The High court has acquitted Sarah Nabikolo, the widow to slain Kampala businessman Eriya Ssebunya Bugembe, also known as Kasiwukira.
The same court however, convicted her cousin Sandra Nakkungu and a police officer Jaden Ashraf. Presiding judge, Wilson Masalu Musene ruled that Nakungu and Jaden had a common intention to kill Kasiwukira.
The judge said that Kasiwukira, a member of Kwagalana group, died a malicious death, disguised as an accident. He however noted that Nabikolo was not involved in the plot to kill her husband.
Kasiwukira died on October 17, 2014 after he was knocked by a speeding car while jogging near his home in Muyenga, a suburb of Kampala.
Eye witnesses said that the killer car had parked alongside the road and was ignited upon seeing Kasiwukira in a distance. It was driven towards his direction at a slow speed and accelerated upon approaching him and ran over him.
The number plate of the car was not identified. Evidence presented to court indicated that the car was driven by Jaden. A post-mortem report established that the cause of Kasiwukira's death was due to multiple crash injuries.
Police dismissed preliminary claims that Kasiwukira's killing was accidental. The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura ordered thorough investigations whose findings pointed to a possible murder which had implicated the widow Nabikolo and other family members and business partners.
But Nabikolo told court that although they had marital problems, she had tried to resolve them through other avenues and that eliminating the husband was not one of the options at her disposal.
Senior state attorney Deborah Itwau has told Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s court that prosecution needs more time to conclude investigations into treason charges slapped against Dr Kizza Besigye.
As such, Chief Magistrate Lillian Bucyana granted the state up to November 16 to finalise the investigations - much to Besigye’s displeasure. Itwau today, Wednesday said the investigations are in advanced stages but the state still needed more time to finalise so Besigye can be committed to the High court for the commencement of the trial.
It was yet another extension for the mention of the case which has been in the court system for close to six months.
Prosecution alleges that Besigye, a runner-up in the February 18 presidential election, and others still at large, between February 20 and May 11, planned to forcefully ascend to the Office of the President when he declared himself the elected president of Uganda via a video uploaded on social media platform, Youtube.
He is also accused of inciting residents to defy lawful orders to attend his illegal swearing in ceremony in a non-specified place.
The cited video clip went viral on the eve of the official swearing in ceremony of the president-elect, Yoweri Museveni. In the video, Besigye was allegedly seen taking the presidential oath at unknown location. The state says that Besigye's acts tantamount to treason.
The four-time presidential candidate was arrested and arraigned before Moroto Chief Magistrate Charles Yeteise and charged with treason on May 13. A week later, he was relocated to Luzira government maximum prison and the file transferred to Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s court.
Up to this day, Besigye insists that President Museveni cheated him of victory in collusion with the Electoral Commission much as the Supreme court also declared Museveni as validly elected in the controversial elections.
The Electoral Commission declared Museveni winner on February 20. According to the electoral body, Museveni garnered 60.6 percent of the total votes cast.
Besigye was declared runner up with 35.6 percent. He has demanded for an external audit of the results, insisting that he has enough evidence to prove that he is the “elected president of the people”.
A quiet investigation sanctioned by President Museveni into how effectively or ineffectively some 60 government agencies deliver services, has recommended disciplinary action against some agency heads.
The investigation found many cases of poor service delivery and widespread corruption, The Observer has been told. The recommendation was made by investigators, who are largely youths allied to the Uganda Poor Youth Movement (UPYM).
These youths were asked by the president on February 21 at Rwakitura, the president’s country home, “to assess the level of service delivery” in government ministries and agencies.
Isa Kato, the leader of UPYM, told The Observer on Monday that when they met the president, he told them about the persistent complaints he gets about poor services and corruption in government agencies.
The president asked the youths to join the fight against these vices and pledged to give them all the necessary assistance. Kato added that later, the president gave them some financial facilitation (he refused to disclose the sum) and connected the group with other institutions of the state, including intelligence organisations.
“It is the president who directed us to do this work and he gave us funding,” Kato said, adding that the president also directed them to work closely with Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda.President Museveni
On July 11, Kato met Rugunda and briefed him on the progress they had made. Kato said the objective of their investigation was fourfold: to identify government agencies that have failed to deliver services to the people; identify government agencies that have failed to incorporate Vision 2040 in their work plan; find bodies that are corrupt, and to establish which agencies are frustrating the implementation of NRM’s 2016 manifesto.
After seven months of investigation, they came up with a report, which they forwarded to the president on Monday. Some of the prominent organisations on which the youths reported are: Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Ministry of Health, National Agricultural Advisory Services (Naads), Dairy Development Authority (DDA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) (see full list below).
In a letter dated October 10, which accompanied the report, Kato told the president that they had encountered accounting officers who were uncooperative.
“We are deeply concerned at the high level of arrogance in these agencies by the bureaucrats. They are always engaged in [office] politics and propaganda,” Kato wrote.
Kato added that some agencies had continually been receiving money for some activities but could not show what work they had done to justify further funding.
At UIA for instance, Kato and his group discovered that officials had done little to disseminate investment-related information to potential investors. It is not clear how seriously the president intends to take the youths’ report given that they are not known to have investigative skills to carry out such a complex task.
Besides, the public sector already has several layers of oversight, including the boards of directors of respective bodies, the auditor general, inspectorate of government, and intelligence agencies. There is also a minister in charge of economic monitoring.
Nevertheless, President Museveni has been known to work outside established structures whenever it suits him. Asked if he believes the president will act on their findings, Kato said: “For us we have played our part. We have delivered on the president’s assignment.”
Heads of public organizations The Observer spoke to defended their performance. Richard Byarugaba, the managing director of NSSF, said the pension body’s services had improved fundamentally.
“Talk to anybody and they will tell you that our services are excellent. This is not the old NSSF,” he said yesterday.
Dan Kimosho, the National Medical Stores (NMS) publicist, also told us yesterday that their services had improved tremendously. He cited a recent award they had received from Unicef in recognition of their effective distribution of vaccines.
UYPM comprises mainly of youths who previously belonged to the NRM Poor Youths, an organisation that initially supported the presidential bid of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. The youths later defected to NRM’s candidate Museveni in the run-up to the 2016 elections.
