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DP Withdraws Its Candidate In Kyadondo East MP By-Elections

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 08:28
DP Withdraws Its Candidate In Kyadondo East MP By-Elections

By Stuart Yiga

Democratic Party has withdrawn its candidate from the Kadondo East parliamentary by-election due on the 29th of this month.

Lillian Babirye Kamoome was the DP Candidate and she was contesting with five other candidates including Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi wine, FDC’s Apollo Kantintu, Muwada Nkunyingi independent and NRMs Sitenda Sebalu.

Democratic party President Nobert Mao says that they have decided to withdraw their candidate to enable the opposition win this by-election as a united force.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday at the DP Headquarters, Mao said that in 24 hours they will announce a candidate they will rally behind.

The Kyadondo East parliamentary seat fell vacant after the nullification of Apollo Kantinti’s election by High court Judge Isabirye Kaweesa, on grounds that there was violation of electoral laws.

Sebalu who filed a petition claimed that the election was characterized by voter bribery among other irregularities. Electoral Commission did not comply with the electoral laws.

URU Breaks Silence on Corruption Allegations

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 17:58
URU Breaks Silence on Corruption Allegations

The Uganda Rugby Union has today (Tuesday)  come out to refute the allegations with have been doing rounds on media platforms  that its management did not pay players as promised but instead channeled the money to their own pockets.

It has been reported that the union which had promised to pay players $100 as a match day allowance, later found it had to dish out this money after they lost to Kenya, but instead decided to give each player only 150,000 Ugandan shillings.

This reportedly left players disgruntled and threatening not take part in the next fixture in which Uganda will be visiting Kenya, two weeks from now.

However, according to lengthy statement released by the Secretary General URU, Godwin Kayangwe, the allegations are not true.

Below is a full statement.

Dear Rugby Supporters and Stakeholders;

Yet again, we find ourselves enjoying the full embrace of the international season and, on behalf of URU, we extend a warm welcome to you all to come and have fun with the Rugby Cranes.  We sincerely thank all those who came in big numbers to support the team in the first leg of the Elgon Cup held at Legends Rugby Grounds last Saturday. The team gave a great account of itself despite losing by a slim margin.  We look forward to your continued support, as the team prepares for the return leg in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, we wish to take this opportunity to refute a number of malicious and salacious misinformation about Rugby that is doing the rounds on social media. This is not the first time for a one, Dixon Okello, to spread complete falsehood about the game purely for self-gain and to harm the reputation of the good name of Rugby. He has huffed and puffed about alleged corruption at the Uganda Rugby Union (URU) and made empty threats to take up matters with the IGG. Not once has he made good on these threats and not once has any iota of evidence of corruption been presented.

These are the simple facts as they are.  URU is a voluntary association of member clubs who every 4 years vote in an Executive Committee to run the development agenda of Rugby in Uganda.  The Executive Committee (EXCO) reports religiously to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) every year and presents audited accounts as part of the AGM.  Like any other voluntary organization in Uganda, we face a huge challenge raising funds for Rugby activities – most especially during the international season.  To ease funding of these activities, URU raises money from sponsorship, grants, partnerships and – when it can’t be avoided – borrowing.  All this is reported transparently in the AGM and the audited accounts are shared with sponsors, National Council of Sports as well as World Rugby.  For the record, our accounts have never been qualified and the World Rugby audits for the past 3 years have been complementary of the development efforts of URU.

In his latest irresponsible missive, a one Dixon Okello has alleged that the Rugby Crane players received a match day allowance of UGX 150,000 as opposed to USD 150.  The truth is the match day allowance as of current policy for a home game is UGX 150,000.  A few years ago, the match day allowance was USD 100 dollars when the exchange rate was Ugx 2,000 to the dollar.  However, because of the unfavorable exchange rate (heading to Ugx 4,000), it was not prudent to maintain the allowance pegged to the dollar.  After all, the sponsorship funds we receive are in Ugx.

Organizing an event of the magnitude of Elgon cup is a monumental challenge.  Besides looking after the players’ welfare, other expenses include security, air tickets, accommodation, medical, entertainment, not to mention the training allowances for players (over 50 have been training since January).

