NTUNGAMO – American Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac has called for a collective responsibility towards addressing challenges of child marriages.
Ambassador Malac was Thursday addressing leaders of Ntungamo and residents during a meeting held at Rushooka health centre III in Kayonza sub-county in Ntungamo district.
Malac who is touring facilities and projects funded by United States of American revealed that statistics indicate that 12% of mothers that visit health facilities in the district are those who became pregnant at teen age.
“Well, I have been travelling in South Western Uganda looking at some of the projects we are funding through USAID. I had the opportunity to look at some of the community based programs that we are supporting in Rubirizi district and in Bwindi,” she explained.
She confirmed that the level of violence against women and children girls in particular is high in some parts of Uganda.
The diplomat encouraged Ugandan communities to team with its government to enforce policies against sexual abuse.
“Everybody has a role to play in reducing gender based violence in reducing teen pregnancies and it’s not about more money. It’s all about using the tools we already have to address it,” said Malac.
Beatrice Chemisto, the deputy district Director of Health Services says that teen pregnancies are a big challenge and asked parents to embark on their responsibilities.
She revealed that issues such as domestic violence, child labor, alcoholism among others have escalated teen pregnancy and child marriages in Ntungamo district.
Ntungamo Resident District Commissioner, George Belinda blamed domestic violence on habitual drunkard parents.
“If there are parents who drink alcohol in the morning hours, I condemn it in the strongest terms,” he said.
“Morning hours are dedicated for work not drinking we want a productive community. If that one is solved, it will address issues of parents who steal from their own homes like some men stealing produces to sell them for alcohol early in the morning,” said Belinda.
Denis Singhahache, the Ntungamo LC V chairperson commended the American People for coming in to supplement government efforts in the health sector.
“I want to thank these foreigners who don’t know us but think about us and spend little resources and time to come and support the Ugandan community,” he said.
Inside Uganda – Rwanda Pact: Kagame Commits to Resuming Cross-border Trade
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and his Rwandam counterpart, Paul Kagame have Wednesday signed a peace pact committing that both countries will respect the sovereignty of each other and of the neighboring countries.
The pact was signed in Luanda, Angola, follows months of frosty relations between Uganda and Rwanda. In February this year, Rwanda closed its main border with Uganda at Katuna and blocked cargo from crossing into its territory causing a customs crisis. Since then there have been accusations and counter accusations between Kampala and Kigali mostly relating to security.
Museveni and Kagame met in Luanda on Wednesday at a Quadripartite Summit on regional cooperation and security chaired by the Angolan, President Joao Lourenco of Angola. Also in attendance was DRC President, Felix Tshisekedi and President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo.
In the pact, the two Heads of State of Uganda and Rwanda undertook to respect the sovereignty of each other and of the neighboring countries. They also undertook to refrain from actions conducive to destabilization or subversion in the territory of the other party and neighboring countries thereby “eliminating all factors that may create such perception as well as that of acts such as the financing, training and infiltration of destabilizing forces.”
The two Principals also agreed to protect and respect the rights and freedoms of the nationals of the other party residing or transiting in their national territories in accordance with the law of that country.
Kagame has also committed to resume as soon as possible the cross-border activities between both countries including the movement of persons and goods for the development and improvement of the lives of their populations.
Both Presidents as well undertook to promote within the spirit of Pan Africanism and regional integration comprehensive cooperation in the fields of politics, security, defence, trade and cultural exchange, investment, based on complementary synergies.
The two administrations will establish an Ad Hoc Committee for the implementation of the MoU headed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and composed of the Ministers responsible for international Administration and the Heads of Intelligence of both countries.
Facilitators of the process will keep appraised by Uganda and Rwanda in the implementation of the MoU.
“By signing this Memorandum of Understanding, each signatory party is aware that it will be held accountable for the non-compliance of this Memorandum,” the MoU reads in part.
It further states that disputes and differences in the implementation of the pact shall be settled through dialogue between the parties or as appropriate through the help of the facilitators.
Rwanda has repeatedly accused Uganda of illegally arresting its nationals and deporting them as well as hosting elements considered hostile by Rwanda, but Uganda denies these claims.
The Ugandan government has maintained that it will not allow its territory to be used to threaten the security of its country.
Uganda hosts over one million Refugees including Rwandans. The country’s open-border policy to refugees is hailed by the UN as the best in the world.
A number of Rwandans have been deported for involving in acts subversive to Uganda’s security while others are currently facing the Ugandan General Court Martial for kidnapping and repatriating Rwandan refugees back to Rwanda against the laws of Uganda and international law.
Uganda’s Foreign Minister has previously stated that as Rwandans are welcome to visit Uganda, they are required to abide by the laws of the land.
Anyone who breaks the law will be dealt with in accordance with the law, the Minister said.
In a March 10 correspondence by President Museveni to President Kagame, he said; “What is wrong is for Rwanda agents to try to operate behind the government of Uganda.
Museveni, Kagame Sign Peace and Security Pact in Luanda
The four Heads of State of Uganda, Angola, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) have Wednesday signed a pact committing to regional cooperation and security.
Presidents João Lourenço (Angola), Paul Kagame, (Rwanda), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and Felix Tshisekedi (DRC) concluded the Quadripartite Summit with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The signing was also witnessed by President Sassou Nguesso of Congo Brazaville who is the current Chairman of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). Uganda, Rwanda, Angola and Congo Brazaville are all members of the ICGLR.
The pact signed in Luanda, Angola, follows months of frosty relations between Uganda and Rwanda.
Speaking after the signing of the MOU, President Museveni said although he had been in touch with President Kagame through their two countries’ mechanisms, he welcomed efforts by their counterparts, the Heads of State of Angola and DR Congo.
“I may have my own understanding of the problem, but somebody has a different view. That is why sharing becomes important. I am very grateful that President Lourenço and President Tshisekedi came in.”
I had already been in touch with President Kagame through our own channels, but this is like reinforcement, President Museveni added before emphasizing that Uganda was “reaffirming what we have always held as principles of the African Union.
The pact will improve economic and political relations between our countries, President Museveni said in a statement later on Wednesday.
“We have agreed on a raft of issues that will be implemented between our two countries, largely meant to improve our security, trade, and political relations,” he explained.
Museveni said Uganda is fully committed to enforcing the MOU before lauding Presidents Lourenço and Tshisekedi for overseeing the process as well as Nguesso who witnessed the signing of the pact, as the current Chairman of ICGLR.
On his part, President Kagame said Rwanda would not be found wanting in implementing the MOU.
Later, Rwandan officials tweeted that President Kagame thanked the leaders of Angola and DR Congo for their “attitude and brotherly commitment to helping us find solutions between Uganda and Rwanda”.
“We had the opportunity to broadly and extensively discuss many issues as we understood them, that underlined this problem, hence the MoU we have reached today which stipulates the path to follow as we continue to try to resolve this problem,” he added.
