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Three suspects accused of murdering former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi were yesterday slapped with fresh charges of being members of the rebel Allied Democratic Forces  -- a designated terrorist organisation. 

Ali Mugoya alias Byantuyo Abdu Magid, Sinani Hibwagi Dhikusooka Faisal alias Farouk and Abdullah Kaala alias Tiger were charged before Nakawa grade one magistrate Noah Sajjabbi for a crime they allegedly committed about 11 years ago.     

In the charge sheet personally signed by Director for Public Prosecutions Mike Chibita, it’s stated that that Mugoya, Dhikusooka , Tigasitwa, Kaala and others still at large between 2006 and 2007 at various  places in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo belonged or professed to belong to the ADF  terrorist organisation.  

Some of the suspects earlier

With public prosecutors under his office currently on a month-long sit-down strike, Chibita has increasingly found himself, uncharacteristically, directly involved in sanctioning court papers.

Last week, the Judiciary announced that it was suspending hearing of criminal matters until further notice after conceding that it has become unsustainable, costly and futile to keep transporting suspects to court yet the state’s lawyers are staying away. Belonging, or professing to belong, to a terrorist organisation is contrary to Section 11(1)a and 11(3) of the Anti-Terrorism Act.  

Byantuyo, Hibwagi together with their co-accused in the murder of Kaweesi, Swalleh Buyondo and Sauda Ayub were granted bail by Sajjabbi. But Mugoya and Hibwagi’s happiness was short-lived as the DPP almost immediately slapped fresh charges.

Asuman Mugoya and Kaala’s bail applications were rejected by Sajjabbi on grounds that they never presented substantial sureties.  

On Wednesday, four of the Kaweesi murder suspects (Ahmada Shaban Ssenfuka, Umar Maganda, Abdul Majid Ojerere and Ibrahim Kisa) obtained an order for a writ of habeas corpus from Justice Stephen Musota, head of the civil division of the High Court.

Musota directed the government to produce the four suspects in court on November 30.  They have been held incommunicado ever since being violently re-arrested upon being granted bail by Sajjabbi on November 7.

Musota’s orders were addressed to the Attorney General, the commandants of Special Investigations Unit in Kireka and Nalufenya police station.

Kaweesi, his bodyguard and driver died in a hail of gunfire on March 17 in a shocking early morning attack by assassins as he left his home in Kulambiro outside Kampala. The gunmen made off with his pistol and the escort’s gun.

Scores have since been detained in connection with the killing many of whom have appeared in court with torture wounds they claimed were inflicted on them by security officers while in custody.

dkiyonga@observer.ug

1 month 4 weeks ago

A critical assessment of witnesses who appeared before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee to give views on the age limit bill shows a slight majority want the 75-year cap removed.

Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi drafted the bill seeking to scrap presidential age limits from the Constitution. On Tuesday, the committee finalized hearings in which 34 individuals and groups participated. At least 18 supported the removal of the age limits while those against the removal were 12.

The committee had initially invited more than 60 stakeholders, including political, religious and civil society organisations as well as opposition legislators but many declined the offer. Makerere University law dons described the process an illegality while some said it was ‘already a done deal.’

Others who declined to appear include Uganda Law Society (ULS), Dr Kizza Besigye; Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU); former premier Prof Apolo Nsibambi and political parties FDC, UPC and People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

Chairman Jacob Oboth-Oboth presiding over the committee

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission, Uganda Law Reform Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission had no clear position on the amendments and remained neutral.

REMOVE AGE LIMITS

Among those who supported the amendments were Magyezi, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Kahinda Otafiire, NRM Deputy Secretary General Richard Todwong, youth pressure group Kick All Age Limits Out of the Constitution (KALOC), Rtd Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi (NRM Veterans) and Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere.

In their presentations, these groups opined that the current provisions in Article 102 (b) limit participation in electoral politics and are discriminatory in nature.

Todwong, for instance caused uproar when he insinuated that the clause on presidential age limit was smuggled into the Constitution.

However, his assertion was discredited by Dr Rugunda, who told the committee that all the provisions in the Constitution were debated and agreed upon by Constituent Assembly delegates, including himself as a representative of Kabale municipality.

NO AMENDMENT

The 12 witnesses who opposed age limit removal include Amanya Mushega, Prof Fredrick Ssempebwa, Peter Mulira, Prof Venansius Baryamureeba, Prof George Kanyeihamba, Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza and DP leader Norbert Mao, among others.

In their opinion, the amendments provide an avenue for President Museveni to easily breeze through the 2021 presidential election without legal inhibition.

Norbert Mao with Ken Lukyamuzi before the committee

Wilfred Niwagaba, the Shadow Attorney General, told The Observer that the absence of key stakeholders in the consultations raises doubts about the credibility of the whole process.

“Many of those invited to the committee were simply ‘parroting’ the same message as the NRM party and the process of smuggling the bill would not have been endorsed by right thinking members of society,” he said.

