Museveni warns Ugandans against intimidating investors

President, Yoweri Museveni has warned Ugandans against intimidating and bad mouthing investors who come to do business in Uganda.

According to Museveni, the continuous hatred of Ugandan traders towards foreign investors spells doom for the country’s economic prosperity.

Last month, city traders went up in arms against government for licensing foreigners to engage in petty trade. However, Museveni says such rants are not good if Uganda is to attract more investors who have created jobs for Ugandans.

Museveni was speaking during the commissioning of a multi billion dollar Sun Belt Textile company in Masese division in Jinja municipality on Monday evening.

He pledged to repair roads that connect Jinja to other parts of the country to ease trade in order to create an enabling environment for investment.

Museveni asked Ugandans to come together to create an enabling environment for the investors to create more jobs. Sun Belt Textile Company, which started operating in 2012, manufactures bed sheets, blankets and bed covers among others.

It employs over 1000 employees.


Jinja schools ditch teaching Lusoga as a local language for Luganda

Primary schools in Jinja Municipality are teaching Luganda, instead of Lusoga, as the local language in lower primary level.

An assessment conducted by URN in some of the schools indicates that children in Primary I, 2, and 3 are taught how to read and write in Luganda, in disregard of the thematic curriculum introduced by the Ministry of Education ten years ago.

Under the thematic curriculum, pupils are taught in their mother tongue to enable them read, write and understand easily.

Flavia Buwereza, the deputy Headteacher at Narambhai Road Primary School told our reporter that the school decided to opt for Luganda because Lusoga is hard. She notes that even the teachers are not trained how to write and read the language.

She notes that the government should start training the teachers in Lusoga.

Mbala Sadhat, the headteacher of Katende Bright Primary School, says that they adopted Luganda because the teaching materials are easy to get. He notes that none of his teachers can ably read or write Lusoga language.

One of the teachers who spoke on condition of anonymity told URN that teaching Luganda to children who come from families that speak Lusoga is a challenge.”Sometimes these children end up failing both languages because while at home they speak Lusoga, at school we are teaching them in Luganda.”she said

Ann Kakaire, the deputy headteacher of Main Street Primary School notes that the school lacks Lusoga text books and therefore limiting the school in teaching the language.

Paul Baliraine, the Jinja district Senior Inspector of Schools, acknowledges the challenge noting that it heavily affects the ability of pupils to understand English. He notes that they have now started teaching Lusoga in teachers’ training colleges so that the district increases the number of teachers who can teach the language.

“This financial year we have set aside 36 million shillings for teachers skills development. We are planning to train teachers in Lusoga through workshops,”he said

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation-UNESCO, education and information in the mother language is essential to improving learning and developing confidence and self-esteem, which are among the most powerful engines of development.

On February 21st, Uganda joined the rest of the world to commemorate the International Mother Tongue Day, proclaimed by UNESCO in 1999 with the objective of promoting linguistic and cultural diversity.

On this day, the Minister of state for gender and culture, Peace Mutuuzo, recommended for the use of local dialects to help develop mother languages.





Fish factory in Jinja burns down, witness fire was due to explosion on gas cylinders

Fire has gutted Kamik Fish Factory in Gomba village in Central Division in Jinja Municipality. The fire broke out at around 3am in the wee hours of this morning.

The exact cause of the fire hasn’t been established. Rogers Turinawe, the Kiira Region Fire brigade Commander, says they arrived at the scene at 5am but couldn’t contain the fire because of low manpower.

According to Turinawe, the fire started at the back of the factory. He said some gas cylinders exploded burning the whole building. By the time of filing this story, the police Fire and Rescue team was still combating the fire.

Fire teams from Kakira Sugar factory and Nile ply had joined police to combat the fire.   Kamik Fish Factory is adjacent to Marine and Agro fish processing and Gomba fish factory.




Police in Jinja wiping out crime ahead of the festive season

Jinja police have picked up 40 suspected criminals ahead of the Christmas festivities. The suspects were picked up on Monday night and Tuesday afternoon in an operation meant to ensure a crime free festive season.

The suspects were picked up from Kazimingi area, Taxi Park, Cinema halls. Tyson Rutambika, the Officer in Charge of Jinja Central Police Station, says some of suspects are known robbers who have been arrested several times previously.

“It is just a beginning, we are doing this in preparation for holiday season, and we want people to have a simple, calm and quite Christmas season. Schools are in holiday, young children are getting lured into crimes, spending their time in pool halls, video halls and through these video halls this is where they meet criminals.” he noted

According to Rutambika, the operation was triggered by the high number of robbery cases since the start of the December. At least 50 robbery cases have been registered so far.

“So we started operations in Jinja and we are not going to stop until Jinja is crime free. This is not our first time to make such operations. We have been arresting about 80 and 100 suspects,”Rutambika he said.

He however, didn’t explain what the charges they intend to slap against the suspects or what they intend to do with them. Our reporter was unable to access the suspects to hear their side of the story.




Jinja municipality residents to part with rubbish collection fees

Residents, traders and building owners in Jinja municipality will start paying a daily charge for the collection of the garbage they accumulate, according to a new proposal by the Municipality leadership.

Currently residents and traders pile up trash in polyethylene bags and wait for trucks to collect the garbage from their respective homes. They do not pay for the service.

