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Schoolgirls Who Give Birth Should Not Be Allowed Back To School – Magufuli

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 08:40
Schoolgirls Who Give Birth Should Not Be Allowed Back To School – Magufuli

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has said that under his presidency, schoolgirls who become mothers will not be allowed to go back to school after giving birth.

The president was speaking at a public rally in Chalinze town, about 100km west of the main city Dar es Salaam.

“After calculating some few mathematics she’d be asking the teacher in the classroom ‘let me go out and breastfeed my crying baby,'” reasoned President Magufuli.

As for the man responsible for the pregnancy, the president said he should be imprisoned for 30 years and put the energy he used to impregnate the girl into farming while in jail.

“These NGOs should go out and open schools for parents. But they should not force the government [to take back the pupils].

“I’m giving out free education for students who have really decided to go and study, and now you want me to educate the parents?” President Magufuli said.

The president added to a round of applause:

“After getting pregnant, you are done!”

In Tanzania, are at least 8,000 girls who drop out of school every year due to pregnancy, according to a Human Rights Watch report

City Tycoon, Ntaganda On Spot Over Land Grabbing

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 15:40
City Tycoon, Ntaganda On Spot Over Land Grabbing

City tycoon Ephraim Ntanganda has been accused by a 79 year old man of stealing his forest amounting to five hectares found in Wakiso district.

Dezidelio Kasujja revealed this while appearing before the land commission of inquiry being chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemeire.

He has told the commission that Ntanganda connived with the NFA Executive director to clear his forest containing 150 bee hives and 12 acres of Eucalyptus trees in March 2016.

Kasujja has further told the commission that on that fateful day, Ntaganda who was escorted by police men dressed in uniform brought in tractors to clear the forest found in Kajjansi in his presence.

After the incident Ntanganda is alleged to have sold off the trees and the bee hives and barred Kasujja from trespassing on his former forest.

Kasujja has now asked the land probe commission to visit the locus for more clarity.

In March 1997 Kasujja is said to have acquired the virgin forest for  redevelopment from the National Forestry Authority .

Ntanganda is expected to take a stand this afternoon to defend himself on the said allegations.

Heavy Fighting In Northeastern Congo, Several Killed

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 14:16
Heavy Fighting In Northeastern Congo, Several Killed

Exchanges of heavy weapons fire erupted in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday between the army and militia fighters, and several students sitting exams were wounded in an explosion at a school, residents said.

The fighting in and around the city of Beni between Congo’s army and what is believed to be a new coalition of armed groups, the National Movement of Revolutionaries (MNR), erupted early in the morning and kept residents trapped in their homes, local activist Teddy Kataliko said.

Gilbert Kambale, another local activist, said that the bodies of three militia fighters were lying on the street, not far from the mayor’s office. An army spokesman in the zone said: “The situation is not good,” but declined to comment further.

The fighting followed a breakout by more than 900 inmates, many suspected militiamen, from Beni’s main prison this month – one of a series of mass jailbreaks that has underlined the security situation further since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate in December.

Kataliko and Kambale also said unidentified assailants set off an explosive device at a local secondary school, wounding several students sitting for exams. A hospital source said at least three student were injured in the blast.

Eastern Congo contains dozens of armed groups that prey on locals and exploit mineral reserves. Millions died there between 1996 and 2003 in a regional conflict from violence, hunger and disease.


Kenyan Girls To Get Free Sanitary Pads

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 14:02
Kenyan Girls To Get Free Sanitary Pads

All Kenyan schoolgirls are to get free sanitary pads, the government has said.

It is hoped the move will improve access to education in a country where many cannot afford sanitary products like pads and tampons.

The high cost has led to an estimated one million girls missing six weeks of school every year, according to the ZanaAfrica Foundation.

But now the onus has been put on the Kenyan government to provide free sanitary towels to every schoolgirl.

The amendment to the education act, signed into law by President Uhurru Kenyatta this week, states “free, sufficient and quality sanitary towels” must be provided to every girl registered at school, as well as providing “a safe and environmental sound mechanism for disposal”.

It comes more than a decade after Kenya scrapped taxes on sanitary products in an effort to make them more affordable.

Despite this, some 65% of women and girls still find them too expensive, according to figures cited in a 2016 report by non-profit consulting firm FSG.

As a result, charities like the ZanaAfrica Foundation have been providing sanitary pads for girls around the country.

However, the high price of sanitary products and the impact on girls’ education is not just a problem in Kenya.

According to a 2014 campaign, girls are also missing school in countries like Uganda, India, Nepal, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone for the same reason.

