Connect with us
  • CRIME

    UWA, NFA On Spot For Not Compensating Batwa After Eviction…

    Published

    on

    Court has ruled that the government is responsible for the suffering of the Batwa after failing to compensate them for their land which was turned into central forest reserves and national parks in South western Uganda.

    According to the court, the Batwa were evicted from their areas and the government gazetted them into Echuya Central Forest Reserve, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

    In an unanimous judgement, the judges; Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, Elizabeth Musoke, Cheborion Barishaki, Muzamiru Kibeedi and Irene Mulyagonja ruled that the Batwa had interest in the suit in Kabale and Kisoro because it is their original title.

    “The Batwa have been left disadvantaged, owing to their eviction from the said land, and also due to the nonpayment to them of adequate compensation which would have facilitated their relocation to similar lands. This has rendered them landless and has severely affected not only their livelihoods but has destroyed their identity, dignity and self-worth as a people and as equal citizens with other Ugandans,” Justice Musoke ruled in a lead judgment.

    The Court ruled that marginalization of Batwa has arisen due to their eviction from the present day forest lands without payment of compensation and that they are now relegated to a lesser class of citizens, inherently landless and fated to be encroachers on other people’s land.

    Justice Musoke observed that the Batwa people presented evidence that is more compelling because it charts the history of Batwa and their connection to the respective lands better than Attorney General and Uganda Wildlife Authority – UWA and National Forestry Authority – NFA.

    “I reiterate that the Batwa are a group of individuals who have been marginalized on the basis of historical reasons following their eviction from the relevant lands without adequate compensation being paid to them. I find that no adequate compensation was paid to the Batwa despite the fact that some monies were paid in about 1991,” the judge observed.

    The court decision resulted from a petition in which a charitable organization and eleven individuals accused the government and her bodies of evicting, actions of excluding and dispossessing them from their ancestral forest lands which compromised their physical and cultural integrity and survival as indigenous people.

    Through their lawyer Owor Onyango of Onyango  and Company Advocates, the Batwa successfully argued that the government contravened both local and international laws in contravention of their rights to life, property, self-determination, freely dispose, wealth, natural resources and means of subsistence.

    The petition was filed by local body; United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda and eleven individuals who include Elias Habyarimana, Jovanis Nyiragasigwa, Christopher Kagundu, Night Isabela, Eric Tumuheirwe, Abel Kasumba, Abe Ruzuga, David Kakuru, Geoffrey Mahano, Alice Nyamihanda and Allen Musabyi.

    Counsel Onyango argued that the actions of government have since resulted in widespread displacement, exploitation, exclusion and marginalization of Batwa in the communities they resettled in in contravention of their right to equality without discrimination.

    They petitioned the Attorney General, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and National Forestry Authority (NFA). The Batwa are people with a population of about 6000 individuals, majority of whom live in the south western Uganda districts of Kanungu, Kisoro and Kabale. Court documents show that their land at current Echuya Forest, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are situated was Batwa Ancestral land which was customarily owned by the Batwa for many years before the declaration of British Protectorate on Uganda.

    The petitioners told the Constitutional Court that since the 1930s to the present day, successive governments have dispossessed them from their ancestral lands on which relevant protected areas were established.

    They argued that the government acts include the creation of Mgahinga Gorilla Sanctuary, the creation of two crown forest reserves in Bwindi area which was subsequently amalgamated and converted to a Game Reserve at Echuya.

    Court heard that the Batwa were not consulted prior to the setting up of the protected areas on land they owned and that no compensation was paid to them after extinguishing their interests in the land issue.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

    Comments

    CRIME

    Former Minister Mbayo Survives Arrest, Sneaks Into CID, Grilled Over Nepotism And Corruption…

    Published

    on

    Minister Esther Mbayo

    Former Minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo has survived arrest after secretly presenting herself to Kibuli based police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to answer charges related to corruption and nepotism.

    Last month, police threatened to arrest the Luuka district woman Member of Parliament for refusing to respect the criminal summons issued against her through the office of the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah.

    Mbayo pleaded with the speaker for assistance claiming that the police detectives are being used by her political opponents to humiliate her and brand her a criminal.

    However, the speaker advised her to go to CID and record a statement since police have followed the necessary requirements to summon her as an MP.

    On Monday last week, Mbayo sneaked into CID together with her lawyers and she was grilled by detectives led by Julius Twinomujuni.

