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FRIDAY LIVE UPDATES: News from in and around Uganda

4:30PM: MUK refutes bribery allegations against Dean of students 

Makerere University has refuted bribery allegations against the Dean of students Cyriaco Kabagambe by a one Ronald Ainebyona, a student and former aspirant of the Student's Guild President nominations. 

This follows media reports in which Ainebyona accused Kabagambe of recieving 5.6 million shillings as a bribe to make sure his name appears on the nomination list of those vying guild president post.

According to a press statement released by the University VIce Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe this afternoon, Ainebyona sought and campaigned for the post of Guild President Makerere which he couldn't attain over retakes as per the Guild constitution.

Nawangwe also warns students against using dubious means to attain whatever position adding that this will call for disciplinary action on the culprit. 

3:15PM: Acid attacker sentenced to 35 years for killing lover

High Court has sentenced a 40-year-old former Soroti town socialite to 35 years in prison for attacking his lover with acid that claimed her life in 2013. Prior to the Friday judgment by Justice David Batema, prosecution gave incriminating evidence against Andrew Francis Obiria.

Court heard that on September 8, 2013, Obiria poured acid on Dorothy Atim which led to her death.

Prosecution added that following the acid attack, Atim was found at the main gate to their home in senior quarters in Soroti Town, creaking in pain. She muttered the boyfriend’s name as the person who poured acid on her, before she was admitted to Mulago intensive care unit where she died days later.

10:45AM: No more sale of sim cards and airtime by hawkers - UCC boss Mutabazi 

The Uganda Communications Commission boss Godfrey Mutabazi has ordered telecommunication companies to stop with immediate effect the sale of sim cards and airtime by hawkers.

This comes in the wake of the death of 28-year-old Susan Magara whose death put UCC on the spot after it was revealed that the kidnappers used 17 sim cards in carrying out their mission. 

10:30AM: Ugandan novelist wins Shs600m Windham Campbell prize

Ugandan novelist and short story writer Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is one of the eight recipients of the prestigious Windham Campbell prize.

Makumbi will receive a cash prize of $165,000 (about Shs600 million) in honour of her literary achievement to help her support her writing.

Commenting about her windfall, Mukumbi said: "This prize for me is like having worked without pay for a long time and then someone comes a long and says: “Will a salary for the past ten years do?' Then you're left speechless."

9:55AM: Besigye campaigns for FDC’s Mwiru

Although Jinja Municipality East Parliamentary contender, Mr Paul Mwiru came out to openly support Gen Mugisha Muntu for FDC party presidency, this did not prevent Dr Kizza Besigye who supported Mr Patrick Amuriat from campaigning for him.

By 4pm yesterday, Mr Besigye entered Jinja town waving to people hence paralysing business and traffic flow because everyone abandoned their work to get a glimpse of him.

Mr Besigye was accompanied by the Party President Patrick Amuriat, Kampala City Mayor Erias Lukwago, Rubaga South MP Mubaraka Munyagwa, Busiro South MP Medard Lubega Ssegona, FDC Vice President Proscovia Salam Musumba, DP spokesperson Paul Kenneth Kakande and several artists.

Dr Besigye who addressed hundreds of Mr Mwiru’s supporters at Masese I village, Walukuba - Masese division in Jinja, urged electorates to vote Mwiru as a way of liberating the country.

9:50AM: Lab technician arrested over falsification of HIV test results

Police in Kampala are holding a laboratory technician for allegedly falsifying HIV test results.

The laboratory technician whose name has been withheld is attached to Citizen Medical Centre in Kiganda, Kasokoso in Kampala District. Police says the suspect has been in the habit of changing HIV positive results to read negative for his clients at a fee.

“We have arrested a laboratory technician attached to Citizen Medical Centre in Kiganda, Kasokoso for conspiring with HIV/AIDS patients to falsify status certificates in breach of both medical ethical code and the Penal Code,” the police said in a statement.