MPs Warn on the Impact Of Refugee Influx In West Nile

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 13:29
MPs Warn on the Impact Of Refugee Influx In West Nile

The chair­per­son of the Par­lia­men­tary Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Ac­counts Com­mit­tee Hon. Rea­gan Okumu has ex­pressed wor­ry­ing con­cerns over the in­flux of refugees on so­cial ser­vice de­liv­ery in host dis­tricts.

The Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment com­mit­tee is currently in Arua dis­trict where it is in­ter­act­ing with ac­count­ing officers of dis­tricts and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the West Nile re­gion over queries raised in the au­di­tor gen­er­al’s re­port for the FY 2015/​16.

The analy­sis of the Au­di­tor Gen­er­al’s re­port on ed­u­ca­tion ser­vice de­liv­ery for ex­am­ple in Ad­ju­mani District re­vealed that en­roll­ments in four (4) pri­mary schools are in ex­cess of the stan­dard. The Dis­trict man­age­ment de­cried the in­flux of the refugees from South Su­dan and De­mo­c­ra­tic re­pub­lic of Congo on the un­bear­able school pop­u­la­tion.  The United Na­tions has said that Uganda is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the fastest grow­ing refugee cri­sis in the world, with over 1.2 mil­lion refugees and far-reach­ing eco­nomic and so­cial im­pact. It is now Africa’s lead­ing refugee-host­ing na­tions, with refugees from 13 coun­tries.

Hon Okumu and the com­mit­tee mem­bers warned that the rate at which the refugees are pour­ing in such colos­sal num­bers is putting con­sid­er­able strain on so­cial ser­vices that are meant to ben­e­fit the local peo­ple. In ad­di­tion, the bud­get for the host dis­tricts like Ad­ju­mani has not been in­creased to match the grow­ing de­mand on health ser­vices, ed­u­ca­tion and wa­ter. For in­stance, in some pri­mary schools the num­ber of pupils were as many as 240 in a sin­gle class­room. Of these it was ob­served that less than 100 pupils were Ugan­dans.

The Ad­ju­mani Dis­trict Ed­u­ca­tion Of­fi­cer told the com­mit­tee that the cap­i­ta­tion grant for the UPE schools also in­cludes pupils from refugee set­tle­ments.

In his scathing re­marks on Ugan­da’s refugee pol­icy, Hon Okumu told the dis­trict of­fi­cials that while Ugan­da’s gen­eros­ity to­wards refugees is com­mend­able, it should not be to the detri­ment of ser­vice deliv­ery for the in­dige­nous peo­ple. He added that there should be a limit to which the hos­pi­tal­ity and gen­eros­ity must ex­tend.

“I un­der­stand that we must open our board­ers to refugees, but there should be a limit to what we can do. If we are not care­ful these refugees will over­run some of these dis­tricts….It is very dan­ger­ous when the refugee pop­u­la­tion exceeds the in­dige­nous pop­u­la­tion.” Hon Rea­gan Okumu

Hon Okumu also added that the plan­ning and bud­getary al­lo­ca­tions for the dis­tricts do not fac­tor in the refugees and it is not fair for Ugan­dans to be ra­tioned so­cial ser­vices on ac­count of for­eign­ers.

He added that un­less funds are made avail­able to bud­get for the ex­cess num­bers, the dis­trict should restrict cru­cial so­cial ser­vices to the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter, Uganda has to­tal of ap­prox­i­mately 1,277,000 refugees, only 900,000 are reg­is­tered and since 2016, there has been 739,000 new ar­rivals from South Su­dan, at least 2000 daily.

The Ac­count­ing Of­fi­cer for Ad­ju­mani An­drew Mawe­jje re-echoed con­cerns of the refugee cri­sis and told the com­mit­tee that all refugee host dis­tricts have writ­ten a joint po­si­tion pa­per to be pre­sented at the Refugee Sol­i­dar­ity con­fer­ence in Kam­pala on 23rd June 2017. Key among the con­cerns of the refugee host dis­tricts is in­creased fund­ing for host dis­tricts to man­age so­cial ser­vice de­liv­ery. The Con­fer­ence which will have the UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral in at­ten­dance is mainly sup­posed to raise ur­gent at­ten­tion to the grow­ing refugee cri­sis in the coun­try.