Kagame applauded Presidents Lourenço and Tshisekedi for “the work and wise counsel they put into the process of bringing us together”.
The summit is a follow up meeting of the July 12 summit by the same heads of state in Luanda where Kampala and Kigali reportedly agreed to resolve tensions that have erupted between their two countries in recent months.
Ugandans and Rwandans on social media welcomed the pact, saying that they look forward to Rwanda’s opening of the border and to normalizing of relations between the two countries.
Regional Logistics Expo Opens, Minister Calls for Solutions to Improve Uganda’s Performance
The Minister for Works and Transport, Eng Monica Azuba Ntege has called on stakeholders in the transport and logistics industry to focus on improving Uganda’s ranking in logistics saying customers increasingly demand efficiency in service.
She made the plea on Wednesday while speaking at the opening of the second Regional Logistics Expo in Kampala. The Expo is bringing together over 500 local and international participants to assess the industry and discuss among others embracing disruptive innovations like blockchain technologies, artificial intelligence.
The two-day expo started on Wednesday at Sheraton Kampala Hotel, under the theme “Innovative and Sustainable Solutions for Freight Logistics.”
It is organized by Uganda Freight Forwarders Association (UFFA) is partnering with the National Logistics Platform (under Private Sector Foundation Uganda), the Ministry of Works and Transport and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
Minister for Works and Transport, Eng Monica Azuba Ntege said this year’s theme is very appropriate because of the need for the industry to be dynamic and keep up with the ever evolving world.
She recounted that last year’s Expo was significant as it resulted into the signing of an MoU between government and the private sector which became a precursor for consolidating the partnership in logistics.
“Customer expectations are increasing greatly and they expect to get goods faster, more flexibly, and at low cost,” the Minister told delegates at the summit.
She added: “Manufacturing is becoming more and more customized, which is good for customers but requires hard work for the logistics industry”.
Azuba said that while Uganda improved its ranking in the Uganda logistics performance index by 25 places between from 83rd in 2007 to 58th in 2016, this dropped between 2016 and 2018 from 58 to 102.
“This is unacceptable and I would to challenge industry experts to come up with feasible solutions that will improve our industry performance in the region,” she said.
She outlined some of the interventions made by government to improve the efficiency in logistics, among them – the construction of One Stop Border Posts at key border crossings of Malaba, Busia, Mutukula, Mirama Hills, Elegu, Katuna, Goli, Ntoroko, Mpondwe and Bunagana.
The construction of these Border Posts is geared towards increasing efficiency and reducing costs, she said.
The Minister also said government is in the process of reviving the national airline, Uganda Airlines in regard to air transportation of logistics. Commercial flights expected to commence on August 28.
“The objective is to increase Uganda’s competitiveness by reducing the cost of air transport and ease connectivity to and from Uganda”.
Under water transport, government is developing a multimodal port at Bukasa for cargo connecting to Musoma or Mwanza in Tanzania and to Kisumu in Kenya. Phase 1 of the project is set to be completed in 2021.
She further started that government is committed to developing railway transport and that financing arrangements for the development of Standard Guage Railway are being concluded.
Uganda cleared about 76,400 containers last year, according to statistics from URA. 39 percent of these containers came from China, 16 percent came from India and 6 percent came from United Arab Emirates.
This was 15 percent higher than what the volume of cargo that was cleared the previous year.
“All of us need to appreciate that the Logistics Industry has transformed thanks to Technology. Air transport is making us more connected. We thus have to facilitate quicker movement of goods with Digitization as the key facilitator,” said URA Commissioner for Customs, Dicksons Kateshumbwa during the Expo.
“Last year, 52% of our revenue was collected through Single Customs Territory. That alone shows how much Digitization is playing a key role in the economy”.
“Logistics are very critical to our lives. Everything we have on us (clothes, shoes, watches etc) was transported. It came through Logistics. This platform is very critical for us all,” he said.
Participants noted that high costs of transport and logistics impact the final prices of products and services.
French Embassy Offers Makerere Fresher, Suubi Scholarship to Learn French Language
Makerere University fresh student, Henry Suubi Kiyimba who was days ago mocked on Twitter for reporting to the university with a metallic suitcase continues to count his blessings.
The 20-year-old’s latest ray of hope is a scholarship he secured courtesy of the French Embassy in Uganda on Wednesday after meeting with the French Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Jules-Armand Aniambossou.
The Ambassador offered Henry Suubi a scholarship to learn French language at the Alliance Française Kampala.
Ambassador Aniambossou said that he came to know about the plight of Suubi from a tweet by the Makerere University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe.
Read More: Thanks to a Twitter Troll, Poor Ssuubi’s Life May Never Be the Same Again
He then invited the Makerere First Year student to the Embassy where the scholarship was announced.
The Ambassador congratulated Suubi for his hard work and encouraged him to continue pursuing his dream, emphasizing the importance of education in breaking barriers.
Suubi later thanked the Ambassador for the scholarship and expressed how honoured and privileged he felt for the overwhelming support extended to him so far from several well-wishers.
He expressed determination to pursue his dream course at Makerere.
Suubi is expected to report to Alliance Française to choose a convenient time slot for him to begin learning French.
He told the Ambassador that he knew a little bit about France; that he can also say “Bonjour” and that he knew the Eiffel tower, the popular landmark in Paris, France.
This comes a week after Suubi got a full scholarship to study his dream course – Engineering – from Joadah Consult.
In a letter dated August 14, Joadah Consult, an Engineering company, informed Makerere University Vice Chancellor of its intention to give an offer for a full scholarship to Suubi for a course in Mechanical Engineering.
Henry Suubi Kiyimba shot to the limelight after a continuing student at Makerere University trolled him on social networking platform, Twitter.
While the freshers (starting students) were reporting for their First Semester at Makerere University a few weeks ago, Suubi fell victim of the savage and shameless trend of trolling.
A hashtag #HeyFreshers had popped up and the Twitterverse had jumped on it, to send sarcastic and sometimes genuine advice to the university newbies.
In the stream of tweets, came one accompanied with a photo of a male student carrying a metallic suitcase, a back bag and a paper bag in the right hand. He was approaching University Hall, one of the on-campus halls of residence at Makerere University.
The tweet was captioned; “#HeyFreshers A rare picture of a fresher attached to University Hall reporting today with S.1 metal case and Osoufia (paper bag)”.
The student in the photo later came to be identified as Ssuubi Henry Kiyimba. The issue took a major twist (for the better) when Ugandan journalist working with the BBC, Alan Kasujja commented asking if anybody could help identify the student that had been ridiculed.
“We want to lay a table for him (Ssuubi) before his shamers,” Kasujja said in a tweet.
What followed was a stream of comments of people willing to chip in and help the boy.
Suubi Herny Kiyimba, 20, was admitted on government scholarship to pursue a Bachelors Degree of Science with Education (Economics).
