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    COSASE Orders For Cancelation Of Illegal Leases On Uganda Railways Land …

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    COSASE chairperson, Joel Ssenyonyi

    The Committee on Commissions Statutory Authority and State Enterprises (COSASE) has ordered the cancellation of leases on Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) land.

    COSASE chairperson, Joel Ssenyonyi said that over time, different district land boards in Kampala, Jinja, Mbale, Gulu, Nwoya, and Uganda Land Commission have created illegal leases on URC land.

    “AII illegal leases on URC land should be canceled by the issuing authorities. The officers in the district land boards involved in issuing the illegal leases should be held responsible and URC should come up with clear mechanisms on how to lease its land so that the appropriate value can be ascertained,” he said

    He explained several requests by URC to these land boards to cancel the said illegal leases have been futile and this has made it difficult for URC to recover its land.

    Ssenyonyi said that URC has written to the bodies and the letters have not been responded to, while some of them have been added as parties to litigation cases involving URC.

    On the newly procured locomotives, the committee found out that the four locomotives purchased in 2021 for Shs shs48 billion have been parked in the workshop with no work.

    “The URC workers interfaced with the committee and revealed that the locomotives were imported without knowing that they were too long for the triangles and not able to turn,” Ssenyonyi’s report read in part.

    The committee also found out that there were irregularities in the procurement process of the locomotives with older locomotives purchased at higher costs and yet a lesser amount could have bought new ones.

    “After carrying out a market survey, a URC select committee recommended that the company purchases locomotives which are six years old at Shs 36 billion. However, locomotives which were eight years old costing Shs 48 billion were procured,” Ssenyonyi said.

    The committee recommended that the Ministry of Works and Transport should take responsibility for the failure to follow government policy on the procurement of equipment.

    They also want the management of URC that was involved in the procurement held responsible for flouting procurement regulations and the unplanned costs incurred on modifications of railway triangles in Jinja and Tororo and the U-turn in Kampala.

    Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Privatisation, Hon. Evelyn Anite said that shs69.52 billion that is needed to pay Uganda Railways for the sale of Nsambya land has not been allocated in the budget for the next financial year due to competing priorities. This followed reports from Uganda Railway indicating that since Government gave out the Nsambya land to investors, it was never been paid.

    The Speaker of Parliament Anita Among asked Government to plan and budget for the money since the budget process is ongoing.

    The MPs gave Government three months to table a treasury memorandum on the Uganda Railway operations. A Treasury Memorandum is an action report by the Minister or government detailing actions taken on recommendations of Parliament.

     

    By Kobusiinge Monica

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    NATIONAL

    Security On High Alert After Sunday ADF-Linked Bomb Blast Near Uganda, DR Congo Border

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    Uganda security agencies have been put on high alert after a bomb linked to the Allied Democratic Forces – ADF went off yesterday near Uganda, Congo border.

    The incident in the Eastern DRC happened at Pentecostal Church in Lhubirira, an immediate town located 4kms after Mpondwe border point. At least 10 people died on the spot and 47 others suffered injuries.

    “The terror attack shows that terrorism can occur any time and anywhere, and further reminds us all of the terrorist threats that we face as a country. Because of the existing threat environment, our Joint Counter terror task teams from CMI, Crime Intelligence, Counter terrorism, CID in coordination with territorial units, continue to operate with a heightened state of readiness. It is approximately, 425days, since the double terror task at CPS and Kampala Avenue that have led to several investigations, multiple arrests and recovery of an assortment of dangerous weapons. So far, 18 guns have been recovered, 1 PK gun and 116 PK rounds, 1 pistol, 7 IEDs, 21 electronic detoriators, 52 explogel explosives, 2 Axel blades, 2 emulsion explosives, an assortment of bomb making materials, walkie talkies, mobile phones, 185 other types of ammunition, and motorcycles etc. In addition, a total of 57 suspects (terrorists and rebels) have been arrested,” Police Spokesperson who doubles as the Joint Security Spokesman told the media in Kampala on Monday.

    And while those disruptive operations present a positive step in securing the safety of Ugandans, Enanga says that “there is still work to identify ADF cells of agents, collaborators, operatives and sponsors within the country.”

    “Several measures have also been put in place, to avert any hostile infiltrations and attacks at Mpondwe border and all other crossing points. For instance, we have stopped the movement of cargo and passenger boats across Lake Albert, intensified patrols in Bugoma forest and across the borderlines, bolstered security at major installations, markets and parking yards, and intensified intelligence on several targets among others,” he said.

    Enanga, however, asked the public not to be alarmed “by these steps because it is meant for their safety.”

    “We would like to further remind the public that the threats of terrorism are real, especially on soft targets, which are many and sometimes difficult to defend, especially restaurants, markets, shopping centres, public transportation hubs like taxi and bus parks, places of worship and other crowded places etc. as a result, we call upon the public to be extra alert and vigilant, as they go about their activities. Remember, the best defence against any terrorist threats is our collective community effort. Once again, please be alert but not alarmed. And report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the nearest police unit or security agency.”

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    NATIONAL

    City Babe Who Offered Room For Cousin & Her Boyfriend Arrested For Double Murder

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    The police are investigating circumstances under which two young adults died in a fire at Jinja-Nabweru on Thursday evening.

    The deceased have been identified as Patricia, 24, and Kajumba, 27.

    Findings show that the lovers visited Suzan Keitesi, 24; a cousin of Patricia on Thursday morning. Keitesi is a resident in an apartment at Jinja Kawempe Zone A, Jinja Kawempe Ward in Nabweru Division.

    However, the pair were found dead on Thursday evening in a suspicious manner, while Keitesi was rushed to a nearby clinic and later Kawempe hospital for first aid. She was later discharged that day.

    Suspecting foul play, detectives attached to Kawempe Police Station interacted with Keitesi on her hospital bed. Her statement looked uncoordinated. She has been detained as further investigations continue.

    Deputy Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire says Patricia and her boyfriend are suspected to have been murdered.

    “We have reserved the scene for further examination by officials from National Building Review Board, UMEME, and other stakeholders, to ascertain the exact cause of the fire. 

    Whereas the tenant had a gas cooker, it was in a store and it remained intact,” Owoyesigyire said. “We have however arrested Kaitesi Suzan on allegations of Murder as investigations continue.”

     

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    NATIONAL

    Aponye MD Harold Byamugisha Still Missing – Security

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    Police are searching for the Managing Director of Aponye Uganda Limited who went missing on Sunday night.

    Harold Byamugisha is said to have left home on Sunday dressed casually, promising his wife that he was to return.

    “The wife says he left home in a yellow shirt and white shorts. She said he called her around 11pm and informed her that he could return home in 20 minutes. He didn’t return,” Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire told the media yesterday.

    Byamugisha’s family has also put up an announcement, promising a Shs5m reward to anyone who can help them find him.

    “He was last seen in Ntinda on Sunday…driving his motor vehicle, a Range Rover, white in colour number UBF 017D. This is to inform the general public that whoever has any idea of his whereabouts, please call us on 0775363017, 07770611435 or report to the nearest police station. A reward of Shs5m is available,” the notice reads in part.

    But while reports emerged Friday morning that he had been found, security sources say Byamugisha is yet to be found.

    “He called us yesterday and said he is okay. But the wife who reported the case hasn’t physically seen him,” a security source said.

    Owoyesigyire says Byamugisha is still missing.

    “To us, he is still missing,” he said. “So, we are still looking for him and he is not safe and sound like he said.”

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