The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) controversial mid-term reshuffle in their parliamentary leadership dominated the early news agenda of the week with Kasese Woman MP Winfred Kiiza, dropped as Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the spotlight.
Replaced by Gulu Woman MP Betty Aol, Ms Kiiza said that she was disappointed to learn of her predicament through the media and protested the spirit of the changes.
She also accused some party members of using the party to advance their interests saying that changes are healthy and normal but should be in a transparent manner, signing out bitterly.
On Tuesday, July 8, Ms Kiiza was joined by a section of FDC party leaders in Kasese District who threatened to march up to the national party offices in Najjanankumbi, Kampala if party president Patrick Amuriat does not explain why Ms Kiiza was removed from the position.
Mr Ntabose Gideon Sanyu, the FDC vice chairperson said; “We are not convinced with the way the party president acted to chase our own before her term of office expired. He lied to us and we feel betrayed as people who voted 100% at national level and 80% at district level. We have given him five days to respond to us or else we shall walk up to Najjanankumbi for action”.
These claimed that replacing Ms Kiiza was unfair to the people of Kasese who have always voted FDC.
But the former FDC President Dr Kizza Besigye on Wednesday, July 8, advised the dropped leaders to accept the new changes made by the party president, saying failure to leave power is the biggest problem of the country.
In the same week, the decision by the Vatican to suspend activities of the Apostles of Jesus congregation came to the fore. The drastic action was ordered by Joao Braz Cardinal de Aviz, the Prefect in charge of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life who also appointed Rev. Fr. Raphael p’Omony Wokrach from the MCCJ – Comboni Missionaries (Missionarii Comboniani Cordis Jesu) to head a Pontifical Commission, that will take over all the duties of the leadership of the society and conduct a further investigation into priests’ misbehaviour.
“[This Dicastery] prohibits the admission of new members to the novitiate and to temporary and perpetual religious profession, and the suspension of diaconal ordinations,” Cardinal de Aviz announced.
Earlier On Monday, August 6, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Makerere University Vice Chancellor indefinitely suspended three students for engaging in what he termed as ‘acts of inciting violence’ at the University.
Prof. Nawangwe said the three disrupted a Guild Representative Council (GRC) session on Sunday, August 5, and caused damage to University property.
The suspended students are Mr Jobs Dhabona of School of Psychology, Mr Daniel Kituno, Bachelor of Commerce External a and Mr Samuel Kigula of School of Medicine. However, PML Daily has learnt that students have since filed an application before the High Court civil division, claiming the decision by the university to suspend them was reached at in utter disregard of principles of natural justice and as such it’s mired with illegalities.
Still, on Monday, August 6, The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Okoth-Ochola reshuffled 23 traffic commanders countrywide in what was seen as a response to allegations of extortion against the officers, especially those in the Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) area.
The changes saw KMP traffic operations commander Julius Luyima named officer-in-charge [OC] of traffic in Masindi District. Israel Wambesyo, who was deputy to KMP traffic commander Norman Musinga, was moved to Ssezibwa as Regional Traffic Officer. Grace Kiberu moves from Ssezibwa takes his place among other changes.
The changes came as traffic officers, especially those from Kampala Metropolitan districts of Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono, are under investigation over extortion. Cyclists accuse traffic officers of extorting from them money ranging from Shs50,000 and Shs150,000 whenever their motorcycles are impounded on traffic offences.
Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima on Tuesday confirmed during a press conference that some traffic officers are under investigation but did not state the number.
On Tuesday, August 7, Jinja Town was the scene of pain, tears and frustration after traders lost millions of shillings in property that was gutted by fire in Madhvani market. Traders at the scene said the fire started at around 2 am and burnt half of the market to ashes.
The traders said the Jinja Police fire brigade was unable to extinguish the fire because they lacked enough water, which allowed the fire to spread until fire brigade from Kakira came and saved a section of the market on Gokhale Road from being burnt.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire but the Jinja Central Division Councillor, Mr Zein Abdullah, said it could have been started by electrical appliances which had not been switched off on Monday after a power outage. The police have embarked on investigations to ascertain the cause of the fire.
Still on Monday, police confirmed the preparations to install CCTV cameras on along roads and busy places are underway. Mr Kayima said that over 3000 cameras will be installed in Kampala though other regions will also benefit in this cause.
