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East Libyan Forces Claim Control Of Central Benghazi Neighbourhood

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 11:27
East Libyan Forces Claim Control Of Central Benghazi Neighbourhood

East Libyan forces said they had gained control on Saturday over one of two remaining districts of Benghazi where they faced armed resistance.

The advance in the central Souq al-Hout neighbourhood was the latest step in the slow progress of the self-styled Libyan National Army commanded by Khalifa Haftar, which has been waging a campaign against Islamists and other opponents in Libya’s second city for more than three years.

In unusually heavy fighting in Benghazi over the past two days at least 13 men from the LNA were killed and 37 wounded, a medical official said. Many of those who died were killed by land mines, a military source said.

Along with Sabri, Souq al-Hout was one of the final holdouts of the LNA’s rivals.

Since 2014, shifting alliances have been battling for power. The LNA and an eastern-based government have rejected a U.N.-backed government that has been in the capital, Tripoli, since last year.

Saturday’s advance came after the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB), an anti-Haftar armed group that includes fighters who retreated from Benghazi and have since tried and failed to advance again towards the city, said it was prepared to disband and be integrated into national security forces.


Guinea’s President Criticises Foreign Countries’ Interference in AU Matters

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 11:11
Guinea’s President Criticises Foreign Countries’ Interference in AU Matters

The President of Guinea Alpha Conde has urged African leaders to continue taking charge about issues that affect their countries and the continent and stop taking foreign funding in the African Union.

President Condé now on a two-day State visit to Uganda is a man on a mission with a message that is galvanizing hope by Africans to reclaim the right of the continents destiny back in their hands.

He said African leaders need to speak openly and frankly so that when Africa speaks, it does so with one voice that is heard.

“We need to take charge of our own affairs. When we are united, we win. You don’t have to be super intelligence to know that the problem faced by Africa is interference in its affairs. We need to use our own resources to fund our organization (AU) ourselves. Currently our main funding is by the European Union. How can you speak freely if you are funded by someone else,” he said.

He is also advocating for a continental court instead of having African issues dealt with by the International Criminal Court.

He said as the AU they can no longer accept for a country to be isolated.

“Three weeks ago I was in Sudan to show support of AU to Bashir. Is it an International Criminal Court or is it a court against Africans,” he said.

Busoga Leaders Urge Gov’t To Step Up Child Protection

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 10:48
Busoga Leaders Urge Gov’t To Step Up Child Protection

The Kyabazinga of Busoga has asked local communities, government and leaders to make child protection a priority and ensure that their rights are observed.

Kyabazinga William Wilberforce Kadhumbula Gabula Nadine was speaking at the Day of the African Child celebrations in Kamuli district.

“There should be a combined effort from parliament, guardians, teachers, students, and well-wishers in order to make sure children rights are well observed.

School Children also asked government to intervene and stop child marriage and punish defilers.

It should be noted that child marriages constitute to the increasing number of school dropouts.

The recently released report by ministry of education indicates that 30% of girl-children who start primary do not complete primary seven.

It also indicates that in most cases, child marriages are mostly influenced by parents in bid to get bridewealth.


Mild-May Uganda Launches 30 Year Master Plan to Combat HIV/AIDS

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 10:10
Mild-May Uganda Launches 30 Year Master Plan to Combat HIV/AIDS

Mild-May Uganda says all children born at their facility in 2014 by HIV positive mothers have remained HIV negative.

The Executive Director of Mild-May Uganda, Dr. Babara Mukasa made the comments as Mild-May Uganda launched a 30 year master plan that will see it transformed into a modern teaching hospital.

“We have supported to partner with other health organisations and the ministry to bring down the mother-child transmission rate from an average of greater than 19% in 2012 to an average of 3% today,” Mukasa said.

In 1998, Mild-May Uganda began comprehensive HIV care with just over 3000 children waiting for the life-saving drugs through PEPFAR in 2004.

Today, Mildmay Uganda supports care for over 100,000 with 7,000 of them children.

