By John V Sserwaniko
President Museveni is tired and done with the so-called investors and more so those from the Jamahiriya State of Libya. Reliable sources have revealed that Museveni is bitter that all the once vibrant parastatals that were liberalized by bringing Libyans on board are struggling if not dead already. Examples include UTL and National Housing Company.
We have been informed by State House sources that Museveni a few days ago gave his trusted Investment Minister Evelyn Anite express orders to sort out all government parastatals that were semi-privatized including Kilembe mines. Knowledgeable sources say, Anite has just three months to report back to Museveni with a comprehensive report advising on how the overhaul, aimed at increasing job creation while making these parastatals attractive to more serious investors, should be carried out.
“The big man is clearly sick and tired of Libyans because they are too fractured and are full of confusion. For the case of National Housing, you have two factions one from Malta and another from Tripoli both claiming to be the rightful representative of the Libyan interests. Then you have the guys at the Embassy in Kampala who say its neither Tripoli nor Malta. The embassy position is that the two groups are fake and should be ignored,” a source explained sharing the President’s frustration in Libyans he originally thought were credible investors.
To make matters worse, the Libyans who officially own 49% shares in National Housing, have never injected in any capital for all these years yet they have been bringing their people insisting NH employs them in top management positions. We are reliably informed that because of the rival Libyan factions, the national housing board meetings have lately been hard to conduct. The Libyans, whose attendance must be secured to have Coram in such meetings, rarely show up for meetings and when they do, they just quarrel calling each other fake.
“This has paralyzed work at National Housing as much of the Board business has been paralyzed,” explained a source familiar with Museveni’s frustrations. All these shortcomings of the minority shareholder have only complicated an already hard economic situation at National Housing. The agency already is stuck with three major housing projects whereby hundreds of houses were constructed and completed but they aren’t being bought.
They have an estate in Mbarara, Naalya and Namungoona where houses are on offer but none of them is being bought because of the general collapse in the property market. “Over Shs100bn was invested in building these houses since 2013 but as we talk now, the houses are gathering dust. Nobody is buying. The funders who lent National Housing the money are stranded and don’t know how to recover their money. They include Post Bank, Afrique Shelter, UDB, Stanbic Bank and others,” said a source further elaborating why Museveni is surprised all projects in which the ill-fated Libyans were involved are failing.
AG FRUSTRATES KASAIJJA
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija whose Ministry holds the 51% shareholding on behalf of government, is stuck and doesn’t know how to proceed. “He must help Anite carry out the President’s directive by kicking out the Libyans but he must be legally careful not to land into more problems. He recently wrote to Attorney General seeking guidance but the guys at AG Chambers have been silent up to now,” explained a source.
In his recent letter to AG William Byaruhanga, Kasaija reveals that LAICO is the company that holds 49% shares on behalf of Libyans. He also discloses that LAICO’s 49% was got through debt-swapping after the Libyan government under Gadhafi demanded that Uganda pays up for the military assistance Libyans extended to us many years ago. What is even more confusing is that despite being with 49% shares, Libyans have more members (4) on the National Housing board of 6 members.
Kasaija says even himself as Finance Minister does know who of the contending Libyan factions to deal with. He adds: “The NHCCL Board is doubtful…as to who the genuine shareholder is and who the genuine nominee on the Board is. This state of affairs if allowed to continue will stifle the business of NHCCL. In March 2016, LAICO had two factions each claiming it was the genuine LAICO manifesting clearly that there was disagreement within LAICO structure. One faction claiming to be operating in Tripoli attempted to replace 2 of its three Board members on the LAICO Board.
This wasn’t successful because another faction…stated that the true and genuine LAICO which they represented actually has its headquarters in MALTA.” He says there are three filthy Libyans involved in this fight namely Bashir Elmadani, who represents the Tripoli faction and Muataz Aloshebi and Tariq Jarana who purport to represent the Malta faction.
“Following this controversy regarding the shareholding by LAICO, it is now not known who the true shareholder is and consequently who the true representative on the NHCCL board is by LAICO,” Kasaija informs the Attorney General in his two page letter.
He says the NHCCL Board chairperson Amb Agnes Kalibbala has been writing to him seeking guidance to “address the impasse created by the Libyans because the company is at a standstill and cannot call Board meetings to legally run the business of the Company.”
Kasaija then makes proposals on what he thinks should be done to get out of the current situation. He proposes that the GoU allows the other three NHCCL Board members to carry on with Board meetings which can be ratified later when LAICO, the minority shareholder, has reconciled its factions.
He seeks the AG’s legal guidance so that he (Kasaija) can create an adhoc Committee of the Board with full mandate to run board business. Kasaija says there is precedence because a similar committee was named and run the show at NHCCL in 2012 when UN Sanctions were imposed and crippled all business in which Libyans had an interest.