    Sources at the CID disclosed that Mbayo was grilled on allegations of influencing the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation(UPPC) board to approve her sister Christine Mayengo as the Finance and Accounting manager yet she lacked the required qualifications.

    It is alleged that Mbayo used her influence as the former minister to put pressure on the chairperson Finance, Investment and marketing committee Dr. Patrick Ibembe and Managing Director Tom Wasswa to omit the capable  candidates for the job as advertised in mainstream media in favor of her sister.

    It is further alleged that Dr. Ibembe disclosed that they did not have to engage any external consultant for the said recruitment.

    Sources revealed that Mbayo was told that her sister emerged second in the interview but she was declared the best candidate.

    Sources state that as a token of appreciation to these officials, Mbayo increased their retainer fees from Shs2,500,000 to Shs3,500,000 and Shs2,000,000 to Shs3000,000 to Board chairperson and other members respectively.

    Mbayo was also grilled on allegations that she benefited from the Shs9bn cash which was paid to UPPC by the Electoral Commission to gazette the elected political leaders and polling stations in the recently concluded 2021 general elections.

    Investigators allege that Mbayo directed UPPC management to share the Shs9bn and she was given her share which was used in her 2021 political campaigns in Luuka district.

    Sources revealed that the former minister denied all the allegations and she was released on a police bond.

    The current minister for presidency Milly Babalanda suspended the UPPC board and the management on allegations of corruption, abuse of office and embezzlement.

    Police discover Shs600m in the course of investigation and it alleges that this was part of the Shs9bn paid by the Electoral Commission.

    The police are still investigating the matter.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

    Comments

    Continue Reading

    CRIME

    IGP Ochola Drops Charges Of A 17-Year Old Who Announced Him Dead On Facebook…

    Published

    on

    Police has arrested a 17-year old senior student for allegedly announcing the Inspector General of Police dead on Facebook.

    The Criminal Investigation Division Spokesperson, Charles Twiine explained that on September, 22, 2021 a one Brison Olwyl Oz on Facebook declared that Ochola had finally died and that he should “rest in peace.”

    “Our investigators from the cyber unit working together with UCC followed up the case and found that the facebook account had been opened using a number 0752813959 belonging to Fatumah Nakazibwe who was tracked and arrested,” Twine said.

    According to investigations, Fatumah who is the mother to the accused  denied having a facebook account but said she would always give her phone to her son who is Mubarak Mubiru (real name).

    Having interrogated Mubiru, he admitted that he is the owner of the Facebook page however claimed that he uses it with three of his colleagues so they could be behind the  post.

    Police later arrested Mubiru’s colleagues who also denied having made the post.

    Mubiru, the owner of the facebook account later confessed that he is the one behind the announcement.

    “After the investigations were completed, the Inspector General of Police as the complainant was informed and on realizing the person behind the offence was a 17 year old student, he advised that he should be forgiven since he is still a minor and the IGP has a parental heart,” Twiine noted.

    “The file was however forwarded to the Director of Public Persecutions to ensure the charges of offensive communication slapped against the senior two student are formally dropped in accordance with the law,” he added.

    The CID spokesperson however noted that they are waiting for a communication from DPP on dropping of charges but warned parents to always be careful with their children and monitor what they do.

     

    By Hope Kalamira

    Comments

    Continue Reading

    CRIME

    More Trouble For MP Ssegirinya As Court Summons Him For Inciting Genocide In Facebook Post…

    Published

    on

    MP Muhammad Ssegirinya

    The officer in charge Kigo prisons has been directed to produce embattled Kawempe North legislator Muhammad Ssegirinya in Court over charges related to inciting violence and genocide.

    In a production warrant signed by Buganda Road Grade one magistrate Doreen Karungi, the prison authorities have been told to produce Ssegirinya on 15th of October 2020 at 9:00am.

    According to the charge sheet sanctioned by Jane Frances Abodo, the Director Public Prosecution (DPP), the state alleges that between the months of August and September 2020 in Kampala district, the accused through his Facebook page in the names of Ssegirinya Muhammad Fans Page incited the public to participate in violence against some of Ugandan population.

    “I am warning those who are trying to assassinate Hon Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, what will happen will be forty times worse than the 1994 Rwanda genocide,” the charge sheet reads in part quoting one of Ssegirinya’s Facebook posts.

    Ssegirinya was remanded to Kigo prison on charges of murder, attempted murder, terrorism and abetting terrorism.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

    Comments

    Continue Reading

    like us

    TRENDING