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LRA Steps Up Congo Attacks As U.S-Backed Force Pulls Out

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 14:30
LRA Steps Up Congo Attacks As U.S.-Backed Force Pulls Out

The outlawed Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has stepped up attacks in Democratic Republic of Congo close to the South Sudanese border as a U.S.-supported regional task force pulls out, the U.N. humanitarian office said in a report on Friday.

Forty rebels from the group, which is led by Joseph Kony, kidnapped 61 civilians in a June 7 raid in the Tanganyika mining area near the Garamba National Park in Haut-Uele province, the report said, citing local civil society and aid workers.

The civilians were released after being forced to move goods and food looted by the LRA, and an unknown number of villagers subsequently fled to the nearby town of Gangala Nabodio.

There had been no LRA-related displacement for more than five years in the province, the U.N. said. But aid workers were now worried about the safety of people across a vast area.

“Since the end of the mission of the Regional Task Force (RTF), which was mandated to eliminate the LRA, the security situation has seriously deteriorated in the Garamba National Park,” the U.N. report said.

One international non-governmental organisation involved in protecting civilians had cancelled its missions this week due to insecurity, it said.

The U.N. has reported a surge this year in LRA abductions of girls and boys around the ages of 12 or 13, as well as elephant poaching in Garamba National Park. A clash with Congolese armed forces in March killed one army officer and three LRA fighters.

Kony’s rebels battled Ugandan forces for about two decades, becoming notorious for their brutality and for kidnapping children for use as fighters and sex slaves.

In about 2005, they were ejected from bases in northern Uganda and what is now South Sudan, and retreated to an area of jungle straddling the borders of South Sudan, Congo and Central African Republic, where the task force continued to track them.

The United States said in March it was switching to a broader African security mission and removing U.S. special forces specifically focused on fighting the LRA, declaring “success” in reducing the group to under 100 active members.

The African Union asked the United Nations to take on the hunt for the LRA and the U.N. Special Representative for Central Africa, Francois Lounceny Fall, has said the LRA may thrive after the U.S.-backed force leaves.

“I am concerned about the impact of this withdrawal as it will create a security vacuum that may be exploited by the LRA and other armed groups operating in the region,” he told the U.N. Security Council this week.

Uganda’s military began withdrawing from Central African Republic in April, saying it had accomplished its mission – although Kony, who has been indicted by the Hague-based International Criminal Court, remained at large.

@Reuters

Uganda’s Plan To Send 1,000 Medical Workers To Libya Criticised By Activists

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 14:19
Uganda’s Plan To Send 1,000 Medical Workers To Libya Criticised By Activists

Uganda is planning to send about 1,000 medical workers to Libya, an official said on Friday, a plan criticised by health activists who believe it would further weaken the country’s struggling health care system.

Over the last decade, foreign recruiters and employers from the Middle East have increasingly turned to the east African nation for labour. Thousands are already there working as waitresses, domestic servants, store clerks and in other jobs.

Milton Turyasiima, commissioner of employment services in the labour ministry, said a hospital in Benghazi, Libya’s second biggest city, had approached Uganda to supply health workers.

“We are now doing underground work. Our diplomatic people are trying to first establish the safety of the workers, the working conditions in Benghazi,” he told Reuters.

“If they finish that work today or tomorrow, then we’ll be ready to send these people,” Turyasiima said, adding they would include a mix of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.

The workers will be moving to a country plagued by widespread insecurity since its former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011, with rival governments and armed alliances now competing for power.

Ugandan health activists have also criticised the plan since the country itself needed to increase workers to revitalise its failing healthcare system.

Years of underfunding, corruption and neglect have meant that the sector is largely dysfunctional, government critics say.

Most public hospitals – often dilapidated and short of vital medical equipment – are understaffed, while drugs are frequently out of stock.

“Health worker shortage kills Ugandans unnecessarily every day,” said Asia Russell, executive director of the public health pressure group Health GAP.

“This outrageous plan will make an already dire situation worse, intensifying suffering and preventable death.”

Russell said the government should instead lift its freeze on public sector recruitment so that additional healthy workers are absorbed and “deployed with tools to do their jobs where they are needed most.”

@Reuters

Ugandans In Diaspora Honour Wacha Olwol

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 13:50
Ugandans In Diaspora Honour Wacha Olwol

By Milton Emmy Akwam

At least 1000 Ugandans living in United Kingdom and beyond on Saturday paid tributes to fallen Ugandan leader, Joel Hunter Wacha Olwol.

Wacha, a former head of Presidential Commission alongside Saulo Musoke and Philip Nyamuconco was remembered by hundreds of thousands of Ugandans in London.

Wacha Olwol died on 2nd May this year at 94 at a Kampala hospital after battling severe illness for several months.

On May 8th, Wacha was accorded a State Burial by government for his distinct service to the country.

His burial attended by hundreds of thousands including President Museveni as Chief Mourner, took place at his ancestral home in Corner Amac, Erute South in Lira district.

However, after 40 days in grave, Ugandans living in the United Kingdom on Saturday paid their tributes to the fallen leader.

The memorial service for him took place at St. Francis Church, 47 Park Hill Road, Wallington SM6 oRU and a reception at Grand Sapphire 45 Imperial Way, Croydon CRo 4RR.

Judy Wacha, one of the deceased children told this website that the service was one way of bringing together Ugandans in United Kingdom and beyond to celebrate with them the legacy of fallen Wacha.

She says it was also meant to bring together those who didn’t make it to Uganda for the send off (burial).

This website exclusively understands that among Ugandan (tribes) that attended included; Acholi, Karamojong, Baganda with both treating mourners to Luo, Acholi, Buganda,, Karamoja cultural dances, among others.

Children Bash Parents, Leaders At DAC Fete

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 13:37
Children Bash Parents, Leaders At DAC Fete

By Milton Emmy Akwam

LIRA: Children from Lira Municipality schools have attacked their parents and political leaders for not helping them enough.

The children, mostly pupils from Elia Olet P/S, Starch Factory P/S, Otim Tom P/S, Railways P/S, among other schools say parents are first people who abused their rights.

They also reprimanded political leaders on weak Laws, Bylaws and ordinances that do not support and protect them.

The teenagers made the blast on Friday during a celebration to mark Day of African Child, an event organised by Children Chance International (CCI) at Starch Factory Primary School.

Olwa Arnest who’s a pupil from Otim Tom P/S in Adyel division in Lira municipality says besides numerous intervention children still face challenges.

“Most violence against us isn’t done by strangers but by those who should support us most times,” Olwa said with applause from colleague pupils.

In their numerous performances through songs, mimes, pupils bashed parents for not providing them with scholastic materials like books, making them wear torn shoes and paying their school fees late.

Under the ‘Good School’ project, CCI has reached out to 60 primary schools in Lira Municipality and district with vision of improving better education among teenagers.

Paska Aporo, the CCI Project Officer faulted parents for abandoning their own children because they don’t value education.

According to Aporo, such parents shall find resistance from their children once they grow and start doing better in future.

George Okello Ayo, the Lira district Vice chairperson (Guest of Honour) and Santa Angella, the female councillor for Ngetta and Adekokwok Sub Counties were the only district leaders present.

Okello says the Day of African Child is celebrated every 16th day of June to inform the whites (colonialists) that African still oppose them.’

He added that both Lira district and Lira Municipality have passed education ordinances to enable pupils eat from school and also to ensure they are protected from any oppression.

Since 1991, the Day of African Child honours those who participated in the Soweto uprising of the 1976.

It’s also used to raise further awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided for African children.

On the 16th June, 1976 in Soweto, South Africa, ten thousands black students and pupils marched more than half a mile, protesting poor quality education and demanding their rights to be taught in their own language. They were later shot.

M7 Condemns Terrorism, Castigates Terrorists On Indiscriminate Violence

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 13:19
M7 Condemns Terrorism, Castigates Terrorists On Indiscriminate Violence

President Yoweri Museveni has condemned acts of terrorism and noted that its perpetrators inflict violence indiscriminately without good reasons.

“We condemn terrorism. Terrorists inflict violence without good reasons. If you disagree you can solve issues through dialogue. The terrorists use violence indiscriminately. They are bankrupt ideologically,” he said.

The President was speaking on Friday evening in reference to a number of terrorism incidents that took place recently in London the British capital. He expressed his condolences and sympathy to the people of Britain over the incidents as well as the fire that gutted an apartment structure on Wednesday night this week also in London. He described the fire incident as a misfortune.

The president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni interacting with the UK High Cmmissioner to Uganda Peter West together with her wife2017 during the Queen’s Birthday Party marking her Saphire Jobilee at their Residence in Nakasero 15th June 2017.

