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    Why Principle Judge ‘Demoted’ Controversial High Court Judge Bashaija Who Recently Awarded City Pastor Shs.180bn…..

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    L-R: Bashaija and Zeija

    On Wednesday evening, the Principle Judge Flavian Zeija in exercise of his powers as the head of the High Court in Uganda and appointed Justice Michael Elubu to lead the High Court Civil Division and Justice Musa Ssekaana to deputise him with immediate effect.

    Elubu was recently appointed by President Yoweri Museveni as a High Court Judge replacing controversial senior judicial officer Dr. Andrew Bashaija, who was left in the same division which surprised many in the legal fraternity.

    “It doesn’t happen that way. You don’t remove a senior judicial officer from the office and replace them with their junior in the same division. Bashaija was punished and humiliated,” one of the senior judicial officials told this website.

    This judicial officer further revealed that the orders to humiliate Bashaija must have come from the head of the state who was very bitter with the way city pastor Daniel Walugembe of the DMW Uganda limited was awarded Shs180bn just for losing the deal to mine sand from Lwera wetlands.

    On several occasions when the President met judges, he has always warned them to stop awarding people who drag government to court with a lot of money because this money belongs to tax payers.

    The President even cautioned them that if they don’t stop giving out tax payer’s money to individuals, government will not upswing their pay.

    Two Judicial officers who talked to this website on condition of anonymity revealed that Bashaija’s demotion was a message to all judicial officers to stop awarding abnormal court costs to individuals especially in times like these when the judiciary is going to start managing its finances after parliament passed the Judiciary Administrative bill 2018.

    Bashaija was appointed as the High Court judge in 2010 from the Law Development Centre where he was a lecture.

    In 2018, he was transferred to Civil Division from the land division of the High Court. He replaced Justice Steven Musota who was promoted to the Court of Appeal\ Constitutional court.

    Bashaija is remembered for rubbishing the parliamentary report that recommended that the beneficiaries of the Shs6bn presidential golden handshake return the money to government.

    The judge told off parliament that they don’t have powers to force the beneficiaries who included Isa Ssekatawa (the legal officer of the petroleum authority), Doris Akol (the former URA Commissioner General), Jennifer Musisi Ssemakula (the former Executive Director KCCA) to return the money which was given to them for winning a case against international oil companies in a United Kingdom court.

    Bashaija also refused to hear a case where lawyer Male Mabirizi challenged the way parliament approved the Shs1.4trn loan to construct the International Specialized Hospital in Lubowa.

    He told Mabirizi that he cannot hear his case because Finasi and Roko Construction were negotiating on how to handle their grievances on who is supposed to build the hospital.

    Mabirizi protested that he was the first to file his case challenging the way the loan was approved by parliament. He told Bashaija that he was not challenging who should build the hospital, but despite insisting, the judge threw out his case.

    The controversial judge also punished Mabirizi when he directed court Clerks to remove his case where he was challenging the presidential directives to fight COVID19 pandemic.

    Lawyer Erias Lukwago also faced Bashaija’s wrath when he tried to contest how his case where he was challenging the way city businessmen Drake Lubega and Mansoul Yanga increased the rent for their tenants. The registrar High Court Civil Division allocated the file to Justice Musa Ssekana but it ended up in Bashaija’s hands. Bashaija told Lukwago that the case was given to him because Ssekaana was not present at the time.

    At the peak of the land commission inquiry, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire also reported to the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe that Bashaija was issuing court orders stopping her Commission of inquiry into land matters from investigating, detaining land grabbers and speculators.

    Judicial officers’ who talked to this website predicted that Bashaija may end up like Elias Omar Kisawuzi. They argue that the reason why court registrar Kisawuzi is not being promoted is because of the way he handled Amama Mbabazi’s blue eyed boy Severino Turyobusigye’s case.

    As a registrar of the Court of Appeal, Kisawuzi approved over Shs13bn to be given to Turyobusigye as costs after defeating Attorney General in the case where he challenged the powers of Parliament to suspend then Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and two other Ministers over allegations of bribery from oil firms.

