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Land Probe Investigators Receiving Death Threats After Investigating MP Balyeku’s Land In Jinja, Lands Minister Amongi Grilled Again

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Justice Catherine Bamugemereire the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into land matters has revealed that her investigators are living in fear after investigating Jinja Municipality West legislator Moses Grace Balyeku’s land on plot 24b Kyabazinga way Nalufenya.

Bamugemereire told senior lands minister Betty Amongi that most of her investigators who are investigating the matter frequently report to her that they are receiving death threats from unknown people.

“Most of our investigators are in hiding because of this matter. They are receiving threats from different people, witnesses are also in fear and many were warned before appearing here,” a furious Bamugemereire said. A number of witnesses on this matter like Aisha Kabira Kalikumutima, the Jinja district land registrar told the commission that she was intimidated and threatened by MP Balyeku and it’s the reason why she approved the issuing of the land title.

She revealed that their investigations revealed that the entire transaction was illegal and fraudulent.  It should be noted that the 11 acres of land in question were registered in the names of Thummer Jay Mangalal Patel but MP Balyeku testified and admitted before the commission that he had interest in the land and the reason why he decided to register it in Patel’s names was because he wanted to avoid some nosy politicians in the region.

Thummer Jay Mangalal Patel told the commission that he was not aware that the land was registered in his name because he had no interest in the land. Balyeku testified that he wanted to establish Kyabazinga Shopping mall on the land. However, Harshad Barot, the owner of Tirupati Mazima mall told the commission that he owned the said land. Barot testified that he got a 20-year lease from Jinja municipality and it was still running before it was fraudulently registered into Patel’s names in 2018. It should be noted that Balyeku first dodged the commission summons until Bamugemereire threatened to issue arresting warrant against him.

LANDS MINISTER AMONGI GRILLED

The commission also grilled senior lands minister Betty Amongi for using her office to influence Balyeku’s fraudulent transaction on the contested land. Deputy lead counsel John Bosco Suuza told her that Jinja District land registrar Kalikumutima told the commission that she frequently called her and forced her to speed up the process of issuing a land title something that was unacceptable. He further said that Amongi also wrote to Jinja Municipality council pressurizing the councilors to quickly approve the land.

In her defense, Amongi told the commission that she received a letter from Evelyne Anite, the state minister for investment requesting her to find land around Jinja Municipality for investor Patel. She admitted that it is true she wrote to Jinja municipality council because cabinet issued a resolution that if an investor wanted land, it must be given to him within three months.  She wondered why the land which she thought was for an investor is owned by MP Balyeku. She added that whoever masterminded this fraudulent transaction should be punished. 

SPEAKER KADAGA DRAGGED IN THE FRAUDULENT TRANSACTION

The Speaker of parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has also been dragged in the fraudulent transaction of land in Nalufenya Jinja Municipality. Morison Moses Bizitu, the Jinja municipality Speaker told the commission  that he received a letter from Kadaga asking him for permission to open up the boundaries of her land on Kyabazinga way from plot 1-15. However, the commission’s deputy lead counsel John Bosco Suuza tasked him to bring evidence that the letter was written by Kadaga. Suuza said that he couldn’t believe that the speaker can write a letter with poor English and spellings.

He quizzed Bizito to tell the commission whether he saw the land title registered in Kadaga’s names. Bizito admitted that he never saw the said land title. Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the chairperson of the commission said that the commission is going to investigate the said letter because it looks to be forged.

The commission is still investigating the matter.

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We Have Given You Five More Days To Verify If You Are Eligible To Vote – EC Boss Byabakama…

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The chairman Electoral commission (EC) justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama has revealed that the EC has extended the general national voters verification period for more other five days.

The voter verification exercise commenced on Thursday 21st November 2019 and was scheduled to stop on Wednesday 11th 2019 (tomorrow). However, the EC today revealed that the exercise will continue for more five days until Monday 16th December 2019.

Below is a statement released by the Uganda electoral commission:

The Electoral Commission is undertaking the update of the National Voters’ Register for purposes of the 2020/2021 General Elections. The general update exercise commenced on Thursday 21st November 2019 and was scheduled to close tomorrow, Wednesday 11th December 2019. However, due to higher numbers of applicants at the update centers since the beginning of this week, and requests from key stakeholders in the electoral process, the Electoral Commission has found it necessary and taken a decision to extend the update period, which was scheduled to close on Wednesday 11th December 2019, for five (5) more days, starting from Thursday 12th and ending Monday 16th December 2019, after which, there will be no further extension.

This exercise will continue to be conducted at update stations in each parish throughout Uganda, starting from 8:00am to 6:00pm, throughout the extended period, including weekends. Please note that the purpose of this extension is to provide an opportunity for eligible persons who have not yet registered to do so.

