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.

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

BREAKING: Pope declines visit to Uganda.

By: Moses Kidandi

The Catholic church in Uganda has announced that Pope Francis won’t attend the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).

The assembly of Catholic Bishops in the country invited Pope Francis to visit Uganda again in July this year to grace the climax of these celebrations. However, the Uganda Episcopal Conference Secretary-General; Msgr. John Baptist Kauta indicates that His Holiness won’t make it to Uganda through the program for the celebrations will proceed as scheduled.

The opening Mass for the climax of the celebration is expected on July 23, 2019, at Lubaga Cathedral and the closing Mass will be on July 28, this year at Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine Namugongo under the theme; Church, Family of God in Africa, celebrate your Jubilee! Proclaim Meet and Welcome Christ your Savior.”

President directs finance to pay 23.5 billion in arrears to Buganda Kingdom

By Gloria Nakiyimba

President Museveni has directed the ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, to return all land titles belonging to Buganda to the Kingdom. The president issued the directive during his visit to the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II at his palace in Banda an outskirt of Kampala.

“We discussed a number of pending issues particularly those concerned with land and arrears that the central government owes the Kingdom of Buganda And today the President directed the ministry of lands to ensure that all verified land titles that were returned to the Kingdom of Buganda be transferred into the names of the Kabaka of Buganda as by law established” said the Katikiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga who attended the Banda meeting.
President Museveni arrived at the palace at 11.00 a.m. and was received by the Kabaka, Prince Daudi Kintu Wasajja. and other Buganda Kingdom officials.

Before the two Principals went into a private meeting, they held a discussion with Kingdom and government officials where, President Museveni also directed that outstanding monetary arrears to the Kingdom be paid in the next three financial years.

“The money is in three categories; there are rental arrears amounting to six billion shillings, in respect of Kigo, and Makindye barrack, and other places. So the president directed the ministry of finance to immediately pay three billion out of that” Mayiga explains.

According to Buganda Premier Mayiga, most of the titles of land that was confiscated from the monarchy by the central government during the 1966/7 were not transferred in the names of the Kabaka. “Following the 2013 agreement between the government of Uganda and the Kingdom of Buganda, the government undertook to return to the Kingdom all that land that was confiscated in 1966/7. The challenge we have experienced is that the titles have not been transferred to the names of the Kabaka of Buganda” said the Katikiro.

51308591_1492493534219399_3859225722606321664_n

Buganda Kingdom has been pushing for recovery of its land that was confiscated by the central government during the 1966 crisis which led to the exile of Sir Edward Muteesa the Kabaka of Buganda to Britain where he later died of poisoning. This happened after Kabaka Mutesa clashed with President Milton Obote.

Some of the financial compensation accrued from properties, like Mutesa House in London which was sold by the government of Uganda valued at 30 billion shillings and Plot 52 along Kampala Road which houses King Fahad Plaza valued at .14.1 billion?

“So the president directed that 23.5 billion be included in the national budget 2019/2020, and then the balance of 23.5 billion be included in the national budget 2020/2021” said the Katikiro of Buganda. The meeting was attended by Attorney General, William Byaruhanga and State Minister for Privatization and Investment, Evelyn Anite from the Central government.

National army to resolve Libyan crisis says President Museveni

By Gloria Nakiyimba

President Yoweri Museveni says building a national army is one the key solutions to the problems in troubled Libya.
While meeting the visiting Afro-Arab Youth Council delegation, at Stat house Nakasero the president who is the Patron of the Council noted that “The problems in Libya can be solved through the building of a National Army where they incorporate both the old and new members of the forces.”

He is also proposing that elections should be held where all the Libyans will participate fairly, as the leaders under the African Union continue to search for a lasting solution to the Libyan conflict.

The delegation led by Mr. Abdulhadi Elhwig was in the country to consult with their patron as they prepare for the 3rd General Assembly of the Afro-Arab Youth Council Summit. This is scheduled to take place in Kampala in August this year more than ten years since the 2nd General Assembly of the organization was held in Kampala in 2008 that was attended by former Libyan President, the late Col. Abu Minyar Muammar Gaddafi.

