PML Daily news weekly roundup: Jul 21, 2018 – Jul 29, 2018

KAMPALA – A youth advocacy group on Monday July 23 asked Parliament to prevail on Finance Minister Matia Kasaija over his reappointment of Justin Bagyenda to the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) Board of governors. The group,Youth Power Research Uganda, wrote a letter saying that the committee is mandated to monitor the operations of government agencies and that Mr Kasaija should be summoned to explain the circumstances under which he reappointed Bagyenda to FIA, the same agency that is investigating her over allegations of money laundering.

SHEEMA – Opposition leader Kizza Besigye on Monday July 23 pulled a massive crowd as he returned to Sheema Municipality in Ankole sub-region to campaign for FDC candidate Plan Virginia Mugyenyi. Many businesses in Kabwohe Town came to standstill as tens of thousands of people gathered at Kabwohe playground to listen to Dr Besigye and a cohort of other opposition leaders. In his usual self, Besigye criticized NRM for frustrating developing in the country and asked residents to accept bribes from the NRM candidate but vote for FDC.

NAGURU – Meanwhile, on Tuesday July 24 Police declared Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Jonathan Baroza, a deserter. Mr Baroza was posted to Algeria as Uganda Police Force attache by detained Gen Kale Kayihura, after some sections of the society linked him to the murder of police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi but, he allegedly disappeared in Turkey while in transit to Kampala, prompting police to issue a five-day ultimatum on July 17 for him to report without fail.

ENTEBBE – Indian Prime Minister Mr Nerandra Modi on Tuesday July 24 arrived in the Uganda for his three-day state visit that ended on Thursday, July 26. Mr Modi was to hold bilateral talks with President Museveni on Wednesday July 25 address Parliament and also officially open the convention Center in Entebbe. Modi met his host President Museveni, and on his arrival, he announced credit of Shs 740 billion to Uganda, among others. Mr Museveni in a statement on Tuesday evening said he had interested Mr Modi in India cooperating with Uganda in trade and tourism.

Visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday July 25 promised to make sure that India’s health care becomes affordable and accessible to Ugandans. Mr Modi made the remarks while addressing Parliament in a special sitting as part of his program during the two-day state visit to Uganda on his Africa tour. However President Museveni commended Mr Modi’s proposal saying “You know how many Ugandans go to India for healthcare so if the Indians can invest here to deal with some of those issues than take people to India that will be very big support.”

GULU – Besides that, a 68-year-old Charles Onekgiu, a businessman in Gulu town was on Monday July 23 arrested by Police after nude photos he took with a young girl suspected to be his wife leaked. In the photos Mr Onekgiu was sitting on a bed at what is thought to be his home, together with a girl aged between 13 to 14 while naked. It was confirmed that the 68-year-old dealer in merchandise was arrested after a concerned citizen leaked a photo showing Onekgiu with a minor sitting on a bed, posing for photos while naked.

BANGALORE- Finally, Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament Betty Nambooze who had been reported stranded in India underwent a knee surgery on Tuesday July 24. Doctors reconstructed the legislator’s left leg to build back the damaged part that exposed the cartilage and used to send spasms through the left side of her body, occasioning a painful leg. The operation was handled by Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Sunil Kini.

PARLIAMENT – In the aftermath, Cabinet on Tuesday July 24 approved the payment of Shs58.5 billion in arrears for the salary enhancement for lecturers and non-teaching staff in the five public universities. The money, which accrues from the financial year 2017/2018, is part of the Shs234 billion that was supposed to be paid to the lecturers in installments of three years of Shs78billion per financial year.

KAMPALA – However, only Shs19m was released in the last financial year, which forced the lecturers to go on strike. However, Mr. Ofwono Opondo, the executive director of Uganda Media Centre, on Tuesday revealed that Cabinet had ordered Finance Minister Matia Kasaija to release the money.

PARLIAMENT – Meanwhile, the sugarcane growers across the country on Tuesday July 24 rejected the decision by Government to amend the Income Tax Act to impose a 1% tax on all agricultural produce calling on Parliament to prevail over the tax.

