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    OPINION: Museveni Is The Chief Guarantor Of Justice In Uganda…

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    The principle of bail and the principal on bail; which way Uganda? To grant capital offender murderers bail or not? All murderers, obviously, deserve to be in jail or wherever their acts consign them to be.

    World over, from time immemorial, they have always faced the full wrath of the law. Taking another person’s life is the most abhorred of all human wrongs.

    A hurdle standing in the way of putting murderers where they belong, even before President Museveni pointed it out, has always been (unjustified) bail. Bail is a Constitutionally-guaranteed right, as of now, but has it served the purpose? Hasn’t bail for capital offenders worked to defeat justice, some of whom return to the communities and continue threatening or killing other people, to and or defeat justice by interfering with the due process of law? Others have disappeared in thin air, leaving the blood of their victims wailing in the wilderness.

    Uganda’s criminal justice system is premised on the “presumption of innocence” before trial and conviction but I think that this is confusing. Why arrest and arraign someone if he or she is innocent? Shouldn’t the process be that you “try someone” -using proper investigation tools-away from court so that by the time they are arrested and arraigned they have been found culpable beyond reasonable doubt, and are likely to be fully condemned? I am not sure how that would work but it seems the most plausible route to take other than pretending that someone in court is as innocent as one who is beyond suspicion and is, in fact, not a murderer.

    The court system is theatrical in a way that someone is caught in the act or seen clearly or tracked and placed at the scene of a murder, then in the courtroom the whole trail is sidelined and a game of dramatics starts, surprising the culprits themselves. Yes, investigators are sometimes not up to the task but if there is insufficient proof of someone’s involvement in a crime, then they should not be tampered with until there are concrete leads so that when that person is called to answer charges, the process is expeditious, thorough and conclusive.

    Nobody likes murderers; they are the worst human beings anyone can come in contact with. But they live freely with the rest of us in society, some of them unreformed serial offenders, even when they have previously been jailed.

    Corruption has also reared its devilish head in the bail process, turning it into a mockery where any payer gets his or her wish while their victims are locked six feet under with maggots. Many times, intelligence has foolproof leads on murderers but when presented to the open court system, all the ingredients are diluted. Compared to the number of dead bodies that are found strewn in many places, even counting those whose cases have come to court, we have seen too few of those involved nailed satisfactorily.

    I think this is why the president is frustrated with the whole bail thing because he is well informed. It’s also the underlying factor for the increase in cases of mob justice. Crowds of ordinary citizens have little expertise on assessing culpability and are beyond control but they act with finality. That’s the finality with which the court system should operate, bringing together all the professionals involved to outdo the “public court” in all aspects of delivering justice.

    It does not do rounding up people without undoubted justification. Since the victims are already dead and cannot be brought back to life whether their killers are found or not, the only rush should be about tightening the loose ends on cases until a point where there is predictability of the likelihood of securing conviction. Criminal cases do not expire and can always be followed up.

    I don’t know how the discussion on bail will go but if it requires a Constitutional amendment, then that can be attempted. Failing that, then reliance on proper gathering of evidence and non-interference in the case is the only way out to rid our communities and streets of people with blood on their hands. We live in fear daily because of not knowing which killer is in our midst and targeting us as next victims. Knowing Museveni, such fears of the people concern him. I watched a clip of him from the 1980s saying he could not tolerate the idea of a Ugandan being killed and there is no answer from the authorities as to who did. Apart from human authorities, we now have “scientific authorities” such as CCTV cameras, sniffer dogs and other modern ways of detecting criminals. How can we fail?

    Uganda is not a lawless state and the security agencies and courts are well aware of the legal width they enjoy in execution of their jobs. I believe that nobody who has committed crime and is wanted to answer for the same should be left scot-free. But at the same time, they should be handled humanely, with their rights, including legal representation and bail, respected. But the bail should be justifiable beyond reasonable doubt.