In her remarks, the state minister of health for general duties, Sarah Opendi warned the youth to be careful because there is no cure for HIV/AIDS.

The Vice President, Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi was the chef guest at the function.

Ex-minister, Mutagamba Succumbs to Stomach Complications

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 09:44
Ex-minister, Mutagamba Succumbs to Stomach Complications

Former Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Maria Emily Lubega Mutagamba has died at 64.

Mutagamba has been admitted at Case Hospital in Kampala for close to three weeks with stomach complications until Saturday evening when she breathed her last. She also had liver cancer.

She was first admitted at Rubaga Hospital, which later referred her to Case hospital when her condition worsened.

Mutagamba was also reportedly suffering from Gallstones. Gallstones occur when cholesterol and other substances found in bile form stones.

Mutagamba who was also former Raka district Woman Member of Parliament, served in several key ministries in the government of President Yoweri Museveni.

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

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

Turkey, Uganda To Sign MoU To Resettle Refugees

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 09:22
Turkey, Uganda To Sign MoU To Resettle Refugees

The government of Turkey has expressed willingness to support Uganda in its efforts to resettle refugees.

Turkey is currently the leading refugee host country in the world with a total of about 4 million refugees with majority coming from Syria.

Turkish ambassador to Uganda Sedef Yavuzalp on Saturday said that Turkey is ready to offer technical assistance and capacity building for Ugandan officials.

“The government of the republic of Turkey is very committed to support Uganda as it deals with this refugee crisis,” Yavuzalp said.

She urged government to ensure the MOU on setting up a coordination office for the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency is cleared for signing to ensure more development and humanitarian assistance to Uganda.

Uganda, Kenya To Harmonise Work Plans For SGR Construction

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 13:00
Uganda, Kenya To Harmonise Work Plans For SGR Construction

Uganda and Kenya have set July 2017 as the timeline to conclude harmonizing their construction plans for the Nairobi – Kampala section of the standard Gauge Railway and to thus receive financing from Chinese Exim Bank.

This harmonization has been a major obstacle to Uganda against receiving funding for its part of the railway which was ironed out in a meeting by technical teams and transport ministers from both countries.

“We have agreed that we need to sit with finances and have these joint commitments which we have agreed upon put into practice. It will be a one connected railway all the way from Kampala to Malaba o Kisumu,” James Macharia, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Transport said.

China’s Exim bank in December agreed to lend Kenya 4.9 billion U.S dollars for the second leg of a new railway linking southern Kenya town of Naivasha to Malaba.

According to officials, Exim bank will provide 85% of the 2.2 billion U.S dollars Uganda need for the line.

Demand For Crocodile Penis Drives Egyptians to Poaching

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 12:06
Demand For Crocodile Penis Drives Egyptians to Poaching

A demand for crocodile penis is driving people in Egypt to illegally poach and traffic Nile crocodiles writes Peter Schwartzstein in National Geographic.

Former hunter Assad Ibrahim told him that some Egyptians – and people in East Africa – eat the crocodile penis crushed up with honey and ginger, believing it will improve their sex lives.

The largest ones sell for more than $100, he adds.

A poacher, who he names only as Mahmoud, told him smugglers are exporting record numbers of crocodiles – perhaps up to 3,500 eggs and hatchlings and a few hundred adult live crocs a year.

But these are mainly to the Arabian Gulf, as Saudi Arabians want the crocodiles as household ornaments, he writes.

He says hunting really took off in the chaos after the Tahrir Square uprising of 2011.

Three Killed In Gun Attack On Bank In Northeast Kenya

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 12:00
Three Killed In Gun Attack On Bank In Northeast Kenya

Attackers shot and killed three people in a raid on a commercial bank in northeast Kenya on Friday, police said, while Kenya Red Cross said an improvised explosive device had also been detonated on a road in the same town but no injuries had been reported.

Two civilians and a police officer died in the attack on the bank in Mandera County, police commander Charles Chacha said.

