BYA JUDITH NALUGGWA Bazzeemu okugitwala mu kkooti nga bagibanja ddoola 569,339 mu zas Uganda (2,076,948,672). Bright Rwamirama, Florence Rwamirama ne Mpororo Group be batutte Nakumatt mu Kkooti...
URJA, a Mumbai-based company has promised to invest in solar energy in Uganda, Chimp Corps report.
This was during signing of a Letter of Intent by the Uganda High Commissioner in New Delhi, Amb. Elizabeth Paula Napeyok and URJA representatives at the Uganda High Commission in New Delhi, India on Wednesday.
The URJA company pledges, among other things, to set up a solar manufacturing plant in Uganda where solar panels can be 100% made in Uganda for both local consumption and export purposes. In line with the recently launched Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) policy, the company will employ and train Ugandans in the skills of solar manufacturing.
A proposed second phase of the investment is to supply solar-generated electricity to the National Grid. Solar-generated electricity also provides affordable energy for use in solar irrigation pumps.
This development comes against the back-drop of the March 2017 visit to India of Rt Hon Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda in which he met with Mr. Atul Jain, the joint manager of Jain Irrigation Systems, a globally renowned Indian company in irrigation has committed to making irrigation work for Uganda, from small scale to large scale solar irrigation project.
Following the January 2017 dry-spell that left 9 million Ugandans in urgent need of food aid, there has been a growing interest in Uganda in adoption of irrigation technologies by smallholder farmers to irrigate crops and guarantee all-year production and improve food security of the country
In his March address to the CII Exim Bank Conclave in India, Dr Rugunda stated that Africa seeks India’s active participation in areas like agriculture, agro-processing, ICT, infrastructure, tourism, healthcare and education.
Both the URJA Company and Jain Irrigation Systems officials will pay a visit to Kampala in June 2017.
The drive to eliminate diseases globally through vaccination has gathered pace, with Pfizer, a leading manufacturer and developer of pharmaceutical medicines raising its focus on this critical category.
As the world marks the Pfizer, Pfizer has announced the introduction of a new vaccination presentation that will help to significantly reduce the cost and access of vaccines against communicable diseases in developing countries.
The company expressed commitment to address the practical constraints experienced by health workers operating in Uganda and the East African region.
According to Pfizer Medical Director Kodjo Soroh, vaccines have significantly reduced the threat of diseases that were once widespread and sometimes fatal. Today, more people benefit from safe and efficacious vaccines than ever before – and the list of diseases that vaccines can help prevent continues to grow.
Pfizer developed Prevenar 13 in the Multi-Dose Vial-MDV presentation (4 doses per vial). This new presentation will help to significantly reduce storage requirements and shipping costs in communities with health systems that are still developing.
The new multi-dose vial- MDVbeing rolled out was prequalified in accordance with World Health Organization’s ‘open container policy.’
With its ‘open container’ attributes, it allows for the fourth dose to be used for up to 28 days after the first dose is drawn and providing the recommended cold storage requirements have been met.
“Immunization is widely recognized as one of the most successful and cost effective health interventions. Pfizer’s goal is to protect lives with innovative vaccines to fight serious diseases worldwide and make vaccination against potentially deadly diseases available” said Kodjo.
Margaret Olele, the Pfizer Corporate Affairs Director appeals for compliance to vaccination as a way of safeguarding the next generation against Meningococcal meningitis.
“As we mark World Immunization Week/World Meningitis Day, let’s be aware about the critical importance of immunization bearing in mind that vaccination is a key strategy to containing Meningococcal meningitis, ensuring continued protection for the current and future generation while taking into consideration the current outbreak of Meningitis in the region,” she said.
To ensure the efficient use of the multi-dose vial, Pfizer is also supporting Gavi countries with a refresher training of trainers program on a variety of immunization topics including the proper handling of multi dose vials with open container policy.
By: Boaz Byayesu
Community empowerment is better than pompous democracy talk and mightier than the good theoretical ideological literature.
Grassroots organization and construction of communal leadership structures are the desirable qualities for an ideal leader of Uganda after Museveni.
Renewal of NRM founding values sandwiched with fresh innovative and transformative ideas are a golden desire for a post-Museveni leadership.
