Posts tagged as: wednesday

Police Spokesperson Threatens to Resign Over Torture Statement

All is not well in the Uganda Police Force over the handling of the suspects accused of torturing Kamwenge town council mayor, Geoffrey Byamukama.

URN understands that police spokesperson Asan Kasingye threatened to resign on Wednesday after his colleagues, during a meeting of the senior officers of the force, asked him retract his statement that four suspects had been arrested in connection to Byamukama’s torture.

Byamukama, alongside at least 15 other suspects, is accused of taking part in the March 17 murder of Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his driver Kenneth Erau and bodyguard Godfrey Wambewo.

Besides Byamukama, the other suspects have also appeared in court with fresh wounds allegedly sustained during torture at Nalufenya police detention centre.

The police first denied Byamukama’s arrest in early April until it all came to light late last week when he was found at Nakasero hospital in Kampala with deep wounds all over his body. Kasingye first said the torture could have happened elsewhere and not in police custody.

The Inspector General of Police, General Kale Kayihura, ordered for the arrest of two senior officers, Patrick Munanura and Fred Tumuhirwe together with their juniors, Sgt Tumukunde and Constable Ronnie Byenkya in connection with Byamukama’s torture.

Kasingye who had earlier denied that Byamukama had been tortured by the police later admitted in a statement that there had been “a scuffle in which the mayor sustained superficial injuries.”

A week ago Kasingye also confirmed that the four torture suspects had been arrested. State minister for Internal Affairs Obiga Kania in his address to parliament apologised to the nation that Byamukama had been tortured.

Obiga also ‘confirmed’ police had arrested four officers allegedly linked to the torture of Byamukama and other suspects at Nalufenya police detention facility. He said investigations were still ongoing.

Now URN has learnt from reliable sources in the police that the suspects have never been arrested as earlier claimed. Kayihura ordered for their arrest before he left to Algeria on official duties.

A source told URN that the police accounts committee held a meeting on Wednesday where the torture issue was discussed. The highly-charged meeting is said to have taken place in the board room at police headquarters in Naguru.

The police accounts committee is comprised of members of top police management who include all the directors. The source says the only officer absent in the meeting was John Ndungutse, the director of Counter Terrorism. The meeting was chaired by deputy Inspector General of Police Okoth Ochola.

The meeting reportedly learnt that no suspect had been arrested. A report from the police Professional Standards Unit was brought into the meeting indicating that the four supposedly arrested officers are neither in custody nor at their known addresses.

Those in attendance tasked deputy director Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate, Moses Musana and Nixon Agasirwe, who until recently was head of the Special Operations Unit, to produce the suspects but they could not be produced. Musana reportedly used to head the Nalufenya facility.

The meeting, according to the sources, also tasked the Director Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID), Grace Akullo to open an inquiry into the torture allegations with view of instituting criminal proceedings against the suspects.

The meeting allegedly turned stormy when police spokesman, Asan Kasingye was advised to call a media briefing in which he would retract confirmations about the arrest of the two senior officers and their juniors.

Kasingye, according to the sources was not happy with calling a press conference to retract his earlier statement that the four had been arrested. He reportedly threatened to resign over the matter that would depict him as a liar.

Kasingye in a telephone interview on Wednesday evening did not confirm or deny whether the police accounts committee meeting was held. But he denied that he had threatened to resign. He, however said the Internal Affairs minister, General Jeje Odong, was to issue a statement about the progress in the investigations into torture allegations.

General Odong could not be reached on his known mobile phone number. State Minister for Internal Affairs, Obiga Kania, could not confirm reports that the four suspects were not in detention.

Obiga Kania who sounded furious about the matter said Kasingye and his boss would have to explain why they would let him lie to the public and parliament that the arrests had been made.

On Tuesday, President Museveni weighed in on the issue, writing a letter to his top security chiefs warning against the use of torture. The president said the practice is “unnecessary and wrong and must not be used again”.

Museveni said torture was wrong because it could lead to innocent people admitting guilt just to end the pain. In the letter addressed to Chief of Defence Forces, General David Muhoozi, IGP Kayihura and the Director of Intelligence Services, Museveni said torture is not “consonant with logic.”


Faza Hospital Conducts First Caesarean Section

By Kalume Kazungu

Faza Sub-County hospital in Lamu East has conducted its first caesarean section operation.

The successful surgery was done on a 23 year-old first time mother from Tchgundwa village who had an obstructed labour on Wednesday.

For decades, the facility has been offering basic medical services due to infrastructural challenges.