The URU strategy is therefore to create partnerships that create a very enjoyable Rugby experience that can get more people to watch and more sponsors to fund the game.  By doing this, we will be in a stronger position to improve the players’ welfare.  It is a chicken and egg arrangement.  Without a good event, it is difficult to build a sponsorship profile. We are confident in this strategy, which explains our partnership with the likes of Legends.  But we are also realistic that the impact will be felt in the medium to long-term.  In the short-term, we are glad to benefit from additional support for player welfare from the Uganda Rugby veterans, who have given generously, and other individual supporters such as, Ian Walker, Jim Middleton, Rosette Kebba, Jerry Burry and several others whom space cannot allow me to mention.

We have remained very patient and restrained about the lies being peddled by a one Dixon Okello and we know his motivations are malicious and vindictive.  But, we remain an open and transparent institution who know we make mistakes nonetheless. But corruption is a value that we completely shun.  We are open to present our books to full scrutiny of the public and very prepared to engage with you on how we can improve our service to the fans and players.

Kind regards

Uganda Elected To The Governing Body Of ILO

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 17:13
Uganda Elected To The Governing Body Of ILO

Uganda was on Monday 12th June 2017 overwhelmingly voted to the Governing Body of International Labour Organisation by the 106th International Labour Conference in Geneva for the period 2017-2020.

The election followed Uganda’s earlier nomination by the Africa Group at the African Union meeting held in April 2017 in Algiers, Algeria. The Governing Body is the Executive Organ of the ILO.

This means that as a member of the governing Body, Uganda will play a key role in determining ILO Policies, budgets and programmes all over the world as well as the election of the Director General of the ILO.

Uganda was represented by the delegation headed by Hon Janat Mukwaya, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development. Other members of the delegation include Pius Bigirimana Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ambassador Christopher Onyanga Aparr, Mrs. Rosemary Ssenabulya, Executive Director Federation of Uganda Employers, and Peter Werikye, Secretary General, National Organisation of Trade Unions among others.

E.A Leaders Push S. Sudan Sides To Revive Peace, Delay Vote

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 16:49
E.A Leaders Push S. Sudan Sides To Revive Peace, Delay Vote

East African leaders said late on Monday they would try and push South Sudan’s warring sides to revive collapsed peace efforts and delay elections currently scheduled for August next year to a more realistic date.

Heads of state meeting in Ethiopia said they would set up a forum where the rivals could discuss ways of restoring a ceasefire more than three years into an ethnically-charged civil war that has plunged districts into famine.

The forum would be set up urgently, leaders from the East African bloc IGAD said, without specifying when or what forming it would take.

Fighting broke out at the end of 2013 after President Salva Kiir sacked his rival Riek Machar as vice president, just two years after South Sudan’s independence from Sudan.

After numerous failed peace deals, Kiir and Machar signed a power-sharing pact in August 2015, agreeing to a transitional government and elections.But that deal stalled and Machar left the country.

IGAD said on Monday their new forum would include “estranged groups” and discuss ways of implementing the peace deal.

The forum would also develop a “revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule towards a democratic election at the end of the transition period,” IGAD added in a statement.

South Sudan’s new vice president, Taban Deng Gai, had asked Monday’s meeting to bar Machar from any future forums. Gai also said elections should go ahead as planned – a position initially backed by Yoweri Museveni, according to diplomats at the talks.

But the delegates finally decided warring sides would be invited and it would be “too premature” to stage the vote given the current levels of violence, diplomats said.

The war has split the impoverished country along ethnic lines, often between Kiir’s Dinka group and Machar’s Nuer. It has also nearly halved oil production and fueled Africa’s biggest cross-border refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The United Nations has said the violence amounts to ethnic cleansing and risks escalating into genocide.


URU Pays Peanut Allowances to Rugby Players

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 15:08
URU Pays Peanut Allowances to Rugby Players

Emmanuel Sekago

The Uganda Rugby Union headed by Andrew Owor has paid peanut monies to players after the battle with Kenya Sambas who hammered Rugby cranes 23-18 points in first leg of Elgon Cup.

The federation in two radio talk shows, a week before the kickoff, promised to pay each player $100 as match day allowance, but after the Kenya game, the players were handed only Shs150,000. This was after players threatened to demonstrate.