MPs Question Gov’t Over Constitutional Review Commission

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 13:04
MPs Question Gov’t Over Constitutional Review Commission

A sec­tion of Members of Parliament have tasked government to ex­plain its de­lay to ap­point a Con­sti­tu­tional Re­view Commission to oversee an overhaul of amendment of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Bu­li­isa County MP, Stephen Muk­i­tale Bi­rahwa, while rais­ing a mat­ter of na­tional im­por­tance dur­ing to­day’s ple­nary sit­ting, told the House that for close to two years, gov­ern­ment has failed to ap­point mem­bers of the Com­mis­sion to spear­head an over­haul of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

In 2015, Par­lia­ment passed the Con­sti­tu­tional Amend­ment Bill; how­ever sev­eral pro­pos­als that were pre­sented by the op­po­si­tion and civil so­ci­ety were not in­cluded in the amend­ments, prompt­ing an out­cry.

To cure the gaps, the Prime Min­is­ter, Dr. Ruhakana Ru­gunda promised that a Con­sti­tu­tional Re­view Com­mis­sion would be set up to han­dle the pro­pos­als that were not in­cluded in the bill.

Muk­i­tale told the House that there is grow­ing in­ter­est in con­sti­tu­tional amend­ments, which gov­ern­ment is not taking into con­sid­er­a­tion. He also won­dered why gov­ern­ment had failed to bring the mat­ter as part of its busi­ness, in spite of calls from the Speaker of Par­lia­ment, Re­becca Kadaga to do so.

“Our con­cern is that in the last ses­sion of Par­lia­men­t’s work, it has at­tempted to han­dle a lot of work. We need to intro­duce this busi­ness early and the com­mis­sion put in place ur­gently to deal with con­sti­tu­tional amend­ments,” Muk­i­tale said.

He asked the Speaker to com­pel the Jus­tice Min­is­ter, Kahinda Otafi­ire to up­date Par­lia­ment on how far they had gone with the mat­ter.

In re­sponse, the Gov­ern­ment Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa in­formed the House that in­for­ma­tion she has re­ceived from the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice is that 18 names have been sub­mit­ted to the Pres­i­dent to ap­point mem­bers to fill the 12 po­si­tions on the com­mis­sion.

Hon Nankabirwa said it is im­por­tant that is­sues of con­sti­tu­tional re­view are han­dled within the early days of Parliament, since leg­is­la­tors will be busy at the tail end of their term in of­fice due to elec­tions.

The Speaker of Par­lia­ment dis­cour­aged the leg­is­la­tors from de­bat­ing the mat­ter in an­tic­i­pa­tion, rather that when the mat­ter comes be­fore the House, it will be han­dled.


Land Probe Commissioners Get Cars, Police Bodyguards and UGX 0.5m Monthly Fuel Allowance

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 12:43
Land Probe Commissioners Get Cars, Police Bodyguards and UGX 0.5m Monthly Fuel Allowance

Government has leased cars for members of the commission of inquiry investigating land matters and also enhanced their personal security.

Each of the seven commissioners, the lead counsel and two investigators, were each allocated a Mitsubishi Pajero from a car dealership in Kampala. The cars come with a driver and a 500,000 shilling monthly fuel stipend. Car servicing and Insurance will be met by the dealer.

Justice Bamugemereire, the chairperson of the commission of inquiry, says the decision to lease the cars was a prudent one because the commissioners needed cars and yet buying new ones would have been too costly. Justice Bamugemereire says the cars will ease their work, especially during field visits the commissioners are expected to make all over the country.

“Our budget proposal to have new cars was denied, so we had to look for a much cheaper option of hiring vehicles,” Bamugemerire said.

To enhance their security, each of the commissioners was also allocated a bodyguard from the police counterterrorism directorate. The chairperson has police lead car. All the commissioners also have police guards at home.

Justice Bamugemereire justified the need for extra security because land was a very emotive issue and some of the people who had come under the commission’s scrutiny could attempt to intimidate or even harm members of the commission.

“We are doing a job that is not so easy and it may step on people’s toes, so it’s a preventive measure to always make sure there is visible policing and actual policing,” Bamugemereire added.

The probe is expected to last six months but there is likelihood that the team could get an extension from the president, considering the magnitude of the work so far.

In the first three weeks of its work, the commission recorded 1,380 cases of land disputes from Wakiso, Luweero and Nakaseke districts.

Court Gives Kabaka Reprieve Over Petitioner In Land Case

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 12:14
Court Gives Kabaka Reprieve Over Petitioner In Land Case

High court Judge Patricia Wasswa Basaza has granted permission to the Kabaka of  Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II to appeal her orders to disclose particulars of his bank accounts and the names of all those occupying the Kingdom’s land to one of his subjects Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka.

Justice Basaza, who delivered the ruling in her chambers, said that after she listened to the submissions of Kabaka’s lawyer Christopher Bwanika, she realized that there are triable issues which must be looked into by the Court of Appeal.

