Posts tagged as: museveni

Why Do Ugandan Regimes Love to Torture? It Is Complicated

Photo: Daily Monitor

Agonised. Kamwenge Town Council mayor Geoffrey Byamukama at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala.

columnBy Charles Onyango-Obbo

Governments and times change in Uganda, but the one thing all of them have had in common is the appalling reliance on primitive torture of suspects. You can trace this in varying forms from British colonial rule to the NRM regime today. Why is this so?

First, to the distressing case of Kamwenge Town Council and area NRM chairman Geoffrey Byamukama that was reported in Daily Monitor.

Byamukama, who was visiting Kampala, was seized on what has turned out to be a cock and bull story about having links to the March assassination of former police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

So many people have been held in connection with the Kaweesi murder, it is likely to turn out to be the biggest conspiracy in Uganda, even bigger than any of the country’s past coups. Already right there, one begins to see the possibility that some chiefs up there just don’t know what they are doing.

Anyway, Byamukama and others were driven to what the Daily Monitor described as the “dreaded Nalufenya detention facility in the eastern Jinja District”, the NRM government security’s latest torture dungeons of choice. When he eventually emerged there, he was in a horrifying state. He was not the first, and won’t be the last. Many people who go to Nalufenya and don’t emerge from there a whole one piece.

The choice of Nalufenya is not accidental.

It is out of Kampala where most of the media, the international community, lawyers, human rights activists, and other prying eyes, are based. Most people who are arrested in Uganda are also more likely to have family and relatives in Kampala, as the capital, than in Jinja or other towns.

This practice of transporting suspects across the country over long distances from the place where they were arrested started in the colonial period, and in the Museveni years, it has become an elaborate exercise.

And so back to that question of why from Obote governments, Idi Amin, and the Okello generals, to Museveni’s rule, torture has continued to deface this fair land.

The first reason is the normalisation of relative morality in our politics.

For example, after Obote and UPC returned to power after the disputed 1980 election, with the rebellion of the NRA/NRM, UFM, Fedemo raging in the south, the gruesome torture of the Amin years just continued.

But because the UPC government had been elected, however controversially, and there was an opposition in Parliament, the Obote government felt it was far better than Amin’s, and its atrocities were, therefore, “better”.

And thus, in a remarkable case, on one of the occasions that Obote came to Parliament, he took on the opposition DP’s accusations that the “UPC government was as murderous as Amin’s.”

It wasn’t, Obote argued.

There is Parliament, he said, that didn’t exist during Amin’s time, and in a bizarre pushback, said that under his government, the relatives of people who are arrested and die in detention are able to get their bodies and give them a dignified funeral. In Amin’s time, he said, people just disappeared! It’s like someone saying you should thank them for killing your loved one quickly with a single bullet to the head, rather than bludgeoning him to death for an hour.

Same today. Savagely tortured people are produced in court, and the security men don’t think their wounds should be shown. They should be somehow grateful that they got their day in court. The Obote II and NRM mindsets are pretty much the same in this regard.

So why does this national disgrace continue? That is where it gets even more troubling. It seems there is a part of this that governments want the public to see, because somehow they believe it has a deterrent value.

The fear of facing so much pain will discourage a government opponent from taking to the street; instill the fear in the hearts of a prospective plotter; or get the population to accept the “lesser” abuses by the State (e.g. arbitrary arrest, or tear gas) as a “fair” settlement. One could ask why the government needs this at all.

Well, because, like the colonialists, Amin, and Obote, the government is facing a legitimacy deficit.

For a plot to kill a senior police officer to succeed, you need an environment where it can be hatched and carried out successfully without a government-loving citizen or co-conspirator having a change of heart and rushing to leak it to security authorities or the LC1 chair.

If you asked me, it was very difficult for such plots to take place in the Kampala of the 1990s. Today, from the rampant insecurity and heavy-handedness of the security forces, they are par for the course.

This will get worse before it gets better – if at all.

Onyango-Obbo is the publisher of Africadata visualiser Africapedia.com and explainer site Roguechiefs.com.

Torturing Suspects Must Stop – Museveni

Photo: The Observer

President Museveni.

Below is a statement from President Yoweri Museveni following nation-wide media coverage of alleged torture of suspects, arrested in connection to the murder of former police spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi in March this year.

This is in order to enlighten you about the use of torture on suspected criminals (okutatsya) in the fight against crime.

In our traditional societies, torture was commonly used and it was not only accepted but, actually, encouraged. Hence, the proverbs like: “Akabwa kaiba kaihura omugoongo gwaako” in Runyankore and “Akabwa kabbi, kasasula mugoongo” in Luganda. In both dialects, it means that “a stealing dog pays with its back”, i.e. by being struck with sticks (enkoni, emiggo) on the back.

Traditional ideas, however, had their own mistakes in many instances. That is why, those ideas that are not consonant with logic should be abandoned.

To take one example, in many of the African Societies, marriages were arranged by parents for the young couples. The couples had no say in the matter.

This was because in the no nonsense traditional society, marriage was a strictly scientific matter designed to produce off-springs that had no emize (hereditary defects physiologically and behavior wise).

These would be defects like asthma, epilepsy and behavioural weaknesses like cowardice, greed, spendthrifts (ababagyi) etc. The idea of love among the intended couples never entered the equation.

There was okurigyira (to appreciate the beauty of) or okusiima (to appreciate the qualities of). This was, however, by the parents or persons deployed by them.