    The difference between what happens under NRM and previous regimes is that those who are called to face the law live to see tomorrow unlike back then when they were never to be seen again or given a chance to plead any charges such as the late chief justice, Benedicto Kiwanuka. Today, suspects are picked up and conveyed into lawful custody so as to contain them and acquire their innocence through a transparent process.

    Is there anybody out there who imagines that the current Chief Justice can ever be picked from his chambers like a grasshopper, treated to a one-man trial and executed for disagreeing with the president on anything, including on “bail politics”? Impossible!

    Museveni is the chief guarantor of justice, law and order. He cannot interfere with due processes or undo the good he has done or apply law indiscriminately. Whatever it is that he is advocating is for the good, wellbeing and lives of Ugandans.

     

    By Faruk Kirunda is Deputy Press Secretary to

    H.E the President of the Republic of Uganda.

    Contact: kirundaf2@gmail.com

    0776980486/0702980486

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    CRIME

    Former Minister Mbayo Survives Arrest, Sneaks Into CID, Grilled Over Nepotism And Corruption…

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    Minister Esther Mbayo

    Former Minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo has survived arrest after secretly presenting herself to Kibuli based police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to answer charges related to corruption and nepotism.

    Last month, police threatened to arrest the Luuka district woman Member of Parliament for refusing to respect the criminal summons issued against her through the office of the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah.

    Mbayo pleaded with the speaker for assistance claiming that the police detectives are being used by her political opponents to humiliate her and brand her a criminal.

    However, the speaker advised her to go to CID and record a statement since police have followed the necessary requirements to summon her as an MP.

    On Monday last week, Mbayo sneaked into CID together with her lawyers and she was grilled by detectives led by Julius Twinomujuni.

    Sources at the CID disclosed that Mbayo was grilled on allegations of influencing the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation(UPPC) board to approve her sister Christine Mayengo as the Finance and Accounting manager yet she lacked the required qualifications.

    It is alleged that Mbayo used her influence as the former minister to put pressure on the chairperson Finance, Investment and marketing committee Dr. Patrick Ibembe and Managing Director Tom Wasswa to omit the capable  candidates for the job as advertised in mainstream media in favor of her sister.

    It is further alleged that Dr. Ibembe disclosed that they did not have to engage any external consultant for the said recruitment.

    Sources revealed that Mbayo was told that her sister emerged second in the interview but she was declared the best candidate.

    Sources state that as a token of appreciation to these officials, Mbayo increased their retainer fees from Shs2,500,000 to Shs3,500,000 and Shs2,000,000 to Shs3000,000 to Board chairperson and other members respectively.

    Mbayo was also grilled on allegations that she benefited from the Shs9bn cash which was paid to UPPC by the Electoral Commission to gazette the elected political leaders and polling stations in the recently concluded 2021 general elections.

    Investigators allege that Mbayo directed UPPC management to share the Shs9bn and she was given her share which was used in her 2021 political campaigns in Luuka district.

    Sources revealed that the former minister denied all the allegations and she was released on a police bond.

    The current minister for presidency Milly Babalanda suspended the UPPC board and the management on allegations of corruption, abuse of office and embezzlement.

    Police discover Shs600m in the course of investigation and it alleges that this was part of the Shs9bn paid by the Electoral Commission.

    The police are still investigating the matter.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    M7 Summons KCCA Ministers, ED Kisaka Over Invisible Hands Fueling City Market Wrangles…

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    Minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda (L) and Suzan Kushaba (R)

    President Yoweri Museveni has summoned Kampala Metropolitan Minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda and Dr. Dorothy Kisaka, the Executive Director Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) over allegations that invisible hands are fueling city market wrangles.

    In a chat with the Grapevine, Kabanda confirmed the meeting adding that it is going to take place next week at State House Entebbe to resolve the ongoing leadership fights in Kampala markets especially St. Balikuddembe commonly known as Owino market, Nakasero market, Wandegeya market and Bugolobi market.

