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    OPINION: President’s Ban On Land Evictions Is For Common Good – D/PPS Faruk Kirunda…

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    Faruk Kirunda is the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary

    The directives issued by H.E President Yoweri Museveni contained in a letter dated February 28, 2022, titled “SUPPORT TOWARDS ON-GOING EFFORTS AGAINST ILLEGAL LAND EVICTIONS AND TRANSACTIONS” and addressed to the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, are within his powers under the Constitution and intended for common good.

    In short, the directives which banned all land evictions that are not cleared by respective District Security Committees (DSCs) do not upset the Constitutional or legal framework and there is no ground to challenge them. The directives serve to streamline the process of carrying out evictions and removing such powers from the hands of a few individuals who can and have been abusing such powers.

    In issuing the directive, President Museveni was using his powers under Articles 98(1) and 99(1) to ensure good governance and protect the Constitution. For legal accountability purposes, the President invoked these provisions to establish an unchallengeable basis for his orders. This served to give the officials concerned confidence to carry out the directives without fear of any repercussions.

    By directing, thus: “No eviction should be allowed to take place in a district without the District Security Committee (DSC), chaired by the Resident District Commissioners /Resident City Commissioners (RDCs/RCCs), meeting, looking and consulting directly the Minister of Lands”, the President was resolving a long standing operational lapse that caused insecurity and social upheaval and has been complained about for some time. The media has been full of stories and scenes of illegal and violent evictions and pending evictions that threatened to break down the peace and quiet of various places.

    Moreover, the evictions usually affected the poor who suffered the brunt of the financial muscle power of the rich.

    Note that there are two types of evictions that were causing problems; there are those evictions that were illegal and procured fraudulently through a corrupt court process or where the various stakeholders, including the buyer and seller were not in full agreement. Then, there were the legal evictions carried out wrongly without notifying local authorities to oversee the exercise. Both categories have been posing a great danger to peace and security and polarising relations between the landed and the landless. This is how mailo land partly became a departure point between landlords and squatters-unregulated transactions and evictions, where the poor tenants were defenceless and suffered injustice at every turn.

    With H.E’s new directive, tenants have a shield but, also, the claims of landlords and new buyers are secured since all parties would have to reach an understanding before physical possession of any space is accomplished.

    For avoidance of doubt, the DSCs are composed of RDCs and RCCs who are the heads.

    Other members are representatives from prisons, District Police Commander (DPC), District Internal Security Officer (DISO), a UPDF representative who is the Intelligence Officer, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Town Clerk, Mayor and Resident State Attorney (RSA). The composition of DSCs is such that all security organs and administrative organs are represented. This enables wide consultations that consider all angles to a land matter before consent is procured for an eviction to take place, if need be.

    Members of DSCs now know that any eviction that they have not cleared or cleared irregularly will backfire on them. It is no longer business as usual. Officials will not negligently or corruptly look on as violent situations explode in their respective jurisdictions. The new development means that anybody engaged in a land transaction that involves eviction has to notify the concerned officials who will consult with the Minister of Lands for guidance on the status of the transaction before a final decision is made.

    It goes without saying that the concerned officials must handle business expeditiously to prevent creating another bureaucracy that may complicate land transactions and also avoid making mistakes that may cost the government dearly in compensation for lost business, and so on.

    In the same communication, the President requested His Lordship the Chief Justice to prevail on Justices and Magistrates from violating the Constitution by illegally evicting people in collusion with land grabbers. He further directed the Minister of Lands to inform the Attorney General about such abuses by judicial officers so that legal action can be taken on them.

    In so doing, H.E did not usurp the court’s powers but appealed to the head of the bench to ensure that his officers dispense justice as fairly as possible in land matters.

    Part of the problem in land management and transactions has a base in the courts where corrupt judicial officers collude with the moneyed and issue illegal eviction orders that are executed at night or in awkward hours. Moreover, this is sometimes done without judges or magistrates visiting the locus to establish the material facts of the matter. A case of briefcase justice!

