If you’re a Christian who exploits people, leads a double life or manages a “dirty” business, perhaps it’s better not to call yourself a believer, Pope Francis suggested in a homily on Thursday in Rome.“So many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others,” Francis said during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, according to Vatican Radio. “How many times have we heard — all of us, around the neighborhood and elsewhere — ‘But to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.’ It is that: scandal.” “But what is scandal? Scandal is saying one thing and doing another.” Examples of such sins abound, the Pope said, from money launderers to business owners who take beach vacations while stiffing their employees. Francis’ sermon, as is customary, was an extended riff on Thursday’s Mass readings, which include a passage from the Gospel on Mark. In it, Jesus says it is better to be drowned than to cause others to sin. Drawing on that passage, the Catholic Catechism says scandals include business leaders who encourage fraud, teachers who agitate students and manipulators who turn people away from moral values. In other words, anyone who leads others to do wrong, directly or indirectly, is responsible for the evil he has encouraged, the church says. So when Francis compares hypocritical Christians to atheists, he’s not being flip; he’s trying to protect his flock. While many of this Pope’s pronouncements are often assumed to be novel interpretations of Christian doctrines, Francis was also touching on an ancient debate: Is salvation open to all believers, or only those who do good while on earth? The Pope suggested the latter, in characteristically blunt language. He imagined a wealthy Christian knocking at the gates of heaven and saying, “Here I am, Lord! … I went to Church, I was close to you, I belong to this association, I did this… Don’t you remember all the offerings I made?” To which Jesus may reply, according to the Pope: “Yes, I remember. The offerings, I remember them: All dirty. All stolen from the poor. I don’t know you.’ That will be Jesus’ response to these scandalous people who live a double life.” -CNN
‘I love and miss you so much Papa. I know you are in heaven with your beloved parents, brothers and friends having a wonderful reunion and watching over us.’
Those were the words of singer Angela Katatumba paying tribute to her dad Boney Katatumba who died yesterday at IHK in Kampala. He was 71.
Katatumba a prominent city businessman succumbed to complication of Intestinal Cancer and Asthma. He was admitted at IHK, had an operation but it was not successful.
While many thronged his home to mourn the jolly good man, his daughter remained strong and vowed instead not to mourn but to celebrate the life that her father lived.
‘I’m happy for him and I will celebrate his life. He told us to be strong, happy and positive. He was always jolly with us and loved us so much that every time we expected to get the best from him and we got it,’ said Angela.
“It is unfortunate, although I have to rejoice for his lifetime, you have to be strong, my father was a happy man and even when I looked at his body, he died smiling and it is like he is not dead, ” she added.
“He was my sweet darling and best friend.”
Katatumba will be laid to rest on Sunday at their family estate at Rwekishookye Bwenkooma, Mbarara after a funeral Mass at Nyamitanga Cathedral starting at 1pm.On Saturday there will be another funeral Mass on Saturday at 8:00 at Rubaga Cathedral in Kampala.
The HIV prevalence rate in Uganda has shot up with the latest figures indicating that about 50 girls are infected with the virus every day.
“The HIV situation in Uganda calls for renewed urgent action,’ declared the UNAIDS country director Ama Sande.
According to statistics, in 2015 alone 83,000 new HIV infections were registered. Thousands more cases are never registered by the health workers.
The HIV prevalence rate in Uganda shot up from 7.1% to 7.3% but the situation is more alarming amongst the young adolescents aged between 15-24 years. In this group the HIV prevalence is 9.1%
This means that in every 100 Ugandans you meet on the streets, 7 of them have HIV. It also means that in every 100 Ugandans aged between 15-24, nine have the HIV virus.
UNAIDS experts attribute the high HIV rates to early marriages, poverty, domestic violence, cultural attitudes and of course increased sexual activity in society.
‘There is too much free lance sex in Uganda, everyone is looking to have sex all the time, this is dangerous,’ one Ugandan commented on Facebook.
Uganda now is ranked second to South Africa in HIV prevalence. In South Africa an estimated 2,363 young people get infected with HIV weekly. Uganda registers 230 HIV infections every day meaning the weekly rate of infection is 1,610.
In Kenya the weekly infection rate is 468 while in Tanzania its at 491. Rwanda is at 25 and Burundi registers only 2 infections per week.
If the rate of infections is anything to go by then Uganda ranks as the most sexually promiscuous country in East Africa.
Seventy six Ugandans die of HIV related illnesses every day.
Now we know why Ugandans politicians are ready to kill each other to be the next EALA MP. It’s all about the money.
The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is the highest paid in the region and second only to Nigeria on the continent, according to the East African.
The MPs now earn $6,408 as their basic salary, up from $5,200 after the increment was approved by East African Community Heads of State.
On top of basic pay, the MPs are entitled to a sitting allowance of $400 per day and medical/travel insurance.
Considering that the average sitting days for the MPs during plenary each month is 12 days, their allowances add up to $4,800. But they normally take home about $8,500, given that when not in plenary, they do committee work. The MPs will now take home $14,908 per month, including the allowances.
Thats about UGX53, 668,800 by today’s exchange rate which puts the dollar at 3600 shillings.
Apart from the basic salaries the MPs receive from the EAC Secretariat, they are given facilitation allowances by their states of origin for activities such as sensitising citizens on EAC matters as required by the EALA regulations.
This puts an EALA MP amongst the most paid legislator in the region. Kenyan politicians were the most paid in the region and second in Africa after the Nigerian lawmakers with a basic monthly salary of $13,740 that is subject to an annual increment of 8 per cent.
Their Nigerian counterparts, the global leaders, earn a monthly salary of about $15,800, excluding allowances.
Uganda MPs earn a monthly salary of $8,715 (UGX31million), Tanzania $7,266 while Rwanda MPs earn $1,271 per month.
The Constitutional Court has nullified all interim orders issues after declaring them illegal.
Justices Elizabeth Musoke, Fredrick Egonda Ntende and Kenneth Kakuru made the decision Thursday morning at the constitutional court in Kampala.
This means all controversial orders issues by Justice Steven Kavuma are now null and void and are nearby scrapped.
The three justices unanimously ruled that all orders issues by one justice are in contravention of the constitution of the Uganda.
They ruled that the interim orders made one judge contravened Article 137 -2 of the Constitution.