“The bill was not brought in good faith but to favour specific individuals. We respect the fact that they declined to be part of this process, marred with illegality. We plan to capture this in our minority report,” he added.

REGIONAL CONSULTATIONS

By press time yesterday, some committee members were holed up in a meeting with the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to endorse their five-region consultative meetings on the bill, budgeted at Shs 700 million.

“As a committee, we agreed to go and meet the people upcountry but since we do not have the funds, we need the speaker’s counsel on the way forward,” one of the MPs said.

1 month 4 weeks ago

A critical assessment of witnesses who appeared before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee to give views on the age limit bill shows a slight majority want the 75-year cap removed.

Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi drafted the bill seeking to scrap presidential age limits from the Constitution. On Tuesday, the committee finalized hearings in which 34 individuals and groups participated. At least 18 supported the removal of the age limits while those against the removal were 12.

The committee had initially invited more than 60 stakeholders, including political, religious and civil society organisations as well as opposition legislators but many declined the offer. Makerere University law dons described the process an illegality while some said it was ‘already a done deal.’

Others who declined to appear include Uganda Law Society (ULS), Dr Kizza Besigye; Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU); former premier Prof Apolo Nsibambi and political parties FDC, UPC and People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

Chairman Jacob Oboth-Oboth presiding over the committee

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission, Uganda Law Reform Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission had no clear position on the amendments and remained neutral.

REMOVE AGE LIMITS

Among those who supported the amendments were Magyezi, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Kahinda Otafiire, NRM Deputy Secretary General Richard Todwong, youth pressure group Kick All Age Limits Out of the Constitution (KALOC), Rtd Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi (NRM Veterans) and Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere.

In their presentations, these groups opined that the current provisions in Article 102 (b) limit participation in electoral politics and are discriminatory in nature.

Todwong, for instance caused uproar when he insinuated that the clause on presidential age limit was smuggled into the Constitution.

However, his assertion was discredited by Dr Rugunda, who told the committee that all the provisions in the Constitution were debated and agreed upon by Constituent Assembly delegates, including himself as a representative of Kabale municipality.

NO AMENDMENT

The 12 witnesses who opposed age limit removal include Amanya Mushega, Prof Fredrick Ssempebwa, Peter Mulira, Prof Venansius Baryamureeba, Prof George Kanyeihamba, Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza and DP leader Norbert Mao, among others.

In their opinion, the amendments provide an avenue for President Museveni to easily breeze through the 2021 presidential election without legal inhibition.

Norbert Mao with Ken Lukyamuzi before the committee

Wilfred Niwagaba, the Shadow Attorney General, told The Observer that the absence of key stakeholders in the consultations raises doubts about the credibility of the whole process.

“Many of those invited to the committee were simply ‘parroting’ the same message as the NRM party and the process of smuggling the bill would not have been endorsed by right thinking members of society,” he said.

“The bill was not brought in good faith but to favour specific individuals. We respect the fact that they declined to be part of this process, marred with illegality. We plan to capture this in our minority report,” he added.

REGIONAL CONSULTATIONS

By press time yesterday, some committee members were holed up in a meeting with the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to endorse their five-region consultative meetings on the bill, budgeted at Shs 700 million.

“As a committee, we agreed to go and meet the people upcountry but since we do not have the funds, we need the speaker’s counsel on the way forward,” one of the MPs said.

1 month 4 weeks ago

Emails have emerged showing how Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa and his wife Edith allegedly attempted to get what is believed to have been Crane Bank sold to a Chinese energy enterprise days before the central bank seized the Ugandan institution.

Recent revelations in a US court show how Kutesa was given $500,000 (Shs 1.8 billion) as part of an international plot to advance the Chinese firm’s business interests in Africa, specifically Uganda’s energy and financial sectors.

Details of this transaction emerged following last weekend’s (November 18) arrest of Chi Ping Patrick Ho, a former home secretary of Hong Kong and head of a non-governmental organisation funded by the Chinese conglomerate.

Ho is now in US custody along with Cheikh Gadio, a former foreign affairs minister of Senegal, on charges of international money laundering, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and conspiracy to commit both crimes sometime between 2014 and last year. These crimes attract a 20-year jail sentence in the US.

Minister Sam Kutesa

It is alleged that Ho bribed Chadian president Idris Deby as well as Kutesa, and also gave gifts to and promised financial rewards to President Museveni.Kutesa was on Thursday quoted by Daily Monitor as rubbishing the bribery allegations.  

“The foundation does exist, it receives support and donations from well-wishers. Calling this a bribe is utter nonsense,” he reportedly said in a text message referring to the $500,000 ‘donation’ to a charity linked to him.

Don Wanyama, the senior presidential press secretary, had earlier described the dragging of the president’s name into this case as “madness”, saying Museveni’s ideological orientation puts him above such.

Emails covered in documents before US magistrate judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox in New York city show a trail of Edith Kutesa’s correspondence with Ho. Her husband, who was president of the UN General Assembly (PGA) at the time, was copied-in.

