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M7 Kicks Libyans Out Of Ugandan Economy, Says They Are Fake Investors

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 17:25
M7 Kicks Libyans Out Of Ugandan Economy, Says They Are Fake Investors

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.

MP Oboth-Oboth, In-Laws Clash Over His Wife’s Strange Illness

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 16:32
MP Oboth-Oboth, In-Laws Clash Over His Wife’s Strange Illness

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.

Mak VC Race: Voting Underway At Senate

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 15:42
Mak VC Race: Voting Underway At Senate

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!

5 Star Hotels, Apartments: Inside Mak’s Biggest Investment Boom In History

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 15:20
5 Star Hotels, Apartments: Inside Mak’s Biggest Investment Boom In History

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.

The proposed hostels on campus

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.

Ugandans To Get Generic Of Latest AIDS Drug Later This Year

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 14:02
Ugandans To Get Generic Of Latest AIDS Drug Later This Year

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.

@Reuters

Ugandan Referees to Officiate Sfaxien vs Mouloudia Match

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 13:52
Ugandan Referees to Officiate Sfaxien vs Mouloudia Match

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.

Kenya To Close Bars A Week Before Election To Make Sure Voters Are Sober

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 13:30
Kenya To Close Bars A Week Before Election To Make Sure Voters Are Sober

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.

DP Commends the COSASE Report

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 11:29
DP Commends the COSASE Report

Democratic Party has hailed Abdul Katuntu’s COSASE report saying that unlike other committees, this report has pinned government officials who always solicit public resources even when they are well paid.

During a press conference at City house, party president Norbert Mao said that the committee’s recommendation to block president Museveni from getting a supplementary budget to refund the handshake was among the best ideas.

“The is a non-biased committee we have had so far in decades, it has been unusual to find a committee pinning wrong doers in the government. We want to thank them for being patriotic,” Mao said.

Mao congratulated the house over the recommendations and they agree with the findings. He therefore calls for the office of the IGG to take up the report and implement as per law.

He adds that even power sharing in signing of Government  documents within ministries as per the report will minimize mistakes like minister Saida Bumba did when she signed on documents which she didn’t read through an act indicating that she could even have signed her resignation letter if it had been tabled before her.

Landmine Kills Eight in Northeast Kenya

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 11:07
Landmine Kills Eight in Northeast Kenya

Four police officers and four civilians were killed on Tuesday after their truck hit a landmine on a road near Kenya’s border with Somalia, police officials said, in the second such attack this month.

Another four police officers and one civilian died in a blast in northeast Kenya on June 16, while at least eight police officers were killed in two roadside bombings a month earlier. Somalia’s militant Islamist al Shabaab group claimed responsibility for the May attacks.

“Four police officers and four children have been killed in an IED explosion in Lamu (county),” police spokesman Charles Owino said of Tuesday’s blast, without giving further details.

Another security official in the area said that the truck they were travelling in had run over a landmine in Kiunga, a town close to the border.

There was no immediate claim of responsibiliity.

Al Shabaab, which is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s government and impose its own harsh interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, has said it will continue to attack Kenya unless it withdraws its troops from an African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

@Reuters

Museveni Okays Tuk-Tuk Operation in the city

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 10:09
Museveni Okays Tuk-Tuk Operation in the city

President Museveni on Tuesday decided to allow operation of tricycles commonly known as Tuk-tuk  in Kampala.

Museveni’s decision however contravenes the earlier directive of the minister for Kampala, Betty Namisango Kamya who told police to arrest anyone riding tuk-tuk.

Early this month, Betty Kamya stopped the operation of these tricycles reasoning that these are not licensed to carry passengers.

While meeting taxi and Bodaboda riders at Gayaza, the president said that Tuk-tuks are a development in right direction and thus they should be allowed to operate.

He added that in July, he is to meet all bodaboda and taxi driver in Uganda at Statehouse Entebbe to resolve on the long-lasting solution for transport issues.

Mutagamba To Be Laid To Rest Today

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 09:48
Mutagamba To Be Laid To Rest Today

The fallen former tourism minister, Maria Mutagamba will today be buried today at her ancestral home in Gamba village Rakai district.

Mutagamba succumbed to liver cancer at case clinic on Saturday at the age of 65.

On Tuesday, her body was laid in parliament for public viewing with a special parliamentary sitting held in her honour at 2pm.

During the special sitting, the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga asked the government to quickly work on the medical insurance scheme for all Ugandans to enable them access better health services.

Mutagamba left 15 children and 26 grandchildren.

She served as Minister of Water and Environment and later as Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities from 15 August 2012 until 6 June 2016.