9:05AM: Queen Mother accused of selling burial sites

Enraged Tooro royal family members yesterday reduced the stature of their Queen Mother, Best Kemigisa, to a land grabber and openly accused her of illegally selling Tooro Kingdom land.

In their petition to the land commission, royal family members led by Prince Gilbert Atwooki Mujogya and Princesses Damali Kankya, accused the Queen Mother of grabbing the kingdom land and selling cultural sites such as burial grounds of their forefathers at Kagoma and Burongo in Kibitto and Kisomoro sub-counties respectively.

Evidence before the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire-led commission shows that upon the death of King Patrick Mathew Olimi Kaboyo III in August 1995, the Queen Mother acquired letters of administration as a sole administrator of the estate in 1999, which formed basis for transfer of the land into her names and subsequent sale of the royal family land.

9:00AM: Busoga MPs outline five cases against minister Namuganza

The State Minister for Lands, Ms Persis Namuganza faces five cases related to her alleged “bad mouthing” of Busoga leaders.

The cases among others include; insulting the people of Kamuli by describing parts of Namutumba as filthy and unhygienic; threatening to kill the Speaker (Rebecca Kadaga); inciting Bukono voters against Ms Kadaga and belittling Mr William Gabula Nadiope IV, the Kyabazinga of Busoga.

The Minister who doubles as the Bukono County MP has been summoned by the caucus and she is expected to defend herself today.

8:55AM: Whistleblower asks IGG to probe ICT ministry

A whistleblower has asked the Inspectorate of Government to investigate why more than half of positions at the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) ministry remain vacant, with retired civil servants irregularly tapped to head directorates.

In a March 2, 2018 petition to IGG Irene Mulyagonja, the whistleblower accuses the ICT ministry Permanent Secretary Vincent Bagiire of “abuse of public office and corruption” by allegedly usurping the power of the President to name directors.

One of the cases cited in the dossier is that of Telecommunications and Posts commissioner John Mayanja whom the PS, based on “administrative” consideration, on July 28, 2017 asked to continue working pending a Public Service Commission decision on renewal of his contract.

8:40AM: I was poisoned - Minister Moriku

The State Minister for Primary Healthcare, Dr Joyce Moriku, has revealed that unknown people poisoned her, resulting in her hospitalisation in Nairobi, Kenya, for two months.

In an exclusive interview, the first-time minister who returned to Uganda on February 8, revealed that toxicological investigations confirmed the presence of arsenic poison in her body.

“I was poisoned using arsenic poison; a heavy metal substance,” she said, adding: “When I was first admitted at Mulago National Referral Hospital, the doctors suspected mere food poisoning but eventually, the toxicological investigations done here in Uganda indicated that there were foreign substances in my body.”

Additional tests done in South African laboratories yielded similar results, according to doctors familiar with the medical investigations. According to the World Health Organisation, arsenic is a natural component of the earth’s crust that in its inorganic form is highly toxic.

8:35AM: Byanyima selected to Canadian G7 gender equality advisory council

Oxfam International Executive Director, Ms Winnie Byanyima, is among the 10 women activists selected to the gender and equality advisory council to the Canadian presidency of the G7 member countries.

The G7 or Group of Seven, is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

These countries, with the seven largest advanced economies in the world, represent more than 62 percent of the global net wealth estimated at $280 trillion.

Canada assumed the G7 presidency on January 1, 2018 and will host the annual G7 Summit from June 8-9, 2018 in Charlevoix, Quebec.

8:30AM: 14 suspected criminals escape from Kyotera Police Station

Residents in Kyotera District are under panic after 14 suspects escaped from police cell.

The suspects were arrested by police on various criminal charges that include among others; theft, defilement, assault, gambling, drug use and they were due to appear in court to answer their respective charges.

Mr Lameck Kigozi, the Deputy Regional Police Commander and police spokesperson, confirmed the incident. He said the suspects escaped from the cell on Wednesday night. He however said the Flying Squad of Uganda Police is in the area to ensure that all the suspects are arrested.