Author: thepubliclense

MTN CEO deported over security concern

News from MTN Towers now says that MTN CEO Wim Vanhelleputte is being deported as you read this if you are reading on Thursday night. The CEOs deportation follows earlier deportations of French Cameroonian Olivier Prentout, Rwandese Annie Bilenge Tabura, and Italian Elza Muzzolini, over national security concerns.

The three were linked to activities that were supporting rebel activities backed by a foreign government using MTN Mobile Money (MOMO) and numerous unregistered SIM cards.

Weeks after their deportation and after security had intensified investigations, a surprising discovery was made that the MTN CEO seemed to be the mastermind of all the activities of the deported foreigners. Not only had he been coordinating and controlling the three suspects but security found evidence that the CEO himself had been working with a south african contact to supervise their activities.

To make matters worse the CEO ensured that the deported three were given access rights to the MTN Uganda servers so that they could continue their actvities while deleting evidence.

When the MTN CEO realised that the noose was tightening round his neck he called up a reknowned PR guru in town who designed a story that would buy time for the deletion of records to be complete, as ISO operatives were sent on a goose chase for non-existent records.

But in the process, MTN Legal and Corporate General Manager Anthony Katamba happened to attend two crucial meetings where he caused suspicion in the CEO who was absent. After both meetings, the CEO made follow-up phone calls to his south african contact expressing worry about his situation.

Eventually, the plan was hatched to move all attention to the MTN license that had not been renewed. On Monday the PR guru who we shall name later started his work and stories began about Katamba being sacked.

Not only that, the CEO also wrote an email to the Board telling them that Katamba had been colluding with security to deport foreigners. But the Board members wondered why Wim was making it look like MTN was a country against Uganda another country, and they challenged him.

Little wonder that when security swung into action on Tuesday the Board members did not hesitate to step aside from Wim, leaving him open to deportation out of Uganda to join his colleagues.

The saga continues.

Girls dancing before undergoing FGM at Bukwo in Bortek village in Bukwo district.

Silence, cultural bondage killing girls in Sebei

BY DAVID MAFABI

“My father forced me to undergo Female Genital Mutilation at the age of 13 and when I tried to run away, he warned me that he would beat me to death,” says Anna Chebet, now 16 before breaking down.

She says that even when she made an alarm that morning, nobody responded, nobody raised a finger but that the neighbours just said “Girls must undergo FGM according to Sabiny culture,”

“My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I enjoyed became distorted beyond recognition. I was closed off, angry, irritable and empty as I lay down bleeding,” adds Anna.

“I was told that I was a woman after FGM, forced to abandon school and married off to a man fit to be my father. And, slowly, my entire world, everything I thought I knew, began to unravel, I was broken and it was the darkest, loneliest feeling I’ve ever encountered,” added Mr Chebet.

Chebet is not alone, every year teenage girls are forced to abandon school, forced to undergo FGM and married off by their parents in Kween, Kapchorwa and Bukwo districts of Uganda without anybody raising a finger.

Girls dancing before undergoing FGM at Bukwo in Bortek village in Bukwo district.
Girls dancing before undergoing FGM at Bukwo in Bortek village in Bukwo district.

Many girls tell out harrowing, detailed account of their FGM experiences how they are forced by parents and bound by culture.

Ms Beatrice Chelangat, the director general of Reproductive Education and Community Health, an NGO that is involved in the fight against FGM says she listens every year to these harrowing stories from young girls.

“And every time I close my eyes, I hear them screaming for help. I see innocent young girls being forced by their parents to undergo FGM.  And I speak to myself; I promise you, I will not just shed tears for the injustices you are facing. I will reach out to every homestead in Sebei to end FGM and ensure young girls get the dignity they deserve,” Ms Chelangat says.

Despite a 2010 law banning FGM nationally, four months from now, girl-child in Sebei sub-region will undergo FGM; the procedure remains highly prevalent especially in rural culturally bound areas where silence rules.

