By Anthony Wesaka
Kampala — The leader of the Tabliq Sect Sheikh Yunus Kamoga and 13 others are on Tuesday xpected to start defending themselves against accusations that they were behind the wave of killing of rival Muslim clerics about two years ago.
Their defence follows the ruling of the International Crimes Division of the High Court about three weeks ago that they all have a case to answer.
This was after a panel of three justices led by Ezekiel Muhanguzi, observed that the prosecution had adduced sufficient evidence against each of the accused warranting them to explain their side of the story.
“The prosecution has established a prema-facie case against each of the accused in respect of each of the four counts,” ruled Justice Muhanguzi, the lead judge.
“Consequently, court basing on Section 73 (2) of the Trial and Indictments Act, hereby informs the accused persons of their rights to give evidence on his or her own behalf, make unsworn statement or to call witnesses in his or her defence. That is the ruling,” he said.
Those charged together with Sheikh Kamoga are Sheikh Siraje Kawooya, Abdulsalam, Abdulhamid Sematimba, Rashid Jingo, Twaha Sekkitto, Yusuf Kakande alias Abdallah, Sheikh Murta Mudde Bukenya, Kakim Kinene Muswaswa, Muzamilu Kasawuli, Arafa Serunjoji alias Bukenya, Badru Bukenya, Alex Okot, Joseph Olanya, and Amir Kenene.
The first thing that the accused are expected to do this morning is to choose among the three options on how they will give their defense.
The first option is to give their defence on oath with the respective lawyers guiding them and the state prosecutors cross examining them.
The second option is giving their defence without taking oath. Under this option, their defence lawyers won’t guide them and the state prosecutors will also not ask them any questions.
The last option is to just keep quiet and equally no questions will be asked.
After the accused have defended themselves, court will pass its final judgment to determine whether they are guilty or not.
It’s alleged that the 14 suspects masterminded the coordinated assassinations of rival Muslim leaders resulting into the killing Mustafa Bahiga who was gunned down at Bwebajja Mosque and Sheikh Hassan Kirya, who was gunned down at Bweyogerere, Wakiso District.
They face grave charges ranging from murder, terrorism, crimes against humanity to attempted murder.
Apr 25 2017 | Posted in Uganda
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Ask any ordinary citizen about the Union between the Republic of Tanganyika and the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government, which gave rise to the current Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, especially those born after independence, and you won’t be surprised if that majority will only tell you sketchy information apart from ‘knowing that one is free to move between the two without a passport or visa’.
That is true because, in the first place, a lot of awareness has not been created in the two States at the grassroots level on what joins them together in this ‘marriage’ altogether.
Now that a governing body responsible for the Union issues will pitch tents to resolve pending matters in a win-win situation between the two, and particularly address themselves to establishing a joint finance commission and finance account, ordinary citizens should also be given a chance or a forum to know what is going on, instead of making them mere observers in their own land of birth.
The stakeholders should include the youth who are the majority, traders to whom this matters even more, the vulnerable people as well as faith-based leaders, among others, because once they are enlightened on what binds the two States, they will become good ambassadors for current, as well as future generations – the latter more so.
This school of thought is important instead of solely relying on scholars and politicians who are few and farther apart, and may also decide to enjoin the meeting with their own agenda as opposed to the expectations of the majority.
The approach should be what Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to (read enlighten) a man in a language he understands, that will go into his head, but if you talk to him in his language that will go into his heart.”
All sorts of support should be given to the team to resolve challenges and gaps which may make one feel like a ‘native’ of Zanzibar or that of the Mainland as opposed to addressing issues such as shares in the Central BANK (BoT), motor vehicle registration wrangles, which have been cited as having created unnecessary tensions between the two States.
If we shall resolve what keeps us apart, we shall have paid a great homage to the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere who opposed and fought such drawbacks from the very beginning as well as Sheikh Abeid Karume, who became his First Vice-President in the United Republic of Tanzania and the President of Zanzibar.
At the end of the day, we all want Tanzanians to benefit from this Union – as One People.