That constitutional article requires that applications for orders in the Constitutional Court and the Court of Appeal be heard and decided on by a full panel of five judges. Justice kavuma is famous for issuing interim orders by himself.
“All interim orders issued by a single justice of the Constitutional Court which are still in force are null and void and of no effect,” said Justice Kakuru.
Prominent City businessman and Pakistan Honorary Consul in Uganda Boney Mwebesa Katatumba is dead.
Katatumba died Thursday morning after undergoing an operation at IHK hospital in Kampala. He was 71.
His daughter, singer Angela Katatumba confirmed the passing of his father and said the old man had succumbed to complication arising from pneumonia and asthma.
‘He had an operation but unfortunately it was not successful. He succumbed to pneumonia and asthma,” Angela was quoted to have told reporters.
Married with two wives, Gertrude and Grace, the father of nine was born on April 3, 1946 in Mbarara. He was the youngest in a family of five brothers and four sisters.
He has been in an out of hospital for years now and at one time it was reported that he was fighting intestinal cancer but was responding to treatment.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8 will go on sale in April, according to leaks by tech media outlets.
According to a report from ET News that cites a “high-ranking official for a mobile network provider,” Samsung will put the S8 on sale worldwide on April 21st.
This will reportedly follow an unveiling of the phone in New York on March 29th.
If the leaks are to be believed we’ll see two new Galaxies in March — the S8 and S8+. The former is reported to have a 5.7-inch display, while the latter has a monstrous 6.2-inch screen.
We’re also expecting a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera in each device.
Other rumored specs include iris scanner functionality for the S8+ (first seen on the ill-fated Note 7) and the now-standard IP68 dust and water resistance on both devices. The main new feature of the S8 seems to be a buttonless design with slim bezels and rounded corners.
Construction of the second solar power plant will start in six months when an investor is expected to have secured funds, allowing Uganda to expand its power supplies from cheaper and renewable sources.
Uganda is keen to boost its energy output, while lowering the cost, which officials say is vital to power businesses and drive economic growth.
Today Red Pepper run an exclusive story detailing turmoil in cabinet after the President put government officials on the spot over the cost of energy in the country.
Ugandan manufacturers regularly complain about expensive power which they say makes their products uncompetitive in the region.
For instance steel products imported from India and Japan cost a fraction of those manufactured in Uganda. This has forced companies with tenders to construct infrastructure projects to import rather than buy local.
Officials have turned to renewable sources such as solar to offer a solution. The first 10-MW solar power plant, located in the country’s northeast, was commissioned in December.
Julius Wandera, spokesman for the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), told Reuters they had licensed Disc Tech FZE, an Egyptian firm, for a second plant.
“We expect them to reach financial close in six months and that’s when construction should begin,” he said.
The plant, to be built in eastern Uganda, near the shores of Lake Victoria, will also generate 10 MW and it will cost an estimated $17 million to build, Wandera said.
“Our policy is to push the country more towards renewable energy because the country has vast potential,” he said.
Uganda Funeral Services Ltd still top
In 1996 two siblings Freddie Katamba Mukiibi a lawyer and Regina Mukiibi, a banker made history when they registered a funeral service management company, the first of its kind in the country. It was registered as an investor by the Uganda Investment Authority in 2003.
At the time, management of funerals as a full-time occupation was considered rather odd. That however did not deter the siblings as they registered the country’s first professional funeral management company. Incidentally, it is the only company in the Great Lakes Region with a chair at the World Organization of Funeral Operatives based in the Netherlands.
It is also a member of the National Funeral Directors Association based in Washington DC in the US. Perhaps even the Registrar of Companies at the time, had no idea that 20 years down the road the industry would blossom and attract more than a dozen other players. According to Regina Naluyima Mukiibi, the Managing Director of UFS starting the company was a very risky venture.
“We took a financial risk, which is taken by any investor; but investors usually calculate their financial risks based on past experiences of similar investments and the reigning economic environment. We had no earlier reference point to bank upon; neither did we have any idea as to whether the environment for such a service in Uganda was good or bad at the time,” she notes.
“Today as we mark 20 years of the venture into the unknown, I believe God had been on our side,” she says. The idea of starting the service was a result of their many travels abroad. “During these travels people get interested in various aspects of life.
We were impressed by the dignity with which people abroad celebrated their funerals and the hygienic way they handled and buried their dead, and we wished it could be mirrored back home in Uganda. That was the spark,” she says.
Filling a health sector gap
Mukiibi notes that the other aim of the business was to fill the public health sector gap in sensitizing people with regard to the health hazards in mismanaging human remains. She says they also wanted to highlight and lessen the risks associated with some of the cultural and religious norms involved in traditional funerals. “We wanted to transform the ugly and traumatic face of death into a more friendly and bearable event in people’s lives, and to relieve the already stressed bereaved members of the extra responsibilities of managing the funeral. We wanted to try as much as possible to preserve the God-given dignity of the human body even in death, to turn funeral management into an enviable, respectable and professional service to the community,” she explains. Considering those noble aspirations, the advent of Uganda Funeral Services should have been a welcome development.
“Several dignitaries, Religious leaders, Government officials and widely travelled individuals who had witnessed similar services abroad, applauded the innovation, were very supportive, encouraging and openly asserted it was long overdue,” she says.
However a section of the community called the siblings all sorts of names. They were insulted and persecuted, but remained resolute and stuck to their vision.
“UFS has endeavored to team up with Insurance companies in an effort to design products that assist our clients to prepare for the inevitable funeral expenses in good time. Several organizations and individuals have gradually embraced these pre-planning programs, and many have already benefitted from this arrangement,” Mukiibi says.
Mukiibi explains that the first major challenge they faced was the death of her founder brother Freddie, barely a year after they had launched the service. “I was devastated and this could have meant the end of this venture had it not been for the encouragement of religious leaders, Ministry of Health officials, embassies, my former employers at the bank, my siblings and friends who made several logical arguments against my abandoning this noble industry,” she explains. She adds that later on, she came face to face with objections from the area where she had invested to start the service.
“They feared ghosts of the dead would come at night and haunt them. (I have never been attacked by any ghost in the 20 years of our operations). Well-wishers advised me to change location and helped me to find the current appropriate alternative location,” she explains.
