Teachers ask that their money be reverted back to Micro finance support center

By Alice Lubwama

Uganda Private teachers union has petitioned parliament seeking for intervention into the UGX 20 billion that was pledged by government for teachers to see that they get it.

In their petition presented to speaker Kadaga by the general secretary Juma Mwamula they say the money has been transferred from the Microfinance support center to the ministry of education which has come up with stringent requirements like having a teacher registration status before they can receive the money.

Mwamula now wants the money to be reverted back to microfinance support center to enable every teacher in need benefit from it and wants Parliament to help them establish whether this money still exists saying that even though the schools partially opened many teachers are living in deplorable conditions.

They also want the teachers included among the beneficiaries of emyooga saying that they were excluded from groups of professionals who were to benefit from the program in October under unclear circumstances.

The Speaker of parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga in response promised to follow up on the matter.

During the COVID-19 lock down the president promised 20 billion shillings to be put in teachers SACCOs to help them start up small income generating projects as they had been closed down for long period of time.

KCCA Councillors trash proposal to name road after Hajji Musa Katongole

By Robert Segawa

KCCA councilors have resolved that a road be named after the late Archbishop for Kampala Dr.Cyprian Kizito Lwanga .
In a matter that has been read by the Speaker Abubaker Kawalya’s speech, he requested that a road be named after Kizito Lwanga ,he said that the late was a staunch advocate of good governance ,speaking out on human right violation and his death was a big loss to the country .

This prompted the Makindye west ll Councillor Allan Atuhaire to propose Nsambya Estate road and Gogonya road since the two roads led to the Uganda Episcopal conference .

However, he proposed Nsambya Estate road since it has Catholic schools ,Catholic church and Catholic hospital something that was seconded by Councillors Moses Mugisha okwera and Alice Among both representing Nakawa 1.

Nsambya Estate road stretches from Total to Nsambya hospital through American Embassy up to KFC kabalagala.

Meanwhile councilors have rejected a proposal tabled by Kyambogo Councillor who is also a deputy speaker Bruhan Byaruhanga who was proposing that a road be named after the former UTODA chairperson Hajji Musa Katongole saying that they don’t see any legacy he left for the people of Kampala.

Akon concludes the Uganda trip as UTB pitches to the diaspora.

By Edwin Muhumuza

Renowned Senegalese American artist and businessman Akon, concluded a weeklong trip in Uganda where UTB held talks with him on leveraging his networks and celebrity status to tap into the wealthy celebrity North American travellers and African diaspora market.

Akon, whose real name is Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam was in the country at the invitation of Ambassador Abbey Walusimbi, the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora affairs to explore various investment opportunities in the country.

During his stay, UTB CEO Lilly Ajarova hosted Akon and his wife Rozina Negusei for a familiarization trip to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the most visited national park, together with Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are famous for the Mountain Gorilla and host 53% of the World’s population of gorillas. Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to over 95 mammal Species and over 600 bird species.

Describing the gorilla tracking in a media interview, Akon and Rozina said it was rare, tough and beautiful at the same time.

“We had an amazing time—a beautiful experience. “It was amazing, I got an up-close and personal shot with the gorillas… you don’t see shots this close.”

At another media address in Kampala, Akon said: “I cannot believe what I have experienced while in Uganda, the kind of welcome I never knew Uganda had and I’m determined to expose how beautiful this country is to the rest of the world.”

Ajarova said that Akon’s visit follows another February 2021 meeting between Ajarova and Akon’s wife and entertainment entrepreneur, Rozina Negusei.

“One of the key opportunities discussed with Rozina then, and again with the couple was an opportunity for a huge potential for a back-to-Africa (in this case Uganda) International Music Festival,” she said, adding that they also discussed marine tourism- given Uganda’s abundance of water bodies, the redevelopment of the Equator—UTB has profiled up to 6 areas of investment as well as the construction of especially luxury accommodation facilities in and around 10 National Parks in addition to a favourable business environment such as government incentives, widely available and affordable labour, all, combine to make Uganda, one of the best places to visit and invest,” she said.

