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    FIGHTING VIOLENCE: Mediation Therapy Reinvigorates Fight Against Gender-Based Violence In Ankole Region…



    Mrs. Hellen Wambooka is a resident of Buremba Cell, Rwemigina Parish in Mbarara City Western Uganda.

    She was abandoned by her husband at the onset of her fifth pregnancy with no stable source of income to take care of her children.
    “In 2004, I parted ways with my husband while I was three months pregnant. I went through a lot as I moved from one office to another looking for justice but all in vain.” Mrs. Wambooka recalls.

    Although Mrs. Wambooka was serving as a village chairperson with her office being the first reception center of gender-based violence cases, she was left in a dilemma.

    Mrs. Wambooka believes that community mediation such as this conducted by the hospital staff in her parish is one of the practical measures to address GBV cases.

    Domestic violence survivors would come to report similar cases to her office but she failed to intervene since she was also a victim suffering in silence.
    She got fed up with her situation that kept her pondering what next.

    Her last attempt was MIFUMI, a local organization currently supported by USAID Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital Strengthening Activity. Here, a ray of hope shone upon her situation.

    “I was welcomed and given psycho-social support which I believe made me refocus. I later ventured into piggery and brick-laying, I was able to provide all basic necessities to my children”, she says.

    Ms. Shalon Asimwe, a gender-based violence survivor taking stock of medicines in her drug shop which she had temporarily closed.

    Wambooka, now the voice for gender-based violence survivors in Ankole was later elected chairperson of GBV Survivors Association.
    She championed formation of a drama group made up of fellow survivors which performs skits and local songs about GBV at different functions.

    She has been dubbed “GBV ambassador” and victims or survivors find it easy to approach her for help.
    Averagely, on a weekly basis Mrs. Wambooka refers six clients to various institutions including the hospital for medical and psychosocial support.

    One of her latest referrals is Shalon Asiimwe, 42, resident of Kakoba division in Mbarara city. She is married to John Bosco (not his real name) and the couple has three children.

    Asiimwe, an enrolled nurse, has had a frustrating spell with the husband over parental responsibilities.
    She says for a long time; the husband had declined to pay school fees for the children claiming that the wife was also working and needed to share responsibilities.

    Peace Katusiime reoccupied her retail shop after she and the husband attended a marital therapy. The husband now supports her and the business is growing

    “He was using his money for his personal things and I was the one left to pay school fees. I started acquiring loans to cater for school fees and accumulated debt,” she narrates.

    Upon realizing that she was on the verge of losing some of the property due to unpaid loans, she attempted to file for a divorce.
    “At MIFUMI where I was referred to, I was able to get the help I needed to reconcile with my husband”, she says.

    According to Asiimwe, she is currently being supported by the husband to boost her drug shop which had closed.
    Her neighbor Peace Katusiime shares a similar story.

    Last year, she had misunderstandings with the husband over family responsibilities. The husband chose to end their marriage and left her without any help. The couple had lived together for close to twenty years prior to the sudden breakup.
    “When I reached the hospital, I was welcomed by two women whom I later established to be social workers. They listened to me with empathy and counselled me.” she says.

    Katusiime expressed happiness that she was able to reunite with the father of her children after he was counseled.
    These women who have come out to share their stories are out of many experiencing gender-based violence.
    On a quarterly basis, Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH) records over 700 GBV cases from its catchment area comprises of twelve districts and one city.

    The Hospital GBV unit reports that over 65% of cases are settled through mediation, another Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
    Mediation tool aims at striking equal bargaining power between the conflicting couples and has served a purpose in settling violence at MRRH.

    Upon reception, gender-based violence survivors are assessed and attended to in accordance with their sexual, financial, social and emotional needs.

    Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital’s Joan Aine articulating issues on gender-based violence during a live talk show on TV West. [Courtesy photo]

    “For the case of those who are raped we link them to a section that offers HIV services within the hospital,” Mrs. Joan Aine, Medical Social Worker Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital.

    Further, Aine says that they have been supported by USAID Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital Strengthening Activity to boost gender-based violence campaign through mass media and community mobilization.

    “We coordinate with district and city authorities in charge of family and children affairs, Police and other local NGOs. These refer survivors for quick medical intervention”, Mrs. Aine.

    The hospital has been working closely the territorial police (Rwizi Region Police) through Children and Family Protection Unit (CFPU) to tackle sexual and gender-based violence.

    Assistant Inspector of Police (AIP) Evelyne Muhebwa, the in charge of CFPU at Mbarara South Division Police says the hospital provided them with targeted materials to raise awareness during community policing.

    These materials were developed by the Ministry of Health with support from USAID Social and Behavior Change Activity (USAID SBCA).
    USAID SBCA further provided technical assistance to MRRH during targeted materials dissemination.

    USAID Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital Strengthening Activity supported targeted material dissemination at Mbarara South Division Police Station to raise awareness around GBV.

