Homeless youth drag LC3 to court over torture

By Robert Segawa

20 homeless youths have dragged the LC3 chairman of Kyengera town council Hajji Abdul Kiyimba to the high court civil division over torture allegations while in detention at Kitalya government Prison.

These have filed the said suit through Susan Baluka a legal officer Human rights awareness and promotion forum.

The group is jointly suing Kiyimba together with principal officer Philimon Waniola the deputy officer in charge of Kitalya min-max prison and attorney general.

In their application, the group contends that on the 29th of March 2020 they were part of the 23 youths who were arrested from a residence in Nkokonjeru they shared for violating the Presidential COVID-19 directives including public gatherings because they were many and believed to be homosexuals.

These claim that Hajji Kiyimba spear headed the said operation and that during the said arrest, they were Publicly beaten by Hajji Kiyimba as he dragged them to Nkokonjeru police post and after being charged in Mpigi magistrate court with doing a neglect act likely to spread a dangerous disease COVID-19, they were remanded at Kitalya government Prison.

These further claim that while at Kitalya for the next 42 days the torture continued with more beating,being denied food or sanitary facilities and that Waniola asked one of them to strip naked and burnt him with a burning wood between his thighs,denied access to their lawyers before the DPP withdrew the said charges against them.

These now want court to compel government to compensate them for the alleged torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and violation to privacy among other human rights violations.

PLAN international launches UGX15Bn project to empower youth

By Alice Lubwama

Plan international Uganda, a child rights organization has launched a 15 billion youth social empowerment project that will build the capacity and ability of young people to make free and informed choices regarding sexual and reproductive health rights.

Speaking at the launch of the five year project in Kampala today, the interim country director plan Uganda Greg Lavender said that the five year project targets over 200,000 young people in the age range of 10-24 years from the six district’s in Uganda.

This is the second phase of the NI-YETU project which has been running for the last five years to elevate the voices of young people in policy discussions both at the district and national level to ensure that their voices are reflected in important decisions around reproductive health.

The project being funded by the Swedish government will benefit districts such as Buyende,Kampala, ,Kamuli,Tororo,Lira and ,Alebtong.

Grey says that this project will build on the previous program to address the challenges faced by girls and young women like child marriages and gender best violence in communities who will engage policy makers to find practical ways to address the issues and challenge some of the attitudes of the community which open the pass to such acts to continue.

Grey also urges Government of Uganda to fast track the sexual offenses bill to ensure that there is a clear legal basis for challenging child marriages which continues to be the major issue in the communities of Uganda.

The project will majorly focus on the SDG advocacy of empowering women and girls and also create awareness on the impacts of climate change.

Speaking at the same function the coordinator of adolescent health and school health services at the ministry of health Dr Mugahi Richard said that the level of health services offered at the higher institutions of learning is not young people friendly hence facing a number of reproductive challenges.

Mugahi however added that ministry of health will work with the one for education and the universities to take integrated reproductive health out reaches to students in order to bridge the information gap between the health workers and students.

He further noted that due to inadequate information at universities and tertiary institutions, there has been a number of unwanted pregnancies leading to abortions.

Religious leaders want family planning to be directed to youths

By Alice Lubwama

The Uganda Muslim supreme council calls on stakeholders in the health sector to target family planning services to the youth since they are more sexually active and potential victims of early pregnancy.

While launching the family planning costed implementation plan for Iganga district,the 2nd deputy Mufti Uganda Muslim council Sheik Waiswa Muhammed Ali said that although as religious leaders do not encourage sex before marriage but the youth confront challenges unwillingly and it’s the reason why they need knowledge on family planning in order to over come them.

The family planning costed implementation plan is a commitment made by the leaders of the district to make a clear allocation and mobilization of funds for family planning services.

The initiative was developed by faith for family health initiative an NGO advocates for better health through faith in order to increase the funding for family planning services in the country , especially in districts with high fertility rates but with high levels of poverty

Speaking at the same function, the Chairperson of health committee of parliament Dr Micheal Bukenya asked the district council to scrutinize the sexual reproductive health policy recently developed by the ministry of health so that they can make bye-laws and ordinances to address issues such as early marriages and teenage pregnancies.

According to the assistant district health officer Iganga Baluka Anne Mary Iganga has 6-5% fertility rate compared to 5.4 % national fertility rate ,saying there is need to control it.

Despite the high fertility rate, the use of contraceptives in Iganga is 35 % compared to the national target of 50%

MP Luttamaguzi pleads with opposition youth to demand electoral reforms

By Alice Lubwama
Nakaseke south Member of Parliament Lutamaguzi semakula has asked the opposition not to allow to be diverted by the NRM proposals of lining up in party elections instead of demanding for electoral reforms.