“The purpose of this letter is therefore to request for a legal opinion on how this controversy existing within the LAICO structure, which holds the 49% shares, should be handled without affecting the Uganda Government interest in the NHCCL and mindful of the fact that NHCCL should continue operating as a business within its national mandate meant to benefit the citizens of Uganda,” Kasaija concludes in his August 4th 2016 letter.
In another letter, Kasaija asks to be allowed to transform the three NHCC board members into full Board so that they approve urgent investment proposals from the management which need Board authorization as a matter of urgency. He argues that being the majority shareholder (51%); the GoU has power to create such a governing Board.
He says this is important to prevent NCHHL business from stalling. He says the feuding LAICO factions have globally been circulating negative dossiers which can potentially shake investor confidence in Uganda as a good investment destination. He says such dossiers have “negatively affected the reputation and business of National Housing.”
He has since directed Kalibbala to constitute her other three board members into the Board Committee “to continue taking decisions that will effectively run the business of NHCCL, which will be rarified after the true and genuine LAICO is established with duly appointed LAICO board members and after the two disputing LAICO factions have reconciled.” He says this is the best option as the identity of the true shareholder between the two LAICO factions is being established.
Kasaija also reports to the AG that the NHCCL General Meeting can’t be convened because of the two feuding Libyan factions. He concludes in another letter to NHCCL top management that: “Finally I request that the Chairperson and the CEO should keep updating me regularly as majority shareholder of the progress of the business of the company.”
The NHCCL leadership had days earlier written to Kasaija calling for his urgent intervention to remedy the situation after the two Libyan faction members came to a Board meeting and abused each other for a whole day. The NHCCL management/board letter informs Kasaija that a shareholder agreement signed on 30th September 2005 brought it in LAICO after getting the powers of attorney from Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO).
The shareholder agreement stipulates that to have a board meeting, you need a Coram of at least 4 board members present which is not possible anymore since the Libyans are still divided between Malta and Tripoli factions. In a three page letter, NHCCL Board chairperson Agnes Kalibbala shares her confusion with Matia Kasaija clearly telling him she can’t tell who the genuine LAICO/minority shareholder representative is on the NHCCL Board.
She says both Malta and Tripoli factions have been writing to her contradictory letters denouncing each other and that she is now confused on who to deal with. That in July last year, LAICO Malta (through their agent Apex Consultancy) wrote a letter vowing never to attend NHCCL Board meetings until Kampala denounced the Tripoli factions.
We have established from the Kasaija-Kalibbala letters that there is urgent business which has stalled because management can’t commit without Board approval. These pending investment deals include a Chinese company called ZIEC which wants to have a joint venture with NHCCL to build 500 apartments on NHCCL’s 80 acres in Lubowa and another with Shelter Afrique in Seeta-Bukerere where 3,600 low income houses are supposed to be constructed on NHCCL’s 320 acres.
NHCCL proposes that Kasaija intervenes as majority shareholder to have these projects approved pending ratification when LAICO (the minority shareholder) puts his house in order. In her letter, the NHCCL Chairperson Agnes Kalibbala proposes that government considers kicking out floppy Libyans and have them replaced by either NSSF or Shelter Afrique (a Pan-African bank).
Kalibbala begs Kasaija for permission to commence a process to have either of these two brought on board to buy the 49% shareholding which is currently held by confused Libyans. She says these two have for long been asking to come on board as new investors to inject money in the struggling NHCCL.
Makerere University’s Vice Chancellor Search Committee this afternoon zeroed on Prof Barnabas Nawangwe as the university’s new Vice Chancellor.
The Vice Chancellor Search Committee 2017 chaired by Hon. Irene Ovonji-Odida presented the Search Committee Report to Makerere University Senate today, Wednesday 28, June 2017.
Nawangwe, who has been serving as the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and administration, beat competition from two contenders Prof Venansious Baryamureeba and Prof Edward Kirumira.
Prof Kirumira who is at the helm of the School of Humanities came in second position, while Baryamureeba a former VC at the university trailed.
In the report, the search committee released today, the members deduced that the race attracted “suitable candidates, who the university senate should find suitable for the job.”
Makerere Public Relations Officer, Ritah Namisango said the University Senate received and considered the Report.
“Overall the search process attracted competent applicants from whom the Senate should identify suitable candidates for the V.C position. These candidates in their order of performance are: i) Prof. B. Nawangwe, ii) Prof. E.K. Kirumira, iii) Prof.V. Baryamureeba,” reads the report.
Namisango said the “University Senate has thus forwarded the aforementioned candidates to the University Council (the supreme governing body of the University) for appropriate action.”
She further stated that the University Council meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday 29 June 2017 starting at 8:30am.
