Samasource Kampala center to employ 250 youth

By: Gloria Nakiyimba

More Ugandan youth are to be employed by U.S technology company Samasource which has opened its Kampala offices at Kanjokya Street in Kamwokya. The new Kampala tech hub was opened on Friday by, US ambassador Deborah Malac who noted that as technology usages around the world become more sophisticated and complex Samasource will empower its employees to help Uganda adopt Artificial Intelligence to transform business.

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“U.S companies here have promoted impact sourcing as a hiring strategy to combat youth unemployment, support inclusive economic development and promote tangible business benefits. I am particularly impressed by Samasource’s ability to generate employment for and upgrade the skills of workers from low income and vulnerable communities allowing them to perform high-quality, information-based services” Ambassador Malac remarked.

She emphasized that the private sector plays a critical role in growing economic growth sustainably, pledging that her government will continue to engage with the government of Uganda on how it can best attract diverse investment and trade by fighting corruption and cutting bureaucratic red tape.

A leader in providing secure, high –quality training data for Artificial Intelligence[AI] technologies, Samsource first established its footprint in Gulu in northern Uganda where it has been operating for seven years now. The pioneer Gulu office has created more than 500 jobs targeting tech-savvy youth in that part of the country.

According to Leilah Janah founder and CEO of Samasource, “the opening of our new facility in Kampala is a representation of all we stand for at Samasource-connecting people to digital work and giving them the skills need to uplift and empower themselves and their communities”.

With the opening of the Kampala center, the company will be able to employ more than 250 members of the community. Samasource trains data for computer vision and NLP use cases which companies use to propel their AI technology forward in industries such as automotive, consumer internet, e-commerce, robotics and many more.

Get enough rest and do your homework: Principal Kato to Fresh Kid

By Annah Nafula

Infant musician Patrick Ssenyonjo also known Fresh Kid has today been enrolled at Kampala Parent’s School, Naguru. Ssenyonjo who commences school on Wednesday is grateful to the Ruperelia Foundation for heeding to his voice when he said he wanted to back to school but could not afford.

While speaking at a Presser, School Principal Daphine Kato intimated that she was excited about Fresh Kid’s new journey at the school. She told the press that Fresh Kid had gone through the right procedures to join the school which included an oral and written interview which she says, he performed well. “I am positive that Ssenyonjo will enjoy the music facilities at the school and pay equal attention to his education.” said Kato. She added that she cannot rule out the excitement that will come with having a celebrity pupil but expects it to calm down later. She also assured the parents and managers of the young singing sensation that once this anticipated excitement ends, Ssenyonjo will be treated like the rest of the pupils.

At the same event, teenage star Gloria Mulungi also Known as Baby Gloria asked Fresh Kid to be humble and concentrate on his education. “I am proud to be a singer and a brilliant child at school.” she boasted. Baby Gloria who is in her 13th Grade at Taibah International School said Fresh Kid is a force to reckon.

Betty Nakibuuka, who is also a mother to Baby Gloria highlighted that they are very many challenges in raising a celebrity child. She urged the Ssenyonjo’s parents to be grounded and raise their child humbly. “As a mother to a celebrity child, I often have to remind her of the dangers of pride. I do not let her come from school without the administration’s consent because I appreciate the value of education.” Said Nakibuuka.
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Kampala Parents School old student and popular singer Raba Daba praised Fresh Kid’s art and encouraged him to keep in school to attain an education. He added that with a good education like Fresh Kid has got a chance to attain, he will be much bigger and better artist.

Swangz Avenue boss, Benon Mugumbya at the same meeting appreciated the Ruperelia Foundation for having invested in the music industry this way. According to him, educating this child and not isolating him for his talent is a way in the right direction to promote Ugandan talent.

Months back, Patrick Ssenyonjo alias Fresh Kid stormed the media like a wild fire when he was fronted as a new child wrapper which caused an array of mixed reactions from the public. While some thought he was too young for the trade, others thought he was just a great child doing his music.

