Teacher’s Union boss lands new job in parallel anti corruption team

By Wasswa Deo

President Yoweri Museveni has appointed parallel anti corruption team comprising of Former Uganda national teacher’s Union general secretary James Tweheyo, Ms. Martha Assimwe and sister Akiror.

According to president Museveni, the public has lost confidence in government institutions that are fighting corruption and he is optimistic that the team will restore public confidence to trust government’s will in fighting corruption vices.

Speaking during the state of Nation address, Museveni wondered what happened to the office of inspector general of government (IGG).

‘’What happened to the IGG? Why don’t the victims of corruption report those incidents to the office of IGG? That was the purpose of the office to protect the public from corrupt officials’’ Museveni said.

Medical interns call off their strike

By Deo Wasswa
Medical  interns have called off their strike after receiving their allowances which they were demanding from the government.
The interns went on a sit down strike approximately a month ago after government had delayed to pay their allowances .
The president of the medical interns Lubega Robert says 85% of the interns across the 35 accredited centres have been paid their respective allowances .
He however, says to avoid occurance of more strikes government should consider , streamlining the in terms into the public services services ministry , saying this will enable them to get their allowances on time

New Kampala-Jinja express highway to cost US $ 1bn

By Deo Wasswa

The government has launched procurement processes for Kampala-Jinja Express high way project.

The project due to commence next year, will cost US $ 1bn and the constructions will affect over 100.000 people who will probably receive their compensations in the next financial year.

According to minister state for Works, Katumba Wamala, the 95 kilometer highway is expected to boost and link trade between Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.

Minister has also urged residents who will be affected by the project to stop building houses and other buildings to help the government not incur much cost during the compensations.

The 5 years project will be funded by Uganda government with a big financial support from European Union.

Late coming officials halted from accessing offices at Kabale District headquarters

By Moses Kidandi
Patrick Besigye Keihwa, the Kabale District LC5 Chairman has launched an operation aimed at cracking down laziness  and late-coming among  district workers.
The operation is targeting workers at the district court and Director of Public Prosecution Office.
Keihwa on Wednesday camped at the District Headquarters entrace on Makanga hill and sent away all workers who arrived after 8:00 a.m.
Some officers were seen giving excuses on why they were late, but the district chairman turned them away.
Keihwa said he had observed that most staff came to office late, which interrupted government business and hampered public service for which they are paid.
He defended his move saying it was in line with the Civil Servants Standing  Orders,  which stipulate that officers should report for work every working day at exactly 8:00 am and leave for lunch at 12:45 pm and in the afternoon return in office at exactly 2:00pm up to 5:00 pm.
According to the district chairman, only 58 out of the 150 officers at the district offices were in office by 8am.

Opposition asks government to construct new labs for UNBS

By Robert Segawa

The opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has urged the government allocate more funds to Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) to save life of Ugandans that die and get disease such as cancer because of fake materials imported in the country.

The Deputy spokesperson Of Forum for Democratic change(FDC) Paul Mwiru while addressing journalists at party headquarters Najjanankumbi today said that UNBS  doesn’t have  good laboratories to check goods that imported in the country.

Mwiru adds that fake materials cost Ugandans much because they are not long lasting which he says affects economic growth in the country.

This followed the building that collapsed at Buziga Munyonyo and left unknown people trapped due to  fake building materials.

He calls upon Parliament to fulfill the 480 billion asked by UNBS to construct labs than giving them 6 billion that was a located to them in the next 2018/19  financial budget.

New ICT regulations could limit innovations

For many, social media taxing has turned out to be a big blow towards their day to day online lifestyle. From an innovator’s point of view, online media taxing and the current proposed ICT regulations may clearly hinder any future ICT innovations.

Many successful startups in Uganda including the popular Boda hailing service Safeboda have all grown support and exposure through the old tax free system. But, with the new proposed ICT regulations, innovators may seize to have a broad ground to showcase and develop new brilliant solutions.

During last year’s Uganda Communications Commission’s (UCC) hack for transport Hackathon. Hackers used opensource tools like the IBM cloud-based Bluemix platform to develop and come up with fresh new solutions. Which is, by the way, an online opensource tax-free developers tool.

While Quick Tap emerged winners of UCC’s three-day hackathon after successfully pitching the best transport solution with a whole lot of support promised to them by UCC. We have never received takeover news about the startup in this daily age even when it was a Safeboda sort of competitor.

UCC through this expressed support for innovations in Uganda. But then, with the proposed ICT regulations young innovators may ditch their ideas since the internet is a core tool for research and development. With taxation of some of the core services that turn the internet into a fun spiced research zone. Innovations in Uganda can turn into a historical kind of progression with only uptown developers paving way for better solutions.

According to a new study about the financial technology sector.The financial deepening sector (FSD) has grown to about 65% in the last 7 years in East Africa alone.

However, with factors limiting the rate of innovations and development. The rate will depreciate hence limiting the number of creative minds willing to put their skills at stake for better innovative ideas. Therefore, while Government is set to Tax social media and online media platforms. Innovators will no longer have greener pastures to develop new startups in Uganda.



