November 23, 2017
Ugandan lawyer Nicholas Opiyo talked to DW about the deteriorating human rights situation in Uganda and the intimidation and harassment he, and other activists, face in their country.
Nicholas Opiyo is a leading human rights lawyer and the founder of the human rights organization, Chapter Four Uganda. He has been working tirelessly since 2005 to promote civil liberties in Uganda, often for free.
Opiyo will be awarded the German Africa prize at a ceremony in the German capital, Berlin, this evening (23.11.2017). The German Africa Foundation gives the prize to honor “outstanding individuals for their long-standing endeavors to foster democracy, peace, human rights, art, culture, the social market economy and social concerns.”
Opiyo spoke to DW in Berlin about the dangers of being a human rights activist in Uganda and the questionable democratic practices of Uganda’s government.
October 30, 2017
A lawyer yesterday became the latest statistic in a grotesque cycle of cold murders that have become a permanent feature of life in Kampala and neighbouring districts.
At 4:30am, Adam Haibala Mulongo returned home after an outing with friends, opened his gate, drove in and was hit with an object that sent him headlong down as he reversed the car inside his compound.
Mr Luke Owoyesigire, the Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesperson, confirmed the incident.
“He was hit with a sharp object and collapsed, they left him unconscious and neighbours called police that took him to Kadic Hospital where he died at 10am,” said Mr Owoyesigire. Mr Paul Harera, a friend of the deceased, recounted to this newspaper that he returned home with another friend, Conrad Echodu, who followed him in a separate car with a Kenyan friend whom he stayed with.
When they approached the gate, something was not right; Mulongo’s car was parked unusually at the open gate with lights on.
September 14, 2017
Law students who graduated from Makerere University will be required to produce certified academic papers before enrolling for this year’s bar examinations in Kenya. The Council of Legal Education (CLE) Thursday released a notice to the law students after reports that the degree scam is being investigated by Uganda’s oldest and biggest university. Makerere is investigating degrees awarded since 2011 and this is likely to affect many Kenyans who studied at the university. Dr Damalie Naggitta-Musoke, the former dean of the School of Law at Makerere, is leading a team that is auditing results. Ugandan sources said up to 88 lecturers, administrators from the senate, and students named in the marks scam are being investigated. It emerged that the staff changed students’ marks at an average Kenyan fee of Sh8,000 and Sh40,000 million per unit depending on the course and status of the student. Back home, the ripple effect of the audit has started to bite, with law students being the first casualties.
January 4, 2017
Democratic Party (DP) President Nobert Mao has called for the protection of lawyers in the ongoing murder case against the Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere and the victims of the recent clashes in Kasese.
Mao made the call after one of the lawyers in the case Samuel Muyizzi, who is also DP legal adviser, was attacked on Monday night by unknown people who reportedly demanded that he withdraws from the case.
Addressing the press on Tuesday at the DP Headquarters in Kampala, Mao said that he has spoken with the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Winnie Kiiza to ensure that the lawyers in the case are protected.
“Muyizzi was attacked on Monday night in town and the attackers were demanding that he withdraws from representing the victims of the Kasese violence. We are very concerned. This morning I spoke with Winnie Kiiza and told her to use her office to defend the lawyers.
November 1, 2016
Since Human Rights Watch’s March 2016 submission ahead of Uganda’s next Universal Periodic Review, there have been ongoing violations of free assembly, expression, and association.
Between February and May after the general elections, police raided and sealed off the opposition political party Forum for Democratic Change headquarters, arrested party officials, and beat their supporters on several occasions. In May, opposition leader Kizza Besigye was charged with treason and remanded in prison. In July after the High Court granted him bail, police brutally beat Besigye’s supporters and other bystanders with sticks and batons as he drove through the streets of Kampala.
Opposition activists brought a private prosecution for torture against the Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura for his alleged involvement in beating opposition supporters in July. The possibility of a trial on the merits fell apart in August. Kayihura failed to appear in court, and police-backed demonstrators physically threatened the lawyers who brought the case and tried to prevent them from leaving the court. They were forced to hide in a magistrate’s office to avoid being assaulted by those voicing support for the police.
Uganda’s lead prosecutor in the ongoing trial of 13 men accused of participating in 2010 al-Shabaab bombings that killed 76 people was shot dead Monday, police said.
Joan Kagezi, acting assistant director of public prosecution, was murdered by men on a motorbike as she drove home in a suburb of the capital, Kampala police spokesman Patrick Onyango said. “They were trailing her on a motorcycle … They shot her dead.”