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    We Need “Fortune Tellers” To Lead Fight Against Cattle Rustlers In Karamoja – D/CDF Elwelu Tells Museveni…



    D/CDF Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu (R) and President Museveni in Karamoja

    The Deputy Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu has advised that there is need to bring on board “Fortune Tellers” as lead consultants in the fight to sweep out cattle rustlers in Karamoja region.

    Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu insisted that “Fortune Tellers” in cattle rustling have powers to curse rustlers.

    Elwelu said that according to the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), the group of Fortune Tellers has a total membership of around 700 people who gather in a place called Morukajole in Nakapiripirit district where they perform their rituals.

    “The Karamajong believe a lot in spirituality and in these people of theirs. So, we need to know them and make them understand the need for peace in Karamoja,” Gen Elwelu told the President who promised to handle the matter through the office of the Prime Minister.

    President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the Commander in Chief (CiC) of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) has this week pitched camp in Eastern and North Eastern region, with a clarion call to the security organs to nip in the bud, the threat of re-insurgence of cattle-rustlers in Karamoja Region.

    The rustlers have changed raid tactics in a network that involves criminals with guns, bows and arrows, stick-squads that drive the cows and corroborators (Spy network) have recently wrecked havoc leaving a trail of death, rape and destruction and threatening the prevailing peace and security in the region.

    On Wednesday 8th June, 2022, the meeting security organs including the UPDF, Police, Resident District Commissioners, Internal Security Organisation officers and Uganda Wildlife Authority officials over the security situation in Karamoja which has affected the neighbouring regions of Teso, Bugisu, Sebei and a spill over in Kenya at the State Lodge in Kapchorwa.

    President Museveni commended security forces in the region for their concept of a reaction force and Intelligence-led operations to curb cattle rustling including profiling suspects.

    In an earlier similar security meeting held a Morulinga state Lodge in Napak on 12th September 2021, the President had directed formation of kraal based intelligence, reaction forces per district backed by enablers and 24-hour reconnaissance by day and night.

    “We thought this could react and destroy raiding parties and abort their missions. However, cattle rustling is now commercial, when people steal cows, they want to sell them for slaughter. There are not many roads here, mount roadblocks so that they are intercepted,” he said.

    The President said with the increase in other crimes including murder and rape, there is a need for police to establish units per sub-county to enable police to quickly deal with that.

    President Museveni at Kapchorwa State Lodge in Kapchorwa District

    “Even without enough manpower, we can deal with that problem. On the issue of guns in the region, the President directed security chiefs in Bugisu, Sebei and Teso regions to deal with the internal problem of using guns in cattle rustling.

    Museveni believes this will be a lasting solution to end cattle rustling among Ugandans and across in the neighbouring countries and asked security to intensify the effectiveness of hunting for guns to disarm rustlers.

    “The issue of guns in Kenya and South Sudan should not concern us. The problem is internal. Because if you try to tie our internal security problem with what happens in the neighbouring countries, we shall never get peace,” Museveni said, adding that the Ugandan side of West Nile that is connected to the border of Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan and also Western Uganda have no such issues because the Ugandan people at those borders don’t support it.

    He argued that the tribes in Kenya don’t raid each other because of the effectiveness of the police in those countries.

    “And as you say, within Kenya, they don’t raid one another because of the effectiveness of the police. It’s effective there that’s why they don’t raid among themselves. We need the same seriousness on this side,” Gen Museveni said.

    This was after the 3rd Division commander, Brig. Gen. Joseph Balikuddembe informed President Museveni that the problem starts with armed Ugandan rustlers crossing over to raid from neighbouring countries.

    Brig Balikuddembe gave an example of the criminal elements from Uganda like the Jie of Kotido, the Dodoth of Kaabong who normally cross over to Kenya especially Nakitong’o areas of Turkana West Sub-County and Orumu and they raid cows frequently.

    “The Turkana carry out revenge attacks, the number of times that our people crossed to raid. Otherwise, if our people don’t cross over to raid, then the Turkana will not raid us, even the Pokot, but the problem starts with our people here who raid amongst themselves and after cross over to the other side,” Brig Gen Balikuddembe said.

    The Vice President Major (Rtd) Jessica Alupo Epel who hails from Teso region, hailed the disarmament process but called for more vigilance along the borders to prevent gun wielding rustlers.

    “We had almost believed we had put a complete stop to this challenge until raiders crossed into Teso in increased numbers with guns and arrows, a departure from earlier raids. We registed deaths and rape in a long time and almost registered internal displacements. It was a very alarming situation” Alupo said.