Mukiibi adds that recruitment for such a unique industry was another big challenge, “Since I could not do this work alone, I had to recruit staff. Here I depended heavily on the youth who seemed to have a more liberal mind-set. Since there was no funeral science training Institute in Africa, I had to pay heavily to bring in expatriates from the US and Europe to train our initial staff,” she explains.
She adds “we were called names by several people, and that almost knocked me out! But prayer, and encouragement from friends, people who had seen these services abroad plus people who sympathized with our investment, kept me going,”.
Mukiibi says funeral management is still a very young industry which needs support to grow. The heavy taxes imposed on their services, she says have stunted growth of the industry. The need for people to bury their loved ones with dignity has grown but they are still crippled by the heavy taxation. “The cost of funerals is relatively high because in Uganda burials are done at ancestral burial grounds rather than in organized cemeteries. This culture is not about to change.
The cost of transporting the remains is significantly high,” she explains. “The absence of approved regulations has also led some industry players to engage into bad practices.
Secrets of success
Mukiibi attributes most of their success to friends and sympathizers. “It should be recalled that I had initially invested all my retirement benefits in this venture; so it was a do or die affair; and then, I felt I had to keep our grand idea alive at all costs. But above all, I devoted myself to very serious prayer,” she explains. For Mukiibi funeral management is not an occupation, but a calling or vocation. “If it had not been that, we would be doing something else. It is like attending to the sick for the medical professionals or going to war for soldiers.
Our joy and our sustenance is in seeing the end result of our positive contribution which helps our clients in such a distressing situation,” she notes. “We have succeeded to convince several investors that there is a gap to fill in the management of funerals. We now have close to 15 funeral management companies in the country. We have made funeral services much less traumatic, convinced several people to realize the need to give decent funerals to their loved ones and our services have received local and international accolade,” she adds.
UFS has won a Phenomenal Woman of Funeral Service Trail Blazer Award 2013 – presented at Austin Convention Center – Austin Texas, USA. In 2013 it was also honoured as one of the top 50 brands that have had a tremendous impact on the lives of Ugandans since Independence. Due to her work, Mukiibi bagged the Uganda Investment Authority Best Woman Entrepreneur award (2007), Investor of the Year National Award 2009, Sustained Growth National Award 2009 and UWEAL Best Woman Entrepreneur 2004 (Senior Category).
TOLL FREE NUMBER
High profile funerals they have handled
UFS has made a lasting mark on high profile funerals. “We have handled disasters, for example; we singlehandedly handled the funeral and outward repatriation services in the Entebbe Air crash situation where five foreigners perished in Lake Victoria in October 2000 in a CESSNA210 Aircraft,” she says. The funeral and inward repatriation of fellow Ugandans in the incident of John Garang and 13 others who perished in a helicopter crash in July 2005 near the South Sudan border were handled by UFS. Another incident was when UPDF Air force crew enroute to Somalia crashed in the Kenya Mountains in August 2012, the
funeral management was also handled by UFS. It is noteworthy that all these events were handled without closing
their normal operations. “We have two private storage facilities, and we are in the process of establishing more countrywide.
We also have a large fleet of hearses for transportation to any part of the country and beyond the borders. We also have a sister company dealing in coffins/caskets. These combined with our trained youthful workforce make us a formidable force with the capacity to handle a sizable disaster,” she says. Mukiibi explains that UFS is fortunate in that it has both national
and international membership to several Associations. When it comes to repatriations in-ward or outward, this membership plays a key role. “We have connections with Funeral Homes virtually all over the World. Mention the country and we have a contact.” she explains.
Impact on traditional funerals
The birth of UFS was a response to the already disintegrating ties that used to bind us together as a society. “Our work pressures had started taking us away from our villages to towns, across borders and out of the continent. When death occurs however, we all need a quick shoulder to lean on. UFS today quickly provides that shoulder.” she explains. Mukiibi says with traditional funerals, one of the most significant features was the terror of death. “These days more and more human remains are prepared for viewing, they are therefore not as frightening as they used to be,” she says.
The insurance arrangements in place can cover individuals, families and organized groups. The annual premiums range between UGX 19,000= and UGX 200,000= depending on one’s choice of cover. Cash Pac: – This is a saving scheme for self, for parents or for anybody that may fall into one’s scope of responsibility in case of death. Cash Pac provides the saver with very favorable saving terms, and its funeral benefits are transferable to whoever you instruct UFS to take care of. UFS Corporate Guarantee: – This is a corporate arrangement where a corporate body prepares itself for any eventuality of death among its staff or their dependents, and UFS guarantees the provision of the agreed services at a fixed rate over an agreed period of time.
All these programmes and many others are meant to make it possible and easier to ensure decent funerals for
our loved ones when the time comes. It is only prudent that all the general public avail themselves of these opportunities to have peace of mind with respect to eventualities of death. ‘This is where we take the opportunity to thank all the
Organizations and families that have continually given us the confidence to handle the remains of their dear ones departed’.
What other people say about Uganda Funeral Services
Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala, Archbishop Emeritus of Kampala
Many of us today are familiar with companies which give dignified service to our brothers and sisters at the end of their earthly life. The wording of their titles varies, but they end with funeral services. I hail Uganda Funeral Services because it was the first organised group to render funeral services. They remind us of a Jew whom we read about in
the holy books, that whenever he found the body of a dead fellow Jew, he would bury him (Tobit 1:15-18). Uganda Funeral Services has over the years inspired other people to set up similar services in various corners of Uganda. It is my hope that they too will be of the same spirit of respect and love for those bodies which St. Paul describes as temples of the Holy Spirit. I congratulate Uganda Funeral Services and wish it to continue the noble service to our brothers and sisters when they end their earthly life.
Maggie Kigozi, President of Business and Professional Women
I respect Regina Mukiibi for building her own capacity in business and specifically in funeral services.
She travelled with a business delegation to the USA where she was able to learn from state of the art funeral service providers. She also was able to train her daughter in funeral science in the US. I am proud that a company that started when I was the Executive Director of UIA has succeeded beyond our expectations, becoming the number one funeral service provider in the country. The company has invested in infrastructure and capacity building and creates a number of jobs.
Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, Archbishop of Kampala
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1Thessalonians 5:18). Guided by these words of sacred Scripture, I join the Uganda Funeral Services family in celebrating this great landmark of 20 years in the service of humanity. We thank the Lord for the inspiration and guidance that he gave to the founders of this pioneer funeral service provider in our country. Yours is not an ordinary business but a service to humanity, both the living the dead, during a very difficult moment of death.
You have resolutely carried out your mission of providing quality, compassionate and professional funeral services to all classes of people, at affordable terms. On my own behalf, and on behalf of the clergy, religious and faithful of Kampala Archdiocese, many of whom have benefited from your services, I congratulate you. During this past year, we have been invited to ‘be merciful like our heavenly father’ by carrying out acts of mercy, one which is burying the dead. This obligation involves accompanying them with our prayerful supplication on their behalf. You have rightly begun your celebrations with a very special prayer; Mass for the dead. This ‘holy and pious’ commemoration forms part of our Catholic traditions. I encourage you to promote this spirituality in your services.
This celebration further reminds us that life is an important gift from God, who alone has the right to take it when time comes. None of us has authority over our lives or that of others, right from the womb through old age.
Haji Yunus Kakande, secretary Office of the President
The Office of the President congratulates the management and staff of Uganda Funeral Services upon making it to the 20th anniversary. I have not seen any company for the last 20 years offering the same kind of service. You have exhibited professionalism and excellence. You have opened a door and set a good example for the other companies to join the field. I, therefore, unreservedly commend you for having opened a way for other companies to join the same industry.
Gideon Badagawa, Executive Director, Private Sector Foundation Uganda
The Private Sector Foundation Uganda is proud to associate with the management and staff of Uganda Funeral Services on the auspicious occasion to mark 20 years in business. As pioneers in the professional funeral and hygienic mortuary management, UFS has excelled in the business and attained professional status as a member of the World Organisation of Funeral Directors Operatives (FIAT-IFTA), Netherlands and the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) – Washington D.C (USA). PSFU is glad to have been part of the growth agenda for the company through various expert support -that has transformed both operations and human capital development . We congratulate you on your achievement and endeavors in the last 20 years and pray for your continued professionalization of the funeral industry not only in Uganda but beyond.
Teresa Saavedra, FIAT-IFTA International President,
Uganda Funeral Services has added the human component and transformed services that you are able to provide a family during the difficult time when a loved one has passed on. We are sure that as you look upon the years past you must recall all the circumstances, steps, difficulties or positive inputs that you have had; yet we are absolutely confident that you have made a difference in all the families that you have served. At the dawn of your 20th anniversary, we are proud to witness your impact, your devotion and passion in making this difference possible in Uganda and beyond.
By John V Sserwaniko
A war has erupted between Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) boss Dan Bemanya Twebaze (Registrar General) and Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) Executive Director Lawrence Byensi.
At the center of it all is the desire to account for the money being imprudently spent from the $10m (Shs36bn) World Bank (WB) offered Uganda under the Competitiveness & Enterprise Development Project (CEDP).
There are efforts to disregard the over Shs3.5bn UIA has so far invested in the Business Registration System (BRS) which is an online solution aimed at eliminating bureaucracy and generally improve Uganda’s competitiveness as a favorable investment destination.
We have seen correspondences in which Byensi says cabinet exclusively gave UIA the assignment to build the e-Biz web portal to provide e-solutions to investors seeking to electronically access and utilize investments/business registration and licensing-related information in Uganda.
The relevant Cabinet Minute was captured under Cabinet memo no. 8 of 2014. In that Cabinet meeting it was resolved UIA becomes the One Stop Center (OSC) for investors.
At that time the President was angry that investors were suffering going to many different agencies (MDAs) as they sought to register and operationalize businesses in Uganda.
The different MDAs to which investors had to separately go included URA, UIA, URSB, Ministry of Internal Affairs (specifically Directorate of Citizenship Immigration & Control) for things like work permits, NEMA for EIAs, Lands Ministry for land title verification and KCCA for those seeking to operate in Kampala.
Museveni wanted this unnecessary red tape eliminated as many investors were complaining to him about the resultant costly delays it was causing them.
In the 2014 memo Cabinet wanted the e-Biz solution (or BRS) expeditiously accomplished to cater for investors that were unable to physically walk in to seek business registration and licensing-related services from UIA’s One Stop Center (OSC).
Under the arrangement, the e-Biz web portal had to be put in place to enable the seven (7) MDAs electronically interface in an integrated way while eliminating duplication. At a cost of over Shs3.5bn (so far), the Norwegian Registers Development (NRD, an IT consultant firm) was engaged by UIA to build the e-Biz solution/web portal aimed at electronically integrating the business registration-related services offered by the 7 MDAs.
At the prompting of OPM, James Saka’s NITA-U was engaged as project manager to avail UIA with technical expertise required to supervise what NRD was doing. NITA-U was specifically suitable because of the vast experience it had garnered overseeing implementation of the e-government project integrating all government ministries and MDAs.
Project name was “Implementation of an Integrated One Stop Center for investment registration and licensing.” Finance Ministry was designated as the Project sponsor, UIA as project owner and NITA-U as Project Manager.
The e-OSC solution governance structure was also agreed and NITA’s involvement in implementing the e-OSC solution was duly approved by the Finance Ministry which mothers UIA.
NRD’s work was flagged off in January 2016 by Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere who was then Minister of General Duties in OPM. One of the quick achievements UIA instantly registered through NRD included online Business Name Reservation (BNR) and online land title verification by prospective investors coming to Uganda.
A charter was subsequently signed specifying the role each of the 7 relevant MDAs would play in accomplishing the task. As of January 2017 everything was going well and Keith Muhakanizi, in his capacity as PS/ST told one of the implementation committee meetings that government was happy that 85% of the job had been accomplished in such a short time.
He promised to ensure UIA gets more funding in the budget from the current Shs5bn it gets annually. It must be clarified that the Shs3.5bn so far injected in the e-OSC solution was raised from money UIA collects as Non-Tax Revenues (NTRs).