The consequences are appalling. Along with an education and childhood cut short, girls suffer a traumatic initiation into sexual relationships, are put at risk of domestic violence and STI’s, and have the chance of a career or better life taken away.

The District Health Officer for Kapchorwa Dr Michael Mwanga says many of these girls usually die in childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications – the leading cause of death for girls aged between 15 and 19 years old in developing countries, according to UN figures.

“Many of these girls are not mature physically or emotionally, “said Dr Mwanga.

He said that FGM has left many young girls suffering incontinence, excessive bleeding, urine retention, paralysis and even death during childbirth, leaving many women at risk of HIV and other infections as well as psychological trauma.

Although efforts are underway to have FGM stopped, changing the life style of the people living in Kween, Kapchorwa and Bukwo districts at the slopes of Mt Elgon in order to end the practice is proving a headache to local leadership in the region.

Although like United Nations health experts is calling for stronger commitments from the local people to end theFGM in bid to restore the dignity of the girl-child, many traditionalist are not ready to drop the practice.

Victims of customs
Mr Nelson Chelimo, the former LCV chairman for Kapchorwa says women and girls in Sebei sub-region have been victims of outdated customs, attitudes and male prejudice and must be educated to liberate themselves from the bondage.

Mr Chelimo says the misery young girls go through typifies the misfortune faced by thousands of young girls in Sebei sub-region where tradition does not give them an opportunity to speak their mind.

“Young girls in Sebei are expected to undergo FGM before they can be regarded as women and perform other duties such as attending village meetings, serving food to newly-circumcised boys, smearing houses, getting food from granaries as well as being leaders or speaking in public, this is what is holding our people behind,” said Mr Chelimo.

A victim of the FGM in Sebei Sub-region and now ambassador against the practice, Ms Eunice Cherukut, said the practice now thrives on concocted perceptions and mysteries that hold girls in fear.

Ms Cherukut who is now an Anti-FGM ambassador with REACH programme, said many women who undergo FGMdevelop reproductive health complications, which they fear to expose to midwives.

Ignorance of the law
The FGM researcher, Mr Simon Alere says the biggest population living in the rural remote areas of Kabei, Bukwo parts of Suam, Chesower (Bukwo) and Kwanyiny, Benet, where the culture originated and where the people valueFGM have no information about the law.

“There was a time the parliamentary committee on gender came here to talk about FGM but they only addressed us and the councilors but in the villages people are still asking how the law was passed without consulting them,” said Mr Alere.

He adds that this pauses a lot of challenge especially in implementing the law.

“People are saying the law is harsh, unfair and needs to be amended. But until everyone in involved broad on board and taught the law, the deep rooted culture is not about to go,” says Mr Alere.

Mr Yona Cherotich, 72, of Kapsos village in Bukwo sub-county says he does not know about the law prohibiting the culture of the Sabiny.

“You tell us to abandon this culture inherited from our ancestors to keep the morality of our girls! It is strange. I want to assure you that I have a daughter supposed to be circumcised this year and I am preparing and nothing will stop me from circumcising her because her sisters, mother and grandmother are all circumcised,” said Cherotich.

Mr Stephen Matek, a local council leader at Chesower says, “Although literate parents now fear the new law againstFGM, many traditionalists and illiterate parents, ignorant about the law will circumcise their children,”

He says although the new law also intends to establish appropriate and administrative measures to uphold the sexual rights and dignity of women and girls, the traditional Sabiny insist there is no way to womanhood known to keep morality of women apart from FGM.

The minister of water and environment Mr Sam Cheptoris says FGM is still persisting in Sebei sub-regions because it is based on manipulation of women’s sexuality in order to ensure male domination and exploitation as a part of patriarchal repression.

Mr Cheptoris says, “The law has not changed anything much the villages, but sensitization of the masses against FGMwill yield desired results soon,” said Mr Cheptoris.

While addressing people at the occasion to mark the Sabiny culture day December last year as the chief runner, the Arch-Bishop Church of Uganda Bishop Henry Ntagali said it is possible to give up FGM without giving up the meaningful, positive aspects of the Sabiny culture.