Before joining government, she served as Democratic Party Secretary General.

Mutagamba was also a renowned economist and woman representative for Rakai district for 15 years.

UTB To Step Up Its International Marketing Initiatives

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 09:33
UTB To Step Up Its International Marketing Initiatives

The Uganda Tourism Board is in the process of ramping up its international marketing initiatives aimed at increasing the number of tourists from key markets coming into the country.

According to Stephen Asiimwe, the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Tourism Board, tourism has been steadily growing as a major sector in Uganda contributing up to 10% of the country’s GDP.

However, despite this steady growth, Asiimwe believes more has to be done to increase the inflows from tourism and one way of doing this is to directly market the country to potential visitors in different parts of the world.

In line with this goal, UTB is working closely with Uganda’s 18 missions abroad to market the tourism potential of the country. The move is part of a change in focus for the country’s foreign relations in the sense that foreign missions are more heavily involved in commercial diplomacy.

Apart from selling the investment potential of Uganda and luring foreign businesses to set up shop in the country, the emphasis on commercial diplomacy also aims at marketing Uganda’s goods and services-of which tourism is a major one.

As an initial step towards marketing Uganda’s tourism potential, UTB has engaged different public relations and marketing firms to target different international markets.  A North American one for USA and Canada, another targeting the German speaking countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerlad; and another for UK and Ireland.

According to Asiimwe, additional funds have been requested to expand the marketing campaigns to target less traditional markets for Ugandan tourism like China, India, Japan, Australia, and Korea.  Also effort is being put into attracting more visitors from the African continent, especially South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, DRC and Rwanda.

As a way of making travel to the region more attractive, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda introduced a single East African visa in 2016. This means that a traveler to any of the three countries needs only one visa, which allows hassle-free access to any of the other two.

There are also initiatives to diversify Uganda’s tourist potential away from nature and wildlife tourism.  More is being done to sell Uganda’s history, culture, heritage and way of life as worthwhile experiences to those who are less inclined towards visiting national parks and nature reserves.

For example, UTB is working towards tapping into the market of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world by selling them the experience of coming to Uganda to be part of events and ceremonies associated with the Uganda martyrs.

Stephen Asiimwe is confident that if Uganda can inject more funds into these marketing and promotional initiatives, the country can reap up to five times more in foreign exchange inflows.

Kasaija Bows To Pressure, Apologizes To PAC For Failing To Honour Summons

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 09:22
Kasaija Bows To Pressure, Apologizes To PAC For Failing To Honour Summons

Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija, was made to issue an apology by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee for reportedly failing to honour summons to explain the disappearance of Shs150 million meant to buy medicines for the National Medical Stores.

The Committee Chairperson, Angelina Osege, put the minister to task to explain why he has not been showing up at the committee.

Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija, told the Committee members that some of them had earlier threatened him. The revelation sparked an uproar with some MPs demanding that the minister issue an apology and be put under oath.

The minister caved in to the demands of the MPs and apologized. But Some MPs were dissatisfied with his apology and force him to issue another one.

However, the lawmakers were not done. They also wanted the Permanent Secretary of the Finance Ministry, Keith Muhakanizi to be reined in for shunning their committee meetings. After a few minutes, Muhakanizi arrived and was also made to apologies to the committee.

Later on, they officials were made to take an oath before making any submission. It’s at that point that the MPs asked the finance officials where the 150 million shillings meant for drugs went.

The Minister of finance told the committee that the shilling fluctuation against the dollar caused the shortfall

The committee also accused the ministry of getting money without the approval of parliament.

Africa Facing 40m Jobs Shortfall By 2040 – Study

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 17:56
Africa Facing 40m Jobs Shortfall By 2040 – Study

Parts of Africa could suffer a massive unemployment crisis by 2050, according to new research from the Tony Blair Institute.

“This would have serious implications: for the continent and its people, for the prosperity and stability of dozens of countries, and even for the global economy and security,” the research found.

The labour force in sub-Saharan Africa will be 823m by 2040, up from 395m in 2015. However, total number of jobs is only expected to hit 773m, leaving 50m people without a job.

The report found that countries with high economic potential – such as Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria and Sierra Leone – were failing to achieve growth.

It called for governments to pursue “inclusive growth” strategies and said countries such as Botswana, Ethiopia and Mauritius had made significant progress because political leaders had worked alongside stakeholders and development partners.

@BBC

More Than Half Of World’s Population Growth Is In Africa – Report

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 17:28
More Than Half Of World’s Population Growth Is In Africa – Report

The population of Africa will account for more than half of all global population growth between now and 2050, according to a UN population report.

