Thursday 30 October 2014


Makerere University Tuition and Functional Fees Payment Deadline for 1st Semester pushed to 14th November 2014
The Academic Registrar Makerere University wishes to inform all students that the University Council at its 132nd Meeting held on 16th October, 2014 noted with concern that a number of students had failed to pay fees (Tuition and Functional Fees) by the sixth week of the Semester as per University Policy.
The University Council after due deliberations agreed as follows:-
i) For the Semester 1 Academic year 2014/15, students should pay 100% of fees (Tuition and Functional Fees) by 14th November, 2014, that is two weeks before the beginning of Semester One Examinations.
ii) Effective the Second Semester 2014/15, all Privately Sponsored Students should pay 100% fees by the 6th week of a Semester.
iii) Students should not be registered unless


Wednesday 29 October 2014


Given the figures at hand of the number of people who die in road accidents in Uganda, and those who are injured, there is all the evidence that the number of dependent people increases with time given that it is mostly responsible people with families who perish in these.  Just a look at the menace of the Commercial cyclists in Uganda shows you the magnitude of the problem.  One of Uganda’s biggest problems is the failure of those in control to take decisions that solve problems once for all.  You cannot regulate boda – boda riders when at one end you see them as a potential voting bloc.  Government ends up leaving them to rule, hence the increasing road accidents.  

Road Traffic Crashes (RTCs) were the leading cause of trauma and boda-bodas were involved in 41% of all trauma patients. The average duration of stay was 8.3 days. The average cost to maintain a boda-boda patient was determined at Uganda shillings 700,359 or the equivalent of US $369. Boda-boda injuries consumed 62.5% of the budget allocation for the directorate of surgery, Mulago Hospital.
Boda-bodas are a major cause of traumatic injuries among cases seen in the surgical emergency department at Mulago and the costs incurred by the hospital in managing these injuries are enormous. Efforts should be made to reduce the menace that is brought about by boda-boda motorcycle crashes. Resources currently being spent on treating injuries resulting from accidents involving boda-bodas would then be used to improve the care of other patients.

The way forward
1.      Serious decision making to regulate Commercial cyclists and see their numbers greatly reduced in the city center, ensuring that they follow all the instructions without fear or favour.
2.      Have Traffic Police deployed at intervals on highways to ensure that speed is observed.
3.      Have the Traffic Police facilitated while on duty with drinking water among other things.
4.      Traffic Police should be given a number of hours during which they should be on road before they are relieved to ensure efficiency
5.      Traffic Police to be given a percentage of the cases that are required to pay penalties for traffic offences
6.      For each bus, a traffic police officer to be part of the passengers to ensure that the driver does not over speed or overtake in wrong places.
7.      To improve the communication gadgets which traffic police use in reporting those who break the law.
8.      Ensure that all drivers from drinking joints are tested for level of alcohol before being allowed to drive off.
9.      Have victims of the traffic penalties charged the amounts on their Tax Identification numbers so that whenever they have to re-new the taxes, the penalty is already charged there to enforce compliance to pay.
10. Spot handling those who drive while of phone with kid gloves.  Ensure that the set (without the sim card (s) is taken from the abuser for an agreed time as shall be stipulated in the law.  3rd parties to be rewarded in case they report those who talk on phone while driving as long as there is concrete evidence.
11. All vehicles to have to undergo free mechanical check up periodically such that the vehicle is cleared only after the defects are rectified.
12. Put in place personnel in Police to follow up past road accident victims to see how best to help the families.


Parents sue government for son killed in Museveni convoy


Posted  Sunday, July 6  2014 at  01:00
In Summary
The petitioners contend that on June 1, 2012, Mr Mwebaze was driving a Toyota car UAL 858B with his young sister, Ms Rinah Kabarungi to attend centenary celebrations of Mbarara High School in Mbarara where president Museveni was the chief guest.

Kampala -Parents of a Makerere University student who died in a motor accident involving President Museveni’s convoy have petitioned court for compensation.
The deceased’s parents, Mr Charles Berwanaho and Ms Mary Kalisa Berwanaho, filed the suit in the High Court Civil Division against the Attorney General seeking compensation of 322,250 British pounds (about Shs1.4 billion) for the death of their son, Mr Bernadette Mwebaze, 22, a student of Makerere University.
The case
The petitioners contend that on June 1, 2012, Mr Mwebaze was driving a Toyota car UAL 858B with his young sister, Ms Rinah Kabarungi to attend centenary celebrations of Mbarara High School in Mbarara where president Museveni was the chief guest.
At Kayanja, along Mbarara Masaka Highway, at around 8:30am, the lead car of the President’s convoy, while clearing the way, blocked the deceased’s car, which caused it to swerve off the road in an attempt to avoid knocking the president’s lead car.
The deceased lost control of the car and overturned several times.
The deceased sustained fatal wounds and was taken to Mayanja Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Ms Kabarungi, 17, (third petitioner) is said to be permanently confined in a wheelchair and supported on clutches following the accident.
The parents accuse the convoy drivers of not sounding the siren on time to alert the victims about the incoming presidential convoy, thereby causing Mr Mwebaze’s death. Mr Museveni was not in the said convoy.
The court’s Deputy Registrar, Ms Helena Mary Kyiza, has given the Attorney General 15 days to file his defence and thereafter the case will be fixed for hearing.


Press release: “Hundreds saved from the death penalty in Uganda – The end of the mandatory death penalty in Africa?”