For the past two years, however, the Lamu County government, in partnership with the national government, has equipped the hospital with modern medical equipment.

Addressing journalists in Lamu on Wednesday, Health Executive Mr Mohamed Kombo said the Sh480 million rehabilitation of the facility was now complete.


“Faza hospital started in mid 1970s. Before 2013, the facility was operating like a health centre but now we have renovated it to a fully-fledged level-four facility. In fact, today (Wednesday) we were able to conduct a successful caesarean section for the first time since independence at the facility,” said Dr Kombo.

He said most of the patients in Lamu East have always been referred to the Lamu King Fahad County Hospital in Lamu Town, which is miles away across the vast Indian Ocean.

Dr Kombo said the newly refurbished Faza Sub-County hospital will serve hundreds of locals in Faza Island and other adjacent islands in Lamu East including those at the border of Lamu with Somalia like Ishakani, Ras Kamboni, Kiunga, Mkokoni, Kiwayu and Ndau.

“For a long time, pregnant mothers in Lamu East have succumbed to childbirth related complications since the hospital wasn’t well equipped for safe deliveries. Locals now have an hospital to rush to instead of spending days on the road and ocean as they seek treatment in Lamu,” said Mr Kombo.


Dr Kombo praised the national government for giving Faza Sub-County hospital equipment for Radiology, X-ray, ultrasound, operating theatre and other medical equipment worth Sh380 million on loan.

He said the county government has spent Sh100 million to upgrade the facility.

“As county government, we have invested on the operating theatre, laundry, kitchen, perimeter wall, salaries, emergency hospital generator and electrification of the entire facility,” said Dr Kombo.

Mrs Asha Bunu, a Faza resident, said the renovation of the Faza hospital was timely.


“Residents, especially pregnant women would go all the way to Lamu for ultrasound, we thank God that such services will now be available at Faza,” said Mrs Bunu.

Mr Bwanamkuu Abdalla said the upgrading of the Faza facility has come as a big relief to residents since it will save them the high charges they had to pay for speed boats to ferry patients across the Indian Ocean to Lamu Hospital.

The cheapest a speed boat would charge to ferry a patient from Lamu East to Lamu Island is Sh15,000.

“Most people here are poor and hiring a boat at Sh15,000 or Sh20,000 just to get to hospital is difficult. We have lost many mothers and babies but we are glad this will now be over with the refurbished Faza Sub County Hospital,” said Mr Abdalla.

Ruling Party Confident of Winning Nairobi Governorship

Photo: Charles Kimani/DPPS

Mike Sonko, left, the Jubilee Party’s gubernatorial nominee for Nairobi , with deputy governor nominee Polycap Igathe in the county on May 17, 2017.

By Patrick Lang’at

The Jubilee Party on Wednesday exuded confidence of winning the Nairobi gubernatorial after pairing Mike Sonko with Polycarp Igathe.

Deputy President William Ruto backed the team, describing Senator Sonko, who is Jubilee Party’s nominee for the county’s top job, as the solution to the problems facing the capital.

At a press conference he personally managed, ushering speakers and arranging how they will sit, the DP said the Jubilee Party leadership fully supported Mr Sonko, who has picked Vivo Energy Kenya Managing Director Igathe to become his running mate.

“Under the leadership of these two gentlemen, we actually have a winning team. We can now do the things we have so much wanted to do as Jubilee administration in Nairobi,” said the DP at the Jubilee Party headquarters in a three-minute speech he made after unveiling the duo.

For the Jubilee Party in 2013 elections, having not won Nairobi, which controls up to 60 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product besides being the seat of power, has haunted them for the past four and a half years.

“This team understands the challenges of this city and are going to provide the solutions for the problems this city faces. And they have the right partnership with us to make sure that Nairobi truly becomes the City in the Sun, again,” Mr Ruto said.


Mr Sonko, a streetwise politician and a ruthless mobiliser, has cut the image of a man who has related with the hoi polloi, the chunk of the 2.3 million voters in the city.

To clinch the Jubilee Party ticket, however, the senator had to fend off challenge from 2013 presidential candidate Peter Kenneth, who had painted himself as the manager that Nairobi needed.

Mr Kenneth’s team had hoped to win the primaries by painting Mr Sonko as an erratic leader hell-bent on violence and unqualified to lead the city.

But, like a man fresh from being baptised, the senator had taken Mr Kenneth’s advice, debuting a new image, one he hopes will catapult him to the helm of City Hall.

Gone are the heavy gold and diamond rings and chains, the multicoloured mohawk and dyed hair, the ripped jeans, and punching of walls or sleeping on the tarmac.

