to end violence against children

By Edwin Muhumuza

Six of Uganda’s leading child rights organizations on Tuesday launched a joint operation dubbed “Joining Forces” aimed at fast tracking progress on ending violence against children.

Child Fund, Plan International, Save the Children, SOS Childrens’ villages, Terre des Hommes and World Vision have come together to collaborate on initiatives to create child-led solutions through empowering children to understand how to tackle challenges within their communities .

Brechtje Van Lith ,Country Director, Save The Children said, ‘We really want to make sure that children s’ voices are being heard. The national child participation strategy is so important in that respect. It really acknowledges that children should be involved in the mechanisms of both designing and implementing policies.’

The national survey released this year by the ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development with support from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) revealed shocking statistics, indicating that most children have experienced physical violence and more than 90% experienced multiple incidents. Also that violence is wide spread in schools.

As the national survey was released, we once more see how critical issues are of ending violence. We felt that this was a good moment to give it an extra push, to give it more attention and be more  on top of these stake holders to play their part’. Brechtje added.

Olive Lumonya, National Director of the SOS Children Villages notes that these kinds of huge numbers mean a call to action. This would entail working with all existing local government systems and structures to create awareness and more impact.

Linnet Awor, Program Manager, Terres de Hommes said ‘we are one of the six international organizations promoting child protection in Uganda. We are doing this even globally at international level. We decided to join forces at national level.’

This rare event seemingly goes to tell the extent of violence against children and the urgency that it requires.

We are in-putting into the national legal processes whereby we are contributing towards the development of the human sacrifice bill,the childrens act…right now we are doing a countrywide assessment on children rights and we will be working with government especially in regard to the upcoming reporting that countries do on child rights,’Awor reveals.

In 2017,the CEO’s of the worlds six leading child-focused NGOs met and decided to accelerate progress on achieving sustainable Development Goals for children. Focusing on tow key projects;(i)-ending violence against children-a national-level effort in five pilot countries, including Uganda to increase the programme impact and contribute to SDG 16. In Uganda they focused on ending violence against children in schools.(ii)-Child Rights Now!;a national and international advocacy push in up to 20 countries to renew political commitment to children’s rights through implementation of the SDG’s and support for the UN Convention on the rights of the child.

The Joining Forces coalition is piloting an initiative called Plan Z, which creates child-led solutions to help end violence against children. Through this process children in the Plan Z pilot identified the issue of child kidnap for ritual purposes, ransom and murder as one of the worst abuses against children.

Majority inmates in prison because of sexual and gender violence -Byamukama

By Robert Segawa

The president of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Mr Nathan Byamukama has said 60 percent of the number of inmates in Prisons around the country are detained on  charges of sexual and gender based violence.

Mr Byamukama said the increasing number of inmates on gender based related cases stems from low conviction by the Judiciary in Uganda. He adds that because of the poor laws in place you find lack of evidence in such cases leads to case backlogs in the courts of law making victims and witnesses loosing interest in the cases leading to prisoners in sexual and gender based cases spending more time in the prisons awaiting hearing.

Byamukama made the remarks during a one day training regional training facility on prevention and suppression of sexual and gender based violence in the great lakes region held in Munyonyo.

Bobi Wine charged with inciting violence

By Robert Segawa

Kyadondo East Member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi wine has appeared before Officer in charge of CID central police station amidst  praise chants from his supporters.
Robert Kyagulanyi arrived at Central Police Station at 1 pm accompanied by leader of opposition Winnie Kizza, Hon Namayanja Florence, Hon Zake together with other members of parliament.

Hon Kyagulanyi was summoned to appear before OC CID Joshua Tusingwire through speaker of parliament to appear today on charges of illegal assembly and inciting violence.

Last week Kyagulanyi and other activists stormed Kampala street’s protesting against taxes on social media and mobile money.

2 Karamojong victims earn big from human rights compensation

The Uganda Human Rights Commission Tribunal sitting in Karamoja has awarded Shillings 85 million to two people for the loss of their families at the hands of a Uganda People’s Defense Forces soldier.

Mzee Peter Lomuge was awarded Shillings 55 million as compensation for the loss of his wife, Anna Korobe and daughter, Rose Loyoro while Edmond Ayopo Lokol was also awarded Shillings 30 million for the loss of his 17-year-old daughter, Teresa Aule.

