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    Bobi Wine In Talks With M7 Over Presidential Petition Withdraw Costs, Protests Justice Byabakama’s Procedure To Hire Kampala’s KAA Advocates…

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    NUP Principal Robert Kyagulanyi and President Yoweri Museveni (R)

    Medard Lubega Sseggona, the lead counsel to National Unity Platform (NUP) former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine has revealed that they are in talks with president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s lawyers over Supreme Court presidential petition withdraw costs.

    Ssegona told the nine justices of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo that they kicked off the talks on the matter today (Friday) morning.

    “My lords, today morning, we talked to lawyers of the 1st Respondent about the costs but they were not as positive yet,” Ssegona said.

    He submitted to Court that he knows very well that it’s very clear in the laws and regulations of the presidential petition that whenever the petitioner seeks to withdraw his petition, he or she has to bear the costs of the respondents.

    He further told the Court that its explanatory that the withdrawal of the petition means that the 1st Respondent (Museveni) won the 2021 presidential elections and no one is challenging his victory.

    Sseggona explained that the petition was filed in Court by his client on behalf of many Ugandans for the good of national democracy and good governance and he must not be punished.

    He insisted that the petition was a public interest matter.

    He pleaded with Court that it will be unfair for them to use their powers to slap costs on his client, who is a normal Ugandan, to foot the legal bills of a declared president of the Country.

    On the side of the 2nd Respondent (Electoral Commission), Ssegona protested the prayer for costs made by Commissioner Stephen Tashobya in his affidavit supporting the withdrawal of the petition.

    In his affidavit, Tashobya told the Court that they incurred huge costs to hire Kampala’s top law firm, Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA) that is why the petitioner has to foot the legal bills.

    In his submission, Sseggona told Court that there was no proper procedure followed by the Electoral Commission when hiring KAA as required by law.

    He insisted that the Electoral Commission is a government institution which needs to follow the public procuring procedures.

    In his response, Edwin Karugire, Museveni’s lawyer told Court that due to the scandalous behaviour of the petitioner, he has to pay them costs.

    He told Court that Bobi Wine exhibited an errant behaviour against the judiciary when he said that it is not independent, biased and incompetent yet it has saved him several times when he ran there for justice.

    He cited the Moses Kibalama case and the case where court directed security to leave his home after the elections.

    Karugire told court that with all those successes Bobi Wine continues to attack the Judiciary yet he failed to prosecute his petition which means that he is a bad loser.

    KAA’s Elison Karuhanga rubbished Ssegona’s submissions that the Electoral Commission didnt follow the public procurement procedures when hiring them.

    He branded Bobi Wine’s lawyer Ushaka Ssekajja as ignorant about the public procurement thus he cannot give advice to the Court.

    He also supported Karugire’s submission that Bobi Wine has been a scandalous litigant who must be punished with costs due to his intentional public attack on judiciary without following the necessary procedures stipulated in Court rules.

    William Byaruhanga, the Attorney General who represented the 3rd Respondent asked court to find ways of handing reckless petitioners of the presidential petition since this is a very serious matter. He agreed with fellow petitioners not to object to the withdrawal of the petition which Court allows.

    On the issue of Costs, Justices Stella Arach Amoko who read the ruling stated that it will be noticed in the detailed ruling. Bobi Wine withdrew his petition citing unfairness of the judiciary after they declined to accept his additional evidence and amendment of his petition.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    CRIME

    Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana Lawyers To Challenge DPP Abodo’s Plan To Hide Witnesses, Mabirizi Wants Trial To Be Halted Over Constitutional Court Petition…

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    Lawyers representing embattled Kawempe North Member of Parliament (MP) Muhammad Ssegirinya, Makindye West’s Allan Ssewanyana and other accused persons are set to put up a spirited legal fight against the Director Public Prosecution (DPP) Justice Jane Abodo’s plans to hide the State witnesses in the main criminal trial before the Crimes War Division of the High Court.

    On Thursday, Justice Abodo, through her Assistant Lino Anguzo, the lead prosecutor in the trial told the pre-trial presiding judge Justice Elizabeth Jane Alividza that they have filed an ex-parte application to allow the state to protect the witnesses from the media and the public when they are testifying.

    Lino told Court that the witnesses they want to protect are very instrumental in their case and they will play a strong part to help Court to deliver justice to the accused persons and the deceased.

    However, speaking to theGrapevine, Geoffrey Turyamusima, one of the lawyers representing the accused persons insisted that they have agreed with their clients to challenge the witness protection application.

    “No, we are going to challenge that application, they have disclosed to us the witnesses who are set to testify against our clients and we have been seeing some of these witnesses in the media.

    “They are the family members of the deceased, friends and security personnel. Now, what do they want to protect?” Turyamusima wondered.

    Court has not yet set the hearing date for the application and other applications including the human rights enforcement application and the bail applications of all the accused persons.

    Other accused persons on the file are; Jackson Kanyike, Jude Mugerwa, Bull Wamala, Mike Sserwadda and Jude Muwongo.

    They are all together with the legislators battling murder, attempted murder and terrorism charges.

    State alleges that the accused persons were behind the Greater Masaka panga wielding goons who killed over 28 elderly people.

    LAWYER MABIRIZI WANTED TO HELD THE TRIAL

    In a new development, controversial incarcerated city lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi has applied to the Crimes War Division of the High Court to halt the pre-trial of the accused persons until the determination of his Constitutional petition against the Attorney General.

    In his Constitutional petition, Mabirizi insisted that Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana are being politically persecuted by the state and the additional criminal charges brought against them are unjustifiable.

