Pharmacist Bagyenda, Co-Accused Convicted for Murder




High court has handed Brian Bagyenda, a pharmacist and two others a 32-year jail term for the murder of his girlfriend, Enid Twijukye, a student of Makerere University Business School on January 4th, 2017. The others are Innocent Bainomugisha, a cleaner and Vincent Rwahwire, a casual Laborer.

In his judgment delivered this afternoon, Justice Moses Kazibwe noted that although the defense lawyers tried to convince court that Bagyenda suffered a disease of mind by the time he committed the crime, both prosecution witnesses including Dr. Santos Ojara and Defense witnesses like Dr Brian Mutamba and Sister. Jane Francis Nantamu agreed that depression is not a permanent condition.

He noted that it therefore makes it speculative to argue that Bagyenda couldn't have premeditated the murder since all medics who testified in the matter agreed that depression isn’t a permanent condition. He also noted that Bagyenda’s actions before and after Twijukye’s murder, clearly indicates that he was in a stable mental state.

Justice Kazibwe also argued that, the fact that the convict checked the deceased's phone while she was asleep and saw her pictures together with another man, which he forwarded to his own phone, wasn’t something that could be done by someone with mental illness.

Justice Kazibwe also explained that Bagyenda’s actions such as sending his maid to go for shopping in Kalerwe Market all the way from Luzira area and sending her back to buy herself a soda after returning from the market, hiding in Voyeja Hotel where he checked in as John Mugizi clearly, indicate that he knew what he was doing.

Justice Kazibwe also found Rwahwire and Bainomugisha guilty of being active participants in the crime since they received Shillings 30,000 to help in the execution of the deceased. Court heard that Rwahwire held the neck of the deceased while Bainomugisha held her down as Bagyenda suffocated her to death using pillows.

Court also found them guilty of dumping the deceased’s body in Namanve swamp in Mukono District. They were implicated in Bagyenda’s statement to Police. Justice Kazibwe therefore convicted the duo, saying they were not robots to be moved around and should have reported what was happening at Bagyenda's home to police but instead chose to participate in the crime.

“The offense was grave in nature resulting from undeserving circumstances that lead to ending of life. I therefore find that a custodial sentence is fit for you,” said Kazibwe. Court further heard that basing on the 16 prosecution witnesses; Twijukye's death was unlawful since it was never sanctioned by the law and that there was malice aforethought.

The deceased’s father, Wilson Tibegaya told Journalists after the sentence that it was unfair for the accused persons to be given a similar sentence since they played different roles in the murder of his daughter. He said court should have handed the prime suspect, Bagyenda a bigger Sentence compared to his co accused since they worked on his orders.

He also said it is very absurd for Bagyenda’s parents to have failed to approach him and express sympathy and apologies for the crimes by their children. The accused persons were represented by Allan Sserulika and Nsubuga Mubiru who didn’t speak to journalists after the court session.


New NIRA Board Chairperson Wants Changes on National ID Replacement System



The newly appointed board chairperson of the National Identification and Registration Authority(NIRA), James Biribonwa has tasked the authority management to explain the detailed process of National ID replacement and explain why it takes long.

Biribonwa, who was presiding at the inaugural NIRA governing Board meeting at the Kololo based ID Authority offices said the detailed report must be produced at the Board’s next meeting. The Board held its inaugural meeting last week on Thursday.

“Government is paying money on a decentralized system for the Organisation. We have to know what happens in the districts. Why can’t some of these services be executed in the districts? Why do you have to bring the whole Uganda here (in Kololo) and expose our weaknesses?” Biribonwa questions why all services are being offered at the Kololo-based NIRA headquarters.

He adds that; “I want to give an assignment to management to tell us, how long does it take to replace a lost card? And you can benchmark with the Driving permit people, the Passport people and at our next meeting, you must deliver to us that time. If a lost driving permit can take a week or less to replace, why should a National ID take six months or a year?.”

The former commissioner of the Electoral Commission was appointed by the minister and later approved by Cabinet early this year to head the Authority Board. He will be deputized by Hon. Ruth Nvumetta Kavuma, a representative from the members of the Public on the Board.

Judy Obitre-Gama, the NIRA Executive Director says they have noted the concerns of the stakeholders, citing they will present them to the Board at its next sitting.

Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, the head of the Electoral Commission says NIRA plays a very crucial role in as far as the work of the Electoral commission is concerned.

Section 65(2) of the Registration of Persons Act 2015, provides for the Electoral Commission to access the data/information from NIRA for purposes of updating the National Voters’ Register.

The EC boss argues that since one of the requirements for one to be a voter, one must be a citizen, and that citizenship is verified by NIRA, who have the structures for that purpose.

“In the fulfillment of our mandate, to compile and maintain the voters register, we go to the NIRA data to determine who is a citizen and since the Biodata of that particular person will also be with NIRA, we determine who is a citizen and who is 18 years and above,” says Justice Byabakama.

