Uganda’s renowned comedian Anne Kansiime has refuted claims viral allover social media platforms that she has been arrested in UK trying to smuggle drugs.
The Metro-uk website this afternoon broke the news that Kansiime has been arrested at London Heathrow Airport with 2kgs of cocaine which she was trying to smuggle using two coffee bags placed in two suitcases.
However, when contacted on the matter by this website, the police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kawesi said that Kansiime is in Uganda not in UK as claimed and so the claims are not true.
Kansiime had earlier been contacted by howwe.biz and this is what she had to say;
“Am safe. Am not in prison, I am actually at National theatre preparing for my tonight’s show. There is no problem. Haters are the ones trying to come up with such stories. I will come up with an official communication on my page as soon as I can’, she said.
Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa, famous for his protest at the Rio Olympics, has been reunited with his family for the first time since going into exile.
He crossed his wrists over his head as he took silver in the marathon in a gesture against the Ethiopian government’s treatment of Oromo people.
Afterwards he refused to go home, saying his life might be in danger.
Now in the US, it is the first time he has seen his wife and two young children for at least six months.
He told the Associated Press news agency that the decision to leave his family behind had been a necessary risk.
“Putting them potentially in harm’s way was a good lesson for a lot of people that you need to sacrifice in order for you to win some concessions and change your situation,” he said.
“In that sense, it inspires people to fight for their rights and resist the government in Ethiopia.”
In September the athlete left Brazil for the US, where he is staying on a special skills visa.
His family arrived with visas as well, AP reports.
Feyisa became the first Ethiopian to finish in the top two of a men’s Olympics marathon since 2000, claiming silver behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge.
After his political protest, Ethiopian officials denied he was in danger, saying he would be welcomed home from Rio as a hero.
At the time, Feyisa said he had relatives who were in prison and if they talked about democratic rights they would be killed.
He is from Oromia, home to most of Ethiopia’s 35 million Oromo people, the country’s largest ethnic group.
A wave of anti-government protests began in the region in November 2015 with people complaining about social and political marginalisation.
During the protests and police crackdowns, they used the symbol of crossing their arms above their heads to mark their defiance.
In October, a six-month state of emergency was imposed in Ethiopia to deal with the unprecedented anti-government unrest.
A Kenyan couple who spent just $1 (£0.80) on their wedding renewed their vows in a lavish Valentine’s Day ceremony funded by well-wishers.
News of their budget wedding last month went viral on social media and many Kenyans offered to help.
At their first wedding, Wilson and Ann Mutura wore jeans and T-shirts and two steel circles served as rings.
Kenya media estimated their second wedding party cost $35,000 at an upmarket venue in the capital, Nairobi.
The BBC’s Peter Mwai in Nairobi says as the couple had already officially tied the knot, they exchanged new rings at the Valentine’s Day ceremony.
However, some Kenyans online have been questioning why the organisers spent so much money on the party instead of supporting the couple financially.
But Aaltonen Jumba, from Slique Events Planner Ltd – the main organiser of the event, said they had already been helped and this was about the romance.
“The couple have already been supported by others financially. Different people gave different things at different levels. They have been given a greenhouse farm, a honeymoon and have been promised money to start a business,” he said.
“Since that has been taken care of, why not give them the wedding they never had. Everyone needs that dream wedding,” he added.
Jumba said it was hard to say exactly how much was spent on the wedding ceremony as different service providers had contributed in kind and money had not changed hands.
Following its crane bank take over recently, DFCU bank has received a loan of $50 million (Shs179.25 billion) from Arise, an investment company based in Cape Town.
Dfcu Bank recently concluded an agreement with the Bank of Uganda to purchase the assets and assume the liabilities of Crane Bank Limited (CBL), which was under receivership.
The acquisition of CBL will allow dfcu Bank to diversify its service offerings to its clients and make banking more accessible to the public.
According to Arise Chief Executive Officer, Deepak Malik, the money is to help dfcu recapitalise after taking over the country’s biggest bank, Crane bank.
“The facility was availed on commercially-agreed terms, to enable commencement of the recapitalisation of dfcu Bank in the short term, while complying with regulatory capital thresholds” he said.
While giving his comments on the deal, dfcu Bank Managing Director, Juma Kisaame said; “The acquisition gives us the impetus to achieve our strategic objective of building a robust retail operation with multiple delivery channels whilst consolidating our position as a key player in the SME market segment.”
