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Police shooting lays bare Wisconsin’s deep partisan divide | News

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The shooting by police in Wisconsin of a Black man sparked strong words of condemnation and a demand for Republicans to take action from the state’s Democratic governor, who said he stood by those who demand justice. Republicans and the police union countered Monday that the governor went too far, urging caution in making any judgments about what sparked the shooting.

The divergent reactions to the shooting Sunday by Kenosha police is just the latest example of the deep divide in Wisconsin, a key presidential battleground state that has been at the forefront of partisan battles for the past decade ranging from redistricting to union rights. More recently, Republicans ignored Governor Tony Evers’s call to do away with in-person voting for the state’s April presidential primary in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mobile phone footage posted on social media Sunday appeared to show police shooting Blake multiple times in the back as he opened a door and leaned into a 4X4. The state Department of Justice said officers were responding to a domestic incident, but it has not released more details. Blake was in serious condition Monday at a Milwaukee hospital.

Protests erupted in Kenosha in the hours after the shooting, sparking concerns of more unrest across the country similar to what was seen after the May death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police. Chris Ott, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, said the shooting “looks like attempted murder”.

Governor Tony Evers on Monday said he summoned the National Guard for fear of another round of violent protests which could turn Kenosha into the nations latest flashpoint city in a season of racial unrest [AP Photo/Morry Gash] 

Evers on Monday said he summoned the National Guard for fear of another round of violent protests which could turn Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a season of racial unrest. He said 125 members of the National Guard would be in Kenosha by night with responsibility for “guarding infrastructure and making sure our firefighters and others involved are protected.”

County authorities also announced an 8pm curfew (01:00 GMT).

“Exhale,” said Republican state Senator Van Wanggaard, a retired police officer from Racine, which is next to Kenosha. “Everyone should take a deep breath … We must let law and reason, not emotion, guide the next steps.”

But Evers was passionate in his response, saying he stands with everyone who has demanded justice, equity and accountability and against excessive use of force when engaged with Black people.

“While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country,” Evers said.

Wanggaard was among Republicans who condemned Evers for his comments, which were issued just as protesters took to the streets in Kenosha and clashed with police.

“The best leaders attempt to diffuse situations, not escalate them,” Wanggaard said. “Evers’s statement was irresponsible and inflammatory. He jumped to conclusions without first having all the facts. At a time when stereotyping situations is especially risky, Evers stereotyped every police interaction with people of colour – harming both.”

Pete Deates, president of the Kenosha police union, called Evers’s statement “wholly irresponsible.”

“As always, the video currently circulating does not capture all the intricacies of a highly dynamic incident,” Deates said in a statement. “We ask that you withhold from passing judgement until all the facts are known and released.”

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Black Lives Matter protesters holding a rally on the steps of the Kenosha County courthouse [AP Photo/Morry Gash] 

Evers called a special session of the Republican-controlled Wisconsin State Legislature starting August 31 to pass a package of police reform bills he put forward in June, following Floyd’s death. The Legislature has not taken any action on the measures and cannot be forced to vote on them in in the special session, either. The bills would ban the use of chokeholds by Wisconsin police officers, as well as limit other uses of force.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Monday said he was creating a task force to examine police policies and standards, racial disparities, educational opportunities and public safety. Vos said by calling for a special session, the governor “is choosing to turn to politics again by dictating liberal policies that will only deepen the divisions in our state”.

Evers said he did not expect Vos to take action on the bills.

“In general, he seemed to be unmoved by my request,” Evers said.

Wisconsin Republicans echoed a law-and-order theme that President Donald Trump has been using in his reelection campaign, including during stops to Minnesota and Wisconsin last week. While calling for peaceful protests, Wisconsin Republicans also urged patience given the continuing investigation.

Jim Steineke, Republican majority leader of the Wisconsin Assembly, did not call out Evers by name but urged elected officials to “resist the temptation to rush to judgement”.

“The frustration and anger that many in our communities are feeling must be met with empathy, but cannot be further fueled by politicians’ statements or actions that can stoke flames of violence,” Steineke said.

Evers, in the second year of his first term, has been stymied by Republicans who control the Legislature and have it as their goal in November to build majorities strong enough to override any gubernatorial veto. The state also is at the forefront of the presidential race, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week emphasising the recurring message that “it’s all riding on Wisconsin.” Trump won Wisconsin by less than a percentage point in 2016.



Source – www.aljazeera.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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