Human Rights Commissioner, Meddie Mulumba announced the awards during their monthly tribunal sessions in Moroto on Monday. According to information by URN, the trio was shot on September 9th, 2010 in Nakapiripirit district by a UPDF soldier only identified as Kaikura in their house. Kaikura is said to have opened fire on the victim over a love affair gone bad.

During the hearing, Lomuge told the tribunal that on the fateful day, Kaikura confronted his daughter for allegedly refusing to honor their ‘deal’ after drinking his beer.

He says that whereas the matter was resolved, Kaikura the soldier returned at midnight and opened fire indiscriminately killing three people and injuring others. The two welcomed the tribunal ruling, saying at last justice has been done.

“This cannot bring back my wife and daughter to life but it will help me since am now incapacitated as you see,” Lomuge said as he tried to wink his sight less eyes.

The tribunal also dismissed a case of torture reported by a UPDF soldier in 2010. According to Paul Otim, the in Karamoja UHRC Regional Officer, the case was dismissed when court found out that the complainant; Dominic Mwesigwa had passed on in the Central African Republic.

Otim says the tribunal deferred one case pending judgment and adjourned seven others for hearing in the next session. Meddie Mulumba, the presiding Commissioner urged the local communities to value their rights by reporting perpetuators of human rights violation to authorities.




Empire star Terrence Howard shares about his dark past and how he has moved past it

Terrence Howard knows he isn’t perfect.

“I’ve made terrible mistakes throughout my life,” the Empire star, 48, says in the current issue of PEOPLE. “I was dragging baggage with me that was crippling me mentally and physically. But I finally feel I can put that to rest. I can breathe again.”

From childhood, Howard had been exposed to the violent side of human nature. At the age of 2, he saw his father, Tyrone, fatally stab a man while their families waited in line to see Santa Claus at a mall in Cleveland.

Tyrone, a carpenter, served 11 months in prison. Howard’s mother, Anita, filed for divorce after his release, but he remained a force in their lives.

“My dad whooped me every day until I was 14,” says the actor, who grew up poor with three brothers. “Then he said, ‘The street will whoop you from now on.’ ”

He was right. A sensitive child with “a big mouth,” living in the projects, “the kids would do horrible things to animals in the neighborhood,” Howard recalls. “I’d try and save them and take the beating instead.”

But in his adult life, Howard became the one that was physically violent.

In 2001 he admitted to hitting his first wife, Lori, and in 2013 his second wife Michelle Ghent was granted a restraining order against him on the grounds that he hit and kicked her during a family vacation and threatened to kill her. (Howard has claimed self-defense in regards to the Ghent altercation and in a 2015 divorce hearing his lawyer argued that he signed their spousal support agreement “under duress.” The judge called Howard a “bully” but ruled in the actor’s favor. The decision is currently under appeal.)

But, instigated by the death of his mother in 2008, Howard has spent the last few years on a path of self-reflection.

“I was raised believing the man is in charge, but I’ve realized marriage should be an equal partnership,” says the actor.

By the time he met his third wife, Mira, in 2013, Howard — who was once a Muslim and contemplated becoming a Jehovah’s Witness like his first wife and their three children — had given up organized religion and found “truth” in nature and science.

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“Two weeks after meeting Mira, I gathered up things associated with my past and found a nice hill and buried them all there,” he says.

A week later, he proposed. “Mira settled me,” Howard says of his wife, 39, a former model and restaurateur.

“Our marriage is effortless,” she adds. “Relationships are hard work, but we really don’t fight.”

Stress is still a factor in Howard’s life, but he’s found a unique way of managing it.

“I’ll just watch a tree’s limbs sway back and forth or take my shoes off and put my hands on a tree,” he says. “It makes me feel part of the whole.”

By keeping his stress in check, his Southern California home with Mira — which is now complete with their sons Qirin, 22 months, and Hero, 7 months — is a peaceful one.
“He refuses to kill a fly,” Mira says of Howard. “And we’re trying to teach our kids not to pick flowers.”

“I know in those two weeks or month of a fly’s life, that’s 80 years for them. And we smash them so quickly. I hope if someone saw me trapped, some bigger creature would help me,” explains Howard.

And Howard admits he’s not above needing help. “I still have growing to do,” Howard says. “I just hope the mistakes I make now are smarter mistakes.”

Empire returns to Fox Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.



Assaulted WBS journalist refuses out of court settlement

By Sania Babirye
WBS journalist Andrew Lwanga who was assaulted by the former Old Kampala DPC Joram Mwesigye has rejected any out of court settlement unless Mwesigye tells the truth.
This is after Buganda Road Court Grade one magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu requested both parties to engage in reconciliation talks if there is a possibility to settle the matter.  Mwesige who began his defense today denied assaulting Lwanga during a police operation last year.  The case has been adjourned to the 5th of January 2017.

