KCCA, arcade owner’s meeting with trade minister changes traders’ plot

By Robert Segawa

Traders under Kampala City Traders Association ( KACITA) have asked members operating in city arcades to close the shops.

The association through their spokesman Isa Ssekito had earlier called in traders to open their shops today after the three days ultimatum expired.

The association secretary general Thadius Musoke says the development comes after the minister of trade Amelia Kyambadde called for an urgent meeting with KCCA leadership, arcade owners and traders’ leadership this afternoon to discuss away forward without defying presidential directives to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Meanwhile police this morning had a scuffle with some traders who insisted and opened their shops in the various arcades.

Patrick Onyango Kampala metropolitan police spokesman says traders who have opened their shops were and are doing so illegally.

Tumukunde demands that health minister Ruth Aceng resigns

By Sania Babirye

2021 presidential aspirant Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde says heath minister Dr.Ruth Aceng should resign for disregarding her own COVID-19 lock down standard operational procedures she recommended and preached to Ugandans on TVs and radio stations .

According to Gen.Tumukunde, Ugandans have a right to be angry at leaders who do not practice what they preach and its only through a new health minister that Ugandans will gain trust in the health ministry.

Tumukunde says that Uganda is on a lock down because of Dr Aceng’s recommendations but if one of Uganda’s most impressive, professional and disciplined minister was seen disregarding her own guidelines,how can she then expect other Ugandans to respect and observe them.

He adds that minister Aceng should resign as it has been seen in other countries including New Zealand and UK where health minister and junior minister resigned for breaching COVID-19 lock down guidelines as the only alternative that a responsible and accountable leader can do to gain back public trust.

Tumukunde further notes that as EC called for scientific campaigns, its sad that health minister Dr.Aceng held an open rally disregarding the scientific campaigns without wearing face masks or social distancing.

He says that may be NRM as a party is hiding under the SOP to impose restrictions on Citizens and opposition to freely participate in the coming elections

Tumukunde has joined other Ugandans to criticize health minister Jane Ruth Aceng after she was photographed meeting alleged voters without wearing a face mask.

Gen.Tumukunde says that it is appalling for a minister who introduced and championed the standard operational procedures including wearing of face masks and maintaining social distancing to combat the spread of COVID-19, to be the same person to Publically fail to practice the same measures.

In a press conference released Gen. Tumukunde says that its sad that on the 10th of this month, pictures and a video of minister Aceng surrounded by a group of people who were not wearing face masks or observing social distancing emerged when many Ugandan continue to observe the standard operational procedures .

Tear gas and rubber bullets fired as Malende picks nomination forms

By Sania Babirye

Tear gas and rubber bullets have been fired by police at the people power movement headquarters in Kamyokya as police tried to arrest Shamim Malende a people power member who had gone to pick her nomination form for the Kampala woman MP seat.

According to police, Malende the people power supporter flouted standard operation procedures by gathering a group of people to escort her to the party headquarters to pick forms.

As a result, police tried to arrest her however, she was protected by her supporters who charged at police forcing police to fire teargas and bullets to disperse the angry youths.

Malende later forced her way into the party offices escaping arrest.

She has described the incident as uncalled for but not surprising saying that they are used to the unprofessional conduct of the police .

She however says that she will not be intimidated .

Malende will be battling for the seat with among others FDC’s Dr.Stella Nyanzi who has already been nominated by the FDC party to stand on the party ticket.

The seat is currently being represented by estranged FDCs Nagayi Nabilla who has not yet expressed any intentions to stand again.

MPs oppose guidelines to allow pregnant girls in school

By Alice Lubwama

A section of lawmakers have opposed the guidelines being drafted by the ministry of Education to retain pregnant girls in schools saying this will encourage more to get pregnant.

This was during a consultation meeting between MPS under Uganda parliamentary association and officials from the Ministry of education on the guidelines.

The commissioner basic education in the ministry of education Mugenyi Cleophus says the number of teenage pregnancies have escalated during this time of Covid19 pandemic when school girls are Idle at home.

But legislators such as James Waira Magyegere Bunya east and Noeline Kisembo Kibaale woman MP say that the girls should be only allowed to continue with their studies after giving birth ,because keeping them pregnant in schools with others will be sending a bad signal.

Among the proposals in the guidelines all teachers shall protect the pregnant girls and adolescent mothers from stigma and discrimination.

The schools will also be required to form health committees with counselors who will be in charge of counseling the pregnant girls who will be allowed in schools till six months.

The parents shall be required to report the schools that fails to admit their daughter to the district education officer.