“The University Council is expected to send two (2) names to the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma who will eventually appoint the next Vice Chancellor of Makerere University,” said Namisango.
Before being elected The Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) for Finance and Administration, Nawangwe previously served As the Acting Principal, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT), Makerere University.
Prior to that, he was the Dean of Faculty of Technology (2002-2009) and Head of the Department of Architecture from its inception in 1989 to 2002.
By John V Sserwaniko
West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth-Oboth’s 36 year old wife Constance Naome Awino isn’t well. And yet the senior legislator is sharply disagreed with his in-laws on what should be done to get her out of trouble.
Disagreements also abound as to what may have caused her bad health condition. He believes it’s something that has historically been running in her family yet in-laws attribute it to mistreatment by the MP. In a phone interview with this newspaper, Oboth-Oboth maintained that the mother of his 5 children suffers occasional “nervous breakdown” but his brother-in-laws, led by Andrew Ongango, vehemently dismissed that claim.
Ongango maintains that his sister is very okay but the MP keeps advancing the narrative of mental illness in order to justify the divorce act he has been plotting on her since 2013.
“The truth is my wife is not okay. She has had episodes of nervous breakdown and sometimes suffers demonic-like attacks. Nervous breakdown history runs through the family but her relatives don’t want to accept that. I’m insisting it’s clinical and we take her to the hospital but they won’t accept that. They want to take her to churches which I have objected to because I don’t trust some of those churches. Why are they blackmailing me? I’m a decent man and I have been a good husband and father. Even as we speak now I’m at Budo visiting our first born child. My view remains my wife has a problem that can be clinically handled. I have told them I’m selective. I don’t buy every church. I don’t’ trust their doctrine. I have been misunderstood on that because unlike them, I have strong knowledge of the word. It’s okay if they have resorted to blackmail taking me to newspapers. God will punish them. History will judge them harshly,” said Oboth who was also surprised to learn his in laws, led by Andrew Ongango, had taken the matter to his boss Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.The Oboth-Oboth couple with their children
Ongango dismissed Oboth’s explanations and maintained that the state of near mental breakdown their sister is experiencing has resulted from the psychological torture occasioned by Oboth-Oboth. “He doesn’t buy food at home and my sister suffers travelling in taxis everyday from Mukono to ICT Ministry where she works. He is always abusing her saying your parents are poor people. These are the things which have made my sister to become mentally broken,” Ongango explained to this writer.
He says in 2013, his sister suffered similar mental breakdown but immediately recovered when their relative Odoi Tanga intervened and prevailed on Oboth-Oboth to stop mistreating her. “Tanga was so furious he even reported the matter to the President as justification for his support for Phoebe Otala who stood against Oboth-Oboth. Now that they reconciled with Tanga to fight Itesos in Tororo County, Oboth feels there is no danger and this is why he has resumed hostilities against my sister which has renewed her mental distress,” Ongango explained.
He accused Oboth-Oboth for always being away on foreign trips exposing his sister to loneliness. “And when he isn’t away he doesn’t buy food regardless of whether the children are there or not. You can imagine by the time an MP’s wife begins calling you begging to send her even 5k! It simply shows how he has been mistreating her.
He has cars but can never give her a lift to town. She is always suffering in taxis early morning and late evening yet you have a husband who keeps calling your old man in the village calling him poor and vowing to divorce his daughter,” Ongango said of Oboth’s wife Constance Naome who works as a personnel officer in the ICT Ministry.
Oboth denied being so mean saying: “At all times when you come to my house in Mukono you will find no less than 100kgs of rice. Just make an impromptu visit and see for yourself. But that’s fine if that is what they have decided to allege against me despite all the good things I have done for them.”
The in-laws also accused Oboth-Oboth of confining their daughter Constance to stay in bushy neighborhood of Chungu village in Mukono where the nearest neighbor is some kms away. “They reside in boys’ quarters and the place doesn’t look like an MP’s home,” said a disgruntled relative adding that before moving in the three roomed boys’ quarters, the couple was staying at Ofwono Opondo’s home in Mukono.Jacob Oboth-Oboth (M) in a group photo with Parliamentary work colleagues including Rebecca Kadaga whom the in-laws have petitioned
“They spent the whole of Oboth’s first term as an MP staying at Opondo’s home until Opondo’s brother [John Ofwono of BoU/Shell Uganda] sold his plot to Oboth-Oboth but up to now he has failed to construct a reasonable house there. We wonder where he puts his money,” Ongango lamented in an interview with Red Pepper.
In the village, at the time Oboth married Constance in 1985, he was residing in his brother’s grass-thatched house in the village. Recently when the family forcefully removed Constance from SAAS Clinic, claiming she was about to be administered with drugs that would induce her into mental illness to justify her admission in Butabika, Oboth furiously rung his father-in-law YY Ongango and told him off for being a very poverty-stricken old man.
