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    IGG Grills Top Uganda Railways Corporation Bosses Over CEO Job…

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    URC CEO, Stanley Sendegeya

    A few days ago, Hannington Karuhanga the Board Chairman for Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) spoke to close friends and told them he was frustrated the job had turned out more complicated than he thought.

    A powerful tycoon from Ntungamo, Karuhanga was referring to the saga which saw him sweat before the IGG investigators who were at URC to inquire into the circumstances under which Stanley Sendegeya was recruited as CEO replacing Charles Kateeba.

    The CEO job advert required a master’s degree as a minimum and 6 years of experience as a member of top management both of which Sendegeya lacked. He had been chief finance officer at URC for 4 years as opposed to 6.

    Before URC, he was the Manager Collections at URA and was many positions away from directly reporting to the Commissioner General. Between him and CG were the Assistant Commissioner and full Commissioner. This means he can’t count any of the years at URA as covering him up for the relevant top managerial experience that was required in the advert for the URC CEO Job.

    When it comes to the requirement for a master’s degree, still Sendegeya was below par because he had a BCOM degree and some ACCA qualifications which can’t give him the master’s degree equivalent. It’s against this background that a whistle blower recently reported to the IGG asking for an inquiry. Claiming that some board members and Deloite officials who conducted the recruitment didn’t act independently, the whistle blower wants the IGG to invalidate the recruitment and order a fresh process.

    As part of the investigations, the IGG has been summoning and interrogating URC board members to explain themselves on the alleged conflict of interest. The Board Chairman Karuhanga has been grilled already and the same applies to Sendegeya and Mzee Ben Twodo who chairs the HR committee of the board. Twodo who is a very old retired accountant had wanted the IGG to receive a joint explanation from Board members, a request which was rejected and the IGG insisted to interrogate each board member separately. Some board members, who didn’t want Sendegeya to become the CEO have given the IGG a lot of dirty information showing the entire recruitment was skewed to favor Sendegeya.

    Sources at the IGG have told us that one of the board members said some of them opposed the giving of the job to Sendegeya but they were overpowered by Twodo who even brought in Deloitte to do the needful as opposed to KPMG which had a better recruitment proposal.

    The IGG is also wondering why immediately after making Sendegeya the CEO, Deloitte was paid close to 100m to do consultancy work advising on job restructuring at URC. This same restructuring consultancy had already been undertaken by Dama Consultants which is based at Uganda House and their report had contents not different from what Deloitte came up with. The IGG is also wondering why the board allowed spending 100m on Deloitte when Dama Consultants’ balance hadn’t been paid and the old Kenyan man who owns it even went to court.

    The Board members have been squeezed to explain why they gave the job to someone without a master’s degree and enough experience when there are other applicants like Eng. Reuben Tumwebaze who had worked in UNRA and Andrew Kilama Lajul from UCDA, who were more than qualified. Apart from Karuhanga, other board members include Moses Mwase, Keen Twesigye, David Kapsunduy, Ben Twodo, Jowali Kyeyago, Hajjat Aphwa Sebyala and Patrick Kabunapuchi who is always very cautious on doing the right thing.

    The inquiry into the CEO recruitment has led the IGG to realize more grey areas that must be inquired into including the billions paid to the lawyers like Mzee Kituma Magala, Noel Muhangi of Kagumire advocates and Andrew Kibaya who works with Shonubi Musoke advocates.

    Some of the lawyer-related deals the IGG is looking into include the Shs34bn from UNRA as compensation for the railway land in Nsambya that was encroached on during the construction of the fly over project. Some of these payments of legal fees have been opposed by the Works Minister based at Port Bell Road and the IGG wants Sendegeya to answer why they keep going ahead with such deals.

    The IGG probe which may result into some people being sent to Luzira is taking place at a time State House is also inquiring into the reasons why Sendegeya tried to lay off many employees a few days to voting day, something which made candidate Museveni very unpopular with hundreds of workers for URC. The works Minister got a phone call from State House to work with MPs like Agnes Kunihira to stop the expulsion of staff on humanitarian grounds.

