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    Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana Lawyers To Challenge DPP Abodo’s Plan To Hide Witnesses, Mabirizi Wants Trial To Be Halted Over Constitutional Court Petition…

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    Lawyers representing embattled Kawempe North Member of Parliament (MP) Muhammad Ssegirinya, Makindye West’s Allan Ssewanyana and other accused persons are set to put up a spirited legal fight against the Director Public Prosecution (DPP) Justice Jane Abodo’s plans to hide the State witnesses in the main criminal trial before the Crimes War Division of the High Court.

    On Thursday, Justice Abodo, through her Assistant Lino Anguzo, the lead prosecutor in the trial told the pre-trial presiding judge Justice Elizabeth Jane Alividza that they have filed an ex-parte application to allow the state to protect the witnesses from the media and the public when they are testifying.

    Lino told Court that the witnesses they want to protect are very instrumental in their case and they will play a strong part to help Court to deliver justice to the accused persons and the deceased.

    However, speaking to theGrapevine, Geoffrey Turyamusima, one of the lawyers representing the accused persons insisted that they have agreed with their clients to challenge the witness protection application.

    “No, we are going to challenge that application, they have disclosed to us the witnesses who are set to testify against our clients and we have been seeing some of these witnesses in the media.

    “They are the family members of the deceased, friends and security personnel. Now, what do they want to protect?” Turyamusima wondered.

    Court has not yet set the hearing date for the application and other applications including the human rights enforcement application and the bail applications of all the accused persons.

    Other accused persons on the file are; Jackson Kanyike, Jude Mugerwa, Bull Wamala, Mike Sserwadda and Jude Muwongo.

    They are all together with the legislators battling murder, attempted murder and terrorism charges.

    State alleges that the accused persons were behind the Greater Masaka panga wielding goons who killed over 28 elderly people.

    LAWYER MABIRIZI WANTED TO HELD THE TRIAL

    In a new development, controversial incarcerated city lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi has applied to the Crimes War Division of the High Court to halt the pre-trial of the accused persons until the determination of his Constitutional petition against the Attorney General.

    In his Constitutional petition, Mabirizi insisted that Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana are being politically persecuted by the state and the additional criminal charges brought against them are unjustifiable.

    However, Turyamusima told theGrapevine that they will oppose Mabirizi’s application to stay proceedings of their clients because he doesn’t want them to rot in prison given that the Constitution Court is going to take a lot of time to determine his Constitutional petition.

    Turyamusima added that what they want as per now is a speedy trial for their clients because they have established that the state doesn’t have evidence against them.

    He emphasised that the only application filed by Mabirizi, which they will support is the one where he calls for merging of the two files, one at the Crimes War Division of the High Court and the other at Masaka High Court.

    Recently, the accused persons applied for the merging of both files and the presiding judge promised that their matter will be handled in the pre-trial process.

    Early this year, Justice Musa Sekaana, the head of the High Court Civil Division Kampala sentenced Mabirizi to 18 months imprisonment on charges of contempt of Court.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    CRIME

    MP Who Shouted “Vote rigging! Vote rigging” During EALA Polls And Punched Police Officer Summoned At CID…

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    MP Alioni Yorke Odria

    The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has summoned Aringa South County Member of Parliament, Alioni Yorke Odria.

    The Directorate of CID has summoned the Member of Parliament for Aringa South County for statement recording.

    According to police mouthpiece, Fred Enanga, the summon was sent through the office of the Rt. Hon. Anitah Among to appear at CID Headquarters on October 4th 2022, at 10 am.

    He revealed that Hon. Alioni Yorke Odria is alleged to have acted in a disorderly manner on 29th September, 2022 in Parliament where he attacked and punched a police officer who was on duty without any legal justification.

    It should be remembered that on September 29th, at about midday, Mr. Alioni Yorke Odria stormed the House with a ballot box of pre-ticked ballot papers and accused some individuals of ballot stuffing and rigging the elections.

    Alioni insisted, “There is rigging happening here. Vote rigging! Vote rigging. I am ready to die. The ballot boxes have been stuffed.”

    Moments later, he punched a police officer on the neck. The officer quietly walked away from the legislator.

    Hon. Odria then hurriedly walked off to Parliament’s South parking lot where a team was setting up ballot boxes [under a tent] that were to be utilised later for the voting exercise.

    “Media should stay here because there is rigging taking place,” Hon. Odria said. He eventually walked away.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    CELEBRITY GOSSIP

    Where Is My Brother And Cousin Who You Picked From Our Home In A Drone? Former NBS Journalist Tasks UPDF…

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    Jornalist Bahati Remmy and UPDF spokesperson Brig. Felix Kulayigye (R)

    Former NBS journalist, Remmy Bahati has questioned government over the unlawful arrest and detention of her relatives.

    Bahati alleges that her family fell victim to the drone abductions yesterday.

    She revealed that armed plain clothed men driving a drone with no plates stormed her 76-year-old father’s house in Fort Portal City under the guise of searching for ‘guns’.

    “They didn’t find any (guns) and abducted my brother, cousin and his friend who was visiting. Their whereabouts are unknown. Help me find them,” she added.

    The US-based journalist has since pleaded with the defence Spokesperson, Brig. Felix Kulayigye to investigate the matter and help her find her family members.

