Rakai school fire suspects 8 arrested.

By Alice Lubwama
Government has confirmed that eight people suspected to have caused the fire at St. Bernard secondary school have so far been arrested. On Sunday evening fire caught a senior three dormitory at St. Bernard secondary school in Rakai district leaving nine students dead while others injured.

Giving a statement on the fire that gutted the school  The state  minister for higher education John Chrystom Muyingo said that nine students have lost their lives (Update: 11 now confirmed dead) while nine students sustained injuries and receiving treatment at Manya , Kalisizo and Kitovu.

Muyingo also says that government  has given to given financial contributions to the families of the students of the children that were affected in the fire to assist them in paying medical bill and making burial arrangements.

Muyingo also says that they would like schools to equip their institutions with fire extinguishers and also equip them with techniques on how to combat fire.

However a number  of MPs mainly from the central region  are bitter why government had failed to bring out a report on the so many schools that have been burnt and students loosing lives.

Rakai woman Mp Juliet Kinyamata and Robinah Sentongo Kyotera woman MP said that they need a report to know the people behind these acts. ‘Don’t make us suspect that there are big people in government behind the fires, many schools have been burnt but no one is coming out to give a report. What is intelligence doing – she stated.

Uganda’s Parliamentary committee scrutiny for the defunct banks kick starts

The parliamentary committee on commissions, statutory authorities and state enterprises has today started scrutinizing  the closure of the  defunct banks by questioning the criteria which was used to close Teefe bank.

The committee chaired by bugweri county mp Abdul katuntu quizzed the officials of the central bank headed by the governor Tumusime Mutebile on how they could close this bank without knowing its liability and assets.

The auditor general in his report noted that some of the documentation of Teefe trust bank where denied to his office. The committee now discovers that this bank was closed without an inventory report, However bank of Uganda’s  deputy governor Louis Kasekende in response said that the law by then did not require them to fill an inventory

“ The nature of documents required at that time did not include the inventory so we don’t have that inventory as of now.’’ `It is true that the Financial Institution statute specifically provides for it, but any institution that is acting prudently if you’re taking over a bank, you can’t move in an institution take it over without documenting what you’re taking over, Katuntu replied

The meeting has now been adjourned to Thursday this week to allow BOU reorganize itself and Provide to the committee the list of assets and liabilities that were taken over by the central bank at the time of dissolving the bank.

A special audit on the closure of Teefe Trust Bank and six others commercial banks by the central bank  was ordered  by the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) in November 2017.

The  committee ordered for  the  auditor after  discovering  that Bank of Uganda  had not  provided the liquidation agent and period for Teefe Trust Bank since it was closed 25 years ago, despite the BOU liquidating  the assets of the bank.

Teefe trust bank was closed in 1993, by the central bank as it was deemed bankrupt. The  special audit report of the Auditor General queried the mistakes  in the closure of Teefe Bank , International Credit Bank Ltd Greenland Bank ,  Co-operative Bank , National Bank of Commerce ), Global Trust Bank (2014) and recently Crane Bank Ltd.

The auditor also observed that there were no guidelines in place to guide the identification of the purchases of the defunct banks.

New report indicates Ugandan businessmen are not benefiting from Government incentives

By Alice Lubwama

The recent Top 100 survey has revealed that 67% of Uganda’s gross domestic product comes from Kampala. While releasing finding from this year’s survey, Dr Fred Muhumuza a renowned economist said that most of the businesses are done in Kampala leaving other areas undeveloped.

The survey also shows that a number of Ugandans now own businesses although a number of them depend on bank loans to operate and grow.

Dr Muhumuza advised the small business men to reach out to others who have existed for some years to get ideas on how sustain their business and grow them.

The research has also indicated that many of business people are worried of unstable interest and government policies as unfavorable which are reducing business confidence in people.

On Government incentives; a number of business people say they are not benefiting from the incentives given by Government, although Dr Muhumuza notes that some incentives are not direct and the business
community could be getting them when they are not aware.

The research further shows that many business people are becoming professional and more are constituting boards as well as hiring professional workers.

Cooperate governance is governance is very key in business; business people should have board members who can give ideas to grow their businesses. Muhumuza said.

The report also highlights business challenges that are facing SMEs such as high taxes, high costs of production, competition from sub-standard goods, unstable economy, high foreign exchange rates, limited access to credit, among other things.