    With the President’s new directive and appeal to the Chief Justice in this regard, no presiding judicial officer should have interest and pass a decision in a land matter without exhaustively considering the facts on the ground. The indulgence of the learned Chief Justice will make a great difference in how land matters are approached in the Judiciary.

    Parliamentarians should also back the President’s directive and look at it as a matter of national importance in the interest of national development, security, good governance, effective justice and land management and above all, affirming the Constitutional order.

     

    The writer Faruk Kirunda is the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary

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    NATIONAL

    Justice Kisaakye Drags Boss Chief Justice Dollo To Court, Narrates How She Has Been Tortured Since She Ruled In Support Of Bobi Wine Election Petition….

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    Justice Esther Kisaakye (L) and CJ Owiny Dollo (R)

    Supreme Court Justice, Dr. Esther Kisaakye Mayambala has dragged his boss the Chief Justice Alfonso Owiny Dollo (respondent No.1) to court.

    Kisaakye Mayambala has also dragged the Judiciary Permanent Secretary, Pius Bigirimana (respondent No.2), Judiciary Commissioner Human Resource, Apophia Tumwine (respondent No.3), Chief Registrar, Sarah Langa (respondent No.4), Judicial Service Commissioner (respondent No.5) and the Attorney General (respondent No.6) to court.

    A letter from the Registrar Court of Appeal tasked Dollo and his co-accused that, “Take notice that the Petitioner Justice Dr. Esther Kitimbo Kisaakye, JSC has filed a Petition against you in this Court. You are hereby required to file an answer within seven (7) days after the Petition has been served on you.”

    “Should you fail to file the answer on or before the date above mentioned, the Petitioner may proceed with the Petition, which may be determined in your absence. Given under my hand and Seal of this Court this.”

    KISAAKYE NARRATES ORIGIN OF HER WOES

    In Her petition, Justice Kisaakye disclosed that her woes started when she decided to write and deliver her own ruling in the Presidential Election Petition of 2021, Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert vs. Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa, Electoral Commission

    & Attorney General.

    She noted, “Your Petitioner notified the 1st Respondent and all other empanelled Justices of the Supreme Court that she was writing and would deliver her own Ruling in the Recusal Application together with her reasoned Rulings in Miscellaneous Applications No. 1, 4 and 5 of 2021.

    “Following the withdrawal of Presidential Election Petition No. 1 of 2021, the Court then fixed 18th March 2021 as the date for the delivery of all the reserved reasons in Miscellaneous Applications No. 1, 4 and that from 18th March 2021 until the date of filing this Petition, the Respondents have jointly and severally engaged in unconstitutional acts and omissions which are inconsistent with and contravene the Constitution as outlined herein under.”

    Kisaakye narrated that, “on 18th March 2021 the day set for delivery of final detailed

    rulings in all Miscellaneous Applications arising from the said Presidential Petition, Court was convened and the majority reasons for the decisions were read by three Justices who were part of the majority.”

    Kisaakye added that when Court was adjourned for 30 minutes, during the adjournment, Dollo asked her for copies of her ruling.

    She says that she told him and the rest of the Justices that due to tight timelines within which the Court was working, she had not been able to complete typing of her Ruling and as a result her consolidated Rulings were partly typed and partly hand written. ‘

    “Your Petitioner (Kisaakye) informed the 1st Respondent (Dollo) and other Justices of the

    Court that there was no constitutional or legal requirement imposed on her to share her reasons before delivery since the Court had already made all its decisions and issued the respective summary Rulings in all the Applications under reference,” she said.

    She added, “During the adjournment, the 1st Respondent (Dollo) then directed your

    Petitioner (Kisaakye) not to deliver her Rulings on grounds that your Petitioner (Kisaakye) had not shared with the 1st Respondent and other Justices of the Supreme Court her detailed reasons for the respective Rulings which had been earlier reserved by the Court, as stated herein before.

    “Your Petitioner (Kisaakye) maintained that position throughout the rest of the interaction with the Chief Justice and other Justices during the adjournment. She also informed the 1st Respondent (Dollo) and other Justices of the Court that she would go ahead and deliver her reasoned Ruling even though they had all declined to return to the Court.

