UGANDA: DOMINIC ONGWEN PLANS TO ENTER ‘DURESS’ PLEA DEFENSE BEFORE THE ICC

ongwen

Mr. Ongwen Dominic the LRA warlord.

“One cannot be a victim and, in the same circumstances which led to his victimization, also be a perpetrator”-Ayena-Odongo

He was ‘abused, indoctrinated and conditioned to believe he was carrying out God’s work by cleansing and purifying the nation’.

“We shall watch and see whether the new approach of ICC, being a new institution, will offer conclusive justice in the end. Otherwise, let the court first deliver its verdict”Mr. Olaa Ambrose.

“No study was conducted to determine whose guns killed people in camps. Some of the killings could have been the work of government soldiers, the UPDF. Don’t blame the LRA alone”-Ayena-Odongo

GULU-UGANDA: Gulu district council hall in northern Uganda, was Tuesday September 18, 2018, filled to capacity where locals came to watch the live streaming of the opening statement of Dominic Ongwen’s defense lead counsel, Mr. Krispus Ayena-Odongo, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) judges.

Dominic Ongwen is the only one of the five top commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels who were waging war against the government of General Yoweri Museveni indicted by the ICC in 2005, to appear for trials, ten years after warrant of arrests were issued against them.

Others include Joseph Kony, who is still at large hiding in the Central African Republic (CAR); Vincent Otti, believed to have been killed by Kony; Raska Lukwiya and Okot Odiambo, both confirmed by the ICC to be dead.

Dominic Ongwen is facing 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity before the ICC while his boss, Joseph Kony, is indicted for only 7 counts.

According to International Justice Monitor article published on Monday September 17, 2018, defense counsel plans to argue that Dominic Ongwen “suffered a mental illness or defect, he acted under duress, and, for some of the charges, he has an alibi”.

He was captured by LRA rebels at the age of twelve; and, he was one of the over 30000 children abducted by the LRA between 1986 and 2009. He was ‘abused, indoctrinated and conditioned to believe he was carrying out God’s work by cleansing and purifying the nation’.

Dominic Ongwen becomes the first former child soldier to be tried before the ICC, a complexity that has raised much debate about the line between victim and perpetrator.

“One cannot be a victim and, in the same circumstances which led to his victimization, also be a perpetrator”, says Ayena-Odongo.

He says Ongwen is a product of the LRA war against government soldiers, the Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF), but not war against civilians caught up in the conflict and it is therefore wrong to say that these killings were made by LRA soldiers only.

“No study was conducted to determine whose guns killed people in camps. Some of the killings could have been the work of government soldiers, the UPDF. Don’t blame the LRA alone”, says Ayena-Odongo

According to the Prime Minister of Ker Kwaro Acholi, Mr. Ambrose Olaa, there are so many dynamics to the case of Dominic Ongwen where the ICC system of justice seem not to be compatible with the aspirations of the local community of the affected .

“We shall watch and see whether the new approach of ICC, being a new institution, will offer conclusive justice in the end. Otherwise, let the court first deliver its verdict”, says Mr. Olaa.

Throughout the testimony of prosecution witnesses, Ongwen’s defense lawyers have questioned them about the violent ways the LRA initiated its new abductees. According to Ayena-Odongo, Dominic Ongwen should not be facing charges for crimes committed by the LRA as an institution.

The defense counsel also will argue that it should have been Uganda government on trial before the international court because it (government) failed to protect the over 30000 children from being abducted and indoctrinated by the LRA between 1986 and 2009.

The defense lawyers have also enlisted a traditional witchdoctor to go and testify on the spiritual aspects of the conflict in Uganda, arguing that it was the spirit which liked Dominic Ongwen that is why he rose through the LRA ranks quickly.