    Further, AIP Muhebwa notes that community sensitization plays a role in addressing economic inequality which denies women access to resources and make them vulnerable to all forms of violence.

    United Nations acknowledges that gender-based violence is a threat to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as Uganda’s National Development Plan.

    Excerpts from Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2021, indicate that 56% of married women aged 14-49 reported having suffered physical and sexual violence.

    Annually, it is estimated that the Government of Uganda spends close to 78 billion shillings on managing the impact of violence against women and girls.
    • Dr. Celestine Barigye, Hospital Director, Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital
    • Dr. Winnie Muyindike, Director ISS Clinic/Consultant Physician, Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital
    • Dr. Denis Nansera, Consultant Pediatrician, Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital
    • Dr. Sunday Nighty Atwine, Project Coordinator, USAID Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital Strengthening Activity.
    • Mrs. Juilet Rukwanzi, Medical Social Worker, Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital

    By Halson Kagure and Joan Aine



    Brig. Gen. Ddamulira Advised To Clear Air On Allegation Of Shielding Criminal Gangs To Avoid Ending Up Like Gen. Kayihura…



    Criminal Intelligence boss Brig. Gen. Christopher Ddamulira

    Uganda’s representative to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) James Kakooza has advised the nonsense police’s Director for Criminal Intelligence Brig. Gen. Christopher Ddamulira Sserujogi to come up openly and clear the air on allegation made against him of shielding criminal gangs in Kampala city and Metropolitan areas because he fears a nasty ending like former Inspector General of Police Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura.

    Kakooza revealed that when Gen. Kayihura was at the helm of police leadership, allegations were made against him that he used criminal gangs to solve political questions.

    Kakooza narrated that he severally pleaded with Kayihura that if the allegations are true, he should stop because it was soiling his name.

    He added that Gen. Kayihura’s enemies based on his cooperation with criminal gangs to fabricate criminal allegations against him including pinning him over his involvement in the high level murders in the country.

    He stated that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni based on the said allegation to fire Kayihura from police leadership and ordered for his arrest and prosecution in the court martial.

    “If president Museveni didn’t handle Gen Kayihura’s issues with maturity and experience, he would have ended up being sentenced to death or life imprisonment because the allegations placed on him were very treasonous. So my young brother Brig. Gen. Ddamulira should come out and clear the air on those allegations put against him,” Kakooza stated.

    He added that Brig. Gen. Ddamulira’s statement will not only cleared him but it will also clear the good name of the UPDF institution.

    Kakooza’s advice comes days after Kira Municipality legislator and also the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda accused Brig. Gen. Ddamulira of shielding criminals that beat up FDC delegates and stole their belongings both at Busabala and Katonga where they had gone to attend the Extra-Ordinary Delegates Conference summoned by party national chairperson Wasswa Birigwa.

    The Observer newspaper journalist Baker Batte also accused the criminal gang of stealing his brand new laptop.

    However, while speaking to theGrapevine, Batte confirmed that his latotop was recovered by Katwe police even though they have not yet handed it over to him.

    The ghetto leadership in Kampala city, Mukono, Wakiso districts also issued a statement asking Ssemujju to apologize to Brig. Gen. Ddamulira for tarnishing his name that he is shielding criminal gangs in the city.

    Shafik Kalyango, the coordinator ghetto structures, John Lukuse and Geoffrey Nsamba who were arrested by police for terrorising FDC delegates.

    They confessed that they are members of the ghetto structures which is supervised by State House, Brig. Gen. Ddamulira and officials from the ministry in charge of Kampala Metropolitan whose objective is to turn them into good citizens.

    Kalyango added that they are mobilizing the ghetto youths who have not yet joined their structures to avoid being used by the politicians to fight their battles against their political enemies and among them are those who beat FDC delegates and journalists.

    Ssemujju admitted to having seen Kalyango’s letter on social media even though it he not yet been officially served.

    He appreciated the efforts made by Brig. Gen. Ddamulira to organise youths in the city.

    He added that officially, Brig. Gen. Ddamulira denied having knowledge of the criminals hired by the Najjanankumbi FDC camp of party president Patrick Amuriat Oboi and Nathan Nandala Mafabi the Secretary General.

    Ssemujju however noted that there are elements in security circles who are working with criminal gangs in the city.

    He pleaded with Brig. Gen. Ddamulira to use his office to tame them because they will wreak havoc in the country.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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    Serial Litigant Wants High Court Judge Mutonyi To Be Sentence To Death By Hanging Or Beheaded For Failing To Post His Ruling On Judiciary Website…



    Justice Margaret Mutonyi

    George Okello, the Resident High Court Judge of Gulu has issued a permanent injunction restraining and baring serial litigant Joseph Opiyo Otiiti from filing any other Court lawsuits against any judicial officer in Uganda.

