Minet Launches Uganda Operations

By Edwin Muhumuza

Minet, formerly AON, has launched operations in Uganda.

Strategically its risk, reinsurance and human resources advisory operation is the beginning of a new push to increase insurance penetration in the corporate sector.

Group CEO, Joe Onsando notes that at the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008,regulations in the west and the US affected AON’s operations in Africa, and so in order to keep footprint in Africa, Aon opted for a correspondent agreement with Minet.

In February , AON Plc announced its decision to change the ownership structure of its operations across 10 sub Saharan countries including Uganda, converting what were once owned entities into Aon’s largest global correspondent network.

Minet , will on its new expedition in Uganda focus on research on risk and emerging risk, with the ability to tap on the expertise of Aon colleagues. Mr.Onsando , in regard to the nascent oil sector, has revealed that early risk was done by Aon in oil exploration and still remains, including bench-marking risk a across the globe in regard to transfer, pricing and re-insurance.

Among the drivers for there decision is that local companies are growing across Africa, a growing middle class and more people are buying assets.

On insurance penetration which is very low in Uganda, CEO,Maurice Amogola attributes the challenge to poor packaging of insurance messages, which he say will now be solved through digital distribution strategies.

Meantime, Capital Works,an African Investor has opted to partner with Minet on its new endeavor. In the near future, the company is expected to expand into Angola, Mozambique, Swaziland and Tanzania.

Uganda’s community of the deaf “We have been ignored by government.”

By Edwin Muhumuza

Uganda’s community of the deaf have raised concern following the lack of access to health information including HIV/AIDS. This after a survey revealed that HIV prevalence among them stood at 1.9% and is rising. They have also lashed at the ministry of health demanding for health awareness information in sign language across all health centers and communication media.

The Persons with hearing impairments accuse the ministry of neglecting them in regard to awareness on HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.Their remarks following a survey that indicates that only 58.3% have ever known about the viral infections and majority die without ever knowing they were infected.

According to the Ministry Of Health, Commissioner in charge of Disease Control, Dr. Patrick Tusiime , he agrees that government has concentrated on treatment and focused less on prevention of HIV. There  are over 1million deaf people in Uganda and 1% are living with HIV. The Crane survey 2017 was conducted among groups at increased risk for HIV in Kampala.

UCE examination leakage started in Iganga says UNEB boss

The recent leakage of Uganda Certificate of Examination (UCE) papers has been traced to Iganga district. The confirmation comes a week after media reports indicating that examination papers were circulating on social media long before they were done by the candidates.

UNEB Executive Secretary Dan Odongo says preliminary investigations have traced the leakage to storage station in Busesa. He adds that the area supervisor and scouts have since been arrested to aid investigations into the matter.

“The scout sent to guard the exam confessed that he was paid 1 million Shillings to give his keys to perpetrators of the fraud,” Odong told journalists in Kampala today.

According to Odongo, over 26 people from various districts have so far been arrested in relation to the examination leakage. Of the arrested; five were from Entebbe, five from Rwizi, four from Rwenzori west region, two from Serere, one from Amuria, nine from Kampala and one from Iganga.

They include private school teachers, a student, a director of a private school and bursar of a government school among others.

Odongo says the involvement of teachers is an “indictment of teachers who have made education a business.” He however adds that UNEB was still pondering the next course of action.

“Our scouts from other parts of the country have told us that examinations in their areas were going on well and were not affected by news of the examination leaks.”

“Until the impact is established, we shall not know what appropriate measure to take to handle the after effect of the exam. So for now we do not know whether we shall cancel the exam or reduce or increase the pass mark. We shall only know what to do after we establish what can be done.”

 

 

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Government to spend about US $ 6 billion on nuclear power plant

By Waswa Deo

Uganda government will spend close to US $ 6 billion to construct a Nuclear power plant to generate extra power for industrial use both local and multi- national.

Sarah Nafuna Mudoko, Head of Nuclear Energy Unit in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has noted that the studies to construct this power plant are done and the first nuclear plant will be ready by 2031 with capacity of 1000 Megawatts and the second power plant will be ready before 2040.

According to Nafuna, the studies have recommended that this first nuclear power plant will be stationed around Lake Kyoga , and future stations will be constructed in Mubende, Lamwo and Kiruhura.

‘’We selected these areas, because they are safe for both, the plant and people. The nuclear power plant always stationed in areas that are free from earth quakes, areas with no valleys and most especially areas with enough water which could help in cooling’’.  Mudoko added.

The construction will kick off in 2022 with help of companies from Russia and China.

The ministry is currently working on policy and laws that will regulate and guide the establishment and use of the nuclear energy in the country.

Over 300 million Uganda shillings will be needed for each person who interested in going abroad to study and acquire more knowledge of working in the nuclear energy stations.

Mudoko, told us that over 50 people will be required to go abroad to obtain knowledge about nuclear energy to ensure that by time of construction, Uganda will be having engineers who can offer their services.

