PML Daily news weekly roundup: Jul 30, 2018 – Aug 03, 2018

Former IGP Gen. Kale Kayihura still in detention after his arrest on June 13. Donors withdraw funding to the Police following the General’s continued incarceration (FILE PHOTO)

About three countries have withdrawn support to the Uganda Police Force on Monday-July 30, following the incarceration of former Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura. Gen Kayihura was at the end of February sacked as police chief before he was on June 13 arrested and detained for yet unspecified charges. And it emerged that since he was sacked from the position, several countries that include Iran, Algeria, Russia and China have since withdrawn their funding from the Force.

President Yoweri Museveni on Monday-July 30, released a statement on his social media pages lashing out at justices of the Constitutional Court for annulling the extension of the term of Parliament from five to seven years. Mr Museveni who was in South Africa, shared his thoughts saying the judges concentrated more on procedure rather than the substance of the reasons for the extension. The President, who after the passing of the Bill, referred to the MPs as freedom fighters, argued that the MPs felt there was need for the extension so as to make their tenure more convenient.

On Monday-July 30, Telecommunication Company Airtel Uganda started refunding customers who paid the 1% mobile money tax. At the beginning of last month, telecom companies were directed to start charging 1% on mobile money transactions including on withdrawals, sending, and deposits which triggered a massive outcry in the country. Consequently, on July 13, President Yoweri Museveni in a statement ordered that Ugandans who paid the 1% per cent mobile money tax be refunded as the 1% levy was passed by parliament and signed by him in error.

Meanwhile, on Monday-July 30, Buganda Road court failed to deliver a ruling regarding torture allegations by the 9 suspects accused of Kidnapping and murdering Susan Magara. Grade one magistrate Robert Mukanza was on the very morning expected to rule on whether the suspects should be referred to the African Centre for Torture victims for further examination and investigations, however, he said he was unable to write his ruling. The accused persons had appeared with their lawyer Abdul -Hakim Lubega and the case was adjourned to August 15.

The lawyer representing Church of Uganda in a case in which a consultancy firm Land Coin Ltd is demanding Shs7.3 billion on Monday-July 30, asked the mediator for more time so that they can come up with a proper position on how the money will be paid. Mr Barnabas Musinguzi the church’s lawyer appeared before the meditator Mr Jonhson Kwesigabo, however, the consultancy firm’s lawyer Mr Ronald Oine was not present as he was handling another matter. Mr Kwesigabo adjourned the mediation to August 27 informing the parties that he will communicate to the trial judge about the outcome of the mediation.

Still, on Monday-July 30, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa extended his “heartfelt condolences” on the tragic passing of acclaimed South African cardiologist Professor Bongani Mawethu Mayosi, who was Dean of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT). A Police report confirmed that Professor Mayosi died of a heart attack on Friday, 27 July 2018.

On Tuesday-July 31, the communications regulator Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) confirmed that it met with Facebook Policy Team the past week over possible taxation deal. UCC confirmed the meeting in their weekly updates but when contacted, the commissions’ head of public and international relations Ms Pamela Ankunda, declined to give details of the meeting promising to communicate later.

Buganda Kingdom celebrated the silver jubilee of the Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II on 31st of July 2018 with numerous events beginning with a main event at the Mengo Palace starting at 8:00 a.m. It was on July 31, 1993, when the then Ssabataka of a nearly defunct kingdom, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II was coronated the Kabaka of a new Buganda in a colourful function at Naggalabi Buddo.

Meanwhile on Tuesday-July 30, the permanent secretary Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwiine said treating cancer is quite costly and encouraged Ugandans to prevent it by seeking early screening. Dr Atwiine made the call at the 5th Ministry of Health Monthly Media breakfast at Lourdel Towers. The event was intended to inform the public about the key sector interventions and achievements in line with prevention, control and treatment of cancer.

Still, on Tuesday-July 31, the gay community in Uganda suffered a severe setback after a passionate defender of their rights, Val Kalende, denounced the same-sex practice and announced that she will soon get married. Ms Kalende quit her journalism profession in 2017 to pioneer the Sexual Minorities Uganda, an umbrella body of the LGBT organisations in the country. However, at Pastor Bugingo’s fellowship service that was broadcast live on Salt TV on Sunday, Ms Kalende announced that she is no longer gay and said she regrets her action.

