All Uganda news

Red Pepper

Subscribe to Red Pepper feed Red Pepper
The News paper of the Year
Updated: 1 hour 28 min ago

Uganda Ranked Among Most Corrupt Countries

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 14:35

Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has ranked the public sectors in sub-Saharan Africa as the most corrupt in the world, with two countries hit by instability – Somalia and South Sudan – topping the list and Uganda following in line.

Releasing its 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index, the German-based group says that the majority of countries in the world are making “little or no progress in ending corruption”.

In East Africa, Rwanda is the best ranked and globally ranked 48, Tanzania comes second at number 103 globally, Kenya third, ranked 143 globally. Uganda fourth at 151, and Burundi is ranked 157 globally. South Sudan and Somalia are the most corrupt countries ranked 179 and 180 globally respectively.

The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories based on the perceptions of business sector and experts, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

This year, New Zealand and Denmark rank highest with scores of 89 and 88 respectively. Syria, South Sudan and Somalia rank lowest with scores of 14, 12 and 9 respectively,” Transparency International says.

“The best performing region is Western Europe with an average score of 66. The worst performing regions are Sub-Saharan Africa (average score 32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (average score 34),” it adds.



Police Court Releases Kirumira On Bail

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 13:58

A Police Court has granted bail to former Buyende District Police Commander, ASP Muhammad Kirumira.

Kirumira is being charged with extortion, unlawful exercise of authority, corruption and excessive use of force.

The Court which seats at Naguru at the Police Headquarters granted Kirumira bail after he presented former Kampala Metropolitan Police operations commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Sam Omala as surety.

The Police court chaired by Denis Odongpiny had insisted he would only release Kirumira on bail is he presented a police officer with a rank about his.

Earlier in the day Police had whipped and beaten journalists who had attempted to cover the court proceedings.

African Urged To Reduce Reliance On Hydropower

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 13:49

African nations need to diversify energy supply, particularly countries reliant on hydropower, industry experts said at an energy conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The region has been affected by severe droughts in recent years, affecting not only food security but also energy supply in countries that make heavy use of hydropower.

Hydropower stations in such countries are are at risk, said Langiwe Lungu, executive director of the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) in Zambia, pointing to climate change studies.

Zambia’s electricity deficit rose to 1,000 megawatts (MW) in 2016 as severe drought reduced water levels at the Kariba Dam, which generates much of its electricity.

Mines also came under pressure, with Glencore’s Zambian Mopani Copper Mines business suspending operations in certain areas after power supply restrictions.

Zambia, Africa’s second-largest copper producer, has since introduced solar, coal power and heavy fuel oil to its energy mix.

“At one point our energy supply was 99 percent from hydropower but now we are at about 85 percent,” Lungu said.

Low rainfall in Kenya, where electricity generation capacity is mostly from hydroelectric and geothermal sources, pushed the country to generate more electricity using costly diesel last year.

“You need a mix that allows you to mitigate those types of issues,” said George Njenga, GE Power’s regional executive for sub-Saharan Africa.


Switzerland Slaps Sanctions On Kabila Allies

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 13:41

Switzerland imposed sanctions including asset freezes and travel bans on 14 allies of Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila on Wednesday amid a worsening political crisis linked to his refusal to step down.

Congolese security forces have killed dozens of protesters in violent crackdowns on a series of demonstrations organised in opposition to Kabila’s decision to remain in power despite the end of his elected mandate in December 2016.

Switzerland has long held a reputation as a favoured international destination for stashing ill-gotten wealth, owing to its banking privacy laws. But in recent years, in the face of international pressure, it has sought to demonstrate greater transparency, including increased cooperation with other nations’ tax authorites.

The sanctions list published by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs largely mirrors one already enforced by the European Union. The United States has also imposed sanctions on senior Congolese officials over the past two years.

Regime figures targeted by the Swiss measure include former interior ministers Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari and Evariste Boshab, ex-national police commissioner John Numbi and Kalev Mutond, the head of the National Intelligence Agency.

Information Minister Lambert Mende, who serves as Congo’s government spokesman and is also on the sanctions list, was not immediately available to comment on the Swiss announcement.