Also on Tuesday, The Kigezi bishops Rt. Rev. Benon Magezi, the Bishop of North Kigezi Diocese in Rukungiri district and Rev. Dan Zoreka, the Bishop of Kinkiizi Diocese in Kanungu district were in serious disagreement over the ownership of Rugandu church. Following the wrangles, Bishop Magezi closed the church about four months ago after its members failed to know where they fall.
However, on Monday, Rev Zoreka forcefully re-opened it, saying that his North Kigezi Diocese colleague had acted randomly. Bishop Magezi, condemned Bishop Zoreka’s action of reopening the church and threatened to drag him to court for trespass
Still on Tuesday, there was drama at the General Court Martial when a lawyer representing the embattled Boda Boda 2010 Association patron, Abdallah Kitatta was thrown out of court for disrespecting proceedings.
The court was in the middle of the cross-examination of the prosecution witness, Pte. Richard Kasaija over his May testimony that pinned Kitatta on being in unlawful possession of three guns and 55 rounds of ammunition.
However, Kitatta’s lawyer, Jimmy Muyanja, banged the table in anger, accusing the prosecutor, Maj Raphael Mugisha, of signalling answers to the witness, whose cross-examination had lasted four hours.
Muyanja’s actions angered the court chairman, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti, who ordered Military Police to escort him out, with a warning never to set foot in the court again for being “stupid”.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Rwandan army detained its long-serving former intelligence chief, Lt. Gen. Karenzi Karake, a move that has since rattled the country’s top security echelons.
The 57-year-old, who worked as the director general of the National Intelligence and Security Services, was detained at an unknown location on yet-to-be unspecified charges.
Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB) spokesperson Modeste Mbabazi however, denied Karenzi’s arrest and the country’s Defence Ministry has since refused to comment on the matter but sources in the military said the arrest is linked to his alleged negative remarks about deteriorating diplomatic relations between Rwanda and Uganda.
On Tuesday, August 7, The state minister for lands Persis Namuganza defended dubious payments on the disputed Mubende land and told the commission of inquiry into land matters that she was working on orders of president Yoweri Museveni.
The minister also said that she could not defy president’s directives who is also the appointing authority of the land commission. Namuganza was summoned on allegations that she led a delegation to State House after she allegedly deceived the said families that President Museveni was going to compensate them.
She also has denied the payment of Shs4 billion saying that “no one can be paid in Statehouse.”
Still on Tuesday Finance minister Matia Kasaija revealed that government has injected Shs100 billion to buy off excess maize stock that has resulted into falling corn prices.
The minister said funds will be accessible to all interested traders in the maize business, who have requisite storage, cleaning and drying facilities in order to allow the maize to be stored for at least six months when prices are expected to recover.
On Wednesday, August 8, Makerere university urged the new students to openly defy the sexual harassment vice and stand strong for their academic rights.
Dr. Baine Mugisha, The Director of Makerere University Gender and Mainstreamingencouraged students to acquaint themselves with the University policy and regulations against sexual harassment.
She said that the policy clearly defines sexual harassment and provides its various forms. It provides details on whom you should contact and where to go in case you are harassed.
Still, on Wednesday, the Minister of State for Primary Health Care Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu was perturbed by the rate at which diabetes has increased in Uganda.
The minister was shocked by the report that in just two days the medical camp organised by Indo Africa and Uganda Medical Mission at Pece war memorial stadium in Gulu town on August 7th, had diagnosed 70 children with diabetes 50 with high blood pressure. Dr Joyce Kaducu urged the community of Gulu district to intensify fight against non-communicable diseases arguing that such diseases still remains a big problem in Uganda and it’s on the rise among the urban population.
In the same week, businessman Amos Nzeyi faced a tough time before the land probe as he laboured to explain how he acquired a 366-acre piece of land at Temangalo in Wakiso District, which he later sold to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
Mr Nzeyi was appearing to defend allegations that he fraudulently acquired the land on Plot 20 in Busiro in 1993 while it was registered in the names of M/s Temangalo Tea Estate, a company owned by the family of Muhammad Hassanali Moosa before they were expelled by the Idi Amin regime.
But he said Mawanda’s former lawyers of Sebalu and Lule Company Advocates carried out due diligence on the land before he bought it.
Meanwhile on Wednesday President Museveni launched the Motorized Infantry Conversion facility at Maga Maga Army Barracks in Mayuge District and praised the late Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, the former Internal Affairs Minister, for the initiative.