Under their umbrella body, the Uganda National Association of Sugarcane Growers, the farmers called for exemption from this tax arguing that sugarcane growing is a risky venture that is susceptible to extreme weather and the decision by Government is likely to impoverish the growers. The group petitioned Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, saying the newly introduced withholding tax on their sales is likely to drive the sugar prices higher.

KAMPALA – However, the Anti-Corruption Court on Tuesday July 24 charged and remanded a statistician working with the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters Mr Wilfred Nsubuga over allegations of abuse of Office, Corruption and unauthorized disclosure of Information contrary to the Computer Misuse Act. Nsubuga was charged with developing and managing the complaints Data Base, in abuse of his authority disclosed confidential information on two file numbers registered at the Commission. With the aim of helping the complainants to have their files expeditiously resolved in their favour, Nsubuga used contents of the said files belonging to the Commission, for his benefit.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) on Tuesday July 24 removed from the leadership of parliamentary committees all its MPs who opposed the age limit bill last year and instead appointed to the same positions those legislators that supported the controversial amendment.

Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa on Tuesday read out the names and Kampala Central MP Mohammad Nsereko, was sacked as chairman of the Equal Opportunities Committee and replaced by Ms Hellen Asamo [PWDs Eastern].In the changes, Bukenya Michael [Bukuya County] was declared the head of Health Committee and Spellanza Baguma [Kyejonjo Woman MP] as his deputy.

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago on Tuesday July 24 skipped a meeting that was meant to reconcile differences between him and Kampala Minister Beti Kamya. Ms Kamya on Tuesday, was meant to resolve longstanding differences between the two political leaders that have crippled service delivery.

However, Mr Lukwago chose to keep away and instead sent a letter through Deputy Lord Mayor Sarah Kanyike, indicating that the Minister was out of order to call him for a meeting when there is a longstanding suit that he has against her in Court. He added that at the moment he cannot reconcile with a minister who re-tabled the KCCA Amendment Bill to Parliament last year that is intended to strip the office of the Lord Mayor of all powers.

BUGIRI – Police and Military in the wee hours of Wednesday morning sealed off and raided a hotel in Bugiri town where Kyandondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine was staying – arresting several members of his team. Reports reached this website indicating that a combined force including the Uganda Police and Military Police raided a hotel in Bugiri and arrested many supporters of Asuman Basalirwa who were forced to open their rooms.

On that very Wednesday 25, security was tightened in Bugiri as Museveni, Besigye and Kyagulanyi were to comb municipality in last minute hunt for votes. The three crossed paths in Bugiri on that day. According to a statement from the NRM Communication’s Officer Rogers Mulindwa, Museveni, the party’s national chairman was to hold one rally at Bukooli Technical School in Bugiri on Wednesday afternoon for Mr Francis Oketcho.

Police in Rubanda District on Wednesday July 25 arrested 22 Rwandan and Congolese nationals over illegal entry into Uganda. The suspects were on intercepted on Wednesday by security officials while travelling in a Bismarkan Bus as they were heading to Kagadi and Kabarole districts to work in tea plantations but none of them had any travel documents. Police had netted 70 illegal entrants but some of them later run away.

The Indian government on Wednesday July 25 donated a mobile mammography van to the Uganda Cancer Institute. The van was handed over by the consul of the Republic of Uganda to Mumbai in India HE. Madhusudhan Agrawal at the Institute in Mulago. It was donated by Samta Foundation, the Hope Express a mobile mammography unit detects the early presence of breast and cervical in women.

However, the Ministry of Education on Wednesday July 25 set on a collision course with the Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox establishments in the country after officials went ahead to launch the adolescent health and sexuality education in schools to equip students with information to sexual related content, without the approval of the church. This came after the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) the assembly of Catholic Bishops in the country vowed to block the programme in all their schools unless the government made changes in the new policy saying sex education contradicted Christian values.