On Tuesday-July 31, the Police in Kampala started investigating circumstances under which a daytime woman police guard at the residence of High Court Judge Musa Sekaana, allegedly shot dead the judge’s driver. The driver, Ismail Mayiga, was shot in the stomach on Monday at about 7 am, shortly after he reported for duty at the judge’s residence in Muyenga-Bukasa in Kampala. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at the International Hospital, Kampala, where he had been rushed for medical attention.

On Tuesday-July 31, High Court judge Jane Francis Abodo set August 3 as her ruling date on whether to release Brian Isiko, 25 on bail pending his appeal. Isiko a student at YMCA Jinja branch had spent 26 days at Nagonjje prison having been convicted of cyber harassment and offensive on July 5 by Buganda Road Magistrate court after admitting his much love for Ms Sylvia Rwabwogo the Kabarole Woman Member of Parliament. However, Isiko who had pleaded guilty to the 2 offences turned to challenge his 2-year imprisonment sentence describing it as harsh and excessive.

Meanwhile, Police have arrested socialite Judith Heard over leaking her nude pictures as government intensifies the crackdown on pornography on Tuesday-July 31. According to Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire, Heard, whose video of her having sex with an unidentified man leaked in May, was arrested after she refused to honour police summons issued over three weeks ago.

Uganda Peoples Defence Forces on Tuesday-July 31, retired several officers and militants from active service at a ceremony held at General Military Headquarters Bombo. The Commander Land Forces Maj Gen Peter Elwelu who represented the Chief of Defence Forces Gen David Muhoozi advised the soldiers to prepare for their families and themselves to have a decent retirement into the civilian community and plan for their resources carefully.

Still, on Tuesday-July 31, the Commission of inquiry into land matters summoned State Minister for Lands Persis Namuganza to explain why she connived with a one Milly Naava and other District authorities in Mubende to evict 350 families. The committee chaired by Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire summoned Minister Namuganza on allegations that she led a delegation to State House to deceive the said families that President Yoweri Museveni was going to compensate them.

Screens displaying images captured by the new state-of-art CCTV cameras and systems at Customs (Photo: URA)

Still, on Tuesday-July 31, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) confirmed to have acquired technology that ensures accurate detection of illegal imports and trade fraud at their clearance points. The new effort will see URA curb trade concealment, misdeclaration and under declaration of commodities at Uganda borders by traders. According to URA, the newly acquired technology known as Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) is also embedded with radiation detectors that help in protecting the environment from contaminated items, ensuring Chemical, Biological Radiological Nuclear Safety.

On Wednesday-August 01, the administration of Mbarara Secondary School in Kakoba Division, Mbarara Municipality, sent home about 70 students after their property was burnt to ashes in a fire that gutted a school dormitory. The school head teacher, Mr Geofrey Birungi, said they had no choice but to send home students of S1, S2, S3, and S5 for at least a week so as to reorganize the school. Mr Birungi said the fire which gutted Lumumba dormitory destroyed mattresses, blankets, clothes, books and the roofing.

Uganda Communications Commission after phasing out airtime scratch cards on Tuesday, July 31, the following day, it confirmed that unused cards will be converted into electronic airtime to avoid vendors from making losses. In a notice, UCC said that airtime cards still in possession of vendors or individuals should be returned to an authorized dealer of the telecommunication operator for an electronic airtime refund of equal value.

Bank of Uganda on Wednesday, August 1, opposed the introduction of the excise duty tax on mobile money arguing the tax is neither fair nor equitable and will deter the growth of the country’s financial Institutions. Appearing before the Finance Committee of Parliament chaired by MP Henry Musasizi over the amendments in the mobile money tax that was re-tabled by the government recently officials said that taxes affect the growth of financial.

Ms Victoria Ndagire on Wednesday-August 01, dragged two advertising companies, ‘Uganda health marketing group’ and ‘Image Crusade advertising/ printing Limited’ for using her image to advertise contraceptive drugs without her consent. According to the court documents filed before the High Court Civil Division, Ms Ndagire said that the two companies are unlawfully using her image without her consent or approval to promote the use of various commercial contraceptive drugs.

Still, on Wednesday-August 01, Businessman Amos Nzeyi was been accused of selling land to National Social Security Fund (NSSF) which does not belong to him. The Temangalo land is stated to have belonged to an Asian family, however, Nzeyi wrongful sold it to NSSF in 2009 at Shs11billion worth Workers’ money. According to a complaint filed before the Land Probe Commission by the Asian Family, they claim to hold the original Title of the 366 acres of land comprised on Block 296 plot 20 in Busiro-Wakiso; on which it operated a Tea Estate before the expulsion of Indian nationals by Idi Amin in 1972.