    “It’s true the president summoned us to guide on his directive given on the leadership of the city market and I am going with members on the technical wing. He wants to know why his directives are not being implemented and also guide us on how to implement them,” Kabanda said.

    Museveni’s decision to summon KCCA bosses comes after getting information that there are ongoing fights between KCCA and the interim market leadership who refused to vacate offices to allow the election of new leadership to run the market.

    Sources revealed that during the Monday cabinet meeting, minister Kabanda reported Suzan Kushaba, the interim Owino market boss to the President for refusing to leave office and insulting her and Kampala City Resident Commissioner (RCC) Hawa Namugenyi Ndege.

    Sources revealed that Kabanda decided to run to Museveni after meeting security bosses in Kampala City who warned her to go slow on Kushaba because she is working for some big government official.

    “Security cannot remove Kushaba from the office, the lady is protected by SFC and police fear her,” a source at the KCCA revealed.

    He further revealed that when RCC Ndege evicted Kushaba from office last week, she contacted her bosses who allegedly intensified her security and directed her to go back to her office.

    A new energized and fully armed Kushaba went back to office with swag and insisted that she will not leave office on orders of the Minister.

    She further claimed that she had information that the minister wants to sell the market and also return the bad leaders who were fired by the president for mistreating market vendors.

    Yesterday, Minister Kabanda held a meeting with security heads in Kampala to see how to handle Kushaba but it didn’t resolve anything.

    Another source disclosed that the minister is bitter with Kushaba for branding her a fraudster who is behind the selling of public land and city markets like park yard which she sold to controversial city tycoon Hamis Kiggundu.

    However, the minister insisted that her directive on city markets still stands and Kushaba should leave office for new leadership.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    CRIME IS A CRIME: Stealing From An Employer, Whether Government Or Private, Will Send You To Jail – M7 Directs Arrest Of Top Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Security Chiefs, RDCs Over Corruption….

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    President Yoweri Museveni

    President Tibuhaburwa Museveni has directed the arrest of top ministers, permanent secretaries, security chiefs and Resident District Commissioners (RDC) over corruption and neglect of duty.

    In a letter dated 22nd August 2021 to the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Frank Tumwebaze, copied to the Vice President, Prime Minister, Attorney General and other top ministers, the president gave three courses of action against the suspected corrupt government officials.

    The president was responding to Minister Tumwebaze’s letter dated 11th August 2021 where he accused top government officials of frustrating government service delivery in local government through corruption and lack of patriotism.

    Tumwebaze reported that these actions are putting NRM in bad light. However, in his response, the president insisted that the problem starts from the top, in the ministries and they should be cleaned.

    “The problem is not just in the districts. It starts with ministries in Kampala, the ministers, the permanent secretaries, who do not supervise and monitor programs of the government being implemented by the districts” the president stated.

    He told Tumwebaze that he has information on government officials who are selling vaccines and government properties but he is still collecting evidence against them so that they are arrested and prosecuted.

    In his letter, Museveni gave three courses of actions against the suspects and these include; arresting and prosecuting the suspected officials, sacking and arresting Chief Administrative Officers (CAO), dismissing or prosecuting RDCs, DISOs DPCs, GISOs under whose jurisdiction these crimes are being committed.

    Museveni further directed that even political leaders can be arrested and prosecuted if they collude or aid these crimes.

    “It is, therefore, not a structural problem but neglect of duty by the ministers and the permanent secretaries. Decentralization did not decentralize crime and impunity. Crime is a crime. Stealing from an employer, whether Government or private, will send you to jail for ten years,” Museveni stated.

    Museveni’s letter comes on the heels of a warning from Milly Babalanda, the Minister for Presidency who cautioned RDCs and security bosses in Busoga region to stop involving themselves in illegalities because the president has already directed for the prosecution of all public officials implicated in corruption and evicting tenants from their land.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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