In power since 2001, Kabila struck a deal in December 2016 with the main opposition bloc to stay on after his mandate expired on the condition elections were held by the end of 2017.

Government authorities missed that deadline and the vote is now scheduled for this December. However, election officials have hinted that polls may not even be possible then because of financial and logistical constraints.

As the political crisis has dragged on Congo has experienced a spike in violence by armed groups, particularly in the restive east, which many fear could plunge the country back into the kind of conflict in which millions died at the turn of the century.


Police Whip Reporters Covering Police Court

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 13:08

Police officers chased and whipped several journalists who had turned up at Kololo Police Headquarters to cover the trial of former Buyende DPC Muhammad Kirumira who is accused of extortion, torture and use of excessive force.

The police who beat up the reporters with sticks were all in uniform.

Drama started unfolding at around 9:30 am when the police van carrying Kirumira arrived at Kololo from Nalufenya and found journalists waiting to photograph the controversial and motor mouth policeman.

A reporter with Bukedde newspaper Ponsiano Nsimbi said four uniformed policemen pounced on the reporters and started beating them up with kicks and sticks forcing the reporters to flee.

Nsimbi said: “They ordered for the confiscation of our equipment before starting to beat us, they told us we could not access the police court unless we had officials invitation letters from the chairman. ”

The reporters run for it but the policemen chased and arrested many of them. Some were injured nut none was detained. They were all ordered to leave the scene.

Busoga Beauty Queens Meet Kadaga

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 12:50

Beauty queens from Busoga have commended the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, for promoting the tourism potential in the region.

The queens, who met the Speaker at her office on Monday 19th February 2018, observed the need to improve the road network in the eastern region and to encourage Ugandans to make Busoga a tourist destination.

Speaking on behalf of the team of nine tourism queens, Kamuya Kitamirike, also presented the Speaker a certificate of registration of Miss Tourism Busoga Association, and requested her to be their Patron.

She highlighted the need to create awareness about tourism and wildlife conservation among students.

“We plan to establish tourism clubs in schools in Busoga sub-region and organize competitions and quizzes in Lusoga,” said Kamuya.

The Speaker accepted the invitation to become the patron of the Miss Tourism Busoga Association and was in agreement with the tourism ambassadors saying promoting the region, especially the language of Lusoga, was necessary in putting Busoga on the map.

“We have more than 35 tourism sites but people take them for granted; it is our responsibility to promote them,” said Kadaga, adding that “There is a need to promote Lusoga as a language through debates as well as music, dance and drama.”

The Speaker also noted the need to actively engage in tree planting campaigns to green the region and the entire country, a message which she emphasizes at all events she attends.

The tourism beauty queens who were accompanied by media partners from the US and UK, presented a gift of the map of Busoga to the Speaker, with a call to her to engage them in her activities.

Kadaga Wants Tough Laws Against Alcoholism

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 12:45

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga wants government to come down hard with laws intended to control and eradicate alcohol abuse.

Kadaga criticised government for delaying to legislate against alcohol abuse, saying Parliament will now ask MP Betty Nambooze (DP, Mukono Municipality) to reintroduce her hitherto shelved Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill, 2016.
While attending a breakfast meeting at Kampala Serena Hotel meant to address the increasing incidents of alcohol abuse among under age school goers on Thursday, 22nd February 2018, Kadaga said the issue of alcohol abuse would be long resolved, but that Parliament only makes recommendations for government’s action.
“I am going to encourage Hon. Nambooze to come back with the Bill. We are going to debate this matter and make our decision. If Parliament had the exclusive power to ban sachet alcohol, we would have done it, but we make recommendations,” said Kadaga.
Nambooze’s Private Member’s Bill was shelved after government claimed it was fine-tuning new legislation that would address her concerns.
However, it has been a while and the proposed legislation is yet to be introduced by the Executive.
In the recent past, an emotive debate on alcohol rocked Parliament with Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde insisting the ban will be undertaken in phases due to economic implications of the decision.
Grace Butembi, a Clinical Psychologist at Butabika Hospital said 31 percent of underage children in Uganda are abusing alcohol “because of poverty in homes.”
He said the youngsters have devised ingenious ways to smuggle the substance using unorthodox means.
“They soak bread in alcohol, mix in fruit juices and put it in [sanitary] pads and get drunk by sublimation,” he said.
Sublimation is when anything solid turns into a gas without first becoming liquid. The issue of home brewing of alcoholic substances emerged in the meeting, with Kadaga saying whereas most homesteads participate in the activity, no one is regulating them.
Kadaga blamed local shops and supermarkets for selling alcohol to minors without verifying their age, saying somebody must take responsibility and close those shops.
“Who is going to lock up the shops of those selling alcohol to minors? Somebody must do it. There must be people to implement the set of regulations,” she said.
Organized by the Straight Talk Foundation, the meeting also saw different pupils being awarded for their essays on the best practices to alleviate underage alcohol consumption.
This is the fourth year of the annual campaign to address underage alcohol abuse.