As Fresh Kid sinks into the savor of this mega offer, Ruperelia Foundation’s Mary said though she is positive that Fresh Kid will excel in his studies, some of the conditions of this scholarship include, being available for classes at all times and maintaining good grades, being drug free among others.

Wrong Move, don’t attack media, Deborah Malac tells govt of Uganda

BY Our Reporter

The U.S ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac has said the government’s attack on the media is a step in the wrong direction.

Malac, who was on Friday delivering a keynote address at a World Press Freedom Day national conference at Golf Course Hotel, said Uganda Communication Commission (UCC)’s recent directives to radios and TVs is indicative that media is under assault for doing its job.

On Wednesday, UCC ordered six televisions and seven radio stations to suspend its staff over alleged breach of minimum broadcasting standards. The affected media houses are; NTV, NBS Tv, BBS Tv, Bukedde Tv, Salt Tv, Akaboozi Fm, Beat Fm, Bukedde Tv, Capital Fm, CBS Fm, Kingdom Tv, Pearl Fm, Sapientia Fm, and Simba Fm.

Malac wondered why UCC hastily issued directives without defining sections of broadcasting standards that were allegedly breached by the media houses.

She pointed out other “quite concerning” trends curtailing media freedom in Uganda such as the closure of radio stations, hiking levies paid by radios and TVs, and proposal of new regulations. This repression of media, Malac said has a long-lasting effect on the media environment in Uganda.

Photo Credit: Faisal Kasirye
Photo Credit: Faisal Kasirye

Malac also referred to 2019 World Press Freedom Index where Uganda dropped 8 places–from 117 placings of 2018 to 125–out of 180 states ranked. Such performance and repression, she says send a wrong message to Ugandans.

Malac reaffirmed US mission support to the promotion of press freedom in Uganda and strengthening the organization of journalists.

“We, of course, must use our collective influence to urge the government to improve its record.

Today, as we have done in the past, the United State strongly urges the Uganda government to take action to protect and defend press freedom and to hold individuals who violate this freedom accountable,” Malac said.

Meanwhile, the European Union has expressed concern over the restriction of freedom of expression of the media and assembly in Uganda.

In their joint release issued on Friday, the European Union noted that they are deeply concerned by a series of recent incidents restricting the freedom of expression and assembly in Uganda, in particular, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC)’s decision to suspend staff of 13 media houses over allegations of breaching minimum broadcasting standards.

“We are also concerned about the excessive use of force by the Uganda police and security forces against peaceful protestors and opposition.” The statement reads.

“We urge the Government to ensure the implementation of all the relevant laws and regulations in a way that allows all Ugandans irrespective of their political affiliations, to exercise fully and without fear, their basic democratic rights enshrined in the constitution,” the statement says.

EU also underlines the importance of upholding judicial processes and stressed the importance of full respect for the rule of law and the right to a fair trial as set down in the constitution.

Tiwa Savage, Wizkid all at the UBA 70 years Celebration in Nigeria

By Edwin Muhumuza

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc celebrated 70 years of operations . The platinum anniversary was combined with the bank’s annual CEO awards ceremony as members of staff from all 23 countries of operations who had excelled over the past year were rewarded in the midst of thousands of guests.

The Chairman, UBA Plc, Mr. UBA Celebrates 70 years with CEO Awards gala, accompanied by his wife Dr. Awele, remarked that UBA remains a leading financial institution on the continent and hitting the 70th year mark was a laudable achievement.

He said, “It is a time to celebrate UBA’s rich heritage and legacy over 70 years and to tell everyone who has contributed to what UBA is today, that we appreciate all they have been doing and how they have ensured that the investment put into the bank over the past decades have paid off.”

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, spoke about the banks’ achievements over the past 70 years and some of its objectives for the coming years, commending staff for their hard work and resilience that have contributed to UBA retaining its position as Africa’s top bank of choice.

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“Every year, it is our tradition to appreciate our people who have put in their very best and gone far and beyond the call of duty to deliver excellent services to our customers and this year is even more exciting as we celebrate 70 years of our existence.