He hails from Kamengo sub-county, Mpigi district in a family of 8, all supported by a single mother. He was previously a student of St Bruno Sserunkuma S.S Goli where he studied Physics, Economics and Mathematics (PEM) and attained 17 points at UACE.
Since Suubi’s Twitter ordeal, several people have been pledging various items – shoes, phone, money for transport, laptop, phone, suitcase, beddings, toiletries, books, rice among others. Others pledged to send him cash.
Telecom giant, MTN Uganda offered him free internet data for 6 months.
Uganda Cranes’ Miya Farouk Joins Turkish Club, Konyaspor
Uganda Cranes forward, Farouk Miya Tuesday completed his move to Turkish Super league side, Konyaspor.
Miya who has been instrumental in Cranes team for the last couple of years, penned a three year contract from Croatian side, HNK Gorica where he has been for on a season.
Speaking after signing the contract, Miya said that: “I admired the stadium and facilities. As soon as I stepped into the club, I realised what a great community it was. I signed for three years here today.”
“During this period, I want to make a great contribution to Konyaspor with my performances. I thank everyone who contributed to my transfer. I’m excitedly waiting for the day I will be on the field.”
“I had the chance to watch the first game of the season (MKE Ankaragücü ended in a barren draw). We have a very high quality and a very strong team. I am sure that I will adapt to the team in a short time and will do my best to the end,” added.
Miya, 21, has also previously played for Vipers SC in Uganda, Standard Liege and Royal Mouscron in Belgium and FK Sebail in Azerbaijan.
Anite Claims UTL Infrastructure is Being Vandalized to Frustrate Telco’s Revival
The State Minister for Privatization and Investment, Evelyn Anite has expressed fear that the reported vandalism of UTL copper network cables in the country are aimed at sabotaging investigations and audit into the operations of UTL under administration.
While addressing the media at her office in Kampala, the Minister quoted a report that was sent to a number of technical and political government officials.
“Information received from credible sources indicates that there is ongoing vandalism of UTL Copper network cables in the country. The signal so far points to possible sabotage by elements not happy with the ongoing Government efforts to revive UTL,” Anite quoted the report.
The report adds that besides, there are indications that the copper wires stolen are sold in Kenya where they are re-melted and used to produce various copper products.
She added that in Kampala the adversely affected sites are Nsambya, Central Business District, Wandegeya, Kamwokya, Muyenga, Kyambogo, Mengo, Mbuya and Industrial area.
In Jinja, sites at Nizam road, St. James Church road, IGG Office, Malwa flats, Engineer Zikuzooka road, Nalufenya Police road, Ambar court road and Bugembe have been vandalized and stolen.
The other areas that are equally affected are Entebbe Airport, State House road, Katuna Highway, Kabale, Masindi and Lira towns.
“We have observed that whenever suspects are arrested and detained, some UTL Security Managers are reluctant to follow up the cases to a logical conclusion,” the report reveals.
Anite reemphasized noting that the UTL managers have paid no interest in the cases adding that this speaks to why UTL offices were once set ablaze so as to kill evidence.
The report recommended that the relevant Minister swings into action so as to compel the UTL authorities to take relevant actions.
“I am the relevant Minister until President Museveni takes me away from this docket. I am going to be very relevant to follow these mafias to the logical conclusion; they want by cutting the wires to fail investigations and as well have the company collapsed,” Anite said.
However, sources say the report which is attributed to ISO is fake and was first generated in 2017, before UTL went into Administration.
The same report was published in the Red Pepper tabloid and contained allegations relating to vandalism of the infrastructure.
It should be noted that the problem of vandalism of infrastructure affects not just UTL but other government parastatals such as NWSC, UMEME as well as UNRA.
There are concerns that the Minister is only reviving the fake report to enrich her campaign against the current Administration of UTL. There are also claims that Anite is close to some elements within ISO and that explains why now that Anite has run out of options, she has reverted to the same ‘ISO report’
Meanwhile, this news website has established that UTL has since 2017 made efforts to crack down on the cases of vandalim on its infrastructure. Working with the Police, Inspectorate of Government and DPP, the telco intensified its hunt against vandalizing the network infrastructure.
Information before court that a total of 9 cases have since 2018 been completely determined by different courts of law that include; Mukono, Makindye and the Buganda Road Court and the convictees are serving their sentences.
Those that have so far been convicted with vandalism and other related charges include: Bernard Bwire convicted on May 17, Samuel Mwesigwa convicted on October 18, Joel Alumansi, Umar Niwamanya, Wahab Kakubamundu, Tonny Kiyima among others.
Accordingly, a total of 6 cases of key vandals are currently being prosecuted on courts including Entebbe and Nakawa, against suspects who include; Fredrick Mwambu, Wahab Kakubamundu, Ibrahim Kakabira, Abdul Latif Mugabi, Enock Kasenge and Ben Kasamba.
UTL Saga: Concerned Citizen Petitions IGG over Wealth Amassed by Attorney General, Rukutana and Muhakanizi
A concerned citizen has written to the Inspector General of Government, Irene Mulyagonja asking that her office initiates an investigation into what he says is the disproportionate wealth amassed by senior government officials including the Attorney General, his Deputy and the Secretary to the Treasury.
The complainant alleges in his August 19 letter that the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga, his Deputy, Mwesigwa Rukutana and Secretary to the Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi have vested interests in the liquidation of insolvent telecom company, Uganda Telecommunication Limited (UTL).
“The mentioned above public officials have been on record disagreeing to audit into Uganda Telecommunication Limited (UTL). Recently, court directed that audit into UTL should instead happen and close within 30 days starting from mid of July 2019,” Semwanga Davidson wrote in his August 19 letter to the IGG, a copy of which SoftPower News has seen.
Semwanga notes that he and other citizens are bothered that some public officials are opposed to an audit on UTL.
“The only logic is that they (officials) are hiding something. These people have been at the center of most liquidated public assets in their lifetime of public service,” he states.
“For examples, Rukutana owns companies that export labor out of Uganda to the Middle East and Asia. Many girls exported by his companies have been exploited and their rights abuses”.
He outlined a number of properties which he alleges Rukutana, Muhakanizi and Byaruhanga possess. He claims that Rukutana owns 5 arcades, 6 storied apartments in Zana and 2 houses in Kololo while Muhakanizi owns 5 storied apartments in Bukoto, 4 in Naguru and 3 houses in Germany “where he was staying as he got treatment recently”, as well as 2 houses in Mbarara and 50 square miles of land/farm.
The complainant further alleges that Attorney General, William Byaruhanga has bought land in front of his Rwenzori courts buildings and that he wants his law firm to manage UTL affairs.
In June, Anite wrote to the Attorney General arguing that government has encountered considerable difficulty dealing with the Administrator and has completely lost confidence in his ability to continue to serve the role of UTL Administrator.
