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State House Monitoring Team Expresses Concern Over Unfinished Gov’t Projects in Namisindwa



The LC5 Chairperson Namisindwa district and other officials Photo by Yakubu Kitunzi lowethird

The State House monitoring unit has expressed concerns regarding incomplete government projects in Namisindwa district. The team dedicated the entire Wednesday to inspecting government projects in Namisindwa district, including Bumbobi-Lwakhakha road, Namboko Seed School, Mukoto Seed School, Sono Health Center III, and the Parish Model Program.

David Sengendo, an official from State House led the team, saying that their purpose for the visit was to inspect the government projects and report their findings to the president. He expressed their shock at discovering that the Bumbobi-Lwakhakha road has not been fully tarmacked up to Magale and Bumbo, despite reports indicating that the tarmacking had been completed.

In reality, it has only been completed up to the Lwakhakha border. Sengendo also revealed more concerning findings, such as Mukoto Seed School remaining incomplete after the contractor abandoned the site for unknown reasons, despite the government having allocated all the necessary funds.

Sono Health Center III, located in Bukokho sub-county, is complete, but it faces challenges due to a shortage of health workers to handle the daily influx of patients. Julie Namara, the Namisindwa Deputy Resident District Commissioner, urged the president to provide guidance on the next course of action after reviewing the report.

She also expressed concern about a few individuals misusing government funds intended for specific projects, leading to incomplete work. Jackson Wakwaika, the LC 5 Chairperson of Namisindwa district, called upon the Office of the President to expedite the implementation of solutions outlined in the report, suggesting that those responsible for the incomplete projects should be held accountable.

He emphasized that incomplete projects not only cost the government but also negatively impact the local community in terms of accessing essential services.

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Nile Breweries Contributes Shs450 Million to Kyabazinga Royal Wedding

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Nile Breweries Contributes Shs450 Million to Kyabazinga Royal Wedding lowethirdNile Breweries Limited has stepped up its support for the Kyabazinga Royal Wedding with a generous sponsorship package of Shs450 million, according to sources

The eagerly awaited Royal wedding of Isebantu H/W William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV and Her Highness Jovia Mutesi of Busoga is set to take place on November 18 at Bugembe Cathedral in Jinja City.

During a recent event at the Kingdom headquarters in Bugembe, Jinja City, Njuki Emmanuel, the Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Nile Breweries Ltd, unveiled the Shs450 million sponsorship. This package includes both cash and in-kind contributions.

Mr. Njuki explained that the media partnership with the wedding will encompass extensive advertising of the preparations on billboards and radio promotions. Additionally, each of the twelve celebration venues will be equipped with a special bar stocked with Nile Breweries beer brands for attendees to enjoy.

He emphasized the longstanding relationship between Nile Breweries and Busoga Kingdom, citing the use of water from the Source of River Nile, which is employed in the production of their beer. As a result, the sponsorship was seen as a natural way to strengthen their ties.

Joseph Muvawala, the Busoga Prime Minister, acknowledged the unity within Busoga, which has attracted companies like Nile Breweries to associate with the region, especially during significant events.

The chairperson of the Kyabazinga Royal Wedding organizing committee, Patrick Batumbya, expressed optimism about the progress of cash collection, noting a positive response from the public regarding contributions.

Justine Kasule Lumumba, the head of media and entertainment committee on the Kyabazinga Royal Wedding Central organizing committee and Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, commended the media for their positive coverage of the upcoming wedding.

David Igulu Isabirye, the Spokesperson for the clan heads, regarded the contribution as a form of “parental support to the Kyabazinga,” given that royal chiefs are made by clan members.

The event, held on Friday, was attended by various dignitaries, including Eng. Patrick Batumbya, Martin Tibalira, Samuel Nkuutu Zirabamuzale, and several Busoga Kingdom Ministers, among others.

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Kasangati Residents Oppose 5G Masts Construction In Their Area

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Residents of Muzikiti zone in Kasangati Town Council, Wakiso district, are expressing strong opposition to an American tower company’s plans to construct a 5G telecommunication mast in their area. They believe that these masts have adverse effects, particularly on their health.