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Today, however, all enlightened people know that the traditional concerns notwithstanding, love among the couple is paramount. It is, therefore, clear that torture in order to extract confessions (okutatsya) has three possible mistakes that may even interfere with the fight against crime.Number one, you may torture the wrong person, somebody who is totally innocent. This is very unfair.Secondly, somebody may admit guilt when he is innocent in order to be spared being tortured. This will make the real criminal escape in order to commit more crimes later.Thirdly, confessions by the criminals are not necessary. Even if the suspects do not admit their guilt, if the investigators do their work well (finger-prints, photo-graphs, DNA tests, eye-witnesses, the use of other scientific methods, the use of dogs etc), the criminals can get convicted.Therefore, the use of torture is unnecessary and wrong and must not be used again if it was being used as I see some groups claiming in the media.Of course, the criminals are most annoying by using the cowardly but shallow methods of the boda bodas, taking advantage of the large number of vehicles and people in order to commit crime and hide.That, however, should not make us panic and go back to the defective traditional methods of okutatsya.We defeated Lakwena, we defeated Kony who was being heavily supported by external elements, we defeated the ADF that was, again, being heavily supported by foreigners, we defeated the UPA of Teso and disarmed the Karimojong cattle-rustlers by removing 40,000 rifles from them.We cannot fail to cope with cowards using boda bodas to kill people who are peacefully sitting in their cars or walking along the streets. With a little adjustment, we shall avenge the deaths of:Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga, Prosecutor Kagezi, Hajji Daktur Muwaya, Sheik Jowat Madangu, Sheikh Yusuf Ssentamu, Sheik Yunis Sentuga, Hajji Mohammed Sebagala, Tito Okware, Constable Driver Wambewo Godfrey, Cpl Erau Kenneth, No. 1404 SPC Karim Tenywa, No. 54812 PC Babale Muzamiro, Owori John Steven, No. 44957 Cpl Owori Julius, SPC Isiko, Macho Steven, Okumu Ronald, Sheik Rashid Wafula, Major Kiggundu and AIGP Kawesi.Our annoyance with these criminals should not make us opt for defective short-cuts. These are hardened criminals by default who think that by denying they can kill and escape accountability.However, we shall get them using patient means of evidence but not through torture because evidence through torture is not reliable.Yoweri K. MuseveniPRESIDENTCopy to: H.E. the Vice PresidentRt. Hon. Prime MinisterMinister of Internal AffairsMinister of Defence and Veteran AffairsMinister for the PresidencyMinister of Foreign AffairsMinister of Information, Communication and Technology

Museveni’s First Year – a Mixed Bag of Wins, Losses

Photo: Daily Monitor

President Museveni demonstrates how drip irrigation works. In a recent campaign, the President advised farmers countrywide to use drip irrigation to boost household incomes and food security.

analysisBy Frederic Musisi

He promised parents while campaigning in Alebtong District in November 2015 that if they voted him back to power their school girls would get free sanitary towels, geometry sets, exercise books and computers in the next financial year (which is ending).

According to results published on the Electoral Commission (EC) website, President Museveni won in Alebtong with 31,952 votes or 48 per cent of the valid votes cast.

After his re-election and swearing-in, the population waited for the promise to be fulfilled in vain. Government was silent on the matter until activist Dr Stella Nyanzi kicked up the storm with a campaign on social media that everyone woke up.

It wasn’t until the President’s wife Janet, also the minister for Education, told Parliament on February 15 that there was no money to fulfil the pledge, and consequently Dr Nyanzi being sent to prison early last month, that the matter was put to rest.

After promising free sanitary towels and computers, the President while campaigning in Nwoya District promised 18 million hoes to six million households engaged in farming across the country.

The pledge, somewhat a contradiction to his gospel of transforming Uganda from an agrarian to industrial economy by 2040, was implemented partly after Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda was directed to make money available for procurement of the hoes. But weeks later the process was halted due to budgetary constraints. That was the last time the voters heard of the pledge.

President Museveni swept the votes in Nwoya with 9,922 or 41 per cent of the votes followed by FDC’s Besigye with 6,838 or 28 per cent while former prime minister Amama Mbabazi garnered 4,994 votes.

Talk is cheap

At his first campaign rally in Luweero District, the heartland of the Luweero Triangle where he waged the five-year guerrilla war that brought him in power three decades ago, Mr Museveni pledged to increase funding for the National Agricultural Advisory Services (Naads) to the tune of Shs1 trillion if re-elected.

From Luweero, he moved to northern Uganda where besides the free pads, computers and hoes, he pledged to inject Shs20b in the cattle compensation programme, and to eventually settle the Shs500b debt.

Throughout his campaign trail, the President preached job creation and inclusive development, two aspects he said would usher Uganda into modernity.

An assessment of all the presidential pledges during the last presidential campaign by this newspaper shows that Mr Museveni is yet to fulfil any. In monetary terms, the pledges totalled an estimated Shs3 trillion.

Three years before the election, a parliamentary committee report documented that the President’s earlier pledges since 1986 totalled Shs12.9 trillion.

Several of the monetary pledges were not captured anywhere in the ruling NRM party’s 338 page policy framework with the theme: “Taking Uganda to Modernity Through Job creation & Inclusive Development.”

The document at its launch was dubbed the “diagnosis” of Uganda’s problems and the prescription for the next five years.

Talk is cheap, actions are expensive, it is often said. Never mind that the other candidates in the race also made several pledges.

But the President’s Senior Press Secretary, Mr Don Wanyama, says “running a country is not like a home; there is a lot to consider as which is the first priority”.

“That notwithstanding, the President has spent the first one year setting stage for his vision of transforming this country into middle-income status,” Mr Wanyama told this newspaper.

