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Rwandan Journalist Wins Top Award in Australia

Sat, 04/29/2017 - 22:33
Rwandan Journalist Wins Top Award in Australia

By Our Reporter

A former Rwandan Journalist working for a Ugandan daily, Mr Robert Mukombozi is taking Australia by storm.

He has become one of Australia’s influential voices in the community, government, non-government and private sectors earning him 3 major awards this year.

He was recently awarded the 2016 Multicultural Recognition Awards by the Queensland government for his outstanding contribution to advancing multiculturalism in Queensland and Australia at large.

Early last year he was also the winner of a Local legends Award by the federal government and 2016 outstanding services award winner from the Fiji community along with Queensland Police Services Commissioner Mr Ian Stewart APM.

Mr Mukombozi’s awards are mainly in recognition of his outstanding leadership in different roles, including President of Queensland African communities’ council with more than 63,000 members, mobilisation of more than a million dollars of relief funds for countries affected by natural disasters such as Phillipines, New Zealand, Burma and Japan among others.

“It is a great honour to be recognised for my contribution to the Australian society and for reaching out to vulnerable and disadvantaged members here and beyond our borders,” Mr Mukombozi said.

“I am so grateful for all the support I continue to receive from different sectors of our society and community and I dedicate these awards to all hardworking men and women waking up every day with a sole purpose of driving change for a common good.”

Mr Mukombozi has also contributed hugely to Australia’s immigration and foreign policies, particularly towards Africa through his work as part of the African ministerial consultative committee advising the Australian government on Africa.

Juice FM’s Dj Sirus Ziki Making it Big

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 17:35
Juice FM’s Dj Sirus Ziki Making it Big

Atwiine Sirus aka  Sirus Ziki is quickly rising making it big in the entertainment industry. The renowned Deejay features on 103.4 Juice fm every Friday from 9pm to mid-night in a music dance mix.

He doubles as a music promoter at Given entertainment and have worked with a number of artistes like; Apass, Hellen Lukoma, Sizza man and Voltage (kent & flosso)

2017 seems to be looking good for the rising Dj with new projects scheduled for him.

He has confirmed his East African tour set for this year, where he will be featured in the biggest clubs in East Africa like Nairobi’s Black Diamond and Blue Line.

According to our sources his management has secured tour dates throughout Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan alongside some big artistes who will be headlining his tour.

Dj Sirus has a song with Alvin Kizz and Papa Cidy coming out soon and is also featured on a global smash single with Tory Lanez and honorable which is produced by Hebert skills and mixed by sony music.

Watch the space for more!

Women Frustrating EMTCT Efforts over Stigma

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 17:03
Women Frustrating EMTCT Efforts over Stigma

By Sarah Achen

Uganda’s effort to eliminate HIV out of the country could soon become history if mothers adhere to their drugs during pregnancy.

Mariam a 30-year-old mother tested HIV positive when she was expecting her first child. Thanks to the health workers, she was enrolled on ARVs and today she was able to give birth to a healthy HIV negative baby. More women like her can now give birth to healthy babies.

The Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission (EMTCT) Campaign targets HIV-positive women like Mariam. Championed by Uganda’s First Lady, Janet Museveni, the EMTCT Campaign promotes the Option B+ treatment strategy for mothers and their unborn babies.

CDC country director Dr Steven Wiersma explains that if people take their drugs daily then their viral load will be suppressed and HIV elimination will be a reality.

The EMTCT Focal person from Luwero Health Centre VI, Sister Margaret Nalukenge reveals this in an interview that tracking the number of HIV positive mothers is not known because most of the mothers give wrong contacts and phone numbers making it hard to trace their location.

“Unlike in the past where HIV positive mothers gave birth to positive babies today with more mothers on ART, we are now getting HIV negative babies,” Nalukenge says.

According to Dr Daniel Kamya an HIV specialist from Mildmay, ART as a treatment is given to HIV positive people to reduce the amount of HIV circulating in the patient’s blood to a very low level. It has increased survival rates with early treatment, HIV positive patients can live as long as their counterparts HIV negative people.

Uganda adopted Option B+, the World Health Organization’s newly revised PMTCT treatment strategy, which recommends antiretroviral treatment beginning at diagnosis and continuing for life. In addition to greatly reducing the transmission of HIV from mother-to-child, the treatment strategy shows a reduction in transmission of HIV between sexual partners by 96 percent.

The benefits of the Option B+ strategy and importance of getting tested, seeking antenatal care and giving birth in a health facility. And HIV-positive mothers have to protect their children by using the Option B+ service. This is how we get an HIV free generation.”

Rolled out by the Ministry of Health with support from USAID, the multimedia EMTCT Campaign is implemented by partners nationwide.

The strategy has contributed a lot to the reduction of HIV among mothers although they still a challenge of lost to follow up mothers and their babies due to wrong addresses given by the mothers because they fear to disclose their status to their men.

“This happens because there is poor male involvement and non disclosure is hindering EMTCT services uptake in Luwero District,” she adds.

Ziwa Musisi the coordinator of People Living with HIV Luwero notes that EMTCT remains still the second major mode of transmission with HIV in Uganda and Luwero in particular accounting for up to 18% of new cases.

Without EMTCT the risk of transmission of HIV during pregnancy and delivery is estimated between 15-30% and the additional risk through breastfeeding is estimated at 10-20%. With lifelong ART, the risk in the populations is reduced to less than 5% and in non population to less than 2%.

The Acting Health Educator at the district, Henry Namakola adds that there is need to continue sentise men on the importance of involving them in the elimination of the scourge.

Research has shown that administration of ART to HIV positive women and their babies can lead to the reduction of mother to child transmission.

