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20 opposition agents go missing after night raids in Masaka

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Charles Lwanga addressing the press

Charles Lwanga addressing the press

Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) and Democratic Party (DP) supporters in Kyotera are living in fear following the arrest of several campaign agents, strategists and supporters by unidentified operatives.

Those allegedly arrested include among others; Sam Kiwanuka Lukyamuzi, Vincent Musajja, Sulaiti Kyambadde, Ronald Muwonge and Andrew Kawuma. Others have only been identified as Lusembo, Kasiita, Luyobya.  


The party officials say their members were arrested from their respective homes by unidentified security personnel on Friday, Saturday, Sunday last week and Monday this week. Charles Kirumira Lwanga, the Kyotera County NUP parliamentary candidate, says their members were picked up by armed operatives in uniform and some dressed in plain-clothes who were travelling in two numberless Toyota Hiace Drone vans who took them away. 

Although they suspect that the operation is state engineered, Kirumira and the families of the opposition members, say they tried to trace for their relatives at Kyotera and Kalisizo police stations in vain. Kirumira, also, the NUP coordinator in Greater Masaka Region, says they have lodged a complaint at Kyotera police station and the regional police headquarters in Masaka over their missing members.  

“I talked to the regional police commander of Masaka, he’s not aware of any operation in the region. I called the OC in Kyotera, he’s not aware of the operations. They are not telling us the details. I asked the DPC where our people are but he said he has not carried out any arrests as police. We hope our people are safe, our lawyers are working on these issues, they don’t allow us to meet these people,” said Lwanga. 

He says the incident has left the majority of opposition politicians and supporters worried about what might happen to them during and after elections. Kirumira says the mysterious disappearance and unexplained arrests may disorganize the party’s campaigns but cannot affect the outcomes since they have canvassed votes and are sure of victory.    

“It [the arrests] can disorganize but it can’t affect the outcome, am sure they are just going to disorganized us, they are trying to cause fear among us, among our people which I don’t think will stop our win. Our victory is loud and clear, people are saying they want change,” Lwanga added. 

Henry Ssemakula, one of the lead DP campaigners in Kyotera, says that they are worried because they do not know who will be kidnapped next since police have no clue about who is behind the abductions. He says that they visited the homes of some campaigners where they found several properties destroyed and bloodstains on the floor, which has created more fear.

Ssemakula says that most of the missing people have families to look after and keeping them incommunicado hinders candidates’ support. While closing out their joint rally at Kasambya playground in Kyotera town council, Patrick Kintu Kisekulo, the incumbent Kyotera LC 5 chairperson and John Paul Mpalanyi, the DP candidate for Kyotera County parliamentary seat, condemned the acts of violence against the opposition. 

Mpalanyi says abductions of their supporters is unbecoming and threatens democracy in society. Judith Akello, the Kyotera district police commander, says they had not received any information about the abductions until when the concerned politicians reported the matter.

She says police were not part of the operation that led to the arrests, saying they are also investigating the whereabouts of missing persons.





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COVID-19: Buhari signs new regulations for churches, markets, use of face masks

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President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Coronavirus Disease Health Protection 2021.

The regulation makes the use of face masks in public places compulsory, as Nigeria battles with the second wave of COVID-19.

This was confirmed by Boss Mustapha, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, while addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Federal Government, confirmed Buhari signed the document on Tuesday.

According to him, the President signed the document in the exercise of the powers conferred by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010.

Part 2 of the regulation stipulates that no one will be allowed within the premises of a market, mall, supermarket, shop, gardens, leisure parks, recreation centres, restaurants, hotels, event centres, motor parks, fitness centre, etc “except he is wearing a face mask that covers the nose and mouth, he washes his hands or cleaned the hands using hand sanitiser approved by NAFDAC and his body temperature has been checked.

Anyone whose body temperature is above 38 degrees Celsius will be denied entry and advised to seek immediate medical attention.

Part 1 deals with restrictions on gatherings. It stipulates that at all gatherings, a two-metre physical distance shall be maintained at all times between persons.