The old man gathered his guts and reminded Oboth-Oboth how he was also very poor until he became MP. The old man wondered why he spent many years renting muzigo in Bweyogerere if indeed he wasn’t poor. Even when the home is in a remote forested Mukono area, no mosquito nets have been bought exposing the wife and children to rampaging mosquitoes. “He doesn’t allow my sister to pray or go to Church. She tried to go to Watoto and he stopped her saying those are cult churches and when he sends us messages I’m going to divorce your sister, we tell him go ahead but he is stuck because he doesn’t yet have as good ground,” Andrew Ongango said.
He added that a few weeks ago, Oboth-Oboth forced Constance to be admitted at SAAS Clinic where doctors were smuggled in and tried to refer her case to Butabika. “We refused and my brother Zedekiah Jaramogi, who is vying for the Tororo LC5 Seat, went and removed her from SAAS clinic. When that happened, Oboth-Oboth refused to pay the medical bills [Shs500, 000] and switched off his phone. We had to fundraise to get her out and we immediately sent her to the village.
Oboth-Oboth became so furious and called my father threatening to arrest him if he doesn’t surrender the girl back,” Andrew Ongango said. Deputy IGP Okoth Ochora, who is also related to Constance through marriage, had to intervene asking police men not to dare detain the old man. “It would have been ideal for him [Okoth] to talk to Oboth-Oboth but the man is too arrogant. Whoever calls him risks being dismissed as a pauper. He will say don’t bring your poverty to me,” Ongango says.
He says they have resorted to petitioning Kadaga because of the immense respect Oboth-Oboth has for her. “We have no problem divorcing our sister if that will bring her peace. We dare Oboth-Oboth to write that divorce letter he has been threatening us with.” When we rang him and got the impression the story was breaking anytime, Oboth-Oboth rang the Prime Minister of the Adhola Cultural Institution begging him to prevail on Jaramogi whom he accused of trying to politically destroy him in order to secure the Itesos votes (in Tororo County) in the upcoming LC5 by-elections.
The PM yesterday met Constance’s family and begged them to save Oboth-Oboth’s political life but rejected pleas to call a news conference to defend Oboth-Oboth the moment the Red Pepper story comes out. Meanwhile, Oboth-Oboth has intensified his revengeful activities by expelling Constance’s relatives (aunties) who have been residing at the couple’s home in Mukono and in the village in Tororo.
“To us this amounts to constructively divorcing our sister and we dare him to put it in writing and we see what to do next for him,” Ongango told us via telephone last night.
By Venenscias Kiiza
Today, Makerere university senate, the top academic organ of the institution will pick three candidates vying for the Vice Chancellors’ job.
The names of the trio will then be sent to the University Council. However, the fact that, the race has only attracted three candidates, the senators will be left with no choice, but to send all of them to council for the next round as required by law.
Section 31 (3) of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act stipulates that a search committee composed of two members from the University Council and three members from the University Senate shall identify suitable candidates for the post of Vice Chancellor and forward them to the Senate to nominate three candidates for recommendation to the University Council.
However, a quick analysis at the candidates’ chances to go through senate puts current deputy vice chancellor in charge of finance and administration, Prof.Barnabus Nawangwe in the lead.
Nawangwe appeared before the same senate in the previous race and emerged best with 52 votes. This is the same senate he is facing today, and they have got a lot of confidence in him. The second is Prof. Edward K. Kirumira who in the previous race tied on 35 votes with Prof Baryamureeba in the first round and when they went for the second round of voting, Kirumira floored Bryamureeba, making it to the council narrowly.
The third is Prof. Venansias Baryamureeba, the unlucky one of the three. In the previous race, he was dropped at this stage after scoring only 31 votes, and he still remains unpopular among the senators.
Actually there are rumors that senators are likely to recommend only Kirumira
and Nawangwe to council, leaving out Baryamureeba.
BARYA CAMP WARNED
Meanwhile, the chairman Makerere university appointments board, Bruce Kabaasa has strongly warned candidate Baryamureeba and his camp to stop with immediate effect from aligning his name with his camp.
Kabaaasa who is also a member of the current search committee says, that he is totally disappointed in Barya group who allege that he is on their side yet that’s not the case.
“All I want is a competent person who will take Makerere forward. I’m on the search committee there is no way I can even start taking sides. Barya camp should stand warned, I won’t tolerate that nonsense cheap politics,” Kabaasa told this reporter.
We have reliably learned that Baryamureba whose popularity among Makerere community is low, is now spending sleepless nights, with people who are close to the president to lobby for him from the president, to have him appointed.
However, some staff have since vowed never to work with someone who is not popular among them.