On the 5th June 2017, Justice Basaza ordered the Kabaka to disclose financial statements in the names of Buganda Land Board where monies collected from occupants of the kingdom land is banked.

She also ordered that the particulars of all the occupants be availed to Mabirizi before 30th June for inspection and internalization in preparation for hearing of his case where he challenges Buganda’s “Ekyapa mu ngalo” campaign.

Mabirizi faults the king for levying registration fees ranging from 100,000 to 600,000 shillings from occupants of the kingdom land.

New Stock Of Passports To Arrive In July – Internal Affairs

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 12:03
New Stock Of Passports To Arrive In July – Internal Affairs

Internal Affairs Minister Jeje Odongo has told Parliament that the new stock of ordinary passports is expected to arrive in a month’s time.

Minister Odongo’s revelation on Wednesday followed a heated debate on his statement to parliament communicating the low stock levels of ordinary passports as per the 13th June 2017 ministry’s press release.

In his statement, Odongo attributed the shortage in ordinary passports to the yet to be realised migration from machine readable passports to the E-passports which had been planned for April 3, 2017. He now says that East Africa Member States have now extended the deadline to December 2017.

“In view of the above, it was logical to procure reasonable quantities to avoid financial loss due to over stocking of a passport that is about to be replaced,” said General Odongo.

He added that his ministry was also experiencing an unprecedented increase in the demand for ordinary passports especially from Ugandans seeking employment abroad from 450 to 700 daily applicants.

He however said that his ministry was already taking the necessary steps to ensure that the required stock levels are replenished.

Odongo told parliament that the Attorney General William Byaruhanga has already cleared a new agreement to enable the Internal Affairs ministry replenish the stock of ordinary passports in one month.

The minister’s comments on the new stock of passports, however, came after legislators led by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga had faulted government for what they called incompetence and poor planning. They also noted that the development was financially nonviable to the country.

Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga said it was the first time he was listening to a General make a confession of incompetence before parliament.

“Could you tell parliament why we should not hold you responsible for incompetence and mismanagement? The minister is telling us he has failed at his duties,” said Mpuuga.


UN Chief To Visit Imvempi Refugee Settlement Camp Today

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 10:29
UN Chief To Visit Imvempi Refugee Settlement Camp Today

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is set to visit Imvepi refugee settlement camp in Arua district.

The Secretary General is in the country to Co-host the Uganda Solidarity Summit on refugees with President Yoweri Museveni which opens in Kampala today with a number of side events organized by various humanitarian agencies.

The 2-day summit is meant to raise the profile of refugees in Uganda and mobilize financial support to meet their needs and those of the host communities.

Guterres is to be accompanied for the field trip by among others; the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Minister for refugees and disaster preparedness Eng Hillary Onek.

The objective of the field trip is to provide the delegation an insight into the humanitarian emergency response to the huge influx of refugees from South Sudan into Uganda.

The country is currently hosting an estimated 1.3M refugees with 2000 coming in per day.

U.N Declares South Sudan A Famine Free State

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 10:11
U.N Declares South Sudan A Famine Free State

More South Sudanese people are going hungry and 45,000 are still living in famine-like conditions even though South Sudan is no longer classified as being in famine, a U.N.-backed food security report said on Wednesday.

An estimated 6 million people, half the population, were expected to be in a “crisis, emergency or catastrophe situation” this month and next, 500,000 more than in May, the report by government and U.N. officials said.

“I do urge caution, as this does not mean we have turned the corner on averting famine,” U.N. humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien told a U.N. meeting in Geneva. “Across South Sudan, more people are on the brink of famine today than were in February.”

The report, using a globally recognised system for classifying food security crises, said famine in the north had been halted by a swift influx of aid since March but there were now concerns about a region in the east bordering Ethiopia.

Areas rescued from famine would easily slip back into famine if aid was diverted to new hotspots, the report said.

O’Brien said U.N. appeals for funds had been largely unsuccessful, and the situation in South Sudan, but also Yemen, northeast Nigeria and Somalia, was “dire”.

Deepmala Mahla, South Sudan director at aid agency Mercy Corps, said the overall situation was rapidly worsening.

“What this new report reinforces is that we have a very short window of time between someone being very hungry, to being on the brink of starvation,” she said in a statement. “We cannot wait for people to be starving to act.”

Two years after emerging as an independent state, the oil-rich country was plunged into conflict in December 2013 as rivalry between President Salva Kiir and his then-vice president, Riek Machar, turned into violence.

Since then, fighting has often been along ethnic lines and the conflict has triggered Africa’s worst refugee crisis, with more than 3 million people fleeing their homes.

