Katosi Road Scam Defence Fails to Kickoff

 
 
 

 

KAMPALA

Anti-Corruption Court Judge Lawrence Gidudu has postponed to tomorrow, the defence hearing into the Katosi road scam.

The case was deferred after Peter Mulira, a representative of Apollo Senkeeto alias Mark Kalyesubula, a key suspect in the case failed to show up. The judge told the court that Mulira had requested for a two-hour delay to enable him to handle some administrative matters.

Senkeeto is charged with former Works and Transport Minister Abraham James Byandala, former UNRA acting executive director Eng. Berunado Ssebbugga Kimeze, Joe Ssemugooma- the former UNRA director of Finance and Administration and Marvin Baryaruha-the former UNRA Legal Director, for the 2014 Katosi Road scam that resulted in a financial loss of 24.7 billion Shillings for the Government of Uganda.

The prosecution alleges that Byandala abused his office when he directed the immediate signing of a contract between the Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA and an American firm EUTAW Construction Co. Inc, in November 2013 to upgrade Mukono-Kyetume-Katosi-Nyenga road in Mukono and Buikwe Districts. The project was valued at 165 billion Shillings.

Subsequently, UNRA made an advance payment of 24 billion Shillings to Eutaw and commenced works on Byandala's directive.

Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA later terminated the multi-billion road contract upon establishing that the company entered into a contract under false pretext, that it lacked the capacity to conduct the road works and its contract was signed without a valid performance guarantee.

But Byandala, according to the Inspector General of Government, ordered for the continuation of the works by Chongqing International Construction Company, a firm subcontracted by EUTAW despite the termination by UNRA. He is now charged with abuse of office, causing financial loss to the government and disobeying lawful orders.

Apollo Senkeeto alias Mark Kalyesubula, who was acting as a country representative of Eutaw Construction Company is charged with two counts of obtaining money by false pretence, six counts of uttering false documents, two counts of obtaining execution of security by false pretence and one count of conspiracy to defraud the government.

The Anti-Corruption Court on October 16 ruled that all the suspects have a case to answer in regard to their role in the scam and they were supposed to start defending themselves today.

 
 

Moroto Chief Magistrate Transferred Without Replacement

 
 
 
 

MOROTO

The fate of several suspects and inmates in Moroto Prison hangs in balance following the transfer of Moroto Chief Magistrate, Charles Yeteise without replacement.

Yeteise was transferred on September 28th together with 28 others including registrars and magistrates in a letter signed by Gadenya Wolimbwa, the Judiciary Chief Registrar. Yeteise, who took over from Moses Katorogo in 2015, was transferred to Buganda Road Court.

He has been serving all the three chief magisterial areas in Karamoja that include Moroto, Kotido and Nakapiripirit. Unlike other officers who were replaced, Moroto Chief magisterial area remained vacant. Residents have called for the immediate replacement of the Moroto Chief Magistrate.

Sadock Opolot, an Assistant Legal Officer with Uganda Law Society in Moroto, says the transfer of the chief magistrate without replacement affects dispensation of justice to suspects in custody.

Paul Abul, a resident of Moroto and High Court Assessor appeals to the concerned authorities to expedite the process of allocating a Chief magistrate to Moroto.

He notes that transferring a chief magistrate without replacement is injustice to the region, which is struggling with poor staffing levels.

Solomon Muyita, the Judiciary spokesman, says the post will be filled soon. He notes that the Moroto magisterial area will for now be under the care of the neighboring Mbale and Soroti magisterial areas.

Before the deployment of Charles Yeteise, another chief magistrate only identified as John Agaba was posted to replace Katorogo but only spent about three months there.

Sources told PRIME RADIO that the chief magistrate was uncomfortable with the environment and decided to ask for transfer.

There are 547 inmates in Moroto prisons alone awaiting trial. However, sources in prison say majority of the inmates have been committed to high court, leaving lower courts with about 50 cases.

 
 

MUK Moves to Confront Students' Hooliganism

 
 
 

 

KAMPALA

Makerere University is set to institute a students' disciplinary committee in an attempt to address hooliganism.

The development comes at a time the university is dealing with a crop of students who have been involved in acts of hooliganism according to the university's previous reports.

University officials allege that the students' body has been infiltrated by non-students who engage in activities that are not expected of Makerere, believed to be among the top universities on the continent.

In a recent statement, the University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe condemned the acts of hooliganism among students, arguing that the behaviour had led to loss of respect and confidence by the public in Makerere University graduates.

Prof. Nawangwe said on Monday that the university students' disciplinary committee will have powers to take any action against a student who will be found in breach of the university regulations.

Prof. Nawangwe disclosed that the chairperson of the University Council, Eng. Dr. Charles Wana Etyem, will inaugurate the university Students Disciplinary Committee on Wednesday November 1.

This comes two years after Makerere University passed and gazetted the university students' regulations following the increasing cases of indiscipline.

On July 16, 2015, Makerere gazetted the university rules and regulations following court advice. The university had been challenged by suspended students over its unconstitutional regulations.

Section 5 of the Makerere University Students Regulations provides for membership of the committee as appointed by the university council.

The committee is comprised of a member from the public at a level of a judge as its chair, two representatives of academic staff, a senior member of the administrative staff and a member from the public.

