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Chief Justice Katureebe Cited In The Resignation Of UJOA Vice President To Benefit From The Judiciary Administration Bill Before Kadaga…

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The Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has been cited in the resignation of Uganda Judicial Officers Association (UJOA) Vice President Sheila Gloria Atim.

In her resignation letter dated 28th April 2020, Atim stated that on the matter of principle, she is unable to continue to serve as the vice president of the current Executive Committee under the presidency of Mbarara Resident Judge Tadeo Asiimwe.

“I believe that at all time, it is UJOA members wishes in line with the UJOA mandate that should guide the Executive Committee in its actions.  I find I am unable to continue implementing that mandate in the current UJOA Executive Committee. I hereby offer to you my resignation as vice president UJOA as required under Article 17 of the Articles of Association of UJOA,” Atim stated.

She indicated that the gist of her resignation is about the recalling of a letter dated 16th of March 2020 authored by the Association’s Assistant General Secretary and herself to the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga guiding her and Members of Parliament on legislating the Judiciary administration bill, which will give powers to the judiciary to manage their finances.

In the letter written to speaker Kadaga, UJOA cited two landmark decisions of the Constitutional Court regarding the doctrine of separation of powers and independence of the Judiciary that could affect the contents of the Administration of Judiciary bill.

The two cases cited were Krispus Ayena Odongo Vs the Attorney General and that of the Uganda Law Society VS the Attorney General, in both cases, the rulings clarified matters that include the meaning of independence of the Judiciary and principle of separation of powers.

They also clarified on the office of the Chief Justice as the administrative head of the judiciary, a self-accounting organ, the constitutionality of and complexities involved in the existence of the office of the secretary to the judiciary to the judiciary visa viz the financial autonomy and independence of the judiciary.

According to the letter received by the office of the Speaker of parliament, both constitution court judgments were attached on the letter.

In her resignation, Atim claims that without the recommendation of the UJOA, the Association president Asiimwe through Daniel Bwambale the treasurer again wrote to the speaker recalling their letter.

The letter indicated that the recall was done to enable parliament handle and first track the bill. He said that the Chief Justice as the head of the judiciary was going to communicate to the speaker regarding the passing of the bill.

Multiple credible sources we spoke to revealed that Asiimwe acted on the directions of the Chief Justice to recall the said letter because it was going to delay the passing of the bill which he wanted passed before next month.

Sources intimated to the Grapevine that Katureebe wants to benefit from the bill since it gives retired justices a huge retirement package which includes, monthly salaries, allowances, cars, security and houses. When contacted for a comment, Asiimwe said that, “it’s not my policy to communicate anything on WhatsApp. I can’t add my voice to rumours,” he said.

Efforts to speak to Asiimwe for more were futile since he was not picking his known telephone numbers. However, Solomon Muyita the senior Communication’s officer Judiciary refuted claims that Katureebe pressurizes Asiimwe to recall the controversial letter. Muyita said that UJOA is very different from judiciary even though many of the judiciary staff are members of UJOA. He said that Katureebe cannot be involved in UJOA work and asked the UJOA administration to resolve their grievances without dragging in the outgoing Chief Justice.

 

By Sengooba Alirabaki

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How Gen. Saleh, Capt. Mike Mukula’s Undercover Mobilization Skills Forced Former Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza Out Of Kasese Politics…

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L-R: Gen Saleh, Winnie Kizza and Capt. Mukula

On Tuesday afternoon, the country was shocked with the announcement from fearless Kasese district woman Member of Parliament Winnie Kiiza that she had retired from elective politics.

In her statement, Kiiza stated that for the 23 years she has been in politics serving her country in different political offices, she is contented with what she has done.

General Mugisha Muntu, the former President of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) who is now in Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) appointed her as the Leader of Opposition in Parliament.

A number of political commentators gave their opinion on what they think caused Kiiza’s decision to exit elective politics.

Betty Nambooze, the Mukono Municipality legislator boasted that as a well-trained investigative journalist, she smells a rotten rat in Kiiza’s resignation especially at this time when the country is preparing for the general election in 2021.

Charles Rwomushana, a presidential aspirant and a political analyst said that Kiiza’s exit might have been fueled by the political turmoil in Kasese and the stormy internal politics in FDC party.

Rwomushana added that Kizza is not in good books with Patrick Amuriat’s leadership at Najjanakumbi.

However, close friends to Kiiza who are conversant with politics in Kasese have told theGrapevine that their friend held lengthy consultations with various stakeholders before deciding to quit.

