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THE BATTLE FOR THE NEXT PRINCIPAL JUDGE: Chibita, Wangutusi, Kwesiga, Gaswaga Tipped To Replace Bamwine For Top Judicial Job As Race Heats Up…

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Bamwine (L), Chibita (top L), Wangutusi (top R), Gaswaga (bottom L) and Kwesiga (bottom R)

Elites from the Eastern part of Uganda are smiling from ear to ear after learning that the sons of their land are leading the race in the battle for the next Principle Judge to replace aging justice Yolokam Bamwine.

It should be noted that Bamwine replaced Justice James Ogola who was born from Busia District, Ogola replaced justice Herbert Ntabagoba who also hails from the Eastern part of the country.

Sources from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) told the Grapevine that among over 20 applicants, the commission has zeroed out on five as potential successors to Bamwine and these are  Mike Chibita the current Director of Public Prosecution, David Wangutusi, the current head of the High Court commercial division,  High Court Judge Duncan Gaswaga, Wilson Kwesiga, the head of the High Court criminal division and Dr. Andrew Bashaija, the head of High Court civil division.

Multiple sources in the judiciary told this website that Chibita has high chances of replacing Bamwine because he is a tested leader who has been heading a very delicate constituency of prosecuting capital offenders.

Sources further revealed that Chibita is a darling to president Yoweri Museveni compare to justice Wangutsi.

Sources in the office of Judicial Service Commission chair Benjamin Kabiito revealed that Justice Chibita has been moving door to door asking for favor from the commission members who include heads of judiciary like the Chief Justice Bart Magunda Katurebe and his deputy justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo to recommend him.

However other sources from the office of the DPP intimated to this website that justice Chibita is living in fear of losing his office in the constitutional petition filed against him by incarcerated city lawyer Bob Kasango.

Kasango petitioned court seeking a constitution interpretation claiming that it’s illegal to Chibita to occupy the office of the DPP because he was a High Court judge and cannot be at the same level with judges who hear the cases he prosecutes before them.  When  contacted for the confirmation, Maria Nabulya the communications officer in the office of the judicial service commission said, “Yes its true we are in the final stages of recommending the new Principal Judge but we have not yet zeroed on the right person to be recommended. When we do, we shall communicate at the right time,”  Nabulya said. The principle judge is the head of all High Court judges.

By Jamil Lutakome

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After 35 Years In Power, M7 Is Completely Insensitized To The Suffering Of His People, His Decrees Affect Everybody Else Not Him And His Ruling Class, When Will The Citizens Ever Get A Helping Hand From Their Government – Kabuleta Weighs In On President’s Coronavirus Directives….

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Veteran Jounalist Joseph Kabuleta has decried the rude way in which president Museveni is handing out decrees to the citizens without giving them a helping hand.

In a post on his Facebook page, Kabuleta says that other countries, much as they have put their country on lock down have moved to revise tax regimes to mitigate the financial grief of their most vulnerable citizens, Central Banks have massively slashed interest rates and freed commercial banks to lend at more friendly rates, banks have eased loan repayment schedules and big tech companies have cut fees.

But in Uganda, the president continues to act like Queen Bee; issuing orders for the toiling ants while he remains in his regal comfort.

“When will such people ever get a helping hand from their government, if not at such a time when their fragile livelihood has been shattered?” Kabuleta says.

Kabuleta says that all the President has done thus far is give decrees that will affect everybody else but him and his ruling class.

Below is Kabuleta’s message:

Edward Bernays (1891-1995) is widely acknowledged as the “Father of Public Relations” or, as he was later called, “The Father of Spin” and was named among the 100 most influential Americans in history.

He did extensive research on human behavior and popularized such phrases as ‘the group think’ and ‘the herd instinct’ which have come to define Public Relations. When a herd of animals is moving together and one of them takes a specific direction, the rest of them are likely to follow instinctively. Bernays contended that human beings, as sophisticated as we think we are, are no different from animals in that regard.

The Austrian-born American described masses as irrational and subject to the herd instinct and outlined how skilled practitioners could use crowd psychology and psychoanalysis to control the masses whichever way they desired. His books ‘Crystallizing Public Opinion’ (1926) and ‘Propaganda’ (1929) are the bedrock on which modern PR is built.

