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    NRM MPs Warned Over Sex And Booze At Kyankwanzi Retreat, Speakership Candidate Under Probe For Bribing MPS With Alcohol For Votes…

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    Some of the NRM cadres at the NRM Kyankwanzi retreat

    The National Resistance Movement (NRM) party leadership has warned the selected party members and the new elected Members of Parliament to avoid involving themselves in acts of indiscipline including having sex and getting drunk on alcohol during the ongoing party retreat at Kyankwanzi National training Institute.

    Speaking to the Grapevine, Emmanuel Lumala Dombo, the NRM’s Director for Communication and Public Relations revealed that they have already started investigating the indiscipline exhibited by their members during their trip to Kyankwanzi on Thursday evening where party members got drunk and started abusing each other on the bus. Dombo described the incident as “absurd” and revealed that investigations are on into the matter, warning that culprits will be punished.

    Sources in Kyankwanzi intimated to this website that there is a candidate vying for the office of the deputy speaker who bought expensive alcohol and wine, on it branded with her pictures asking them to vote for her.

    Dombo also said that all members who are going to attend the meeting will not be allowed to access their mobile phones until evening.

    He added that other members who are pregnant will not be allowed for exercising after classes and breast feeding mothers were not welcome because of the highly physical demands of the retreat.

    There have always been ugly reports from the previous retreats at Kyankwanzi where reports of alcoholism, explicit sex and NRM big wigs fighting for beds.

    By Alirabaki Sengooba

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    NATIONAL

    NEMA Was Right: Judge Finds No Fault In Hoima Sugar Being Allowed To Grow Sugarcane On Bugoma Forest Land…

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    Justice Musa Ssekana (L) and Sheila Nduhukire

    The Certificate of approval granted to Hoima Sugar Limited for the proposed Kyangwali mixed land use in the disputed part of Bugoma Central forest reserve in Kikuube District was legally issued, the court has confirmed.

    Kampala High Court Judge Musa Ssekaana dismissed cases in which Civil Society Organisations were challenging the legality of the Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) approved by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) for sugarcane growing.

    “The complainants in order to attract the attention of the public and also to justify their existence as bodies concerned with environment protection and awareness are trying to make all sorts of unsubstantiated allegations to win public sympathy. Courts of law are strictly guided by the law and sensationalism should never be used to sway court in any matter. The key stakeholders were consulted and they made written representations but the applicants seem to argue as if no consultation was ever made before the certificate of approval was made,” the judge ruled.

    The court observed that NEMA sent a copy of the ESIA to National Forestry Authority (NFA) and other stakeholders who made comments to the entire project and which comments were addressed before the approval of the project.

    “The different stakeholders were consulted before the certificate of approval of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Report was approved. The standard of consultation under the particular statutory context was satisfied since it is a general principle of fairness that the consulted party is able to address the concerns of the decision-maker. The concerns of the stakeholders and especially the National Forestry Authority and Wildlife Authority were considered and this evidence is clearly set out on the court record,” the judge ruled.

    Three conservation organisations; Water & Environment Media network (U) ltd (WEMNET-U), National Association of Professional Environmentalists (Nape) and Africa Institute for Energy Governance (Afiego) had petitioned the court in two separate cases which were later merged into one by court.

    Through their lawyers, the organisations were seeking for a court declaration that the approval of the Environmental and Social Impact (ESIA) Statement and the Nema issuing of the Certificate of Approval of ESIA Certificate to Hoima Sugar Limited for the Kyangwali Mixed Land Use Project was marred by flaws, procedural irregularities and without due recourse to the relevant provisions of the laws and regulations.

    They contended that the NEMA’s decision to issue a Certificate of Approval was illegal and procedurally improper for not conducting a public hearing and or allowing public participation in decision making.

    They argued that the process denied the interested parties including themselves a chance to effectively put forth their views aimed at protecting their rights to a clean and healthy environment.

    The judge observed that it appears the complaints were premised on distorted facts and the NGOs attempted to suppress the real facts in order to make ‘flowery’ case in court by exaggerating that the entire forest is being cleared for sugarcane planting or that 5000 hectares (21 square miles) of the forest is being cleared for sugarcane growing.