Ministries and agencies that were investigated
1. Uganda Investment Authority (UIA)
2. Health Services Commission
3. Ministry of Health
4. National Medical Stores (NMS)
5. Dairy Development Authority (DDA)
6. Uganda Road Fund (URF)
7. Uganda Embassy, Washington
8. National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS)
9. Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC)
10. Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL)
11. Uganda Aids Commission (UAC)
12. Uganda Cancer Institute
13. Cotton Development Organisation
14. AGOA Country Response Office
15. Uganda Development Bank
16. Department of Relief and Disaster Preparedness
17. Uganda Export Promotion Board
18. Uganda Local Government Finance Commission
19. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
20. Uganda Industrial Research Institute
21. Capital Markets Authority (CMA)
22. Uganda Broadcasting Services (UBC)
23. Uganda Securities Exchange (USE)
24. Uganda Commodities Exchange
25. National Agricultural Research Organisation
26. Amnesty Commission
27. Population Secretariat
28. Presidential Initiative on Banana Industrial Development (PIBID)
30. Inspector General of Government (IGG)
31. Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development
32. National Forestry Authority (NFA)
33. National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)
34. Virus Research Institute (VRI)
35. Uganda Law Reform Commission (ULRC)
36. Uganda Fisheries Training Institute (UFTI)
37. National Insurance Corporation (NIC)
38. Uganda Railways Corporation (URC)
39. National Social Security Fund (NSSF)
40. Directorate of Fire (Uganda Police Force)
41. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS)
42. Ministry of Works and Transport
43. National Council for Science and Technology (NCST)
44. National Housing and Construction Company (NHCC)
45. Mulago Hospital
46. Rural Electrification Agency (REA)
47. National Council of Sports (NCS)
48. Uganda Meteorological Centre
49. Uganda Printing and Publishing Company
50. Equal Opportunities Commission
51. Uganda Human Rights Commission
52. Education Service Commission
53. Ministry of Public Service
54. National Drug Authority (NDA)
55. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
56. National Council for Higher Education (NCHE)
57. Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities
58. Uganda Tea Development Agency (UTDA)
59. Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA)
60. Uganda Permanent Mission to the UN
High court judge Wilson Masalu will deliver his judgement today, eight months after hearing arguments for and against three people accused of murdering businessman Eria Ssebunya Bugembe aka Kasiwukira in 2014.
The accused include Kasiwukira's widow Sarah Nabikolo, her cousin Sandra Nakungu and policeman Jaden Ashraf. DERRICK KIYONGA looks back at the sticking arguments that will make or break the case.
The only thing in this protracted trial that both prosecution and defence agreed on was the fact that on October 17, 2014, Kasiwukira was knocked fatally by a speeding car as he jogged near his residence in Muyenga Diplomate zone.
Prosecution, which presented a total of 23 witnesses, was led by Senior Principal State Attorney Alice Muhangi Kawuka and Principal State Attorney Samali Wakhooli. Lawyers for the accused were MacDosman Kabega, Nsubuga Mubiru and Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi.
In summary, prosecution argued that the plot to kill Kasiwukira was executed by Nakungu and Jaden with Nabikolo being the ‘principal funder’ of the operation. On their part, the defence lawyers argued that all 23 of the prosecution witnesses were ‘conmen’ who failed to pass the credibility test.
Kawuka’s insistence on Nabikolo being the mastermind of the murder was premised on the fact that Kasiwukira got a mistress. Kawuka explained that this angered Nabikolo to the point of calling her brother-in-law John Bugembe Ggayi to intervene.
“Despite Ggayi’s intervention, the problem never went away; as a matter of fact, she [mistress] got pregnant again and this further angered accused [Nabikolo], this moved her to kill the deceased,” Kawuka submitted.Sandra Nakungu (L) with Sarah Nabikolo (C) at the High court recently
In her defence, Nabikolo said that much as she wasn’t happy with her husband getting another woman, she forgave him at the urging of Ggayi who had forced Kasiwukira to apologize.
But Kawuka asked court to reject Nabikolo’s assertion that all was well between the two. She pointed to evidence of a boda boda cyclist Silver Habimaana, who said Kasiwukira had hired him to spy on Nabikolo because he suspected she was seeing witchdoctors.
Another reason that could have motivated Nabikolo to kill Kasiwukira, according to Kawuka, could have been witchcraft. Kawuka hinged her claim on the testimony of a security operative Richard Byamukama, who said Nakungu hired him to kill Kasiwukira. Byamukama claimed Nakungu told him that Nabikolo wanted Kasiwukira dead because he was into witchcraft.
“We were told that demons wanted one of her children sacrificed; so, in order to protect her own children, the old man [Kasiwukira] had to go,” Kawuka said.
In her defence, Nabikolo denied practicing witchcraft. She said she is a committed born-again Christian and an Anglican. She said in the aftermath of Kasiwukira’s death, police searched her house and found no evidence of devil worship.
Kabega, Nabikolo’s lawyer, in his final submission asked court to acquit his client, arguing that prosecution had failed to prove that Nabikolo was driving the vehicle which killed Kasiwukira.
In deciding the case, Justice Musene is going to evaluate the authenticity of a recorded conversation between two men who were plotting to murder Kasiwukira. The recording was tabled by prosecution witness Byamukama who said Jaden wanted him to kill Kasiwukira. In the recording, Jaden is heard telling Byamukama: “Madam [Nabikolo] wants the man [Kasiwukira] dead because he wants to sacrifice his successor [first son].”
However, defence lawyers discredited the recording in their submissions. They said court cannot rely on it because it wasn’t clear, as confirmed by prosecution witness Badru Ssemwanga Lutaaya, who transcribed it.
WHO OWNED THE KILLER VEHICLE?
Prosecution insisted that the Pajero, registration number UAE 018A, which killed Kasiwukira, belonged to Nakungu. In fact, Gabriel Kwetegesa, the ninth prosecution witness, who is a security officer with Sameer Agriculture and Livestock, told court that Nakungu sold the Pajero to him at Shs 2m on October 27, 2014.