Otafiire Calls For New And Bigger Prisons

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 12:37

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire has proposed that new and bigger prisons facilities be constructed to de-congest Luzira Prison.

Otafiire, while meeting MPs in the Committee on Human Rights, said it is the sure way to deal with congestion in prisons.

“Ideally the prisons were built for five to seven million people. It should be relocated and built in a more spacious location and expanded to accommodate the numbers. We are now over 37 million people and the crime rate has increased. So when resources are available, we should effect [the transfer],” said Otafiire.

At the time of establishing the prisons in Luzira, said Otafiire, the capital city stopped at Silver Springs in Nakawa Division and that the idea of having the main prisons in Kampala is obsolete.

Committee Chairperson Jovah Kamateeka (NRM, Mitooma district) tasked the Minister to address congestion in prisons, which she said offends the inmates’ rights.

“Be mindful that the major issue affecting our prisons is over congestion, we want your position on the issue of congestion,” said Kamateeka.

The Committee was receiving government responses to a report authored by the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC).

MPs said the issue of compensation arising from court and tribunal awards should be given priority by government.

“The major challenge is the escalating court and tribunal awards, which is [Ushs.] 680 billion, but we cannot break banks to get the money,” said Otafiire.

MP Safia Nalule (NRM, PWD Central) said government should pay attention to human rights issues, especially torture.

Nalule said the case of renegade Assistant Superintendent of Police Muhammad Kirumira’s arrest was “rude and should never have happened.”

Otafiire promised to raise the issue of torture before the Minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Jeje Odongo and Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura

MTN Pumps Dimes Into Nyege Nyege Music Festival

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 12:28

Telecom giants MTN have announce they’re going to be pumping dimes and expertise into the internationally acclaimed Nyege Nyege Music festival which takes place every year in Jinja on the shores of the River Nile.

The amount of money involved have not been revealed but MTN becomes the title sponsor for the next three years.

Nyenge Nyege Music Festival has grown from nothing to become for music and culture lovers, THE MUST ATTEND event of the year. This year’s festival will run from Thursday 6th September to Sunday 9th September 2018 along the shores of The Nile in Jinja.

MTN CMO: Olivier Prentout announcing the Nyege Nyege deal

Here below is MTN’s ANNOUNCEMENT:

MTN Uganda has today become the official title sponsor for the annual Nyege Nyege International Music Festival. The announcement comes after MTN Uganda reached an agreement to sponsor the festival for the next three years. The sponsorship is effective from the September 2018 edition.

“MTN Uganda is delighted to be the title sponsor of the Nyege Nyege International Music Festival. As a brand we recognize that being part of this celebration of the arts and culture for three days non-stop helps create sustainability of this very important festival,” said Olivier Prentout, the Chief Marketing Officer MTN Uganda.

He said this at the unveiling ceremony that took place at The Square, Industrial Area on Wednesday evening.

MTN Uganda has been supporting music over the years through sponsoring concerts of mostly local and some international artists. Today, MTN has added the Nyege Nyege International Festival to the list, with the aim of ensuring it continues to develop, attract artists and the thousands of music, arts and culture enthusiasts that show-up for the three days.

