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Teachers under the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) have Wednesday responded negatively to parliament’s efforts to block government’s closure of substandard schools.
UNATU today uncharacteristically sided with the ministry of education, saying that schools that operate in unacceptable conditions should not be allowed to open.
The teachers, while addressing reporters in Kampala today, said that unless the MPs have their own hidden motives, they have no business in supporting substandard schools.
In any case parliament should be advocating for good quality education; observed UNATU General Secretary James Tweheyo.
The ministry of education has since the start of the term closed hundreds of private schools found with no operating licenses and the minimum basic requirements.
Members of Parliament however, this week strongly condemned the move, saying that it affects learners with less school alternatives.
Tweheyo on the other hand says UNATU strongly supports the closure of illegal schools, especially considering that government warned them in time.
He added that as teachers, they expected the legislators who are people’s representatives to demand for quality education for all children whether government aided or private schools.
“All schools should meet the minimum basic requirements such as having qualified teachers and basic sanitation facilities,” he said.
According to UNATU’s Secretary for Education, Gender and Health, Harriet Namayengo, some schools in Rakai district were found with unqualified teachers, congested classes, no toilets, while in some, girls were sharing dormitories with boys.
“This move is for the good of everyone. We propose that the affected learners be enrolled in the nearest schools that meet the standards of a school,” she said.
The two months period that was given to the Parliamentary Committee investigating the infamous Shs 6bn handshake cash bonanza has expired, and the members are seeking extra time.
On 19th January 2017, Parliament resolved to investigate the manner in which 42 senior and junior government officials already on payroll awarded themselves hundreds of millions for their efforts during the tax battle between Uganda and the British oil giant, Heritage Oil and Gas Company.
The Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga who chaired the house, gave the Commissions, Statutory Authority and State Enterprises Committee (COSASE) two months to finalize on the probe and report back to the whole house.
According to the Rules of Procedures, committees have 45 days to handle a matter, write a report and get back to the whole house.
The peculiarity of the handshake that had posed a strong contention between the Legislature and the Judiciary, made Kadaga give the committee exception of 15 more days.
The committee chaired by the Bugweri County, Abdu Katuntu, started its work by grilling the officials from the Uganda Revenue Authority led by the Commissioner General Doris Akol.
URA collected the USD$ 696m from the oil companies and also championed the initiating, allocation and the final payment of Shs 6bn to the 42 beneficiaries.
The Committee has already met the officials from Bank of Uganda, Energy and Mineral Development ministry, Finance and Justice Ministries.
The probe period expired on Monday this week but the committee is yet to meet President Yoweri Museveni and the foreign lawyers in London.
There is also still another sets ofs pending meeting with the officials from ministries of Finance, Energy and Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
According to Katuntu, unpreparedness by the government officials in most cases is to blame for the delay and the consequent expiry of the period.
“These officials are at times not fully prepared when they appear before the committee even when the terms of references sent to them prior to the meeting are clear,” Katuntu told our reporter.
The committee has now asked for one more month to complete the work.
University Football League
UCU 1-1 KIU
The highly anticipated clash between Uganda Christian University and Kampala International University ended with no winner as the two sides settled for a stalemate.
In the game played on Wednesday at UCU main playground, the 2017 season opener ended in a one all draw as the 6th edition of the University Football League (UFL) got underway.
The visitors took the lead through Isaac Odeke in the first half but Barigye Muzeifa levelled matters for UCU to salvage a draw.
KIU started the better side making several attempts and the pressure paid off dividends in the 25th minute when Isaac Odeke tapped home Abdu Kiggundu’s cross to give the Kasanga based side.
This was the second time that UCU and KIU were meeting in the same group. The two teams met last year in Mukono and UCU won 2-0.
Jackson Nyiima’s charges returned recharged after recess and four minutes into the second half, Muzeifa scored the equaliser.
Despite several attempts from the hosts, KIU held on to walk away with a point.
Action continues on Friday with Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) hosting Uganda Martyrs University (UMU), Nkozi.
New entrants Bishop Stuart University will play at home to 2014 runners up Kyambogo University on Saturday while Makerere University will take on Busitema University on Sunday.
Kampala University are the defending champions after defeating Nkumba University 3-2 in the finals last year at Mandela National stadium.
A Chinese company doing expansion works along the Northern Bypass in Bwaise is on spot after a passenger who was riding on a boda-boda fell in a ditch and died yesterday afternoon.
Engineers and bosses of China Railway Seventh Group the scene during yesterday’s downpour after boda-boda rider and his passenger fell in a deep ditch the Company workers had dug besides the road, which was filled with water.
Although the motorcyclist survived, his passenger didn’t because the motorcycle registration number UDK 500M fell on him. After Good Samaritans rescuing the cyclist, cops from Kawempe police station were quickly called in by Chinese Seventh Group bosses to retrieve both the body of the yet to be identified passenger and the killer motorcycle.