    “That following the 1st Respondent’s unconstitutional directive and the decision by 1st Respondent (Dollo) and the refusal of all other Justices of the Supreme Court to return to the Court, your Petitioner (Kisaakye) proceeded back to the Court Room to deliver her Ruling.

    “As your Petitioner (Kisaakye) returned to the Court to deliver her Rulings, the armed police officers attached to the 1st Respondent ran ahead of her and collected your Petitioner’s Files along with those of other Justices.

    “That during the adjournment, your Petitioner’s files containing her consolidated reasoned Rulings were confiscated by armed police officers on the directives of the 1st Respondent and they were handed over to the 1st Respondent.

    “That subsequently, the lights and public address system in the Court tent which had served as the Court room were switched off and the Court room was locked up on the Orders of the 1st Respondent.

    “That your Petitioner was compelled to use a duplicate file to deliver part of her Consolidated Rulings in Miscellaneous Applications No. 1, 4 & 5 of 2021 and she set the 19th day of March 2021 at 11:00am for delivery of her Ruling in Miscellaneous Application No. 3 of 2021.

    “That thereafter, your Petitioner repeatedly requested the 1st Respondent and the Registrar of the Supreme Court to return her confiscated Rulings and Files to enable her to issue her full Rulings of the Applications but the 1st Respondent has continued to keep your Petitioner’s files since March 18th 2021 and has adamantly refused to return them.

    “Your Petitioner also repeatedly requested the 1st Respondent and the Registrar of the Supreme Court to fix a date for delivery of her Ruling in Miscellaneous Application No. 3 of 2021 but the 1st Respondent refused the Registrar of the Supreme Court to fix a date for the Petitioner to deliver her said Ruling on grounds that the Court was functus officio. The 1st Respondent further directed the Registrar of the Supreme Court to close the File.

    “That since 18th March 2021 to the date of filing this Petition, the 1st Respondent has continued to confiscate Your Petitioner’s Rulings and files and has obstructed your Petitioner from issuing her full reasoned Rulings in Miscellaneous Applications No. 1, 4, & 5 of 2021 to the parties and the public and from delivering her Ruling in Miscellaneous

    Application No. 3 of 2021.

    “That as a result of the 1st Respondent’s said actions, the Supreme Court of Uganda has not released its full reasoned Rulings in the said Miscellaneous Applications to the parties and the people of Uganda.

    KISAAKYE NARRATES HOW SHE HAS BEEN “TORTURED”

    Kisakye narrates that since then, Dollo and Bigirimana have made her life hard.

    She adds that Dollo refused to allocate her work since then and Bigirimana refused to give her driver and bodyguard their leave allowances.

    “That your Petitioner duly completed her leave and resumed her duties on 27th June, 2022 but the 1st and 2nd Respondents turned around and accused your Petitioner of having been away from office without official leave (AWOL) since September 2021.

    “The 2nd Respondent (Bigirimana) has also refused to pay the allowances for Your Petitioner’s driver and body guard and your Petitioner contends that the 2nd Respondent’s omission to pay the leave allowances for the Petitioner’s driver and body guard is discriminatory, amounts to victimization and is inconsistent with and in contravention of articles 21 (1) & (2), 22, 26, 28(1) 40(1) (6), 42, 40 (1) (c), 128(1 ), (2) & (7) and 173(a) of the Constitution,” she says.

    She adds, “That since Your Petitioner returned from her leave on 2th June 2022; she has since been omitted from Supreme Court duty rosters and cause-lists despite informing the 1st Respondent, the Administrative Judge of the Supreme Court and the Registrar that she is available and ready to work.

    “That following the indefinite closure of the operations of the Supreme Court on 30th May 2022, the 1st Respondent directed that there would be a Justice on duty every week but your Petitioner has been excluded from all duty rosters released by the Registrar of the Supreme Court since 30th May 2022.”

    Kisaakye says that her research assistant was also withdrawn and transferred to Jinja.