From Uganda, Chief Dealer, Isaac Kasozi Iga scooped an Award of Excellence for his remarkable contribution as one of the main revenue contributors to the Group.

Chairman of Zenith bank, Jim Ovia ,commended the management and staff of the bank, adding that UBA remains one of the greatest banks in Sub Saharan Africa and is built to last. He congratulated all staff and shareholders noting that he should have bought UBA shares but it was not too late to do that.

In attendance at the epic night of activities, were royal fathers, captains of industry, political leaders, clients and friends of the bank. Some of the guests present were the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye, Enitan Ogunwusi; the Emir of Kano represented by the Sarkin Shanun of Kano, Alhaji Shehu Mohammed; Former and Present Governors of Cross Rivers State.Former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babaginda who could not attend the event sent in letters of congratulations to commend the bank on its landmark achievements.

At the celebrations, the story of UBA was depicted in the Tony Award winning Broadway musical of the Lion King. Serengeti depicts the story of the young cub who grew into a strong Lion, in spite of the odds, and empowered all the other animals in the jungle. Great performances by A-list artists such as ‘science students’ crooner, Olamide, Phyno,Patoranking, Dbanj and female sensation, Tiwa Savage entertained the audience of over 2500 guests. The surprise act which ended the night on a high, was the performance by award winning Nigerian artist, Wizkid.

Police fire teargas to disperse angry supporters of Bobi wine.

Robert Segawa

Police and military was heavily deployed at Busaabala One Love Beach a head of the Kyarenga Concert which was scheduled for today Monday 22 April.

By dawn police had mounted road blocks along Busabala road in Wakiso district, police patrols every were and teargas trucks parked at the main entrance of One love beach to block Bobi wine to access the venue.

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Police has arrested the Kyarenga extra concert organizer for defying orders.

Those arrested include the Kyadondo East member of Parliament body guard Edward Ssebufu aka Eddie Mutwe, Abbey Musinguzi Abbitex and Bajo were detained at Katwe police station.

The organizers insisted the concert will go on since they haven’t received a letter from the police stopping the concert.

Police says the organizers failed to stand by security guidelines, officers are currently battling Bobi wine supporters at ONE LOVE beach Busabala who want to access the Venue.

Supporters are now throwing stones at police, forced the forced the force to answer with teargas and rubber bullets to disperse them.

Yesterday police impounded two trucks full of speakers which were hired by the organizers of Kyarenga extra concert, and one truck was driven and parked at Natete police station while the Where about of the other are not known.

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According to the letter signed by Director of police operations Asuman Mugenyi who says the previous concert of Kyarenga was characterized with multiple incidents of theft, public nuisance, violation of traffic rules and misconduct.

Mugenyi in his letter further says police intelligence shows the concerts are a risk to public safety.

He has therefore ordered the Territorial commanders to block the concert which is scheduled for today Easter Monday.

The operation is headed by deputy police Commander Kampala metropolitan area Geoffrey Namuwoza who says police presence in area is aimed to keep law and order.

According to Kyadondo East member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi wine yesterday said so far 124 concert have been blocked by police since October 2017.

Today, singer Bobi wine locked him self in his car at a road block in Busabala.

UPDATE: Bobi Wine was later arrested.

UPDATE: Justice Stellah Amoko & Mwangusya’s ruling on Age Limit Bill

By: Babirye Sania

Justice Stellah Amoko of the supreme court has dismissed the consolidated appeal and confirmed the decision of the constitutional court sitting in Mbale that ruled that the age limit bill was constitutionally passed. While delivering her judgment,she has explained that the Bill did not make a charge on the Consolidation fund because the said 29 million shillings that were paid to each Member of Parliament for consultation was already put aside by the parliamentary commission to run its activities, ruled that the speaker of parliament had a right to Amend the order paper and include the Bill hence she did not smuggle it in as it had been alleged by appellants and further also ruled that there was no proof from the appellants that members of the public were denied access to parliamentary gallery during the reading and tabling of the Bill in Parliament.