It should be noted that Stanbic Bank donated 50 million shillings to the Uganda Rugby Union a week to a tournament. The host club also paid millions to the federation in order to win the bid. KCCA also donated huge sums meant for facilitation and allowances of players.

Pepper sports has talked to one player names withheld, saying that they will be boycotting to travel to Kenya in two weeks time if they continue being exploited in this way.

Tunisian Man ‘Jailed For Smoking In Ramadan’

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 13:51
Tunisian Man ‘Jailed For Smoking In Ramadan’

A court in Tunisia has sentenced a man who smoked a cigarette in public during the dawn to dusk Muslim fast to one month in jail, a spokesman has told the AFP news agency

The man was allegedly seen smoking outside the courthouse in the coastal city of Bizerte by a judiciary official and he was later arrested by police.

While there is no law against eating or drinking in public during Ramadan, the issue comes up every year in Tunisa, AFP says.

Earlier this month four men were sentenced to one month in jail for eating in public during the fasting period.

On Sunday a number of Tunisians went out on the streets of the capital Tunis demanding the freedom to eat and drink in public during Ramadan, AFP reports.

Pupils Beg Museveni To Fulfill Pads Pledge

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 13:42
Pupils Beg Museveni To Fulfill Pads Pledge

By Milton Emmy Akwam

LIRA: Female adolescent pupils in Lango Sub Region have reminded and begged President Museveni to adhere to and fulfill one of his key pledges in the (2017/2018) financial year.

The pupils, performing at Plan International Uganda function to mark its 25 years of operation in Uganda at Barr Primary School play grounds in Lira district on Friday, begged Museveni to comply.

Ajok Brenda, 13, and a pupil at Buluge Primary School in Barr Sub County says she would write a letter to President Museveni on pads.

She says the recent statement by government that it has no money for pads were total betrayal to them (girls) who suffer during menstrual period.

Similarly, Akullu Nancy, a primary six pupil at Aroma Primary School in Alebtong district says: “We ask His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, our President to give us sanitary pads he promised to allow us study well.”

Akullu led her colleague pupils in singing a thrilling song to hundreds of thousands of celebrants that kept on reminding leaders to support them.

Educationists assert that menstrual period now plays bigger percentage in girls’ dropout from school as they have always been victimized by boys during their menstrual period.

While campaigning for re-election across the country and particularly at Lira Golf Course grounds in Lira town late last year, Museveni promised Lango pupils and students free sanitary pads.

The promise has never been fulfilled in any school in the country as government through Education and Sports Ministry announced recently that there was no money to make such provision.

Rashid Javed, the Plan International Uganda Country Director says; “Globally the issues affecting girls are beyond belief in terms of marginalization adding that the organization would continue to utilize its rich experience to reach to more communities.”

EC To Implement Supreme Court Recommendations On Organization And Conduct Of Elections

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 13:06
EC To Implement Supreme Court Recommendations On Organization And Conduct Of Elections

The Electoral Commission says it has taken steps to implement the recommendations made last year by the Supreme Court regarding the organisation and conduct of elections in the country.

These recommendations were made in the presidential election petition filed by former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. One of them called for an amendment of the law to extend the 10-day period within which to file a presidential election petition to 60 days.

The Electoral Commission announced its commitment to implementing the recommendations during a national stakeholders’ meeting held in Kampala on Monday.

According to the Electoral Commission Assessment and Evaluation Report of the 2016 general elections indicate that the election was held in accordance with the law but the process was fraught with challenges.

Some of the major challenges that were highlighted in the National Stakeholders Meeting in Kampala included the continuous creation of administrative units, which disrupted the whole exercise of re-organising polling stations. Late enactment and amendment of enabling laws by Parliament was blamed for delaying the EC’s planning process

Many members of the public also perceive the Electoral Commission as being compromised to favour certain candidates or parties

Also, commercialisation of politics, voter apathy which resulted in low voter turnout, and poor payment procedures for field election officials were highlighted as some challenges the Electoral Commission faced.

The Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Justice Simon Byabakama, admitted that some of the mistakes that were made during the election were regrettable, and he added that every effort will be taken to make sure they do not happen again.

Byabakama also said that the Commission has taken measures to ensure that the recommendations made by the Supreme Court in the petition against President Museveni’s re-election are implemented.