    The new concept, according to Brig Gen Joseph Balikuddembe, targets four (4) groups in these raids; including criminals with guns, those with bows and arrows, those with sticks to drive the cows, and collaborators who are in different districts but connected and linking up with the rustlers.

    He said in their simultaneous operations, they identified profiled youthful criminal elements in some sub counties and many were arrested.

    “Within the screening that started on 16th may 2022, we recovered 22 guns within one week from the suspects that we arrested, the second week, we recovered 35 guns, the third week which we are almost completing, we have 26 guns,” Brig Gen Balikuddembe said, adding that, the concept has completely seen the recent reduction of cattle thefts and raids in Karamoja.

    He said many of the suspects are found in the manyattas (homesteads), in the grazing areas and trading centres where these criminals normally drink from.

    “If you go to Karamoja now, some people will tell you that they don’t need this operation, others are welcoming this concept and again the same people who were complaining say they need dialogue to end cattle rustling,” Brig Gen Balikuddembe said.

    The President will today Thursday June 9, meet regional leaders from Bugisu, Sebei and Teso alongside the security apparatus before heading to Otuke in Lango region and later to Moroto in Karamoja in an operation aimed at sweeping out pockets of re-emerging rustlers.


    Additional reporting: PPU



    Lawyers Alaka, Mukasa Mbidde, Ochieng Listed Among Top Lawyers Likely To Face Arrest Over Balondemu’s Forged Medical Letter…



    Embattled Kampala District Land Board chairperson David Balondemu (L) and lawyers Alaka (Top R) and Mbidde (bottom R)

    The mighty Grapevine has exclusively learnt that very soon, some top city lawyers are likely to face arrest over Kampala District Land Board chairperson David Balondemu’s alleged forged medical letters.

    Highly placed sources at police’s Directorate of Criminal Investigation(CID) have revealed that last week, Jackson Tweheyo on behalf of Maj. Dr. Tom Magambo the CID Director summoned lawyers Caleb Alaka, Evans Ochieng, Hassan Kamba, Fred Mukasa Mbidde, Robert Bautu to appear before the State House Anti-Corruption Unity to record statements on allegation of forging a medical letter.

    The lawyers were supposed to appear before the Department of Economic Fraud and Anti-Corruption on 28th of November 2023 but they all snubbed the summons.

    However, when contacted, lawyer Alaka rubbished the allegation of face arrest explaining that he personally hasn’t yet been summoned but his friend Bautu told him that he was summoned to appear before State House Anti-Corruption Unit.

    Counsel Alaka, a Criminal law giant explained that the State House Anti-Corruption Unit under the command of Brig. Gen. Henry Isoke doesn’t have powers to summon a lawyer on grounds of offences committed by his client.

    “They are not serious, Advocates are Officers of Court. We are just helping court to deliver justice. For us we just represent clients. They are the ones who give us documents including local council letters. So, we are not the ones authorising those documents,” Alaka noted.

    theGrapevine has learnt that lawyer Bautu wrote to State House Anti-Corruption Department explaining why they will not appear to record the said statements.

    He noted that they have the privilege to present the documents given to them by their client to a judicial officer and thus are not answerable for those documents.

    Buganda Road State Attorney Ivan Kyazze brought to the attention of the presiding magistrate in Balondemu’s bail application Winnie Nankya that the accused person with the help of his lawyers forged medical letters from Kampala Hospital.

    He presented the affidavit of Dr. Peter Kibuka the Kampala Hospital Chief Executive Officer denying the said letter noting that it was not authored from his hospital.

    The letter presented by lawyers indicated that Balondemu, who is battling multibillion fraud cases was supposed to have a surgical operations in the very week the application came before the magistrate.

    Highly placed sources at State House Anti-Corruption Unit told theGrapevine that the detectives were set to arrest the said lawyers last week but all of them run into hiding.

    The said lawyers were added on the list of over 50 city lawyers who are under investigation on allegations of abetting fraud and corruption.

    Among the lawyers who is set to be arrested before Christmas is one working with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) who issued a bribe of Shs70m to a top politician at City Hall to be given a juicy job.

    State alleges that Balondemu, Erick Geoffrey Mkwe, Joseph Ibona  together with others still at large fraudulently obtain Shs2.2bn from the American company KG Unlimited under the guise of awarding them a contract of supplying agricultural drone sprayers and fertilizers in the Ministry of Agriculture.

