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    Mr. Chief Justice and Principal Judge; Where is the Justice for Desire Mirembe? – Frank Gashumba: OPINION…

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    Mathew Kirabo (L) and Desire Mirembe

    This is the Uganda we live in now! This situation is sad, a huge disgrace to our judicial system, and even bigger shame to our leaders!

    You have failed Desire’s parents, the children of this nation, and generations to come!

    This is now our reality! And to think that my children have to live through a system this broken, unfair and corrupt shakes me to the core!

    Having killed 19-year-old Desire Mirembe nearly six years ago, Matthew Kirabo, whom court granted bail to complete his undergraduate course at Makerere University, is now requesting court to give him his passport, so he can travel abroad to do his Masters.

    According to his LinkedIn account, Kirabo identifies himself as a doctor. So while he ended this young girl’s life, he on the other hand, has gone on with his life and is living like nothing ever happened!

    At 10:30am on Tuesday 11th May 2021, Mukono High court is scheduled to hear an application where Kirabo seeks to waive the detention of his passport as part of the bail conditions.

    I know that there are many suspects who are languishing in prisons across the country on petty cases, and yet a first-degree murder suspect was granted bail to finish his studies. The same murderer wants his passport back while a young girl’s body languishes in the grave.

    I wish these judges knew the pain her parents, relatives, friends, O.Gs and O.Bs are going through.

    Why has the murder trial of Kirabo failed to kick off? Is Kirabo above the law? Is he related to top guns in the judiciary? Why is the judiciary hearing applications for passports when questions of murder are yet to be answered? Who is protecting Kirabo from the long arm of the law?

    It is simply unacceptable that the same courts that have tried high-profile murders like those of Matthew Kanyamunyu, Brian Bagyenda, the son of the ISO boss and Muhammad Ssebuwufu, the proprietor of Pine car depot, can fail to hear the cries of a father whose daughter was killed by having her throat slit.

    How Kirabo killed Desire

    Desire went missing from her residence at Makerere University on July 6, 2015.

    When Desire went missing, her boyfriend Kirabo was the first suspect. When police eventually arrested him, Kirabo confessed that he killed Desire because he ‘loved her so much and could not afford losing her to another person’.

    He then led a team of detectives to a sugarcane plantation in Lugazi where he had dumped her body, after he had drugged her drink and slit her throat.

    Desire’s father, Emmanuel Musoke, a long-time friend of mine and former chairperson of Kalungu district, told me that the Mukono Resident Judge Margaret Mutonyi explained that court did not have money to hear cases during the Coronavirus pandemic.

    For a judiciary that has tried cases of murder that came long after Desire was murdered, the claim by Judge Mutonyi is very suspicious and distressing for those who seek justice for Mirembe.

    In 2015, months after Desire was killed, Betty Donah Katusabe was murdered at Pine Car Depot. Her killers who included the proprietor of the depot, Muhammad Ssebuwufu have since been tried and convicted.

    In the same year that Desire was murdered, John Ahimbisibwe bled to death, having suffered a cut in the neck during a confrontation with Ivan Kamyuka at Club Guvnor.  Kamyuka has since been found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in jail.

    On New Year’s Eve in 2015, Gatare, a student of mechanical engineering at Columbia College in Canada, who was in the country for the holiday was killed in cold blood. Two men Ronald Mutebi, 34 and Geoffrey Lubwama alias Jeff have since been jailed for 30 years.

    Court has heard and will soon conclude the murder trial of three people including Brian Bagyenda, a son to Internal Security Organisation boss  Col Frank Kaka Bagyenda, who are accused of murdering 23-year old Enid Twijukye and later dumping her body at Namanve Forest Reserve in Wakiso district.  This murder happened in 2017, two years after Kirabo killed Desire.

    Perhaps one of the most high-profile cases that the judiciary has handled in recent year is the one of the murder of social worker Kenneth Akena by Matthew Kanyamunyu.  The murder happened on November 12, 2016 and has since been concluded. Kanyamunyu was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in jail.

    Call to action

    It’s been six agonizing years for Desire’s father, who raised her as a single parent, and has had to endure the pain of knowing the man who murdered his daughter in cold-blood is roaming the streets of Kampala a free man.

    We request the Chief Justice and Principal Judge to pick interest in this case, HCCS (sic) NO. 0434/2015 UGANDA VS KIRABO MATHEW.

    If not for anything, so it because you are also parents, and have pity on this poor father who only wants justice for his baby girl!

    The Uganda Law Council, Women’s Rights organizations, friends, Obs and OGs of Desire, where are you all in this?

    This is the moment that this deceased young woman needs you the most.

    When such a case takes long without being heard, chances are high that principal witnesses become more difficult to trace and key exhibits may be mishandled, and eventually the prosecution ends up losing such a case.