On Wednesday-August 01, Nyakitoko Secondary School in Buhweju district was closed following the death of a student who was shot by police as they quelled a violent strike at the institution. According to the District Police Commander, Mr Boniface Kinyera, the student identified as Innocent Natuhangana from Senior Four was shot in the back by police as they pursued students who had attacked the residence of the head teacher, Mr Alex Tumuramye, whom they accuse of incompetence.

Still, on Wednesday- August 01, it was confirmed that an AU police contingent of 160-personnel was due to leave Somalia over the weekend, after a year’s tour of duty in the Horn of Africa country. The team from Uganda’s Formed Police Unit is part of a multi-national police force under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which is training and mentoring Somali police officers. Uganda first deployed officers of the Formed Police Unit in 2012.

Thursday-August 2, it was confirmed that the country is losing billions of shillings in taxes on mobile money after Bank of Uganda (BoU) officials on revealed that following the introduction of the new tax, transactions declined by Shs672 billion in the first two weeks of July. According to BoU Director of Statistics Charles Abuka, the introduction of the 1% per cent tax on Mobile Money following the announcement of the Excise Duty Amendment Act, 2018, has affected revenues of telecom companies.

On the same day, former DR Congo warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba made a triumphant return home on in front of tens of thousands supporters and police firing teargas, reflecting the country’s high-voltage political mood. Bemba, throwing down the gauntlet to his rival President Joseph Kabila, vowed to contest twice-delayed elections due to take place on December 23. He landed at Kinshasa from Belgium aboard a private plane after the International Criminal Court (ICC) acquitted him of war-crimes charges in June.

Former colonial power Britain on Thursday, August 2, called for restraint in Zimbabwe after at least three people were killed when soldiers opened fire on crowds protesting alleged fraud in this week’s election. Foreign office minister Harriett Baldwin said on Twitter that she was “deeply concerned” by the violence in Zimbabwe following the first nationwide vote since autocratic president Robert Mugabe was forced out by a brief military takeover in November.

Still, on Thursday-August 2, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) revealed plans to support 35 students in developing innovations that will boost agricultural productivity in the country. Mr. Fred Otunnu, the Director of Corporate Affairs at UCC, while officiating at the ongoing Hackathon at Uganda Technology and Management (UTAMU) in Bugolobi, Kampala, said the Commission will link the students to the ICT support information programme from government and take them through the incubation hubs which will help them develop their ideas further.

On Thursday-August 02, Police in Ibanda confirmed that they were holding a 30-year-old man for allegedly killing his grandfather. The District Police Commander, Mr Rogers Cheben, said on Wednesday that Mr Tusiime Kuteesa is said to have hit Ediwarido Rwabwamba aged 104 with a hammer on the head killing him instantly on Sunday. The deceased hailed from Kafunjo cell in Ibanda municipality.

Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) on Thursday, August 1 launched a campaign dubbed “Let’s make Kampala smoke free” aimed at banning smoking in public places within Kampala for a smoke free city. In an effort to put in effect the 2015 Tobacco Control Act, smoking was banned in public places like streets, roads, bars, restaurants, workplaces, among others. Bloomberg Philanthropies a global network of cities committed to reducing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries, announced a partnership with KCCA in May 2018. The partnership is led by World Health Organization global ambassador for NCDs.

Still, on Thursday-August 2, a local council one court in Atwol ‘A’ village, Padibe Town Council in Lamwo district fined a man 130,000 Uganda Shillings for eloping with another man’s wife. Mr Deogratious Latim was charged on Wednesday after the woman’s husband lodged a complaint with the authorities in the area accusing his wife, Paska Adee, a mother of four for living with another man in his house.

It was confirmed on Thursday-August 2 that Students intending to join Soroti University will have to wait again for some time after the National Council for Higher Education halted its official opening. This is the second time that the official opening of the University is being halted over failure to meet minimum requirements, a move that is likely to affect students who had hoped to be recruited in the University for Education. This means that the long-awaited admission of pioneer students at Soroti University still hangs in balance.

On Friday-August 3, the Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Mr Richard Byarugaba, denied knowledge of the claimants of the Temangalo land which NSSF purchased from businessman Amos Nzeyi and his partner, former premier Amama Mbabazi. Appearing before the Commission of Inquiry into Land matters, Mr Byarugaba said before NSSF acquired the 463.87 acres of the Temangalo land at Shs11b in 2008, they had done due diligence with the help of a reputable law firm, JB Byamugisha and Company Advocates.



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