However, although the current Electoral Commission has made efforts to right the wrongs of its predecessors, critics are dissatisfied with the constitutional provision that grants the President the power to appoint members of  Electoral Commission.

Building Collapses In Kenyan Capital, 15 Missing

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 12:34
Building Collapses In Kenyan Capital, 15 Missing

About 15 people are missing after a seven-storey building collapsed in a residential area of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, rescue services said on Tuesday, and authorities said they had asked its occupants to leave before it came down.

The incident occurred on Monday night.

Officials said the building’s occupants had been asked to leave once it developed cracks.

“Basically this was a disaster to come. An evacuation was sounded. People evacuated but we might have some people who might have been left behind,” Pius Masai, deputy director of the National Disaster Management Unit, told Reuters at the site of the collapse.

Japheth Koome, Nairobi County police commander, said a specialised team from the Kenya Defence Forces had been called in to help with the rescue operations.

Kenya has seen similar tragedies in the past. A total of 49 people died in the middle of last year when another building collapsed during a heavy, nighttime downpour in a poor neighbourhood.


Promoter Tintah, Singer Nantongo Worryingly Close 

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 12:19
Promoter Tintah, Singer Nantongo Worryingly Close

City music promoter Deogratius Male aka Omusawo Tintah, who is also a renowned radio and TV presenter, is worryingly close to singer Carol Nantongo.

Our Snoops at Metro FM Radio where Tintah works reveal that he is these days spending a lot of time with Nantongo, who sometimes visits him at his workplace.

Nantongo sings with Golden Production but her pals intimate that she prefers doing rehearsals with Tintah instead of doing them with her band members.

Snoops also reveal that apart from visiting him at the Station, Tintah hooked Nantongo after promising to promote her music career and to play her songs on radio.

Currently, we hear that he has even assured Nantongo that she will be one of the key performers at his upcoming event dubbed Omusawo Tintah Experience which is slated for August 19th this year.

Opposition MPs Criticize Budget Allocations

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 11:40
Opposition MPs Criticize Budget Allocations

The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Winnie Kiiza, has criticized the government for the way it allocated funds to different sectors in the budget.

Kiiza was speaking at a news conference with other opposition lawmakers at parliament during which she faulted the government for poor prioritization and neglecting important sectors of the economy.

Government says the Shs29 trillion budget that was passed last week is aimed at developing the country’s infrastructure, energy sector and boosting agriculture production. But the opposition MPs argue that the allocated expenditures exceed the revenue that the government expects to collect.

“Any budget requires the person budgeting to be having a balanced budget. Meaning that the revenue should be equal to the expenditure, which is not the case to the 2017/18 financial budge,” Mrs Kiiza said.

Winnie Kiiza also criticized the government for what she called poorly prioritizing allocations to important sectors like tourism. Butambala County MP, Muwanga Kivumbi, scoffed at the budget saying that almost half of it will be funded by donors.

“We have a government which cannot pay arrears, it cannot pay what people owe them,” Kivumbi said.

The legislators also faulted the government for accumulating a huge debt which they say ultimately affects economic development.

“What Ugandans should know is that government of Uganda can only be able fund 55% of its budget, not 75% as finance minister said. And on that 55% (15.9 trillion), 2.8 trillion is meant to serve debts,” Mrs Kiiza remarked.

URA Increases Fine For Tax Evading Importers To Shs72M

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 10:50
URA Increases Fine For Tax Evading Importers To Shs72M

Two weeks to the end of the current financial year, the Uganda Revenue Authority is in a combative mood, warning importers that they risk higher fines for concealment and under-declaration of goods.

URA is doubling its fine for under-declaration and concealment from $10,000 (Shs36M) to $20,000 (Shs72M), hoping it that this will deal with the increasing instances of the practice, which URA has partly blamed for its revenue shortfall of Shs240.2B this year.

“The maximum penalty is going to be increased to enhance compliancy, so I just want to caution those who like that practice that it can be very dangerous. It can wipe out the capital if it is applied. So make sure you declare correctly,” said Dickson Katushumbwa, Commissioner customs, URA.

URA officials unveiled the new fines as part of a series of new proposals during the URA Annual Budget Breakfast meeting held in Kampala on Monday.