How Museveni won the hearts of the Ugandan public derived from his grassroots base and strategy
In the previous weeks and months, we have heard and read of various political doctrines paraphrased by some of new brand of NRM ideologues invoking their mentors’ political ideologies and/or evoking some strange dogma “Democratic Centralism” from some revolutionary forces of certain foreign powers.
I wonder why we are not attracted to decentralized political structures hence participatory democracy in an inclusive and energized mass movement democracy that benefits us all. Well, this political assimilation system may be good if it work for us.
However, this thing so-called “Democratic Centralism” is not democratic at all. No wonder, it is associated with Russia as its defender tells us.
This practice bears politics of patronage and opportunism through micro-management and favoritism at best, and this virus spreads and grows into absolutism and autocracy at its worst. It is Africa’s main avenue for licensed corruption from the top downwards. Folks, it’s a virus.
Having said that, it would be even better if we also emulated not only how Russia or similar powers acquired and controlled state power and maintained the status-quo by, perhaps, manipulating the population and stifling free speech, but instead how some of the younger new world powers like South Korea, Singapore or Vietnam have exercised this kind of similar power to rather engage the communities and the entire population with a mission of transforming their socio-economic livelihood. To me, that sounds like better and meaningful authoritarian power.
Who cares about how Russian revolutionary Czars acquired and controlled power, and maintained the status quo? Who benefits from that power? We rather pay attention to how some similar authoritarian but liberation forces have acquired power and used it to turn around the economies of their states and change the socio-economic landscape of their nations bettering the social welfare of the common man.
Museveni as a Case Study of Grassroot Organization
In the 60s and 70s, Museveni initiated some purpose-oriented conversations with his fellow school mates and associates like Robert Rutehenda and others to pick some interest in the affairs of the society beginning with their communities.
He started with the Ankole land issues and their attendant inequalities between the Mailo land owners and the tenants/squatters as he nurtured and prepared for a bigger and greater dream through mobilization and organization of the young generation in connection with the peasant community. During that time, the vast majority of the people in that portion of the Ankole sub region were not only apolitical but relatively ignorant and primitive.
However, Museveni offered to engage them in the simplest and friendliest manner, and they believed him because they were able to identify with him.
He carried with him the message of reforming their social conditions with a mission of addressing the disturbing issues of social injustice pertaining to their living circumstances that caused terrible rifts in parallel social class amongst themselves.
He built trust and confidence in them as he sowed a seed of common cause because his message was about justice and fairness for all. And this message also rhymed with his political message at a later time.
Museveni again mobilized and organized his like-minded young revolutionary minds and encouraged them to get involved in some active efforts aimed at liberating their country from the Idi Amin reign of terror hence the formation of Fronasa.
Museveni was relatively very young with superb political genius and purpose but with no any political capital. He had no any reliable powerful political connections or resourceful base in the country but his unwavering patriotic dream, courage, purpose and vision were his only trust and promise.
His political association and surroundings within the political perimeters of the day posed some deadly risks. Nevertheless, he courageously and wisely acquainted himself with the socio-political dynamics of Uganda by being focused on the common cause and being uniform with the common man hence the successful liberation campaign.
Museveni neither had the urge for powerful political positions nor the greed for material things. He wasn’t a bourgeoisie in the mind, at least not in practice but a simple common man with an uncommon mind.
Can anybody tell me where our intellectuals and the elite class were brainstorming? Where were our witty and articulate politicians, the brilliant academics and the entire theory-rich and wordy civil society?
Until lately, as the burden of longevity sandwiched with the bulky leadership mantle has taken a heavy toll upon this great man, Museveni has always believed that the African elite class are mostly antagonists, confusion agents and smart selfish opportunists.
Thus, with his Siasa ya Wananchi, Museveni, like his compatriot Julius Nyerere and Mao Zedong, has always based his power and focus on the grassroots, the rural communities as opposed to the city dwellers.
It is this social contract and trust built with the rural Citizen that has been his political bank despite the odds and the debatable political maneuvers.
Ladies and gentlemen, the results of Museveni’s dreams and grassroots organization have since spoken volumes. We can agree or disagree on the validity of his promise and quality of his leadership today but not his historical roots and political strategy.
