Ugandan farmers encouraged to explore permaculture

By Gloria Nakiyimba
Ugandan farmers wishing to increase productivity on the farm have been advised to start practicing Perma culture and make use of nature to improve yields.
At The Bec Hellouin Organic farm in Normandy north of France, farmers here use science and knowledge of the soils to ensure maximum production on the farms.
The farm sitting on 20 hectares of land was started by Perrine Herver Gruyer and her husband Charles Herver Gruyer in 2006.
“Perm culture is a new way or set of rules that determines an organization of things that makes most of the natural cycle” the Herver- Gruyers explained
The couple grow more than 80 varieties of fruits, vegetables,  in their garden in  a manner that ensures compliance with and protection of the environment.  Only organic fertilizers are used on the farm.
Thus the farm produces only organic foods without any chemicals that can harm the environment. The food, fruits and vegetables are usually bought by people who enjoy organic food for health linked benefits.
The major clients are cancer patients and pregnant women who usually go to the farm or place orders for the products.
Perrine says their farm heavily relies on the trees as source of nutrients in addition to having good knowledge of the type of soils.  This she says ensures that proper vegetables and fruits are grown on the right soils with the required nutrients.
12 hectares of land were set aside for growing trees which give a shade for some plants, act as wind breakers on the farm and provide nutrients for the plants.
The farms   exploit  wild vegetation   to ensure that they get better yields at the end of the day and work on the upper layer of the ground about  5 centimeters deep in the ground and not further than that
“Rely on the trees and rely on whatever wild vegetation can give you.  You have got extremely interesting wild trees and wild plants that can be used for a lot of things as organic matter, as food for the human beings or for the animals.  Those plants   usually they are going to collect all the nutrients from the soil and give them to the other plants nearby” Perrine   told a team of Ugandan journalists that visited the farm.
They can shred the trees and leaves that are decomposed to make manure.
According to Perrine, farmers wishing to practice Permaculture   must   start on small scale as to  be able to monitor progress and expand later on.
“Do it small, the smaller it is the better it is because you can observe and understand better “ she says.
For the case of Ugandan farmers Perrin says they should make use of domestic animals on their farms as they are very useful in the eco-system under the condition that they are considered as workers.
She keeps hens on a free range basis that she says feed on pastes like snails and ants that would attack crops but at the same time the chicken droppings are used as fertilizers.
Animals such as cows can also be used as workers on the farm.
“Use domestic animals not only as food but also as workers on the ecosystem.  Don’t let them go where they want, eat all the trees, eat all the plants but you have to watch them. Otherwise they shall be errant and you are not going to use whatever they give you”
The animals according to Perrin can give a farmer a lot of manure that can be used to fertilize the soil instead of chemical based fertilizers that can be harmful to the ecosystem.
At the Bec Hellouin organic farm mixed farming is the order of the day.  Various fruits such as vines, tomatoes, apples, oranges, cherries, are grown.  Some of the vegetables grown on the farm are peas, celery, beat root, beans, carrots, cabbages, cauliflower, onions, egg plants, pepper, pumpkins and radish among others.
Numerous research projects are done on the farm to explore natural and efficient agricultural practices that contribute to regenerating the biosphere.
The farm also offers training in perma culture, market gardening, for professional and private individuals.

DNA results point to kidnappers who have been in custody

The Government has announced that tests carried out on several bodies of women killed and in a series of reported kidnaps have matched those of killers who have been in custody.
Records show that over 72 women were kidnapped between 2017 and 2018 out of which 36 were found to be self kidnaps.
Internal affairs minister J.J Odong says they are currently holding seventy two suspects in custody with seven in court while one of them has been 100% scientifically proven to have had contact with the diseased women and government is going to compel him by all means to reveal the motive of killing the women.
The minister was speaking to the media about the Key concepts of National security which include politics,Economics,the military and the general society.
By Kidandi Moses

New study projects steady growth in broadcast industry

By Deo Wasswa

The new study on  indicates that out of 8 million homes in Uganda, 49% are equipped with TV reception, while the other 51% don’t have access to TV yet.

The study conducted by SES, the world-leading satellite operator, is an annual market research that provides valuable market insights for industry players, as well as local producers to further understand the broadcasting landscape and demonstrate the important roles of satellite infrastructure.

