Women’s rights advocates say a lot needs to be done

As Uganda joins the rest of the world tomorrow to commemorate the international women’s day, organizations advocating for the rights of women and children, say that although women in Uganda can cerebrate some achievements in terms of development, but a lot needs to be done to get them out of poverty.

Tina Musuya the executive director of center for domestic violence prevention note that women are still seen as second choice to men which has limited many to develop.

Musuya say that unless women have equal rights to property, they will never get out of poverty since it’s only their labour used on land.

“It is assumed that when bride price is paid in many communities, she is also part of the property of the man , that means she doesn’t have equal ownership rights, now the issue of women’s right to property is a big challenge.

Musuya also note that many women still experience interment partner violence, including sexual abuse, being beaten and others left with the burden of providing for all needs of the family even when their partners are working.

On leadership positions, she noted that women are still few in leadership positions and calls them to strive more and at least have 50% representation in the leadership roles.

The woman activist further said that although many women have tried to work but many are sexually abused from their work places.

The executive director High sound for children Hadija Mwanje also said that the rate at which men are denying their responsibility is high, where by many have left the burden of providing for the children to women.

Mwanje say that the focus should also go on the boy child in order to prepare them grow as responsible fathers and husbands.

Minister Muyingo worried about increasing school dropouts

By Daudi Zirimala
The State Minister for Uganda Higher Education, John Chrysostom Muyingo is concerned about the reducing number of students finalizing the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education UACE

Speaking during the release of 2018 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Examinations (UACE) results at President’s Office, Kampala, Muyingo said that its unfortunate that a number of students drop out after registering for UACE which has to be followed by stakeholders to find out the reasons why numbers keep on reducing every year.

According to UNEB a total of 99,672 students registered for 2018 UACE out of who 53,359 are males and 41,313 females across the 2,217 centres in Uganda.

UNEB executive secretary Dan Odongo said girls performed better, especially in arts subjects. However, Biology overall was the worst done subject.

Odongo, secretary says Girls constituted 41.4% of the candidates who sat for the exams.

“Whereas gender parity has been attained at UCE, at this level (UACE), the gap between males and females taking these exams is still wide with parity index of 0.7,” he said.

According to him, 98.5% of 101,269 candidates qualified for the award of UACE, including candidates who obtained at least one subsidiary level pass in a subject at principal level.

Results of 79 candidates from 24 centres have been withheld over malpractice and were seeking for assistance during the examinations, among other reasons,” she added.

History, Economics, Entrepreneurship Education, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Art subjects have shown better performance in 2018 than in 2017

41,296 female candidates were registered in 2018 as compared to 41,932 female candidates who were registered in 2017.

Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) chairperson, Prof Mary Okwakol says there is a possibility that female students took up vocational studies available to them in preference to the UACE level.

“We note improvements in Physics and biology at subject level but a drop of performance at principal level,” she says.

Prof Okwakol says candidature has reduced by 2.9%.
“This trend has been observed since 2014. Entry figures continue to show that overwhelmingly number of candidates is opting for humanity subjects,” she adds.

According to her, allowing malpractice in exams will lead to low quality of the country’s human resource.

Parliament moves motion to recall Gen Kyaligonza

By Patricia Osman

Parliament has this afternoon passed a solution to recall Major General Matayo Kyaligonza as Uganda’s ambassador to Burundi following the weekend scenario where he reportedly assaulted a female traffic officer Esther Namaganda together with his two body guards.
The motion was moved by Uganda Women Parliamentarians Association (UWOPA) chairperson Pamela Kamugo recommending that the appointing authority Mr. Museveni recalls Gen Kyaligonza as ambassador.
After heated the debate, the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga adopted the motion and it now remains the pre-rogative of the appointing authority to recall Gen Kyaligonza or not.

Police officers demoted over participation in Arua saga

By Sania Babirye

The Police Disciplinary Court has recommended the demotion of five Police Officers in connection to last year’s chaotic Arua Municipality parliamentary by-elections.

While announcing the ruling at Arua Municipal Council hall this morning the Police Disciplinary Court Chairperson, Dennis Odongopiny said the officers were found guilty of negligence of duty.

He has now sentenced Superintendents of Police-SP Robert Junena Okia, the former West Nile Zonal Field Force Unit Commander, Jonathan Musinguzi, the former West Nile Region Police Commander and former Arua DPC, Abbas Senyonjo to reduction in rank to Assistant Superintendents of Police.

The same court sentenced Senior Superintendent of Police, Edward Mugweri, the former West Nile Region Crime Intelligence Officer to reduction in rank to Superintendent of Police.
More than 4,000 residents of three sub counties in Bunyangabu district are living in fear of eviction from their homes by Mathias Kintu who says the land belonged to his late grandfather, Yohana Maingira.