    The author is the Founder and Chief Strategist at National Action For Awakening Uganda (Sisimuka Uganda)

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    INSIDE STORY: How M7 Grilled CMI Boss After His Wealth Shocked Him…

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    Before President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni made the latest changes in the top command of military intelligence agency where he changed from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) to Defence Intelligence and Security (DIS), he was shocked at how one of the top commandant was accumulating a lot of wealth in a very short period.

    Kira Municipality legislator Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda recently revealed that Museveni was shocked recently while driving in a certain part of the country when he saw a mega farm sitting on land measuring more than one and half square miles.

    Ssemujju narrated that the farm was newly established with modern equipment and thousands of very expensive breeds of cattle which forced him to ask his private operatives to investigate which tycoon owned the farm

    He was shocked to learn that one of the CMI commandants is the owner of the farm.

    Ssemujju disclosed that immediately, Museveni summoned the said CMI boss and quizzed him on where he got all the money he used to establish the said modern farm at his young age.

    Ssemujju explained that Museveni was very bitter with the said senior operative and accussed him of mismanaging public funds which are supposed to be used in gathering information to protect the country and its citizens.

    He added that because the seasoned operative was aware that before Museveni summoned him, he had made thorough investigations and was equipped with information, he decided to tell him the truth to survive.

    The senior operative told the President how he got the billions he used to buy the land, compensate the tenants who were occupying it, modernizing it and buying high breed cows from a Chinese.

    “He told him that he got the man from a Chinese investor. The president is very aware that most of his government officials get rich from getting bribes from investors and other corruption deals. So don’t be deceived that he can fight corruption because even in the case of that military officer, he left him to go without directing any prosecution against him,” Ssemujju said while appearing on Radio Simba’s Olutindo program hosted by senior political journalist Peter Kibazo.

    On several occasions, Museveni has disclosed that that he knows how his government officials are getting bribes from Chinese investors.

    Ssemujju explained that when Museveni’s government officials get information that a certain person is deployed in an office which is well facilitated with billions money, they make sure that they fight him and that is what they did to former Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, former Inspector General of Police Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura and others because they controlled fat budgets.

    He revealed that even with the ongoing political turmoil against Annet Anita Among, there might be government officials fueling her troubles because she had become a threat to their political careers much as there are those also who want to be speakers of parliament.

    He confirmed that like Mbabazi and Kayihura, Among is currently the second most powerful person in the country next to President Museveni which has fetched her trouble.

    “They only fear Gen. Salim Saleh because he is a brother to Museveni but if it was not so, he would have also been fought like Kayihura, Mbabazi and others,” Ssemujju said.

    He made the statements days after the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates issued sanctions against Among on allegations of corruption.

    President Museveni directed the Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka to follow up the allegation and force the United Kingdom government to provide evidence.

    The Office of the Inspector General of Government confirmed that Among did not declare the alleged properties in the United Kingdom and United Arabs Emirates.

    Among also assured the country that she owns nothing in the foreign countries claiming that western countries are targeting her because of the Homosexuality law.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    Insider Reveals How Prisoners Dupe Judges Using Torture To Survive Harsh Punishments…

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    Emmanuel Wilson Abura

    When sentencing Emmanuel Wilson Abura to 50 years imprisonment on murder charges, the Criminal Division of the High Court Judge Margaret Mutonyi stated that Court has observed that the convict was used his disability as a tool to attract sympathy yet behind his disability is a savagely fierce human being who needs to be kept out of circulation for some time to enable him to reflect on his life as a human being and work on his inner soul.

    Abura was convicted for murdering a 9 year innocent girl because of the personal misunderstanding he had with her parents.

    Exclusively speaking to theGrapevine, a senior prisons officer revealed that prisoners on remand have developed a favorable scheme in an effort to extricate capital offenders from likely severe sentences.

    He narrates that capital offenders on remand have since adopted a strategy of duping courts of law and prompting them to order for the release of the purported complainants.

    He added that the remorsefulness culture under the plea bargain process is currently being manipulated by capital offenders especially those who have over stayed on remand because they have mastered the skills of surmounting proportionate sentences to their offences.

    “This strategy has been adopted by prisoners and unless courts undertake proactive engagement of prisons administrators, prisoners will continue to utilize the principle of non-interference during trial to evade justice,” he said.

    The officer adds, “It is against this background that special acknowledgement is accorded to your effective chain linked criminal justice culture for having sought for investigations before quickly arriving at a conclusion”.

    He revealed how Martin Nshimiyimaana a capital offender was released by the High Court at Mubende which based on complaints of torture that sparked an investigation into the alleged torture claims against prison officials at Kitalya prison.

    Nshimiyimaana appeared in the media accusing the prison personnel of beating and forcing him into hard labour which weakened his body.