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Apr 25 2017 | Posted in Tanzania
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Photo: PPU/Daily Monitor
Visiting. President Museveni and the First Lady Janet being received by His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (right), the Amir of the state of Qatar at his residence (Emir Dewani). Left is Sam Kutesa, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
By Frederic Musisi
Kampala — President Museveni single-handedly picked the list of government officials in the delegation accompanying him to a three-day State visit to oil producing Qatar in the Middle East, according to highly placed sources.
The President, who left for Qatar on Tuesday afternoon with his wife Janet, sources said, threw out a list of officials from the ministries of Labour, Agriculture, Energy and the usual long line of protocol officers who had lined up for the trip, opting to unusually travel with a lean team comprising select officials from Foreign Affairs and Finance. The President’s delegation usually varies from time to time depending on the nature of the trip and assignments at hand.
A technical team was in Qatar much earlier shuffling back and forth over the MoU paper work but sources intimated the President could have dropped some officials premised on his “Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo” (era of no-compromise) sloganeering, in which he signaled government starting to show some seriousness. During this year’s Liberation Day celebrations, the President rapped officials for excess travels, even where assignments can be executed by a small team, a practice he said should stop.
At the Hamad International Airport in the capital Doha, Mr Museveni was received by out-going ambassador to Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) Dr Ssemuddu Yahaya who was reassigned to Tehran (Iran), and Qatari minister for Municipality and Environment Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi.
Yesterday, the President held bilateral talks with the Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani at his residence, who expressed interest in exploring investment opportunities in Uganda and proposed that the two countries create a coordination team led by two ministers to oversee this prospect.
“We can work in two ways, through government and the private sector,” President Museveni was quoted in a statement issued by his press secretary Linda Nabusayi.
“The private sector can invest and process food, textiles, minerals and tourism while government cooperation can look at energy, roads, technical education, innovations and industrial parks.”
The President, who specifically tapped junior Finance minister in charge of Investment Evelyn Anite to coordinate the Qatar-Uganda business interests, said the two countries could as well cooperate in the fields of Energy and Infrastructure.
Premier Abdullah bin Nasser, according to the statement, indicated that with his country hosting the World Cup tournament in 2022, Ugandans could as well take advantage of the migrant labour wave sweeping into the country to tap into the immense jobs available, especially with construction of stadiums and other amenities.
Earlier, the President held a meeting with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, where they witnessed the signing of four MoUs between Uganda and Qatar in the spheres of defence signed by Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa and Qatari defence minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah, and on political consultations also signed by Mr Kutesa and his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.
Other MoUs, on reciprocal cooperation in the protection of investments was signed by Finance minister Matia Kasaija and Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al-Thani, the Qatari minister for economy and commerce, and cooperation in agriculture also signed by Mr Kutesa and Sheihk Mohammad Al Rumaihi, the minister for Municipality and Environment.
Later, Mr Museveni and his wife held a meeting with Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser, the chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, a non-profit organisation.
The meeting discussed investments in Uganda, especially in education. The Foundation previously, has been working with the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, founded by US Actor Forrest Whitaker, in empowering youth in Northern Uganda.
Apr 21 2017 | Posted in Uganda
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By Azory Gwanda
Rufiji — Islamic religious leaders from Mkuranga, Kibiti and Rufiji districts in Coast Region have called upon residents in the districts to cooperate with security and defence organs.
Citizen’s cooperation, they said, would bring to fruition the ongoing efforts to track down and bring to book criminals behind the killings of local government leaders and police officers.
The call was made last Friday at the main mosque in Ikwiriri during special prayers for order, security and tranquility in the three districts that have been hit by a spate of killings of local government leaders and law keepers.
Speaking during the special prayers, the chairman of the Islamic Council of Tanzania (Bakwata) in Mkuranga District, Sheikh Mohammed Maulid Katundu, said they, as religious leaders, had been compelled to conduct special prayers to for peace in the districts so that murder incidents should come to an end.
Besides that, he said, they prayed for those who lost their lives, including the police officers who were shot dead in the area of Mkengeni in Kibiti District.
He said wananchi should cooperate with state organs by revealing all suspected criminals for such people act contrary to will of God.
“Keep on cooperating with the state organs by revealing all those suspected to have been involved in the murder of village leaders and police officers since the killers are going against the instructions of Allah the Almighty,” he said.