This can be done through a strong system with ante-natal and post natal care services while taking care of other factors affecting transmission like breast feeding practices.

Luwero initiated PMTCT in 2004 was piloted in one health facility with support from Plan International.

In 2008, Luwero district entered a partnership with PREFA to scale up EMTCT to all health centre IIIs.

The EMTCT programs aims at virtual elimination of HIV transmission from mother to child as well as reduction with mortality and morbidity among HIV positive women.

The overall objective is to achieve a new generation that is free from HIV and Aids in Luwero district by 90 90 90 strategy. Uganda is now at 80% of reaching the strategy.

Constant stock of ARVS and septrin, use of champions at all levels, utilization of expert clients like peer mothers who are beneficiaries of the ART program provide support together with support from implementing partners there is improvement in following up lost to follow mothers and babies through phone calls and visits.

Low uptake of other services, poor male involvement and non disclosure hindering EMTCT services uptake. Infant feeding dilemma, which is worsened by poverty, lack of equipment for monitoring HIV positive women in public health units especially health centre IIIs.

Magufuli sacks 10,000 civil servants over fake qualifications

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 16:34
Magufuli sacks 10,000 civil servants over fake qualifications

Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has sacked nearly 10,000 civil servants for holding fake education certificates.

He ordered that they leave their work stations by 15 May or else they will be arrested and prosecuted.

Magufuli was reacting to a report by a task force listing 9,932 government employees with dubious secondary school qualifications.

That’s just over 2% of the country’s civil servants.

The civil servants could also be prosecuted and if found guilty of fraud could face up to seven years in jail.

The investigation only looked into secondary school qualifications of officials in local government, public institutions and government agencies and has not examined university degree certificates.

Kenya’s opposition alliance picks Odinga as presidential candidate

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 16:24
Kenya’s opposition alliance picks Odinga as presidential candidate

Kenya’s main opposition alliance said on Thursday it had chosen veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga as its candidate for a presidential election scheduled for August 8.

Odinga, 72, will face off against President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is running for a second and final five-year term. The two men were the main contenders in the last election in 2013.

40 VIPs Sitting On Kabaka’s Land Listed: Find out why they are all renewing their leases

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 15:59
40 VIPs Sitting On Kabaka’s Land Listed: Find out why they are all renewing their leases

By Our Reporters

It has emerged that, whereas radio talk shows critics have been demonizing Kabaka’s ongoing mass titling campaign, many responsible citizens have complied by working with Buganda Land Board (BLB) to regularize their status on Kabaka’s land. Not only have they had BLB files opened in their names and their land surveyed/registered but have also paid up and acquired lease titles on Kabaka’s land they occupy.

Katikkiro Peter Mayiga says in the last two weeks alone, over 500 individual tenants and institutions have enthusiastically responded to the voluntary campaign by commencing their lease acquisition processes at the various BLB branches.

VIPs WITH LEASAES LISTED

Away from those rushing to regularize for the first time, our investigations have revealed that there are many well empowered prominent citizens and institutions which have for long been operating on Kabaka’s land under similar lease terms.

These include First Lady Janet Museveni whose posh Buziga home at Kyamula village sits on land she leased (49 years) from BLB. Her only son Muhoozi Kainerugaba (aka MK) is another prominent tenant with a home on Kabaka’s land leased under similar terms by BLB.

The big man President Museveni is another compliant Kabaka tenant who is understood to have recently initiated a leasing process through eminent real estate dealer and agent Abu Mukasa in the areas of Ziranumbu Hill overlooking the Kigo Victoria Serena. The land housing Victoria Serena itself is being held by the Aga Khan Group on terms of a lease previously granted by the Kabaka. Serena is a multi-billion investment and owners found it prudent to take out a lease similar to what BLB is currently dangling at over 130,000 surveyed/registered tenants on Kabaka’s land.

On Thursday Mayiga told Buganda MPs that the campaign will initially last 6 months but will eventually be expanded to cover all willing tenants on Kabaka’s land. Mayiga explained that the voluntary offer is 49 years (and can’t be in perpetuity) because, like the Catholic Church and other institutions meant to last forever, Buganda kingdom can’t engage in outright sale of land.

He urged MPs to explain to their people that institutions like Buganda can only give leases because the same land must remain for posterity. “Like the Catholic Church, Buganda will be here even after 200 years and its land must remain. What happens if the lease expires, your children will be free to renew it and nobody will dispossess them,” Mayiga explained to MPs.

He added it’s for the same reasons that even Uganda Land Commission (ULC), managing all government land, only gives lease offers as opposed to outright sale converting the offer into free hold. “The Uganda Police in Nsambya operates on Catholic Church land and it’s on lease terms,” Mayiga said. He arrayed fears the idea was to gradually disempower tenants on Kabakas’ land.

On the contrary, he said, lease acquisition will make life better and even those desiring to transfer or sale their interest in the leased land will be free to do so the way one can freely sell his/her Kibanja. Other speakers explained that besides being conclusive evidence of ownership, the lease titles will expedite access to financial services in banks and other institutions for tenants seeking to use their land to finance other productive economic activities.

OTHER LEASEES

Apart from the Museveni family, whose Kabaka leasehold isn’t a secret, there are many other powerful citizens benefiting from Kabaka’s lease offers. The house of late Gen Aronda Nyakayirima in Buziga/Bunga is also on Kabaka’s land leased by BLB. The Aronda family has ably lived on this property without any encumbrances and will be free to renew their lease on expiry.

