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    We’re Looking At Uganda As A Bigger Picture – NRM SG Lumumba Claims After Huge Loss To Opposition In Buganda…

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    The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Secretary General Rt. Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba has regretted the party’s declining performance in Buganda but said this should not worry NRM supporters since the party gained more support in other regions

    Speaking at the party headquarters yesterday, Ms. Lumumba said that even in Buganda where they didn’t perform well, there were no polling stations where President Yoweri Museveni, who was the party presidential flag bearer, scored zero.

    She boasted that the NRM party instead got many parliamentary seats and won several districts in the region and that the party is still celebrating Museveni’s overall performance of 58.64%

    The NRM Secretary General also briefed journalists about the party’s performance with the NRM winning 31 seats in Buganda with a percentage of 29.1%. She said while this was a decline compared to the previous elections, it should not worry the party supporters.

    According to Lumumba, NRM won 63 seats in northern region out of the 98 parliamentary seats and out of the 146 districts and cities, President Museveni won 117 compared to 29 won by the National Unity Platform.

    She added that the party obtained 316 parliamentary seats out of the 498 constituencies that conducted elections which amounts to 63.4%

    “Even where we didn’t win parliamentary seats, we are still leaders and we are expected to go out and gain victory in the coming lower elections,” Lumumba said.

    “Already NRM has two unopposed Members of Parliament of the special interest groups due this week and we expect to gain a big percentage. The party’s focus will now shift to the remaining elective posts in the various local government levels,” she added.

    About the underperformance in Buganda, she said that the party will go back to the drawing board and investigate the matter to fully establish whether the problem was with the Secretary General, the government or its structures.

    “All these issues are going to be internally addressed and we shall come out with a way forward,” Lumumba said.

    She also dismissed allegations that the NRM rigged the presidential election, saying it they are baseless, since all candidates had agents during tallying at the districts.

    “It was not possible to rig this election, otherwise whoever claims rigging should bring evidence,” she said.

    In the 2016 elections, President Museveni obtained 63% compared to 58.64% that he got in the 2021 polls.

    But Lumumba said this should not bother supporters because since 1996 there have been variations in his overall performance.

    “People should understand that politics is not static and voters keep on changing due to various reasons,” Lumumba noted.

    The unfortunate loss of majority of senior NRM leaders in Buganda was at the same time a credit to the party that it has empowered voters to make independent decisions.

    “These senior leaders have got the message and will have to go back to the voters to seek their mandate and if the outcome does not favour them they should accept it,” she said.

     

    By Baron Kironde

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    CRIME

    Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana Lawyers To Challenge DPP Abodo’s Plan To Hide Witnesses, Mabirizi Wants Trial To Be Halted Over Constitutional Court Petition…

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    Lawyers representing embattled Kawempe North Member of Parliament (MP) Muhammad Ssegirinya, Makindye West’s Allan Ssewanyana and other accused persons are set to put up a spirited legal fight against the Director Public Prosecution (DPP) Justice Jane Abodo’s plans to hide the State witnesses in the main criminal trial before the Crimes War Division of the High Court.

    On Thursday, Justice Abodo, through her Assistant Lino Anguzo, the lead prosecutor in the trial told the pre-trial presiding judge Justice Elizabeth Jane Alividza that they have filed an ex-parte application to allow the state to protect the witnesses from the media and the public when they are testifying.

    Lino told Court that the witnesses they want to protect are very instrumental in their case and they will play a strong part to help Court to deliver justice to the accused persons and the deceased.

    However, speaking to theGrapevine, Geoffrey Turyamusima, one of the lawyers representing the accused persons insisted that they have agreed with their clients to challenge the witness protection application.

    “No, we are going to challenge that application, they have disclosed to us the witnesses who are set to testify against our clients and we have been seeing some of these witnesses in the media.

    “They are the family members of the deceased, friends and security personnel. Now, what do they want to protect?” Turyamusima wondered.

    Court has not yet set the hearing date for the application and other applications including the human rights enforcement application and the bail applications of all the accused persons.

    Other accused persons on the file are; Jackson Kanyike, Jude Mugerwa, Bull Wamala, Mike Sserwadda and Jude Muwongo.

    They are all together with the legislators battling murder, attempted murder and terrorism charges.

    State alleges that the accused persons were behind the Greater Masaka panga wielding goons who killed over 28 elderly people.

    LAWYER MABIRIZI WANTED TO HELD THE TRIAL

    In a new development, controversial incarcerated city lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi has applied to the Crimes War Division of the High Court to halt the pre-trial of the accused persons until the determination of his Constitutional petition against the Attorney General.

    In his Constitutional petition, Mabirizi insisted that Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana are being politically persecuted by the state and the additional criminal charges brought against them are unjustifiable.

    However, Turyamusima told theGrapevine that they will oppose Mabirizi’s application to stay proceedings of their clients because he doesn’t want them to rot in prison given that the Constitution Court is going to take a lot of time to determine his Constitutional petition.

    Turyamusima added that what they want as per now is a speedy trial for their clients because they have established that the state doesn’t have evidence against them.

