Labor and Gender ministry urges women to participate massively in elections

By Daudi Zirimala

The ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development has called upon village women councils to participate fully in the coming Women parish council elections due to take place on Monday 23rd July 2018.

Speaking to the media, the state for Gender and Cultural Affairs Peace Mutuzo Regis said that women councils are machinery for advocating for well being of women in Uganda by providing a platform for airing out views of the people at the grass root.

She said that the ministry of gender is rallying all women to participate in these elections, because they form part of the election committee which scrutinizes women groups to access funding under the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship programme UWEP and effective implementation of Operation Wealth Creation especially among women.

The Parish women’s council is composed of the entire elected village women’s council leaders from all villages in a parish and these will converge to elect from among themselves a five member parish women council executive.

Bobi Wine charged with inciting violence

By Robert Segawa

Kyadondo East Member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi wine has appeared before Officer in charge of CID central police station amidst  praise chants from his supporters.
Robert Kyagulanyi arrived at Central Police Station at 1 pm accompanied by leader of opposition Winnie Kizza, Hon Namayanja Florence, Hon Zake together with other members of parliament.

Hon Kyagulanyi was summoned to appear before OC CID Joshua Tusingwire through speaker of parliament to appear today on charges of illegal assembly and inciting violence.

Last week Kyagulanyi and other activists stormed Kampala street’s protesting against taxes on social media and mobile money.

UBL contributes UGX50M towards Kabaka’s 25th coronation

By Deo Wasswa

Uganda breweries limited has contributed 50 million shillings towards the Kabaka’s 25th coronation anniversary which is slated for 31st this month.

While handing over the contribution to Buganda Kingdom, Juliana Kaggwa, the Uganda breweries marketing director also announced the special celebratory price offer on Ngule beer of Uganda shillings 2000.

She commended the Buganda kingdom for being a progressive cultural institution that not only promotes the preservation of culture but also championing economic empowerment.

Chimpanzee Trust creating profitable ventures for communities to save forests

Chimpanzee Trust has introduced women groups in the Bunyoro area to several money making ventures in a bid to reduce the population pressure on the forests in this area.

While speaking to media, Lilly Ajarova, Executive Director of Chimpanzee Trust says that the rate of deforestation has worryingly increased which has forced Chimpanzees out forests. Arajova says many immigrants in this region are introducing Bunyoro natives to new economic activities that are causing them to cut down forests. Many people in the region have now resorted to charcoal burning, commercial farming and lumbering as a source of income.

This has immensely reduced the forest cover in this area hence making survival for the chimpanzees in this area difficult. “The forests are not enough for the chimpanzees anymore that is why they now go to people’s farms,” said Ajarova.

She said that as Chimpanzee Trust they have now devised better ways to ensure that people’s survival in this area doesn’t entirely depend on forests. “We have interested women groups in piggery, mushroom growing, crafts making and tree seedlings sale,” She adds. She explained that some of the activities they introduced like poultry did not yield any positive results and therefore was eliminated.

These activities are all money making ventures that will serve commercial needs for the communities who are commercially depending on the forests.

Ajarova also mentioned that in their quest for solutions for the escalating deforestation, a pilot project was introduced in 2014 known as payment for ecosystem. This four year project saw 340 families benefit from direct cash payments that were made to private land owners who had chosen to preserve their forests. This project was successful as it caused several policy reviews while it also interested locals in wildlife sustainability.  The challenge however is this project was only four years, the payments were stopped and the locals have slipped back to their old ways.

Parliament slices mobile money tax to 0.5%

By Moses Kidandi
State minister for finance David Bahati has clarified that the 0.5 % TAX on mobile money will apply to only those that will be receiving money from senders.
Bahati was explaining some of the cabinet decisions following a public out cry protesting the 1 percent tax that  was initially passed on all mobile money transactions in the National Budget for the financial year 2018/2019.
ICT minister Frank Tumwebaze  has urged the public not to panic parliament is this afternoon also expected to pronounce its self on the same matter that has already been concluded by the cabinet.
The legislators are  also expected to deliberate on the two hundred shilling OTT Tax that has been levied on social media.
Last week opposition MPS  and activists led by  Hon Robert Kyagulanyi  of Kyadondo East  were involved in a stand off that with Police as they protested the social media tax.

Men accused of defilement released

By Sania Babirye

A group of men who have been in remand at  Luzira prison since 2014 for allegedly defiling girls between the ages of two and three have been set free.

This is after prosecution informed Kampala high court judge Jane Francis Abodo that the Director of Public Prosecutions no longer has any standing charges against the suspects due to Lack of evidence.
Prosecution has explained that some victim’s families  have no interest in the cases while others can not be traced after shifting to other unknown places.
The suspects led by a one Ismail Lutalo ate said to have committed the offenses in the districts of  Kampala and Wakiso.
Failure by families to have child defilers prosecuted and punished  is one of the leading causes of child defilement in Uganda coupled by the weak laws and punishments given to the perpetrators and amicable settlements between the suspect’s and the victim’s families.
Eastern region continues to be the leading region with the highest cases of child defilement and domestic violence.

URA, telecom companies dragged to court over 1% taxes on mobile money

By Sania Babirye
Uganda Revenue Authority and three Tele-communication companies have been dragged in the Kampala high court for allegedly illegally  collecting the 1% tax levied on Mobile money deposits .
According to the petitioners  John Robert Tukyakira and Anthony Odur, the tax that came into effect since the 1st of july 2018 is unlawful and URA alongside MTN, Airtel and Africell telecommunications companies are collecting the controversial tax illegally and erroneously thereby   infringing on  the citizen’s fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution.
They also claim the tele-communication companies cannot ably account for the illegally collected money from depositors on behalf of URA.
They are  now seeking court to compel the  respondents to refund all the collected monies from the public and and also   court to issue a permanent injunction stopping URA and the  tele-communication companies  from collecting the said  taxes from Mobile money depositors .

Country still wants more technician in the oil and gas sector

By Deo Wasswa

The first lady Janet Museveni says, despite the government efforts to produce technicians from various technical colleges and institutes, those with competences required for oil and gas are still limited.

She was speaking during the launch of welder’s certification program as part of efforts to up skill current welder technicians to levels required to secure jobs in oil and gas sector.

The program being supported by CNOOC Uganda and Sanmaker oil and gas training institute has started with up skilling 30 welder technicians being selected in four institutions in the Albertine region.

The program will go for two months at Sanmaker oil and gas training institute in Bugolobi.

Legislators called back from recess

By Daudi Zirimala

The Parliament of Uganda is sitting this afternoon from recess to discuss matters of national importance.

According to the clerk to parliament Jane Kibirige, the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga summoned the legislators to constitute the sector committees of parliament for financial year 2018/19.

Some sources also said that issues of mobile money and social media tax likely to be discussed under matters of national importance.

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.