Coast Region’s member of Bakwata, Sheikh Ramadhan Mohammed Kinjumbi, speaking shortly after the special prayers, said the escalation of murders in the three districts was a blot against peace and hindrance to implementation of economic activities.
To counter this situation, he said, the community was supposed to pay attention to the directives issued by the government, including heeding to orders issued by the Police Force.
Sheikh Kinjumbi added that the cause of the killings was still a mystery. He said as the police were pursuing the assailants and investigating the incidents, the community should give a hand in efforts to unearth the killers.
Earlier, speaking to reporters on Friday in Dar es Salaam, Police Commissioner for Training and Operations Nsato Marijani said the spate of killings in the districts was not associated with terrorism. He said they were the work of a criminal gang comprising a few people, which had been prevented by police from committing crime.
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Apr 17 2017 | Posted in Tanzania
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By Bernard Busuulwa
Murders of high profile individuals in Uganda since November 2016 have no doubt shocked the political and security circles. But their impact, and that of other less publicised incidents, is being felt in the business community.
Killers on motorbike shot dead Sheikh Major Muhammad Kiggundu and his driver, Stephen Mukasa in November last year after trailing him from his Kampala home on a Saturday morning. The killing followed at least 10 other previous murders, almost in similar fashion that mainly targeted Muslim clerics.
On March 17, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, the Assistant Inspector General of Police and Police spokesperson was gunned down together with his bodyguard and driver a few metres away from his residence in Kulambiro, a Kampala suburb.
While the high profile killings drew attention to crime and day time murders, significant numbers of non-violent crimes have hit the business community hard, with some banks feeling the heat.
Stanbic Bank Uganda, the country’s largest lender with total assets worth Ush4.5 trillion ($1.2 billion) by close of December 2016, recorded 800 fraud incidents between January 2016 and January 2017.
Majority of these were instigated by external parties. About 650 fraud incidents were foiled during this period, according to internal security data compiled by bank staff.
Around 95 per cent of the reported fraud incidents were attributed to use of fake currency notes and three per cent were related to cases of impersonation, among others. An estimated Ush600 million ($164,347) was recovered from fraud incidents detected in the bank between January 2016 and January 2017.
“We have seen a rise in the number of fraud attempts initiated by some clients. We have tried to block them but more keep coming up. I recently persuaded the Uganda Bankers Association to set up an anti-cyber crime committee to guide the industry on ways to tackle this problem,” said Patrick Mweheire, managing director at Stanbic Bank Uganda.
The total number of cyber crime cases reported to police increased from 61 in 2014 to 137 in 2015, according to half year crime data for the first six months of 2015 published by the Uganda Police Force.
“There is zero tolerance for fraud in the banking industry. In case the police is involved in any fraud incidents, we have worked with the institution to investigate such matters and get to the bottom of the problem. Security in the banking industry is not negotiable and all branches are always under tight guard,” observed Fabian Kasi, Centenary Bank Uganda Ltd managing director.
Local entrepreneurs blame the fraud in banks on increasingly difficult economic conditions while corruption and political impunity are blamed for low business confidence in some sectors.
“Some customers feel commercial banks are squeezing them hard with double-digit interest rates that are reviewed at short notice, frequent foreclosures and high transaction charges. Unwillingness by banks to restructure struggling loans under a tough economic environment has made life hard for many business borrowers and this has tempted some people to hit back at the banks,” said Oscar Ofumbi, who is in the transport and education sectors.
“We have become more alert on personal safety in many ways including how one behaves while handling financial transactions,” added Mr Ofumbi.
Equally worrying is what some see as widespread corruption that appears to be condoned by the regime and crime abetted by the police.
“As a result, it has become difficult to report certain crimes to the police because some officers connive with highly connected offenders to kill cases, sometimes in the victims’ presence! Because of such circumstances, we feel scared investing a lot these days due to fear of some rogue but protected elements that interfere with lucrative projects and are capable of doing harm to any business person who does not yield to their demands,” said Edward Kigongo, chief executive of Ken Group, a stationery supplier.
When contacted for comment, the police spokesperson requested more time to respond to our questions.