She said a decision had been taken to remove Bemanya as the current Administrator of UTL and to immediately replace him with an individual that the Ministry will indicate.
As such she asked the government lawyer to urgently apply to court to replace Bemanya within the context of section 172 of the Insolvency Act, 2011 and the Insolvency Regulations (161 (1)).
However, in response, Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana warned Anite to cease interference into the administration of the telecom. Rukutana said continued interference risks attracting liability to government since it could inhibit sourcing of a viable investor.
Days later on July 11, the Attorney General wrote to the Minister of Finance reiterating an earlier position by Rukutana that the Ministry lacked the grounds or authority to apply to court to have the Official receiver, Bemanaya Twebaze replaced as Administrator of insolvent telecom firm, UTL.
“I am privy to instructions from the Hon Minister of State for Privatization and Investment to myself to urgently apply to court to remove the Administrator from his position. I have duly considered your request and analyzed the Law applicable in such situations,” the Attorney General said.
He quoted Section 174 (1) (c) of the Insolvency Act which provides that a creditor would be the person listed as competent to apply to court to remove an Administrator from office. Byaruhanga adds that an application would be made to court illustrating failure by the Administrator to comply with the duties imposed upon him by the Administration Deed, the Insolvency Act or any other law or any orders or directions of court.
“The Minister of Finance as a shareholder of UTL has no locus to apply to court to remove the Administration and any such application is bound to fail,” Byarugaba said in the letter.
Last week, High Court ordered for an audit into insolvent Uganda Telecom Ltd (UTL).
The order was issued by Justice Musa Ssekana of the Civil Division of the High Court in the application filed by Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) against the Administrator of UTL. UBC applied to court in its capacity as one of the creditors to UTL.
Anite had in a letter said UBC’s application to court was in bad faith and that the broadcaster was being used as a pawn. She, nevertheless, was the first to celebrate when UTL creditor UBC’s application for audit was granted.
Court ordered for an audit to be carried out on UTL which is in Administration, by the Auditor General within a period of 30 days from the date of the court order.
Furthermore, court directed that an audit report be presented to all the creditors of the company.
Anite Attacks Media Over Whistleblower’s Call for Probe into ‘Secret Trip to Mauritius’
The Minister of State for Privatization and Investment, Evelyn Anite has attacked the media for reporting about the whistleblowers’ call for investigation against her alleged secret trip to Mauritius.
The whistleblower in letters to the IGG and Anti-corruption Unit of State House asked that the IGG investigates reports that Anite secretly traveled to Mauritius on a mission to irregularly seal the deal for a UTL strategic investor.
The whistle blower contends that the motive, timing and nature of Anite’s discreet trip to Mauritius are very suspect given the circumstances surrounding the insolvent UTL.
Addressing the media on Monday morning, the Minister said that such reports of the whistleblower petitioning the IGG is fake news. She singled out online publications – Soft Power News, Insider and Grapevine whom she accused of being bankrolled by the “mafias” against the UTL audit.
She said these outlets have allowed to be used and they must prove whatever they allege.
“This is fake news, the likes of Grapevine, Insider and SoftPower I need to let you know and explain to you, you should not take their money may be get their money, eat but don’t write that rubbish because it will land you and me in the courts of law; because ultimately that is were we are going to meet,” Anite said.
She threatened to sue the said news publications as was the case when the media first made allegations that she had taken a USD 8 million bribe from the government of Mauritius.
Anite said that, “This is fake news, as far as I am concerned, no investigations have been instituted against me, I have not seen the IGG’s letter in fact I am writing to the IGG to invite her to have an investigation on me for doing my job because according to the Whistle blower, I am in touch with Mauritius company.”
The Minister also denied allegations that she has amassed a lot of wealth including properties in Uganda and abroad from the said bribes.
Asked by SoftPower News speak to comment k. whether or not she traveled to Mauritius or not, Anite responded, “SoftPower, why do you care where I go when I am on leave, did you hear that there is a travel ban on me, did you hear that I am not supposed to travel anywhere in the world?”
“I can travel anyway be it Ireland, Mauritius or Europe, mention the country. I have no travel ban at least until now since I am the Minister in charge of investment.”
Anite asked the media to back off noting that, “Whether I have been there, it is not your business; I have classmates with whom I am at Harvard School of Business, they are Ugandans, four of them, that is why I am demanding for the public hearing, I want the IGG to carry out a public hearing that is when we shall answer that question.”
Anite noted that the public hearing will help clear the air on whether she went to Mauritius or not and she will have a chance to present her travel documents and all the details necessary.
In the whistleblower letter, the complainant accuses Minister Anite of influence peddling, abuse of office, corruption and conduct unbecoming of a Minister and Honorable Member of Parliament.
The whistle blower reveals that the Minister traveled aboard KLM Airline in company of her husband, to the U,S from Entebbe on July 15.
According to the whistleblower, after graduation and commencement of her short study at Harvard, a secret booking was made for her from USA via France to Mauritius, leaving her husband in the U.S.
Taskforce to Probe into Corruption Allegations In Judiciary Inaugurated
A fortnight after naming an eight-member taskforce that will investigate allegations of corruption in the Judiciary, the Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe, has Monday morning inaugurated the team to commence their work henceforth.
Also Read: Chief Justice Names Team to Probe into Corruption in Judiciary
The team was named following a series of reports by government owned newspaper, New Vision, revealing that some of the judicial officers are involved in corruption scandals.
The ceremony which took place at the Judiciary headquarters in Kampala was attended by different stakeholders including the Inspector of Courts, Immaculate Busingye, who was appointed to head the taskforce.
According to the Office Instruction No. 4 of 2019 dated July 30, 2019, the taskforce will report back to the Chief Justice within 60 days.
“Interface with the investigations team of Vision Group to understand the scope and purpose of their ongoing project on exposing corruption in the Judiciary,” reads one of the four terms of reference to the Committee.
The taskforce to investigate graft will receive the media recordings with a view of identifying the implicated Judiciary staff, who would then be invited to
have an interface with the Team before making a report to the Chief Justice with recommendations on the way forward within 60 days.
The number of members on the committee were initially six, but the the Chief Justice substituted one member, the UJOA president, Godfrey Kawesa, with an executive member to allow him concentrate on the busy schedule of UJOA and his other docket as lead researcher for the
He equally added to the taskforce Patrick Barugahare, the Principal Human Resource Officer in Judiciary Judiciary as well as Ms Eva Kentaro-Mugerwa an advocate representing Uganda Law Society.
On July 9, the Chief Justice welcomed efforts by Vision Group to expose acts of bribery and corruption tendencies in the courts. As such, he interfaced with Vision group’s top editors, partly to commend them for the efforts, but also caution them against sensationalizing the issue of corruption in the courts.
The Chief Justice said his administration will ensure that any court staff captured receiving a bribe will be dealt with in accordance with the law and that the Judiciary shall continue to encourage court users and the public to use the available fora to come out and give evidence for firm action to be taken against the errant court staff.