The documents indicate that Ho promised Kutesa future benefits in exchange for help in acquiring a Ugandan commercial bank “which was bought in January 2017 by another commercial bank”.

The only transaction in Uganda fitting that description is the sale of Sudhir Ruparelia’s Crane Bank by Bank of Uganda to dfcu Bank.

Around March 17, 2015, the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) says that Kutesa’s wife emailed Ho stating, “Dear Patrick... It was so nice to have such quality time to talk and discuss about different opportunities of investing in East Africa and Uganda in particular. Thank you so much, we enjoyed having you…We talked about the banking sector with possibility of acquiring a bank creating a direct link between our currencies, a project for which I would be happy to facilitate and we should discuss this further when we meet in HK … I hope and wish that my message finds you well and thank you again for your time, the gifts and willingness to help me.”

On February 29, 2016, the court documents say that she reminded the Chinese of the financial vacuum a global bank, which some reports have named as Barclays, had created after departing Africa.

“Considering the growing trade between China and Africa, this is a great opportunity in the banking sector in Africa,” she wrote.

Two months later in May,2016, after a Chinese delegation attended the swearing-in of President Museveni in Kampala, Ho emailed Edith thanking her for hosting them and said: “We are very enthusiastic about the prospect of joint venture in Uganda.”  

Ho further stated that they were very interested in acquiring controlling shares of this global bank’s branch in Uganda, and that they needed the Kutesa’s help in going about this.

“This will be our first priority and please work with us to accomplish this,” he wrote.

On May, 27, 2016, Edith replied, “we appreciate your interest in Uganda and excited to work together.” The same day, Ho answered, saying that the energy company would like to partner with Kutesa’s family and Museveni’s local operators.

“The key is to get the bank in Uganda up and running to become the first offshore renminbi (Chinese currency) exchange centre in Africa,” Ho wrote.

“Then we can establish relationship through this bank in Uganda with other banks in China and banks in Europe and this route [for] cash flow to Africa would enable us to invest in a host of ventures.”

Enter Crane Bank

Other emails referring to a global bank followed until mid-October when, according to the FBI, Kutesa’s wife contacted Ho to announce the opportunity of actually acquiring a “Ugandan bank”.

According to Ho’s indictment papers, on October 13, 2016, she sent Ho an email titled “Opportunity to invest in banking sector “.

Therein she stated that the “central bank official you met during your visit has contacted us to inform you about the possible acquisition of a local bank but as you know, selling a bank is a very confidential and urgent process.”

In the email, she provided the website of the “Ugandan bank” which was to be bought and instructed Ho to express the energy company’s interest by sending a letter to the Deputy Governor of Bank of Uganda, Louis Kasekende.  

“It is imperative that that letter is sent by close of business today through email,” she said. “In the mean time I would love to talk to you on phone.”

The FBI asserts that Ho forwarded this email to another employee whom he instructed to write to Kasekende. The FBI says a letter was subsequently written to Kasekende, copying Ho and Kutesa’s wife but it seems to have arrived late.

“According to press reports, on or about October, 20, 2016, the central bank took over the Ugandan bank…,” the US court documents state.

It was on October 20, 2016 that Bank of Uganda took over management of Crane Bank and suspended its board members.

The FBI investigation found that on or about October 24, 2016, Edith emailed Ho, copying Kasekende, stating, “I tried your number in vain, adding, “Please try to contact the vice governor as soon as you can.”

She provided a telephone number on which Ho could reach Kasekende.

“It is quite urgent, thank you,” she wrote.

Ho then emailed Kasekende, stating, “Please send me whatever you have through this mail.”

On October 25, 2016, the FBI says that he received an email from an unnamed BoU official who inquired whether the energy company was still interested in acquiring a bank in Uganda.  

Yesterday, Kampala Associated Advocates, the law firm representing Sudhir in the Crane Bank affair, declined to comment, pleading that they have made their case in court.  

BoU’s communications director, Christine Alupo, said in an email that all actions Bank of Uganda taken during pre-takeover of Crane Bank were in accordance with the law and regulations. She declined to go into detail since the case is in court.

Alupo observed that given its role in the macro-economy, and as regulator of the financial sector, BoU is frequently approached by those exploring business options in Uganda.

“As a matter of routine, bank officials refer them to standard and publicly available information related to the regulation and supervision framework,” Alupo said.

“During these engagements, the bank advises the prospective investors to acquaint themselves with the regulatory regime and for them to independently assess the opportunities within the economy as well as their capacity to meet the legal requirements,” she said.

On Tuesday, November 21, Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Patrick Mugoya defended Kutesa, saying the minister’s interaction with Ho was in line with his duties as PGA.  

dkiyonga@observer.ug

1 month 4 weeks ago

KAMPALA. Mukono Municipality MP, Ms Betty Nambooze Bakireke, is expected to return into the country today (Thursday) , according to DP Capacity Strengthening coordinator Elvis Kintu.

