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Archive for the tag “Evidence”

Opinion: EU Envoy Schmidt are an speaking like an NRM apologist similar to Ofwono Opondo over Besigye’s 2016 Election defiance!

I feel sorry for European Union Envoy Kristian Schmidt who are now sounding like a National Resistance Movement (NRM) apologist, instead of an independent spirit and understanding of the short-falls of the NRM Regime. He seems to been misunderstanding what happen during the General Election 2016. Surely, he wants the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Dr. Kizza Besigye, to say it just water under bridge and let it go. Since the Supreme Court followed the orders of the 31 Years and counting President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. First introduce some of the beautiful words of Ofwono Opondo, before the Kristian Schmidt’s foolish interview with Daily Monitor, before enlightening fellow European of his ignorance or forgetting the blatant impunity towards Besigye and FDC in and around the General Election 2016. Since he has forgotten while drinking Nile Brew in the Embassy and going on Safaries with his dignitaries. Surely, Schmidt must feel good about himself!

““In this election, Besigye gained 1.5 million votes compared to two million votes he got in 2011 while Museveni’s gain was a paltry 500,000. To the NRM strategists, this is the most shocking, indeed worrying trend, and having located the cause as being our messaging, strategy, campaign style, internal laxity, occasioned fraud and widespread bickering. We shall not blame anybody else except ourselves. Actually, to be frank, we were almost swept away by our collective failure to robustly respond to the Opposition demagoguery on issues of youth unemployment, despair among the urban population, poor and yet expensive public service delivery and bad public relations, especially to distribution of soft campaign cash that often got stolen along the way among other issues. This, to the Besigye camp, should give hope that with better strategic organisation, not only falsehoods, they can in the future topple NRM through the ballot instead of being bad losers” (…) ““The claims of rigging, especially at the last minute through alleged intimidation of candidates’ agents, ballot stuffing, falsification or alteration of results on tally and declaration sheets and at announcements are perturbing and incredibly unbelievable. These could pass as truth if the peddlers could at least adduce some verifiable evidence from eyewitnesses and documents in their possession that differ from those of the EC, which ought to be available from the multiple sources, including the media that observed these elections” (Opondo, 2016).

So when a NRM spokesperson and Uganda Media Centre director had to come in defense of his master. In the aftermath and with the current illegitimate government. Who has no problems in misusing the government funds and had no problem rigging the election in their favor. As the FDC had massive scores of leaders behind bars, had people with Declarations Forms from Polling Stations at Gun-Point, had their Headquarter barricaded and sealed off, Besigye was under house-arrest and the story goes on. Not an adventure, but a true theft a nation. Still Schmidt says this to the FDC and former Presidential Candidate:

He added: “That is of course an issue that is dividing but I think it would have been good to come together and discuss. It has not happened and election reforms seem to be not going forward.” (…) The law of Uganda is what it is: the conditions of petitions are what they are, and for a petition to be successful you have to do a lot of homework. Under your Constitution I believe you have little time, 10 days. I know one of the recommendations of the Supreme Court is to extend that time which I believe makes sense.” (…) “ He said “I think if Dr Besigye was convinced before elections that he would not be happy with the outcomes and the process, he should have been the one to petition. He should have prepared for that but he decided before that he was not going to and under the rule of law.” (Musisi, 2017).

EU Envoy to Uganda Kristian Schmidt, I know you visited him while on undetermined house-arrest. Since the Police Force had been stationed in Kasangati, Wakiso for so long days before the election and until May 2016. When he was able to escape and have his own swearing-in ceremony, before air-lifted to Moroto, where the state charged him with Treason charges. Which he still carries today, he is an arch-criminal and seen as an enemy of the state. Than after all of this, you talk about rule of law, justice and courts. Like Dr. Kizza Besigye haven’t had his time in court, haven’t been detained on more occasions than ordinary thief, even more than average murderers in the Republic.

So, the FDC was unable to counter with a petition, Amama Mbabazi was the only one able to fill in a form or petition. Because FDC has done so after General Election 2011. So it is like the EU Envoy for Uganda Schmidt is not in concern anymore of all the breaches that happen to Besigye. Like the whole House-Arrest period, the whole part of the general assault on the rule of law considering the elections and polls. The self sufficient pre-ticket ballots and Badru Kiggundu’s own special math-class. The statistics and the vicious attempt of forging the whole election in favor of President Museveni.

It like he wants the one on Treason Charges since May 2016, since the coup d’etat in February 20th 2016, when the Electoral Commission announced the result. That as the whole NRM and state organization was behind the whole ordeal. Even the European Election Observation Mission and the Commonwealth Election Observation Mission was explaining the massive flaws of the General Election. Still, the EU Envoy want Besigye just to let it go.

Let’s take his first reasoning, since it is shows his true passion, the Danish dignitary: “Now if this was in any other democracy, like in some European countries, it would be unacceptable that the Opposition party does not then recognise the winner of the elections” (Musisi, 2017). If this was an election in Europe, all of these ploys of the NRM wouldn’t have happen. Not normally, that the army is used to intimidate, that local leaders are paid-off with new cars, that ballot are pre-ticket ballots and all powers to be to silence the FDC. Together with the obvious rigging and mismatch of acts in favor of Museveni. If this would not have happen in a European elections and EU Envoy to Uganda knows this. That why it is remarkable that he says about Besigye.

Besigye knows better and the Ugandan people knows so. They are not fools, even if Schmidt is sounding like Ofwono Opondo and has taken lectures from Andrew Mwenda. He surely has hanged in the same bars in Kampala as these two. To sound so blatant ignorant and so forgetful. Peace.

