Category Archives: Court

Scrap Bar course, Ugandans demand

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Ugandans demand probe after hundreds fail state bar course

Only 9% of students studying to become advocates passed exams for the 2019/2020 academic year in Uganda, prompting calls to scrap the bar course.

1474 students wrote the exam but only 145 passed.

1329 students or 90.1% failed.

It is not the first that the relevance of the bar course and the competence of the Law Development Centre (LDC), the sole provider of the postgraduate diploma in legal practice have been questioned.

Ugandan law requires those who graduate with a degree in law to enroll for an 8-month training at the LDC if they wish to work as advocates.

A lawyer cannot practice as an advocate of the High Court in Uganda without the diploma.

Uganda has more than 10 universities accredited to teach law and churn out hundreds of graduates every year.

But only a tiny fraction of those end up at the centre due to equally restrictive pre-entry examinations. An even smaller portion manages to graduate.

The pre-entry tests have since been scrapped. 

“This is the first group of bar course students admitted without undergoing pre-entry examination. A number of them were unable to cope with the academic demands of the course. They didn’t give it due focus,” said Frank Nigel Othembi, the LDC director.

But his defence was swiftly dismissed by people on social media. Some called for an investigation into the high failure rates rates at the centre, while others called for an end to the centre’s monopoly.

Opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) also weighed in, saying it would ‘continue standing with students affected’.

Others have wondered whether the centre has sufficient resources needed to teach the course.

Uganda’s parliament has in the past rejected calls to liberalize the teaching of the bar course.

Supporters of the course argue that it is necessary to weed out sub-standards elements.

It is not the first time failures at the LDC have prompted calls for scrutiny. In the 2012/2013 academic year, only 64 students passed out of 358 who wrote the exam. 

Court Update: Uganda Vs Nicholas Opiyo case

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Update : Uganda Vs Nicholas Opiyo case. Whisper Eye News

Yesterday morning, His Worship Moses Nabende referred
Nicholas Opiyo’s file to the High Court for appropriate orders after the State informed the court, yet again, that inquiries are not complete and requested another mention date. “This matter comes up for mention, inquiries are not complete. We request for another mention date,” State informed the court.

Lawyers Petition Constitutional Court Challenging Compulsory Land Acquisition

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A group of lawyers have petitioned the Constitutional Court challenging the actions of government to compulsorily acquire land from its citizens anywhere across the country to put up public utility  projects.  

The lawyers, namely Daniel Omara and two civil society organizations namely; Advocates for Natural Resources and Development -ANARDE and Resources Rights Africa Limited have sued the Attorney General and the Uganda National Roads Authority as the respondents.

  The Advocates contend that the practice to take people’s land compulsorily deprives citizens of their right to own property and protection from deprivation of their property without adequate and fair compensation as provided for under the law.

  The government has always relied on the Land Acquisition Act of 1965 to compulsorily acquire land and put up public utility projects such as roads, schools, hospitals and most recently in Hoima and Bullisa districts where the government is about to start the oil and gas pipeline project. The government has also been evaluating that land it intends to acquire through its Valuer who carries out inspections in order to help and  determine the current market value of that land such that the owner gets compensated with that amount.

  But if someone is not satisfied with the award and refuses to accept payments, the same law provides that the High Court on an application of the Attorney General, may order payment to be made into court on such conditions as it thinks appropriate. 

However, according to the petitioners, that law on top of being too old, is in contravention of national objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the 1995 Constitution which provides for adequate compensation. 

  The petitioners through their lawyers of Frank Tumusiime and Company Advocates also argue that under the Land Acquisition Act, the citizens have no bargain for their rights and property which is illegal.   

Protected: Exclusive: State House staff Nalongo Valentine Kasaija Agwang in big trouble of Fraud, Corruption charges & loss of job

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Nicholas Opiyo passport released by court, set to travel to USA

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High Court has authorized human rights lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo to travel to the United States of America for high-level human rights meetings. The Anti-Corruption high court Judge, Jane Okuo Kajuga allowed Opiyo to travel following a successful application of his lawyers led by David Mpanga to court to relax his bail terms.