The tax body is pushing for initiatives that will engender better compliance from tax payers as it tries to achieve its set target of Shs15 trillion for the coming financial year.

Rugunda Meets Acholi Leaders Over Apaa Clashes

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 09:58
Rugunda Meets Acholi Leaders Over Apaa Clashes

Political leaders in Acholi sub-region have accused the 1st Deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali, who also doubles  as Adjumani West county MP of fanning the tribal conflict between the Madi and Acholi ethnic groups.

While speaking to Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Kilak South MP, Gilbert Olanya accused Gen. Ali of facilitating the sale of part of the contested Apaa land to a South African Investor called Martin Bruce. After initially trying to skirt around the issues, Olanya accused Moses Ali of stirring up militias from Adjumani to attack the Acholi.

Rugunda, is leading a team of government officials to meet with leaders from both sides of the conflict days after tensions in Apaa boiled over and turned violent leaving three dead and scores injured.

The Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda accompanied  by the Minister for Lands Betty Amongi, the Minister for Disaster Preparedness Hillary Onek and the State Minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda  made his first stop in Gulu where he met the MPs from Acholi at the residence  of the Paramount chief Rwot David Acana II where they presented their concerns.

Also of concern to the Acholi political leaders is that in 2005, government sold part of the land in Apaa to a South African Investor to open a sport hunting business.

The MPs claim that at least 8 people died in the recent clashes in Apaa which have left hundreds displaced on both sides. The leaders blamed police for not acting on time to prevent the killings.

The clashes allegedly broke out over eight days ago and intensified with the killings on Thursday, but the affected communities are yet to receive relief supplies.

The LC5 chairperson of Amuru , Michael Lakony  told the prime minister that discussions to resolve the  land conflict must  involve cultural leaders.

A 2012 report by Makerere University’s refugee law project into the Apaa land cites the ambiguous administrative position of Apaa and claims to whether  the land is a game reserve or customarily owned as other factors causing tension in the area.

The Acholi paramount chief, David Acana II urged  the government to take action against individuals  fuelling the land  conflict.

Cabinet Reshuffle.  M7 Told To Knife Oldies From Cabinet

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 09:45
Cabinet Reshuffle.  M7 Told To Knife Oldies From Cabinet

By Henry Mulindwa

In January this year, President Yoweri Museveni appointed ambassadors but unfortunately, to date, the appointees are still grassing on city streets despite having been vetted by the parliamentary committee on appointments in February.

Similarly, the president is under pressure to realign his cabinet because the current one is not about to deliver the much-desired middle income status as a result of infighting among ministers. Red Pepper interviewed the chairperson of NRM Diaspora league Hajji Abbey Walusimbi on these and other related matters. He said the president has recycled many ministers a lot.


Qn: Who is Hajji Abbey Kigozi Walusimbi?

AW: I am a friendly leader, contributor, unifier and a community key link player for development projects. I have held many global leadership positions and led global initiatives to contribute towards the development of our country Uganda.  When I am not in Uganda, I live in Unites States-California. In NRM party, I am the chairperson of the NRM Diaspora league. I have held this position for some years and I believe it is because members and the party have trust in me that’s why they have kept me there.

Qn: How long have you been in the diaspora and what should Ugandans be proud of you for personally?

AW: I have been there for over 35 years now. My fellow Ugandans are proud of my character and I have helped many at personal level and community levels. Of course I cannot start mentioning their names here but truth remains; I have served my country and community diligently.  Those who know me will tell you that Walusimbi is very helpful and caring.

Qn: How relevant is the NRM diaspora league to the development of our country?

AW: The league has immensely contributed to the literacy levels of the country. We also lobby for productive initiatives abroad and most importantly, building collaboration blocs and partnerships in a positive direction.

Qn: To what extent has the league achieved its mandate not only as a party organ but also as a player in national development?

AW: We have supported returnees from diaspora to contribute to national development. We have also brought on board many global key players to support Uganda’s development. Locally, our plan is to place a formal request to government to set up Diaspora desks in all key government agencies and ministries to help all diaspora community, regardless of their political affiliations. This will motivate them to massively return to Uganda and become practical contributors to the ongoing development of Uganda at large.

Qn: Currently, there is a debate to lift the presidential age-limit to allow NRM chairman Yoweri Museveni to extend his rule. What is your take on this matter and why?