However the occupants of the land have dismissed Kintu’s claims.

Now the Defense and Veterans Affairs Minister who also doubles as the Bunyangabu Member of Parliament promises to talk to Kintu to allow government to buy the land for the

FAO and Agriculture ministry to support fishing communities

By Daudi Zirimala
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), together with the Ministry of Agriculture, have today launched a pilot project, dubbed Integrated Livelihood Support to Fishing Communities around Lake Victoria will benefit groups of women and youths in rural poor fishing communities in Kalangala, Kalungu and Masaka districts, with an aim of empowering them to diversify their income sources in fishing and fishing–related activities.

The two-year Project, worth USD 277 000, will provide training and inputs to help beneficiaries to manage economically viable and sustainable interventions in their interest, including but not limited to aquaculture and value addition options for capture fisheries.

According to the minister of Agriculture,animal Industry and Fisheries Vicent Bamulangaki Ssempijja the project comes on the heels of MAAIF’s recognition of the enormous challenges affecting fishing dependent communities, especially women and youth.

He said that the groups have remained marginalized, poor and with limited sustainable sources of income, because of over fishing, decline in fish stocks, illegal fishing, poor fish handling facilities and increased post-harvest losses.

“Unfavorably high competition for fishing grounds, brought about by over capitalization of fishing has also contributed to this dire situation and address some of these challenges, the Government of Uganda instituted management reforms aimed at boosting fish stocks” says Ssempijja.

The project will support interventions aimed at promoting legal fishing methods and gears to vulnerable groups, providing non-fishing livelihood options, efficient post-harvest handling and value addition technologies, economic empowerment of women and youth through SACCOs, as well as building the capacity of the beneficiaries to sustain the benefits.

The FAO Country Representative, Antonio Querido, said that project beneficiary communities will be supported to boost their incomes through additional streams resulting from alternative livelihood options that are at the same time expected to reduce pressure on capture fisheries resources.

“It is our sincere hope that this project will contribute to addressing inadequate diversification of livelihood options among the rural poor fishing communities, especially women and youth, as well as improving the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises,” Querido said.

The fisheries sub-sector contributes about 12 and 3 percent to Uganda’s agricultural and national incomes respectively, demonstrating its huge potential to provide employment, income and food security.

Overall, the sub-sector contributes to the livelihood of nearly 5.3 million people while about one million people are engaged in capture fisheries and about half a million people are engaged in aquaculture. About 5,000 people are employed in fish industrial processing.

Over 1.2 million people are directly dependent on the fisheries sub-sector as their main source of household income.

Furthermore, fish forms an important part of diets, being a major source of critically required animal protein for about one million Ugandans. Through this intervention therefore, FAO and MAAIF will champion responsible and sustainable fishing while creating opportunities for women and youth in fishing communities to diversity incomes from fish-related activities.

Six babies born at Lubaga hospital pass on after a day

By Robert Segawa

Doctors and patients in Lubaga hospital were left in shock after six babies born at the same time on Tuesday at the hospital have passed on.

The deceased belong to 24 year old Haula Namakula Katende of Mpigi who had gone for antenatal check up in Lubaga hospital.

Namakula adds that she’s feeling a fever and decided to visit the hospital as the pregnancy was 7 and half old.

According to Jalia Nakazibwe the mother to Namakula the babies were under wait as each weigh less than kg.

Nakazibwe adds that the father of the deceased also a husband to Namakula ,Hussein Walusimbi 33 year old had gone for greener pastures in United Arab Emirates.

The babies were four boys and 2 girls.

According to the sources incubators at Rubaga hospital were occupied, and decided to take them to Mulago hospital where they died from.

Health experts want increased access of anti venom drugs

By Daudi Zirimala
Health experts have asked government to increase the stock of anti Venom in all health centers across the country.

According to research by Makerere University School of public health fellowship,snake bites are one the neglected tropical accidents which government has not given much attention in terms of budget allocations.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony of public health fellowship ,one of the fellows Dr.John Kamulegeya said that 95% of the snake bites occur in rural areas and Northern Uganda has the highest number of snake bites of 3.2% where males are more affected.

Kamulegeya said that it’s upon this background for the government to increase on the budget for supplying anti-Venom drugs to treat snake bites in all health centers.

Many victims of snake bites do not come to health centers so they resort to herbal medicine which is risky for venomous snake bites says Kamulegeya. They say it’s high time for the government to sensitive the masses about the venomous snake bites as well as increasing on the anti-Venom drugs.

Electronic passport case: petitioners seek interim injunction

By Sania Babirye
City lawyer Michael Aboneka has filed an application in the high court in Kampala seeking an interim order blocking the issuance of electronic passports pending disposal of his main case.