President Museveni made the remarks at the residence of the British High Commissioner at Nakasero in Kampala during celebrations marking the official birthday of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth the second. The event also marked the year of the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee as she made 65 years of her reign on the British throne.

The President congratulated Queen on her 91st birthday and thanked God for her long life and reign that has run for 65 years. He informed guests that he has been following the progress of the Queen since she ascended to the throne in 1952 and also commissioned the Owen Falls Dam in Jinja when she visited Uganda in 1954.

Mr. Museveni observed that the relations between Britain and Uganda are very good. He commended Britain for assisting Uganda in our recovery process adding the first help from Britain was the refurbishment of Owen Falls Dam. He noted that at the time of its commissioning in 1954, Owen Falls Dam had a capacity of 150 megawatts. However, through the British aid, the Dam’s capacity was increased to 180 megawatts up from 60 megawatts that the facility was generating in 1986.

The president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni interacting with the UK High Cmmissioner to Uganda Peter West together with her wife2017 during the Queen’s Birthday Party marking her Saphire Jobilee at their Residence in Nakasero 15th June 2017.

President Museveni advised the people of Uganda to take advantage of the good relations prevailing between Britain and Uganda. He stressed the need to emphasize investments, tourism, technical cooperation and trade between the 2 Commonwealth member countries and commended the investments in the Ugandan economy by a number of British companies.

He said British business companies have made a big contribution to the generation of wages and taxes in Uganda and observed that foreign direct investments are good at creating money and jobs. He expressed happiness that Uganda has benefited because investment companies are using our utilities thereby benefiting the communities at large. He said through trade between Britain and Uganda, the 2 countries are supporting each other’s prosperity. He, therefore, called for more trade between them.

With regard to development projects, the President commended the British contribution to the construction of the road that links Ntungamo Town to the Rwanda border in South Western Uganda. He informed guests that Uganda has got a big potential in the tourism sector and said all that is needed is the maintenance of peace and looking after the wildlife as the major tasks of the proper packaging of Uganda’s tourism.

The British High Commissioner to Uganda, Mr. Peter West, noted that Uganda has come a long journey and added that the relations between Uganda and Britain have grown.

He commended Uganda for solidarity with refugees noting that as the country is slated to host the Solidarity Summit shortly, is indicative of Uganda’s immense contribution to the care of refugees.

High Commissioner West stressed that the promotion of the private sector is the sure way of attaining economic development adding that Uganda has already achieved that. He expressed the hope that Uganda and Britain would remain faithful friends.

Uganda Has a Huge Potential for Investment –M7

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 13:07
Uganda Has a Huge Potential for Investment –M7

President Yoweri Museveni has told a visiting French Entrepreneurs’ delegation that Uganda has a huge potential for investment opportunities in such areas as air-conditioning for agricultural products at the airport, refuge ration trucks, factories that need cold rooms, especially for agro-processing, cable cars and solar powered pumps, among others.

The President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni interacts with some of the delegates , part of the group of the French Business Delegation from MEDEF International led by the Frech Ambassador to Uganda HE Stephanie Riovoal shortly after their meeting at State House Entebbe on Thursday 15th June 2017.

The President this week met the French Entrepreneurs, who were led by their country’s Ambassador to Uganda, Ms. Stephanie Rivoal at State House Entebbe. The French visitors are in the country at the invitation of President Museveni.

The President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni interacts with some of the delegates , part of the group of the French Business Delegation from MEDEF International led by the Frech Ambassador to Uganda HE Stephanie Riovoal shortly after their meeting at State House Entebbe on Thursday 15th June 2017.

Museveni asked them to get him investors in paper packaging, drawing water from Lake Victoria or River Kagera Kioga, among other water bodies, for irrigation purposes in the dry areas of the country as well as for drinking purposes. He assured them that the Government of Uganda will fully fund that water project because of the project’s high importance in stabilizing agricultural production in Uganda.

The President asked the French delegation to attract travellers in Europe to come and spend their time in Uganda and enjoy the good climate the country has as well as its tourism sector. He noted that the French have some good products such as motor vehicles and stressed that the Government of Uganda should work with French entrepreneurs to get good products.

The President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni poses for a group picture with the French Business Delegation from MEDEF International led by the Frech Ambassador to Uganda HE Stephanie Riovoal shortly after their meeting at State House Entebbe on Thursday 15th June 2017.

On her part, the French envoy to Uganda, Ms. Stephanie Rivoal, said that France and Uganda will continue to strengthen their relationship. She reiterated that France will always stand by Uganda and continue to development Franco–Uganda collaboration in a diversity of development sectors especially strengthening the business relations between the 2 countries.

Mukiibi Pals, Kids Carrying on the St. Lawrence Empire Dream Unmasked

Sat, 06/17/2017 - 10:36
Mukiibi Pals, Kids Carrying on the St. Lawrence Empire Dream Unmasked

By John V Sserwaniko

Months before his death, Prof Lawrence Mukiibi gave his most trusted daughter Maria Justine Tulina additional responsibilities. Tulina, who is Mukiibi’s eldest daughter, has for the last 7 years been the one running 75% of the work at the eight (8) St. Lawrence Schools. She says the new assignment made her realize her father was becoming aware of something he wasn’t disclosing to them.

She believes since the last July accident, Mukiibi knew his days wouldn’t be many. “I had worked with him since 1993 when he started the first school at Kabaka’s Lake but he had never emphasized certain things like he began doing after the accident,” says Tulina.

She has been doing most of the work and Prof Mukiibi only guided and supervised her besides giving his signature whenever required. We have learnt that the additional assignment to the already overworked Tulina was getting more involved in the running of St. Lawrence University (SLAU) at Mengo.

She had always been a dormant director but Mukiibi a few months ago forcefully put her on the SLAU governing council. This clearly indicates Mukiibi wanted her to infuse her strict management style into SLAU which has been having issues with academic staff complaining of not being consulted enough.

“Her young brother Peter Semakula has been the resident director overseeing SLAU but Prof Mukiibi felt he needed some back up to stabilize things at SLAU after satisfying most of the things NCHE has been stressing us about. Since inception in 2007 [10 years ago] the University hadn’t reached breakeven point and this was expected in a few years time after getting the Charter [which Sarah Nkonge says had been accomplished 80% by the time Mukiibi died]. Prof Mukiibi was sure with Justine infusing in her good management, SLAU was soon to become profitable as a business. He believed it would very quickly overcome loans and he begins recouping his cash. This is why he made her Council member,” said a SLAU council member on condition of anonymity.

Tulina (M) greatly loves kids at the St. Lawrence Schools and they reciprocate this by calling her big sis

The same member added some Council members had reservations about Resident Director Peter Semakula’s leadership style which Tulina will be stabilizing heading the students’ affairs and planning committee of the Council. In her numerous speeches through the mourning period, Tulina assured stakeholders the Mukiibi institutions would continue excelling.

“It’s the only way we can preserve our dad’s legacy,” she repeatedly explained. Gratefully three of the children (herself, Peter Semakula and Bernard Bantubalamu) were already directors in the Mukiibi holding company encompassing all institutions. “We have been under his mentorship and I can assure you nothing is going to change. We must actually run these institutions even better to make dad proud wherever he will be,” she told mourners.

“The good thing he ensured we have both experience and relevant training. Some are engineers, others are accountants etc.” Sarah Nkonge, who deputizes Mike Sebalu on SLAU Governing Council, says everything will move smoothly once the children remain united each respecting the other’s role as assigned by their late dad. Tulina was born from Mukiibi’s very first campus relationship with a Munyankole woman who was his girl friend at campus. She was born with two other siblings followed by three other children Mukiibi birthed with his Kenyan wife he engaged while in exile.

THE OTHER BOSSES

Besides Tulina, there are other pillars to be relied on to ensure the St. Lawrence institutions dream outlives founder Lawrence Mukiibi. Briefly these include likely heir Bernard Bantubalamu and Resident Director Peter Semakula.

Others include EALA MP Mike Sebalu, Dr. Sarah Nkonge, Education Minister Rose Seninde Nansubuga, SLAU Chancellor Edward Sekandi, George William Semivule, Budo HM Patrick Bakka Male, Nabbingo HM Cotilda Nakate Kikomeko, Arch Bishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, Prof Badru Kateregga, Cardinal Wamala, Higher Education Minister JC Muyingo, Kyengera Town Council Mayor Hajji Abdul Kiyimba, Robert Kabushenga, Prof Kakinda Mbaga, Education Minister Janet Museveni, NRM SG Kasule Lumumba, Ps Robert Kayanja, Fr JB Sebwalunyu, Gregory Mutyaba and the St. Lawrence Schools HMs including Julius Caesar Nkumbi, Crown City’s Angela Nakimuli, Horizon Campus’ Rose Galabuzi, Paris Palais’ Rogers Seninde, The Academy’s Elijah Male, all campus’ Dean of Programs Mrs. Harriet Kiggundu (the big lady), London College’s Irene Mutebi (aka Senior HM who Mukiibi trusted her next to his own daughter Tulina & also supervises Lorencia) and Lorencia P/S head teacher Doreen Bayiga.