Local residents, along with community officials, are in disagreement with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) for permitting the American tower company to construct the 5G mast on their land without their consent.

Robert Wasizilra, a trade unionist and resident of the Jokololera zone, cited research indicating that such masts should be located at least 7.5 km away from residential areas. Some residents claim that the American tower company Uganda visited and negotiated with certain community members who unlawfully sold them their land for mast construction without notifying the broader community.

The residents are deeply concerned about their property and land, as they are uncertain about their future relocation. They blame the government for granting licenses and permissions to the American Tower Company (ATC) without adequately consulting the community.

Police officers present at the site, armed with letters from NEMA and the Uganda Communications Commission authorizing the mast’s construction, attempted to halt the protesting residents.

Mukite Rebecca, head of public and international relations at UCC, rejected claims of mishandling the licensing process. She emphasized that telecommunications infrastructure is advancing globally and coming closer to residential areas due to technological progress. She urged residents not to be fearful and to allow the company to carry out its duties.

Regarding concerns about the health effects of these masts, Mukite stated that there is no conclusive evidence, as per the research conducted by the World Health Organization. However, Dr. Mugisha Noleb of the Uganda Cancer Institute provided further insights into this matter.

The American Tower Company Uganda specializes in providing wireless infrastructure to support global connectivity, serving various environments, including urban and rural locations.

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UN Women, Stanbic Fight to Reduce 200 Year Road to Gender Equality

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This is based on the current level of efforts towards gender parity as well as the challenges that are limiting the progress, hence the need to boost the effort.

A recent survey by different organizations has revealed that it will take between 140 to 300 years to achieve gender equality in the world, while the UN Women-commissioned report recently revealed 200 years.

This is based on the current level of efforts towards gender parity as well as the challenges that are limiting the progress, hence the need to boost the effort.

This has advised the partnership between UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) and Stanbic Ban Uganda worth 15 million dollars (About 56.4 billion shillings) to help lift Ugandan women to economic empowerment.

Dr. Paulina Chiwangu, UN Women’s Country Representative in Uganda, says when women lag behind, it is not only the women who suffer, but the effect is on the whole population or the economy.

She says, for example, that the attainment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals heavily depends on the success of SDG 5 about Gender Equality.

The three-year partnership will, among others, build the capacity of female entrepreneurs in financial and business management, value chain marketing, access to cross-border markets, and improving their access to affordable credit.

UN Women, a UN agency working for gender equality and the empowerment of women has a worldwide mandate of ensuring that every woman and girl lives up to her full potential.

Dr. Chiwangu said it is important to promote the active participation of individuals and groups outside the public sector, such as civil society and the private sector, in the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

The agency has been running programs in Uganda, especially in the north through women’s groups.

This partnership will help them expand their operations to reach more than 100,000 women, including women refugees, according to her.  

Stanbic Bank through its specialized women’s banking unit, Stanbic for Her, will implement the partnership that seeks to advance women-led enterprises in Uganda, with the aim of ultimately contributing to achieving the desired global gender parity in business.

The partnership aims to contribute to efforts to remove critical barriers such as difficulty in accessing affordable credit by providing critical skills and confidence to engage with financial institutions.

Muchae Gladys, the Stanbic Bank Uganda Country Head for Credit said that ‘Stanbic for Her’ was motivated by the vision to offer financial and non-financial services to unlock the full potential of women-led enterprises.

She hopes that UN Women will explore several possibilities under financial inclusion and access to banking services, to make the funds for women’s groups, through their various Village Savings and Loans Association, safe, and help women in overcoming the post-COVID-19 effects.

Anne Juuko, Stanbic Chief Executive Officer, said the low access to finance still remains a major hindrance to the growth of women-led enterprises, especially the hardship in meeting the collateral requirements at commercial banks.

This means that most women entrepreneurs usually have to start from scratch to build their businesses, hence the decision to collaborate in building their capacity to run and grow their small businesses.

