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    M7, Ruto Under Pressure To End Economic Fight As Ugandan Lawyer Joins Kenya In Multibillion Oil Deal Legal Battle In Regional Court…

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    President Museveni with his Kenyan counterpart William Ruto, on the left is Dr. Peter Mathuki

    President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda and his counterpart Kenyan counterpart Dr. William Ruto of Kenya have been placed under pressure to end their fight over the multibillion oil deal.

    Dr. Peter Mathuki, the Secretary General of the East African Community encouraged partner states to focus on peaceful resolution of any disputes while strictly adhering to the spirit of the treaty, particularly on peaceful co-existence and good neighbourliness.

    Mathuki explained that member states should focus on harmonious cooperation in their endeavours to ensure that the people of East Africa remain at the center of the integration.

    He added that the Community’s operational principles provide that the integration is people-centred and that all undertakings should strictly observe the said spirit.

    He disclosed that in the event of any dispute arising between two or more partner states, it is expected that they use the existing East African Community Dispute Resolution Mechanism that fully respect the integrity and sovereignty of each partner state.

    He confirmed that the East African Secretariat is working closely with South Sudan’s President Silva Kiir and the Office of the Chairperson of the Summit of East African Community Heads of State to provide the necessary facilitation for the peaceful resolution of any disputes that may arise between partner states.

    Even though Dr. Mathuki avoided citing any ongoing legal battle, observers insist that the statement was in respect to the matter of Uganda and Kenya and that of Burundi and Rwanda.

    Last week President Evariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi closed its country’s board with Rwanda claiming that president Paul Kagame is supporting a rebel movement which is using Democratic Republic of Congo forests to attack the people of Burundi aiming to overthrow the sitting government.

    Another conflict involves Uganda and Kenya, in 2023, Uganda had applied to use Kenya’s pipeline to transport its fuel from the port of Mombasa directly to Kampala but Kenya rejected the request, arguing that such a move would affect its local oil marketing companies.

    In December 2023, President Museveni’s government through the Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka dragged Kenyan’s Attorney General Justin Bedan Njoka Muturi to the Regional Court over the oil multibillion deal.

    Kiwanuka confirmed to theGrapevine that Kenya’s Attorney General was served with the petition and he was given 45 days to file a defense against the allegations placed on his government.

    In his petition, Kiwanuka insisted that the Kenyan government violated the East African Treaty when they intentionally denied Uganda access to use their Oil Pipeline.

    Uganda also blamed the Kenyan Court for directing the country’s Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) not to grant an import, export and wholesale of petroleum products license to Uganda’s Uganda National Oil Corporation (UNOC) which was issued in November 2023.

    The Order was issued after Royani Energy Limited and concerned Kenyan citizens Charles Kombo and John Kinuthia petitioned the Kenyan High Court protesting the move to allow UNOC to obtain Oil importation Certificate to import petroleum products through Kenya.

    Lawyers in Attorney General’s chambers claim that Uganda was not given the opportunity to defend themselves in the said application as an affected party even through their lawyers led by Kenya’s Poul Nyamodi of V.A Nyamodi and Company Advocates and Uganda’s Ruth Sebatindira of Ligomarc Advocates were ready to defend their client.

    Lawyers in the Attorney General’s chambers claim that Uganda has the right under the East African Community Treaty and the United Nations Convention especially the laws of sea as a land locked country to use the Kenyan Oil Pipeline and sea waters which Kenya is trying to violate even though it is a signatory to both treaties.

    The Kenyan government gave conditions to Uganda which include incorporation as a subsidiary or registration of UNOC as a company or a branch in Kenya if they are to apply for an import and export or wholesale of petroleum products license that will allow Uganda to use their oil pipeline which Uganda’s Attorney General insisted is unnecessary and hinders the implementation of its petroleum policy.

    Highly placed sources in the Attorney General’s chambers told theGrapevine that Uganda took a decision to file a suit against Kenya out of frustration explaining that the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in Uganda led by Dr. Ruth Nakabirwa Ssentamu have been seeking intervention of the Kenyan government to restrain its citizens and organs from infringing the principles of the East African Community Treaty but they kept a deaf ear.

    In his petition, Kiwanuka told Court that since October 2023, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for the energy ministry has been intimated to her counterpart in Uganda that the issue of Uganda using the Kenya’s oil pipeline was discussed in their cabinet and EPRA was directed to review and align the petroleum import logistics arrangement in favour of Uganda, but since then, nothing has been done.

    Sources further revealed that President Museveni has been closely following the issue.