Mr. Ayena-Odongo also served the LRA and its legal advisor during the Juba Peace Talks between the government and LRA between 2006 and 2008. He is being assisted by Mr. Charles Achaleke Taku and Beth Lyons, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

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UGANDA: $18 MILLION JAPANESE ROAD REHABILITATION GRANT BREWS ANIMOSITY IN GULU MUNICIPALITY

 

Gulu street

Gulu Street being rehabilitated by JICA funds

“I wish to apologize to the people of Gulu Municipality over the animosity now brewing over the design of the roads being rehabilitated with funding from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This is because we did not bring you (stakeholders) on board. This consultation meeting should have taken place a long time ago before the actual work began”-Engineer Magala.
“We wrote to our elected leaders in July 2018 expressing our concern but they chose to keep quiet. Nature hates a vacuum. You can’t blame a person if you are responsible. You don’t have to accept anything even if it is a grant that is not beneficial to the community. We had to go to court”-Mr. Ocaya
“It is still too early to fight for political office. There are some DP councilors who are mixing politics for the 2021 election cycle and development. If we stop this grant then our children will accuse us. I was surprised that property owners didn’t contact me instead I was surprised with the court case”-Mayor Labeja
GULU-UGANDA: A senior Engineer with the Ministry of Works has apologized to the people of Gulu Municipality over the animosity which is brewing over the widths of the roads being rehabilitated by the $18 million dollar grant by the Japanese government.
Engineer Magala Godfrey said the stakeholders meeting taking place on Monday, September 10, 2018 at Gulu district council hall ‘should have taken place a long time ago’ before the actual work of roads rehabilitation began.
“I wish to apologize to the people of Gulu Municipality over the animosity now brewing over the design of the roads being rehabilitated with funding from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This is because we did not bring you (stakeholders) on board. This consultation meeting should have taken place a long time ago before the actual work began”, says Engineer Magala.
JICA is currently rehabilitating a total of 6.04 kilometers of roads in Gulu Municipal Council central business district.
The Monday stakeholders meeting was prompted by actions of Gulu Property Owners Association who went to court and placed an injunction accusing Municipal authorities and JICA for narrowing the widths of the roads.
According to the chairman of Property owners, Mr. Ocaya George Onen, they raised their concern to the Mayor, Mr. George Labeja, in writing that the roads under construction are being narrowed, but the Mayor chose to ignore their letter.
“We wrote to our elected leaders in July 2018 expressing our concern but they chose to keep quiet. Nature hates a vacuum. You can’t blame a person if you are responsible. You don’t have to accept anything even if it is a grant that is not beneficial to the community. We had to go to court”, says Mr. Ocaya.
The Mayor blamed some councilors who belong to the Opposition Democratic Party (DP) for causing the animosity because they are mixing politics with development simply because they are vying his office in 2021.
“It is still too early to fight for political office. There are some DP councilors who are mixing politics for the 2021 election cycle and development. If we stop this grant then our children will accuse us. I was surprised that property owners didn’t contact me instead I was surprised with the court case”, says Mayor Labeja.
He appealed to the people in the Municipality to desist from always taking the council to court because at the end of the day, it is money for service delivery that will be affected thereby denying people service.
He cited the example of the former Town Clerk, Mr. Opolot, who had to be paid shs.1.3 billion Uganda shillings ($361000 US dollars) because his services was wrongly terminated by the regime of former Mayor, Paklaki.
The Gulu district council chairman, Mr. Mapenduzi Ojara Martin, appealed to the Municipal authority to always have open dialogue with citizens on any development initiative taking place to avoid such unhealthy developments.
The Resident District Commissioner, Major Santos Okot-Lapolo, warned the politicians in Gulu to always settle their differences amicably rather than mixing such differences with governmental development programs.
“Sharing information demystifies everything. Unless we bring our differences, then Gulu will never become a city”, says Major Lapolo.

