Neo – liberalism is killing Uganda says Prof. Yash Tandon

By Edwin Muhumuza

Prof. Yash Tandon , a professed socialist has said a mix of maxism and socialism is key to solving Uganda’s economic and political challenges which he attributes to a well – engineered ploy by the west to keep Uganda poor. He made the remarks as he launched his book titled “Common People’s Uganda” .

The book is a Marxist-socialist manifesto that he presents to Uganda as a solution to the current socio-economic and political challenges especially the widening gap between the rich and the poor.According to Prof. Yash Tandon, Ugandans need a national dialogue uniting all political forces, through which, President Museveni should prepare to hand over power to the young generation.

He however, urges Ugandans not look at Museveni as the chief enemy, saying the enemy is neo-liberalism engineered by western institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, World Trade Organisation (WTO) among others, which have captured Uganda specifically and Africa in general.

‘’Uganda Neoliberal policy makers in Uganda are in denial about two things. One is a reluctance to look at imperialism in the face, and acknowledge that the capitalist-imperialist system of production and wealth distribution is inherently and fundamentally flawed. And the second is that left to the so-called ‘free market’, the system not only divides people between the rich and the poor but further compounds this division over time because the market rewards the rich and penalises the poor.’’

A united Uganda, he argues is what is needed to fight western imperialism. He also argues that political leaders should unite to broach a socialist vision that works for ordinary Ugandans.

In attendance was the third deputy Katikiro, Apollo Makubuya, interim president Alliance For National Transformation ,Hon. Mugisha Muntu, Governor Bank Of Uganda Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, Former Buganda premier Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere ,Uganda People’s Congress President Jimmy Akena, elder statesmen, civil society and the media. The launch was moderated by Makerere Uiversity Historian,Prof.Ndebesa Mwambustya.

Prof.Ezra Suruma, Chancellor ,Makerere University who gave the key note address agreed with Prof.Yash that indeed Uganda was facing an enemy or power that has been pressing Ugandans that must be addressed by everyone through contributions geared towards overcoming them other than opting for blame-game politics. He cautioned that, ’’when you dare to act there is a cost including loss of life’’

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UPC’s Jimmy Akena said it is going to take more work to restore what used to be the pride of Uganda economically because the foundations set by former president Milton Obote have been altered so much.

Alliance For National Transformation interim president Mugisha Muntu in his closing remarks noted that the challenges of Uganda are rooted in her politics and thus there has be general consensus across the board of all political actors to solve the question of how power is going to be transferred from one group to another in a democratic fashion and thereafter Ugandans can decide on what market system they want for themselves.

On the question of Patronage Politics, Prof.Yash notes that it is a trend not only in Uganda but a universal phenomenon especially in market oriented capitalist systems seeming to support the Cuban system with the argument that it was done in the national party’s democratic system. He adds that the world is approaching a system where the ‘’empire is collapsing’’ with regard to the EU-Brexit, nationalistic tendencies coupled with a gradual shift of power; industrial, political, economic to China where the Chinese Yen is likely to displace the US Dollar.

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

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.

Uganda City traders abandon business for multi-million grasshopper trade

By Robert Segawa

Hundreds of trader’s in the city center have resorted to grasshopper trade until the season ends abandoned their normal businesses. This is because of the high sales of the grasshoppers whose season starts in the month of November up to December annually, however, there are times when the season ends in January.

It's Market day. A Grasshopper trader in Uganda
It’s Market day. A Grasshopper trader in Uganda

During this season grasshoppers, trackers come from up country with sucks of grasshoppers ferried in public vehicles who also abandoned the business of public transport and other saloon vehicles do the transportation.

It’s normally known the grasshoppers are got from Masaka area, however even other upcountry area’s like Hoima, Masindi, and Fortportal have also started tracking the insects.

Traders in Kampala’s market trading Grasshoppers / PHOTO By Robert Segawa for Capital FM Uganda

Areas, where they are transacted in huge numbers, include, Nsangi, Kyengera, Nateete and Katwe playground along Kampala Masaka road.

According to Kiseka Gerald, a known business trader says that early November a sack of grasshoppers were sold at 1.5 million, but due to the increase, the sack is currently costing 400,000 to 350,000. And retailers start from 1000.

He adds that those which are cleaned and ready to sale starts from 5000 a cup.

These grasshoppers are so delicious mostly to Baganda speaking tribe and others have also resorted to consuming them.