Mr. Elhwig, saluted President Museveni for his e immense support to the group and for accepting to host the summit again in Kampala this year. Libya plunged into a crisis during the Arab spring protests in 2011 which led to civil war and the subsequent overthrow and assassination of Col. Gaddafi on 20th October the same year in Sirte.
The proliferation of armed groups in the once stable Maghreb country led to violence and instability that continues to plague Libya, resulting in the death of tens of thousands of people as well as casualties. The crisis also saw the crumbling of the Libyan economy mainly driven by oil.

Uganda’s tourism stakeholders form a joint security committee

By Edwin Muhumuza

Tourism stakeholders have formed a joint security committee in a bid to ensure quick and efficient handling of crime in the sector. This during a dialogue at the Uganda Tourism Board offices hosted by the head of quality assurance Samora Semakula.

The stake holders dialogue was attended by the commandant of tourism police Frank Mwesigwa ,Association of Uganda Tour operators(AUTO),Uganda Hotel Owners Association(UHOA),Uganda Safaris and Guides Association(USAGA),The Uganda Association Of Travel Agents(TUGATA).

‘Members of the committee are expected to keep track of cases that have been reported countrywide to rid the industry of masqueraders who often fleece tourists of their money’ Semakula explained.

Tourism being the economic backbone of Uganda, has attracted quite a number of people into the sector seeking to cash in on the rewards of the God-given beauty of the country, consecutively listed among the top three destinations of the world every year by global tourism agencies.

However, weaknesses in the law have been a challenge in ensuring transparency amid concerns that the Tourism Act,(now under amendment) is silent on several issues pertaining to safety and quality of services offered by stakeholders.

Commandant of tourism Police Frank Mwesigwa appealed to tour operators to liaise with the police to ensure that tourists are accommodated in Known hotels and to provide security when necessary. This on grounds that tourists have complained of theft of property and other valuables when accommodated in poor quality and substandard hotels and lodges.

The Chairperson of the Uganda Safaris and Guides Association, Herbert Byaruhanga noted that all members of registered associations should have their lists displayed on their websites as well as that of the Uganda Tourism Board, so that Police can easily identify criminals adding that blacklisting and displaying of suspected criminals will go a long way in ensuring that tourist and hotels will shun them.

The Executive Director, Uganda Hotel Owners Association, Jean Byamugisha called for a Name and Shame list of tour operators and Hotels that have been named to have been involved in criminal activity because there are no consequences for now, so that the law can deal with them. Byamugisha added that there is need for the sector to ‘bite’ and use one culprit as an example to the rest to desist from crime.

Concerns were also raised from the Uganda Association Of Travel Agents over the laxity from some airlines to join their association, a move they say may be a set back to the sector.

Other issues of concern was that there is no one in the country that can produce a record of the number of tourists entering Uganda per day from all entry points for accountability purposes. However members observed that it will have to take an order from cabinet to the sector to deliver the records daily to the tourism police other than the Uganda Bureau of Statistics that has red-tape.

Flights to Entebbe Cancelled: Ethiopian Airlines plane overshots runway

Report by Robert Segawa

Flights to Entebbe international airport have been cancelled after an Ethiopian Airlines plane overshot the runway early this morning. Communications director Civil aviation authority Vianney Lugya says all 139 passengers on board the air craft Boeing B_737_800 safely disembarked from the airport.

The flight registration number ET- ATV with flight number ET- 338 on 3rd January 2019 on regular schedule service from Addis Ababa to Entebbe Uganda over shot the land way that led to hundreds of passengers remain stranded at Entebbe international airport after suspension of some incoming flights.

This led to tighten the security at the Airport as officials didn’t allow people to access the stream of Airport.

Lugya Civil aviation authority effort is under way to remove the Athiopian airline plane for planes that are coming to the country to land.

The facts that it over shot the land way and is at end of the land way, has some how affects the incoming flight which can not come in at the moment, says Lugya. He however says there wasn’t any passengers that was injured in the morning incident.

The aircraft had a total of 139 people on board all of them disembarked safely without any problems and no observed damage to the aircraft. Lugya adds that it over shot the land way has some how affects the incoming flight which can not come in at the moment.

Religious leaders from Mityana starts advocacy for family planning

By Alice Lubwama

Faith based organizations from mityana district including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kiyinda–Mityana have partnered with civil societ organizations in the area to advocate for the allocation of more funds for family planning services in the next financial year budget 2018/2019.