‘Officers Intending to Misuse Funds Will Be Held Accountable’ – IGP Ochola
The Inspector General of Police, Okoth Ochola has Monday vowed to hold to account officers of the Police Force who misuse Police funds and other resources.
He made the remarks at the ceremony funded by the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) to award the best policing districts and friends of Police in the country.
The funds by JLOS were also used to procure the 14 motor vehicles and 16 motorcycles for Police but Ochola says the biggest beneficiary are specifically CID, Medical services, CFPU, Canine, Human Rights and legal services.
Ochola explains that Police is grateful to its friends and partners who come out to fill the gap where Police has not been able to reach due to financial constraints by constructing Police posts and stations, donating land and in some instances providing transport.
As such, he says, officers ought to appreciate and respect that commitment by offering exactly what the resources are meant for.
“I wish to underline the obligation that we all hold to ensure that the resources are put to use for the intended purpose. There shall be no misuse of the resources and whichever officer does so will be held accountable,” he said.
The Police boss says that the Force is constrained from realizing its strategic direction of building and transforming itself into a professional, service-oriented, pro people and effective institution by among other challenges capacity gaps in terms of personnel strengths and training.
He however notes that Police management has already embarked on recruitment of more personnel, building the capacity of the CID and forensic services.
Earlier this month, Police ended its countrywide recruitment 4,500 Probationer Police Constables.
Police spokesperson, CP Fred Enanga told journalists then that: “Our numbers are not that sufficient, we are operating at about 43,000 out of the required 80,000, We are at about 51% optimum”.
“The additional numbers of 50,000 and then immediately after there training, there is going to be a second recruitment of and additional 5,000, we expect that within the next two years will bring our numbers to probably 53,000”.
Other challenges Police is facing according to Ochola include welfare, indiscipline by some officers, corrupt practices, human rights violations but he says efforts are underway to improve welfare, strength the disciplinary court systems and rewarding performance which is a yard stick for enhancing professionalism, motivating personnel and consequently improving service delivery.
He reiterates that it is important that rewards are established and institutionalised in order to motivate Police personnel and partners in fighting crime saying the current society setting recognises bad deeds more than the good ones.
“We are in a society where bad news will sell better than good news, the bad deeds of a few elements in the police force can easily overshadow the many good deeds of the majority of the police force.”
“So, giving due recognition to these outstanding officers, stations and partners who have earned the respect and admiration of the communities they serve would serve a great deal in creating a favourable public mindset for the country’s law enforcement by offsetting the negative views about the UPF and promoting what is truly representative of the UPF as an organisation, that despite its inadequacies in terms of manpower and logistical resources, it continues to serve best,” explains the Police head.
DStv Uganda to Cut Monthly Subscription Fees Effective September
MultiChoice Uganda is set to significantly slash its prices for its top bouquets including DStv Premium, following persistent appeals by customers for affordable subscription fees.
SoftPower News understands that the revised fees will take effect on September 1 this year. The grand launch for the new packages is scheduled for September 2.
In the new changes, DStv Premium subscribers will have to pay Shs 219,000 down from Shs 280,000 while Compact Plus subscribers will now pay Shs 129,000 down from Shs 180,000 per month.
The fees for Compact have been slashed from Shs 115,000 to Shs 79,000, Family from Shs 60,000 to Shs 49,000. The fees for DStv Access have remained unchanged at Shs 33,000.
Subscription fees for Premium + Asian Addon viewers have been reduced to Shs 237,000 from Shs 298,000 and Premium + French Addon reduced to Shs 349,000 from Shs 410,000.
For the GOtv subscribers, only the fees for the GOtv Plus have been have revised downwards from Shs 28,000 to Shs 26,000. The other GOtv bouquets will maintain their fees.
In line with the review, an SMS and decoder messages will be going out to our customers today, Monday, to confirm the changes.
The changes are contained in an internal memo by MultiChoice which reads “Please note that effective 1st September, we will be dropping the DStv and GOtv prices”.
MultiChoice Uganda says the decision to reduce the subscription fees follows the numerous requests from their customers. The changes will affect other East African countries like Kenya and Tanzania.
For many years, there has been concern that prices for DStv which was the pioneering digital Pay TV service provider in Uganda, are very costly. This perhaps explains why the other service providers such as StarTimes, Zuku, Azam TV, StarSat, StarTimes, Kampala SITI Cable and Kwese TV that later joined the market with relatively cheap fees won over a significant portion of the viewership.
However, MultiChoive has over the recent past introduced other products for low range customers especially those that subscribe to GOtv.
Recently, MultiChoice Uganda and telecom giant, MTN Uganda, announced a new product – DStv Now data bundles – that will see DStv subscribers enjoy TV conveniently and at an affordable price.
The data bundles which are provided by MTN Uganda will make it more affordable for viewers to stream live TV and access DStv Catch Up via the DStv Now App to enjoy on-the-go.
The DStv App Now data plan is a time-based bundles which implies that for the period of the time that the user has the bundle, he/she will consume unlimited TV content.
The bundles include data which can only be used on DStv Now and are available in two sizes; 2 hours costing Shs 6,000- and 4-hours costing Shs 12,000.
Kyabazinga, Kadaga Reveal Plans to Develop Tourism Sites in Busoga
Busoga Kingdom’s tourism sites are due for development given the cultural institutions strategic plan, the Kyabazinga of Busoga, His Majesty William Gabula Nadiope IV revealed over the weekend.
The Busoga cultural leader disclosed this on Saturday while addressing Kagulu climbers who converged for the annual challenge on Saturday at the hill.
He said that development of the several tourist sites in the Kingdom is one of the priority areas.
“We are more than ready to develop and promote our several sites. It is incumbent upon the different stakeholders to ensure that we work together to achieve our target as regards tourism development,” the Kyabazinga said, revealing that revenue from the sites will be used to cause social development.
On her part, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga noted that as current leaders, tourism development tops their to do list.
“We need to identify other tourist sites within Busoga and develop them to acceptable levels, ” she said.
Kadaga added that Kagulu will also host the commonwealth delegates of the 64th meeting next month.
Present at this year’s challenge were Prime Minister of Busoga Kingdom and his deputy,, royal chiefs, Ministers, MPs, CEO and chairman Uganda Tourism Board, tourism adherents among others.
Earlier on, there was a crowning ceremony of the Miss Tourism Busoga 2019 where Nguna Sandra Elizabeth from Luuka emerged overall winner.
First runner up Miss Tourism Busoga 2019 was Kyeru Phiona Bridget from Kigulu chiefdom while second Runner up was Nabagala Sandra from Butembe chiefdom.
Anite Claims ‘Mafia’ are Threatening Her Life, Vows to Die Fighting for UTL
The State Minister for Privatization and Investment, Evelyn Anite, says she has received death threats from a mafia cartel in government over her role in causing an internal audit on activities of the Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL).