Still in the supreme Justice Eldard Mwangusya has ruled that the process of debating and passing the bill was null and void, but added that although some of the issues raised by the appellants were valued, however, they would not warrant an annulment of the age limit law. According to him the absence of a valid certificate of compliance from the speaker to accompany the bill means there was no Valid assent to the Bill into Law by President Museveni because there was nothing to ascend to. He says that issues like the constitutional failure to summon key witnesses like speaker Kadaga are valid but were not fatal enough to all the amendment of the Act.

Mwangushya ruled that lack of public participation and consultation also defeated the faith in which the Bill was brought since consultations were curtailed by security. He also declared that the rights of Mps and other members of the public who would have wanted to follow and participate in the debate was infringed upon when the doors of the gallery were closed.

President Museveni sued over “another rap” song

By Sania Babirye

President Yoweri Museveni has been dragged before the commercial court by a local Musician Richard Kaweesa for allegedly stealing his song “Another Rap” which he used in his 2010 presidential campaigns and later acquired copyrights to the song.

Kaweesa is also suing President Museveni together with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau for failing to carry out due diligence before illegally registering and granting President Museveni copyright adding that he produced the said song using a few Kinyakore words that were contained in the president’s speech of the 9th of October 2010 at Statehouse.

Peter Mungoma appointed CEO of Capital Radio 2015 LTD

By Gloria Nakiyimba
Capital Radio 2015 Ltd has appointed Peter Jackson Mungoma as Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect.

The managing director Managing Director Capital Radio 2015 William Pike announced the appointment in a statement issued Wednesday.

“As CEO, Mungoma will be expected to grow the reputation, revenue and profitability of the business and to lead its digital transformation. Under his leadership, we expect Capital Radio to consolidate its dominant position as the leading English FM station in Uganda and Beat FM to continue its challenge to become the leading Luganda radio in the country” said William Pike

Speaking on the new appointment, Mungoma has promised to grow the station revenue and listener-ship
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“What this simply means is added responsibility to ensure that we are continuing to invest in the right infrastructure, continue to invest in the right systems, continue to invest most importantly in the right people that will continue to deliver a great radio station to our listeners across the country. So our commitment is that we’ll continue to work with our audiences, with our advertisers to ensure that Capital radio is consistently delivering the numbers they are looking for, for their businesses” he said.
Mungoma has been General Manager of Capital Radio for the past four years and has presided over consistent revenue growth and strong listener-ship ratings.

“ I would like to express my gratitude to the board of directors , the management and most especially to the staff of Capital Radio with whom we have worked diligently for the last four year to achieve many of these milestones” the CEO noted.

According to Mungoma more investment will be made in the digital platforms as the only Private national radio station ensures to have good foot prints country wide.
“Capital radio has been broadcasting in this market since 1994 so we are actually 25 years. We’ve got transmitters across the country, Beat fm has got a transmitter or in Masaka which gives it massive coverage across the central region. We are also available online on our website; we are available on Tunein, so you can be able to listen to Capital anywhere in the world as long as you have access to a smart phone”.

For the advertisers, Mungoma had this to say “we gonna ensure that we continue to provide a brand that they will be very comfortable to advertise their products on, a brand that resonates with their own brands, and a brand that continues to deliver the objectives that they have set for us”.

Mungoma first joined Capital radio in November 1998 and left in 2004 at a time he was the deputy Sales manager. He joined MultiChoice in 2004. He also worked with GTV, Zuku Tv and later rejoined Capital Radio in 2015

Ugandans dissatisfied with COSASE

By Edwin Muhumuza

Debate on the COSASE report starts this Tuesday (26 February) on the floor of parliament amid high expectations that maybe officials implicated by the probe will be brought to book. What the public is demanding for already are the heads of the culprits.

When it was finally completed and read to the house a section of the public said it had promised too much but only to deliver too little.

