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    OPINION: Removal Of Lockdown Will Depend On Public Discipline – Minister For The Presidency

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    Minister for the Presidency Milly Babirye Babalanda

    On Friday, June 18, 2021, President Yoweri Museveni addressed the nation as the Coronavirus/Covid-19 situation escalated. At the time, the country had recorded an upsurge in numbers of infections and deaths in unprecedented figures. To stem the tide, the President strengthened measures against the tide of the disease. Key among the measures was reinstatement of lockdown countrywide, pushing forward curfew hours and banning cross district travel.

    The lockdown imposed was to last 42 days and came into force on June 20. This second lockdown after the one of last year was in response to a The second wave of the disease was a result of many factors among which was reduction in vigilance of the public in observing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Had this new lockdown not been instituted, I believe that the situation would be too bad. The second wave has taken many of our people (may their souls rest in eternal peace) and saw a huge number admitted. Those still in hospital, it is my prayer that you make it out.

    Covid-19 is not a death sentence!
    The 42 days of the current lockdown are elapsing in a few days and the president will be addressing the country to update the public on the situation as it stands. He will spell out “what next” and this could involve extending the lockdown, scaling it down, relaxing the measures or tightening them. It all depends on the informed reports he has on his table and the advice of scientists. Any mistake made at this time could take us back to the pre-June 18 situation.

    Yet people are hard pressed with life’s demands; they are out of work, yet in need of food, rent, medical care and they have taken a hit from the pandemic in all ways imaginable. Everybody is asking “when is this whole thing coming to end?” I am sure everyone wants the lockdown to be lifted. I am certain that the President wants normalcy restored, yet he wants everybody safe. We have already witnessed how the situation has improved, and how this validates the wisdom in the President’s
    interventions which, despite the great inconvenience to persons and government, have not been in vain.

    Last year at the height of the political season when some groups of people were dismissing the threat of Covid-19 and actively urging the public to defy safety guidelines, the President said what we were dealing with was not a matter of convenience but survival. That wisdom still stands, and even more apparent since the disease has visited almost every community and people can no longer deny its nearness. For that matter, if it requires suffering a little more inconvenience to our normal ways of life for the sake of surviving to enjoy life tomorrow, let us all do our part to keep Covid-19 at
    bay.

    Vaccination is going and government is committing ample resources to ensure that a reasonable number of people are vaccinated since this reduces incidences of acquiring the virus, suffering and dying from it and spreading it to others. We shall receive proper updates on the vaccination drive.

    For now, I wish to advise that from my take on these things, the decision to remove or relax lockdown and other measures will depend on public behavior in these last days as the 42 day period comes to an end.
    People have been very disciplined; they have been observing SOPs, curfew times, avoiding unnecessary travel and socialising. They have been avoiding public transport, save for some few cases of violators but who have been brought to book as an example. If this discipline and vigilance is upheld, I would have no doubt that normalcy would be possible and the President would eagerly announce that.

    However, I have started seeing people openly violating the SOPs, boda boda and private vehicles are ferrying passengers. As we get closer to the end of the current lockdown, mistakes are beginning to be made and that could see a new one imposed, which would be hard on us.
    From the start of the pandemic until this point, Uganda has performed relatively well against the disease on account of excellent guidance from the top leadership, commitment of medical teams, enforcement of regulations by security teams and compliance by the general public with the safety directives. Without a clear end in sight, we need to maintain this “wall” at all times until we see the last of the disease or learn to live with it as it is said in sections of the scientific community.

    In other countries, lockdown has been lifted and instituted as and when the situation warrants. The problem is that as soon countries open up, people lose their sense of caution, infections skyrocket and lockdown is put back in place.
    People want houses of worship reopened, schools and institutions of learning reopened (so that teachers and non-teaching staff resume their jobs and learners progress academically); public transporters want to be back in business, government and businesses want their workforces back on duty but that without strict adherence to SOPs and other measures, chances of a new lockdown being introduced are very high.
    The bottom line is that each of us must be responsible for our individual and collective safety if normalcy is to be restored. For now, I can’t read the President’s mind.

     

    By Milly Babirye Babalanda
    The author is the Minister for the Presidency

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    NATIONAL

    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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    Chief Justice Dollo Is Sleeping On Job, He Has Failed To Bring Errant Judicial Officers To Order – Minister Mayanja; Top Herbalist Runs Into Hiding Fearing Arrest…

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    Chief Justice Owiny Dollo (R) and Minister Sam Mayanja (L)

    State Minister for Lands Dr. Sam Mayanja has threatened to report Pius Bigirimana, the Judiciary Permanent Secretary to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni over allegation of abuse of office.