Gen Ivan Koreta’s residential property

Our investigations show that even Sudhir Ruparelia’s Speke Resort Munyonyo (over 20 acres) is on Kabaka’s land under lease terms by BLB. His current financial woes notwithstanding, BLB hasn’t made any eviction threats against Sudhir since his lease tenure is still ongoing. This is the type of security the ongoing mass titling campaign seeks to bestow on all tenants on Kabaka’s land.

Gen David Sejusa is another comfortable tenant enjoying a lease on Kabaka’s land via the vast piece of land he owns at Kaazi. Sometime back, when the going got tough, the maverick General freely sold part of his land to other people without any interference from BLB.

Gen Ivan Koreta is another enthusiastic Kabaka tenant as his posh home in Konge Makindye Division operates on a lease granted by BLB. The other is Gen Kasirye Gwanga whose Makindye Kizungu home survived being grabbed by Kenyan claimants because his BLB paper work as Kabaka’s tenant was in order. It were the BLB lawyers, testifying that his was a valid lease that saved Gwanga homelessness.

Kasirye Gwanga’s home in Makindye

There is also Prisons boss Johnson Byabashaija whose 20 acre residence and farm in Kigo operates on BLB’s 49 year lease. Notwithstanding recent disagreements resulting from breach of agreed terms, singer Bobi Wine’s One Love Beach is also on BLB lease. Yet that isn’t all.

Ps Wilson Bugembe’s Nansana Church is a lease from BLB just like all Gen Jim Muhwezi’s Kampala homes with exception of the Bugolobi one. Ex-VP Gilbert Bukenya is among the 500 tenants who have so far taken advantage of the heavily subsidized offer BLB has offered in the ongoing mass titling campaign. Our investigations show he is processing lease acquisition through his wife Margaret Bukenya. The land is in Nansana area.

Still talking about proxy spouses, veteran commentator Tamale Mirundi is another beneficiary. Through his wife, the man from Kalisizo maintains a tenancy regulation file with BLB regarding the leased land on which his Zana-Entebbe road home sits. Justice GW Kanyeihamba also last week came out and confessed being a satisfied Kabaka tenant as his vast Buziga home sits on land leased by BLB. The prolific professor was full of praises for the lease system by Mengo.

Tamale Mirundi’s Zana home

Most of the KCCA installations in Kampala operate on 49 year old leases acquired from BLB including all the primary schools run by KCCA. The newly built multi-billion Kiruddu hospital along Salaama Road in Munyonyo is also operating on Kabaka’s lease.

The entire Orthodox Church complex in Namungoona is on BLB lease that was renewed recently covering church properties in Kampala, Mukono and Kyabakadde. The Catholic and Anglican Churches also just renewed leases covering their parishes in Kazinga, Makindye, Buziga, Mutundwe, Nabulagala, Kasubi, Kabowa, Najjanankumbi, Kiziba, Gangu and Kyebando among other places. They have also secured leases for their parishes at Masanafu, Kasubi, Lungujja, Ndejje, Kazo and other places.

Orthodox Church structure in the leafy Namungoona

The SDA church also runs it’s parishes on Kabaka’s land e.g. Bukejje, Masanafu, Kitala etc. The Catholic Church’s Bukalango and Munyonyo martyr’s shrines are all on BLB leases. There are many big private investments currently being implemented on land leased by BLB and they are in millions of dollars.

Examples include; the $30m Mirembe Villas estate in Kigo, National Housing’s Estates in Namungoona (harboring many corporates and expatriates) and Pearl Apartments in Lubowa. Through condominium titles, the Pearl model has proved you can create other interests on land leased by BLB.

Telecom companies like UTL also operate their masts on land leased from Mengo. The central government recently renewed its BLB leases for Nabweru and Kasangati courts.

Internal Security Organization (ISO) also operates one of their interrogation facilities in Nabweru from a building constructed under BLB lease. Government has found it hard to avoid BLB because most of the land in Greater Kampala Metropolitan area is Kabaka’s.

Bugembe’s Church in Nansana

The Makindye Military police is a BLB lease-just like the Officers Mess. The same applies to all district headquarters in Buganda, Prisons like Sentema and NWSC water treatment plant in Gaba. Our investigations also show that failure to properly regularize their lease documents with BLB recently put FUFA bosses in trouble after their potential funders raised queries which the Kabaka, acting as the lessor, had to clarify for them since that Njeru/Buikwe stadium land is his.

There was anxiety funding would be cancelled but the land lord intervened ratifying the FUFA lease. Giant petrol station companies like Shell and Total are also operating leases with BLB including for their Kibuye, Katwe, Namasuba, Nagalama and Nakulabye stations.

Makerere University is another Kabaka tenant example being the MISR lease that was recently concluded after protracted negotiations.

Pope Francis in Egypt to mend ties with Islam

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 15:06
Pope Francis in Egypt to mend ties with Islam

Pope Francis has arrived in Cairo this morning hoping to mend ties with Islamic religious leaders just as Egypt’s ancient Christian community faces unprecedented pressure from Islamic State militants who have threatened to wipe it out.

In an address to the Egyptian people this week, Francis spoke of his hope that his visit would help bring peace and encourage dialogue and reconciliation with the Islamic world.

But it comes at a painful time for Egypt’s Copts, the Middle East’s largest Christian community, three weeks after Islamic State suicide bombers killed 45 people in twin church bombings.

Those attacks followed a cathedral bombing that killed 28 people in December and a spree of murders that has forced hundreds of Christians to flee North Sinai, where the group is most active.

Islamic State attacks and sectarian wars in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere are devastating Christian populations and jeopardising their future in the Middle East, the birthplace of Jesus and home to the earliest churches.

Despite the security threat hanging over Francis’ visit, the pope will use an ordinary car during his 27 hours in Cairo, continuing his practice of shunning armoured limousines to be closer to people.