The committee's terms of reference include handling disciplinary cases brought to it, cases referred to it by Hall Disciplinary Committees, handle appeals from parties dissatisfied with the ruling from Hall Disciplinary Committee as well as handling other assignments assigned by council.

Once constituted, the committee will have a mandate to uphold a decision made by the Hall disciplinary committee, dismiss a case against the student and or reprimand a student.

It will also have powers to suspend a student for up to four months pending approval of the recommendation to council that a student be dismissed.

Goddy Muhumuza, the University Legal Officer, said that there are some individuals who disguise as students of Makerere and put on the university gowns and behave irresponsibly. He appealed to students do distance themselves from non-students who have ill motives.

In 2013, four students Ivan Bwowe, David Bala Bwiruka, Geoffrey Mutagobwa, and Samuel Mukili, petitioned the High Court in Kampala, after they were implicated as ringleaders in a violent strike in which students were protesting a new tuition policy.

Fearing that their suspension could result in expulsion from the institution, the quartet demanded that the suspension be quashed due to wrong procedures by the university.

Court ruled in favour of the students.

This new committee has a mandate to recommend to council for a student to be dismissed, ask for removal of a student leader from office, and order a student to pay for the cost or part of the cost of damaged university property among others.

 
 

Gashumba held for Impersonation

 
 
 

 

KAMPALA

Social media critic Frank Gashumba is in trouble for impersonation.

Gashumba was picked up from the city center on Monday night by operatives from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) for allegedly impersonating a Defense Ministry official and conning some foreigners.

The operatives later went on to search Gashumba's residence in Bunga, a city suburb and his Industrial area based offices of Sisimuka Uganda. The Defense Ministry Spokesman, Brigadier Richard Kalemire has confirmed the Gashumba's arrest and the ongoing investigations.

"Yes we have arrested him and investigations are in process to determine our next course of action," Kalemire said. This is not the first time Gashumba is trouble over similar allegations.

In 2013, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations investigated Gashumba on similar allegations when he was accused of impersonating the Defense Ministry Permanent Secretary and defrauding Turkish investors of Millions of Shillings. However, the findings from the investigations were never made public nor did the case make it to court.

It is unclear whether this is the same case CMI is investigating. Gashumba, a known critic of president, Yoweri Museveni has been arrests severally for defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.

 
 

Flying Squad Arrest Dozens in Kyotera

 
 
 

 

KYOTERA

Police flying squad have arrested at least 18 people, suspected of engineering insecurity in Kyotera district. The arrests come a week after the deployment of special operatives to investigate a wave of insecurity in the districts of Sembabule, Kyotera, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, Masaka and Lwengo.

It has been reported that the Greater Masaka region is experiencing unprecedented levels of crime involving raids to villages by thugs who hack and rob residents. The attacks have so far claimed 20 lives, and dozens left with injuries, according to police records.

The last incident in Butenga Sub County, Bukomansimbi District on Tuesday night left one person dead and four others with severe injuries. The thugs also robbed an unspecified amount of money from the victims. The deceased was identified as businessman Joseph Lubega.

Greater Masaka Region Police Spokesperson Lameck Kigozi says the operation has so far netted 18 people from different areas within the newly created Kyotera district. Kigozi adds that police have credible information linking the arrested persons to the ongoing criminality.

According to police, the suspects are detained at Kyotera Central Police Station and Masaka Central Police Station. PRIME RADIO has learnt however, that some of them were this loaded onto a coater destined for Nalufenya detention facility in Jinja district.

Early this month, residents of Kabonera trading centre along Masaka-Mutukula highway blocked the road and protested against the release of suspects linked to the killing of their colleagues.

 
 

Ngoma Road Upgrade to Displace 1900 People

 
 
 

 

LUWERO

Close to 1900 people will be affected by the planned upgrade of Luweero-Butalangu-Ngoma road, according to an assessment by Uganda National Roads Authority.

The Government of Uganda recently secured a loan of USD 24 million (over 86.4 billion Shillings) from the African Development Bank (ADB), Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to tarmac the road.

The 83-kilometer road links Nakaseke to Luweero district and to the Kampala-Gulu highway.

Alfred Tugume, the Project Manager at Uganda National Roads Authority explains that the affected persons will lose part of their land and houses while others may need to relocate to pave way for expansion of the road. He adds that the properties have already been valued for compensation.

Uganda National Roads Authority has also directed Luweero town council to relocate the weekly farmer's market at Kiwoko road to pave way for the works that will last 24 months.

But the road project has been received with mixed feelings among the affected people and area leaders.

Paul Mukungu, the LC III Chairperson of Luweero town council welcomes the plan saying that the road construction was among the pledges made by the National Resistance Movement government to the people of Luweero.

He, however, tasked UNRA officials to expedite the compensation to avoid delaying the project. Mukungu adds that they are equally looking for an alternative piece of land to relocate the farmers market to pave way for roadworks.

Luweero District Chairperson Ronald Ndawula is optimistic that the road will boost economic development, improve livelihood and ease transportation of agricultural produce.

But Edisa Nakabugo, one of the affected persons in Binyonyi zone, Luweero town prays that compensation is enough to enable them to relocate to a worthwhile location.

Uganda National Roads Authority is expected soon to place advertisements calling for contractors to do the roadworks.

 
 

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