    However other judicial officers and lawyers told this website that Zeija is trying to consolidate power.

    Many senior judges applied for the position of the principle judge to replace retired justice Yolokama Bamwine but the appointing Authority decided to go with Zeija who is a former senior lecturer at Uganda Christian University. We have also independently established that Museveni appointed Zeija to clean up the judiciary.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    ANALYSIS: How Chief Justice Dollo Helped Seal M7/Mao Deal, NUP Advised To Cease Opportunity And Secure Segirinya, Ssewanyana Release; Will He Guide Transition From M7 To Muhoozi?…

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    Minister Norbert Mao

    Buikwe South Member of Parliament, Dr. Phillip Lulume Bayiga has revealed that president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has appointed Democratic Party (DP) boss Norbert Mao because he desperately wants serious people to fix his government after loosing former Speaker of parliament late Jacob Oulanyah.

    Lulume explained that Museveni had banked on Oulanyah to help him to fix parliament and consolidate his support in Lango and Acholi, unfortunately he died a few months after occupying the office of the Speaker of parliament.

    Oulanyah was also the NRM vice chairperson Northern Uganda, the vacuum which has not yet been filled up.

    He admitted that Mao is the winner in the signed cooperation deal between DP and NRM.

    “He has been given a powerful Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs,  he has been given a state minister, promised that his people will get juicy parliamentary committees, he has been promised that his candidate Gerald Siranda, the DP Secretary General will be supported in the coming EALA elections and he has been promised that DP members will be allocated top jobs in government agencies and Authorities,” he said.

    Lulume was supported by Kampala Central Member of Parliament (MP) Muhammad Nsereko Zaake who explained that the deal which was signed on Wednesday involved a number of stakeholders especially from the Northern part of the country.

    “What I know about my friends from Northern Uganda is they know what power means. They once enjoyed power, so they want to be next to power unlike us here in Buganda who are just taking everything that comes,” Nsereko said.

    Sources in State House revealed that the negotiations between Mao and President Museveni’s government started in 2016 when he tried to contest as Gulu Municipality MP but was disqualified from the race since he did not have a National Identity Card.

    Sources revealed that since then, President Museveni has been using Oulanyah to sweettalk Mao to join him.

    “I think he was overwhelmed with financial problems, you know he was being helped by Oulanyah who is no more,” a source added.

    Sources close to the DP boss told theGrapevine that even though Mao and Siranda have been receiving a monthly salary from the DP secretariat, they have been struggling financially to the extent that they have been making phone calls especially during weekends to friends for financial help.

    theGrapevine has established that when Oulanyah died, serious negotiations ensued which involved the Chief Justice Owiny Dollo who is a close friend to Mao and president Museveni.

    The source added that Mao established that Museveni was very vulnerable after Oulanyah’s death and he made very heavy demands.

    The DP boss demanded to be appointed as a deputy prime minister, he also wanted three DP members to be appointed cabinet ministers which president Museveni declined.

    Sources said that Justice Dollo played a very important role to convince Mao to take Museveni’s proposed Justice and Constitutional affairs ministry and the state minister’s jobs for his DP members.

    Sources revealed that Museveni instructed NRM’s Secretary General Richard Todwong, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, the Attorney General and Edwin Karugire his son-in-law and personal lawyer to lead the negotiations and draft the agreement which he went through before signing.

    Sources said that Justice Dollo, a former senior counsel to LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony, was very instrumental in drafting the signed agreement and he was the chief legal advisor to Mao.

    On the other hand, Nsereko revealed that after the death of Oulanyah and Lokech, the Acholi had to quickly look for the replacements so that they remain close to power.

    ” Look the people of Acholi lost Lt. Gen. Paul Lokech who was the deputy Inspector General of Police, he was their hope in the army, and like you know, here in Africa, whoever has the army wields power, so they had to strategise again. In the legislature, God had also blessed them with the position of the speaker of parliament in Oulanyah, but shockingly he also died, so by all means Mao had to come in close to power so that they remain in the calculations for transition because Museveni is going,” Nsereko explained.