It added, “No gathering of more than 50 persons shall be held in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the space.”

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Cross River Assembly to confirm Justice Akom Ikpeme as substantive Chief Judge Thursday

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An operative with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Bello Hamma-Adama, on Wednesday, told a Federal High Court in Abuja that a sum of N75 million was recovered from Halima, wife of a former Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Tanimu Turaki.

Tanimu Turaki was a Minister in the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government between 2013 and 2015.

Turaki also served as a supervising Minister for the Federal Ministry of Labour between 2014 and 2015.

Hamma-Adama, the 5th prosecution witness (PW5) in the ongoing trial of Turaki, made the disclosure before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He, however, said the money was later transferred in tranches into private individuals’ accounts.

Giving the breakdown, Hamma-Adama, who was the lead investigator in the agency, said N45 million was transferred to the Minister’s brother, Abdullahi Maigwandu, through his Zenith Bank account.

Out of the N45 million, he said Maigwandu transferred N20 million to the Guarantee Trust Bank account of Halima Tanimu Turaki, the ex-minister’s wife.

According to him, the sum of N20 million was transferred to O-Pec Nig Ltd.

Hamma-Adama said that the remaining N5 million was withdrawn in China using the ATM of Maigwandu by Halima to procure furniture items.

He said, “N30 million was transferred to Abubakar Sani Gude’s Zenith Bank account from the ministry’s account, and the N30 million was sent to the wife of the 1st defendant (Turaki).

“We called for the Maigwandu’s account statement in Zenith Bank. We discovered he is a civil servant in Kebbi on a salary of about N33, 000.

“We suspected a case of money laundering, and we did a network analysis, and we discovered that he could not have owned that money because he is on N33, 000 salary.”

“He said he is a brother to the former minister and that the money was transferred on his instruction,” he added.

However, the Judge, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter until Feb. 9 and Feb. 10 for trial continuation.

Recall that the EFCC had arraigned the former Minister (1st defendant) alongside his former Special Assistant, Sampson Okpetu (2nd defendant), and two firms; Samtee Essentials Ltd and Pasco Investment Ltd, on 16 counts of money laundering.

The duo had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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SA’s first vaccines arrive on Monday – coming via ‘The Gupta Route’

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Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that the first batch of vaccines will be delivered to South Africa at the start of next week. However, the route this particular consignment is taking has raised a few chuckles.

Zweli Mkhize lauds ‘massive achievement’

According to Mkhize, a total of one million doses – procured earlier this month – are due to land on 1 February, marking the beginning of the biggest vaccination programme ever rolled out in South Africa. The first jabs will go to South Africa’s frontline healthcare workers, and ‘vulnerable citizens’ in the top priority groups.

The government is targeting a total of 40 million people to receive the vaccine in 2021. This, apparently, will see the country reach ‘herd immunity’ from COVID-19. However, the ANC has been accused of falling behind when it comes to procuring these inoculations. Nonetheless, Zweli Mkhize has hailed this incoming delivery as a ‘massive achievement’.

South Africa’s first vaccines: Where will they travel from?

So, where will our vaccines be coming from – and which route will they take? It’s a funny story…

  • The AstraZeneca shots have been procured from India. They will be transported by plane from here.
  • However, there’s a little stopover to note: The vaccine delivery is travelling via Dubai.
  • On Monday 1 February, the SA’s first jabs will land at OR Tambo Airport – with some being administered later on in the day.
  • All of these places have homed the corruption-accused Gupta brothers – who are still considered fugitives in Mzansi.

Special delivery to OR Tambo

Quibbles aside, this procurement marks the first day in the rest of our fight against COVID-19. The second wave peaked earlier this month, and there are quiet rumblings that low transmission numbers will soon lead to the easing of lockdown restrictions. But, for now, we have to rely on the wonders of science to guide us out of this pandemic…

“This [vaccine rollout] is a massive achievement of unprecedented proportions: The first batch of one million doses of the coronavirus vaccine will arrive at OR Tambo International Airport on Monday 1 February. The flight will leave On Sunday from India and will go via Dubai.”

Zweli Mkhize

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