“Also don’t forget that the President was elected on a five-year contract so you cannot claim he has not done anything in the first year.”

Besides traveling out of the country to Germany, France, the US, UK, Qatar, South Africa, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Somalia, Zambia, Sudan and Angola in the first year of his fifth term to either attend international conferences or “woo investors”, Mr Wanyama says “also don’t forget the continued gains made in stability of the country” that most naysayers easily dismiss.

“The deliverables may not be visible, but a lot is being prepared in the kitchen; and one by one it shall be seen in due time.”

Kisanja hakuna mchezo

At his swearing-in ceremony at Kololo Independence Grounds headlined by 14 African heads of state and delegates sent by Washington, Beijing and Moscow, President Museveni declared his new term as a year of no monkey business “Kisanja hakuna mchezo”, warning government officials against incompetence and corruption that have riddled many institutions for a long time.

The same was emphasized at the four retreats so far held at Kyankwanzi attended by all government officials at various intervals, presided over by President Museveni, which according to Mr Wanyama was to ensure that bureaucrats and political leaders read from the same script.

“And you have seen that unlike previously, during this one year the President has expressed zero tolerance for incompetence,” he argues.

At the inaugural Cabinet meeting on June 23, 2016, the President outlined 15 tasks for his new government for this term.

“The Civil Service is educated although they have issues of integrity,” the President remarked at the retreat at State House Entebbe.

Education and improved healthcare have meant that average life expectancy has grown from 43 years to 63 years, he argued, adding that “many youth can now read and write, have mastered numeracy and can use the internet. They, however, need more skills in the areas of agriculture, metal work, construction, ceramics, motor-mechanics, computer use, etc.”

While case by case performance on each of the 15 tasks can be debated, there have been some strides in some areas like fast-tracking activities for commercial oil production to start in 2020 since it is the International Oil Companies investing, but that notwithstanding, it is unlikely the timeline is achievable.

Similarly, early last month the President tapped a new head of the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Ms Jolly Kamugira Kaguhangire, to spearhead reforms at the body. In the same regard, he has since delegated the army to man the corruption toll free line at UIA.

The war on corruption has so far netted junior Labour minister Herbert Kabafunzaki and in late March two officials from the ministry of Finance who were arrested over bribery claims. But the case turned out complicated, involving a group of lawyers and several middlemen, and have since been released on bail.

Energy minister Irene Muloni told this newspaper late last month on the sidelines of the reception of visiting Equatorial Guinea president Obiang Nguema at State House Entebbe that they are in advanced stages of talks with the different players on reducing power tariffs. She said they had started with lowering tariffs for the manufactures.

Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president Mugisha Muntu in an interview, however, reiterated: “Gen Museveni can build all the dams, roads and everything else he has dreamed of but until the country addresses the fundamental question of a transition, all he has done may not stand through time.”

“If you get the fundamental[s] wrong, everything else is bound to go wrong and for that matter whatever he’s done is hanging in balance,”

“Our army has been in Somalia for almost 10 years now but during Siad Barre’s time back in the day, in Libya and even in Ivory Coast, I think actually they had better roads than we have but where is everything now?”

“We went to the bush and fought for five years to restore the fundamentals of peacefully changing one government smoothly to another which Gen Museveni betrayed and now because even himself is not certain what will happen after him, the country is living in some illusion.”

Makerere University political science don Juma Okuku also advances a similar viewpoint that “Ugandans are living an illusion that the government is constructing roads, railways and they go out at night and drink till dawn when the President is the military and state power and is using it whenever and how he feels like.”

“If the ‘stupid’ Idi Amin had food silos but now we have to turn to China for food aid even with the enabling environment to grow our own food,” Dr Okuku argued. “Yes it has been one year, but one year of the same– nepotism, incompetent institutions and one person who thinks has a vision for this country.”

President Museveni and First Lady Janet climaxed their first year of his fifth term on a visit to the UK where he was scheduled to address the UK-Somalia conference on drumming up humanitarian support for the war torn country in the Horn Africa.

But when he gets back to embark on another year in office, his daunting to-do list includes a frail economy, rising commodity prices, pockets of insecurity on the watch of a police force in a mess, not to mention enforcing the 15 tasks of his government.

Museveni promises during campaigns

President Museveni pledged to pay war veterans, whose numbers are unknown, but total debt is believed to be about Shs1,500b. Already, he indicated Shs70b had been paid during the 2015/16 financial year.

He promised to increase funding for microfinance projects from the current Shs44b to Shs500b. He promised Shs7b into a women’s fund and Shs33b into the youth fund to uplift their livelihoods.

He promised Arua city status, preached poverty eradication, transformation of agriculture, infrastructural development, ICT development, and so forth.

He scrapped collateral security requirements for rural dwellers wishing to access loans from the Shs85b government’s Micro Finance Centre, and in almost every region around the country promised to tarmac almost every road, especially those part of the 2,000km listed in his party, NRM’s manifesto.

He promised better housing for teachers, to improve the quality of healthcare, better housing facilities for doctors, police officers, construct 300 toilets in Kampala, and to build more regional hospitals.

Museveni tasks at first Cabinet meeting

The 15 tasks President Museveni outlined for his new government at the inaugural Cabinet meeting were; working with the proprietors of Bujagali to lower the costs of electricity; concluding of negotiations for the Standard Gauge Railway; building of 22 industrial parks; Uganda Investment Authority ensuring investors get all the necessary licences in two days; zero tolerance to corruption and addressing the problem of poor regulation.