On Wednesday, he once again portrayed the new image, one donning a business suit, and choosing his words carefully.

“I have been like the de facto governor because all the complaints by the county residents have been brought to me for action and mainly issues regarding land grabbing which incumbency has never addressed,” Mr Sonko said in a five-minute prepared speech.


“As you will see from our manifesto, which we will be unveiling shortly, our agenda for this county is issue-based and will be anchored on good governance, transparency and I shall not entertain any form of corruption in whichever form.”

He promised to tackle corruption, address garbage collection, which he said had been taken over by cartels, restructure the City Inspectorate Department and address drainage and cleanliness, a job he said he will accomplish with Mr Igathe.

“You will appreciate my choice of running mate reflects the corporate governance image that the residents of Nairobi would like to serve them and his CV in corporate leadership speaks for itself,” he said of Mr Igathe, who he said will run policy, development and political affairs.

Mr Igathe, who said he went through a rigorous interview to win the seat with 11 others, said he will complement his boss, if they win. “I took a leap of faith and left a job at the private sector for politics because 60 per cent of our country’s GDP in Nairobi can no longer be left in the hands of clueless people,” he said.

South Africa: South Road Families Lose SCA Appeal

The SCA has dismissed an application by a group of Wynberg residents for special leave to appeal against a Western Cape High Court ruling that cleared the way for the next phase of the MyCiTi bus project.

The South Road Families Association’s (SRFA) application was dismissed because the requirements for special leave to appeal were not satisfied, City of Cape Town councillor Brett Herron said in a statement on Wednesday.

The application was dismissed on Monday and the city was notified of the outcome on Wednesday.

Herron urged South Road residents to accept the court’s decision and to support the city’s efforts to roll out Phase 2A of the MyCiTi bus services. The service would help alleviate traffic congestion in the southern parts of the city, he said.

On February 10, the Western Cape High Court ruled in favour of the City of Cape Town and cleared it of any wrongdoing in how it went about implementing the project.

People living in South Road, Wynberg, received notices to vacate city-owned rental properties in September 2014 to make way for a MyCiti bus expansion.

The SRFA subsequently obtained an interdict preventing the city from moving forward with the project.

Association chairperson Clive Muller said the city never held public participation sessions, but merely “information sessions”, and only when residents asked for them.

The city said plans had not yet been finalised on whether the bus route would go through South Road.

Herron said they were eager to finalise the route alignment of the Wynberg section of Phase 2A of the bus service.

“This court action was a waste of our ratepayers’ money and has unfairly and unnecessarily delayed the much-needed roll-out of the MyCiTi service to the residents of Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha by nearly two years.”

He said phase 2A of the MyCiTi bus service would change the lives of hundreds of thousands of poor residents for the better.

Once fully rolled out, the proposed Phase 2A of the MyCiTi service would benefit approximately 1.4 million residents, from the outskirts of Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain to the urban centres of Wynberg and Claremont.


South Africa

Families of Trapped Lily Mine Workers Each Paid R200 000 – Labour Union

The families of the three trapped Lily Mine workers have each been paid a lump sum of R200 000. Read more »

Children’s Programmes Showcased During Innovation Week

By Janeth Mesomapya

Dar es Salaam — Social entrepreneurs and digital innovators are expected to assess on Wednesday, children innovation programs dubbed ‘Akili and Me’ and ‘Ubongo kids’ at the international Innovation Week that started on Monday.

The event is organized by Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF), UKAid and hosted by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology and involves various stakeholders in the tech industry.

So far, there have been brainstorming sessions and presentations on various innovations developed by Tanzanians. There will also be presentations on researches conducted in the country on drone technology and how it can be useful in the sector of health.


States Split On Funding Mechanisms to Bail Out EAC

East African Community (EAC) partner states are divided on the proposed financing mechanisms to bail out the… Read more »

393 Large Scale Industries Established Under Magufuli

Photo: The Citizen

President John Magufuli at the processing factory in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.

By Athuman Mtulya

Dodoma — Over 390 large scale industries with a capital flow of $2.3 billion (Sh5.1 trillion) have been established since the fifth phase government assumed office, the Parliament was told on Wednesday.

Presenting his budget speech in the Parliament, the Minister for Industries, Trade and Investment, Mr Charles Mwijage, said the industries had created over 38,860 employment opportunities to Tanzanians.

The minister revealed that Tanzania Investment Center registered 242 new investment projects in a period between July 2016 and March 2017 worth $2 million.

“Out of 242 projects,170 are industries, and 17,385 jobs are expected to be created,” the minister told the Parliament.

