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Judiciary Applauds Kadaga’s Decision Towards Kavuma’s Ruling

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 18:15
Judiciary Applauds Kadaga’s Decision Towards Kavuma’s Ruling

By Serestino Tusingwire

Judiciary has today broken silence on the ongoing fight between the legislature and deputy chief justice Steven Kavuma.  This resulted from an injunction Kavuma issued barring parliament from debating about the Shs6bn oil cash bonanza.

According to the letter dated 11th January, 2017; Judiciary chief registrar Paul Gadenya Wolimbwa said what parliament did to reject the order is recommendable and it’s legally acceptable.

“The Judiciary has noted that Parliament is aggrieved by the decision of the Constitutional Court and has in that respect directed the Attorney General to take immediate steps to have the order set aside by the Constitutional Court.”

“The action taken by Parliament is commendable and is in accordance with the rule of law because the law allows any aggrieved party to appeal or challenge the decision of a court,” Letter reads in part.

It should be noted that despite Kavuma’s order, Parliament went ahead to discuss the issue in Tuesday plenary and the no nonsense Kadaga ordered for the withdrawal of the order such that parliament can do its work independently.

The furious Kadaga adjourned the house until the court order is reversed.

Akol in Hot Soup As Lawyer Moves To Sue Her Over Oil Money

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 15:00
Akol in Hot Soup As Lawyer Moves To Sue Her Over Oil Money

By Serestino Tusingwire

A top lawyer in Kampala has petitioned High Court seeking orders to sue the Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Doris Akol on behalf of those who chewed the Shs6bn as rewards.

Isaac Ssemakadde of Legal Brains Trust (LTB) on Tuesday filed the application at the civil division of the High Court in Kampala seeking court order allowing him file a petition against URA boss for unlawfully giving out the money to government top shots.

Ssemakadde wants Akol to fairly and adequately protect the interests of the people who shared the money since she was the one who authorized the disbursement of the impugned cash bonuses.

Ssemakadde has also petitioned the Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe complaining over continued illegal ex-parte (one party) interim orders issued by his deputy Steven Kavuma while executing judicial powers.

He argues that the conduct of Kavuma is not only a clear breach of the constitution but also a demonstration of the return of partisan and tyrannical tendencies that would bring the judiciary and the rule of law into disrepute.

All these came following an order issued by Kavuma on Monday barring Parliament from investigating the sh6b bonus paid to public servants, who contributed to the winning of taxation cases against oil companies.

It’s worth noting that in June 2015, a protracted legal battle over capital gains tax between URA& Tullow oil resulted into a settlement of Sh824Bn and about Shs6bn was doled out to senior government officials as a reward for their role in facilitating the successful settlement.

Some of the beneficiaries of this money include Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) commissioner general Doris Akol – Shs242, Uganda National Roads Authority boss Allen Kagina – Shs242, Kampala Capital City Authority boss Jennifer Musisi – Shs121, Finance ministry Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi – Shs108 (and his predecessor Chris Kassami – Shs393), former attorney generals Peter Nyombi – Shs226 and Fred Ruhindi – Shs93, as well as the solicitor general among others.

 

Shs500Bn Currency Center Deal Splits BoU Bosses

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 14:01
Shs500Bn Currency Center Deal Splits BoU Bosses

By John V Sserwaniko

Consensus has continued to elude the Shs500bn project by Bank of Uganda (BoU) to construct a currency center in Masaka town.

Area Mayor Kayemba Afaayo says the currency center will be part of a Shs500bn complex BoU is constructing on Plots 15-17 Birch Avenue.

To him the project will permanently change the scenery of Masaka town and create many job opportunities for the youth and thereby enhancing the area’s development.

To his critics led by Masaka LC5 Chairman Jude Mbabali, Afaayo stands accused for conniving with BoU top officials, VP Edward Sekandi and others “to destroy Masaka’s only remaining open green belt.”

The matter proved divisive during the Greater Masaka Tabamiruka session last Friday when the crowd heckled speakers who opposed the project.

Indeed Mbabali is supportive of civil society activist Charles Kasibante who is the complainant in the January 6th 2016 Criminal Case No. 13 of 2017 that the Masaka Chief Magistrate sanctioned against BoU deputy governor Louis Kasekende.

The disputed Golf Course land measures 60 acres and Kasibante wants Kasekende prosecuted for spearheading BoU acquisition of the land well knowing tycoon Asaph Mukalazi (owner of nearby Laston Hotel) was legally not mandated to sell it to BoU.

Documents relating to the criminal case show Mukalaazi’s lease ownership of the land ceased when he failed to comply with lease conditions.

Mbabali and Kasibante argue Mukalazi forfeited his right in the land once he failed to construct a hotel worth over Shs1bn before May 31st 2010.

To them this failure was a breach of the lease agreement extinguishing Mukalaazi’s right.

They also contend the condition was to strictly erect hotel facilities and not the currency center BoU is putting up.

The duo therefore argue the BoU boss should stand trial for knowingly spearheading the BoU acquisition of the land from Mukalazi who had no authority over the land including transferring his interest to a 3rd party. Mbabali, who has been actively character assassinating Dr. Kasenene on social media, says the project is unpopular with the grass root and has been rejected by both Municipality and LC5 councilors.

“Instead they want Masaka’s only remaining green belt preserved for recreation,” he says.

“It’s Mayor Kayemba, the RDC [Joel Walusimbi] and town clerk working to deprive us of this land. Kasekende is hostile and very uncooperative. I have called him several times in vain,” Mbabali said when asked whether he had tried dialogue before rushing to court or mobilizing the locals against the project.

Mayor Kayemba defended the project saying it’s rooted in approval processes that started decades ago when DP Mayors still ran Masaka.

He says in the late 1990s when DP’s Expedito Gitta was Mayor, the Municipality voted to change the land use from a Golf Course to a Central Business District to fast track Masaka’s development.

He says this land use change was ratified by Local government ministry as required by law.

The BoU says in a statement that the IGG subsequently cleared the project confirming BoU’s ownership of the land.

Kayemba corroborated this information. He says subsequent DP Mayors like Semogerere and Tibyasa Matovu consolidated what Gitta had started on years before he [Kayemba] became Mayor.

“Under my reign we only cleared their [BoU’s] building plans otherwise everything else, including BoU’s acquisition of the land in 2006, was done long before I came to office,” said Kayemba.