But in his submission, Mubiru, Nakungu’s lawyer, insisted that the sales agreement, between Kwetegesa and Nakungu, which wasn’t tabled in court, indicated that the car was sold on October 16, 2014. So, according to Mubiru, by the time the very car ran over Kasiwukira on October 17, 2014 it wasn’t in possession of Nakungu. Mubiru argued that prosecution’s case was weakened by the failure to bring in court the driver who was driving the killer vehicle.
WHO DROVE THE VEHICLE?
Rwakafuuzi, who represents Jaden Ashraf, poked holes into the evidence of John Bosco Kimansule, the prosecution’s 14th witness. Kimansule testified that he saw Ashraf at the steering wheel of the killer vehicle.
However, Rwakafuuzi pointed out that in his first police statement, Kimansule said he came to know about Kasiwukira’s death a day after the accident. But in his additional statement, Kimansule changed the narrative saying he saw Ashraf knock down Kasiwukira.
Jaden was also pinned by prosecution witness, Joseph Komakech, who claimed that days before the murder, he had seen the policeman in the killer vehicle outside the slain businessman’s house, probably doing ‘rehearsals.’
Komakech also said that on the fateful day, he saw Jaden in the same car knock Kasiwukira but he didn’t report the incident immediately to police because he was scared.
As Justice Musene delivers his judgement today, it will be interesting to see if he agrees with the two court assessors who advised him to convict the trio as charged.
The parliamentary committee on natural resources has called for the cancellation of a sand-mining permit awarded to Aqua World, a firm that belongs to prominent pastor, Samuel Kakande.
The committee says Aqua World’s activities in Lwera are harmful to the wetland. MPs on the committee also noted that whereas Kakande was initially permitted to carry out fishing around Lake Victoria, he instead went into the business of mining sand and rice growing.
“Sand mining in the wetland is not a good activity because it disturbs the ecosystem, especially the places where the fish lay their eggs. Lake Victoria is a shared resource among three countries,” said committee member Lawrence Biyika. “Now, if it is polluted, it brings a lot of challenges like conflicts within countries.”
MPs noted that for someone to carry out any activity like sand mining, there should be an environmental impact assessment [EIA] and after that, a report called environmental impact statement [EIS] is done.
“It is from the EIS that there are mitigation measures to ensure the activity is harmless to the environment,” said another committee member Anna Maria Nankabirwa. “Nema [National Environment Management Authority] should cancel the permit because Aqua World did not follow guidelines.”
Appearing before the parliamentary committee, Kakande’s lawyers Jehoash Mayanja-Nkangi and Bernard Mutyaba pleaded to be given more time to go and bring the required information, arguing that their client was out of the country.
Government’s offer of free Wi-Fi in Kampala and Entebbe has drawn strong opposition from some civil society activists.
The project, which started on October 1, is being implemented through the National Information and Technology Authority – Uganda (NITA-U). The activists believe it might be a deceptive manoeuvre to spy on the public, especially government critics.
In installing the free Wi-Fi hotspots (#MYUG), the government said it intends to broaden the reach of internet access to the public. However, obtaining Wi-Fi access requires users to first register their particulars such as name, date of birth, gender, phone and email contacts. This prerequisite has raised suspicions within the civil society community.
“The #MYUG poses a security threat to citizens, more so the activists, for it collects unnecessary information of citizens unlike other Wi-Fi networks that require only a password to connect to the internet,” says Ben Kerry Mawejje, a digital rights and internet freedoms officer at Unwanted Witnesses (UW).Government offers free internet from 6pm to 6am in Kampala and Entebbe
UW is one of the human rights groups that have ganged up against the push by NITA-U to collect data from #MYUG users without an enabling law.
“We are aware that by law, NITA-U is under obligation to retain metadata [details of those using both voice and data] for purposes of knowing who communicates to who but what is of concern is where they are going to keep this information in situations where there is no law, which puts users in a tricky situation,” Mawejje added.
The free Wi-Fi service is provided between 6pm and 6am on weekdays, and from 3pm to 6am on weekends. Frank Tumwebaze, the minister of ICT and information, described it as a shift from government’s consideration of internet access as a luxury to a necessity for all Ugandans.
Activists demand that collection of user’s bio data waits until the Data Protection and Privacy Bill is passed into law. The bill was one of the 16 draft legislations that the executive was expected to table in parliament before the legislators went on a month-long recess last week.
It seeks to protect the privacy of individuals and of personal data by regulating the collection and processing of the information to provide for the rights of the persons whose data is collected.
The bill also provides for obligations of the data collectors, processors and controllers, and also regulates the use or disclosure of personal information. However, NITA-U’s communications officer Leonah Mbonimpa told The Observer that the bio information being collected is for statistical purposes.
“We just want to have a trend analysis of internet usage based on age, gender, etc,” she said.
The activists still are opposed to the bill’s proposal to have NITA-U as the implementing agency.
“NITA-U has its own statutory obligations because it was established by an Act of Parliament [the NITA-U Act], which makes it dependent on government because it is appointed by a minister who is appointed by the president,” said Ssebaggala Wokulira at a recent workshop for human rights and freedoms activists.
“There is some conflict of interest because NITA-U can’t enforce the law that established it and at the same time enforce another. That internal marriage can’t work especially in relation to privacy,” he added.
At least six lawyers whose diplomas were recalled early this year have passed the special and supplementary final examinations set by the Law Development Centre (LDC).
According to Everest Turyahikayo, the LDC academic registrar, seven lawyers were accused of engaging in examination malpractice in the academic years 2007/2008 and 2008/2009.
A three-year audit of examination malpractices followed between 2004 and 2011. For the seven, a special examination was organized and six lawyers have jumped the hurdle.
These include, Deo Kizito Lutalo, Dennis Fred Mukasa Mbidde and Evelyn Jackie Nakalembe (2008/9). Others are, Michael Ezadri Onyafi, Friday Roberts Kagolo and Florence Kataike (2007/8).
On the other hand, Ivan Sekyanda Ndugwa, who sat and failed his criminal proceedings paper, failed the course, according to the academic registrar. In an interview with Turyahikayo, who is also the secretary to the LDC board of examiners, any student who fails the course has one more chance.
