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Journalists Give Army 48 Hours To Produce Their Men Who Tortured Their Colleagues

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Army officers beating Akena, inset is Robert Ssempala

Journalist under their organization Human Rights Network for Journalists – Uganda (HRNJ-U) have given the army 48 hours to produce their officers who tortured their colleagues.

While addressing the press today at hotel Triangle in Kampala, Robert Ssempala the national coordinator HRNJ-U warned that they have given the army a 48-hour ultimatum to arrest, parade and prosecute their men who tortured journalists.

“They should also give us their names and numbers so that we can monitor them during prosecution. All along they have been telling us that they are going to prosecute the culprits who torture our colleagues, but nothing is done after, this time we want to monitor the whole process to the end ourselves,” Ssempala said.

He added that if the 48-hours elapse without any response from security forces, he is going to mobilise all journalists from all media houses around the country to stop covering all police and army activities in protest.

“We have to protect our lives and our profession now. We want to see the culprits arrested and prosecuted,” Ssempala added.

Ssempala added that they also want the security forces to pay the medical bills of all affected journalist. He wondered why media owners are silent when their staff are being tortured.

“Where are the media owners when their staff/journalists are being tortured? We want them to come out and declare themselves on this by adding their voice and reproving such acts.”

Yesterday, Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Spokesperson Brig. Richard Karemire released a statement saying that the army was going to arrest and punish the soldiers who molested journalists.

“UPDF wishes to express its displeasure over such behaviour by those individuals, and as a result, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) has ordered for their arrest and punishment,” Karemire’s letter read in part.

Ssempala says this is the same song they have been singing without visible actions every time journalists are tortured, that is why as HRNJ-U, they want to monitor the whole process from arrest to prosecution and detention.

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CRIME

Govt Spent Over 100 Million To Bring Suzan Magara Killer Home, Pato’s Lawyers Cry Foul – Security Has Denied Us Access To See Our Client

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Lawyers representing incarcerated Patrick Kasaija commonly known as Pato, the key suspect in the murder of Suzan Magara have pleaded with security agencies to allow them to access their client.  In an exclusive interview with the Grapevine, counsel Evans Ochenge revealed that they have been denied access to their client.

“We have tried to talk to them through writing and engaged them at the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) headquarters but we were denied access to see him. They are violating the human rights of Pato by denying his right to access his lawyers and doctors,” Ochange revealed.  He further told this website that as lawyers, they are going to continue asking the security organs to grant them access to their clients.

Some of the suspects who have already been convicted to the High Court

Ochange also added that even the family members have not been allowed to see him. Sources from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) have told this website that all the investigations against Pato concerning the murder of Magara are done and very soon he will be paraded at Buganda road court. 

A senior prosecutor explained that Pato will soon be arained in Buganda road court where he will receive his committal papers legally on top of the 8 other suspects who have been already committed to high court.   Pato was extradited from South Africa after he lost the legal battle where he was protesting his extradition back to Uganda to face kidnap and murder related charges. Another Source from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has told this website that the government of Uganda has spent over shs100m on the process of extraditing Pato. He told us that the DPP’s office last spent such huge amounts of money during the Jamil Mukulu extradition from Tazania.

President Museveni himself revealed that he had to talk to his counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa about Pato’s criminality. Currently, Pato is detained at SIU security center Kireka and next week, he is expected to appear before Buganda Road Magistrate. Pato is accused with 8 others of Kidnaping and killing Suzan Magara who was the administrator of the family businesses as well as a cashier for Bwendo Dairy Farm in Hoima. The suspects after being paid ransom of shs700m from the family of the diseased, even after the president had at first refused them to pay the ransom went ahead and killed Magara. Magara was murdered and her body was dumped on Entebbe express high way.

By Jamil Lutakome

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UPDF Arrests 5 Highway Robbers And Killers, One SMG Gun Recovered: Killers Confess

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A team of armed Senior Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) officers commanded by Major Daniel Atwine, the in charge Brigade Intelligence Officer, on orders of the armoured Brigade commander, Brig Joseph Ssemwanga together with police officers attached to CPS Masaka have arrested and detained at least five people and recovered one SMG AK 47 riffle in connection to the rampant gun attacks in this area.

Security sources told the Grapevine on Wednesday that some of the names of the suspects are Rwandan born Muize Ssemivumbi (38), a resident of Bujja village in Nyendo, who come to Uganda during the genocide and has been a cleaner at Kitovu Hospital, Muombamungu Ndumiwe from Congo, who has been a cook at Good foundation Primary School in Nyendo, a suburb in Masaka municipality and others who had not yet been identified yet by the press time.

Security sources further revealed that the suspects raided Kasana Kinobera trading center via Bukakata road, shot and robbed traders. They later escaped via Kitovu road but fortunately, the CCTV cameras in the region captured them in the act .

When the security operatives reviewed the CCTV camera footage, they started hunting for the people whose faces could easily be recognized, this led to the arrest of some of the suspects.

Security sources further told the Grapevine that upon arrest and interrogation, the suspects revealed that they are the ones who have been killing and robbing locals in this area. They also directed them where they have been keeping the gun after robbing.

Senior officers managed to recover SMG gun with some bullets inside the termite hill where the suspects have been hiding it .

The suspects also told the security operatives that some of the areas they robbed and killed innocent people include Kirumba near the RDCs home where they killed one trader and robbed huge sums of money, Bulaayi village via Bukakata Road where they killed a teacher, Mukudde zone where they robbed two mobile money agents and shot one person who was later rushed to Kitovu hospital for medication.

UPDF appealed to all locals especially the head teachers and other institutions who are recruiting worker to be very careful because some of them are wrongdoers.

By Ahmad Junior, Masaka

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CRIME

NABBED: State House Health Monitoring Unit Arrests Kibuku District Health Officer Over Theft Of Drugs

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Dr Jackson Ojera Abusu showing journalists some of the drugs which were intercepted in a private home recently

The State House Health Monitoring Unit under the leadership of Dr. Ojera Jackson Abusu   has arrested the district health officer of Kibuku, Mr. Buyinza Godfrey Kagawa, on charges of facilitating a drug theft scandal that took advantage of government stores.

Buyinza, together with Mr. Chemtai Patrick, as supply a chain management officer at Intra Health, were arrested from their offices at Kibuku district headquarters. Their luck ran out following an incident in which Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officers intercepted YY coaches ferrying Government of Uganda branded medicines enroute to Kampala at the Mukono checkpoint on 13th/April/2019. One suspect, Mr. Ongom Robson, was apprehended and handed over to the State House Health Monitoring Unit. He was netted with 3, 121dozes of adult coartem 24.

Upon interrogation, Ongom revealed that he was working with Chemtai, and later also named Buyinza as an accomplice. The two were tracked and arrested on Friday (27th/4/2019). They are being held at Mbale central police station pending further investigations and possible prosecution. It is suspected that millions of shillings worth of supplies had been swindled in the scam by the time the unit struck.

Drugs supplied by government through National Medical Stores (NMS) are meant for distribution to local health units where the public can access them. The unit urges members of the public to be more vigilant and report such cases of abuse of government services by unscrupulous officials.

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