Court confiscated Opiyo’s passport about six months ago after releasing him on bail following his prosecution for money laundering. In his application, Mpanga asked the court to release Opiyo’s passport to enable him to apply for the US Visa to travel for two important meetings. 

Bicycle Corruption Scam: Kashaka’s Lawyers Present Fresh Application to Challenge Conviction

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The lawyers representing jailed former Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Local Government John Muhanguzi Kashaka have presented a new application seeking to overturn his conviction.

The lawyers led by Macdusman Kabega on Tuesday told a panel of five Supreme Court Justices led by the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo that one of the Judges who presided over Kashaka’s appeal case should have recused himself from the matter since he was privy to the evidence that was adduced in the trial. 

Disgruntled Obore back to office a day after Kadaga’s Defeat

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The Director Communications and Public Affairs Department in Parliament (CPA) Chris Ariko Obore has returned to office a day after the defeat of former Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.  

Obore, who on Monday was seen on social media celebrating Kadaga’s defeat made a surprise return to Parliament on Tuesday. He had spent more than two years without accessing his office. 

Military Court releases 17 NUP members on Bail

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Seventeen of the 35 National Unity Platform-NUP party supporters remanded by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces- General Court Martial are out on bail. They are Robinson Ntambi Mudde, Stanley Kafuko alias Kysta , Kivumbi Achileo , Samson Ssekiranda Alias Giant, Robert Katumba, Kyabagu Geserwa alias Pympah, Faisal Kigongo alias Ras Fazo , Musa Mulimira, Sam Mutumba alias Papa Sam , Hussein Mukasa alias Oshea , John Bosco  Sunday, Fahad Tamale, Bashir Murusha and William Nyanzi alias Mbogo. 

Late Justice Kibuuka Musoke’s Family Feuds Over Property

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The family of late High Court Judge, Vincent Ferrer Musoke-Kibuuka is embroiled in a disagreement over the management of his assets. The dispute pits Kibuuka’s children against one of his widows identified as Edith Margaret Kalemeera Kibuuka.

The family accuses Kibuuka of attempting to fraudulently seize the property of the deceased yet they parted ways with the deceased for over a decade. Justice Musoke-Kibuuka, who before retirement in 2014 was serving as Masaka High Court Resident Judge, passed away in January this year.  

Court Martial Yet to Get Instructions from Museveni to Drop Kayihura Charges

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The General Court Martial has not yet received formal instructions from President Yoweri Museveni to drop criminal charges against the former Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura.

This comes about five months after Museveni promised that he was going to talk to the military prosecutors to have Kayihura’s cases dropped as requested by the National Resistance Movement leaders in Kisoro during the recently concluded election campaigns.  

UPDF soldier jailed 35-years for shooting civilian dead

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A Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF soldier has been sentenced to 35-years in prison for killing a civilian in Hoima district.

Private Solomon Baker Bakobe, of the 11th Battalion, was convicted by the first division infantry court-martial presided over by Col. Sam Mugyenyi during a session held at St Paul Catholic Church Premises in Mparo North cell Eastern Division of Hoima city today.

33 media houses sue gov’t for double taxation

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At least 33 media houses have jointly sued the government and Kampala Capital City Authority challenging double taxation on trading licences despite numerous court decisions declaring such actions illegal.

The media houses are Radio One, Akaboozi, Radio Simba, Basoga Baino FM, Digida, Buddu FM, Capital Radio, Hot 100.9 FM,  Galaxy FM Limited, Signal FM, KFM and Dembe FM, Namirembe FM Limited, XFM, Bukedde FM, NBS Television, NBS Khodeyo and Open Gate FM.

No Bail: Prosecution seeks extra time in bail application for 36 NUP supporters

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The army prosecutors have asked the General Court Martial to give them one week to respond to a fresh bail application filed by 36 supporters of the National Unity Platform-NUP party.

The supporters who are all facing charges of illegal possession of ammunition on Monday appeared before the court presided over by Lt General Andrew Gutti. They are,