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WEDNESDAY LIVE UPDATES: News From In And Around Uganda

5:45PM: Emirates crew staff 'jumps off' plane at Entebbe Airport

A crew member of an aircraft due to depart Entebbe International Airport has opened the emergency exit door and jumped out of a plane sustaining serious injuries.

2:00PM: Congregant drops dead shortly after attending prayers

A 45-year-old woman dropped dead on Wednesday morning under unclear circumstances shortly after attending prayers at St. James Church in Jinja town.

Kiira region police spokesperson, Ms Diana Nandawula identified the deceased as Flavia Kalikwani, a resident of Buwenda village Mafubira Sub-County in Jinja District.

Some members of the congregation said they had seen her several times in church for the morning prayers. According to police, Kalikwani was drunk by the time of the incident.

12:20PM: Over 80 junior police officers re-graded into Railway Police

Police human resource director, Moses Balimwoyo, has re-graded 84 police officers into Railway Police. The affected officers are from the districts of Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso, Kayunga, Mbale and Kibuku.

In his Tuesday message sent to all Regional and Divisional police commanders (RPCs and DPCs), AIGP Balimwoyo moved 14 Kampala Metropolitan police officers at ranks of Corporal and Constable to Nalukolongo Railway Police Station in Kampala.

“The following police personnel have been re-graded into Railway Police and transferred to the following stations with immediate effect,” reads AIGP Balimwoyo’s message.

14 others have been incorporated into Soroti Railway Police Station, 14 to Kawolo Railway Police, 13 to Tororo Railway Police, 13 to Mbale Railway Police and 11 to Jinja Railway Police.

11:40AM: Four army officers dismissed over Kabamba barracks attack

Four army officers accused of participating in attacking Kabamba barracks have been sentenced to dismissal with disgrace from the army by the General Court Martial sitting in Makindye upon pleading guilty.

The four dismissed officers are Lt.Col Phillip Frank Eguma, Lt.Ronald Waibi Mwavu, Capt Hilman Bosco Aleper and Pte Kenneth Sekajja.

It’s alleged that the accused persons while in diverse places between September 2013 and May 2014 in districts of Kampala, Masaka, Luwero, Mubende in Uganda and Kenya convened meetings and recruited people to join a rebel group known as Uganda Democratic Federation.

All the accused persons had pleaded not guilty but when the case came up for hearing the convicts pleaded guilty and prayed for lenience.The four were sentenced by seven member court chaired by Lt Gen Andrew Gutti.

11:30AM: Polling materials arrive in Jinja ahead of tomorrow's by election

Polling materials have arrived in Jinja as the Jinja East residents head to polling stations to choose their Member of Parliament in a hotly contested by election that takes place tomorrrow.

The race that has eight contestants is mainly between NRM's Igeme Nabeta and FDC's Paul Mwiru. Campaigns officially ended yesterday as all stake holders get ready for the final voting that will take place tomorrow. 

10:30AM: Two shot dead as gunmen attack mobile money outlet in Lira

Two people were yesterday night shot dead when unknown gunmen raided a mobile money outlet at Ayago Trading Centre, Railways Division in Lira town.The deceased have been identified as Oliver Akello, 26, and Joseph Otim, 28.

Otim’s cousin, Denis Odongo, who witnessed the bloody robbery, said unknown gunmen putting on shorts and black caps emerged from the corridor of the shop and started firing in the air before shooting the two.

“At around 8:32pm, the gunmen emerged from the corridor of the shop and started firing bullets in the air. Akello, a mobile money operator, was at the time eating in front of the shop where she had kept her money,” he recounted.

“They immediately fired at her killing her instantly. Otim was inside his shop where Akello had put her bag. Upon seeing that Akello was shot dead, he tried closing the door but the thugs pushed in and shot him too. They took the money but we do not know how much it was,” he added.

10:00AM: 4 dead, 3 injured as truck falls into the river

Four people have been confirmed dead and 3 others injured after a Fuso truck in which they were travelling in, overturned and toppled into a river in Bwikhonge Sub-County, Bulambuli District.

The accident is said to have happened after the driver of the truck registration number UAR 087C, which was carrying merchandise and passengers heading to Nakapiripirit District, lost control at Cheputuyi River Bridge.

Police have identified the deceased as; Daniel Lotomei, Lodowa, Balokole and Lokoti, all from Loroo Sub-County in Amudat District.

The injured were; Abasi Wandwasi, Rogers Bubulo and another yet to be confirmed. They are currently admitted at Muyembe health centre IV.

9:20AM: Over 40 FDC supporters arrested in Jinja

Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has accused police for arresting their candidate’s supporters ahead of the Jinja East Constituency by-election slated for tomorrow (March 15, 2018).