Reference:

Opondo, Ofwono – ‘The media shouldn’t parrot Opposition false claims’ (28.03.2016) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/Commentary/Media-parrot-Opposition-false-claims/-/689364/3135890/-/2m2g7v/-/index.html

Musisi, Fredric – ‘Besigye refusal to recognise government not helpful – EU envoy’ (09.07.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Besigye-refusal-recognise-government-not-helpful-EU-envoy/688334-4006606-er8gyr/index.html

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Pharrell and Thicke’s lines wasn’t ‘Blurred’ on “Blurred Lines” as the Court’s verdict awards Gaye’s Estate $4m in damages!

thicke-gaye

Well, Copyright infringement is a tricky thing, especially with something as soft as sound and audio. That musicians are taking each other’s vibes and play into their own creations isn’t new. The music is inspired and often in modern popular music they sample music that the composer together with producers pays for licencing. One of the most popular in my time we’re when Jay-Z and Dame Dash got the rights to use Annie Sample on Hard Knock Life:

“Jay-Z gained permission to use the “Hard Knock Life” sample by writing a letter to the musical’s composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Martin Charnin expounding on his childhood love of the show, having won a ticket to see it on Broadway as a prize in an essay-writing competition at his hard-knock Bedford-Stuyvesant school. The letter was, he later admitted, an “exaggeration”. In fact the rapper came across the hip-hop version, by producer Mark “the 45 King” James, at a rap show and bought it for a rumoured $10,000” (Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, 2015).

What was done in Jay-Z famous single for the ‘Hard Knock Life’ he got permission and also seek to gain permission to use the sample of the song in his own creation. Something that even wasn’t in mind between the parties in the litigation between Marvin Gaye’s estate and the Thicke Parties; as the Copyright infringement case that been running ever since the “Blurred Lines” became a hit in 2013. This was now a concluded case in the courts on the 22nd December 2016. Where the judgement and the jury came to a verdict where the Thicke Parties we’re at fault as per explained underneath. That both musical specialist and legal experts denies the claims of the Thicke’s as they does not see it as coincidence that “Blurred Lines” sounds so similar to “Give To Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye.

“In 1976, Motown legend Marvin Gaye composed and recorded in studio his #1 dance and funk hit “Got To Give It Up” (“Give”). ER2238. The song, dubbed by Oprah Winfrey the greatest dance song ever, has endured for the forty years since it was created. SER856. In early 2013, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke discussed writing a new song. See SER856, SER858. In multiple public statements they were candid about the fact that Give and Marvin Gaye were at the top of their minds in creating their song “Blurred Lines” (“Blurred”)” (United States Court of Appeals, P: 17, 2016).

“The amicus brief strays far outside the record, makes unsupported generalization about the music at issue, and is apparently uninformed by the actual trial testimony, including the fact that Williams and Thicke disavowed the idea that they wished to create an “homage” to Marvin Gaye. It also bears mentioning that of the 212 signatories to that brief, several are not “songwriters, composers, musicians, [or] producers” at all, but rather music business executives such as talent managers, attorneys, and other representatives. In addition, more than half (by our count, based on public information) are either clients of the Thicke Parties’ trial counsel, have recorded or are credited on albums with Williams, or have another business relationship with one or more of the Thicke Parties. This web of connections is not disclosed in the amici’s statement of interest” (United States Court of Appeals, P: 22, 2016).

“Thicke made many similar statements in video and radio interviews, e.g., telling an interviewer that Give is “one of my favorite songs of all time, I went in [to the studio] and [said] ‘you know Pharrell I’d love to make something like this, you know feel like ‘Got to Give it Up’ and [Pharrell] started with the percussion you know trying to get that rhythm and then the song actually happened we did the whole record in about an hour.” (United States Court of Appeals, P: 27, 2016).

Songs similarities:

“Finell testified that nearly every one of the 130 bars of Blurred contains at least one of the elements of Give that appears in the lead sheet. ER666. The numerous common elements and the way they interrelated with each other created a “constellation” of similarities she found “stunning” and “highly unusual.” ER581–82. For example, the “heartbeat” of the song—the interlocking bass and keyboard—“drove each song.” ER559. She identified seven elements found in both Blurred and the lead sheet: the signature phrase, the hook, “Theme X,” the bass melody, the keyboard rhythms and chords, word painting, and the parlando/rap section” (United States Court of Appeals, P: 34, 2016). “[O]ut of the four notes from the Give hook and four notes from Blurred, three are identical in their scale degrees.” ER600-01. The hook of Give repeats 12 times within the lead sheet and the hook in Blurred repeats 14 times. ER602. The four-note hook melody in Give contains scale degrees 6- 1-2-1; the four-note hook melody in Blurred contains scale degrees 6-1-1-1. SER868-70. Finell also testified that the rhythmic placement is similar in that two of the notes are before and two are after the bar lines in each song“ (United States Court of Appeals, P: 36, 2016).

“In an attack on this testimony, ten musicologists have filed a brief that purports to start the analysis from scratch, with a very crabbed interpretation of the lead sheet and assertions unconstrained by the record or tested by any form of cross examination. App. Dkt. 20. To the extent it merits any consideration, this amicus brief at most shows that experts may regarding substantial similarity, creating a triable issue of fact” (United States Court of Appeals, P: 40, 2016).

Jury conclusion:

“We will not second-guess the jury’s application of the intrinsic test.” Three Boys, 212 F.3d at 485. Regardless, the trial record here more than adequately supports the District Court’s conclusion that it “cannot be found, that the jury’s conclusion that the two works have intrinsic similarity was against the clear weight of the evidence.” ER29” (United States Court of Appeal, P: 79, 2016).