Mr Kintu told Daily Monitor on Wednesday that Ms Nambooze who is recovering at Manipal Hospital in Bangalore, India where she was flown for further treatment on her injured backbone would arrive in the country on Thursday at around 1pm.

“The surgery was successful but she had to remain in India for some weeks to undergo physiotherapy that would enable her resume walking on her own ,” Mr Kintu said.

A November 20, 2017 letter from Manipal Hospital facilitating Ms Nambooze’s transit says the MP underwent a spine surgery posterior spinal decompression and fusion L 4-L 5 on November 8, 2017 for lumber canal stenosis L4-L5 with stability and right lower limb radiculopathy which required her to have metal implants in her spine.

Last month, doctors treating Ms Nambooze advised her to seek treatment abroad for injuries she suffered on her spine during a scuffle over the proposed removal of the presidential age limit in parliament last month. Ms Nambooze was hospitalised at Bugolobi Medical Centre for about a month before she was flown to India.

She was among the 10 MPs hurt after Special Forces Command operatives raided Parliament.
During the scuffle, Ms Nambooze sustained injuries and she was later diagnosed with a condition known as Limber spine.

Her husband, Mr Henry Bakireke explained that after the successful surgery, they had to spend some time in India attending to her physiotherapy and inspections from the doctors.
Ms Nambooze’s medical bills were cleared by the family members, DP and parliament.
snakirigya@ug.nationmedia.com

2 months 12 hours ago

President Yoweri Museveni has paid tribute to mudslide victims in Rusave village, Masaba Sub county in Sironko district.

On August 28, 2017, mudslides hit Masaba Sub county burying unspecified number of people and displacing hundreds of others.

The mudslides destroyed several homes, crop gardens and livestock.

Mr Museveni on Wednesday visited the area and told the victims that he had come to pay condolences for the people who died and support the displaced and those who lost property.

Mr Museveni said the mudslide victims should accept to relocate to a safer area government is going to resettle them to. He noted that government was going to provide iron sheets to the victims who are ready to resettle.

Mr Museveni asked the community staying on top of the cliff to settle in the low lands.

"When you die we are responsible as government," Mr Museveni noted.

He added that government will provide money for relocation of the people who are in danger to safer place.

Mr Museveni pointed out that the settlement should be 500 metres away from the base of the cliff. He asked the mudslide victims to plant perennial crops and trees in the place where the mudslides occurred.

Mr Museveni said the area is fertile and the community should embark on growing crops such as coffee and avocados. The president promised to make new roads in the area to help with transportation of agricultural products.

He gave five million shillings to Elgon Zone Savings and Credit Association groups in Masaba sub county.

Mr Deogrious Nabugodi, who was representing the relatives of the mudslide victims, told Museveni that the community in Bufupa lacks a secondary school and a hospital. He therefore requested the government to provide the community with a seed secondary school.

Mr Nabugodi said students within the community have to walk to Masaba SS which is far and the distance has caused many students to drop out of school.

He further requested the government to elevate Buboolo Health Centre II so that it can accommodate the population in the area. He pointed out that residents have to trek up to Budadiri health centre IV, tens of kilometres away.

Mr Museveni was accompanied by ministers Irene Muloni, Hillary Onek, Musa Ecweru and Godfrey Kiwanda. Legislators; Manafwa Woman MP Mary Kitutu, Sironko Woman MP Florence Nambozo and Vincent Webwoya the Budadiri East MP were also in attendance.

2 months 12 hours ago

A House committee has asked Bank of Uganda to explain how it paid billions of shillings to three firms a week after the central bank retained another law firm, Sebalu, Lule and Company Advocates, to represent it in the ongoing mediation talks over Crane Bank Ltd.

The payment comes one year after the central bank took-over Crane Bank on October 20, 2016. Crane Bank was subsequently sold to dfcu Bank in January 2017 for Shs 200 billion.

That sale followed technical advice offered by MMAKS Advocates, alongside audit/accounting firms KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

According to correspondences seen by The Observer, the three firms were engaged in November 2016 for an initial fee of $710,190 (Shs 2.6 billion). Six months later, an additional Shs 2.8 billion was paid specifically to MMAKS for a separate contract, bringing the full amount to an estimated Shs 5.4 billion.

Sudhir Ruparelia (R) leaving the Commercial court

Parliament’s committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State enterprises on Tuesday raised questions about the money when BoU officials appeared before them.

“There are inconsistencies in the figures they gave us vis-a-vis the figures in their management accounts – which shows the amounts budgeted for and the actual expenditures,” Anita Among, the committee’s vice chairperson said.

Central bank officials had said the lawyers were paid Shs 335 million but on further scrutiny of the bank’s books of account, MPs discovered that more than Shs 1.7 billion had been paid.

“The variance in the figures is so big and you never know, they [BOU] could have paid much more than that, and, without contracts,” Among said.

