Ministry of health sets new guidelines for churches

By Deo Wasswa

Ministry of health says, churches will be subjected to limited number of attendants during church services once the president announces the reopening of places of worship as one of major guideline to avoid the spread of Corona virus.

According to Richard Okwi, head of social behavior change department and communications officer in charge of public health emergency at ministry of health, each service will comprise of 100 members, hence encouraging churches to consider conducting multiple services to cater for demand.

He made the remarks while facilitating a team of clergies under the Christian ecumenical council of Uganda on standard operating procedures that churches must undergo to avoid spreading of COVID-19 once they resume.

According to him, church programs will also not remain the same as overnights will be prohibited in order to comply with curfew guideline.

He adds that so far the ministry of health has met churches under inter religious council of Uganda, the Adventist, the Christian ecumenical council of Uganda and they yet to meet Muslim fraternity while training clergies on maters concerning with COVID-19 prevention and management.

One Saturday 19, September President Museveni will be addressing the nation on maters to do with COVID-19.

Police headquarters closed over positive cases

By Robert Segawa

The inspector general of police Martin Okoth Ochola has temporarily closed police headquarters Naguru for three days to give way for decontamination .

This comes after top police officers currently under quarantine in Entebbe hospital and Jinja after testing positive of COVID-19.

According to police spokesman Fred Enanga, this was agreed upon to prevent Corona virus spread among police officers.

Enanga says that after fumigation they will also install disinfection booth at the headquarters to stop spread of deadly virus infection.

He further adds that all police stuffs in Jinja are undergoing testing to establish the extent of exposure to the virus as ministry of health team are working hard to trace the contracts to confirmed cases.

The LDUs are back but only for night duty

By Sania Babirye

The army has reinstated all local defense units who have completed their refresher training to resume operations only at night in support of the Uganda police to curtail criminal activities.

In a statement released by the newly appointed UPDF spokesperson brigadier general Flavia Byekwaso, the reinstatement follows an outcry by local leaders and the general public about the increased criminality especially in the night due to the withdraw if LDUs.

The statement says that these petitioned security leaders to have the LDUs back to curtail criminals.

The statement further says, the LDUs will Participate in intelligence led limited operations as requested by police. They will however not participate in any daytime enforcement of COVID-19 directives as listed by ministry of health and president Museveni.

General Byekwaso has called upon the public to cooperate with the forces to ensure security for all Ugandans.

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.

COVID task forces to help distribute mosquito nets

By Daudi Zirimala

The Government of Uganda is set to distribute 27.5 million long lasting insecticide mosquito nets under the third Universal Coverage Campaign for the distribution of mosquito nets.

The campaign dubbed “Under the Net” is aimed at to increase access and ownership of nets in communities across the country.

According to state minister for Primary health Dr Joyce Moniriku ,the campaign is further expected to create a culture of net use and sustain the gains achieved by the previous campaigns which led to a reduction in the malaria prevalence and this will also be an opportunity to educate the population on mosquito net use, care, repair and re purposing.

The campaign will be digital and scientific heavily utilizing social media and other new media like blogs.

To further support the COVID fight, the mosquito net campaign sensitization will utilize COVID task forces at district and sub county levels and fund media space delivering integrated malaria and COVID messages.

Starting Friday 10th July, 2020, 25 districts will be covered under Wave I and these include: Alebtong, Amolatar, Budaka, Bududa, Bugiri, Bukwo, Bulambuli, Butaleja, Butebo, Dokolo, Kaberamaido, Kalaki, Kapchorwa, Kibuku, Kween, Lira Mbale,
Namisindwa, Namutumba, Otuke, Paliisa, Serere, Sironko, Soroti and Tororo.

A total of 4,371,259 nets will be distributed protecting 7,484,520 people against Malaria in the districts

Private teachers’ association asks government for financial intervention

By Alice Lubwama

The National Private Educational Institutions Association are asking government to help them pay salaries for the teachers in private schools for at least a year.

The leaders of the association made the request while appearing before the National Economy committee of Parliament to present a situation report on their sector in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic.

The National Research officer to the association Karabira Hasadu Iwho presented the report before the committee lamenting that the education sector has been one of the most affected by the pandemic. He states that many schools are now in debt due to rent and salary arrears.

Kirabira has also called upon government to waive direct tax subscriptions and fees like PAYE income tax and property rates for a period of three years to enable parents and schools to recover from the economic shock.

Kirabira noted that by time schools closed about 80 percent of the parents had not cleared their school dues and they would like to be assisted.