Gaye’s estate get damages:

“The Gayes accepted the District Court’s remittitur of the jury’s award of $4 million in actual damages to $3,188,527.50 and its remittitur of the jury’s award of $1,610,455.31 in profits against Williams to $357,630.96” (United States Court of Appeal, P: 86 ,2016). “Based on her analysis applying industry custom and practice and her vast experience, Stern concluded the use of Give by Blurred would have resulted in a 50% licensing fee being granted to the Gayes if a license had been negotiated before release of Blurred” (United States Court of Appeal, P: 89, 2016).

T.I. also liable:

“It is undisputed that Harris and the Interscope Parties were part of the chain of distribution for Blurred. This includes Harris’s role as a owner of the copyright who authorized the distribution. It follows that if Blurred infringed the Gayes’ copyright, which the jury found it, Harris and the Interscope Parties were liable as a matter of law” (United States Court of Appeal, P: 95, 2016).

Jury award Gaye’s estate:

Here the jury’s award of actual damages and lost profits to the Gayes means the jury necessarily found that Blurred infringed the Gayes’ copyright. Only confusion as to which parties bore the responsibility for that infringement can explain its failure to find Harris and the Interscope Parties liable. The District Court reasonably concluded that failure to give an instruction clearly defining the scope of distributor liability caused the inconsistent verdicts, and that the verdicts could be corrected in a way that followed both the law and the jury’s intent” (United States Court of Appeal, P: 96,2016).

So one of the biggest producers of our times have got a verdict of copy infringement of used material in this case, use of a song from Marvin Gaye; which happen to create one of the biggest hits of 2013. Pharrell Williams as the Producer of the beat, Robin Thicke as the main singer and with feature of T.I. or Clifford Harris Jr. that we’re all part of the hit song. The one song that both Pharrell and Williams claimed to be inspired by Gaye, still the song after analysing and use of musical expertise show how similar the tracks are.

Later after the first litigations that lead to this and after first verdicts of copyright infringement he told the press this: “Thicke had a great answer for his GQ interview, telling the lawyer, “With all due respect, I was high and drunk every time I did an interview last year.” In fact, Thicke said, “Every day, I woke up, I would take a Vicodin to start the day and then I would fill up a water bottle with vodka and drink it before and during my interviews.” Robin says he’s now drug free, telling the Gaye family lawyer, “I’ve been sober for the last 2 months … When your wife leaves you, it gives you good reason to sober up.” (TMZ, 2014). So the musician now tries to deflect the facts of how they we’re inspired to make the track, now that the process we’re in action than he was a drinking and doped artist who didn’t know what he was saying. His lifestyle we’re blurry to take responsibility for the inspiration behind the blurred lines hit. Which is a beautiful feature, but doesn’t make the courts sing and dance; the evidence and the affidavits do.

So the verdict of the Ninth Circuit Court of California clearly followed the line of the musicians taking inspiration, we’re doing more than so and didn’t licence the rhymes and beat of the Marvin Gaye “Got To Give It Up” when making the “Blurred Lines”. If the guilty party who is under Thicke Parties had asked for permission and licenced by the Gaye’s estate like Recording Artist do all the time. They use their Recording Companies and their legal teams together with publishing agents who fix the use of a sample to create new songs. That shouldn’t be new for either party in the Thicke Party. Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and T.I. has all been on records that are sampled and has gotten permission to use parts of other tracks into making a new hit record.

The same could been done by the men behind “Blurred Lines” instead they tried to copy somebody else’s work without permission and without licence. If they had offered in advance 50% on royalty on sales the Recording of the hit song would been fine and fixed. Instead they wanted to legally battle the Gaye’s Estate. Something they righteously lost. Peace.

Reference:

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT – ‘PHARRELLWILLIAMS, MOREWATER FROM NAZARETH PUBLISHING, INC. VS. FRANKIE CHRISTIAN GAYE, ET AL’ (22.12.2016) – Appeal From Judgment Of The United States District Court For The Central District Of California (Hon. John A. Kronstadt, Presiding).

Ludovic Hunter-Tilney – ‘The Life of a Song: ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’ (10.04.2015) link: https://www.ft.com/content/fbf3bec4-ce64-11e4-86fc-00144feab7de

TMZ – ‘I WAS TOO WASTED ON VICODIN To Write ‘Blurred Lines’ (15.09.2014) link: http://www.tmz.com/2014/09/15/robin-thicke-drugs-blurred-lines-alcohol-vicodin-marvin-gaye/

Ruto and Sang case: Statement, ICC spokesperson, 5 April 2016 (Youtube-Clip)

