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    Land Probe To Prosecute Land Agent Over Obstructing Justice And Telling Lies Under Oath

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    Muhaire after being arrested by the commission

    Justice Catherine Bamugemereire the Chairperson of the Commission of inquiry into land matters has ordered the arrest and detention of a land Agent.  She ordered the arrest of Alex Muhairwe,  a resident of Natete Kampala after discovering that he was obstructing justice and telling the Commission lies yet he was under oath.

    “To show that you have broken the laws of Uganda, as this Commission is still carrying out a prolonged investigations into this matter. There must also be the criminal side of it to be investigated, Mr  Muhaire, it’s illegal to tell lies to this Commission and obstruct justice. Am directing you to make another statement with my investigators about a one Peace Kembabazi,” Bamugemereire said.

    She said that Muhaire lied to the Commission that since 2014, he was not communicating to his alleged boss peace Kembabazi.  Muhaire also lied to the Commission that he has been communicating to Kembabazi through Paul Natureeba and Lilian Asasiira, who are both staying in the US. He said that he used those people’s phones to talk to Kembabazi. However, after checking his phones, Bamugemereire discovered that Muhaire, through WhatsApp and phones calls stopped communicating to Kembabazi in late October 2018.

    Bamugemereire read one of the Watsapp chats where Kembabazi was training Muhaire on what to tell the Commission.

    “You give them that PO Box, tell them that I am staying in New York, don’t tell them where I stay,” Bamugemereire read one of the messages found on Muhaire’s phone.  She also discovered that Kembabazi is not staying in New York as Muhaire testified but she stays in Canada. She asked Muhairwe why he was telling lies on the oath yet he knows that it is illegal, Muhaire failed to explain himself and instead apologised.

    Bamugemereire warned that the Commission has all the powers to pick witnesses who tell them lies. She said that the Commission is going to make sure that Muhaire is prosecuted for telling lies and obstructing justice. She also ordered him and his agents not to go back to the land, stop harassing tenants on the land and to produce the land title for Singo block 223 plot 13.  Earlier, Muhaire testified that he purchased the land in 2010 from Solomon Kiggundu Tamale at Shs94m and paid for it in installments. He said that it was later transferred in the names of Peace Kembabazi.

    However, John Bosco Suuza, the Deputy lead Counsel told him that the land title which was first registered in the names of Alex Muhaire, and the agreement was made in 2009 not 2010 as he told the Commission, Suuza said that this showed that he was lying to the Commission.

    Suuza asked Muhaire to tell the Commission how he paid the money to Kiggundu and between him and Kembabazi, who paid the money. Muhaire said that he got the powers of attorney from Kembabazi to purchase the land on her behalf and it’s the reason why the land title was first registered in his name but later transferred in the names of Kembabazi.  He said that the reason why the agreement was reading 2009 yet he told the Commission that he purchased the land in 2010, is because it’s the date when he finished the payments.

    He testified that though Kembabazi was abroad, she used her lawyer Felix Ampaire from Byarugaba and Company Advocates to give money to Kiggundu, he (Muhaire) always came in to make sales agreements.

    Assistant Lead Counsel Andrew Odit showed Muhaire another sales agreement where he purchased 224 acres of land at only Shs40m not Shs94m as he testified earlier.  Muhaire insisted that he bought the land at Shs94m and the agreement produced by Odit was for an installment.  Suuza tasked Muhaire to tell the Commission how he got to know Kembabazi to the extent of trusting him to hold a mult-million land transaction.

    Muhaire said that he got to know Kembabazi in 2009 and she was introduced to him by a friend, Peter Kasiime who died in an accident on Masaka Road. Surprisingly, a few minutes later, when Bamugemereire asked him to repeat the name of the person who introduced him to Kembabazi, he said that it was Peter Tumwine, this shocked the Commissioners.  Suuza asked him to tell the Commission his home village and that of Kembabazi because it seems they are from the same Region.