The allegations by the Minister follow an order issued by the High Court in Kampala for an audit into the struggling Uganda Telecom (UTL) within 30 days which has since commenced.
The order was issued by Justice Musa Ssekaana upon application by Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), one of the creditors of UTL.
The court’s order ended a two months standoff between Anite and the UTL Administrator, Bemanya Twebaze, the Secretary to the Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi, the Attorney General’s office on whether UTL should be audited or not.
Anite had contested the proposal by the other government officials that UTL shouldn’t be audited until the Administrator’s term expires in November which has been overturned by the High Court ruling.
The court ruling followed an application filed by the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) which is one of the UTL creditors, as the insolvency law demands. It is this legal process that the Minister had sought to circumvent from the start.
In a recent letter responding to the decision by the Secretary to the Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi directing for an audit to he halted, Anite said UBC’s application to court for an audit on UTL was in bad faith.
“I restate that UBC’s application for appointment of another auditor is in bad faith, because the audit process had commenced and the applicant has not advanced any reason why the appointed auditor cannot inform the creditors, government and the public as stakeholders”.
She argued that “it does not matter who audits UTL” but that “the appointed auditor should be capable”. Anite said UBC was being used as a pawn simply because it could not wait for an (illegal) audit to be concluded “since the same is being undertaken by a reputable auditor”.
Later, however, the same Minister sought to take credit for the court’s ruling following UBC application.
“I thank Justice Musa Ssekana for a ruling affirming my demand for auditing UTL and Presidential directive on the same,” Anite tweeted.
“There is authority in this country and no amount of maneuvers can defeat the right and cause for the people of Uganda”.
Now, Anite alleges that the unkwown people are holding meetings at Kampala Club and different offices plotting to kill her.
“There is a cartel that is used to intimidating and robbing this country, they are yet again plotting a move to kill me, they have been holding meetings in various offices, at Kampala club, in the offices of Uganda Registration Services Bureau,” Anite said.
Anite noted that these mafias have put up a group of young people that are tapping her phone all the time.
“They have gone to MTN and got printouts of my communications and what I do, they have been trailing me ”
“I am actually going to report to Police, today I have already called the IGP to report this, these are not just mere allegations, these mafias are not jokers, you go and ask Abiriga, ask late Francis Ayume,” Anite said.
She added, “These guys don’t joke, for me I will die with my mouth open, I will die while shouting, the mafias are coming……the mafias are coming until they take me down and indeed they are coming and I have told you.”
Anite observed that, “They are tapping my phone and they are following me closely, they are tapping my phones, whenever I am making calls I here their voices……and I even abuse them. You know the mafias, those that have been blocking the audit.”
Asked however whether she has reported this matter to Police, the Minister told reporters she hadn’t but she is yet to.
Namutumba Taxi Accident that Killed 10 People was Due to Overtaking – Police
Following a motor accident which claimed lives of over 10 people in Namutumba district on Sunday, Police has come out to report that their preliminary investigations indicate that one of vehicles involved was overtaking dangerously.
The tragic incident incident occurred at around 7pm when a YY bus under registration number UAY 852F collided head-on with a commuter taxi, under registration number UAV 689X at Bukonte village, 5 kms from Namutumba town along the Iganga-Namutumba Highway.
In a statement, Police spokesperson CP Fred Enanga, says the driver to the taxi dangerously overtook another commuter taxi that was also heading towards Namutumba from Iganga.
“The taxi crashed into the bus in the opposite lane, killing 9 passengers instantly, and injured 4 others critically. The accident also claimed the life of a cyclist who succumbed to the injuries at a nearby clinic,” explains Enanga.
He says the accident further injured two other victims on a bodaboda motorcycle under registration number UDS 126N.
“The bodies to the 10 deceased persons were transferred to Iganga Referral Hospital for post mortem examination as well as the 6 injured victim’s better treatment. All the passengers in the bus had no injuries and efforts are already in place to track down the driver who is on the run, to help in our investigations,” says Enanga.
The accident happened just 2 hours after a fuel tanker in Rubirizi lost lost control and rammed into several vehicles and shops killing 9 people on spot and injuries dozens.
Read more here: https://www.softpower.ug/police-retrieve-9-burnt-bodies-from-rubirizi-fuel-tanker-explosion-scene/
The Police spokesperson has however condemned the acts of motorists in the two separate incidents saying they put lives of others in danger due to recklessness.
“These two separate but tragic incidents calls for additional measures by all stakeholders in strengthening our road safety campaigns with stricter penalties to serve as a deterrent. This is because most of the crash and collision traffic incidents on our roads primarily occur due to bad decisions by drivers,” Enanga explains.
He reveals that further sensitisation and awarenesprogramses by the Directorate of Traffic and Road Safety, are ongoing countrywide, for transport owners and their drivers, for them to know that truck and bus driving, requires enough rest and vehicles in good mechanical condition for the safety of drivers.
He says: “The awareness campaign and operations is also targeting drink and drug driving, speeding, distraction, use of seatbelts and driving permits to help prevent such occurrences.”
Anite Skirts Around in Response to ‘Secret Trip to Mauritius’, Demands Public Hearing
State Minister for Privatization and Investment, Evelyn Anite failed to provide a straight answer regarding her recent alleged secret trip to Mauritius where she reportedly met with Mauritius Telecom officials, saying she is a Minister charged with attracting investments and that she has no travel ban against her.
The Minister who was Monday asked by SoftPower News at a news conference to comment on the allegations raised in a whistleblower complaint to the IGG said there is no travel ban against her so she is entitled to traveling anywhere.
Also Read: UTL Saga: On Leave, Minister Anite Discreetly Travels to Mauritius
The whistleblower in letters to the IGG and Anti-corruption Unit of State House asked that the IGG investigates reports that Anite secretly travelled to Mauritius on a mission to irregularly seal the deal for a UTL strategic investor. The whistleblower contends that the motive, timing and nature of Anite’s discreet trip to Mauritius are very suspect, given the circumstances surrounding the insolvent UTL.
The complainant accuses Minister Anite of influence peddling, abuse of office, corruption and conduct unbecoming of a Minister and Honorable Member of Parliament.
The whistle blower reveals that the Minister traveled aboard KLM Airline in company of her husband, to the U,S from Entebbe on July 15.
According to the whistleblower, after graduation and commencement of her short study at Harvard, a secret booking was made for her from USA via France to Mauritius, leaving her husband in the U.S.
Read More: Whistleblower Asks Anti-corruption Unit, IGG to Probe into Anite’s Secret Mission to Mauritius
The said trip was reportedly not booked in Uganda before her departure for USA. The whistleblower further states that in Mauritius, she met with the team responsible for ensuring this deal happens and they acquire UTL at a much less value than the asset value estimated at USD 84m. She later flew back to the USA and back to Uganda to disguise her trip to Mauritius, the whistleblower contends.
