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Bus Owners Cry Out To Government: South Sudan Soldiers Are Killing Ugandans

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Kampala Juba Bus Operators have today decided to park their vehicles opposing the brutal treatment from South Sudan soldiers. The drivers said that South Sudan soldiers have continuously harassed, tortured and killed Ugandans who operate and do their work in the world’s youngest nation.

The chairman of bus owners in Uganda Nathan Byanyima told journalists today that about eighteen Ugandans were killed by South Sudanese last month. He added that they have written to all the concerned offices including the line ministries.

“It’s increasingly becoming risky to transport and do business in South Sudan, we have lost family members and our vehicles have been taken especially in the capital Juba. We have now decided to close this chapter until the two governments reach an agreement,” Byanyima said.

“If people from South Sudan do business and live freely in Uganda, why should they kill and harass Ugandans doing business in their country? We are not going to allow this, let them also stay in their own country,” he fumed.

In addition, the chairman of truck owners Kinene Bylon, who broke down in tears, tasked the government of Uganda to talk to their counterparts in South Sudan.

“Last year, more than twenty Ugandan truck drivers were killed with pangas in front of South Sudan policemen. They should stop claiming that they are part of the East African integration,” Kinene said.

The drivers also decried the heavy taxes charged on each item they take to South Sudan and goods that are always taken as samples but are never returned.

 

By Mboowa Nathan

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FULL 21-PAGE LETTER: I Can No Longer Work For You – Jennifer Musisi Resigns As KCCA ED

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The Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Jennifer Musisi Semakula has resigned after seven years at the helm.

In a letter dated today 15th October 2018, Musisi told his boss that she can no longer work as ED and thanked him for giving her the opportunity.

Below is the full letter from Musisi.

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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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INVISIBLE HAND: Bamugemereire Cries Out As Land Grabbers In Government Financially Starve Her, Deny Her Money

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It seems justice Catherine Bamugemereire’s commission of inquiry into land matters has started feeling the strong invisible hand of the land grabbers in government.

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire the chairperson of the commission admitted today that her commission is financially starved.

“What the public needs to know is that even though they have been calling us everywhere for the last four months, we cannot go there because we do not have any provision (financially), we have zero operational fund. Hence, it’s a difficult for us to move everywhere the public calls us. It’s painful to see our staff who are working for us not paid for that period, it’s painful,” Bamugemereire stated.

She revealed that for the last four months, the concerned people who are supposed to give the commission funds have failed to allocate money to facilitate the commission’s work.

She said that they have kept silent for all this time without money but they were touched when the residents of Mubende and Lusanja were brutally evicted from their land and their homes were demolished by greedy land grabbers and court bailiffs.

Bamugemereire stated that the commission has been investigating the land where people were evicted from and they advised court not to issue any order evicting locals because the commission had received the people’s complaints.

She noted that what surprised them as a commission is to see hooligans demolishing people’s house maliciously. Bamugemereire asked the judiciary and the Uganda police to come out and condemn whatever happened over the weekend when city tycoon Medard Kiconco and Court bailiff Moses Kirunda evicted people in Lusanja Nangabo county Wakiso District and the eviction which took place at Mubende District.

The commission also issued summons against Kiconco and Kirunda to appear before the commission this week to testify why they maliciously evicted innocent people from their land.  Bamugemereire’s remarks were supported by the commission’s lead counsel Ebert Byenkya who stated that due to lack of facilitation, the commission is now only handling cases which don’t need a lot of money like facilitating witnesses and complainants to come and testify before the commission.

He said that for the commission to conclusively investigate a matter, they have to call all the concerned parties to testify but some tell them that they don’t have money to transport themselves to the commission headquarters in Wandegeya Kampala.

He added that the commission also has to send its investigators to the ground to get evidence from on any matter and they need facilitation to do the work properly.

The Commission’s outcry for financial facilitation comes when government Ministers and officials threatened to fight the commission after it started investigating their involvement in deadly land grabbing deals and mismanaging of the public funds allocated to Uganda land fund which was supposed to buy land from land lords to benefit tenant.

Among the minister who declared war on the commission include, Betty Among (lands minister), Persis Namuganza (state minister lands), Matia Kasaija  (Finance minister), Hillary Onek (Minister for Disaster preparedness), Keith Muhakaniza among others.

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