Kiiza’s friends revealed that she calculated and discovered that she will face an uphill task winning the over 30 aspirants who want her seat given that National Resistance Movement (NRM) popularity is also growing in the area.

A credible source within Kiiza’s camp revealed that NRM has seriously penetrated the area since the 2016 elections.

Others disclosed that FDC in Kasese is sharply divided with many seeing Kiiza as a traitor for dumping Besigye and crossing over to Muntu’s ANT.

Political analysts told this website that immediately after the 2016 General elections and the attack on the palace of Charles Wesley Mumbere, the king of Rwezururu, President Yoweri Museveni dispatched Captain Mike Mukula the party Vice Chairperson Eastern Region to handle the hot Kasese politics.

Source told us that Museveni was very happy with the way Mukula successfully put former Leader of Opposition and veteran celebrated journalist Wafula Oguttu out of action politically.

Mukula was very instrumental in helping Solomon Silwanyi who overwhelmingly defeated Oguttu in Bukoolo Central.

Sources added that Museveni was also very happy with Mukula’s zeal when he politically neutralized Ogenga Latigo also a former Leader of Opposition in the 8th parliament.

Sources explained that Museveni also based on the friendly relationship between Mukula and Lt. Col. Charles Kamya, the Omudinga wa Obundingiya bwa Bamba.

There has been bad blood between Mumbere and Omudinga which led to loss of lives in their tribal fight in 2016.

Mukula was instrumental in making sure that the two tribal leaders unite.

It was established by this website that Mukula is respected in Rwenzori region because of his fight to restore peace in the region after doing a lot of undercover mobilization for his party which threatened Kiiza’s political future.

On Monday, Mukula welcomed hundreds of opposition mobilizers from greater Rwenzori region who defected to NRM from different political parties and pressure groups at the party headquarters on Kyadondo road Kampala.

To help Mukula, Museveni also assigned his brother Gen. Salim Saleh to clean his name and the NRM image in Kasese.

Gen Saleh through Operation Wealth Creation injected billions in Kasese for investment and structural development.

Credible sources told this website that, Gen. Saleh and Mukula have been meeting a number Kasese mobilizers to see how NRM can sweep the region in the coming general elections.

MUKULA TEAM TURN GUNS TO KAMPALA

Steven Kabuleta, the NRM deputy chairperson Nakawa Division exclusively told this website that they are preparing to unveil a number of strong supporters from FDC and People Power.

He stated that they were thinking of unveiling them at once but because of the COVID19 pandemic they will unveil them in small numbers.

“I thank Captain Mukula for the tactics he taught us on how to convince other people to join our party. By the close of this week, you will see another team of big fish from other parties join us,” Kabuleta said.

When contacted, Mukula admitted that he has been receiving a lot of phone calls from different opposition members who want to join NRM.

Mukula added that most of those people are coming from Kampala and Busoga regions.

“Our mobilizers on the ground are doing a commendable job to ensure that in the remaining months to the elections, the party gets more new members on top of maintaining the old ones,” Mukula explained.

When asked about the claims that General Mugisha Muntu’s ANT is a division of NRM, Mukula rubbished the allegations saying that both parties have different political ideologies, he blamed FDC for being behind the rumours.

 

By Sengooba Alirabaki

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What You Missed During Age Limit Case: Gov’t Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo Reported For Leaking State Secrets, East African Court Directs MP Nambooze And Others To Pay Billions To Gov’t…

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Government spokesperson who also doubles as the Executive Director of the media center is in trouble after being accused of giving vital government secrets to non-government officials.

During the proceedings of the Age limit in the East African courts of Justice, Attorney General William Byaruhanga was shocked to learn that much of the evidence the applicant, city lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi based on was given to him by Ofwono Opondo.

“My Lords Mr. Mabirizi based on baseless evidences which he claims was given to him by a one Ofwono Opondo,  it’s not true, he is  just targeting our officials who are holding sensitive offices on behalf of the Ugandans,” Byaruhanga submitted.

In his submission, Mabirizi told Honorable Lady Justice Monica Mugenyi, Honorable Justice Dr. Charles Nyawello and Honorable Justice Charles Nyachae of the East African Court of Justice that when he was hosted on NBS TV to discuss the Supreme Court judgment on the Age limit Appeal, he met Ofwono who boasted that there was no way he was going to defeat the ruling NRM party when most of the justices on the panel were their cadres.

The flamboyant lawyer revealed that Ofwono also told him that Justice Jotham Tumwesigye, one of the justices who ruled in the favor of the Attorney General was his boss at the NRM secretariat when he was the Director legal.

