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MTN Chairman Charles Mbire Quizzed Over Telecom Giant’s Saga

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MTN Chairman Charles Mbire has been quizzed over the MTN saga according to information obtained by the Grapevine.

Security sources have told this website that the tycoon was quizzed over activities of top expatriates (some of whom have been deported), who used the mobile system to try to distabilise national security by supporting subversive activities.

“These MTN bosses, some of who have been deported, were using the mobile money system to support some individuals who wanted to distabilise the country. Money from individuals from hostile countries was being passed through their MoMo system,” the security source told the Grapevine.

When quizzed further on what really took place during Mbire’s quizzing, the source told this website that this information is still confidential.  MTN CEO Wim Vanhelleputte was deported yesterday back to Belgium, three weeks after three of the company’s expatriate staff were expelled.

Security sources have also told the Grapevine that former Head of Legal and Lawyer Katamba Anthony recorded statements. The source added that MTN is also involved in under declaration of Mobile money transactions.

Three weeks ago, MTN Uganda’s general manager for mobile money Elsa Mussolini, an Italian citizen, marketing chief Olivier Prentout, a French national, and Annie Bilenge-Tabura, a Rwandan who was head of sales and distribution were deported. Ugandan authorities accused them of using their positions to “compromise national security.

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Battle For Supremacy At Vision Group As Bukedde News Editor Fires His Deputy’s ‘Diehard’ Reporters

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All is not well at Robert Kabushenga’s Vision Group premises especially Bukedde Newspaper newsroom.

According to multiple sources from the industrial area based printing and publishing house, the war is between Bukedde news editor Ssalongo Richard Kayira and his deputy Semei Wesaali.

Sources told the Grapevine that the silent war erupted when Kayira, the head of the news room published an internal memo with a list of news reporters fired from Bukedde newspaper.  According to sources, Kayira also ordered the security at the gate not to allow the journalists on the list to enter the company premises.

“The list was published but they did not inform us that we were going to be fired,” one of the journalists on the list complained.

The affected journalists petitioned their boss Godfrey Kulubya the head of all the local newspapers at Vision Group.  In their petition, the over 50 reporters told Kulubya that the list is discriminative.

‘The list targeted some individuals because they are diehards to editor Semei Wesaali. Kayira thinks that they are helping him take his position,” one of the reporters who petitioned Kulubya stated. They further explained to Kulubya that there are names of people which were left out yet they are poor performers when compared to some of the people on the list, they even cited some names.

Kulubya was told that most of the journalists left out were working under Kayira in his new DGF project.

On Monday this week, Kulubya called an emergency meeting in Bukedde new room and asked for a written explanation from Kayira why he fired staff without his knowledge or that of the Chief Executive Officer Robert Kabushenga.  Kulubya denounced the list and asked the journalists in the meeting to tell their friends who were fired to come back and work with immediate effect.

“For your information the competition is high so you cannot start firing staff, if it is necessary, let us follow the necessary procedures,” Kulubya was quoted telling the newsroom.

Kulubya further told the meeting that they have plans of laying off a number of reporters so that they can remain with a few competitive ones.

Sources told this website that Vision group bosses are trying to set up new rules where journalists multi task for the various platforms.

According to the new plan, a journalist, when assigned to cover a story, is supposed to file it for New Vision newspaper, Bukedde newspaper, Bukedde radio and Bukedde TV.

When the news about the new plan fell in the ears of reporters, some panicked and bought video cameras and recorders to quickly adapt to the new rules.

When the Grapevine talked to some of the reporters who were not on the list, they disclosed that the journalists who were fired are lazy and don’t want to work. They are just using Bukedde newspaper as an address to extort money from the public.  

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There Is No Justice In Ugandan Courts, Judges Have A Mafia Cell That Plays Syndicate And Diverts Cases: You Have To Turn To Witchcraft – Mirundi Advises Senana Building Owner

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President Museveni’s Adviser on media Joseph Tamale Mirundi has advised Senana building owner Frida Nabirongo to try witchcraft if she is to fight the mafia who want to take her property because courts will not help her.

