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    OPINION: UK Parliament And The “Invisible”, Cherished Gays…

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    I want to thank the Government and people of the United Kingdom (UK) for the cordial relations with Uganda at both individual and state level.

    A number of our people are in the UK on different assignments and callings us, equally, a number of UK residents are in Uganda on different interests.

    Other than the uncomfortable background of the colonizer-colonised, our people are friendly with each other and our nations are proudly members of the Commonwealth fraternity together. We stand to benefit from each other more as long we advance as equals or respectful nation states.

    I want to thank the UK Parliament for having interest in Ugandan affairs and considering it fit to deliberate on them as and when it deems necessary. On Thursday 9th May, 2024, the debate was on Anti-Homosexuality Act passed by the Ugandan Parliament on March 21, 2023. Lord Michael Cashman had asked His Majesty’s Government “what representations they have made to the government of Uganda regarding its Anti-Homosexuality Act”.

    Various MPs spoke, and the spirit of their debate was in condemnation of the Ugandan Parliament. It was also in condemnation of the Uganda Government and the Ugandan people at large.

    I will quote a few as follows (adapted from the day’s Hansard record); “My Lords, Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act has increased violence and discrimination against LGBT+ people. The UK has made its opposition clear to all levels of the Ugandan Government. On 3 April, the Ugandan Constitutional Court struck down some provisions. However, the legislation remains, including the death penalty for so-called aggravated homosexuality. The Deputy Foreign Secretary met the Ugandan Justice Minister on 3 April and underlined the importance of ensuring that people are free from persecution regardless of sexuality and stressed our concern at this legislation,”- Lord Michael Cashman said.

    Lord Richard Benyon stated:  “My Lords, I congratulate the Government on the action they have taken so far, but they can and must do more. The Ugandan law criminalises even those who supply services to LGBT people and, as the Minister said, people face the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality or 20 years in prison merely for being homosexual. The situation is dire and worsening, with arrests, people going into hiding, blackmail and service providers closing. Therefore, I ask the Government to mirror the actions taken by the United States, Canada and the World Bank: targeted sanctions on named individuals and on access to individual assets held in the UK and an immediate pause on development support that could be used by discriminatory actors. Finally, they should call on Uganda to end implementing the law with forced anal examinations. Such barbaric human rights abuses must be vigorously denounced.”

    Then, Lord Henry Bellingham said: “My Lords, will the Minister not agree that one thing that could make a really big difference to this appalling situation would be a change in regime and free and fair elections? He will have noted that the European Parliament concluded that the last elections were neither free nor fair and, in fact, were violent. What more can we do to ensure there is multi-party democracy? Will he find time to meet the outstanding new leader of the opposition, Joel Ssenyonyi, who is a brave young politician who deserves our support?”

    As I have stated in my introduction, it’s good that the UK Parliament occasionally picks on matters in other countries for discussion and the issue of LGBT seems to matter a lot.

    While the process of passing the particular legislation was transparent and contributory, with the voices of Uganda considered, and even court has made its pronouncement on the law, its passing has had serious outcomes. One among such is reprisals in terms of cutting donor aid and consideration of sanctions against certain individuals.

    From the words of one of the Lords in the UK Parliament, even “regime change” is under consideration. Lord Bellingham even went ahead and mentioned that the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP), Joel Ssenyonyi, “is a brave young politician who deserves our support should be supported.”

    So, let’s take it that the Act as it stand today is harsh on LGBTs, regardless of the justification the Uganda Parliament had; since the law was passed, how many cases of LGBTs have been prosecuted in Uganda’s courts of law? How many members of the LGBT community have been persecuted, attacked physically or killed for their state of being? Where is this dire situation being talked about in Uganda? How many Ugandans are homosexuals? Do or don’t we need a census to determine this so as to weigh the gravity of the “crisis” that prevails in Uganda as per the discussions in the UK Parliament?

    How come I personally don’t know any homosexual but hear a lot of talk about them by organisations and foreign missions. I am also aware of a habit by “greencard” and “permanent residency” seekers in Western capitals claiming to be fugitives from Uganda apparently because of the orientation. And the host countries’ governments believe such claims and go on to grant their wishes. Others claim political persecution when nobody knows them, while others may be criminals escaping from the long arm of the law for real offences committed and take refuge in claiming human rights abuses.

