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Mbale pastor succumbs to COVID-19 as police’s Kasingye tests positive



Medics take samples from police Asan Kasingye

The chief political commissar of the Uganda Police Force, AIGP Asan Kasingye has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Kasingye is among the 97 Ugandans who tested positive from the samples tested yesterday, according to the latest update from the ministry of Health.

Kasingye disclosed his status on his Twitter handle saying, “Bad new!! [sic] i’am #covid19 positive.”

His tweet has attracted get well soon messages from his followers. On Friday, the surveillance team from Entebbe hospital collected throat and nasal swab samples from Kasingye from his home. He noted on Twitter that it was his second test in a space of two weeks. He added that he was taking the test as a personal decision to “prevent contagion.”

It was not immediately clear if he has been evacuated into isolation and how the police force. Meanwhile, police spokesperson Fred Enanga says that ministry of Health will have to send a formal statement on Kasingye before any further action is taken.

“He [Kasingye] made a personal statement. But we need formal communication from the Health ministry to confirm this information,” says Enanga.

The ministry of Health, as standard procedure, should evacuate Kasingye for isolation and management at one of the hospitals and his contacts will be traced and quarantined to curb the spread of COVID-19. However as with the New Vision journalist who tested positive, evacuation can take up to 3-4 days due to limited space in hospitals. Already the ministry has urged private hospitals to create isolation units for coronavirus patients. 

The Health ministry indicates that the 97 new cases have been registered today, bringing the cumulative total confirmed cases of Ugandans to 2,263. These cases were all contacts and alerts from Kampala with 90 people, followed by Wakiso (59), Buikwe (11) and Amuru among other areas. Yesterday, Uganda recorded its daily highest coronavirus infections at 318. To date, at least 20 people have succumbed to the virus. 

The ministry of health is urging the public to observe the preventive measures or numbers of infections will continue surging. Dr Jane Ruth Aceng noted that the numbers, especially deaths will increase if the public fails to observe measures such as hand washing, wearing of face masks, social distancing among others.

Mbale pastor 

In a related development, the coronavirus death confirmed yesterday was of Wodega Gizamba, 49, a pastor at the Community Corner Stone church in Nkoma Ward, Mbale City. He died on Wednesday at Mbale regional referral hospital. 

According to Dr Emmanuel Tugaineyo, the Mbale hospital director, Gizamba’s samples were picked shortly after he died and they were taken to Kampala where they turned positive. He said that the patient presented with signs of COVID-19 and symptoms which included difficulty in breathing among others.

Tugaineyo said that the hospital had been keeping the body since at the Mbale city morgue before burial was carried out on Saturday in Bugsege sub-county in Sironko district. However, relatives of the deceased have refuted claims by the medics, saying that their relative had hypertension which he could have died of but not coronavirus.

Charles Wogali, one of the relatives said the pastor has been complaining of hypertension for a long time. Wogali said he was surprised to be told by medics that he died of COVID-19. He wonders why some of the pastor’s family members have not been quarantined or their samples taken for testing.

Asad Gulaoba, the chairperson of Bujoloto cell says that the deceased has been his vice chairperson but every time they met in meetings he would complain of chest pain.   

However, Edward Nyongesa, the Mbale district surveillance officer said that the underlying conditions of hypertension and diabetes are the ones that led to quick demise of the victim. He cautioned residents against such talk of thinking that COVID-19 doesn’t exist saying that the disease is now in the communities.       

The death of Gizamba brings to two the number of victims who have died of COVID-19 in Mbale. Last week, another 60-year old Hamis Shafic, a resident of Budi B village in the former Namanyonyi sub-county in Mbale city was also reported to have died in Mbale hospital.

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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema



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.


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




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.      

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19




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.  

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