    “ The Attorney General himself made a telephone call to the East African Court Clerk who was already in Christmas holidays pleading with him to come back to Kampala and register their petition against Kenya. Because the president was on phone and wanted to know Kenya’s stand,” a source said.

    Sources added that Museveni made several attempts to convince Ruto not to frustrate his plans of transporting oil from Kenya to Uganda noting that oil dealers are currently using the situation to import fuel into the country and hike pump prices which is highly affecting the people of Uganda.

    However, Ruto keep on promising that the matter is going to be sorted out.

    Kiryowa Kiwanuka and Energy minister Dr. Nakabirwa with the help of Thomas Tayebwa the Deputy Speaker of Uganda used the recently concluded Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth Parliaments (CSCP2024) to engage the Kenyan National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula pleading with him to help the talk to the concerned parties to solve the ongoing economic misunderstanding between the two countries.

    However the East African Community and Regional Development Cabinet Secretary of Kenya Peninah Malonza confirmed that the two leaders had scheduled a meeting to diplomatically mend fences over Kenya’s decision to block Uganda’s use of its pipeline to transport fuel.

    “There is no cause for alarm because such trade disagreements are normal. Each country is established under different laws and principles and therefore we relate on the basis of the binding treaties and other diplomatic protocols,”  Malonza said.

    She further informed concerned Kenyan journalists on Friday last week that there is a scheduled meeting between President Ruto and Museveni to discuss the impasse and Kenya will also seek to explain its position during the next East Africa Community Heads of States Summit.

    She admitted that on several occasions, President Museveni has been actively engaging the Kenyan authorities on trade matters as the two countries look forward to resolving their recent dispute noting that Uganda is not only Kenya’s biggest trading partner, but it is also the biggest market for Kenyan oil that is why Nairobi and Kampala have to co-existed like they have been since independence.

    Even though both leaders are planning to settle their economic misunderstanding amicably, controversial city lawyer Kassim Male Mabirizi has joined the Kenyan Attorney General asking the Regional Court to dismiss with cost a petition filed by Ugandan Attorney General against Kenya.

    Mabirizi filed the application before the Regional Court to be allowed to join the case as an interested party explaining that as a civic active Ugandan, he is against the Ugandan government policy of closing out of all other fuel importing companies.

    Mabirizi insists that the Ugandan government actions to create a fuel importation monopoly through hand-picking Vitol Company and enacting the Petroleum Supply (Amendment) 2023 are unlawful and violate the fundamental and operational principles of the community guaranteed under Article 6(d) and 7(2).

    He claims that Vitol Company did not go through the normal bidding process under the laws of Uganda hence corruption and creating a monopoly in importation of fuel derogates economic rights of other Ugandans who may have the capacity to import fuel into the country.

    Mabirizi confirmed to theGrapevine that he has served his application to both the Attorney General of Kenya and Uganda.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    CELEBRITY GOSSIP

    Buganda Caucus MPs Blocked From Visiting Kabaka Mutebi In Namibia As Mayiga Summons Clan Heads Over M7 Deals, King Visit…

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    Buganda Kingdom King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi (L) in Namibia

    The management of Okonguarri Psychotherapeutic Center in Namibia has blocked three Members of Parliament from accessing the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi.

    Buganda Premier Charles Peter Mayiga confirmed that Kabaka Mutebi is in Namibia resting following the advice of his doctor in Europe.

    However, there are ongoing allegation that Kabaka is in the said medical facility receiving medication not resting.

    Based on the ongoing contradiction, legislators who are members of the Buganda caucus in parliament secretly decided to travel to Namibia to confirm the development.

    theGrapevine has exclusively established that the three male legislators are members of the National Unity Platform and they sneaked into Namibia without the knowledge of the Ugandan embassy in Namibia or their chairperson Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi.

    When contacted, one of the legislators confirmed the development but pleaded with theGrapevine not to reveal his identity because it was going to create a war with Buganda Kingdom leadership.

    “It is true we were blocked from accessing the Kabaka and we are the ones who advised the Buganda Kingdom clan heads who also plan on visitinf the Kabaka to first seek permission from Mayiga, Prince David Kintu Wasajja or Agness Nabalogo because they are the ones to give permission to any person who wants to access Kabaka,” a soft spoken legislator from greater Masaka said.

    He added that they tried to reach out to Prince Joseph Ndawula, the Ugandan ambassador to Namibia but he also didn’t help them, so they decided to return back to Uganda.

    The development comes at a time when Mayiga has just issued summons to the executive members of Buganda Kingdom clan heads council.

    According to highly placed sources in the clan council, the meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday next week at Bulange building the headquarters of Buganda Kingdom.