    She narrates, “That on 7th July 2022, your Petitioner’s Research Assistant (who had been recently appointed as Magistrate Grade I in accordance with Judiciary policy) was summarily removed from the Petitioner’s chambers by the 4th Respondent and redeployed in Jinja with the knowledge of the 1st Respondent.

    “That in contrast, the Research Assistants of all other Justices of the Supreme Court who had also been appointed as Magistrates Grade I, were retained by the respective Justices of the Supreme Court where they had been serving prior to the appointment.”

    Kisaakye adds that Bigirimana even denied her a letter of undertaking when she asked for a salary loan from the bank.

    “That on 22nd June 2022, Your Petitioner applied to the 2nd Respondent for a letter of undertaking to her bankers for a salary loan top up, and the 2nd Respondent declined to write the said letter of undertaking on grounds that your Petitioner was under investigations by the 5th Respondent,” she says.

    She contends that Dollo, Bigirimana and the Attorney general removed her from the judiciary payroll.

    “That on an unspecified date, the 2nd Respondent purportedly acting under Article 164(1) of the Const1tut1on gave instructions to the judiciary staff responsible for processing Judges’ salaries not to process your Petitioner’s salary and benefits with effect from July

    2022.

    “That your Petitioner was consequently removed from the Judiciary and Government payroll and was not paid her salary and benefits for July and August 2022 to her great financial and social embarrassment, general inconvenience, mental anguish and adverse publicity and institutional ridicule.”

    SETS TOUGH TERM FOR DOLLO AND TEAM

    Kisaakye wants court to compel Dollo, Bigirimana and other respondent to;

    Immediately reinstated as the administrative Justice of the Supreme Court by the 1st Respondent.

    The Petitioner be included in the Supreme Court duty rosters and cause lists and be allocated work to do.

    The Petitioner be refunded with the cost of buying a pair of reading glasses and the expense incurred for the eye surgery in the United States of America.

    The 2nd Respondent pays interest at 25% per annum on the Petitioner’s salary and allowance for the period when the said salary and allowances were unconstitutionally withheld by the 2nd Respondent and also pays all the Bank penalties incurred by the Petitioner to her bankers when her salary was not remitted to the Bank to service her salary loan with compound interest thereon at 2S°/c, per annum from the time the penalties were incurred till payment in full.

    The Respondents jointly and severally pay General Damages to the Petitioner with interest thereon at 25% p.a from date judgment till payment in full for;-

    1. Damages to her judicial, professional and personal reputation from 18th March 2021 till the filing of this Petition.
    2. Pain, suffering and mental anguish suffered from 18th March 2021 till the filing of this Petition.
    3. Damage to her credit worthiness with her bankers for the delayed payment of her salary loan instalments.

    Kisaakye also wants the respondents to jointly and severally pay the Costs of the petition.

     

     

    By Hope Kalamira

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    NATIONAL

    I’m Going To Celebrate My Rank Down On Kampala Road – Muhoozi Vows After His Father Promotes Him To Rank Of General…

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    The First Son Muhoozi Kainerugaba welcomed the rank of General given to him by his father President Yoweri Museveni.

    “I thank Ugandans for loving me. I will wear this rank, we celebrate and work continues!” Muhoozi tweeted.

    “We are going to have a celebration down Kampala Road for this rank. I thank my father for this great honor!” he added

    President Museveni, who is Commander in Chief of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF), also dropped Muhoozi as Land Forces commander.

    In a statement released today by UPDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye, Muhoozi will continue with his duties as Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations

    The statement reads, “H.E the President and Commander in Chief of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces has promoted and appointed General Officers as follows: Lieutenant General Muhoozi Kainerugaba promoted to General and continues with duties as Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations.

    “Major General Muhanga Kayanja promoted to Lieutenant General and appointed Commander Land Forces. The Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs and UPDF fraternity congratulate the General Officers upon their well-deserved promotions and appointments.”

    Muhoozi’s promotion and demotion follows uncontrolled tweets from him with one stating that his army would capture Kenya within two weeks.

    “It wouldn’t take us, my army and me, two weeks to capture Nairobi.”

    “I’m happy that members of our district in Kenya, have responded enthusiastically to my tweet. It’s still two weeks to Nairobi,” he sarcastically said.