The study also indicates that the age group 26 – 30 is the most group that watch Television at 21% followed by the age group between 21 – 25 at 19%.

The study has been conducted for over 20 years in Europe and this is the first of its kind for the case of Uganda.

According to Ricardo Topham, the research team leaders, this year’s survey was expanded with the addition of three African countries, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. For the survey in Uganda, 4000 interviews were conducted.

IT Minister Tumwesigye dragged to court

By Sania Babirye

A member of the ruling National Resistance Movement David Kamukama has gone to the high court in Kampala challenging the nomination of  fellow party member and also minister of Science and Technology Elioda Tumwesigye’s nomination in the coming party primary for  the Sheema municipality  elections.

Kamukama says Tumwesigye who is also the current MP for Sheema North’s nomination   is illegal because he was nominated out of time which was four days after the official nomination program.

He is now seeking court to quash minister Tumwesigye’s nomination.

The party primaries are slated for the 31st of this month while elections will take place on the 19th of July 2018.

National Medical Store to shift base to Kajjasi

By Wasswa Deo

National medical store is set to shift from Entebbe to Kajjansi by mid next year to have a bigger capacity of warehouse for it’s operations.

Speaking to media, Moses Kamabale, managing director national medical store says the facilities apparently  at Entebbe has a capacity of storing only 8000 pallet positions but still there is demand for space as supplies exceeds the space available.

With the new facility,  the capacity will now increase to 30.000 pallet positions and this will be the biggest of the kind on the continent.

The construction in Kajjansi is ongoing and the facility will sit on 10 acres of land.

Hope makes it’s way for Uganda’s start-ups |shs.50 million to be injected by UDBank with Resilient Africa Network

By Edwin Muhumuza

Uganda Development Bank in conjunction with Resilient Africa Network have signed an agreement to finance business start-ups. Under the program code named, the UDB i-Growth Accelerator 2017, the move is intended to ensure that innovations are supported up to the level of commercialization and hence stimulating the culture of innovation in Uganda.

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The Chief Executive Officer, Uganda Development Bank, Patricia Ojangole, notes that since Agriculture and Manufacturing are the key sectors of the economy, such a move will go a long way to ensure, their growth and potential to spur economic growth. ‘We know that there are people who have developed innovative solutions that can address some of these challenges and what this program is about is to identify such people and partner with them in progressing the innovative solutions that they have identified’, she said. Uganda is one of the most entrepreneurial nation in the world however many die within the first year of inception.

According to Nathan Tumuhame from the Resilient African Network –an organization that operated in four regions of Africa bringing together the academia, students and staff, says that, ‘many people have nice innovative ideas, and when schools and universities train students, they come up with ideas, but they only stop in class and only taken as examination material.‘to move those ideas beyond the classroom is our aim’, according to Tumuhame. He adds that UDB has come at a time of sustainable development goals and thereby helping establish a ‘silicon valley’ in Uganda and lure some Ugandan back home.

According to Dorothy Akello, the Director for Innovations,the potential for innovation in agriculture is high and so we are going to support innovators until the level of commercialization. ‘We are also interested in nurturing and stimulating a culture of innovation’ There has been growth in the bank’s capital with the support of government as a shareholder with more growth expected over the next 4-5 years in regard to capitalization and so far shs.50 million has been availed for the program.

Police re-arrest Lira’s notorious serial criminal Ajep in Mbale

Joseph Omoo alias Ajep, Lira’s most wanted and self-confessed serial criminal has been re-arrested. Ajep was picked up from Mbale over the weekend by a team of Police Flying Squad operatives from Kampala and Lira.

Robert Abak, the Lira Resident District Commissioner, says Ajep was picked up together with his three accomplices including his girlfriend. Police identifies the three other suspects as Emma Atim, Daniel Owiny and Ayub Ateka.

The suspects were briefly held at Mbale Central Police Station before they were driven to Lira Central Police Station where they are being held. Ajep escaped from custody on Friday last week following his admission at Lira Regional Referral Hospital for multi-drug TB treatment.

Two prison warders who were deployed to guard him in the TB ward in the hospital were arrested and remanded for aiding the inmate to escape. The two warders are Corporal Denis Ogweng and Corporal Patrick Buhsendish, both attached to Lira Central Government Prison.