Bishop Ntagali pledged continued support in the fight to end FGM: “We shall continue partners like UNFPA and UNICEF to ensure that girl-child here lives a dignified life,”

He explained that ending FGM is a complex process that requires behavioral change in negative social norms of society and urged the church to take a leading role in this fight.

Effects of FGM
Among the salient issues cited as effects of female circumcision are mounting medical evidence are that; FGM poses a serious threat to the health of women and girls, increasing vulnerability to HIV, raising the risk of maternal and infant mortality and harming psychological, sexual and reproductive health, severe pain, hemorrhage, tetanus infections, cysts and urinary inconvenience.

This is the basis upon which Reproductive Education and Community Health, an local NGO used to launch a law to criminalize FGM. Ends

Key facts

  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
  • The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
  • Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
  • More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated.
  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15.
  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
  • In Uganda it is practised among the Sabiny [Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwo districts], among the Karamojong [Tepeth], Pokot [Amudat district] and among the Somali community [Somalia] that live in Uganda.

 

‘My style of leadership is pragmatic and honest’ – MAK VC

Prof Barnabas Nawangwe is championing the drive to transform Makerere University to its glory days. In an exclusive interview with The Public Lens’ Stephen Bwire, the Vice Chancellor outlines a number of achievements including streamlining the administrative roles of Management and Council, revamping of the University infrastructure, enhancing the University revenue, mitigating strikes and indiscipline of staff, scaling up research and innovations, and among others. Excerpts below;-

H.E the President recently credited you for revolutionary leadership in dealing with Makerere University challenges including indiscipline lecturers. What is essentially revolutionary about your style of leadership?

My view is that Africa’s problem number one is the indiscipline of her elite. I have seen discipline at Makerere University deteriorate over the last twenty years and I feel very sad, that the institution with the brightest minds on this continent is embroiled in so much indiscipline. It is not just me who is concerned about the deterioration in discipline at the University. The majority of the staff are fed up with the escalating indiscipline, but as the current CEO of the University, all these people look up to me to cause change in the University. I believe that my style of leadership is programmatic and honest, sincere declaration of facts as they are.

By the time you were appointed VC, you came up with an agenda of transforming the University with a view to restoringthe once “Harvard of Africa”to its glory. How much work have you done in this regard?

I believe that I have already done 80% of what I set out to do. I have transformed the way Management works and the way Management relates with Council. I have made a clear distinction of roles of Council, Senate and Management. I have ensured that Management assumes the role they are expected to play, to handle all major administrative functions, so that Council and Senate can concentrate on policy matters. We have achieved a lot as far as infrastructure development is concerned. Together with KCCA we have completed reconstruction of all our major roads and erected the most modern entrance gate I have seen at any university. We have lit up the campus and Makerere is now the best lit environment in Kampala.

We have achieved much success in the area of processing of student records. For the first time in more than 10 years, we have been able to issue transcripts to graduands even before graduation day. We have harmonised academic programmes and eliminated duplications and non viable evening programmes. We have approved new market-demanded graduate programmes. Research funding has almost doubled in the last one and half years due to enhanced activity by staff. Our international ranking has continued to improve and we have more than doubled international partnerships with top HEIs across the globe.

Student discipline has greatly increased and our students are winning many international competitions.

Staff welfare has continued to improve through constant lobbying of Government. We have instituted alternative staff incentives. We have obtained scholarships for our graduate and undergraduate students and this is on the increase. Donor confidence is at its highest.

The first indoor games facility at any university in the region was opened in time for the 3rd World Universities Netball Championship in September 2018. Other games facilities, including tennis courts have been renovated.

For the first time in the history of Makerere University we are set to have investments on our land through PPP arrangements. This will greatly improve our revenue collection.

What major achievements have you registered in revamping the university infrastructure ie lecture halls, halls of residence, dilapidated structures, public toilets, sewerage and drainage, etc?