    Muhoozi further provoked tweeps that they (Kenya and Uganda) are going to be one country. Any war against them will end quickly.

    “The borders that were established by the colonisers mean nothing to us, revolutionaries. Nairobi.”

    His tweets forced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to clear the air on how they conduct the country’s foreign policy.

    According to a statement dated October, 4th, 2022, Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that the debate on social media in respect to the relationship between Uganda and the brotherly neighbour, the Republic of Kenya, (initiated by Muhoozi), should not be taken seriously.

    “The Ministry wishes to emphasize that the Government and the people of the Republic of Uganda treasure the existing strong bilateral relations between the people and the Government of the Republic of Kenya based on our shared history, common values, mutual respect, trust and the desire to build a unified East African Community,” the statement read.

    “To this end, the Government of the Republic of Uganda wishes to reiterate its commitment to good neighbourliness, peaceful co-existence and cooperation.”

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs further clarified that the Government of the Republic of Uganda does not depend on social media sources in dealing with other sovereign Governments.

    “The Government of the Republic of Uganda, therefore, wishes to reiterate its cordial relationship with the Republic of Kenya and assure the people and the Government of the Republic of Kenya of our harmonious relationship that we value.”

    Minister for Security, Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi has distanced himself from the matter noting that he doesn’t want to talk about media reports because it is not authentic and not worth the energy to talk about it.

    “Someone asked about media reports (Gen Muhoozi’s tweets) and I don’t even remember what it was about but I don’t want to talk about media reports. It is not authentic and not worth the energy to talk about it. I have no comment about that.”

     

    By Hope Kalamira

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    Mwenda Narrates How Intelligence Advised M7 To Fire Kagame Girl Who Prepares His Bedroom….

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    Veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda (L) and President Museveni (R)

    Celebrated veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda has narrated how intelligence advised President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to fire president Paul Kagame’s girl to save his life.

    Mwenda revealed that when the misunderstanding between Rwanda and Uganda was at its peak, with each nation accusing the other of espionage, intelligence operatives advised President Museveni to fire all his assistants of Rwandan descent.

    Mwenda said that among the people that intelligence wanted to be removed from the state house was the beautiful Munyarwanda woman who has been in charge of President Museveni’s bedroom for a long time.

    He added that after reading a strongly worded intelligence report, Museveni took his time to interrogate the dossier and he took a strong decision which hurt his intelligence team by refusing to fire his assistants.

    While moderating ‘The hot seat’ talk show on KFM radio on Friday, Mwenda explained that Museveni trusts Rwandese more than Ugandans that’s why all the people surrounding him are Banyarwanda.

    It is on this note that Mwenda wondered why the President does not come out to rescue Rwandans from the ongoing harassment from country’s immigration department.

    He revealed that he has investigated and established that these people are facing a lot of hardships to get passports and National identity cards.

    He said that many of the people who have Rwanda like name are stateless because Uganda refused to give them passports and National Identity cards yet they cannot go to Rwanda because they were born in Uganda and all are parents have lived, died and have been buried in Uganda.

    Mwenda gave an example of Ritah Kanya, a news anchor with NTV Uganda and wife to senior investigative journalist Raymond Mujuni who is currently stateless because both her National Identity card and passports were canceled at the Immigration over her Rwandan roots.

    He insisted that Kanya was born in Uganda in Kisoro district and his grandfather was a sub county chief, so it is wrong to declare her stateless.

    He pleaded with President Museveni to intervene in the matter because National Unity Platform(NUP) supporters are also threatening Banyarwanda that when they take power, they will be sent back to their country.

    Land forces commander and also first son, Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba led the Uganda-Rwanda negotiations which resulted in the reopening of the Katuna border which was closed by president Kagame in 2017 on allegations of mistreating Rwandese in Uganda.

    Lt. Gen. Muhoozi revealed through twitter that very soon, he is going to travel to Rwanda to meet his loving uncle.

    Efforts to reach Simon Peter Mundeyi, the immigration spokesperson, were fruitless because his known phone numbers were not going through.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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