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    Family Pins City Tycoon For Stealing Family Property



    By Jamil Lutakome

    Scovia Sanyu Gatete a city tycoon owning a number of buildings around Kampala was grilled in the commercial court for stealing and mismanaging family property worth USD 70,000 and USHS 954M.

    While appearing before Judge Flavia Senoga, Andrew Kahura a lawyer representing the plaintiffs led by  Esterico Rutajengwa an elder brother to Scovia, Milly Kabasinga, David Mutabaazi and Ruth Rukundo all relatives to the defendant fired frequent questions to Gatete which forced her to take five bottles of Rwenzori mineral water like a thirsty cow. Gatete wa tasked to explain how she got money which she used to buy all the buildings she has in the city and to establish different fat  businesses. The businesses in the question include Ziba building along Nakivubo Mews, Savannah Apartments on Mackay road, Katorano building former Mabirizi towers along martin road and Zico company.

    Kahuma put it to her that she used fraudulent means like forging documents to change the properties in question into her names from other family members. He based on Esterico Rutajengwa’s affidavit where he showed court that he was the one who educated Gatete up to when she completed her studies because she is his younger sister. After her studies, because she was by then the most educated relative, he decided to put her in their family business to help run it. They even opened up a bank account in her names and put all the money collected from the family  businesses on that account.

    One of the building which they are fighting for

    He noted that Gatete betrayed their trust and used that money to buy all the three buildings in the question. He adds Gatete started by telling them that she was going to divide the properties such that every family member takes their share. Without any agreement she started giving them papers including the properties she had given to them. Even though she was not the only owner of the entire business, she took the lion share. She even chased away all her relatives who were working in those businesses without any explanation. In her defense, Gatete told court that she was the owner of all the businesses and she doesn’t have any shareholders as the plaintiffs allege. “My lord, all those businesses are mine I was just assisting my elder brother (Rutajigwa) by employing him so that he can get money to pay for his children’s school fees and cater his family. It’s also not true that it was a family business as they alleged my lord,” Gatete defended herself.

    She added that the plaintiffs are very ungrateful people because even though she did a lot of thing to them they were not appreciative. She said she found out that they were stealing her money that’s why she chased them away from her businesses.

    When she was tasked to explain whether she reported the culprits to police, she said that she reported them to CPS police Kampala but she didn’t follow the case after her mother warned her to stop witch hunting her family members. “My lord, Rutajengwa’s children stole my money and when I told him, he just told me that all the money is for men not ladies. It annoyed me but I was patient and waited for his children to finish their studies after which I chased them as I did,” Gatete added.

    Senoga adjourned the matter to 21-11-2017

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    Stop Cattle Theft, Witch Craft And Alcoholism – Gen. Peter Elwelu Tells Karamoja Sub-Region Leaders…



    Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu

    The Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu has urged leaders in Karamoja sub-region to work together with the government to pacify the region.

    “The region has plenty of resources that can be profitably exploited for the benefit of all Ugandans,” Elwelu said.

    “With the restoration of peace in Karamoja, the region will reap from the enormous government programmes aimed at lifting people from poverty,” Elwelu noted with concern while addressing local leaders over the weekend.

    Brig. Gen. Joseph Balikuddembe, the commander of the UPDF Third Infantry Division said that the region is peaceful except for the escalating cattle thefts that have kept the region under developed.

    Gen. Elwelu also cautioned residents to stop cattle theft, witch craft and alcoholism if they want economic emancipation.

    Gen. Balikuddembe called upon local authorities to embrace government programs in the area, most especially those aimed at securing the region.


    By Hope Kalamira


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    UWA, NFA On Spot For Not Compensating Batwa After Eviction…



    Court has ruled that the government is responsible for the suffering of the Batwa after failing to compensate them for their land which was turned into central forest reserves and national parks in South western Uganda.

    According to the court, the Batwa were evicted from their areas and the government gazetted them into Echuya Central Forest Reserve, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

    In an unanimous judgement, the judges; Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, Elizabeth Musoke, Cheborion Barishaki, Muzamiru Kibeedi and Irene Mulyagonja ruled that the Batwa had interest in the suit in Kabale and Kisoro because it is their original title.