It has also prevented many farmers from planting and harvesting crops. Hyperinflation, which hit more than 800 percent last year, has put the price of imported food beyond the reach of many.

“Even though no county has been classified under famine … this situation continues to be very critical,” Isaiah Chol Aruai, chairman of National Bureau of Statistics, said in Juba as the report was released.

Presidential Adviser Arrested For ‘Conning’ Mama Fina

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 18:06
Presidential Adviser Arrested For ‘Conning’ Mama Fina

Senior presidential adviser, Yekoyada Nuwagaba has been arrested by Police’s Flying Squad over allegations that he conned the traditional healer Namutebi aka Mama Fina of Shs 2 million.

The commander of the Flying Squad, Herbert Muhangi, confirmed the Nugaba’s arrest.

“We intercepted him at around 7pm while coming from a meeting at the office of the Prime Minister. He is in our custody and will appear in court,” he said.

Muhangi said that Nuwagaba got the money from Mama Fina on the pretext that he knew the people who killed her husband, Maj Muhammad Kiggundu, in November last year. He assured her that he would help police arrest the killers.


But after receiving the money, Nuwagaba vanished and switched off his phones, prompting Mama Fina to report the matter to State House.

According to Mama Fina, Nuwagaba approached her two months after her husband was gunned down and told her he knew the killers and that anytime they will also come for her (Mama Fina).

He therefore promised her security and to help police find the killers, but for a fee.

“After telling me such shocking information, I got scared and went directly and told Mzee, the president, about what his advisor told me. I told him that if i am bumped off, Nuwagaba should be held responsible,” she said.

The flying squad boss says he was instructed by State House to hunt down Nuwagaba.

Nuwagaba has been a presidential advisor for close to 10 years and his contract was renewed in May. He earns Shs 2,370,616 monthly.


‘e2 Young Engineers Uganda’ Announces Second Holiday Package

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 16:51
‘e2 Young Engineers Uganda’ Announces Second Holiday Package

By Allen Nanyonjo

The e2 Young Engineers Uganda has announced the commencement of a new holiday programme for children especially those on the International School Curriculum.

The Programme starts on July 3rd, 2017 and ends on August 26th, 2017, announced the e2 Young Engineers Uganda Deputy MD, Mrs. Maureen Rugyendo yesterday.

Rugyendo says the programme will kick off at the two known centres in Naalya and La Foret in Muyenga, both Kampala suburbs.

The ‘e2 Young Engineers,’ an Israeli- designed educational enrichment programme, will run the holiday programme for children who wish to spend their holiday time while playing with LEGO and learning STEM principles.


STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“The ‘e2 Young Engineers Uganda’ has decided to open two centres starting next week to enable children spend their holidays meaningfully while learning basic practical scientific skills as their parents are busy with work,” Mrs Rugyendo said.

The first centre is located in Naalya along Naalya-Namugongo Road in the Eastern part of Kampala City. It will serve children living in the areas of Namugongo, Naalya, Ntinda, Bweyogerere, Mukono, Bukoto, Naguru, Kamwokya, Kireka, Nakawa and Bugolobi.

The second centre is located in Lower Muyenga in the southern part of Kampala City. It is situated at La Foret Muyenga Resort Gardens, a serene environment for children and parents rated at 4.0 by Trip Advisor.

It is known for its fancy lifestyle with an ultra modern swimming pool and spacious gardens on the upper side of the pool.

The centre targets children from the surrounding areas of Nambya, Kansanga, Bunga, Buziga, Muyenga, Namuwongo, Munyonyo and Kabalagala.

“The children stand to benefit a lot more than they do when they spend their time jumping in bouncing castles and learning nothing,” promises Mrs. Sheila Kajwengye, the e2 Young Engineers Uganda Marketing Manager.

Sheila promises more centres to open up around the city in the course of the week.

The e² Young Engineers Uganda started in July 2016 as a franchise of the worldwide ‘e2 Young Engineers’ programme which has since spread to 28 countries including Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast.

The aim is to nurture Uganda’s next generation of Scientists, Innovators, Creators and Entrepreneurs through teaching basic scientific principles to children aged between 4 and 15 using LEGO bricks.

Ugandan parents, pre and post primary school owners, are all invited to explore the Young Engineers website www.westkampala.youngengineers.ugto learn more about what makes e² Young Engineers® programs the best enrichment program for pupils in the country.

“Together we can create a technologically stronger nation by enabling early childhood learners appreciate Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths principles at an early age,” roars Mrs. Rugyendo.