“There were five armed gangsters. When they arrived at the bank, they shot the officer at the door, and the police managed to shoot one of the criminals, but …they escaped,” Chacha told Reuters.

In the past, Mandera has been the scene of frequent attacks, which have killed dozens of civilians and security personnel. Al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab have taken responsibility for most of them.

Elwak, where Friday’s attack took place, is near the border with Somalia.

Kenya Red Cross said on its Twitter account that there had been an incident involving an improvised explosive device on the road linking Elwak to Mandera, but there were no injuries reported.


Magufuli Reaffirms Ban On Pregnant Girls Attending State Schools

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 11:54
Magufuli Reaffirms Ban On Pregnant Girls Attending State Schools

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has rejected activists’ calls for the government to allow pregnant students to attend state schools, saying it was immoral for young girls to be sexually active.

Tanzania’s ban on pregnant girls attending state primary and secondary schools dates back to 1961, when the country secured its independence from Britain, though it does not extend to private schools.

Activists have stepped up calls in recent years for the ban to be scrapped, saying expelled teenagers face widespread stigma, the possibility of being forced into early marriage and the challenge of providing for themselves and their babies.

Tanzanian politicians are divided on the issue, but Magufuli, nicknamed “The Bulldozer” for pushing his policies through, reaffirmed the existing policy during a public rally late on Thursday in the coastal town of Bagamoyo.

“In my administration, as long as I am president … no pregnant student will be allowed to return to school. We cannot allow this immoral behaviour to permeate our primary and secondary schools … never,” he said.

Magufuli ordered police to arrest and prosecute men who get students pregnant, saying convicted offenders could get up to 30 years in jail under the country’s sexual offences legislation.

“Non-governmental organisations that have been campaigning for pregnant girls to be allowed to continue with their studies at government schools should open private schools and enrol those teenage mothers,” he said.

More than 55,000 Tanzanian schoolgirls have been expelled from school over the last decade for being pregnant, the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) said in a report in 2013.

Some wealthier families are able to send their daughters to private schools but the majority end up looking for casual work.

Exert Pressure On South Sudan If Refugee Crisis Is To Reduce – Malac

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 11:20
Exert Pressure On South Sudan If Refugee Crisis Is To Reduce – Malac

The Unites States Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac has asked all donor communities to exert pressure on worrying parties in south Sudan if refugee crisis is to reduce.

Speaking during the ongoing solidarity summit on refugee at Munyonyo, Malac said that even though urgent attention is needed to cater for wondering refugees in Uganda, long-lasting solution is needed to deal with this crisis.

“If South Sudan got peace today and all these refugees return to their home country, we wouldn’t be talking of refugees in Uganda. So the best way to bring this refugee crisis to an end is to restore peace in South Sudan,” Malac said.

She said that the use of gun has totally failed and thus diplomatic measures must be pursued by international communities to enable peace prevail between these two parties.

Police Accused of kidnaping Three FDC Youths 

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 10:55
Police Accused of kidnaping Three FDC Youths

By Stuart Yiga

On Friday evening police sealed off the Forum for Democratic Change- Kampala offices, found at City House William Street and allegedly kidnapped a group of youths including; Robert Mayanja, Ayub Kigongo and Abudallar Kizza Bakasambe before they were driven to unidentified place.

It is alleged that the group spearheaded the dumping of a painter yellow pig near State House on Thursday, among other cases.

We shall keep you posted.

Police Blame Kisenyi Fire On Radiation

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:59
Police Blame Kisenyi Fire On Radiation

Fire on Friday morning gutted a number of cassava and maize mills in Kisenyi, down town Kampala destroying property worth billions of shillings.

According to director fire and rescue services in Uganda police, Joseph Mugisa the fire started from make shift structure that houses the mills and spread to Salabed building the stores of Salabed shipping cargo.

20 maize and cassava milling machines were destroyed in the fire, stores of car engines belonging to Salabed shipping cargo, tonnes of maize floor shops and other expensive properties destroyed.