Irene Mutebi had worked with Mukiibi since leaving Makerere University campus in 2003 and had become like his daughter. “He was a team player so down to earth and we were never his employees but workmates,” Mrs. Mutebi says of her fallen boss and mentor.

DETAILS ON EACH

Peter Semakula: As resident director, he has been the contact person for almost all SLAU stakeholders. He would be Mukiibi’s eyes and ears regarding the goings-on at SLAU. He is a BCOM graduate from Makerere and the Kings College Budo OB has accumulated great experience on the job. He has personally been dealing with all the banks funding the SLAU projects and clearly knows which loans are with which bank.

He has a calm demeanor and simplicity is his strongest weapon. He personally deals with all service providers, contractors and would directly report to Mzee as they sometimes called Mukiibi. He has custody of all the documents relating to SLAU including the land titles. He was also Mukiibi’s points-man on all court matters regarding SLAU.

He is workaholic like his dad and is a devout Catholic as well. He has a fleet of Budo OBs many of whom prominently featured in funeral programs. Many of the people Mukiibi had to deal with know Peter as well because he was always by his side on matters concerning SLAU. In the funeral period, Peter handled much of the logistics including the treatment of the body, contracting the funeral service providers, the printing that went with it all and the funeral processions.

He knew as much of his father’s secrets just like Tulina who concentrated on schools while Peter remained the software running SLAU. He was the shock absorber to whom all the would-be anti-Mukiibi anger was directed each time SLAU staff were unhappy with a given decision. Peter is quiet but can be very strong in his convictions, which partly explains why some SLAU staff and governing Council members weren’t exactly very comfortable with his approach to things.

He is stably married and runs lots of personal projects. At the University, he is the one who decides which service provider is paid when. He will definitely be the one to induct Tulina into the on goings at SLAU. The two are fairly close and Mukiibi always ensured they closely worked together sharing synergies to run the schools and SLAU. Peter also has lots of professional qualifications in the audit and accounting fields. He is the youngest, yet most powerful member on the SLAU governing Council.

Bernard Bantubalamu: He is simple, down to earth just like Peter and Tulina but greatly influences things albeit behind the scenes most of the time. He is always advising and having the last word on things like constructions of schools and University structures, the planning of the compounds, walkways and pavements.

He is the St. Lawrence institutions’ points-man on matters to do with procurement and logistics management. He is lively and cheerful but very reflective. He is very practical and quite often uses boda bodas just to catch the next errand. This trait of simplicity and mobility he shares with Peter. Bantubalamu might be the heir to the Mukiibi estate and his mum is Kenyan. Sources say there is consensus amongst the Mukiibi children that Bantubalamu is the best candidate for heir subject to what is in the will.

When Mukiibi returned last August after the accident, it was Bantubalamu working with his cousin brother Herman Semakula (founder of Kisubi High School) that rose up to physically force their dad off the microphone. The Professor made a long speech (contrary to the doctor’s advice) which they feared would push him to injure himself.

He was personally very close to his father and is the man he would send to Kampala to do urgent errands. At Norvik he was the 2nd last person Mukiibi spoke to before his death. The very last person was Tulina who even fled out of shock on seeing her dad breathe his last. Mukiibi died 20 minutes after Bantubalamu had left the hospital going home to refresh and come back. His siblings also trust his honesty and selflessness.

Mike Sebalu: The EALA MP was Mukiibi’s closest friend and most influential advisor. Mukiibi rarely questioned his advice. He is the chairman of SLAU governing council and when Mukiibi died, he was the first person Tulina called and she insisted he chairs all the family meetings relating to the funeral program. He spoke to Mukiibi two weeks before his death and he urged him to always stick with his family.

Sebalu was always by Mukiibi’s side

He thanked him for always being there for him and assured him “I have told all my children to always work with you in my absence.” Whenever Mukiibi got bedridden especially in Nairobi Kenya, Sebalu would be there for him always using personal money to buy return air tickets for Mukiibi and his hospital attendants.

In the SLAU Council, colleagues respect Sebalu because of the resilience he exhibited a few months ago when NCHE threatened to close the University protesting lack of adequate PhD holders in the academic staff. Whereas giants like Chancellor Sekandi went into oblivion over this matter preferring to tread carefully on matters of the regulator, Sebalu was very decisive and never of ashamed of SLAU.

When Mukiibi died, Sebalu was in Arusha but jetted in missing very important EALA sessions. On seeing him, Tulina took him in a room upstairs and said to him “uncle you are the one we are counting on, please don’t abandon us this is the time we need you most.” Gratefully all the Mukiibi kids greatly respect Sebalu having been expressly instructed by their dad.

He is very committed to the SLAU cause and better still he is now free and available having completed his tour of duty in Arusha. Mukiibi died when the SLAU Charter process was 80% done and implored Sebalu to complete the remaining part. Sebalu, who was MC in all funeral events, is also politically well connected in the Museveni system implying he will ensure State House is always well updated on matters SLAU.

Sarah Nkonge: the veteran proprietor of schools both in Kampala CBD, Buloba and Masaka, Nkonge was very close to Mukiibi and deputizes Sebalu on the SLAU Council. She is among the few with lots of Mukiibi’s private information and Tulina confirms this saying Nkonge was always with them at Norvik. She daily came to pray for Mukiibi and encourage him as a fellow Catholic and in fact bought him the special rosary he died holding onto. She has experience in managing academic institutions and borrows from the same banks Mukiibi related with on matters St. Lawrence institutions.

Prof Badru Kateregga: He has been with Mukiibi through thick and thin in the Nairobi exile since 1971. In fact when Kateregga was getting married the very first time, Mukiibi was his best man. He runs Kampala University, the pioneer private University in Uganda and was a leading Mukiibi advisor especially on the SLAU project.  He has his money, political connections and the Mukiibi kids greatly respect him even though he doesn’t sit on the SLAU Governing Council. He is expected to be reconciling the Mukiibi kids from time to time should any disagreements break out.

Rose Seninde: The Jr minister of education represents Wakiso district in which most of the Mukiibi schools are situated. Becoming Education Minister only harnessed this relationship. She has been close and would almost every morning drive to Kitemu or any of the offices to have breakfast with Mukiibi. He was her advisor on how to run her MOES docket and has vowed to remain politically and morally very supportive to the St. Lawrence institutions. She will most likely also remain the link between her boss Janet and the Mukiibi institutions. In fact she chaired the burial organizing committee and she is the person through whom Yoweri and Janet Museveni channeled their financial contributions.

Edward Sekandi: Though given his laid back character, you may not count on him much but mere association with especially the SLAU project as chancellor will continue having a lot of symbolism for the Mukiibi institutions for as long as he remains VP. The VP from Kyanamukaka has great ideas despite his quiet demeanor and was very close to Mukiibi whose final upcountry journey was May 8th when he drove to Kyanamukaka for his mum’s burial. Mukiibi brought him on board after falling out with his predecessor Gilbert Bukenya whom Mukiibi shunned after he resorted to hostile political propaganda against the Museveni system.

George William Semivule: He is a former Kings College Budo HM and has deep connections in education circles. He is a member of the SLAU governing council and is one of the most prolific members SLAU currently has. He taught many people who now occupy big positions and his seniority raises the profile of the SLAU Council. Semivule is also good at fundraising and has good contacts in the banking sector. He will be out to guide the Mukiibi kids on which loans to avoid having personally lost his own school properties to banks through defective bank transactions.

Bakka Male: The Budo HM is one whose advice Tulina will regularly be seeking especially regarding how to keep the St. Lawrence schools on top. The same applies to Nabbingo’s Cotilda Nakate Kikomeko. Mukiibi also greatly relied on their counsel since inception.

