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The Uganda’s defense budget has relatively stagnated for years despite sharp increases by some countries in the region.
According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a Sweden based defense think tank, Uganda’s spending on military is currently is USD $403million compared to that of Kenya and Sudan (Khartoum) that are by far at USD $933m and USD $2,723m respectively.
Uganda’s defense expenditure increased only by USD $14m from 389 in 2015/2016 to USD $403 in 2016/2017 compared to Kenya’s USD $89m increase within the same period. Our Southern neighbors in the same period upped their defense budget by USD $27m from $517m to $544.
The Swedish observers say the big increase in Kenya’s military envelope can easily spark a regional arms race.
Uganda is number 19 in the defense spending in Africa while Kenya is number 8 and her $933m accounts for 2.4 percent of the Africa’s total defense expenditure of $38bn in 2016.
Egypt leads in Africa in defense spending at $5,327m followed by Morocco at 3,327m and South Africa’s $3,160m.
The data from Global Firepower and America’s Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook indicate Uganda has 10 fighter jets and interceptors while Kenya boasts of 17 of the same. Uganda’s arms store also includes 43 aircrafts while Kenya has 131. Uganda also has 27 Towed Artillery compared to Kenya’s 25.
Uganda’s continuous low military spending against her peers which in many occasions have conflicting interests in the region and beyond can be a source of worry to many.
The Migingo Island tension is yet to be fully resolved between Kampala and Nairobi. Northwards Kampala and Khartoum are said to have antagonizing interests in the oil rich South Sudan that is currently at war.
It is an open secret that UPDF supported SPLA in the struggle against Sudan army and eventually secured its independence. The diplomatic relationship between Kampala and Khartoum has been of pointing fingers for over a decade.
In late 2011 when Sudan bought 20 Mi-24 combat helicopters from Russia, 15 Su-25 combat aircraft from Belarus, 160 T-72 and T-55 tanks from Ukraine, Uganda also followed suit by shopping for 6 Su-30 fighter jets from Russia.
The current development in Nairobi (military expenditure increase) is likely to make her neighbors also follow suit.
This website is yet to get comments from the UPDF Spokesman, Brig. Richard Karemire on the development.
At least 14 more police officers have been transferred in the new Police Reshuffle, the third in a space of less than one week.
In the transfers, SSP Joseph Kato has been moved from Rwenzori to Kigezi as deputy RPC, SSP Aziku Zata moved from Aswa to West Nile as Deputy RPC while SP Francis Tumwesigye has been moved from East Kyoga to Kampala Metropolitan East as deputy RPC.
According to a message dated April 25th from Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Okoth Ochola, the transfers take immediate effect.
The transfers come amidst efforts to “clean-up” the Police force as directed by President Yoweri Museveni in March.
While addressing media on Monday, Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura said that a lot needs to be done to clean the police force of criminals as ordered, adding that; “we have challenges of professionalism but we have done something about it.”
“I now never hear of complaints about RPCs and DPCs. The main challenge now is the CID so that they can successfully and quickly dispense off cases,” added Kayihura.
In this transfer, two officers including D/ASP Ambrose Rwanyonga and D/SP Ayub Waiswa have been moved to CID headquarters from Mission.
“It is a slow process of cleaning the police but we are moving there. Let the public also appreciate us other than only bashing us. In relative terms we are succeeding in fighting crime around the country,” the IGP said.
Full List of Transferred officers.
Agriculture students at Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara on Wednesday went on strike protesting the administration’s failure to give them practical lessons.
The strike started in the evening at the campus in Kakoba as the students marched while chanting and brandishing placards with angry messages.
These later turned violent and police was called in to block them from attacking the lecturers who were in a meeting.
They however broke through a police barrier into the gate and confronted their lecturers.
The students accused the University of spending a lot of money buying vehicles and organizing massive weddings for the university staff, while paying no attention to their education.
“We pay a lot of tuition, but we have never had practical lessons in two years. We are now about to finish our course and we don’t know what we are doing,” Roland Amanya, a second year student of Agriculture and Community Development ranted.
“Students fail to get internship placements in recognized organizations because they are half baked. They don’t have hands-on training.”