The Programmes:

At e2 Young Engineers Uganda, a 4 year old goes through five key stages before emerging with a lifetime engineering/ technological project at the age of 15 for the market.

These programmes are: Big Builders (4-6yrs), Bricks Challenge (6-8yrs), GaliLego Technic (8-10yrs), Robo Bricks (10-12 yrs) and Robotics & Software Engineering (12-15yrs)


The programme helps the children to nurture innovation skills, creative thinking, Independent thinking, problem solving skills, high order thinking skills, arigorithmic thinking, analyze engineering processes, acquire self-confidence and self efficacy skills, develop computer orientation skills and finally, children are enabled to become more knowledgeable in Maths and science, thus improving their school performance in the national curriculum.

 The Fees:

Mrs. Rugyendo says the current holiday programme comes at a fee of Uganda Shillings 100,000 per week with children building different models daily for five days of the week. Outside of this, the children can also enroll at any of these centres for weekend and after school programmes at a fee of Shs. 250,000 per term per child.

Contacts: Call 0393 217 554/0785 552 210/0772 049 624 for details on how your child can be groomed to join the next generation of Ugandan Scientists and Innovators.

Shocking Details in the UGX6 Billion Handshake Report Emerge, Beneficiaries to Cough the Money

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 16:19
Shocking Details in the UGX6 Billion Handshake Report Emerge, Beneficiaries to Cough the Money

By Serestino Tusingwire

The probe committee chaired by Abdul Katuntu that was constituted by parliament to investigate the UGX6Billion Handshake saga has this afternoon released its findings.

We bring you the committee’s recommendations on the saga.

The committee therefore recommends as follows;

(a) That all funds paid out of URA account to the beneficiaries of the “handshake” should be refunded.

(b) AU officers who flouted the law should be held accountable and in this vein, the 100 should institute investigations with a view to establish the culpability and possible offences.

(c) The Executive should come up with a Bill within 90 days to regulate and streamline the Presidential Donations Budget.

(d) The supplementary request of the UGX 6 Billion currently before Parliament should be rejected because the virement created a liability infringing section 22 of the PFMA.

(e) Parliament should revisit Section 8 of the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act, 2013 with a view to amending it and provide for technical people1to be signatories to the PSAs.

(I) All recoverable costs incurred by oil companies should be submitted to Parliament quarterly.

(g) The Attorney General should take immediate steps and measures to recover the costs amounting to USD 4,083,840 awarded by the International Arbitration Tribunal and report to Parliament within 90 days.

(h) URA should take immediate steps and measures to recover the costs awarded by the TAT and High Court in application numbers 26 of 2010, 28 of 2010, 6 of 2011,8 of 2011 and High Court Civil Appeal Civil Appeal No. 14 of 2011 as well costs in the High Court Appeal.

(i) The Auditor General should, as soon as possible, carry out a special audit into deductions of Withholding Tax on fees paid to the external lawyers; Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & MosIe LLP by URA and report to Parliament within 90 days.

(g) The Attorney General should take immediate steps and measures to recover the costs amounting to USD 4,083,840 awarded by the International Arbitration Tribunal and report to Parliament within 90

(h) URA should take immediate steps and measures to recover the costs awarded by the TAT and High Court in application numbers 26 of 2010, 28 of 2010,6 of 2011,8 of 2011 and High Court Civil Appeal Civil Appeal No. 14 of 2011 as well costs in the High Court Appeal.

(i) The Auditor General should, as soon as possible, carry out a special audit into deductions of Withholding Tax on fees paid to the external lawyers; Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP by URA and report to Parliament within 90 days.

The Committee observes therefore:

  1. That it is true that USD 157 million, which would have accrued as part of the Capital Gains Tax, was waived.
  2. The contention arose out of a clause in the PSA which provided for waiver of tax signed by the then minister Hon. Syda Bbum ba.
  3. That the dispute would not have arisen jf the PSA did not have a waiver of
  • The then Minister of Energy, Hon. Syda Bburnba, did not have authority to waive tax in that transaction and her action of not having read the agreement before signing was irregular.
  1. All the then Ministers of Energy who signed PSAs with a similar clause acted ultra vires the law.
  2. The funds paid out were for activities budgeted for under the U 1<A

This ‘(handshake” expenditure was not a budgeted URA activity and therefore, a diversion of the UGX 6 Billion without lawful authority was con trary to the PFMA.

  1. The payment of the UOX 6 Billion “handshake” from URA budgeted for activities without Board knowledge and/ or approval was in contravention of section 16 of the Uganda Revenue Authority Act, 1991.
  2. E. The President’s approval of this “handshake” was bonafide. However, it was an error of judgemen t.
  3. The Committee concludes that the argument of the beneficiaries that the paymen t was rooted in Articles 98 and 99 of the Constitution was unfounded and misleading.

