Monday, 3 December 2012
KASESE COURT CHARGES AND REMANDS 44 OVER ENCROACHING ON FOREST RESERVE.
The Grade One magistrate court on Monday charged 44 people for allegedly encroaching on the Mubuku government forest reserve in Maliba sub-county.
But only 39 of the suspects arrested since Friday were remanded to Mubuku prison until Tuesday when the court will start hearing of their case.
The 39 remanded by Grade One Magistrate Patrick Bamuhiga included 15 women and 18 old men aged between 60-66 years.
Grade one magistrate Patrick Bamuhiga however bonded five other suspects who included a breastfeeding mother Valeria Masika who had stayed three days in police custody with a nine months old baby.
Four others on bail are teenagers who could not be remanded in an adult prison.
Prosecution told court that the forty four suspects and others who are still at large from November 29 to December 1st wrongfully divided among themselves Mubuku government forest reserve.
They all denied the changes and were remanded Tuesday for the hearing of their case.
The hearing was fixed to Tuesday after government prosecutor Mike Mwanje told court that some police officials supposed to testify before the case has other duties to attend to starting from Wednesday this week.
Hundreds of cultivators are reported to have invaded the forest reserve and demarcated land totaling to 1000 hectares amongst themselves ready to cultivate and build on the land.
They defied the camping on the land by police to continue putting up temporally structures and digging on the land.
Kasese district has faced a wave of land wrangles with some turning bloody especially between the cultivators and the cattle keepers.
Kasese’s population is projected to be heading towards explosion as it stands at close to 800000 people
Elsewhere, the chairperson judicial integrity committee justice Jotham Tumwesigye has decried the rampant corruption that has been reported in the police force.
Justice Tumwesigye was today morning responding to the public concerns about the police demanding for money from them in order access police bond.
Justice Tumwesigye said that police has for a long time been seen as the most corrupt government institution, adding that something should be done to avert the situation.
“The police in this country have seen as the most corrupt institution. Someone still wonders why this vice has been reported everywhere about the police”. Justice Tumwesigye said.
Some members of the police told the judicial committee that whenever some people challenge police about the demand for bribes to access a bond, instead some charges a framed against them.
Justice Tumwsigye pledged to inform the police authority to deal with the high corruption reported in Kasese.
However members of the public also accused the judiciary and the office of the Resident State attorney of frustrating some cases due to bribery and corruption.
They accused some magistrates in the district of converting some civil cases into criminal due to bribery to cause suffering to the accused.
The demanded speedy trial of land related cases saying that they were taking long to be resolved.
In an exclusive interview with journalists after the public hearing, the judiciary spokesperson Erias Kisawuzi said that the judicial integrity committee was moving around the country to monitor performance and strengthen integrity of courts.
He said that they also want to hear the public and other stakeholders on what they say about how justice is dispersed in the country.
He said the committee had broken into five groups moving around in the country. ENDS