Mabirizi further told court that Tumwesigye’s judgment was biased given his closeness to the beneficiary of the lifting of the age limit from the Constitution since they went in the same school and he worked in his government.

He added that it was unethical for retired Chief Justice Bart Katureebe to preside over the age limit case well knowing that he is a close friend to president Museveni having worked in his government as the Attorney General and a Minister who at one time traveled in the same vehicle with Museveni to Tanzania.

He also told court that Justice Arach Amoko was also compromised since her husband was appointed by Museveni as an ambassador.

Lawyers Ssemakadde (L) and Mabirizi

“In the instant case, none of the Justices made an affidavit to rebut the evidence and I have not seen any averment by any other person to controvert my evidence,” Mabirizi insisted.

He further accused the Constitutional court of treating him like an alien before them, he gave an example of statements from the acting Chief Justice who bragged during the hearing of the age limit case that his court was not going to be the first to breach the rules of procedure.

Mabirizi said that in the same court, he was prevented from asking Gen. David Muhoozi, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) Chief of Defence Forces questions especially on who commanded the historical attack on Parliament during the age limit debate.

He also pined the Constitutional court for allowing defective affidavits on the court record.

He said that the Supreme Court also extended time for filling submissions without his application and input.

Mabirizi also told court that he was humiliated when he was told to sit in the dock as if he was attending a criminal trial and when the matter went to the Supreme Court, they assigned him an isolation desk contrary to article 21(1) of the constitution which guarantees equality before and under the law.

He added that the Supreme Court even denied him Shs.20m awarded to each petitioner yet article 126(2) of the constitution requires compensation to be done irrespective of whether a party is represented or not.

He told court that during the delivering of the judgement, the then Chief Justice was suffering from infirmity of the body after losing his sight and was on his way to surgery.

He insisted that there was judicial fraud where after obtaining a majority of 4-3 stating that the constitutional court erred in law in applying the substantiality test, thereby winning the appeal, the Chief Justice announced the opposite declaring him the loser.

“My lords, this is the gravest injustice I have ever seen and heard of. Although a party can agonize over an unfair decision, it is beyond agony for the same court to refuse to declare a party’s win. I have demonstrated how the entire appeal rested on substantiality test and winning it meant winning the appeal but the Chief Justice chose to swindle my win,” Mabirizi stated.

Mabirizi asked the regional court to declare that the decision made by the Ugandan courts violated the East African treaty and declare it false.

However, the Attorney General who represented Ugandan Government insisted that Mabirizi only lacks experience on how court proceedings are handled that’s why he accuses judicial officers of being biased.

He said that the reason why he was evicted from siting in places where Advocates sit is because he didn’t go to Law Development Center for a certificate of legal practice.

He asked court to punish Mabirizi for insulting Uganda’s judicial officers and also dismiss his case with costs.

Earlier, the court dismissed with costs a case where Ugandan lawyers led by Mukono Municipality legislator Betty Nambooze the spokesperson of the people’s government, Kira Municipality legislator Ibrahim Semujju Nganda and others were also challenging the lifting of the age limit in the East African court of Justice.

Donald Omondi Deya, a celebrated Tanzanian lawyer who was representing the petitioners, told court that he was withdrawing his petition because his clients lost interests in it. He prayed to court to withdraw his case without costs but Attorney General Byaruhanga insisted that the government lost a lot of money because of the case and wanted to be compensated.

Mabirizi tried to plead to court not to slap costs on Members of Parliament because they brought the matter as a public interest litigation but not commercial. However, court agreed with the Attorney General and the matter was dismissed with costs.

 

By Sengooba Alirabaki

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Speaker Kadaga Directs Mandatory Covid19 Testing Of All MPs After Legislator Allegedly Tests Positive…

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Speaker Kadaga

The Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga has revealed that all Members of Parliament (MPs) and staff of Parliament will undergo mandatory testing for COVID-19.

While addressing plenary today, the Speaker said that the exercise will be conducted by the Ministry of Health starting on Thursday, 16 July 2020.

The Speaker disclosed that to avoid congestion, Ministry of Health will start with the MPs and the staff will also be screened later.

This comes after unconfirmed reports indicated that a Member of Parliament on Parliament’s COVID-19 Taskforce tested positive for the deadly disease.

Uganda currently has 1,043 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 198 are active cases while 1004 Recoveries (both Ugandans and non-Ugandans) have been registered with no death so far registered.

Uganda is yet to directly record deaths from COVID-19.

 

By Sandra Mukisa

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