    It would be most unfortunate if the UK MPs are informed by such baseless claimants.

    It’s also interesting to see one MP single out Joel Ssenyonyi for support yet Parliament of Uganda was nearly unanimous in passing the legislation, including the opposition bench (then led by Hon. Matthias Mpuuga). What’s special about the current L.O.P and in what sense is he to be supported and to do what? Isn’t this direct interference in the affairs of Uganda?

    On the proposal for regime change, in whose interest is it? The Uganda government is elected by Ugandans. Is regime change intended to bring homosexuals to power when they are not only obviously a minority but they are also “invisible” because, as by my example, I have never seen any? What’s so pressing about their rights that the rights of other Ugandans-the absolute majority and the leadership-are disregarded and punishments meted out on the population in terms of sanctions and donor fund cuts? Is this democracy at play or a new form of imperialism and self-contradicting abuse of human rights of Ugandans?

     

    Faruk Kirunda  is the Deputy Press Secretary to the President of Uganda

    Contact: kirundaf2@gmail.com

    0776980486/0783990861

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    CELEBRITY GOSSIP

    Buganda Caucus MPs Blocked From Visiting Kabaka Mutebi In Namibia As Mayiga Summons Clan Heads Over M7 Deals, King Visit…

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    Buganda Kingdom King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi (L) in Namibia

    The management of Okonguarri Psychotherapeutic Center in Namibia has blocked three Members of Parliament from accessing the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi.

    Buganda Premier Charles Peter Mayiga confirmed that Kabaka Mutebi is in Namibia resting following the advice of his doctor in Europe.

    However, there are ongoing allegation that Kabaka is in the said medical facility receiving medication not resting.

    Based on the ongoing contradiction, legislators who are members of the Buganda caucus in parliament secretly decided to travel to Namibia to confirm the development.

    theGrapevine has exclusively established that the three male legislators are members of the National Unity Platform and they sneaked into Namibia without the knowledge of the Ugandan embassy in Namibia or their chairperson Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi.

    When contacted, one of the legislators confirmed the development but pleaded with theGrapevine not to reveal his identity because it was going to create a war with Buganda Kingdom leadership.

    “It is true we were blocked from accessing the Kabaka and we are the ones who advised the Buganda Kingdom clan heads who also plan on visitinf the Kabaka to first seek permission from Mayiga, Prince David Kintu Wasajja or Agness Nabalogo because they are the ones to give permission to any person who wants to access Kabaka,” a soft spoken legislator from greater Masaka said.

    He added that they tried to reach out to Prince Joseph Ndawula, the Ugandan ambassador to Namibia but he also didn’t help them, so they decided to return back to Uganda.

    The development comes at a time when Mayiga has just issued summons to the executive members of Buganda Kingdom clan heads council.

    According to highly placed sources in the clan council, the meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday next week at Bulange building the headquarters of Buganda Kingdom.

    Even though Mayiga didn’t give the reasons why he has summoned the clan council leadership, sources claim that top on the agenda is their planned visit to Namibia to visit Kabaka and last week’s State House meeting with president Museveni.

    “When we passed a resolution in our meeting to go to Namibia to visit Kabaka, our council speaker (omutaka Austine Kizito Mutumba) pleaded with us to reverse the resolution explaining that it was going to place him in bad light before Mayiga and it is going to deepen the misunderstanding between him and his administration, but we rubbished his prayers,” a clan head said.

    He boasted that at this time, Mayiga has nothing to do because President Museveni has given them the green light and promised to coordinate the visit.

    He revealed that there are only two people who haven’t yet finalized their travel documents because they did not have passports.

    “By Thursday morning, we will be on the plane going to check on our beloved chairperson (Kabaka). Who is Mayiga to stop us from visiting Kabaka, even the president told us that he doesn’t like him and his ministers, and in Buganda kingdom, he only recognizes Kabaka, us the abataka and even informed the Nnabagereka when he met her recently,” a clan head said.

