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

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    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

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    CRIME

    Justice Minister Mao To Meet Security Council Over Drone Abductions And Kidnaps…

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    Minister Norbert Mao

    Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Nobert Mao revealed that he was appointed as Chairperson of cabinet committee on human rights.

    Mao made these remarks today while appearing at the 27th joint Government of Uganda-Development Access to Justice Annual review at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

    Speaking at the event, Mao revealed that he has been tasked with his committee to look into the recent rise in cases of alleged kidnaps and abductions of people, mostly those leaning on the political opposition.

    He said, “Myself and the Attorney General have been asked to meet the security council over the increased reports of abductions and kidnaps.”

    Mao vowed to reach out on all people with missing relatives or friends to give them more information about the disappearance of their people.

    “Once we have got the details, we shall be presenting them before the Security Council.”

    He added that the committee will institute a human rights desk where all complainants of missing persons will be reported for response.

    Mao adduced that once it comes to their attention, they have the capacity to trace that person using their cameras.

    “The issue shouldn’t be politicized because it is sensitive and touches people’s lives. If it’s true they are abductions, these may be conducted by disgruntled people within government with the view of tainting its good image.”

    Mao contended that they will ensure that they do better so that when they come back for the 28th time they give themselves marks.

    According to Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, this year’s review is being held against the background of a challenging year. The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had probably challenging phenomenon, socially, economically and politically.

    He said, “Most specifically, the pandemic created unprecedented challenges and demands on access to justice community, but also tested the resilience and resolve of our coordination and collaboration model.

    “Our theme of the day is aligned with the national vision 2040 that seeks to consolidate the principles of governance, including constitutional democracy, protection of human rights, the rule of law, govt effectiveness and citizens participation in development processes.

    “President Eisenhower once said, peace and justice are two sides of the same coin. Let’s remember the need for both peace and justice, not just one of them.”

    Kiryowa further emphasized that all people with missing persons should report to them for a proper follow-up because they can’t act on allegations without facts and that he can’t follow up a case basing on rumours posted on social media.

    By Kalamira Hope

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    THE ACCIDENT IS FISHY: Lord Mayor Lukwago Orders Serious Investigations Into Why Subaru Driver Rammed Into His House…

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    Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago has ordered for serious investigations into an accident that occurred at his home in Wakaligga, Lubaga division.

    Lukwago has called on the police to investigate the motive behind the driver who rammed into his house, which caused alot of anxiety among members of his family in the night hours of 4th, December, 2022.

    His stand follows an accident by the driver of a Subaru which crushed into the gate and hit one of the pillars of the house.

    “A short while ago, an overhasty and reckless driver of Subaru car registration number UAJ 704K rammed through the main entrance to my house, the gate forcefully flung open and badly damaged it, and the over speeding car then rammed into the pillar at the entrance to the sitting room,” Lukwago said.

    He added that following the accident, everybody was left into disarray since they didn’t know what was happening.

    He adduced, “The driver was either high on something which had intoxicated him or he was on a different mission, that is the reason we want this matter to be investigated.”

    The Subaru driver however defended himself noting that the car lost control and could not brake.

    “I tried to park against the wall but it kept going. I didn’t intend to cause any harm,” he apologized.

    Lukwago was however not convinced with the explanation insisting that if the car was moving by gravitational force, the distance from the gate to the pillar where the car landed is very small.

    “That impact you see on the pole, suggests something ‘fishy’ could have been intended and so that is where we have a problem and that is why we want the matter to be investigated.”

    The regional traffic Officer of Kampala Metropolitan Police North, Bruce Onibye, said that investigations are ongoing but the vehicle seems to have been in poor mechanical condition.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    What Killed Simbamanyo Tycoon Kamya? How Top Lawyer Tried To Use Justice Byabakama’s Electoral Commission Deal To Save His Empire…

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    In one of the meetings where the agenda was to strategise on how to save the business empire of the late Peter Kamya, the proprietor of Simbamanyo Estate limited, one of his friends, who is also a seasoned commercial lawyer proposed a multibillion Electoral Commission deal which he was very sure would save the fallen tycoon’s empire.