Streets near the Vatican embassy in Cairo and other sites have been cleared of cars and blocked off, and pedestrians have not been allowed to linger.

“After all the pain we have experienced … we are satisfied and confident that the state is taking strong security measures to prevent terrorism and protect churches,” said Father Boulos Halim, spokesman of the Coptic Orthodox church to which the majority of Egypt’s Christians belong.

Tension As Two FUFA Delegates Get Illegally Nominated

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 13:48
Tension As Two FUFA Delegates Get Illegally Nominated

By Emmanuel Sekago

As FUFA presidential election are around the corner  and delegates being nominated,  the FUFA Electoral commission is on sport for nominating delegates who are ineligible to stand.

Pepper sport intelligence unit (PSIU) has landed on credible information that two officials have been elected as delegates through dubious ways.

The two officials are; Decolas Kiiza and Patrick Ogwel Bernard.

By nature of his job, Kiiza is a full time employee who works with FUFA as finance Director and according to FUFA rules, someone who holds a public office is ineligible to stand.

However, we have exclusively learnt that Kizza was cleared and nominated to stand as a delegate of Makindye division.

Similarly, Ogwel who is the FUFA Executive member has been nominated as a FUFA delegate for Lira District against FUFA rules since he is a full time employee of FUFA.

By press time, PSIU had not established who is behind these fake nominations.

It should be remembered that election for FUFA Presidents are nearing, with three strong men (Mulindwa, Misaga and Magogo) showing interest in the race for presidency.

Election is scheduled to take place in August. FUFA President is elected by the delegates that are being elected.

Besigye Treason Charge Hearing Pushed to 30th June

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 12:55
Besigye Treason Charge Hearing Pushed to 30th June

The former FDC presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye has this morning appeared before the high court for mention of his treason charges against him.

However, the state attorney Anne Ntimba has informed Court that investigations into the treason charges against Besigye are not yet done and requested for more time.

The case has been adjourned to 30th June for further mention and reporting on his bail.

Shortly after the hearing, Besigye told journalists that he is going to consult his lawyers on whether he should continue appearing before court or not.

Alcohol addiction can kill you – Expert

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 12:07
Alcohol addiction can kill you – Expert

By Sarah Achen

Albert Elwa almost lost his life to alcohol and decided to quit before it could destroy him forever. Similarly he lost his best friend Jerome, who lost his life to ruptured pancreas at a tender age of 20. The news of his death was so painful and it plunged Elwa deeper into addiction.

There are several people; young and old like late Jerome who lost their battle to alcohol because they didn’t have access to information.

The director of FORE-Uganda, Elwa explains that April is alcohol awareness campaign month where they are trying to sensitize people about the dangers of alcohol in partnership with SUDU.

“FORE is proud to be a part of the CAODA (Children of Alcoholics and other Drug Abusers) project, that’s run by SUDU. This project aims to support children of alcoholics and other drug abusers, whose needs are neglected due to their parents’ addiction, at the same time intervene to help these parents recover from substance abuse,” Elwa says.

“It was lovely seeing these people smile as we handed over Easter packages to them, largely donated by the public,” Elwa adds.

FORE-Uganda has been actively involved with treatment centres in Uganda through participation in joint capacity building workshops, and also providing psycho-social support to clients in these treatment centres. They have also actively engaged Ministry of Health on different fronts in their attempts to curb the growing problem of substance abuse. They also reach out to schools and universities.

What they do

FORE –Uganda is into prevention, intervention and recovery of individuals and communities from substance abuse and its related harm.

“We reach out to academic institutions, places of worship, community centres, treatment centres, work places, families and other areas of interest. We provide preventive counseling to young ones, and psychosocial support to those in recovery. We work hand in hand with other organisations and the Ministry of Health,” he says. Their vision is to see a society in which healthy individuals build stronger communities.

Future plans

The organization is in the process of acquiring rehabilitation centres the next three months. Other activities trying to explore avenues in which to help those who are trapped in addiction but can’t a ford or access treatment. Month- cases-greatest impact during out reaches, it has been two years since it started.

FORE has seen a number of people recover and still provide them with support, built synergies with ministry of health and other relevant players in the community together with other stakeholders among others and together with other stakeholders held annual recovery walk which was launched last year by the Prime Minister Dr Rukhana Rugunda last year.

They not only raise awareness but also break stigma in surrounding addiction through distributing free copies of their magazine Focus on recovery free of charge.

Besides the numerous achievements, they are challenged by poor funding as most of the contributions come from founding members. This have hindered them from fulfilling their planned goals; carrying out reaches programs since they are not timely meanings that they are supposed to be three per term sometimes they are not able to deliver.

He points out that Uganda’s law regarding alcohol is weak as any child can walk into a shop and purchase alcohol because government allows alcohol advertising which also impacts on the population especially in bars and schools as some share fences and this has made the work hard.

FORE says that the public still attribute addiction to moral deficiency, witchcraft, character defect something that needs to change. Sometimes school heads are in denial, they don’t want to tackle the problem for fear of parents getting back at them because some of them earn money out of the business.

It’s from this background that Focus on Recovery was founded by a group of individuals in recovery together with a few others who have lost their loved ones or seen through suffer from brunt of addiction.

They reach out to schools, treatment centres, communities, and places of worship and other areas of interest. In 2017, Uganda is ranked the 2nd in Africa in alcohol consumption, after Nigeria and few years ago Uganda was number one. 80% of young people under age of 18 and form of vulnerable 56.3% are below the age of 18% making them the most vulnerable.