Kabuleta’s case against electoral commission slated for hearing on 14th August

By Sania Babirye

The Electoral commission has asked the High court to dismiss a case in which presidential aspirant and veteran journalist turned , preacher Joseph Kabuleta is challenging the directive by the Electoral body to hold scientific/digital campaigns for the coming 2021 General elections.

The said case had come up for hearing before Justice Esther Nambayo, however, lawyers representing Uganda Electoral commission have told court that Kabuleta pre-maturely brought the said petition before court without first exhausting necessary steps within the Electoral commission .

According to EC , section 15 of its Act, has avenues through which such matters raised by Kabuleta can be resolved internally and if dissatisfied with the outcome, then someone can seek court redress.

EC further told court that the said petition was filed before court and should not be heard.

Justice Nambayo has set the 14th of August to giver her ruling.

Through his lawyers of Anthony Wameeli, Kabuleta was court to stop the scientific revised election roadmap until when the country is able to hold normal elections without restrictions.

Kabuleta also wants orders compelling government to declare a state of emergency and postpone next year’s elections in order to enable citizens express their will and consent on how they should be governed .

In his application, Kabuleta claims that digital elections dictated by the EC under the guise of preventing further spread of Covid- 19 pandemic , are meant to give incumbents an advantage over new contenders because the former category already has control over the existing media out-lets on top of having enormous followers on social media.

He further claims that the scientific elections will frustrate public participation in matters regarding their governance as it gags people from freely expressing their views to contending candidates and bars others from offering themselves for election .

On the 16th of June 2020 EC declared a scientific revised 2021 general elections banning politicians from holding public political rallies due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic .

Kabuleta says the pandemic is just an excuse to violate people’s rights basing on mere anticipations that the situation will be worse at the time of holding campaigns yet there are countries like Ghana , Burundi , Malawi and America where aspiring candidates hold public rallies at the moment.

FDC to petition EC over scientific campaigns violation by some politicians

By Sania Babirye

Forum for Democratic change says it is going to petition the Uganda Electoral commission on what it says the continued violation of the guidelines for the scientific campaigns by some politicians.

Addressing the media today, party spoke person Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said that they continue to see a specific group of politicians not observing the guidelines by going to campaign Publicly instead of using radio or TV stations as stated by the electoral commission.

Ssemujjju has cited among the many health minister Jane Ruth Aceng whose picture went viral over the weekend as she was caught allegedly talking to her voters face to face .

Another video of minister Aceng has angered the public as she was seen meeting a crowd of people without either wearing face masks or observing the social distancing directive.

The minister for information Judith Nabakooba has since come out and apologized on behalf of government over the ministers actions that are also against the standard operation procedures of combating COVID-19.

Uganda ranks 6th most popular African destination for international conferences

By Edwin Muhumuza

Uganda has been ranked the sixth most popular destination in Africa for hosting international conferences and events in the 2019 statistics report released by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). ICCA represents the world’s leading association for the global meetings, conference and events industry.

The rank is a four point advancement from the 2018 report where Uganda ranked 10th.

Uganda has over the last 5 years ranked consistently in the top 10 African destinations for hosting international conferences and events. The rankings are based on the number of association meetings taking place regularly, rotating between at least three different countries and with 50 participants.

According to the UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova, Uganda in 2019 hosted 22 association meetings including the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentarians Conference, 8th African Population Conference, Africa Now Summit, 4th African Judicial Dialogue and the 2nd Congress of the African Primatological Conference; among others all which attracted a variance of domestic, regional and international visitors and contributed to the rankings that currently place Uganda as a top Meeting and Events destination in Africa.

“In 2020, Uganda had organized and was scheduled to host a number of notable conferences and meetings that had to be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These included among others; the G77 summit, Africa Climate week, World Health Summit, CBR World Congress and the AfrAA Conference,” Ajarova explained.

She highlighted that many of these conferences have been rescheduled to take place in 2021 pending confirmation of the dates as the COVID-19 pandemic is examined and travel restrictions reviewed.

“As Uganda continues to grow its MICE industry, the next few years will see our association meetings increase as the world normalizes in the post COVID era,” Ajarova said.

Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa whose diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria.

Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43m-tall waterfall and wildlife such as hippos.

Man charged with theft of Ushs300M worth fuel granted bail

By Sania Babirye

A man who stole fuel valued at over 300 millions shillings has been charged with theft.

27 year old Lubega Hebert a store manager with Gasco United ltd and a resident of Mutundwe in Rubaga division has appeared before Makindye court grade one magistrate Patience Lonah Tukundane and denied the offense of theft.

However, he has been released on a 500,000 shilling cash bail and ordered to return to court on the 17th of this month for further mention of his case.

