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    EXCLUSIVE: 70 URA Staff Under Investigation For Having Abnormal Wealth As M7 Grills Finance Minister Kasaija In Secret Meeting…

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    Former URA boss Doris Akol (C), President Museveni (inset L) and Kasaija (inset R)

    Multiple credible sources in State House Nakasero have told the Grapevine that on Sunday evening, President Yoweri Museveni summoned senior Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija and Permanent Secretary and secretary to treasury Keith Muhakanizi over the financial scum in the national tax collecting body Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

    This website can authoritatively reveal that Museveni shared a lot of intelligence information discovered by different in security agencies especially the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) with the duo implicating over 70 URA staff.

    Museveni also tabled various whistleblowers letters written to Kasaija asking him to investigate the fraud and corruption in URA where he turned a deaf ear.

    Museveni grilled Kasaija on why he looked on when URA bosses were conniving with foreigners to steal government’s money yet his ministry is supposed to supervise the tax body.

    He told Kasaija that he has information that some of the people implicated used their family members to cut deals for them to elude being arrested.

    This website established that Museveni has already handed the seventy names of these URA staff including former commissioner General Doris Akol for further investigation to the State House Anti-corruption unit led by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema.

    This website has also established that Lt. Col. Nakalema has dispatched a team of detectives to work together with the Directorate of Criminal Investigation of the Uganda Police to gather all the necessary evidence on all the implicated URA staffs.

    Multiple sources have told the Grapevine that some  URA staff are going to be summoned to explain how they accumulated a lot of wealth including land in prime areas like Bunyoro region where the oil pipeline is going to pass, hotels and resorts in Kampala and upcountry plus huge accounts of money on their accounts in local and international banks.

    Nakalema also directed her detectives to keep a keen eye to top former URA staffs after receiving intelligence information that some are planning to sneak out of the country to elude questioning.

    Sources further revealed that Museveni is very serious about prosecuting every URA staff found guilty that is why he has tasked the investigation teams not to make any mistakes.

    Meanwhile, sources close to former URA Commissioner General Doris Akol told this website that the trained lawyer wanted to take on government in court after her sacking but she was advised not to take that path because such an action will mean that she has declared war on Museveni.

    Sources in Akol’s camp told this website that to calm her down, she was told that the big man is preparing for her another big government office.

    However, Akol’s worry now is her former staff who are under investigation who might drag her name into their mess.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    We Want To Pick Money From Our Shops To Survive: City Traders Plead With M7 To Ease COVID-19 Lockdown…

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    KASITA spokesperson Haji Isa Ssekitto

    City traders have pleaded with president Yoweri Museveni to easy the COVID-19 lockdown so that they can open their shops and pick their money and other valuables they left inside.

    In a chat with theGrapevine, the spokesperson of Kampala City Traders Association (KASITA), Haji Isa Ssekitto revealed that many of their members are going die of stress before COVID-19 kills them.

    “The lockdown caught many of us by surprise and some of our members were not prepared. They left their money in shops and surprisingly when the president declared a nationwide lockdown, they were never given a chance to prepare themselves,” Ssekitto said.

    Ssekitto explained that some of their members want to pick their money from their shops to pay their landlords the months they have been in their buildings and relocate and also pay the landlords where they sleep.

    He insisted that other traders want to start selling their goods online.

    He added that traders fear that their landlords may confiscate their goods like it was in the previous lockdown and charge them rent arears of months they have spent without working.

    However, Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Luke Owesigire has warned that as security, they are not going to allow any person to access shops which were closed by the president.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    Justice Adonyo Erred In Tycoon Kiggundu, DTB Bank’s Shs120bn Case – Court Of Appeal Declares, Orders Fresh Hearing By Different Judge…

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    Ham Kiggundu had taken DTB to court alleging that it had made illegal withdrawals from his account amounting to billions of shillings.

    The Court of Appeal has today rescinded an earlier ruling by the commercial court which had directed Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Uganda and DTB Kenya to refund at least Shs 120 billion to businessman Hamis Kiggundu.

    Kiggundu had taken DTB to court alleging that it had made illegal withdrawals from his account amounting to billions of shillings.

    Three Justices led by Justice Richard Buteera- the Deputy Chief Justice have declared that Justice Henry Peter Adonyo erred when he dismissed Shs120bn Commercial case in favor of City tycoon Hamis Kiggundu- the proprietor of Ham Enterprises Limited against Diamond Trust Bank Limited.

    In his led Judgement, Justice Buteera agrees with Justice Christopher Madrama and justice Kenneth Kakuru that former Commercial Court Judge Adonyo erred to struck out the respondent’s joint written statement of defense and entered Judgement for the plaintiffs under Order 9 Rules 6, 8, 10 and 30 and Orders 52 Rules 1, 2 and 3 Civil procedures Rules.