With addiction, when one is happy or sad, it doesn’t matter as all roads lead to the object of your obsession –in my case booze. Jerome’s death should have served as a deterrent to me but it didn’t. Why? In my case I did not know nor understand what I was dealing with. During that time, addiction was related to moral deficiency and bad character traits; no one knew or understood addiction as a disease in my circles.

Today, there is a lot of information that one can access, either on the internet, from treatment centres or organisations like FORE- Uganda.

When one has a substance abuse problem, usually the relationship with family/loved ones suffers and at times dies out completely, performance at school or work deteriorates a lot and one develops serious concentration issues. If you suspect that you or someone you know may be having a substance abuse problem, you can help them reach organisations.

“Today, I believe if Jerome had access to information and understood the danger he was putting himself in, he might still have been here with us today. To the young ones out there, stay away from alcohol and other drugs, addiction is incurable,” he adds.

Gov’t to Construct Ka­bale In­ter­na­tional Air­port at UGX298m

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:09
Gov’t to Construct Ka­bale In­ter­na­tional Air­port at UGX298m

The State Minister for economic planning, David Bahati shocked MPs on Par­lia­men­t’s Bud­get Com­mit­tee as well as the whole nation when he stated that government is planning to construct Kabale International Airport at a cost of only UGX298 million.

“Gov­ern­ment is part­ner­ing with the British Es­tab­lish­ment to con­struct Ka­bale In­ter­na­tional Air­port at Ugx 298 million,” Bahati said.

He was appearing before the committee on Tuesday to ex­plain the sta­tus of rec­om­men­da­tions made by Par­lia­ment on the UGX30trillion Bud­get Frame­work Pa­per for 2017-2018.

Barnabas Tin­kasi­imire, the Buyaga West County MP instantly opposed Bahati’s statement saying that he couldn’t expect to hear something unrealistic from the mouth of the minister.

“How can the min­is­ter make such a bla­tant lie to the com­mit­tee, how can an in­ter­na­tional air­port go for that money, is it a house?” Tin­kasi­imire asked.

Okin Ojara (Inde-Chua County) tasked the min­is­ter to lay be­fore the com­mit­tee ev­i­dence show­ing govern­men­t’s un­der­tak­ing with Britain, but Bahati failed to provide the evidence.

The com­mit­tee therefore asked the min­is­ter to avoid brief case deal­ings whose agree­ments risk tax pay­ers’ money, since the mat­ter un­der con­sid­er­a­tion was at the cen­ter of na­tional in­ter­est.

Later, Ba­hati told jour­nal­ists that the mat­ter of the air­port was a com­plex mat­ter to quickly be understood by the leg­is­la­tors on first men­tion.

He said that the UGX298 mil­lion is for pre­lim­i­nary un­der­tak­ings to be com­menced in July this year, ahead of ne­go­ti­a­tions with the British Ex­port Bank, the main fun­ders of the air­port, whose deal is yet to be con­cre­tised.

“We shall ar­rive at the fi­nal fig­ures (costs) at the end of the ne­go­ti­a­tions and par­lia­ment will be duly informed,” Ba­hati said.

Chinese Firm Contracted to Construct Akii Bua Stadium

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 10:31
Chinese Firm Contracted to Construct Akii Bua Stadium

 By Milton Emmy Akwam

LIRA: Chinese firm whose name is yet to be disclosed has been contracted to take up the long awaited construction of Akii Bua Olympic Stadium in Lira district, this website has exclusively learnt.

Speaking to this website in an exclusive interview at Lira district Chambers on Thursday afternoon, Omara Apita, the Commissioner for physical planning in the Ministry of Education and Sports said whereas 17 firms bided for the multibillion stadium construction, the President has given his views and wants the contract to be won by a Chinese firm.

“This is a big project to the people of Lango and Uganda at large. Being a presidential pledge in 2010, His Excellency wants quality work and his trusts are more in Chinese firms,” Omara said.

So far, Shs1bn has been allocated by the line Ministry to the cause and of that, shs575m has been used on preliminary works at the site.

Among works done so far are the creations of access road like Okello Degree Road, bush clearing, maintenance of drainage channel, among others.

Apita and team from Lira district during a tour of the project site on Thursday

Akii Bua Olympic stadium, according to government officials will be Uganda’s third stadiums after demolished Nakivubo and Mandela National Stadium in Kampala.

Its estimated capacity is 35,000 seats with all required amenities. In financial year 2017/2018, officials say the artistic impression of the stadium should be out, following the announcement of the qualified firm to take up the construction project in due course.

Following that, the actual construction work, taking possible 5 years should commence in financial year 2018/2019.

George Okello Ayo, the Lira District LC5 Vice Chairperson asked the Ministry to release more funds to the project, saying that project is a good gesture to the people of Lango sub region.

M7 Land Inquiry Finally Begins

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 09:45
M7 Land Inquiry Finally Begins

By John V Sserwaniko

After many months of uncertainty, the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire-led Commission of Inquiry into land matters in the country is finally starting work. And Justice Bamugemereire has just confirmed as much in a phone interview with this Red Pepper website.

She says that on Wednesday there will be a public ceremony to formally flag off the Commission’s work that will include conducting public hearings for three months from the day of first hearing. According to Lands Minister Betty Amongin, the Commission will (after the last hearing) have another 6 months to prepare their final report.

The three months period will be used for the public to volunteer information and documentation aimed at enabling the Commission arrive at conclusive findings on how to tame rampant land grabbing, evictions and the resultant bloodshed.

Stung by rampant land evictions, land grabbing, falsification of titles and fraud in land-related transactions that have for years been reported to him almost daily by delegations from different parts of the country, President Museveni last December named the seven (7) member Commission of inquiry.

