Man faces jail for stealing food

By Sania Babirye

City hall court remands to Kitalya government prison a 35 year old man for allegedly stealing 20 bunches of Matooke.

Acram Rwambamba has appeared before grade one magistrate Valerian Tuhimbise and pleaded not guilty to the said offence.

He has been remanded until the 23rd of May for trial.The stolen items belonged to a one Zaituni Nabbosa a trader of Matooke.

Prosecution says the accused and others still at large on April 4th 2021 at Kyebando in Kampala stole 20 bunches of Matooke all valued at UGX 400,000.

Food prices rise as inflation hits 3.8%

By Edwin Muhumuza

Ugandans will have to pay more money for food following the general increase in prices countrywide.

This according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics while releasing the consumer price index report.

According to the Director Macroeconomic Statistics, Aliziki Khauda Lubega, the Annual Headline Inflation for the year ending February 2021 is recorded at 3.8%; Compared to 3.7% registered for the year ended January 2021.

This was attributed to Annual Food crops and related items inflation that increased to -4.3% for the year ending February 2021 compared to -5.6% recorded for the year ended January 2021.

The increase in Annual Food Crops & Related Items was mainly driven by Annual inflation for Vegetables that recorded -4.7% for the year ending February compared to -7.4 recorded for the year ended January 2021;

Annual Inflation for Vegetables cultivated for their fruit, registered an increase of -12.6% for the year ending February 2021 compared to -17.2% recorded for the year ended January 2021.

However, Annual fruits Inflation decreased to -3.3% for the year ending February 2021 compared to -2.5% recorded for the year ended January 2021.

According to the senior statistician at the Uganda Bureau of Statistics Julie Nakayenga, those that have experienced an increase in prices include, peas, tomatoes, green pepper, cabbage, eggplants, green vegetables, Nile perch and sugar.

Relatedly those whose prices have reduced include of fruits and Matooke.

‘Price reductions have been registered with citrus fruits and tobacco in that category to include lemon, oranges, French beans, tobacco leaves, matooke and passion fruits’ Nakayenga noted.

The Annual Core Inflation increased to 5.6% compared to 5.5% in the same period due to other Goods Inflation specifically, the purchase of Second hand vehicles which increased to 21.9% compared to 14.7%. In addition, Sugar registered an increase of -5.0% compared to -9.4%.

However, the monthly Energy Fuel and Utilities Inflation decreased by 0.1% during February 2021 compared to 2.8% recorded in January 2021.

The decrease was attributed to monthly Solid Fuels Inflation that recorded a 0.2%, drop in February 2021, compared to 6.7% rise registered for the month of January 2021. In addition, the Monthly Liquid Gas Inflation further declined by 0.7% during the month of February 2021 from 0.3% drop recorded in January 2021.

Inflation declines to 4.6%

By Edwin Muhumuza

Annual Headline Inflation for August 2020 has declined to 4.6% compared to 4.7% in July 2020.

It is largely due to Annual Energy Fuel Utilities (EFU) Inflation that decreased to 4.3% in August compared to 6.6% in July 2020.

According to the director of Macro economic statistics at the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Aliziki Khauda , while highlighting the trends of Inflation across the country, on the different products, the decrease in EFU inflation was due to solid Fuels Inflation that decreased to 13.4% in August compared 20.6 % in July 2020.

Annual Energy, Fuels and Utilities (EFU) Inflation declined to 4.3% in August and this covers charcoal Inflation which individually declined to 13.6% in August compared to 20.9% in July.

The Annual Food Crops and related Items Inflation increased to -5.4% in August compared to -5.5% in July, while In that same period, fruit prices increased to -12.3% in August, and -12.6% in July.

On a month to month basis, those that have recorded a rise in prices include, Malewa, Matooke(bananas), mangoes, green pepper, cassava dry, chicken, fresh beans, milk, whole cassava and milk while those whose prices have reduced include, peas, okra, onions, maize flour and whole grain maize, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

The highest inflation was registered amongst the Kampala Middle income people, with 5.5% inflation in August compared to the 4.8% registered in July. Jinja and Masaka inflation was registered at 5.4% in August compared to 5.2% in July while Fort Portal registered 3.1%

The Monthly Headline Inflation for August 2020 rose by 0.3% compared to 0.1% rise recorded in July 2020, due to the Food Crops and Related Items Inflation that rose by 1.2% in August 2020, compared to minus 4.9% in July 2020.