AW: I strongly support it because we still need Museveni’s abilities. My thinking is that his continued leadership will lead to continuity.

Qn: Recently, a member of the first family Odrek Rwabwogo came out and tasked his father in law [President Yoweri Museveni] to think of transition process. Do you think this is the time Museveni should do so?

AW: It’s not a viable time to do so, but consultations on this matter throughout the nation are needed. In every long-term leadership, transition process has to be done carefully and this therefore requires enough time to avoid making mistakes.

Qn: Uganda’s media in the recent past has been filled with gruesome pictures and stories of human rights abuses by some police officers. When such events occur in Uganda, how does this affect your operations while in diaspora?

AW: It is unfortunate that such things have happened but I am sure government has taken necessary steps to rectify those mistakes. I was happy when the president himself came out and condemned those actions because they are unnecessary and only serve to taint our image as Ugandans. When such things occur, our friends world over, view us as people who are ruthless and do not value life. Politically, those actions increase hate for government and NRM party not only locally but also internationally.

Qn. We are aware you the Diaspora league is organizing an Investment and Wealth Creation summit due next month in London. What is it about and what should we expect back home?

AW: The Diaspora is more determined today than ever before to implement the manifesto commitments of the NRM Wealth creation program. In that regard, this event is basically going to showcase Uganda’s investment and trade potential. It is going to draw participants from various organizations and government agencies ranging from the Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda Investment Authority, KCCA, Tourist Board, Uganda Farmers Association, Uganda Land Board, NGOs, The Electoral Commission, The Inspectorate of Government, The Directorate of Immigration and Passport control, and other agencies including but not limited to law enforcement, all designed to show case for the invaluable services they offer in Uganda and towards wealth creation. In that line, we want to attract investors from across the globe.

Qn. Why do you think government continues up to now to struggle to get investors? What is the problem?

AW: The main problem is lack of effective follow-ups and better relationship building. I can assure you there is lack of mutual respect from Ugandan side.

Qn. How would you advise the president to solve this problem so that investors can come to Uganda?

 AW: He needs to connect them to genuine, effective and professional investment team members to work out sensible and mutually beneficial investment plans.

Qn. What do you think is the main challenge facing NRM?

AW: The party lacks effective and active structures. Even its operational systems are unclear and therefore a big challenge.

Qn. What should president Museveni do to solve this crisis?

Ans. The president needs to summon a meeting of all key national NRM leaders and lay out plans to streamline structures.

Qn. The president set 2020 as a deadline for Ugandans to achieve a middle income status. We are now three years away to reach that deadline. How would you rate government’s performance so far in this regard?

AW: Well, there is ongoing positive progress but I think more concerted effort is needed.

Qn. The process to reshuffle ministers is underway. There are voices in NRM to the president to fire 60% of the current cabinet because they have allegedly failed in their work. What is your view and why?

Ans. My view is that many of the ministers have been recycled many times. Though this may not be bad, but we need people who are energetic and scandal-free. When some people over stay in certain positions, there is a tendency by those people not to listen thinking they are untouchables. Any yet, people want services. I am sure the president will look out for best individuals in appointing his new team.

Qn. The budget is out. Do you think it answers questions affecting the local person in Bulemeezi?

AW: My main concern was on agriculture and I believe the resources allocated to it will help improve on this sector. But we need to put more resources to it.

Qn. Uganda is facing a problem of unemployment especially among youths. What should be done?

AW. What must be done is to retrain/retool the youth and also encourage entrepreneurial spirit amongst them. All our efforts must focus on having a skilled young generation capable of creating and sustaining its own jobs than looking for them. I am happy the president last week launched a presidential initiative on Skilling the Girl-Child. It is such efforts that are needed if we are to reduce on idleness among youths and crime rate.

Qn. The NRM secretariat where you also sit while in Uganda is full of fights among its top leaders. Even in your diaspora league leadership, you are fighting. What is the cause of all this and what should be done?

AW. I will not talk about the cause but as a matter of principle; we urgently need to have a round table discussion to amicably resolve all the pending issues.

Qn: In January, the President appointed new Ambassadors. However, they have up to now not gone to their duty stations. How has this affected you people in Diaspora?

