Saturday 21 October 2017
(The Associated Press 09/21/17)
Ugandan police on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse protesters opposed to plans to introduce legislation that could allow the longtime president to rule for life. The bill is likely to be introduced in the national assembly later Thursday despite growing opposition from religious leaders, civic groups and opposition leaders. Ugandan police had warned on Wednesday that no protests - in support of or against the president - would be allowed. But some opposition figures have vowed to mobilize mass support against a bill they believe is intended to enable President Yoweri Museveni to remain in power for the rest of his life despite having already ruled the East African country for more than three decades. Uganda’s constitution bars anyone...
(AfricaNews 09/21/17)
Ugandan police have arrested five Makerere University students and the Mayor of the capital city Kampala, while offices of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) were sealed off Thursday morning to stop planned protests against the removal of presidential age-limits. The five students were arrested after dozens joined their planned march from their campus in Kampala to parliament to petition the speaker against the removal of presidential age-limit. The Kampala City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago was also picked up from his home and sent to the Kira police station over plans to march from the city hall to the city square with other city leaders to campaign against the removal of age-limit, local media Daily Monitor reported. The police...
(Xinhuanet 09/21/17)
Security was tightened here Thursday in and around Uganda's capital to prevent any violence ahead of a motion in parliament, which seeks to scrap the presidential age limit of 75 years. Asan Kasingye, Uganda's police spokesperson, told Xinhua by phone that the police and military have been deployed in the capital Kampala especially around the parliament, key strategic installations and major towns. "We have deployed a joint capability force with our sister security agencies for both covert and overt operations," said Kasingye. Opposition legislators and campaigners opposed to the motion say the move by the ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) is intended to allow President Yoweri Museveni to run in the 2021 elections when he is over 75 years...
(The East African 09/21/17)
Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) is investigating Bank of Uganda over payment of legal fees to private law firms, despite having a full-fledged legal department. The committee heard that top city law firms were paid more than Ush1.4 billion (about $390,000), with an accrued balance of Ush15.8 billion ($4.4 million). The BoU matters handled by hired lawyers include representation in court cases and offering legal opinions and processing of land documents. The Committee chairperson, Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri, FDC) on Tuesday grilled the central bank officials on the rationale of having a legal department and then hiring private lawyers. The MPs, who are currently scrutinising the Auditor-General’s reports on the BoU, described the expenditure as uncalled...
(The East African 09/21/17)
East Africa has received $1.6 billion from foreign investors, Kenya taking the bulk of the 55 deals recorded in the past eight months. Data from I&M Burbidge Capital shows that the initial public offering of Vodacom Tanzania, and the purchase of Sadolin Paints by Japanese firm the Kansai Paint were some of the region’s biggest deals. The Vodacom IPO raised $213 million, with foreign investors buying 40 per cent. Tanzania emerged as the second largest market for private equity deals, with most of the capital going into communication, infrastructure and resources sectors. It is followed by Uganda and Rwanda. Executive director of the East Africa Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (EAVCA) Eva Wairigia attributed the rise in private equity...
(The East African 09/21/17)
Kenya and Uganda will hold talks with China Exim Bank officials October, which could unlock funding for the Malaba-Kampala standard gauge railway. Ministers of finance and transport from both countries will meet with China Exim Bank officials in Beijing in October, where Uganda is expected to receive the final funding approval. “The ministers for transport and finance of Kenya and Uganda are supposed to have engagements with China Exim Bank on the sections of Kisumu to Malaba to Kampala. “Uganda has already submitted their requests for funding for its route and is awaiting appraisals,” a source told The EastAfrican. It is also understood that executives from China Exim Bank will be in Kampala this month to carry out due diligence...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/20/17)
Ugandan lawmakers accused the government on Wednesday of trying to intimidate them by deploying heavy security in the capital and around parliament ahead of a move to change the constitution to extend the president’s rule. A legislator from President Yoweri Museveni’s party is expected to introduce legislation on Thursday meant to remove an age cap on the office of president from the constitution. The East African country’s constitution bars anyone above 75 years of age from running in presidential elections. That would make Museveni, 73, ineligible to stand again in 2021. An ally of Western powers who has deployed forces in Somalia to help fight Islamist militants, Museveni has been in power since 1986 when his rebels captured power. He...
(APA 09/19/17)
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has said Uganda supports President Donald Trump’s political declaration on UN reforms, which aims at creating efficient institutions, reports said on Tuesday. “Trump is pushing for the United Nations to be efficient in its peace keeping processes, be more focused and have more achievable targets, not spend time on procedures but on substance and manpower,” he said shortly after a closed door meeting for world leaders in ECOSOC Hall, at the United Nations Headquarters. “We support the reforms because this is what we have been talking about all along. There are situations where there is a strong UN presence but alongside, there is death and destruction like in Eastern DR Congo,” he said. According to a...
(APA 09/19/17)
Investors from the United Kingdom have told Uganda’s speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga that they face frustration due to bureaucracy and corruption as they seek to start up business in the country. According to a Uganda parliament statement, this was revealed by Lord DolarPopat from the House of Lords while hosting the Speaker in London on Monday. Lord Popat is currently the British Prime Minister’s trade envoy for Rwanda and Uganda following his appointment in January 2016. He said that Africa is endowed with all the natural resources in the world and the British investors are keen to focus more in the areas of trade and investment but expressed concern with the slow pace of doing business in Uganda. “The...