UGANDA: DOMINIC ONGWEN’S DEFENSE TEAM TO CALL 72 WITNESSES IN THE TRIAL BEFORE ICC JUDGES

Mr. Obhof of ICC

L-R: Martin D. Okwir of the ICC outreach team and Mr. Thomas Obhof at NUMEC

“We have criteria of selecting witnesses; which is a collective effort. We have at least 60000 pages of documents with over 100 hours of audio of previously recorded records. We shall have a total of 72 witnesses; twenty-five percent will be females by November 2019”, says counsel Obhof.

“As an attorney, my role is to protect the rights of the accused who deserves the right to equal defense. In this case so far, the government has been cooperative with safety of witnesses”, says Mr. Obhof.

 

GULU-UGANDA: The Defense team representingLRA commander, Dominic Ongwen, who is being tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC), are currently in northern Uganda looking for witnesses to defend him.

According to assistant lead defense counsel, Mr. Obhof Thomas; his team wants to call a total of 72 witnesses to The Hague to defend Ongwen, 62 of who will appear in court while the rest will have their testimonies filed in court.

There are nine lawyers representing Dominic Ongwen before the ICC in a trial which began in 2016 when prosecution lawyers opened the case against him. Victims’ lawyers’ took over and completed calling their witnesses. It is now the turn for the defense team to defend him.

Mr. Obhof made this announcement recently during a briefing to the media in northern Uganda from the Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) in Gulu, on how far the defense team has moved in the case against Ongwen.

“We have criteria of selecting witnesses; which is a collective effort. We have at least 60000 pages of documents with over 100 hours of audio of previously recorded records. We shall have a total of 72 witnesses, twenty-five percent will be females by November 2019” says Mr. Obhof.

Mr. Obhof said he has no reason to believe that the safety of defense witnesses cannot be guaranteed by Uganda government saying government is still cooperating well with the Defence team.

“As an attorney, my role is to protect the rights of the accused who deserves the right to equal defense. In this case so far, the government has been cooperative with safety of witnesses”, says Mr. Obhof.

He says their main challenge is that the ICC secretariat only provided 73006 Euros (US$84838 dollars) which is inadequate to facilitate their trips and hire investigators.

“Our biggest challenge is access to reasonable funds. The 73006 Euros meant for trips and hire investigators for ninety days does not even pay an investigator for one year. The ICC has not allocated funds equally to the defense”, complains Mr. Obhof.

Dominic Ongwen is facing 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity before the ICC for crimes committed by Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) soldiers under his command between 2002 and 2005 from four different locations of Abok, Lukodi, Odek and Pajule, all in northern Uganda.

The defense counsel, however said his team will look at the whole period of the war in Uganda from 1985, arguing, it makes no sense if they concentrated only on the period Ongwen is deemed to have committed the offences.

Although the trial judges rejected a request of the defense team to file a ‘no case to answer’ plea, the counsel says his team is optimistic that Ongwen will win the case against him. He says prosecution is prosecuting Dominic Ongwen ‘on the crimes of the LRA’.

“It is the LRA which is on trial. The prosecution is prosecuting Dominic Ongwen on crimes of the LRA”, he says.

He says Ongwen is in good spirit and that the detention facility of at the ICC is the best in the whole world although miss local Acholi foods like sweet potatoes, millet and sesame paste.

According to Mr. Okwir D. Martin, an officer of the ICC’s Outreach team, they have been accompanying the defense lawyers, who have been on the ground in northern Uganda since August 17, 2008 trying to engage with various stakeholders.

“What was left was for the defense team to come to northern Uganda to talk to various stakeholders. Although the trial is taking place thousands of kilometers away, this trial goes into the hearts of the people of northern Uganda.

The defense lawyers will start to present its witnesses and their submissions on September 18, 2018.

Ongwen and five other commanders of the LRA including its leader Joseph Kony, who is still at large, are wanted by the ICC on multiple charges of crimes against humanity and sexual related crimes.