    But a February 24, 2024 report indicates that after a comprehensive and thorough investigation, it was established that he was never tortured.

    “The deduction from the investigation revealed two critical findings; the complainant’s past underlying backache challenges attributed to an accident he suffered in 2007, long before his admission to prison in 2019. Kitalya Farm prison capital offenders tested propitious scheme by a one Tonny Kiyimba from Masaka High Court,” the report reads in parts.

    To the confirmation of Uganda Prisons Service position that Kiyimba had not been tortured, he returned to Masaka Main prison on January 29, 2024 perfectly walking on his two legs after being sentenced to caution on an account of having been tortured.

    In a television interview, Kiyimba claimed that he was beaten to the extent of passing out blood from the back side forcing him to use rags to pad himself.

    In 2017, Kiyimba was remanded to Masaka Prison on accusations of rape and defilement.

    However he said that during his torture, he was made to sleep in water filled cells for two weeks which led to him getting infections.

    Kiyimba narrated that in addition to being beaten, he was blocked from seeing his relatives and subjected to other abuses which amounted to torture.

    Because of his condition, according to the video, Kiyimba was assisted by prison personnel to the court leading to his release despite pleading guilty to the offences.

    When contacted, Frank Baine, the Uganda Prisons Service spokesperson said that while prisons are awash with social media reports, there are facts to the effect that there is no torture.

    He suggested that the Justice law and Order Sector partners should not be hoodwinked by mere claims but instead should contact the stakeholders and also carry out fact finding.

    “These are emotional set ups targeting those presiding over the cases. They make decisions without consulting us. Those accusations are isolated cases and we have always tried to engage the judicial officers to explain the circumstances but sometimes it is too late to reverse their decisions,” He said.

    According to the report, Uganda prisons service remains a fervent promoter of prisoners’ human rights and as a known standard, any errant Prison officer of any category who violates prisoners’ rights is personally held liable.

    “The Service has established an effective internal human rights promotion and protection mechanisms such as prisoners’ human rights committees in all prisons, staff human rights committees, human rights awareness campaigns, internal inspections and regular external inspections by Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) and a number of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) have continued to receive our support and cooperation,” the report adds.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    Kampala Land Board Boss Balondemu In More Trouble, KCCA Councilors Resurrect Impeachment Process Against Him…

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    The mighty Grapevine has exclusively learnt that Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Councilors led by Ivan Mubiru who represents Busega have kicked off the process of impeaching troubled KCCA District Land Board chairperson David Balondemu.

    Mubiru has started collecting signatures of fellow councilors which are going to support their petition before the council meeting which is expected to take place before the end of this month.

    Mubiru accuses Balondemu of abusing the public office he holds.

    He explains that since 2021, Balondemu has never presented any annual report to the council as required.

    Mubiru quoted Dr. Sam Mayanja the Lands Junior Minister’s guidance to all land boards on why they are supposed to present annual reports to their respective local councils which Balondemu failed to do.

    He added that the unending criminal charges placed on Balondemu also put the public office he holds in bad light insisting that a council resolution has to be push Balondemu out until he has fullky answered to and has been exonerated of all criminal charges slapped on him.

    “People cannot have confidence in a person accused of masterminding a multibillion fraud. The land office is about trust so Balodemu has to leave that office,” Mubiru told fellow councilors at city hall.

    theGrapevine tried to get a comment from Balondemu but all his known phone numbers were not going through.

    The development of impeaching him comes at a time when he is expected to appear before Buganda Road Court to answer fresh criminal charges related to forgery.

    State House Anti-Corruption Unity together with police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) claims that Balondemu together with others still at large forged medical documents from Kampala Hospital which they produced before Buganda Road Court to secure Court bail for him.

    Dr. Peter Kibuka the hospital Chief Executive Officer told Court that the said documents that showed that Balondemu was going to be subjected to a medical operation were not issued by his hospital and thus declared them as forgeries. Balondemu is also still battling with fraud charges for allegedly obtaining Shs.2.2 billion from an investor.

    It’s alleged that KG Unlimited LLC, an American Company, was defrauded of Shs2.2bn in a purported deal to procure a water plant by the Ministry of Agriculture.

    State claims that Balondemu supposed that the Public Procurement Disposal Authority was conducting the procurement on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture.

    All the money was paid through an account of M/s Bloom Advocates, a law firm where he is a founding partner.

    There are other multimillion fraud cases implicating Balondemu and investigations have been completed and the files have been forwarded to Justice Jane Frances Abodo’s DPP for sanctioning.

    However, Balondemu recently petitioned President Museveni claiming that he is being witch hunted by State House Anti-Corruption Unit officials because he declined to give them a bribe which they wanted to set him free.

    The Unit rubbished the allegations and explained that Balondemu, a flamboyant city lawyer was trying to divert them from the ongoing criminal investigations against him.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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