Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh accepts to handover power and go to exile

Barely a few hours before his mandate expires, President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia is reported to have accepted a last-minute deal to relinquish power peacefully and go into exile.

According to reports from Banjul which are yet to be independently confirmed, Mr Jammeh agreed to step down in the interest of peace and stability of the Gambia after a tense closed door meeting with the visiting president of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

Reports added that Mr Jammeh will leave for Mauritania tonight with President Aziz.

It is not clear whether he will settle there permanently or move to another country.

Mr Jammeh’s mandate expires at midnight tonight after his surprised defeat in last month’s election by opposition candidate Adama Barrow.

He had vowed to cling to power after accusing the country’s electoral commission of rigging the election in favour of the opposition.

His attempt to overturn the election result at the Supreme Court has been delayed because of a shortage of judges as most of the judges come from neighbouring countries.

Neighbouring Senegal and Nigeria have threatened to storm Banjul militarily and enforce last month’s election results unless he steps down by midnight.



-Jollof News

Health officials monitoring twenty patients after presenting birdflu signs

By Charles Kizindo Lule
Twenty patients in Bussi and Butembe islands on Lake Victoria are being monitored by health specialists after presenting symptoms of the deadly bird flu.
 The ministry of health has picked samples from them and taken to Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe for further investigations.
Bird flu was confirmed in Uganda this week following a mass death of birds at Lutembe beach in Entebbe, and ducks in Masaka.

Fire brigade arrives without water to put off fire causing huge losses in Mukono fire

By Robert Ssegawa
Fire has gutted several buildings and kiosks in Kitega village Mukono district destroying property worth millions of shillings.
The Residents district commission Lt.David Matovu says the fire started at around 2 am from a charcoal stove which was left unattended to.
He says the fire destroyed shops selling furniture, Electrical appliances, bars and saloons. Fire fighters arrived at the scene later without water in the vehicles to put out the blaze.

Birth mother to one of Angelina Jolie’s adopted children wants contact with her daughter

The natural mother of Angelina Jolie’s adopted Ethiopian daughter Zahara has made a heartfelt plea to the superstar actress telling her: ‘Please just let me talk to my daughter’.

Poverty stricken Mentewab Dawit Lebiso told Daily Mail Online she is desperate to be part of her 12-year-old daughter’s life – and called for Jolie to get custody of her daughter in the bitter split with Brad Pitt.

She dreams of one day meeting the girl she gave up as a tiny infant – but said she would settle for the chance to simply hear her voice.

‘I just want her to know that I am alive and here and long to be able to speak with her. I do not want my daughter back but just to be in contact with her and be able to call her up and talk with her,’ said Mentewab, who ekes out a living in Ethiopia.

Mentewab is the first to admit that the Jolie-Pitts have given her daughter everything she could wish for, adding: ‘Angelina has been more of a mother to her than I have ever been. She has been with her since she was a baby, but that does not mean I do not miss her.

But she adds: ‘I miss her all the time. I think about her every day and long to hear her voice or see her face.I know when she has a birthday but I am sad because I can’t celebrate it with her. I would so much want to celebrate with her on her birthday and other special days.

-Daily Mail

NCHE revokes license from Busoga University, nullifies more than 1000 degrees

There is panic among students at Busoga University following the withdrawal of its operational license. In December 2016, the National Council for Higher Education-NCHE revoked the provisional license of Busoga University, which has been operation since 1998 on a number of grounds.

NCHE accused the University of Awarding Fake Degrees, which prompted it to cancel more than 1000 degrees awarded to students, recruiting unqualified academic staff and accumulated debts among others contrary to the Universities and Other Tertiary Intuitions Act.

When news spread of the withdrawal of the license, the university dismissed it, saying it had not received any communication from NHCE to the effect. However, on Monday this week Busoga University petitioned the constitutional court challenging the move by NCHE.

In the application, the Vice Chancellor Busoga University, Prof. David Lameck Kibiyo, says they were not accorded an opportunity to defend themselves on the allegations levels against the institution. He also wants court to lift the ban on admitting more students imposed on it by NCHE, saying it violates its right to carry out lawful trade and compete in business. URN spoke to URN spoke to continuing students on the developments. John Kakaire, a bachelor of Education students, says schools have turned down his application for teaching practice arguing that the university isn’t recognised.