The class coordinator in agriculture and community development Praise Akantorana, said they are supposed to do seven practical lessons but have not had any. Next exams are due early May.
He said, “We have decided we shall not sit any exams without practical classes.”
The university secretary Peace Tindyebwa who later on held a meeting with the students in the University Hall asked them to calm down, saying the issue was known to the university and being addressed.
“Before you started demonstrating we were already in a meeting and we have resolved that every lecturer must conduct their own practical lessons every semester,” Ms Peace said.
The university communications officer Ms Rose Rwankore dismissed students’ allegations that the university spends money on buying lecturers’ vehicles, saying we only spend money on things that develop the university and help the students.”
By Our Reporters
In what police publicist Assan Kasingye vigorously dismissed as psychological games, criminal murderous gangs suspected to have a hand in the ongoing bloodbath and robberies in various Ugandan districts on Tuesday released a document enumerating public figures and VIPs they intend to target and assassinate in Felix Kaweesi style.
Calling themselves “M40 BATTALIAN,” the killer gangs also had guts to obtain phone numbers of some of the people targeted and directly sent them whatsapp messages directly making these threats. You can’t easily dismiss it as propaganda because as Police publicist Kasingye recognized in a phone interview, these same gangs have previously made good their threats.
For instance in the greater Masaka area they have been sending advance notices declaring the day they would come and went on to carry out the threat and in the process wounding and killing many people. Not even the heightened joint security deployment of UPDF and Uganda Police would deter them from executing their threat. This has gradually been spreading to Luweero, Wakiso, Kyaggwe and parts of Busia district where they have so far been catching police off guard.
The newest threat anonymously issued on Tuesday names some of the people to be targeted next with assassinations which the authors say are clearly aimed at hurting the NRM regime and show it as not in charge anymore.
These include Lands Minister Betty Amongin and her deputies including Isaac Musumba, Chris Baryomunsi and Parcis Namuganza. Also on the list are Energy Minister Irene Muloni and her deputies including Simon Dujang and Peter Lokeris.
It’s not clear if the threat extends to the Ministry PS Steven Isabalija who also wields enormous influence since the idea is to politically hurt the Museveni regime. The document adds that all Makerere governing council members are being targeted in the upcoming spate of high profile assassinations. No specific dates are given for execution of the threats. The targeted Makerere Council bosses are many including Chairman Eng Wana Etyem, his Vice Irene Ovonji and other members like Bruce Kabasa, Thormas Tayebwa, Doreen Nyanjura, Elizabeth Gabona, Dr. Sarah Ssali, Prof Ddumba-Sentamu and others.
The other Makerere influential figure that must be worried is businessman Charles Mbire who is also the MTN Uganda Chairman. Unfortunately most of these are VIPs without much armed protection. In fact all Makerere Council members don’t have any escorts. They move around freely both at home and work which increases their vulnerability and susceptibility to such plots.
We couldn’t readily establish why a politically minded group, like the authors claim to be, would target Makerere Council bosses of all people. Kasingye maintains this is psychological and the perpetrators want to create public fear and erode public trust in the police and other security agencies.
The document also captures NEMA officials as some of those soft targets that must be assassinated. The document also talks of NSSF whose bosses like MD Richard Byarugaba and BOD Chairman Patrick Kaberenge have reason to worry as they form the Fund’s very top echelons.
Also listed are the top NPA bosses including Kisamba Mugerwa the chairman and Dr. Muvawala his Managing Director. Kisamba is an influential player in the Museveni government as before the budget is read in Parliament, Museveni insists on Kisamba giving the last word on everything. He is also involved in spearheading many development projects and is to Museveni what Prof Ephraim Kamuntu was to Obote II when it comes to finance matters.
The assailants’ calculation could be that bumping off such an important aide would psychologically break Museveni who we can exclusively confirm has previously got intelligence reports to the effect that Kaweesi-like assailants have plans to go after many other high profile citizens. Whereas in the long term his hopes lie with the Shs400bn CCTV Cameras project, Museveni has reacted by intensifying covert deployment of VIP escorts around some of these potentially targetable VIPs.