Kawempe police boss Ronald Wotwali said that “The body had no identification documents but the deceased had a phone, which we shall use to track his next of kin.” However, the body was taken to Mulago hospital mortuary as investigations into the matter continue, although locals blamed the Chinese company for not setting up clearly visible warning sings.
A director a school in northern Uganda has been arrested over allegations of extorting millions of shillings from parents.
Roy Embradra Dradu, the Director of Creamland Secondary School, was arrested this afternoon after being accused of allegedly opening up an illegal school in Kacung parish, Agwata Sub County in Dokolo district which he would use to fleece parents.
Dokolo District Information Officer Suwed Musafiri says that the illegal school was closed last week for noncompliance with education guidelines and standards.
Musafiri says that “The school was operating in a building that only had three rooms, jointly used by all classes as classrooms. The school was also operating without a toilet with teachers and students sharing toilets from the neighboring community. They were using a makeshift kitchen made out of papyrus mats within the small compound.
Meanwhile the students were sleeping in a two roomed rented house which did not have door shutters. However, on the day of the closure Dradu evaded arrest and has since been in hiding until police led by Amisi Kayondo Lukaga, the Dokolo District Police Commander trailed and arrested him from Lira town. He was whisked to Dokolo Central Police station where he is being held for extortion.
Rwanda is increasingly facing global climate change consequences including, flooding that leads to disasters such as landslides, droughts that adversely affect agricultural and natural resources output.
The eastern province of Rwanda which is the biggest has been the most affected part of the country hence hindering the 30% target of forest cover by 2020.
Marking the international forests day at Kigali Serena Hotel, Rwanda’s Minister of Natural Resources, Dr. Vincent Biruta warned about hazardous climate change and environmental degradation calling upon everyone’s efforts in conserving the environment.
He said that private sector companies, entrepreneurs and all Rwandans should devise joint efforts for combating land degradation, deforestation and hazardous effects of climate change.
“There is possible income in investing in forests. It shouldn’t sound as helping the government, instead it should be an opportunity to make money,” he said.
Among the measures discussed in combating the environmental degradation include sensitization of the 83% of the total population that uses firewood and increasing the usage of gas in cooking.
Afforestation was also hinted on for mainly the Eastern Province that has been seriously affected by environmental degradation.
Bad agricultural practices and high population pressure have also been named key drivers of environmental degradation
Rwanda targets to achieve 30%of forest cover by 2020, however 83%of the population still uses firewood in cooking.
At least 6 people died and several others got injured in Mogadishu, Somalia in a car bomb blast targeting a security checkpoint near the Presidential Palace yesterday morning.
According to Security officials at the scene, the checkpoint 500 metres from the palace was rammed by a car bomb driven by a suicide attacker, causing the explosion outside a theatre.
“At least six people were killed including security personnel and 10 others wounded,” said Abdifatah Omar Halane, spokesman for the Mogadishu administration.
Last week, at least five people were killed and 12 others injured in two separate car bombings in Mogadishu. Despite being ravaged by insecurity, Somalia is also battling severe famine, which has claimed the lives of many.
The UPDF Land forces commander Maj. Gen Peter Elwelu has made his first visit to UPDF troops in Somalia under AMISOM.
Maj. Gen. Elweru was received by the Ugandan contingent commander Brig. Kayanja Muhanga at Mogadishu International Airport. He later inspected a guard of honor at the Ugandan contingent headquarters at the Harane basecamp.
He was given a situation brief by the contingent commander, Brig. Gen Kayanja Muhanga at Sector 1 headquarters before addressing the troops.
In his address, Gen. Elwelu called on the troops to maintain a good image of Uganda and keep discipline. He said that the soldiers that those who wish to retire should apply and their applications will be considered as opposed to desertion, now that the retirement package has improved.
Also during his visit, Elwelu met the president of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E Mahamed Abdullahi Farmaajo at Villa Somalia in Mogadishu city.
According to Maj Robert Kamara, the Spokesman Ugandan Contingent in Somalia, Elweru is in Somalia to check on the operational tempo, boost the morale of the troops and also update the troops on the situation in Uganda.
Hardly three months into the music industry, Irene Ntale’s nemesis Veronica Luggya, popularly known as Vinka is taking the music scene by storm.
Our Snoops intimate that the Swangz Avenue singer early this week flew to South Africa for a video shoot of one of her latest songs.
Much as the title for the song hasn’t been revealed yet, Snoops at Swangz intimate that she will be doing visuals of her latest track ‘I’m in the mood’, which is already doing rounds on airwaves.
This comes a few days after Vinka doing several gigs around schools in Uganda, which she put on hold until she returns.
On returning, Vinka is expected to resume her countrywide tour as she roots for support ahead of the 2017 Buzz Teenz Awards (BTA). We are told that she is also working on some music projects with dancehall star Vampino.
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