“My colleagues are just politicking because what type of Mayor would I be if I resisted a government project worth Shs500bn coming to my area? That would be anti-development. They [DPs] want to oppose everything I stand for just to fail me because they falsely think I’m standing for Hon Mpuuga’s MP Seat.  They fear I can win because I’m too popular and want to deny me that legacy [being Mayor whose time saw 500bn project come to Masaka].”

He also faulted DP politicians of anticipating kickbacks when such a project comes to the town.

“But there is no money in this. We have been having meetings here and in Kampala and we have been buying our own fuel to go for those BoU meetings. There is no way government can bring a project and also bribe local leaders to accept it,” Kayemba argued.

He says everybody else, except some DPs, is for the project. “Even the local people are very excited,” says Kayemba adding critics aren’t being realistic “because the whole land is 60 acres and the project covers less than 1 acre.”

He said locals are happy the place has been harbouring criminals “and costing us a minimum of Shs12m annually to slash it and keep out thieves.”

Kayemba says many DP elders who know the history actually support the project and are against Mbabali.

He adds the councillors have no role in such matters “because I only inform them out of courtesy otherwise it’s an executive function.”

He also claimed its 46 years since golf was last played there, a claim Golf Union President Johnson Omollo rejected as untrue. He says there is a difference between Golf played for socializing and that played for competition.

“Competition golf was last played there in 1983 and social golf was last played there in 2009,” Omollo says.

He attributes this to loss of membership and lack of logistics to keep the Golf Course active.

“But we now have funds to rehabilitate all the Golf Courses in Uganda having started with Mbale and Fort Portal. Masaka is next starting next month February.

“We have the money,” said Omollo who has written numerous letters on the matter.

He disagrees with Kayemba view that the less than 1 acre being used by the BoU project is too small to affect golf activities.

“That is not true because once you decimate that place even by a quarter acre, it will be something else. It ceases to be a Golf Course. But I exonerate the Mayor on one thing this irregular transaction existed way before he came to office.”

He said it’s not just Mbabali and the Golf Union defending the Golf grounds.

“Even the local people want it preserved because they use it for recreation and besides the BoU as a corporate citizen as a corporate duty to preserve environment which is also a big theme in NRM Manifesto,” Omollo said.

Regarding the way forward he revealed “we believe in dialogue and amicable resolution of this matter.”

Consequently a committee comprising of ex- Golf Union Presidents has been named to engage the BoU management to hammer out a consensus.

Jim Muhwezi leads the committee members being Kiwanuka Kiryowa, ex-IGP John Kisembo, lawyer Nester Byamugisha & John Egadu.

BoU BOSSES SPLIT

Mbabali, who is no doubt working with some disgruntled Central Bank bosses who feel side-lined from the juicy deal, told us he had credible information Governor Mutebile had reservation about encroaching on the Masaka Golf Course to erect the currency center.

“Governor Mutebile is a Golfer and doesn’t want to interfere with golf spaces. His subordinates are just taking advantage of his busy schedule to have their way but inside BoU there is serious debate. This is why we are certain we shall win this war,” said Mbabali.

We were unable to speak to Mutebile’s Deputy Louis Kasekende as he never took our repeated calls and didn’t reply text messages.

However, the January 4th 2017 media release shows the BoU management position.

The release shows that BoU is the registered lease owner of the land since 2006 as certified by IGG; BoU ownership was in 2001 renewed by Masaka District Land Board and that Masaka Municipality duly approved the building plan for the multi-billion currency center complex to be ready early next year.

The statement urges the community to support the construction project which has irreversibly kicked off.

KCCA Too Dry To Pay Electricity, Salary Bills and Collect Garbage

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 13:04
KCCA Too Dry To Pay Electricity, Salary Bills and Collect Garbage

By Serestino Tusingwire

Kampala Capital City Authority is reportedly so bankrupt to the extent that it cannot afford to pay salary for its employees, pay electricity bills and collect garbage from town.

In a letter dated January 2, addressed to Beti Kamya, the Kampala minister, KCCA Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi revealed that due to budget cuts, they are unable to pay Umeme, Shs739m plus some other bills.

“Electricity bills of Shs739.8 million remain unpaid and Umeme has notified us of their intention to disconnect our office premises and street lights in the city.” Letter reads in part.

“Because of the shortfall in funding, we have also not remitted Pay As You Earn (PAYE) worth Shs9bn for staff.” Musisi added in the letter.

That aside, Musisi added that the authority has challenges in meeting costs for waste management.

KCCA had approved Shs536.8 billion budget but government cut it to Shs314bn a move they say has hindered smooth running of business in the authority.

It’s from this point therefore that the council suspended the budget pending appearance of the minister for Kampala Betty Kamya to explain why the government cut the budget.

Defiant Kadaga Say No to Kavuma’s Order, Wants it Quashed

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 09:33
Defiant Kadaga Says No to Kavuma’s Order, Wants it Quashed

By Serestino Tusingwire

Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga in a Tuesday plenary looked furious about the court injunction barring parliament from debating the Shs6bn oil cash bonanza saga.

The Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma on Monday issued an interim order “restraining parliament, any person or authority from investigating, questioning or inquiring into” the Shs6bn presidential handshake saga.

This left MPs wondering how court could interfere with the work of Legislature yet the two are totally independent from each other. They went ahead to include it on order paper despite the court order barring them to do so.

As the debate heated up, Kadaga who called the court order “stupid” adjourned the Parliament indefinitely and ordered for the withdrawal of the court order without fail.

“This is unacceptable. I want to direct the Attorney General to go to court immediately and revoke the order. No more parliament work shall be done until court have reversed this order.” Kadaga said.

The move by the Speaker to adjourn committees and plenary sine die was applauded by legislators.

It’s worth noting that in June 2015, a protracted legal battle over capital gains tax between URA& Tullow oil resulted into a settlement of Sh824Bn and about Shs6bn was doled out to senior government officials as a reward for their role in facilitating the successful settlement.

Some of the beneficiaries of this money include Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) commissioner general Doris Akol – Shs242, Uganda National Roads Authority boss Allen Kagina – Shs242, Kampala Capital City Authority boss Jennifer Musisi – Shs121, Finance ministry Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi – Shs108 (and his predecessor Chris Kassami – Shs393), former attorney generals Peter Nyombi – Shs226 and Fred Ruhindi – Shs93, as well as the solicitor general among others.