    Sources at the State House Anti-Corruption Unit said that Balodemu has two already sanctioned criminal files by Justice Jane Frances Abodo the Director Public Prosecution and 15 other files have not yet been sanctioned even though investigations are done.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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    SHOCKING:  Dead Body-Snatchers Arrested At Mbarara Referral Hospital…



    Robert Mucunguzi one of the suspects making frantic calls to his masters shortly after arrest

    Rwizi Region Police detectives have kicked off investigations into the matter involving two men netted at Mbarara Referral Hospital on accusations of stealing the corpses from the hospital.

    The accused who include Robert Mucunguzi, an employee at Urban Funeral Services and Andrew Ainomugisha of Miles Funeral Services were arrested at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital yesterday morning.

    Currently held at Mbarara Central Police, we have established that they were nabbed by the hospital security team in the process of coercing clients who lose their loved ones to take them to their funeral homes.

    Halson Kagure, the Head of Communication and Public Relations at Mbarara Referral Hospital said that they have heard about cases of bodies leaving the ward without passing through the mortuary which he says is outside normal procedures.

    According to Kagure, the duo was apprehended by the hospital security team which was recently tasked by the Hospital Director Dr. Celestine Barigye to investigate the matter to its logical conclusion.

    Recently, Dr. Celestine Barigye who also doubles as the Director of Health Services in the region was attending one of the talk shows where he expressed dissatisfaction on the persons who are charged upon losing their dear ones.

    The no-nonsense Barigye is said to have threatened to fire his employees working in Pathology Department should the vice continue. But, in their defense, they blamed it on private funeral homes which deploy agents to decamping mortuary services yet MRRH is one of few hospitals with functional mortuary.

    Suspects being taken to Mbarara Central Police

    So, when the accused persons were arrested, Dr. Barigye is said to have directed the Hospital Public Relations Officer (PRO) Halson Kagure and Senior Hospital Administrator (SHA) Francis Ojom to handle the matter.

    Mr. Ojom Francis accused the owners of Funeral homes of soiling the name of the hospital by saying that mortuary services are paid for.

    According to Ojom, mortuary services are free of charge and in fact suspects admitted to being used to force relatives to ditch the mortuary and go to funeral homes.

    That their pay masters give them a commission worth Shs.200,000  per body.

    Halson Kagure says that these people go ahead deceiving the members of the public that mortuary services are charged Shs.500,000 which he says is false.

    Furthermore, according to Kagure, every patient who dies within the facility is supposed to be recorded.

    Kagure explains that when a person dies in the ward, a medical certificate of cause of death is supposed to be issued out by medical personnel and then the body is prepared by the last office in a dignified manner prior to being sent to the mortuary.

    Dr. Raymond Atwine the Head of Pathology Department at Mbarara says that in the mortuary, the body is treated, recorded and then postmortem is performed in case the relative or the state requests.

    Kagure adds that when all processes are done, the gate pass is processed and issued out to the relatives to the deceased as an indication that it is allowed to be transferred from one place to another.

    A medical certificate of cause of death is supposed to be taken to the Medical Records Department (MRD) which a Medical Records Officer bases on to issue out a short death notification, a prerequisite to get a death certificate from NIRA.

    It should however be noted that there are some people who die of infectious diseases that need special treatment in a separate mortuary.

    But, these agents not only violate guidelines put in place to handle the dead but may also risk lives of the surrounding people.

    The suspects have been taken to police and according to Samson Kasasira, the Rwizi Region Police Spokesman the general enquiry file has been opened.

    Kasasira warned owners of funeral homes on bending the right procedures of accessing bodies from the hospital adding that detectives will extract vital information to help them apprehend whoever has been involved in this vice.


    By Grapevine Correspondents


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    Battle Lines Drawn As Top Ankole Families Hire Top Lawyers To Fight For Justice For Murdered Tycoon Katanga, Save Widow Molly And Daughters From Death Sentence…



    The late Henry Katanga (L) his wife Molly Katanga (C) and daughter Patricia Kakwanza (R)

    The fight for justice for late Henry Katanga is set to expose and put top Ankole Sub Region families to a test on who holds superior powers of influencing decision making in the country as all is set for a mouthwatering legal battle.

    This conclusion is drawn after Justice Jane France Abodo the Director Public Prosecution (DPP) sanctioned murder charges against Molly Katanga, widow to the deceased, her daughter Martha Katanga Nkwanzi and Patricia Kakwanza who is being charged with the offence of Destroying evidence.

    The DPP also charged George Amanyire and Charles Otai, a medical doctor.

    A joint team of detectives from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and the police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has been investigating the circumstances under which tycoon Katanga was killed inside his master bedroom at Mbuya a Kampala City suburb.

    According to a police postmortem report, after police pathologists and family doctors examined Katanga’s body, they reached to a conclusion that he was killed.

