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AG Byaruhanga, Petroleum Authority Boss Sekatawa Snub Court In The Shs 6bn Presidential Hand Shake Suit

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William Byaruhanga the government Attorney General and Ali Sekatawa the legal officer Uganda Petroleum Authority snubbed court in the Shs 6bn presidential handshake case. Brian Kabayinza a lawyer representing Sekatawa who bagged Sh242m in this cash bonanza after winning Oil cases against Heritage Oil and Tullow Oil told court that Byaruhanga and Sekatawa were unable to attend court as they were told.

He said that at night, Sekatawa informed him that he was summoned by the president to appear before him on the Petroleum issues that is why he couldn’t attend.

“My lord, since he is the legal officer in charge of the petroleum Authority in the country, Mr. Sekatawa the petitioner in this matter told me that he can’t come today because the president had summoned them,” Kabayinza told High Court Judge Andrew Bashaija who was presiding over the case.

He also informed court that even the witness who the petitioners has paraded to testify to court was also in the same meeting with the president. He said that Byaruhanga attended the presidential meeting because he is the official legal adviser to the government and prayed for an adjournment.

Stina Chrotic and Solomon Kirunda the lawyers representing parliament which is a defendant in this case were ready to squeeze and cross-examine Byaruhanga on why he abandoned parliament’s decision to adopt a report recommending the return of the Sh6bn presidential hand shake. The lawyers from both sides agreed to the adjournment of the matter.

The Judge adjourned the case to 26th February 2019. Sekatawa petitioned court for judicial review after disagreeing with the parliamentary committee on Statutory, Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) by then chaired by Abdul Katuntu findings and recommendations. The committee recommended that the 42 government officials should return the money and that the Inspector General of Government should investigate them further.

However, in his petition, Sekatawa, the former legal officer Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) says that the committee’s proceedings were conducted in a manner that contravened the principles of natural justice.  He stated that on January 19,2017, Mbarara Municipality member of parliament Michael Tumusiime moved a motion seconded by Anita Among (Bukedea Women MP) Elijah Okupa (Kasilo MP) and Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East MP) urging parliament to investigate the circumstances under which Sh6bn was paid to the 42 government officials.

Sekatawa says that Tumusiime’s actions were illegal because parliament relied on unauthorized documents from highly questionable sources; he says that no formal record existed before parliament from relevant government institution in regards to the allegations made in the motion and no verification was done of the same prior to passing the motion. He insisted that the motion was moved contrary to Article 163 of the constitution which specifically empowers the Auditor General to audit the public expenditures and report to the legislature.

“As a result, parliament and more specially COSASE did not have legal mandate or ability to investigate the financial expenditures of entities prior to their evaluation by the office of the Auditor General as envisaged by law,” Sekatawa stated in his affidavit.

ekatawa also attacks COSASE chairperson Abdul Katuntu (Bugweri MP) and his deputy by then Medard Sseggona Lubega (Busiro East MP) for having conflict of interest and thus conflicted on the matter since they were members of the legal committee and the parliamentary affairs committee which he says summoned the same government officers, queried expenditures on arbitration cases and eventually approved the budgets.

He added that COSASE didn’t give enough time to the beneficiaries of the presidential reward to be heard thus denying them right to a fair hearing which contravenes Articles 20(1)and 3,28(1),42 and 44 of the constitution.  Sekatawa says that during the course of the hearing, members of COSASE committee exhibited apparent bias. “This was evidenced in the manner in which they conducted the inquiry,” he stated. He also wants court to interpret Article 98 and 99 of the constitution on whether the president as a fountain of honour has discretionary executive powers to reward public servants. Among the beneficiaries of the bonanza included Uganda National Roads Authority boss Allen Kagina, Uganda Revenue Authority boss  Doris Akol,  Kampala  Capital City Authority Boss Jennifer Musisi and others government officials.

 

By Jamil Lutakome

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I Have Been Forging Documents Since My Childhood: Former URA Staff Boasts Before Bamugemereire

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Semanda before the land probe

Former Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) staff Steven Semanda boasted before Justice Catherine Bamugemereire’s land probe that he has been a forgery expert since his childhood.

Semanda testified that he has on several occasions been charged in different courts and recorded a number of police statements on uttering forged documents.

“Yes, it’s true I have been making a lot of forgeries but much of the time it’s my friends who ask me to forge documents for them. My Lord, I also don’t want be named to be in such things,” Semanda said. He told the commission that the evil of uttering forged documents started when he was still a young man.

“It was foolish but I forged my father’s signature and withdrew his money from his bank account,” Semanda added. Justice Bamugemereire the chairperson of the commission asked him whether he was the one behind the forging of documents indicating that the 28 acres of land in Kitezi were owned by his brother Charles Mulinde.

Bamugemereire cited the testimony of Mulinde who told the commission that he never owned the contested land but one day, he received a phone call from Semanda asking him to meet and sign certain documents for him. Mulinde said that it was his other brother Apollo Lumu who stopped him from signing the said documents because he (Semanda) was targeting their father’s estate.  Mulinde further told the commission that Semanda was fired from URA after forging documents and embezzling a lot of money.