The survey aims to identify Uganda’s fastest growing Medium Sized companies in order to showcase business excellence and highlight some of the country’s most successful entrepreneurship stories. SMEs are
celebrated contributors to wealth and job creation in Uganda.

Katamba named new DFCU boss

By Gloria Nakiyimba
Mathias Katamba will be taking over the leadership of  DFCU bank in January 2019 and will be taking over from  Chief Executive officer Juma Kasame . After eleven illustrious years  Juma Kasame is finally bowing out as Chief Executive Office  at the second largest Bank in Uganda,
“Mr. Juma Kisaame will be leaving DFCU in the first quarter of 2019 on retirement and will be succeeded by Mr. Mathias Katamba. “Mr Katamba will take over the leadership role at dfcu Bank as CEO starting from January 2, 2019.” said board chairman Jimmy Mugerwa.
He says Mr.  Kisaame has  played a pivotal  role in assisting dfcu Limited, the holding company, realign the shareholding that brought on board strategic partners like Arise Investments BV that include Rabobank, Norfund ) and FMO.
According to Chairman Mugerwa, Kisaeme  also led the most successful acquisitions in the banking industry in Uganda when the Bank acquired some assets and took over some liabilities of Global Trust (U) Ltd Bank (In liquidation) in 2014 and later in 2017 acquired some assets and assumed some liabilities of Crane Bank Limited .
During his tenure as CEO  Kisaame  increased shareholders value,  saw DFCU Bank rise to become the second largest bank in the country; resulting in three-fold balance sheet growth to over three trillion Uganda shillings, a customer base of close to one million and a network of 65 branches. The incoming new CEO  Katamba,  has  more than fifteen) years’ experience in the Finance & Banking sector.
“We look forward to his taking the helm at DFCU and believe he is well placed to continue the progress of the bank, building on the successes of his predecessor to the benefit of all stakeholders, contributing to the very important business sector in which DFCU operates and to the growth of the Uganda economy as a whole,”  Mugerwa noted.
Mr. Katamba  also has expertise in Strategic Management & Investor relations, Retail Banking and strong business intelligence. He has been working Housing Finance bank.
He holds an M.Sc. in Financial Management from the University of London, has also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Education at Harvard University and the Advanced Leadership Program

New Barclays accounts come with hospital cover

By Deo Wasswa

Barclays bank Uganda has introduced a new innovative product dubbed, Access plus account which has been developed in line with the bank’s a gender for financial inclusion.

The account is a game changer and comes with a number of amazing benefits including hospital cash cover of up to Uganda shilling 900.000 with a maxim of Uganda shillings 30,000 per day and monthly cash back on every  Uganda shillings  50.000 purchase. To open this nature of account, one needs a national identity card, passport photo and no minimum deposit is required..

‘’ A customer on the Barclays access plus account has access to hospital cash with our partners prudential assurance and what happens when a customer is hospitalized we will pay 30.000 shillings each day the customer spends in the hospital up to 900.000 shillings’’ said by Gunilla Ouko, the head of customer network at Barclays   bank during the official launch of the Access plus account at Wandegeya Market.

Gunilla reiterated Barclays’ commitment to invest in innovative services and products as part of its firm quest to continuously tap into the ‘unbanked’ population.

‘’ As a bank it is our obligation to always listen to what the market is saying and adjust accordingly, and this is what guides our innovations, we are in the business of offering our customers the best financial solution and whatever that may be, we shall always strive to have it covered’’,  Gunilla added.

The other benefit of the access plus account is that when you open it, it comes with a debit card and and this can do many things such as using it for shopping and get rewarded with a cash back of 0.5% Uganda shillings.

A 2013 report by Finscope returned glowing figures in regard to state of financial inclusion in the country.

The survey revealed that 54% of the country’s adult population had access to bank and non banking financial services institution, compared to only 28% in 2009.

On 26 October 2017, the Uganda government launched the national financial inclusion strategy 2017-2022  entails that “all Ugandans have access to, and use of, a broad range of quality and affordable financial services which helps ensure their financial security”.