Anti corruption advocates demand that COVID-19 funding be halted

By Deo Wasswa
Anti-corruption advocates have asked the government to halt funding of the various district Task Forces which are currently coordinating interventions of COVID-19 until they produce full accountability of the previous funds given to them.

According to them an estimated 8 trillion shillings have been realized to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in communities and to also provide food relief and other amenities required, but to their dismay little has been felt on the ground.

They also want the government to publish all received donations, grant and loans and show how they have been used and this information should be published in newspapers or government online platforms.

Currently, 657 corona virus cases have been confirmed in Uganda and 118 have recovered, since the government announced the first case on March 21 2020.

Immigration offices set to open on Wednesday

By Robert Segawa

The ministry of internal affairs, department of immigration will resume operations tomorrow 10th June.

The offices were closed last Thursday after one of their driver from Elegu boarder point tested positive for Covid-19.

The immigration spokesperson Jacob Siminyu says they’ll reopen but only to essential stuff and they will work under ministry of health guidelines of social distancing.

Siminyu however, notes that the department is yet to resume issuance and renewal of passport.

He adds that there was office fumigation and essential contact were on self quarantine for 14 days.

Foreign Affairs ministry plans to repatriate Ugandans suffering due COVID19 effects

By Robert Segawa

Cabinet has approved proposals to repatriate Ugandans stuck abroad due to the Corona virus pandemic.

A special committee has now been instituted to come up with guidelines by Thursday this week on how this shall be implemented.

This is after over 300 Ugandan teachers who have been working in China cried out for help from government after spending five months without a pay.

The 300 are among 2500 Ugandans who have expressed interest to return home mainly from China and United Arab Emirates.

Over 300 Ugandans are said to have so far registered to be repatriated.

Patrick Mugoya the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the minister will present details of planned repatriation before Parliament.

Covid-19 Presents Opportunity to Reset Africa- Elumelu

By Edwin Muhumuza

The Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Tony Elumelu, has said that the Corona virus Pandemic presents an opportunity to reset the African continent so that Africans can be empowered to become more productive and self-reliant.

He made the remarks during a high-level Round table discussion comprised of African leaders including Dr. Ngozi Okonjo – Iweala, the Special Envoy of the African Union on Covid-19 and Tidjane Thiam who is also a Covid-19 Special Envoy responsible for mobilizing international economic support for Africa.

During the session titled ‘Resilient World: An African call for a new world order’. Elumelu noted that Africa as a continent has all it takes to emerge into a strong digital economy adding that there is need for a concrete plan to galvanize the entire continent and make Africa less dependent on the ‘circularity of debt’ from developed nations, which according to him, has been a major setback for decades.

“I feel that as we engage the rest of the world in providing relief, we need to look for a more fundamental solution to Africa’s challenges. I have often argued for a martial plan overtime. We need to mobilize everyone. If we have a martial plan that mobilizes resources to address particular issues, then we can mitigate against this constant begging for assistance.”

There are now more than over 91,000 confirmed cases, more than 2,900 deaths and over 35,000 recoveries of corona virus across the continent, with a number of African countries imposing a range of prevention and containment measures and as of May 13, every African country had recorded an infection, the last being Lesotho.

However, the economic impact of the pandemic is yet to be fully ascertained on a continent fully. With the continent’s economies heavily dependent on aid amid a rise in entrepreneurship driven by Small and Medium-size enterprises (SMEs), the future presents a dim picture.

The Billionaire has called for the need to prioritize youths and empower SMEs as well as boosting Electricity and Easing the debt burden, adding that there is need to encourage the people that work hard.

Tidjane Thiam who supported what Elumelu had proposed, said that rather than depend on international assistance at every point, there is the need for governments and institutions to invest in activities that will prioritize the youths and create a better enabling environment.

“I totally agree with Tony Elumelu. The major challenge is that we do not see enough entrepreneurs. Similar to what obtains in Asia and Europe, there is the need to promote a class of Entrepreneurs to drive the African economy. We need to groom more Tony Elumelus’ from Africa’ he said.

Okonjo-Iweala, on her part, called for a system where youths and women will be empowered to create and produce more to boost the African economy,Whilst calling on private and government parastatals to engage in meaningful partnerships that will help to galvanize job creation and entrepreneurship among youths in Africa,

Explaining further, Elumelu pointedly said, “The truth is that we have resources to help mobilize people. As the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we committed to endow $100m to support young African entrepreneurs and we have been seeing the positive results this has yielded so far.

The round-table which was organized by the New York Forum Institute, also had in attendance African Heads of States including President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger; President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya; President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire; President Macky Sall of Senegal and President Julius Bio of Sierra Leone;