This is mostly in ground rent off the industrial park land and licensing fees investors pay. At the time Muhakanizi commended UIA, the unaccomplished project deliverables (comprising 15%) included pending completion of URA online TIN registration, NIRA’s online ID verification, COIN/KCCA online trading license application and Immigration Directorate’s online visa/work permit application.NIRA’s Judith Obitre-Gama
The accomplished 85% was comprised of the following: modules that David Bahati launched in December 2016 relating to online Business Registration System (BRS whose user was URSB), online land title verification, online Business Name Reservation, online investment licensing, online interface regarding visa/work permits, digitalization of NEMA’S EIA processes and digitalizing KCCA’s interface system online etc.
THINGS FALL APART
What shocked many were the utterances made by Muhakanizi’s deputy Patrick Ocailap (DPS/ST) in a January 2017 subsequent meeting with stakeholders. “He spoke in a way that showed he wasn’t on the same page with his boss Keith on this matter.
His utterances showed the 85% so far accomplished wasn’t being recognized and all the work UIA had done was going to be duplicated by URSB under the guise of One Stop Shop [OSS] whose contents are exactly similar to the e-OSC solution UIA had spent billions putting in place,” said a source showing the confusion escalated.
The Ocailap meeting seemed to endorse the spending of Shs600m from the Shs36bn WB offered for CEDP whose total worth is $10m (approximately Shs36bn). Sources say the unusually tense Ocailap, while chairing the meeting, refused any reference to Muhakanizi’s earlier recognition of the 85% accomplishments UIA had made on its e-OSC solution.
It was clear officials wanted the same work be repeated ostensibly to enable officials account for the Shs600m that had so far been spent from WB/CEDP’s $10m.
“Everybody was wondering why we were duplicating services already offered by the e-biz portal solution on which UIA had already spent billions,” says a source representing one of the 7 MDAs.
“We were visibly all intimidated but people kept murmuring why are we squandering World Bank/CEDP money duplicating work [e-OSC solution] on which billions of GoU money had already been spent.”
It emerged to many MDA reps that some people were determined to spend WB’s Shs600m to create something called One Stop Shop (OSS) which would apply to or integrate all the 7 agencies (including UIA).
“We kept arguing OSS is clearly a duplication of what is already available under e-OSC solution accomplished by UIA years ago but we weren’t listened to,” recalled a source.
“The new position was UIA should move expeditiously and organize the formal launch of e-OSC solution and subsequently hand it over to URSB whose experts would merge it with OSS.”
At that Ocailap meeting some officials vehemently opposed this on grounds this wasn’t the proper way to work but they were cowed into silence.
Leaked correspondences separately authored by URSB’s Bemanya and UIA’s Byensi show the President somehow learnt of this feuding and was very angry about it. In a subsequent cabinet meeting, Museveni wondered why anybody would doubt UIA’s capacity to be a One Stop Center for investors and to have the last word on investment-related matters.
Museveni wondered why URSB and NIRA were seeking more work when they still have backlog regarding their core mandate of business, birth and death registration. In one of his December 2016 letters, Bemanya furiously says URSB had gone through Muhakanizi to clarify OSS/OSC-related mandate to the President.
He also refers to his Minister the indefatigable Kahinda Otafiire’s efforts to get Museveni preside over a public function at which URSB would be endorsed as the sole authority to control all matters relating to OSS/OSC-notwithstanding the alleged costly duplication.
There are indications Byensi’s UIA had also been running to the President urging him to call URSB to order since the days of ex-ED Frank Sebowa. Sources say the feud regarding this OSS/OSC duplication saw Finance Ministry powerful officials gang up on Sebowa resulting into his exit mid last year.
He was replaced by Byensi who continues to be backed by his BOD in his wars with URSB and powerful finance Ministry interests.
KOLOLO LAND FEUDS
We are reliably informed the wars between some Finance Ministry technocrats and UIA exceed the OSS/OSC-related duplication that is already costing government billions of shillings. “There is the issue of UIA prime land in Kololo.
Having been blocked by IGG from buying Georgina building to house the OSS/OSC secretariat, the powerful guys resorted to pressurizing UIA to surrender its Kololo land to have a 5 storied building erected there whereby UIA would have only one floor and even have the title split into two,” said a source deeply knowledgeable with this row.
“The idea is to house OSS/OSC Secretariat there and one floor will be leased to the collecting banks but the rent shouldn’t go to UIA even when it’s the owner of the Kololo land. These are things Frank Sebowa resisted and the powerful guys reacted by forcing him out of UIA,” argued a source wondering why those concerned can’t proceed spending and accounting for CEDP/WB’s $10m without stampeding UIA in their things.
“Why must UIA be used to justify spending of this CEDP/WB money on matters that are clearly duplicated?” ranted a UIA BOD member adding that UIA has the capability to autonomously develop its Kololo property.
UIA acquired the Kololo property using proceeds from sale of its land on Kampala road. We are told stung by the extent to which these rows with Finance Ministry technocrats have crippled UIA, Museveni is considering making UIA more autonomous.
The wars regarding the OSS/OSC duplication have lately escalated so much that NITA-U boss James Saka was even expelled from the related meetings. Saka, who was loathed for vehemently opposing wasteful duplication, has since been replaced by someone considered more friendly and cooperative. This new person was allegedly identified by powerful Peter Nyategize, the CICs/CEDP Project Manager.
Corroborating on this Saka issue, a source said: “Don’t even talk of the Finance Ministry. It will be improper to blame them because they mother UIA.
The problem is URSB insisting on squandering government resources duplicating work already put in place by UIA serving exactly the same agencies.” Efforts to get URSB boss Dan Twebaze’s comment failed after our phone calls went unanswered.
He didn’t reply text messages either. However, a source from the Justice Ministry (which supervises URSB) strongly defended Twebaze as follows:
“UIA has no moral authority to say anything. They had 20 years but failed to accomplish that OSC project. They spent billions and had nothing to show and they are now ashamed Twebaze’s URSB has delivered the project in much shorter time at only Shs600m. Being the first point of registration, URSB is well placed for that project. They took it up and they have done it well and thereby saving GoU the embarrassment UIA had caused us for over 20 years. They [UIA] are now envious of URSB and that is why a lot is being said.”
Critics said both Twebaze and Byensi are to blame because their ineptness has cost the tax payer.
“In order to catch the President’s eye the two organizations are busy massively advertising the two programs [OSS & OSC] presenting them to the public as different yet in actual sense they are one and same. It’s nothing but duplication and its GoU losing money,” ranted a source.