“This festival is a celebration of music and culture from all over the world. This 3-day celebration allows people to connect, learn something new and have a good time. MTN feels that this is the right festival to partner with since we are all about celebrating, innovation and facilitating the growth of others,” Prentout added.

The MTN Nyege Nyege International Music Festival will take place from Thursday 6th September to Sunday 9th September 2018 along the shores of The Nile in Jinja.  During the duration of the festival, there will be an opportunity to share pictures on social media using the MTN Pulse (*157# or weekend bundle.

“We would like to thank MTN Uganda for believing in this celebration of music and culture. This will be an opportunity for us to keep hosting the event and supporting the ever-increasing numbers that turn up to celebrate,” said Derek Debru, one of the Founders of Nyege Nyege.

The festival not only attracts local revelers but is also an opportunity for Uganda’s tourism sector to thrive as people from several parts of the world attend.

On his part, the chief guest at the launch, Uganda Tourism Board Executive Director Steven Asiimwe said, “It is always good to see opportunities for Ugandan tourism being created by the private sector. At the end of the day it is Ugandans benefiting from the increasing number of tourists. As the festival continues to grow, so will the number of tourists and the social and economic benefits be accruing to Uganda.”

Kenya Arrests Man With Gold Worth USD1million At Airport

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:43

Kenya Revenue Authority officials intercepted gold worth Sh100 million at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.
According to the Kenyan daily newspaper the standard: At least 32,255.50 grams of gold bars and an accompanying invoice of the amount were found on a 46-year-old Tanzanian man.

The taxman said the suspect was seized following intelligence alert after arriving at JKIA on February 16. He was on board Precision Airlines from Mwanza via Kilimanjaro and was heading to Dubai aboard Kenya Airways.

The unidentified man was seized by KRA customs officers and a team of security agencies attached to the airport. The gold bars are under the custody of KRA’s Customs and Border Control as police continue with investigations.

Weah: I Inherited A Broke Country Liberia

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:38

Liberia’s new President George Weah on Tuesday pledged to fight endemic corruption as he spoke about conditions in his “broke country” on the first day of an official visit to Paris.

The former international football star who, took office on January 22, is faced with a dire economic situation in Liberia following two civil wars and a deadly Ebola epidemic in 2013-2015.

“I inherited a country that is very broke, depleted by political malfeasance. We have to make sure that the things that happened will not happen again,” Weah said.

“I ordered a complete audit to make sure that what belongs to the government goes to the government.”

Weah also spoke at a conference about another top priority, education for young people who represent 60 per cent of 4.7 million Liberians.

“I believe in education. Yes, I didn’t have the opportunity in my early days but after my carrier I went back to school. Today I can boast of a masters degree,” said the new leader, who grew up in a Monrovia slum.

Founded 170 years ago by freed slaves, Liberia is “the oldest African country but we don’t have an engineering school. We don’t even have a diagnosis centre to tell if someone has Ebola,” Weah said, vowing to do more to get children in school and “to leave the street”.

On his first foreign trip as president, Weah on Wednesday will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace, along with several sports figures, and vice president of the World Bank for Africa, Makhtar Diop.

Buganda Vow To Fight Govt On Mailo Land

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:41

The Kingdom of Buganda have vowed to resist with all force necessary any attempts by the Central Government to abolish the M0ailo Land Tenure System.

Peter Mayiga the Kingdom’s Prime Minister said: ‘I want to immediately put them (government) on notice that we shall not allow that. We shall not give them space to play with people’s land. I don’t say this to excite.’

Mayiga said this on Tuesday at Bulange Mengo after news has broken the day before that the Commission Of Inquiry into Land matters chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire had recommended to government that Mailo Land Tenure System be abolished in Uganda.

Mayiga added: ‘ We have concrete points and that is why I oppose someone who says that (Mailo Land be abolished.)

The proposal to abolish Mailo Land was contained in an interim report by the commission which was handed over to the President by Justice Bamugemereire. A final report will be issued upon complete on the inquiry.

Mayiga said Mailo Land Tenure System was the not the cause of land problems in Uganda. He blames the problems of land on The Police, the RDCs, the corruption in the land registry offices and the increase in population for the endless land problems in the country.



