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    STEALING FROM GOVERNMENT: UETCL Boss Arrested For Shielding Justice Murangira’s Sh179 Million Fraud

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    Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, inset is justice Mulangira

    Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) boss John Othieno, the projects manager of the ongoing construction of both Namanve-Luzira power line and Mutundwe-entebbe power line was arrested for shielding high court judge Joseph Murangira’s fraud.

    Othieno was arrested on the orders of Justice Catherine Bamugemereire the chairperson on the commission of inquiry into land matters after his failure to explain the why he approved payments of over Sh179m to Murangira. Murangira, a high court judge sitting in Mubende was compensated with Sh179m by UETCL on the 0.702 acres of land in Mugomba forest in Entebbe municipality.

    According to the evidence before the commission, justice Murangira was not a land owner with a land title like he told the UETCL officers who compensated him. The evidence before the commission shows that Murangira was given a license from National Forestry Authority (NFA )  to plant trees on his 0.702 acres after the tress were cut down by forest encroachers.

    “Mr. Othieno, what did you base on to compensate Joseph Murangira all that money. Do you know him or you paid him that money because of his office! Did you do any due diligence? I’m sure you are hiding something which you must tell this commission, go with my court order, you are going to meet my investigators and make another statement. This fraud is unbelievable, you have to tell us all the people you connived with to steal Ugandans,” Bamugemereire said.

    Bamugemereire said that Otheino was even informed by NFA that justice Murangira was not a land owner, he was a licensed farm. To prove this, she showed him a land title which is in the names of NFA where Murangira, Cedrick Songoza a brother to city tycoon Ephraim Ntaganda and a one Godfrey Kabogoza were tenants.

    She wondered how Songoza was compensated with Sh31m while Kaboggoza was paid Sh44m yet they owned bigger chunks of land than Murangira. Othieno was put to task by Robert Ssebunya, one of the commissioners to explain to the commission about the disturbance allowance he gave to Murangira and other people who he compensated for leaving the wetlands and forestry reserve. “Now Mr. Othieno, you paid those people disturbance allowance, where you paying them for the fish and tress which were disturbing them? You people, where are you taking this country really?” Ssebunya asked.

    Othieno was pinned for controlling the whole compensation process without even informing UETCL legal department because he was on a corruption mission by fraudulently paying claimants like Murangira. After government refused to pay some claimants, they took it to court claiming Sh56bn. They even secured a court order stopping the construction of Namanve-Luzira power line until they are paid.

    It should be noted that justice Murangira is under investigation by the judicial service commission. He was sent to the disciplinary body by the principle judge Yolokam Bamwine on allegations of corruption and abuse of office.

    Bamugemereire revealed that inside UETCL, there is a group of people who hike the compensation amounts because they are beneficiaries. She gave an example of a meeting held recently between the ministry of finance officials and those from the ministry of lands. In the meeting, UETCL officials tasked ministry of finance to pay the claimants quickly because they need to resume the construction of the power line.

    On Tuesday, Valentine Katabira, the Deputy Managing Director testified before the commission that they were advised by their external lawyers of Kawanuka, Karugyire and company advocates to open a separate account and deposit Shs 56bn for the claimants even though the case was not yet determined.

    Katabira’s testimony forced justice Bamugemereire to order an investigation on how UETCL are managing public funds. She wondered why UETCL wants to compensate people who are in protected areas of wetlands and forest reserves. Bamugemereire added that NFA and NEMA advised UETCL not to compensate the claimants because the said land belongs to the government. The commission is still investigating the matter.

     

    By Jamil Lutakome

     

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    NATIONAL

    State House Boss Narrates How Lt. Gen. Elwelu’s Stay On Top Of UPDF Command Threatened M7’s Stay In Power…

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    Joseph Tamale Mirundi (C), Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu (L) and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (R)

    Maverick Senior Presidential Advisor in Charge of Media who also doubles as the spokesperson of the Patriotic League of Uganda (PLU) for Buganda region Joseph Tamale Mirundi has narrated how Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu’s being on the top command of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) have been a threat to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s stay in power.

    Last month, Museveni exercised his powers as the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed forces and dropped Lt. Gen. Elwelu as the Deputy Chief of Defense Forces and replaced him with Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding. Elwelu was appointed the Senior Presidential Advisor.

    While speaking on youth and children affairs minister Balaam Bagaruhare’s Radio 4, Mirundi celebrated Lt. Gen. Elwelu’s dismissal adding that he nearly caused trouble for president Museveni and the entire country.

    “Whenever I look at that man, I see him in the image of Idi Amin and I always get a thinking that what Amin did to President Milton Obote in 1971, he can do it to President Museveni,” Mirundi said.

    He added that he was very scared with the way Lt. Gen. Elwelu exposed himself after commanding the deadly attack on the palace of Omusinga wa Rwenzururu Charles Weasly Mumbere in 2017 and after boasted that he had killed criminals yet his boss by then, Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala was denying having knowledge about the attack.