Other tasks included interventions in agriculture, for example, to convert 68 per cent of the homesteads from subsistence farming to commercial farming; fast-tracking the oil and gas sector, especially on the Greenfield oil refinery and crude oil export pipeline to ensure oil production starts in 2020; value addition in the mineral sector; environmental conservation; and addressing the issue of service delivery decisively, especially in the areas of health care, education and feeder roads.

He further listed addressing land issues, increasing salaries of soldiers and other security personnel until they come in line with the salaries of the teachers and the medical workers, setting up (reviving) of a national airline, eliminating indebtedness to army veterans without deviating from the priorities of defence and security, electricity, and roads.

European Union to Increase Investments in the Continent

Photo: Bobby Hiddy/Flickr

European Union (file photo).

By Sadab Kitatta Kaaya

At celebrations to mark the 60th European Union (EU) day, the head of the EU delegation in Uganda, Kristian Schmidt, announced that the economic bloc’s investments in Africa will increase to over €44 billion by 2020.

In a speech at a cocktail to mark the day at his residence at Kampala’s upscale neighbourhood of Kololo, Schmidt said the EU will seek to boost responsible and sustainable investments in Africa during the Africa-Europe summit in November this year, as a part of its external investment plan.

This is one of the interventions that the EU is focussing on in its bid to deal with the refugee crisis in Europe and in its African partners such as Uganda, which is home to more than 1.2 million refugees.

“It is a fair question. How will the world help Uganda face this challenge? The answer is in the external investment plan. We expect to leverage €44bn Euros of Europe’s investments in Africa as of 2020,” Schmidt said.

The trade value between Europe and Uganda stood at €985m by the end of last year which represents a 60 per cent increase over the past 10 years.

AGE-LIMIT

Making reference to Monday’s election of Emmanuel Macron as the new French president, Schmidt told Museveni, who was chief guest at the cocktail, not to kill the debate for change of leadership.

“Change is necessary for Uganda but that change, what it will be, will be Uganda’s decision,” Schmidt said.

“I hope you will allow me to make three wishes for Uganda. The first wish is that you don’t let your democratic process stall or regress, and those in power do not close their minds to minority views; even when those, out of maginalization and despair, lead them to express their disagreement, both in frustration and anger, we pray you keep the political space open,” Schmidt further told Museveni.

He went on to speak against violation of people’s rights by the security forces, whom he said should increasingly become accountable to the people they serve.

In his speech, Museveni steered clear of Schmidt’s political remarks, choosing to concentrate on the priorities to which the EU channels its aid.

“I appreciate your aid to Uganda; however, I would like this aid to be more focussed” Museveni said.

Museveni seemed uncomfortable with EU’s funding to advocacy groups, which he said are unsustainable.

“If you say we are supporting children’s rights, do you have the money to support it sustainably? Or are you going to support them with endless donations? If somebody is depending on donations, we call that economic leukaemia. I don’t want a situation of economic leukaemia,” Museveni said.

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Kagoma Polls – Museveni Warns On ‘Playing With a Lion’s Tail’

Photo: Denis Edema/Daily Monitor

Boost. President Museveni waves to the crowd at Mr Moses Walyomu’s campaign rally at Bulugo Primary School in Buyengo Sub-county.

By Tausi Nakato, Abubaker Kirunda and Denis Edema

Jinja — Candidates vying for Kagoma County parliamentary seat in Jinja District ended their campaigns yesterday amid reports of violence as both NRM and Opposition FDC party bigwigs camped in the district to swing the vote in favour of their candidates.

The campaigns that saw President Museveni and his Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) founding president Dr Kizza Besigye drum up support for rival candidates, did not entirely pass off as smoothly as anticipated by the Electoral Commission (EC).

One of the victims, Mr Abubaker Maganda, was roughed up as he returned home after attending a rally of the FDC party flag-bearer, just days ago.

Mr Maganda is the FDC party chairperson for Jinja District.

The Saturday attack by a yet-to-be identified gang wearing black masks, is believed to be linked to Mr Maganda’s active support for FDC’s parliamentary candidate Timothy Batuwa Lusala.

“I was together with Mr Harold Kaija; one of our members, and suddenly, masked men in a double-cabin vehicle blocked us at Muguluka Trading Centre before beating us up with batons,” Mr Batuwa Lusala told Daily Monitor.

“I lost my cell phone and wallet with important documents,” he added.

Mr Batuwa Lusala is recuperating at the KYM International Hospital in Jinja.

Mr Gerald Twishime, the Kiira Regional police commander, said the police are investigating the matter.

Speaking at a rally to swing support for the NRM flag-bearer, Mr Moses Walyomu, at Bulugo Primary School in Buyengo Sub-county on Monday, NRM secretary general Kasule Lumumba told President Museveni that their supporters were being harassed.

She asked the President to pronounce himself on the matter.

In response, President Museveni warned those intimidating NRM supporters and likened their alleged provocation to someone playing with the tail of a lion.

“If you punish someone because he is supporting NRM, then it is as if you are touching or playing with a lion’s tail. Some people don’t know that when you play with NRM you’re causing yourself trouble,” Mr Museveni said. “Anybody who disturbs the peace in Uganda, we will deal with him the same way we did in Karamoja during the disarmament or the way we dealt with [LRA rebel leader] Joseph Kony and Alice Lakwena,” Mr Museveni warned.

He then directed Mr Twishime and Mr Asuman Mugenyi, the director of police operations, to ensure the violence stops.

Also traversing Kagoma County to ensure victory for the FDC candidate was Dr Besigye.

The former FDC presidential candidate, who has since challenged President Museveni for the top seat in the last four elections, was part of the party bigwigs combing votes for the party’s flag-bearer, Mr Batuwa.