She also said that UTB hopes to leverage the multi-platinum selling singer, rapper, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and actor’s celebrity and wealthy networks, first to create awareness about Uganda in the North American markets especially and subsequently influence investments inflows as well.

Ajarova said that the North American Market, constitutes only 9.3% of overall tourism numbers to Uganda, they, together with European and Oceania Australia, New Zealand) were largely leisure travelers that spend between 8 to 14 nights.

Nearly one-third of all leisure visitors were much more likely to stay in either Uganda’s Safari Lodge or Tourist campsites.

In an interview with Associated Press News, an American newswire, Akon said that Uganda was rich with potential and indeed confirmed that his company was interested in and would host an international music festival in Uganda.

“We do want to be able to invest in the local artists. One of the reasons for the festival is to expose the local artists here in Uganda because they play a big role in the East African music also hinted at and plans to build what he called an entertainment city in Uganda.

“That is on the list of things that we are doing. That is one of the reasons why we are doing the Akon Entertainment City here; because we want to be able to focus and showcase the entertainment all throughout East Africa,” he said.

Minister explains allocation of research money to Makerere university

By Alice Lubwama

The state minister for finance in-charge of general duties Gabriel Adjedra has explained that all research money was granted to Makerere University after it presented the best proposal as approved by the university vetting committee.

Adjedra’s explanation came after legislators on the education committee led by the chairperson Jacob Opolot grilled him for having allocated all the money to only Makerere University yet it was meant for all universities to conduct research.

He said that all the universities are represented on the committee that vets the proposals and the allocation of money is based on the decision they make.

The MPs on the same committee including Ssewungu Gonzaga of Kalungu West also grilled the minister o. Why they release none tax revenue funds to the universities in quarters instead of doing it at once.

The MPs said releasing that money I. Quarters was hindering the performance and development of public universities.

However in response ,Adjedra said that the public finance management act of 2015 requires his ministry to release the money depending of the projections of the universities.

Judiciary staff gets uniform as a means to fight bribery

By Sania Babirye

The Judiciary has introduced an official uniform to be worn by all stuff in a bid to stop the alleged corruption and bribery allegations against its stuff from members of the public.

The new uniforms that are in white and purple color with a Judiciary emblem will be worn by all staff members while on duty with their respective names and positions tagged on.

While launching the uniforms at the high court headquarters in Kampala, the permanent secretary Pius Bigirimana said that the said uniforms are to be worn by support staff including court clerks, drivers and process servers.

Bigirimana added that it was mandatory for every staff to wear the uniforms a d those who fail to do so will be punished.

He also revealed that a hot -lines through which complaints can be received and CCTV cameras in strategic positions such as registries and corners have been instituted in a bid to fight corruption.

He reminded tall court users to stop paying any money inform of cash to any judicial officer emphasizing that all payments to the judiciary must be paid to the bank, mobile money and that they will soon soon roll out an online payment in June to reduce inter-personal interactions.

Political ananlyst urges political parties to train new Parliamentary entrants

By Phiona Namutebi

Political analyst Henry Kasacca has pointed out that lack of ideological focus remains a threat to the growth and existence of opposition political parties in Uganda.

While speaking to the press, Kasacca said that many times when members are voted into power, they forget the ideological concepts of the parties they come from making the parties dull since their ideas are not considered.

He adds, this in turn becomes challenging because it causes divisions among party members as everyone serves their personal interests as apposed to collective party interests.

Kasacca has also blamed political parties for failure to train their newly elected members of parliament that has limited their effectiveness in parliamentary operations.

Kasacca notes that political parties should not assume that new legislators know what to do and even if they know, they always need to be guided so that they don’t get off-track and fail to effectively serve their societies.

He has advised opposition political parties to unite if they are to transform the country because the divisions amongst them don’t add anything on their goal but they instead weaken them.

Over 1000 Imams receive food packages

By Sania Babirye

Over 1200 Imams have received Ramadhan Food Packages from a UK based charity organisation SOS, in collaboration with the Department of Social Services under Uganda Muslim Supreme Council-UMSC.