Vodafone Uganda Goes Bankrupt

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 11:23

AFRIMAX Uganda Limited the parent company of Vodafone Uganda has declared insolvency and an administrator has been appointed.

According to sources in the telecom industry, Donald Nyakairu has been appointed the administrator and individual creditors have been asked to verify their credit positions with the Vodafone Uganda with the new administrator.

ADMINISTRATOR: Donald Nyakairu

Nyakairu is a managing partner at the law firm ENS Africa Advocates.

The administrator will hold a meeting with the company’s creditors on March 1st 2018 on which day more information will be provided to those who demand money from Vodafone Uganda.

Vodafone going into receivership follows reports last month that the company had failed to break even, was failing to meet its obligations with creditors and was bound to go out of business sooner rather than later.

The rumours were sparked off around Christmas time when the 4G network without warning lost its signal around Kampala causing massive outrage among their customers who took to social media to vent their fury.

It later emerged that the company had failed to meet its obligations with its tower mast service suppliers who had gone ahead and switched off their gadgets plunging Vodafone into the dark and off air.

Vodafone confirmed this in press release on January 17, 2018 when it admitted to having challenges and apologized to its customers:

Vodafone Uganda would like to apologize to its customers for the deterioration in the quality of our services of the last few weeks. This has been caused by transmission outages at a number of our network sites. We cannot immediately ascertain how long these challenges will persist but we are working closely with our partners to restore these sites back to full service as soon as possible.

Vodafone troubles were further fueled when it was reported late in January that the company was disposing off its assets including Point of Sale computers, company vehicles, office desks and closing several outlets and not renewing rent.

It was also reported that Vodafone had summarily terminated the contracts of all its Brand Ambassadors in universities across the country without paying them salary for 3 months.

The campus ambassadors were said to be numbering over 150 and were working on customer recruitment, engagement and retention in the volatile youth segment, which according to industry experts, is the biggest consumer of telecom data in Uganda.

However on February 1oth Vodafone announced how it had resolved its ‘issues’ with the tower mast operators and announced the full restoration of their 4G network signal.

Vodafone took to twitter to announce:

‘Vodafone Uganda is pleased to announce the full restoration of their 4G network signal. To demonstrate our commitment to our customers over the course of next week, we will reimburse any unused data.’

The validity of the claim that normal operations had been restored, was however put into doubt when customers intending to purchase from Vodafone shops were repeatedly being turned away by staff telling them ‘system down.’

The collapse of Vodafone Uganda call into question the viability of small operators in the highly competitive telecom market in Uganda.

Former MTN CEO for Uganda Themba Khumalo in 2014 called for consolidation in the telecom market in order for the industry to grow and be sustainable saying the number of operators were too many for all of them to be profitable and efficient.

Khumalo told Reuters in an interview at the time that; “The state of equilibrium could be around three operators running effectively and competing effectively in the marketplace to help grow the economy of Uganda.”


Singapore To Bonus All Citizens After Budget Surplus

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 22:21

All Singapore citizens aged 21 and above will get a one-off “SG Bonus” of up to S$300 each as the 2017 budget came in with a surplus of almost S$10 billion (US $7.6 billion), the city-state’s finance minister announced on Monday.

S$300 translates into about Uganda Shs827,078. The lowest paid government of Uganda worker is in grade U8 and currently earns about Shs237,069 a month although there is a proposal to up them to Shs391,420. 

Finance minister Heng Swee Keat made the announcement during his budget speech in Parliament, describing the bonus as a “hongbao”, the Mandarin word for a monetary gift given on special occasions.

He said this “reflects the government’s long-standing commitment to share of the fruits of Singapore’s development with Singaporeans”, according to Channel News Asia.

The “SG Bonus” will cost the government S$700 million (US $533 million).

The bonus will be paid according to people’s assessable income. About 2.7 million people will get the payouts, which are due by the end of 2018.

Those with an income of S$28,000 or below will be eligible to receive S$300, those whose incomes ranging from S$28,001 to S$100,000 will receive S$200, and those with incomes in excess of S$100,000 will receive S$100.