He added that this will also support their goal of promoting financial inclusion in Uganda.
Arise is a leading African investment company that partners with sustainable, locally-owned Financial Services Providers in Sub Saharan Africa.
The company was founded by three cornerstone investors namely Rabobank, Norfund and FMO and currently manages assets in excess of USD 660 million and is operational in over 10 countries.
Arise officially launched in South Africa on 2 February 2017 and its aim is to grow its current assets in excess of USD 1 billion.
By Serestino Tusingwire
Uganda could face sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council if it does not amend the Anti-Terrorism Act before the end of February.
State Minister for Internal Affairs Obiga Kania told the parliamentary committee on defence and internal affairs, that senior Ugandan officials could also face travel bans of prominent politicians and funding frozen from the World Bank and IMF if the amendments are not passed.
Kania wants parliament to pass the anti-terrorism amendments bill 2017 by 28th February.
“If the banks had denied international transactions with their colleagues outside, we are going to cause a very huge problem for this country in addition to the delay,” Kania said.
Uganda passed the anti-terrorism law in 2002 after the twin bombing in the US on 11th September, 2001.The law has since been amended twice in 2015 and 2016.
The UN Security Council through the financial action task force wants the new amendments to criminalize the funding of terrorism and also restrict international travel for people planning, preparing and participating in terrorism activities.
However, some committee members objected to the clause in the amendments covering suspected terrorists thinking that government could use the law to intimidate or harass the opposition.
If Uganda does not comply and pass the law by 28th February, its commercial banks could be blocked from transacting outside Uganda, funding and technical support by donors including the World Bank and IMF could be frozen and travel burns imposed on Ugandan top political leaders.
By Serestino Tusingwire
Former Deputy Attorney General, Fred Ruhindi, has told a parliamentary committee that they did not do extraordinary work in the oil tax cases to deserve a share of the so-called Shs6 billion Presidential handshake.
“When I was acting as deputy attorney general supporting this team, I really don’t think there is anything extra-ordinary that I did to deserve a share,” Ruhindi said.
He added that; “Whenever they would be in London, I would be here in Uganda coordinating their activities, ensuring they are well.”
Ruhindi made the remarks while appearing before the parliamentary committee investigating the cash payout to 42 government officials for their role in the tax cases.
Solicitor General Francis Atoke who bagged 129 million shillings as a reward for hard work also told the committee that he did not do anything extra-ordinary other than putting more time beyond normal working hours in the course of these cases.
“I don’t remember anytime in London that I went to bed before 3 am trying to do research,” Atoke said.
The committee resumes on Friday with more officials from the office of the Attorney general’s office chambers explaining the individual roles in all tax cases.
By Serestino Tusingwire
In the last four days several police and army barracks as well the government prison in Luzira have been undergoing water crisis after their taps were disconnected by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation.
NWSC says it has no more money to purchase chemicals for water purification and it already owes its suppliers a lot of money.
Officials worry that if the situation is not rectified soon they might be forced to pump untreated water, which might have serious health implications for the public.
“We have issues to do with chemicals, indeed if we don’t get money, then we shall be prompted to supply untreated water despite the dangerous it can cause,” an official said.
According to the company’s director of commercial and customer care George Okol, the crisis stems from the government’s failure to pay its arrears in water bills amounting to Shs25 billion shillings accrued from the police, prisons and the army.
It is revealed that Police owes NWSC Shs8billion, prisons 6billions, army 11billions and Mulago owes it 1.5billions.
Kampala capital city authority technical wing has insisted that the Lord Mayor of Kampala Erias Lukwago will not be paid his emoluments until the high court clears him.
This followed the authority council writing to the executive director Jenifer Musisi last month instructing her to pay Lukwago’s emolument since November 2013 to May 2016 when he was impeached from office.
While presenting the report from the technical wing today, the deputy ED, Andrew Kitata said Lukwago will only be paid his money after the court has cleared him.
Kitata explained that as the technical wing, they cannot release money until court orders them to do so.
He however added advised Lukwago to remain patient as they await the final decision from court.
It Should be remembered that Lukwago was controversially impeached from the office of the lord mayor in November 2013 on allegations that he was incompetent. His salary and other benefits were there halted.
Its from this point therefore that after resuming his office for the second term, Lukwago wants all the money that was supposed to be paid to him by then get paid to him now since the high court didn’t find him guilty of the alleged cases.