On 21st January 2009, the Supreme Court of Uganda, on an appeal by the Attorney General, upheld the 2005 decision of the Constitutional Court declaring the death sentences on all prisoners on death row unconstitutional, numbering in excess of 900 men and women.
The Supreme Court unanimously found that the automatic nature of the death penalty in Uganda for murder and other offences amounted to inhuman punishment, as it did not provide the individuals concerned with an opportunity to mitigate their death sentences. A large number of cases will now be remitted to the High Court for sentence hearings. The Supreme Court also ruled that any of the prisoners who have been on death row for more than three years since the conclusion of their criminal appeals would have their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

The litigation in Uganda has been conducted on a pro bono basis by the law firm Katende, Ssempebwe and Co. They have been assisted by a team of UK lawyers comprising Saul Lehrfreund MBE and Parvais Jabbar, the Executive Directors of the London-based Death Penalty Project at Simons Muirhead & Burton solicitors, and barristers at Doughty Street Chambers, London. They have travelled to Uganda to meet all the men and women under sentence of death and assisted with the drafting of legal arguments. They also travelled to Uganda to attend the hearing in the Supreme Court. This assistance was partly funded by the European Union and the Global Opportunities Fund of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Saul Lehrfreund MBE and Parvais Jabbar are part of a larger team that has been involved in successfully challenging the mandatory death penalty in nine Caribbean countries and in Malawi in April 2007. They have been invited to assist local lawyers with similar challenges in other African states including Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania.
Saul Lehrfreund MBE and Parvais Jabbar, human rights lawyers and Executive Directors of the Death Penalty Project state:
“We are delighted that the jurisprudence from other regions in the world has now been accepted and that international human rights standards have been deeply entrenched into the laws of Uganda, This decision clearly applies in many African countries. The legal work carried out by the lawyers in Uganda in achieving this breakthrough was truly outstanding. It was our privilege to work with them in Uganda.”

MPs want law to abolish death penalty


Posted  Saturday, September 28  2013 at  01:00
Parliament has granted two MPs permission to draft a Private Members’ Bill seeking to abolish mandatory death penalty against capital offenders.
Ms Alice Alaso (Serere Woman) seconded by West Budama North MP Fox Odoi, heeded to calls by civil society and sought permission of Parliament to introduce the Law Revision (Penalties in Criminal Matters) Miscellaneous Amendment Bill 2013 to repeal some sections in the UPDF Act, Penal Code Act, Anti-Terrorism Act and the Trial Indictment Act.
The MPs reasoned that the existing laws are outdated and contain several provisions which prescribe either mandatory or discriminatory death penalties upon conviction. They proposed that such laws be replaced with life imprisonment.
The mandatory death sentence requires court upon conviction to sentence an offender automatically to death. But the lawmakers reasoned that subjecting a convicted person to a death penalty restrains court from evaluating the nature and circumstances of the offence and individual characteristics of the offender. “We seek leave of the House to introduce a Private Members’ Bill because the right to life is guaranteed in Article 22 of the Constitution,” noted Ms Alaso while justifying their application to be granted leave to draft and bring the Bill to Parliament.
Quoting the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court ruling on the Attorney General versus Susan Kigula and 416 others, Ms Alaso said mandatory death penalties are inconsistent with the Constitution since they restrain the court in evaluating the circumstances of the offence in order to mitigate the sentence and arrive at an appropriate punishment.
In 2005, the Constitutional Court, in a petition by Susan Kigula and 417 others against the Attorney General, declared that the death sentences passed against all the petitioners were unconstitutional and gave government a two-year period to execute the sentences or, upon expiry of the deadline, automatically commute the sentences to life imprisonment. 
The prisoners had argued during the hearing of the petition that hanging was a cruel and degrading punishment and therefore unconstitutional. The petition was supported by the Uganda Prisons Service on account that hangings traumatise wardens. The state attorney counter-argued that the death penalty should be maintained as it is a deterrent and was backed by most Ugandans.
The Constitutional Court ruled that although the death penalty was constitutional, its use as a mandatory punishment for certain crimes was not. The Attorney General appealed the case but in 2009, the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision. However, the Supreme Court further ruled that the death penalty was no longer mandatory but it did not stop courts from imposing it.
In her submission on Thursday, Ms Alaso contended that mandatory death sentence impinges on human dignity and goes against the most fundamental core of right to life on which other human rights are based. “Since 2009 when the Supreme Court ruled that all the mandatory death penalties in the statute books are inconsistent with the Constitution, government has not brought a Bill in Parliament to revise the death penalties in the laws of Uganda, especially since Article 28(12) requires every penalty to be prescribed in the law,” she observed.
The last time convicts on death row in Uganda Prisons Service were executed was in May 1999 when 28 people were hanged on a single day. This was the highest number of death row convicts to be executed under the NRM regime. Before these, nine convicts were executed and about five had also been killed previously. 
On March 25, 2002, Cpl James Omedio and Pte Abdallah Muhammad were executed by firing squad for murdering Fr Michael O’Toole Declan, his driver Patrick Longoli, and cook, Fidel Longole. Other military executions took place on March 3, 2003 when Pte Richard Wigiri was killed by firing squad for murder and Ptes Kambacho Ssenyonji and Alfred Okech were executed for similar crimes. In 2006 soldiers were also executed. These army executions were carried out under the martial law of the military justice system.


 Terrible things happened in Luwero. Most homes were destroyed, and it was largely deserted. There was the smell of death everywhere. Behind every overgrown bush you would run into a pile of skeletons. In the rooms of abandoned buildings the horror and pain was visible on the faces of the skeletons. Some had machetes and axes skill embedded in their skulls or backbone.