    Even though Mayiga didn’t give the reasons why he has summoned the clan council leadership, sources claim that top on the agenda is their planned visit to Namibia to visit Kabaka and last week’s State House meeting with president Museveni.

    “When we passed a resolution in our meeting to go to Namibia to visit Kabaka, our council speaker (omutaka Austine Kizito Mutumba) pleaded with us to reverse the resolution explaining that it was going to place him in bad light before Mayiga and it is going to deepen the misunderstanding between him and his administration, but we rubbished his prayers,” a clan head said.

    He boasted that at this time, Mayiga has nothing to do because President Museveni has given them the green light and promised to coordinate the visit.

    He revealed that there are only two people who haven’t yet finalized their travel documents because they did not have passports.

    “By Thursday morning, we will be on the plane going to check on our beloved chairperson (Kabaka). Who is Mayiga to stop us from visiting Kabaka, even the president told us that he doesn’t like him and his ministers, and in Buganda kingdom, he only recognizes Kabaka, us the abataka and even informed the Nnabagereka when he met her recently,” a clan head said.

    It is not clear what mechanism Mayiga and Mutumba are going to deploy to stop clan heads from visiting Kabaka because they have been trying to frustrate them from meeting President Museveni but they overrun them.

    In the last Buganda Kingdom parliamentary session, Mayiga declined to allow the prayer made by one of the representative Professor Badru Katerega who wanted the Kingdom administration to guide those with money so that they can be allowed to go and visit Kabaka.

    Mutumba told theGrapevine that he is just a speaker of the council of Buganda Kingdom clan heads and has no power to stop them from doing whatever they think is good for their clans and Buganda Kingdom at large.

    He confirmed that he was not informed of last week’s State House meeting and he was very happy with the results of the meeting because the President agreed to help the kingdom clan heads to fight poverty among themselves and their grandchildren.

    President Museveni also promised to deploy UPDF engineering experts to help in the building of a commercial building on the land he bought for them in 2023 which is situated opposite the Bulange building.

    The president also promised to deposit Shs200m in the bataka Mutindo SACCO which they can use to fight poverty.

    However, when clan heads visited Museveni in 2023, Mayiga declared that he will not accept any person to mislead any member of the Kingdom organs with the aim of dividing Kabaka’s subjects.

    A resolution was passed in Buganda Kingdom parliament condemning the clan heads’ visit to Museveni and they were advised to apologize which they declined to do arguing that Mayiga and the Kingdom parliament don’t have such powers.

    The Clan heads insist that they are an independent organ in Buganda kingdom culture and they are the ones responsible for electing the Kabaka, thus they cannot be forced by Mayiga and his people to apologize.

    A committee chaired by Kingdom lands minister and also city commercial lawyer David Kisitu Mpanga was established by Mayiga to mediate talks between him with clan heads.

    However Isreal Kitooke Kazibwe the Kingdom spokesperson and also the minister in charge of mobilization rubbished the narrative of clan heads being independent explaining that all leadership in Buganda Kingdom are under Kabaka Mutebi and there is not independence.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    How Boyfriend, Pressure For Wedding Money Forced MP Nanyondo To Withdraw Her Signature From Censure Motion Against Mpuuga And Company…

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    Bukomansimbi woman legislator Veronica Nanyondo

    Kira Municipality legislator Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda has explained that the actions of Bukomansimbi woman legislator Veronica Nanyondo to withdraw in writing her signature from the censure motion against the four parliamentary commissioners over corruption allegations was showed that legislators don’t read.

    He revealed that the reason why he always overshadows fellow legislators on the floor of parliament and even during media talk shows is because they don’t read but just sign documents, especially when they are told that they will get allowances after signing.

    “How can a member of parliament withdraw her signature claiming that you were misled to sign, now how can you convince your voters that you are not misled to take decisions that affect them!” Ssemujju wondered.

    In her defense, Nanyondo said that the movers of the motion to impeach the commissioners used her signature from the opposition cabinet meeting and put it on the censure motion papers.

    Ssemujju noted that once a legislator appends their signature on a censure paper, he or she cannot withdraw it and Nanyondo is still taken as one of the legislators who signed the censure motion against the legislators.

    However, theGrapevine established that Nanyondo was forced by her boyfriend to withdraw the signature.

    Sources claim that Nyanyondo’s boyfriend, a one Kateregga who was a councilor for Bukomansimbi district, pleaded with Nanyondo to withdraw her signature because Mpuuga is one of their own and it will shame them to betray him.

    He alleges that Nyanyondo and her boyfriend are set to legalize their marriage in church before the end of this year and Mpuuga has already contributed Shs20m to help in the preparations of their wedding.