“Those who failed will sit the exams again with students in the current academic year (2016/17) when they write their final-term exams next year around August. However, LDC might bring the papers earlier,” Turyahikayo said.
He explained that once the students implicated in exam malpractices fail the exams next year, then the rules for passing the course will be invoked.
“This will mean straight cancellation from the course but having another opportunity to repeat the entire [one-year] course,” he said.
Asked whether the students would also be required to sit pre-entry exams for the second time, Turyahikayo said it will depend on the management and the law council.
East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP Fred Dennis Mukasa Mbidde, who re-sat and passed the special examination in criminal proceeding, expressed relief.
“By the way, I deny allegations that I did some malpractices in the mock exams in criminal proceedings. This is one of the disciplines I mastered most and leaving the mock exams apart, I am at the level of being a lecturer in this field,” Mbidde said.
In a letter dated September 20, LDC asks Mbidde to pick his diploma certificate and transcript from the office of the academic registrar.
On August 8, 2012, Frank Nigel Othembi, the LDC boss, appointed a five-member audit team to verify examination scripts for postgraduate legal studies between 2004 and 2011.
The team comprising Dr Rose Nakayi, Everest Turyahikayo, Dr Ronald Kakungulu-Mayambala and Miriam Achieng came up with its final report on November 12, 2012.
The LDC management committee later met on February 11, 2016 to consider the report of the probe committee whose recommendations included recalling and canceling diplomas of some of its former students.
Among the lawyers whose diplomas were cancelled was former Makindye East MP Michael Mabikke. Others are Fiona Rwakiseeta Asiimwe, David Balondemu, Dennis J Kyazze, Moses Mugimba Muhumuza, Priscilla Mutebi, Dorothy Amuron, Joseph Lubega and Jane Namaganda.
At least 48 other advocates were cleared of examination malpractice, while 21 had their postgraduate diplomas confirmed. In a recent interview, Othembi said two of their staff implicated in the probe report were retired in public interest while two others were disciplined.
“We have now come up with an examination management policy which is yet to be approved but aspects of it have been implemented. We have an examination verification committee for results and introduced checks and balances so that it does not happen again,” Othembi said.
A new book on gender and the judiciary suggests that judges and magistrates should allow safe abortions in cases of incest, where women have been raped or whenever their health is under threat.
“Judicial officers should grant appropriate orders that can enable women and girls to access safe abortions at least in cases of rape, incest and where the continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health of the mother or the foetus, in accordance with the law,” the book suggests.
Under the law, abortion is allowed in these circumstances but it remains a very emotive subject in Uganda with some conservatives and religious leaders unwilling to accept any justification whatsoever.
Launched on October 7 at Protea hotel in Kampala, Gender Bench Book was largely bankrolled by the United Nations and the Swedish government. It is a guide to judges and magistrates on gender equality issues usually ignored in their judgements.
The need for the book arose after a 2011 study conducted by the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) found, among other things, the limited capacity by the judiciary to deliver gender-sensitive justice to women specifically. High court judge David Batema, the book’s mastermind, said it was going to leave an everlasting mark on the judiciary.
“The practice has been that of trivialising [of] gender issues in the judiciary but with this book, that is about to end,” said the self-confessed feminist.
The authors urge the government to not only enact the shelved Marriage and Divorce Bill but also the Sexual Offences Bill to enhance access to justice by victims.
“Government should put in place measures to enhance the enforcement of the Domestic Violence Act, the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, and the Female Genital Mutilation Act, including cross-border intergovernmental co-operation,” the book says.
Justice Batema challenged fellow judges to stop being “conservative” in their judgements. Chief Justice Bart Katureebe said the book wasn’t new to him since judges and other key stakeholders provided some technical input. Without a doubt, Justice Katureebe acknowledged, women often find it more difficult than men to access justice.
“This has been attributed to discriminatory laws, norms and practices within the various societies in which we live coupled with lack of awareness on the part of the various actors within the justice sector, the women themselves and the general public,” he said.
Katureebe confirmed that the judiciary is going to hold what he called ‘gender bench briefs’. The briefs, according to the chief justice, are intended to avail judges with best international practices to be used as persuasive authorities by judges in determining cases in which women’s rights are involved.
“When women are faced with situations of discrimination or violence, as they often are, their only recourse are law and justice agencies,” Justice Katureebe said.
“The biggest disappointment, therefore, is if the justice agencies are inaccessible or unresponsive to their plight. This is what breeds impunity and systematic abuse of the rights of the vulnerable woman. Unfettered access to justice for women is, therefore, a cardinal human rights issue.”
The book also urges either the chief justice or the principal judge to issue a practice direction to guide judicial officers on property sharing at the dissolution of marriage.
Reacting to this recommendation, Katureebe noted that in many cases when a man dies, only his officially-married wife can claim property.
“But the one [wife] without a ring doesn’t get anything. Is that fair yet she could have worked very hard in order for that man to get property?” he said.
Entry visas between Uganda and South Africa should be scrapped, Prof Lekoa Solly Mollo, South Africa’s high commissioner to Uganda, has suggested in an interview with The Observer.
He said visa-free travels to either country are important because of the two countries’ political history and increasing volumes of trade.
Mollo added that with the current number of Ugandans going to South Africa and South Africans coming to Uganda for trade, business, education and tourism surging, there is need to abolish visas and ease travel for the economic development of both countries.
“Trade relations between the two countries have increased with over 70 South African companies such as MTN, Stanbic [bank] working in Uganda,” he said.
“Children go to school between the two countries and even in Makerere [University], we have South Africans, we have them in primary schools and the same applies to Ugandans studying in South Africa,” he added.
He noted that Uganda played a key part in the liberation of South Africa from the apartheid regime and, therefore, there was every reason to scrap the entry visa requirement.
“You cannot talk about South Africa’s freedom without talking about Uganda, the two countries that provided us a home were Uganda and Tanzania,” Mollo said.
“The relationship between Uganda and South Africa is a historical one; it’s not a relationship that was crafted with the signing of memorandums in boardrooms, but a relationship born out of the struggle for freedom in the trenches of battle through sweat and blood.”
According to Mollo, preparations to make this a reality are underway after both South African and Ugandan authorities bought the idea.