Deputy Governor Louis Kasekende, who was flanked by Justine Bagyenda, BOU’s executive director in charge of supervision, failed to get a deferment on the matter on grounds that it is a subject of ongoing litigation.

After they asked for time to come back with relevant documents, MPs gave them up to Thursday next week.

A break-down of the initial Shs 2.6 billion BoU paid shows that MMAKS Advocates was contracted as a transactional advisor at $251,045 (Shs 903.7m).

PwC was paid $286,740 (Shs 1.03bn) to cover an investigative and forensic review, in addition to another Shs 338.2 million to compile an inventory of assets, liabilities and equity of Crane Bank.

At the lower end, KPMG received $172,405 (Shs 620.6 million) for information technology security testing and disaster recovery gap assessment as well as provision of technical support in information technology.

This breakdown is contained in a November 30, 2016 letter from Bagyenda to central bank governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile. In the letter, Bagyenda requested Mutebile’s approval of letters of engagement for the three firms and for their payment.

Available documents show that MMAKS advised BOU based on the Financial Institutions Act 2004.

The law firm also handled applications from institutions which ex- pressed interest in buying Crane Bank, and was also used as a repository and central point for all buyer information and correspondence.

According to the payment schedule, dfcu bank just last month paid Shs 20 billion to BOU on October 1, 2017 and will make another deposit of the same amount on January 1, 2018. Thereafter, dfcu will be making quarter-year de-posits of the same amount to BOU, with the last payment scheduled for January 1, 2020.

Two months after selling Crane Bank, BoU again contracted MMAKS Advocates to coordinate with dfcu in settling Crane Bank debtors.

This was after Crane Bank had paid $6.2 million to settle letters of credit on behalf of Foneplus Limited, Minutan (U) Limited and Shumuk investments Limited.

In this contract, MMAKS was to work with dfcu to engage the debtors to recover funds, according to a March 30 letter written by BoU’s director for commercial banking Benedict Ssekabira to dfcu’s top management.

The law firm received an additional $804,098 (Shs 2.8 billion) on May 11, 2017 for this assignment. Apollo Makubuya, a co-partner in MMAKS Advocates, defended their bill yesterday.

“We invoiced BoU based on the professional service that we offered [and] it is our client to determine whether it was a fair price or not,” Makubuya told The Observer.

Sudhir Ruparelia, the proprietor of Crane Bank, has protested the involvement of MMAKS on grounds that they have a conflict of interest. The law firm used to be lawyers of his now- defunct Crane Bank.

MMAKS is representing BoU in a case before the civil division of the High court where the central bank sued Ruparelia for causing financial loss to his bank.

“This is a matter before court but we have always represented Crane Bank not Sudhir, [and] even in court today we are representing Crane Bank [under receivership],” Makubuya said.

2 months 12 hours ago

As the debate on presidential age limits rages, President Museveni has denounced some ruling party MPs opposed to amendment of Article 102(b) of the Constitution as “parasites”.

The 73-year-old president who would be an immediate beneficiary of such a constitutional change, removing the 75-year age cap for presidential aspirants, is facing stiff opposition from a significant portion of the population.

Critics warn that if the article is scrapped, the floodgates to life presidency and all its associated ills would be flung open.

Museveni has written back to the NRM 'rebel' MPs

His denunciation in a three-page letter dated November 7 is part of a reply to an earlier letter MPs Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Monicah Amoding (Kumi Woman), Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga West) and Patrick Nsamba Oshabe (Kassanda North) wrote to him on October 4.

The MPs challenged Museveni to dissociate himself from what they said is a “divisive, opportunistic and isolationist” constitutional amendment process.

They reminded Museveni that he is obliged under the oath of president to protect and defend the constitution.

But he has, instead, accused them of being part of the reason why the country is grappling with poverty and unemployment.

“Many of you who talk negatively have not contributed to the ideology of patriotism, to the liberation of the country, to the recovery of the economy and the country, to the consolidation of peace or to the great developments that we have achieved yet you benefit economically and otherwise. We call this parasitism and that parasitism will be resisted and defeated,” he wrote.

Museveni copied his letter to his vice president Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, NRM secretary general Justine Kasule Lumumba, government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa and all NRM caucus members.

MPs Barnabas Tinkansimire and Sam Lyomoki

Besides the four MPs to whom Museveni addressed the letter, five other MPs: Felix Okot Ogong (Dokolo South), Sam Lyomoki (Workers), Gafa Mbwatekamwa (Kasambya), John Baptist Nambeshe (Manjiya) and Alex Ruhunda (Fort Portal Municipality) signed the October 4 letter.

Museveni, seemingly angered by the MPs’ letter, referred them to his October 13 address to the NRM caucus, giving the genesis of the writing of the bill that was controversially tabled by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi on October 4 following chaotic scenes in Parliament on September 27.

ALPHA & OMEGA

The MPs reacted angrily to Museveni’s letter, telling him to stop looking at himself as the know-it-all.