During his weekly one on one with Tamale Mirundi talk show on NBS TV, Mirundi told Nabirongo that, “You are dealing with a group of thieves, they are stealing from everywhere and have captured the state. What was their intention of pulling Crane Bank down? They wanted to steal from it. That is why that woman was selling it (Crane Bank) via phone.”

“Let her make an agreement with those lawyers (Standard Chartered bank) and give it to me, we shall see how those lawyers will touch it. I wrote a book titled the role of witchcraft in a malicious society. You cannot go to court, they will steal your building because the judges also have a mafia cell. They can play syndicate and divert the case, there is no justice in court,” Mirundi advised Senana to use witchcraft.

According to media reports Nabirongo initially acquired a 20.5b loan from Crane Bank to develop her property on Buganda Road. However, as the project went on, she realized she needed more money and approached Standard Chartered Bank who agreed to settle the Crane Bank loan and advance her more money to complete her project.

Reports add that she had been given 10 years to clear her loan with Crane Bank. However, she was shocked when the Standard Chartered loan documents indicated she had to pay Shs6.5b in just five months.

The businesswoman says that she used the Buganda Road title to acquire the Crane Bank loan and it was moved to Stanchart when they took over the loan.

“In the whole world, once the mafia get money, the president who helped them get that money becomes a liability. By the time those men took Sudhir’s bank, did they transfer his debts and loans that Crane Bank heard on the conditions that were given to the borowers by Crane bank or the conditions changed?” Mirundi said.

Last week, Standard Chartered bank through their lawyers of Sebalu and Lule advocates advertised Nabirongo’s Senana Building located along Buganda road over failure to pay the Shs6.5Bn loan acquired  from the bank.

The newspaper advert read that Standard Chartered Bank’s lawyers, Sebalu & Lule Advocates had instructed Century Associates to auction the building. “Duly instructed by Sebalu & Lule Advocates on behalf of their client the register mortgage, we shall proceed to sale by public auction the property mentioned below unless the debt pays all monies owing plus lawyer fees, our fees, costs and disbursements before date of sale,” the newspaper notice read.

According to the notice, transactions of the sale of properties will be held after 30days from date of notice at Sebalu and Lule Advocates offices in Kampala and all current occupants have been asked to cross check their tenancy status within 14days.

By Doreen Menezer

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I’m Going To Start A Bank Where We Lend People Without Asking For Land Titles Or Security – Pr. Bujjingo

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House of Prayers Ministries International (HPMI) senior Pastor Aloysious Bujjingo has told his congregation that he is soon going to start a bank where people can borrow freely without collateral.

During his ‘chapter 2’ sermon on Thursday, Bujjingo said that after the construction of 38,000 Pentagon seater church, he is going to start the battle to fight poverty by empowering Ugandans financially.

“I strongly believe that after the construction of Pentagon a 38,000-seater church, there is no reason why anyone among us should be poor,” Pr. Bujjingo Said.

Pr. Bujjingo declared that despite facing many detractors, who are trying hard to soil his name, he is ready to bless others because God has also blessed him. He said that he doesn’t want much from the world apart from fulfilling his calling of making sure that people are delivered both spiritually and physically.

He said that there are many educated people who are suffering because they lack opportunities to exercise their expertise.

“God has blessed us and many are educated among us, that’s why I have plans to establish a financial institution like a bank. Because so many here are accountants and you are teaching your children to be. I do not need to be an accountant but I need you who are accountants. I have declared it, those who want to fight against it, you can go head but God will establish it. We need to have a system of lending money to people without requiring land titles or any sort of security,” said Pr. Bujjingo who already employs hundreds of journalist, engineers, marketers and accountants under his Salt Media company.

He emphasized to the believers to avoid relying on gossip but work hard and listen to God if they want to triumph.

Bujjingo also dismissed social media allegations that he owns Canaan soda.

He Commended all the people who have stood with the ministry amidst the storm it has faced recently and the Salt Media audience who have persistently followed the message of the good news of the word of God.

By Doreen Menezer

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