In 1929, Bernays was hired by the American Tobacco company which wanted to increase its sales. He realized that the best way to achieve that was to tear down a deeply-ingrained social taboo against women smoking. He knew that human beings have very few basic social needs; security, freedom, acceptance, purpose… and the best way to market a product is by attaching it to one of those needs.

Consequently, he hired a group of skimpily-dressed models to walk the streets of New York smoking cigarettes, which he ingeniously called “Torches of Freedom”. His campaign came at a time when women were pushing for more rights in what was called the First Wave of Feminism. Bernays cunningly linked smoking to the innate desire for freedom and in a few short months lighting a cigarette in public, previously an anathema, became a symbol of women self-determination. Needless to say, the tobacco company became the wealthier for it.

It’s interesting to note that the women who joined the cigarette bandwagon didn’t know that they had been tricked. They truly saw it as a mark of their liberation rather than as the sales gimmick that it was.

Our core desire is for security. When it is threatened, even the most critical or democratic societies gladly surrender their freedoms to anyone who promises to give it back. It’s a tactic that has been used over and over.

For instance, in September 2001, a week after the terrorist attacks on New York, two US Democrat Senators received mail laced with deadly anthrax. Overall, 23 people suffered anthrax poisoning and five died. Amidst all the fear that resulted, the Republican administration of George Bush requested for extra billions in defense spending and it was quickly and quietly passed. At any other time, it might have been hotly contested and even rejected, but when people’s security is threatened, anything passes.

I am not suggesting that the administration engineered the attacks for that purpose (neither am I saying they didn’t), but they definitely took swift advantage of the moment.

This week in America, Democratic Congressman from South Carolina James Clyburn said the coronavirus is a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our (Democrat Party) vision”. He is not the only one thinking like that. Former Barack Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, currently Mayor of Chicago, said: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”

So while this pandemic is a real crisis for the majority, it is an opportunity for the minority in power.

I know these are anxious times and fear has burrowed into the marrow of most people. Typically, in times like these, rational arguments are dismissed as selfish, callous or insensitive because the herd (or the group think) demands that we switch off our critical minds and put on the mantle of panic. But I have never been one for the herd.

The measures put in place by President Museveni are commendable only in as far as they might help curb the spread of the disease. But the citizenry should demand a lot more. The first step the government took was to request parliament for permission to take a US$190m (sh700bn) loan (which we or our children must pay). Is it too much to ask that government, at the very least, provides free and safe sanitizers for all public places? That would cost less than 5 percent of those billions, but they cannot even spare that. Taxis (before they were also banned) were using cheap and diluted liquid soap to ‘sanitize’ their passengers, and it looked really ugly. When will such people ever get a helping hand from their government, if not at such a time when their fragile livelihood has been shattered?

Other countries have moved to revise tax regimes to mitigate the financial grief of their most vulnerable citizens. Elsewhere, Central Banks have massively slashed interest rates and freed commercial banks to lend at more friendly rates, banks have eased loan repayment schedules and big tech companies have cut fees.

In Kenya, Presidential addresses have mostly been about what the government is doing to help the most (financially and medically) affected. President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy are giving up 80% of their pay and demanding that cabinet ministers give up 30% of theirs to support the cause. The cynical mind will say that’s just tokenism, which it probably is, but at least they are sending a message that the leaders are ready to suffer along with the led.

But in Uganda the president continues to act like Queen Bee; issuing orders for the toiling ants while he remains in his regal comfort. All he has done thus far is give decrees that will affect everybody else but him and his ruling class.

“URA must stay and collect taxes,” he declared yesterday. That’s where his heart is.

The message is clear. “Avoid paper money, use mobile money (but you must still pay our tax). At least Airtel Uganda showed good spirit by removing fees for a month. That’s laudable, and the Ugandan market will remember that when the storm is over.

I am waiting for one step the president will take that directly affects his or government’s coffers — JUST ONE — but none is forthcoming. After 35 years in power, he is completely insensitized to the suffering of his people.

Even after taking billions in loans, all samples of suspected CODIV-19 patients must be ferried by Post Bus to Entebbe for testing. What would it cost to have testing equipment in the five regions of the country? I would say far less than sh700bn.