This effort of covert escort deployment is being coordinated and overseen in conjunction with SFC which is reputed to have great capabilities regarding VIP protection. The determined assailants also vow to go after top bosses of Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL) where ex-EC boss Eng Badru Kiggundu works these days. The other agencies whose bosses must watch their steps include UEGCL sister agencies like UMEME, UEDCL etc.
POLICE SPEAKS OUT
Police publicist Kasingye said the force had received these anonymous letters targeting VIPs and both overt and covert steps were being taken to remedy the situation.
“Yes there is increased deployment of patrol vehicles and other methods that may not be visible but you just know we are on top of the situation as police,” Kasingye said.
He added this strategy of using such letters to scare the populace has been on and police has gradually been arresting some of the originators “who are so far giving us information regarding those still at large.” He said some the ring leaders will soon appear before court as hinted upon by the IGP during his Monday press conference at Katwe Police Station.
We pressed Kasingye to advise the targeted VIPs on what they should do in the interim as police intensifies its efforts and he angrily said: “my brother what do you want me to say?” He was cautious to ensure his comments don’t leave the targeted VIPs more frightened but insisted police wasn’t taking the situation lightly as previous threats have been followed with action.
Other police sources said political-minded groups could be taking advantage of the rampant violent murders to ferment more anxiety in the public in order to score political points against the NRM government by authoring these letters. “Whatever it is we as police are determined to secure everybody in this country, be they VIP or ordinary persons, and we shall prevail as the earlier arrests have so far demonstrated,” said Kasingye who was careful not to create more anxiety in the already frightened VIP fraternity.
Some in security suspect a wealthy Ugandan physician based in Diaspora, from where he has lately been making inflammatory statements, could be the one funding some of these murderous activities in order to settle old personal scores against President Museveni. The President has sufficiently been briefed on this possibility and his SFC operatives are closely following onto this lead including intensifying covert operations in regional capitals like Nairobi, Khartoum and South Africa where this disgruntled physician is believed to have active training cells including some inherited from extremists like Jamil Mukulu. In fact groups loyal to this wealthy physician have previously posted social media messages urging Ugandans to brace themselves for the worst.
IGP SPEAKS OUT
Meanwhile IGP Gen Kayihura also released a statement reassuring the public not to panic just like Kasingye stressed in the last night interview with this wwebsite. Kayihura’s statement goes as follows:
VERBATTIM: “The Uganda Police Force has successfully addressed the security situation in the Country keeping the country safe and secure despite a few incidents that continue to occur. As you are aware, we have already taken 13 suspects involved in the murder of the late AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his driver PC Godfrey Mambewa and his body guard CPL Kenneth Erau. You are also aware that we arrested and arraigned in court suspects of the murders of Muslim Clerics.
We are also progressing well with the investigations of the murder of the late Joan Kagezi. In Greater Masaka, the insecurity that was witnessed in the three districts of Lwengo, Masaka and Bukomansimbi especially during the months of October and November last year, is now under control. Over 100 suspects were arrested and over 50 suspects have appeared in courts of law. The communities have been mobilized to work closely with the police through increased patrols, community policing, crime intelligence and investigation to increase vigilance and defeat these criminals in the communities.
In Kampala Metropolitan policing area, there are criminals circulating leaflets intimidating the public and robbing their property. These leaflets have been circulated in Namulanda, Kyengera, Nsangi and Wakiso. Currently, we have prime suspects in connection with this crime. We have apprehended over 13 suspects who are prime suspects in this new wave of crime. They are providing useful information that will help in our investigations.
We shall prosecute all of them and soon we shall stamp out the vice completely.The joint security in Kampala has also arrested many suspected criminals involved in car robberies that have been rampant in recent times. One such suspected robber is JAMES SSEJJUUKI JJUUKO, 37 years. He was arrested after a long hunt. At his place of residence in Nansana, Wakiso District, police recovered a stolen vehicle AUDI Reg No. UAY 530A, and owner of this vehicle has already been notified.