According to Mugisa, fire was too big to be contained within the short period of time and fire brigade will maintain its presence at the scene until they are assured nothing can re-ignite any other fire.

Sserwadda Richard the chairman of produce dealers attributed the cause of fire on land wrangles between the two tycoons.

He appealed to ministry of disaster and preparedness to come to their rescue.

The police fire department says there is no death or injuries recorded so far in the Kisenyi fire.

He says the fire was fueled by radiation from the compact make shift ‘. He says investigation is underway to establish the cause of fire.

Former Employee Drags Mercy Corps Uganda To Court Over Inhumane Treatment

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:20
Former Employee Drags Mercy Corps Uganda To Court Over Inhumane Treatment

By Milton Emmy Akwam

LIRA: A former staff of Mercy Corps Uganda has sued the organisation for violation of her right and breach of contract.

Felina Lodia Vicky dragged her former employer to Soroti High Court under Civil Suit No. 17 of 2017, seeking for millions in compensation in various forms of damages she got while on duty.

In July 2015, she tendered her resignation letter to the bosses, but was turned down on no clear reasons. She continued working up to August of the same year.

However, while on duty, she got a motorbike accident in which she suffered a knee injury and permanent incapacity that was accessed by medical experts.

After advice from her doctors to quit work, paving way for quick recovery, Mercy Corps according to the Plaintiff’s Lawyer continued using her credentials and other particulars to solicit for funding or donation from donors.

To that effect, a letter which this website has looked at was served to Mercy Corps warning the organisation of further using its client’s documents for monetary gains.

Through her Lawyer, Oyugi Onono of Oyugi Onono & Co. Advocates in Lira town, the plaint read thus: “The defendant is a Non-Governmental organisation working in Uganda capable of suing and being sued and the plaintiff’s advocates under take to effect service of Court process upon the defendant.”

“The plaintiff brings this suit against the defendant seeking for special damages of Shs 123,409,440 (One hundred twenty three million four hundred and nineteen thousand four hundred and forty shillings only) being compensation arising out of an accident that accrued during the course of employment, severance allowance, General Damages, Exemplary Damages and cost of the Suit thereon for nonpayment for the amount owed.” the plaint further read.

Working as a Program Officer until 5th of August, 2015, the plaintiff got a motorbike accident within the Course of her employment that greatly incapacitated her and she shortly resigned because she was unable to work following advice from her doctors.

Speaking to this website on Wednesday, a senior staff at Mercy Corps in Kampala who preferred anonymity confirmed receipt of the Suit by former staff’s Lawyers.

He, however refused commenting much on the matter saying organisation Lawyers whom he said were very busy would answer our questions.

Ex Ambassador, Abura Living In ‘State of Anguish’

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 16:36
Ex Ambassador, Abura Living In ‘State of Anguish’  By Milton Emmy Akwam

LIRA: Calling it a betrayal from National Resistance Movement (NRM) Party leaders in Lira district, a Uganda former Ambassador designate is currently living in state of anguish and remorseful thought.

Lolo Abura Kawa, 55, a former Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party supporter was appointed by President Museveni in 2011 as a deputy Ambassador to Italy, Rome; one year after defecting from UPC.

A staunch UPC party supporter before, Lolo defected with over 10,000 UPC and FDC party supporters in 2010 after being promised big assignment in the current government.

In 2011, Kawa traveled to over 30 districts in the country with President Museveni, helping him with campaigns to seek reelection.

His appointment as deputy ambassador came less than a year after winning the2011 election.

However, his official duty in foreign country never came to pass even after Parliament vetting and approving his appointment.

In an exclusive interview from his residence located in Olaopii village, Banya parish in Amac Sub County, the sullen Lolo attributed his woes to ex Museveni’s ministers.

According to Lolo, Sam Engola, the former State Minister of Lands Housing and Urban Development alongside Rebecca Amuge Otengo, former northern Uganda rehabilitation Minister now country’s ambassador to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia let him down.