Through a Government acquired loan from the AfDB, we have acquires two large central teaching facilities and renovated a number of laboratories. Using our internally generated resources, we have renovated a number of buildings and overhauled the toilet system in most student halls of residence. We still have the dilapidated sewerage and drainage systems but we have plans for them.

When you took over, you vowed to systematically end strikes by both teachers and students. Are we about to see an end of strikes?

Students as well as staff are fed up with rampant strikes. Strikes not only damage our reputation but they waste much valued resources and they help keep our country backward. We have taken decisive measures to end strikes by students and staff and we are making good progress.

Some people would accuse you of using an iron-fist in dealing with indiscipline staff, the case being the ones you recently dismissed. What do you say about your style of leadership?

Because I am the CEO, people tend to give me credit for whatever is happening. The fact is that the University works through committees of Council and Senate. The Appointments Board appoints and disciplines staff. The Vice Chancellor has limited power to discipline staff, stopping only at suspensions. Yes, I have got to suspend a number of errant staff for very good reasons, particularly damage to the University’s reputation and acts that are likely to cause disharmony within the University. I am not the first Vice Chancellor to suspend staff, but I did this at a time when more than 40 members of staff had been disciplined by the Appointments Board. I believe that is why some people think that I have an iron fist.

How are you solving the endemic challenge of insufficient funding?

We are diversifying our revenue streams. We are encouraging investment on our land. We are establishing research grants offices at all colleges to help tap into the enormous resources out there.

Makerere should be generating funding from research, scientific innovations, investments, like the case is with some reknown universities. Why isn’t this case?

We are doing a lot in that area, but the public does not know about our efforts. We spend more than USD 30 million (about Shs111bn) on research every year and this leads to many innovations which have helped propel our economy and to ensure food security. Do you remember the Kiira EV? That is a result of our research. There are many other innovations in agriculture, medicine, engineering and other areas.

About how much money would the University need to operate optimally without any major challenge?

There is never enough money. The more money you get, the more ideas you develop and so the money required keeps expanding. At the moment we are operating at about 50% of our budget.

Talking of research, in the recent years, Makerere University was ranked among the top ten universities in Africa in the field of research, but the trend seems to be on a downward spiral. What is the University doing to reverse this decline?

This is not true. Makerere University is ranked No. 2 in research productivity in Africa. You are probably talking about webometrics, which is based on the amount of information available on a university’s website.

Do you think opening up the University to private scholarship was a better idea considering the big challenge of dealing with huge numbers of students?

The policy on privatisation was driven by economic circumstances and World Bank policies at the time. The policy worked for the University for some time, but it is now counter-productive because it constrains our staff from participating in research due to large student numbers.

When are we seeing an end to such scandals including sex-for-marks, exam malpractice, forging of academic transcripts, etc?

Soon, very soon. Due to the measures we have put in place, everybody fears to be associated with these malpractices.

Besigye praises Museveni on security, visionary leadership

As President Yoweri Museveni marks 33 years in power, cementing his position in the annals of history as Uganda’s longest serving President, and arguably among the world’s longest serving leaders, his bush-war physician-turned-political rival Dr Kizza Besigye has praised the former for the landmark achievement on security. Besigye has also, in a surprise tone, hailed his commander-in-chief for being “visionary and thinking far above the ordinary.” Continue reading “Besigye praises Museveni on security, visionary leadership”

“Namugoongo” In The Context Of An Economic And Spiritual Analysis

“Namugoongo” is an area in a central province of the Uganda territory known as Buganda. By the time Britain colonized Uganda, Buganda was an independent Kingdom.

A king in Buganda is referred to as “Kabaka”. The first British group that arrived in Buganda was received with courtesy by the then Kabaka who wanted to know where they had come from and who their ruler was. They told him their country was Britain being headed by a lady referred to as “Queen”. He therefore proposed that it would be good and appropriate if he would marry that lady so that he would unite the two countries into one, namely Buganda and Britain. Later, one of those British visitors commented that when they looked at his throne, it was an item that could not even fit in the kitchen of their Queen.

