PASSING THE NATIONAL BIOTECHNOLOGY AND BIO SAFETY BILL,2 012 LEAVES A LOT TO BE DESIRED-HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS.

By Edwin Muhumuza

Human Rights Activists have raised concern regarding the human rights issues that arise from the National biotechnology and bio safety bill, 2012.

The bill in its current form stresses the primary obligation of the state to provide an adequate level of protection in the safe transfer, handling and use of GMO’s on health and sustainable use of biological diversity especially of indigenous and local communities.

The Uganda Human Rights Network(UHRC) is concerned with various aspects of the Bill including: provisions on public awareness, food safety and security, clear safety standards, fair and equitable sharing of benefits, inadequate proportionate based reviews and minimal representation of the ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries.

While they appeared before the parliamentary committee on science and technology, Members of parliament  questioned the applicability of having the country divided into different zones to accommodate genetically modified organisms citing the lack of uniformity in public preferences to genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) even in planned gazetted areas.

The head of monitoring and supervision, Patricia Nduru noted that such an issue would have to be subjected to a Human Rights assessment.

There has been ongoing public debate and controversy regarding the extent to which the National Biotechnology and Biosafety law provides an appropriate legal and regulatory framework to protect Ugandans from possible adverse effects of GMO’s

The advancement of modern biotechnology has been popularized as a powerful tool in alleviating poverty and enhancing food security.
However, it presents a wide range of socio economic concerns and biosafety risks that require an effective legal regime.  Currently the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill before Parliament is set to be discussed in the house any time.

Photo: gmoanswers.com

WORKERS THREATEN TO STRIKE OVER PENSION BILL

By Edwin Muhumuza

Workers representatives have issued a 40 day ultimatum to Minister of Finance Hon.Matia Kasaija to withdraw the pension sector bill.

The chairperson of NOTU, Mr Wilson Owere says that the bill presented by the minister seeks to deprive NSSF of its status, rendering it a failed state parastatal that would lead to loss of workers savings .

He adds that a sit-down strike and a boycott of Labor Day celebrations is due if their concerns are not heed by 1st May 2017.

This was as officials from the ministry of finance appeared before the committee of Finance to discuss amendments to the pension reform bill.

In an exclusive interview with Mr.Were he expressed disappointment in the minister of finance over defying the president even when he was not satisfied with it.

His views stem from a clause that seeks to repeal the NSSF Act to purportedly liberalize the pension sector, a move that workers say is tainted with injustice owing to the fact that there already some existing pension firms and would thus see the downfall of NSSF.

Citing, former Uganda Commercial Bank, Uganda Railways Corporation, Uganda Airlines all that collapsed with the advent of liberalization in the early 90’s.

Photo: Daily Monitor

STREAMLINE ANTI-TERRORISM LAW-PARLIAMENT URGED

By Edwin Muhumuza

Parliament has been urged to stream line the anti-terrorism law. This was as officials from the financial intelligence authority appeared before the defense committee.

Led by executive director, Syney Asubo, concerns were raised over repetition and inter-twining of other related laws as hindering the monitoring of financing terrorism and other crimes.

Money laundering is the process by which criminals disguise the original ownership and control of proceeds of criminal activities by making such proceeds appear to have been derived from a legitimate source.

Asubo, also refutted claims that the law was targeting opposition politicians following concerns from sections of the public regarding its timing.

The anti-money laundering law provides that persons who convert, transfer or transport property suspected to be proceeds from crime, or assist another person to benefit from such transactions, are liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 years or a fine not exceeding sh2b or both.

Apart from criminalizing money laundering, the law also provides for specific measures to detect and deter money laundering and to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of offenders.

The Act also makes it mandatory for accountable persons, banks inclusive, to declare any suspicious transactions.

Photo: Daily Monitor

LORD MAYOR DEMAND’S 563.4MILLION SHILLINGS EMOLUMENTS AND SALARY ARREARS

By Sania Babirye

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago drags Kampala Minister Beti Tirwomwe Kamya, the Executive Director Kampala Capital City Authority Jennifer Musisi, Attorney General and KCCA to the Higjcourt seeking orders compelling them to release his accumulated emoluments and salary arrears.

