World Renown Celebrity Chef Mazzei to headline Italian Week

By Edwin Muhumuza

The Embassy of Italy in Uganda has hailed the Uganda- Italian cultural similarities and called for the celebration of culture in both countries to promote tourism.

Italian Ambassador H.E Massimiliano Mazzanti, while launching the Italian Cultural and Culinary week 2020 noted that the activities highlighting Italian culture and its famous cuisine as vehicles of exchange, will be learning opportunities which will ensure exploration of commonalities between the two countries.

Unlike previous years, this edition will be held in a special way with most events held online according to the embassy.

The Italian Cultural and Culinary week, is expected to kick off on the 24th to the 29th of November with the launch of the Italian Cuisine on sustainable cooking and the Mediterranean diet at the Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute in Jinja.

According to Ambassador Mazzanti, the event will be carried out by the Chefs of the Consortium for training, innovation and Quality (CFIQ) of Pinerolo in Italy in cooperation with EnAIP Piedmont region.

Representing the minister of tourism, wild life and antiquities, Hon. Tom Butime, the permanent secretary, Bareiga Akankwasa hailed the event saying it would draw more Italian tourists to Uganda as tourism gets set to reclaim its global position in the global economy as well as in Uganda after COVID19.

‘This event is therefore very important to us as it feeds into our tourism promotion strategy as a country .Culture and food is closely knit with tourism and travel. There is nothing as good as traveling to a destination where you will find your culture and culinary tastes. It is in our best interest as Uganda to promote Italian culture and cuisine as an attraction for more Ugandans to visit the pearl of Africa.’ he said.

World Celebrity Chef Francesco Mazzei is special guest and joined by the CFQI chefs will offer masterclasses to professional chefs in Uganda with emphasis on sustainability through the use of food products often deemed not worthy.

Ugandans are arguably the most hospitable people in the world, and their mother-land is home to the snow-capped Mountains of the Moon; the Rwenzori. History has it that the first man that climbed it was an Italian, The latter peak was named after the Duke of Abruzzi, Luigi Amedeo Abruggio of Savoy, an Italian Royal, who led an expedition in 1906 for the first time in modern history and named the peak, Margherita in honour of the Queen of Italy.

Susan Muhwezi, Chairperson of Hotel Owners Association noted that the Italian week will kickstart the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership and that both nations share in some aspects including the motorbikes as a means of transport and treasuring family, hospitality and being social.

‘One thing I liked about the program is the aspect of bringing in a chef for training and I believe we can build capacity for our chefs, waitresses through training so that we do not have to bring in other nationals to do such jobs’ she said.

Some of the events lined up for the week include; launching of the Italian cuisine training on sustainable cooking and the Mediterranean diet, a cooking master class dubbed ‘from chefs for chefs’, unveiling the city of seven hills, the extraordinary Italian taste ,and an Italian cooking class which will be hosted on Television.

On a lighter note, the week is highlighted by the use of comics in supporting bilateral tourism and will involve a comic tourism guide who happens to be Margherita, a wolf representing Rome, that goes to Kampala, another fictional character represented by a crested Crane to find inspiration, so the two guides visit both cities together to be inspired, by visiting the several sights and scenes in both countries ,according to the organisers.

The participants will also stand a chance to win some prizes from the event partners who include,Capital FM, City tyres, Equatorial power, Jumia food, Sheraton Kampala Hotel, and Uganda Airlines.

Robert Kyagulanyi released on bail

By Sania Babirye

The National Unity Platform party president and presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi has been granted bail by the Iganga magistrate court.

Chief magistrate Catherine Agwero Nshemere has released Kyagulanyi on a non cash court bond but with stringent measures.

She has ordered Kyagulanyi to respect the guidelines issued by the electoral commission and the standard operation procedures issued by ministry of health to combat COVID-19.

Kyagulanyi is expected not to have more than 200 people during his remaining campaigns. He is expected to wear a mask and exercise social distancing. He should always have hand washing equipment at all his venues. He also must campaign within the stipulated time.

Kyagulanyi pleaded not guilty to one count of doing an act likely to spread an infectious disease contrary to penal code act and the public health control of COVID-19 rules.