Police suspected foul play in the way the inmate escaped since they found his handcuffs they have used to tie him on the bed open. Shortly after his escape, Ajep made telephone calls to several radio stations in Lira town implicating police for aiding his escape.

Ajep also boasted that he couldn’t be rearrested since he had paid the officers Shillings 9.7 million to aid him escape, a claim police have vehemently denied. Ajep faces the charges of escaping from jail, simple and aggravated robbery. He is accused of being the mastermind of several robberies and murder of several boda boda cyclists in Lira Town.




High court wins people’s choice award for court ruling made about missing baby

Ugandan High Court decision has won the People’s Choice Gavel at the 2017 Gender Justice Uncovered Awards for advancing the rights of women and girls.

The annual Gender Justice Uncovered Awards are hosted by Women’s Link Worldwide, an international organization to shed light on the positive and negative impacts court decisions have on the lives of women and girls around the world.

In January, Justice Lydia Mugambe rules on the case of a missing baby from the national referral hospital Mulago. She ruled that a public hospital’s negligence resulting in the disappearance of a couple’s baby resulted in psychological torture for the parents and violated their rights to health and access to information. The couple was also granted compensation of 85 million shillings.

In an online process, Justice Mugambe’s decision garnered 3,829 votes to beat 17 other rulings that were nominated for the best judicial decision from all around the world.

“The court decision stood out because it recognized the need to not only address the human rights of the couple who were parties to the case, but also the failure on the part of the state of Uganda to fulfill its obligation of the right to health”, said Lydia Muthiani, Women’s Link attorney.

According to Women’s Link, Justice Mugambe’s decision specifies that a woman’s inability to access sufficient antenatal care demonstrates a failure on the part of the State to fulfill its obligations under the right to health. It also points out that States also have an obligation to devote special attention and resources to women whose circumstances make them vulnerable and those who suffer from multiple forms of inequality.

The Court also pointed to overburdened hospital staff which led to errors as another example of the failure to comply with obligations under the right to health.

A social justice advocacy organisation, the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) and the parents of the child sued the attorney general and executive director of Mulago hospital for unlawful disappearance of their baby.

“We applaud the Judiciary for upholding health and human rights of Jennifer Musimenta and her husband Michael Mubangizi,  at a time when they had no recourse for justice”, said Moses Mulumba Executive Director, CEHURD.

“This award comes at a crucial time (because) the ruling required the Uganda Police to make a report on the where about of this couple’s child within six months but we are yet to hear from them,” he added.

Other rulings from African Courts that have won an Award:
The High Court of Tanzania  takes the Bronze Gavel (court ruling with a positive effect on women and girls’ lives) for its ruling instructing the government to ban child marriage and set the legal age for marriage at 18 for both sexes.

The Golden Bludgeon (court ruling with a negative effect on women and girls’ lives) went to the High Court of Kenya for its decision to acquit a man for carrying on a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl, on basis that girls often make false reports of non-consensual sex.



Shell Gas prices sliced ahead of Tokosa food festival

By Annah Nafula

Shell cuts prices of cooking gas, a move, Uganda’s Country sales manager, Edward Walugembe says is intended to make cooking gas affordable to all Ugandans.
While speaking at the launch of the Third edition of Tokosa Food festival on Wednesday, Walugembe highlighted that Shell gas is committed to protecting the environment with their environmentally friendly products.

Walugembe says the third edition of the Tokosa food festival will be a pure culinary celebration involving partners like Coca cola Uganda, UBL, and DSTV. “We have many chefs lined up to share their recipes which people can follow and perfect for the 20th May cook off.” He adds.

This year, Shell Gas has identified Blessed Child foundation as the beneficiary partner, who will get 10% of the total event proceeds in addition to a full kitchen make over. The Blessed child organization takes care of children living with Cancer.

Walugembe says with the proceeds of last year, Shell gas was able to install and provide gas for Blessed child organisation for the whole year and provide food stuff for the children living with cancer.

This year’s Tokosa event is slated for 20th May and will be held at Legends.


By Alice Lubwama

The Uganda prisons service has accused the judiciary of making the bail fees unaffordable for the poor to access justice.

While speaking at the report dubbed justice delayed is justice denied in Kampala, the prison service spokesperson Frank Baine said that the bail should be intended to protect a right to bail but not to defeat it.

Baine adds that people have now resorted to mob justice because they have lost trust in police and the judiciary.