Adding that; “Then we import that date into our system to be in position to access this. This means that NIRA must be in top notch operational or functional capacity to expedite the process of registration of citizens.”

The law of Registration of Persons provides that the National Identity Card shall be required for the holder to access certain services offered by the state. However, due to challenges faced by NIRA, the law has not been strictly followed.

Justice Byabakama says the new NIRA board, on which he is a member will go a long way in ensuring citizens are given services as fast as possible in order not to be disadvantaged.

Biribonwa has also directed the NIRA management to show clearly where the authority stands in regards to the preparation of the data, required by the Electoral Commission for the 2021 presidential and parliamentary polls.

“I direct management that at our next meeting, we would want management to give a clear direction of where we are in terms of the EC road map so that we don’t begin a blame game in the election time. We want you [management] to assure us that we are ahead of the Electoral Commission’s roadmap and we will not have problems,” Biribonwa directs.


Kampala Flying Squad, CID Join Bugiri Sheikh Murder Probe




Police teams from Kampala have been dispatched to join their counterparts in Busoga East region to probe the murder of Bugiri Imam, Sheikh Masuudi Mutumba.

Sheikh Mutumba was gunned down on Friday night at his home at Busimba village, Iwemba Sub-county, by assailants who reportedly trailed him from the mosque. Sheikh Mutumba was an Imam at Iwemba Masjid Mosque.

Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga confirmed on Monday that teams from the Criminal Investigation Directorate – CID headquarters and Flying Squad Unit – FSU have been dispatched to join territorial police in Busoga East to ensure Sheikh Mutumba’s assailants are arrested.

Enanga said police has since identified the lone gunman who is still at large. Police said the Boda boda rider who transported Mutumba’s killer and another accomplice have already been apprehended.

The preliminary findings of detectives indicate that Mutumba was killed over a land wrangle. The plot to kill Mutumba was allegedly planned at the home of one, Suleiman Koyita also a resident of Busimba village who reportedly had a dispute with Mutumba over land.

The suspects already in custody have allegedly indicated in their statements that they knew Mutumba and the victim also knew them. This is the reason why Mutumba rushed to come out of his house when he was called out.

Mutumba was shot once in the head killing him instantly. Police adds that a judgment regarding the deceased’s court victory over a piece of land was to be delivered by court on February 20th.

The Boda boda rider in his statement at Bugiri police has reportedly said the gun wielder quickly jumped onto his bike after killing Mutumba with a single shot. But the alert messages sent out to various police stations resulted into the interception of the Boda boda rider and the other accomplice before they had gone far.

Enanga said six other suspects all from the family that was bickering with Mutumba over a piece of land have also been arrested. Police said Mutumba’s murder is not in anywhere connected to his faith, cleric title he possessed or the previous murders of Muslim clerics.

Police insist the crime was purely an act of vengeance over land. More than 12 Muslim clerics were shot dead between 2012 and 2016 by gunmen moving on motorcycles. Among these include Sheikh Abdul Dakhtur Muwaya, Sheikh Mustafa Bayiga, Sheikh Hassan Kirya and Sheikh Maj Muhammad Kiggundu.


Strange Insects Cited in Masaka Not Disastrous to Crops-Entomologists




The strange insects cited in Masaka district are not the disastrous desert locust, according to findings by experts.

Early this month, a group of farmers from Lwega parish in Buwunga Sub County reported the presence of green bubble-colored and short-horned grasshoppers that were allegedly devouring their crops.

The presence of the strange insects triggered anxiety among farmers, with some of them suspecting that they had been invaded by deserts locusts.

Godfrey Ssenkaayi, a Senior Entomologist at Masaka District, says their analysis on the specimen of insects conducted alongside scientists from Ministry of Agriculture has ascertained that these were not the highly destructive desert locusts.

He says that the insects belong to the family of grasshoppers that are not under the species of desert locusts (Schistoceria gregarias) that are capable of causing substantial damage to plantations.

Ssenkaayi says they are also going to revisit sites were the insects were reported to access the level of damage the insects can cause or have caused to plantations before they can accordingly advise farmers on how to deal with them.

Mikadad Kajjumba, the Chairperson of Kitwe B village, one of the areas where the insects were cited told PRIME RADIO that the community was awed by the strange appearance of the insects, which prompted them to raise alarm.

He argues that although there hasn’t been any major damage to crops and plantations, the district production department ought to continue monitoring their growth cycle to ensure that all possible effects are mitigated as much as possible.


Residents Accuse UPDF Soldiers of Harrasment




Residents neighboring the 19th battalion barracks in Kabale district are accusing soldiers of harassing them. Located at Kihumuro hill, the barracks neighbors Bushuro in Kitumba Sub County in Rushaki in Southern Division and Kachuro in Kyanamira Sub County.