“Today, 5 April 2016, Trial Chamber V(A) of the International Criminal Court decided, by majority, Judge Herrera Carbuccia dissenting, that the case against William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang is to be terminated. According to the majority, this decision does not preclude new prosecution in the future either at the ICC or in a national jurisdiction. This decision may be subject to appeal.
The Chamber considered the requests of Mr Ruto and Mr Sang that the Chamber find that there is ‘no case to answer’, dismiss the charges against both accused and enter a judgment of acquittal. The Chamber also considered the opposing submissions of the Prosecutor and the Legal Representative of the Victims, and received further submissions during hearings held from 12 to 15 January 2016.
On the basis of the evidence and arguments submitted to the Chamber, Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji and Judge Robert Fremr, as the majority, agreed that the charges are to be vacated and the accused are to be discharged. They provided separate reasons for this decision.
Judge Fremr found that there is no case for the accused to answer based on an assessment of the Prosecution’s evidence in accordance he considered that the Prosecution did not present sufficient evidence on which a reasonable Trial Chamber could convict the accused. Accordingly, he considered that there is no reason to call the Defence to bring their case or to prolong the proceedings any further.
Judge Eboe-Osuji, concurring with Judge Fremr’s evidential assessment, also vacated the charges and discharged the accused without prejudice to re-prosecution in the future, However, he declared a mistrial in the case, because it cannot be discounted that the weaknesses in the Prosecution case might be explained by the demonstrated incidence of tainting of the trial process by way of witness interference and political meddling that was reasonably likely to intimidate witnesses.
The majority of the Chamber, having concluded that the Prosecution did not present sufficient evidence on which a reasonable Trial Chamber could convict the accused, also concluded that a judgment of acquittal was not the right outcome, but only vacation of the charges and discharge of the accused. The majority also agreed that there is no reason to re-characterise the charges.
Judge Herrera Carbuccia appended a dissenting opinion. In her view, the charges against both accused should not be vacated in the present case. In her view, the Prosecution’s case had not ‘broken down’ and she concluded that there is sufficient evidence upon which, if accepted, a reasonable Trial Chamber could convict the accused.
Over the course of 157 trial days, the Trial Chamber heard the testimony of 30 witnesses for the Prosecution, including two expert witnesses. During that time, the Chamber admitted into evidence 335 exhibits for the Prosecution, 226 exhibits for the Ruto Defence, and 82 exhibits for the Sang Defence. The Prosecution closed its case on 10 September 2015. At the close of the Prosecution’s case, the evidentiary record contained 92 photographs, 27 maps, 77 items of audio/visual material, and over 8,000 pages worth of documentary evidence. Throughout the trial proceedings, the Trial Chamber rendered over 400 written and oral decisions” (IntlCriminalCourt, 2016)

“The media shouldn’t parrot Opposition false claims” – Ofwono Opondo; I beg to differ and address his claims; and discuss he defense for the so-called Election Victory of his beloved NRM!

Topowa Vote

“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it” – Mark Twain

When we speak of Ugandan election it is not often Mark Twain comes to mind, but he should be spoken about like folklore and around the bonfires and around the charcoal since it exactly what happen. Mr. Opondo has yet again come to the defense of his party and his master. Last time I addressed him on the 1st February 2016, when he attacked the Media and the FDC. He does the same thing again, now in another manner, but still needs to comment and arguments need to be sealed and show how the misleading words of the NRM spokesman are. If these arguments from the NRM spokesman are true, then I say that the voting done in the Presidential and Members of Parliament Elections in mid-February wouldn’t make a difference, since the NRM just let the citizens do it. But we would hope the value of the votes mattered more right?

“I take issue broadly with the Ugandan media’s coverage of election campaigns and results so far. It surprises me that more than a month after the public declaration, official release and gazzettment of the election results by Electoral Commission (EC) the mainstream media of radios, television stations and newspapers continue to parrot the false and absurd claims by Dr Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) that he was ‘robbed’ of victory at the last minute by the NRM in connivance with the Electoral Commission and other State organs. FDC lost 17 of its 35 MPs in the 9th Parliament, and the party hasn’t made any gains at all!” (Opondo, 2016).

New Vision 71% 2011 - 2016

Well, the reason why everybody can claim what surprises you Mr. Opondo is that the men and woman with the Candidates Declarations Forms from the Polling stations from other parties have been detained, the amount of polling stations counted in the official announcement and results are small, the pre-ticked ballots evidence have been massive, even polling officials have had ballot-boxes pre-made before the Election Day; therefore with the massive amounts of the rigging the claims that surprises you shouldn’t Mr. Opondo, but I know you would say anything that your master command you to. As you are not allowed to think on your own right Mr. Opondo? I know that hurts, but by now it must be facts. If a rigged elections and the results from the elections is seen as verified then the might be a loss for the FDC, but even though they might not have lost, since there was no crowds celebrating your grand victory and the country was mourning while the soldiers was heavy deployed and the army was standing around Namboole Stadium and the Electoral Commission Headquarter unto the time for petition the elections on the 1st of March. So your victory can’t be that big when you need all security organizations, the army and the police at standby, if the public wanted your victory they would catch chicken thieves and not having Dr. Kizza Besigye under house-arrest ever since the day before the Election Day.

“In this election, Besigye gained 1.5 million votes compared to two million votes he got in 2011 while Museveni’s gain was a paltry 500,000. To the NRM strategists, this is the most shocking, indeed worrying trend, and having located the cause as being our messaging, strategy, campaign style, internal laxity, occasioned fraud and widespread bickering. We shall not blame anybody else except ourselves. Actually, to be frank, we were almost swept away by our collective failure to robustly respond to the Opposition demagoguery on issues of youth unemployment, despair among the urban population, poor and yet expensive public service delivery and bad public relations, especially to distribution of soft campaign cash that often got stolen along the way among other issues. This, to the Besigye camp, should give hope that with better strategic organisation, not only falsehoods, they can in the future topple NRM through the ballot instead of being bad losers” (Opondo, 2016).

PM Uganda 11.02.2016 Paying Bribe

Well, the NRM Task Force and Campaign Team have used large war-chest and monies on the election, ferrying more voters than ever in history. The cause doesn’t seem important as the recycling pledges from the leader of NRM and the President. There been internal problems that are visible ever since the Executive decided to cut ties with Amama Mbabazi. With that the Party has struggled through a strange internal election called the NRM-Primaries, and even in the end payed to have the losing incumbent as “NRM Independent” in the General Election. You can claim stolen campaign funds while you have scandals of money from the Bank of Uganda used for campaign, getting money from the Government of Kenya and giving away UGX 250k to every village in the last days before the Presidential Poll on the 18th February. If the FDC came with only “Falsehood” and still feeling the need to defend the ballots, the ballot and pre-ticked ballots and the statistically strange results of 100% for the NRM candidate at certain polling stations. There are too many issues from the Election Day and the late release of Election Material in Wakiso and Kampala while the Kaabong Town and Lira Town could vote from the early morning on the Election Day seems like rigging to me, as the EC Headquarter are just besides the Polling Stations in Kampala and Wakiso. So Mr. Opondo the deal with feeling bad about losing is that there to many factors in the pot to make a to tasty stew for the matooki, it is not just beans, it is leafs, onions, spices and water mixing well to feed the pundits and commentators with enough to question the elections. If the FDC could topple the NRM, then the NRM should not worry about defending all the Electoral Malpractices during the Election and Pre-Election Period proves the problems that the NRM Spokesman struggles with. That must be the reason why he had to defend yet again the Election Announcement and Declaration. But Mr. Opondo does not have the heart to discuss that and suggest the issues since that really weakens the argument he needs to justify the so-called “win”.