In his main application, Aboneka is challenging the process of phasing out of current passports by 2021 on grounds that the process because it is not backed by any law currently.

Through his lawyer Gawaya Tegulle , Aboneka has informed deputy Court Register Sarah Langa that his main will be over taken by events and rendered useless if government is not blocked from the ongoing process of issuance and recalling current passports which is in its advanced stage.

However, State Attorney Allan Mukama has asked court to dismiss the interim order application on grounds its over taken by events as the ministry of internal affairs has already started issuing out the new electronic passports.

Mukama has also dismissed Submissions from Twgulka that the process is not backed by law saying that the process of issuing the electronic east African passport is back by the decision of the East African Community council and a recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Authority.

He has also added that the exercise of acquiring new passports is voluntary and it is done in three phases and will end by 2021.

Mukama has also explained to court that its only Uganda which is still behind since other other East African countries including Burundi and Kenya have already complied with the process.

The deputy registrar has now set the 25th of this month to deliver her ruling.

Aboneka together with Center for Constitutional Governance petitioned High Court challenging the move by government to phase out the current passports by the end of 2021 in preparation for the issuance of the electronic East African Community passports.

In the complaint, they say the period given to Ugandans to switch to the international EAC electronic passports is insufficient and exclusionary to both Ugandans living within and abroad which is contrary to the principles of equity, accountability, transparency, rule of law ,good governance and democracy.

They also state that charge levied on the intended e passports is too excessive and exploitative .

The concerned citizens explain that for an ordinary Ugandan to acquire an electronic passports he has to pay 250,000 shillings which is 67 percent increase from the current cost of 150,000 shillings.

They consequently say Ugandan charge for e- EAC passports is the highest in the region compared to Kenya and Tanzania who are charging Ksh 4.550 and Tsh50000 respectively.

The main case is set for hearing which on the 19th of March 2019 before High court Justice Musa Sekaana.

Ugandan ginners want importation of second hand clothes banned

By Alice Lubwama
Ginners under their umbrella organization, Uganda Ginners and Cotton Exporters Association have asked government to put a ban on importation of second-hand clothes into the Country.

The Ginners made their request to the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja in a meeting organized by Cotton Development Organization (CDO).

Bob Ogen Albert a ginner representing Acholi Sub-region at the ginners’ umbrella body said that importation of second-hand clothes into Uganda undermines government`s effort to promote local industries calling for the ban.

The Ginners also expressed their concern to the Minister on the recent cabinet decision to scrap off the Cotton Development Organization (CDO) saying the move will cripple Uganda`s textile industry.

In response Minister Ssempijja assured the ginners that the matter will be discussed in cabinet to support them to continue operating in the country.

Government to offer Buganda Kingdom diplomacy training

By Moses Kidandi

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Training in Diplomatic, Etiquette, Protocol and Related matters with Buganda Kingdom at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters Kampala.

The Memorandum of Understanding formalized and strengthened the relationship that has existed between the Ministry and Kingdom for a long time.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Affairs, Amb Patrick Mugoya in his remarks intimated that the MOU was the beginning of a new level of Cooperation with the Kingdom of Buganda. He noted that the Ministry would identify other areas of cooperation with the Kingdom, and assured them of the Ministry‘s continuous support and willingness to build on the existing co-operation.

Oweek. Amb Emmanuel Ssendaula , 1st Deputy Katikikiro of Buganda expressed his gratitude to the Ministry for formalizing relations with the Kingdom and informed the meeting that the Kingdom of Buganda was appreciative of the various times the Ministry has worked with the kingdom on strengthening its Institutional capacity and that of its staff in proper protocol and diplomatic etiquette.

He further thanked the Ministry for facilitating the Kingdoms Jubilee (Jubileo) celebrations with Protocol services in regard to hosting the Asantehene, Otumfuo NanaOsei Tutu II, the 16th King of the Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana, who was the guest of honor at the Buganda Kingdom Jubilee celebrations.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding, both sides agreed to jointly to Provide a Framework through which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will provide training to the officials and staff of the Kingdom of Buganda, to Build capacity of the Buganda Kingdom’s institutions engaged in managing public affairs,to Provide Diplomatic support to the official Missions executed by His Majesty the Kabaka, the Katikikiro of Buganda and other high-ranking Kingdom officials and personalities and to Provide protocol support to the Kingdom’s activities involving His Excellency the President, other high-ranking government officials, diplomats and foreign dignitaries.

The MOU was signed by Amb Patrick Mugoya, Permanent Secretary on behalf of Foreign Affairs and by Oweek Noah Kiyimba, Minister of information and Protocol on behalf of Buganda Kingdom.