Prosecution states that on the 18th of November 2020 at around 11:00am at Luuka town council, in Luuka district, negligently did an act which he knew or had reasons to believe was likely to spread the infectious of COVID-19 a disease dangerous to life.

When given a chance to address court, Kyagulanyi informed the Magistrate that this case instead of being Uganda vs Kyagulanyi should instead be Uganda vs Museveni.

Bobiwine while in the court dock stated that President Museveni should be tried for the alleged killing and committing of other crimes against innocent Ugandans.

He said that he has not committed any crime , but his crime is just contesting to challenge the over 35 year murder reign of dictator Museveni.

He has however stated that Uganda does not belong to president Museveni but belongs to the people of Uganda and Ugandans will soon reclaim it.

His lawyers led by Medard Segona also asked court to order a police officer who confiscate his torn and dirty clothes that he was arrested in .

This is after his lawyers made him change into some thing clean as he reached court but a police officer only identified as

Segona stated that it was an upfront to the integrity on the process of court and have no right to confiscate his clothes at court since once an accused person has been delivered to court he seizes to be a property of police and so his belongings.

Bobiwine’s sureties included Jonh Baptist Nambeshe, Paul Mwiru among others.

He returns to court on the 18th of this month for further mention of his case.

Museveni warns rioters

By Daudi Zirimala

The president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni warns that those attacking NRM people in Kampala area, will soon lose appetite.

Speaking at a campaign meeting in Kotido, Museveni said that those protesting have entered an area that is known to him and will not be tolerated.

He notes that Uganda has lost a number of people to COVID-19 including high profile politicians and scientists. Everybody must respect the rules in order to overcome this virus.

Man sent to jail for attempting to rape fellow resident

By Sania Babirye

A 45 year old resident of Kawala zone 2 in Kampala who was arrested trying rape a fellow resident has been remanded to Kitalya prison on charges of attempted rape.

Moses Kayima a casual laborer appeared before Buganda road chief magistrate court and denied the charge.

He is to return to court on the 8th of December to start trial.

Prosecution states that on 25th of May 2020, at Kawala zone 2 in Rubaga division in Kampala district, the accused attempted to unlawfully to perform a canal knowledge with the victim without her consent.

According to the evidence, Kayima was caught red handed trying to insert his penis in the private parts of the victim who made an alarm for rescue by the residents

Lawyer Semakadde says there were loopholes in Crane Bank receivership

By Deo Wasswa

City Lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde says Bank of Uganda and its legal advisors are wrongly interpreting the financial institutions Act by moving a head illegally to liquidate Crane Bank.

According to him, there are two court rulings already from the High Court commercial division and the Court of Appeal which all pin Bank of Uganda for wrongly interpreting the financial institutions Act and misusing the Act while managing the banking institutions in the country.

Semakade further notes that apart from the two courts, parliament of Uganda also investigated Bank of Uganda on the closure of seven banks where Crane bank was the last one and its findings are clear and pointing at the Central bank for illegally closing these local banks.

He noted that there were loopholes on receivership of Crane Bank in the last court decision. Bank of Uganda sent a statutory manager to manage the bank and make a report but did not wait for him to submit his findings because officials in Bank of Uganda used police to seize Crane bank while Katimbo was upcountry and they took away crucial documents including land titles some of which have since gone missing.

The lawyer noted that from there, BoU chased away Mr Katimbo and the first thing they did was to sale the bank at a friendly price to dfcu bank.

According to Ssemakadde, the law can give some individuals in an institutions powers but explains those individuals can use the law to enrich themselves like using it to undermine orders among others.

He says that Dr Sudhir Ruparelia refused the issue of individuals misusing the law and decided to seek court redress. He has been registering court victories on different occasions adding that after the recent one he decided to go to the registrar of companies to seek for re-ownership of his bank which was illegally taken over by the central bank.

Ssemakadde added that the actions of BoU to rush to liquidate Crane bank out of fear and panic without waiting for the decision of the Supreme Court is an act of contempt and disrespect of courts.

Muntu asks Ugandans to focus on real issues

By Sania Babirye

Alliance for National transformation party presidential candidate Gen.Mugisha Muntu says Ugandans need to think first of what they are fighting against and what they are fighting for before they cast their votes if there is going to be any meaningful change and power transition.