Monthly Fruits Inflation increased by 4.6% in August 2020, compared to 3.7% drop for July. The Monthly Energy Fuel and Utilities Inflation dropped by 0.3% in August 2020 from the 1.0% drop recorded in July 2020. Monthly Core Inflation increased by 0.2% in Aug 2020, July was 0.9%.

It is worth noting that with the advent of the rainy season, food stuff prices like vegetables and Matooke have gone up while Maize and onion prices have reduced due to the bumper harvest according to Nakayenga Juliet, a statistician at the Bureau.

Woman stabs neighbor to death over free government food

By Sania Babirye

A businesswoman has been remanded to Kigo government prison after she allegedly attempted to murder her neighbor by stabbing him in the stomach for refusing to sell to her government relief posho and beans he had received in the ongoing COVID-19 lock down.

The suspect is identified as 27 year old Mariam Kukundakwe a resident of Kasanvu zone Kisugu parish Makindye division in Kampala district dealing in retail shop at Kisugu in Kampala.

She has been arraigned before Makindye court Grade one magistrate Patience Lonah Tukundane who charged her with attempted murder.

She has been remanded until the 8th of July 2020 to be able to take plea before a chief magistrate.

Prosecution states that the accused with the help of others who are still on the run on the 5th of June 2020 at Go-down zone Kisugu attempted to cause the death of Elias Twinomuhwezi.

Court heard that the accused stabbed the victim in the stomach using a knife after a serious quarrel accusing him of refusing to sale to her government food.

Man held for stealing maize flour and other household items

By Sania Babirye

As the ongoing lock down continues to take toll on Ugandans, a 21 year old man who broke into his neighbor’s house and stole home items including food valued at 3.2 million shillings has been charged with theft and remanded to Kitalya government prison.

The suspect is identified as 21 year old Ivan Kamya 21 a businessman and a resident of Gangu ‘A’ zone Makindye Ssabagabo.

He has appeared before Makindye court grade one magistrate Edith Mbabazi and denied the offense.

The things he allegedly stole include 25 kilos of maize flour, a flask , TV and cash 2.2million shillings.

The said stolen property belonged to Hassan Kasadha

The accused is alleged to have committed the offense on the 28th of April 2020 at Gangu zone Makindye Ssabagabo

UNBS marks about 70% donated food safe for consumption

By Deo Wasswa

Close to 4000 metric tonnes of beans and 6000 of maize flour have been checked by Uganda National Bureau of Standards to ensure that the food being distributed to communities by the office of prime Minister is safe for consumption.

72% of Maize flour and 73% of beans checked have complied with the standards while 28% of maize flour and 27% of beans have failed to meet the standard.

According to the UNBS executive director, Ben Manyindo while handing over 20 million donations from the staff of Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) to the COVID19 task force.

Among the other donations the body has made are free face mask standards, free sanitizer, free disinfectant as well as free technical guidance offered to local manufacturers to increase the production of quality and safe face masks and sanitizers in this period as the country fights COVID 19.

Activist Kirabo asks government to check food mobilization and distribution structures

By Deo Wasswa

The slow pace of distributing food to the vulnerable and hungry Ugandans in the on going lock down has been attributed to government’s unpreparedness to address food insecurity across the country.

Agnes Kirabo the Executive Director Food Rights Alliance a civil society organization, says the Covid19 situation is an eye-opener that Uganda government has never had proper food mobilization and distribution structures.

Kirabo notes that government has in the past only focused on food distribution to refugees and never envisaged what happens to its own citizens in a wake of a crisis.

Kirabo, a food rights activist reechoed the unfortunate move of privatization of national food reserves,saying such a move threatens the country’s food security and the entire economy.

She also continues to urge government to learn to reserve food for its population in preparation for unforeseen circumstances like drought.