    Muhaire revealed that he is from Mitooma District and Kembabazi is from Bushenyi. He however failed to tell the commission which village and sub county. Suuza pinned him for calling himself a State House official and threatening to evict 500 families on the land which he grabbed. Suuza said that Muhaire told the residents that he was purchasing the land on behalf of UPDF so residents had to vacate it.

    Suuza added that Muhaire threatened locals that if they don’t vacate the land, the army was going to torture them and kill them because the army doesn’t want civilians.

    Suuza said that they have information that Muhaire also told the residents that they shouldn’t cut down their coffee plantations, banana plantations, cassava, sweet potatoes plantations because the army was going to use the food there.

    Muhaire denied and said all these allegations were stupid. He later withdrew the statement when Bamugemereire told him to repeat it.  The Commission is still investigating the matter.

     

    By Jamil Lutakome

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    NATIONAL

    OPINION: Why Media Council Can’t Punish The Observer Over Un Registered Journalists…

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    The writer Emmanuel Kirunda (L) and Media Council boss Paul Ekochu (R)

    Scriptures say in Proverbs 28:1 in the Bible that, “the wicked flees when there is no one pursuing them,” this won’t be the case with the Uganda Media Council team that has already mooted a plan to hound the Observer newspaper journalists under disguise of caring to find answers to their alleged breach of journalistic ethics in reference to its regulatory duty, as it cannot go unchallenged.

    In his letter to the Observer Newspaper Editor dated May 8, 2024 under which he summons them to appear before the Council’s disciplinary committee on Monday, 20th May 2024 under section 9 of Press and Journalist Act cap 105, over their May 8, 2024 news article of vol.19 issue 017, titled; ‘MPS Bribed to Save Government Agencies’ that is said to have derogated the sanctity and integrity of parliament, the Council’s chairperson Mr. Paul Ekochu also put the Newspaper administration on notice for failing to register the particulars of its Editor contrary to section 5 of the same Act, saying it is a criminal offense.

    While the Council is charged with the duty of registering journalists and or enforcing penalties in the wake of any un compliance case, it cannot legally exercise the same in its current form, following the violation of requirements under the same legal instrument from onset by the ICT Ministry that performs the supervisory role over the Council and other bodies therein.

    As part of its mandate, the ICT Ministry should be doing a lot in ensuring the better welfare standards of journalists by prevailing over the errant employers who time and again occasion exploitation, but sadly focuses a lot on accusing the practitioners of falling short of ethical standards whose viability spines around the welfare unanswered question, a corner stone to independent journalism.

    Suffice to note is that, although the draconian Act was enacted in bad faith with an intention of annihilating the Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) that had already been around in the space since 1963 managing the journalistic landscape when it was put in place in 1995, this never succeeded as it was rejected by journalists given its anomalies, and it only now remains on books but can’t practically, legally, journalistically and logically be enforced.

    And time has come for the officials in the ministry to accept the sectoral reality.

    Media Council Wrong to Register Journalists.

    As of now the Uganda Media Council cannot sanction the Observer Editor over failure to have registered their particulars or any other journalist, and if this happened, it is illegal according to the High Court’s ruling that was given in January 14, 2021 petition filed by Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL) and journalists under the Editors Guild against the Attorney General for Media Council.

    Filing of this petition was prompted by December 20th 2020, then the Deputy Inspector General of Police Maj. Gen. Paul Lokech’s public statement that the Police would block journalists without the Media Council Press cards from covering the 2021 general elections, in reference to the flawed Media Council guidelines for the 2021 general elections.

    Court declared that the registration of journalists by the Media Council of Uganda without an operational National Institute of Journalists of Uganda (NIJU) to enroll journalists in accordance with the Press and Journalist Act is illegal, irrational and procedurally irregular.

    Like Media Council, NIJU, as a creator of the bad law (Press and Journalist Act of 1995), has been at its death point from onset.

    The Councils’ purported guidelines had earlier been strongly protested by the UJA and other journalist organizations, noting that their intention was to curtail the enjoyment of press freedom ahead of the elections.