Heaps of uncollected garbage are visible in the suburbs of Kazimingi, Walukuba/Masese and Mpumudde/Kimaka divisions.

Jinja municipality spokesperson Rajab Kitto says that the money paid by shop owners as trading license, is insufficient to cover the cost of garbage collection. Traders pay an average of 150,000 Shillings annually as trading license. But Kitto says that effective next year, every household will be charged for the garbage accumulated.

However, a cross section of traders has objected to the move. Annet Ntale, a restaurant owner in Jinja municipality says that proposal is unfair to them adding that the other taxes levied by the municipality are enough to cover the cost of garbage collection.

Solomon Baleke, another trader in the municipality says that such payments are burdening businesses.

But Nakalema Suzan, the health inspector for Walukuba division is optimistic that the proposal is likely to solve the garbage collection challenge the municipality has been facing. She notes that many people irresponsibly handle garbage

Francis Byabagambi, the Jinja Municipality town clerk says more consultations will be undertaken with traders to ensure that the grievances are addressed.




Neighbors of Jinja abattoir complain about stench as it lacks incinerator and cold room

Jinja municipal abattoir lacks a functional incinerator and a cold room. An incinerator is used to get rid of carcasses and condemned meat, while the cold room is used for preserving it.

However, the cold room and incinerator at Jinja municipal abattoir have been down for over 15 years. The abattoir, which is found in Walukuba division, was built in 1954.

Nasur Kamya, the Chairperson Jinja Abattoir Traders Association, says the abattoir is dilapidated. The roof of the abattoir leaks while the water trenches are choking with rubbish.

Kamya says currently they use old car tires to dispose of condemned meat due to the absence of a functional incinerator. He says their efforts to convince the municipality to purchase for them a new incinerator haven’t yielded results.

Dr.  Francis Opiyo, the Jinja District Meat Inspector notes that many butchers have quit the business after losing millions of Shillings due to failure to store meat because of the absence of a cold room.

He also notes that disposing of condemned meat using vehicle tires increasingly becoming costly because of the costs involved.

Moses Okeya, a meat consumer in Jinja says the absence of vital facilities at the abattoir exposes them health risk.

Some of the residents neighboring the abattoir complain of the smoke and smell emitted from the facility during the burning of the condemned meat. Andrew Bayiga, a motorcyclist operating next to the abattoir, says it is hard to neighbor the abattoir because of the heavy smell.

“Every morning they burn things inside there. The smell is too much. Sometimes we are forced to abandon the stage when they start the burning,” he said.

Francis Byabagambi, the Town Clerk Jinja municipality says their plans to renovate the abattoir are hampered by lack of funds.




He arrests and rapes girls.

By Robert Ssegawa

A 30 year old man has been arrested for allegedly impersonating police officers to defile girls. Mubarak Kezala would pose as Afande Abubaker Yusuf, arrest  girls from Jinja streets and take them  to his  friend’s residence  in  Jinja town under the pretense of interrogating them and then force them to have sex with him.

The Kiira region police spokesperson Samson Lubega says the suspect was arrested after one of the victim’s mother reported the matter to police.



By Robert Ssegawa

A medical doctor attached to Jinja referral hospital has been arrested by state house security operatives for allegedly stealing equipment.

Dr Robert Kisakye who has been working at the orthopedic department was picked from the hospital in operations led by Jinja deputy RDC Eric Sakwa.

The suspect was taken to Jinja central police station where he recorded statement and was later driven off by state house operatives.

Deputy Rdc  Eric Sakwa said the suspect was found in possession of  stolen bandages in his car and several equipment worth more than  800  million  that had gone missing from the orthopedics department.


ON DUTY: European Union Election Observation Mission in Uganda Team

Following an invitation from the Government of Uganda, the European Union has established a mission to observe the 18th February General Elections. The Chief Observer of the Election mission is Mr. Eduard Kukan, a Slovak member of the European Parliament. The mission comprises around 120 observers from all EU countries, as well as Norway.

The EU Mission in Uganda says a credible national voters’ register is key to a transparent election. Marian Gabriel, the Deputy Chief Observer at the EU Election Observation Mission 2016, says the Electoral Commission must ensure that the voters’ register is accurate and void of scrutiny from the opposition and the electorate.

Marian says the biometric system is one of the steps the EU Observer Mission thinks will provide safeguards against fraud during the 2016 general elections.

Marian was speaking at the dispatch of thirty EU long-term observers who will be monitoring the campaign period in the run up to the February 18 polls and after.

Thirty EU long-term Observers, grouped in two-person teams, departed yesterday from the Election Observation Mission’s headquarters in Kampala to their respective areas of responsibility across the country.

“They will be observing all aspects of the electoral process in their duty areas, meeting with election officials, candidates and civil society representatives. They will report back to the core team in Kampala and the information they provide will be the basis for the mission’s assessment”, said Mr. Marian

The observers will be based in Kampala, Mityana, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Kabarole, Masindi, Arua, Gulu, Lira, Soroti, Moroto, Mbale and Jinja districts.

Closer to Election day, around 80 short-term observers will join the mission. Two days after the election, a Preliminary Statement will be presented by the Chief Observer in a press conference.

Marian says the observers will focus on the presidential and parliamentary campaigns to monitor media access to candidates and the role of security forces in the elections, among others.

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