Lukwago is demanding for a total sum for 563.4million shillings for 30 months from the period December2013 to May/2016.  Lukwago also wants court to declare the conduct of the respondents in continuing to freeze his emoluments without justification, as improper in law, and further orders be made  to pay him damages for the psychological torture, mental anguish and emotion stress he has suffered.

The matter has been allocated to Justice Patricia Basaza Wasswa. Lukwago was elected  Kampala Lord Mayor on 14th /March/2011 and took oath of Office on 20/May/2011,  diligently executed his obligations amidst challenges, until May/2013 when some Authority Councilors, together with then Minister for Kampala, Frank Tumwebaze, commenced impeachment proceedings against him. Lukwago was impeached  on grounds of alleged  incompetence, abuse of office and misconduct.

Photo: Daily Monitor.

ECOWAS issues an ultimatum to Jammeh to leave office before noon today

Mr Jammeh has been given until noon on Friday to leave office or be forced out by UN-backed regional forces.

Troops have been told to halt their advance until the deadline passes.

The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) is acting in support of Adama Barrow, who was sworn in as the new Gambian president on Thursday.

His legitimacy as president, after winning last month’s election, has been recognised internationally.

Last-ditch mediation talks, led by Guinea’s President Alpha Conde, are due on Friday morning.

Chairman of the Ecowas commission, Marcel Alain de Souza, said that if the meeting with Mr Conde proved unsuccessful, militarily action would follow.

“If by midday, he [Mr Jammeh] doesn’t agree to leave The Gambia under the banner of President Conde, we really will intervene militarily,” he said.

Ecowas said that its forces had encountered no resistance after entering The Gambia on Thursday.

Troops from Senegal and other West African countries crossed into The Gambia after an initial deadline for Mr Jammeh to stand down passed with his resignation.

Mr Barrow, who remains in Senegal, has said that he will not return to Gambia’s capital, Banjul, until the military operation had ended.

The threat by the West African regional bloc Ecowas to remove Mr Jammeh by force is supported by the 15-member UN Security Council, although the council has stressed that a political solution should be the priority.

A Senegalese army spokesman, Col Abdou Ndiaye, told the BBC that troops who were now in The Gambia were prepared to fight if necessary.

“It is already war, if we find any resistance, we will fight it,” he said, adding: “If there are people who are fighting for the former president, we will fight them.”

But Col Ndiaye said the main goal of Ecowas was to restore democracy and to allow the newly-elected president to take power.

 

 

 

-BBC

LC1 ELECTIONS HANG IN BALANCE

By Moses Kidandi

The National Resitance Movement has proposed the amendment of the Electoral laws governing the LC1 Elections to include the Election of women councils.

Local council Elections still hang in balance because the president has not singed the Amended laws and the new commission appointed by the president has not been constituted.

Speaking at the ongoing 4 day retreat of the National resistance movement (NRM) the NRM secretary General  Kasule Lumumba says she has written to cabinet and the Electoral commission seeking the inclusion of women councils in the upcoming Elections.

The Electoral commission had demanded for over 16 billion shillings to facilitate the Election of LCs after the government declined to provide funds to facilitate elections by secret ballot.

Photo: ChimpReports

Black Monday campaign is back

By Deo Wasswa

In a bid to strengthen the fight against theft of public resources in the New Year, Civil society organizations have announced a resumption of Black Monday campaign starting next week.

Richard Sewakiryanga the executive director Uganda NGO forum noted they have registered success through sensitizing the public about  grand   corruption  in  the country which enabled the citizens to shunning them  and voted them out of offices in last year’s general elections.

He has urged all Ugandans to wear black every Monday as well as attending some of black Monday activities especially prayers.

Photo: Task Team on CSO Development Effectiveness & Enabling

Maj Gen David Muhoozi appointed the new CDF

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and President of the Republic of Uganda, HE Yoweri Museveni has made appointments, transfers, and promotions in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces as follows:

Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, who has been the Chief of Defence Forces, has been seconded to the Government and appointed as Minister of State for Works.

Maj Gen David Muhoozi, who has been the Commander Land Forces, is promoted to the rank of General and appointed Chief of Defence Forces.