“At an official level, the request has already been made and technocrats of both countries are working on all those things; it’s not something easy because of terrorism,” Mollo said.
“Why it is delaying is that there is need of engaging various state security organs and Interpol, but the thinking is the right one and in the right direction,” he said.
President Museveni has offered Shs 110m to help treat journalist Brenda Gimbo, who is suffering from brain cancer.
It follows a petition by journalists in Busoga under their umbrella Busoga Journalists Association [BUJA] to save the life of their colleague. Gimbo, 36, was diagnosed in July with a tumor at the centre of her brain where all sense neurons and blood capillaries of the brain meet.
After a successful minor surgery, neurologists at Mulago hospital advised her to seek further surgery from Yashoda hospital in Hyderabad, India, within 60 days. When contacted, Yashoda hospital said Gimbo will need to pay $13,400 (approximately Shs 110m) for the required treatment.
She is supposed to undergo neuro-navigated craniotomy followed by tumor biopsy/decompression and then stereotactic radiotherapy. Her efforts to raise the money yielded only Shs 900,000 in the last two months.Brenda Gimbo with her sister Aida Nayiga (L) and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga
Realizing that the period within which she must be operated on was running out, BUJA organized a ‘Save Brenda Gimbo Crusade’ but after 10 days, the campaign raised only Shs 1.2m.
BUJA leaders liaised with Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, and she delivered the news to President Museveni during the Independence day celebrations in Luuka.
Museveni then directed Kadaga to follow up with Lucy Nakyobe, the State House comptroller, to get the money quickly. Later in the evening, Kadaga called a press conference at Bax hall, Jinja and said President Museveni had answered their prayer.
“What I wanted to assure you is that the money (Shs 110m) will be in Brenda’s hands by the end of this week and the president wants to see that she is flown to India immediately for her treatment,” Kadaga said at the press conference, also attended by Gimbo.
“Thank you very much Maama [Kadaga], thank you so much H.E the president and thank you so much my colleagues in the media who have stood with me to see this happen. I have nothing much to give you in return but I ask the most high God to reward you abundantly,” said Gimbo.
Since it was created in 2001, the Police Flying Squad has leaned on some ill-trained, unprofessional operatives to fight against violent crime. Now, the police leadership has decided to send all the unit’s untrained operatives for courses.
The Flying Squad was created as an emergency response to high crime rates in the city and its suburbs. At first it was a para-military group called ‘Wembley’, commanded by Brig Elly Kayanja. It later morphed into the Violent Crime Crack Unit (VCCU), and was renamed the Rapid Response Unit (RRU). In 2012 it was christened Flying Squad.
An operative, who has been with the unit since 2001, said the police leadership has kept changing the unit’s name in an attempt to clean up its image.
“It’s funny how every time the name is changed, we all feel like this time the new name won’t be associated with bad things but one or two years later, our reputation is tainted again,” said the operative who spoke anonymously.
When it was formed, police enrolled former soldiers, police informers, including known criminals, serving soldiers and a few police officers. Some of these operatives have stayed while others were moved to other units. Recruitment of new operatives has also continued, with every new commander coming in with a few trusted informers.
However, some of the commanders have also tended to move on with their trusted operatives once transferred from the unit. For instance, Charles Kataratambi, who once led the unit, moved along with seven trusted operatives when he was transferred to the Special Investigations Division in Kireka. Four of them have since left the force and are jointly being investigated with Karatambi for theft of Equity bank money.
Police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi said in an interview on Monday that movement of personnel along with commanders is irregular and unacceptable.
“Transfers are done formally and no commander is entitled to move with personnel unless they are bodyguards and drivers; but this also has to be done in consultation with their unit commanders,” Kaweesi said.
Recently, Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura toured all regions, holding meetings with crime preventers and police commanders.
Minutes from some of the meetings indicate that several complaints were raised against the mode of operation of the Flying Squad operatives and corruption within the unit.
In addition, statistics at the Police Professional Standards Unit show that approximately 50 of the complaints annually are made against Flying Squad operatives.
The complaints range from extortion to torture and theft. The most recent complaint was made against two Flying Squad operatives accused of arresting and torturing a fuel dealer in Kawempe.
The complaints led to the suspension of both operatives together with Wilber Wanyama, the Kampala Metropolitan North Regional Criminal Investigations commander.
It was on the basis of the numerous complaints against this unit that Kayihura ordered more than 120 Flying Squad operatives to go for training at Kabalye police training school. Kaweesi said this will streamline their operations. He added that after their training, they will all be vetted and reviewed before they are redeployed.
Currently, with all operatives and intelligence personnel out for training, only commanders are left at their Kampala CPS headquarters. They have been re-inforced by officers from other specialized units such as the Special Investigations Division (SID) for field operations, Crime Intelligence Directorate for its intelligence gathering, Counter terrorism for terror-related operations, and CID for investigations.
Herbert Muhangi, the commandant of the Flying Squad, told us that only a few operatives have tainted the image of the unit.
“Flying Squad has no problem. We are effective and have been able to recover stolen vehicles, illegal guns and to bring hardcore criminals to book,” he said.
“It is just a few wrong characters that are spoiling the name of the unit."
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has registered an 18 per cent growth in total membership over the last five years.
The numbers have grown from 1.37 million to over 1.63 million as at June 30, 2016. Richard Byarugaba, the NSSF managing director, said that the consistent growth both in terms of membership and Fund value is testament that the NSSF is headed in the right direction.
“The fact that more and more workers are entrusting their money with us year on year shows that we have earned their trust. It is our obligation to continuously improve our processes through automation and provide our members with a great customer experience,” he said.
He added that the Fund will continue with its transparency agenda by also continuously accounting to its members, hence this week’s Annual Members’ Meeting to be held, today, at Kampala Serena hotel.
In the Fund’s latest financials, the number of new individual workers registering increased from 106,683 in the 2014/15 financial year to 119, 688 last financial year.
“The upward movement has been powered by the improvement in compliance levels now at 78%, as well as our relationship management business model,” Byarugaba added.
Relatedly, the number of new employers registering their workers with the NSSF grew by 2,887 in the 2015/16 financial year. The Fund currently has more than 23,000 employers on its books.