He also had with him 35 head lumps, 2 suspected stolen number plates and he was in possession of a suspected stolen passport in the names of Byakagaba Moses, BO 972550. We shall soon arraign him in court together with his accomplices, some of whom are still at large.These and more crimes are being handled very well to increase security and safety across the country. We have intensified our community policing initiatives where we continue to mobilize communities to embrace the Neighborhood Watch Scheme, work with crime preventers and local leaders such as LC 1, to ensure peace and security in neighborhoods.
Also in Kampala, I have visited all bodaboda stages in our community policing initiatives to mobilize them to register, have valid and relevant documents, adhere to the traffic and road safety regulations and work closely with security agencies in the fight against crime.Therefore, I would like to reassure the country the Uganda Police together with other security agencies are on top of the situation. We need the vigilance of our population through working together with us to ensure total security throughout the country. We shall arrest all the other suspects that have not been arrested yet, and take them to courts of laws.”
Uganda’s Minister for Security Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde wants stakeholders in the oil sector to begin giving as much attention to security as has been given to other aspects as the country readies itself for oil production come 2020.
Tumukunde noted that Uganda is not immune to the conflict and terror that has distabilized many oil producing countries elsewhere in the world, asking that considerable investment in security be made.
He proposed that government along with the private sector take precautionary efforts to strengthen security within the oil rich Albertine Graben region which was previously a hotbed of ADF insurgency.
The Minister was speaking during the ongoing Oil and Gas Conference at Kampala Serena Conference Centre on Wednesday.
“Most of the oil producing countries like Russia, Israel, Syria have been entangled in geo political conflicts including rebellions, uprisings and terrorism to get a share of the pie. In Africa, we have seen similar cases in Algeria, Nigeria and even South Sudan,” Tumukunde told delegates.
Security interventions shouldn’t be only made in the Albertine region but on national and East African level, he stressed.
“Are we awake to the likely threats from this oil money? There’s an increase in criminal activity and cases of terror in Uganda due to high youth unemployment. We are not immune to what is happening elsewhere.”
Currently, there are ongoing oil explorations in neighboring Rwanda and Kenya with some discoveries of gas already made. But given the recent political tensions in Burundi and South Sudan, combined with the threat of extremist groups like Alshabab and militia in DR Congo, Tumukunde says the future of regional security hangs in balance.
World over, there have been incidents of terror linked groups blowing oil pipelines and sometimes sieging oil fields as a means to achieving their motives.
“Our crude oil is going to be transported 1,500 kilometers to the coast through a pipeline which will largely lie in a territory (Tanzania) we have no control over. In my view, Tanzania should have offered us something in exchange as insurance in case anything happens,” he added.
Tumukunde believes that as part of the solution, the issue of national content must be well addressed in order for citizens to get a sense of participation and ownership of the national resource. He said, security cannot be left entirely to security agencies.
The FUFA Electoral Committee has put on hold elections in 10 districts across the country over various irregularities.
This was confirmed by Sam Bakiika, the chairperson of the Electoral Committee during a press conference held on Wednesday afternoon at Mengo, Kampala.
Elections for delegates for Regional Assemblies in Kisoro, Gulu and Nebbi have been put on hold.
Bududa and Nebbi will not hold the special interest groups under the referees category.
Also, elections for Nebbi and Kapchorwa districts under the coaches have been halted.
District F.A elections in Iganga, Mayuge, Bugiri, Mbale, Gulu, Bududa, Hoima and Nebbi will not take place until the grey areas are corrected.
Bakiika also mentioned the districts with irregularities where the district elections will not take place. Among these include Nebbi, Bududa, Iganga, Bugiri, Mbale, Hoima, Kisoro, Gulu and Kapchorwa.
“Elections for these districts have been put on hold not until their respective cases have been corrected,” Bakiika noted.
Bakiika also handed over some of the certificates of candidature for the respective successful candidates from the district football associations.
Dirisa Kasalirwe one of the three delegates from Rubaga received Moses Hashim Magogo’s certificate since the incumbent president is away on official duties in Egypt.
According to the FUFA Elections road map, the elections for the district football associations will take place on 29th April 2017.
The regional associations will vote between 18th – 20th May, while the national (special interest groups) go to polls on 5th June 2017.