“To succeed at Makerere you must work with staff, students, and government. At least I liked the presentations from the two; Prof. Nawangwe and Kirumira, but not presentations on how you have quickly become a professor. We want performers not mediocres,” Dr. Tanga Odoi was recently quoted in reference to candidates after their presentations.
Section 31 (4) of the Act stipulates that the Vice-Chancellor shall be appointed on terms and conditions determined by the University Council for five years and shall be eligible for reappointment for one more term.
WATCH THIS SPACE!
By Venenscias Kiiza
Makerere university under the guidance of the newly created two units-Makerere University Endowment Fund (MakEF) led by Dr.Martin Aliker and Mak Holdings company under chairmanship of Tycoon Charles Mbiire are in the final stages of kick starting the five major projects ,that will boost the financial muscle of the ,financially troubled 95-year old institution.
According to a leaked investment report seen by this website ,that was presented to the university’s finance ,Planning, Investment and Administrative Committee led by Ruhinda North MP Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, through the public Private Partnership, the five key projects are estimated at USD390.5m (about 1.3trillion).
The insight into the proposed projects was revealed last week by the current deputy Vice chancellor, Finance and Administration, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe during his public presentation, in a bid for vice chancellorship position.
He hopes that, when he takes the vice chancellor job, these will be his mega projects to embark on in a bid to transform Mkaerere into a first world university and financially stable. He has since explained that the quality of staff and students at Makerere University remains top notch and that with ample resources, Makerere University can be a pivotal point of transforming Uganda’s economy.Then prime minister Amama Mbabazi being shown the students centre artistic impression
In this briefing, we bring the planned projects and how the university hopes to finance them.
Conference Centre and guest house accommodation; According to the leaked blueprint, this project envisages the development of a 2000 seater convention Centre, together with associated hotel accommodation facilities of 150 keys at a projected cost of about USD 35m on the site which Makerere guest house currently stands measuring at 7acres.
The planned facilities are to be availed to both the public and university community. University officials believe that, these facilities will reduce the university expenditure on conferences, seminars, symposiums, external examiners accommodation, summer school students and university guests among others.
“This will create additional capacity for Makerere University and as well yield revenue
which can in turn apply in relation to its business entities, objectives and other projects,” Nawangwe explained.
Five Star Luxury Hotel, Commercial Centre and Upmarket Apartments in Kololo; The university has also rolled out a plan to set up a Five Star Luxury Hotel, Commercial Centre and Upmarket Apartments in
Kololo, at her 13 acres land, projected to cost over USD194m.
This will involve the large commercial property development, consisting of a 350 hotel at USD70m, commercial centre /business park at USD105m and 100 three bedroom upmarket apartments at about USD19m on the site.
“This will enable Makerere realize value from underutilized land and thereby improve its financial position through the commercialization and commercial developments on the land,” the report suggests.
Luxury Hotel and Upmarket Apartments in Makindye; The third project, also, involves setting up a Luxury Hotel and Upmarket Apartments in Makindye, at the university’s 14acres land, estimated at USD26m.
This project envisages the undertaking of a middle income gated community comprised of three, two and one bedroom apartments with amenities such as nursery school, club house, commercial Centre, jogging track, sports centre among others.
Four First Class Hostels on campus; When a Makerere delegation was visiting the speaker’s office last month, requesting her to preside over the recently concluded Makrun, she challenged them to also prioritize construction of more halls of residences especially for the female students on campus, to minimize risks they face as they leave lecture rooms in the night to go to their off-campus residences.
Little did she know that, this was one of the mega projects the university has lined to undertake. Officials, having realized that the existing student accommodation facilities of the university are unable to accommodate a large proportion of the existing population, they have embarked on setting up new student accommodation facilities and as well refurbishment of existing halls of residence.The artistic impression of projected apartments in Kololo
The project envisages providing new 16000 beds at four different locations in the main campus with each measuring at least 4acres and taking 4000 beds. The total project plan stands at USD116m on 16 acres. This accordingly aims at providing world class student accommodation facilities and generate money for the university through private sector investment.
Students’ Centre; recently the university organized a run to fundraise for this project where shs 195m was collected. By next year works will be starting and this looks out to be a state-of-the-art students’
centre. This centre is envisioned to be a one-stop point for all students’ activities, similar to other centres in leading universities the world over.
The estimated cost is 15 billion Uganda Shillings. The project looks at enhancing facilities that are presently offered to students on campus. This will include a one stop information point for students, office space for the dean of students, an international office for foreign and exchange students, guild offices, convocation and associations offices, students lounge, post boxes for students, meeting rooms, state of the art auditorium and a performing theatre, commercial space for restaurants, banks and student support services.