“Hundreds of citizens had been to State House complaining of persistent ineptness and anomalies in the process of land administration, titling and acquisition,” said an influential Museveni aide adding that Bamugemereire had specifically been assigned this role because of the courage and steadfastness with which she conducted business on earlier two inquiries.

These are KCCA and UNRA. Without elaborating, Amongin maintains that the flamboyant Bamugemereire “did a very good job despite intimidation.” The Commission should have commenced work, including public hearings, much earlier on but didn’t because of the financial constraints with PSST Keith Muhakanizi maintaining there was no money.

Without making any direct reference to the funding issue, Justice Bamugemereire confirms they are finally ready to start work and in her estimation, the first public hearing will be conducted most likely in the first week of May. Already the Commissioners have moved in at their secretariat based at the new Public Service Building near Wandegeya-based Ministry of Health.

It’s the new building directly opposite Col John Mugyenyi’s property that used to house UNRA headquarters. Yesterday (Thursday) was the Commissioners’ first day at office operating in this secretariat ahead of the formal launching ceremony next Wednesday. Amongin or Premier Rugunda will preside over that event in order to raise the inquest’s profile. Some government officials want the President to preside over to signal the seriousness government is attaching to this probe.

We were unable to confirm Museveni’s coming as sources close to him maintained it was too early to confirm. There will also be a media event on Tuesday at the same secretariat to set pace for Wednesday’s bigger more public ceremony.

Besides Justice Bamugemereire, the other Commission members include Owek Robert Sebunya (also presidential advisor on Buganda), Mary Oduka Ochan, Joy Habasa, Makerere land law don Dr. Rose Nakayi, ex-AG Fred Ruhindi and ex-Hoima LC5 Chairman George Bagonza Tinkamanyire.

The team will be assisted by a technical team headed by seasoned judicial officers Olive Karazarwe (as Secretary) and Dr. Douglas Singiza. Herbert Byenkya will be Lead Counsel while Judiciary PR maestro the indefatigable Solomon Muyita will oversee the communications aspects of the inquiry. Line Minister Amongin hopes the inquiry report will guide future legislation on land acquisition and management.

The terms  of reference, which are reflective of the commission’s mandate, include: inquiring into laws, processes and procedures by which land is administered and acquired in Uganda; inquiring into the role of Baguma Isoke-led Uganda Land Commission in management & administration of public land; reviewing the effectiveness of regulatory bodies (like NFA, NEMA, UWA etc) in preservation of wetlands, forests & game reserves; soliciting views on the role of large land-owning tradition, cultural & religious institutions; assessing the efficacy of the legal-policy framework guiding land acquisition by government and identifying, investigating and inquiring into the effectiveness of the land dispute resolution mechanisms among others.

Bebe Cool, Sheebah Land Africell Gig

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 09:22
Bebe Cool, Sheebah Land Africell Gig

Africell has unveiled top artistes Sheebah, Bebe Cool, David Lutalo and Ziza Bafana as their ambassadors for their new campaign SWIFT bundle.

The four artistes are said to have been paid Shs400m. Each artiste bagged Shs 100m from the Telecom Company and promotion started on Friday at Guvnor where Africell held the SnapChat party, and will run till the end of the year.

The artistes will be required to rally subscribers to join the SWIFT bundle with hashtag #DontBeCheated which hails telecom subscribers to place their money with the right bundles. The swift bundle combines snap chat, instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.

Kayihura must Resign – Besigye

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 09:04
Kayihura must Resign – Besigye

The opposition strongman Col. Dr Kizza Besigye has called for the resignation of the Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura over failure to manage security in the country.

Addressing journalists at his office at Katonga on Thursday, Besigye said that after the outcry of increasing insecurity in the country with hit-men terrorizing people across the country; Kayihura paraded suspects yet it is unacceptable in the constitution of Uganda to parade suspects who have not been proven guilty.

He noted that president Museveni earlier also revealed that there is organized crimes within the security organs which Kayihura has failed to streamline arguing that there are suspicions that some crimes are organized by police personnel.

He therefore urged him to realize that he has totally failed to manage the country’s security and resign before he gets fired by his boss (president Museveni) which will leave him more humiliated.

Mbuga’s Wife Pregnant Again

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 08:50
Mbuga’s Wife Pregnant Again

Shocking information indicates that SK Mbuga’s wife, Vivian Birungi is pregnant with her second child.

Sources close to the couple revealed that Birungi is around four months pregnant and she is so much excited.

It should be noted that she gave birth to a baby girl in August last year before her wedding in December.

Vivian is currently in Sweden where she operates her businesses.

Other sources confirmed that Vivian knows that Mbuga loves kids so she is trying to keep him close.

Haffy Powers Causes Whopper Tension

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 16:10
Haffy Powers Causes Whopper Tension

Galaxy FM presenter, Haffy Powers is a rare sexy creature that can turn on any normal man.

Haffy left little to imagination when she flashed her yummy thighs and bubbly boobs on Thursday night during the Sape night at Club Amnesia.

Sexy dripping Haffy made the men’s groin temperatures raised as she paraded her delicious assets.

Dressed in tiny transparent dress, she put the men on tenterhooks as she moved at the event. She was not shy at all to show off her well-toned body to horny dudes who kept looking at her like they were ready to feast.

 

It should be noted that Haffy denied rumours that she is bonking NTV Expozed presenter, MC Esco, saying he is just a mere brother to her.

But after our snoops made investigations it emerged that Esco and Haffy have been leaving as husband and wife for the last one year in Kabowa on Entebbe road.

Haffy moved in with Esco from Bunga where she was renting after failing to pay rent.