President Museveni on Wednesday July 25 came under fire from members of the opposition for donating an ambulance to Njeru Municipality in Buikwe District ahead of parliamentary elections on Friday, July 27.After receiving complaints from residents at the rally, including Mr Kyazze, that the newly created municipality has no ambulance,Museveni promised to deliver it and he came good on his promise when the ambulance, registration number UG 4648 M was handed over to Mr. Kyazze. However, the move attracted condemnation and protests from the other contestants who termed it as outright bribery and against the rules set by the Electoral Commission.

Fortunately, the long awaited judgment in the consolidated presidential age limit petitions was on Thursday July 26 delivered in a matter of hours and Ugandans were eagerly waiting for the Constitutional Court verdict. The Court, headed by the Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, delivered the verdict of the panel of the five justices in Mbale, eastern Uganda after two months of waiting. On April 19, the justices concluded the hearing official the petitions in Mbale and reserved the judgment on notice. The petitioners demanded that the Constitutional court overturns the controversial amendment on the argument that it was passed out of a violation of the Constitution, the supreme law of the land.

KAMPALA – Bad news on Thursday July 26 dominated Kawempe when fire gutted the market for Timber merchants in Bwaise, Kawempe Division in Kampala leaving them counting losses. Over 300 traders lost their businesses in the fire that burnt a timber and furniture mart in causing damages worth billions of shillings. Traders say an estimated 2 billion shillings worth of timber was burnt and according to eye witnesses, the police fire brigade lost time in putting out the fire because it was difficult to access the place. Residents said that over 300 workshops filled with timber, furniture and carpentry machinery were reduced to ashes.

MBALE – However, two justices of the Constitutional Court Cheborion Barishaki and Elizabeth Musoke on Thursday July 26 quashed sections of the constitutional amendment act in which MPs extended their tenure of office from five to seven years. In the ongoing ruling on the age limit petition in Mbale, Justice Barishaki explained that expanding the term of MPs and Local Government officials was smuggled into the bill without consulting the people. Justice Barishaki therefore declared that the Act of Parliament extending its tenure of office is unlawful. MPs must face regular elections and people will be robbed of an opportunity to choose who should govern them after 2021.

Surprisingly, Justice Kenneth Kakuru on Thursday July 26 become the first judge to rule that the entire Amendment Act (Age limit) was unconstitutional and must be expunged from the constitution. Delivering the ruling at around 7.05pm Justice Kakuru ruled that the constitutional amendment process was unfair. He added that the two months given to the MPs to consult all Ugandans were not be enough and that the group of people consulted was not representative enough to cause amendment of the constitution.

Finally, in a 13 hour judgment, the 4 justices of the Constitutional Court upheld the presidential age -limit amendments nullifying the extension of MPs term from 5 to 7 years. The four out of five justices including the deputy chief justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo, Remmy Kasule, Elizabeth Musoke and Cheborion Barishaki ruled that there was nothing inconsistent with the constitution for MPs to lift the restriction of years against one aspiring to be elected to the highest office of ‘the land.

In their ruling, the justices noted that the fact that there is no mandatory requirement to subject the said amendment to a public approval through a referendum.

Meanwhile, a group of Members of Parliament on Thursday July 26 started what they described as a campaign to block the reappointment of Justine Bagyenda to the Board of the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA). On May 7, Minister Matia Kasaija wrote to the Speaker of Parliament, indicating that Bagyenda, who was in February sacked as director for supervision at Bank of Uganda (BoU), is being re-appointed to the board of FIA. However, MPs vowed to pressure Parliament’s Appointments Committee to block Bagyenda’s reappointment.

Army and police officers on Thursday July 26 deployed heavily in Sheema Municipality ahead of the hotly contested Friday election. On Thursday evening, truckloads of soldiers and police officers were seen offloading their weapons and other equipment at Sheema District headquarters.

Among the seven candidates in the race, the stiff competition was between NRM’s Elioda Tumwesigye and FDC’s Virginia Plan Mugyenyi. Other five candidates on Independent ticket were Benjamin Ruyombya, Ambrose Mwesigye, Jonas Tumwiine, Meshach Katusiime and Raymond Kamugisha. Mr. Abel Kahara (NRM) and Mr George Tumwebaze (Independent) who were the contenders for the mayor seat.