Maj Gen Wilson Mbadi, who has been the Joint Chief of Staff, is promoted to the rank of Lt Gen and appointed the Deputy Chief of Defence of Forces.

Lt Gen Charles Angina, who has been the Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, is appointed the Deputy Commander Operation Wealth Creation.

Brig Peter Elwelu, who has been the 2nd Division Commander, is promoted to the rank of Maj Gen and appointed the Commander Land Forces.

Maj Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who has been the Commander Special Forces Command, is appointed Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations.

Lt Col Don Nabaasa, who has been the Commander 1st Battalion of Special Forces Command, is promoted to the rank of Col and appointed the Acting Commander Special Forces Command.

Maj Gen Sam Turyagenda, who has been the Commander Air Forces, is appointed Senior Presidential Advisor on Air Forces matters.

Brig Charles Lwanga Lutaaya, who has been the Deputy Commander Air Forces, is promoted to the rank of Maj Gen and appointed Commander Air Forces.

Brig Charles Otema, who has been the Chief of Logistics and Engineering, has been promoted to the rank of Maj Gen and appointed General Officers Commanding the Reserves.

Brig Charles Bakahumura, who has been the Chief of Military Intelligence, is appointed the Chief of Logistics and Engineering.

Lt Col Abel Kandoho, who has been a staff officer under the office of State Minister for Defence in charge of Veteran Affairs, is promoted to the rank of Col and appointed the Chief of Military Intelligence.

Brig Sam Okiding, who until recently was the Contingent Commander of UPDF Forces in Somalia, is promoted to the rank of Maj Gen and remains substantive commander of Field Artillery Division that he commanded before going to Somalia.

Brig Gavas Mugyenyi promoted to Maj Gen and remains in command of Air Defence Division.

Maj Gen Nakibus Lakara, who has been the Deputy Commander Operation Wealth Creation, goes back to headquarters for redeployment soon.

Photo: Daily Monitor

Gambian president of 22 years concedes to Adama Barrow

The Gambia’s president of 22 years Yahya Jammeh will be replaced by a property developer, Adama Barrow, after losing the general election.

Mr Jammeh, who came to power in a coup in 1994, has agreed to accept defeat, said electoral commission chief Alieu Momar Njie.

Before announcing the final result, Mr Njie appealed for calm as the country entered unchartered waters.

The Gambia has not had a smooth power transfer since independence in 1965.

Mr Njie said that Mr Barrow had won Thursday’s election by more than 50,000 votes. He runs a property company which he founded in 2006.

A devout Muslim, Mr Jammeh, 51, once said he would rule for “one billion years” if “Allah willed it”.

“It’s really unique that someone who has been ruling this country for so long has accepted defeat,” Mr Njie told reporters.


Mr Jammeh’s defeat has been greeted with astonishment in The Gambia, where most people expected him to win. He has served four terms as president but now this unpredictable and ruthless man is to be replaced by a property developer.

Mr Jammeh’s 22 years in power have brought repression and intolerance to this tiny seaside nation, popular for cheap holidays in the sun.

He has been tough on journalists, the opposition and gay people. He also said he could cure Aids and infertility.


During the campaign, the country’s mostly young population seemed to be yearning for change, said the BBC’s Umaru Fofana in the capital, Banjul.

The economic challenges the country faces have forced many to make the perilous journey to Europe, with some drowning on the way, he said.

Human rights groups have accused Mr Jammeh, who has in the past claimed he can cure Aids and infertility, of repression and abuses.

Several previous opposition leaders are in jail after taking part in a rare protest in April.

Observers from the European Union (EU) and the West African regional bloc Ecowas did not attend the vote.

 

 

-BBC

Jacob Zuma survives a vote of no confidence for the third time

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma burnished his credentials as the country’s political survivor-in-chief by avoiding a vote of no confidence in parliament on Thursday.

It’s the third time Zuma has faced such a vote in less than a year. There were 214 votes against the motion, 126 for and 58 abstentions.
The motion was always unlikely to pass as the ANC had called on its members of parliament to back the President.
The pressure to stand down stems from a corruption report released late October by the public protector that alleges wide-ranging corruption at the highest levels of government including Zuma.
Zuma denies the allegations.
The official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) brought the motion of no confidence to parliament.
-CNN