A non-profit organisation has petitioned the speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga challenging the high tuition charged by government aided schools.
The Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER) collected signatures from over 100 Ugandans both at home and abroad before petitioning parliament.
It has urged parliament to make an inquiry into the rising school fees charged by government aided secondary schools across the country.
The organisation’s Programs director Angella Nabwowe Kasule says that many children risk losing their right to education as a result of the high tuition and other fees charged by schools.
“Some children mostly those from humble families are on verge of missing out on education because their parents cannot raise the school fees charged by some government schools these days. Something has to be done about it,” Kasule said.
Meanwhile the Speaker has promised to follow up the petition saying that many children have dropped out of school and that most of the fees charged by the schools are unnecessary.
The Police have shuffled several officers resulting in the return to Kampala of Ibin Senkumbi from the village doldrums of Rwizi in Mbarara.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Okoth Ochola, signed off the transfers announce today.
Senkumbi, (pictured above) is appointed the new spokesperson of Interpol in Kampala.
Ssenkumbi, who rose to fame as Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, returns to the city after serving time in Somalia and South Sudan under the United Nations. Up to today he has been the regional police spokesman at Rwizi in Mbarara.
Sekumbi’s reshuffle affect five other senor police officers, namely, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Irene Chelangat becomes the new Regional Traffic Officer for Albertine Region while ASP Hadi Seiko is the new officer in-charge (OC) of traffic in Mbale district.
ASP Jude Nasucha goes to Arua from Kumi as the OC station, ASP Reinhold Rwakirenzi is now OC traffic, Lwengo, and ASP Stephen Ojok goes to Kumi as OC station.
The transfers take immediate effect and the affected officers are expected to immediately move to their respective positions.
Nigeria said it lost out on as much as $100 billion in revenue last year as attacks by militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta cut crude output to a record low.
Production fell by 1 million barrels a day to 1.2 million a day at the peak of the attacks, Emmanuel Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum, said Tuesday in a video-clip on his Facebook page.
Last year, Nigeria suffered its first full-year recession since 1991 as a resurgence of armed conflict in the delta, combined with lower oil prices, blighted the economy.
While recent peace efforts have curbed the frequency of attacks on oil infrastructure, the West African nation has struggled to boost output as one of its largest export terminals remains closed.
“We continue to engage,” Kachikwu said, referring to peace talks between the government and local leaders from the delta. “It is a difficult undertaking to try to embark on trying to resolve it once and for all, but we’re very bullish about this.”
Soldiers targeting the Kamwina Nsapu militia group in central Democratic Republic of Congo killed at least 101 people between Feb. 9 and Feb. 13, including 39 women, the U.N. said on Tuesday.
The soldiers fired indiscriminately with machine guns when they saw the militia fighters, who were armed mainly with machetes and spears, human rights spokeswoman Liz Throssell said, citing sources in the country.
“We are deeply concerned at the reported high number of deaths, which if confirmed would suggest excessive and disproportionate use of force by the soldiers,” she said.
Hundreds have died and tens of thousands have been uprooted in central Congo in recent months in battles between security forces and the militia, who are seeking to avenge the death of their leader Kamwina Nsapu.
He was killed by the Congolese armed forces last August, after vowing to rid Congo’s Kasai-Central province of all state security forces, accusing them of abusing the local population.
“It appears that since then the militia have become radicalised and they are attacking state institutions, what they see as the symbols of the state. The actual roots of the conflict are very deep and very complex,” Throssell said.
The authority of some customary chiefs is recognised by the government and can be passed from father to son, but Kamwina Nsapu was not officially recognised.
Analysts say militia violence in Congo, a tinderbox of conflicts linked to land, ethnicity and mineral resources, has been exacerbated by President Joseph Kabila’s failure to step down when his constitutional mandate expired in December.
Throssell did not have an estimate of the total size of the Kamwina Nsapu militia, but said there had been several attacks involving over 100 militia members.
“They have a lot of popular support,” she added.
Many of the militia fighters are children but Throssell could not confirm if children were among the dead. The majority of the dead were thought to be militia members, but 39 women were caught in the firing line and killed during an incident in a market on Feb. 9, she said.
The clashes took place in and around the town of Tshimbulu, about 160 km (100 miles) south of the provincial capital Kananga, she said.
Via @Reuters Africa
By Moses Batte
Sembabule District councillors are mooting a proposal to have all run down Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools privatised to improve academic standards.