However, they introduced their own type of belief to the local kingdom. In their teachings, they said there was a God that could not be seen by ordinary human eyes, but just through belief. That one must just believe that that God exists and that he or she must ask what he or she requires through that God and that that God would grant what is needed by anybody on Earth as He was above everything on Earth and after all was the very creator of the entire world.

Subsequently people began following the teachings of these newcomers much as the Kabaka’s domestic servants were also converted to this type of belief.
A type of prayer was introduced in the Kingdom illustrating the superiority of this type of a new God. It ran as follows:

“Our Father which art in Heaven. (Kitafe ali mu gulu)
• Hallowed be thy name. (Erinya lyo litukuzibwe).
• Thy Kingdom come. (Obwa Kabaka bwo bujje).
• Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. (Ebyoyagala bikolwe munsi nga bwebikolwa mu gulu).
• Give us this day our daily bread. (Tuwe olwaleero emere yaffe ya buli lunaku.)
• Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us. (Tusonyuwe ebibi byaffe nga ffe naffe bwetusonyowa abo abatusobyako).
• For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory (Songa bwakabaka bwo, obiyiza nekitiibwa)
• For ever and ever. (Emirembe ne naku )
• “Amen” Amiina (bwekityo kibe) meaning “As it should be”

The Kabaka himself heard his own domestic servants pray above his own head that another king comes and takes over from him.
On top of all this, people were told that apart from this very earth there was another world called “Heaven” which had no economic problems but full only of peace and comfort. In that world there were also people called “Angels” who had wings and could fly anywhere in the universe looking for friendship and peace. Third, that this “Heaven” world had a very beautiful and peaceful city called “Zion” where all human- beings would live together in harmony and friendship for ever and ever after death.
The Kabaka internalized all this and concluded as follows:
1. That there is really another “Kabaka”.
2. Stronger and more powerful than him
3. He is being asked by his own domestic servants to come and take over his Kabakaship.

The kabaka then developed concentrated economic emotions and sentiments to make sure his kingdom was not usurped.
He therefore arrested forty of this group of his domestic servants and decided to kill them.

He led them to Namugoongo, let them collect a lot of firewood which he could use to burn them alive. They saw the punishment extremely harsh and yet irreversible! So they also, according to their own spiritual conviction which was also irreversible, could not repent to the Kabaka as if they had wronged him. They therefore produced the following utterances in a form and content of a hymn as follows:
“Singa mbadde n’ebiwaawa nga malaika, nandibuuse, naandibuuse, eri mu sayuuni!”
(Meaning)
“If I had wings, like an angel, I would fly. I would fly, there to Zion!”
They walked spiritually courageously and succumbed to an inevitable furnace and died.

LESSONS:
• “Andrew Kaggwa”, (burnt), was “Kaahwa” captured by Buganda military force in a war between Bunyoro and Buganda and his name turned into “Kaggwa” in Luganda as a domestic servant in Kabaka’s palace.
• War is a continuation of politics where when peaceful means of solving problems fail, people resort to mutual slaughter. That is unfortunate.
• Politics is an expression of concentrated economic emotions and sentiments between classes struggling for state power. The kabaka therefore was struggling for state power on the basis of economics concerning his territory.
• Classes are groups of people which differ one from another according to how they are related in terms of labor and property ownership.
• The state is a weapon in the hands of a ruling class to:
(i)Reflect economic aims of that class.
(ii) Implement those aims
(iii) Suppress the aims of the ruled class which are considered incorrect
(iv) Suppress the economic aims of the ruled class

• The state is inevitably accompanied by Law. Law is the sum – total of obligatory and compulsory standards of behavior and conduct acceptable only to the ruling class to:
(i) Reflect social aims of the ruling class
(ii) Implement them
(iii) Suppress the considered incorrect behavior of the ruled class.