Sironko mudslide victims receive food relief from Government

Government has finally delivered 500 bags of maize flour to mudslides victims in Sironko district. The maize flour was delivered to Sironko district headquarters on Tuesday evening.

The flour is meant for distribution to hundreds of families affected by the August 28th, 2017 mudslides in Bufupa Parish in Masaba sub county.  The mudslide claimed the life of one person. Nine other people are still missing.

The mudslides also destroyed several crop gardens, livestock and houses living several residents in the dire need of relief. Vincent Woboya, the Budadiri East MP, says the district will come up with a program for distributing the food relief to the intended beneficiaries.
Herbert Mulekwa, the Sironko LC V chairman, says the district disaster committee has already completed its assessment. “On Wednesday, I had to work hard to make sure that vehicles carrying food were able to reach the mudslide victims,” he said.
Alex Banga, the Masaka Sub County LC V Councilor has welcomed the relief support. He however, says there is need for most support for the mudslide survivors since some of them are still occupying schools and churches.
Eunice Nandudu Maku, the Masaba Sub county Female Council has thanked government for supporting the mudslide victims. Mary Nabafu, one of the mudslide victims, says they had lost hope thinking government had ignored them.


Government programs are being affected- Betty

By Sania Babirye

The minister for lands Betty Amongin says the land acquisition for public infrastructure is a contentious issue that needs to be urgently addressed because it is affecting government programs.

While officiating the opening of the commission of inquiry into land matters being headed by Justice Catherine Bamugemeire today in Kampala, Minister Amongin revealed that government projects have stalled due to the selfish interests of the elite class that are targeting prime lands where government tends to either construct a road or discovers minerals and use such land to extort money from government.

The minister explained that this group of people after investigating such lands moves quickly and buys the targeted land from locals at a cheaper price and later asks government for a lot of money in compensation.

She further explains that the problem is rampant in the Bunyoro areas due to the presence of oil and that these people are targeting areas where wells have been discovered or where UNRA plans to construct roads.

Minister Amongin says since the culprits do not follow the law they use money to acquire such land titles

She has now called upon the commission to help the ministry find a way of addressing the problem which she  says is also affecting  the communal  owners of such lands who are being  cheated  by the elite class.

Photo Credit: ChimpReports

Osege set to investigate corrupt top government officials

By Wasswa Deo
The chairperson of public accounts committee in parliament , Angelina Osege says they will not stop to investigate top government officials who are culprits of corruption.
Osege who was speaking during the anti corruption campaign in Katakwi district organised by Action Aid Uganda and democratic governance facility noted that despite doing risky job, She is not intimidated and doesn’t need bodyguards.
She also warns local government officials especially chief administrative officers who she says connive with some officials in the ministry of finance. She adds that that they work together to complicate the process of  accessing  funds which they end up sharing.
Osege added that local council leaders also have tendency of diverting funds to other projects where they’re promised a tip.
Philip Kabuye, the team leader of the anti corruption campaign says they have decided to involve masses especially in local communities because they are the most vulnerable when it comes to corruption.

Government plans to increase medics’ lunch allowances

Parliament’s budget committee has recommended an increase in the monthly lunch allowance for medical workers across the country. The legislators are suggesting an allowance of 288,000 Shillings for nurses, doctors and other health workers bringing the lunch allocation to 12,000 Shillings per day, per person.

Government currently allocates a monthly allowance of 66,000 Shillings and 44,000 Shillings for doctors and nurses respectively. But Amos, Lugoloobi, the chairman of the budget committee argues that the allocation is insufficient.  He says that the rate which was determined in 1996 has not been revised over the last 20 years despite an increase in the cost of living.

Kasambya County MP Gaffa Mbwatekamwa says that a revision in the lunch allowance will improve the welfare of medical workers who he said use their little pay on accommodation, utilities and transport to work. There are 43,777 health workers on government payroll.

The recommendation is carried in the committee report on the national budget framework paper for the financial year 2017/2018.

Meanwhile, the budget committee also recommends another additional funding amounting to 645 billion Shillings towards the health sector. The money is to cater for among others, Hepatitis B vaccination, procurement of adequate suppliers of ARVs under the National Medical Stores (NMS), bringing staffing levels to at 72 percent in general hospital and others.

On construction and upgrading of health facilities, the budget committee recommends the provision of 164 billion Shillings required for upgrading of Health Centre IIIs to Health Centre IVs in 29 counties and an additional 247 billion Shillings for the construction of 93 Health Centre IIIs in sub-counties where no government facility exists today.

Santa Alum, the Oyam Woman MP told parliament how a Health Centre III in her constituency lacks clean water.

MPs also recommended another 49 billion to be allocated to the health ministry to carry out vaccination, testing and treatment of Hepatitis B in 20 districts that are at high risk.
Parliament resumes on Wednesday to debate the committee report before adopting it.