At the 4th annual members meeting, the most compliant employers in paying their employees’ contributions will be recognised and awarded. The Fund holds the meeting annually to update its members and other stakeholders on the state, performance, goals and outlook of the Fund.
It’s also a forum where the Fund receives feedback and responds to concerns from members through an interactive session.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has condemned the Monday armed attacks on passenger buses headed for Uganda from Juba, the South Sudan capital.
Brigadier Lul Ruai Koang, the spokesperson of the SPLA in government, said rebels loyal to Riek Machar, the former first vice president, were behind the attacks.
“The political and military leadership of Machar’s SPLA-IO has always come out to say that such attacks were carried out by their forces. But what is bothering our minds is why they are targeting civilians?” he said.
Koang was one time the spokesperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in opposition (SPLM-IO) before he fell out with Machar in 2015. He added that Machar’s forces are bent on making South Sudan ungovernable by staging ambushes on major roads that lead to the capital, hence cutting it off from its main supply routes.
“From the way they have been carrying out their ambushes, it is an indication that they are against peace in the country. They are also motivated by greed because in every ambush, they loot people of all their valuables, including phones and money,” Koang added.
Majority of South Sudan’s imports enter the country through the Nimule border point with Uganda. On Monday, three buses travelling from Juba to Uganda were ambushed at Jebelein in Magwi county, which is about 60 kilometers from Juba. The ambush resulted in the killing and looting of passengers, majority of whom were Ugandans. The bus companies attacked include Echo bus, Friendship bus and Gateway bus.
South Sudan descended into crisis in July this year after forces loyal to President Salva Kiir clashed with Machar’s forces, leading to the death of hundreds of soldiers mainly from Machar’s SPLA-IO.
The fighting also forced Machar out of Juba after his military bases were overrun by Kiir’s forces. He was subsequently replaced with Gen Taban Deng Gai, the former opposition chief negotiator in the Igad-mediated peace talks in Addis Ababa.
The July fighting also triggered a new wave of displacement with almost two million people living as displaced persons while more than one million other South Sudanese are now refugees in the neighboring countries of Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sudan among others.
The July fighting also increased violence in the Equatoria region of South Sudan that had relatively been unaffected by the 2013 December fighting and the resultant civil war mainly fought in Upper Nile region.
The fighting in different parts of Equatoria has almost rendered all roads leading to Juba dangerous as they are infested with armed forces. Since July, these forces have attacked passenger vehicles; on several occasions killing people based on tribal lines.
On Saturday, at least 21 people were killed on the Juba-Yei road after an attack on their vehicles. They included women and children and all belonged to the Dinka tribe of President Salva Kiir.
Eleven canons have dragged Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, the head of the Anglican Church of Uganda to the High court for allegedly taking over the powers of the episcopal jurisdiction of West Ankole diocese.
The canons led by Christopher Kisembo, accuse the archbishop of abusing his authority and the constitution of the Province of the Church of Uganda by appointing a commission to choose a new bishop for West Ankole diocese upon the retirement of Rt Rev Yona Katonene.
They allege that as West Ankole diocese synod members, they had already put in place a commission to appoint a new bishop. However, archbishop Ntagali unlawfully appointed an eight-member committee to carry out the task as members of the bishop's commissary (deputies).
Some of the members of the committee appointed by the archbishop include Rev Canon Wilfred Tumuhairwe, Prof Canon Emmanuel Karooro, Alison Ayetoraniire and Marvin Baryaruha among others.
But the canons reason that the move by the archbishop is illegal and unlawful by virtue of them being members of West Ankole Diocesan Electoral College/ Diocesan Nominations Committee and also portray West Ankole as a failing diocese.
The petitioners further content that the acts of the archbishop border on abuse of office, causing unnecessary mental suffering to the canons.
The canons want court to issue a permanent injunction restraining the members appointed as commissaries for West Ankole diocese from carrying out any activity of the diocese. Court documents show that the inauguration of the Ntagali's commissary is slated for Thursday October 13, at the Provincial headquarters at Namirembe.
The eleven also want the court to order the head of the Anglican Church to pay them general damages. To that effect, the registrar of the High court Alex Ajiji has summoned archbishop Ntagali to file his defense with 15 days from the date of receipt of the summons.
The rules, discipline and privileges committee of Parliament has sent fresh summons asking heads of various media houses to explain the cause of 'unbalanced reporting' of the legislature.
Summoned media houses include Uganda Radio Network and The Observer. They are wanted to appear before the committee on October 18 to clarify their publications about parliament, according to the letter signed by committee chairperson Clement Ogalo Obote. It is dated October 10, 2016.
"In accordance with article 90 of the constitution of the Republic of Uganda and rule 163 (1) of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament of Uganda…the matter of unbalanced reporting by the media and broadcast was referred to the committee of Rules, Privileges and Discipline," the letter reads.
It adds "In light of the above, therefore, the committee hereby summons you to appear on Tuesday October 18, 2016. You will be expected to clarify on your publications about parliament."
The summonses were prompted by complaints from members of parliament, irked by media coverage of lavish expenses on the legislators. Notable among the issues was the Shs 150m car grant, a planned expenditure of Shs 68m as burial expenses for each legislator, and the trips to the Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) conventions in Boston, Massachusetts and to Los Angeles California.
Parliament is disputing a report published by URN indicating that over Shs 2bn was spent to facilitate 78 members of parliament to attend the two conventions. The Observer is wanted to explain a story; Parliament shuts down for USA trip, published on September 2, 2016.
Initially Red Pepper had also been summoned to explain a publication by its sister newspaper 'Kamunye' with a montage of legislators depicted as pigs but the three media houses shunned the directive.
URN and Red Pepper, said they had not received summons to the committee while The Observer questioned the jurisdiction of the committee saying it did not have a mandate to summon editors to appear before it to clarify matters falling within their editorial discretion.
A letter authored by lawyer Isaac Semakadde on behalf The Observer News Editor Robert Mukasa stated that the letter summoning the editor was vague and invasive of the media house's editorial independence.
However, on the said day, only New Vision, represented by Barbara Kaija, the Editor-in-Chief and editorial overseer of Vision Group publications and broadcast platforms honoured the summons. She was accompanied by John Kakande, the editor in charge of New Vision and the company legal officer Tonny Raymond Kirabira.