BESIGYE GHANA TRIP: What You Need To Know

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 08:35
BESIGYE GHANA TRIP: What You Need To Know

By John V Sserwaniko

Opposition leader Col Kizza Besigye travelled to Ghana to attend incoming President Nana-Akufo Ado’s swearing in ceremony.

Whereas his FDC party officials claim he was invited because Nana recognizes him as Ugandan people’s legitimate president, government officials dismissed the trip “as Besigye’s usual political comedy.”

FDC Deputy Secretary General, the outspoken Harod Kaija claimed Besigye was invited largely for three reasons.

One he is the people’s president. Two Besigye heads Democratic Union for Africa (DUA) to which Nana’s National Patriotic Party (NPP) is a member. Three Besigye is personal friends with Nana-Akufo.

Whereas he was unusually very reserved in his comments, veteran journalist and analyst Andrew Mwenda shared Kaija’s view on the 3rd point.

“I’m sure Nana Akufo Ado, who has been in opposition, must feel some solidarity with Besigye. They could even have had some connection,” said Mwenda in a whatsapp chat when asked for his insights on Besigye’s invitation.

On whether the invitation could offend Kampala and complicate diplomatic relations between the two governments, Mwenda said: “there is little diplomatic relationship between Kampala and Accra to cause much ado.”

His views differed from what International Relations Minister Okello Oryem told us.

“We have solid rock diplomatic relations with the government of Ghana and its rubbish for anybody to say they can make that mistake calling Besigye as the alternative president of Uganda. Our diplomatic relationship is deeply entrenched than what a lot of people think,” Oryem said.

He dismissed Besigye as “a show off and political comedian” who “is always exaggerating his closeness to the UK Prime Minister, the American President and other leaders but I can assure you I’m more recognized than the man who claims to be the legitimate president of Uganda.”

Oryem, who sounded doubtful Besigye could at all be invited for the ceremony, challenged Kaija and other FDC officials to produce an invitation showing Besigye was officially invited to represent Uganda at Nana’s inauguration ceremony.

Ex-Regional Cooperation Minister Asuman Kiyingi, another very insightful figure on diplomatic matters given his stint in government, agreed with Oryem.

Kiyingi referred to a number of scenarios including the possibility of Besigye being availed an invitation by one of the people on the organizing committee.

“It’s like somebody getting an invitation to the VIP section at Kololo when Mzee is being inaugurated and that person goes to his village bragging to everybody how he was personally invited by the President,” said Kiyingi adding he was uncomfortable discussing the matter without first seeing Besigye’s invitation card.

“We might be discussing speculation. First of all I would like to see his invitation otherwise we might be here disparaging whoever invited him when in actual sense there is no such invitation.”

Kiyingi also agreed with Oryem that the relationship between Uganda and Ghana “is so solid there is no way our Ghananian brothers can do such a provocative thing [inviting Besigye as the people’s legitimate president].”

Kiyingi said even if the incoming president Nana were to have issues with Museveni and favors Besigye, “Ghanaians are far much more sophisticated in these things they would do their thing in a more sophisticated way.” Kiyingi said:

“They are the first African country to get independence and many countries in the AU look up to them for standards-setting and inspiration. They simply can’t make that mistake because their relations with us are very excellent.” Open-minded as usual, Kiyingi admitted there is a possibility Besigye could have been invited in his capacity as Nana’s boss in DUA and not because he is Museveni’s opponent.

“He could have been invited because of his DUA engagements and certainly not because he is President Museveni’s opponent.

The Ghana I know knows better than doing something like that. Those guys are way too smart.” An FDC official who didn’t want to be named fearing reprisals from colleagues claimed the invitation was indicative African governments were beginning to recognize “Dr. Besigye’s recently launched People’s Government Network [PGN] and this is just the first in a series of invitations and recognitions expected in the coming months.”

The official claimed the PGN had already established contact with the Botswana government which the FDC boss claimed has never recognized Museveni’s February 2016 reelection “just like many ECOWAS member countries.” The FDC man further claimed majority of the African countries that actively resisted Specioza Kazibwe’s AU candidature July last year were potential allies for Besigye’s PGN. Asuman Kiyingi out rightly dismissed this as too outrageous to be true.

“Let nobody confuse our people. Governments deal with governments and States deal with States. This is why Besigye will soon find himself in the cold if he has the mistaken belief that Nana will work with him at the expense of the Uganda government the way they have related when he is in opposition.

I think he will have to find allies with the new Ghananian opposition groups and not with Nana’s party anymore because once in government they [NPP leaders] will find themselves faced with totally different challenges obliging them to relate with fellow governments and not parties in opposition.

I hope Besigye won’t call it betrayal,” Kiyingi said. To make his point that the Ghana-Uganda relations are very excellent, Oryem said “we even sent a congratulatory message recognizing President-Elect Nana” but declined to answer whether his boss President Museveni had been invited or why in case he hadn’t been invited.

He claimed existence of a fraternal relationship according to which all sitting AU presidents would automatically be invited to a colleague’s inauguration ceremony. Both Kiyingi and Oryem rejected reports that Besigye’s invitation represents readiness by new breed of leaders in ECOWAS countries, who unanimously preach term limits, to isolate long serving African leaders.

Asked the same question, Mwenda simply said: “I don’t know.” Another source, a senior government official often involved in organizing President Museveni’s inauguration ceremonies at Kololo, explained how leaders come to be invited to such ceremonies.

“You will have an organizing committee in place. They do their work ensuring all presidents in the regional bloc [e.g. ECOWAS] are invited.

Then they will sit with the president whose inauguration they are organizing and ask him for people he specifically wants invited from beyond the [ECOWAS] bloc. Its then that the President will say add my friend so and so of country X.

The organizers may give him a limited number and it’s possible that is how President- Elect Nana came to invite Besigye,” the official explained.

“It’s a personal function and the President-Elect is at liberty to choose who to invite; who he wants and doesn’t want at his function.”

Asked what options Museveni would have getting back at Ghana in case Besigye, speaking as DUA boss, uses the ceremony to make a speech critical of the Uganda government, a senior diplomatic source working with foreign affairs Ministry said:

“You send in a protest note through diplomatic channels. The wording of the note would depend on whether this state has been in a habit of such provocations or not.

The last time we sent such a note was to the US after their police shot dead a Ugandan man during a demonstration.