Figures compiled by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) show the total number of serious crimes investigated by police increased from 7,416 in 2012 to 18,048 in 2013. In 2014, the total number of serious crimes investigated by the police rose to 20,475.
The number of burglary cases investigated by police increased from 1,842 in 2012 to 3,846 in 2013.
However, the overall number of burglary cases investigated by police dropped to 3,668 in 2014, UBOS data shows. Homicide cases investigated by the Police rose from 759 in 2012 to 2,326 in 2013. Overall homicide cases investigated by police increased to 2,421 in 2014.
Apr 14 2017 | Posted in Technology
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By Winnie Atieno
Public hospitals in Mombasa have been forced to allow patients to share beds as many residents flock the facilities with advanced stages of different ailments, thanks to resumption of services after doctors’ strike.
Patients from Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Lamu, Tana-River are thronging the Coast Provincial General Hospital, the largest health facility in the region to seek medical services.
A spot check by the Nation.co.ke revealed the hospital was overstretched especially the maternity wing forcing mothers to share beds.
Mombasa acting Health executive Binti Omar and director of medical services Shem Patta said the hospital is strained in terms of population, with health workers handling more than 45 deliveries daily.
“Previously we could do an average of 30, but both normal and caesarean section have increased. The staff are actually overstretched but we are recruiting 30 more nurses because that is where we have a shortage,” said Dr Patta.
Dr Patta said deliveries at the Mrima health Centre in Likoni which was the only facility offering emergency obstetric services shot up from 240 to 656 in a month.
“They could do almost 150 caesarean section operations in a month,” he added.
Ms Omar said most of the patients seeking healthcare services at the county hospitals are at an acute stage.
“Their conditions are very dire, we can’t afford another strike. The hospitals are full, go to Port Reitz serving in Mombasa West and you will see. Others are coming from Mariakani. People were sick and lacked a place to go during the nationwide doctors’ strike. Now that operations have normalised more patients are coming,” she added.
She said were it not for the conditional grant from the national government it could have been difficult for the county to offer subsidised medical services.
Meanwhile, over 400 Mombasa residents benefited from a free medical camp organised by Project Hope Organisation.
The lobby group’s executive director Abdhul Rasheed Sheikh and Dr Tahir Mohammed said they decided to hold the camp due to the rising cases of diabetes and hypertension.
Last year the organisation held a similar medical camp where 315 people were diagnosed with the diseases and hypertension.
“125 were diagnosed with diabetes and 190 with blood pressure. We provided treatment and they are doing well,” said Dr Mohammed.
Mr Sheikh said the camp is as a corporate social responsibility targeting residents who suffered due to the three agonizing months of the doctors’ strike.
“We decided to bring the services to the community after suffering without healthcare. Majority of those who are suffering from diabetes and hypertension are the elderly and the youths according to our statistics,” added the 24-year-old law student.
Mr Sheikh who is seeking to be a Member of County Assembly (MCA) urged his age mates to vie for political seats.
“We shouldn’t sit back and complain about corruption when we cannot take the initiative and make a difference,” he added.
Apr 11 2017 | Posted in Health
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Nyala — More than twenty people died of unknown disease in Otash and Kalma camps near Nyala in the past two weeks. Most of the victims are children and elderly people.
A sheikh in Otash camp for displaced people said that sixteen people had died, while another sheikh in Kalma camp reported that seven people died in two weeks’ time.
They pointed out to Radio Dabanga that the symptoms of the disease are fever and severe headache among children, and diarrhoea among elderly people. Doctors believe these are symptoms of typhoid and giardiasis.
“Dozens of patients have been transferred to Nyala Teaching Hospital because of a lack of medicines and treatment at the camps’ health centres,” one of the sheikhs said. They appealed to the authorities and aid organisations to provide medicines.
Meanwhile the director of medical supplies in South Darfur state, Abu Bakr Yousif, has acknowledged the lack of vaccines, and especially vaccines against rabies.
His announcement followed the complaints of residents of Nyala city about the shortage of drugs, that has caused people who are bitten by snakes, dogs or stung by scorpions to suffer more. Residents pointed to a lack of vaccines in the health centres and hospitals, concerned about the possible spread of rabies.