“He should stop looking at himself as the only contributor to the liberation and development of the country; he should drop that spirit of self-aggrandisement,” Nambeshe said by phone yesterday.

The Manjiya lawmaker also accused Museveni of suffocating free speech within the ruling party, saying it is the reason why they were thrown out of the October 13 caucus meeting.

“He called us spies and threw us out of the caucus meeting and is now calling us parasites which is a big insult…he must justify his statements,” Nambeshe said. “We are not there to sing praises for him all the time.”

For Tinkasiimire, the real parasite is Museveni himself because of his appointment of his wife, Janet, and in-law Sam Kutesa, to cabinet and son, Muhoozi Kaineruga, as his advisor.

“He is trying to attack us to dodge the major question that we asked him. We asked him when he is retiring but he has not made any response to it,” Tinkasiimire said.

While Ssekikubo is happy that Museveni, at last, responded to their letter, the Lwemiyaga MP said that Museveni should not hide behind Magyezi.

“He avoided the question on transition but the events in Zimbabwe are a clear pointer to what is likely to happen here,” Ssekikubo said.

“For how long must we pay as a country? What price must we pay to the so-called liberators?” Ssekikubo wondered.

Museveni letter in full

 7th November, 2017

To honourable Theodore Ssekikubo, Monicah Amoding, Barnabas Tinkasimire, Patrick Oshabe Nsamba

RE: CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 102(B) TO LIFT THE AGE LIMIT FOR PRESIDENT

I have received your letter of the 4th of October, 2017, concerning the Age Limit debate. As I said in my address to the Caucus on October 13, 2017, this debate was not new.

Hon Anna Maria Nankabirwa had raised the issue at Kyankwanzi last year in the month of July. I advised her to concentrate on the immediate issues of this Kisanja. The issue of the Age Limit could be addressed later, if necessary.

About three months ago, however, the concerned MPs like Hon Raphael Magyezi, came to see me and pointed out that the Supreme Court had put deadlines on some of those constitutional issues.

Rebel MPs addressing the media recently

Back-bench MPs taking the initiative is not necessarily a problem if it does not involve spending money on a regular basis.

The NRM has always been a mass party. Sometimes, ideas come from the top; but, sometimes, ideas come from the bottom. It is both ways.

The idea of, for instance, restoring monarchs in Uganda, came from the community in some areas - clan leaders in Buganda led by Kibaale Nadduli.

We took it up later on the request of the clan leaders. Even the idea of reintroducing multi-party politics. It was not us who were insisting on this issue. It was, actually, the anti-NRM that were pushing it until we said: “Mubaleke bageende” – “tubejekko” – “Let them go”.

The crucial thing is to discuss peacefully and calmly without violence, insults or lies. Therefore, the back-benchers taking the initiative, sometimes, is not wrong nor is it new.

“Swearing to defend the Constitution” in the present five years, honourable members, included amending the Constitution, if necessary, in the manner prescribed in the Constitution.

The organs of NRM have now, indeed, been convened and they have supported the amending of Article 102(b). These are CEC and NEC in addition to the NRM parliamentary caucus and the cabinet.

The mistake on your side was not only to attack the proposal but do so using violent and unconstitutional methods - violence, intimidation, lies, insults, etc. Whose views were you putting forward?

Besides, you put your views to the parliamentary caucus and they were not accepted. Why, then, did you persist in your minority stand? You should have held your peace until the consultation time.

It is wrong to also manipulate the consultation process like some of you have been doing - going to the bus park and asking people you find there whether they support the amendment or not.

There are structures - the committees of the NRM. You should consult those. Then, with the committees, you can go to the public in the local areas.
Uganda was liberated by freedom fighters, supported by the masses.

NRM has ensured peace in the country, ensured economic recovery and development. Many of you have benefitted from that work, literally and metaphorically. It is your duty to contribute to that process and not to undermine it.

There are still problems of poverty (19 per cent now from 56 per cent in 1989) and also inadequate jobs. This, partly, is due to the obstruction by some of you.

Nevertheless, with or without you, the loyal NRM leaders and cadres have created a base to deal with jobs and poverty by ensuring peace, improved infrastructure, ensuring the integration of the African markets, creating the wealth funds, youth fund, etc.

Many of you who talk negatively have not contributed to the ideology of patriotism, to the liberation of the country, to the recovery of the economy and country, to the consolidation of peace or to the great developments that we have achieved.

Yet you benefit economically and otherwise. We call this parasitism and that parasitism will be resisted and defeated.
I hope you find this information useful.

Yoweri Museveni President

Copy to: HE the Vice President
Rt Hon Prime Minister
Rt Hon Secretary-General
Government Chief Whip
NRM Caucus members

2 months 12 hours ago

A section of Members of Parliament have demanded for the immediate resignation of Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa following allegations that he received a bribe of Shs 1.8 billion while serving as president of the United Nations General Assembly.