If it’s not happening for the first time it will have words like ‘we shall retaliate if this happens again.’ That will show the protesting country is very displeased.

That is what we issued to the government of DRC after our soldiers were repeatedly killed on L. Albert.” This same official said if Besigye was indeed invited in his capacity as Museveni’s opponent, the President’s other option would be to ignore and thereby indicate to Ghana that their provocation meant nothing to him.

“It will really all depend on what he [Besigye] says at that ceremony in case he is given chance to address the world during the inauguration ceremony. We could still ignore even if he speaks provided he doesn’t appear excessively and directly attack Uganda because here is another government with a right to fight back,” the official concluded.

THE OTHER VIEW

However, another Foreign Affairs Ministry official said it’s possible the new Ghananian government can decide to offend Uganda government to serve their DUA ideological convictions.

The official also disagreed with Kiyingi and Oryem and argued there isn’t much diplomatically binding the two countries.

“There isn’t much beyond sharing the history of being Commonwealth members, AU and UN members. The level of diplomatic engagement is too low which is why we don’t have an Embassy in Accra and they also don’t have in Kampala.

They simply have a diplomatic consulate and we use our Mission in Nigeria to cover Ghana and other ECOWAS countries.

That shows the negligible diplomatic importance the two countries attach to each other,” said the official who didn’t want to be named for lack of authority to speak to the press.

Tom Buruku, a businessman who until a few years ago was a member of Eng Badru Kiggundu EC, has always been the pioneer Ghana Consul in Uganda.

“That consulate status simply means there isn’t much political interaction of any diplomatic significance between the two countries. It simply means they are distant friends and it’s a friendship they can do without,” explained the Ministry official.

Honorary consul is appointed to represent the mild business/economic interest the sending country might have in the host country.

Such diplomats are members of the diplomatic corp. but don’t enjoy full diplomatic immunity and previledges like their counterparts who are designated as Ambassadors or heads of mission.

This is how it works: What happens is the person happens to have a lot of trade connections with a certain country but his mother country (Uganda in Buruku’s case) has no Embassy in its capital for that country.

That person then prompts the two countries to accredit him as a honorary consul so that a quarsi-diplomatic relationship is created enabling him to smoothen his business activities between the two countries.

This is why a consul in most cases has to be a wealthy person with financial means. He will meet all the costs necessary to run the consulate without seeking reimbursement from the country he represents.

This is the reason the Honorary consul is always a national of the very country where he represents his assigning state.

Examples in Uganda include late James Mulwana who became Consul for Thailand to engender his business activities.

Even when he died the Thai government liaised with Uganda government to have his family nominate his daughter Barbra Mulwana to replace him.

Other wealthy Ugandans enjoying consul status and represent other countries in their own country include Gordon Wavamunno, Patrick Bitature and Bonny Katatumba among others.

Countries can always upgrade from consulate to fully fledged Mission or Embassy once their priorities and interest in that host country change.

This is what happened for Uganda’s diplomatic representation in Malaysia that was upgraded from Consulate to Mission.

More Ugandans were travelling to and living in Kuala Lumpur as students, holiday makers/tourists and for business.

This necessitated more diplomatic interactions between governments in the two countries hence the opening of the Mission in 2014.

The honorary counsel will attend most meetings or social events to which members of diplomatic corp. are invited including media and diplomatic briefings but won’t have the same car number plate for instance.

He can never participate in diplomatic negotiations of political significance because he has powers to represent the sending country on a very limited range of issues.

The fact that both Ghana and Uganda have over the years (since 1960s) been reluctant to upgrade their representations to Mission or Embassy status is indicative of the extent to which there is so little for them to regularly interact about.

And even when he represents Ghana in Uganda, Tom Buruku remains a low profile member of the Diplomatic corp. all of which shows how negligible diplomatic interactions between the two countries have been for decades.

Ghana is a small component of Uganda’s foreign policy and vice versa; no wonder beyond AU-related engagements there isn’t much diplomatic interaction between them. Kaija says this provides the new Ghananian government with leverage to closely work with Besigye without diplomatically losing much in case the Kampala regime was to retaliate.

However, both Kiyingi and Oryem disagree with Kaija’s view insisting there is a lot the two countries can diplomatically lose in case the Besigye visit sparked a diplomatic spat between Kampala and Accra.

How StanChart Boss Herman Kasekende will Be Remembered

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 08:07
How StanChart Boss Herman Kasekende will Be Remembered

By John V Sserwaniko

As we exclusively reported on Tuesday December 27th 2016, Herman Kasekende is no longer the MD Standard Chartered Bank having been transferred to head the same institution in Zambia.

But how will he be remembered generally by the banking fraternity and specifically as StanChart boss? Having been the pioneer Ugandan MD for the country’s 2nd largest bank (by Assets), Kasekende was a big brother from whom many professional peers learnt.

He was also an active member of Uganda Bank Association whose ascendance to the top job inspired others to aim high.

For long the banking MD job has been a preserve of expatriates as Ugandans were seen as not being good enough.

Industry sources say heading a big bank didn’t make Kasekende aloof.

He was always down to earth and liked doing charity. And unless you were told, you wouldn’t easily know that this modest sized corporate was head StanChart.

Because of its international reputation, his StanChart also always attracted a huge fraction of the fixed deposits accounts by big wallet clients.

Crane Bank partly suffered because of his shrewdness and ability to give better offers as was seen in the way NSSF MD Richard Byarugaba transferred hundreds of billions from the Fund’s Fixed Deposit accounts to StanChart.

Sources say this was after Kasekende offered better returns for the Fund.

At just 13 branches, he may not have had the highest number of account holders but his bank had a big market share in terms of volumes of money held and colossal transactions facilitated.

Many in the construction industry found his StanChart very attractive because of its liquidity ability to fund big projects.

This is how Abid Alarm of Alarm Group went to no one but to StanChart when he desired to go into large scale steel manufacturing.

A number of investors in large scale plantation farming also found StanChart offer very competitive.

The promoters of Pioneer buses also went nowhere but to Kasekende’s StanChart.

It’s one of the few banks with such liquidity potential and Kasekende remarkably liked funding local Ugandan businesses.

Pioneer is understood to have borrowed up to $30m.

Whereas such lending shows strength, these loans are the very reason there was nervousness at StanChart throughout Kasekende’s 4 years as MD.