Residents claim that soldiers often beat them whenever they join them to socialise in the trading center. Men in the area also say that they are tired of soldiers snatching their wives and later beaten whenever they complain.

Pius Mugisha, a resident of Rushaki in Central division, says that he was assaulted twice by soldiers on his way home from the trading Centre. Mugisha says that the soldiers who beat him were not on official duties since they had drunk together in the same pub earlier on.

Alex Byamukama, a cobbler from Nkome village in Bushuro parish, says he was beaten recently after demanding for his pay from a solider whose shoes he had repaired.

Byamukama also says that during evening hours, soldiers storm the trading Centre for a social hour and beat up whoever fails to abide by their commands.

He wants top security officials to intervene and caution the soldiers about their conduct, saying their behavior is affecting the relationship between the force and civilians.

Ronald Mwebesa, the Mutojo village LC 1 Chairperson in Kitumba Sub County, says the practice of soldiers snatching married women has increased cases of domestic violence in his village.

According to Mwebesa, he last week registered two cases where a married couple were about to kill each other with the man accusing his wife of cheating on him with soldiers.

Paul Orishaba, a resident of Kachuro in Kyanamira Sub County accuses the soldiers snatching his wife.

Orishaba says that when he complained against his wife of infidelity, soldiers found him at his home and beat him with the connivance of his wife.

Sargent Alex Murungi, UPDF Political Commissar in charge of Kabale District instead attributes the problem to locals who supply narcotic drugs to soldiers while in the trading centers for the social hour.

Murungi also attributes the feud between soldiers and men neighboring Kihumuro barracks to women who hide their marital status when approached by the soldiers.

According to Murungi, women deceive soldiers that they are single with intentions of getting money yet they are married.

Murungi also says that the feud between civilians and solider results from accumulated debts by soldiers.

He urges residents to approach the relevant authorities for redress other than fighting with soldiers.

Brian Ampeire, the Kabale District Police Commander, says although it is the responsibility of top security officials to caution soldiers against terrorising residents, those attached to Kihumuro barracks still have a good record.


KCCA Speaker's Elections Set for March




Kampala Capital City Authority is set to elect its speaker and deputy speaker on March 5th, 2020.

In a February 17th, 2020 letter to the Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, the acting KCCA Executive Director, Andrew Kitaka, says KCCA will hold an ordinary meeting for the election of the Speaker and Deputy speaker under the supervision of a magistrate appointed by the court registrar.

Successful candidates will take oath the same day. In November 2019, parliament amended the KCCA Act creating positions of speaker and deputy speaker at KCCA and division levels. Three Councilors have declared interest to contest for the position of speaker and have been mobilizing vigorously ahead of the vote.

One of the councilors eyeing the speaker’s seat is the Lubaga North Councilor, Abubakar Kawalya. He currently chairs the Steering Committee on the Directorate of Engineering.

Kawalya, who is from the opposition Forum for Democratic Change-FDC, says once elected, he will guide the house to discuss issues that affect the people of Kampala.

His colleagues have described him as a hard-working, persistent and committed servant of the people. The Lubaga South Councilor, Ismail Damba says Kawalya is a man of his word, God fearing and solution oriented.

Umar Kajumba Kafeero, the Makindye West Councilor says Kawalya is a team leader and a man of integrity. He says Kawalya is result oriented, which makes him fit for the speaker’s position.

Nuhu Katwe, a resident and voter of Lubaga North describes Kawalya as a peace loving person and a team player. He says Kawalya has resolved conflicts of double stamps in the area and helped advocate for better drainage system.

Another candidate eying the speaker’s seat is Doreen Nyanjura, the Makerere University councilors who is official Forum for Democratic Change FDC candidate. Nyanjura, a graduate of Tourism from Makerere University Kampala, is an eloquent speaker in council.

She once headed the Revenue collection steering committee and currently sits on the Health Steering Committee. Nyanjura has advocated for better health and sanitation in Kampala. She was among the members who demanded that equipment taken from Kulambiro Heath Center to Kawempe Referral hospital be replaced.

Nyanjura says as speaker she wants policies and laws that serve the needs of the people to be at center stage.

The FDC Party President, Patrick Amuriat, says FDC nominated candidates including Nyanjura are tested leaders, incorruptible and capable of serving Kampala, Uganda and the party.

Nakawa 1 Lord Councilor, Moses Mugisha Okwera describes Nyanjura as a firm leader, incorruptible and committed.

He says Nyanjura has the ability to guide council as speaker. The third contestant is Bruhan Byaruhanga, the representative of Kyambogo University who is holding the National Resistance Movement- NRM Flag.

Byaruhanga, a regular debater in council meetings is remembered for having masterminded the petition that saw the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago impeached from his job in 2014.

A teacher by profession, Byaruhanga says he is ready to guide the house and discuss issues that affect the people of Kampala.



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