    Apparently, Museveni can’t stand anyone messing up the railways because he wants the railway system quickly revamped so that he uses it to transport heavy equipment to the Albertine region to get the oil out of the ground.

    The President fears that because that petroleum equipment is very heavy, it can destroy all the roads which have cost trillions if it’s to be transported via road means. It’s the reason why a lot of money has been borrowed to reinvest in Uganda Railway Corporation to enable it spearhead the revamp of the railway transport especially between Kampala and Malaba and between Malaba and Gulu-all the way to Pakwach which near Albertine region  which has the oil.

    The bad management practices at URC recently forced employees to go on strike which resulted into clients like Mukwano Group, GBHL, Roofings and Spedag, which use the railway means and wagons to transport cargo and merchandize from Mombasa to Kampala, to threaten taking URC to court. Still State House had to intervene and this explains why Sendegeya’s days will not be many as CEO at URC.

    There are also scandals of land grabbing whereby Sendegeya is accused of not doing enough with his godfather Ben Twodo to have workers like senior legal officer Grace Opoka sanctioned for alleged wrongdoing. Such employees are supposed to be investigated because that is what Minister Katumba Wamala called for while ordering for their conduct to be investigated concerning URC land. Katumba has been writing letters to Sendegeya asking him to investigate staff who mess up with URC land but the CEO hasn’t been very keen about this issue.

    Katumba says a whistle blower informed him that several acres of URC land in Lira was at risk of being grabbed by URC staffers unless some quick action is taken. Some of the investigations have been done by Police land protection unit whose officers like D/AIP Francis Tshombe Omony and Charles Mutungi have been investigating and writing reports which Sendegeya hasn’t been implementing to make the grabbing of URC land risky.

    This has angered State House and the President sees it as sabotage aimed at failing his plans to revamp the railway network for Uganda.

    By Grapevine Reporter

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    CRIME

    What Killed Simbamanyo Tycoon Kamya? How Top Lawyer Tried To Use Justice Byabakama’s Electoral Commission Deal To Save His Empire…

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    In one of the meetings where the agenda was to strategise on how to save the business empire of the late Peter Kamya, the proprietor of Simbamanyo Estate limited, one of his friends, who is also a seasoned commercial lawyer proposed a multibillion Electoral Commission deal which he was very sure would save the fallen tycoon’s empire.

    Multiple credible sources have revealed to the mighty Grapevine that this happened in 2018 when Equity bank had started threatening to auction Kamya’s properties which he used as security when securing a loan.

    The buildings were Ssimbamanyo House behind Central Police Station in Kampala city and Afrique Suites situated in Mutungo.

    Kamya, who is a brother-in-law to former deputy Prime Minister Muganwa Kajura allowed one of his senior lawyers to negotiate the deal which involved looking for a new home for the Electoral Commission.

    “The lawyer’s idea was for Kamya to rent the entire building to the Electoral Commission and the money collected as rent be used to service the loan which the bank was very comfortable with but out of the blue, when the deal was almost concluded, the old man changed his mind claiming that his friend was working with the bank to impoverish him and that’s how the deal flopped,” a source said.

    He added that the deal was waiting for the greenlight from president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who was a good friend to Kamya.

    The source added that even the Ministry of Gender was ready to shift to another building.

    Another source said that the Electoral Commission was giving Kamya a big deal compared to what he was receiving from the Ministry of Gender and within 3 to 4 years, the bank’s loan would be fully paid.

    The source said that Kamya changed his mind after getting another opinion from another shrewd young city lawyer who convinced him that the loan he got from Equity bank was not favourable and it can be challenged in Court.

    Sources said that when the bank learnt about Kamya’s plan to challenge them in court, they hastily auctioned both securities to controversial city businessman Sudhir Ruperelia’s Meera Investments Limited and Ronald Luwangula’s Luwaluwa Investments Limited, a move that frustrated Kamya’s entire plan to save his empire.