Gen.Mugisha Muntu made the call while addressing supporters in Kabale sub county in Rakai and Kakuto constituency in Kyotera on Monday as he continued to traverse the country for votes.

“In my tours around the country, citizens have defined problems of this country as; lack of democracy, lack of justice, fake democracy, poverty, unemployment, poor health care system to mention but a few. However, in choosing leaders at whatever level, citizens tend to focus on what they are fighting against and lose focus on the later.” Muntu said.

Muntu said that he is not under any illusion and wants Ugandans to focus on such issues before voting on the 14th of January 2020 because to achieve anything, the regime has to go first.

He adds that the only way forward is if Ugandans realize that they have two battles that they must fight simultaneously and that the only way forward is for the Citizens to understand that no candidate can ever be powerful without their support.

“So, in exercise of this power, citizens should look for, from politicians, the qualities necessary to deliver on what we desire. By this, Ugandans will have solved 2 things at ago.They will have used their power to change the regime but also most fundamentally, they will have chosen a team that can deliver and once in the history of our country, we can have a meaningful change.” he stated.

Pasture improvement program increases dairy farmers output

By Gloria Nakiyimba

Dairy farmers in the country say the support they received from the National Agriculture Advisory Services-NAADS has been crucial in the improvement of productivity of dairy enterprise through value addition.

NAADS has so far given out a total of 40 tractors to support 600 dairy farmers in selected districts for opening of the land for improved pastures.

Farmers use the tractors to dig the land and later grow pastures of good quality which they feed the animals leading to improved milk production.

Dr. Samuel Mugasi the executive director of the National Agricultural Advisory Services says the secretariat embarked on a program for improving the productivity of the dairy enterprise through a strategic intervention for pasture improvement.

For the last couple of years NAADS has been running a pasture improvement program in Western Uganda which is a milk shed for Uganda.

The pilot phase of the pasture improvement initiative was implemented in selected districts in the South Western region of Uganda including Kiruhura, Mbarara, Isingiro, Ntungamo, Sembabule, Lyantonde, Ibanda and Sheema.

“Under this pasture program we have been working with farmers by training them to grow improved pasture and we have been training them in dry season feeding for example by production of hay and silage. And we have taken this project a higher level by providing tractors to dairy cooperatives, we gave them initial seeds and farmers have been able to multiply these seeds among themselves to increase the availability of pasture seeds , because pasture seed is very rare on the market” said Dr, Mugasi

According to Dr. Mugasi you cannot have a productive dairy sector without proper animal feeding.

NAADS has also provided improved cross breeds of heifers to farmers across the country to increase milk production

“As a country we are producing over 2.5 billion litres of milk per year which is very good and statistics show Uganda could take over to be number one in milk production “ he said.

In Luuka district dairy farmers say the tractor that they received from NAADS has helped them increase milk production leading to improved household incomes.

“We thank NAADS because there is improvement in pasture production. We thank NAADS for bringing us a tractor and many farmers are using it. The only challenge is one we don’t have enough equipment, we have only one equipment. Secondly in our terrain we have a lot of trees which need a bulldozer. It’s not easy for us to remove all those tree stumps manually. So farmers are willing to use the tractor but those two challenges are hindering them to use it profitably” said a beneficiary.

The forty tractors were accessed through a cluster arrangement that targeted over 600 dairy farmers in the region.

The initiative was aimed at increasing milk production to meet the increasing demand of Milk and milk products locally and internationally. The target entailed raising farm productivity ten-fold from the current average of 1 litre of milk per acre per day to 10 litres per acre per day, and animal productivity from 5 litres per day to 20 litres per day, by revolutionizing cattle feeding through farm mechanization.

“To me I feel that dairy is a better project for the farmers in Uganda, what we need to do is to improve on the breed and add value to it , because one farmer can get from one cow about 500,000 a month from one local dairy cattle. So let us go back to dairy it is cheap to look after, when you want solar, they see a cow they can lend you money” said Patrick Wakabi one of the beneficiaries of the NAADS programs

As part of the pasture improvement initiative, MAIIF/NAADS availed 40 tractors and implements to support dairy farmers in the region for opening of the land for improved pastures.