Others include shopping areas, laundry services, food courts and cafeterias, bookshops, day care Centre, internet kiosks, media and recreation rooms(TVs, sports, music entertainment, cinemas),students
sports administration and games room and as well student job search facility. With all these projects in the pipeline, the report points out to worries over land, and therefore the university has since been
tasked to approve the creation of land titles for the various proposed projects on campus.
Accordingly this will give confidence to potential private partners and as well facilitation of fundraising and reaching a financial close.
As Uganda prepares to welcome Agency Banking, — an effective branchless form of banking, — Bank of Uganda has revealed that regulations drafted recently to guide the sector are almost ready to come into force.
Agency banking (also known as agent banking) is a form of banking that enables licensed financial institutions to extend services to customers through third parties, usually retail outlets and other businesses.
It allows banks to use fellow banks, shops, kiosks and field agents to open accounts, receive deposits, effect withdrawals and carry out other transactions with a purpose of deepening financial inclusion.
The model together with other new forms, i.e Islamic Banking and Bank Assurance are provided for under The Financial Institutions (Amendment) Act as emended in 2016.
Bank of Uganda’s Executive Director Supervision Justine Bagyenda revealed yesterday that the Regulations for Agency Banking are now ready to be gazetted.
These were drafted last year by the central bank, in consultation with the Uganda Bankers’ Association (UBA) and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
Bagyenda made the revelation while representing BoU’s Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile at the Agent Banking Conference organized by Stanbic Bank Uganda on Tuesday at Kampala Serena Hotel.
According to Mrs Bagyenda, the provisions of the Agent Banking regulations specify the obligations of the financial institutions in selection, training, management and supervision of agents.
Under the regulations, financial institution shall enter into an agreement with the agent it wishes to appoint and obtain Bank of Uganda’s approval before the appointment.
The agent must have been operating a business for at least a year and should have held a bank account for the last consecutive six months.
The particular financial services to be offered by each agent must be specified in the agreement because these will vary according to the sophistication and capacities of the agent. For instance an established supermarket outlet in a town could offer more services than a small shop in a village trading centre.
The Agent Banking regulations also provide for prohibitions such as; agents cannot conduct foreign exchange transactions, cannot carry out cheque transactions and cannot charge fees.
Financial institutions are also not allowed to enter into exclusivity agreements with agents meaning that an agent can serve more than one financial institution.
Financial institutions are supposed to put in place robust Information Technology and Communication systems for agent banking because the service will mainly take the form of digital financial services. Transactions are expected to be real time.
Banks are also obliged to report periodically to the Bank of Uganda on agent business.
Agent Banking has been in operation in a number of countries such as Kenya, Brazil and Mexico, where it has been greatly praised.
Mrs Bagyenda told the conference that the Central Bank expects Agent Banking to be a catalyst for financial inclusion and the deepening of the financial sector.
“The unbanked will be brought into the banking system, thus increasing the outreach of financial services, particularly in the rural areas by addressing the major barriers to banking including; access, affordability, identification, etc,” she said.
“By being closer to where the people reside, the problem of distance to mainly urban centers where currently bank branches are located is solved. Banks will also not need to set up expensive branches. This will reduce the cost of delivering banking services, and it will result in reduced cost of banking to customers.”
Bagyenda also noted that the recent introduction of National Identity Cards will go a long way in solving the identification problem, which is a major consideration given the need to comply with Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing Legal and Regulatory Framework.
Stanbic Bank which organized the conference is leading the way in the introduction of Agency Banking in Uganda.
Recently, the bank revealed that they had identified about 1000 agents to deal with as soon as the proposed new agency banking is legalized.
The bank’s CEO Patrick Mweheire expressed confidence that the new banking model will “revolutionalise the financial sector”.
“To Stanbic and the entire financial sector, agency banking will cut the cost of doing business which will improve performance and pave way for gains in terms of new jobs and other benefits,” he said.
He said that 25% of Stanbic’s branches make loses which negatively impacts on its financial performance and compromises their ability to design and implement new products and tailored services for better customer services.
“It is cheaper for us to reach everyone through agents instead of opening a branch everywhere that costs a minimum of Shs2 billion,” he said.
Confederation of African Football (CAF) referees committee has appointed Ugandan referees to handle and officiate games in the forth coming engagements.
The first bunch of 4 referees will officiate in the Total CAF Confederation Cup fixture between Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien and Algeria’s MC Algers.
This will include centre referee, Dennis Batte, assistants Mark Ssonko and Okello Lee while Brian Miiro Nsubuga will be the fourth official.
The game is slated for 7th July 2017 and CS Sfaxien will host MC Algers at stade taieb Mhri in Tunis in the final group game.
MC Algers won the first leg 2-1 in Algeria last month and with the group still wide open, CS Sfaxien will be seeking for revenge.