Speaking to journalists at Parliament, legislators including Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga, Kumi Woman MP Monica Amoding, Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo and Jie County MP Moses Bildad Adome expressed dismay at the allegations levelled against the minister, also brother-in-law of President Museveni.

"Now we must recall that shortly before Honourable Sam Kutesa’s appointment or election to the presidency of United Nations, a number of us were here opposed to that appointment.

One of the things we mentioned was that this man is so incredible; he is so wrong, so grossly wrong that he may even sell chairs of the United Nations. And people thought we were joking and now time has come to vindicate. Time is the best judge. Listen to what he did”, said Karuhanga.

Sam Kutesa (L) before the MPs recently

Karuhanga said it is sad that very soon the country will see arrest warrants issued for Kutesa. According to details of a criminal bribery case being prosecuted in the United States, minister Kutesa received $500,000 payment to help a Chinese firm obtain business advantages in the energy and banking sectors including potential acquisition of a Ugandan bank.

This allegation is contained in a complaint against the head of a Hong Kong-based NGO Dr Chi Ping Patrick Ho, and the former foreign minister of Senegal Cheikh Gadio.

The duo is accused of bribing high-level officials to help a Chinese oil and gas company to gain business advantages in Africa.

Gadio was arrested in New York on Friday afternoon while Ho was arrested on Saturday. The two were charged in a Manhattan Federal Court on Monday with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, international money laundering and conspiracy to commit both.

Ho allegedly paid a $500,000 (about Shs 1.8 billion) bribe via wires transmitted through New York to an account designated by Minister Kutesa in Uganda. The bribe was paid on or about May 6, 2016, after Kutesa finished his term as president of the U.N. General Assembly, the complaint said.

Ho also provided the Ugandan official with gifts and promises of future benefits, including offering to share the profits, the compliant further states.

Prosecutors said the bribe was meant to secure business advantages for the energy company, which was not identified in court papers, and potential acquisition of a Ugandan bank [seemingly Crane bank] .

The Foreign Affairs ministry yesterday explained the circumstances under which Kutesa interacted with Ho. According to the ministry, it's erroneous to link Kutesa to the bribery allegations saying that the minister interacted with Ho in his official capacity as the President of the General Assembly.

But even with this ‘clarification’ statement by the ministry, MPs are still not convinced with Karuhanga recounting the 2012 oil bribery allegations in which Kutesa, former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, and former internal affairs minister Hilary Onek were accused of receiving bribes from oil companies.

The ministers, however, denied any wrongdoing and were later cleared by the parliamentary adhoc committee that investigated the bribery allegations.

With the new bribery allegations, MP Karuhanga says that Kutesa should resign and give Ugandans at least a chance of cleansing their country.

“He is probably the most corrupt individual that this country has witnessed in recent times. This man is at the core of this regime, this man is in deep cohorts with president Museveni then this is the time to think twice if you had any doubt.

It is obvious that for a long time we have been seeing a racket and maybe this is a tip of the iceberg. A racket of swindling money from money from Ugandan taxpayers, a racket of receiving money from international corporations basically to avail or provide influence to the disadvantage of Ugandans and finally to the disadvantage of United Nations. If you thought that this was an issue of Uganda, now you realise that it is an issue of also of the United Nations”, Karuhanga said.

Ssekikubo also weighed in, demanding for Museveni's explanation following revelations that he received gifts and re-election support from a Chinese company that was seeking to gain business advantage in Uganda.

The deal was reportedly brokered by Kutesa, and his wife, Edith Gasana. Kutesa reportedly sourced the support partly while serving as President of the United Nations General Assembly, during a visit to China in 2015.

Ssekikubo wondered if the president is a beneficiary of money laundering when the law requires that political parties must account for the sources of funding. The MP said that the happenings do not only impact on President Museveni and Kutesa alone, but the image entire country.

“It is now up to the president, did he campaign with money laundered from foreign countries. Money laundering by President Museveni through Kutesa? Why am I putting this to the president? He has seen it all coming right from Chogm [Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting].

Remember honourable Kutesa was implicated on supply of bogus vehicles for the Chogm, the advertisement for Chogm, then the oil bribery scandal, it is now here with us again by the same person. So there must be a link. Actually this is not only a parasite, there must be shared interest because why for instance is all this happening and the president doesn’t raise his finger. Unfortunately now all of us are indicted because our Foreign Affairs minister now with my little”, Ssekikubo said.

Jie County MP Adome said Kutesa is a simply a victim of his own greed and family impunity.

In 1998 Kutesa, then serving as state minister for Investment, resigned as parliament prepared to censure him accusing him of benefiting from the sale of the former Uganda Airlines.

His colleague, then primary education minister Jim Muhwezi was censured for mismanaging Universal Primary Education. The two were, however, never prosecuted and returned to cabinet after the 2001 elections.

2 months 12 hours ago

A section of Members of Parliament have demanded for the immediate resignation of Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa following allegations that he received a bribe of Shs 1.8 billion while serving as president of the United Nations General Assembly.