Need for proper spiritual life
• There can never be a proper spiritual life in the world without a mutually acceptable economic system.
(a) Owning a man or a woman in a home and make him or her work without pay is wrong.
(b) Owning land above others and making them pay rent is wrong and abominable
(c) Making men and women work at a very low wage level with the aim of gaining profits from them is very incorrect.
(d) Colonizing other territories is incorrect.
• Answers:
All those systems above should be abolished from each national territory on the globe. Each country should establish a welfare state where all are for each and each is for all. The people at Namugoongo were killed under slave – ownership in Buganda where land –rent is again practiced against peasants. This is unfortunate.
Political Economy should be taught in all academic institutions in order to liberate people from ignorance concerning labor and property ownership as sources of spiritual life vis – a – vis superstition.

Former Police Crime intelligence Boss Col Ndahura Atwooki charged by Army Court

Col Atwooki Ndahura, the former police director of Crime Intelligence has Friday been remanded to Makindye Military Prison over accusations of interfering with the process of law.

Col. Ndahura was arraigned before the Unit Disciplinary Committee (UDC) of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) at Mbuya, close to two weeks after his arrest.

He is one of the 26 police and military officers who were arrested over suspected criminal activities during the 13-year reign of Gen Kale Kayihura as head of the police force.

Army and Defence Spokesperson Brig. Richard Karemire said that Col Ndahura was charged with interfering with the process of law contrary to Section 166 of the UPDF Act 2005.

The Mbuya-based UDC chaired by Col Tom Kabuye remanded Col Ndahura to Makindye Military Prison until July 13 this year.
The law:
Section 166(1) of the UPDF Act of 2005, states that a person subject to military law, who unlawfully interferes with the process of law as set out in the Act, commits an offence and is, on conviction, liable to imprisonment not exceeding seven years.

Uganda Releases 1st NDC Partnership Plan for Climate Action in Africa

Uganda Releases First NDC Partnership Plan for Climate Action in Africa
Press Release
28June 2018

The Government of Uganda released its strategy to deliver on commitments under the Paris Agreement, in a blueprint known as the Uganda NDC Partnership Plan. Building off progress already made through Uganda’s existing climate plans and policies, the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement captures the country’s ambitions for a sustainable future. The Partnership Plan complements this vision, while also serving as an accelerator for action. The Plan identifies five priority areas set by the government for implementation of its NDC, and begins to connect those priorities to available partner and program resources from across the NDC Partnership and its network.

In its NDC, Uganda puts strong emphasis on adaptation actions, to ensure all people and communities are resilient to climate impacts. To reduce its impact on climate change, Uganda has committed to reducing its emissions by 22 percent by 2030, with actions focused in energy, forestry, and wetlands. Through the Partnership Plan, Uganda is raising its ambition by setting the timeline to achieve several NDC actions sooner. Uganda seeks to mainstream climate resilience across sectors and develop early warning systems and robust monitoring systems by 2020, much earlier than originally planned. The Plan also aims to create an enabling environment for the country’s NDC by elaborating and clarifying actions for transformative change as the country grows and develops into the future.

Key to achieving Uganda’s climate goals is effective coordination and prioritization as well as monitoring and reporting on its climate actions and response.

The five priority areas for Uganda identified in its NDC Partnership Plan are: strengthened operational and gender-responsive policy and institutional frameworks for the effective governance of climate change; increased climate financing for planning and budgeting on the national and local levels; effective and institutionalized measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) systems to monitor greenhouse gas emissions and gender-responsive adaptation measures; strengthened capacity of government officials, civil society, the private sector and academia to effectively integrate NDC and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) commitments with a gender lens into existing and future programs; and accelerated project financing for NDC implementation.

To deliver on these priorities, the plan identifies 49 activities for the next three years, including enacting a legal framework for climate action; developing a project pipeline of investment-ready projects for funding across priority sectors; establishing and strengthening national climate change funding mechanisms; modeling national temperature and precipitation and extreme event scenarios; and developing a national greenhouse gas inventory system.