 

Top police officers charged with kidnap

By Gloria Nakiyimba
Seven senior police officers have been charged with kidnap of two Rwandese Nationals and being in possession of firearms and grenades.  Former commander of police special operations  Nickson Agasirwe,  Head of law enforcement professional standards unit Joel Aguma, commander of flying squad Abel Tumukunde, Kampala metropolitan police ASP James Magada,  Amon Kwarisima,  Benon Atwebembeire  and Faisal Katende  are charged  with kidnapping  Joel Mutabazi and Jackson Kalemeera .
They are jointly charged with two Rwandese nationals; Rene  Rutangugira and Bahati Mugenga Pacifique.
They appeared before a panel of seven members of the general military court martial chaired by Lt. General Andrew Gutii but refused to take plea to the charge.
Their lawyer Caleb Alaka is objecting to the charges and the jurisdiction of the General Court Martial.
Alaka is contending that his clients cannot take plea on a defective charge sheet
Prosecution  led by Maj. Rapheal Mugisha  states  that while the accused were in unlawful possession of firearms and grenades which are a preserve of only the UPDF,   conveyed Mutabazi to Rwanda without his onsent .
They committed the offense on the 25th October 2013 at Kamengo in Mpigi district.
The three senior police officer have been remanded to Makindye mitary cells while the other six suspects have been remanded to Luzira prison until the 20th of November 2017

Gulu University vice chancellor quizzed by the land commission

By Sania Babirye

The current Gulu university Secretary Moses Bukenya Seguya has asked the  commission of Inquiry into land matters to summon the Gulu university vice chancellor to  explain why the university breached the contract to gazette the Gulu central forest reserve.

Bukenya who denied any involvement made the call after the land commission headed by justice Catherine Bamugemeire tasked him to explain why the university went ahead and constructed permanent structures on the 28 hectares that it had aquired from NFA in December 2006 to construct a single non permanent structure.

According to the license, the university was meant to construct a temporary faculty of Medicine, but it went a head to construct permanent buildings including a green park holdings ltd a private hostel owned by George Otto, Ambrose  Otto and Martin Oyat.

The commission says such private partnerships like the hostel which is housing government sponsored students has led to government  to lose billions  of shillings through illegal transactions since they were funded by the African Development bank yet government continues to pay the hostel owners for housing the government students  .

The commission has also discovered that the university put other permanent structures including lecture blocks, Engineering department offices, library and a multi functional research laboratory among others.

However in his defense,  Bukenya who assumed office in October 2016, told  the commission that the University council which the vice chancellor is a member of  would be in best position to explain the illegal projects on the forest reserve because it was responsible for over  seeing the applicability of the land.

He confirmed to the commission that although the university was paying  money to NFA, the vice chancellor wrote a letter directing to stop any payment to NFA.

Justice Bamugemeire has now ordered the university council  with immediate effect to adress the encroachment on the forest reserve  and to also  reverse their MOU with green park holdings so that government does not continue losing tax payers money to green park holdings when its  benefiting from the land rented to it by the university .

Justice Bamugemeire says the university must put a lease on green park holdings so that it can recover the said land after a certain period of time which will save government from losing billions of shillings in tax payers money.

Sheikh Yunus Kamoga applies for bail siting old age and deteriorating health

By Sania Babirye

The convicted and jailed  Tabliq sect leader Sheikh Yunus Kamoga has applied  for bail  before the Court of Appeal.

The bail application comes  after Kamoga challenged both his terrorism conviction and life time imprisonment that was handed to  him by the international crimes division of the high court in July this year.

Through his lawyers of Muwema and company advocates, Kamoga says he is of advanced  age of more than 60 years and has several ailments including Ulcers and High blood pressure making his health  not suitable for prison  conditions.

In July this year, three justices of the international crimes division of the high court led by justice Eziekel Muhanguzi sentenced Kamoga and 5 others to life imprisonment and 30 years in Luzira prison after convicting each of them of verbal terrorism.

The group was however acquitted of murdering rival sheikhs Mustapha Bahiga and Hassan Kirya due to lack of evidence.

The group has since then challenged both their convictions and sentences in the court of appeal saying they were harsh and excessive .

Kamoga’s bail application however comes at a time when state prosecutors under the DPP resumed their strike over poor pay and poor working conditions.