Whereas URSB has been everywhere on TV, newspapers and radio advertising its OSS, UIA last Thursday expensively sponsored newspaper supplements demonstrating the workability of its One Stop Center. This was aimed at countering the visibility wealthier URSB has been enjoying for months now.
The investors now remain confused between UIA and URSB: offering exactly the same facility only presented with different names.
“They [UIA] are busy saying this is our mandate but what does the country want: the mandate owner or the service being delivered? They failed and should keep quiet forever,” the Justice Ministry source furiously said of UIA’s ineptness.
BEMANYA, BYENSI FIGHT
We have seen letters in which Byensi and URSB’ Dan Twebaze Bemanya sharply traded insults. In one December 2016 letter Byensi accuses Bemanya of being “diversionary” regarding the alleged OSS/OSC duplication. The two exchanged many letters in December 2016 as Museveni was expected to publicly launch the One Stop Center (OSC).
In his 2/12/2016 letter, Twebaze asked UIA to hand over control and management of OSC to URSB without any further delays. Byensi replied there is no way UIA would surrender the project to URSB after investing lots of financial and human resources facilitating Norwegian firm (NRD) to develop the integration technology.
Byensi reminded Twebaze its UIA that ensured NRD delivered on 28/11/2016 as per the contract. Byensi argued despite its small budget, UIA had prioritized and invested billions into the BRS project and wouldn’t surrender.
“The program [launching] will therefore proceed as planned and in no way does it conflict with the planned launch of the OSS/One Stop Shop under the CEDP project as stated in your letter,” Byensi boldly wrote almost insulting Twebaze who had previously written contesting a public launch UIA had planned with the President in attendance.
In the end Deputy Finance Minister David Bahati presided over on the president’s behalf. URSB officials allegedly rang other MDAs heads urging them to shun UIA’s launching ceremony.
Byensi accused Twebaze of working to frustrate Cabinet directives mandating UIA to handle “and this has progressively been achieved both physically and electronically.”
He adds: “You will also recall that there were seven agencies that were identified [by cabinet] to start up the OSC for investors and URSB is one of them. In light of the fact that UIA is a One Stop Center for investors and not a beneficiary institution of the CEDP project [whose membership includes URA, URSB and KCCA], we find it diversionary for UIA to set up a stall at the One Stop Shop (OSS). However, we appreciate the efforts of the CEDP towards formalization of companies and expansion of tax payer base in Uganda,” Byensi’s 5/12/2016 two page letter reads in part.
“Please note that the Executive Director of UIA has not been invited to any meeting which discussed the issue of posting officers to OSS under the CEDP arrangement. In the past there have been meetings held under the CEDP project where UIA is not party. We once again invite you to attend the BRS launching function.”
Byensi’s letter was copied to 11 different offices concerned with the project. In an earlier letter, Twebaze had accused Byensi of hijacking his/URSB’s own initiative to invite the President to launch URSB’s OSS in December 2016.
Twebaze revealed that during a State House meeting, the URSB (had through PSST Keith Muhakanizi) informed the President about the progress made under OSS and what it would achieve for Uganda.
He wondered where Byensi was getting guts to invite him (Twebaze & other MDAs) to launch his (Byensi’s) One Stop Center well knowing what it was seeking to achieve was already being done under URSB’s One Stop Shop (OSS).
He disclosed what Museveni was planning to launch was OSS and not UIA’s OSC. We established URSB set up OSS costing Shs600m got from the $10m WB-funded CEDP program housed at the Finance Ministry.
Bemanya also informed Byensi how his URSB line Minister Kahinda Otafiire had already written a letter inviting the President to launch both BRS and OSS on 19/12/2016. Byensi had on 29/11/2016 written a letter inviting Bemanya Twebaze to attend a similar BRS launch and hand over which UIA was organizing.
This is how Bemanya contemptuously challenged Byensi on this very issue: “We [URSB] find it inappropriate for UIA to carry out a launch of the Business Registration System which would in effect pre-empt the expected impact of the launch by His Excellence the President. We therefore request you to consider your program accordingly.”
He added: “The PS/ST has called a meeting of the CEOs of all the relevant MDAs that are expected to have a presence in the OSS. The agencies are expected to have settled in the OSS before the launch date.
UIA is one of the key agencies in the OSS and we are looking forward to your attendance of the meeting as well as your establishment of a desk at the OSS and your continued support of this government effort.” Twebaze Bemanya’s OSS is housed at 1st floor of Georgina House which houses URSB.
In his letter Bemanya asked Byensi to recognize OSS as a legitimate government effort and have his UIA submit to its authority, something Byensi furiously protested in his 5/12/2016 letter insisting UIA had its own BRS system and has nothing to do with Bemanya’s OSS.
Quoting the 2014 Cabinet Memo, Byensi insisted UIA is mandated to operate the OSC comprising the 7 MDAs (URSB, Lands Ministry, URA, NEMA, Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC)/MIA and KCCA).
By Our Reporters
President Museveni has unilaterally re-appointed top city corporate Irene Muwanguzi Wasike back as MD for Entebbe-based Uganda Printing &Publishing Corporation (UPPC).
Formed in 1960s and supervised directly by President’s office, UPPC is by law mandated to do all government ministries and MDAs printing jobs.
Her reappointment was announced by her line Minister Esther Mbayo in a letter to IGG Mulyagonja. Muwanguzi had been forced out months ago by a group of old BOD members led by Eddie Ococ closely working with some dubious staff members who didn’t want her in office.
At first their decision to remove her was reversed by IGG Irene Mulyagonja whose discovered that it were actually the BOD members and some management guys that needed reprimanding and not Muwanguzi.
In fact Mulyagonja ordered then presidency minister Frank Tumwebaze to immediately knife Ococ and other BOD members with a view of having some of them criminally prosecuted for fraudulent activities.
Tumwebaze managed the situation politically by allowing them to finish their term since it was just months to end and argued expelling them would attract endless litigation in case the aggrieved went to court.
His idea was allow them finish their term but don’t reappoint them and that exactly is what happened. However, after Ococ’s BOD quit some management guys sponsored a former employee to go to court challenging Muwanguzi’s contract. It was this curious court order that was used to humiliatingly get her out of office. Unknown to her pursuers, Muwanguzi had weeks earlier established direct contact with Museveni who had received intelligence reports regarding her innocence and work ethic.