    He noted that it was a well calculated move for Mao not to tell his colleagues in DP because they would have failed the deal by spreading rumours, even though it was necessary to explain to them the logic behind his decision.

    He explained that Mao is going to be the brain behind the expected amendments in the national constitution which are aimed at streamlining and preparing the country for a political transition from president Museveni to another generation.

    Mao admitted when he appeared on NBS TV’s Frontline talk show that one of the assignments given to him was to strategies and streamline how transition is going to be handled legally through constitutional amendments.

    Kampala Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago said that Mao was brought on board by President Museveni to help him to transfer power from him to his son Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the commander land forces.

    “I think Mao is going to be the Vice President in Muhoozi’s government, he has been brought in to help to mature the Muhoozi project” Lukwago said.

    On 3rd February, 2022, Lt. Gen. Muhoozi tweeted, “My big brother Norbert Mao is the most brilliant opposition leader in Uganda today. He has Presidential skills.”

    Nsereko orated that in his new position, Mao is going to supervise the judiciary and he will be the one to advise President Museveni on who to appoint in the judiciary.

    He added that Mao is going to supervise the Electoral Commission and he will be advising President Museveni and Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama on transfer of Electoral Commission registers, recruiting of new electoral officers and the preparations of all the coming elections in the country.

    Nsereko revealed that Museveni plans to give Mao powers to strategies on how the new government without him will be structured and Ugandans should put a clear eye on him.

    Nsereko warned, “You people are playing but I’m telling you without Mao’s signature, Buganda will not be paid their demands by the Central government because he is the one responsible for clearing such payment from the ministry of finance,” he noted.

    Museveni also brought Mao on board to help him solve the East African question because he knows very well that Mao is a very close friend to Raila Odinga who has a lot of chances to become the next president of Kenya.

    Nsereko opined that in Uganda, Odinga trusts only two politicians, Mao and Capt. Mike Mukula, the NRM vice chairperson Eastern Uganda.

    He said that Odinga thinks that Museveni supports his rival William Ruto who has minimum chances of becoming the next president of Kenya.

    He added that Mao also has a number of friends in South Sudan government.

    He advised NUP’s Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine to use Mao’s office to secure the release of the legislators, Muhammad Ssegirinya (Kawempe North), Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) and other political prisoners.

    “Mao is the one who can legally advise the President on the prerogative of mercy to prisoners, he is the one who supervises Courts so he is very instrumental in releasing or not releasing all political prisoners,” Nsereko noted.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    M7 Did Not Survive Coup, We Are Cleaning Our House – UPDF Explains Why Gen. Elwelu Put Army On Standby Class One Order…

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    The Commander in Chief (CiC), President Museveni (C), CDF Gen. Wilson Mbadi (R), and the D/CDF Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu (L)

    Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has refuted allegations that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni survived a Coup when he was away in Rwanda attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

    Early this week, Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, the Deputy Commander of UPDF, through a radio call, put the entire army on Standby Class One, the highest order given to the army before the war.

    Lt. Gen. Elwelu issued the order when the Commander in Chief (CiC) President Museveni and Gen. Wilson Mbadi, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) were out of the country.

    This created anxiety among netizens with some speculating that the big man survived a coup while he was away.

    However, in a phone conversation with theGrapevine, Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye, the UPDF spokesperson rubbished the allegations.

    “It is not true, the order was given to give us time to clean our house. If it was a coup, we would have declared a curfew but you people are still moving even deep at night, enjoying night discos and drinking your beer, there was no coup please tell the people to calm down,” Kulayigye said.

    He explained that the order still stands because it’s intended purpose is still on.

    He divulged that they are also trying to examine how the army’s equipment are kept, how soldiers are stationed. He emphasised that the country is on high alert and the army will remain on Standby Class One for now.

    “You people, you don’t know what is going on in our region. Do you know what is expected to come out of Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where people are fighting? Our army should be on standby to protect our sovereignty,” he explained.