    He emphasised that the only application filed by Mabirizi, which they will support is the one where he calls for merging of the two files, one at the Crimes War Division of the High Court and the other at Masaka High Court.

    Recently, the accused persons applied for the merging of both files and the presiding judge promised that their matter will be handled in the pre-trial process.

    Early this year, Justice Musa Sekaana, the head of the High Court Civil Division Kampala sentenced Mabirizi to 18 months imprisonment on charges of contempt of Court.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    AFRICA FOCUS

    UPDF Commandos Join Deadly Operation To Hunt Top Ugandan Terrorists Who Escaped From DRC Prison…

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    Commandos of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have joined the deadly operation to hunt for and arrest top Ugandan terrorists who escaped from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) prison early this week.

     Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye, the UPDF spokesperson confirmed the development and explained to theGrapevine that the reason why they joined the DRC’s army FARDC was after establishing that among the 822 prisoners who escaped, there were top terrorists who were recently arrested.

     “Since we joined the operation, we have already arrested more than 150 prisoners who escaped from a government prison in Butembo town. We are very sure that all of them will be arrested because them being out there is a threat to the entire region’s security,” he said.

     He added that preliminary investigation established that ADF terrorists were involved in the attack and their top aim was to help their friends to escape and join them to continue terrorising the entire region.

     DRC government also claims that the operation, which took only 15 minutes was masterminded by ADF terrorists. The prison was allegedly raided after ADF learnt that their friends who were arrested by the security were set to be evacuated to other big government prisons.

     Captain Anthony Mualushayi, the spokesperson for the operation hunting for the escaped prisoners revealed that the attackers come from Mwalika valley and were 80 in number.

    They used their weapons and machetes to open the prison doors to help their own including a one Kizito and other 12 deadly ADF terrorists from Uganda to escape.

     Capt. Mualushayi added that over 8 people were killed in the operation including five assailants, two policemen and a prisoner who was killed by the terrorist when was resisting their orders.

     He said that by the time reinforcements came, the terrorists had fled the place.

     However, they managed to trace their tracks and arrested two of them with AK47 guns and several rounds of ammunitions.

     UPDF decided to join DRC to hunt DRC for ADF terrorists after they made several attacks on Ugandans that left some victims dead.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    CRIME

    Speaker Among, Top Parliament Staff To Be Quizzed Over MP Kagabo’s Shs40m Bribe Allegations; Legislator Risks Losing His Bukoto South Seat…

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    MP Twaha Kagabo (L) and Speaker Anita Among (R)

    Detectives from the office of the Inspector General of Government (IGG) are set to record statements from the Speaker of parliament Annet Anita Among and other parliamentary staff on the allegations of giving Shs40m bribe to Members of Parliament.

    Ali Munira, the spokesperson of the office of the IGG revealed that their detectives have widened their investigations and a number of witnesses will been summoned to record statements over Dr. Twaha Kagabo’s bribe allegations.

    She declined to confirm whether speaker Among will record a statement.

    However, multiple credible sources in the IGG’s office confirmed that Speaker Among will record a statement on grounds that she is a subject matter in the allegation.

    Kagabo claims that in July this year, he received a phone call telling him to go to Nakasero at the home of speaker Among and pick his gift. When he reached Among’s house, he was given Shs40m and told that it was a package from parliament administration prepared for legislators.

    Sources at the IGG’s office divulged that Kagabo has recorded two statements and was ordered to report to the IGG’s office every day to establish how far the investigations against the allegations have reached.

    Sources added that among other people the detectives want to pick statements from are officers from Uganda Communication Communication who will help to verify the owners of the phone numbers which were used to call Kagabo to allegedly go to the Speakers home, to pick his gift.

    The Investigators will also rely on the evidence of the CCTV cameras at the speaker’s home around Nakasero to establish whether the legislator was seen at the home of the speaker at that particular time.

    Among denied all the allegations and recommended that the legislator be taken to Rules, Privileges and Disciplinary parliamentary Committee and be investigated.

    Sources in parliament revealed that the speaker will also testify in the Committee to defend herself.

    However, Uganda’s representative in the East African parliament and a renown senior legislator James Kakooza told theGrapevine that Kagabo is in big trouble and he cannot survive losing his Bukoto South parliamentary seat.

    He explained that the Leadership Code is very clear that when a person holding a public office receives a gift worth more than Shs400,000, he or she has to declare it to the IGG within 24 hours which he failed to do.

    He added that it will be hard for Kagabo to place Among on the scene of crime because there is no touchable evidence since he didn’t sign anywhere when he was given the money and the speaker herself was not the one handing him the bribe.

    “I think my young brother was playing politics and he is finished. Now, what we want the investigators to tell us is, who gave him that ‘kanyama’ (bodyguard) who was carrying the bag which contained the money. I established that my young brother was under captive and the Kanyama was the one ordering him to do whatever he did,” Kakooza said.

    NUP’s president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alis Bobi Wine praised Kagabo for following his advice and returning the bribe like he advised his legislators unlike his other colleagues who received the bribe but refused to return it.

    He pleaded to IGG and other investigation agencies to investigate the matter with care instead of victimising the legislator.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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