    “My dad has been going from one police station to the other looking for them but no luck. I demand to know the whereabouts of my brother, cousin and friend identified as Abala.”

    In response to her cry, Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) Spokesperson, Brig. Felix Kulayigye revealed that last evening, the flying squad arrested a one Allan who has been masquerading as a soldier.

    “Police flying Squad assisted by other security agencies carried out an operation to apprehend criminals who have been masquerading in military attires, conning people in & around Fort Portal City. On a tip off, one Kanyesige Allan, main suspect, was netted in Semuliki Lodge and Bar with a lady accomplice, Peace Sudai.”

    “On brief interrogation, he led the security team to the home of Katungi Kelvin, claiming to be his place of aboard. Katungi Kelvin was also on the wanted list as an associate. He too was apprehended. Two other associates Mugisa lsaaya and Asa ba Abdulatif were also arrested. They are all detained at CPS Fort Portal.” UPDF spokesperson said in a statement.

    However, Bahati told the UPDF Spokesperson that none of the people mentioned is a relative to her.

    “None of the pictures of the suspects shared by UPDF is related to me. UPDF don’t play games with me. I need to know where my brother is. Period! The unlawful detentions, torture and abductions must stop.”

    “Where is my brother Mr. Katungi Kelvin, My cousin Mugume Latif and their friend Identified as Abala who you picked up from home in a drone?” she asked.

    UPDF responded to her that, “I did not say they are your relatives, we have shown you those that we arrested from Fort Portal. That’s all.”

    This comes after a number of alleged abductions of different opposition supporters in the infamous drones.

    National Unity Platform (NUP) president, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine recently demanded the release of these victims dead or alive.

    He noted, “The Drones Are Back.” These past three weeks, 15 of our people have been abducted by state operatives. Most are still missing. Others were brought to court days or weeks later, limping as a result of grave torture.”

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    CRIME

    We Don’t Want A Country Where People Are Being Picked Up By Drones And No One Is Held Accountable – Muntu Warns On Rampant Broad Day Light Kidnaps…

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    Mugisha Muntu

    Former presidential candidate, Gen. Mugisha Muntu has warned on the rampant abductions that have taken lead in the country.

    Muntu statement was premised on the rising cases of gunmen picking civilians off the streets or their homes in drones.

    Muntu emphasized that they don’t want a country where people are being picked up by drones and no one is held accountable, and the government doesn’t speak out even when issues are raised.

    “What we see currently on the surface of things seems to be calmness, but beneath is a situation that we all need to focus on.”

    He explained, “We have two forms of fear. One is the fear that is deeply engraved in the minds of those people in power. They fear relinquishing power, and therefore, it drives them to do the things they do.

    “Unfortunately, in this country, we have never had a peaceful transition, which is abnormal, and therefore, we need to focus on where we are heading. It is not too late.”

    Muntu insisted that they need to use the platforms where they can speak and break the culture of impunity that keeps growing.

    “The principle of separation of powers in institutions is not working. Parliament is just a shadow of what Parliament is supposed to be. On the surface you might think that there is peace but below, the situation is worrisome,” he intimated.

    He added that sectarianism is a symptom of a larger problem.

    “If we want to have fairness, we have to ensure that whatever we practise, is rooted in these values of fairness, justice and equity, among others.”

    Muntu made the remarks at Golf Course hotel today during a Public Dialogue under the theme ‘Ending Secretarianism and Tribalism.’

    Today, a man in civilian attire accompanied by the three men wearing military fatigue and armed with assault rifles kidnapped Mr. Rafik Khan, a car dealer at Kireka C in Kira Municipality, Wakiso District at 5pm.

    Residents and Mr. Khan’s colleagues looked on helplessly as the armed men dragged the businessman into a waiting Toyota Probox car.

    This is on the heels of over 15 NUP supporters who have recently been arrested from various parts of the country by men moving in drones.

    Democratic Party president, Nobert Mao, who also doubles as the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs hailed Muntu for taking a strong stand against extra-judicial killings by those who wanted to take the law into their own hands.

    He argued that as they discuss the framework for the truth and reconciliation process, they must agree on what truth and reconciliation are not.

    “I have to give credit to Gen. Mugisha Muntu because of his militant and strong stand against extra-judicial killings by those who wanted to take the law into their own hands,” he adduced.

    He maintained, “Let me state what the truth and reconciliation process is not. It is not good to be confused about the aims of the truth and reconciliation process.

    “The truth and reconciliation process should not conduct a formal legal process and should not duplicate the work of criminal investigations, initiate court actions, among others, on matters already covered by other organs.”

    Mao noted that however, there are some trends that will lead them to conclude that colonialism played an important role in the false start that Uganda made as they headed towards independence and the years after, adding that he doesn’t believe that all the blame goes to the colonialists.

    “The North is seen as the “underprivileged backyard”. As Uganda went to independence, historical accidents disarmed the north of their fears that they had a position in an independent Uganda.”

    He propounded, ” Therefore, even a Munyankole that has made money is seen to have been corrupt. An Acholi who hasn’t killed anybody when they go to Luwero will be a suspect.

    “There was perceived dominance of the North, Baganda, and western Uganda. This was looked at as a problem that should be seen through sectarian lenses.”

    Mao therefore emphasized that a national truth and reconciliation process is the only thing that can salvage this country.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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