Three weeks ago, a vehicle of the Ministry of Health arrived and distributed pills to residents of Otash camp, to treat worms. People discovered that the medicine had expired two weeks earlier and informed the Humanitarian Aid Commission in the camp.
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Apr 10 2017 | Posted in Health
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By Galgalo Bocha
Religious leaders have warned that the rise in incidents of politicians using abusive language against their political opponents may lead to chaos, if not checked.
Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa, the organising secretary of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) challenged State agencies mandated to vet aspirants to bar such politicians from seeking any elective posts.
Sheikh Khalifa was addressing journalists on the sidelines of a stakeholders’ forum held by the Kenya Film Classification Board that was held at Travellers Beach Hotel, Mombasa, with the aim of collecting religious leaders’ views on the review of the Film and Stage Plays Act Cap 222.
“Members of (the) public cannot tolerate any more leaders who are intolerant [and] disrespect and incite Kenyans along tribal lines,” added Sheikh Khalifa.
Mombasa County Commissioner Evans Achoki who was present during the forum urged the media to conduct themselves professionally before, during and after the forthcoming elections.
Sheikh Khalifa challenged the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to prosecute politicians propagating hooliganism and violence that has been witnessed in the recent past across the country.
“The political violence witnessed in Migori County the other day should not be allowed to happen again since it is a threat to the security and stability of the country ahead of the polls,” he said.
“These agencies are failing Kenyans because they are mandated to take legal action against some of these leaders. Kenyans should not be allowed to be used by politicians to fight their neighbours because of political differences,” added the cleric.
Religious leaders are increasingly concerned with the state of the nation as the clock ticks towards the August 8 elections.
They repeatedly pleaded with politicians to save the country from a repeat of the 2007/2008 bloody chaos in which thousands of Kenyans lost their lives while others were displaced from their homes.
Recently, the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) chairman Adan Wachu and board member, Dr Nelson Makanda, said the posterity of the country is more important than the outcome of elections.
“We are urging all stakeholders in this country to honour the sanctity of the laws and the Constitution we have given ourselves so that we go to the election without acrimony,” said Dr Makanda.
The Muslim, Christian and Hindu religious leaders’ umbrella body said they are the voice of Kenyans, adding that they are committed to telling Kenyans, particularly the youth, not to be incited by politicians to cause violence and fight each other.
They observed that there is a similarity between this year’s election and the disputed 2007 elections in which the country was plunged into political crisis.
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Apr 6 2017 | Posted in Kenya
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Khartoum — The First Vice-President of the Republic and the National Prime Minister, General, Bakri Hassan Saleh issued, Wednesday, decision No.(107) , for 2017, appointing Dr. Badr Edeen Al-Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hassan as Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. The Decree has, also, relieved Dr. Ali Gadom Al-Ghali from his post as the Undersecretary of the Ministry.
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Apr 6 2017 | Posted in Agriculture
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By Manase Otsialo
Two of the three teenagers injured in an explosion in Mandera East on Saturday were airlifted to Nairobi for specialised treatment.
A third victim died while undergoing treatment at Mandera County Referral Hospital at about 12pm on Sunday.
One of the five teenagers, aged between 13 and 15, had died on the spot and another on arrival at the hospital on Saturday.
“It is very unfortunate that we lost a third victim of the explosion but we have managed, as a county government together with Amref, to airlift the remaining two to Nairobi,” said Mandera County Health Executive Ahmed Sheikh.
The two were in a group of boys herding goats at Hareri Hosle Centre who picked up a metallic object that exploded.
The device, according to Mandera Deputy County Commissioner David Mbevi, was a bomb left behind by unknown persons.
The first victim died after sustaining serious head injuries resulting from a shrapnel, according medical records at the health facility.
Mr Sheikh said Mandera was recording the highest number of referrals to Nairobi due to lack of specialised doctors.
There have been at least at least five such cases in a week.
“We are experiencing this because for the past three years we have been unable to attract specialised doctors into Mandera despite placing several advertisements,” said Mr Sheikh.
The officer, however, revealed that talks were under way for Amref to provide specialised doctors to the county.
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Mar 27 2017 | Posted in Health
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