During a council sitting on Monday, the councillors detasted the poor state of some UPE schools in the district such as pupils studying under tree sheds.
They therefore proposed that such schools be put in the hands of private proprietors who can effectively manage them.
Sembabule District has a total of 179 public primary schools but most of them are poorly managed.
Robert Ambikiri, one of the councillors, who also chairs the district works and technical service committee, while presenting a report from his committee, said; “the committee members recommended that Katikamu, Keirasitya and Kanjunju primary schools in Lugusuulu Sub-county be privatised to enhance good service delivery.”
The recommendation was supported by Ms Jowelia Mukabalisa, a councillor representing Lwebitakuli Sub-county and district secretary for health and education.
Peter Semaganda, a resident of Sembabule Town showed support for the proposal saying that private schools are performing better than public schools because there is close supervision and monitoring from the proprietors.
“I know private schools will charge them some money which is not the case in public schools, but parents are ready to pay if they receive quality services,” Semaganda said.
If Asamoah Gyan and Omar Abdulrahman have been found guilty of having unethical hair, then what happens if Marouane Fellaini moves to the UAE Arabian Gulf League.
In one of the most bizarre stories we’ve come across in recent weeks, former Sunderland striker Gyan (pictured above) is among 46 players who have been found to breach UAE league rules on appropriate hairstyles.
Gyan is currently sporting a mohawk style cut and is guilty of sporting a ‘Qaza’ hairstyle, which include mohawks, because only part of the head is shaved, leaving other parts unshaven.
UAEFA Disciplinary Committee have also deemed that Omar Abdulrahman’s haircut does not fit the new criteria for ethical haircuts:
Middle Eastern football site Ahdaaf explained the situation on Twitter, and we are all slightly confused:
Its left us all scratching our heads.
Paul Pogba definitely won’t be moving to the Arabian Gulf League anytime soon.
Ahdaaf tweeted: ‘UAEFA Disciplinary Committee deem that Omar Abdulrahman’s haircut does not fit the new criteria for ethical haircuts in the#AGLeague.’
They added: ‘This comes after a new law by the UAEFA which states that players have to abide by certain guidelines for haircuts.#AGLeague.’
’46 other players in the #AGLeague, amongst them Leonardo and Asamoah Gyan, were also amongst the list of players who had unethical haircuts.’
By Andrew Cohen Amvesi
The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) has announced plans to kick start strategic investigations into alleged claims of Congolese rebel groups operating in West Nile region.
Lt. Ahmad Hassan Kato, the UPDF 4th Division Spokesperson told this website in a telephone interview on Tuesday that the Army is going to subject the rebel claims into thorough investigations which may lead to the arrest of its leaders.
Kato was reacting to the allegations made by Dr. Jefferson Abdallah Pene Mbaka, the governor of Ituri Province in Eastern DRC that West Nile districts of Koboko and Arua are harboring the M18 and the Army for the liberation of the people of Congo (ALPC), a new rebel outfit fighting the government of Joseph Kabila.
According to Mbaka, ALPC is currently operating under the leadership of a one Taban Ayiki, whom he said is currently hiding in Arua town.
Mbaka made the allegations during a closed door meeting attended by top security officers from both DRC and Uganda at Shammah 2 Hotel in Aruu town, Eastern DRC.
“The information we have received indicates that the two Congolese rebel groups are currently active with their bases in Koboko, Maracha and Arua districts,” Mbaka said.
Mbaka went ahead to claim that that the M18 are in between Koboko and Arua trying to reorganize to attack Kabila’s government.
“We rely on the will of Uganda government to neutralize the two rebel groups so that their leaders can be arrested and surrendered to Kinshasha government,” Mbaka noted.
Lt Kato said that the army is ready to integrate the rebels into Congo Army and give amnesty to those, who are not willing to join the force.
“We are giving the claims a benefit of no doubt, and as a result, we are going to find out whether we have a person (rebel leader) of the names, Taban Ayiki,” Kato said.
“As UPDF, we shall see how we can dig out facts about this man, and if we find out that truly, he is a rebel leader and hiding in Arua, we shall arrest and hand him over to Congolese government as requested,” Kato explained.
Kato also observed that Ugandan government is in good books with the Congolese government, adding that it is for this reason that Uganda will never provide grounds for harboring Congolese rebels.
The government of Uganda has received Shs90 billion from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to address the refugee crisis currently in the country.