Uganda’s NFIS is based on five key pillars that address both demand and supply side barriers to financial inclusion, with critical gaps identified under each strategic pillar. These pillars include: reducing financial exclusion and barriers to access financial services; developing the credit infrastructure for growth; building the digital infrastructure for efficiency; deepening and broadening formal savings, investment and insurance usage; and protecting and empowering individuals with enhanced financial capability.

Entrepreneurs urged to start small

Up coming entrepreneurs have been advised to start  with small capital if they are to see their businesses grow without incurring huge losses.

While speaking  to small scale business  community in Kampala on Thursday, the managing director  hard world Simon Ssekankya, said that many of the businesses set up today are not living to see their third birthdays because many are ambitious to turn big without first studying their businesses.

Ssekankya who resigned his job as banker in 2004 ,said he started his business with 1million shilling as kiosk I at Kalerwe a suburb in Kampala but it has now grown into millions of shillings.

He now asks those who need to start business to identify a suitable product before they look for finances and always look at the money got from the sells as not their own but for supplies.

Senkagya noted that what has made him to succeed is being honest, patient and hard working.

The forum was running under the theme “the journey of a Ugandan entrepreneur.”

Current statistics show that most of the small scale businesses in Uganda do not leave to see their third birthdays.

MTN celebrates 20years in Uganda, promises to improve data services

 By Daudi Zirimala

Giant telecom MTN Uganda has announced a six month-long celebrations campaign to mark 20 years on operations in Uganda under the theme celebrating the past, inspiring the future.

Speaking at the launch of the activities the MTN CEO Wim Vanhellepute said that this month of October MTN will be marking 20 years with an expo at Kololo independence grounds showcasing its  journey  in Uganda; where they started and will also be heavy on displaying new technologies on the market.

He said that in the past 20 years, the company has got 11 million customers and invested One billion US dollars to build a strong network that covers 96% of the Uganda’s population.

The main focus of MTN Uganda in the next ten years is to improve on the mobile data services as well as creating a cashless economy through improving mobile money services  across the country says,MTN CEO Wim Vanhellepute.

Energy minister promises reduction of power tariffs

BY Moses Kidandi

The Government has asked members of the public to embrace the use of renewable energy as a means of having efficient cheap and clean energy for both commercial and domestic use.

The minister of Energy and mineral development Irene Muloni made the remarks as she launched the energy week on Tuesday afternoon at the UMA parking grounds in Lugogo.

The energy week that is supported by USAID through power Africa is meant to increase public awareness in the use of Uganda’s energy and mineral resources in a bid to promote the private sector involvement in the development of the energy and minerals sector.

Power Africa through the Uganda Solar Energy association has enabled the public to access manageable solar irrigation systems that will improve livelihoods and increased food production by using cheap energy for production.

In her speech,the minister announced that the Government has decided to promote free connection of new electricity users so as to have more people accessing electricity.

she promised that power tariffs will  be cheaper after the loan was re negotiated  that has led to a drop from 13.8 US cents to 7.9 US cents.

Activities that kicked off today under the theme “transforming Uganda’s energy sector through integrated innovation,investment and integration for future sustainability” will ran from today 25th to Saturday 29th.

City oil rewards motorists with UGX 60M worth of school fees

By Daudi Zirimala

Over 50 motorists have won schools fees for their children in a promotion run by City oil dubbed City oil Enoc back to school intended to give back to their customers.

Speaking at the grand finale of the promotion, the City oil Technical Manager Eng Richard Wandawa said that, 34 winners have got termly fees and the rest got annual fees.

He said that they have invested  60 million shillings to enable motorists and taxi operators to send their children back to school comfortably.

Standard chartered bank gives UGX450M to improve financial literacy

By Moses Kidandi
The Government has invested over three hundred and fifty billion shillings to towards youth empowerment across the country.The money channeled through the Banks will benefit  nine thousand youth this year.
The ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development Janet Mukwaya said that the government is investing more in house holds to enable the both the youth and families get out of poverty.
At a function organized by Standard Chartered Bank,Chief Executive officer of the bank handed over a cheque 420million to help with financial literacy and girl empowerment project.
The girl child empowerment fund is meant to help young girls become economically independent through the provision of Business start up kits and entrepreneurship skills.

The empowerment programme that started in 2017 has so far benefited over 250 girls across the country.

Goal is a spot for development programme that provides financial literacy and life skills training to adolescent girls.