    He tried to save his empire through courts of law by filing an application seeking a temporary injuction stopping the selling of the said property but he lost the application with costs.

    He further petitioned president Museveni to save his empire arguing that it was illegally sold.

    Unfortunately, after making wide consultations, especially from the Attorney General and Bank of Uganda, the big man advised Kamya to challenge the sale of his properties in courts of law.

    He explained to him that he has no alternative to save him since he was advised that his properties were legally sold.

    Without losing hope, Kamya instructed his new lawyers led by Fred Muwema to institute a suit in the High Court Commercial Division against Crane Bank, Meera Investment Limited, Luwaluwa Investment, and lawyers of Katende Ssempebwa Company Advocates were also joined in the suit.

    The matter was allocated to Justice Stephen Mubiru, the head of the Division.

    Kamya hired Kihika Byenkya and Company Advocates to join his legal team which successfully secured an order for discovery against the respondents.

    Justice Mubiru ordered the respondents to allow the petitioner to inspect their email exchange, bank accounts and phone call logs which were made in the period when his properties were sold, an order which raised dust at the commercial court.

    Lawyers from Katende Ssempebwa Advocates petitioned Justice Rubby Opio Aweri, the Chief Inspector of Courts claiming that justice Mubiru was biased and he has to be investigated over the matter.

    He was ordered to refer the entire Ssimbamanyo file to justice Opio which Mubiru refused to do.

    Mubiru insisted that Justice Opio didn’t have powers to ask for the said file from him and guided that the matter has to proceed but lawyers challenged his action at the Court of Appeal.

    In October 2022, Justice Cheborion Barishaki of the Court of Appeal issued an order stopping Justice Mubiru from proceeding with the matter until three justices of the Court of Appeal determine the respondent’s grievances.

    Sources who have been close to Kamya revealed that Justice Cheborion’s ruling shocked Kamya and from that time, his life changed and it worsened last month and was rushed to Nairobi where he died on Friday morning.

    Sources said that other Simbamanyo Directors are set to continue with the legal fight to rescue their empire.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    I Want My Child; Mother Cries Out To Majambere To Release His Son Who He Abducted, NRM Diehard Denies Allegation, Vows To Drag NUP To Court…

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    Nambazira Sauda (R), the mother to Godfrey Kirumira and Majambere

    A mother has cried out to National Resistance Movement (NRM) supporter Kamuntu Majembere to fight with fellow old men and bring back her child.

    Nambazira Sauda, the mother to Godfrey Kirumira, 17, wept while asking Sam Majembere alias Empologoma ya NRM to bring back her child who he kidnapped.

    Appearing at National Unity Platform (NUP) headquarters in Kamwokya Kampala, Sauda, with tears rolling down her eyes disclosed that on 5th, November, 2022, her child was kidnapped in a drone and taken away by Majambere.

    “The kids he was playing with that day came running to me and saying ‘mummy mummy’ Majambere came with other men and slapped Godfrey. He fell to the ground and they carried him away to a waiting drone and took him,” Sauda narrated as she cried.

    She added, “Majembere, you killed my child, you killed my 17-year-old child, you should have fought with your agemates and left my child.

    “I don’t even know how exactly he killed my son. Majambere give me my son at least I bury him myself. But why don’t you fight those who fought you not my little boy. Please give me my child, I’m in a lot of pain.”

    Embattled Sauda adduced that Majembere picked her son at 8:30 pm in a lot of pain.

    “At least you would have just slapped him and told him to sit down and asked him whatever you wanted, he would have obeyed but you shouldn’t have taken my son in that kind of bitterness.”

    She cursed, “May God do the worst to you Majembere that you will also die badly just like you killed my son but please give him to me so I can bury him. I no longer eat or even drink because of my child.

    “But you are a big man, how do you not know the people to fight with. What exactly did you want with my son. I will never forgive you.”