    This week, land forces commander Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba warned of a coming battle.

    In one of his tweets, Muhoozi warned, “In the coming battle, let the people of Uganda and Rwanda support me… like I have fought for them. Let us deal with the traitors once and for all!”

    The First Son added, ““Those who try to come between my father and me will learn a very bitter lesson. Where were they when we were refugees? Tutawona wale Mungu anapenda!”

    Celebrated investigative journalist, Timothy Kalyegira opined that there is a sharp division in the army over the behaviour of certain commanders.

    “I don’t know if we should worry, but what I can tell you is that inside the army, the mood/morale is like what it was in UNLA around early 1984. Not yet an all-out crisis, but certainly no longer the familiar, calm normal. You can quote me on that,” Kalyegira said.

    Sources inside the army revealed that because of the divisionism, it is the reason why president Museveni has summoned the army’s top command today for an emergency meeting at Irenga Barracks in Western  Uganda.

    Sources disclosed that the big man is still camped in Western Uganda and he is expected to return to Kampala on Monday morning.

    Sources further disclosed that the president is expected to tell the army top leadership that he is going to continue moving in all army barracks around the country.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    Medipal Hospital In Trouble: Female Doctor Narrates How Male Boss Harassed And Discriminated Her….

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    Medipal Hospital's chief Medical Director, Dr. Adnan Khan

    Kololo based Medipal International Hospital Kampala is in trouble over harassing, discriminating and failing to pay a female medical doctor.

    On 22nd June, 2022, Dr. Asiimwe Kemigisha petitioned the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Labour Office accusing the management of the Medipal of discriminating her, maligning and mistreating her.

    Kemigisha filed her complaint through her lawyers of Bluebell Legal Advocates.
    She particularly singled out Dr. Adnan Khan, the Hospital’s Medical Director, as the second respondent and the hospital management as the first respondent.
    According to the documents seen by the mighty Grapevine, Dr. Kemigisha claims that Dr. Khan, a Pakistan native has bias against women and it is the reason why she has been discriminated against.

    She said that at one point, he castigated her simply for hugging male colleagues while running up the stairs. Dr. Kemigisha explained in her complaint that she sensed insincerity and foul play when none of the male Colleagues she hugged were tasked to explain.

    “The male colleagues I hugged were never apprehended which flagged early signs of discrimination and bias against women by the 2nd Respondent (Dr. Khan).

    “ I requested for a fair hearing and asked for the warning letter together with the evidence related thereto from the 1st Respondent’s Human Resource Manager but shockingly, she informed me that the same could not be availed,” Kemigisha’s statement reads.

    She revealed to Court that in November 2019, she commenced employment at the facility as a Medical Officer.

    However, she was never given a formal contract of Employment.
    In February 2022, she was promoted to Senior House Officer (SHO.). This did not go well with Dr. Adnan who refused to acknowledge her promotion to date.

    Unfortunately, the promotion was not in writing but it is buttressed by the switch in her log-ins and the duty rota. Dr. Kemigisha said that she attempted to seek Dr. Khan’s audience to find a lasting solution but he was dismissive.

    “I approached the 2nd Respondent (Dr. Khan) in his office for a discussion about the issue but he shrugged it off and angrily shouted at me” she said.

    She emphasised that despite the non-stop harassment, she acted professionally and executed her duties as assigned on the duty rota.
    But that the persecution from Dr. Khan was relentless.

    “The harassment and discrimination from the 2nd Respondent didn’t stop after my promotion as Senior House Officer because circumstantial evidence shows that the 2nd Respondent refused to acknowledge my promotion and made sure that I neither gets a written contract nor payment for my services as SHO and yet my peers had written contracts and have at all material times received payment,” she added in her statement.

    She claims that after being promoted, she was not paid until when she requested for a conflict resolution meeting. Dr. Kemigisha asserts that whenever she would seek clarification from the HR manager about her pay, the response was that Dr. Khan was still processing her documents.