    Mirundi explained that Gen. Katumba, as an exposed and intelligent army officer realised the trouble ahead especially the looming sanctions from the international community as a result of the attack, and this is the reason why he denied the attack much as Lt. Gen. Elwelu kept boasting thinking that he had scored before the president.

    He narrated that currently, Lt. Gen. Elwelu cannot fly out of the country because he was slapped with international sanctions and any country has the obligation to arrest him and parade him before the International Criminal Court.

    He noted that because of his being overly ambitioous, he was not surprised when Lt. Gen. Elwelu sharply disagreeg with Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba the current Chief of Defense Forces on the issue of Standby Class One order issued in 2022 when President Museveni was away in Rwanda.

    Mirundi revealed that Gen. Muhoozi who was then the Commander of Land Forces challenged Lt. Gen. Elwelu on the issuing of the order insisting that it was not necessary. However, the controversial General from Teso just boasted and issued threats thinking that he was untouchable and was in good books with President Museveni.

    “I laughed because in Uganda, I know we are few people who understand Museveni very well and carefully follow his political and security calculations. Really how can you believe that Museveni can trust Lt. Gen. Elwelu more than his son when it comes to the issue of power and his survival!” Mirundi exclaimed.

    Army sources who spoke to theGrapevine in 2022 confirmed that Standby Class One order was issued because there was a coup de-tat threat, the president was out of the country, his vice president Jessica Alupo was bedridden, the Chief of Defense Forces then Gen. Wilson Mbadi was also was out of the country.

    The matter caused a misunderstanding between Lt. Gen. Elwelu and Gen. Muhoozi which resulted into Museveni summoning the UPDF High Command for a meeting in Ntungamo.

    However, when commenting on the matter by then, UPDF spokesperson Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye told theGrapevine that the order was issued because the army wanted to clean some rot on their walls including counting the number of soldiers and weapons.

    But even though he was dropped, Lt. Gen. Elwelu recently said that he is grateful for President Museveni for trusting him and appointing him to several powerful offices in the army.

    Concerning his new appointment, Elwelu said that being a Senior Presidential Advisor is going to help him to give the big man advice.

    In the same development, Mirundi, the longest serving Senior Press Secretary warned government officials to be careful and avoid being excited when dealing with President Museveni because he is hard to understand.

    He explained that he warned PLU movement leadership especially junior Finance Planning and Economic Development minister in charge of microfinance Harunah Kasolo who is the Chief Coordinator for Greater Masaka Region to be careful with the statements he made against Museveni while praising Gen. Muhoozi their supreme leader.

    “I told Kasolo and other people, let us tell people that we are supporting Museveni and mobilizing for his 2026 presidential bid but also let us inform them that we have our standby generator if anything bad happens to our senior leader Museveni, but they were over excited and started making statements asking Museveni when is he giving Muhoozi power. That is why he made strange decisions against our thing,” Mirundi said.

    He noted that because Muhoozi knows his father very well, when he appointed him Chief of Defense Forces, he did not comment even though he still wanted to enjoy the political ride.

    He revealed that apart from Muhoozi, it is himself, Al-Hajji Moses Kigongo the NRM National Vice president and Museveni’s young brother and also Coordinator of the Operation Wealth Creation Gen. Salim Saleh who understand Museveni’s calculations.

    He said that Gen. Saleh once told him that because he understands his brother, when he summons him, he appears before him as an army officer, salutes him, talks to him, salutes him again and leaves.

    He rarely familiarizes himself with him even though they are brothers.

    Kira Municipality legislator Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said that one thing Museveni never jokes with is power.

    However, Ssalongo Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi the NRM National Vice president in charge of Buganda insists that political transition has started and very soon Museveni is going to surrender power to the new generation. He pleaded with youths to prepare to take the country’s political power.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    Bobi Wine Sends Warning Message To IGP Maj. Gen. Katsigazi With His Countrywide Tour Kicking Off In Mpuuga’s Masaka Backyard…

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    Maj. Gen. Kasitgazi (L) and Bobi Wine (R)

    The mighty Grapevine can exclusively report that Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) is set to kick off his political countrywide tour early in May 2024.

    Highly placed sources at Makerere Kavule where the headquarters of the National Unity Platform (NUP) are located revealed that all strategies and plans have been concluded and David Lewis Rubongoya the party Secretary General was directed to inform the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Tumusiime Katsigazi about their programme in writing.

    Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro the Deputy Party spokesperson confirmed the development and asked Maj. Gen. Katsigazi to be careful when dealing with their political tours this time because people are very angry with police’s selective implementation of law and order especially when it comes to issues concerning Bobi Wine.

    “The other time, he wrote a letter stopping our countrywide tour but I’m warning him this time to be very careful and to accept to cooperate with us because we are law abiding citizens,” Mufumbiro said.

    It should be remembered that in 2023, Maj. Gen. Katsigazi stopped Bobi Wine’s countrywide tour with immediate effect explaining that he was inciting violence through his tribalistic statements and violating road transport law and order which led to death of some people.

    Bobi Wine was in Luwero district when he made serious allegation against the person of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, his son Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba and other members of the First Family.