 

 

 

UGANDA: GENERAL MUSEVENI SETS PROBE COMMITTEE INTO APAA LAND SAGA, APOLOGISES

 

Apaa Residents In UN Compound in Gulu Town

Apaa residents who camped in the compound of UN-OHCHR on July 11, 2018

“As the community of Apaa, we only wish to live peacefully on our land. Violent attempts to evict our people from this area started after the area of Apaa was supposedly gazzetted as East Madi Game Reserve, a process that took place illegitimately while our people were relocated to Internally Displaced Persons’ camps during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) conflict” – Apaa residents petition.

“I am sorry about your sufferings. These were, however caused by your leaders. They have specialized in telling lies, but God is there and we shall find solutions” – General Museveni.

 

GULU-UGANDA: General Yoweri Museveni has set up a 17-member probe committee headed by the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, to look into the Apaa land saga which forced a total of 234 residences to take refuge in the compound of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (UN-OHCHR) in Gulu.

The residents trekked for more than 150 kilometers from Apaa to Gulu and stayed in the compound of UN-OHCHR from July 11-August 16, 2018.

In their petition to the High Commissioner then, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the residents requested the body to investigate the Uganda government for human rights abuses meted out on them by security forces during their eviction from the contested 1,702 square kilometers land.

According to General Museveni, 827 square kilometers of land out of the 1,702 square kilometers had been gazzetted into East Madi Game Reserve by parliament in 2002 on a request by Adjumani district.

However, the locals insist this is their ancestral land located in Amuru district. They accuse the government of trying to grab it but government says this is a game reserve and that the land is in neighboring Adjumani district.

The petition also requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to impress upon Uganda government to immediately halt attacks on the people and to respect the 2012 court injunction stopping evictions.

In another petition to the Speaker of Parliament and various diplomatic missions accredited in Uganda dated August 6, 2018, the residents of Apaa complained that the government has maintained silence during their ordeal despite the office of the UN-OHCHR brining the matter to government’s attention.

“As the community of Apaa, we only wish to live peacefully on our land. Violent attempts to evict our people from this area started after the area of Apaa was supposedly gazzetted as East Madi Game Reserve, a process that took place illegitimately while our people were relocated in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) conflict,” says part of the petition to the Speaker of Parliament.

General Museveni visited the contested area on Wednesday August 22, 2018 during which he expressed remorse for the sufferings of the people. He was however blamed local political leaders of telling lies to the local community over the dispute.

“I am sorry about your sufferings. These were, however caused by your leaders. They have specialized in telling lies, but God is there and we shall find solutions”, says Mr. Museveni.

Mr. Museveni also appointed Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana- Rugunda to lead a 17-member committee of leaders of both Madi and Acholi sub-regions to investigate complains of the residents of Apaa in order to find a common ground of resolving the saga. Each aide of Madi and Acholi will nominate eight people each to the committee.

He offered three possibilities, first, that leaders should decide whether some of the affected people within the gazzetted area can be relocated in the Acholi sub-region and compensated.

The second option is that the Acholi people who have been on the land since 1963 and 2006 to be allowed to settle on the disputed land but they should be restricted from expansion into other parts of the disputed area.

The third option, according to Mr. Museveni is whether the portion of the land nearer to the populated Adjumani district can be allocated for the locals to settle outside the gazzetted area.

According to the Prime Minister of Ker Kwaro Acholi, Mr. Ambrose Olaa, the Acholi team will be composed of Mr. Michael Lakony (Amuru LCV chairman), Hon. Anthony Akol (MP- Amuru North), Ms. Gladys Oyat (Headteacher) and Dr. Daniel Komakech (Gulu University). Others are Mr. Dan Kidega (Former Speaker of East African Parliament), Prof. Elizabeth Opiyo (Gulu University), Mr. Julius Ojok (lawyer) and Mr. Mathew Okello (surveyor).