    “This is not true and it is an alarmism since out of the entire leasehold certificate of title issued to Hoima Sugar Limited, they are supposed to plant sugarcanes on 2,393.8483 hectares against a total area of 5,579 hectares which is less than half. Secondly, the Bugoma Central Forest Reserve is still intact and Hoima Sugar Limited has been directed to undertake enrichment planting covering an area of 3.8919sq miles and must carry out regulated activities,” Justice Ssekaana ruled.

    Justice Ssekaana also ruled that the court is satisfied that the community was duly consulted and heard their views about the project and the court is not persuaded by the complainant’s argument that the people consulted were few in absence of any evidence to the contrary.

    “The law does not require consultation of everybody in the community and this would definitely be an impossibility to achieve. The law does not prescribe or set any standard procedure and number of people to be consulted. The court would be wrong in setting a standard for the decision-maker to satisfy for the hearing of the views of the community about the said project. The court would leave the discretion to be exercised by the decision-maker on whether the community is satisfactorily consulted,” the judge ruled.

    According to the court decision, Nema Executive Director was not bound to hold any public hearing premised on rules since there was no controversy and there are no trans-boundary impacts.

    Justice Ssekaana argued that the NGOs’ argument that there is a controversy in ownership of the land as well as a pending Appeal against the decision of the High Court is extremely weak and the executive director should not be used as a court on legal matters which are pending in the Court of Appeal.

    The court observed that NGOs are increasingly relying on public interest standing or Public concern standing to challenge governmental action and this preferred from individuals who are merely interested in personal fame.

    “The public bodies should not be disrupted unnecessarily, to the disadvantage of other members of the public, by having to contest discreditable proceedings. The courts should reserve their power to interfere with the working of public authorities to those occasions when there is a claim before them by someone who has been adversely affected by the unlawful conduct of which the complaint is made,” the judge ruled.

    Justice Ssekana advised that Public interest litigation should not be used for personal or political gains or for mere publicity or for other oblique reasons. Such public interest matters should be done by persons having expert knowledge in the field after making proper research especially if it is concerned with issues of constitutional law. He said it is true that public interest litigation has been abused and is increasingly used by advocates for publicity and or seeking prominence in the legal profession and it is now ‘Publicity Litigation’.

    Yet, according to the judge, it is supposed to be a special type of litigation which is essentially meant to protect basic human rights of the weak and disadvantaged who on account of poverty, helplessness, or social and economic disabilities could not approach the court for relief or for upholding the rule of law and constitutionalism or where a matter of grave public concern is involved.

    The Court is charged under the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State policy in the Constitution to provide sustainable development and public awareness of the need to manage land, air and water resources in a balanced and sustainable manner for the present and future generations.

    On the issue of conducting consultations, the judge held that a consultative meeting that exceeded the 85 people was conducted and that there is no legal provision that indicates any numerical requirement regarding the minimum number of people to be consulted.

    In the statement issued on Saturday, Hoima Sugar Limited welcomed the decision saying that it is a great milestone which will boost sustainable social economic transformation of Hoima and Uganda as a whole.

    “This will be through job and wealth creation; both directly and indirectly, tax revenue remittances to the national treasury, improvement of social amenities such as schools and health facilities among others,” the company said in a statement.

    On August 14 2020, Nema issued an ESIA certificate to Hoima Sugar Limited for the mixed land use on 21.54sq miles that is valid for the five years but to be revised upon request or when the project area conditions change.

    By Our Reporter

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    NEWS

    Mayiga Tells M7 To ‘Repent And Behave’ In New Term As He Recounts How Gen Sejusa’s Operatives ‘Rained Blows’ On Him In 2008…

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    Kattikiro Charles Peter Mayiga (L) and President Yoweri Museveni

    Buganda Kingdom Premier, Charles Peter Mayiga has pleaded to president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to repent and avoid acts of violating human rights including kidnap of his political opponents, torture and imprisonment of his political rivals in his coming 6th term.