NAADS procured and distributed an additional 208 tractors under the agricultural mechanization program in all districts across the country for mechanizing farm operations bringing the total number of tractors distributed to 320.

The secretariat did not stop at improving pasture for dairy farmers, but has gone ahead to donate computerised coolers to dairy farmers for better storage of their milk.

Dairy farmers in Kamuli say they are now able to earn more money from selling tested and quality milk thanks to NAADS that gave Buzaya dairy farmers a new cooler.

According to Edward Lwanga Kunina the program coordinator of Buzaya dairy farmers the cooler has the capacity to bulk more than 2000 litres of milk serving eight sub counties

“Because we are working in eight sub counties in Kamuli district, then it means that very many dairy farmers are benefiting out of this cooler. And in each sub county atheist we have around 50 farmers benefiting. We have milk collection centres in every sub county where our coordinators go and pick that milk and bring it to the cooler. We offer good competitive prices for the milk being brought to the cooler”said Kunina

Since FY 2012/13 to date, NAADS has distributed 121 milk cooling and handling equipment to dairy farmer cooperatives in various parts of the country in order to promote production and marketing of milk and milk products along the dairy value chain.

Milk coolers ensure bulking is done at all levels of production, easing transportation as milk tankers find reasonable volumes in one place and they also stimulate development in the area as different service providers will converge at the cooler.

Analysts oppose BOU’s plot to liquidate Crane Bank

By Deo Wasswa

Economic analysts say it is illegal for the central Bank to liquidate Crane Bank in receivership because the process of receivership ended on 18th January 2018 after selling the bank to DFCU.

According to Andrew Mwenda, what the Bank of Uganda is doing is against the law and whoever is advising them is wrong.

It came to the attention of Ugandans a few days ago that the central bank is plotting a move to liquidate crane bank even as its receivership is still being contested by its founders. This strategy was designed by the Bank of Uganda legal team on the advise of its new external Lawyers.

“Though I am not a lawyer, but in law when receivership ends the company automatically reverts its shareholders and directors. Because receivership ended, crane bank right now is not a licensed financial institution; it cannot be under the supervision and regulation of the central bank,” Mwenda said.

NRM denies defacing opposition candidates’ posters in Gulu

By Sania Babirye

The National Resistance Movement has denied defacing campaign posters of FDC party presidential candidate and other FDC candidates in Gulu. President Museveni who is also the NRM presidential flag bearer is campaigning in Gulu district today.

By today morning, all posters of Presidential candidate Patrick Amuriat Oboi, Betty Awor Ohan and those of Patrick Ola Lumumba among others that were on different streets in Gulu including main street, coronation road and Market street were removed while others had been covered by President Museveni’s posters.

FDC now accuses NRM leaders in the district of being behind the said incident, however, NRM says this is just a campaign strategy by FDCs to win sympathy votes from the public.

Samuel Oyoti in charge of news says they can not participate in such an illegality since its unlawful to deface any campaign poster.

He says this is just propaganda by FDC to de campaign president Museveni by tearing their own posters.

Kyagulanyi promises to return Busoga to her former glory

By Sania Babirye and Deo Wasswa

Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has urged people of Busoga to vote wisely if they are tired of poverty.

While addressing people in the districts of Mayuge and Iganga, Kyagulanyi said that poverty has made all people in Busoga prisoners in their own country.

He noted that efforts by communities to grow sugarcane will continue being useless in the fight against poverty because this kind poverty is political and is the reason communities have no control over their plantations and prices.

Dilapidated Education institutions in Busoga were among key things that Kyagulanyi cited which he says if elected, he will work on them.

Kyagulanyi also sympathized with the fishing community in Busoga region who are now jobless after the Army took control of the lake in the area.

He also has promised to revive the glory of the people of Busoga, the NUP big man says that the ruling party has killed the glory of this great region.

He also stated that many children in Busoga no longer go to school and have been subjected to working in sugarcane gardens which contributes to the high levels of poverty in the region.

He however says that if elected in power, he will make Busoga region shine and return all those things that made the region shine.