Because of the difficult unforeseen crippling market conditions, the borrowers defaulted and Kasekende was preoccupied with provisioning and struggling to recover these monies.

It should be recalled that the loans were contracted during his predecessor Laming Manjang’s time as MD and Kasekende merely inherited them.

Provisioning basically means re-adjust repayment terms (e.g. the interest rate, the repayment period etc) all aimed at enabling the borrower pay up.

Banking sector pundits salute Kasekende for being able to make profit for his shareholders while undertaking such provisioning at the same time.

Quite often such large scale provisioning hurts the bank’s profitability and can even push it to loss-making in the short term. At StanChart this hasn’t been the case.

Bank of Uganda reports show that Kasekende managed provisioning while maintaining handsome though declining profitability for the bank.

Maintaining number 2 position, last year he made Shs28bn in profit for his bosses. This was at a time of general decline in performance of all banks but he still pulled it off combining hard work and prudent management decisions.

Kasekende cleaned up StanChart’s balance sheet and is leaving it better than he found it. Though very cautiously, Kasekende also engaged in branch network expansion by opening new branches at Bugoloobi, Acacia and Freedom City.

He also heavily invested in technology to harness the Mobile Banking Platform. The ATM network at the 30 locations was reconstructed to serve more efficiently. According to StanChart Head Corporate Affairs Hellen Nangonzi, Kasekende will also be remembered for prioritizing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

In his 4 years as MD, over 1.5m Ugandan children got eye care, screening and surgery as part of StanChart’s East Africa-wide “Seeing is believing” project worth $6.25m.

The initiative seeks to eradicate avoidable blindness. StanChart has been doing this in conjunction with Ministry of Health and Brien Holden Vision Institute.

Another unspecified sum was sunk into the Goal Project aimed at keeping especially the girl child in School as part of the bank’s CSR.

BRAC Foundation was StanChart’s partner on this one. Nangonzi says other CSR projects which the MD was passionate about include Education for Entrepreneurship and Financial Education for the youth whose training sessions Kasekende would personally attend as a participant or facilitator.

A recent BoU report shows that $1.2m was invested in the “Seeing is believing” charity program in Kasekende’s time as MD. Under this initiative, hospitals were re-equipped, vehicles bought for them and medical personnel retrained in order to boost child eye care at several Ugandan hospitals.

The bank also heavily funded tree planting projects and has also earmarked $1m to carry the Goal Project initiative forward in 2017.

The “Seeing is believing” project is anchored mostly in Mubende district. Kasekende was also Ugandan pioneer MD at StanChart which has operated in Uganda for over 100 years and last year it famously celebrated its centenary serving in this market.

Decline in performance has hit StanChart not only in Uganda but Africa-wide because markets in SADDC, ECOWAS and EAC sub regions haven’t been performing as well as they did 5 years ago.

Even in that era of almost unprecedented decline, StanChart East Africa (basically Uganda and Kenya) have remained the best performing markets recording remarkably high profits.

The slumping of the South African economy and that of Zimbabwe have undermined performance in the SADDC region just like decline in Ghananian and Nigerian economies greatly hurt StanChart prospects in the ECOWAS region.

This trend, whereby East Africa remains StanChart’s best performing region in Africa, is likely to persist in 2016’s Group’s performance report expected in a few weeks time.

In Uganda, the cautious BoU sources intimated that, StanChart is likely to exceed its 2016 targets by over 10% when the Group’s report finally comes out.

Even when Nangonzi downplayed everything saying there is nothing unusual, the latest StanChart transfers of Kasekende and Grace Muliisa will create some nervousness on the ever very fragile financial markets.

A top BoU official maintained that there has been a general decline in the performance of the Ugandan financial markets adding that there is nothing strange about top level staff redeployments at StanChart.

Nangonzi maintains the transfers are positive because the redeployment of Muliisa, who has headed Consumer Banking for 5 years, will pave way for young managers to grow up the corporate ladder. She also dismisses claims Kasekende was being punished.

“Zambia is a much bigger market for us as Standard Chartered Group and there is no way somebody being assigned to head a bigger market can be said to be undergoing punishment.

Its’ actually a promotion for him.” In Uganda, StanChart employs over 150 Ugandans who are eagerly waiting for the new MD whose recruitment process Nangonzi says started weeks ago.

FIFA Unanimously Vote To Increase World Cup Teams to 48

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 17:26
FIFA Unanimously Vote To Increase World Cup Teams to 48

FIFA’s ruling council on Tuesday unanimously approved an expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams in 2026, in a major coup for the body’s president Gianni Infantino.

In a bid to widen the game’s global appeal and enrich its coffers, the FIFA panel endorsed a format with 16 groups of three nations, a tweet from FIFA’s official account said.

The move represents the first major change to the World Cup since the tournament was boosted from 24 to 32 teams for the 1998 tournament in France.

Critics strongly oppose the move and it was branded a “money grab and power grab” by New FIFA Now, a group campaigning for reform of the scandal-tainted FIFA.

Infantino took over the body 11 months ago with a vow to repair the damage done at the end of Sepp Blatter’s tenure by growing football across the globe.

Enlarging the World Cup, the planet’s top sporting competition, was the centrepiece of that plan.

Critics say the expanded tournament would dilute the quality of play and overburden already exhausted players.

Football’s powerful European Club Association reiterated its opposition, describing the 32-team model as “the perfect formula”.

“We understand that this decision has been taken based on political reasons rather than sporting ones and under considerable political pressure, something ECA believes is regrettable,” the body which represents European football clubs said in a statement.

Despite the opposition Infantino had in recent weeks voiced confidence that his flagship project would be approved, noting it would improve FIFA’s bank account.

And a confidential FIFA report seen by AFP projects a 48-team tournament would bring a cash boost of $640 million (605 million euros) above projected revenues for next year’s finals in Russia.

But Infantino has also argued that more World Cup berths would help serve football’s interest by boosting “inclusion” in the “biggest social and sporting event”.

Big winners

Among those who seemed convinced by that argument was Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, who on Monday said a 48-team format “will give more possibilities to countries that have never reached that level of competition”.

Africa and Asia could be the big winners with a rise in their number of places — currently at five for Africa and between four and five for Asia.

But in order to smooth over scepticism about World Cup reform within UEFA, it is likely that Europe will also see its allotments rise above the current 13 places.

A source close to FIFA told AFP that under the new format Europe could get 16 places, with Africa earning nine.