The minister also revealed that a total of 1,843 small scale industries have been registered across the country in a period between July 2016 and March 2017.

The industrial sector, according to the minister, grew by 7.8% in 2016 compared to 6.5% in 2015. The sector also contributed 5.1 per cent to the GDP in 2016 compared to 5.2 per cent in 2015.

The minister asked the Parliament to approve Sh122 billion for his office in the 2017/18 financial year.

According to Mwijage, Sh42 billion is for recurrent expenditures and Sh80 billion will be used to implement development projects.

The minister reiterated that the government still believed that the private sector held a crucial role in propelling the growth of industries in the country.


States Split On Funding Mechanisms to Bail Out EAC

East African Community (EAC) partner states are divided on the proposed financing mechanisms to bail out the… Read more »

You Are Incompetent, Security Minister Tells Police

Photo: The Observer

Security minister Lt General (retired) Henry Tumukunde (R) speaks to the inspector general of police, General Kale Kayihura (file photo).

By Joseph Eigu Onyango & By Yahudu Kitunzi

Soroti/Mbale — Security minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde has criticised the police for what he described as “lacking command and control skills in crime detection and prevention” before recommending a refresher course for police commanders and senior officers.

Lt Gen Tumukunde made the remarks while addressing a security meeting for district police commanders, resident district commissioners and LC5 chairpersons in Teso sub-region at Soroti Lukiiko Hall on Wednesday.

He castigated police and RDCs for negligence in their areas of command and failing to investigate and report security issues to relevant authorities.

He cited Bukedea as leading in crime ranging from murder, poisoning and illegal guns, according to reports given by the office of the district RDC.

“With all those ranks and titles you are holding, you cannot protect our people! No, no, no, you don’t deserve it,” Lt Gen Tumukunde charged.

He lashed out at both the police and RDCs before threatening to recommend for their sacking describing them as a bunch of “incompetent” RDCs in Teso who cannot write reports.

He, however, took exception of Kaberamaido RDC Jimmy Ebil Segawa whom he said he always reads his good reports in President’s Office.

Gen Tumukunde reminded the police that security is a critical aspect in the country and if it’s not properly handled, the economy will go down and government will not be able to provide for them good uniforms and other requirements.

“Right from Mbale, when I met the security leaders everything is a mess. The police even admitted that it has become hard to fight crime,” he said.

During the meeting, Amuria District chairperson Robert Erisat Okitoi told Lt Gen Tumukunde that government should strengthen the police by empowering the CID department to thoroughly investigate crime and prosecute the suspects.

According to Mr Okitoi, cases of mob action have increased in the region because the public has lost trust in police investigations.

Gen Tumukunde pressed the Soroti Resident State Attorney (RSA), Ms Josephine Ariong to explain why the judiciary takes long to hear cases filed as long as five years ago leaving criminals to move freely,.

In response, Ms Ariong blamed the police CID for poor investigations saying most files don’t have sufficient evidence to pin the criminals when cases are taken to court for trial.

“In some cases, the police bring to us files when even the termites have eaten the statements and evidence. Besides, the quality of evidence in the files is usually poor,” she said.

In a related development, Gen Tumukunde on Wednesday allegedly threw Mr Muhammad Zandya, the Mbale Municipality mayor out of a meeting after he allegedly undermining his rank and position.

When contacted about the incident, Mr Zandya declined to comment.

However, the Mbale District police commander, Mr Godwin Ochaki, who escorted Mr Zandya out of the meeting, said ‘he (Zandya) was thrown out of the meeting for abusing the Gen’.

“It’s true the Security minister threw out Mr Zandya for abusing him and I escorted him out of the meeting,” said Mr Ochaki.

Some of the Security officials, who preferred anonymity, termed the word “security man” as local security guards”.

Uganda: Drinkers, Smokers to Pay More As Govt Increase Taxes

Photo: Abubaker Lubowa/Daily Monitor

(file photo).

By Isaac Imaka

Kampala — Consumers will have to pay more for a bottle of beer and a stick of cigarette because Members of Parliament (MPs) upped the tax on the items on Wednesday.

The MPs say they care about people’s health and the country needs more money in the vaults.

During a debate on the Excise Duty Bill, the MPs, however, ensured that even with the increased taxes, the local manufacturers of the two leisure commodities are protected by setting taxes on their products a little lower than on the imported stuff.

“If we make the difference very small, you will find that people will opt for foreign goods. If we increase, it will also cut down the intake by the local people,” Budadiri West MP, Nandala Mafabi argued as he made a case for increased tax.