Uganda Climate Change Department Commissioner Chebet Maikut said, “Uganda recognizes the importance of fulfilling its commitments under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, while at the same time welcoming the support of development partners in pushing Uganda’s climate agenda forward. To this end, to the development partners and the NDC Partnership that have pledged support to Uganda’s climate ambitions – I thank you!”

He added, “It’s through such partnerships that we can achieve and meaningfully contribute to the global climate ambition that we desperately require to save tomorrow’s climate today.”

The newly-approved NDC Partnership Plan serves as the basis for planning, coordination, resource mobilization and transparency on NDC implementation between the government and partners.

Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit kicks off in Nairobi

The Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) Summit kicked off in Nairobi Tuesday morning.

The conference being hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta is being attended by H.E President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda while President Salva Kiir of South Sudan is represented by a special envoy.

Ethiopia, Tanzania, Burundi and the DRCongo are attending the summit as observers.

The Heads of State are expected to discuss the progress of mega infrastructure projects designed to benefit the wider Eastern Africa region.

Specifically, the leaders will discuss the progress of implementation of the outcomes of the 13th Summit, which was held in Kampala in April, 2016.

Top on the agenda of the summit is the progress of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project, which is being constructed in all the four Northern Corridor countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Kenya has already completed phase one of the SGR running between Mombasa and Nairobi while phase two of the SGR between Nairobi and Naivasha is 50 per cent complete.

The other Northern Corridor countries are at different stages to actualize the construction of the SGR.

Other issues to be discussed include ICT infrastructure development aimed at promoting regional inter-connectivity, oil refinery development following the discoveries of oil in Kenya and Uganda, where the two now join South Sudan as oil producing countries.

Power Generation, transmission and Inter-connectivity in the wider region, Air Space Management, Human Resource Capacity Building and the establishment of a single Customs territory are other key issues expected to feature at the Summit.

The Northern Corridor Integration Projects is a multilateral development initiative established in 2013 to speed up growth in the region through the improvement of infrastructure for ease of movement of people, goods and services.

In total, there are 16 key Infrastructure and socio-economic concerns that the NCIP focuses on, with the ultimate goal of improving the infrastructure for business, and ensuring inclusive growth that leaves no one behind.

Headline: Govt to borrow Shs 297b for Irrigation.

Cabinet sat on Monday June 25, 2018 at State House Entebbe under the Chairmanship of H.E the President and;
Approved the proposal to borrow USD 76.95Million from the African Development Bank (ADB) to support the Agricultural Value Chain Development Program (AVCP)This program will focus on:


Provision of water for irrigation at two levels: for rice farmers in Eastern Uganda through construction of a big irrigation scheme; and small scale irrigation for upland rice farmers in Northern Uganda;

Addressing value chain constraints for maize, rice and dairy/beef farmers in 28 districts;

Increasing volumes of high value grades of maize and rice in order to obtain premium prices in the Domestic and Regional markets; and

Providing logistical support to dairy regulatory activities countrywide and supporting the construction and equipping of an internationally accredited laboratory at the Uganda National Bureau of Standards, for Ugandan exports.

Approved the National Curriculum Development Centre (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The amendment is intended to:

Broaden the ex-officio membership of the Governing Council of the Centre to include more stakeholders on the Council and remove non existing Institutions and titles such as; the National Institute of Education, the East African Academy and the National Federation of Uganda Employees which are defunct, and include new Institutions and titles;

Remove limitations over eligibility of appointment of Chairperson of the Council; and

Harmonize the budgeting cycle of the Centre with that of Government (from Calendar Year to Financial Year) since Government is the statutory source of funds.

Approved the Local Content Policy for the Oil and Gas Industry in Uganda. The Policy has the following objectives:

To build capacity of Uganda’s Human Resources in the Oil and Gas Industry;

To promote employment of Ugandans in the Oil and Gas Industry;

To enhance the competitiveness of Ugandan Enterprises as suppliers and Joint Venture Partners;

To increase the use of domestically produced or available goods and services by the Oil and Gas Industry; and

To promote the in-country Research and Development (R&D) and Technology transfer to Ugandans.