    However, Turyamusima told theGrapevine that they will oppose Mabirizi’s application to stay proceedings of their clients because he doesn’t want them to rot in prison given that the Constitution Court is going to take a lot of time to determine his Constitutional petition.

    Turyamusima added that what they want as per now is a speedy trial for their clients because they have established that the state doesn’t have evidence against them.

    He emphasised that the only application filed by Mabirizi, which they will support is the one where he calls for merging of the two files, one at the Crimes War Division of the High Court and the other at Masaka High Court.

    Recently, the accused persons applied for the merging of both files and the presiding judge promised that their matter will be handled in the pre-trial process.

    Early this year, Justice Musa Sekaana, the head of the High Court Civil Division Kampala sentenced Mabirizi to 18 months imprisonment on charges of contempt of Court.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    AFRICA FOCUS

    UPDF Commandos Join Deadly Operation To Hunt Top Ugandan Terrorists Who Escaped From DRC Prison…

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    Commandos of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have joined the deadly operation to hunt for and arrest top Ugandan terrorists who escaped from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) prison early this week.

     Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye, the UPDF spokesperson confirmed the development and explained to theGrapevine that the reason why they joined the DRC’s army FARDC was after establishing that among the 822 prisoners who escaped, there were top terrorists who were recently arrested.

     “Since we joined the operation, we have already arrested more than 150 prisoners who escaped from a government prison in Butembo town. We are very sure that all of them will be arrested because them being out there is a threat to the entire region’s security,” he said.

     He added that preliminary investigation established that ADF terrorists were involved in the attack and their top aim was to help their friends to escape and join them to continue terrorising the entire region.

     DRC government also claims that the operation, which took only 15 minutes was masterminded by ADF terrorists. The prison was allegedly raided after ADF learnt that their friends who were arrested by the security were set to be evacuated to other big government prisons.

     Captain Anthony Mualushayi, the spokesperson for the operation hunting for the escaped prisoners revealed that the attackers come from Mwalika valley and were 80 in number.

    They used their weapons and machetes to open the prison doors to help their own including a one Kizito and other 12 deadly ADF terrorists from Uganda to escape.

     Capt. Mualushayi added that over 8 people were killed in the operation including five assailants, two policemen and a prisoner who was killed by the terrorist when was resisting their orders.

     He said that by the time reinforcements came, the terrorists had fled the place.

     However, they managed to trace their tracks and arrested two of them with AK47 guns and several rounds of ammunitions.

     UPDF decided to join DRC to hunt DRC for ADF terrorists after they made several attacks on Ugandans that left some victims dead.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    CRIME

    Speaker Among, Top Parliament Staff To Be Quizzed Over MP Kagabo’s Shs40m Bribe Allegations; Legislator Risks Losing His Bukoto South Seat…

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    MP Twaha Kagabo (L) and Speaker Anita Among (R)

    Detectives from the office of the Inspector General of Government (IGG) are set to record statements from the Speaker of parliament Annet Anita Among and other parliamentary staff on the allegations of giving Shs40m bribe to Members of Parliament.

    Ali Munira, the spokesperson of the office of the IGG revealed that their detectives have widened their investigations and a number of witnesses will been summoned to record statements over Dr. Twaha Kagabo’s bribe allegations.

    She declined to confirm whether speaker Among will record a statement.

    However, multiple credible sources in the IGG’s office confirmed that Speaker Among will record a statement on grounds that she is a subject matter in the allegation.

    Kagabo claims that in July this year, he received a phone call telling him to go to Nakasero at the home of speaker Among and pick his gift. When he reached Among’s house, he was given Shs40m and told that it was a package from parliament administration prepared for legislators.

    Sources at the IGG’s office divulged that Kagabo has recorded two statements and was ordered to report to the IGG’s office every day to establish how far the investigations against the allegations have reached.

    Sources added that among other people the detectives want to pick statements from are officers from Uganda Communication Communication who will help to verify the owners of the phone numbers which were used to call Kagabo to allegedly go to the Speakers home, to pick his gift.

    The Investigators will also rely on the evidence of the CCTV cameras at the speaker’s home around Nakasero to establish whether the legislator was seen at the home of the speaker at that particular time.

    Among denied all the allegations and recommended that the legislator be taken to Rules, Privileges and Disciplinary parliamentary Committee and be investigated.

    Sources in parliament revealed that the speaker will also testify in the Committee to defend herself.

    However, Uganda’s representative in the East African parliament and a renown senior legislator James Kakooza told theGrapevine that Kagabo is in big trouble and he cannot survive losing his Bukoto South parliamentary seat.

    He explained that the Leadership Code is very clear that when a person holding a public office receives a gift worth more than Shs400,000, he or she has to declare it to the IGG within 24 hours which he failed to do.

    He added that it will be hard for Kagabo to place Among on the scene of crime because there is no touchable evidence since he didn’t sign anywhere when he was given the money and the speaker herself was not the one handing him the bribe.

    “I think my young brother was playing politics and he is finished. Now, what we want the investigators to tell us is, who gave him that ‘kanyama’ (bodyguard) who was carrying the bag which contained the money. I established that my young brother was under captive and the Kanyama was the one ordering him to do whatever he did,” Kakooza said.

    NUP’s president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alis Bobi Wine praised Kagabo for following his advice and returning the bribe like he advised his legislators unlike his other colleagues who received the bribe but refused to return it.

    He pleaded to IGG and other investigation agencies to investigate the matter with care instead of victimising the legislator.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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