Speaking to journalists at Parliament, legislators including Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga, Kumi Woman MP Monica Amoding, Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo and Jie County MP Moses Bildad Adome expressed dismay at the allegations levelled against the minister, also brother-in-law of President Museveni.

"Now we must recall that shortly before Honourable Sam Kutesa’s appointment or election to the presidency of United Nations, a number of us were here opposed to that appointment.

One of the things we mentioned was that this man is so incredible; he is so wrong, so grossly wrong that he may even sell chairs of the United Nations. And people thought we were joking and now time has come to vindicate. Time is the best judge. Listen to what he did”, said Karuhanga.

Sam Kutesa (L) before the MPs recently

Karuhanga said it is sad that very soon the country will see arrest warrants issued for Kutesa. According to details of a criminal bribery case being prosecuted in the United States, minister Kutesa received $500,000 payment to help a Chinese firm obtain business advantages in the energy and banking sectors including potential acquisition of a Ugandan bank.

This allegation is contained in a complaint against the head of a Hong Kong-based NGO Dr Chi Ping Patrick Ho, and the former foreign minister of Senegal Cheikh Gadio.

The duo is accused of bribing high-level officials to help a Chinese oil and gas company to gain business advantages in Africa.

Gadio was arrested in New York on Friday afternoon while Ho was arrested on Saturday. The two were charged in a Manhattan Federal Court on Monday with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, international money laundering and conspiracy to commit both.

Ho allegedly paid a $500,000 (about Shs 1.8 billion) bribe via wires transmitted through New York to an account designated by Minister Kutesa in Uganda. The bribe was paid on or about May 6, 2016, after Kutesa finished his term as president of the U.N. General Assembly, the complaint said.

Ho also provided the Ugandan official with gifts and promises of future benefits, including offering to share the profits, the compliant further states.

Prosecutors said the bribe was meant to secure business advantages for the energy company, which was not identified in court papers, and potential acquisition of a Ugandan bank [seemingly Crane bank] .

The Foreign Affairs ministry yesterday explained the circumstances under which Kutesa interacted with Ho. According to the ministry, it's erroneous to link Kutesa to the bribery allegations saying that the minister interacted with Ho in his official capacity as the President of the General Assembly.

But even with this ‘clarification’ statement by the ministry, MPs are still not convinced with Karuhanga recounting the 2012 oil bribery allegations in which Kutesa, former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, and former internal affairs minister Hilary Onek were accused of receiving bribes from oil companies.

The ministers, however, denied any wrongdoing and were later cleared by the parliamentary adhoc committee that investigated the bribery allegations.

With the new bribery allegations, MP Karuhanga says that Kutesa should resign and give Ugandans at least a chance of cleansing their country.

“He is probably the most corrupt individual that this country has witnessed in recent times. This man is at the core of this regime, this man is in deep cohorts with president Museveni then this is the time to think twice if you had any doubt.

It is obvious that for a long time we have been seeing a racket and maybe this is a tip of the iceberg. A racket of swindling money from money from Ugandan taxpayers, a racket of receiving money from international corporations basically to avail or provide influence to the disadvantage of Ugandans and finally to the disadvantage of United Nations. If you thought that this was an issue of Uganda, now you realise that it is an issue of also of the United Nations”, Karuhanga said.

Ssekikubo also weighed in, demanding for Museveni's explanation following revelations that he received gifts and re-election support from a Chinese company that was seeking to gain business advantage in Uganda.

The deal was reportedly brokered by Kutesa, and his wife, Edith Gasana. Kutesa reportedly sourced the support partly while serving as President of the United Nations General Assembly, during a visit to China in 2015.

Ssekikubo wondered if the president is a beneficiary of money laundering when the law requires that political parties must account for the sources of funding. The MP said that the happenings do not only impact on President Museveni and Kutesa alone, but the image entire country.

“It is now up to the president, did he campaign with money laundered from foreign countries. Money laundering by President Museveni through Kutesa? Why am I putting this to the president? He has seen it all coming right from Chogm [Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting].

Remember honourable Kutesa was implicated on supply of bogus vehicles for the Chogm, the advertisement for Chogm, then the oil bribery scandal, it is now here with us again by the same person. So there must be a link. Actually this is not only a parasite, there must be shared interest because why for instance is all this happening and the president doesn’t raise his finger. Unfortunately now all of us are indicted because our Foreign Affairs minister now with my little”, Ssekikubo said.

Jie County MP Adome said Kutesa is a simply a victim of his own greed and family impunity.

In 1998 Kutesa, then serving as state minister for Investment, resigned as parliament prepared to censure him accusing him of benefiting from the sale of the former Uganda Airlines.

His colleague, then primary education minister Jim Muhwezi was censured for mismanaging Universal Primary Education. The two were, however, never prosecuted and returned to cabinet after the 2001 elections.

2 months 12 hours ago

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