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
Uganda's health minister disguised herself as a patient and caught two medical workers demanding a bribe for free government services, she told AFP on Saturday. Health Minister Sarah Opendi said she wore a face veil and travelled to a hospital in the capital Kampala on a boda-boda (motorbike taxi) to disguise her identity. "I received many complaints that the staff at the hospital was extorting money from patients," Opendi said. She went through normal patient procedures for some laboratory tests for which she was told to pay 150,000 shillings (R529.13) "yet these are all supposed to be free". "I told him I didn't have the money but he insisted." She was then sent to fetch the testing strips from a...
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
Fourteen people were killed when a truck ploughed into a bus carrying a group returning from a wedding on Uganda's deadliest road, police said Monday. "The driver of the truck lost control after a tyre burst and smashed into a bus, killing 14 people and leaving 17 others seriously injured," police spokesman Phillip Mukasa told AFP. "Of those who died, 12 have been identified as Tanzanian nationals who were returning to Tanzania after attending a wedding ceremony in Kampala." The accident took place on the notorious 130-kilometre (80-mile) Kampala-Masaka road, a gateway to Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Last year the government launched operation "Fika Salama"
(AfricaNews 09/18/17)
Some 14 youth activists have been arrested in the Ugandan capital Kampala while campaigning against the proposed scrapping of presidential age-limit that will allow President Yoweri Museveni to contest in the next elections. According to local media portal Daily Monitor, the police bundled the activists into a truck on Monday morning and sent them to the Central Police Station where they were detained. The police did not say the reason they arrested the activists who were dressed in all-white, sharing fliers against the proposed constitutional amendment. This is not the first time campaigners against the amendment have been arrested. In July, some youth opposition groups launched a similar campaign and were arrested in the process for unlawful assembly. In 2005,...
(The Independent 09/18/17)
The government through the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs will roll out the registration of Ugandans living in the diaspora for dual citizenship. This was revealed by the Rt. Hon Speaker Rebecca Kadaga following complaints by Ugandans living in the United Kingdom that they are facing challenges in gettting registered for dual citizenship. The Ugandans also raised concern that they have to travel all the way to Uganda to have the registration done. Kadaga, who was attending the Uganda UK Convention in London, Saturday, 16th September 2017 said that following the passing of the Dual Citizenship Act, there is need to implement it by having citizens registered. "There will be operation centers; one in the Nordic countries, in...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(AFP (eng) 09/16/17)
"We keep finding bodies. It was once a month then once every two or three weeks then every week," said Rose Nakasinge, a middle-aged farmer. "We had to do something." In a gruesome spate of killings the bodies of at least 20 women have been found dumped in two areas of Uganda's Wakiso district since May. Many of the mostly young victims were raped and strangled, some had sticks shoved into their vaginas, others had body parts sawn off. Women living in Nansana, a suburb of the capital Kampala, and in Katabi, close to Entebbe, 35 kilometres (22 miles) to the southwest, see similarities in the murders that have hit their neighbourhoods and whisper of serial killers and dark rituals...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/13/17)
Legislators from Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s party on Tuesday agreed to introduce a law to remove an age limit from the country’s constitution, potentially allowing him to extend his rule, two lawmakers told Reuters. The East African country’s existing constitution bars anyone over 75 from standing as a presidential candidate. Museveni, 73, is already one of Africa’s longest-serving rulers and has been in charge for more than three decades. The next elections are due in 2021. Oil-rich Uganda is a staunch Western ally and receives substantial aid and support for its security forces, partly for sending troops to Somalia as part of an African Union peacekeeping mission.
(The Associated Press 09/13/17)
Lawmakers with Uganda's ruling party on Tuesday backed plans to remove the presidential age limit, which would allow longtime President Yoweri Museveni to extend his rule. The ruling party caucus decided to throw out a clause that puts the upper age limit at 75, said Chris Obore, a spokesman for Uganda's parliament. The issue is not yet on parliament's agenda, Obore said. Museveni, who is 73 and ineligible to run again if the age limit remains, has recently ducked the question when asked whether he wants more time in office, insisting the matter is not so important. Museveni's party has an overwhelming majority in the national assembly, and a bill to remove the age limit is expected to pass when...
(Bloomberg 09/13/17)
Uganda should fairly compensate landowners affected by a pipeline that will transport oil to an Indian Ocean port after accusations that some people reimbursed for earlier public projects were left worse-off, Oxfam International said. The London-based charity said it’s concerned that “community participation, livelihoods and land rights could be overlooked in a quest to meet the schedule for land acquisition” for the 1,445-kilometer (898-mile) conduit that will link Uganda’s western oilfields with Tanga in Tanzania. Total SA, China’s Cnooc Ltd. and London-based Tullow Oil Plc are developing Uganda’s estimated 6.5 billion barrels of oil resources, with the planned pipeline crossing eight districts and 296 kilometers in the country. “Oxfam is interested in seeing that extractives projects benefit host communities and...

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