    The trial judge Esther Nambayo stressed that without the functioning of the NIJU, the Media Council would be acting outside its mandate to register and issue practicing certificates to journalists in Uganda.

    Court also issued an order of permanent injunction restraining the implementation of the illegal and irrational directives of the Media Council.

    Now one wonders how the Observer newspaper will be subjected to penalties by the same Council in moribundity of the would-be journalists’ registration authority!

    Would one therefore, be wrong if they describe as contempt of Court the Council’s decision with regard to the Observer journalists’ fate?

    Would it be wrong for journalists to believe that the Council’s intervention during this time is an attempt to gag critical journalism that helps with pointing to the ills in the society that should instead be addressed by the relevant authorities?

     

    “The Pen is Mightier Than the Gun”.

    This article was written By Emmanuel Kirunda, Journalist and Secretary General, Uganda Journalists Association (UJA).

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    NATIONAL

    OPINION: Bobi Wine’s NUP At Crossroads As Internal Strife & Looming Split Paves Way For Gen. Museveni To Reclaim Buganda…

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    NUP boss Bobi Wine. Inset is President Museveni. On the left is the writer George Mubiru

    Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu’s personal pursuit of excellence may have inadvertently fueled National Unity Platform (NUP) vanity, creating internal tension.

    The “fearfully high standard” alludes to the challenging expectations one imposes on oneself, potentially resulting in moments of self-loathing when those standards aren’t met. It explores the complex relationship between personal aspirations, the emotional toll they can take and NUP’s aspirations as an institution.

    The young party has no chance of resurrection. Tireless efforts of displacing Hon. Mpuuga has completely buried it with least chances of remaining the chief opposition party ( something Bobi Wine feels comfortable to settle down for) come 2026.

    The storm has erupted through out Buganda and angered the staunch Buganda traditionalists and elite politicians whose mirror is Mpuuga. Bobi wine has  created a small group within NUP that believe in kleptocracy, an egocentric virtue which can not mirror out political, social and economic inclusiveness of all Ugandans.

    Bobi Wine and his small group in NUP that seems to feel satisfied with polluting the masses and hoodwink them in order to exploit, impoverish, repress and lie to make money. This is exhibited in his previous calls on the public to riot and reckless utterances of politics of identity to gain sympathy. He has on several occasions attempted to slash social and economic programs extended to the wanainch from western countries and the global economy. They worship Money and opposition power supremacy.

    When more than three thirds of the current NUP Members of Parliament continue to fume over Bobi wine’s poor administration of the party, it has opened the eyes of majority ugandans that the cardinal intention of NUP is not removing Gen. Museveni from power, but to make money.

    There is continuous accusations and counter accusations with in the party at a prime time NRM is reorganizing itself through structures to massively win the forthcoming polls. For example, Hon Abed Bwanika has on several occasions castigated NUP’s secretary general for calendistinely working for NRM and called upon him to resign. He has also accused NUP top leadership for placing homosexuality on its high agenda, something which is morally unacceptable to Uganda’s customs and culture.

    The internal strife has further been worsened by another persistent battle for the true ownership of the party between Bobi Wine and the Kibalama group. This has recently failed the approval of pro Bobi Wine’s new NUP constitution by the electoral commission.

    Various NUP MPs, have on several occasions come out to condemn their party of extortion and continuous money demands. They have expressed regret of landing into the wrong hands of the NUP leader. Others have fallen out with their party on refusal to implement dirty missions which could lead the country and wanainch into turmoil as revealed by hanji katerega when he recently appeared for an interview.

    What is the implication of the  Mpuuga-Bobi Wine-Kibalama fight?