The FUFA Executive will be voted on 5th August 2017.
Kampala Metropolitan South Police Commander Siraje Bakaleke has appealed to traditional herbalists in the country to lend a hand to the police in hunting for and apprehending criminals, being that facts show that many of them always run to their shrines after committing crimes.
The police boss made the call yesterday while addressing traditional healers in a meeting called by their leader, Sophia Namutebi alias Maama Phina, to sensitize them on how to improve and sanitize their work at Calendar Rest House in Makindye.
Bakaleke expressed confidence that crime will be significantly reduced when traditional healers cooperate with the police.
“When somebody comes to your shrine saying they just murdered a person in ritual sacrifice, all you have to do is play some delay tactics while you contact us,” he said.
On the growing threat of machete welding goons (Bijambiya) now terrorizing different communities in the central region, Bakeleke reassured that the police are still in control and hunting for them; but warned: “As members of the community you have to watch your neighbors because we know that these criminals are not from far away. They are your neighbors. Your community’s security starts with you.”
On her part, Mama Fiina praised Hajji Bakaleke for being one of the few police officers that have played a vital role in ensuring that traditional healers and herbalists have a better working environment.
“I was elected in this position in difficult times when Muguluma had just been murdered by the people masquerading as herbalists and all of us were being labelled murderers, but I have worked tirelessly to fight and rid all rotten tomatoes in our field,” she said.
Maama Fiina went on and urged all herbalists to respect each and also form a SACCO to help them elevate their living standards.
The 14-man squad of Uganda Cricket team for the Division III World Cricket League slated for 23-31 May in Kampala has been availed by the Uganda cricket Association
The team will be captained by Davis Karashani and Masaba Brian as assistant
Talking to pepper online, head coach Steve Tikolo said: “It’s was hard to drop players who have been working hard day in and day out, but at the end of the day we had to find a combinations that will help team win.
The 14 Man Squad
Davis Karashani (Captain)
Brian Masaba (Vice-Captain)
Hamu Bagenda Kayondo
- Shazad Kamal
- Lawrence Ssematimba
- Otwani Arnold
- Jonathan Ssebanja
- Deus Muhumuza
- Charles Waiswa
- Irfan Sahibzaba
- David Wabwire
- Emmanuel Isaneez
- Llyod Patternot
- Naeem Bardai.
Officials at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development are walking shoulders high after Uganda was elected to the Governing council of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana confirmed the development, saying the elections were held in Algeria’s Capital, Algiers on Wednesday.
“That means that Uganda will sit on the high table to influence and take decisions on matters concerning Labour matters in the world,” said Bigirimana in an exclusive interview with ChimpReports on Thursday morning.
This success story comes just months after the Director General of ILO, Guy Ryder commended the Uganda Government for instituting a number of reforms geared towards boosting the Decent Work Agenda.
Ryder noted that the reforms which were implemented within a short period of time, were a dynamic tool for promoting social justice and inclusive growth.
These include re-constituting and operationalising the Industrial Court; appointing the Minimum Wages Advisory Board; and the new Labour Advisory Board.
Others are; rolling out of the Green Jobs and Fair Market Programme; domestication of ILO conventions; registration of work places under the Occupational Safety and Health Act; Implementation of the National Employment Policy; development of the National Programme of Action on Employment; the development of the Youth Employment Plan; and development of the National Social Security Policy for Uganda.
In several meetings at Geneva, Bigirimana has reiterated Uganda’s commitment to promotion of green jobs, labour productivity and protection of workers’ rights.
The ILO member states meet every year in June at the International Labour Conference to among other tasks; raft and adopt international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations, supervise the application of Conventions and .
ChimpReports understands Gender Ministry officials led by Minister Janat Mukwaya have been working behind the scenes to secure the strategic post at ILO.
Other key Ministry officials who spearheaded reforms that saw Uganda elected at ILO are Patrick Okello, the acting commissioner for Labour and Fred Tushabe, an officer at the Uganda Embassy in Algeria.
Officials will next in June travel to Geneva to attend the annual conference where Uganda’s new position will be ratified by the World body.