But that information remained unconfirmed and world football’s governing body was not expected to immediately announce its final decision on allotments, which may fuel a tough debate in the months ahead.

The council officially weighed five proposals during Tuesday’s meeting at FIFA’s snow-covered Zurich headquarters, including maintaining the status quo of 32-teams.

The landmark decision to expand the tournament is the latest overhaul of the World Cup, which has seen its global popularity and financial might surge since the inaugural edition in 1930.

That contest, won by Uruguay, had just 13 countries.

The World Cup expanded to 24 teams in 1982 in Spain before moving to its current 32-team version at France 1998.

80 matches, 32 days

Earlier World Cup enlargement plans foresaw a longer tournament, which raised alarm that international football’s already stretched calendar would be further tested.

The format approved Tuesday envisages 80 matches —  16 more than the current set up — but crucially will still be played over the same 32 days.

Two teams from each group will advance to a 32-nation knock-out round.

Some have pointed to Euro 2016 — which expanded to 24 nations — as evidence that competition can remain fierce with more countries involved, noting the stunning achievements of football minnows like Iceland and Wales.

Bidding to host the 2026 tournament has not yet opened, but Infantino has voiced support for two countries sharing the duty, easing the financial burden on a single host nation.

Sources close to FIFA have said that a joint US-Canada bid, possibly involving Mexico could emerge, while Morocco has also been mentioned.

MPs Contribute Sh215m to Uganda Cranes

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 16:17
MPs Contribute Sh215m to Uganda Cranes

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has directed the Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige to deduct Shs500,000 from MPs’ emoluments to support the national football team.

The poorly facilitated Uganda Cranes will be representing the country in the African Cup of Nations tournament which is yet to start in Gabon.

Presiding over the Tuesday plenary, Kadaga noted that Parliament last year pledged to offer financial support to the Uganda Cranes in the wake of their victory over Comoros to secure a place in this year’s cup tournament.

The Speaker appreciated the Cranes team and its goalkeeper, Denis Onyango for flying the country’s flag high by winning accolades in the recent CAF award ceremony which took place in Nigeria.

Cranes qualified for AFCON 2017 for the first time since 1978 and was named Africa’s team of the year 2016. Onyango was crowned African based player of the year and was also named among the world’s top 10 goalkeepers.

“When we qualified for the finals, we had agreed that we contribute. I will be going to the board and I would like to go with the cheque. If members don’t mind can we agree that the funds be deducted immediately,” Kadaga proposed.

After the house seconded her proposal, Kadaga directed the Clerk to immediately conduct the transaction so as to prepare a cheque to be delivered next week.

Uganda cranes team is currently in a trip in Dubai as it prepares for the AFCON.  Uganda will start by playing against Ghana on 17th January 2017.

 

 

Acholi Leaders Curse Winnie Byanyima over Standing Surety for Kanyamunyu

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 14:52
Acholi Leaders Curse Winnie Byanyima over Standing Surety for Kanyamunyu

By Serestino Tusingwire

A group of Acholi leaders has attacked Besigye’s wife and Oxfam Director, Winnie Byanyima for standing as surety for businessman Matthew Kanyamunyu who is accused of murdering Kenneth Akena.

The Aruu County MP, Odonga Otto has spit Venom on Byanyima saying it was unimaginable seeing someone in the caliber of Winnie Byanyima standing on the side of a suspected criminal.

“Of all people, Winnie Byanyima, the wife of Besigye to become the one to stand surety for Kanyamunyu! It is all over, the political lines have been blocked.” Otto said.

He even warned Besigye to always travel in an armored vehicle when going to Acholi Region.

This came after High Court in Kampala commenced the hearing of a bail application by businessman Mathew Kanyamunyu and his two co-accused persons.

A group of eight sureties including Winnie Byanyima in which Byanyima was inclusive was presented before court to plead for Kanyamunyu’s bail.

A team of Kanyamunyu lawyers led by Ronald Muhwezi have submitted that their clients have a constitutional right to be released on bail and that they will not interfere with police investigations if granted bail.

Court is expected to give its ruling in later hours.

Kagina and Akol Must Resign – Lokodo

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 13:10
Kagina and Akol Must Resign – Lokodo

By Serestino Tusingwire

The state Minister for Ethics and integrity Fr. Simon Lokodo has condemned the act in which government top shots distributed among themselves money amounting to Shs6bn.

Lokodo put the blame on the Uganda Revenue Authority Commission general Doris Akol and her predecessor Allen Kagina for failing to advise the president about the so called handshake.

According to Lokodo, what these government officials did was shameful and they cannot escape the consequences.

“They [Kagina and Akol] should be advised to resign. I don’t agree with this agreement, I condemn it; it’s unfair and unethical” Lokodo said.

It’s worth noting that, in June 2015, a protracted legal battle over capital gains tax between URA& Tullow oil resulted into a settlement of Sh824Bn and about Shs6bn was doled out to senior government officials as a reward for their role in facilitating the successful settlement.

Akol and Kagina were among the big beneficiaries of this so called presidential handshake. They bagged Shs242m each.

Other beneficiaries include; Kampala Capital City Authority boss Jennifer Musisi – Shs121, Finance ministry Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi – Shs108 (and his predecessor Chris Kassami – Shs393), former attorney generals Peter Nyombi – Shs226 and Fred Ruhindi – Shs93, as well as the solicitor general among others.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma on Monday issued an interim order “restraining parliament, any person or authority from investigating, questioning or inquiring into” the Shs6bn presidential handshake saga until further notice.

This is however seen by many as a direct support by judiciary towards corruption.

 

FDC Vow to Defy Court Orders Halting Probe Into Shs6bn Cash Bonanza

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 11:54
FDC Vow to Defy Court Orders Halting Probe Into Shs6bn Cash Bonanza

By Serestino Tusingwire

The opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has vowed to go ahead with its planned move to ‘squeeze against the wall’ the beneficiaries of Shs6bn oil money to vomit it back despite an injunction by Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma.

On Monday evening, Justice Kavuma issued an interim order barring parliament, any person or authority from investigating, questioning or inquiring into” the Shs6bn scam arising out of President Museveni’s Golden Handshake to some government top shots.

Kavuma’s order followed Eric Sabiiti’s petition to block the probe saying the planned investigation by parliament interferes with executive powers of awarding best performers. Sabiiti is a legal officer who works with the Electoral Commission.