Arch Bishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga: He closely worked with Mukiibi who was at one time the General Secretary of Rubaga Cathedral Foundation, a fundraising vehicle through which the Arch Bishop or Cardinal mobilizes charity to help the poor.  Lwanga, who even sent a personal message to the family saying his Arch diocese had lost a strong pillar, is the patron of Centenary bank which remains one of the strongest funding partners for the St. Lawrence institutions. As patron, Lwanga has a lot of leverage which Tulina & Co must be out to take advantage of and make use of if the institutions are to financially remain afloat. It’s a mutual relationship because Centenary bank also benefits a lot from its symbiotic relationship with St. Lawrence. Also many parents listen to Lwanga’s advice on where to take their children for school. That good will is another thing the Tulinas must harness.

 JC Muyingo: The higher education minister is among those private school proprietors whom Mukiibi mentored and inspired into the business. As such he remains grateful for the role the late played in his own education business at Seeta High.  As higher education minister, Muyingo is the man the St. Lawrence institutions will badly need to satisfy the remaining NCHE requirements to have their SLAU become a chartered University. Good enough he pledged to do as much in his address to the mourners at Katende.

Abdul Kiyimba: The Nsangi-Kyengera Mayor is also the NRM Chairman Wakiso district having replaced Gilbert Bukenya. He was personally very close to Mukiibi who always went to his offices to demonstrate his loyalty to the local town council leadership. Kiyimba oversaw the deployment of Uganda police throughout the funeral program. A blue eyed boy to Kayihura, Kiyimba will remain the contact person between the St. Lawrence institutions and the top echelons of security in this country.

Robert Kabushenga: The Vision Group boss was a close friend and advisor to Prof Mukiibi whose Kitemu home he used to visit on weekends whenever he had some time. The two men liked and found each other inspirational. There is no doubt that Kabushenga, who the family specially thanked throughout the mourning period, will remain a willing valuable advisor to the Mukiibi children as they struggle to carry on.

Prof Kakinda Mbaga: The very old statistics professor is the founding SLAU VC but Council members have always wanted to relieve him of his duties on the account of very frail old age. He taught Mukiibi in S2 at St. Bernard Kiswera (Uganda’s very first private school) and later supervised his thesis at School of Education in Makerere. Kakinda the owner of Kiswera SS was Mbaga’s relative and Mukiibi always treated him with respect.

This explains why Mukiibi always resisted council moves to have Kakinda Mbaga replaced by a more vibrant professor. Mbaga remains VC and will most likely hang around because he can’t stand seeing his own child die with its founder. The other is the NRM SG Kasule Lumumba who assured mourners her party will give both political and moral support to ensure the academic institutions outlive Mukiibi. There is also Ps Robert Kayanja, a friendly neighbor whose prayers and friendliness the Mukiibi estate will require to carry on the SLAU vision.

He has lived as Mukiibi’s SLAU neighbor since 1993 when both men first came to operate in this now very prime Mengo area. Kayanja’s close links to the 1st family is an additional motivation for the Mukiibi kids to keep close to him. He had gone as far as convincing the Musevenis to make Mukiibi education Minister years ago but the fallen Professor politely declined the offer.

There is also Fr JB Sebwalunyu of Makerere University whose spiritual counseling the Mukiibi kids will require. He hails from Miti in Kalisizo Sub County-Masaka and was very close to Mukiibi. He was the chief celebrant of the thanksgiving mass last August when Mukiibi returned from Nairobi and was the man he called to administer to him the Sacrament of the dead at Norvik moments before his death. There is also Gregory Mutyaba the only responsible Mukiibi brother who is still alive and Justine Tulina called on him to keep around to ensure the Mukiibi kids are reconciled each time they fall out.

THE HEADTEACHERS

There are a number of incumbent head teachers with whom Mukiibi was running the schools through Rector Maria Justine Tulina. Their continued commitment and team work will be required for the Mukiibi dream to live on because some of them like London College’s Mrs. Irene Mutebi, have been with Mukiibi for decades and have lots of institutional memory.

The Rector Tulina joined by The Academy HM Elijah Male to congratulate the best UNEB kids at St. Lawrence recently

The head teachers include Julius Caesar Nkumbi, Crown City’s Angela Nakimuli, Horizon Campus’ Rose Galabuzi, Paris Palais’ Rogers Seninde, The Academy’s Elijah Male (the band master), Dean of Programs Mrs. Harriet Kiggundu (the big lady) and London College’s Irene Mutebi (aka Senior HM who Mukiibi trusted her next to his own daughter Tulina & also supervises Lorencia). Irene Mutebi had worked with Mukiibi since 2003 and her London College has always academic been the best performing ever making Mukiibi very happy and visible in newspapers whenever UNEB exams returned. Such a person can’t easily be wished away.

There is also Doreen Bayiga, the head teacher for Lorencia Junior School at Nsangi which was the newest Mukiibi project.

THE SHS100BN ESTATE & WHAT PEERS THOUGHT OF MUKIIBI

According to a report in one of the respected national newspapers, Prof Mukiibi’s estate is worth over Shs100bn including Rubaga/Mengo-based St Lawrence University valued at (SLAU) Shs25bn. His estate also comprises of 8 secondary schools from which the Professor annually reaped billions in school fees though much of it would be eroded to service the never ending bank loans from institutions like DFCU, DTB and Centenary bank.

Tulina addresses mourners as Bernard Bantubalamu (L), Peter Semakula & Betty Namakula (to her left) look on

The school cash flow is explained as follows: London College Maya which has over 1,200 students each paying Shs960,000 per term, Crown City Campus’ 800 students each of whom pays between Shs930,000 (for O’levels) and Shs 960,000 (for A’levels) and Paris Palais with 800 students each paying Shs960,000 per term. Others are Horizon Campus’ 800 kids each paying Shs960,000 per term, Cream Land Campus’ 700 kids each paying Shs960,000 per term, The Academy specifically meant for the poor with over 1000 kids each paying Shs500,000 per term and Lorencia Primary School where kids pay between Shs400,000 and Shs700,000.

His vast estate also comprises of two big country homes one in Kitemu Nsangi and the other at Katende where he was buried on Friday. They each sit on over 30 acres.  The Katende home was developed about 5 years ago after Mukiibi went to his birth place in Masaka and exhumed all his dead relatives and had their remains reburied at Katende in Mpigi.

“He did this because he told us he had become part of friends in Kampala whom he didn’t want to suffer trekking long distances to Masaka for his burial,” recalls Mike Sebalu who was one of Mukiibi’s closest friends. During the Monday vigil at his Kitemu home, head teachers eulogized Mukiibi. They included Namagooma SS’ Francis Mawanda, Education Ministry exams officer Fred Kituuka, Natete Mackay’s Eve Nalugya Kibira, St. Mary’s College Lugazi’s Senyonjo, Trinity College Nabbingo HM Cotilda Nakate Kikomeko and Kings College Budo’s Patrick Bakka Male who is among those very experienced educationists who will closely be advising Maria Justine Tulina (The Rector) on how to successfully run the 8 schools and College Mukiibi left.

Bakka was very close to Mukiibi as a fellow educationist and peer-in fact three weeks before his death, Mukiibi had passed by at Bakka’s Budo office where he stayed for over three hours. While there, Mukiibi sent for his files from Horizon Campus including cheques that were pending his signature to pay suppliers and other obligations. He signed all these documents from Bakka’s office as the two old friends chatted. Bakka says this is indicative of how hardworking Mukiibi was. Nabbingo’s Nakate Kikomeko in her eulogy said Mukiibi was “a jolly good fellow.”

In their speeches, the head teachers commended Mukiibi for revolutionarizing the way private schools were run. “He was the first one to build private schools with good campuses otherwise we were always synonymous with very dilapidated buildings which sometimes would be built out of old timber and without windows and plaster,” recalled Lugazi St. Mary’s proprietor Senyonjo. They also saluted Mukiibi for leading them in negotiations with government aimed at lessening the tax burden on them. This information was corroborated by Makindye Sabagabo MP Kigozi Sempala who also owns private schools.

He told mourners at Rubaga Cathedral that government should honor Mukiibi by scrapping all taxes on private schools because this is something he fought for.

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Why Magogo Skipped the Uganda Cup Finals

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 17:34
Why Magogo Skipped the Uganda Cup Finals

By Emmanuel Sekago

It was pomp and fan at the 43rd edition of the Uganda Cup Finals held at Betway Green Light Stadium, on Thursday as KCCA football club claimed a double this year after whipping Paidha Black Angels 2 goals to nil. KCCA goals came from Geofrey Serunkuma in 10th min and Derrick Nsibambi in 56thmin.

However, fans were left asking themselves why the Federation of Uganda Football associations (FUFA) President Moses Magogo had skipped the closing ceremony of FUFA Uganda cup. He was represented by Masindi FUFA Kitara Delegate, Rogers Byamukama.

Info reaching our desk has it that Magogo was busy soliciting signatures of his top executive he wish to work with if all goes well at Masindi and since today is the final day to submit in the papers.