AW. Of course, the embassies are there and are doing their work but as you know, there are some individuals especially investors who feel comfortable dealing directly with the ambassador than officials working there. In a way, the delay to deploy them affects the country’s investment opportunities and collaboration. However, the Diaspora community is very patient and diplomatic; we shall wait for the right time of commencements of their operation.

Kadaga Urges Gov’t To Promote Gender Responsive Budgeting Practices

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 08:58
Kadaga Urges Gov’t To Promote Gender Responsive Budgeting Practices

The Speaker of Parliament has urged the government to scale up its efforts to ensure that gender responsive budgeting practices are upheld by all departments and agencies.

Rebecca Kadaga, who was speaking at the launch of the Gender and Equity Capacity development plan by the Equal Opportunities Commission in Kampala, says that the requirement for gender responsiveness, which is mandatory, is not being implemented satisfactorily.  Kadaga says most government policies and plans still fall below the required mandate.

Currently, the Public Finance Management Act mandates all government ministries, departments and agencies to have a certificate of equal opportunity responsiveness before any funds can be allocated or plans are passed.

This requires the ministries, departments and agencies to show how their plans are enabling gender inclusiveness and equity balance. But many ministries are still performing dismally.

In order to address these issues, the Equal Opportunities Commission have launched the 5 year Capacity Development Plan to change what they say are negative attitudes towards gender and equity in the country.

UNFFE To Adress Climate Change For Sustainable Agriculture

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 08:51
UNFFE To Adress Climate Change For Sustainable Agriculture

Over the last 15 years, the world has and continues to become warmer, the main cause being human activity.It is evident that farmers in Uganda are on the ‘lee ward side’ of this climate change, a problem that is not just about to fade and sadly, we are yet to experience worse if we do nothing about it.

Uganda’s economy almost entirely depends on Agriculture that is predominantly fuelled by the natural resources such as the water bodies, naturally fertile soils, and seasonal rainfall. If we reduced these natural resources by half, we would all starve to death. Our farmers lack skills, technical support, financial and government support. It is unwise to advise farmers to irrigate their crops using plastic ware yet the government can for example carefully draw water from Lake Victoria, Albert and the rest and extend it to the different parts of the country in a large modern Irrigation system.

Besides, little attention has been paid to the emergencies for example the animal ticks which continue to kill livestock.The market has intensified the woes of the farmers. It is simply a shelf of fake implements, inputs and acaricides and the responsible bodies have kept a deaf ear to the pleas of the small farmers and are not penalizing these traders.

The Uganda National Farmers’ Federation (UNFFE) will be addressing this issue on their 25th annual National Agricultural show in Jinja next month under the theme, Managing the challenges of Climate Change for Sustainable Agriculture. It will be a platform for displaying and identifying innovations made by local and foreign companies and farmers. The farmers will also have an opportunity to interact with the policy makers and learn a lot from each other.

While addressing the press in Nakasero recently, Charles Ogwang- the President of UNFFE explained that this year, the organization focuses on how to manage the challenges of climate change bearing in mind how the effects of this climate change continue to negatively affect the farmers especially the majority small holder farmers.

A very high turn up of show goers is expected because there will be a lot to their reception including; they will be treated to a wide range of agricultural products and services.  Special trainings on Post-Harvest handling, water harvesting and irrigation, poultry, piggery, fish farming, dairy farming, marketing, ICT and more will be conducted by experts from NAADS, UNFFE, NARO and external consultants. An open platform to learn current technologies of production in different agricultural value chains will be availed. Establishment of linkages with public and private entities that promote agri business and most importantly, there will be potential market for all agricultural products.

Ogwang further confirmedthe attendance of Government ministries, departments and Institutions like OWC/NAADS, agro-chemicals, feeds and seeds companies, Research Institutions like NARO, ILRI and Universities, financial service providers and Heavy machinery stands like JOHN DEREE and CAMCO.  Experts and participants from outside countries of Brazil, Kenya and Tanzania have confirmed attendance. All operations are being funded by aBi TRUST

The Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE) is the largest Non-Governmental Farmer Organisation in Uganda. It was founded in January 1992 as Uganda national Farmers Association (UNFA) and turned into a Federation in 2002. UNFFE is non-religious and non-political. It is for all Ugandan farmers.