Abura Kawa (2nd) from right with J. Omara Olili (R) at his home

He added that the two blocked him from meeting the president at State House In Entebbe, claiming that he was not fit enough to represent Uganda abroad.

Meanwhile, a lot have been said of the now village based ambassador with many people saying he over drink.

Responding to such allegations, the highly learned but booze king refuted saying the over drinking allegation was concocted to kill his career.

Who Is Lolo Abura?

He was born in 1962 in Amach sub-country Lira district. He holds Executive Masters of Business Administration of ESAMI, Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration of Uganda Management Institute and Bachelor of Arts in Social Works and Social Administration from Makerere University in 1989.

He worked as Principal Personal Secretary for Dokolo district in 2008, Senior Personnel officer at Judiciary Department of the Uganda Public Service.

Abura again worked Senior Personnel officer at Lira district Local government in 1996, among other duties.

In March 2011, he was appointed Deputy Ambassador/Foreign service to Rome, Italy by President Museveni for his excellent mobilization skills.

To date, Lolo is a cereal crop farmer and his ancestral home in Olaopii village, Banya parish, Amac Sub County, Erute South in Lira district.

Ministry Of Lands Official Arrested for Issuing Land Titles in Wetlands

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 15:48
Ministry Of Lands Official Arrested for Issuing Land Titles in Wetlands

Lwera Atalo Bwogere, a senior registrar of titles in the ministry of lands and urban development, has today been arrested on the orders Justice Catherine Bamugemeire (land commission of inquiry chair)for issuing titles in the wetlands.

Atalo who was appearing before the seven commission members, was arrested and taken to Wandegeya police station after justice Catherine Bamugemeire accused her of giving contradicting evidence regarding issuing of land titles in wetlands especially in Wakiso district.

On Thursday, the commission discovered that land titles were issued in Kijabijo wetland under her order however Atolo angered Justice Bamugemeire when she alleged that she was not aware that the land was a wetland while she was issuing the said land titles.

The 37 year old Atalo has been working in the ministry for the past 12 years and before she became a senior registrar of titles she was stationed at Wakiso district.

The titles are said to have been issued between 20th  January 2016 to 8th February  same year.

EU Commits €85 Million To Help Uganda Deal With Refugee Crisis

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:39
EU Commits €85 Million To Help Uganda Deal With Refugee Crisis

The European Union has announced €85 million commitment to Uganda that is meant to assist the country manage the increasing influx of refugees. The EU funding will help meet the needs of the rapidly surging number of South Sudanese fleeing to Uganda.

Uganda is now facing the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis, due to a continuous and unprecedented influx of people fleeing conflict in neighbouring South Sudan among others. The country is now hosting over 1.27 million refugees and asylum seekers.

“The EU funding will help our humanitarian partners working in Uganda bring some relief to those who have lost everything,” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.

The announcement comes as Commissioner Stylianides is attending the Uganda Solidarity Summit on refugees taking place in Kampala on 22 and 23 June, on behalf of the European Commission.

Some €65 million of the funding is aimed at responding to the most pressing humanitarian needs in the areas of food assistance, protection, shelter, provision of water and sanitation, resilience-building and education.

The remaining €20 million in development aid will be channeled through the EU Trust Fund for Africa. This funding will be used to increase both the self-reliance of refugees and the socio-economic development of their hosting communities in Northern Uganda, further integrating refugees into the local economy in the medium to long-term.

Uganda is now the top refugee hosting country in Africa with the number of refugees from South Sudan alone currently at over 950,000. The country is also home to over 220,000 Congolese and over 37,000 Burundian refugees, as well as thousands from other countries in the region, such as Somalia and Eritrea.

Since the South Sudanese crisis started in December 2013, the EU has been providing humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, as well as in other neighbouring countries. Earlier this year, €32 million were also allocated to Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan to help them continue addressing the needs of South Sudanese seeking shelter in their territories.