Reliable sources say that she got a salary advance to pay her tuition at that Buganda media institute, this limited her sources of income and forced her to move in with Esco.

Killer Gangs Release List Of 10 VIPs To Be Assassinated

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 10:24
Killer Gangs Release List Of 10 VIPs To Be Assassinated Including Ministers, Mak & NSSF bosses

By Our Reporters

In what police publicist Assan Kasingye vigorously dismissed as psychological games, criminal murderous gangs suspected to have a hand in the ongoing bloodbath and robberies in various Ugandan districts on Tuesday released a document enumerating public figures and VIPs they intend to target and assassinate in Felix Kaweesi style.

Calling themselves “M40 BATTALIAN,” the killer gangs also had guts to obtain phone numbers of some of the people targeted and directly sent them whatsapp messages directly making these threats. You can’t easily dismiss it as propaganda because as Police publicist Kasingye recognized in a phone interview, these same gangs have previously made good their threats.

For instance in the greater Masaka area they have been sending advance notices declaring the day they would come and went on to carry out the threat and in the process wounding and killing many people. Not even the heightened joint security deployment of UPDF and Uganda Police would deter them from executing their threat. This has gradually been spreading to Luweero, Wakiso, Kyaggwe and parts of Busia district where they have so far been catching police off guard.

THE LIST

The newest threat anonymously issued on Tuesday names some of the people to be targeted next with assassinations which the authors say are clearly aimed at hurting the NRM regime and show it as not in charge anymore.

These include Lands Minister Betty Amongin and her deputies including Isaac Musumba, Chris Baryomunsi and Parcis Namuganza. Also on the list are Energy Minister Irene Muloni and her deputies including Simon Dujang and Peter Lokeris.

It’s not clear if the threat extends to the Ministry PS Steven Isabalija who also wields enormous influence since the idea is to politically hurt the Museveni regime. The document adds that all Makerere governing council members are being targeted in the upcoming spate of high profile assassinations. No specific dates are given for execution of the threats. The targeted Makerere Council bosses are many including Chairman Eng Wana Etyem, his Vice Irene Ovonji and other members like Bruce Kabasa, Thormas Tayebwa, Doreen Nyanjura, Elizabeth Gabona, Dr. Sarah Ssali, Prof Ddumba-Sentamu and others.

The other Makerere influential figure that must be worried is businessman Charles Mbire who is also the MTN Uganda Chairman. Unfortunately most of these are VIPs without much armed protection. In fact all Makerere Council members don’t have any escorts. They move around freely both at home and work which increases their vulnerability and susceptibility to such plots.

We couldn’t readily establish why a politically minded group, like the authors claim to be, would target Makerere Council bosses of all people. Kasingye maintains this is psychological and the perpetrators want to create public fear and erode public trust in the police and other security agencies.

The document also captures NEMA officials as some of those soft targets that must be assassinated. The document also talks of NSSF whose bosses like MD Richard Byarugaba and BOD Chairman Patrick Kaberenge have reason to worry as they form the Fund’s very top echelons.

Also listed are the top NPA bosses including Kisamba Mugerwa the chairman and Dr. Muvawala his Managing Director. Kisamba is an influential player in the Museveni government as before the budget is read in Parliament, Museveni insists on Kisamba giving the last word on everything. He is also involved in spearheading many development projects and is to Museveni what Prof Ephraim Kamuntu was to Obote II when it comes to finance matters.

The assailants’ calculation could be that bumping off such an important aide would psychologically break Museveni who we can exclusively confirm has previously got intelligence reports to the effect that Kaweesi-like assailants have plans to go after many other high profile citizens. Whereas in the long term his hopes lie with the Shs400bn CCTV Cameras project, Museveni has reacted by intensifying covert deployment of VIP escorts around some of these potentially targetable VIPs.

This effort of covert escort deployment is being coordinated and overseen in conjunction with SFC which is reputed to have great capabilities regarding VIP protection. The determined assailants also vow to go after top bosses of Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL) where ex-EC boss Eng Badru Kiggundu works these days. The other agencies whose bosses must watch their steps include UEGCL sister agencies like UMEME, UEDCL etc.

POLICE SPEAKS OUT

Police publicist Kasingye said the force had received these anonymous letters targeting VIPs and both overt and covert steps were being taken to remedy the situation.

“Yes there is increased deployment of patrol vehicles and other methods that may not be visible but you just know we are on top of the situation as police,” Kasingye said.

He added this strategy of using such letters to scare the populace has been on and police has gradually been arresting some of the originators “who are so far giving us information regarding those still at large.” He said some the ring leaders will soon appear before court as hinted upon by the IGP during his Monday press conference at Katwe Police Station.

We pressed Kasingye to advise the targeted VIPs on what they should do in the interim as police intensifies its efforts and he angrily said: “my brother what do you want me to say?” He was cautious to ensure his comments don’t leave the targeted VIPs more frightened but insisted police wasn’t taking the situation lightly as previous threats have been followed with action.

Other police sources said political-minded groups could be taking advantage of the rampant violent murders to ferment more anxiety in the public in order to score political points against the NRM government by authoring these letters. “Whatever it is we as police are determined to secure everybody in this country, be they VIP or ordinary persons, and we shall prevail as the earlier arrests have so far demonstrated,” said Kasingye who was careful not to create more anxiety in the already frightened VIP fraternity.

Some in security suspect a wealthy Ugandan physician based in Diaspora, from where he has lately been making inflammatory statements, could be the one funding some of these murderous activities in order to settle old personal scores against President Museveni. The President has sufficiently been briefed on this possibility and his SFC operatives are closely following onto this lead including intensifying covert operations in regional capitals like Nairobi, Khartoum and South Africa where this disgruntled physician is believed to have active training cells including some inherited from extremists like Jamil Mukulu. In fact groups loyal to this wealthy physician have previously posted social media messages urging Ugandans to brace themselves for the worst.