Therefore, the genesis of Museveni’s revolutionary mission and struggle and the chronology of his works and events speak volumes and strike a serious inspirational challenge to all of us especially those who aspire to replace him.
Now, some of these aspiring leaders or the prospective Museveni successors have both the means and the political platform. The question on many people’s minds though is whether these politicians have a reliable pro-people work plan for community empowerment hence a good vision for the nation or politics as usual.
Folks, this socio-economic approach is the surest way to attaining peace, unity, stability and democracy we all desire. This is a matter of a common front in a united spirit with a common vision shaped by that kind of a leader to advance a common agenda and achieve a common good as opposed to the pursuits of special interests that serve only a few belonging to the super socio-political class.
Some Suggestions for the Aspiring Museveni Successors
Foremost of all, any aspiring leader should first focus on the localities from where he/she comes, and possibly, other remote areas of Uganda. They should mobilize, organize, sensitize, educate and empower communities with information, knowledge and tools for self-empowerment and sustainable progress.
It is a universal fact that quality education is the most important tool for quality life, thus a good leader should and must make education priority number One.
Let them empower others to prove that they care about the people. For example, let them lead by setting up some income generating projects for all but not for themselves alone and pretend to be putting up development models as an indicator/sample for community development, I hear. Where will the poor peasants get the means and the know-how to cope up with these alien development models?
Let them uplift the poor and support the disadvantaged in pursuits of a better life and brighter future for all through education and supported economic activities. Let them initiate communal projects that benefit many if not all at the grassroots.
Let them teach the political ideology together with the prosperity ideology for all instead of the complex ideological theory lectured to the hungry, the angry and the frustrated commoners.
Let them educate the sons and daughters of the nation on things that realistically work but not the boring theory that is presumed to feed and enrich its crafters.
Let their civic education and political ideology be an ideology of patriotism and nationalism at a family economics level hence the leadership of common interests and common good. And this is better felt and lived rather than being heard and lectured. Therefore, this democracy evangelism attracts a few honest and dedicated converts as well as this ideology commodity is a hard sale without a good taste of it or something tangible to show for it.
Boaz Byayesu lives in Virginia
Uganda is set to host African Great Lakes International conference which is aimed at “bringing together stakeholders to link science to solutions for conservation and sustainable development of the African Great Lakes.”
The 4-day conference which will run from May 2nd to 5th will be held at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda.
The Conference, according to a statement by Hon. Dr Mary Gorreti Kimono Kitutu, Minister of State for Environment, seeks to address the issue of Climate change impacts, amidst population pressure, new technologies, evolving cultures and natural disasters.
“There is need to integrate into our thinking and decision making costs and benefit analysis as we promote development. We can no longer afford to remain complacent but must look at things in a holistic manner, because no one is exempt from disasters or impacts of Climate Change. Indeed the increasing floods and drought are an indication of the emerging changes,” the statement reads.
The African Great Lakes Conference Organizing Committee (AGL COC) comprises the Governments of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Participants at the event will range from regional lake authorities, scholars, policymakers, business leaders, scientists, and other decision-makers from across the region.
According to Kitutu, the lakes which benefit around 50 million people, are being threatened by various human activities among them; unsustainable fishing, habitat destruction, introduction of invasive species, urban and industrial pollution, and sedimentation caused by deforestation and agriculture.
The African Great lakes region, which covers a stretch of 850,000 km2, comprises of lakes Albert, Edward, Kivu, Malawi/Nyasa/Niassa, Tanganyika, Turkana and Victoria.
The above fresh water lakes are said to be a big source of revenue to governments and people through aquaculture, agriculture, hydropower generation, fishing, transportation, urban and industrial development, recreation, mining, oil exploitation, and tourism.
Kitutu states that member countries will, from the conference achieve; enhanced coordination and cooperation of stakeholders working on conservation and development of the African Great Lakes, strengthened capacities of lake management institutions on sustainable use of basin resources and knowledge exchange
There will also be dissemination and sharing of evidence-based information for implementation of policies and conservation actions, sharing of tools and approaches for ecosystem-based management in the African Great Lakes.
To reduce and reverse the threats to the lakes in our jurisdiction, and of course those that traverse our neighboring borders, according to Kitututu, the “Government of Uganda partners with Lake Management Authorities and Organisations to implement joint management interventions.”