Missing boxes 20.02.2016

The claims of rigging, especially at the last minute through alleged intimidation of candidates’ agents, ballot stuffing, falsification or alteration of results on tally and declaration sheets and at announcements are perturbing and incredibly unbelievable. These could pass as truth if the peddlers could at least adduce some verifiable evidence from eyewitnesses and documents in their possession that differ from those of the EC, which ought to be available from the multiple sources, including the media that observed these elections” (Opondo, 2016).

Mr. Opondo, when you got footage, got reports of officials, even police officers having ballots, when you got so many FDC officials and Go-Forward Officials detained, is not “incredible unbelievable”; that sad thing Mr. Opondo is that it is true, if not the FDC would might have had the opportunity to file a petition of this fraudulent Election you claim to valid. The Police have rounded up and taken amounts of opposition officials in jail and at gun-point. I know that you don’t believe that Mr. Opondo, that is because you’re sitting safe in your home and reading while “sighing” and “cursing”. Mr. Opondo I know you wish your party and leadership that pays you creates a “fairytale”, but without your knowledge apparently the Party you’re speaking for and working hard to defend has become the Orwellian. The Election Observers and Monitoring Teams have come with both good and bad. Even said that the Electoral Commission didn’t reform as asked to do after the General Election 2011, the CCEDU and CEON-U were not taken in or even gotten a place in the Petition. Commonwealh was not giving a good preliminary statement; the COMESA/EAC/AU gave a counter-statement that was positive; while the European Union also asked questions; as much as the American Mission in Kampala has also asked for the copies of the forms, with the Electoral Commission complying to the request proving that there are questions to be asked! That is something you don’t even bother to think about, Mr Opondo? Or is that reasoning blowing your mind and boggles the brain-cell that operates your reasoning?

Transmission of Results Omoro

“But, it appears the candidates, observers and media did a shoddy job and are now embarrassed that they cannot provide any credible documentary evidence of fraud hence the generalised allegations of cheating and unfairness. The local media in particular, appear to have been overtaken by the early rumblings in the campaigns perhaps by the way Mbabazi was hounded out of NRM secretary general position and the subsequent obstruction of his initial consultations outside NRM party rules by the police. Unfortunately, Mbabazi’s would-be most loyal and vocal supporter, his wife Jacqueline has been reported indisposed throughout the campaigns and, we wish her steady recovery.  The media silence has left Besigye to make bogus claims, thereby inadvertently lending false credence that indeed he was cheated and fanned public anxiety. Surely, the Uganda media can do much better” (Opondo, 2016).

The Embarrassing part Mr. Opondo with all the knowledge you still attack the opposition who has been detained and struggled. While the NRM has had police by their side, the NRM have ordered the Police and even used them to silence the Media. And when you as a spokesman uses the end of statement implying them to tell the story as you do; you wonder why people are claiming what they do? If it was “Bogus Claims” from the FDC wouldn’t you just let the FDC come with a Petition with the Declaration Forms and witnesses instead of doing what you did? The only good thing you did during the whole statement was to defend the election and attack the FDC. And as a NRM Spokesperson you’re supposed to speak up for the Party, so if you did anything else Mr. Opondo you would do a crappy job, but defending this in this display and rhetoric is not winning or defining the opposition or the announcement of the result.

NBS 23.02.2016 Najjanankumbi

The reason Mr. Opondo why I have not discussed the numbers and percentage of this election, as that is not necessary as your constant attack on the media. Because of it was fair and the justification of the victory was unnecessary your piece would have made more sense. This was not a piece of clear message and clarifying the victory, more a meager display of trying to defend the election and the winning result. Mr. Opondo if it was a clear victory wouldn’t he be happy people around the streets of Kampala and all over the country? As it has been in the early history of your beloved NRM-Election?

The silence of the media is because of the mourning and understanding of their audience and have followed the UGPetition16 and the actions around that; the other issue is that the NRM have attacked the media from pre-election period, the police has shot a journalist in the head, detained a dozen, confiscated the equipment, taken broadcaster of air, shut of the transmitters of radios, closed stations when opposition leaders comes to scheduled programming, gotten NTV banned from the campaign trail and so on. The NRM is responsible for the climate that the media is in, the censoring and silence is made by the irresponsible and irrational leadership of the NRM and their Executive. But Mr. Opondo could never say that because he has to praise and kiss the Executive ass right?

I think that is enough for tonight. The reasoning from Mr. Opondo is yet again missing and his analysis written by a blind mind, but a hungry tummy as he wants a bigger paycheck; just like Eng. Dr. Badru M. Kiggundu got before the Election. Peace.