The World Population Prospects report says that of the 2.2bn people who may be added by 2050, 1.3bn will be in Africa.

Nigeria is growing at the fastest rate in the world and its population is projected to overtake that of the US shortly before 2050, the report says.

Overall, half of the world’s population growth will be concentrated in just nine countries: India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, the US, Uganda and Indonesia – in order of their expected contribution to total growth.

She Cranes Ready to Revenge on Zimbabwe

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 16:54
She Cranes Ready to Revenge on Zimbabwe

By Emmanuel Sekago

Uganda She Cranes is two wins away from lifting the Africa Netball Championship after walloping 66-43 win over Malawi, the only highest ranked team at the six team tournament being played at the Lugogo MTN Arena.

The results made it three wins from three games and put the She Cranes firmly on course for the championship played on a round-robin format. Goals from Captain Peace Proscovia (49), Hadijja Nakabuye (09) and Stella Oyella (08) helped Uganda to win their third game against Malawi who they beat in the two Test international matches at the same venue.

The win against Malawi put a smile to every Ugandan fan who turned up to support the national netball team. Minister of state for Sports, Charles Bakkabulindi gave a hand shake of 5million Uganda shillings to the team and of the 15players who are in camp each took 300.000. The technical team was left out which also didn’t go well after players taking the whole share.

The  Uganda She cranes will be back in action on Wednesday against hard fighting Robert Mugabe daughters, Zimbabwe at 2:00pm, a game dubbed as a revenge in which Uganda has to prove that Zimbabwe doesn’t repeat what happened in the Diamond Challenge Trophy hosted in South Africa last year were they beat Uganda by 45-42 goals.

Pepper sport talked to Physical training Coach Wilberforce Mutente who acknowledged that in the Wednesday game, Zimbabwe will be walloped hands down because they a meeting a different team from the one they played against in South Africa. Players such as Martha Soigi, Nanyonga Florence, Nanyonga Racheal  Nayonga Florence, Nakachwa Halima and Oyella stella were all in last year’s team that was beaten by Zimbabwe. While those who didn’t feature in that team include; Peace Proscovia, Nakabuye Hadijja, Obua Desire, Nafuka stella and Ajio Lilian.

Talking to Coach Vincent Kiwanuka about his possible starters in the game against Zimbabwe, he said they will be; Peace Proscovia (GS), Nakabuye Hadijja (GA), Halima Nakachwa (WA), Kiiza Betty©, Nanyonga Florence (WD), Ajio Lilian (GD) and Nafuka Stella (GK).

On the same day, Botswana who haven’t registered any win yet will battle with Namibia at 4:00pm, while Zambia who have been mandated by Africa Netball to host the World Cup Netball qualifiers next year will face off with Malawi at the Lugogo Arena.

Meanwhile if She Cranes wins this championship, chances of qualifying for the 2018 Common Wealth Games to be hosted in Australia will be high. But all will depend on the International netball federation rankings that will be released on the 1st of July 2017.

NFA Boss Grilled Over Illegal Occupation and Degradation Of Forests

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 15:24
NFA Boss Grilled Over Illegal Occupation and Degradation Of Forests

The Executive Director of the National Forestry Authority, Michael Mugisa, was on Monday put on task to explain why illegal activities have been happening in forests around the country under his watch.

Mugisa was appearing before the commission of inquiry into land matters where he was also grilled over the degradation of 100 hectares of Kajjansi Forest Reserve in Wakiso district.

The land in the forest reserve was reportedly cleared to set up an eco-tourism lodge by a firm called International Camping Sites, which is run by Sedrick Nsongoza-the brother of a prominent Kampala businessman called Ephraim Ntaganda.

The land in question is being contested by Dedasio Kasujja a retired Makerere Lecturer. Kasujja dragged Nsongoza and Ntaganda to the commission accusing them of colluding with senior NFA officials to cut down trees and destroy his beehives without compensating him fully.

However, the commission heard that Kasujja’s license had expired at the time of transferring his interest to Nsongoza.  Kasujja is said to have quietly passed on his interest in the land to Nsongoza without the backing of NFA.

The Commission’s Lead Counsel, Ebert Byenkya spent a considerable time tasking Mugisa to explain why he flouted laid down procedures, when International Camping Sites, is still considering an application for a permit for an eco-tourism lodge.

Mugisa, in his defence, said that there was an investigation being conducted into the actions of International Camping Sites and no licence had been issued to the company yet.

Arua School Struggles To Educate Refugees, Numbers Are Overwhelming

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 15:08
Arua School Struggles To Educate Refugees, Numbers Are Overwhelming

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General may have visited Arua last week, but it might take hours for Inyau Primary School to benefit from such a high-profile visit.