CS Sfaxien lead group B on 8 points, one above MC Algers while Swaziland’s Mbabane Swallows come 3rd on 4 points and Platinum Stars from South Africa sit bottom of the table.
In a similar development, the quartet of female referees Anna Akoyi (centre referee), Dorcus Atuhaire(1st assistant), Jane Mutoni (2nd assistant) and Habiba Naigaga (4th official) will officiate the first leg of the U20 African Women cup qualifier between Kenya and Botswana on 6th August in Nairobi, Kenya.
Kenya is the first African country to start using a new generic Aids drug that can improve and prolong the lives of people who suffer severe side effects and resistance to other treatments, the Reuters news agency reports.
Dolutegravir (DTG), which was first approved in the US in 2013, is being given to 20,000 patients in Kenya before being rolled out in Nigeria and Uganda later this year with the backing of global health initiative Unitaid.
Kenyan patient Doughtiest Ogutu, who started taking the drug earlier this year because of resistance to other treatments, says her appetite is back:
I had constant nightmares and no appetite. My appetite has come back… My body is working well with it.”
Ms Ogutu, who has been living with HIV for 15 years, said her viral load – the amount of HIV in her blood – has fallen tenfold from 450,000 to 40,000 since she started on DTG.
Unitaid is working to bring the drug to market quickly and to reduce manufacturing costs by allowing generic companies to access patents for a small royalty and produce them cheaply for the developing world.
About 1.5 million Kenyans are HIV positive, with more than two-thirds on treatment according to the National AIDS and STI Control Program.
The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) has confirmed the dates and venue for the forthcoming encounter against South Sudan.
Uganda Cranes take on South Sudan in the preliminary round of the 2018 Championship of African Nations (CHAN), a tournament played by only locally based players.
In a press briefing held at the Fufa house, Mengo on Wednesday, Ahmed Hussein, the Fufa communications manager confirmed the dates for both the home and away fixtures.
“South Sudan will host the first leg on Friday 14th July in Juba while the return leg shall be played on Saturday 22nd July here in Kampala,” said Ahmed Hussein.
The first leg in South Sudan will be played at Juba international stadium at 4:30 pm (EAT).
In a similar development, Fufa also confirmed that the return fixture will be played at Phillip Omondi stadium on Saturday 22nd July.
The winner on aggregate between Uganda and South Sudan will take on either Rwanda or Tanzania on the next round to determine the team that will represent the Cecafa region.
Besides the maiden tournament in 2009, Uganda has gone on to play in all the other CHAN tournaments including 2011 in Sudan, 2014 in South Africa and 2016 in Rwanda
Neighbors Kenya will host the biannual championship in January next year. DR Congo are the defending champions.
By Emmanuel Sekago
Uganda Officials led by Dennis Batte will be heading to Tunisia to officiate a CAF Confederation Match between Club Sfaxien hosting Mouloudia Club D Alger on 8th July 2017 at Taieb Mhiri Stadium.
He will be refereeing and assisted by his fellow countrymen Mark Ssonko and Lee Okello as first and second assistants respectively.
Federation of Uganda Football association (FUFA) Referees appointments Committee Chairman Ronnie Kalema talking to pepper sport said the trio is well informed about the rules of the game and their application of those rules has earned them recognition.
“They are knowledgeable in the game and they present themselves very well on the pitch. Both CAF and FIFA have constantly praised our standard of refereeing and how we have helped the continent raise the standard of officiating,” Kalema said.
“As a country, we should be proud our referees have done well and we need to credit them for that,” Kalema added.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean officials Norman Matemera center referee, assisted by Salani Ncube and Brighton Nyika first and second respectively will be in charge of the CAF Confederation match as KCCA face off with Moroccan FUS Rabat.
The body that campaigns against drug abuse in Kenya has proposed that all bars should be closed one week ahead of the August election.
Victor Okioma, the CEO of National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse, is quoted by local TV station Citizen TV saying that the move would ensure people don’t vote under the influence of alcohol.
The announcement comes just after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced local beer company EABL will be making a huge investment in the western city of Kisumu.
The chief magistrate of the Anti Corruption Court Agnes Alum Wednesday morning committed former junior labor minister Herbert Kabafunzaki, his Political Assistant Brian Mugabo and Bruce Lubowa to High court for trial in the matter where they are accused of soliciting a Shs. 5 million bribe from Muhammad Ahamad of Aya Group of Companies to clear his name on abuse allegations by one of his clients.
The trio before committal, were read the summary of evidence which the prosecution intends to use against them.
The magistrate further informed them that the hearing date for their case would be fixed by the Deputy Registrar of the High court.