    Speaking to the newly elected political leaders from Butambala district, Mayiga said that such actions put the entire country in panic and tension if natives live in fear of what will happen to them the next day.

    He added that the action does not only stop the natives but also has a big impact on the country’s development because so many of the serious investors don’t want to invest their money in an unstable country which has no respect for human rights.

    The flamboyant Makerere University-trained lawyer narrated to the leaders of Butambala how he was inhumanely manhandled in 2008 with fellow Buganda Kingdom officials.

    “Don’t you remember when I was arrested with Owekitiibwa Medard Lubega Ssegona, now the Busiro East Member of parliament and Honourable Betty Nambooze of Mukono Municipality? by the way it was not even an arrest it was a kidnap,” Mayiga recalled.

    “Ugly men grabbed me like a chicken thief, they started pulling my neck tie. I removed it otherwise they might’ve easily used it to kill me. I told my brother in law,” he narrated, further revealing that when they put him inside the car, they started beating him, pulling his suit to cover his face, handcuffed him, put his head in the middle of his legs and the man was still beating him until he (Mayiga) asked him why he was beating him when he was in such a helpless situation.

    “So such inhuman treatment is not acceptable. And I ask the president, because I heard that he is going to swear-in next week to fight and put a stop to such things,” he said.

    Sources in the security circles told this website that the arrest and brutalization of Buganda officials in 2008 was commanded by Gen David Sejusa, the former cordinator of the intelligence agencies on charges of treason and terrorism.

    On the current situation, Mayiga explained that as a trained lawyer, he knows that a person is innocent until proven guilty and wondered why someone should be tortured even before being taken to Court to prove their case against him.

    He cried out to Museveni to find ways of releasing Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine’s supporters who are rotting in Kitalya prison on politically related cases because it is giving his government a bad image.

    Mayiga also asked the elected leaders to help him in the fight he started as Buganda premier to fight poverty in Buganda by mobilizing people in Buganda to participate in doing works which are bringing income in their pockets.

    Mayiga asked leaders to mobilize people to do agriculture because it’s one of the factors to fight unemployment in Buganda and Uganda at large.

    Hajjat Aisha Kabanda Nalule, the National Unity Platform (NUP) deputy secretary General on the same event promised the premier that they will make sure that they will prioritize the fight for Buganda’s interests whenever it comes on the floor of parliament, besides fighting for improvement of education and the health system in Butambala and Uganda at large.

    By Alirabaki Sengooba

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    CRIME

    Ugandan Man Charged With Sexually Abusing And Impregnating A Beninese Woman Promising Her Marriage…

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    Police has charged to Nabweru Court a one Nuwandinda Owen with charges of Aggravated Trafficking in Persons Contrary to Section 4 of the Prevention of Trafficking in persons Act and Fraudulent pretense of Marriage Contrary to Section 152 of the Penal Code Act.

    The victim who has been identified through her passport particulars as Awoure Ranti Soana, a Beninese by nationality who was lured by a local church in Benin for marriage and connected to a potential husband in Uganda identified as Nuwandinda Owen.

    The victim was invited to Uganda and given a visit Visa for one month by the Immigrations office Ministry of Internal Affairs. She came to Uganda via Entebbe International airport on 20 Dec. 2020.

    The victim was picked at the Airport by the suspect, taken at his rented house in Mulago from where she was sexually abused.

    The victim could not communicate to anybody for rescue, because she was kept incommunicado until last week when she communicated to the suspect that she had conceived as a result of multiple acts of rape orchestrated by the suspect.

    The news of the pregnancy was received with violence by the suspect to the extent of physically assaulting her and pushing her outside the house.

    The victim was picked by the well-wishers who assisted her to report the matter at Kawempe Police station and the case was registered as CRB569/2021.

    According to Charles Twiine, the PRO CID, Uganda Police Force has put systematic structures that help in identifying victims of crimes of trafficking in persons that is very robust, and ready to counter the perpetrators of such savagery acts that dehumanizes mankind.

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