Pepper sport has leant that all the vice presidents were locked in an unknown venue vetting who takes which position in his new Executive.

Meanwhile Samuel Kayondo who was in charge of the game officially retired from active refereeing after serving 23 years in the profession.

Women Activists Want Prof Mukiibi’s Body Exhumed, Whipped

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 17:01
Women Activists Want Prof Mukiibi’s Body Exhumed, Whipped

 By Patrick Ocaido 

Women MPs under their umbrella-Uganda Women Parliamentarians Association (UWPOA) have joined the public to dance on Prof Lawrence Mukiibi’s grave for ‘terrorizing’ his students.

Prof Mukiibi who died on May 28 at Norvik Hospital, is set for the Guinness Book of Records after leaving behind several widows, kids and pregnancies most of whom are alleged to have been his students.

While addressing the press at parliament on Thursday, UWOPA in partnership with other women’s organizations have put government to task to investigate fallen St. Lawrence Schools tycoon’s sexual offences. The MPs are now demanding Parliament to pass the Sexual Offences bill to bar persons in authority who take advantage of their high positions to commit sexual offenses.

UWOPA chairperson Monicah Amoding (Kumi district) said that it is a blessing that Prof. Mukiibi died and that there is no doubt ‘he is in hell.’

“Personally if I had really come to know this before and there was evidence, we would have whipped that body. If investigations showed that the man who was the king of education was flamboyantly doing this behind the backs of parents then honestly I would mobilise women and men to go exhume and whip that body,” Amoding said.


UWOPA chairperson Monicah Amoding stressing her point.

She added, “Professor died but some of us can celebrate his death because it has now come to point to the reality on what is happening to our children. If he had not died, how else would we know that our children were being defiled?

The Sexual Offences Bill, 2016 that was tabled last year for the first reading intends to consolidate all laws relating to sexual offenses, combat sexual violence; provide for punishment of sexual offenders; provide for procedural and evidential requirements during trial of sexual offenses and for other related matters.

MP Amoding revealed that Mukiibi’s sexual escapades went unnoticed in the public until his demise because the educationist was ‘smart-wired’ who would push bread down the throats of his victims and their family relatives.

“The first thing that we are aware about is that indeed the alleged sexual abuse by the late professor was happening, however, the parents and the children were receiving support. So after the victim has been abused, he (Mukiibi) would immediately give all sorts of support including education, accommodation for the parents, and upkeep for the children and the family,” Amoding said.

“This issues must be investigated, if one person has been accused of molesting a hundred children, isn’t that a disaster? Isn’t it something we shall take interest in as a country?”

The MPs now want to use Mukiibi’s case as a point of advocacy and an opportunity to redeem the country by passing the law (Sexual Offenses Bills). Amoding admits that her office has received a few cases of sexual molestation by the late professor and urged other girls to gain courage to pin the offenders. She also put to task concerned institutions to reinvestigate allegations of sexual abuses on Aya group employees and Bishop Patrick Makumbi of Global Gospel Healing Ministries.

Tina Musuya, Executive Director of Centre for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP) urged Ministry of Education to interest themselves to investigate sexual abuses in schools and other institutions.

“There is something fundamentally wrong with our society. There is a lot of sexual abuses happening to our children and that is why the levels of teenage pregnancies is at an epidemic level. But what is perturbing is that our institutions instead blame the victims other than the perpetrators,” Musuya said.

Buikwe Villagers To Get Guns To Guard Vanilla Gardens

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 16:45
Buikwe Villagers To Get Guns To Guard Vanilla Gardens

Government is planning to train and arm five volunteers in each village to protect their vanilla crop from thieves.

The move comes on the heels of several appeals by vanilla farmers for help to deal with rampant theft and dealers who who buy immature vanilla. Many vanilla crop farmers across the country are spending nights in the fields, guarding their crops against thieves.

The farmers say that traders and middlemen dealing in vanilla are a big problem, but no action has been taken against them.

In his state of the nation address last week, the President hinted that he was aware of the farmers’ concerns.

In response to complaints of rampant vanilla theft senior security officers met with vanilla farmers at Ngogwe sub-county headquarters in Buikwe district. The farmers complained that they have spent as much as Shs94 million on security for their crops.

Hilary Odoch, a senior police officer informed the farmers that police is looking for a way round this because the law specifies that they can deal with theft but not the sale of immature vanilla beans.

The Deputy Commander of the Defence Forces Lt. Gen. Wilson Mbadi also announced the plan by government to train five people in each village to guard the vanilla gardens. He also requested local councils to enact by-laws that will provide a basis for taking legal action against people who buy and sell immature vanilla.

Queen Elizabeth and I Are Friends With Mutual Benefits – M7

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 16:08
Queen Elizabeth and I Are Friends With Mutual Benefits – M7

President Yoweri K Museveni has tweeted a curious detail on his relationship with Queen Elizabeth II.

Museveni was the chief guest at the official birthday celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and also the 65th anniversary of her reign.

Here’s the original tweet, which was preceded by a few others about his long relationship with the Queen.

“I have always followed the Queen. When I was young my mother showed me a picture of a young lady and said, “this is the Queen of England.”

“We are friends with mutual benefits. I am now speaking English. I refer to the British language as a captured weapon we are now employing.

It is not clear whether President Museveni is aware that the phrase “friends with benefits” is a euphemism for an acquaintance you have casual sex with.

Burundian Forces Still Torturing, Killing Opponents – U.N

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 15:41
Burundian Forces Still Torturing, Killing Opponents – U.N

Burundian security forces and allied militia are still abducting, torturing and killing people with almost total impunity, U.N. investigators said on Thursday, an accusation fiercely denied by Burundi.

Burundi, a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, has failed to reply to their letters to the foreign minister and they therefore have no access to the central African country where abuses are “rarely prosecuted”, they said.

Burundi’s U.N. ambassador Rénovat Tabu said the allegations were “partial and tendentious” and that investigators were ignoring the government’s efforts to restore peace and security.

Burundi was plunged into chaos in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza said he planned to run for a third term, which the opposition said was unconstitutional and violated the peace deal that ended its civil war in 2005. Nkurunziza was re-elected, but some of his opponents took up arms against him.

More than 700 people have been killed since then, while an estimated 400,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries, the state-run National Commission for Human Rights says.

The U.N. commission of inquiry, set up by the Council last September, has collected 470 testimonies on violations committed since 2015 that reflect “deep and widespread fear” among exiles, its chairman Fatsah Ouguergouz said.

“We were struck by the particularly cruel and brutal nature of the violations described to us,” he told the Geneva forum.

“Several victims, usually young members of opposition parties … or people accused of supporting or belonging to armed groups or having firearms, described to us the systematic torture and particularly cruel and inhuman treatment by members of the National Intelligence Service and the police, sometimes assisted by Imbonerakure,” he said, referring to the government-allied youth militia.

Burundians had testified “alleging the use, during torture sessions, of clubs, rifle butts, bayonets, iron bars, metal chains and electric cables with the result that some victims’ bones were broken and other victims lost consciousness; long needles stuck into victims’ bodies or unidentified products injected into them; nails ripped out with pliers; burns; and many abuses inflicted on male detainees’ genital organs.”

Abuses have been committed “in a more clandestine but equally brutal manner” since late 2016, Ouguergouz said.

Following disappearances, bodies are found in rivers, “the victims have their arms tied behind their backs and sometimes their bodies are weighed down with stones to make them sink”.

John Fisher of the New York-based Human Rights Watch said that Burundi “stands in contempt” of the Council.

“The national justice system is heavily influenced by the ruling party and has been unable to deliver credible justice for these crimes,” he told the forum.

“This impunity sends a clear message to the Imbonerakure. They know they can kill, rape and intimidate citizens and get away with it.”

@Reuters

Engineer Fined For Stepping In ‘KCCA Green Grass’

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 15:30
Engineer Fined For Stepping In ‘KCCA Green Grass’

A civil engineer has been sentenced to a 40,000 shillings fine by the Kampala City Hall Court after he has pleaded guilty to stepping in an area covered with KCCA green grass commonly known as “the green belt”.

Swazi Mukuye a resident of Gayaza was yesterday arrested off Jinja road in Kampala by KCCA enforcement officers while walking on the green grass.

He has this morning appeared before grade one magistrate Moses Nabende and accepted the offence of entering upon a lawn.

Magistrate Nabende then ordered him to pay a court fine of 40,000 shillings and in default Mukuye will suffer a 20 days imprisonment term at Luzira prison;

Because the magistrate observed that the green belt on which he stepped is maintained by tax payer’s money.