The committee will have an advisory committee of ten members; Rwot David Onen-Acana, Archbishop Dr. John Baptist Odama, Sheik Musa Khelil, Rwot Jakeo Acaye (Pabbo) Hon. Lucy Akello (Amuru MP), Mr. John Livingstone Okello-Okello, Mr. Sabino Ocan, Dr. J.J. Oloya, Ambrose Olaa (Acholi PM) and Mr. Jackson Omona (LCV chairman).

The Madi team will be composed of Dr. Esukuru Robert, Prof. Sister Dominica Dipio, Office of LCV Adjumani, Ms. Harriet Mesiku, Mr. Lawrence Akuti, Ms. Suru Baro, Mr. Moses Kibirai and Prof. Christine Dranzoa.

According to Mr. Olaa, the office of the Prime Minister will set their Terms of Reference on Thursday August 30, 2018 and they have up to three weeks to submit their reports to General Museveni.

 

UGANDA: DICTATOR MUSEVENI PANICS OVER LIFE PRESIDENCY, SLUMPS ‘TREASON’ CHARGES ON OPOSITION MPS

 

wadri and other mps

MPs heading for remand to Gulu Central Prison inside a prison lorry

“We call for the unconditional release of our colleagues arrested in Arua. We also urge religious leaders, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the International Community to join us in the struggle of ending the violations of human rights”

“As a country, we have to put our foot down and say enough is enough. An attack on one of us is attack on all of us. Uganda belongs to all of us. It is not somebody’s property”

GULU-UGANDA: The new Leader of Opposition (LOP) in Uganda, Ms. Betty Aol- Ocan, has called on General Museveni to ‘unconditionally release all the Members of Parliament and thirty others’ arrested by the Special Force Command (SFC) on Monday, August 13, 2018, and slumped with treason charges after the last campaigns in the by-election of Arua Municipality, northwest.

“We call for the unconditional release of our colleagues arrested in Arua. We also urge religious leaders, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the International Community to join us in the struggle of ending the violations of human rights”, State owned New Vision daily of Thursday, August 16, 2018 quotes Ms. Aol Ocan.

The seat fell vacant after its Member of Parliament (MP), Major Ibrahim Abiriga and his escort/brother were gunned down by unknown assassins on motorbikes on June 8, 2018 as they were going back home on the suburb of Kampala in the evening.

The MPs are Mr. Zaake Francis of Mityana Municipality, Mr. Mwiru Paul of Jinja Municipality, Mr. Karuhanga Gerald of Ntungamo Municipality and Mr. Ezati Wadri Kassiano, the MP elect of Arua Municipality.

The legislators had accompanied one of the most popular legislators at the moment, Mr. Sentamu Kyagulanyi Robert, also known by his musical stage name as Bobi Wine, to campaign in the by-election for the Independent candidate-Mr. Wadri.

Reports from Arua say Bobi Wine pulled more crowds on the last day of campaigns on Monday August 13, 2018, than the crowds of General Museveni and that of Dr. Kiiza Besigye combined. The three heavy weights were in Arua to campaign for the candidates of their parties respectively.

The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party fielded Ms. Tiperu Nusura while opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) fielded Mr. Musema Bruce.

Utterly humiliated by what was unfolding in Arua, and the growing popularity of Bobi Wine, the shameless dictator decided to drive his motorcade through the crowd of Bobi Wine, who were reported to be marching on in a procession through the town at the close of campaigns.

That is when someone in the crowd of Bobi Wine purportedly hit the rare screen of one of the cars of the president.

Commentators in Arua say his advisors failed to advise him on which route to follow in Arua in order to avoid such scenario.  The driver of Bobi wine, Mr. Yasin Kavuma was killed in his seat by SFC soldiers who were looking for the legislator to arrest him.

The by-election result which was released early Thursday indicates that the Independent candidate (Mr. Wadri), whom Bobbi Wine campaigned for, won the by-election with 8421 votes against dictator Museveni’s choice that came distant second with 4798 votes. FDC’s Mr. Musema was fourth with a paltry 1369 votes out of twelve candidates.