Sources say even the day she was humiliatingly evicted from office by hired armed men, Museveni got a report regarding what happened and watched video clips showing the babe from Manafwa being dragged on the tarmac outside UPPC offices.
He was very busy but assured new Presidency Minister Esther Mbayo something had to be done to atone the damage caused to Muwanguzi who sources described as State House new blue eyed girl favored by influential Museveni palace officials like Molly Kamukama, the new PPS.
According to Mbayo, January 9th 2017 was the last time Museveni met a tearful Muwanguzi at State House Entebbe and registered his sympathies with the way she was persecuted by haters in UPPC.
In her latest two page letter to IGG Mulyagonja, Mbayo discloses that Museveni has directed that Muwanguzi be immediately reinstated as MD.
She is supposed to bounce back and Mbayo’s work is to only regularize her return to office with even more powers. We are told there are multi-trillion joint venture projects involving the Germans (revitalizing UPPC and make it the best in EA) which Museveni specifically wants Muwanguzi to handle.
In fact even when she was out of office Muwanguzi has been doing UPPC work including regularly travelling to Germany to follow up on Museveni’s joint venture-related assignments.
In fact on learning of this, UPPC management had planned to publish a disclaimer notice in newspapers warning the public not to deal with her as MD but they backed off on getting reports the big one from Rwakitura was behind her actions.
In her letter, copied to the President, Attorney General and PPS, Mbayo asks Mulyagonja to write an opinion guiding her on how to go about the whole reinstatement project since UPPC is one entity Mulyagonja has thoroughly investigated before and she fully knows its unique challenges.
We are told the IGG’s written guidance is expected in the coming days and Muwanguzi will early next month be back in office doing her duties as freshly re-assigned by the President.
ILLICIT: Malwa drinkers in Busoga operate beyond any regulation and taxation (picture credit: actionaid)
Uganda loses US$172m about Shs616bn taxes every year in uncollected taxes accruing to the production and trade in illicit alcohol.
According to a study released by Euromonitor International on the Alcohol Beverage Market in Uganda 2015, Uganda is a market dominated by illegitimate alcohol brewed by unregulated and undocumented brewers who don’t pay any taxes to the government.
Uganda has a population of 39 million people, many of whom live in rural areas where many of these small scale brewers and distilleries operate away from any government regulation.
“Illicit alcohol production is larger than legal production in both volume and value terms,” Onapito Ekomoloit, Corporate Affairs Director, Nile Breweries told the business week.
The study released by Euromonitor International indicates that Uganda has a total alcohol market volume of 110, 647,900 litres of which the total market volume for licit/legitimate alcohol stands at 43,020,300 litres while 67,627,600 litres of illicit alcohol accounts for the total market volume of alcohol in the country.
63% of spirits of the total market volume of alcohol on the Ugandan market is illicit, only 37% of the total market volume of spirits is legitimate. While 79% of wine/fruit wine is legitimate, 21% of wine/fruit wine is illicit, and whereas 6% of opaque beer is legitimate, 94% opaque beer is illicit. Therefore, illicit spirits and powered opaque beer volumes are larger than legal production.
Similarly, the total licit alcohol market value in Uganda stands at US$2,126m about Shs7.6trillion while the total illicit market value of alcohol US$676m about 2.4 trillion.
The police have this morning arrested Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and three MPs; Mubarak Munyagwa, Moses Kasibante and Allan Ssewanyana who allegedly incited Park Yard traders to demonstrate.
Lukwago had led the team to update the vendors on the latest developments regarding the 30-day eviction notice issued by Kampala Minister Betty Kamya two weeks ago.
The leaders’ meeting with the vendors has however been blocked and they were whisked away to the Central Police Station where they are all being held.
Last week, the venders held a meeting with KCCA council where they aired their opinion on the matter. They claim Kamya wants to give their land to an investor for re-development, but believe they too have the capacity to do the same.
This website understands that over 1000 vendors operate their businesses from this area.
They accuse a one Hamis (Ham Enterprises) of being behind the eviction.
However, the traders have threatened that if they are to leave, they will leave while dead.
South African asset manager Stanlib has partnered with Chestnut Uganda (owned by lawyer Charles Odere) for the construction and development of a $50m shopping mall in Kampala.
Stanlib’s private equity Africa Direct Property Development Fund will provide $30m, whereas Standard Bank South Africa, the parent company of Stanlib, will contribute $20m of debt.
Nnema Byrd, Stanlib Investment Principal, said: “We see a long term growth trajectory for Uganda, on the back of government spending on infrastructure. Kampala city is experiencing economic and population growth, adding to the need for an increase in formal retail offerings.”
Byrd added that Uganda’s long-term macro outlook remains positive, with GDP growth expected to reach 5.7% by 2018 and it is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.
The new commercial development, sitting on a 5 acre piece of land, is expected to open doors in November 2018.
The mall is located in Kampala’s Nsambya suburb, 2 kilometres south of the Central Business District.
The Arena Mall will be a 14,000 square metre shopping centre with supermarkets, retail shops, fashion development stores and a cinema.
Seyani Brothers has been selected as the main contractor while Betts Townsend will manage the development and construction of the mall.
Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, is in lockdown today as Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed is being inaugurated as the new president.
Major roads in the city have been sealed off and there are increased military patrols, BBC reports.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has arrived in Mogadishu and is expected to be among heads of state from the region at the event.
The ceremony is being held in a hangar at the city’s airport, the most heavily guarded place in the whole country.
Mr Mohamed defeated 21 candidates including the incumbent president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in the election held on 8 February.
He takes office as the country faces an increased threat from Islamist militants al-Shabab, who frequently attack Mogadishu, and a severe drought.
Police in The Gambia have arrested the country’s ex- spy chief, who headed an agency rights groups that alleges tortured and killed opponents of former President Yahya Jammeh.
Yankuba Badgie was arrested along with another former employee of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) on Monday, a police spokesman said.
Jammeh set up the body the year after he seized power in a coup in 1994 and it gained a reputation as the state’s most feared institution, the Reuters news agency reports.
The arrests are the first of senior Gambian officials since Jammeh went into exile in Equatorial Guinea after regional leaders deployed troops to The Gambia to urge him to step down.