Stella Nyanzi To Return To Court On Her Birthday

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 12:49
Stella Nyanzi To Return To Court On Her Birthday

The Makerere University Research Fellow Dr. Stella Nyanzi is expected to re-appear at Buganda Road Court for mention of cyber harassment cases against her today, 16th June, the very day she was born.

Dr. Nyanzi is will appear before Chief Magistrate James Mawanda Ereemye for mention of the case and hearing of her application in which she wants a Magistrate’s Court to halt proceedings in her criminal case.

Dr. Nyanzi through her lawyer  Peter Walubiri wants her case of cyber harassment and offensive communication against  the person of the president temporarily stayed until the Constitutional Court pronounces itself on a petition she filed challenging the Mental Treatment  Act.

However the State maintains that Dr. Stella Nyanzi’s mental status should be ascertained on grounds that a person of her stature cannot behave in such manner, unless she is mentally unsound.

CABINET MELTDOWN: Ministers Rukutana, Namuganza Trade Blows

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 12:21
CABINET MELTDOWN: Ministers Rukutana, Namuganza Trade Blows Namuganza Tells colleagues ‘you can’t manage me b’se Papa Sevo loves me’ Angry Janet, Rugunda, Moses Ali look on in astonishment

By Our Reporters

The last Wednesday cabinet meeting was an opportunity for President Museveni to see the ineptness of Premier Ruhakana Rugunda as a leader of government business.

On the agenda that day were a number of items including the management, ownership and control of Bugoma forest which the Omukama of Bunyoro has been claiming against the National Forestry Authority (NFA). It’s a matter cabinet had previously discussed and taken a position about after the Bunyoro kingdom got a title under very mysterious circumstances.

Similar claims were raised about Budongo forest which is also situated within Bunyoro kingdom territory. Lands Minister Betty Amongin, who was recently voted by the public as one of the best Hakuna Mchezo Ministers so far, was called to the floor to update cabinet regarding especially progress made on the cancellation of Omukama’s titles as was previously recommended by Cabinet.

Rugunda was in the chair and even though the session was in Entebbe State House, President Museveni was initially absent and only joined in later. As Amongin submitted explaining to cabinet the hurdles so far faced including numerous court applications by the adversary parties, her junior Minister Parsis Namuganza kept heckling and interjecting making it hard for Amongin to make her point.

The two are known to be staunch adversaries with Namuganza several times making public attacks on her senior colleague. Rugunda then signaled Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana to take to the floor and clarify what legally can be done to sustainably save the two forests against the Bunyoro kingdom claims. In his explanation, Rukutana agreed with Amongin who had reported to cabinet that the process to rescue the forests was now stuck partly because of the haphazard way Namuganza went about the title cancellation.

Whereas the law requires cancellation to be preceded by a 21 days’ notice, Namuganza insisted on cancelling the titles only 15 days into the notice. This prompted the Bunyoro party to return to court arguing that the Ministry of lands wasn’t acting in good faith. Consequently some injunctive orders were issued against the State.

Evidence, as corroborated by Rukutana, was adduced before cabinet last Wednesday showing that Namuganza’s actions had in law weakened the State’s claim on the forest land. Information was to the effect that Namuganza told off the Commissioner Land Commission who insisted on the lapsing of the 21 days after which the title would legally be canceled. She decided to act unilaterally and plotted to personally issue the instrument cancelling the title, something that was clearly ultra-vires her powers as Minister. All this was part of Rukutana’s submission who maintained Namuganza’s actions ran counter to both the law and rules of prudent practice.

NAMUGANZA FIGHTS AG

At this point, Namuganza rose in her seat and shouted at Rukutana dismissing him as a saboteur working with Amongin to make her life hard in the Ministry.

“I have always been loyal whenever Papa [M7] gives us instructions. How do you talk about Court when Papa has clearly given his directives?” Namuganza was quoted as saying.

The much unsophisticated very crude Minister from Busoga went as far wailing telling cabinet colleagues “I now know why everybody hates me; it’s because I religiously execute Papa’s directives.”

We are told at this point, Rukutana shouted at her saying “Honorable Namuganza sit down.” Rugunda supported him asking Namuganza to take her seat which she protested saying “I won’t because I must defend Papa’s directives.”

This shameful display of crudeness and lack of respect for an elder of Rugunda’s stature irked everybody and members stood up all of them aiming their fists and verbal arsenal at Namuganza who remained relentless.

Meanwhile Aidah Nantaba, a renowned Namuganza rival, emerged from the blue and told colleagues “I have always told you she isn’t fit to be a minister with us and I hope everybody has seen.” In support of Nantaba, another Muganda female Minister rose up telling off Namuganza: “Please young lady sit down and respect people because we aren’t in a village meeting. This is cabinet and let’s not behave like ancient primary school teachers.”

Namuganza shot back “I won’t, you do what you want if you think you are the appointing authority; who are you to shut me up?” Rugunda kept raising his voice saying “honorable colleagues order” while occasionally banging on the table. They didn’t listen and the chaos ensued with almost everybody standing up insisting that Namuganza apologizes and resumes her seat.

She refused saying she would only do so if members first condemn Rukutana whom she accused of trying to usurp powers of the Lands docket. While vigorously shaking her head, Namuganza insisted that Rukutana sits down. She even tried to forcefully carry out her wish.

A clearly much provoked Rukutana removed his jacket and rolled his sleeves aiming at Namuganza. “Do you want to fight me? Okay you start if you are joking with me. I will show that I’m a man and a half,” an evidently very agitated Rukutana shouted as he aimed his folded fists at Namuganza. Vowing to go down fighting, the energetic babe from Busoga wasn’t cowed.

“This is State House and we all have equal rights here. Why do you ask me to keep quiet? I won’t accept that chauvinism,” she kept defending her space. Sources say she raised her middle finger and ceaselessly aimed it at Rukutana as Rugunda struggled to call the meeting to order. At this point, everybody was up shouting on top of their voices insisting that much hated Namuganza shuts up forever. Rukutana had more supporters as majority insisted Namuganza resumes her seat and apologizes for provoking such a well collected elder.

M7 WALKS IN

We are told the ensuing melee, characterized by too much shouting and foot stamping as if it were primary kids attending prefects’ candidates’ rally, prompted Museveni to quietly walk into the room. “Otyo! Haha! Tell me what is going on here Rt Hon Prime Minister,” sources quoted Museveni as asking as soon as he took his seat.

Namuganza run towards him shouting and sobbing “My papa its good you are finally here [as if wanting to hug him]. I don’t know why these people hate me. They are so envious some are saying how can she refer to Mzee as Papa but I forgive them with their nugu because I’m still young and a performer.”

We are told Museveni, just like his wife Janet who had watched the melee from the start, just pensively looked on and didn’t say much. Rugunda then regained the initiative and the meeting carried on but Namuganza kept interjecting saying nobody would stop her from expressing herself now that her beloved Papa was finally in the room.

In the end Rugunda proposed that this Namuganza saga is becoming a cancer for the cabinet because she is seemingly at war with all cabinet colleagues. Rugunda said it wasn’t difficult to tell what the rest of cabinet thought about the Namutumba woman MP. As Rugunda explained, some ministers murmured “Namuganza should leave us because she isn’t fit for cabinet.”

At this comment, Namuganza wept again running towards Mzee saying “Papa you can see for yourself all these people hate me.” Appearing very embarrassed at the mediocrity playing out in what was supposed to be his very best cabinet ever; Museveni looked the other side and ignored Namuganza who stormed out to continue her wailing outside in the corridors of State House.

VP Sekandi wasn’t in the house and in the end Rugunda directed that a cabinet disciplinary committee be constituted headed by Moses Ali to try to reconcile Namuganza with Nantaba and the rest of cabinet colleagues who feel she is way under qualified to sit on the table of adults discussing important national matters. Namuganza, who was faulted for snubbing all previous reconciliation efforts including those initiated by GCW Ruth Nankabirwa, made it clear she wouldn’t be subjecting herself to a committee headed by Moses Ali because he too hates her as the two previously quarreled over Zoka forest in West Nile which Ali fought hard to save after Namuganza purported to have powers to degazette it.

Beti Kamya offered to be part of the Moses Ali process in case Namuganza didn’t trust the retired Amin General’s neutrality. At the end of the meeting there was clear consensus that Mzee needs to shake up cabinet ridding it of rudimentary characters epitomized by the likes of Namuganza and a few others.

“Just like Rugunda, Rukutana is a good jolly fellow and by the time you provoke him to the point of rolling up his sleeves to punch you off, then you must be very provocative which is the reason Namuganza should be purged and sent back to Luwero to keep growing politically while serving as RDC,” remarked one of the disgusted cabinet sources we spoke to for this article.

