By Edwin Muhumuza
Uganda’s inflation has dropped to 1.8% in the month of April compared to 2% registered in the previous month of March.
The drop is attributed to reduction in prices of food crops especially fruits such as oranges. Others include maize flour, sugar, milk, and simsim.
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics,principal statistician,Vincent Musoke,a drop in inflation does not mean prices have come down but rather the speed at which prices are rising is still slow. Musoke, clarifies that unless the drop is down into negatives then that is when you expect prices to come down.
‘’However it should be noted that this is a general measure .You find that some products, their prices come up while the others come down. When you put them together you get the correct figure of the annual inflation.’’
Uganda continues to grapple with increasing prices of some essential products amid proposed tax increases. Among them include, all types of fuel, cement, construction materials, spirits, social services and foods like Rice, Matooke, Onions, and Apples.
According to the Uganda Bureau of statistics,this trend will sharply determine the public’s consumption behaviour.
During the release of the consumer price index for the year ended April 2018,it was also noted that Arua registered the highest annual inflation of 3.9% though lower than 4.8% recorded for the year ended March 2018.The rise was mainly driven by annual inflation for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels .The second highest was Fort Portal,followed by Kampala High Income and then Mbale.
The growth outlook for 2018 is positive. Rebounding investment activity and healthy domestic demand fueled by accommodative monetary policy, are set to underpin GDP growth this year. In the medium term, economic activity should be buttressed by the sustained expansion of the agriculture sector and planned government investments in oil and gas production. Focus Economics panelists project growth of 5.7% in 2018, which is up 0.3 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 5.9% in 2019.
The Duchess of Cambridge is in hospital after going into labour with her third child.
Kensington Palace announced that the Duchess was admitted to the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in central London on Monday morning.
In a statement at shortly after 8.20am, Kensington Palace said the Duchess travelled to the hospital by car and was in the “early stages of labour”. Royal watchers will be expecting a swift delivery. Princess Charlotte was born just two hours and 34 minutes after the Duchess arrived at the Lindo Wing.
Streets in Kampala’s central business district (CBD) are bustling with activities despite public anxiety and heavy deployment over the upcoming presidential age limit debate in parliament.
With the deployment of police and the military in several strategic locations, speculation was rife that people would keep off the Central Business District in anticipation of demonstrations over the proposed move to remove Article 102(b) of the Constitution.
The motion for the amendment of the Article, which caps the presidential age at 75, is expected today after a failed attempt last Thursday. Amid the anxiety, various political groups and civil society organizations are mobilizing supporters to come out and challenge the planned amendment.
Last week, when the matter was expected in parliament, police engaged demonstrators in running battles, paralyzing business in several areas. But shops in Kampala are all open with business going on normally. Taxis and other motorists are also operating normally.
Jacob Okoku, a resident of Kireka, says he had feared to go to the city centre but is surprised with the calmness.
The Constitution Square in the centre of Kampala has been declared out of bounds for unauthorized personnel. The Square, usually a target for demonstrators, is closed to the public with tapes blocking all entrances.
While the police and military are stationed in the middle of the Square, crime preventers are manning the entrances, turning away people. Armored vehicles and fire engines are on the ready, in anticipation of any riotous developments.
Noah Bukenya, a boda-boda cyclist at the Square, told URN that the crime preventers started their operations in the wee hours of the morning.
Anti-riot police is also deployed at the Democratic Party (DP) headquarters at City House. A police patrol pickup full with heavily armed policemen is parked at the entrance to the DP offices as other police men are positioned around the building.
DP coined the anti-age limit removal campaign slogan, Kogikwatako, which has since caught on with different ethnicities coining their own versions.
Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Emilian Kayima, says the deployment is in response to, as he put it, “what’s going on in the country”.
City House also houses the offices of the youth wing of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
By Robert Segawa
Businesses has today morning been paralysed after park yard traders demonstrated , dismissing Kampala minister’s directive to have them out of their area of operation with in 30days.
Police intervened arresting some of the traders who are thought to be ring leaders of the demonstration. The demonstration got violent as traders had began pelting stones at police officers, injuring some of them.
Early this week minister Betty Kamya passed a 30 days ultimatum asking the traders to leave the space for developer Ham so he can build standard structures .
Many shops along Nakivubo Mews, Channel street, Nakivubo road and all roads around park yard remain closed.
Makerere University has run out of customized graduation gowns ahead of the 67th graduation ceremony that starts tomorrow.
The customised graduation gowns were unveiled last month and were being sold at Basement Store of Makerere University Senate Building. The university had set the price at shillings 75,000 but tailors in Wandegeya, a city suburb, who counterfeited it had set their price at 65,000 to attract buyers.
However, today morning the university store ran out of gowns, prompting Wandegeya tailors to double the price to make a fortune out of the crisis. At stalls where the gowns are being sold, the prices range from between 120,000 and 150,000 shillings.
By 4:00pm, students were also stilling crowded at the Senate Basement Building store waiting for the university authorities to bring in new stock.
The university will graduate 14,895 students in various disciplines and varying academic ranging from diplomas to degrees, masters and PhD, in the four-day event. Of these, 3,275 will get their first degrees in various disciplines, 268 will walk home with diplomas, 1,277 students will be graduating with Masters Degrees while 75 students will be graduating with PhDs.
Tomorrow, the first graduation day, students from four colleges are set to graduate. These are; College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT), College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), and College of Education and External Studies (CEES).
“The university knew the number of students who are graduating and they had time to stock enough gowns; why didn’t they do that? They are causing this entire crisis,” Lukyamuzi David, a bachelor of education (Arts) student who will be graduating tomorrow said as he waited for new stock.
Keishe Agaba, a student population studies said; “I cannot buy a gown at 150,000 shillings. I will come without a gown, sit in the freedom square with others because no one will chase me.”
Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the deputy vice chancellor in charge of finance and administration, said they expected the shortage because the contractor did not make enough gowns. He explained that the contractor was given a go ahead late and students had been informed that they could still buy gowns from outside as it has been the practice in previous years.
Prof Nawangwe said the contractor made about 7,000 gowns which is less than half of the number of students graduating.
“This is the first time that the university is making customised gowns. Next year he will start earlier to ensure that enough gowns are made. We want students to buy from one person because we want to control the quality of gowns,” Prof Nawangwe said.
The Makerere University Council, the university’s highest decision-making body approved the introduction of customised graduation gowns for Undergraduate and Graduate programmes (excluding PhDs) with effect from the 67th Graduation Ceremony.
The customised University Gown is intended to provide uniformity of the academic dress for graduands.