    “In the instant case, this was not a claim for liquidated sum and this fact is brought out by the trial Judge in his ruling of 30th September 2020 where the trial Judge directed the institution of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to appoint an independent auditor to carry out a full account reconciliation of the financial transactions which are based on the credit facilities between the plaintiffs and defendants to determine the amounts due inter partes be stayed pending hearing and determination of Misc. Application No 654 of 2020,” Justice Buteera stated.

    The Justices insist that it was an error made by the trial judge to struck out the written statements of the defense and enter a judgement for the plaintiffs under Order 9 Rule 6 of the CPR since their claims were not liquidated and the defendants had not failed to file a defense and the issue of failing to file defense never arose in the proceedings.

    The Justices further wondered how Judge Adonyo entered a interlocutory judgement under 0.9 Rule 8  without giving reasons that the defendants failed to file their defense in time and the trial Judge himself acknowledges in his Judgement that both parties files their submissions in time.

    The learned Justices pointed out that there is no law that makes it illegal for a Ugandan Citizen or a foreigner resident in Uganda to borrow or pay back money borrowed from a foreign institution, a Bank or any other organization unless the transaction involves the perpetuation of criminal offences such as terrorism, money laundering, human trafficking or any other offences.

    The Justices indicated that the only loan agreement tainted with perpetuation of an offence would not be enforced by a Ugandan Court.

    “A loan agreement with a foreigner or a foreign entity, weather the contract is executed in Uganda or outside Uganda would be enforced by a Ugandan Court in accordance with the terms of the agreement the parties, the laws of the respective countries in which the agreement is made and or is executed and international laws and obligation of mixed law and fact that be adjudicated upon,” Justice Kakuru stated.

    The Justices agreed that Justice Adonyo’s Judgement be set a side and the respondents have been ordered to bear the costs of the Appeal.

    They ordered that the said suit be taken back to the High Court Commercial Division and be expeditiously fixed and heard by another Judge. They also ordered that the proceedings shall commence on the pleadings before the High Court before the amended plaint and written statements of Defense which have been struck off.

    Tycoon Kiggundu run to the High Court Commercial Division challenging DTB Uganda to collect his money from his bank Account when he did not borrow money from them rather borrow from DTB Kenya. The trial Judge agrees with him that DTB Uganda did not have the powers to withdraw his money because they did not lend the applicant and DTB Kenya did not have the license to carry out any business transaction in Uganda.

    The judge dismissed the entire case without hearing the merit of the case with costs and directed the defendants to pay Shs120bn with 8% interest, Costs of the matter and return all the applicant’s land titles which the bank confiscated. It should also be remembered that Ham petitioned the Constitutional court challenging the constitutionality of Regulation 13 of the Mortgage act, that requires Bank Customers to first deposit 30% of the disputed amount in the filled case before the hearing can proceed.

    However, Kiggundu through his lawyer Fred Muwema noted that they are going to appeal to the Supreme Court challenging Court of Appeal’s decision claiming that it was a biased decision and they were compromised.

    By Joel K Wansaale

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    Don’t Sign On That NHIS Bill, It Will Scare Away Investors – Minister Aceng Tells M7…

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    Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng (L) has advised President Yoweri Museveni (R) against signing on the NHIS bill into a law

    The Cabinet Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has advised President Yoweri Museveni against signing on the recently passed contentious National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) bill by the Parliament.

    The NHIS bill seeks to provide universal healthcare to all Ugandans. It sounds very impressive, bit how it is planned to be executed is what raises alarm for some ‘concerned’ people.

    Dr Aceng has confirmed to theGrapevine that she has indeed written to the president, requesting him to desist from signing on the bill into law, citing that it’s unfair to the public.

    “Ugandans are low payers and low earners, yet requested to pay for the needs of the people?” she noted with concern. She cited for instance health workers who have already been complaining about low salaries, and the negativity it would bring about to further suggest another 4% of the same.

    She insists that if the bill is signed by the president and turned into law, it will easily scare away the investors who would wish to invest their money in the country because they would now have to bear with spending alot on workers; from paying for the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and other legal requirements.

    The passing of the same bill was however highly contested, and only came after members rejected Health State Minister in charge of general duties Robinah Nabanja’s motion to withdraw the Bill.

    Nabanja’s plea that the government wanted to withdraw the Bill pending more consultations was overpowered in Parliament.

    Even in 2006 when  government announced plans to introduce the NHIS where all Ugandan residents would be required to have a health insurance policy, many stakeholders criticised the plan claiming its another burden to employees.

    By Alirabaki Sengooba

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