    1. The young party has split into two groups and this division has left Bobi Wine and his group with out the capacity to bridge it. It should be remembered that the same happened to Busoga, the only sub region Bobi Wine won outside Buganda and currently there and two parallel groups; one led by Moses Bigirwa and another by Andrew Kaluya.
    2. NUP has lost its only remaining strong hold of Buganda. Hon Mpuuga is seen as the leading politician in greater Masaka and therefore perceive the allegations against him as witch hunt by Bobi Wine.
    3. A looming political party or pressure group by the elite politicians and majority NUP members of parliament is on the cards. This will be the last straw in the back of NUP. Some people especially the youth, well knowing that NUP cannot cause the change they desire, will definitely follow the new anticipated wave.
    4. President Museveni and the NRM will gain back it’s support from Buganda because of consistence and good will to the country. People would rather revert to NRM for stability. I prophesize victory for Gen. Museveni and the NRM in Buganda come 2026.

    Gen. Museveni is like a cliff. He can’t betray the mission he accepted from the people of Uganda as a revolutionist and freedom fighter. He stands firm and tames the fury of the water around him and strikes with a win.

    He once said; “All those in NUP are my children. You will see. I’m in there, everywhere and work with my children. Kyagulanyi’s group, I will finish it. You just wait. I work from underground as you’re up there shouting oye! Oye! Oye!”

     

    The writer, George Mubiru, is a researcher, political analyst & Ass. RCC JINJA City.

    Tel. 0754877595

    Email: georgemubiru93@gmail.com

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    MY MONEY

    Leaders Of Traders Panicking After M7 Directs Investigation Over Allegations Of An Invisible Foreign Hand Fueling Their Strikes To Sabotage Economy…

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    L-R: Some of the leaders of traders: Godfrey Katongole, David Kabanda and Thadeus Musoke

    Kampala Metropolitan Senior Minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda has exclusively confirmed to theGrapevine that president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has directed the country’s intelligence organs and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to investigate the alleged invisible hand behind traders’ leadership.

    She explained that preliminary investigations have established that some leaders of traders who are advocating for endless strikes are biased in their decisions because there is an invisible hand pushing them with an agenda of sabotaging the country’s economy and creating an ungovernable situation.

    “We know whatever they are planning. Our people are on ground, so they should stand warned,” Kabanda said.

    She revealed that President Museveni was shocked to establish that in Kampala city alone, traders have more than 30 associations and each one of them has command.

    This has created suspicion and the need for an investigation to establish their true motives.

    The development comes at a time when traders are threatening to go into a two months strike without opening their shops in the city center if president Museveni doesn’t address their demands including the banning of the Electronic Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS).

    On 7th May 2024, Museveni directed Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to sit down with leaders of traders and sort out their differences.

    The President guided that once these leaders and URA agree, they should make a joint report which they should read to him and other traders on 20th of June 2024 at Kololo independence grounds.

    However, before that meeting, Minister Kabanda has disclosed that Museveni is set to meet leaders of traders in the State House to have some issues sorted out noting that government is doing everything in its power to make sure that what happened on 7th May 2024 never happens again.

    She explained that it was bad for traders to shout at the President and embarrass senior government officials to the extent of accusing some of corruption insisting that traders’ behavior sent a warning signal to government that there must be an invisible hand influencing and facilitating them.

    theGrapevine has established that the leadership of Kampala City Traders Association(KACITA) led by Thadeus Musoke Nagenda, Federation of Uganda Traders Association(FUTA), Katukazane Shoe Dealers, Kampala Arcaders Advocacy Forum, United Arcarders Traders Enterprenuers Association,  Uganda Needy and Squatters Association have resolved to join hands and strategise on how to come up with a common voice before the President.

    Highly placed sources in intelligence have revealed to theGrapevine that all eyes are on David Kabanda who is being investigated for working for some opposition bigwigs who promised him support in the coming elections.

    Sources said that Kabanda wants to become the city councilor on Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago’s council.

    However, veteran journalist and the Senior presidential advisor on media Joseph Tamale Mirundi advised Museveni not to take lightly statements made in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords that King Charles’s leadership should influence regime change in Uganda.

    He explained that the western powers are going to use all the available means to sabotage Museveni’s leadership insisting that there is invisible hand in traders’ frequent strikes.

    But a section of KACITA leadership told theGrapevine that there are people in President Museveni’s government who are facilitating the creation of endless traders associations with the aim of benefiting from them and fighting the unity among traders.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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