With effect from the next financial year, Shs55,000 will be paid per 1,000 sticks of locally manufactured soft cup cigarettes; a Shs5,000 more from the old charges. Also, Shs75,000 will be charged per 1,000 sticks of imported cigar rates.

Locally manufactured Hinge lid cigarettes will be taxed Shs80, 000 and the imported one will be taxed Shs100, 000 per 1,000 sticks.

Mubende woman MP, Namugwanya Bugembe Benny, unsuccessfully pushed for a blanket Shs80, 000 for all locally manufactured cigarettes as a deterrent for smokers.

“Tax should be bigger on imported products but I do not agree with the insinuation that tax on local products should be lower than Shs80,000.

“We are putting tax for revenue for tax revenue but also to discourage young people from consumption but also to help the old one. Leave Shs80,000 for local and Shs90,000 for imported,” she said.

Junior minister for Finance, David Bahati, said the ministry had not differentiated between imported and locally produced cigarette “because of the tobacco control act we passed which says that we should not differentiate cigarettes because a cigarette is a cigarette.”

On beer a product whose local raw material excluding water is 75 per cent by weight per litre, a tax 30 per cent or 650 per litre or whichever is higher was passed.

The other beers produced from locally produced material have been given a 60 per cent tax.

The House, however, rejected the House committee on finance’s proposals to lower the tax on non-alcoholic beverages excluding fruit or vegetable juices from 13 per cent to 10 per cent or Shs157.

Although the committee’s argument was that the 13 per cent rate is the highest in the region, minister Bahati argued that the move will see the country lose Shs32 billion.

Mr Amos Lugoolobi, the chair of the House Committee on Budget, rejected the 10 per cent proposal arguing that government should be given chance to collect enough money.

“Out of the Shs28.8 trillion budget, our discretionary resource is about Shs12 trillion. We are struggling to find resources and this is not the time to give away Shs32 billion. I am not in support of the idea of reducing tax on beverages,” he said.

Vote So As to Bring Change to Kenya, Says US Envoy

By Simon Ndonga

Nairobi — The US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec is urging Kenyans to come out in large numbers to vote during the August polls so as to bring change to the country.

While stating that America does not support any particular candidate or political party, the envoy stated that the leaders chosen will be accepted.

He also emphasized the need for corruption to be addressed as it was undermining the growth of the country.

“The United States, the American Embassy, me personally, we do not have a candidate in our selection. We do not. We do not support a specific political party. It is your decision alone as Kenyans and all of you need to be involved in this,” he stated.

Godec expressed the American government’s commitment to help Kenya deal firmly with the vice.

“Corruption is undermining the future of Kenya. It is creating huge problems and it is undermining democracy, security, prosperity and having a very bad effect and this needs to change,” he said.

Addressing Maseno University students on Wednesday at the main campus on corruption, Godec stated that it remains the duty of Kenyans to speak through the ballot.

The ambassador explained that corruption is undermining the growth of Kenya and must be addressed.

Godec stated that the vice is affecting many sectors in the country that have the capability of propelling development for the people of Kenya.


Drought Lifts Power Exports to Kenya By 300%

Uganda’s electricity exports to Kenya grew 300 per cent in the four months to April as drought cut the neighbouring… Read more »

Two Soldiers Arrested Over Man’s Shooting

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) has arrested two soldiers for allegedly shooting a man.

According to acting Defence and Military spokesperson, Lt Col René Ngendahimana, the incident took place on Wednesday morning when a man identified as Ivan Ntivuguruzwa, in his 30s, was shot dead in Gikondo suburb, Kicukiro district.

“It is true, it (the shooting) happened at night around 1: am in Gikondo when one of the two soldiers who were on duty in the area shot dead a man. We are yet to establish the motive behind the shooting and we have immediately launched investigations as the two are being held for further investigations by the military prosecution,” said Ndendahimana.

The names of the arrested soldiers were not revealed.

It is alleged that the victim was a businessman running a bar in the area but Ngendahimana gave no more details so as not to interfere with ongoing investigations.

He however said that the army condemns whoever gets involved in indiscipline, adding that shooting anyone was against the core values and discipline of the army.

He added that such incidents occur due to various reasons; including accidents, negligence or mistakes, adding that measures are always taken so that such incidents are prevented.

Lt. Col. Ngendahimana said the army condoles with the family of the bereaved.


Rwandan President Says ICT Should Unite Us, Not Deepen Divides

President Paul Kagame has said that the transformation of the African continent through ICT ought to be inclusive and… Read more »

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