The general public is, therefore, reminded to carefully observe the following:

a) This is not a fresh registration of voters but an exercise to enable Ugandan citizens who have attained the age of 18 years and above and who have not yet registered to register as voters in order to participate in elections.

b)  A registered voter who wishes to transfer to new voting locations shall be able to do so during this period. Please note that such a voter who wishes to transfer to a new voting location must present confirmation that he/she originates from or is, at the time of application for transfer, a resident of the Parish of that (new) voting location. Such applicants should ensure they have details of their previous voting location.

c)  The Electoral Commission has availed the National Voters’ Register for each polling station at the Update center in each parish, so that existing voters check and confirm their registration status, that is, whether their particulars are well-captured.

Emerging Issues from the Update Exercise

The Electoral Commission has noted, with concern, reports of alleged extortion of money by some local leaders and update officials from applicants in order to sign on their applications before processing the applications.

This is illegal, and the Commission strongly condemns it. The Commission has provided all necessary forms (for application as a voter, or application for transfer) free of charge. The Commission calls on all officials involved in this update exercise to desist from any acts that may frustrate eligible applicants from exercising their constitutional right to apply for registration as voters. 

The Electoral Commission urges all eligible persons who are not yet registered as voters, and those who wish to apply for transfer of voting location, to use this opportunity, and do so, in order to participate in the General Elections. The Commission also appeals to eligible public servants and other (eligible) persons in formal employment to take advantage of this extension, particularly the weekend.

For God and My Country,

Justice Byabakama Mugenyi Simon

 EC Chairperson 10/12/2019.

By Josephine Kauma

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I’m Your Boss Now, Your Powers Have Been Trimmed, You Are A Ceremonial Mayor – Minister Kamya Tells Lukwago…

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Controversial Kampala minister Betty Kamya has told the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago that his powers have been trimmed in the new law that president Museveni ascended to on 28th/November/2019.

While speaking to journalists today at the Media Centre in Kampala, the former Uganda Federal Alliance boss emphasized that Lukwago will be ceremonial and will report directly to her (Kamya) and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) speaker who will be elected among KCCA councilors.

“The Lord Mayor will be responsible for activities such as receiving visitors and other dignitaries among others,” Kamya said.

According to this new Kampala Amendment Act 2019, the Lord Mayor will no longer chair council meeting as it has been in the past, it will be done by the Speaker or his/her deputy.  There will also be the City Executive Committee in which the Lord Mayor will preside over the day to day business in Kampala.

Kamya also laughed at those who are taunting her that her powers have been reduced with the appointment of bummy musician Catherine Kusasira, Kamya said that her powers have actually been increased and her office streamlined within KCCA.

Kamya rallied Ugandans most especially the informal sector to take part in the ongoing verification of the national voters’ register.

“During the last elections (2016), 800,000 voters in Kampala didn’t turn up for voting since many of them were busy at work while others had registered in distant areas. This time I call upon every Uganda to check if they are fully registered to vote,” Kamya said.

Kamya advised those who can’t easily access their voting places to use this chance to change to nearby locations since the voting exercise always comes once in 5 years.

By Josephine Kauma and Ronald Kisekka.

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I Have Never Stolen Anything From Anyone That Is Why I Will Be The First To Stone A Corrupt Person – Physically Fit M7 Warns The Corrupt…

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President Museveni has warned Ugandans who accept bribes that he will be the first one to stone anyone implicated in corruption tendencies.

The president made these remarks at a function organized by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema’s State House Anti-corruption unit after the anti-corruption walk that took place today morning.

The walk was organized to highlight the negativity of corruption and also to show the need to end the vice in Uganda. Museveni said he is ready to deal with Ugandans who practice corruption and pretend to be holy.

“Many people are corrupt but pretend to be holy. When you ask anyone who has never stolen, pick a stone and throw at the corrupt, I will be the first to pick it because I have never stolen anything from any one and I am not corrupt,” president said.

The President further revealed that even though he has never chewed a bribe, he is still not poor. “I am not corrupt and I am not poor,” Museveni said.

He further noted that corruption is both spiritual and moral and that it is a practice that makes someone a parasite. “A corrupt person is like a parasite that feeds on people’s blood, you earn what you have not worked for,” he said.

He warned those who got wealth through corruption to be kin because wealth from corruption does not last long. “It seems wealth from corruption does not stay longer, I have never seen corrupt people sustaining their wealth,” he added .

He further revealed that he knows some of the corrupt people but it’s not yet time for him to disclose them to the public.

“I know some of the corrupt people, I will not mention their names but I will expose them when time comes,” he promised.

He urged the public and the anti-corruption agents to corporate and fight against corruption in Uganda. “Corruption can be ended through unity of the public and the anti-corruption agents, we need to work together to end corruption in Uganda,” he said.

The President also took time to answer social media critics who question how he acquired his herd of cattle at his farm in Kisozi.

Museveni said, “I got them cows from my grand and God has kept them. UNLA soldiers wanted to steal the cattle but failed. They even blew up the house of my mother using an RPG but they didn’t steal them because they were hidden in the savanna.”

Museveni asked three government bodies including the Inspectorate of Government (IGG), State House anti-corruption unit and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to ensure that they don’t recruit employees only on the basis of qualifications but they should also consider their integrity.

By Josephine Kauma

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