Reference:

Opondo, Ofwono – ‘The media shouldn’t parrot Opposition false claims’ (28.03.2016) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/Commentary/Media-parrot-Opposition-false-claims/-/689364/3135890/-/2m2g7v/-/index.html

Muwema & Co Letter “Re: Demands for Evidence” (23.03.2016)

Muwema Letter 23.03.2016

Press Statement from Muwema & CO on the Office Raids of 8th March (21.03.2016)

Muwema & CO 21.03.2016Muwema & CO 21.03.2016. P2jpg

Amama Mbabazi speaks on arrest of petition witness and burglary at lawyers’ offices (Youtube-Clip)

Amama Mbabazi addresses the media and talks about the cases of alleged police raid on his lawyers’ offices in which materials and evidence linked to the election petition were stolen. Mbabazi also briefly addresses reported cases that some of his petition witnesses have been arrested or are being harassed by police” (NTV Uganda, 2016).

Letter to Supreme Court: “Re: Election Petition No. 1. of 2016” (09.03.2016)

Supreme Cout 09.03.2016 P1Supreme Cout 09.03.2016 P2Supreme Cout 09.03.2016 P3

Burundi – The fresh reports of torture from Amnesty and proof that it’s old habits from the regime in the country

Burundi Report Police

There was released a report on torture of citizens in Burundi in recent year from CSO Amnesty the 24th of August. This here has been described I will take the defining characters of this from that report, but also some older documentation to prove that this isn’t new actions from the Governmental and Security organizations in Burundi. In 2006 the Committee from International Service from Human Rights commented on the torture matters already then. After that I will look on what numbers and anti-torture project where the purpose was: “Effectively build capacity for sustainable support to victims of torture; and prevent future incidences of torture”. And the projects are telling from the USAID in the same period. USAID had also a monitoring period that ended in 2007 that gives some interesting insights to the methods of torture. United Nations has made a review of the situation when it comes to torture as well in 2014. So that Amnesty International is telling stories that everybody who cares about Human Rights should read all of the personal stories. I have taken the big picture from the report that was delivered from the organization on the 24th of August 2015. Which also shows to the works of the UN and OHCHR and describing the matters and sadness of how the police and other units treats its citizens who demonstrate against the government. It should be stopped and international community should do something about it. Though it’s an issue that is continuation from 2006 and I am sure earlier then that while in war, an CNDD-FDD promised to lead with the USAID projects to shun this activities, but certainly hasn’t with the reports released recently. Read under the quotes and outtakes from a set of reports and some of the pieces from Amnesty.

Reports from 2005 and so on:

“The Committee criticised the lack of a definition of torture in Burundian domestic legislation. The delegation admitted that while Burundi officially endorses the definition contained in the Convention, their criminal code does not define torture, nor is torture as such criminalised. In practice, torture is treated as an ‘aggravating circumstance’ and pursued on the basis of ‘infliction of bodily harm’” (…)”Both country rapporteurs underlined that the legislation prohibiting torture must not only cover physical torture (which is the case as long as torture is prosecuted under the category of ‘bodily harm’), but needs to extend to psychological and mental torture. The Committee drew the delegation’s attention to the obligation States have to initiate investigations into cases of torture. Mr Camara said that given the lack of a domestic legal basis, prosecutors in Burundi did not have a clear incentive to investigate cases of torture” (…)”the National Intelligence Service (NIS). It is responsible for the collection of date in order to protect the state security of Burundi. It can also carry out police functions and arrest people. According to the State report, the NIS is one of the main institutions involved in cases of torture. The Committee repeatedly expressed concern about this situation. Mr Mariño said the NIS seemed to have a dual mandate and be responsible for political oppression; it needed to be reformed, monitored and made accountable to the judiciary. Mr Camara asked if NIS officers could be sanctioned by the PPS; the delegation confirmed this with reference to ongoing cases. The delegation agreed that the NIS had too many prerogatives and specifically asked for recommendations on how to curb its power” (…)”In reference to the prohibition of the use of evidence obtained through torture, the delegation referred to a supreme court judgement which prohibits such evidence from being used in court. However, a Committee member pointed out that this particular decision is ambiguous since it says that “a confession is not proof in itself, but merely a piece of evidence that must be corroborated by other evidence”. The Committee felt this could be construed so that evidence extracted through torture could be used if supported by other evidence (Human Rights Series, 2006).

Turning to concrete cases, some Committee members asked about further information on a massacre which had taken place at Gatumba. The delegation responded by saying that it had issued a report which attributed the responsibility for the massacre to members of the armed movement PALIPEHUTU-FNL” (Human Rights Monitor Series, 2006).

What USAID has worked on a long while and had programs with:

“IMPLEMENTING PARTNER: Search for Common Ground (SF CG), Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS), Ligue ITE KA, Association pour la Protection des Droits Humains et des Personnes Détenues (APROD H)

FUNDING PERIOD: March 2003–September 2005

AMOUNT: $1,700,000

PURPOSE: Effectively build capacity for sustainable support to victims of torture; and prevent future incidences of torture” (Victims of Torture Fund, USAID, 2005-2006).

Trauma healing: Eighteen Healing Memory Group activities (785 participants) held to provide psychological healing for victims. 372 victims of torture received psychological support and 567 received medical services; 289 referred to partners; 750 transported to medical facilities (Victims of Torture Fund, USAID, 2005-2006).