The food was distributed to the Imam’s at the UMSC headquarters in a ceremony presided over by His Eminence the Deputy Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Abdallah Ibrahim Semambo.

The charity designs such programs to help Imams who are serving under hard conditions to instill moral values in the communities.

The deputy Mufti thanked Charity SOS, for partnering with UMSC in the field of social well being for the Vulnerable and implored other Organizations to emulate it and come up with similar projects.

Ahmed Zabir, the Director Charity SOS thanked UMSC for extending technical support towards his organization and pledged to work more closely in realizing their aims.

He also revealed that the Association will be rolling out more developmental programs such as paying Imams some allowances to enable them to perform their spiritual duties with a stable mind.

Some of the beneficiaries included Imam Musa Ibrahim of Masjid Noor Nsoba who thanked the Mufti and entire UMSC for initiating the cooperation that he said has brought smiles over their faces.

Four jailed for murdering business man in Mityana

By Sania Babirye

The Kampala High Court has handed a life in prison sentence to four men who were convicted of murdering Mityana business man Kasadha Mulinde Kimbugwe over land wrangles in 2019.

Kampala High Court Judge Wilson Kwesiga has stated that the sentence is to serve as a punishment since the convicts killed the deceased in a cruel manner.

The four led by Ibrahim Muyingo the area LC1 chairperson of Minana-Galabi were on Monday convicted by the same court on grounds that prosecution had adduced sufficient evidence to prove the said murder.

However, Justice Kwesiga acquitted the other two accused including Rev.Fr.Lawrence Muduse Yawe over the said murder.

Prosecution states that the accused persons on August 7th 2019 at Minana-Galabi village, Ttamu Division, Mityana municipality in the Mityana District, unlawfully with malice aforethought killed a one Kasadha Mulinde Kimbugwe.

According to evidence adduced by Prosecutions, the deceased was found with his his head cut off by the accused persons over a one square mile land.

The head was found near the homes of the convicts who had publicly threatened to kill him.

Prosecution also claimed that on that fateful day, the deceased before he met his death was moving around the village, giving out letters to tenants who were squatting on his land which covered four villages including, Minana, Galabi, Jabukw and Jamuvole in Tamu Division in Mitiyana.

Finance Minister tables 41.2 trillion budget for next financial year

By Alice Lubwama

The minister of finance Matia Kasaija has tabled a budget of UGX 41.2 trillion for next financial year 2021/2022 before the budget committee of parliament.

According to the proposed budget governance and security will take the lion’s share, each getting UGX7.7 trillion.

This Will be followed by human capital development which will take UGX6.8 trillion , integrated transport infrastructure and services will take 3.9 trillion, agro-industrialization will take 1.4 trillion and ,regional development UGX1.2 trillion.

The budget also shows that domestic refinancing will take UGX8.5 trillion, domestic arrears UGX 400 billion while interest and amortization will take 6.7 trillion shillings.

Matia Kasaija said that in the next financial year they plan to promote inclusive and sustainable growth, accelerate industrialization, and maintain peace and security and human capital development.

In the next financial year’s budget they plan to invest 490 billion shillings to promote the parish model in which the government plans to spend 39 million shillings at every parish to promote inclusive and sustainable growth.

According to the minister, they have decided to bring together all the current revolving funds for development like the youth livelihood fund, and women entrepreneurship program among others and created a parish model which they will use to assist Ugandans to develop.

The MPs however were not satisfied with the proposed model wondering whether they have not just changed names which made the minister of finance Matia Kasaija to ask them to allow him bring the details on how the new model will work on Thursday.

Three fined for defying curfew time

By Sania Babirye

City hall court has fined three men 200,000 shillings each or failure to do so serve two months in prison for moving at night during curfew hours.

These include 20 year old Mungu Jakisa Benjamin, 18 year old Byambanga Gerald and 26 year old Magara Inbra.

They have pleaded guilty to the offence of disobedience of unlawful orders before grade one magistrate Valerian Tuhimbise.

Prosecution states that the convicts on the 8th of April 2021, at Kyebando Kisalosalo along Northern bypass in the Kampala district, disobeyed Presidential lawful orders by moving at night during curfew hours.