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Andrew Kasirye Records Statement At Police’s CID Over Shs1.6Bn Deal

These are hard times for city lawyer Andrew Kasirye who is being investigated for his alleged involvement in the mismanagement of monies involved in key cases in the judiciary process.

Reports are revealing that troubled lawyer Andrew Kasirye of Kasirye Byaruhanga advocates has quietly recorded a statement at the Criminal Investigations Directorate in relation to dubious Shs1.6bn compensation deal from the judiciary.

Command1Post quoting a source reports that Kasirye who appeared alongside Paul Luticua were grilled for several hours by D/ASP Opendi who recorded their statements.

After hours of intense grilling, the two were later released on police bond. Now the file will be sent to DPP for perusal and advice when investigations are done.

This follows after the Secretary to the Judiciary Pius Bugirimana invited the Police Criminal Investigations Directorate to inquire into payments totaling to Shs1.6bn in an alleged refund of security deposits by litigants, suspiciously passed through accounts of a private company.

In a letter to CID Director Grace Akullo, Mr. Bigirimana asked the CID to validate the source of the requisition for the said money in regard to the Commercial Court case of Kasekende Mujuzi & Others Vs Uganda Revenue Authority; and also wants investigators to probe a USD 48,294.26 payment to law firm M/s Kasirye, Byaruhanga and Company Advocates in the case of Entebbe Handling Services Vs Uganda Fish Packers Ltd.

As a result, the CID asked three senior court officials to help the police with investigations in regard to the payments for requests made for refund of security deposits by litigants.

The three are Chief Registrar Tom Chemutai and registrars Mary Ikit and Dr. Agnes Nkonge.

In a July 10, 2020 letter to Mr. Bigirimana, the Director for Police’s Criminal Investigations, Ms Grace Akullo indicates that the investigators want to find out the source of the transfer of over 1.6 billion from the judiciary accounts to M/s Heed Debt Recovery Service Ltd in Eco Bank.

Ms Akullo said that the money was transferred by Bank of Uganda to the said account and by the time the fraud was detected, the suspects had already withdrawn UGX. 200 million.

Earlier, Mr. Bigirimana had written Ms Akullo asking the CID to investigate the two payments to establish whether they were fraudulently requisitioned or are genuine saying he had been alerted by the Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Keith Muhakanizi about the possible fraudulent payments, the Judiciary PS indicated that the transaction was carried out on on recommendation of  Registrar of the Commercial Court, Dr. Agnes Nkonge who issued a court order directing the payment on June 4, 2020.

Mr.Bigirimana explained that the payment was again originated by a court order signed by Dr Nkonge and the requisition was originally made by His Worship Tom Chemutai (Acting Chief Registrar) and later by Ms Ikit on January 16 2020.

How Attorney General Used His Office To Help Kasirye Acquire Firearm

Attorney General William Byaruhanga is on the spot for acquiring a firearm for his partner Andrew Kasirye at a time when the joint security committee had put to halt the issuance of arms to private individuals, Eagle Online reports.

According to police sources, Mr. Byaruhanga used his position as Attorney General to intimidate junior officers to have a gun licensed to Andrew Kasirye. In 2018, security issued a halt in licensing of firearms to private individuals after allegations that the rampant murders in the country were linked to the private firearms in the hands of individuals.

In April 2018, letter to Internal Affairs Minister Jeje Odongo titled recommendation for Andrew Kasirye to be granted a firearm license, the attorney general said.

“I have been requested by Mr. Kasirye for a recommendation for purposes of obtaining a firearm license under the Firearms Act 1970. He has informed me that the Luwero Industries Limited has offered for sale to him a new pistol NP349MM Serial No BO19885. A copy of the letter dated April 13, 2018is appended hereto for case reference”. Mr. Byaruhanga wrote.

He further added “Mr Kasirye has been practicing as an Advocate since April 16, 1986 and has since 1991 been my partner in the firm of Kasirye, Byaruhanga and Company Advocates. he was recently awarded the rank of Senior Counsel by the Law Council of Uganda. I am therefore, well qualified to attest that he is a citizen of good standing and indeed a fit and proper person to be issued  with a firearm license”.

However, Eagle Online reliably learnt whereas Byaruhanga was well qualified to recommend his colleague for the firearm, the time was suspicious given the ban on the issuance of guns.

It is also alleged that what prompted the questioning of this whole process was the saga recently that involved Mr. Byaruhanga and another top businessman over a land dispute along Entebbe Road. It is alleged the saga that degenerated into a personal fight saw guns drawn by one of the two.

Handset Adoption Can Guide The Quantum Leap To 4G

With mobile connectivity now integral to the modern economy, a key part of any national development programme must be digital inclusion. This is being achieved by expanding mobile broadband coverage, but there is another important consideration: smartphone affordability.