Uganda, UK Sign MoU To Fast-Track Industrialization Projects

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 14:50
Uganda, UK Sign MoU To Fast-Track Industrialization Projects

The Ugandan and UK governments in partnership with Made in Africa Initiative have signed a memorandum of understanding to fast-track industrialization in a bid to create more job opportunities for Ugandans.

State minister of finance in charge investment and privatization, Evelyn Anite, signed on behalf of government.

“We have signed a MoU to get a working relationship on seeing how we can attract many investors to this country,” Anite said.

After the signing of the MoU, the CEO Made in Africa Initiative, Hellen Hai commended Ugandan government for taking the initiative to create more jobs especially for the youth.

“I think behind this, am seeing great leadership, great vision and strong willingness from the top of the government. They want to create jobs and get Africa into the global value chain while talking about real shared prosperity. This is what we want to achieve UN sustained development goal, leaving no one behind,” Hai said.

Hai is the CEO Made in Africa Initiative which advises African governments on industrialization and investment promotion.

Adrian Green who represented the UK government at the signing ceremony said they would work with Uganda to improve the lives of citizens by empowering the private sector.

“There is no better way to develop countries than to find people jobs through the investment from the private sector. We shall fully support this initiative,” Mr Green said.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Bows to Pressure, Resigns

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 13:59
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Bows to Pressure, Resigns

Uber Chief Executive Officer, Travis Kalanick has resigned, capping a series of controversies that have rocked the world’s largest privately backed start-up.

The company confirmed Kalanick’s departure from the top executive’s role on Tuesday, after the New York Times reported major backers including Benchmark Capital demanded he resign. Kalanick will remain on the board of directors, the newspaper said.

While Uber has become the world’s most valuable start-up, it has been dogged by drama including allegations of sexual harassment and the use of software to bypass regulators.

The resignation of the man who founded Uber in 2009 comes after a series of controversies shone a light on problems with the famously aggressive start-up’s culture and governance.

As Uber’s public face, Kalanick has embodied its success. Earlier this month, he told staff of plans for a leave of absence, handing the running of the company over to a management committee. It followed the sudden death of his mother in a boating accident.

In a statement reported by the New York Times, Kalanick said: “I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors’ request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.”

Despite recent turmoil, Uber’s business is growing. Revenue increased to $3.4bn (£2.7bn) in the first quarter, while losses narrowed – though they remain substantial at $708m.

The company’s board said:  “Travis has always put Uber first. This is a bold decision and a sign of his devotion and love for Uber.

“By stepping away, he’s taking the time to heal from his personal tragedy while giving the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history. We look forward to continuing to serve with him on the board,” added the board.

State Asks For More Time To Commence VJ Junior’s Case Hearing

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 13:44
State Asks For More Time To Commence VJ Junior’s Case Hearing

The hearing of the case in which Uganda’s renowned Video Jocker, Mary Smart Matovu aka ‘VJ Junior is accused of selling pornographic movies has failed to commence.

This was after the state failed to present witnesses to testify against VJ Junior.

Buganda road court chief Magistrate Jamson Kareemani had set today (Tuesday) to commence hearing of the case however state attorney  Harriet Nakigozi asked  for an adjournment to prepare her witnesses to come to court.

The magistrate has now adjourned hearing of the case to the 11th July, 2017.

VJ Junior was on the 26th May 2017 charged with selling pornographic movies alongside his colleague Geoffrey Bbosa .

He was arrested on the 23rd May by CIID Police officers from Kibuli on the directives of State Minister for Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo over allegations that he was producing and circulating pornographic movies a charge he denies .

He was however granted bail by the same court.

Prosecution states that VJ junior on 23rd may 2017 at Zai PLaza and Majestic plaza sold pornographic movies to detective corporal Namugala Aisha and a one  Frank Ntambi an act intending to corrupt public morals .

NRM’s Mulindwa Acquitted Of Assault Charges

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 13:05
NRM’s Mulindwa Acquitted Of Assault Charges

By Emmanuel Sekago

The Chief Magistrates Court in Masaka, presided over by the Grade One Magistrate Byarugaba Adams on Tuesday acquitted NRM Communications Officer, Rogers Mulindwa of assault charges against him.