Arrest All Tricycle Riders Doing Commercial Passenger Business – Kamya Directs Police

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 18:22
Arrest All Tricycle Riders Doing Commercial Passenger Business – Kamya Directs Police

The Minister for Kampala Hon. Betty Namisango Kamya has directed traffic police to arrest all tricycle riders commonly known as Tuktuk that will be found involving in commercial passenger business.

Addressing media today at her office, the minister said Tuku tuku’s are not licensed to carry passengers but are only licensed to operate in industrial areas to carry goods.

“These Tuktuk bodas are not meant for commercial passenger business, police should arrest and tuktuk rider found carrying passengers,” Kamya said.

Tuktuk drivers have on several occasions crushed with other transporters especially taxi Drivers in fight for passengers.

Meanwhile, the minister has also tasked police in one week to give her a report on the various violence that have been going on between taxi Drivers and the real master minders to see if they have been brought to book.

NRM’s Annet Nyakecho Reinstated as MP for Tororo North County

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 17:47
NRM’s Annet Nyakecho Reinstated as MP for Tororo North County

The Court of Appeal has re-instated NRM’s Annet Nyakecho as the validly elected MP for Tororo North Constituency.

Nyakecho was re-instated after 3 justices; Deputy  Chief Justice  Steven Kavuma, Paul Mugamba and Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, allowed Nyakecho’s  appeal against the decision of Mbale High Court which had nullified her election on grounds that the said election was not conducted in compliance with electoral laws.

The justices in their unanimous ruling read by the Deputy Registrar Deo  Nzeyimana said the results in the two contentious polling stations that were not included did not affect the result of the election in any substantial manner as her rival Geoffrey Ekanya had alleged.

The justices  overturned the High Court decision for  the Electoral Commission  to conduct a by-election and instead confirmed Nyakecho as the Tororo North Constituency MP but ordered that each party bears its own costs.

After the ruling, Nyakecho said “It has not been easy, but I thank God finally justice has been done.”

Kenya Foils Terror Attack Planned by Somali Militants

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 13:18
Kenya Foils Terror Attack Planned by Somali Militants

Kenya has seized six men suspected of planning an attack sponsored by the al Shabaab militant group from neighbouring Somalia, the head of Kenyan police said late on Sunday.

In recent weeks, the East African nation has lost 20 officers in various attacks, mostly on deserted roads in the vast northern region bordering Somalia, in which the militants used Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

Joseph Boinnet, the inspector general of the police, said in a statement that two of the suspects were Kenyans and the others were Somali nationals. Police also seized assembled explosives, four suicide vests and bomb-making materials such as TNT.

“The six had been dispatched from Burhanche in Somalia by their commanders to launch attacks in Kenya,” Boinnet said.

Kenyan security forces worked with their counterparts in Somalia to foil the attack and to capture the suspects. The captured men were being interrogated to establish the extent of the entire network, Boinnet said.

Kenya has faced a constant security challenge from across the border ever since it sent its troops into Somalia in late 2011, to help defeat the al Shabaab militants and restore order.


Eleven Dead, Hundreds Escape In Congo Jail Attack

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 13:04
Eleven Dead, Hundreds Escape In Congo Jail Attack

At least 11 people were killed and 930 prisoners escaped on Sunday when unidentified assailants stormed a jail in Democratic Republic of Congo’s northeastern town of Beni, the provincial governor said.

The attack is at least the fourth prison break in Congo in the last month and underscores how insecurity has grown since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down at the end of his mandate last December.

North Kivu province’s governor, Julien Paluku, said in a statement that the assailants had used heavy weapons, killing eight prison guards.

“Only the army and the police have the right to circulate to bring under control the enemy, who started to flee at 3:30 p.m. (1330 GMT),” Paluku said. About 30 prisoners remain inside the facility and a curfew is now in place in Beni and surrounding areas, he added.

Teddy Kataliko, a local activist, said it was not yet clear who had carried out the attack because many self-defence militias, known as Mai-Mai groups, operate around Beni.

About 4,000 inmates escaped the capital Kinshasa’s main high-security prison last month after an attack blamed on a separatist sect, and at least three more escaped from another jail in Kinshasa on Saturday, the police said.