Among the exhibits which the prosecution intends to rely on in this matter, is footage which was retrieved from Serena Hotel CCTV cameras, the instrument of appointment for Hon Herbert Kabafunzaki into the ministerial office, Brain Mugabo’s instrument of appointment as a political assistant to Kabafunzaki, the Search Certificate that was made after recovering 5 million shillings exhibit at Serena, the suspects’ mobile phones together with their sim cards.
The prosecution will also rely on subscriber details of the sim cards which were provided after a court order, 60 Photographs taken by the SOCO (Scene of Crime Officers) at Serena Hotel, Police form 17 of the Handwriting expert, charge and caution statements of the accused persons,5 million shillings in denomination of 50,000 notes and an Orient bank Khaki envelope which contained the 5 million shillings.
The magistrate ordered the prosecution led by Barbra Kauma to serve the defense with the summary of evidence within week to be prepared for the mentioning of the case before Anti corruption court Deputy Registrar on 13th July
All accused persons bail have been extended.
The Shs 206bn contract for the upgrading of the Busia – Majanji Road (104km) from gravel to paved (Bituminous) Standard was cancelled after the contractor fell short of mobilising equipment and accomplishing work within the set timelines, officials said Wednesday.
Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) boss Allen Kagina on June 12 terminated the contract of China Railway 18th Bureau (Group) Co., Ltd. (China) which was working on the road.
The project was being undertaken under the National Roads Development and Maintenance Programme (NRDMP) with funding from the Government of Uganda.
The works contract was signed on 13 June 2014 and commencement was on 15 September 2014.
Kagina told locals that the Contractor’s performance was “unsatisfactory” and resulted in issuance of 5 Notices to correct.
As of 31 May 2017 the Contractor’s physical progress was 13.64 percent against a planned target of 90 percent.
Following the failure to comply with the Notice to Correct a 14 day Notice to Terminate the Contract was issued on 26 May 2017 and the Contract terminated on 12 June 2017 in accordance with Clause 15.2(a) of the General Conditions of Contract.
The development has exposed the road contractors’ inability to execute assignments worth billions of shillings.
At the time of cancelling the project, UNRA had disbursed Shs 49bn to the construction firm.
ChimpReports understands the Contractor failed to mobilize equipment in accordance with the resourced work program and as of 30 May 2017, the Contractor’s Plant mobilization was at 76.12 percent instead of 100 percent while the key equipment required for chemical stabilization of the sub-base had not yet been mobilized.
Officials told us the Contractor did not provide Equipment for the Engineer’s laboratory as required under the Contractor’s obligations.
As a consequence no permanent works were executed by the Contractor in the first twelve months
As if this is not scary enough, the contractor failed to provide adequate staffing on the project.
For example, in regard to key staff as required by the Contract Agreement, only 6 out of 13 Key staff were approved on the project.
The key personnel who had been temporarily approved were not performing and a notice to have them replaced had been issued to the Contractor.
This website also discovered that key personnel were taking very long annual leave of 3 – 4 months and leaving unsuited replacements acting on their behalf, thus exposing the project to poor management.
The Contractor also failed to hit all monthly targets in all revised work programs thereby registering continuous slippage in work progress.
Officials said the Contractor did not comply with required contractual standards of Environmental and Social Safeguards.
The Contractor’s Health and Safety record was poor and registered three fatalities on the project, one at the Stone Quarry where a young boy was hit by a flying stone from the rock blasting activities.
Another young man drowned in an unprotected culvert excavation. It also recorded one fatality from a traffic accident.
The Contractor further failed to acquire necessary permits for borrow pits in time and spoils material in non-gazetted areas in total disregard to Engineer’s directives.
Other non-compliances include but not limited to dust nuisance on the road, poor drainage provision on the road and failure to provide access to property, homes, and institutions is evident in some areas along the project road.
These revelations do not only undermine plans to develop rural areas but also hinders the country’s economic growth.
The development also shreds the narrative that Chinese companies are solid, fast and efficient.
The termination means the contractor ceased to perform any work and issuing instructions to nominated subcontractors.
The locals expressed alarm following the cancellation of the contract, wondering whether the road would ever be completed.
However, Kagina revealed that restricted bidding process was recommended and Construction firms to bid identified.
She further said the procurement process of new Contractor has been initiated with bidding documents prepared for issuance.
It is estimated that a Contractor will be identified within 4 months.
It’s understood the directorate of road maintenance will be in charge for the periodic maintenance and land compensation process will continue.
“UNRA road development department will have presence on site to continue engaging and updating Districts leadership and communities including conducting engagements and sensitization with land acquisition teams,” said Kagina.
UNRA Client care offices at Mayuge, Nankoma and Lumino towns will stay operational.
The valuation report for the project affected persons was approved by the Chief Government Valuer on 19 July 2016 and compensation payments commenced on 28 September 2016, according to UNRA.