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Republicans Stand Up Against Trump Move to Extend November Election

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BBC

Top Republicans have rejected President Donald Trump’s suggestion that November’s presidential election should be delayed over alleged fraud concerns.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy both dismissed the idea.

Mr Trump does not have the authority to postpone the election, as any delay would have to be approved by Congress.

Earlier, the president suggested that increased postal voting could lead to fraud and inaccurate results.

He floated a delay until people could “properly, securely and safely” vote. There is little evidence to support Mr Trump’s claims but he has long railed against postal voting, which he has said would be susceptible to fraud.

US states want to make mail-in voting easier because of public health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

How have Republicans reacted?

Senator McConnell said no US presidential election had ever been delayed before.

“Never in the history of this country, through wars, depressions and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time. We will find a way to do that again this November third,” he told local Kentucky station WNKY.

Mr McCarthy echoed him. “Never in the history of the federal elections have we ever not held an election and we should go forward with our election,” he said.

Trump ally Senator Lindsay Graham meanwhile said a delay was “not a good idea”.

However, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to be drawn on Mr Trump’s suggestion. Quizzed by reporters on whether a president could delay an election, he said he would not “enter a legal judgement on the fly”.

The spokesman for Mr Trump’s re-election campaign, Hogan Gidley, said Mr Trump had just been “raising a question”.

Donald Trump can’t delay November’s presidential election without Congress, partially controlled by the Democrats, first approving the decision. If he didn’t already know this, someone has certainly told him by now.

The president also must know that tweeting about a delay – even framed as an “I’m just asking!” question – is sure to ignite a political firestorm, particularly after he has repeatedly refused to say whether he’d accept an adverse result in the upcoming presidential election.

Mr Trump appears to be doing everything in his power to undermine the credibility of November’s vote, in which a record number of Americans are predicted to rely on mail-in voting to avoid the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. He’s repeatedly made false and misleading claims about the reliability of the mail balloting and suggested broad conspiracy theories. Critics warn that he could be laying the groundwork for contesting the results – although the purpose may be simply to give him a scapegoat if he loses.

His tweet could also be an attempt to divert attention away from the truly dismal second-quarter economic numbers just released. He’s been relying on a financial turnaround to breathe life into his re-election campaign, and instead the outlook appears exceedingly gloomy.

Whatever the reason, tweeting about an election delay is not the move of a candidate confident of victory – and could be a sign of more desperate moves to come.

At a Thursday afternoon White House news conference, Mr Trump denied he wanted to postpone the election, but argued that mass postal voting would leave the result in doubt.

“I don’t want to delay, I want to have the election,” he said. “But I also don’t want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything.”

“I don’t want to see a crooked election,” Mr Trump also told reporters. “This election will be the most rigged election in history if that happens.”

In a series of tweets earlier, Mr Trump railed against mass postal voting and warned – without providing evidence – that it would be susceptible to foreign interference.

In June, New York allowed voters to vote by post in the Democratic primary poll for the party’s presidential candidate. But there have been long delays in counting the ballots and the results are still unknown.

US media report that there are also concerns that many ballots will not be counted because they were not filled in correctly or do not have postmarks on them that show they were sent before voting officially ended.

According to the Washington Post, US Postal Service workers say backlogs may delay delivery of ballots in time for November’s election because of cost-cutting measures under the Trump administration.

Who can change the election date?

President Trump does not have the authority to move the date of the election, which by law is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Any change of date would need to be approved by both houses of Congress – the House of Representatives and the Senate. Democrats control the House of Representatives and some have already said they will not support any delay to the vote.

Any move by Congress to delay the election into 2021 would also require a constitutional amendment, US media quoted constitutional experts as saying.

The week when everything changed for Trump

Which states are holding postal votes?

Earlier this month, six US states were planning to hold “all-mail” ballot elections in November: California, Utah, Hawaii, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Other states are considering it, according to a postal voting campaign group.

These states will automatically send postal ballots to all registered voters, which then have to be sent back or dropped off on election day – although some in-person voting is still available in certain limited circumstances.

About half of US states allow any registered voter to cast their ballot by post on request.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema

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When court sat on Friday to hear the Kiggundu’s application to stop independent audit, he did not have a written application, and Justice Henry Adonyo instead ordered the plaintiff’s lawyer Fred Muwema to go make a written application seeking court to dismiss the audit and return to court on September 30 for a hearing of the application. But this adds more pressure on Kiggundu who is choking with the loans.

On 31 August, the judge ordered the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to carry out and independent audit into the accounts of the businessman and financial statements exchanged between the two parties, and present a report to court.

When asked by journalists why he has filed for an application seeking dismissal of the audit, Fred Muwema had this to say. “We are saying that let the validity and legality of those credit facilities (loans) be decided first before you can audit” He said.

The ruling on the application of the main suit to determine whether the businessman owes loan arrears to the bank is set for 5th October 2020, after which a date for hearing of the case will be set.

Background

Hamis Kiggundu through his companies Ham enterprises and Kiggs International (U) ltd sued DTB branches in Kenya and Uganda for deducting money from his accounts something which the bank contends and said they only acted as per the loan agreement of deducting 30% from Kiggundu’s accounts to recover the credit facilities rendered to him between February 2011 and September 2016

But Court documents filed by the bank in their defense shows that Kiggundu, between February 2011 and September 2016, was granted various credit facilities by the said DTB Banks.

First, via Ham Enterprises Limited, Kiggundu obtained a loan of $6,663,453 and another Sh2.5bn from the DTB (U) to finance his projects in the real estate business.

Later, according to New Vision, he got a facility worth $4.5m through Kiggs International (U) Limited from DTB (K) and mortgaged his properties, which include Plot 328 located at Kawuku on Block 248 Kyadondo, three plots that include 36, 37 and 38 on Folio 1533 Victoria Crescent II situated in Kyadondo and land on Makerere Hill Road on LRV 3716 Folio 10 Plot 923 Block 9.

Documents show that as of January 21, 2020, Kiggundu was in default on payment obligations of $6.298m on the loan facility of $6.663m, as well as sh2.885b on the demand overdraft facility of sh1.5b and the temporary demand overdraft facility of sh1b.

The banks say that Kiggundu was in default on the payment of another $3.662m out of a total loan facility of $4m and another $458,604 on a loan facility of $500,000, as of January 21, 2020.

The DTB consequently served him with a demand notice to either pay up or lose the assets that he submitted as collateral security. The bank threatened to attach a plot on Makerere Hill Road and other prime commercial properties.

Analysts says that Kiggundu’s lawyer is playing delaying tactics aimed at stopping the independent audit as ordered by the court earlier. Kiggundu had wanted court to believe his own audit of loan transactions, but that would amount to injustice to the banks that gave him money-DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya.

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded

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The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      





Source – observer.ug

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

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Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  





Source – observer.ug

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