Katakwi residents worry about increased gender based violence

By Daudi Zirimala
The local community in Katakwi district is worried about the increasing number of Gender based violence victims. This is blamed on the laxity in the law enforcement where victims of Gender based violence GBV are denied justice despite the presence of legal means.
Action Aid programs director in Katakwi Benjamin Tukei, says they are putting in place community structures to address increasing cases of GBV through sensitizing the population to de-campaign violence.

Kigezi college students strike over poor meals

There is heavy anti-riot police deployment at Kigezi College Butobere in Central Division in Kabale Municipality to avert another student’s strike and interclass clashes. Trouble started on Monday evening when senior two, three, five and six students rejected supper, saying it was of poor quality.

The students also declined to go for preps. Collins Tushabe, a senior two student, says they are tired of eating poor quality posho. According to Tushabe, their pleas to the school administration to change the quality of meals served to students hasn’t yielded results.

During the ensuing chaos, senior three students also ganged up against their senior four colleagues accusing them of indiscipline. Paul Muhwezi, a senior three student, says they used the chance to mobilise and revenge against the senior four candidates for mistreating them throughout the year.

Joab Mwebesa, a senior six candidate told URN this morning that he saw senior four candidates collecting stones, which they later hurled at their school mates leading to clashes.

It took the intervention of anti-riot police to disperse the two parties. Joseph Twiine Muganga, the Head Teacher Kigezi College Butobere, says they were forced to alert police when the situation spiraled out of control.

He says they don’t have any alternative for meals apart from serving the available posho.

Ely Maate, the Kigezi Region Police Spokesperson, says police will maintain presence at the school until the situation normalizes.

By the time of filling this story several students were seen loitering around the school compound amidst heavy police deployment as their senior four colleagues were writing their Computer exams.

Journalist nurses injuries after suspected Kayihura supporters hit him

By Moses Kidandi
A journalist with  Bukedde newspaper is still nursing injuries after being beaten  by  boda boda  cyclists  claiming to  be supporters of the Inspector General of Police  Gen. Kale Kayihura. Joseph Mutebi was hit on the head, chest, back, stomach as he took pictures of Kaihuras supporters smashing lawyer Abdallah Kiwanuka’s car.
Kiwanuka is representing three complainants in a torture case instituted by private prosecution against the IGP.  Gen. Kayihura and seven senior police officers were expected to appear before the Chief Magistrate, Richard Mafabi, of Makindye Magistrates Court to answer charges of torture against supporters of former presidential candidate Rtd. Col.  Kizza Besigye. They did not turn up.

Man in Kabale cuts off wife’s ears over infidelity

Police in Kabale have arrested a man for reportedly chopping off his wife’s ears for alleged infidelity.
The suspect is Gerald Twinomujuni (40) a boda boda motorist and resident of Upper Bugongi cell in Kabale Municipality.

Twinomujuni went into hiding on the night July 23rd after assaulting his wife, Dianna Ninsiima (22) , and inflicting bodily harm. The incident occurred shortly after Twinomujuni allegedly found Ninsiima with another man in their rented room.
The couple had lived together for only four years and had only one female child.

Twinomujuni reportedly tracked the duo after receiving information that Ninsiima brings a man in their room whenever he’s away as he goes about with his daily work.

Ninsiima, who is still admitted at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital, says the suspect cut off her ears, saying they were useless. She could neither confirm nor deny claims that Twinomujuni caught her red-handed with another man.

On Monday evening, the suspect was arrested from his hideout in Katuna town council on the Uganda – Rwanda border. He has reportedly been sneaking into Rwanda and then returning to Katuna during the evening hours.

Elly Maate, the police spokesperson for Kigezi Region, says the police got a tip-off from locals after they became suspicious of Twinomujuni’s behaviour. He was arrested in the evening and briefly detained at Katuna police station before being transferred to Kabale Police station.

Maate says that the suspect faces charges of attempted murder and adds that a case of this nature had never been recorded in the Kigezi region.

At Kabale referral hospital, Christine Akurut the principal nursing officer, revealed that the victim was out danger. She however revealed that her ears could not be stitched back.

The victim said that the arrest of her husband will not bring back her ears.

Ronald Hakizimana, a neighbour to the family says the suspect was fond of beating up his wife over alleged infidelity.