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EXCLUSIVE: How Rwanda IDs, Army Uniform Landed Ugandan Soldiers, Cops in Trouble

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On Friday, May 1, 2020, the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), launched a secret operation aimed at busting what was considered a cell of collaborators of Rwanda within UPDF.

The operatives’ focus was the Airforce – a key institution of the armed forces which President Museveni has been keenly developing over the last one decade.

During the operation which lasted three days, Airforce staff were arrested. These are Phillip Neville Ankunda attached to Special Forces headquarters as a Pilot, Privates Nathan Ndwane, Moses Asiimwe Makobore and Godfrey Mugabi attached to Nakasongola Airforce Wing as students of Engineering and Aircrafts Maintenance.

Additionally, four Police officers, were picked from their respective duty stations by the Regional Police Commanders and handed over to CMI.

They are Benon Akandwanaho, the former Kira division Community Liaison Officer, Frank Sabiiti who was attached to Counter Terrorism at Mutukula border post, Second Lieutenants Alex Kasamula attached to Military Police,

All the arrested 7 officers are friends who happened to belong to the same WhatsApp chat group.

The arrest was triggered by a message posted by Private Ndwane in which he chronicled the history of Banyarwanda tribe and insinuated that the group is discriminated in Uganda.

This was indeed a sensitive message and members on the group tried to stop him from writing such stuff as a member of the security force.

Upon arrest, Ndwane’s residence was searched and social media accounts notably Facebook scanned through.

Investigators retrieved photos of Private Ndwane in Rwandan army uniform. Way back he attended the ‘Ingando’ Programme in which youths with Rwandan heritage are given cadre-ship course.

President Museveni has always complained about this programme that it indoctrinates Ugandans of Rwandan origin.

Rwanda presents ‘Ingando’ programme as an aspect of the government’s post-genocide reconstruction policy of national unity and reconciliation.

Rwandans and friends of Rwanda are encourage to take part in the programme administered by ruling party officials and the army.

However, President Museveni has reportedly expressed his reservations over the programme with his Rwandan counterpart, Kagame.

To Museveni, the programme is aimed at brainwashing people including Ugandans to love Rwanda more than their country.

This, Ugandan officials say, creates a fertile ground for recruitment of spies and infiltration of key institutions in Uganda.

Rwanda IDs

Meanwhile, Ndwane was also found with Rwandan national Identity Card along with other members on the chat.

These officers had acquired Rwandan IDs before they entered their respective forces.

The soldiers’ supporters told ChimpReports that they wanted to get jobs during good old days when Ugandan graduates were on high demand in Rwanda.

A combination of Rwandan IDs, Rwandan army Uniform and insensitive messages from Ndwane created suspicion.

CMI investigated if there was more to it.

The associates of the troubled officers further said after weeks of investigations, investigators failed to find a ‘smoking gun’ in terms of evidence of subversive activities by the group beyond a swirl of suspicion.

However, an investigation by this website established that some of these Ugandan army officers were openly showing their loyalty to the Rwandan government and its security services.

For example, in one of the chats, one of the soldiers showed loyalty to then Rwandan army chief Gen Patrick Nyamvumba.

A source briefed about this investigation wondered: “How could these UPDF soldiers say they were loyal to Rwanda? Especially at a time our relations with them were at their lowest? Before joining the army, they were indoctrinated during a study trip to Rwanda. They even got IDs of Rwanda.”

“Yet, the law here requires that for one to join UPDF, one must be a Ugandan. Why didn’t they declare their loyalty to Rwanda before joining UPDF?” exclaimed a source who preferred anonymity to speak freely.

Pilot

Nevertheless, during the investigation, it turned out that Lt Phillip Ankunda had a close Rwandan friend, Jackie Batamuriza.

Security is investigating reports that Batamuriza is an agent of the neighbouring country.

Batamuriza was briefly questioned by the military intelligence before being freed.

Nevertheless, the security services believe Ankunda and his two colleagues Ndwane and Makobore being principal suspects of a Rwandan cell in the Airforce.

Lt Phillip Neville Ankunda is among the jailed UPDF soldiers

ASP Benon Akandwanaho, a community liaison officer for Kiira Division Police Station, and ASP Frank Sabiiti were also arrested by the military

It is said Sabiiti and Akandwanaho just happen to be victims of circumstances-being in the same WhatsApp chat with the principal suspects.

However, the army alleged members of this WhatsApp chat secretly released confidential security information to Rwanda hence jeopardizing Uganda’s national security.

While some sections of the media reported that Ankunda and his colleagues worked with Rwanda to infiltrate and compromise the unit that manages Uganda’s war jets, officials said this was yet to be fully confirmed.

Uganda’s Su-30MK2 multi-role fighter aircraft boasts enhanced combat capabilities against aerial, ground and sea-based targets, giving Uganda an edge in a potential military conflict with Rwanda.

Rwanda and Uganda have for the last three years been teetering on the verge of an all-out war, leading to intensified intelligence gathering by their respective military institutions.

Both countries maintain heavily-armed military units along their borders as a precautionary measure.

The arrest of the Ugandan army officials shows the impact of the bad bilateral relations between the two countries on their respective armies.

In Rwanda, perceived supporters of Uganda have since been removed from senior positions in the armed forces and other government institutions.

Court case

It is alleged the army wanted to charge only three Airforce officers – Ndwane, Makobore Asiimwe and Ankunda with conduct prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the UPDF contrary to section 178 of the UPDF act.

The initial charge sheet

The police officers were to be released upon further interrogation of the 3 air force officers.

However, friends of police officers Akandwanaho and Sabiiti said when they petitioned the leadership over their friends’ incarceration for over 90 days, CMI moved quickly to charge and remand them to avoid media backlash over the illegal detention.

“We are aware that there is no evidence at this stage that can secure conviction beyond mere suspicion which is why prosecution indicated that investigations are still ongoing on more than 3 months after the arrest. The prosecutors are yet to get files from CMI,” the detained police officers’ friend said.

“Technical officers who did investigations intimated to us that there is no case that can be proven in a court of law…”

However, a senior military official we contacted over this matter, said, “Security matters are sensitive. What you think is small can be more harmful.”

Asked if they had enough evidence implicating the arrested officers, the senior army officer noted: “What a coincidence that they were all connected somehow and above all in Airforce?”

Charges

It is alleged that between February and May 2020, the accused persons and others still at large in various places within Kampala city shared sensitive and classified information to agents of Rwanda authorities with intention to prejudice the security of the defense forces of the government of Uganda.

The soldiers appear before the court martial in Makindye recently

The soldiers and police officers, however, denied the charges.

Prosecution asked for more time to allow the army complete its investigations into the matter.

The accused were subsequently remanded to Makindye military police barracks until August 31, 2020.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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