    “The Batwa have been left disadvantaged, owing to their eviction from the said land, and also due to the nonpayment to them of adequate compensation which would have facilitated their relocation to similar lands. This has rendered them landless and has severely affected not only their livelihoods but has destroyed their identity, dignity and self-worth as a people and as equal citizens with other Ugandans,” Justice Musoke ruled in a lead judgment.

    The Court ruled that marginalization of Batwa has arisen due to their eviction from the present day forest lands without payment of compensation and that they are now relegated to a lesser class of citizens, inherently landless and fated to be encroachers on other people’s land.

    Justice Musoke observed that the Batwa people presented evidence that is more compelling because it charts the history of Batwa and their connection to the respective lands better than Attorney General and Uganda Wildlife Authority – UWA and National Forestry Authority – NFA.

    “I reiterate that the Batwa are a group of individuals who have been marginalized on the basis of historical reasons following their eviction from the relevant lands without adequate compensation being paid to them. I find that no adequate compensation was paid to the Batwa despite the fact that some monies were paid in about 1991,” the judge observed.

    The court decision resulted from a petition in which a charitable organization and eleven individuals accused the government and her bodies of evicting, actions of excluding and dispossessing them from their ancestral forest lands which compromised their physical and cultural integrity and survival as indigenous people.

    Through their lawyer Owor Onyango of Onyango  and Company Advocates, the Batwa successfully argued that the government contravened both local and international laws in contravention of their rights to life, property, self-determination, freely dispose, wealth, natural resources and means of subsistence.

    The petition was filed by local body; United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda and eleven individuals who include Elias Habyarimana, Jovanis Nyiragasigwa, Christopher Kagundu, Night Isabela, Eric Tumuheirwe, Abel Kasumba, Abe Ruzuga, David Kakuru, Geoffrey Mahano, Alice Nyamihanda and Allen Musabyi.

    Counsel Onyango argued that the actions of government have since resulted in widespread displacement, exploitation, exclusion and marginalization of Batwa in the communities they resettled in in contravention of their right to equality without discrimination.

    They petitioned the Attorney General, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and National Forestry Authority (NFA). The Batwa are people with a population of about 6000 individuals, majority of whom live in the south western Uganda districts of Kanungu, Kisoro and Kabale. Court documents show that their land at current Echuya Forest, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are situated was Batwa Ancestral land which was customarily owned by the Batwa for many years before the declaration of British Protectorate on Uganda.

    The petitioners told the Constitutional Court that since the 1930s to the present day, successive governments have dispossessed them from their ancestral lands on which relevant protected areas were established.

    They argued that the government acts include the creation of Mgahinga Gorilla Sanctuary, the creation of two crown forest reserves in Bwindi area which was subsequently amalgamated and converted to a Game Reserve at Echuya.

    Court heard that the Batwa were not consulted prior to the setting up of the protected areas on land they owned and that no compensation was paid to them after extinguishing their interests in the land issue.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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    Kampala RCC Hood Hussein In Trouble Over Carrot Deal In Nakasero Market…



    Controversial Kampala Resident City Commissioner (RCC) Hood Hussein is in trouble over carrot deals.

    Nakasero market dealers in Kampala have accused Hussein of conniving with Kenyan businessmen to take over the carrot business.

    James Kimuli, one of the leaders in carrot sections in Nakasero market, told theGrapevine that, “We have been buying carrots from Kenyans and bringing them here but now the RCC wants Kenyans to form a company that will sell carrots direct to customers,” Kimuli said.

    He added that some of their Kenyan suppliers have already started warning them to try other businesses since the carrot trade is soon going to be taken away from them.

    However, when contacted, Hussein denied the allegations and stated that he was invited by Nakasero vendors that are dealing in carrot business to launch their official corporation with Kenyans.

    He added that he later learnt that there were divisions among the traders that is why he decided to cancel the invite.

    “I don’t know the Kenyan people they are talking about. I have decided to send KCCA enforcement team to help them because it seems they are not straight,” Hussein said.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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