During a meeting between religious leaders, government officials and civil society organizations from mityana district and mps on the health committee of parliament led by the chairperson DR Michael Bukenya, the Mityana Diocese Anglican Bishop; Rt. Rev. Dr. Samuel Kazimba said that said that its their duty as religious leaders to
have a vision for the people in order for them not to perish.

Kazimba adds he supports family planning because it was about family life quoting proverbs chapter 29 verse 18‘‘ it says without vision people will perish and this provokes my ministry and this is actually a force behind what we do. ’´’ he said

Bishop kazimba told the meeting that when he was made a bishop 10 years ago, he realised a missing gap in area of education health, work and development he decided participate more because development is very important, quotes John chapter1o verse taking about having life in abundance .

Kazimba however said that although he supports family planning, but he was not in support of abortion, saying he was an abortion survivor ‘‘my father was a polygamist and my mother attempted to abort,iam th only child in that family now but see now where am , it is the reason why we have to support family planning .

The bishop said that he supports family planning 100% and he has only four children. The district health officer DR Lwasampijja Fred said that with the support of religious leaders and faith for family health initiative an
NGO in Mityana, the district has been able to implement a 5 years family planning costed plan.

The district allocates part of its budget to family planning services such as supplies and educating women and girls on how to use them.

DR Lwasa say that although teenage pregnancy in the district has been reduced to 9.7% in 2015 when they launched this family planning costed plan the percentage has now short up to 19.9 % in 2018 due to shortage of supplies.

Lwasa also points out the biggest challenges they face in implementing the use of family planning services as being low involvement of the males and increasing demand for the supplies compared to the supplies among others.

The chairperson of the health committee of parliament Dr Micheal Bukenya assured the religious leaders that the issues of family planning as well as drug stock outs will be considered as they go through the budget process adding that his committee had already agreed with the family planning consortium to ring fence the money for family planning services.

Road Safety: World Bank launchs a road inspection report of the North Eastern Road Corridor

BY GLORIA NAKIYIMBA

The World Bank has today launched a road inspection report of the North Eastern Road Corridor which calls for improvement of safety measures to make the road safer for all users. Some of the safety measures proposed in the report include, changing the design of the road to make it more consistent to the terrain.

Other measures are , improving the cross section from two-lanes to four-lanes with guardrails in the towns of Tororo, Mbale, Soroti and Lira and at the Manafwa steep descend, use of speed guns, installation of speed humps, and delineation of horizontal curves to enhance safety for night-time driving with chevron signs.

The 340km stretch, known as the North Eastern Road Corridor Asset Management Project covers the Tororo-Mbale-Soroti-Lira-Kamdini road, and is about to undergo rehabilitation and improvements funded by the World Bank “Uganda has made important strides in the past decade to reduce communicable diseases, maternal deaths, and improve the overall life expectancy. Therefore, a concerted action on road safety would bring additional far-reaching benefits for the public health sector, and economic development,” said Tony Thompson, Country Manager, World Bank.

The report, funded by the Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility, identified several challenges including rapid urbanization along the corridor, poor road design that is inconsistent with the geographical terrain, ineffective and limited speed control measures as well as steep embankments and slopes.

According to the report a total of 98 accident black spots were identified in the corridor – equivalent to one black spot every 3.5km.

Speaking at the launch of the report in Kampala on Thursday, Allen Kagina the executive director Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA noted that “the unit will be coordinating and liaising with all key stakeholders, including the police, the contractor, and the National Road Safety Council. The Unit will follow up on the NERAMP road safety performance and compliance to requirements of the national road safety standards and programs.”

UNRA says road Safety activities are aimed at the reduction of road traffic injuries and fatalities by strengthening the road safety management capacity, and reducing road crashes on the project corridor.

UNRA boss Kagina says the authority’s Traffic and Road safety department will play the leading role in the implementation of the safety interventions of the project, particularly the education and support to enforcement aspects.

The unit will follow up on the NERAMP road safety performance and compliance to requirements of the national road safety standards and programs.

Road safety education campaigns will be carried out in schools and on radio and TV stations in major towns along the road corridor including Tororo, Mbale, Soroti and Lira while support will be given to the road safety enforcement agencies like police in enforcing safety measures.