Noted that the Ministry of Health will launch and initiate the National Physical Activity Day on Sunday 8th July, 2018 at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds under the theme “my health is my responsibility”. The objectives of the National Physical Day are:

To strengthen efforts in the prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases;

To take timely action on promotion of physical activity in order to keep the population of Uganda healthy and fit;

To encourage the population to adopt physical activity as a routine in their lifestyles in order to prevent Non- Communicable Diseases; and

To equip members of the public with more information about the importance of physical activities in Non-Communicable Diseases prevention and control.

The following services will be provided during the National Physical Activity Day;

Health Education Talks by the experts in the area of Non-Communicable Diseases.

Screening of major Non-Communicable Diseases and their risk factors including blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cholesterol and cancer among others.

Health advice prior to engaging in physical activities and the recommended measures.

Ofwono Opondo
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UGANDA MEDIA CENTRE

KENYA IS RISING; President Kenyatta to host Presidents Museveni and Kagame

President Kenyatta to host Presidents Museveni and Kagame for the 14th Summit of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP)

President Uhuru Kenyatta will today, Tuesday 26th June 2018, host President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda as well as a Special Envoy of President Salva Kiir of South Sudan for the 14th Summit of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.

The NCIP is a multilateral development initiative established in 2013 and is aimed at speeding up development in the region particularly the improvement of infrastructure for ease of movement of people, goods and services in the region.

During the Nairobi meeting, the leaders are expected to review the progress made in the implementation of the various resolutions reached at during the 13th Summit held in Kampala, Uganda on 23rdApril 2016.

Among the key projects expected to feature prominently during the meeting is the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) where significant progress has been made with Kenya having successfully completed the Mombasa-Nairobi line and embarked on the Nairobi-Naivasha section which is now at 50 percent completion.

A commercial contract for the Naivasha-Kisumu-Malaba sections and a modern port at Kisumu has already been signed with the China Communication Construction Company (CCCC).

On its part, Uganda signed a commercial contract with China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) in March 2015 and recently completed the project appraisal exercise which was held parallel to the ongoing negotiations of financing which are expected to be finalized by September this year.

In Rwanda, preliminary engineering design of the new SGR line from Kampala to Kigali was completed in January 2018 while in South Sudan, preparation for a bankable feasibility study for the Nimule-Juba SGR line is on-going and is expected to be complete by December this year. Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract for the line has been signed and the process for obtaining a commercial loan from China EXIM Bank is in its early stages.

Apart from the SGR, the Heads of State and the Special Envoy will be briefed on the progress being made in ICT and will be keen on the status of the One Network Area (ONA) for voice which is fully operational in all the partner states, while ONA for data is operational in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

Also expected to feature in the deliberations will be the progress of the oil refinery. Uganda signed a Project Framework Agreement (PFA) in April 2018 with the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium to design, develop, finance and operate a refinery in Hoima. It is expected that a final investment decision (FID) will be made by May 2019. The Land for the refinery has already been acquired. Kenya has been requested to indicate the entity that will hold its 2.5 percent shareholding in the refinery.

Further, the leaders will assess and provide leadership on the progress being made in power generation, transmission and interconnectivity, a function that is being coordinated by Kenya.

So far, partner states have made tremendous progress in implementing their respective 220kV power transmission lines. Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya completed and commissioned their lines apart from the Bujagali-Tororo transmission line in Uganda, which is at 85% completion. In addition, partner states are working on a feasibility study on the standardization of 400kV lines, while ensuring full implementation of 220kV transmission lines.

Going forward, the four East African countries are actively stringing together power exchange agreements which are expected to be ready by end of this year and work towards a fully-fledged need based power trade in the region.

Other agenda items expected to feature prominently during the summit include the crude oil pipeline project, the commodities exchange, human resource capacity building and land.

The leaders will also review progress made in immigration, tourism, trade, labour and services; single customs territory; mutual defence cooperation.