Imelda Nabirye, a second year law student is worried about her future. She advises the university administration to abide by the NCHE requirements.

Musa Abubaker, an international student from Nigeria says that the university administration isn’t focused. He accuses the university administration of ignoring students and failure to install student representatives.

Dr. Frank Nabwiso, the former vice chancellor Busoga University supports the decision of NCHE, saying management has messed up the university. He says the vice chancellor; Lamek Kibikyo is a poor administrator.

Nabwiso says the decision by the administration to lay off 140 workers in January 2016 for alleged lack of the requisite academic qualifications was a big blow to the image of the institution.

Prof. David Lameck Kibiyo, the vice Chancellor Busoga University has dismissed all the allegations leveled against him and his team, saying they are baseless and aimed at frustrating his plans to improve the university.

He says that whatever is happening at the university is being done with intentions to fight the institution. Busoga University was founded in 1995 by Rt. Rev. Dr. Cyprian Bamwoze, the retired Bishop of Busoga Diocese.




Italy suffers an earthquake months after a fatal earthquake in August 2016

An earthquake has struck Italy, shaking buildings in Rome and Florence just months after almost 300 people were killed in one of the worst disasters in living memory.

Residents of the capital described their homes and offices shaking at around 10.25am local time (9.5am BST).

The US Geological Survey (USGS) measured the quake at magnitude 5.3, placing the epicentre in Central Italy at a depth of six miles (10km).

A 5.3 earthquake hit Central Italy on 18 January 2017 (USGS)

It struck just four miles from Amatrice, the town devastated in August’s earthquake, which killed 234 of its residents.

There was no immediate indication of deaths or severe damage, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said.

The quake was also felt in Lazio, Abruzzo and Marche, La Repubblica reported, being followed by four smaller aftershocks.

Small tremors have reportedly been felt in Rome for several weeks but Wednesday’s was the biggest seismic event in several months.

It comes just months after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake killed at least 299 people in the country’s central regions in August.




The players learnt from naive mistake says Coach Micho

We have not been here for 39 years. In the first half, we had what I call stage fright.

We committed a mistake that I cannot explain and Andrew Ayew scored from the penalty.

At halftime, we needed to awaken the players so that they believe we can play in tournaments like this.

We made a risk at the latter stages playing 3-2-5 but it didn’t work. I am very proud of my team and will not look for individual mistakes. My team has shown that we have the technical and physical ability but we still have to work more.

We will play against giants Egypt and Mali and we will make sure to give 200% of our efforts.

We came with a mission to prove that we did not qualify by accident, and I believe we showed that.

We showed that we can play even for more than 90 minutes.

But sometimes there are some naive mistakes may be because of the pressure of being a goal down.

I have learnt that at this level of competition we cannot make silly mistakes like what we have done and we will not do that against Egypt and Mali.

We have done everything to get a good result and this has been a great lesson for my players.

We showed that we are capable playing against the best in Africa.

I congratulate Ghana who are always a top team in Africa. We will have two key players Murshid Juuko and Khalid Aucho back from suspension and I believe we shall get better against Egypt.



-FUFA website

We shall not over respect Ghana says Coach Micho

The curtains will be drawn at the Stade de Port Gentil this evening when Uganda Cranes line-up against Ghana in the first group D match at the on-going 2017 Total Africa Cup of Nations Africa (Afcon).

Although the Cranes have had an advantage over Ghana in the last three years, Ghana coach Avram Grant has said a lot should not be tagged to the past but look at the present.

“Yes facing Uganda is not easy, but we are looking at the present and future and not thinking of how we have played against them in the past,” said Grant.

The former Chelsea coach said he expects a very tough encounter adding that a few details will win the game. Team captain Asamoah Gyan said they are here for serious business. “After losing in the final in 2015, we are hungry to go a step further and will take every game as important as possible,” he added.

But Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic, the Uganda Cranes coach sounded very confident on how prepared his team is. “We respect the Ghana team, but we shall not over respect them but simply go on the pitch and play good football,” said Sredojevic.

First choice goalkeeper and African Player of the year 2016 (African based) Denis Onyango said opening group games are always very difficult. “We shall treat this game as a final because it is the first one we are playing in Afcon after 39 years of waiting,” added Onyango.