These MPs, except Mr. Zaake, appeared before Chief Magistrate of Gulu, Mr. Katenga Dawa Francis, together with thirty others, on Thursday, August 16, 2018 and charged with ‘treason and malicious damage’ of one of the cars in the motorcade of Dictator Museveni.

They were advised not to enter any plea since their case needs to be tried by the High Court, not Chief Magistrates’ court; but remanded them in Gulu Central Prison until Thursday, August 30, 2018.

The Chief Magistrate directed further, that the legislators be allowed to go and receive medical checkup and medication from any hospital of their choice. This directive came after the lead counsel representing the suspects, Mr. Sseggona Medard, reported that his clients were so badly beaten that they need urgent medical check-up from a private health facility since they all expressed ‘lack of trust’ in government hospitals.

Two of the suspects, a woman and a man were so badly beaten that they were carried into the dock and transported in as special prison car because they could neither walk nor climb the lorry. The woman was reported to bleeding from her private part.

The whereabouts or conditions of Hon. Zaake is not known as he was reported to have been so badly beaten by the SFC soldiers while in the process of looking for Bobi Wine from the hotel rooms where they had lodged that the soldiers feared to arraign him in court with the other colleagues on Thursday.

He was not also arraigned before the General Court Martial together with Bobi Wine, whose charges were amended from treason to ‘being in possession of firearms and ammunitions’. SFC alleges that two sub-machine guns with some rounds of ammunitions were recovered from the hotel room where both Bobi Wine and Zaake had booked in Arua.

Unconfirmed social media report feared he could have succumbed to beatings by the SFC soldiers from Gulu Forth Division Military Hospital.

“As a country, we have to put our foot down and say enough is enough. An attack on one of us is attack on all of us. Uganda belongs to all of us. It is not somebody’s property”, says shadow minister for foreign affairs and Bukonjo county MP, Mr. Katusabe Godfrey Atkins.

CRYPTO CURRENCY COMES TO NORTHERN UGANDA AMID WARNINGS OF PONZI FRAUDSTARS BY CENTRAL BANK

 

Charles Ponzi swindler

Black & White portrait of infamous swindler Charles Ponzi (1882-1049)

“D9Clube is no longer in business. There is however a new company called Bit coin. A friend in Kampala has joined the new Bit coin investment opportunity. You only need about 4.8 million Uganda shillings (about US$ 1300 dollars). It would be good if you join it too”

‘Whoever wishes to invest their hard earned savings in crypto currency forms is taking a risk in the financial space where there is neither investor protection nor regulatory purview’.

“You can see that the value of each coin has been appreciating so much before we officially offer it to the public on October 8, 2018. By that time each coin will go for shs400000 Uganda shillings (about US$ 110 dollars). You should learn today and lead tomorrow. Invest in time, people and technology. MTN earns over 6 billion Uganda shillings (about US$1.7milion dollars each time the over 14 million customers by airtime or shs500 shillings. We are going to move this life using digits”

GULU-UGANDA: In 2016, one of the promoters of the D9Clube, Mr. Kawoya Adrian came to Gulu and conducted a one day seminar in one of the hotels in town on how one can mint millions of shillings if one invests just UGX 4 million shillings (about US $1100 dollars).

The founder of D9Clube, which is actually a Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM) company, is a Brazilian called Mr. Danilo Santana. He was reported to have been arrested in Dubai this year (2018) after a six-month hunt in an operation code-named; “Operation Giza”. At that time he had accumulated US$642 million dollars in his Ponzi scheme.

A Ponzi scheme is named after the infamous swindler of the nineteenth century Italian, Charles Ponzi, (March 3, 1882-January 18, 1949). He paid out returns with other investors’ money-a highly profitable and expansive investment scheme. He was arrested on August 12, 1920 and charged with 86 counts of mail fraud.