Meanwhile, on Thursday July 26, Police in Ndejje arrested fraudsters alleging to be police officers calling residents and threatening to arrest them with intent to con them of their money. The suspects were found in possession of exercise books filled with a number of phone contacts of victims and were apprehended in an operation by the OC Ndejje ASP. Hillary Tugume.Residents informed police and while acting on information, police raided the house arrested and carried out a search.

On that very day, Police in Kasangati Town Council, Wakiso District arrested a middle-aged man who was parading himself as a catholic priest and extorting money from unsuspecting members of the catholic community. The fake priest, identified as Mr. Anthony Sewanyana, 30, has been posing as a catholic priest from Rubaga Cathedral and he was arrested at Kasangati Magistrate’s Court where he reportedly went to stand as surety for a suspect who had swindled money worth 131 million Uganda Shillings.

The Anti-Corruption Court on Friday July 27 denied bail the jailed statistician working with the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters Mr Wilfred Nsubuga who was charged last week over charges of abuse of Office, Corruption and Unauthorized Disclosure of Information contrary to the Computer Misuse Act.

Chief Magistrate Agnes Alum based on the affidavit filed in court by IGG’s prosecutor Thomas Okoth indicating that Nsubuga had built a data base for the land probe led by justice Catherine Bamugemereire whose password is only known to him, and if released he can access it from anywhere and continue from where he stopped. Nsubuga also had an elaborate network of agents through whom he was giving information, and receiving money and so if he is granted bail he will interfere in the said investigations.

BUGIRI – The opposition JEEMA candidate, Mr Asuman Basalirwa, clinched the Bugiri Municipality parliamentary seat in an election marked by shades of violence. Basalirwa, who was declared winner at around 12.30am on Saturday morning, garnered 3,928 votes, beating his closest rival, NRM’s Oketcho, who polled 3,267 votes. FDC’s Eunice Namatende polled 928.

However in Sheema, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye was at 2.36am on Saturday morning declared winner of the hotly contested the Sheema Municipality parliamentary seat, coming from behind to lead his closest rival, Ms Virginia Plan Mugyenyi of FDC. Dr Tumwesigye, who is also the minister for Science and Technology, garnered 13,590 votes, while Ms Mugyenyi got 11,489 votes. Other independents scored as follows: Raymond Kamugisha (276), Ambrose Amanyire (32), Benjamin Luyombya (867) and Meshash Katusiime 756.

With that aside, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate in the Njeru Municipality parliamentary election, Mr Amos Kivumbi, on Saturday July 28 vowed to petition court challenging the victory of the NRM candidate, Mr Yasin Kyazze. In the Friday election, Mr Kyazze was declared winner of the highly contested election, garnering 15,248 votes, followed by an Independent, Diana Mutasingwa Nakunda, who got 5,343 votes while Kivumbi polled 4,286. Other Independents scored as follows; Ceaser Kalema got 3,838 votes, Aziz Jjunju 2,151 votes, and Joseph Opondo Opondo 261 votes only.

However on Friday July 27, the motorised patrol Police in Kajjansi intercepted a truck with 12 stolen cattle. The thieves attacked the patrollers with pangas and in the process, one was put out of action. The two thieves were identified as Moses Nsubuga and Hassan Kashumba. As the thieves approached the barricades, they jumped out their vehicle with pangas and attacked the police officers. This act prompted the armed personnel lying in wait to put out of action one suspect who has been identified as Moses Nsubuga.

Gospel musician who also doubles as the Woman Member of Parliament for Buikwe district, Hon. Judith Babirye officially introduced her spouse, Mr Paul Musoke Sebulime on Saturday July 28, amid controversial reports regarding her former “unresolved” marriage. However, lawyers said, the two law makers will not legitimise their marriage according to the country laws that govern marriage. Provia Nangobi, the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) spokesperson, said Babirye is still registered as married to her first husband, Samuel Niiwo and the marriage has not been dissolved.



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