    It is not clear what mechanism Mayiga and Mutumba are going to deploy to stop clan heads from visiting Kabaka because they have been trying to frustrate them from meeting President Museveni but they overrun them.

    In the last Buganda Kingdom parliamentary session, Mayiga declined to allow the prayer made by one of the representative Professor Badru Katerega who wanted the Kingdom administration to guide those with money so that they can be allowed to go and visit Kabaka.

    Mutumba told theGrapevine that he is just a speaker of the council of Buganda Kingdom clan heads and has no power to stop them from doing whatever they think is good for their clans and Buganda Kingdom at large.

    He confirmed that he was not informed of last week’s State House meeting and he was very happy with the results of the meeting because the President agreed to help the kingdom clan heads to fight poverty among themselves and their grandchildren.

    President Museveni also promised to deploy UPDF engineering experts to help in the building of a commercial building on the land he bought for them in 2023 which is situated opposite the Bulange building.

    The president also promised to deposit Shs200m in the bataka Mutindo SACCO which they can use to fight poverty.

    However, when clan heads visited Museveni in 2023, Mayiga declared that he will not accept any person to mislead any member of the Kingdom organs with the aim of dividing Kabaka’s subjects.

    A resolution was passed in Buganda Kingdom parliament condemning the clan heads’ visit to Museveni and they were advised to apologize which they declined to do arguing that Mayiga and the Kingdom parliament don’t have such powers.

    The Clan heads insist that they are an independent organ in Buganda kingdom culture and they are the ones responsible for electing the Kabaka, thus they cannot be forced by Mayiga and his people to apologize.

    A committee chaired by Kingdom lands minister and also city commercial lawyer David Kisitu Mpanga was established by Mayiga to mediate talks between him with clan heads.

    However Isreal Kitooke Kazibwe the Kingdom spokesperson and also the minister in charge of mobilization rubbished the narrative of clan heads being independent explaining that all leadership in Buganda Kingdom are under Kabaka Mutebi and there is not independence.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    How Boyfriend, Pressure For Wedding Money Forced MP Nanyondo To Withdraw Her Signature From Censure Motion Against Mpuuga And Company…

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    Bukomansimbi woman legislator Veronica Nanyondo

    Kira Municipality legislator Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda has explained that the actions of Bukomansimbi woman legislator Veronica Nanyondo to withdraw in writing her signature from the censure motion against the four parliamentary commissioners over corruption allegations was showed that legislators don’t read.

    He revealed that the reason why he always overshadows fellow legislators on the floor of parliament and even during media talk shows is because they don’t read but just sign documents, especially when they are told that they will get allowances after signing.

    “How can a member of parliament withdraw her signature claiming that you were misled to sign, now how can you convince your voters that you are not misled to take decisions that affect them!” Ssemujju wondered.

    In her defense, Nanyondo said that the movers of the motion to impeach the commissioners used her signature from the opposition cabinet meeting and put it on the censure motion papers.

    Ssemujju noted that once a legislator appends their signature on a censure paper, he or she cannot withdraw it and Nanyondo is still taken as one of the legislators who signed the censure motion against the legislators.

    However, theGrapevine established that Nanyondo was forced by her boyfriend to withdraw the signature.

    Sources claim that Nyanyondo’s boyfriend, a one Kateregga who was a councilor for Bukomansimbi district, pleaded with Nanyondo to withdraw her signature because Mpuuga is one of their own and it will shame them to betray him.

    He alleges that Nyanyondo and her boyfriend are set to legalize their marriage in church before the end of this year and Mpuuga has already contributed Shs20m to help in the preparations of their wedding.

    Others who contributed include Annet Anita Among the speaker of parliament who contributed Shs10m.

    Sources divulged that Kateregga nowadays spendsmuch of his time in the United States of America because the couple plans on relocating to the US once this political term ends and after they legalize their marriage.

    Sources added that Nanyondo is not going to defend her position in the coming 2026 elections after realizing that the ground no longer favors her.

    Before joining politics, Nanyondo and Kateregga were running a printing business on Nasser Road in Kampala city.