    Mayanja insists that it is high time President Museveni takes action against Chief Justice Owiny Dollo who has slept on the job which has resulted into the Judiciary, a very important organ of the state, becoming a place where deals are cut.

    He explained that judicial officers no longer follow the Constitution because right now, everyone does what he wants because they know that Chief Justice, who is their head is not active and he cannot bring them to order.

    Mayanja wondered how a Chief Justice can keep quiet when low standard staff in Judiciary are humiliating senior judicial officers who would advise and guide the judiciary.

    He gave an example of Bigirimana who issued a statement against Supreme Court Justice Dr. Esther Kisakye Mayambala.

    Mayanja said that he was shocked to read in the papers that Bigirimana directed Justice Kisakye, the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court to return all the money which was paid to her for the nine months when she was absent.

    “All of us senior lawyers were shocked to see that man Bigirimana’s letter to a senior Judge like Kisakye. How can a mere Permanent Secretary to the judiciary humiliate a senior judge and you keep quite as a Chief Justice? He would have issued a strong statement condemning that man Bigirimana and even petitioning the president to take disciplinary action against him,” Mayanja insisted.

    However, Bigirimana recently said that he pulled out of Justice Kisakye’s scandal and referred the matter to Chief Justice Dollo because he is her supervisor not him.

    He added that as a senior lawyer, he cannot keep quiet when the judiciary is rotting.

    He cited a situation where Judges are imprisoning innocent Ugandans to show superiority.

    He gave an example of High Court Judge Musa Ssekaana who sentenced controversial city lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi to 18 months in prison on fabricated contempt of Court charges.

    He wondered if a judicial officer can give justice when they are the complainant, the investigator, the witness and the judge.

    Mayanja revealed that judicial officials connive to punish those who annoy them, and this is exactly what they did to Mabirizi, denied him bail and dismissed all his Appeals.

    He noted that such impunity has been used by Masaka judicial officers against Bibanja holders which has resulted in frequent land evictions.

    He explained that such corrupt judicial officers are the ones who helped land grabbers like renowned herbalist David Senfuka who based on forged documents to threaten evicting bonafide bibanja owners.

    He revealed that residents of Budda Village, Kijonjo parish Kibinge Sub County in Bukomansombi district brought to him evidence which he verified and established that Senfuka forged documents to acquire over 2 square miles of land.

    “He is a wanted man; he has to go to police and record a statement over criminal charges. His friends were telling me that I am interfering with a Court matter and as a lawyer I advised them that there is a difference between a criminal matter and a civil matter,” Mayanja said.

    He added that the same Masaka Judicial officers are the ones helping Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s Buganda Land Board to grab and evict people’s bibanja in greater Masaka.

    He gave an example of the piece of Kibanja on which the State Minister for Health Anifah Kawooya was supposed to build a nursing school.

    He disclosed that the minister was stopped by BLB who accused her of trespassing on Kabaka Mutebi’s land.

    However, Siraje Lubwama, the press secretary to Senfuka revealed that minister Mayanja is spreading falsehoods.

    He added that they are preparing to institute criminal and civil charges against him accusing him of defamation.

    Lubwama maintained that Senfuka was shocked when Mayanja and his boss Judith Nabakooba and declared him a fraudster.

    Minister Mayanja recently told the Grapevine that President Museveni has received a detailed intelligence report profiling the corrupt judicial officials and how they receive bribes.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    IGG Kamya Drags Ssenyonyi’s COSASE To Court Over On Shs10.6bn Fraud, Wants Awards Of Shs6.5bn For Humiliation…

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    IGG Betty Kamya

    Controversial Inspector General of Government (IGG) Beti Namisango Kamya has petitioned the High Court Civil Division challenging the findings and recommendations made against her by the parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).

    In her suit through her lawyers of ASB Advocates, Kamya insists that the COSASE report which convicted her and senior Finance Minister Matia Kasaija of fraudulently mismanaging the Shs.10.6bn which was allocated to compensate landlords for their land which was sold to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s government was aimed at humiliating and killing her personal reputation.

    She told Court that she never asked for a supplementary budget as COSASE claimed in their report which was adopted by parliament in August 2022.

    She added that she only requested the Finance ministry to give funds to the Uganda Land Commission which is responsible for managing government land including compensating landlords who sell land to government.

    She explained that before the Shs10.6bn was released and distributed, parliament established an ad-hoc committee which verified and assessed the beneficiaries and approved those who were paid.

    However, a number of witnesses who testified before COSASE committee chaired by Joel Ssenyonyi denied receiving the money.

    Government through the Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka has not yet responded to IGG Kamya’s petition.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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