He lost elections in December to Adama Barrow – after initially accepting the results he tried to get them annulled.
The body of Moroto Woman MP, Annie Logiel is set to be laid to rest on Sunday 27th February, 2017.
Logiel passed away last week in a Denmark hospital after a surgery to remove a tumor in her brain.
According to a programme released by Parliament on February 21, 2017, the casket containing the late Logiel’s remains will arrive at Entebbe International Airport on Thursday at 4.15 pm.
It will then be taken to a funeral home for embalming and later an overnight vigil in Entebbe will follow.
On Friday February 23, 2017, there will be a requiem mass at Christ the King Church, after which the body will be taken to Parliament, where it will lie in state for public viewing.
In the afternoon, the body will be moved inside the chambers where MPs will pay special tribute to the late Logiel.
The cortege will leave Parliament for Moroto district where she will be buried on Sunday.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, during the plenary sitting of on Tuesday asked MPs to show up on Friday and pay their last respects to the fallen colleague.
The verification committee of parliament has lined up 47 candidates to compete for the 9 slots of the East African Legislative Assembly.
According to a letter issued by the Clerk to Parliament, Ms Jane Kibirige, the committee Chaired by Beatrice Rwakimari (NRM-Ntungamo) has found all 47 fit for the regional assembly.
It’s now up to them to battle for the available 9 slots in an election that will be held on 28th February, 2017 at the parliament of Uganda.
The 47 candidates include 37 independents, 6 NRM candidates, 2 from FDC and 2 from both DP and UPC.
If parliament maintains the existing guidelines, the NRM will take 6 out of the 9 position, leaving only two and one slots for the opposition and independents respectively.
On Monday this week, the Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa who also chairs the NRM Parliamentary caucus refuted any alliance with incumbents; DP’s Mukasa Mbidde, Chris Opoka (UPC) and Susan Nakawuki (Independent.)
“There is no alliance of any nature and believe the opposition can better organize themselves into fronting their interests,” she said.
Nankabirwa also said she would not dictate to her members on how to vote, but emphasized that the NRM MPs will be voting for all the six of its members, then any other three of their choice, two from the opposition and only one for independents.
FULL LISTNo NAME PARTY 1 Mukasa Fred Mbidde DP 2 Ekwau Florence Ibi FDC 3 Kamateneti Ingrid Turinawe FDC 4 Akol Rose Okullu NRM 5 Musamali Paul Mwasa NRM 6 Mugyenyi Mary NRM 7 Kasamba Mathias NRM 8 Namara Dennis NRM 9 Odongo George Stephen NRM 10 Opoka-Okumu Christopher UPC 11 Agaba Martin Edgar Indep 12 Akwi Algresia Ogojo Indep 13 Ariong Hellen Adeke Indep 14 Basiime Richard Bashenyi Indep 15 Bayiga Cissy Oeschger Indep 16 Bwengye Lauben Muhangi Indep 17 Drito Alice Indep 18 Ibanda Twaha Indep 19 Kaluuba Enoch Indep 20 Kenyangi Janet Kikwaya Indep 21 Luyinda Fred Indep 22 Matyoli David Innocent Indep 23 Mpiriirwe Rachel Indep 24 Muhango Chris Indep 25 Mutyaba Mathew Indep 26 Muyanja Hassan Ssentongo Indep 27 Mwambazi Joseph Kazura Indep 28 Mwambu Herbert Emmanuel Indep 29 Mwanje Charles Indep 30 Nakawuki Susan Nsambu Indep 31 Nalubega Mariam Indep 32 Nassanga Jackline Oba Indep 33 Nyero Francis Elton Lakelle Indep 34 Obua-Ogwal Benson Indep 35 Okwere David Beecham Indep 36 Oluma Kennedy Indep 37 Oola Samuel Indep 38 Otim Alfred Indep 39 Paito Andrew Mutegi Indep 40 Ruhinda Richard Nganwa Indep 41 Seruwuge Yasin Indep 42 Ssali Godfrey Indep 43 Ssali Khalid Lule Indep 44 Tusiime Robert Alaali Indep 45 Werikhe Gerald Wanzala Indep 46 Yamureebire Jothan Indep 47 Yiga Joel Kamoga Indep
By Serestino Tusingwire
Following various reports that a number of schools continue to levy unrealistic and prohibitive school fees thereby denying students their right to education, the ministry of education has intervened to curb the school fees hike.
One of the things the ministry thinks cause exorbitant fees in school is the issue of PTA Allowances.
According to statement released recently by the Permanent Secretary MoES Alex Kakooza, in government schools, PTA allowances to staff unlike salaries are not a right.
He argued that school fees should not be increased on account of increasing PTA allowances to staff.
In the same statement, Kakooza added that PTA allowances should also not be claimed in earlier beyond a school’s budget year.
Kakooza also warned that schools should distance themselves from hiring additional staff before putting staff on payroll to a full use.
“Headteachers are warned against employing additional staff before all the teachers on payroll have been assigned the minimum teaching load of 24 periods per week,” Kakooza said in a statement.
He therefore stated that, from now on, no school shall be allowed to increase school charges for whatever reasons without authorization from the ministry of Education.
The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) has withheld results of 64 students over examination malpractice. The affected students are from 11 different examination centers.
According to the UNEB Executive Secretary Daniel Odongo, the centers affected include Science Foundation with 27 candidates, 11 candidates from Alliance SS Ibanda, 10 from Ezra Memorial SS, five from Rubona SS and five from Iganga Parents SS, among others.
This website understands that six other schools whose identities were concealed by UNEB, had one case of withheld results each.
The malpractices were mainly reported in Science subjects especially Physics, Chemistry and Subsidiary Mathematics, according the executive secretary.
Odongo however noted that the affected candidates will be accorded a fair hearing by the Board before a verdict is issued.
It should be noted that the number of withheld results has reduced from 279 cases that were recorded in 2015.
A total of 104,243 candidates registered for the 2016 from 2,076 centres compared to 101,268 at 2003 centres in 2015.
Meanwhile UNEB analysis indicates that overall, candidates’ performance in 2016 UACE examination shows that a very high percentage of candidates (98.7%) qualified for the award of UACE certicates.
In 2015, only 97.8% qualified for certificates.