Mr Museveni said that the late Gen. Aronda brought the idea to him of acquiring the new technology in the army adding that the plant that will manufacture and assemble military Nyoka 4×4 mine and ballistic-protected vehicles.
On Thursday, August 9, Trailblazers Mentoring Foundation (TMF) programmes director Ms Josephine Pedun called on government to take action on the alarming rate of child marriages and teenage pregnancies in the country.
She said that child marriage and early childbearing remain common especially in the eastern districts despite legislation against them.
Despite government’s effort to offer free primary and secondary education, the rampant cases of early marriages have derailed the primary school completion rate among girls in most regions of the country.
TMF revealed other emerging challenges such as high levels of drug abuse among youth out of school in the districts of Kamuli, Lira and Moroto.
Still on Thursday, members of the ICT Parliamentary Committee tasked UCC to carry out a countrywide sensitisation of the public, urging the body to consider dedicating a two-month awareness campaign over the ban on the use of airtime scratch cards.
Despite the defence of the decision to ban the use of airtime scratch cards by ICT MinisterMr. Frank Tumwebaze, the MPs insisted the ban should be suspended.
On Friday 10, Dr James Ocita a senior lecturer at Makerere University’s department of Literature blasted the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe over ‘irresponsible’ statements and conducting personal attacks on lecturers telling him off — “the office of the Vice Chancellor existed before you.”
Dr Ocita, in an e-mail circulated on the staff mailing list, accused, Prof Nawangwe of allegedly making statements that were concealed in reference to him of recruiting his wife on a PhD programme.
Still, on Friday, Ugandan youths petitioned Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, asking Parliament to review the nomination fees for both Presidential and Parliamentary candidates saying the current fees are so high and locking them out of public office.
The request was made during the National Youth Parliament, where they argued that the decision by Parliament to increase the nomination fees is discriminatory and intended to keep incumbent MPs hold onto power, at expense of youths who would like to throw their weight to represent their people.
Kadaga concurred with the youths noting that there is need to reduce the nomination fees, so as to give chance to all Ugandans.
Meanwhile on Friday, Ms Beatrice Ikilai, a senior official in the Ministry of Finance, in a letter to Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development claimed she had confirmation of her appointment withdrawn at the last hour and has blamed her PS for acting heartless by ordering her to hand over office.
In the letter, seen by PML Daily, Ms Ikilai refers to herself as an innocent sacrificial lamb. “I am an innocent sacrificial lamb. It’s only God who knows the plight of people in my situation; in this world, without a tall relative you feed on your saliva,” she spat more fire.
Still, on Friday, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda broke the silence on the continued detention of the former Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura saying he is being handled in the right procedure.
Dr Rugunda told Parliament that Gen. Kayihura is to be handled according to procedure befitting of a military general.
This was while responding to a question raised by Mr. Latif Ssebaggala the Kawempe North Member of Parliament, on government plans to present Gen. Kayihura before court.
Meanwhile, on Friday, August 9 Finance Minister Matia Kasaija revealed that he is ready to withdraw the nomination of Ms Justine Bagyenda to serve as a board member of the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) should Parliament decline to vet her on moral grounds being that, she is still under investigations.
Mr Kasaija nominated Bagyenda, the underfire former Executive Director Supervision at Bank of Uganda, to serve a second term on the FIA board despite having been embroiled in a string of illicit enrichment schemes
Investigations on Ms.Bagyenda’s source of wealth were triggered off by a whistleblower after leaking her fat bank account details showing she had over Shs19 Billion in three different Banks and 17 properties in prime areas.
On Saturday, Kampala Capital City Authority threatened to sue some followers of Phaneero Ministries over the destruction of the property around the city ahead of their forthcoming anniversary at Kololo.
KCCA gave warning note on their official twitter handle, “We have noted with great displeasure the continued destruction of green belts. Be cautioned that trespass is an abuse of the law & undermines the beautification efforts undertaken in the City. Following a series of sensitization against this vice, prosecution will ensue.”
Phaneero Ministries led by Grace Lubega is set to celebrate their fourth anniversary since establishing a footprint in Uganda.
Still, on the same day, The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) has released the timetable for the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) exams.
UCE students will start their examinations first, on October 12, with the briefing of candidates across the country.
The students will sit for their first paper, Physics Practice, on October 15.
UCE exams will run till November 16 with candidates expected to sit for Technical Drawings, PS Mechanical practice, IPS Building practice and IPS Electrical Practice as their final papers.