    The Postmortem report is part of the evidence that the DPP is set to use against the accused persons after investigations established that the deceased’s murder was intentional and the prime suspect is the wife who is still under tight security at International Hospital Kampala (IHK) Intensive Care Unit.

    Since the investigation kicked off on November 2, 2023 when the deceased was murdered, detectives working on the file are yet to interact with the main suspect.

    However, her lawyers of Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA) have confirmed that their client is ready to interact with the investigators.

    The other suspects are currently being detained at Jinja road police station and Special Investigation Unit Kireka. They have already recorded their statements over the matter.

    Highly placed sources at the DPP chambers revealed to theGrapevine that Justice Abodo has been facing a lot of pressure from different influential government and security officers who are connected to the suspects and the deceased and on two occasions, she has been referring the files back to police for further investigations to close all the gaps.

    Sources added that there was no way Justice Abodo could not have sanctioned the files because whatever she instructed the investigators to do, they have been doing it.

    This kind of alertness led to investigators discovering that the crime scene was tampered with after the main suspect committed the crime.

    According to the Monitor News Paper, a top government official and some security bosses are involved in this battle to save their beloved with others involved because they want to ensure that the deceased gets justice.

    They include: Brig. Charity Bainababo the deputy commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC) who is a cousin to the deceased; Marjorie Nyangweso a Human Resource expert and also niece to the deceased, Naomi Kashishane a security expert and sister to the deceased, Mirieli Kyobuhoro the deceased’s mother and a friend to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Maj. Bright Rwamirama the State Minister for Agriculture and uncle to the deceased, Col. Naboth Mwesigwa Rwabwera, Director of Protocol, Defence ministry friend to Molly, Maj. Gen. Sam Kavuma, Deputy Coordinator and former ADC to president Museveni who is a friend to Molly, Lt. Gen. James Mugira the Managing Director National Enterprises Corporation and also the deceased’s cousin, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Katsigazi the Deputy Inspector General of police who is also the deceased’s relative.

    Others are; Lt. Col. Albert Kashakamba cousin to the deceased, Lt. Col. Benon Muhinda Biteeya a cousin to the deceased and Patricia Katanga step daughter to the deceased.

    According to a petition filed at the Civil Division of the High Court Kampala, lawyers from M/S Kanduho & Company Advocates led by Frank Kanduho together with Paul Kutesa’s M/S Arcadia Advocates claim that there is a clandestine move by influential officers in government to make sure that the deceased does not get justice by helping the suspect walk free.

    Two powerful law firms representing Barnabas Bwaniaga Taremwa, a close friend to the deceased, want Court to establish a committee of experts to investigate the cause of his friend’s death.

    However, to protect their rights, Molly and her daughters have also hired President Museveni’s longtime lawyers of the Kampala Associated Advocates(KAA) to head the fight for their rights.

    It should be remembered that when the former Inspector General of police Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura was arrested on charges related to treason, he also hired the same law firm and was saved.

    The same law firm also saved controversial city businessman Matthew Kanyamunyu who was charged with the murder of Kenneth Akena, a social worker. Senior counsel Peter Kabatsi and John Jet Tumwebaze led the negotiation to convince the DPP to accept their pre-bargaining prayer.

    They further convinced the trial judge Stephen Mubiru to accept the five years sentence which they had agreed upon with the DPP even though there was overwhelming evidence which would have sent Kanyamunyu on death penalty.

    KAA lawyers further saved Kanyamunyu’s girlfriend Cythia Munwangari who was also charged with offences related to murder. The charges were dropped immediately when KAA took over the matter from lawyers Caleb Alaka and Evans Ochieng.

    It is very likely that Molly’s team hired KAA Advocates to use their influence and legal expertise to make sure that their people don’t die in prison.

    Sources also revealed to theGrapevine that Molly has also hired Macdusman Kabega commonly nicknamed as the ‘devil’s advocate’ of Tumusiime Kabega & Company Advocates.

    Kabega has saved a number of prominent personalities.

    They include: the late Dr Aggrey Kiyingi Ssebowa who was facing murder charges after state alged that he masterminded the murder of his wife Robinah Kiyingi.

    Dr. Kiyingi was acquitted.

    Kabega also saved Sarah Nabikolo Ssebunya who was acquitted after State failed to convince court that she was behind murder of her husband Eria Bugembe Ssebunya alias Kasiwukira.

    If the trial of Molly and her daughters kicks off, they are likely to face off with DPP’s top legal brains who include Thomas Jatiko with the help from a team of lawyers from the DPP on behalf of the deceased friends.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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