Dr Besigye told a crowd at Budondo Sub-county yesterday that Kagoma County should vote the FDC candidate because they deserve better and not people who will only rubberstamp even unprincipled positions while in Parliament.

Dr Besigye urged the electorates to vote for Mr Batuwa to kick-start their disapproval of how bad the economy and the country has degenerated.

Other candidates in the race include Mr Alex Brandon Kintu (Independent) and Mr Muhammed Bidondole (Independent).

History

The Kagoma parliamentary seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal nullified the result of the 2016 election following an appeal by Mr Alex Brandon Kintu, who was one of the contenders in the 2016 parliamentary race.

After losing the election to Mr Moses Walyomu, Mr Kintu filed an election petition in court detailing election malpractices manifested in the form of voter bribery, something he said unjustly swung the result in favour of his rival.

The Court of Appeal agreed with his argument and in early March, a verdict nullifying the election was declared, resulting in the rerun of the election.

Drama As IGP General Kayihura Sneaks in for MPs Approval

Photo: The Observer

Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura meeting MPs.

By Sadab Kitatta Kaaya

At 10am yesterday, the inspector general of police, Gen Kale Kayihura, stealthily drove into Parliament.

He was there for his confirmation hearing before the House’s Appointments committee, which is chaired by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga. Kayihura was recently reappointed as police chief for another three years by President Museveni.

Dressed in a navy blue suit, Kayihura arrived at Parliament unnoticed. He came in without his heavy security detail and drove a saloon car, Nissan Fuga, with private registration number plates, UBA 462C.

Kayihura was led through an entrance in the parliamentary eastern wing, which is only reserved for Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy Jacob Oulanyah.The IGP made a brief stopover in an office on the fourth floor of the eastern wing, before he was sneaked into the parlimentary library where he waited for some time.

At 10:30am he was ushered into the South committee room to interface with the vetting committee members. According to sources within the parliamentary leadership, the committee’s sitting was fixed late on Monday evening.

“We were warned against letting out this information,” said a parliamentary staffer.

Interviewed for a comment yesterday, parliament’s director for communication and public affairs, Chris Obore, said, “Gen Kayihura was officially invited and the committee was formally convened.”

Obore said invitation letters were sent to committee members to attend as the norm is. Asked why Kayihura was so elusive, Obore said, “If he [Kayihura] didn’t want to speak to the media that was none of parliament’s business because a person appearing before the committee has a right to speak or not speak to the media.”

Inside the committee room, a source said, Kadaga told MPs that it was prudent for the committee to sit hurriedly and approve the reappointment of Kayihura and Johnson Byabashaija, the commissioner general of prisons, since they were occupying their respective offices illegally after the expiry of their contracts.

This she said as she explained why she had to disrupt the ongoing budget process to vet the two security heads. Byabashaija waited in the VIP lounge where all presidential appointees sit as they wait to appear before the appointments committee.

After his two-hour appearance before the committee, Kayihura spent about 45 minutes trying to shake off journalists who were pursuing him within the parliamentary building.

He first hid in the office of parliament’s director for Finance as his men tried in vain to push away journalists who were waiting in the corridor.

For about 10 minutes, he kept inside the finance director’s office and sought the assistance of four MPs. When the MPs failed to persuade journalists to give up the chase, Kayihura sent for an NTV journalist who he asked to convince his colleagues to leave the corridor in vain.

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His guards then pushed journalists as Kayihura emerged from the office on the South wing into the corridor leading to the north wing of the Parliamentary building. The journalists were not about to give up the chase. They took different routes to intercept the police chief before he got to the exit.Not short on options, Kayihura disappeared into an office on the fourth floor of the east wing. Journalists positioned themselves in front of all exit routes.Thirty-five minutes later, Kayihura gave up his hide-and-seek game. He emerged to confront the journalists but was reluctant to answer any questions from journalists. Usuk MP Peter Ogwang later bragged that he persuaded Kayihura to give up the hiding and face the journalists.”You journalists should thank me because I was able to ask him [Kayihura] to come out and talk to the media because the office he is [holding] is important,” Ogwang said.KAYIHURA APOLOGISESAs the committee hearing got underway, insider sources told The Observer that Kayihura, who appeared calm, asked MPs for ideas on how he can deal with former FDC presidential candidate Kizza Besigye.”Besigye is a challenge to me. He declared himself a president [and] swore himself in, so how do I handle [him]? It is a unique situation; advise me on how to handle him,” Kayihura told the committee.This was after Buhweju MP Francis Mwijukye (FDC), who was the committee’s lead counsel, asked the police chief whether he had created a special unit to deal with Besigye.Kayihura also apologized for his own wrongs and those of the police.”I apologize to whoever I have hurt individually, and what has been going on in the police,” he said.But the MPs were not done. They asked him about the widely publicized acts of police brutality and the force’s flawed human rights record. In the committee, Kayihura blamed the media for “magnifying” police’s improper actions, and hastened to add that the situation is not as bad as the media makes it out to be.But speaking to journalists on his way out of parliament, the police chief made reference to the 2015/16 Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) report, which he said shows an improvement in the police’s professional conduct.”It actually evaluates improvement and doesn’t have that verdict [of a brutal force]. We are highly ranked. That is not to say that there are no incidents of brutality or violations, but the critical thing is, ‘do we tolerate them or we punish them?'” Kayihura wondered.”That is the reason we have the Professional Standards Unit [PSU], which is supposed to enforce discipline and proper professional conduct and if you look at the records, [PSU] has been doing a very commendable job; that is one indicator of how we cannot tolerate professional misconduct,” Kayihura added.Asked why the police was still holding 12 children of one of the suspects in the Felix Kaweesi murder, Kayihura said the children were not in a detention facility but at a certain home in Mukono district.He also promised to investigate the Mbale incident where a police sniffer dog in search of robbers led the investigating officers into Nakaloke police barracks. This was after the MPs told him the police dog had laid credence to accusations against the force as being filled with criminals.TUMUKUNDE RELATIONSHIPLeader of opposition in Parliament Winfred Kiiza (Kasese Woman) took Kayihura on over the police’s partisan approach to dealing with political activities. She cited the recent violent break-up of rallies by a DP group opposed to Norbert Mao’s leadership.Kiiza accused Kayihura of misusing the Public Order Management Act (POMA) to break up opposition gatherings. The FDC MP also asked him about his sour relationship with Security minister Henry Tumukunde. She asked to know why Kayihura does not gel with the minister who is his superior.Kayihura said, “I have no problem with Gen Tumukunde. If he said so, he should tell you but I don’t know about it,” he said.Tumukunde last week expressed reservations about the renewal of Kayihura’s contract especially in light of increased serious crime across the country. (See: Gen Tumukunde gives Kayihura cold shoulder, The Observer May 8).The two allegedly fell out in 2005 when Kayihura, a few months before his first appointment as IGP, oversaw Tumukunde’s arrest on charges of abuse of office and spreading harmful propaganda.MPs EXPRESS OBJECTIONSWhile insider sources at parliament said that Kayihura’s appearance before the committee was simply to fulfill a formality, some committee members objected to his reappointment.According to committee sources, most of the opposition MPs on the committee and some independents like Philip Okin Ojara (Chwa West) declined to endorse Kayihura’s reappointment.They were, however, outnumbered and the committee approved a new three-year term of office for the police chief.They, however, resolved that parliament writes to President Museveni highlighting the police’s bad human rights record, brutality, partisan approach and bad relations between the force and the people.