According to one of the FDC campaign coordinators, Mr Chula Philemon, their supporters were raided last evening as they held a post campaign evaluation meeting for the FDC candidate, Mr Paul Mwiru at Old Booma grounds.

He claims that shortly after their arrest, three trucks came to the scene and police started screening the people.

The Jinja Regional Police Commander, Mr Gerald Twishima told this reporter that they had arrested more than 40 people over charges of malicious damage and threatening violence.

9:10AM: Court orders police to dig up Catholic priest’s grave

Police are set to exhume the remains of Catholic priest Peter Bwayo after a court in Mbale ordered fresh autopsy to ascertain his cause of death amid claims of “treasure” in the grave.

Dr Moses Byaruhanga, the director of police medical services, said the deputy Director of Criminal Investigations Directorate, Mr Joseph Obwona, has informed him about the court order but “I have not seen it myself”.

The order was issued by Mbale Grade One magistrate, Mr Daniel Epobu, following an application by the deceased’s elder brother, Mr Clement Bwayo, and police detective Fredrick Sam Were on Monday.

“It is thereby ordered that the remains of Rev Peter Kasooli Bwayo be exhumed and a postmortem conducted to ascertain the cause of the death. That a DNA test be conducted to ascertain the identity of the remains,” the magistrate ordered.

9:05AM: Mayor torture: Lawyer denied access to suspect

A lawyer for one of the suspects charged with torturing Kamwenge Mayor, Mr Geoffrey Byamukama, has castigated the army for denying him access to his client and failing to present him in court.

The suspect Abdu Semujju, who is in military detention at Makindye, was expected to appear at Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court last week.

However, defence lawyer Mr Ronald Natuhwera said the army at Makindye barracks denied him permission to meet Semujju.

Semujju is charged alongside four police officers: Patrick Muramira, Fred Tumuhairwe, Habib Roma and Ben Odeke.

9:00AM: Cabinet to decide on civil servants’ pay raise today

Cabinet will today sit to decide on the salary increment for civil servants. The decision comes at a time when civil servants are demanding 100 per cent pay raise, while government has stuck to its 5 per cent increment proposal.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Public Service, Ms Catherine Musingwiire, confirmed the Cabinet sitting and said salaries for civil servants will be decided during the meeting.

“Cabinet will sit tomorrow (today) to decide on the salary increment, so please call me on Thursday (today) then I update you on the progress and the Cabinet position,” she said when asked to clarify how far they had gone with the discussions.

The head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr John Mitala, refused to comment when asked about the progress.

8:55AM: UBC to appeal Shs80m court award to Besigye

The Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) has filed its intention to appeal the High Court judgment which ordered it to pay Shs80m to former FDC presidential candidate Kizza Besigye for not broadcasting his election campaign messages, which his party had paid for.

Last month, Justice Margaret Oguli-Oumo ordered the national broadcaster to pay Dr Besigye Shs80m as costs of the suit at an interest rate of 30 per cent and damages for not running his presidential campaign messages in 2011.

“Take notice that Uganda Broadcasting Corporation, being dissatisfied with the judgment and orders of the honourable Lady Justice Margaret Oguli-Oumo delivered on the February 26, intends to appeal against the whole decision to the Court of Appeal,” reads part of the notice filed yesterday by lawyers of Kiwanuka and Karugire Advocates.

8:45AM: Sick, sleeping NRM MP is better than active opposition MP – Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni has said a sick Member of Parliament (MP) from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party is better than an active opposition MP.

Mr Museveni made the remarks while canvassing for votes for Nathan Igeme Nabeta, the NRM party flag bearer in the Jinja East Constituency by-election slated for tomorrow.

“Even if the NRM MP was sick and sleeping, he is still better than a very active Opposition MP,” Mr Museveni told a rally at Masese/Walukuba Division in Jinja Municipality.

President Museveni added: “When an NRM MP is sleeping and it is time for passing a resolution in Parliament, he wakes up and votes for NRM. He can be weak at other issues but when he/she votes government policies, he is putting a brick of peace on our country.”

8:30AM: Vote Mwiru and ashame Court, Besigye tells Jinja East voters

Former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) President, Kizza Besigye yesterday urged Jinja East residents to vote Paul Mwiru in tomorrwo's by-election as a way of showing him ‘justice’.

While addressing thousands of Mwiru’s supporters at Busoga Square in Jinja, Besigye said: “Mwiru won the February 2016 election with a big margin but when they nullified his rival’s victory, court had the option of declaring him winner but disappointed him by not doing so yet they knew he won the election. So on Thursday, show him justice by letting the whole world know that he was the 2016 winner.’’

Besigye also appreciated Mwiru for not being ‘fearful and money hungry’ like other leaders. “The cause of problems in the country is leaders who are fearful and greedy for money and end up being compromised. Mwiru decided to go to court which is expensive. But he managed to win at the highest court though the ruling party wanted to bribe him but he refused.’’