Responding to the allegations on Monday, Anite said: “Why do you care where i travel when I’m on leave? Did you hear there is a travel ban against me? Did you hear I’m not supposed to travel anywhere in the world?”
“Whether i have been there (Mauritius), it’s not your business. I have classmates who know I’m in Harvard School of Business. They are Ugandans. That’s why i need the IGG to carry out a public hearing”.
She said “we will comfirm whether i was in Mauritius or not” during the public hearing.
Regarding the IGG probe, she said she is ready to cooperate, although she said the investigation should be done in the public realm.
“I’m not fighting a personal fight. I’m fighting to liberate our country from these renown powerful thugs who have been entrenched in government and are used to getting off the hook each time they are in a scandal”.
“They have plotted that the IGG should investigate me. I do not fear any investigation, I’m not like them who run away from an audit. I don’t use legal gymnastics,” she told reporters at her office.
She said that she has no relationship with the Mauritius Telecom.
“I have no relationship with Mauritius Telecom. The first time i came in contact with them was when the Administrator came to me and gave me the list of 7 companies that had interest in investing in UTL”.
“I want to be that example that if the IGG must investigate me, it should be in full glare of the media. And I’m here ready to answer any queries from the IGG”.
She however denied knowledge of any ongoing investigation saying she has not received any letter from the IGG to that effect.
When this news website spoke with the IGG’s Office last week, the spokesperson said a petition relating to UTL had been received and that a query has been instituted to determine whether or not to initiate a probe.
Anite says she wants her legacy to be that she saved UTL.
“My issue is that that telecom is saved. I have tried three times to save that company. First attempt, we argued with the Attorney General’s chambers who filed for liquidation and we won”.
“Now I’m asking for an audit, they don’t want the audit. So, it’s not about Bemanya, it’s about a cartel”.
The Minister maintains she sided with Mauritius Telecom because the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) had in its due diligence report stated that Mauritius Telecom was the competent bidder since it had financial capability and experience.
She says that it emerged at the time that the promoters of some of the 7 companies that were bidding for UTL were government officials, some of whom are close to the President.
“If the report said it was Teleology, i would have gone with them”.
Police Retrieve 9 Burnt Bodies from Rubirizi Fuel Tanker Explosion Scene
Police says joint security teams from the Uganda Police and UPDF have so far retrieved 9 burnt bodies from the scene in Rubirizi district where a fuel tanker exploded into flames after ramming into several other vehicles on Sunday evening.
The incident happened at around 4pm at Kyambura trading centre when the tanker truck carrying fuel from Mbarara lost control and rammed into two commuter taxis and a saloon car before exploding into flames killing several people instantly.
Three smaller secondary explosions from the parked vehicles followed causing the stream of liquid fire from the fuel to burn more than 20 small shops in a stretch of 30m away.
In a statement by Police spokesperson, CP Fred Enanga, firefighting teams from Bushenyi and Kasese districts would later be despatched and prevented fire from spreading further.
“The four motor vehicles were severely burnt a d damaged,” Police says adding that the bodies have since been ferried to Lugazi Health Centre.
“The joint security teams from the Police and UPDF have cordoned off the area. So far, 9 burnt bodies have been retrieved from the scene and transported to Lugazi Health Centre for further post mortem analysis and DNA profiling,” says Enanga in a statement.
“Another body was still trapped beneath the tanker truck and could not be retrieved due to the cover of darkness,” he adds.
The scene remained closed overnight and the operation continued till today Monday morning, to search for more bodies and establish the number of victims injured since they were rushed to different Health facilities and also establish the cause of the accident. By Press time, Police had not yet realised a follow up statement.
As such, Enanga says relatives who could have lost their loved ones should visit the Health centre and avail samples for DNA profiling, better identification and matching of the deceased persons.
CMI Arrests Serial Scammer Over Million Dollar Fake Gold with Intent to Defraud Foreigners
Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) have arrested a city ‘businessman’ said to be involved in fake million dollar deals with intention to defraud foreigners.
The man identified as Sam Buchanan was arrested from his home in Muyenga by CMI in an operation on Friday following a number of complaints by foreign businessmen he had allegedly defrauded of huge sums of money while posturing as a gold dealer.
“The moment he takes money from the businessmen, he immediately takes to intimidating them into silence with the help of some individuals, a source told SoftPower News. The source declined to name the said individuals and explained that revealing their identity would jeopardise investigations.
“He has for years eluded arrest due to the fact that he was protected by Uganda’s former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen Kale Kayihura and more recently by some individuals who by virtue of their status have escorts,” the knowledgeable source told SoftPower News.
Buchanan is said to have been directly involved in conning several foreign businessmen of money amounting to USD 1.3m as well as some Koreans who are the latest victims. He allegedly conned the Koreans and left them stuck in a hotel.
“Buchanan had demanded for 8 ambulances from the Koreans in exchange for fake gold,” the source revealed to this news website.
The ambulances, according to the impeccable source, are parked at a car bond along Gaba road.
The deal to defraud Koreans was intercepted by security before the Koreans made the last batch of payment to Buchanan and his co-accused, a source close to investigations told this news site.
Earlier this year, Buchanan allegedly defrauded Libyans who he is said to have lied to that the late Libyan President, Col Muammar Gaddafi had stashed gold deposits in Ghana.
“Buchanan drove the Libyans to a base in Entebbe and showed them a ‘gold’ consignment which he claimed had been moved from Ghana enroute to another country through Uganda,” a knowledgeable source told SoftPower News.
It turned out the consignment had machinery belonging to another agency, the source added.
The Libyans are said to have lost a lot of money in pursuit of the gold that never was.
Buchanan, who is known as “Chairman” by peers in the same ‘industry’ has been engaged in several philanthropic initiatives donating money to Boxing federations in Uganda.
It is said that he earned the name Chairman for helping out peers who find themselves in trouble over fake deals.
His arrest is the latest in a series of operations by CMI to crack down on elements engaged in acts that lead to criminality.
“Mr. Buchanan had already disagreed with the co-accused over who actually should take the lead and therefore the biggest share in the fake gold deal with Koreans,” our source revealed, adding that such disagreements may lead to a chain of criminality in the city.
Japan to Support UPDF with Engineering Skills, Peacekeeping Capabilities
The Japanese government has partnered with Uganda to provide engineering support to the UPDF as well as strengthening Uganda’s capacities in peace support operations.
This was announced on Friday at a news conference jointly addressed by Uganda’s Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Adolf Mwesige, the Japanese Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Kazuaki Kameda and the UN Representative, in Kampala.
Ambassador Kameda said the support will come in form of training sessions for UPDF engineering personnel on the operation of Engineering equipment.
As such, at least 22 personnel from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force will be dispatched to Uganda, according to the Ambassador. These will lead the training session set to take place in Jinja between August 26 and November 18.