It is a fraudulent scam promising to pay high rates of return with little risk to investors. Ponzi scheme generates returns for older investors by acquiring new investors. It is similar to a pyramid scheme in that both are based on using new investors’ funds to pay earlier backers.

As it turned out, one of the clients who was a victim to this scheme is Ms. Adong Sarah Komagum who confirms that she is no longer an investor to D9Clube Ponzi scheme.

“D9Clube is no longer in business. There is however a new company called Bit Coin. A friend in Kampala has joined the new Bit coin investment opportunity. You only need about shs4.8 million Uganda shillings (about US$ 1300 dollars). It would be good if you join it too”, says Mr. Okot Patrick, an IT specialist at Gulu University.

Bit coin was launched in Uganda around 2010 but became commonly known in 2017 after one Bit coin hit shs67 million Uganda shillings (about US$18600 dollars).

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director, Ms. Christine Lagarde says ‘taking risk is not watching because new technologies are lowering costs of doing businesses’. She made this remarks while speaking on Bit coin and the future of money.

She acknowledges that that are some Ponzi businesses like D9Clube; but there are also some genuine companies doing crypto currency businesses.

According to Bank of Uganda, there are several crypto currency companies like; Bit coin, One Coin, Ripple, Peer coin, Name coin, Doge coin, Life coin, Byte coin, Prime coin and Black coin. The bank warned Ugandans that ‘whoever wishes to invest their hard earned savings in crypto currency forms is taking a risk in the financial space where there is neither investor protection nor regulatory purview’.

On Saturday, August 4, 2018, a promoter of One-Coin crypto currency, Mr. Natala Joel came to Gulu to sell his product to potential investors.

According to him, the Founder of One Coin is Dr. Ruje Ignatova who has 120 billion coins which was put up for grabs in 2014. It came to Uganda in 2015, where each coin was sold for shs2000 Uganda shillings (about US$0.6 dollars). It has been appreciating to shs63800 Uganda shillings (about US$18 dollars) per coin in 2017.

“You can see that the value of each coin has been appreciating so much before we officially offer it to the public on October 8, 2018. By that time each coin will go for shs400000 Uganda shillings (about US$ 110 dollars). You should learn today and lead tomorrow. Invest in time, people and technology. MTN earns over shs6 billion Uganda shillings (about US$1.7milion dollars) each time the over 14 million customers by airtime of shs500 shillings. We are going to move this life using digits”, says Mr. Natala.

Seventy-three year old Ambassador David Mwaka, a self-confessed investor in One Coin says he has decided to invest in this new business opportunity because they are ‘genuine’ and has an office unlike others which are briefcase crypto currencies.

“This company is too good. We have had very many conmen going around the world. I went up top their office on Lumumba Avenue in Kampala and they gave me a certificate to acknowledge my investment”, says Ambassador Mwaka.

According to Mr. Natala, an investor in One Coin will undergo a free course on crypto currency which is being offered by Oxford University.

As the IMF boss says ‘taking risk is not watching’, investment in crypto currency does not need one to stay long in the game in order to realise returns.

 

UGANDA: AN APPEAL TO US PRERSIDENT DONALD TRUMP- STOP FINANCING CORRUPT AFRICA’S DICTATORS

 

cartoon of museveni

A cartoonist’s impression of how General Museveni’s ego

An open letter

“Strongman politics are ascendant suddenly, whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained- the form of it- but those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning”

“So on Madiba’s 100th birthday, we now stand at a crossroads- a moment in time at which two very different visions of humanity’s future compete for the hearts and the minds of citizens around the world. Two different stories, two different narratives about who we are and who we should be. How should we respond?”

“In the end however, the judges are not the ones in charge of the country. If NRM MPs follow my guidelines and bound closely with the people, we can, together with the people, make the necessary constitutional reforms, judges, no judges”, fumes Mr. Museveni, adding; “How can you say old soldiers should be disqualified when everybody’s efforts are needed because the good soldiers are not enough?’