Guterres, who was in Uganda for the UN-backed Solidarity Summit on Refugees, on Thursday briefly visited Inyau on his way to Imvepi Refugee Settlement, home to over 100,000 refugees from South Sudan.

Located 57km from Arua town,  Inyau primary school is a Universal Primary Education school in Ijako Village, Lugbari Parish; Odupi Sub County. Being the nearest primary school to the refugee settlement, thousands of refugee children have flocked the school for lessons.

Hosting refugees appears to have had a toll on Inyau Primary School. The school has only nine teachers taking charge of 1,642 pupils. Of these, 1,050 are refugees. This has impacted on pupil assessment leading to poor performance.

Charles Draga, the School head teacher, says the numbers are overwhelming and have stretched the meagre resources including the seven classrooms and four toilet facilities.

According to Draga, the school has 896 boys and 746 girls. Boys share two latrines while girls share four which he says are not enough. Pupils sit on the floor while others stand due to shortage of furniture.

In an interview with the school head teacher, on average each classroom has 240 pupils compared to 55 the classes are designed for. He says that at the school, the conditions have worsened due to high numbers of pupils.

Draga notes that because majority of the pupils in the school are refugees, their attention span is low since the school doesn’t provide them with lunch.

“They leave earlier than expected. Few look healthy and others look really weak because of the hunger and other conditions,” Draga says.

Even with the overwhelming pupil numbers, Inyau primary school is yet to receive additional funding from government to take care of the pupils. From the previous pupil registration, Draga says that government has been giving the school about 800,000 Shillings quarterly as subvention.

He however says that they have not received any additional funding since the influx of refugees, something that has put pressure on the available facilities including toilets.

Ahead of Guterres’ visit to the Imvepi, the school benefited from construction of four temporary toilet structures.

While the world pays attention to the refugees in different settlement camps, Draga’s attention is on managing thousands of pupils in a school with space enough to accommodate less than half the number.

@URN

Arua Men Only Good In Bed Not Work – RDC

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 14:45
Arua Men Only Good In Bed Not Work – RDC

By Andrew Cohen Amvesi 

ARUA: Majority of men, mainly from the rural Sub Counties of Arua district are only good in bed but not in working to feed their families, Swaib Toko, the Arua deputy RDC has said.

According to Toko, the men have these days left the responsibility of looking for food to their wives.

“Majority of our men now, don’t want to look for food but ask for it from their wives by force. They are only good in bed, and after producing the children, they again run away from responsibility,” Toko said.

Toko made the remarks while presiding over a function organized by Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) – Prevention plus project in partner with men to end gender based violence (GBV).

The function to mark Arua district’s belated Fathers’ day was held at Arivu Sub County Headquarters in Arua district on Monday.

                  Toko speaking during the belated Fathers’ day at Arivu Sub County on Monday

“Men are the biggest perpetrators of GBV because every time they come home drunk and demand for food in vain, they start beating up their wives,” Toko explained.

Toko warned that effective September 1, 2017, Arua district will start impounding sachet waragi which he said, has been identified as the main factor driving men to beat their wives.

Similarly, Francis Edema, the Arivu Sub County LC3 Chairperson revealed that the rate of GBV is very high in his Sub County especially due to alcoholism.

Toko (2L), Ojambo (2R), Edema (R) and other officials shortly after the belated Fathers’ at Arivu Sub County Headquarters on Monday

Wilberforce Ojambo, a RHU staff urged men to respect their wives and learn to take responsibility of their children by educating them.

Ojambo also warned that cases of GBV have on several occasions, led divorce in the community.

Access services such as Reproductive Health services, HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B testing and Counseling services among others were also conducted during the function.

Former Al-Shabab Commander On the Run

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 14:11
Former Al-Shabab Commander On the Run

Al-Shabab fighters are reportedly hunting for one of their former leaders, Sheikh Muqtar Robow Ali Abu Mansur, who had a $5m bounty removed by the US state department several days ago.

The armed group believes that Abu Mansur is planning to surrender to the federal government, which they oppose, and are searching for his hideout.

He is believed to be hiding in southwestern Somalia, the privately owned Jowhar news portal reported.

Abu Mansur was a former deputy leader of al-Shabab and also served as the organisation’s spokesman.

He had attended jihadist training camps in Afghanistan, former Somali officials said.

However disagreement emerged between him and other al-Shabab leaders some time ago and has since been in indirect talks with the government, Somalia’s former Defence Minister Abdihakim Fiqi said.

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