IGP SPEAKS OUT

Meanwhile IGP Gen Kayihura also released a statement reassuring the public not to panic just like Kasingye stressed in the last night interview with this wwebsite. Kayihura’s statement goes as follows:

VERBATTIM: “The Uganda Police Force has successfully addressed the security situation in the Country keeping the country safe and secure despite a few incidents that continue to occur. As you are aware, we have already taken 13 suspects involved in the murder of the late AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his driver PC Godfrey Mambewa and his body guard CPL Kenneth Erau. You are also aware that we arrested and arraigned in court suspects of the murders of Muslim Clerics.

We are also progressing well with the investigations of the murder of the late Joan Kagezi. In Greater Masaka, the insecurity that was witnessed in the three districts of Lwengo, Masaka and Bukomansimbi especially during the months of October and November last year, is now under control. Over 100 suspects were arrested and over 50 suspects have appeared in courts of law. The communities have been mobilized to work closely with the police through increased patrols, community policing, crime intelligence and investigation to increase vigilance and defeat these criminals in the communities.

In Kampala Metropolitan policing area, there are criminals circulating leaflets intimidating the public and robbing their property. These leaflets have been circulated in Namulanda, Kyengera, Nsangi and Wakiso. Currently, we have prime suspects in connection with this crime. We have apprehended over 13 suspects who are prime suspects in this new wave of crime. They are providing useful information that will help in our investigations.

We shall prosecute all of them and soon we shall stamp out the vice completely.The joint security in Kampala has also arrested many suspected criminals involved in car robberies that have been rampant in recent times. One such suspected robber is JAMES SSEJJUUKI JJUUKO, 37 years. He was arrested after a long hunt. At his place of residence in Nansana, Wakiso District, police recovered a stolen vehicle AUDI Reg No. UAY 530A, and owner of this vehicle has already been notified.

He also had with him 35 head lumps, 2 suspected stolen number plates and he was in possession of a suspected stolen passport in the names of Byakagaba Moses, BO 972550. We shall soon arraign him in court together with his accomplices, some of whom are still at large.These and more crimes are being handled very well to increase security and safety across the country. We have intensified our community policing initiatives where we continue to mobilize communities to embrace the Neighborhood Watch Scheme, work with crime preventers and local leaders such as LC 1, to ensure peace and security in neighborhoods.

Also in Kampala, I have visited all bodaboda stages in our community policing initiatives to mobilize them to register, have valid and relevant documents, adhere to the traffic and road safety regulations and work closely with security agencies in the fight against crime.Therefore, I would like to reassure the country the Uganda Police together with other security agencies are on top of the situation. We need the vigilance of our population through working together with us to ensure total security throughout the country. We shall arrest all the other suspects that have not been arrested yet, and take them to courts of laws.”

FUFA Halts Elections in 10 Districts over Irregularities

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 09:32
FUFA Halts Elections in 10 Districts over Irregularities

The FUFA Electoral Committee has put on hold elections in 10 districts across the country over various irregularities.

This was confirmed by Sam Bakiika, the chairperson of the Electoral Committee during a press conference held on Wednesday afternoon at Mengo, Kampala.

Elections for delegates for Regional Assemblies in Kisoro, Gulu and Nebbi have been put on hold.

Bududa and Nebbi will not hold the special interest groups under the referees category.

Also, elections for Nebbi and Kapchorwa districts under the coaches have been halted.

District F.A elections in Iganga, Mayuge, Bugiri, Mbale, Gulu, Bududa, Hoima and Nebbi will not take place until the grey areas are corrected.

Bakiika also mentioned the districts with irregularities where the district elections will not take place. Among these include Nebbi, Bududa, Iganga, Bugiri, Mbale, Hoima, Kisoro, Gulu and Kapchorwa.

“Elections for these districts have been put on hold not until their respective cases have been corrected,” Bakiika noted.

Bakiika also handed over some of the certificates of candidature for the respective successful candidates from the district football associations.

Dirisa Kasalirwe one of the three delegates from Rubaga received Moses Hashim Magogo’s certificate since the incumbent president is away on official duties in Egypt.

According to the FUFA Elections road map, the elections for the district football associations will take place on 29th April 2017.

The regional associations will vote between 18th – 20th May, while the national (special interest groups) go to polls on 5th June 2017.

The FUFA Executive will be voted on 5th August 2017.

Uganda squad for the Division III World Cricket League Named

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 09:18
Uganda squad for the Division III World Cricket League Named

The 14-man squad of Uganda Cricket team for the Division III World Cricket League slated for 23-31 May in Kampala has been availed by the Uganda cricket Association

The team will be captained by Davis Karashani and Masaba Brian as assistant

Talking to pepper online, head coach Steve Tikolo said: “It’s was hard to drop players who have been working hard day in and day out, but at the end of the day we had to find a combinations that will help team win.

The 14 Man Squad

Davis Karashani (Captain)

Brian Masaba (Vice-Captain)

Frank Nsubuga

Henry Ssenyondo

Roger Mukasa

Arthur Kyobe

Hamu Bagenda Kayondo

  1. Shazad Kamal
  2. Lawrence Ssematimba
  3. Otwani Arnold
  4. Jonathan Ssebanja
  5. Deus Muhumuza
  6. Charles Waiswa
  7. Irfan Sahibzaba

Reserves:

  1. David Wabwire
  2. Emmanuel Isaneez
  3. Llyod Patternot
  4. Naeem Bardai.

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