While reacting to the resolution by the NRM Central executive committee which decided that the NRM party primaries will be conducted through lining up behind backs, Lutamaguzi also shadow minister for lands noted that by the opposition discussing such a small group will mean that everything is okay.

The legislator alleges that the proposal made by CEC is just intended to benefit the NRM party chairman.

Opposition leader in parliament Betty Aol Ocan recently announced how the opposition was planning to move a private members bill in parliament seeking for constitution amendment to have some of electoral reforms.

Some of the reforms will include presidential aspirants who get 10 per cent of the vote to become ex-officio members in Parliament.

The Bill also seeks for the reinstatement of presidential term limits, the introduction of federal governments and the constitution of an independent electoral commission

FAO to partner with Agriculture ministry to create employment for youth

By Daudi Zirimala
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO says youth involvement in agriculture is still very poor due to limited access to land has caused high unemployment levels.

Speaking at the media dialogue Edward Tanyima FAOs Youth Programme officer noted that 75.2% of the Uganda’s populations 30 years below are living in rural areas and a few are involved in agriculture yet many youth are having indecent jobs across the country.

He says that FAO in partnership with the ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries will integrate youth employment in agricultural policies and planning.

Tanyima says that they have embarked on piloting of a value chain analysis tool for rural youth employment in Uganda and mapping youth employment potentials in selected priority value chains.

Police arrests NRM youths

By Robert Segawa

Police has arrested over 50 NRM youths who stormed parliament in protest against a decision by the UK parliament to debate about Uganda’s democracy credentials last week.

The group carrying a petition that they said was meant to be delivered to speaker Rebecca Kadaga tried to force their way into parliament before police from the Central Police Station in Kampala swung into action to arrest them.

There was a tag of war as the youths resisted arrest but police later overpowered them .

The DPC CPS ASP Wotwali Ronald led the operation where these Youths were arrested today in the morning at Parliamentary Avenue , they were later taken to CPS where investigations are ongoing .

The group were transported to Central police station on police patrols after over powering them and their placards was confiscated .

Last week the group of youth stormed British high commission in Kamwokya Surbabs of Kampala accusing the UK parliament for debating on democracy of Uganda.

Luke Owoyesigyire the KMP spokesperson says over 10 youth were arrested during a scuffle and were charged with inciting violence at Kiira road police station and after were given police bond.

According to Luke Owoyesigyire the Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson this morning the group was arrested and were guided on the procedure of meeting the speaker of parliament not moblising a bunch of youth to distabilise business in the City.

So far the holding charge is holding unlawful assemblies and detectives are still gathering more information against the group.


By Edwin Muhumuza

Youths have been urged to change their mindset in regard to tackling the unemployment challenge. With as low as 20,000 shs, Sawa World ,a non-governmental organization says the funds are enough to embark on an income generating project, if they are well trained.

The  country director, Sheila Ampumuza speaking to the media noted that the key challenge among young people is the mindset but learning from others who have made a living from little amounts of money as capital is key to multiplying the success effect.

Ahead of the 5th Anniversary at Sheraton Gardens, on the 16th,several skills will be imparted to the youth, mainly  in marketing, business planning among others, said Ampumuza.

‘Sawa World uses an innovative approach to self-empower 1.2 billion people out of extreme poverty with their own solutions. We provide large-scale access to local solutions that are created by the very people living in extreme poverty ‘ said the founder, Daphne Nederhorst .

She adds that the organization focuses on the world’s poorest countries and ensures these solutions are shared and succeed as locally created, permanent strategies that strive without any dependency on charity or international aid.

Since 2012,the organization has experienced support from local leaders, youth organizations and feels government is right in pushing for skills development.58% of the 40,000 youth reached have their enterprises still running, says the country director.




Stolen Gulu youth fund worth 200 Million Ugx recovered from top official

Gulu district has recovered more than Shillings 200 million that was swindled from the Youth Livelihood Project-YLP by a top official.
The money is part of the Shillings 224 million was stolen by the Chief Accountant, David Lalonyo in October last year. The money was meant to benefit 31 youth groups in the district.

It is alleged that Lalonyo diverted the funds to his farm in Amuru district shortly after withdrawing it for disbursement to the youth groups. He was arrested in November and later interdicted over the money.

Now, Jessica Anena, the Focal Person Youth Livelihood Project Gulu district, says Lalonyo has been paying back the funds in installment through Police.  According to Anena, Lalonyo made the last installment of Shillings 6 million in December 2016.

Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu District LC V chairperson says the recovered money will go towards financing activities of the 31 youth groups. He says they are yet to recover Shillings 17 million from the chief accountant.

Three of the groups that were meant to benefit from the disbursement are Dika can Pwonya, youth piggery group in Ongako sub county, Layik youth piggery group in Bungatira sub county and Labworomor Bed ki Gen youth group.

The Youth Livelihood Project is a poverty alleviation program initiated by the government of Uganda in 2013 after the failure of youth venture fund. Among others, it aims at addressing the sky rocketing unemployment among the youth population in the country.




Many Ugandan youth admit they are addicted to sports betting

Several youths in Kampala have acknowledged their addiction to sports betting, stating that their attempts to quit have been in vain.

Most of the people URN spoke too around Kampala state that although they are aware of the fact that gambling is bad, they are addicted to the game and always have a hope of winning despite losing frequently.

Sam Osuret, a security guard says he started betting two years ago when he placed a bet of 100,000 shillings in a premier league game. He won 700,000 shillings in what he described as his lucky day.

Ever since that major win, he has never left betting with the hope of winning more and better like other people have done.

Now Osuret states that although he has been winning, he has invested at least 10,000 shillings weekly but rarely reaps out of this.

Osuret notes that he does not encourage people to bet stating that it is majorly the leaders to save the youths from putting all their money in betting.

Stephen Semakula, a boda boda rider in Ntinda won 9 million shillings after putting in 15,000 from Gal sports betting in May this year. He says that when he won the money, he could not believe it until when he handled the money.

Semakula says he used the money for starting up a poultry business. He says he was inspired to start betting when his friend won 30 million shillings in just one bet. Semakula says unlike other people, he only bets with the little money that he has and does not consider it as a job.

Ssemakula calls upon the Government to save the youths with employment since all of them now take on betting as work, adding that as long as he is not working, his mind is on betting.

He says one major weakness is that many people after winning get back to betting with the same money and end up losing it.

Ngobi Farouk, a supporter of the English Premier League side, Arsenal, states that he only bets because he likes football. According to him, although he has been putting a minimum of 500 shillings and maximum of 3000 shillings for bets, the greatest amount he has won is 60,000 shillings.

He states that he has continued betting mostly because he is a footballer and fan who always hopes his prediction is exact. He says that he tried to quit betting two months ago but failed.

Another youth who started betting three years ago and preferred to remain anonymous stated that although winning is luck, many people lose more than they win.To him betting is an hobby which should not cause you to desire more income out of it.

According to the Uganda Lotteries and Gamings Board, Ugandans spend over 150 billion shillings in Casinos, slot machines, lotteries and betting annually.Ugandan also collects 30 billion shillings in taxes from the games and lotteries companies.


New magistrate assigned to handle the yellow pigs case

Grade One Magistrate Moses Nabende has been assigned to take over the trial of two youths charged with holding a pig protest at Parliament last year.

The reassignment follows accusations of judicial misconduct against magistrate Beatrice Khainza by lawyer Isaac Semakadde on behalf of the youth operating under the jobless brotherhood umbrella. The accusations were embedded in a complaint to Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate Jamson Karemani.

Semakadde faulted Khainza for openly threatening and embarrassing Norman Tumuhimbise and Robert Mayanja both members of jobless brotherhood, over the continued press coverage of the case.

The Lawyer also alleged that magistrate Khainza noted that the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe had personally called and cautioned her over the constant media coverage of the “yellow pigs” trial.

He requested the Chief Magistrate Jamson Karemani to take action under Section 221 of the Magistrates Courts Act to redeem the independence and impartiality of the trial court and ensure that justice prevails in the case.

Judiciary’s Senior Communications officer Solomon Muyita told URN in an interview that the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate Jamson Karemani had concluded discussions with magistrate Khainza on the matter and resolved to assign another magistrate to preside over the case.

Muyita noted that magistrate Khainza expressed discomfort with handling the case after the complaint and opted out.

The trial of the jobless brotherhood youth started followed the shocking entry into parliament by the two youths with two yellow-colored piglets. The youths identified as Norman Tumuhimbise and Robert Mayanja were reportedly protesting against unemployment, corruption and harsh budgetary measures.

The piglets tagged Yes, M-PIGS, Corruption constituency’ and ‘Jubilee Alliance’ emerged from the Parliamentary parking, straight into the main entrance of Parliament.

The two youths face charges of contravening the Parliament Powers and Privileges Act which prohibits demonstrations within the Precincts of parliament.