And yet, in spite of all that, most people seem to be happy just receiving decrees. The Ugandan population is a dictator’s dream. We have been conditioned to expect very little and settle for even less. Those who demand for more are seen as rabble-rousers; not by the politicians but by the herd.

So even though I appreciate the president’s directions and his caution, I believe Ugandans deserve more. Many people have found my cynical comments on his several addresses to be distasteful and even crass, and I totally understand that. Others are angry that I dare to be an Oliver Twist and ask for more at such a time as this. I guess at the end of the day, every society gets the leaders it deserves. If Ugandans see Museveni’s pronouncements that do not even pretend to address the massive financial chasm that will be created hereafter as sufficient, then we don’t deserve a better leader than him.

But I am sorry, I am not going to be a part of the herd. I am not about to switch off my critical mind because of a looming threat. I need it now more than ever. Kenyans have more, Rwandans have more, Tanzanians have more… we deserve more than just decrees banning one thing or the other.




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Is It A Crime For A General To Possess A Gun? – Tumukunde Asks Judge, Charged With Five Counts, Remanded To Luzira Prison…

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Embattled former security Minister Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde has been charged before Kampala City hall magistrate court with the offense of treason and four accounts of unlawful possession of firearms.

The nonsense General arrived at court amidst tight security from police counter-terrorism unit personnel which also blocked a number of journalists from accessing the city hall court room.

A few of his lawyers and relatives were allowed inside the courtroom, other lawyers were seen crying outside to be allowed inside.

He was helped to move from the vehicle because he was weak. His doctors were at court to provide medical help in case his health condition worsens.

Inside court, the tough talking General was paraded before Her Worship Valerian Tumuhimbise who read the charges to him. Tumukunde denied all the charges. There was tension inside the court room when the magistrate ordered Tumukunde to enter the dock and he refused saying that he was very weak.

He further told the magistrate that he is very surprised to be charged with an offence of being in possession of a gun yet he is a General.

“When did it become a crime for a general to posses a gun,” Tumukunde asked the judge.

His lawyers led by Alex Luganda applied for bail but they were guided by the magistrate who told them that she cannot waste court’s time to hear Tumukunde’s application for bail on charges of unlawful possession of a firearms because he is also aware that the same person is facing treason charges. She added that her court does not have powers to grant bail to a treason suspect. It’s only the High Court with such powers.

He remanded him to 23rd and 30th of this month for the mention of his cases.

State claims that on 13th march this year at his offices along Impala Avenue in Kololo, Tumukunde was found in possession of AK47 and a pistol. State also claims that Tumukunde was found with possession of 34 rounds of ammunitions without a valid firearm license.

 

By Alirabaki Ssengooba




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We Are Ready To Battle The State In Court Next Week – Tumukunde’s Lawyer Speaks Out On Search At His Offices, Home And Vital Exhibits Recovered …

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The legal team of embattled former security minister Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde led by counsel Alex Luganda have cleared the air on the search that was carried out at their clients posh Kololo offices and home.

In a phone interview with the Grapevine, Luganda said that the search started at 9am up to 3pm and it was commanded by AIGP Grace Akullo and Brig Gen Abel Kandiho.

“They turned and left everything upside down in his office and home. We wondered what they were looking for because they told us that General committed treason offences when he uttered statements against the state on one of the local television stations, maybe they think that he hid the words in his offices or house,” the soft spoken Luganda said.

He explained that the embattled spy chief was present during the entire search and he was not handcuffed. When asked whether the detectives discovered anything which will help the state to prove the treason charges before the courts of law in his client’s offices and house, Luganda said that apart from clothes and stationery nothing of use was found.

We also ask Luganda whether Tumukunde has been traumatized and weakened especially after spending the night in prison, Luganda said that his client is still strong and during the entire search, he was calm and composed, wondering why rule of law in the country had gone to the dogs.

Counsel Luganda revealed that they are now preparing for the legal battles with the state. He however said that they don’t think that police can release their client on police bond. He said that they expect Tumukunde in court on Monday.  Tumukunde was arrested on Thursday from his offices in Kololo and police issued a statement confirming that state will slap treason charges on the former security minister.

 

By Ssengooba Alirabaki




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