    Others who contributed include Annet Anita Among the speaker of parliament who contributed Shs10m.

    Sources divulged that Kateregga nowadays spendsmuch of his time in the United States of America because the couple plans on relocating to the US once this political term ends and after they legalize their marriage.

    Sources added that Nanyondo is not going to defend her position in the coming 2026 elections after realizing that the ground no longer favors her.

    Before joining politics, Nanyondo and Kateregga were running a printing business on Nasser Road in Kampala city.

    When Nanyondo contested for the first time as MP to replace her sister Suzan Namaganda, the former wife to former East African Assembly Uganda representative Fred Mukasa Mbidde, Kateregga was in charge of pinning her posters.

    theGrapevine made several phone calls to Nanyondo’s known phone numbers for a comment on the story but they all went unanswered.

    Nanyondo is among the poor performing legislators in Buganda.

    The four commissioners who in trouble are; Mathias Mpuuga the Member of Parliament for Nyendo-Mukungwe, Prossy Mbabazi Akampulira the Rubanda district legislator, Solomon Silwanyi the Bukooli Central legislator and Esther Afayochan of Zombo district woman legislator.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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    CRIME

    Stanbic Bank In Trouble, Client Petitions Court After She Was Defrauded Of Shs68m Via Flexi Pay…

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    Stanbic Bank CEO Anne Jjuuko whose bank is under fire

    Nakku Joweria a resident of Kyebando has sued Stanbic Bank Uganda limited for failing in its duty of protecting her saving account leading to defrauding her of shillings 68 million which was withdrawn from her account in a period of 24 hours through Flexi pay an application she had never registered for.

    In a court case filed before the Commercial division of the High Court of Uganda and coming up for directions in the registrar Christa Namutebi’s chambers, on the 24th June, 2024 at 9:40am, Nakku Joweria through his lawyers of Kimanje Nsibambi Advocates contends that between 7th and 8th February, 2023, there was unauthorized withdrawal of 68 million shillings from her savings account No. 903000026244 via the Flexi Pay Banking, a platform of Stanbic Bank and a total of 28 unauthorized transactions were conducted by fraudsters who fraudulently accessed her account undetected by the bank.

    She questions how a savings account which had a transaction limit was significantly exceeded during the unauthorized and undetected fraudulent transactions which led to her losing her’ money.

    “Our client has been a loyal client of Stanbic bank since 2001 way before the implementation of the FlexiPay system and at no point did she sign up for or activate the flexi pay on her savings account. The 28 unauthorized withdrawals from our clients account using four unknown Airtel lines raises serious questions and/ or lapses on the part of the bank for which we hold the bank specifically liable for the loss since it was in a better position to detect and prevent this fraud had it exercised reasonable care to detect these suspicious 28 unauthorized transactions that took place within 24 hours on a savings account that was rarely operated by our client,” reads the documents in parts.

    She also questions the effectiveness of the bank’s authentication protocols with their flexi pay system, effectiveness of the transaction monitoring to the extent of allowing 28 unauthorized transactions within 24 hours using four unknown Airtel lines and significantly exceeding the account limit.

    Nakku wants court to direct Stanbic Bank to reimburse 68 million to her account that was fraudulently withdrawn and pay her the costs and damages.

    On 6th February 2023, Nakku Joweria lost her phones to the robbers on her way to work at around 9pm. She reported the incident to police at 9am and to the telecom companies on the 7th February 2023.

    However, the telecom companies MTN and Airtel couldn’t process the new simcards because she had misplaced her original National Identity card.

    The robbers used her MTN number to open up a wallet on the Flexi pay which number had four other Airtel numbers that don’t belong to her which they used to make 28 unauthorized withdraws of 68 million shillings from her Stanbic bank saving account on the 7th and 8th February in a space of only 24 hours.

    When she went to withdraw some money from her account on the 6th, March 2023 that’s when she realized that her money was fraudulently withdrawn from her account.

    She wrote to the bank manager complaining about the matter and the bank promised to do thorough investigations to reveal how the money was withdrawn by the fraudsters.

    Through her lawyers of Kimanje Nsibambi Advocates, she wrote a demand notice to Stanbic Bank manager to reimburse her money since it was their weakness and fault for failure to efficiently protect her account.

    The bank through Twine Arnold, the senior legal advisor, Risk and Dispute Management wrote back with an out of court settlement request.

    However, the bank had proposed to reimburse only 34 million out of the 68 million on the premise that the settlement shall not be taken as admission of liability by any of the parties, a proposal she rejected and instead thought for legal redress in the commercial court.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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