    MAJAMBERE VOWS TO DRAG NUP TO COURT

    When theGrapevine spoke to Majambere concerning the allegations, he denied them insisting that at the time they claim that Godfrey was abducted, he was in hospital receiving treatment after succumbing to injuries from angry mob at the burial of late Jakana Nadduli.

    “I am even at my home right now but I want you to know that I’m not a police officer neither am I an army officer. We have already seen the intentions of NUP. Recently they got accident victims and took them to Kenya and claimed they were tortured by government,” he told theGrapevine.

    Majambere however vowed to drag the deceased’s mother and the whole NUP leadership to court for accusing him of what he has no clue about adding that his lawyers are already working on it.

    He added that NUP just wants to kill him that is why they are now falsely accusing him.

    Majambere also denied allegations that he had a gun at the burial of late Jakana Nadduli noting that there is no way he would have had a gun and not shot at those who beat him up that day.

    “They have managed to fail me here in Uganda and so am going to go (to another country) and leave them that’s if they don’t kill me before I leave. Uganda has become a bush let me first run away and find protection.”

    Asked if he has managed to talk to his boss, President Museveni concerning the threats on his life before he runs out of the country, Majambere contended that President Museveni has never been his boss because he (Majambere) doesn’t work in security.

    “I just support NRM and I will never betray it even when NUP comes and attacks me and kills me, let them do so but as for me, I can never denounce NRM. And I’m not ready to do what they (NUP)  want me to do for them.”

    Majambere revealed to theGrapevine that there is something Bobi Wine asked him to do and he refused.

    He however refused to elaborate more on their chemistry and what separated them.

    This comes at a time when a number of opposition members have been abducted and taken by unknown men in drones, the recent being Sheikh Yahaya Mwanje and former presidential candidate, Joseph Kabuleta.

     

    By Kalamira Hope and Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    NRM HOUSE ON FIRE! Speaker Among Directs Minister Otafiire To Beef Up MP Begumisa Security Over Minister Kawooya Death Threats…

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    L-R: Minister Hanifa Kawooya, Begumisa and Speaker Among

    Annet Anita Among, the Speaker of Parliament has directed Internal Affairs Minister Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire to beef up the security of Mary Begumisa, the Ssembabule district woman Member of Parliament (MP) and her family over several death threats from health junior minister Anifa Kawooya Bangirana.

    Among told parliament that on several occasions, Begumisa has been in her office kneeling and pleading with her to give her an opportunity to raise her matter on the floor of parliament against Minister Kawooya until Thursday morning when she blamed her for being compromised to deny her the opportunity to raise her matter.

    “She cried and also said that I was also compromised not to allow her to speak, I said no this house is yours, you come and speak whatever you want to speak.

    Last week I thought that this issue will be resolved when I told the government chief whip and the Leader of the Opposition to resolve the issue of Hon. Namugga because it is the same issue but nothing has been resolved,” Among said.

    Among was responding to Begumisa’s submission during which she accused minister Kawooya of harassing her, her family members and her supporters because they are against her move to subdivide Ssembabule district to create another district.

    Begumisa told parliament that Kawooya told her supporters that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni directed cabinet to divide Ssembabule into two districts in the interest of implementing the ongoing Parish Development model as a tool to fight poverty in the region.

    She explained that those who protested her move are being imprisoned while others are on the run including Begumisa’s husband who is always hiding in her car.

    However, Among told parliament that minister Kawooya doesn’t have powers to create new districts because even the local government minister does not have such powers.

    She added that it was resolved to halt the creation of new administrative units like the one Minister Kawooya is fighting for.

    She directed with immediate effect the minister of lands to go to Ssembabule district to stop the demarcation of the boundaries which is allegedly going on because it is illegal.

    Justine Kasule Lumumba, the Minister for General Duties in the Prime Minister’s office, on behalf of the government promised that Begumisa’s security will be beefed it up. She advised women leaders to stop fighting in public because it is shameful.

    She promised to talk to Minister Kawooya.

    Lumumba asked the speaker to also give Kawooya the opportunity to defend herself concerning the allegations brought against her.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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