A recent GSMA report shows that smartphones make up 39% of the 774 million mobile connections in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is projected to grow significantly, but for Africa’s people to fully reap the dividends of mobile connectivity, it is critical that 4G-enabled smartphone handsets be made more easily attainable for the entry-level market.

This calls for financial innovation alongside the technological innovation that characterises the sector. Smartphones must become cheaper if Africa is to unlock the full potential of its people.

Fortunately, there are already encouraging signs that manufacturers, policymakers and network operators are partnering to integrate such financial innovation into the drive towards digital inclusion.

In Kenya, Safaricom recently rolled out a device financing programme, in partnership with Google and Teleone, allowing low-income earners in Kenya to access quality 4G phones at low instalments from as little as Kshs 20 (R3) a day.

The country has a high mobile telephony penetration, but this has traditionally involved 2G phones. The campaign aims to bring a million more customers into the digital economy.

Airtel Africa has expanded 4G adoption on the continent with its “more for more” data offers, increasing average data use, with 4G now accounting for more than 60 per cent of its data revenue.

However, one of the most effective means of encouraging smartphone adoption is reducing the tax burden on mobile phones and services in the form of import duties and sales taxes. In this context, policymakers have a powerful role to play in empowering citizens with easier access to digital connectivity.

As smartphones become the norm, broadband spectrum can follow suit, and network operators can transition to a 4G- and 5G based platforms, with all the high-speed, mass-connectivity benefits that brings.

A surging demand for 4G handsets indicates when a market is ready for the 4G network transition, and it becomes possible to shut down the 3G spectrum, as India was recently able to do.

At the recent LTE World Summit 2020, Sandeep Gupta, executive vice president of Barthi Airtel in India, said the decision to shut down the 3G network was motivated by two considerations – smartphone penetration, and the right network assets, such as SDR (software Defined Radio) and singleRAN radio, which supports 4G VoLTE.

However, core to this transition is affordable handsets. In China, 4G adoption has been hastened by the introduction of 100 Yuan (R238) handsets, catapulting millions into the 4G and 5G future.

In South Africa, smartphones have also become significantly more affordable, with handsets such as the Huawei Y5 Lite retailing for around R1 300. However, there remains scope to make 4G-enabled smartphones even more affordable, and to truly democratise connectivity.

Perhaps the simplest way to hasten digital inclusion is a change in our understanding of the place of 4G handsets in our society.

Once smartphones are seen as a commodity, a basic right instead of a luxury, they can be marketed, sold and taxed accordingly, bringing all of humanity into the new digital economy.

Bank Of Uganda Accused Of Not Operationalizing Islamic Banking

Bank of Uganda's failure to establish the Central Shari’a Advisory Council, five years after the law was passed, is a deliberate move to frustrate the final lap of establishing Islamic Banking, Daily Monitor reports, quoting a statement issued by Islamic leaders.

“We wish to expose (sic) our prolonged suffering caused by Bank of Uganda's delay to establish this council [Central Shari’a, Advisory Council]. This has taken almost five years since the law was passed.

Bank of Uganda should not have any excuse in finding the two Shari’a, scholars as specified by the law,” the statement reads in part, highlighting at least “10 technically suitable local Shari’a scholars, where it [Central Bank] can choose from,” Daily Monitor quoted the statement.

The statement headlined: How the delay in establishing the Central Shari’a Advisory Council at Bank of Uganda has Frustrated Islamic Banking, also noted that it was unfortunate that all the “amendments that were passed in the law in 2016 (such as agent banking and bancassurance, have been established except Islamic Banking.

The Islamic leadership in the finance sector pushing Islamic banking and listed on the statement include Dr Sulaiman Lujja, the Tropical Bank head of Islamic Banking, Dr Abdul Hafiz Walusimbi, the IUIU head of Shari’a, Dr. Anas Abdunoor Kaliisa, the director, Salaam Charity, Sheikh Muhammad Ali Waiswa, second deputy mufti, Uganda Muslim Supreme Council and Dr Sowed Juma Mayanja, a lecturer at Makerere University.

Others are Dr. Kisuule Muhammad, director House of Zakat, Dr Rashid Semuddu, consultant, Dr Ediriisa Kasozi, deputy dean and head of department Islamic Law, Faculty of Law, Yahya Kasujja, Senior associate account, Islamic Development Bank and Sheikh Ismail Njuki, director, Madina International Development Agency.

Par­lia­ment four years ago passed the Fi­nan­cial In­sti­tu­tions amend­ment Bill, the law that among oth­ers things in­tro­duced Is­lamic bank­ing that is con­sis­tent with Is­lamic Shar­i’ah (law). 

The par­lia­men­tary clear­ance was, how­ever, sub­ject to the es­tab­lish­ment of a Cen­tral Shar­i’ah Ad­vi­sory Board in the Cen­tral Bank to reg­u­late banks pro­vid­ing Is­lamic bank­ing prod­ucts. This has not been actualized by Bank of Uganda.

SOURCE: News Today Uganda


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