GULU-UGANDA:  Dear Mr. President, I send you warm greetings from the heart of Africa, a continent blessed with abundant natural resources, specifically from Uganda; a country once described by colonial masters that it was the Pearl of Africa; which unfortunately has been reduced to ashes by corrupt dictators.

This open letter comes hardly two weeks after your predecessor, Barack Obama, concluded his African tour with a lecture at The 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture during which lecture he acknowledged that there are still “Strongman Politics” in the world; a vise he failed to address during his eight years in charge of the US presidency.

“Strongman politics are ascendant suddenly, whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained- the form of it- but those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning”, he says, during the Madiba lecture to the applause of many listening to him.

“So on Madiba’s 100th birthday, we now stand at a crossroads- a moment in time at which two very different visions of humanity’s future compete for the hearts and the minds of citizens around the world. Two different stories, two different narratives about who we are and who we should be. How should we respond?” he continues.

What crossroad is Mr. Obama talking about? The crossroad is about how the likes of Madiba can save the world from sharks like emerging African corrupt dictators who want to destroy humanity through undemocratic maneuvers.  Who needs free speech as long as the economy is doing well? The free press is under attack. Censorship and state control of media is on the rise across Africa.

One such autocratic strongman and very corrupt African presidents is our very own-General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the life president of Uganda.

When he ascended to power on January 26, 1986, General Museveni correctly prescribed Africa’s problem as “leaders who overstay in office”. He initiated the promulgation of a new Constitution; and in 1995 a new came into effect.

In that constitution, General Museveni maneuvered the Constituent Assembly members and put in Article 102 (b); which specifically states that “A person is not qualified for election as President unless that person is not less than thirty-five years and not more than seventy-five years of age”.

At that time his arch enemy was former president, the late Dr. Apollo Milton Obote, then exiled in Lusaka- Zambia. Dr. Obote, who was above seventy-five years at that time, had challenged him in a free and fair election. He wanted Obote out in the general election in 1996, the first since he took over power eleven years earlier.

Recently, he manipulated parliament, which his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party dominate, and removed that safety belt from the constitution. He also amended Article 77 (3) which had fixed the term of parliament to five years from the date of its first sitting after a general election to be seven years.

Article 77 (4) states that ‘where  there exist a state of war or a state of emergency which would prevent a normal general election from being held, Parliament may, by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of all members of Parliament, extend the life of Parliament for a period not exceeding six months at a time’.

These amendments, including the re-introduction of term limits, were challenged in the Constitutional Court, which ruled on Thursday July 26, 2018 that the extension of the life of parliament to seven years and the re-introduction of term limits were unconstitutional but the court upheld the amendment on age limit.

Although the court granted him leeway ticket to life presidency, General Museveni is still furious over these judgments despite the alleged independence of the judiciary. In an opinion he sent to Ugandan media from South Africa where he had gone to attend the Brix summit, he said it was not the judges who were in-charge of this country.

“In the end however, the judges are not the ones in charge of the country. If NRM MPs follow my guidelines and bound closely with the people, we can, together with the people, make the necessary constitutional reforms, judges, no judges”, fumes Mr. Museveni, adding; “How can you say old soldiers should be disqualified when everybody’s efforts are needed because the good soldiers are not enough?’

For how long will the United States tolerate General Museveni and sustain his presidency? Are you going to allow him to continue to plunder Uganda’s natural resources in the guise to help you fight terrorism in Africa?

He has seen at least five US presidents come and go but he has refused to let go despite is correct judgment of African leaders when he first took over the mantle. There are no drugs in hospitals. The education sector is in shambles. Corruption and gagging of free-speech and association is the order of the day. It is needless to say the lawlessness in neighboring countries except in Kenya and Tanzania. Is the world waiting for another Arab Spring to happen in Africa in order to wake up? –The author is a journalist in northern Uganda (mutono@gmail.com)