Social Reintegration: Twenty-seven victims associations created. Thirteen ongoing series of monthly healing sessions/retreats with 1,636 participants (Victims of Torture, USAID, 2005-2006)

Funding/Year 2002 2004 2005 Total
USD In:  Thousands of Dollars 1,200 500 1,200 2,900

(Victims of Torture, USAID, 2005-2006)

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USAID has continued to follow up the country and reports on Torture between October 2007 – September 2011. Here is their findings and what they have received of information on the matter: “Human rights. The project worked to strengthen the institutional capacity of civil society organizations, particularly those focused on women, to advocate for gender-based violence, victims of torture, and conflict management. By launching campaigns and engaging in effective discourse with the government and the media, civil society groups were able to open up about the sensitive and often dangerous nature of supporting human rights, which led to increased awareness and understanding” (…)”Victims of torture. In Burundi, torture continues to be practiced and victims have had little recourse because those in positions of authority, such as public security agents, presidential police, soldiers, local government officials, and rebel groups have all practiced torture without being held accountable for their actions. Through its activities, the project has been able to help Burundians open up a public dialogue and raise awareness about the problem of torture, a subject that over the years had become taboo in many parts of society” (…)”Victims of torture consortium. One organization cannot influence change alone, and working in the anti-corruption or human rights arena can be dangerous. Thus to strengthen advocacy against torture in Burundi, the project convened civil society organizations working in human rights and torture to start a dialogue on what is needed in this area and propose the idea of creating a consortium. The project worked via the consortium structure to coordinate these various and extensive activities. At subsequent meetings, the number of civil society organizations more than doubled and by the time the consortium, Consortium Action Contre la Torture (CACT), was incorporated it represented most of Burundian civil society working in human rights, with 26 organizations and government entities. The consortium, designed to coordinate advocacy for the eradication of torture in Burundi, identified priorities for reform when the consortium was first formed” (…)”Victims of torture grants. The project allocated 18 grants to civil society organizations in Year 2; eight of them provided medical and legal assistance to 453 victims of torture. The project provided medical, psychosocial healing, and legal and judicial assistance. The grants were provided to organizations with previous experience in this area, and they were able to work in cooperation with other grantees as well as in the consortium against torture. The most pressing need for a victim of torture is medical assistance. Many victims are debilitated or prevented from working due to the injuries, and others live with the physical scars and residual pain. The assistance consisted of providing victims medicine, hospitalization, and specialized care. Seven grantees provided medical assistance to victims in various provinces. One example of the medical services provided by grantees is the work done by ACAT, an organization that carried out medical services in 26 communes” (…)”In addition to being physically traumatic, torture is also emotionally and psychologically traumatic. Even if physical scars heal, there are lasting psychological effects. The project created a support group that fostered an atmosphere of empathy, affection, and security that victims greatly appreciated — especially significant because most victims never dared to speak about their experiences” (…)”In Year 4, project grantee ABDP-DRS advocated for the use of alternative sentencing to imprisonment in accordance with a law of 2009. By meeting with decision-makers, including prison authorities, police, and judges to present data from a survey, ABDP-DRS was able to provide information on alternative sentencing. It also organized prison visits so that police and judges could see the current conditions of the prisons to which they were sentencing perpetrators. Action Chrétien Contre la Torture (ACAT) also received a grant to continue advocating decision-makers and judiciary actors. ACAT equipped judges, judiciary police, and prison officers with information gained during site visits of detention centers in 11 provinces to evaluate the torture cases, living conditions for detainees, and the application of the penal code regarding torture” (Burundi Policy Final Reform, 2007).

When we see earlier what the UN has scaled on the State of torture in the State of the Burundi. The UN commented this on the issues that were at hand in 2014:

Legislative measures for the prevention of torture

  1. While noting that an absolute prohibition of torture is established in the Constitution, the Committee is concerned at the numerous shortcomings of the organization and command structure of the country’s security services, particularly the Burundian National Police (Police nationale du Burundi) and the National Intelligence Service (Service national de renseignement). These services are still governed by presidential decrees, whereas the Constitution provides that they be governed by the necessary legal framework. While noting that article 31 of the State party’s Criminal Code establishes that an order from a superior officer cannot be used as an argument by the defence in a case of torture, the Committee remains concerned about the effective implementation of that provision (arts. 2, 6 and 16)” (United Nations, 2014).

The United Nations continues with this:

“The absolute prohibition of torture” (…)”The State party should, as a matter of urgency, take steps to incorporate provisions into its Military Criminal Code that establish that acts of torture and ill-treatment committed by military personnel constitute an offence, that such offences are not subject to any statute of limitations and that the sentences for such offences are irreducible. The provisions to be incorporated into the Code should also establish appropriate penalties” (…) “The Committee is alarmed by credible, corroborative and persistent reports of a large number of acts of torture and extrajudicial killings committed by members of the Burundian National Police and the National Intelligence Service. It is concerned about the slow pace and limited scope of the investigations and judicial proceedings that have been opened in this connection, which would appear to corroborate claims that the perpetrators of these acts enjoy impunity. The Committee also finds it regrettable that no information about cases that have gone to trial or the outcome of those trials has been forthcoming. It is also concerned at the absence of protection for victims and witnesses, who are subject to reprisals (arts. 2, 4, 6, 7, 12 and 14)” (…)”The Committee is alarmed at the appalling conditions of detention in places of deprivation of liberty. It deplores, in particular: the high levels of prison overcrowding; the failure to separate male prisoners from female prisoners, adults from minors and persons awaiting trial from those already sentenced; the shortage of beds and sleeping space; the poor sanitary conditions; the dilapidated state of the facilities; prisoners’ inadequate and unbalanced diet; and the lack of health care. It further deplores the death of 263 inmates, inter-prisoner violence and the sexual violence against women and minors perpetrated by other inmates and guards. Lastly, the Committee is concerned about the continuing practice, in the State party, of detaining patients in hospital for non-payment of fees” (…)”While taking note of the fact that article 289 of the new Code of Criminal Procedure provides for the compensation of victims of torture, the Committee expresses its concern at the failure to apply this provision, in violation of article 14 of the Convention” (…) “The restrictions on the right of assembly and demonstration imposed by law enforcement bodies and reports of cases involving the violent suppression of demonstrations resulting in the excessive use of force by the authorities, for example during the protests of March 2014” (…)“The serious human rights violations perpetrated by a youth group (referred to as the Imbonerakure) with close ties to the Government, including: the harassment of political opponents; the disruption of public meetings, acts of intimidation, arbitrary arrests and arbitrary detention and other acts of violence; and the use of so-called “amicable” arrangements for settling disputes. The Committee is deeply concerned by reports that the Government is providing this group with weapons and training” (United Nations, 2014).

