Saturday 16 December 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 10/04/17)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - A law amending Uganda’s constitution to allow aging leader Yoweri Museveni to extend his rule was introduced in parliament on Tuesday, at a session where nearly all its opponents were either barred or stayed away in protest. Museveni, 73, has ruled Uganda since 1986. He is as yet ineligible to seek re-election in the next polls in 2021 because the existing constitution places an age ceiling of 75 on anyone aspiring to the presidency. The bill brought to parliament would remove the age hurdle. Parliament spokesman Chris Obore said the bill was read and then referred to a parliamentary committee. “The committee will scrutinize it, hold public hearings and make a report on it ... then it...
(APA 10/04/17)
APA-Kampala (Uganda) - Uganda’s central Bank has reduced the Central Bank Rate (CBR) by 0.5 percentage points to 9.5% from 10%. The move seeks to revamp the country’s economic and private sector credit growth rate. In the monetary policy statement for October released Wedneday morning, Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile said: “Given that the annual inflation forecast is to remain around the medium-term target of 5 per cent and economic activity is slowly gaining momentum, a cautious easing of monetary policy is warranted to boost private sector credit growth and to strengthen the economic growth momentum.” The CBR is the rate of interest which a central bank charges on loans and advances to commercial banks. According to Mutebile, the...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
Explosive devices, thought to be grenades, were thrown early Tuesday at the homes of two prominent Ugandan MPs who have spoken out against plans to remove presidential age limits. Musician-turned-lawmaker Bobi Wine -- real name Robert Kyagulanyi -- and fellow opposition MP Allan Ssewanyana said grenades were thrown at their homes overnight. Police are investigating the explosions but have not commented on the suspected causes. "There were three explosives last night," Wine said, pointing to the shattered glass in his son's bedroom window. Wine said this was the second such attack in recent days. "Two days ago when the first two hand grenades were thrown I called the police but the police did not show up," he said. "My family...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/17)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Grenades were thrown overnight at the homes of two Ugandan legislators opposed to scrapping the presidential age limit and thereby extending President Yoweri Museveni’s more than 31 years in power. One of the legislators, Robert Kyagulanyi, was later arrested by police, his aide said. Kyagulanyi and fellow legislator Allan have been outspoken in efforts to resist an ongoing effort to change the constitution to allow Museveni to seek another term in elections set for 2021. Museveni has been president since January 1986. Two grenades were thrown at Ssewanyana’s residence and three others at Kyagulanyi‘s. Both legislators were among MPs forcefully ejected from the parliament chamber last week by Uganda’s special forces. “The grenades were thrown,” police spokesman...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(AFP (eng) 09/28/17)
"He will rule for life," shrugged student and waiter Fahd Sabiti a day after Uganda's parliament began scrapping presidential age limits, paving the way for Yoweri Museveni to win a sixth term in office. Sabiti's ambivalence reflected the feelings of many Ugandans used to seeing President Museveni get his way after more than three decades in power. "The opposition politicians who fought yesterday in parliament are just noise-makers. They will fade away," said the 23-year-old business administration student as he took a break from waiting tables in an upmarket Kampala restaurant. On Wednesday brawls had broken out in parliament before opposition MPs were evicted by security officers as anger over the plan to scrap age limits boiled over. Sabiti was...
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
Fistfights erupted in the Ugandan parliament for a second day as lawmakers discussed a proposal to introduce a constitutional amendment that would allow President Yoweri Museveni to try to extend his three-decade rule. The proposal to introduce the bill was adopted after the speaker ordered the eviction of 24 opposition legislators who attempted to block the discussion, the Kampala-based parliament said on its Twitter account. Wednesday’s violence started when the suspended lawmakers were dragged out by security agents, the Daily Monitor newspaper reported. A government minister was also told to leave after he entered the legislature with a firearm on Tuesday, it said.
(Daily Monitor 09/28/17)
Two explosives have ripped through the house of Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante only an hour after police returned him home after Wednesday's detention over the age limit controversy. The explosives tore through the front door of his home. Metallic and rubber fragments were by 9am Thursday still at the scene. The front door glasses had been smashed with mild smoke visible at the tiles of the veranda. However, there were no casualties. "At slightly after 2am, two deafening blasts went off at different intervals. It was terrifying. We knew it was our last day living. It seemed like the assailants who threw the explosive were outside the perimeter fence as the guard did not see anyone inside by the...