Before the injunction, FDC had announced that, its working committee would meet today and formulate a document seeking to recover the money and present it to Parliament which resumes today.

Despite the injunction, the FDC Deputy Secretary General Harold Kaija maintains that the committee will sit today as planned and continue with the process.

“For us as FDC, we are not going to sit back and keep quiet while tax payers money is being swindled, we are to continue with our planned move to make these people refund the money.” Kaija said.

He condemned the government for always manipulating the law to block important investigations into allegations of abuse of public funds.

See more; http://www.redpepper.co.ug/justice-kavuma-halts-probe-into-shs6bn-oil-cash-bonanza/

Court To Hear Kanyamunyu Bail Application Today

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 10:38
Court To Hear Kanyamunyu Bail Application Today

By Serestino Tusingwire

Mathew Kanyamunyu, his brother Joseph and his girl friend Cynthia are today expected to appear before Kampala High Court for hearing of their bail application.

Kanyamunyu who is the prime suspect in the murder of Keneth Akena, applied for bail in December and he’s hopeful of getting freed today from Luzira prison where he has been for two months.

In his bail application, Kanyamunyu claimed that it is his constitutional right to be granted bail. He added that he won’t interfere with the investigations and that he has sureties who would make sure he appears back to court when needed.

The Kanyamunyus appeared before the Nakawa Magistrates court on January 3 and were remanded back to Luzira till 17th January pending investigations.

Once the investigations into the matter are complete, the trio will be committed to the High Court for trial.

Prosecution alleges that on November 12, while at Game Stores, Kanyamunyu in company of his girlfriend, allegedly shot Akena whom he accused of scratching his car, and drove him to Norvik hospital where he died from.

His brother Joseph Kanyamunyu is held on condition that the telecom printouts indicated that he was contacted immediately after the incident, which puts him in position to be having some knowledge on the incident.

Court will today decide whether the trio should be granted bail or not.

Justice Kavuma Halts Probe Into Shs6bn Oil Cash Bonanza

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 10:12
Justice Kavuma Halts Probe Into Shs6bn Oil Cash Bonanza

By Serestino Tusingwire

The controversial Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma on Monday evening shocked the nation when he issued an interim order “restraining parliament, any person or authority from investigating, questioning or inquiring into” the Shs6bn presidential handshake saga.

In June 2015, a protracted legal battle over capital gains tax between URA& Tullow oil resulted into a settlement of Sh824Bn and about Shs6bn was doled out to senior government officials as a reward for their role in facilitating the successful settlement.

This had prompted MPs and Civil Society Organisations to start probing the saga saying it was illegally done thus the beneficiaries would have to vomit back the money they chewed.

However, in his order, Justice Kavuma stayed “all proceedings of whatever nature, if any, which may be pending before any forum whatsoever “until the main application No.06 of 2017 has been heard and determined.”

Kavuma’s order followed Eric Sabiiti’s petition to block the probe saying the planned investigation by parliament interferes with executive powers. Sabiiti is a legal officer who works with the Electoral Commission.

In his petition, Sabiiti describes how the officials from ministries of Justice, Energy and Finance alongside the Uganda Revenue Authority played a diligent role that earned them the presidential hand shake.

According to Sabiiti, following a protracted litigation, the technical winning team led by the then Attorney General, Peter Nyombi met with Museveni on May 17, 2015 who in-turn directed the commissioner general of URA to propose a reward for the team for the commendable work they did.

He adds that after obtaining all the necessary approvals to withdraw the money from the consolidated fund, the commissioner general paid out Shs6bn to the selected individuals.

Sabiiti says that he believes the above actions and sharp criticisms by the public and MPs is inconsistent with the constitution and should be quashed by court.

It’s from this point therefore that Justice Kavuma ordered the registrar of the court to ensure pretrial steps are taken in good time and fix the hearing of the main petition without delay.

List of Beneficiaries and Amount in Millions

Some of the beneficiaries include Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) commissioner general Doris Akol – Shs242, Uganda National Roads Authority boss Allen Kagina – Shs242, Kampala Capital City Authority boss Jennifer Musisi – Shs121, Finance ministry Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi – Shs108 (and his predecessor Chris Kassami – Shs393), former attorney generals Peter Nyombi – Shs226 and Fred Ruhindi – Shs93, as well as the solicitor general among others.

M7 Knifes Katumba Wamala, Removes Son Muhoozi from SFC Hot Seat

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 08:59
M7 Knifes Katumba Wamala, Removes Son Muhoozi from SFC Hot Seat

By Serestino Tusingwire

As Red Pepper has been reporting for weeks, now from its sources in the military and State House, the Commander In Chief H.E Yoweri K Museveni has officially announced the reshuffle of top army bosses.

In the a radio message that was sent by Museveni, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala has been dumped and made the Ministry of State for Works.

Wamala has been replaced by Maj Gen David Muhoozi, now a full General. He has been commanding the Land Forces.

David Muhoozi will be deputized by Maj Gen Mbadi who has been Army Chief of Staff.

Maj Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, first son, who has been Special Forces Command boss, has dropped to Presidential Advisor in charge of special operations.

Muhoozi’s hitherto deputy, Don Nabaasa has been promoted to Colonel and appointed Commander Special Forces Command, which is in charge of president’s security.

Deputy CDF Lt Gen Charles Angina has been appointed the Deputy commander Operation Wealth Creation.

Brigadier Peter Elweru has been promoted to Major Geneneral and shifted from Mbarara where he has been serving as 2nd Division commander to take charge of Land Forces.

Elweru is remembered for commanding the operation that saw UPDF Commandos raid Rwenzururu palace and capture King Wesley Mumbere.

Brigadier Charles Bakahumura who has been Chief of Military Intelligence has been dropped to become Chief of Logistics and Engineering.

Brig Mugyenyi has been promoted to Maj General and appointed Commander Air Defence.

Abel Kandiho has been promoted to Colonel and appointed CMI chief replacing Bakahumura.

Museveni says the reshuffle takes immediate effect.

More details and analysis in Red Pepper (print) which has been on top of this story

Mirundi Cries on Radio

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 00:20
Mirundi Cries on Radio

Media activist Tamale Mirundi has just broken down and publicly wailed during a radio talk show.

Speaking on Top Radio’s Okwatibwako program this evening, Mirundi cried mourning Justice Steven Kavuma’s ruling prohibiting discussion on the Presidential Handshake which saw 42 government officials share Shs6bn.