Tycoon Amina Hersi: Why My Empire Is Collapsing

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 10:14
Tycoon Amina Hersi: Why My Empire Is Collapsing

By Patrick Ocaido

On May 08, 2017, whereas members of the public were biting their nails in anticipation of the Financial Year 2017/18 National Budget, city tycoon Amina Morghe Hersi was lost in her thoughts wondering how to revamp what she termed as ‘her collapsing empire.’

Amina,52, was among the few chosen dignitaries who represented at Kampala Serena Hotel where Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance was dividing the national cake.

To the Somali-born prominent businesswoman who has spent most of her time investing in Uganda, the national budget that was read last week means nothing to her. Amina whose investments include Oasis Shopping Mall, Atiak sugar factory in Northern Uganda and the Laburnam Courts Apartments, on Nakasero Hill adjacent to State House among others, says that Ugandans should prepare themselves for tougher times for as long as government does not start embracing local content.

Amina Hersi arriving for the Budget Reading last week

“My brother, my entire empire is collapsing now what else can I comment about from the ministry’s national budget speech? So I really don’t want to talk badly about the budget because I am already struggling with my problems,” Amina said during an exclusive interview.

However, like any other persevering entrepreneur, Amina has not lost hope and believes that Uganda’s economy will one day stand tall if government starts supporting local content as highlighted by President Yoweri Museveni during the Budget Reading.

Asked to comment if she is not affected by Museveni’s statement not to cut interest rates for business people, Amina said,” I think the president’s speech was misunderstood. He (president) meant to say that he can only do so for the good of agriculture or industrialization. And that is why he was saying we need to support and encourage our local producers.”

Amina who was talking like a wounded lion did not have sweet words for government institutions and officials. To her, whereas President Museveni has very good ideas to support local content that will in turn employ local people and raise country’s GDP, he is only failed by his own institutions and government officials who are only encouraging imports.

“Let me give you an example. I am putting up a sugar factory in the North which is 70% complete. I got challenges because Crane Bank that was funding me closed. And now I have been appealing to the government to help me complete the factory, but they are not doing so and are not even restructuring my loan. Now tell me why we won’t continue facing ‘bad economy’ if we can’t support each other locally?”

                                                       Amina Hersi (L) with Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed

She added, “Recently, my sister Amelia Kyambadde (Trade Minister) whom I respect very well, when there was crisis of sugar she wanted to import 30,000 tons of sugar without taxes. So I was telling Finance minister Kasaija if he calculated that tax waiver compared to the little money that I wanted to finish this factory so that we can produce more sugar for ourselves.”

“Now our people are looking for quick solutions. When we support local content, we employ our own people, we shall give business to our own country, the GDP will go up, but when you rely on import, you will lose the exchange rate and we shall also be giving jobs to other countries,” Amina cried out.

SUGAR CRISIS IN THE COUNTRY

Like they say, “What an old man sees sitting down, a young man cannot see standing up”, Amina thinks that the skyrocketing sugar prices in the country are not as a result of ‘bad economy’ or increased costs of production, but as a result of reduced sugar cane productivity due lack of nutrients in the soils.

As if that is not enough, Amina thinks that government faulted by issuing licences to several factories which do not even have their own out growers. Among those companies include; GM Sugar, Mayuge Sugar Industries and Kaliro that are all said to be struggling for the little sugar cane that farmers grow. This has in the short run led to sugar crisis in the country because pioneer sugar factories like Kakira and Lugazi have stopped investing in farmers through farming inputs for fear that they may still sell the cane to other factories.

Part of Atiak sugar factory that is under construction

“This is bad planning from the government. But now we shall not sit on the problem in the east, because in the north where I am, people have chunks and chunks of fertile land which they can use to plant cane. But our people in the government are not looking at this as a variable option,” she said.

Amina added that her attempts to engage the government to support local people to give them credit to engage in the industry have been futile.

“People in the north are poor, they can’t access credit. I even tried to get them money from Uganda Development Bank because they have co-operatives, but officials there told me Amina we need 3 years audited account from these people, we need tangible security. But these are poor people and the only wealth they have is their land. So these people are putting up all these terms and conditions so that they can bring foreign investors,” she said.

“It is our institutions that are encouraging foreigners to come and do things which we can do. And this is what the president has been preaching against. Now recently, they imported 100,000 tons of rice without tax. Do you know that in the whole of north, people have planted rice and even have no money for it?”

Upon completion, Amina is optimistic that her Atiak Sugar factory will turn things around for the betterment of the country for it will not only bring revenue, employment and development for the region, but will be championed as the first large scale industrial project for Northern Uganda.

This is only a dream come true if Dfcu restructures her loan and government bails her out to finish the mill.

AMINA’S JOURNEY TO SUCCESS

Shelving aside Amina’s business woes, the workaholic married business lady who has divorced twice in the past has a story of success to tell.

The mother of three was born on September 27, 1964 in Bungoma in the east of Kenya, where her mother, Sarah Hersi Ali, was a prominent businesswoman. There has been contentions on whether Amina is Kenyan or Somali, but businesswoman says that although she was not born in Somalia, her ancestors come from the northern Somalia near the Red Sea which is not even closer to East Africa.

Her grandfathers eventually came to Kenya because Somalia was colonized by two countries; Britain and Italy where Mogadishu and others areas was colonized by the latter while northern Somalia was colonized by the former. It is the British who then moved the intelligent Somalis to their other colony-Kenya to work as farm managers and this is how Amina’s grandfathers found themselves settling in Kenya.

She went to Lugulu Girls High School for both primary and secondary education before dropping out in S.4. It is at that moment that the 18year old Amina was introduced into his mother’s business where she started running a small hardware stall that only sold nails.

“This hardware was strictly selling nails because this is where people in Bungoma had problems. In a day I would sell like 1000 Kenya shillings (about Shs30,000) I would get tired by the end of the day but I was happy,” Amina said. It is the nail store that expanded further until she moved to settle in Uganda in the 1990s after she lost her two daughters in a motor accident. While in Uganda, she invested in real estate business that later expanded to multimillion dollar empire. She is now overseeing her $120 million sugar project that has of late stalled. Amina own the Oasis Centre, a multimillion-dollar shopping mall complex and grand scale luxurious apartment Laburnam Courts that are both situated in the center of the capital. She also runs one of the largest distributors of cement and other hardware materials in the country. In 2008, Amina received the Woman Investor of the year Award for her large-scale projects that are changing Kampala’s skyline.

(Adapted from Bwino Newspaper)

Plot To Kill Itesots In Tororo Leaks

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 09:19
Plot To Kill Itesots In Tororo Leaks

 By Patrick Ocaido

A clandestine but deadly plot to ‘eliminate’ itesots staying in Tororo district has leaked.

This is the latest ploy from a group of radical Jopadhola natives who have vowed to kill itesots for threatening their tribal supremacy in Tororo district.

It should be noted that the minority group of Itesots in Tororo have on several occasions petitioned President Yoweri Museveni for a new district. Their appeal has been stifled by the japs who are opposed to the move and want them (Teso people) ‘weeded’ out.

In a notice that has been circulating, japs have threatened to recover the land on East Budama, Tororo County that was given to them.

“No district shall be granted to visitors (Itesots). Tororo will remain one district. On the 23th June, 2017, we are attacking you and driving you out of Tororo once and for all.

 MP YERI AT THE HELM

Similarly, documents obtained by this website have linked Apollo Yeri Ofwono, Tororo Municipality MP for orchestrating these tribal clashes that started several years ago.

Documents signed by NRM’s Apollo Yeri way back in 2005 while calling for crisis meetings, show the legislator asking fellow Adhola people to unite “and eliminate the overwhelming number of foreigners who are Itesots, Basoga, Banyoli, Bagisu etc.”

“There are very key people we have to eliminate within the district and this should take effect immediately after this meeting if we are to achieve our goals ‘The RED DEVIL SQUAD’ will deal with that, more to be discussed during the meeting,” a letter signed by MP Yeri reads.

In the same letter, Yeri added that there is also need to address the issue of muslims who are strongly fighting them in Tororo and supporting foreigners.

“We need to try and eliminate their political strength in whatever way possible,” Yeri said and requested his members to keep the document a top secret.

In other documents that Red Pepper has seen, MP Yeri has been facilitating group of japs while meeting them at his home in Amagoro to ensure that their ‘mission’ succeeds.