Stanbic for Her, which was started in the midst of the pandemic has reached at least 10,000 women and lent out 56 billion shillings to date. 

However, the general problem is, that many people start businesses and most fail before five years. Juuko says that one of the ways to overcome this is to first train the borrowers on business and financial literacy before giving them the money.

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Businesswoman Accused Of Deploying Armed Congolese Refugees On Disputed Land

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A prominent businesswoman in Mbarara and Kampala, Mary Kihembo Kibahigyire is being accused of deploying armed Congolese refugees on a disputed land in Rukiga district

A prominent businesswoman in Mbarara and Kampala, Mary Kihembo Kibahigyire is being accused of deploying armed Congolese refugees on a disputed land in Rukiga district.      

The land were the Congolese refugees are reportedly being deployed on the disputed land is located at Kishingati hill in Nyabubare village, Rwenangye parish, Kamwezi sub county.

Locals accused Kibahigyire of grabbing and fencing their 64 hectares of land her own 15 hectares. In December 2022, locals accused Kibahigyire of deploying armed private security guards on the contested land that barred locals from accessing it. 

It forced Rukiga district security authorities to intervene and ordered her to withdraw the armed security guards since they were not known to security authorities. A ten-man security committee led by the office of the District Criminal Intelligence Officer was instituted to conduct investigations into the matter and compile a report.

Early this month, locals again accused Kyibahigyire of carrying out fresh deployment of Congolese refugees with arrows and bows. The fresh feud compelled Rukiga District security authorities led by Fred Nayebare Kyamuzigyita, Area Resident District Commissioner to hold another security meeting yesterday at Kishingati hill. 

The meeting was also attended by Major Martha Asiimwe, a State House Official and Presidential Advisor in Charge of Resident District Commissioners. During the meeting, locals who included; Gaddie Biranga Tumuheirwe and Leo Mbabazi say that what angered them most was when the deployed armed Congolese refugees deployed by Kibahigyire mid this month set ablaze parts of the disputed land and eucalyptus trees plantations.

Gava Twinamatsiko, Nyabubare village LC1 Chairman says that locals watched with no help as fire ravaged trees but feared to cross into the land to avoid being harmed by armed Congolese refugees deployed there.   

Twinamatsiko also says that his office has received several cases of dogs that are heightened to back up refugees’ strength eating locals’ animals. He says that during night hours, the refugees roam around threatening locals and has also registered two cases two of girls who were sexually harassed by them. Twinamatsiko says that he advised locals to report the issues afresh since he also feared to intervene for his safety.   

Francis Tumuhimbise another affected resident says that the problem resulted after he refused to sell his piece of land to Kibahigyire.  Benon Tugarukye says that when his two goats and a cow were attacked and mauled by the dogs, he feared to protest in order not to avoid testing the wrath of the Congolese refugees deployed there.   He says that as locals, they fear that the refugees deployed there could even be rebels Mable Turyamwikuja argues that her 16-year-old daughter was taken by the Congolese refugees deployed by Kibahigyire but she feared to protest.      

When given a chance to talk, Kibahigyire admitted to having deployed Congolese refugees after the withdrawal of armed private security guards but locals continued to threaten her.  She argued that she picked refugees from one of the recognized camps and were all cleared by the office of the Prime Minister.  

But, Kyamuzigita, Police officers attached to Kamwezi, Muhanga and Rukiga police stations, sub-county security authorities also claimed that they are not informed as security authorities manning the district. This angered Kyibahigyire and started insulting Kyamuzigita and police officers accusing them of being biased by favoring locals. Kyamuzigita ordered investigations into the refugees and arrest of those will were found deployed without the required documents from the office of the Prime Minister.      

Kyamuzigyita also ordered Kibahigyire to remove the fence, allow locals to access the contested land and use a court of law to handle the matter.  He also advised Kibahigyire to secure a court order.