Semanda admitted that he forged the said documents but clarified that he did it under pressure from his brother Lumu who wanted to own their father’s land saying their elder brothers were not serious.  He denied proceeding with the process because his elder brother Dr. Fred Kambugu warned him to stop forging documents with the aim of stealing their family’s land.

Dr. Kambugu, the Kampala skin clinic boss ran to the commission claiming that there are people who fraudulently grabbed their father’s estate including their family members.

The commission is still investigating the matter.

By Sengooba Alirabaki

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Mafias Chased Us From Government, They Are Now Killing Themselves With Their Guns Over Money And Power – Mirundi…

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President Museveni’s former press secretary Joseph Tamale Mirundi has revealed that there are many signs showing that the mafias in president Museveni’s government are fighting each other over money and power.

“You know we intellectuals have information that mafias are fighting each other that is why dead bodies are now being thrown on the streets. Mafias here are very deadly and I’m telling you Uganda will end up like Somalia, they are going to kill themselves,” Mirundi, who was hosted on Pearl FM radio on Saturday said.

He noted that the mafias in Museveni’s government first fought and chased all the people who were loyal to Museveni under the guise of preventing them from stealing tax payers money. Mirundi said that by the time Museveni supporters like him, Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary Asuman Lukwago were kicked out, the mafias were working together.

Mirundi however said that their tormenters have now developed misunderstanding over money and power that’s why they are fighting each other.

The self-claimed media consultant and private investigator further revealed that the mafias in government have guns which they are using now to kill themselves, he gave an example of the gruesome murder of Joshua Nteyireho Ruhegyera and Mary Tumukunde who were gunned down on Entebbe express highway. Mirundi rubbished the arrests made by Uganda police and other security agencies over the current string of murders and kidnaps adding that the arrested suspects never committed these crimes.

By Jamil Lutakome

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I WANT HER TO VOMIT MY LAND: Mulago Hospital Doctor Drags Former Minister Maria Kiwanuka To Land Probe For Grabbing Her 9 Acres Of Land In Munyonyo…

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L-R: Nabukeera and former minister Maria Kiwanuka

The troubles befalling former finance minister who is also the general manager of Radio one, Akaboozi kubiiri Maria Rhoda Nabasirye Kiwanuka keep pilling each day.

A senior Mulago hospital doctor has now dragged her to the commission of inquiry into land matters for grabbing their 9 acres of land in Munyonyo Kampala.  Rhone Irene Lubega Nabukeera testified before the commission of inquiry into land matters that her father the late Solomon Lubega Byatike Matovu (60) bought 9 acres of land on Kyadondo Block 257 plot 5 from prince Alfred Kigaala, a son to fallen Buganda King, Sir Daudi Chwa in 1964.

“According to the agreement we found at the department of mapping and surveying in Entebbe, our father fully paid the money for the land and lodged a caveat on it to stop unscrupulous people from selling it again, unfortunately, he died before transferring the land into his names,” Nabukeera said.

She told the commission that as a family, they knew that their father left land in Munyonyo but they did not have the documentations until 2006 when a one Yusuf Mukasa, a friend to their late father brought to them the documents.

She said that they went to the registrar of land titles in the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development to find out the status of their late father’s land. She narrated that at the ministry of lands, they were told that the ministry cannot locate their land because it was still in folios even though it was still caveated. They further advised them to consult Entebbe department of mapping and surveying.

She testified that at Entebbe, they carried out an investigation and found out that their land was subdivided was currently on Kyadondo Block 257 plot 5 and 433. Their findings further revealed that the land was registered in the names of Ambrose Wafumba in 1975.

Nabukeera with her lawyer before the commission

They further discovered that the land was transferred from Wafumba and registered in Alima investments Uganda limited which is owned by Maria Nabasirye Kiwana  Kiwanuka, Margate Kiwana, Nakato Mbekeka, Margate Ndibalekera and Janet Nkabidwa, the shareholders of Alima investments. She revealed that efforts to speak to the owners of Alima investments limited were futile and they decided to use legal means. However, every lawyer they approach for assistance abandoned them. Nabukeera revealed that they discovered that there was an invisible hand influencing lawyers to abandon them.

However, Nabukeera found a tough time when commissioner Dr. Rose Nakayi, a Makerere University law don tasked her to present evidence that the land in question was sold to her father.

Nakayi, basing on the documents before the commission told Nabukeera that the land was owned by King Daudi Chwa on behalf of Buganda so his son Kigaala had no powers to sell it.

In response, Nabukeera insisted that the land was given to Kigaala by Chwa so he owned the land in his personal capacity.  She further testified that even her late mother Dorothy Nasolo benefitted from that land as a daughter to king Chwa.

Former Buganda minister Robert Sebunya supported Nabukeera that the said land was owned by King Chwa in his personal capacity not a king. 

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire the chairperson of the commission promised Nabukeera that very soon, Maria Kiwanuka and others will be summoned to explain how they got the contested land.

Maria Nabasirye Kiwanuka is still battling with her husband’s son Sebuliba Kiwanuka who dragged her to the high court civil division accusing her of fraudulently changing the administration of their father’s companies including Oscar industries limited. Sebuliba asked High Court judge Musa Sekana to issue an order to have his father Mohan Kiwanuka’s mental status examined claiming that her step mother Nabasirye is using him to sign strange documents giving her powers to administer his properties.

By Jamil Lutakome

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