The other support, Kameda said, will go towards the Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Centre (URDCC) in a bid to boost Uganda’s capacity.
This cooperation is expected to create a robust Military Engineering Company (in the UPDF) that can be rapidly deployed anywhere on a UN mandated mission.
Uganda established the URDCC to focus on such training. The process was supported by United Nations – the establishment of engineering units by training deployable forces on the use of heavy equipment thus building capacity of individual countries.
The creation of the Centre came as an intervention following the numerous challenges encountered by Ugandan peacekeepers in the different missions where they were deployed.
These included limited capacity for example, to rapidly clear ground and establish camps, provide purified water, establish proper sanitation etc.
Commenting on the support by Japan, Uganda’s Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Adolf Mwesige said: “Uganda is delighted that the government of Japan is offering nonlethal support to the UN peacekeeping operations with third countries providing the platform to operate from”.
Mwesige said the partnership “will go a long way in strengthening our capacities to respond to situations that threaten peace and stability”.
“Our desire is now to maintain this strong partnership and also where possible, get equipment that can form a strong and robust Military Engineering Company that can be rapidly deployed anywhere on a UN mandated mission,” he said.
Over the years, Uganda, through the army (UPDF) has been involved in numerous peace support operations in Burundi, Ivory Coast, South Sudan and to a very large scale in Somalia since 2007 under the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Minister Mwesige said this participation by Uganda even at the infant stage ofplaying Army, is a demonstration of Uganda’s total commitment to play its’ rightful role as a member of the United Nations.
Kizza Besigye Receives ‘Africa Hero Award’ in 2019 Voice Achievers Awards
Uganda’s opposition politician and four-time Presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye has been awarded with the “African Hero Award” at the Voice Achievers Awards 2019 held in Kenya.
The politician who founded Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda’s biggest opposition political party, received the Award on Friday in Nairobi, Kenya.
The awards ceremony was held at Louis Leakey Hall, National Museum in Nairobi.
Other winners include Kenya’s opposition leader, Raila Odinga, Kenyan lawyer, Prof PLO Lumumba and the First Lady of Mozambique, Isaura Nyusi.
Uganda’s Robinah Babirye and Namusoke Asia Mbajja won the African Youth Service Award and African Humanitarian Award respectively.
While receiving the Award in Nairobi, Besigye was accompanied by wife, Winnie Byanyima who this week was appointed to head UNAIDS, and son, Anselm.
We are on stage in solidarity with @kizzabesigye1 as he receives the African Hero Award. Giving voice 2 all African citizens is the challenge to address, he says. #VoiceAchieversAward
Mortified by @akbesigye ‘s dirty sneakers! #Millennials 🙄!!! pic.twitter.com/PlHwlrBsZG
— Winnie Byanyima (@Winnie_Byanyima) August 16, 2019
Congratulations comrade, Dr. @kizzabesigye1 on this well deserved recognition. May your courage, commitment and sacrifice continue to inspire all of us as we struggle for a better country. Aluta continua pic.twitter.com/jq3YqarSKn
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) August 17, 2019
Besigye, 63, is a physician by profession and was formerly in the military which he retired in 2001 at the rank of Colonel.
He served as the President of the FDC political party and has contested for President of Uganda in 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016, losing all of them to the incumbent President Yoweri Museveni.
In 1999, Besigye wrote a document critical of the government, entitled “An Insider’s View of How the NRM Lost the Broad Base” and subsequently fell out with Museveni.
He accused the NRM of becoming a sectarian kleptocracy and a one-man dictatorship. Besigye was charged before a court-martial for “airing his views in the wrong forum”.
The document became the springboard for Besigye as a formidable challenger of Museveni.
The Voice Achievers Award is established in the Netherlands as project of The Voice magazine to recognize Africans and friends of Africa of outstanding achievement on a yearly basis. Since 2012, the award took a global outlook recognizing people outside of the Netherlands.
An Awards Committee of the Editorial Board of the Magazine nominates distinguished Africans and friends of Africa, worthy of appreciation and Honour.
The official website of the Awards states that: “The award is designed to serve to mentor people to aspire for excellence in all facets of human activities. It is a mixture of young and older minds being rewarded on the same platform”.
“This Award is unique because it offers not only recognition per excellence to the winners but also create an opportunity to meet other professionals and entrepreneurs from other communities in an interactive atmosphere to exchange new ideas,” it adds.
VIDEO: Little-known Businessman Tips Spice Diana Millions of Cash on Comedy Store
Well, most of the revellers who attended Alex Muhangi’s Comedy Store in Lugogo on Thursday were obviously there to have good hearty laugh, but it is perhaps singer Spice Diana that had the most of it. Her Christmas came in August.
Spice was among the three artistes lined up to climax the show, the others being John Blaq and Mbarara-based budding musician, Ray G.
The ‘Jangu Ondabe’ singer had joined Ray G on stage to perform their new duet ‘Omusheshe’. The reaction from the audience was evidently warm. The duo bagged handsome tips during their act.
But Spice’s shocker came during her sole performance when a little-known male fan joined her on stage and showered her with not just praises but also a whole lot of cash – in millions of Shillings.
Initially, not many knew what his intentions were. He had walked to the stage in company of an aide (who held money for him) from the ordinary section of the audience where they had been sitting. But it later became clear he had a lot of love for the songstress’ music and he was ready to put his money where his ‘love’ is.
“I have some message for you. Spice, you are a great musician. Because, every year after year, you have maintained yourself on the top,” the fan said.
“For being able to keep on the top of your game, I’m going to give you money that’s on top”.
An ecstatic Spice could not hold the excitement as she screamed in response.
The fan went ahead to describe the ‘Bajikona’ singer as beautiful and one who inspires other women to work hard as opposed to handouts from sexual activity.
“We don’t just love you because of your beauty. But you give the beautiful women the enthusiasm to work hard. You are better than these other girls who just care about money in exchange for sex”.
Although the ‘money bag’ didn’t reveal his identity, he later said he is a businessman. He told her his tip amounted to a whopping Shs 20m.
However, that wasn’t the only highlight of the night. Revelers had sat through what was hard-hitting hilarity from Nigerian comedian, Basketmouth who arrived in the country Wednesday for the gig.
The funnyman jested about almost everything – love and relationships, how Nigeria has so many pastors to the extent that anybody seeking to open a new church will find problems getting a name for it, and how Nigerians will exchange countless handshakes in a single minute.
Basketmouth also narrated an ordeal spending a night with a gay guy who had made him an exciting offer. The financial value of the offer had clouded all his judgment that he didn’t even notice the clear signs that the guy was not straight.
“You know they say every man has a woman in him. It is at that time (in bed) when I began to feel a hard thing that the woman in me came out. With no other excuse, I told him I was on my period,” he joked, sending the audience in wild laughter.
Other comedians who performed included MC Mariachi, Teacher Mpamire, Madrat and Chiko, Maulana and Reign, among others.
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