Former Spy Arrested Over Kaweesi Killing Charged

Photo: MIchael Kakumirizi/Daily Monitor

Pte Godfrey Musisi at the Nakawa magistrates court on May 9, 2017 where he was charged with murder.

By Siraje Lubwama

Former spy Godfrey Musisi, who has never been far from controversy for eight years, had his charges of murdering the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Andrew Felix Kaweesi substituted with those of conspiracy to murdering another unnamed person.

Pte Musisi who was arrested on March 23, together with four of his family members, a week after the murder of AIGP Kaweesi, the former police spokesman was yesterday arraigned before a Nakawa court detained without being formerly charged and detained at Nalufenya security facility on charges of murdering Kaweesi, his body guard and driver on March 17.

Yesterday at around 1pm Pte Musisi was brought Nakawa chief Magistrate’s court from Kira police station where he was transferred a day before. Three hours later, he was brought before Grade I magistrate Margaret Anyu and instead the state presented a file of conspiracy to man unnamed not AIGP Kaweesi but unnamed person.

According to brief facts in a file of the new charges which was not read in court, Pte Musisi early last year is alleged to have conspired with Mr Cluster Mutebi, his then worker to murder unnamed man.

Over this new case, Police first arrested Mr Mutebi who the first accused for allegedly murdering unnamed man using a pistol.

Pte Musisi who was arrested after Mr Mutebi allegedly told police that his boss Pte Musisi was the one in possession of the unspent bullets of the pistol was arrested from his Namugongo-Buloori residence at Wakiso on May 26 last year on allegations and charged with conspiracy to murder.

Pte Musisi’s lawyer George Muhangi yesterday objected to charging his client with the same charges which were dismissed by court last year.

“Your worship, the accused was charged before you last year under CRB 672 of 2016 before His worship Nooh Sajjabi. This case was dismissed for want of prosecution. It is not clear whether the state has amended the charges or it is instituting new ones. But state can’t amend the dismissed charges without an application to court. We pray that this honourable court exercises its powers and release the accused so that he regains his freedom,” Mr Muhangi submitted.

The state prosecutor Joyce Anyango in reply told court that Section 119 of the magistrate’s Court Act allows the state to re-instate the dismissed charges when new evidence and witnesses are availed.

In her ruling, the magistrate refused to read the charges referring them as defective. She gave state a week to either amend the file or place new charges against the accused before remanding him to Luzira prison till May 16.

Musisi’s woes

When Daily Monitor talked to Musisi in court cells yesterday he said he was arrested on the night of March 23 from his Namugongo residence together with his wife Grace Nankya and three other persons he lives and taken to Nalufenya.

The others arrested with him are Mr Benald Friday 19, Steward Ainebyona 18, both brick layers and Mr George Kimbugwe, Mr Musisi’s tenant. They were later released on April 26 and ordered to keep on reporting to Kira road police station.

“I was consecutively tortured to the extent of putting my head in a forcing me to accepted that I that I was the architecture of the murder of Kaweesi and my wife was the one who used to cook the food we ate with others in the planning meetings of killing him at my residence,” Musisi who looked thin and unhealthy narrated.

On Monday, Pte Musisi was transferred to Kira road police station where he was granted bail in the evening. Mr Nasiiru Nsubuga his area LCI chairman and Mr Lukoda Nsubuga his elder brother who stood surety for him were told to pick him the following the morning.

“When came back today, a police officer told us that he had received instructions not to release Musisi but to drop charges of murdering Kaweesi and instead charge him with jumping bail, which has also been amended with conspiracy to murder of another person,” said Mr Lukoda.

Musisi says the story in Sunday Monitor which reported that Jinja High court had issued an order directing the commandant of police Flying Squad Herbert Muhangi to produce him in court on May 18 brought some relief to him.