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Amnesty has in recent reports on how the torture has been from May 2015:

“Both the SNR and the Burundian National Police (PNB) are responsible for torture and other ill-treatment. Former detainees described being beaten with branches, iron bars, and police batons; and being stomped on, threatened with death, denied medical care, and verbally abused. In one particularly horrific case, a five-litre container full of sand was hung from a man’s testicles, causing enormous pain and swelling, and then the man was made to sit in a shallow layer of what he believed was battery acid, burning his skin severely” (…) “In and after the demonstration in April 2015 this has happen: “The police response to the demonstrations was marked by a pattern of serious violations, including of the right to life, freedom of association and peaceful assembly. They used excessive and disproportionate force, including lethal force, against protesters, at times shooting unarmed demonstrators running away from them. Even where children were present during demonstrations, police still failed to exercise restraint, and used tear gas and live ammunition” (…)”The cases of torture and other ill-treatment under SNR detention documented here all took place at the SNR compound near Bujumbura’s cathedral” (…)”In early June, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Burundi told Amnesty International they had documented nearly 50 cases of torture and other ill-treatment. On 7 July, the UN Secretary General’s report on the electoral observation mission in Burundi stated that “some 307 people have been arrested, including 14 minors. Most of those arrested have been subjected to torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment by security officers (mainly police and intelligence agents)” (…)”According to information received from lawyers, when individuals previously held by the SNR have alleged torture before court, the evidence obtained under such circumstances did not appear to have been declared invalid in spite of clear provisions in the Burundian Code of Criminal Procedure. To date, there is no investigation and nobody has been arrested for torture at the SNR” (…) “However, the Burundian Code of Criminal Procedure makes provision for a detainee to remain silent if his lawyer is not present and for a detainee to communicate freely with his lawyer.16 A leading Burundian human rights organization, the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained People (APRODH), is no longer granted access to the SNR’s compound. At least one detainee says that he signed a document under duress” (…)”A man held at the SNR was also told by other detainees that the Imbonerakure had given information to the police for their capture” (…)”several testimonies of torture and other ill-treatment at a place known as Chez Ndadaye in Bujumbura. According to a policeman and UN human rights monitors, Chez Ndadaye is an operational command centre for the police.36 It is known as Chez Ndadaye because the presidential palace that housed President Melchior Ndadaye, the country’s first democratically elected president and first Hutu president, once stood there” (…)”According to the first policeman and two victims, demonstrators were not kept overnight at Chez Ndadaye, but were beaten there before being transferred to the judicial police and/or police stations” (…)”The OHCHR carried out a planned visit to Chez Ndadaye on 12 June 2015, but did not observe any torture or beatings at the time” (…)”One policeman told Amnesty International some policemen are frustrated by the situation. He explained: “Several policemen are not happy about what takes place at Chez Ndadaye and have complained to their superiors. Most of the perpetrators are those who were previously in the bush (ex-FDD). They beat protestors. Maybe around 10 people came through Chez Ndadaye every day. Police used their batons and electric wires to beat them. They’d say ‘you who are against Nkurunziza, you are wasting your time, he’ll be president forever’,” (Amnesty, 2015).

Aftermath:

I don’t really want to comment more on the issues. Because the reports on reports are really telling its own tale, I will not add much on it. Then it’s a sad story of real men and woman who is scared and hurt for their position in society. That the UN, USAID, OHCHR and Amnesty reports from 2006-2015 is telling a vivid stories and painful facts. Too many victims of the government and police of Burundi, they all deserve a voice, they all deserve justice and a society where this wouldn’t happen. Instead the Police and Government of Burundi is going after their own people without prosecution and trial. Putting them in shackles, pushing them in cells and hurting them in places like Chez Ndadaye in Bujumbura and that is not the only house and police institution that is being used in a vile place. So no matter what people are being unjustified threaten and punished by the police and security forces in Burundi. There should be something the world could do to stop this systematic and unjust ways. Not just in writing and councils reviews of the United Nations, but in actual forum that can change the President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi and the regime of the country. That is the issue and it’s not easy especially with the ways that the president got “elected” into the third term. Pierre Nkurunziza will always be remembered in a unique way and essentially with the shunned sworn-in celebration in mid-August 2015. An also for the reports of torture that the police and security organizations are doing as well in his presidency as well, which isn’t a beautiful view. Peace.

Reference:

AFR 16/2298/2015 – ‘“JUST TELL ME WHAT TO CONFESS TO”, TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT BY BURUNDI’S POLICE AND INTELLIGENCE SERVICE SINCE APRIL 2015’ (24.08.2015) – Amnesty International

CAT/C/BDI/CO/2 – ‘Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Burundi’, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Committee on Torture (12.12.2014) – United Nations

Human Rights Monitor Series – ‘COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE 37TH SESSION BURUNDI, INITIAL REPORT’ (2006), International Service for Human Rights

‘BURUNDI UNDER REVIEW BY UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW: RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING JUSTICE MATTERS’, Commonwealth Human Rights Intiative

USAID – ‘BURUNDI POLICY REFORM FINAL REPORT October 2007 – September 2011 (12.09.2011) – This publication was produced for review by the United States Agency for International Development. It was prepared by Chemonics International.

USAID – ‘VICTIMS OF TORTURE FUND PORTFOLIO SYNOPSIS 2005–2006’, Victims of Torture Fund, U.S. Agency for International Development

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