    Multiple credible sources have revealed to the mighty Grapevine that this happened in 2018 when Equity bank had started threatening to auction Kamya’s properties which he used as security when securing a loan.

    The buildings were Ssimbamanyo House behind Central Police Station in Kampala city and Afrique Suites situated in Mutungo.

    Kamya, who is a brother-in-law to former deputy Prime Minister Muganwa Kajura allowed one of his senior lawyers to negotiate the deal which involved looking for a new home for the Electoral Commission.

    “The lawyer’s idea was for Kamya to rent the entire building to the Electoral Commission and the money collected as rent be used to service the loan which the bank was very comfortable with but out of the blue, when the deal was almost concluded, the old man changed his mind claiming that his friend was working with the bank to impoverish him and that’s how the deal flopped,” a source said.

    He added that the deal was waiting for the greenlight from president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who was a good friend to Kamya.

    The source added that even the Ministry of Gender was ready to shift to another building.

    Another source said that the Electoral Commission was giving Kamya a big deal compared to what he was receiving from the Ministry of Gender and within 3 to 4 years, the bank’s loan would be fully paid.

    The source said that Kamya changed his mind after getting another opinion from another shrewd young city lawyer who convinced him that the loan he got from Equity bank was not favourable and it can be challenged in Court.

    Sources said that when the bank learnt about Kamya’s plan to challenge them in court, they hastily auctioned both securities to controversial city businessman Sudhir Ruperelia’s Meera Investments Limited and Ronald Luwangula’s Luwaluwa Investments Limited, a move that frustrated Kamya’s entire plan to save his empire.

    He tried to save his empire through courts of law by filing an application seeking a temporary injuction stopping the selling of the said property but he lost the application with costs.

    He further petitioned president Museveni to save his empire arguing that it was illegally sold.

    Unfortunately, after making wide consultations, especially from the Attorney General and Bank of Uganda, the big man advised Kamya to challenge the sale of his properties in courts of law.

    He explained to him that he has no alternative to save him since he was advised that his properties were legally sold.

    Without losing hope, Kamya instructed his new lawyers led by Fred Muwema to institute a suit in the High Court Commercial Division against Crane Bank, Meera Investment Limited, Luwaluwa Investment, and lawyers of Katende Ssempebwa Company Advocates were also joined in the suit.

    The matter was allocated to Justice Stephen Mubiru, the head of the Division.

    Kamya hired Kihika Byenkya and Company Advocates to join his legal team which successfully secured an order for discovery against the respondents.

    Justice Mubiru ordered the respondents to allow the petitioner to inspect their email exchange, bank accounts and phone call logs which were made in the period when his properties were sold, an order which raised dust at the commercial court.

    Lawyers from Katende Ssempebwa Advocates petitioned Justice Rubby Opio Aweri, the Chief Inspector of Courts claiming that justice Mubiru was biased and he has to be investigated over the matter.

    He was ordered to refer the entire Ssimbamanyo file to justice Opio which Mubiru refused to do.

    Mubiru insisted that Justice Opio didn’t have powers to ask for the said file from him and guided that the matter has to proceed but lawyers challenged his action at the Court of Appeal.

    In October 2022, Justice Cheborion Barishaki of the Court of Appeal issued an order stopping Justice Mubiru from proceeding with the matter until three justices of the Court of Appeal determine the respondent’s grievances.

    Sources who have been close to Kamya revealed that Justice Cheborion’s ruling shocked Kamya and from that time, his life changed and it worsened last month and was rushed to Nairobi where he died on Friday morning.

    Sources said that other Simbamanyo Directors are set to continue with the legal fight to rescue their empire.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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