“On Monday the chairman of Uganda Human Right Commission Medi Kaggwa visited our Nalufenya police talked to me and other prisoners and ordered that he either be taken to court or released and here I am now wondering whether this is the fundamental change brought by my president His Excellence Museveni Kaguta,” Musisi said.

In 2009, Pte Musisi 52, was convicted of trying to assassinate President Museveni and sentenced to 10 years in prison by the UPDF First Division Court Martial. However, the 52-year-old former ISO officer was pardoned late in 2010 by President Museveni, upon which he was reinstated on his ISO job.

He later vigorously campaigned for President Museveni in the 2011 general elections together with his former boss Brig Matayo Kyaligonza.

Buganda Should Avoid Falling in Museveni’s Trap

opinionBy Sadam Gayira

When Mr Museveni returned the 270 land tittles to Buganda, I was among the few who were not excited.

In fact, I dared write a column questioning the intentions of the returner and the consequences. Since then, I have been a spectator on this matter, until I survived a group of residents who attempted to burn me and my family alive in the car.

These people probably mistook me for one of the land grabbers who evict people from land or an official from Buganda Land Board because of the nature of the car I was driving. To cut the story short, out of the blue, they hurled insults at me, saying I was there to earmark the next piece to grab. You just can’t imagine!

So, this particular case, and commotion that has emerged after the introduction of ekyapa mu ngalo by the Buganda establishment has eventually broken my silence.

First, I will not drag myself into the debate of whether or not Buganda is right or wrong because that may lead me into losing the point. Rather, let me concentrate on reminding Mengo about my caution against falling into Museveni’s trap, given his background and character.

Museveni’s pecuniary interest on land can be traced way back from the promulgation of the 1995 Constitution when he categorically said that he was happy with the whole Constitution except on two things: the land question and the name of UPDF.

Since then, a number of controversial land amendments have been tabled and enacted into laws by parliament amidst strong resistance from Ugandans including civil, religious and traditional institutions. Unsurprisingly, the only beneficiary could be those in power as ordinary Ugandans are flashed out of their ancestral land without any protection.

So, when Mr Museveni returned the Buganda land tittles, I suspected a trap ahead. First, this is the person who has always purported to be fighting for squatters to the extent that he advised them to form bibanja associations so that they can (kwerwanako) defend themselves against landowners who want to evict them.

And in this case, Kabaka is the biggest landowner whose land is occupied by squatters. Second, he had vehemently vowed never to return the counties and sub-counties’ land tittles to Mengo unless the (lukiiko) Buganda parliament is politically elected and, therefore, accountable to people. When I now see this commotion generated by the project dubbed ekyapa mu ngalo, I smell a rat.

Yes, just like other programs, this scheme definitely has some issues which must be fixed. For instance, its timing and lack of enough sensitization before implementation.

Second, the question of automatic renewal vis-a-vis those who might not have the capacity to renew the lease and yet all their graves and livelihood are there, among other things. I can seek answers to some of these questions even if I sought an appointment with the head of Buganda Land Board or the katikkiro himself.

This is the very reason I haven’t engaged publically about this scheme. However, when the ear on the ground begins to tap statements that intend to take us back to the 1900 agreement, where the land in Buganda is claimed to be unfairly parceled and distributed, then you can’t fail to wonder whether Mengo and the Kabaka, for that matter, were not trapped.

Reflecting, since time immemorial, the afore- mentioned has been the chorus on Mr Museveni’s lips, and cannot be a coincidence that those against this scheme have resurrected it now.

At the end of the day and after things have gone sour, he shall, as usual, intervene to purportedly rescue people from Mengo, the grabber, and shall wash his hands. This will come to pass if Mengo doesn’t strategically retreat and carefully study the intentions of the return of the land tittles.

Of course since Museveni is the president, Mengo cannot avoid working with him; it only has to be cautious that while walking with him from behind, it should be four steps, and if it’s ahead of him, it should always look behind to find out whether he is still following them.

So, whether the kyapa mu ngalo scheme is good or bad, Mengo should be cautious while trading with a person who made statements against opposition political parties and came to pass, who incarcerated the Omusinga wa Rewnzururu and who criticized Milton Obote for using the gun to destroy Buganda other than using the pen.

Similarly, as it ignores the motor-mouthed individuals against the scheme, Mengo should scan through those who can’t speak out and who are the majority.

The author is the spokesperson of the People’s Progressive Party.

Did the Suspects’ Children Kill Kaweesi?

Photo: Daily Monitor

Emilian Kayima, Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson.

By Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda

One of the 13 suspects so far charged with the murder of Afande Andrew Felix Kaweesi was picked from Bweyogerere in Kira municipality, which I represent in parliament.

The reason he was picked was because an informant at a boda boda stage overheard him say he was happy with Kaweesi’s death.

“Kaweesi has been harassing Muslims; he is finished. Next is Kayihura,” he reportedly said.

A boda boda (motorcycle) rider informed police and, in a few hours, the man had been picked and driven to the dreaded Nalufenya police station. And this is how many of the suspects were picked. Anyone alleged to have links with Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) became a suspect instantly.

Mr Museveni made matters worse when he declared, during a service at late Kaweesi’s home, that the killers were ADF. Within a flash, he had concluded this case before investigations started.

The hunt for former ADF fighters, real and imagined, began in earnest. That is why almost all suspects are bearded Muslims. I am told more than 100 people have so far been arrested, some released but others still kept at Nalufenya and other facilities. And the reason these people are being tortured is because police must extract confessions from them.