Residents discover another body of Sironko mudslide victim

Residents have recovered the remains of 16-year-old Sam Wayanga, one of the Sironko mudslide victims more than a month after the incident. Residents recovered Wayanga’s decomposing body from the scene of the mudslides on Monday.
Wayanga is a former primary five pupil of Bufupa primary school in Bufupa parish in Masaba Sub County in Sironko district. His father, Peter Nangoli told URN that they have been searching for his son’s remains since they were buried by the mudslides in August this year.
“I thank God we have finally recovered the body of my son and given him a decent burial,” he said.  The deceased’s remains were buried at his father’s home in Lusave village in Bufupa parish on Monday evening. The recovery of Wayanga’s body brings to two, the number of bodies recovered from the mudslides site.
At least nine people were reported missing following the mudslides, which claimed one person and displaced hundreds of others.  The body of Namono, also a pupil at Bufupa primary school was recovered on September 18th, 2017. Eunice Nandudu Maku, the Masaba Sub County Female Councilor, says Wamanga’s body was recovered with the help of dogs, which led them to where it was found.
She says residents dug through the rubble with machetes and hoes to retrieve the body. “The mudslide scene is too smelly, Residents found dog eating Wayanga’s remains,” she said. Nandudu expressed disappointment that Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA withdrew the excavator that was deployed to retrieve the remains of the mudslide victims.
Alex Bunga, the Masaba Sub county LC V councilor wants government to resume the search for the remains of the other missing persons. Bunga says there is high hope of recovering the remains of the other mudslide victims but they lack the necessary tools.
He says residents have been trying to retrieve one of the bodies, which is trapped in the rubble since last month in vain because they are using rudimentary tools. Bunga is disappointed that government abandoned the mudslide victims and left them on their own to search for their missing relatives.
Joshua Namuuni, the Salanje Village LC I Chairperson, says they are trying within their limited means to find the bodies of the remaining missing persons. Herbert Mulekwa, the Sironko LC V chairman, says they need excavators to search for the missing persons because the mudslide scene is full of rocks.
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Byandala has a case to answer says Anti-corruption court

By Sania Babirye

Anti corruption court Justice Lawrence Gidudu has ruled that the former works minister Abraham Byandala and his six  co accused have a case to answer in the Mukono- Katosi road saga in which government lost over 24.7 billion shillings in shoddy upgrade work.

According to  Justice Gidudu, the Inspector General of Government Irene Mulyagonja proved a pr-mafacie case against the accused after presenting 23 witness.

Justice Gidudu has explained that Byandala and others authored documents and that they must individually explain why the authored them,  including the now minister without portfolio explaining to the tax payers why he did not take due diligence before signing off the  contract to a fake company costing the nation billions of shillings.

The IGG thorough her attorney Sarah Birungi charged Byandala  with Abuse of office , causing government a financial loss and disobedience of  her orders to stop the works on the Mukono-katosi -Nyenga road.

She accuses the former works Minister to have defied the order and instead influenced  the procurement process  and proceeded  to sign  the contract to an incompetent company  ETAW.

In his written submission, Byandala had claimed that he had the mandate  to give policy directives as a minister however Justice Gidudu has ruled that Byandala must explain whether  in his policy directive, it involved  directing UNRA to sign a contract to a ghost company.

Byandala’s co accused include the former Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) officials Berunado Ssebbugga, Joe Ssemugooma, Wilberforce Senjako and Marvin Baryaruha.

These are  charged with Abuse of office and negligence of their official duties resulting into the loss and must explain to whom they paid the  money to construct the road since EUTAW has never been seen at the site .

Others include  city businessman Apolo Senkeeto who has been ordered to defend himself against  allegations of theft and obtaining the contentious 24.7 billion  shillings  by falsely representing himself as the president of ETAW -Uganda, the ghost   company.

The last suspect is Isaac Mugote of   Housing Finance Bank who has been ordered to explain why he failed to verify the securities presented by ETAW before releasing out the money which  securities would have been a fall back position to government after investigations revealed that the company is non-existent.

However Byandala and his co accused maintained their innocence and had asked court to find a case of no answer against them on grounds that prosecution had not adduced  sufficient evidence to warrant their defense .

The accused are facing  24 counts of abuse of office,disobedience of lawful orders,influence and peddling,obtaining money by false pretense and embezzlement among others.

According to the IGG,on the 14th of  November  2013  Byandala ordered the signing of a contract between UNRA and Etawu, a construction company before due date for construction and upgrading of the road leading to the loss of  24.7  billion shillings to a company that was not qualified.

Former KCC employee sues KCCA boss over unpaid salary

By Sania Babirye
The   executive Director of Kampala Capital  City Authority( KCCA)Jennifer Musisi has been summoned by the high court in Kampala on allegations of illegally terminating an employee without paying his 1.9 nillion shillings in  emoluments in 2012.
According to  documents before court Musisi is being sued by a one Patrick Kisoke  a former clerical clerk with the dissolved  KCC.
Kisoke claims that he worked as the Kampala City Council clerical  clerk from 1999 until July 2012 when his services were terminated  by  Kampala Capital City Authority on grounds that his office had been abolished by the new statute.
Kisoke  however is alleging that his termination was irregular because his letter was backdated to read that the defunct  KCC had retired him and therefore he is a stranger to KCCA  yet in actual sense he is sure that the office of the clerical clerk is still in existence.
Kisoke is now accusing the Executive Director of having a personal grudge against him to the extent of even refusing to instruct the public service ministry to process his retirement benefits.
The high court deputy Registra Sarah Langa has now given Musisi and the attorney General 15 days within which to file their defense.