In October 2021, Nathan Bwogi, the Legal Assistant to the President and State House in charge of the lands department intervened in the matter but was never resolved

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Update: Soroti Hospital Admits 24 Students

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Twenty-four students from Midland High School in Kaberamaido District have been hospitalized at Soroti Hospital following a tragic accident that occurred on Thursday. Sadly, two students, Susan Alwedo and Peterson Ekimu, lost their lives at the scene of the accident.

The accident took place as Senior Four and Six students were en route to Jinja for a study tour. They were traveling in a bus with registration number UG 1915E, owned by Busitema University – Arapai Campus. Tragically, the bus collided with a stationary trailer, UBL 709T/UQ781C, from behind. At the time of the accident, the bus was carrying a total of 64 students.

Records from Soroti Regional Referral Hospital indicate that out of the 31 students who sustained injuries, 24 survived with various degrees of broken bones. Dr. Athanasius Ariengu, the head of the emergency unit at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital, reported that some of the injured students have undergone surgical procedures, while others have undergone different scans to assess potential internal injuries.

In addition to the students, the school’s director, Nathan Egaru, and two teachers, Hannington Enangu and Juventine Eleru, were also injured in the accident. One of the teachers, present at the hospital, informed URN that the students’ study tour included visits to Masese, Nytil Textiles, and the source of the River Nile.

The teacher further explained that the accident occurred when the bus driver attempted to avoid a head-on collision with another speeding vehicle heading towards Soroti City.

John Robert Tukei, the acting East Kyoga Regional Police Spokesman, stated that they are awaiting a report from traffic officers to determine the condition of the bus at the time of the accident. Preliminary findings suggest that the driver lost control of the bus, leading to the collision with the stationary trailer.

A statement from the Busitema University Directorate of Institutional Advancement expressed condolences to the affected families and mentioned that the university is awaiting the police report. The statement assured that a detailed report on the incident will be provided in due course.

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Lawyer Mabirizi Sues Kabaka of Buganda Again Over Busuulu

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Kabaka lowethirdLawyer Male Mabirizi has filed a petition with the Constitutional Court, seeking a temporary injunction to halt activities involving the Kabaka of Buganda Kingdom, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, and his agents. These activities encompass mass settlers’ registration and the collection of ground rent, known as Busuulu Collections.

In his application, Mabirizi has listed the Attorney General of Uganda as one of the respondents. He argues that these activities are scheduled to commence on October 1st, 2023, and are aimed at settlers on officially registered mailo land. Mabirizi’s requests to the court include preventing Kabaka and his associated entities, such as the Buganda Land Board and Enkuluze (Royal Treasury), from conducting actions that imply they are registered owners of the official mailo land.

These actions involve imposing registration fees, making threats against individuals residing on Mailo land, and collecting a 10 percent charge based on the sale value of the land or Kibanja on the official Mailo land. Furthermore, he seeks to halt the collection of money from non-leaseholders in the Buganda region and calls on government agencies, including ministries, police, courts, UPDF, KCCA, and local governments, to refrain from supporting Kabaka in carrying out these activities.

Mabirizi’s argument is rooted in his belief that Kabaka serves as a trustee for the official Mailo land, and all associated charges are illegal. Notably, Mabirizi previously filed a petition in 2022 challenging Kabaka’s portrayal as the registered owner of official Mailo land and the government’s endorsement of such claims. Despite this pending petition, he asserts that the respondents have persisted in their activities and have announced plans for mass settler registration and ground rent collection starting the following month. Mabirizi contends that if the court does not grant his application, there is a looming risk that the respondents will proceed with these activities, potentially causing irreparable harm.

This is not Mabirizi’s first attempt to halt ground rent collections. In 2020, his application to stop these collections was denied by Supreme Court Judge Dr. Esther Kisakye, and in 2017, a High Court decision by Patricia Basaza that ordered Kabaka to provide specific information was overturned by the Court of Appeal panels led by Justice Egonda Ntende. Mabirizi has now initiated a similar case in the Constitutional Court, which is awaiting a verdict.

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