At least 19 police officers from the Very Important Persons Police Unit (VIPPU) are admitted at Kibuli hospital after they were injured in an accident in Kampala this morning.
The accident involving a police troop carrier registration number UP 5630 took place at Wampewo roundabout on Jinja road. The officers were being ferried on a troop carrier to their destination of deployment when a coaster registration UAJ 189N rammed into it.
Police traffic preliminary report indicates that the coaster, which had only the driver and the conductor, was knocked by a Fuso truck registration number UAM 932M carrying beers heading to Pot Bell, Luzira.
The driver of the Fuso Truck is currently on the run and police is trying to establish his identity.
According to the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima, the officers who were rushed to hospital have since been examined and only six sustained serious injuries.
"They are still being held at the hospital for close observation but only six of them are seriously injured and on medication," Kayima said.
The troop carrier which overturned after being knocked is among the most recent consignment of Police vehicles imported during the 2016 general elections. VPPU is in charge of protecting high profile persons and installations.
Kasese municipality has only recovered Shs 20m out of the Shs 95m that was advanced to youth groups under the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP).
This leaves an outstanding balance of Shs 75m. The money in question was given to youth groups in Central and Nyamwamba divisions in the first phase of the Youth Livelihood Project but since then the beneficiaries have not respected the pay-back procedures.
Among the defaulting groups is WAYOC Youth Group which was given close to Shs 9m and Base Camp Youth which received about Shs 7m.
Another youth group was cited by the Nyamwamba division female youth councillor Ester Biira which she said was given about Shs 8m but its existence is no longer evident.
Saleverio Mukobi, the Kasese municipal assistant town clerk, however, says there are high chances of recovering the outstanding balance by tasking the defaulters to strictly pay back by the end of November this year or face arrest.
Mukobi says they are now harsh on the defaulting groups to pay back before the municipal council receives another funding of Shs 167m from government by December this year.
Some of the defaulting youth groups are said to have misappropriated the money thinking that it was campaign cash from NRM government. However, in Bulembia division, the rate of recovery is high with the six groups that were given Shs 29m between FY 2014/15 and 2015/16 repaying back steadily.
According to the division town clerk Alice Ferigo, all the 6 groups have made repayments to a tune of Shs 16m in the first collection phase.
Youth Livelihood Programme is a government of Uganda-funded project under the ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to fight unemployment and poverty among youth by facilitating creation of projects for self-economic reliance. The programme was launched on January 24, 2014 and covers all the 112 districts of Uganda.
The Bishop of Madi and West Nile diocese Joel Obetia says with greedy and selfish leaders still in charge, Uganda is far from independent much as the country on Sunday celebrated 54 years of independence.
Speaking from his home on Sunday, Bishop Obetia says many leaders have selfish interests and greed for public funds which slows down development. He says that much as the country calls itself independent, many people are stealing money from the poor creating a bigger gap between the rich and poor.
“54th independence anniversary, but we are behaving like a very small child still - because of our experience and having done so much damage to each other because of greed. When you are very selfish in that sense, you cannot do something selfless in order to benefit the bigger community. None of the money goes without being stolen. It is seen in out tribalism, in our sectarianism and in the party spirit which is so violent against others. Corruption in the sense that you want to benefit out of every project and out of everything that is done even when government has done something wonderful, you still want to get something out of it”, the bishop said.
Bishop Obetia, 59, singled out reports of shoddy work emerging from Karuma hydro-power project in Kiryandongo district.
"We are so glad that after elections, President Museveni declared Hakuna Muchezo Kisanja (no games term), but this will only be attained when the greedy people are removed from the system," he said.
According to the bishop, who has been heading the Madi and West Nile diocese since 2005, there is need for the grassroots people to be empowered for Uganda to achieve the tangible progress. Only then will their voices be heard and accountable leadership realised.
He says many people are selfish and fail to support majority out of poverty, taking away their peace.
"This is a nation that will never grow equally because of selfish motives," Bishop Obetia said.
The bishop says West Nile which is under developed and underprivileged needs a joint dialogue forum to uplift it from its current state. Quoting Galatians 3:1 in the bible, the bishop says sin burdens the people of Uganda making it hard for them to make changes.
"Much as we are liberated, we are still under some oppression and we need to fight the oppression to deliver those who are besieged to associate with the society and enjoy their freedom," Bishop Obetia noted.
Margret Angufiru, the former MP for Ayivu county says the people of Arua are still opposed to government projects because leaders are not transparent in distributing the resources to the various sub counties.
“There are funds for women’s groups, there are also funds for youth groups, there is Youth Livelihood Project, youth loans in the banks, education loans for those going to universities for students who pass very well. The government is doing a lot for the population. Let us continue to mobilise and organise ourselves into groups so that we benefit from government projects or programmes. The elders of Arua are not getting the elders senior citizen grant yet because we have not demanded for our grants particularly from our leaders”, she said.
One person was injured during an ambush on three Kampala-bound buses from South Sudan yesterday.
Patrick Jimmy Okema, Aswa river police spokesperson says Takuba Yusuf; the driver of the Eco bus was shot in the thigh as he attempted to flee from the attackers. He has been hospitalised in Juba hospital.
Heshmid Godfrey Isaac, a resident of Ngora district says the attackers mounted an ambush at a junction in Jebelen, about 120km from South Sudan capital, Juba on Monday morning.
He says the first bus that entered the ambush was a Gateway bus registration number UAM 216V. The attack also involved a Friendship bus registration UAU 240F and Eco bus registration number SSB 154A which was burnt to ashes.
The attackers reportedly identified themselves as enemies of the Dinka people, fighting to take over government in South Sudan. They accused the Dinka and Ugandans of supporting the government of President Salva Kiir.
Speaking in Gulu shortly after arriving at 8:10pm aboard a Gateway bu, registration number UAJ 202Z, Heshmid says the attackers ordered all passengers out of the buses and made them carry all luggage and cargo to a nearby valley near Juba before releasing all the passengers.