(AFP (eng) 09/27/17)
Uganda's parliament on Wednesday took the first step towards scrapping the presidential age limit that would allow long-standing ruler Yoweri Museveni to stay in power. Tempers frayed for a second day over a plan, backed by members of President Museveni's National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, to table a constitutional amendment doing away with age limits, allowing the 73-year-old to run for a sixth consecutive term in 2021. MPs brandished microphone stands, threw punches and clambered over benches as security officers sought to remove 25 lawmakers barred by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga after engaging...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/27/17)
Fistfights and chair-throwing broke out in Uganda’s parliament on Tuesday ahead of a debate on whether to grant long-serving President Yoweri Museveni another term in office. The move to extend his rule has met widespread opposition from civic rights activists, the political opposition, religious leaders and even some members of Museveni’s own ruling party. He has been in power for more than three decades. Local television showed government and opposition lawmakers coming to blows after the House speaker allowed a ruling party legislator to introduce a motion to kick-start the process to remove an age cap from Uganda’s constitution to allow Museveni to run for re-election. “Please take your seats...
(Xinhuanet 09/27/17)
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Monday said the China-Africa ties are set to grow deeper, noting that their cooperation dates back to the colonial era when many African countries were fighting for independence. Museveni was speaking at a ceremony held here to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. "I am here to salute the contribution of China to the emancipation of Africa. All those countries which were fighting (to gain independence) got support from the Chinese government," Museveni said. He said although China was underdeveloped then, it made sure it supported the African freedom fighters. Museveni also said that African countries have supported China both diplomatically and in terms of trade. The Ugandan...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(AFP (eng) 09/26/17)
Lawmakers brawled in Uganda's parliament on Tuesday over long-serving ruler Yoweri Museveni's attempt to stay in power by removing presidential age-limits. MPs shouted, shoved, threw punches and lobbed documents in a fight between ruling party politicians and those from the opposition. At least one MP brandished a chair and attempted to hit his opponent over the head. Tensions were high over a plan backed by members of President Museveni's party to table a constitutional amendment scrapping age limits, which would clear the way for the 73-year-old to run for a sixth consecutive term in 2021.
(Voice of America 09/26/17)
Fierce debate continues in Uganda over the ruling party’s plans to remove the presidential age limit from the constitution. Parliament is expected to again take up the issue this week with the opposition pledging to continue its resistance. Uganda’s ruling party says it will push ahead with its plans to scrap the presidential age limit despite street protests and stiff resistance from opposition lawmakers last week. Peter Ogwang is vice-chairperson of the ruling party caucus in parliament. “It’s provided for in this law, in this constitution of the Republic of Uganda. What are we doing? We are using the law which were made by the delegates in the 1995, which [is] the law which we have been using to amend...
(The Associated Press 09/26/17)
A fight broke out in Uganda's parliament Tuesday amid efforts to introduce legislation that could extend the president's decades-long hold on power. After opposition lawmakers accused a colleague on the government side of carrying a gun, a brawl broke out in which lawmakers pushed and punched each other. A motion is to be introduced Tuesday to remove a constitutional provision that prevents anyone over the age of 75 from running for president. The move is seen as an effort by President Yoweri Museveni, who at 73 is ineligible to run for re-election in 2021, to extend his rule. The bill has raised tensions in this East African country that has never seen a peaceful change of power since independence from...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/25/17)
Uganda is looking for external assistance with an aerial geophysical survey of its northeastern Karamoja region, the country’s mineral development minister Peter Lokeris told the China Mining conference in Tianjin on Sunday. The cost of the work is estimated at $20 million, another ministry official said on sidelines of the conference, adding that China Geological Survey is one entity to have been approached. Karamoja, which accounts for about 20 percent of landlocked Uganda’s territory, is thought to contain vast mineral reserves, including gold, copper, platinum and lead. Violence in the region meant that Karamoja was not included in an earlier survey carried out from 2004 to 2012 with the help of World Bank funding. That survey mapped 80 percent of the country.
(The Guardian 09/25/17)
Recruitment of almost 2,000 health workers to Libya has led to urgent calls for government to stop exodus amid dire staffing shortages. The failure to stop a brain drain of almost 2,000 of its best doctors and nurses is exacerbating Uganda’s healthcare crisis, reflecting a growing problem across east Africa, say healthcare workers. At least 1,963 medics are being recruited to work at one hospital alone in Libya, as Middle Eastern countries turn to the region for highly qualified workers to fill their own vacancies, which have increased amid political instability and migration. Nurses, laboratory technicians and doctors in different fields are being recruited from public health facilities, private hospitals and the not-for-profit sector, with no clear government plan to...
(APA 09/25/17)
South Sudan refugees in Uganda’s Nyumanzi settlement protested against food rationing over the weekend. A refugee desk officer in Office of the Prime Minister Titus Jogo confirmed the protest but blamed it on miscommunication by the leaders. According to Jogo local leaders told the refugees that this was the last month they were receiving food rations which wasn’t the case. He says UNHCR and World Food Program (WFP) in a circular communicated that they were giving halve of the dry food rations and the balance was to be given to refugees in cash form since the food was not readily available. Jogo notes that they clarified the message to the refugees who have since calmed down. Nyumanzi settlement houses over...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...

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