In another letter dated October 6, 2006, MP Yeri listed 17 top Itesots who should be eliminated. The names include; Paul Etyang, Bishop Okile, Geofrey Ekanya, Jack Ogolla, David Okurut, Omasel, Richard Okodoi, Radice Okama, Jane Emokol, Ana Mahia Obbo, Allind Obore, Betty Akichot, Oteba Adungo, Sunday Alowu, Omongoyese, Martin Etori and Michael Emojong.

When MP Yeri was contacted for a comment, he denied ever authoring such letters and rallying japs to kills itesots. He said this is a ploy to blackmail him and turn him to be an enemy of the itesots in Tororo.

“The documents were first presented to the president during last campaigns by a one Geoffrey Otieno in Kisozi. But when I got up to defend myself, the president said Ofwono just sit you don’t need to defend it,” he said.

Yeri said that he is considering to engage his lawyers to sue parties that are spreading these false documents.

FIFA Investigates FUFA President Magogo

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 08:48
FIFA Investigates FUFA President Magogo

The world governing body FIFA has started investigation into the 2014 World Cup tickets designated to Uganda which were put on general sale.

Mrs Maria Claudia Rojas the chairman of FIFA Ethics investigations chamber has started investigations into allegations that President of the Federation of Uganda Football Association President, Moses Hashim Magogo was involved in the illegal sale.

A petition was filed by Hon. Allan Ssewanyana, Shadow Minister of Sports in Parliament of Uganda and Parliamentary Member of Makindye who asked the body to investigate.

Hon Allan Ssewanyana who acknowledged to the press about the petition at Grand Imperial Hotel in Summit Hall said that over 177 tickets were sold to non-Ugandans against the football governing body rules.

“I sent the petition on May 30 with all material evidence both oral and documentary that clearly implicates Magogo as having acted in breach of the FIFA statutes, disciplinary code and articles 13, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 of the FIFA code of ethics and as a result of the said actions has dented the image of Ugandan football due to the illegal, immoral and unethical practices and conduct which is the basis of the petition,” Ssewanyana said.

In a letter dated June 9th and signed by Mrs Maria Claudia Rojas, states that investigations have started.  She further requests for more information and documents in relations to documentation of the alleged sale of tickets not later than June 19th.

We contacted FUFA Chief Executive Officer, Edgar Watson who told us that he has not received any communication from FIFA.

“The details of the petition, its merits and demerits have been submitted to Kabega Bogezi and Bukenya Advocates (the Lawyers of the Person of the FUFA President) awaiting any legal steps from whatsoever authorities and any related questions and answers shall be a reserve of the legal team,” said the FUFA.

Prof. Barya Unveils Plan For Makerere University

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 19:14
Prof. Barya Unveils Plan For Makerere University

Former Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Professor Venansius Baryamureeba today unveiled his massive plans to revamp Makerere University once he is elected as its Vice Chancellor.

The 48 year old professor of Computer Science and mathematics served as Vice Chancellor from 2010 to 2012 before he lost the seat to incumbent and outgoing Vice Chancellor Prof. Ddumba.

Baryamureeba was the youngest among the three contestants who presented their strategic plans for the university to the public on 15th June 2016 at Makerere University Main Hall.

In what was perceived by the general public at Makerere and on social media as a well thought-out presentation, Prof. Barya pledged to implement ICT-enabled delivery such as e-learning, full automation of the university library as well as refurbishing, upgrading and setting up new teaching infrastructure during his term of office.

He also talked passionately about raising the Makerere University’s research and innovation profile which he said will be another way of generating revenue for the university and linking the university’s output to industry.

Citing his previous record, Barya as he is fondly known pledged to increase university revenue by 25% for every year he is Vice Chancellor at Makerere.

“I will work with relevant stakeholders to set up Makerere University open campus for distance learners, develop the university idle land and resources for commercial and education services and implement an investment strategy for the university to increase revenue,”  Baryamureeba said in his presentation. He emphasized that increasing revenue will help reduce the strikes by staff and students that have affected the university’s performance over the last several years. He also promised to implement a flexible fees payment structure to enable students pay fees in instalments throughout the semester.

Baryamureeba concluded his presentation by citing his previous achievements at Makerere University as Vice Chancellor and Dean at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS). In his tenor as Vice Chancellor, he is remembered for negotiating over one million US Dollars for the university, establishment of the Makerere University constituent colleges, growing Makerere University visibility and improving service delivery by ensuring students get transcripts and certificates at graduation among other achievements.

“Looking back at my time at Makerere, I see a short time filled with numerous achievements; and I know there is still more I can do for my alma mater if given another chance. I want to do to Makerere what Steve Jobs did to Apple, when he returned to the company after leaving it,” the professor concluded amidst cheers from the public.

About Baryamureeba

Venansius Baryamureeba (a.k.a Prof. Barya) is a Professor of Computer Science and former Vice Chancellor of Makerere University. At 40, he became the youngest Vice Chancellor in Africa in 2012. Having joined Makerere as a teaching Assistant after his bachelor’s degree, Baryamureeba grew through the ranks to Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Director, Dean, Professor and Finally Vice Chancellor in less than 10 years. In 2012, he was left Makerere after he lost a leadership contest against Prof. Ddumba Ssetamu.

He then founded Uganda Technology And Management University (UTAMU) which he served as Vice Chancellor till 2015 when he decided to contest for the 2016 Uganda Presidential elections, which he lost. Baryamureeba boasts of over 14 years managerial and board room experience. He currently serves as Chairperson Council for Makerere University Business School, Chairperson Council for St.

Augustine International University and Chairperson for Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board among others. He has also served on councils for Busitema University, National Council for Higher Education, Mbarara University of Science and Technology and the COMESA Innovations Council.

Uganda National Theatre Will Not Be Pulled Down – UNCC

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 17:33
Uganda National Theatre Will Not Be Pulled Down – UNCC

The Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC) has denied reports doing round on media platforms that the Uganda national theatre is to be demolished.

The report said that the iconic 60-year-old piano-shaped building was going to be demolished to make way for a 36-storey shopping mall.

In a statement via its Facebook page the UNCC says that the national theatre will be renovated.

Dear Patrons, it is not true that the Uganda National Theatre will be demolished, and that tenants have been given eviction notices. What is true is that this great facility will be renovated and that no tenant will be evicted. We’ve all been fighting and waiting to have this historical facility renovated and finally Government of Uganda has allocated money for this project. 

After over 50 years of existence the National theatre building has depreciated, naturally. The flat roof which is incompatible with the tropical climate has continued to leak despite the regular repairs. The component of the asbestos above the stage is outlawed and is overdue for replacement. The proscenium arch stage has depreciated, the lighting and sound system can no longer support creativity in modern art.

The chairs are breaking every other day despite the timely repairs which has created an impression that we are not doing a good job via maintenance of the facility. The resting rooms are also in need of replacement, the sewage system can no longer accommodate the current huge number of traffic in the area. The list is endless. It is on this back ground that we embarked on this project to renovate the National Theatre building and we hope that at the end of the project, we will have a better facility that is inline and supports the state of Art in the performing arena.

Regarding tenants, we held a consultative meeting with them last week on 7th June 2017 to share with them about this coming project due to the fact that there is no way we could do this without consulting them. In that meeting, they also shared with us their concerns which will be shared with the contractor once he comes on board. It is only after we share these concerns with the contactor and be advised technically that we will move forward. It is important to note that whatever will be done will be within in the law as per the tenancy agreements and MOUs we have with our beloved tenants and residential artistes.

The renovations will include the following:

  • An overhaul of the Lighting and Sound system including compound lighting
    • Auditorium seats carpet to be changed
    • Proscenium arch stage to be improved upon
    • Plumbing and drainage system to accommodate the current traffic
    • Toilets to be replaced at the reception area, backstage, tenants, and the outside area

    • External and internal painting of the facility
     
    • Electrical works both External and Internal including ACs and replacement of firefighting systems
    • Repair and improve the drive way
    • Windows and doors repairs and replacement where necessary
     
    • Perimeter wall fence repairs and replacement

We cannot overlook the fact that in such a major renovation some people might temporarily be affected and we kindly ask you to bear with us. We highly treasure our stakeholders (Artistes and tenants)

Earlier reports attracted criticisms on social media with people arguing that the government shouldn’t think of demolishing because it has much to do with the national culture.

@rattletheworld; The Uganda national theatre to be demolished and a shopping mall is to be built.We now have more shopping malls than gorilla.

@KatoRugasira; Is this regime after destroying Uganda’s history? Why is National theatre being demolished? Where are they going to build another theatre?

@ssojo81; Destroy all national heritages and replace them with ugly glass and ceramics. Complete with shops selling Chinese shoes and Brazilian hair.

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