    In his ruling dated 12th September, 2023, Judge Okello stated that whereas his court appreciates the right of every person to access courts, as observed in a plethora of cases, the matter before him was a very exceptional case in which Opiyo should be barred from continuing his reckless suits against judicial officers simply because they have decided otherwise in cases where he is involved.

    The shocking ruling resulted from an application filed by Opiyo against Vian Kwizera the Grade One Magistrate accusing him of violating his rights when he presided over a matter filed by Gulu Principle State Attorney Joseph Nyeko against him seeking a Court Order to subject Opiyo to mental examination.

    Opiyo sued the Magistrate for allowing Nyeko’s application to have him subjected to medical examination to determine his mental status as Stated under Section 50 of the Mental Health Act 2018.

    Opiyo also accused the magistrate of violating his right when he delayed the quick hearing of his application challenging the staying of his cases in court until he was subjected to mental examination and court furnished with the medical report.

    He further accused him of refusing to give him the record of proceedings to help him challenge his ruling.

    In his application, Opiyo was also seeking aggravated damages of Shs350, 000,000 for defamation and for calling him a person of unsound mind.

    He further prayed that court recovers damages through attachment of 80% of the Magistrates’ salary and retirement benefits, until all his pending cases in court are concluded and finally executed.

    He further prayed for security for himself and his family for 50 years due to fear that he will be murdered.

    He prayed for the prosecution of the magistrate and other judicial officers who violated his human rights.

    The magistrate opposed the application through her affidavit denying all the allegations and explaining that she observed the applicant’s rights during all the judicial hearings.

    He added that none of the applicant’s rights were violated and he gave him all the records of the proceedings on the matter he presided over.

    Nyeko’s application to subject Opiyo to medical examination resulted from the numerous lawsuits filed against judicial officers including one he filed against Justice Margaret Mutonyi because she had upheld preliminary objection raised in a suit lodged by Opiyo against the Actions Against Hunger and the judge was sued together with two law firms of M.S M. Oyet and Company Advocates, Mumtaz Kassam Kassam Mumtaz and Moses Oyet lawyers of Action Against Hunger.

    The judge noted that it was wrong for Opiyo to sue judicial officers, lawyers and their law firms explaining that judicial officers and Advocates enjoyed immunity at common law for their conduct of litigation and that the action made against them by an unhappy litigant was barred.

    The case was presided over by Justice Stephen Mubiru who dismissed it with costs for being barred by law.

    Opiyo again instituted a lawsuit against Justice Mubiru for dismissing his case together with Justice Mutonyi who he accused of not posting the ruling she made against him on judiciary website.

    He pleaded to the presiding judge Alex Mackay Ajiji that Justice Mutonyi be sentenced to death by hanging or beheading over her actions of not posting his ruling on the judiciary website, which was an act of war against the Republic of Uganda.

    The presiding judge ordered in his ruling that due to compulsive behavior Opiyo exhibited in Court, the hearing of his numerous cases pending in court be stayed until a medical report is furnished as to his mental health status.


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    KCCA Top Boss Remanded To Prison Over Shs450m Fraudulent Deals…



    Nakawa Chief Magistrates Court’s Ritah Neumbe Kidasa has remanded Hanniffer Mpuugu the deputy mayor Kampala Central Division over Shs450m fraudulent land deals.

    Court denied Mpuugu’s application seeking to be released on court bail based on the affidavit sworn by police detective Peter Abwona who pleaded to the magistrate not to release her claiming that she will jump the bail.

    In his affidavit presented to court by Doreen Erima the State Attorney, Abwona told Court that when the accused person was arrested by Kira Road police operatives in August 2022 on the said file, she was given police bond which she violated and declined to report back to police as one of the conditions given to her when released.

    Abwona said that Mpuugu’s file was forwarded to the Resident State Attorney for sanctioning and was later taken to court which issued criminal summons to have her arrested but she kept in hiding until an arrest warrant was issued against her.

    He explained to court that detectives traced her through her phone engagements but she kept on changing lines until they finally arrested her along Kampala-Gayaza road when she was with her children going for a party at Kasangati.

    The magistrate was convinced with Erima’s submission and objected to Mpuugu’s application for bail.

    She was remanded until 13th September, 2023 when the hearing of her case will be kicked off.

    According to court documents, in 2021, Mpuugu entered a land transaction with Grace Mulinde to sell him land situated at plot 4 Berkeley Road Entebbe Municipality in Wakiso district.

    The accused person was paid Shs450m and she assured the complainant that the land had no issues and that she was free to use.

    However, when he started using the land, he was denied access to it by members of the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union who claimed its ownership.

    They told him that Mpuugu fraudulently forged their land title and efforts to recover his money were fruitless as she kept on deceiving him that she was sorting out the matter with the Nurses until he lost hope and decided to drag her to the police.


    By Grapevine Reporter


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