Kirabo’s comments come after several Ugandans both in rural and urban areas have vehemently expressed urgent demand for food to survive during the Covid19 lock down.

Museveni to use spies to curb on rising food prices

By Annah Nafula
The president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has asked traders in particular those who are selling food stuff to stop hiking prices. While speaking to the Nation in his forth National address on COVID19, the president expressed disappointment in fellows who are increasing the prices of food stuffs that he says are grown in the country.

“I have two options for those ones, I will send spies who will pretend to be buying, if they find that you have hiked food prices, your license will be revoked.” He said.

The president also said that as an alternative measure he will be looking at finding NRM cadres who will sell the same food at parallel prices so that the traders don’t take advantage of Ugandans in this period.

During the same address, the president encouraged Ugandans to use local soaps and water to wash their hands as much as they can. He said they should not pay so much attention to sanitizers but continue to use local soaps which he stressed kills the virus once correctly applied with water.

“We are also still closely observing public transport, if the situation gets worse, we might stop public transport.” The president said.

The president said he was a looking at the option of reviving the road master bicycle factory in Luwero so as they can manufacture bicycles for Ugandans. He says the beauty about using bicycles is, one chooses the company they move with and cycling is healthier than sitting in a vehicle.

Until now, Ministry of Health has reported 9 cases of COVID19 victims in Uganda, in his speech the president said all these were being managed and were responding well to treatment.
“The people who escape and try to hide are endangering themselves and others unnecessarily.There is a possibility that you can treated” he said.

The president has reminded Ugandans to not allow anybody coughing or sneezing near you. He has advised operators of public transport systems not to allow such people in the vehicles.
He is also discouraging members of the public against doing anything without washing their hands with soap and water. Lastly he has implored the public to desist from touching their eyes, nose and mouth since the virus attacks and thrives in these soft skins/tissues.

Bio fortification technical working group to help fix malnutrition

By Susan Mercy Ayebare
Government has set up a Bio fortification technical working group that will work on improving nutrients in foods to curb malnutrition.

State minister for agriculture, Christopher Kibazanga says this group will be spearheaded by Harvest plus with experts from agriculture, health, education, the Uganda national farmers’ federation and National Agriculture resources organization.

The National Bio-Fortification Technical Working Group (NBTWG) will be unveiled on Thursday at the ongoing source of the Nile agricultural expo 2019 in the eastern town of Jinja.

While addressing the media in Kampala, Kibanzanga noted that the National Bio-Fortification Technical Working Group will help Ugandans to fight malnutrition among mothers and children in the country. He said that malnutrition is expensive to treat and therefore it should be prevented before it comes. “The loss caused by iron deficiency anemia in adults alone is us$34 million worthy of productivity.”Kibazanga adds.

“Women with iodine deficient disorders give birth to children with reduced ability to learn, lower school performance, higher rates of school-age repetition and poor speech and hearing ability. What is especially tragic is that the effects of iodine deficiency are permanent.” says Kibanzanga.

The principle research officer of NARO Ssemakula Gorette listed sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, maize as some of bio- fortified foods rich in vitamin A. Others are beans and pearl millet which are high in zinc and iron. These foods she says are good for both pregnant mothers and children.

She noted that the above nutrients can prevent anemia, malnutrition, mental impairment, brain damage, lowered hearing ability, poor birth outcomes, physical disabilities and death.
According to Ssemakula such fortified foods lead to increased productivity, brain development and health pregnancy especially when one fully feeds on beans because they contain iron.

Government to rehabilitate Mwana Mugimu Nutritional unit

By Daudi Zirimala

The ministry of Health is in plans to rehabilitate Mwana Mugimu Nutrition Unit at Mulago Hospital to become a center of excellence where Ugandans can be sensitized about proper nutrition for their bodies and Children.

This was revealed by the Principle Administrator Mulago Hospital Dr. David Nuwamanya while receiving nutrition kits from Nile Breweries saying many Ugandans have resorted to eating unhealthy foods which has caused many of them to suffer from non communicable disease.

He said that one rehabilitation of Mulago specialized hospital is done; they will embark on sensitizing people on how they can feed themselves with food containing nutrients.