“From there these guys jumped in, grabbed our luggage…after removing all the things from the bus we were asked to carry them. We carried and entered in the bush. In the bush, we walked like 2km [to the city]. In the city, they told us to stay calm that nothing is going to happen to you we are going to set you free. They only told us that whoever runs will meet a bullet… we’re not here to kill because when we overtake Juba we shall not have people to rule”, he said.
According to Heshmid, the attackers told them never to use the Juba highway on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“When we left, we were told you [either] go Juba or Kampala but never in life should you board any vehicle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday along that road. From where we were attacked, one group which was facing Juba. They were roughly 20 to 30. The group which was on the side of Nimule, we couldn’t tell how many they were”, he said.
He adds that attackers twice tried to burn the Gateway bus but failed. They reportedly shot into the fuel tank of the Gateway bus twice in an attempt to burn it off.
“On the first point where we sat (after the ambush), we heard shooting on the main road. The driver was told to take the bus and passengers were left. We heard the shooting which was on the Gateway bus that we were using. He was ordered to cut the fuel tube, they tried burning but they couldn’t. Then they decided to shoot but when they shot the tank with two bullets there was still no leakage. So for us we continued in the bush until to a point where they introduced people from Eco bus”, he said.
The attackers interrogated the drivers of the Eco bus for transporting the Dinka people.
"When they introduced themselves as Ugandans, they were told you are the people transporting the Dinka. When you don't stop we shall finish you and the Ugandans", Heshmid quoted one of the attackers as saying.
The attackers searched all passengers for money and mobile phones.
"A Dinka lady was humiliated and left after she surrendered unspecified amount of US dollars and Uganda shillings".
The attackers, armed with rocket propelled grenades and other heavy weaponry, returned passports and some documents before releasing the passengers to return to the main road. According to Heshmid, the attackers took everything they owned. Government soldiers (SPLA) arrived in time to evacuate the passengers on light vehicles and the Friendship and Gateway buses.
The attack comes barely a month after another Eco bus was attacked in Loa, a locality near Pageri in Magwi county in which three people died. There have been several attacks on buses in South Sudan since fresh fighting broke out in July between factions loyal to former vice president Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir.
The once glorified university hospital at Makerere University is in a sorry state – operating in dilapidated structures, with no reliable electricity and inadequate staff.
The 32-bed hospital serving both out-patients and inpatients including university staff, students and neighbouring communities, has now reduced the beds to just 22.
According to the university website, Makerere university hospital offers both curative and preventive services. The dental unit offers extraction, scaling, polishing and filling-in services for the teeth. There is also a new and modern x-ray unit which deals with all x-ray diagnosis. The laboratory concerns itself with examining samples of blood, stool and urine.
In addition, it also offers maternal child-health and Family Planning clinic which deals with the immunization of children and students, dispenses vaccines and contraceptives, first aid during student strikes and university functions like graduations among others.
Dr Margret Wandera, the director of the hospital, says their biggest challenge is under-staffing and inadequate resources. According to Wandera, because of its capacity the hospital is supposed to have 74 workers. However, currently there are 54 staff with only 3 doctors, 2 clinical officers and two nurses only available at night. The rest of the workers are cleaners, rendering the hospital short of skilled workers.
"When I joined this hospital in September 2014 as the acting director, there are some things that I put on my top priority list like increasing staff, but up to today I have never achieved it because of the government ban on recruitment," she said in an interview.
"We have three doctors, one physician, one radiologist, one public health doctor and two clinical officers who are on a six-month contract. As a result, we have even elevated some of the cleaners who have upgraded to serve as book keepers," she added.
According to Wandera, due to staff shortage they have teamed up with other partners to provide some services.
"We have partitioned some of the wards because of the few resources to run the hospital. We are partnering with some organisations for instance to provide Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) services," said Dr Wandera.
Adding that, "X-ray services are outsourced because we cannot afford the cost of maintaining some of the machines. And we don't have staff to operate some of the units."
In the recent past, the hospital has registered declining performance with some services being stopped; it is more of a neglected section of the university.
Dr Wandera says "The inpatient hospital services are restricted to students from Makerere University; this university hospital handles largely students. On a semester basis, we can handle between 700-900 patients."
"We offer services to different university units, but we are too stretched. That ambulance is my car. It's what I use to monitor, deliver medicine to Jinja campus, Kabanyolo and main campus," said Dr Wandera.
Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the deputy vice chancellor (finance and administration) at Makerere confirms the deplorable state of the hospital, saying their major problem is poor funding.
“The university hospital is running on meagre resources just like any other facility in the university. We’d have loved a better library than we have. We’d love to have better laboratories than we have. We’d love to have better halls of residence; our halls of residence are also dilapidated. A section of Lumumba has been closed for 7 years now. So, it is not just the hospital, it is the whole university system that is suffering and the reason is inadequate funding”, he said.
Prof Nawangwe says they are hunting for partners to transform the hospital into a teaching hospital.
“The university of Makerere’s stature should have a teaching hospital especially as our school of medicine is considered the best school in info-tropical medicine in the world. So we have a name to protect. The university has plans to establish to establish a university teaching hospital like you have teaching hospitals in universities in South Africa and the United States. Almost every major university has got a teaching hospital, which are the best hospitals as you say in their localities. Our dream is to establish the best hospital in Uganda in our land in Katalemwa”, said.
Every student pays Shs 10,000 for the services at the hospital for their entire period of study. Dr Wandera says the money is used for running costs of the hospital, which is insufficient. Students in other universities such Kyambogo pay Shs 50,000 as medical contribution every semester.
Before 1972, the university maintained a health post known as Makerere University Students Health Service or sick bay at the current Makerere University police post. In 1972, when Idi Amin expelled Asians, the university acquired the premises formerly known as Nile Nursing Home.
The university Sick Bay relocated to the new premises. On February 16, 1978, President Idi Amin visited the Sick Bay and elevated it to a hospital status.
According to Makerere University Hospital Situation Report of 2015 conducted by the students' guild, the hospital as of July 2015 was offering comprehensive health care to the students, staff and their families as well as the surrounding communities serving a population of about 60,000 people.
The hospital is located on Makerere hill road off Gadaffi road about 2 kilometres southwest of Mulago national referral hospital.