Mirundi’s weekly program runs between 6-8pm on Top Radio and Kavuma’s ruling came in when Mirundi was already discussing the Shs6bn calling for Mob justice against the 42 officials.

Mirundi also castigated the 42 officials for blackmailing the President yet it’s them who ate the money.

He also urged Justice Kavuma to mind his legacy saying such retrogressive decisions were not good for a retiring Judge.

Saying its unfortunate Baganda were being used to hand down the most bogus decisions or judgments, Mirundi wondered why the likes of Chief Justice Bart Katureebe are never used to issue such anti-people injunctions.

He urged Parliament to ignore Kavuma and go ahead with the debate “and we see how Justice Kavuma can detain the whole Parliament for contempt of court.”

A tough-talking Mirundi then wept saying: “God forgive us as Baganda because we have always betrayed this country and dear God I beg you not to bring Kavuma’s curse to our children in future.”

As the moderator Dunstan Busulwa pleaded “media consultant please don’t cry take it easy,” a tearful Mirundi picked his papers and left the studios and the show ended prematurely.

URA launches Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 18:40
URA launches Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool

By Serestino Tusingwire

Uganda Revenue Authority has launched the Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool (TADAT) training today January 9 at Kampala Serena Hotel.

TADAT is designed to provide objective assessment of the health of key components of the system of Tax administration in Uganda, the extent of reform required and the relative priorities for attention.

Previously, the URA Senior management team undertook the TADAT training. 80 midline managers are to receive the hands on training in this particular phase.

The TADAT tool facilitates a shared view among all stakeholders- Country authorities, international organizations and development partners.

URA is committed to efficient Tax administration in Uganda. Building staff capacity is another step taken towards achieving this commitment.

 

Water Crisis Hits Yumbe As Refugee Number Swell to 260, 000

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 18:18
Water Crisis Hits Yumbe As Refugee Number Swell to 260, 000

By Andrew Cohen Amvesi

The influx of South Sudan refugees in Bidibidi settlement camp in Romogi Sub County, Yumbe district has inserted pressure on the few existing water spots, thus increasing the water price.

According to an official from the district, a jerry cane of water can be bought between Shs2000 and Shs3000.

Bidibidi is one of the World’s biggest refugee settlement camps with a total of 260, 000 refugees, mainly from South Sudan.

Reports from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) indicate that the power struggle between South Sudan President, Salva Kiir and his first Vice President, Riek Machar, has so far forced over 500, 000 locals to cross the border to seek for asylum in West Nile region.

According to Fred Asi Buzu, the community service officer Arua refugee desk, on average, 7,000 to 8, 000 South Sudan refugees are received daily in different camps in West Nile districts.

“The influx of refugees has totally strained us when it comes to water. As I speak now, both the refugees and locals are suffering of water shortage,” said Yasin Taban, the Yumbe district Chairperson.

Taban however noted that the district is currently unable address the problem since refugees were not part of the 2016/17 financial budget.

Rwenzururu Leaders Apologize to Nation Over Kasese Clashes

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 14:16
Rwenzururu Leaders Apologize to Nation Over Kasese Clashes

By Serestino Tusingwire

Leaders from Rwenzori sub region have apologized to president Museveni and the nation at large over the insurgency that the Rwenzururu royal guards cause to the government forces.

The leaders were meeting with the president on Sunday evening when they admitted in a written letter, the constant harassment and attacks on police in different parts of the region.

The meeting was attended by Mumbere’s wife, Chief Prince C. Kibanzaga, Prince William Kibanzaga, and Mumbere’s mother among others.

They admitted that if they had heed to the president’s directive of surrendering royal guards, the clash with security couldn’t have happened.

“Omusinga was misadvised by some individuals within region. We now seek tranquility and restoration of security.” One official told the president.

By doing all these, the traditional leaders are seeking for the release Mumbere who is currently in prison.

It should be noted that on November 26, heavy gunfire broke out between the Rwenzururu Kingdom royal guards and security officers leaving scores dead.

Over 100 people reportedly died in the fight, many others were left seriously injured and over 150 were arrested.

They are now battling various charges including terrorism and treason in courts of law pending trial.

NRM Takes Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo To UK

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 13:41
NRM Takes Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo To UK

By Henry Mulindwa

The ruling party-NRM has intensified its push for middle income status among Ugandans by 2020; this time taking the campaign to its diaspora members.

Red Pepper exclusively reports that the party, through its UK chapter led by Baliikya Wakame Drake has organized a Wealth Creation Summit due in May 2017 in London.

Speaking to Red Pepper at NRM offices in Kampala, NRM diaspora league coordinator for Canada Nalongo Jane Kalumba said that Ugandans in the Diaspora have the capacity to invest back home because government has fertilized the environment to allow this to happen.

“It has set up incentives, programs and relevant offices have been equipped to favorably handle these unconditional investors. Regardless of political affiliation, Museveni’s government now encourages Ugandan investors in Agriculture through its program of Wealth Creation” she said.

She said the summit will be graced by party chairman Yoweri Museveni and other officials and that, it doesn’t segregate whether opposition or NRM.

Wakame said that this summit will bring together international investors and the Ugandan business community including cultural entertainment from Uganda amongst other things. NRM Chapter leaders on continental Europe and the US have also been invited for this summit.

“We need to work with government to tap into their skills acquired in the Diaspora. I believe this would be beneficial to our mother country Uganda. This investment and wealth creation summit is long overdue because the Diaspora fraternity is anxious to collectively make a contribution to their mother country by mobilizing their contacts over the years and channel them into Uganda to bolster wealth creation” he said.

Meanwhile, NRM Diaspora league boss Abbey Walusimbi warned Ugandans in diaspora against divisionism based on tribes and religion. He also urged UK- chapter members to work towards unity and shun all those who try to divide them. He said this weakens the party.

“We are now in discussions with the President to set up a Diaspora village where business can be set up and run in a single location with government help. Ugandans in the Diaspora can help develop the tailoring industry; it can offer a huge boost in terms of remittances and jobs to our people” he noted.

Mayor Tolla Muganzi the Secretary in charge of Mobilization stated that 2017 is going to be a year for steady progress.

“This will happen only through massive mobilization of resources, tourism, trade, wealth creation and promoting our culture through entertainment. This summit is going to feature all that” he said.

 

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