    When Nanyondo contested for the first time as MP to replace her sister Suzan Namaganda, the former wife to former East African Assembly Uganda representative Fred Mukasa Mbidde, Kateregga was in charge of pinning her posters.

    theGrapevine made several phone calls to Nanyondo’s known phone numbers for a comment on the story but they all went unanswered.

    Nanyondo is among the poor performing legislators in Buganda.

    The four commissioners who in trouble are; Mathias Mpuuga the Member of Parliament for Nyendo-Mukungwe, Prossy Mbabazi Akampulira the Rubanda district legislator, Solomon Silwanyi the Bukooli Central legislator and Esther Afayochan of Zombo district woman legislator.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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    CRIME

    Stanbic Bank In Trouble, Client Petitions Court After She Was Defrauded Of Shs68m Via Flexi Pay…

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    Stanbic Bank CEO Anne Jjuuko whose bank is under fire

    Nakku Joweria a resident of Kyebando has sued Stanbic Bank Uganda limited for failing in its duty of protecting her saving account leading to defrauding her of shillings 68 million which was withdrawn from her account in a period of 24 hours through Flexi pay an application she had never registered for.

    In a court case filed before the Commercial division of the High Court of Uganda and coming up for directions in the registrar Christa Namutebi’s chambers, on the 24th June, 2024 at 9:40am, Nakku Joweria through his lawyers of Kimanje Nsibambi Advocates contends that between 7th and 8th February, 2023, there was unauthorized withdrawal of 68 million shillings from her savings account No. 903000026244 via the Flexi Pay Banking, a platform of Stanbic Bank and a total of 28 unauthorized transactions were conducted by fraudsters who fraudulently accessed her account undetected by the bank.

    She questions how a savings account which had a transaction limit was significantly exceeded during the unauthorized and undetected fraudulent transactions which led to her losing her’ money.

    “Our client has been a loyal client of Stanbic bank since 2001 way before the implementation of the FlexiPay system and at no point did she sign up for or activate the flexi pay on her savings account. The 28 unauthorized withdrawals from our clients account using four unknown Airtel lines raises serious questions and/ or lapses on the part of the bank for which we hold the bank specifically liable for the loss since it was in a better position to detect and prevent this fraud had it exercised reasonable care to detect these suspicious 28 unauthorized transactions that took place within 24 hours on a savings account that was rarely operated by our client,” reads the documents in parts.

    She also questions the effectiveness of the bank’s authentication protocols with their flexi pay system, effectiveness of the transaction monitoring to the extent of allowing 28 unauthorized transactions within 24 hours using four unknown Airtel lines and significantly exceeding the account limit.

    Nakku wants court to direct Stanbic Bank to reimburse 68 million to her account that was fraudulently withdrawn and pay her the costs and damages.

    On 6th February 2023, Nakku Joweria lost her phones to the robbers on her way to work at around 9pm. She reported the incident to police at 9am and to the telecom companies on the 7th February 2023.

    However, the telecom companies MTN and Airtel couldn’t process the new simcards because she had misplaced her original National Identity card.

    The robbers used her MTN number to open up a wallet on the Flexi pay which number had four other Airtel numbers that don’t belong to her which they used to make 28 unauthorized withdraws of 68 million shillings from her Stanbic bank saving account on the 7th and 8th February in a space of only 24 hours.

    When she went to withdraw some money from her account on the 6th, March 2023 that’s when she realized that her money was fraudulently withdrawn from her account.

    She wrote to the bank manager complaining about the matter and the bank promised to do thorough investigations to reveal how the money was withdrawn by the fraudsters.

    Through her lawyers of Kimanje Nsibambi Advocates, she wrote a demand notice to Stanbic Bank manager to reimburse her money since it was their weakness and fault for failure to efficiently protect her account.

    The bank through Twine Arnold, the senior legal advisor, Risk and Dispute Management wrote back with an out of court settlement request.

    However, the bank had proposed to reimburse only 34 million out of the 68 million on the premise that the settlement shall not be taken as admission of liability by any of the parties, a proposal she rejected and instead thought for legal redress in the commercial court.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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