While defender Murushid Juuko and Khalid Aucho are suspended for the game after accumulating two yellow cards during the qualifiers, the Cranes will look to Geoffrey Massa, Tony Mawejje and Farouk Miya are some of the players expected to play pivotal roles for the Uganda Cranes.

Gyan will lead Ghana together with Christian Atsu Twasam and Andre Pierre Ayew. The second group D game will see Egypt facing Mali.




UBC fails to raise 2Bn for Afcon broadcasting rights

Football fans and sports lovers are disappointed over the failure by Uganda Broadcasting Corporation-UBC to broadcast the Africa Cup of Nations-AFCON 2017 that is ongoing in Gabon. The national football team, the Uganda Cranes is one of the teams participating in the tournament after struggling to qualify for the last 38 years in vain.

Uganda Cranes takes to the pitch at 7pm this evening against the black stars of Ghana at Port Gentil stadium in Gabon. Despite the excitement generated by Uganda’s qualification for the tournament, majority of Ugandans are likely to miss the live action, since the national broadcaster will not air the matches citing lack of funds to pay for the rights.

Only those with pay television are guaranteed to catch the live action as it unveils at Port Gentil stadium. On January 13th, 2017, the UBC management issued statement, saying they had failed to secure the Shillings 2 billion for the rights. Apparently, the Federation of International Football Association-FIFA and Confederation of African Federation (CAF) sold the Free to Air Television rights for the AFCON 2017 games to Lagardère Sports and Entertainment, a France-based entity.

Lagardère Sports and Entertainment offered the rights to UBC through the Africa Union of Broadcasters (AUB) at €550,000 an equivalent of Shillings 2.1 billion. However, UBC failed to raise the minute and missed on the chance to broadcast Africa’s premier football games.

The failure by UBC to broadcast the games has not gone down well with football fans and lovers in Kampala. Lawrence Kaggwa, a sports lover says it is a great disappointment that UBC is not broadcasting AFCON, yet this was a big opportunity for Ugandans to see their players on the international stage.

Eddie Nsereko, another football fan says that it is a shame that after 38 years of waiting Ugandans can’t watch their own team in action on national TV. He says despite the fact that it is inconvenient to watch the games from bars, they will have to bear with it.

Another fan who only identified himself as Denis, says majority of Ugandans will miss out on the games since they can’t afford pay television services. He says watching African cup of nations on UBC promoted players from different countries and this time it was time to promote home talent.

A boda boda rider who preferred to remain anonymous questioned why Government doesn’t care about sports. He says apart from investing in other areas like roads, government should make sports a priority.

Samuel Musolini says he used to watch UBC a lot and was counting on it to relay the AFCON games. He says he now has to look for a restaurant, video hall or bar to watch the games for a fee yet he would have preferred to do so in the comfort of his home.

Winston Agaba, the UBC Managing Director says this is the first time the national broadcaster is failing to broadcaster an international sporting event. He however, blames it on the commercialization of the events.





Magogo goes to Gabon with Uganda Cranes’ bonuses in cash

The President of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa), Moses Magogo arrived in Gabon on Sunday evening with cash bonuses for the Cranes depending on how they perform at the 2017 Total Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
“There was no way I could travel to Gabon without money for the team because I promised to would carry it to Gabon,” Magogo told URN.

The Uganda Cranes open their campaign against the Black Stars of Ghana in a group D encounter on Tuesday at the Port Gentil Stadium. The Uganda FA President explained that rewarding the team for every performance will be a good motivator in a tournament of such a magnitude.

The government released the last batch of UGX1 billion last Friday and the Federation only accessed it last Saturday. Initially the government released UGX1 billion before the team left their training camp in the United Arab Emirates.

Although Magogo refused to reveal the amount of match bonuses, he explained that they agreed amounts for a win, draw going into the later stages of the tournament. The Cranes qualified for the competition after 39 years of waiting. The Cranes will face Egypt in their second group game on January 21st before heading to Oyem for their last group game against Mali on January 25th.

Kalusha Bwalya, one of Zambia’s legends told URN that he cannot wait to see Uganda battle at the big stage. “I think Uganda has always had the talent and it is good to see the team at the Afcon stage now,” added Kalusha who is also a member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Meanwhile on Monday action shifts to Group D with defending champions Cote d’Ivoire facing Togo, while DR Congo battle Morocco at the Stade d’Oyem.