The minister for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees, Hillary Onek said that Uganda receives at least 4,000 South Sudan refugees daily.
Minister Onek made the comments as the US government committed $25million (approximately 90 billion shillings) through UNHCR. The function took place on Tuesday at the office of prime minister in Kampala.
As of 1st February this year, the number of refugees in the country was at slightly more than 1 million making Uganda one of the countries with the highest refugee populations in the world.
At the function, Onek thanked the Ugandan community for allowing these refuses to settle on the limited land that Uganda has.
With conflicts in neighbouring countries such as South Sudan still persisting, refugees continue to stream into the country.
The US ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac said the funds will help reduce the refuge burden to the country.
By Serestino Tusingwire
Experts from Makerere university’s geography department warn that the dry spell currently affecting the country could stretch until the end of the month of May.
The experts blame the current absence of rainfall on a dry climatic condition referred to as “La Nina”.
According the lecturer and coordinator of the metrology unit at Makerere University, Dr. Alex Nimusiima, the current weather pattern is not directly linked to the climate change.
“No change in the amount of rainfall that we have been receiving, but what is changing is the distribution of this rainfall within the seasons and this year’s dry season could go up to May,” Nimusiima said.
On Monday this week, the minister for disaster preparedness Musa Echweru, said that the magnitude of this year’s dry spell could equal an earlier drought in 1944 if the rains do not fall by the end of March.
An environmentalist and lecturer at Makerere University, Dr Max Kinobe says the change in climate is coming in because of a global system and less humility the world is currently facing.
He added that the current trends in the rainfall received can also be attributed to human activities such as deforestation.
The government warned on Tuesday that up to 1.5 million Ugandans face hunger as dry spell continues.
By Serestino Tusingwire
Parliament’s appointments committee has approved the appointment of General Katumba Wamala as state minister for works in spite of the fact that he is a serving military officer.
Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, who chairs the committee, objected to calls from opposition members to drop Gen. Katumba on the grounds that he was a serving UPDF officer.
Speaker however referred to the precedent set when another serving UPDF officer, the late General Aronda Nyakairima, was approved as internal affairs minister in 2013.
According to Gen. Wamala, being a Member of Parliament means that he has qualifications to serve as the minister.
“A serving military officer can be at any one time seconded to a department, an agency or a body to the government. It also provides that despite that secondment, the person will still remain a subject to UPDF. So that’s why am not required to retire because am on secondment,” Gen. Wamala said.
The committee also approved the appointment of 11 new ambassadors.
These included; Mohamed Kezaala, Chrispus Kiyonga, Brig. Ronnie Balya and Phoebe Otaala Awere among others.
See the list of Ambassadors; http://www.redpepper.co.ug/ambassadors-reshuffle-ex-iso-boss-balya-kiyonga-named-ambassadors/
By Serestino Tusingwire
The minister for education and sports, Janet Museveni, has said there is no money to provide sanitary pads for girls in schools.
It should be remembered that while campaign in Lango sub-region in 2015, president Museveni pledged that if re-elected, his government will provide school going out with free sanitary pads.
“The NRM government will provide free sanitary pads so that the girls don’t run out of schools because they are embarrassed by periods,” Museveni pledged.
This was to be elected in 2017/18 financial year.
However, the minister while appearing before the Parliament’s education committee yesterday to discuss its 2.6 trillion shilling budget proposal for the 2017/18 financial year, she revealed that the government has no money for pads.
“I want you to know that we haven’t got the funding for this year budget yet, but we are hoping that if we can get that funding, we could do battle it,” Janet revealed.
In the meeting, education officials accused the government of under-funding the education sector, saying that its slowing down the business in the sector.
By Serestino Tusingwire
Makerere University has released the final list of over 14,000 students slated to graduate next week at the university’s 67th graduation ceremony.
According to the university spokesperson Rita Namisango, Academic Registrar has released the list of 14,895 students who are meant to graduate from Tuesday 21st to Friday 24th of Feb.
She explains that the graduation kicks off at 9am with candidates from different colleges to be awarded with certificates in Diplomas, Bachelors and Master’s degree respectively.
Students from the college of agriculture and environmental sciences, College of engineering, design; art and technology, College of natural sciences and college of education and external studies are opening the graduation ceremony on Tuesday.
Parents and granduants are urged to be at the freedom square where graduation is slated to take place by 8.30am.
Check the graduation list here;