    Criminal files were opened at Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters against Bobi Wine and other members of his party and sources told theGrapevine on Thursday morning that investigations into the matter are still ongoing.

    Sources in NUP said that Bobi Wine’s countrywide tour is going to start immediately when he returns from the United Kingdom where he is expected to hold a music show on 20th of April 2024.

    Sources further revealed that Bobi Wine’s plan is to kick off his political countrywide tour in Greater Masaka and his first political rally is going to be held in the constituency of the former Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba and he will politically respond to him and his blue eyed boy the Kimanya-Kabonera legislator Dr. Abed Bwanika.

    “We want to prove a point that both Mpuuga and Muhoozi Patriotic League of Uganda are nothing. We are not going to give out money to transport people to attend our rallies but we are going to double those who attended Muhoozi’s rally in Masaka,” one of the organisers of Bobi Wine’s countrywide tour revealed.

    Bobi Wine’s countrywide tour comes at a time when four time presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye is also on the countrywide political tour with his Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Katonga faction group members.

    Besigye said that the move is about consulting their party members on the next move after they disagreed with FDC Najjanankumbi group led by Patrick Amuriat Oboi and Nathan Nandala Mafabi.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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    CELEBRITY GOSSIP

    Pastor Male Panics After Brother Mabirizi Asks Court To Force Family Lawyer To Testify Against Him In Legal Fight For Their Father’s Multibillions Estate…

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    City Pastor Solomon Male (L) and his brother lawyer Kassim Male Mabirizi (R)

    Controversial City Pastor Solomon Moses Male is panicking after Justice John Eudes Keitirima of the High Court Family Division set a date to deliver a ruling in a matter in which his brother lawyer Kassim Male Mabirizi asked Court to force his lawyer Gabriel Byamugisha to testify against him and other family members in their legal fight for their father’s multibillion Estate.

    In his application, Mabirizi insist that Byamugisha has for a longtime been the family lawyer and severally represented their late father Mohamed Bazinduse Lulibedda Mutumba in a number of legal matters and even made statements on record which can be useful and help the Court to reach to a fair justice.

    Mabirizi filed evidence in Court showing Byamugisha submitting before Justice Irene Akankwasa in 2014 confirming that Mabirizi is a biological son to his client Mutumba.

    “Since the counsel for a Judgment Debtor said that the Judgment Debtor is a biological father of the MD, the Judgment Creditor let a NISC issue instead of a warrant of arrest. Family relationships have to be guarded. NISC for 13th/10/ 2014 at 2:30pm,” Justice Akankwasa’s ruling citing Byamugisha’s submissions read in part.

    Mabirizi further cited a number of authorities where a lawyer when found to be a potential witness can recuse himself from the case because lawyers are officers of court who help deliver fair justice.

    He provided other evidence including an appointment letter signed by Omuttaka Augustine Kizito Mutumba the head of Kkobe clan assigning Mabirizi as the clan minister in charge of legal, information and special duties in the office of the clan head.

    In his letter, he explained that the late Mutumba allowed his appointment after confirming to the clan leaders that he is the biological father of the appointed minister (Mabirizi).

    He produced other documents where Mutumba signed as his father noting that the move by pastor Male and a section of family members to sideline him on allegations that he is not a son of their father is intentionally targeting his personality to place him before well thinking members of the society as someone who has no family.

    He accused Pastor Male of influencing other family members to turn against him because of their personal grudge.

    He added that for a longtime, Pastor Male and a section of family members have been challenging Court orders to subject them to a scientific examination through DNA, noting that their main agenda was to sideline him and make sure that he didn’t benefit from his father’s multibillion Estate.

    Late Mutumba left behind a juicy Estate with huge chunks of land in different parts of the country including apartments and rentals in areas of Lubaga Division, Nakawa, Central Division.

    Mabirizi alleged that before securing letters of administration to manage the deceased’s estate, the accused persons had already started collecting money from the Estate.

    Mabirizi claimed that pastor Male masterminded the forging of their father’s will which he based on to challenge of his sonship to the deceased because he had a personal grudge against him.

    Lawyer Mabirizi sued pastor Male together with other family members who include; Sirim Mabirizi Mutumba, Muhamed Mutumba Junior, Faisial Sebatindira Mutumba, Shafik Nsereko Mutumba, Sarah Namala Mutumba, Rehema Nababi Mutumba, Farida Nambalirwa Mutumba Shameem Mutumba and Sophie Nassozi Mutumba.

    However, the accused persons through their family lawyer Byamugisha denied all the allegations insisting that the deceased’s will was brought to the attention of family members and friends by the widow who informed them that the deceased is the one who asked him to keep it and produce it after his death.

    Byamugisha added that the said will which Mabirizi is challenging was read openly before members of the family and friends and his name was not mentioned anywhere when the deceased was mentioning the children he left behind.

    He advised Mabirizi that instead of wasting his time and money in Court, he should look for his family and they settle their score so that life moves on.

     

    By Grapevine Reporter

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