Prosecution says the suspect with others still at large on the 13th of March 2020 at Namasuba Makindye Sabagabo in Wakiso district,Stole 31, 773 liters of petrol engine oil valued at 337, 040,870 millions shillings.

Ministry of health accused for extending quarantine days illegally

By Sania Babirye

Ugandans who were quarantined in a hotel in Makerere have accused the ministry of health of illegally extending their mandatory 14 days to 17 days .

In a letter addressed to the ministry of health, the group led by Ivan Bwowe claim that despite finishing their mandatory 14 days as recommended by the world health organization, they were surprised when they were ordered to stay more three days in the under quarantine by ministry of health on self sponsorship.

These say that although the three days might seem a few, they will not pay for them because they are not only illegal but were not planned for.

He says that they are already constrained financially since they spend between 200,000 to 800,000 Ugandans shillings daily in these hotels which is obnoxious and the extra three days were unplanned for and they can not afford it.

He has accused ministry of health of taking advantage of them and enrich the said hotels at their expense yet, when they were returning back, they were required to bring with them a negative COVID-19 certificate which they presented .

He has accused the ministry of unfairly treating them compared to other people like lorry drivers who are left to go on with their work after being tested for COVID-19.

How minister Ruth Aceng says they added the three days after some of the people they returned with tested positive requiring them to stay extra days for further observation.

She says that after the three days, they will be given their results and asked then to be grateful since the government allowed them to return back home.

Four sent to jail over Tegu’s death

By Sania Babirye

A task team actively investigating the murder of Tegu Emmanuel, 24 year old, male University student of Makerere, on the Wednesday, charged four suspects at LDC court for his brutal murder. The deceased was violently beaten on the 27.06.2020, and sustained life threatening injuries, which he eventually succumbed to on the 3.07.2020 at Mulago Hospital, Kiruddu.

The four suspects include; Oigu Charles; a 34 year old Area Councilor; Nyeko Balam, a 33 year old security guard; Kakuru Johnson, a 24 year old resident of Makerere and Sekitoleko Moses, a 21 year old resident of Makerere.

Their actions were supported by the postmortem report which revealed the cause of death as blunt force trauma, due to open wounds along the back, multiple cane marks on the back of the right elbow and abrasions along the abdomen and the entire back of the victim.

The prevailing facts indicate that on 27.06.2020, the victim left his sister Rachael Ariongeti’s home, at Namungoona where he also stayed with his brother Sam Okwalinga, and proceeded to his church at Makerere.

He did not return home, but in the evening at around 10pm, he was found by PC Mukose Farouk who was on routine patrol behind the main building near the water tank.

The officer attempted to inquire about who he was and what he was doing at such an ordinary hour, out in the cold.

He appeared erratic and responded by throwing stones at the officer, who fired three shots in the air to scare the victim but kept charging at him.

This forced the officer to withdraw and communicated to his supervisor.

The victim ran towards St Augustine church and Centenary bank, where he charged at the three private security guards but was overpowered.

They hit him using the metallic chairs from the visitor’s tent, and it’s at this stage that he cried out for help, which attracted about 10-15 residents from Zone 1 and West road quarters around Lumumba hall.

Among the respondents were a few youth who joined the private security guards and violently assaulted the victim, whom they suspected to be a thief.

It is after the intervention of the Chaplain, St Augustine Church Makerere that the private guards and the few charged residents stopped torturing the victim and alerted the police about him.

The police team responded and rushed the victim to Mulago National Referral Hospital.

The following day of 28.06.2020, he was traced at the hospital by his brother and discharged on 29.06.2020.

While at home, the victim’s condition started deteriorating and he was taken to Mild May Clinic, Sseguku on 30.06.2020, to his personal doctor, Dr Arinda Anita who was treating his bipolar condition since 2018. She referred them to a specialist at Rubaga Hospital, to check if there was a problem with his kidney, since he was not passing urine.

At Rubaga Hospital, he was further referred to Mulago National Referral Hospital, Kiruddu where he died on 3.07.2020.

The task team has established that about three private security guards of SGA and seven others, who responded to the alarm, were behind the violent assault of the victim.

The scene was reconstructed and a few key pieces of evidence including CCTV footage from St Augustine Church, metallic chairs from the visitors’ tent at the banks which were used as a weapon against the victim, a wire rod and relevant witness statements recorded.

We would like to inform the public that the investigations are still open and we have clues about three more suspects who are still at large.

It is very helpful if we avoid speculation and instead avail evidence that is crucial to the matter under inquiry.

We would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to our officer, SGT Okwalinga, the father to the victim, and all family, friends and relatives.

We are also devastated by the senseless murder of a son who had a dream, of working in the veterinary field.

He was an evangelist who was compassionate and always helping out. May his soul rest in eternal peace.