Singapore’s revised budget for fiscal 2017 showed a surplus of S$9.61 billion, thanks to contributions from statutory boards and higher-than-expected stamp duty.

The surplus will also be used in other ways. Heng said S$5 billion will be set aside for the Rail Infrastructure Fund to save up for new railway lines that Singapore is building.

Another S$2 billion will be set aside for premium subsidies and other forms of support for Eldershield, an insurance scheme that helps senior citizens with severe disabilities to cope with the financial demands of their daily care.

PRESS RELEASE: Karuma Hydro Station Installs Radial Gates

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 21:40

Installation of First Set of Radial Gates at Karuma Hydropower Station commences.

The Karuma (600MW) hydro Power project has registered yet another milestone – the installation of the radial gates at the dam section.

This installation commenced on the morning of 26th January, 2018 according to Mr. Deng Changyi – Acting project Manager, Sinohydro Corporation the project contractor.

The spillway of Karuma hydropower station is designed (with) 9 radial gates, whose main function is to control orifice flow, undertake blocking main water, and can be opened and closed during flood conditions to prevent overtopping of the dam.

Each of these gates has a height of 9metres is 10m wide, and weighs 54 tonnes. Despite this huge size and heavy weight, these gates are designed to flip and hold a huge resistance to water pressure. Mr. Deng, confirmed that the installation of all the gates was done successfully and within the agreed project timelines.

Commenced in 2013, Karuma Hydro power project was scheduled for a 60 months construction period. Today, it’s crossed the 50th month mark and is expected to be commissioned in December this year.

By the end of January 2018, the overall progress of physical works (civil, hydro-mechanical and electrical-mechanical) at Karuma HPP was about 74%. Concrete works for dam blocks #1 to #16 are practically completed paving way for the installation of spillway sections at blocks #1, #2 and #3.

At the intake, work progress is at 95% with concrete casting nearing completion. Installation of Hydro-mechanical equipment for gates at intake block 1 and back filling are the main activities currently on-going.

To ensure quality is not compromised at this project, a team consisting of UEGCL, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, the supervising engineer Energy infratech Pyt Limited (EIPL) and the contractor Sinohydro left for China earlier in January to conduct Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) on the following equipment; Intake maintenance gates, Outfall maintenance gates, spillway stop logs, Generator Step Up Transformer, Intake trash rack gantry crane among other equipment. Upon successful completion of these tests shall this equipment be shipped to site for installation.

The 600 Megawatt Project is financed partly by China’s Exim Bank and the government of Uganda at 85% and 15% respectively. The total cost of the project is USD 1.7 billion catering for the generation and transmission components at USD 1.3 billion and USD 400 million respectively. There will be three transmission lines to evacuate the Karuma Power; the longest being Karuma-Kawanda, Karuma- Lira and Karuma-Olwiyo. Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited UETCL is implementing the transmission component of the project.

Kaluuya Wins Rising Star BAFTA

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 20:44

British actor of Ugandan origin Daniel Kaluuya has won the BAFTA for rising star for his performance in the horror film Get Out.

Kaluuya, 28 beat out stiff competition from Florence Pugh, Josh O’Connor, Timothée Chalamet and Tessa Thompson in the category, which was voted for by the movie loving public.

Accepting the award, Kaluuya praised his fellow rising star nominees and thanked his acting mentors and his family for letting him ‘think different.’

Kaluuya said: “I’ve gone blank. Thank you, Tessa, Tim, Josh and Florence. I feel so privileged to be in your company. I am a product of arts funding in the UK. I want to thank people who support that. Thank you for letting me think different. I wasn’t supposed to say that. We break all the rules.”

He also paid tribute to his mother saying: “Mum – you’re the reason why I started, why I’m here, you’re the reason I keep going. This is yours. “

Rukungiri Court Issues Criminal Summons For Besigye

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 20:19

A Magistrates Court in Rukungiri District has issued criminal summons against Kizza Besigye, after he failed to appear in court where he’s facing an array of criminal charges.

Besigye, a former presidential candidate was not in court on Tuesday where he is charged with assault of policemen on duty and causing  malicious damage to property among others.