While appearing on the Capital Gang Radio Show, Chairperson Abdu Katuntu expressed disgust that members of the public did not appreciate the role of other state institutions. This was in response to claims that his report was toothless and that culprits would walk away free as had been noted in other previous parliamentary reports especially the oil handshake report.

…‘a parliamentary committee report goes to the house where it may be adopted, dismissed or amended. When you have government institutions, they work in accordance with the law. Why we talk about the rule of law is to have different institutions perform different roles. Do not expect a parliament of a republic or a parliament of any country to start having the powers to prosecute or arrest. What will the Judiciary do, Katuntu argued!’

In 2017, Ugandans were angry that 36 government officials shared Shs.6 billion oil bonus code-named the “golden presidential handshake” by officials from the Justice ministry, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Ministry of Finance among others. It was this same committee that probed the saga and in public view nothing has been done about the officials. This was one of the issues that Katuntu had to explain in recent weeks amid intense criticism from sections within his FDC party including his successor MP Mubarak Munyagwa for what they said was incompetence during his two and a half tenure as COSASE Chairman.

Now another major report is due for debate by public representatives and the question being asked is what will the discussion help if nothing may be done to those the report seems to indict?

Katuntu says, ‘our focus was in the actions more than individuals because at the end of the day there are state agencies that should be able to take up the individuals. What we did was to say, look here, actually, we used two words deliberately, the officers and officials who participated in this process should take full and personal responsibility. That covers their actions but we imagine that other state agencies now go and look at exactly who handled this process’.

For over two months, Bank Of Uganda (BOU), officials led by the governor Tumusiime Mutebile appeared before the committee chaired by the Bugweri County MP to answer to queries raised by the auditor general’s confidential special audit report which revealed weaknesses in the management of Central Bank and questioned the Governor and his team for the hitches in the closure of at least seven commercial banks.

The sale of Crane Bank, however seemed to have opened a can of worms after the proprietor businessman Sudhir Ruparelia accused Bank of Uganda of being unfair. Crane Bank was a commercial bank licensed and supervised by the Bank of Uganda, the national banking regulator with total assets‎ amounting to approximately ‎UGX 1.81 trillion employing over 600 staff.

This was a much bigger financial entity compared to the other defunct banks and certainly had to attract immense public attention including the media. In his new report to Parliament, the Auditor General, Mr John Muwanga, queried BoU officials on the flaws in the closure of Teefe Bank (1993), International Credit Bank Ltd (1998), Greenland Bank (1999), The Co-operative Bank (1999), National Bank of Commerce (2012), Global Trust Bank (2014) and the sale of Crane Bank Ltd (CBL) to dfcu (2016)

Most Ugandans are aware that the closure of Crane Bank by Bank of Uganda was illegal, what remains to be seen is what happens to the culprits that were engaged in this illegality and whether other agencies such as the Inspectorate of Government, the ministry of Finance, Criminal Investigations Department of Police will bite.

Falitha Night and Day Care proprietor charged with Murder.

By Sania Babirye

The proprietor of Falitha Night and Day Care has been charged with accidentally causing the death of a four-year-old who was in her care and custody.

Carol Mirembe appeared on Monday before Makindye Magistrate court where she was formally charged.

According to the prosecution, on February 5th, 2019 Mirembe caused the death of Natasha Tendo whose mother left the country to look for greener Pastures thereby entrusting the child with the accused since 2017.

It is alleged that Mirembe hit Tendo on the wall and later put her to sleep in her bed where her body was found lying with blood which had leaked from her injured head to other children she slept with.

But Mirembe who appeared in Court carrying her own baby denied Manslaughter charges and asked court Presided over by chief magistrate Prossy Katushabe to release her on bail.

The magistrate has then set Mirembe’s bail at 1.5 million shillings after finding the two sureties she has presented to be substantial enough to compel her to attend the trial

Magistrate Katushabe has further set Mirembe’s case for hearing on March 7th, 2019 after state prosecutor Jackie Okao informed the court that inquiries are complete.

However, Police says Tendo’s body is still stuck at the KCCA Mortuary almost three weeks after her death with nobody claiming it