Eddie Bindhe, a local journalist attached to Uganda Radio Network (URN) had dragged Mulindwa to court accusing him of maliciously damaging his glasses and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

It is alleged that on May 12th 2015 at Garden Courts Hotel during NRM leaders meeting presided over by Rt Hon Secretary Justine Lumumba, Mulindwa strangled this journalist while executing his work and damaged his glasses and caused bodily harm.

In his judgment, Byarugaba said there was no evidence of alleged assault and that the Medical Officer brought as a witness, Dr Ssenyonjo Mbazira Francis could not even recall the body part injured or even the nature of the injury. Court observed that the medical form was casually filled.

Court also found a lot of inconsistencies in the evidence against Mulindwa, where Bindhe alleged being strangled but none of his 6 witnesses echoed the same. None of his witness showed up for the ruling.

The complainant failed to provide court with exhibits of broken glasses. There was also a contradiction as pictures of the same were taken on August 16th 2016 but tendered to police in February 2016.

Court further queried how an incident of such nature involving high profile politicians would not be covered by any of the 12 local journalists who were present.

There was no video evidence tendered to court. The Hotel too denied knowledge of the same; Rogers Mulindwa was seen in Masaka thankful to God for answering his prayers being the first time in court .

Changes As Rugby Cranes Gear Up For Gold Cup

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 12:45
Changes As Rugby Cranes Gear Up For Gold Cup

Rugby Cranes Coach John Duncan has made four changes in the side that played the first leg of the Elgon Cup against Kenya.

Former Rugby Cranes Captain Mathias Ochwo makes has been recalled to join the national team in this weekend’s Gold Cup/Elgon Cup match against Kenya in Nairobi. He will be replacing Aziku Robert who started against Kenya in the first leg of the Elgon cup.

Other changes in the squad include debutant Cox Muhigwa who replaced Musa Muwonge and Ivan Makmot plus Gerald Sewankambo who have replaced Aron Afforwoth and Eric Mula respectively.

The team is set to connect to Senegal after the game with Kenya for the next Gold Cup match. The coach also named four travelling reserves who will provide cover for any possible injuries sustained during the Kenya game and players who will not be available for the game against Senegal.

Rugby Cranes team List:

1.Asuman Mugerwa(Hima Cement Heathens)
2.Alex Mubiru(Hima Cement Heathens)
3.Brian Odongo-Capt(Betway Kobs)
4.Charles Uhuru(Toyota Buffaloes)
5.Mathias Ochwo(Shell Rimula Rhinos)
6.Brian Asaba(Betway Kobs)
7.Scot Oluoch(Shell Rimula Rhinos)
8.Marvin Odongo(Buzz Pirates)
9.Ivan Kirabo(Kabras Sugar)
10.Ivan Magomu(Buzz Pirates)
11.James Odong(DHL Nondescripts)
12.Pius Ogena(Toyota Buffaloes)
13. Michael Okorach(Hima Cement Heathens)
14.Lawrence Ssebuliba(Hima Cement Heathens)
15.Philip Wokorach(Kabras Sugar)
16.Syrus Wathum(Betway Kobs)
17.Collins Kimbowa(Betway Kobs)
18.Adnan Mutebi(Betway Kobs)
19.Byron Oketayot(Shell a Rimula Rhinos)
20.Cox Muhigwa(Hima Cement Heathens)
21.Makmot Ivan(Shell Rimula Rhinos)
22.Gerald Sewankambo(Toyota Buffaloes)
23.Justin Kimono(Betway Kobs

Traveling Reserves

24.Joseph Tamale(Sadolin Mongers)
25.Santos Senteza(Hima Cement Heathens)
26.Musa Muwonge(Buzz Pirates)
27.Ronald Musajja(Sportspesa Harlequins)

Team Management

Head Coach: John Duncan
Assistant Coach: Robert Seguya
Team Manager: Emmanuel Baine
Assistant Team Manager: Bob Omuna
Team Doctor:Dr.Steven Buyondo

Over 100 Torture Cases Recorded Since January – Report

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 12:29
Over 100 Torture Cases Recorded Since January – Report

The Uganda Human Rights Commission has so far recorded 108 torture cases in the first six months of 2017.

Chairperson Medi Kaggwa says these cases have been hard to investigate since many are committed by the police that is mandated to carry out the investigations.

“The complaints we get are mostly from the vulnerable people. The 90% of the people who suffer are the ordinary people. That’s why we are very keen to see that these people are compensated,” Kagwa said.

“Quite often, torture is done by the police and yet they are the ones wwho are supposed to receive the complaints and forward these files to DPP’s office. The challenge here is, they can’t prosecute themselves,” he added.

The report comes at the time the country prepares to commemorate the International day in support of Victims of Torture on 26th June 2017.