That will become the only evidence on file. In fact, I fear we may never get Kaweesi’s killers, considering the way police and other agencies are handling this matter.

Already, Butambala MP Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi has cast doubt by claiming, in parliament, that some of the suspects were already in police custody at the time of Kaweesi’s murder.

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Justice Forum’s Kalinge Nyago calls them police’s stock of suspects. These are fellows arrested for various offences and kept at police. Whenever there is need to parade a suspect, they just get them from their cells and put them before cameras. This is allegedly done to hoodwink the public that police is working.Things like these used to happen a lot in the military. They were officially chronicled in a report by a probe committee of Salim Saleh, David Tinyefuza and Amama Mbabazi, around 2005.The report catalogued incidents of mismanagement in the army, including promotion of dead soldiers and those who were in prison for exemplary fight. The late James Kazini got Museveni to promote his blue-eyed boys who were in detention at Makindye military barracks. He then went waving Museveni’s radio message, demanding their release since the boss had appreciated and even promoted them.I can smell some sort of ghost suspects. The real suspects may never face justice. And that takes me to the story of children and women arrested and tortured by police. The story, broadcast by NTV, was disheartening.Police invades a home of a suspect, arrests the suspect, blindfolds him but also goes away with his wife and 12 children! Maybe the wife and children were treated as exhibits.What is disturbing the police, I think, is the number of children found at this home? In the wisdom of the arresting officers, these were too many children for one man/family. Where have these policemen been?These children, 12, are even few compared to the size of many Muslim families in Uganda, especially in rural areas. My father, Hajji Ali Nganda Nkwanga, has 36 children, having lost seven. If we all congregated, I think we would be candidates for arrest.In fact, we would need clearance from the inspector general of police under the Public Order Management Act (POMA). That is how ridiculous this police has become.I hear mothers of these children went looking for them and they were advised to marry other men so they can produce other children. That is how casual people in uniform have become. Is- sues of children, especially to a mother, are not only sensitive, but also emotional.You, therefore, cannot carry away someone’s children and advise them to produce others. These shameless policemen don’t deserve to put on our national uniform.But the most shocking thing is that the police spokesperson, a senior officer, Asan Kasingye, blatantly denied that police was holding these children. Now his junior who speaks for Kampala Metropolitan, Emilian Kayima, is saying they have them.But he also goes ahead to weirdly say they are holding them as they look for the real owner. It is as if these children had gone missing and were picked off the streets by police. How silly can it get?You pick children from their home, including a two-year-old who is sick, and then pretend before cameras that you are looking for the true parents. People who trained these fellows must be ashamed!In fact, one of the children was arrested with a mother. The mother claims she and her child were stripped naked and taunted with rape threats while in custody. I pity judges who will hear this case.You then begin wondering who actually may have killed Kaweesi. I had been made to believe that maybe the ADF did. But with this kind of conduct, I now think it is other people that killed the man.Former Makindye West MP Hussein Kyanjo said during the funeral of late Butaleja Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda that when a dictatorial regime becomes vulnerable, it kills even its own people. North Korea is doing that routinely.The author is Kira Municipality MP.

Police Top List of Violators of Journalists’ Rights

By Raymond Tamale

Whereas many countries have progressively moved towards repealing criminal defamation laws and struck a balance between legitimately protecting people’s reputations and letting free speech reign Uganda still maintains this law.

Cases of journalists being abused and harassed while on duty saw 153 cases reported in 2016, according to the newly released Press Freedom Index Report.

The Uganda Police Force topped the list of violators with 83 cases (61 per cent) recorded.

The report titled “Tough times, Political Intolerance Stifles Media” compiled by the Uganda Human Right’s Network for Journalists (HRNJ-U), listed 10 media houses as suffering 73 of the 153 violations recorded.

Eight cases were against freelance journalists while 54 others were spread among the remaining 36 media houses with most registering one violation on average.

Assaults on women

According to the index out of the 135 violations in the year 2016, sixteen cases (or 12 per cent) targeted female journalists while 117 cases involved male journalists.

For instance in 2016 during the post-election period, space for media freedom and freedom of expression was severely constrained where four-time presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye – who had declared himself winner of the February 16 presidential elections – was barred from leaving his home in Kasangati.

Journalists who camped around Dr Besigye’s residence were pepper sprayed as they tried to take pictures of police actions.

According to Julius Esegu the board chair of the HRNJ-U said attacks on females are on the rise with some losing communications gadgets confiscated by the authorities or they are handed physical beatings.

“There is need to protect them not because they are women but because they need to be respected in their line of duty,” he added.

Other violators of journalists’ rights recorded in the report include cases of violation against civilians, employers, Members of Parliament, judicial officers and private guards.

The report further states that most of the cases of violence against journalists were recorded during the election period that saw Uganda drop 10 places on the 2017 World Press Freedom index.

Other findings in the report include the failure by government to improve the legal and policy frame work to enhance media freedoms.

Some media owners were also blamed for not standing up for their employees’ rights. This was coupled with the increasing manipulation of the police, state agents and powerful individuals to curtail media freedoms and silence journalists.

In their report Uganda stood at 102 last year but dropped to 122 with an index score of 35.94 per cent.

The USAid director of democracy, rights and governance Neil Mueller urged the Uganda police to investigate the offences against journalists and hold those responsible accountable.

In neighbouring Kenya, similar crackdowns were noted in August 2010 when the new Constitution was being debated. However, the new law has seen robust provisions protecting journalists.

Uganda

I Don’t Want Opposition in Parliament – Museveni

In an effort to secure another parliamentary seat in Busoga sub-region, President Museveni has again hit the campaign… Read more »

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