Kasaija To Be Grilled Over Arrogance Towards Parliamentary Committees

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:19
Kasaija To Be Grilled Over Arrogance Towards Parliamentary Committees

Parliament has committed the minister of Finance Matia Kasaija to the committee on Rules, Discipline and privileges over contempt.

The directive by the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga follows several complaints from members about the minister’s supposed arrogance towards parliamentary committees and the institution of parliament as a whole.

Last evening, the Chairperson of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee Angeline Osegge brought the matter to the attention of the Speaker.

She faulted the Minister and the Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi for disregarding summons to the committee.

“Whenever committees summon him to enlight them on certain issues, the minister clearly tells them ‘I will not come and nothing you will do to me’,” Osegge told parliamentarians on Thursday.

Meanwhile the Speaker has told the house that she has tried to give minister Kasaija the benefit of the doubt for a while now adding that he must face the committee.

The Members also want Kasaija grilled for remarks he made when presenting the National Budget where he allegedly referred to Parliament as Corrupt.

South Sudan ‘lifts ban on foreign journalists’

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:16
South Sudan ‘lifts ban on foreign journalists’

Authorities in South Sudan will lift a ban on around 20 foreign journalists who had been refused access to the country, the AFP news agency reports quoting a top media official.

The government had earlier this month said the journalists had been barred from entry over “unsubstantiated and unrealistic stories”.

AFP reports that The National Dialogue Steering Committee, a group of veteran politicians, had put pressure on the body that regulates media to lift the ban.

Alfred Taban, the committee’s chief of media affairs, said the ban aimed to bar journalists who had been critical of the country:

They are going to allow any journalists to come. They were preventing some journalists because they said some journalists are fond of criticism of what is happening in the country.”

Media Authority chief Elijah Alier Kuai said permits would be granted to all foreign journalists and there was “no problem” with the reporters coming to South Sudan.

CPJ Warns Uganda On Journalists

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:01
CPJ Warns Uganda On Journalists

Ugandan authorities should cease investigation and intimidation of privately-owned daily newspaper Red Pepper editor Ben Byarabaha and four other publications, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

On June 15, Uganda’s Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) summoned Red Pepper Chief Editor, Benard Byarabaha in relation to an article in Red Pepper on the health of Uganda’s Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura, according to documents seen by CPJ. Authorities alleged that the article was intended to “disturb the peace, quiet, and privacy” of Kayihura.

“Summoning editor Ben Byarabaha to endure hours of interrogation has a chilling effect on the Ugandan press,” CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal said from New York. “Ugandan journalists should be permitted to report freely on government officers whose well-being is a matter of public interest.”

                                            Ben Byarabaha (in the middle)

Byarabaha told CPJ that he was grilled for five hours by the Media Crimes Unit when he appeared at the CID headquarters in Kampala yesterday. He has been ordered to appear again on June 27 to answer to allegations of “offensive communication.” Byarabaha said that the police had further questioned him on his sources for the story but he did not reveal them.

CID spokesperson Vincent Ssekate said five publications are under investigation for similar allegations, according to a report. Ssekate did not respond to CPJ’s phone calls for comment. Emmanuel Mbonimpa, the assistant commissioner of Uganda’s Media Crimes Unit, did not name the four other media outlets, telling the CPJ that information was “confidential.”

Section 25 of Uganda’s Computer Misuse Act defines offensive communication as the use of electronic communication to “disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person”. By writing about Kayihura’s health, Mbonimpa told CPJ, Red Pepper had “offended” and infringed on his privacy, regardless of Kayihura”s role as a public servant.

Haruna Kanaabi, executive secretary of the Independent Media Council, told CPJ that the investigations may push Ugandan journalists to “live in fear that, if you write about public officials, you will be charged.”

This is not the first time the government has used allegations of offensive communication to silence critical voices. In April, a university lecturer was arrested after criticizing Ugandan First Lady Janet Museveni on social media.