    She laments that her incessant troubles compelled her to professionally opt for a conflict resolution meeting with Dr. Khan on 29th April 2022 as a first step towards conflict management. Subsequently, Dr Khan convened a meeting on 13th May 2022.

    The attendees were Dr. Khan, Dr. Kemigisha, Dr. Lisa Numusiima (Supervisor Medical Officer), Dr. Richard Lukandwa (Medical Director), Ms. Hussein Alishba (the HR manager) and a gentleman who identified himself as Henry, a lawyer for the hospital.

    She explains that in the meeting, the hospital lawyer stated that he was a neutral party who heads the facility’s harassment committee. But she later discovered that his name is Henry Nyegenye, an advocate attached to the law firm of Arcadia Advocates, which represents the facility.

    Dr. Kemigisha notes that during the meeting, blame was placed on different departments, mainly the HR department for not having formalised her SHO contract.

    She notes that Dr Khan, who is the facility’s accounting officer, vehemently feigned ignorance of the anomalies. Dr. Kemigisha adds that the Respondents insisted that her promotion to SHO was never a promotion, and that it was not within the facility’s employment structure. The Respondents termed her relationship with the facility as a consultancy engagement.

    She says that she never received any written communication for the terms before transitioning into the SHO role and that it is not her duty to presume her terms of engagement.

    She explains that in any case, she should have availed the terms of the engagement instead of forcing her to resign from employment. Dr. Kemigisha says several futile maneuvers were made to persuade her to retract the letter containing her grievances of harassment by Dr. Khan.

    She claims that she was even rebuked for requesting for a direct conflict resolution meeting with Dr. Khan instead of following a harassment policy by the hospital which has never been disclosed to her.

    Dr. Kemigisha believes that Dr. Khan’s action of inviting a lawyer to the conflict resolution meeting without giving her notice to invite her own lawyer and having the lawyer interrogating her in the said meeting in itself was harassment.

    She claims Nyegenye has since then played an integral role in covering up the harassment on behalf of the Respondents.

    Dr. Kemigisha says in due course, she will provide a transcript of the audio recording of the conflict resolution meeting. She states that on 17th May 2022, the HR Manager Alishba asked her to write a letter clarifying her harassment claims so that the SHO contract could be processed. She says she declined to do so because it was wrong since the two were mutually exclusive.

    She says more misery was piled on her, and in an email sent by Dr. Lukandwa on 25th May, she was inform that since she had not subjected herself to a formal recruitment process to transition to SHO, she could no longer execute the duties of SHO.

    She noted that subsequently, she was struck off the SHO duty rota. She said that the hospital’s lawyers asked her to resign from her position of Medical Officer, to enable formalisation of her promotion to SHO.
    She declined to do so, as she believed it was irregular.

    On 10th June 2022, another meeting was held at the hospital’s office, which was attended by Dr. Kemigisha’s lawyer, Mr. Isaac Ssali Mugerwa.
    However, the Respondents were adamant, and claimed they were unable to pay her salary arrears because they were gripped with financial strife.
    The petition further reveals that Nyegenye made a phone call to Dr. Kemigisha’s lawyer, and conceded that she had pertinent grievances.

    Documents seen by the mighty Grapevine show that on 13th June 2022, Nyegenye communicated to Mr. Mugerwa and reiterated the Hospital’s position that the Complainant should provide both an Application letter for the SHO appointment and a resignation letter as MO so that the Respondents could process the transition from M.O to SHO.

    Dr. Kemigisha says the incessant persecution, compelled her to write a letter dated 15th June 2022, informing the Respondents that she had been constructively dismissed from her employment.
    She emphasised that interestingly on 16th June 2022, after the Respondents had achieved their objective of terminating her, they remitted her two months salary as medical officer on her account.

    Dr. Kemigisha notes that on 20th day June 2022, the Respondents sent an email, asking her to apply for the position of SHO in which she had already served for over 4 months.
    “As a result of the aforementioned wrongful, discriminative actions of the Respondents, I have suffered unemployment, psychological stress and strain, financial constraints for which I shall seek recompose in general, aggravated and punitive damages” she prayed to Court.

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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