In addition to that, the government, Kitutu says, “is implementing lake management projects/programmes and also ensuring that institutional and legal frameworks for the management of these lakes are developed and strengthened as appropriate.”
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has Thursday adjourned plenary sine die due to the absence of the Ministers from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
Plenary resumed yesterday on Wednesday after a period of close to three weeks without sittings but committee work has been going on.
According to Thursday’s Order paper, the Minister of Finance was supposed to table five tax bills for the second and third reading.
The bills on the order paper included; The Lotteries and Gaming Amendment Bill, 2017, The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, The Tax Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill, The Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill and The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill.
None of the Ministers from the Ministry was present by the time the Speaker took a decision to have the house sitting suspended sine die.
Kadaga said she was disappointed with government for delaying the budget process especially that neither the Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija nor his four juniors was in the house to table the bills for the second and third reading.
The Ministers under the finance ministry include; Matia Kasaija, Gebriel Ajedra for General Duties, David Bahati for Planning, Evelyn Anite for Privatization and Haruna Kyeyune for Microfinance.
“Members I must express my disappointment with government, I called this house yesterday so that we facilitate the budget process by handling the tax bills but the owners of the bills are not here, so I want to adjourn the house sine die,” the Speaker noted.
Earlier on the Speaker asked the first Deputy Prime Minister, Gen. Mose Ali to explain why the finance ministers were absent during the sitting, who in response noted that he doesn’t own a register for the ministers.
“Maddam Speaker as I have always said, it would be expecting a miracle from me to know where my Ministers are because I don’t have a register for movement of the Ministers,” Gen. Ali said.
Government through the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) is set to start a mass campaign to register all learners from primary level to tertiary institutions for National Identity Cards.
In an April 27th letter, the Permanent Secretary of MoES, James kakooza, called upon head teachers and principals of primary, post-primary and secondary institutions to pick forms of registration from their respective districts.
“The registration forms will be delivered centrally to districts. Therefore heads of schools and institutions must pick the forms from the districts and ensure they are duly filled,” the letter copied to LCV Chairpersons, CAOs/Town Clerks, RDCs, District/Municipal Education Officers, DISOs and Mayors/LC III Chairpersons reads in part.
The exercise in which MoES collaborates with National Identification and Regulation Authority (NIRA) will register learners from age of 5 and above and is set to commence from Saturday April 29th.
The program, Kakooza wrote, seeks to ensure registration of learners and assign them with National Identification Numbers (NIN).
Learners above the age of 16 will be assigned with national identity cards, he writes.
The program which will end on May 31st, will also involve participation of parents/guardians, who will guide their children on filling the forms.
Parents will also attach photocopies of their National Identity Card or any other forms identification to the filled documents.
Kakooza, in that regard urges heads of schools to participate “in public mobilization and sensitization activities in support of the exercise” and ensure that all learners under their authority are fully registered.
The head teachers and principals have also been tasked to ensure that all forms are fully filled and supporting documents attached as well as “providing accountability for all forms received by the school.”
Makindye General Court Martial Chairman Lt Gen Andrew Gutti has charged and remanded a UPDF Major attached to the Operation Wealth Creation on 2 counts of failure to protect war material; to which he has pleaded not-guilty.
Major David Kibirango, a 52 year old information officer in the OWC was arrested on 5th December last year in Kisasi, Kampala for possession of an SMG with 149 rounds of ammunition.
In today’s court session, State Prosecutor Major Raphael Mugisha asked for an adjournment, saying that investigations are still ongoing.
This request however, was opposed by defense lawyer Derrick Lufunya who said his client has been held in detention for more than 140 days and by law he qualifies to be released on a court bond.
He said the major was arrested by the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force officers, who confiscated his personal belongings including his laptop, wallet, mobile phone and ATM cards which were not related to the offences against him.
The suspect was picked up from the headquarters of UPDF’s Wazalendo SACCO where he had just been given a loan.
The lawyer says he never accessed the loan money yet his salary continues to be deducted to pay it.
Lt Gen Andrew Gutti remanded the accused to Makindye Military Prison until 8th May when he will appear for mention of the case and bail application.