Grade one magistrate, Andrew Katurubukim, issued the summons and demanded Besigye appears at the next  hearing or else.

Besigye’s co accused FDC leader Patrick Amuriat, Innocent Tashobya, Ingrid Turinawe, Moses Byamukama, Fred Asiimwe and Darious Tweyambe were in court ready for hearing but the session flopped.

State attorney Charles Muhereza told court that he was ready to proceed and had three witnesses lines up and ready to testify in court.

However, Katurubukim, who was sitting in for the trial magistrate Julius Kyaka said court could not proceed in absence of one of the accused Besigye persons and the trial magistrate.

Besigye’s Lawyer Mark Mwesigye told court that his client was running late and had not skipped court deliberately.

Bail for Besigye’s co-accused was extended to April 12 and Criminal Summons were issued for Besigye also for the same date.

Besigye and the co-accused were arrested and taken on a rendition around the country following the death of a man who was shot dead by police during a skirmish at Rukungiri stadium in October last year.

Dad Of Boy Smuggled In A Suitcase Walks Free

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 19:55

The father of a boy who was hidden inside a suitcase in an attempt to smuggle him into Europe has been allowed to walk free from court.

Adou was just eight years old when a shocked border official spotted his figure – crushed into the fetal position – on an X-ray at the border of Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in May 2015.

His father Ali Ouattara, 45, (pictured below) was waiting on the other side, having been promised by the smugglers that his son was being brought from his home in the Ivory Coast to Europe by car.

Attempts to have their son join them in Spain legally failed, Mr Ouattara explained, and after Adou’s grandmother died, leaving him with just his 18-year-old brother, the family had resorted to paying a criminal gang 5,000 euros ($6,200; £4,400).

But after Adou was found inside the suitcase, the one-time French and philosophy teacher faced charges of facilitating his son’s illegal entry into Europe and threatening the child’s life.

Prosecutors were hoping for a three-year jail sentence, and the cruelty – and danger – of making the crossing this way was not lost on judge Fernando Teson.

“The child’s life was endangered, he was inhumanly curled up in a tiny suitcase, without ventilation,” he told the court in Ceuta, according to news agency AFP.

However, it was 10-year-old Adou’s testimony which saved his father from a long sentence.

The little boy said a “Moroccan girl” forced him into the suitcase, which made it difficult for him to breathe.

But Adou said Mr Ouattara – who has spent a month in prison – had always told him the journey would be made “by car” – and the court could find no evidence the family had known any different.

Mr Ouattara was ordered to pay a 92 euro ($114) fine, but could walk free.

“It’s all over and we can begin to resume out lives, together, my wife, my daughter my son and I,” he said, revealing the family would start a new life in northern Spain.

Tsvangirai Laid To Rest In Zimbabwe

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 19:48

Zimbabwe’s late opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been buried in his home town of Buhera in a final farewell which was attended by supporters, diplomats and senior representatives of the ruling Zanu PF party.

There were some surprises too, music legend Oliver Mtukudzi seneraded the gathering.

And then Tsvangirai was lowered to his final resting place, beside his first wife Susan.

But even in grief, the underlying tensions within the party he created and led, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), were apparent.

Supporters booed the two leaders challenging the appointment of the new acting president Nelson Chamisa.

In his address Mr Chamisa said special meetings will be organised to find consensus on the party’s direction.

Analysts are in two minds about the MDC’s future.

Some believe without Tsvangirai, the party could splinter.

While others say his departure could re-energise the party with its new younger leadership.

Madonna: My Son Will Be Malawi’s President

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 19:31

Pop star Madonna has called her son, David Banda, “the future president of Malawi” in a tweet praising the 12-year-old.

The US singer has six children, four of whom she adopted from Malawi.

The singer has reportedly had a fractious relationship with Malawi’s authorities.

In 2013, Malawi accused Madonna of “bullying state officials”, exaggerating her contribution to the country and demanding VIP treatment.

Madonna’s manager accused Malawi’s government of having a “grudge” against the singer’s charity, Raising Malawi, which she founded the same year she adopted David.

Last year, Malawi granted Madonna permission to adopt two more children, and she became mother to twin baby girls Esther and Stella Mwale.