Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Maize exports increase 80 percent after market crash Full-Steam Ahead for Ugandan Grain Traders Challenge Uganda performed poorly in the agricultural commodities market in 1995, exporting a feeble $7.25 million—40,982 tons—of low-quality maize. “What was typical of Ugandan maize and grain then?” asked John Magnay of Uganda Grain Traders Limited (UGTL). “Shriveled, diseased, high-moisture-content, fermented, and spoiled. Train cars full of stinking, rotting maize.” Five million Ugandan farmers, 80 percent of whom owned less than five acres of land, were raising field crops like maize, beans and rice. But while the sheer number of farmers presented great potential, the farmers were scattered, unorganized and lacking in standards, inputs, markets, capital, or modern technical knowledge and tools. Most importantly, the smallholders lacked a powerful market that would buy their crops and propel their business. When the market crashed in 2001, many smallholders defaulted on loans and lost their land.
Why Polio Just Became a Global Health Crisis—and a Global Governance Crisis By Rachel Hills May 29 2012, 10:50 AM ET Comment Though only 650 cases were recorded last year, the World Health Organization declared the disease an emergency, but its importance goes beyond public health.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Trillions at stake in oil dealings
I knew Yusufu Nsubuga as Lawyer of Kiiza Besigye all th way from 2001, however, what surprises me is hoew Nsubuga has kept quite all that long and only came out a few days over the land issues in Kampala. It is sad, if some one in the NRM Government is using the opportunity to reverse the progress that Jennifer Musisi has achieved so far. Modern management which seems to fail NRM given opportunism and that wish to grab, would dictate that KCCA and the Land Board would resolve their differences behind closed doors, but the current out bursts are simply a big shame on the part of NRM.. This is the reason we have people disguised as owners of property when actually they are holding it in trust of others. The way the Government would handle the matter is to have the land for markets developed on behalf of any potential users, such that Government and or the local governments simply collect market dues. The vendors in the markets can organize any arrangement for their own development, but not to construct the market. William Kituuka Kiwanuka
Its sad the developments in Nairobi. The injured need our prayers to get quick recovery, after a ripped through shops in central Nairobi today, injuring dozens in what the prime minister called a "terrorist" attack despite initial police reports that it was an accident.
I am not aware that parents in the past used to resist having children immunized, unfortunately, today, many are in doubt whether their children are being given the right medication. This development is after people have lost confidence in the NRM Government. A Government that is having among its ranks those who are buying whatever is available so that they undertake their own developments. There is fear that the mission could target the killing of the children so that they are able to get land in future without a big problem.
Monday, May 28, 2012
I thank God that the truth at last is coming out of the rot in Uganda examination system. I had for long observed that the cheating in examinations was real, but some authorities in Uganda are funny, however, the New Vision paper has brought out the truth following the pre-entry examinations to the Law. The finding is one reason why the Government should scrap government sponsorship as this is one of the drives to the cheating in national exams followed by proprietors wanting to make a name which eventually leads to many students flooding the school. William Kituuka Kiwanuka
If President Museveni can reduce on appointing people simply because they can do the politicking, and instead change to identifying people who can deliver for Uganda, he will have done good for the country. It is like Jennifer came from heaven. When one sees the mess in Uganda, it is like there are no people who can rectify the messes. Thank God for Jennifer, Kampala is getting a positive transformation. The level cleanliness is very encouraging. The prayer is that she is not diverted as instructions from above can reverse the positives so far done. Madam Musisi, among the innovations you are to do, kindly look into the City morgue at Mulago. The conditions need improvement and incentives to the workers. May be there is need to add announcements of those who die in city accidents on CBS 88.8 FM; so that relatives get to know. Otherwise, given the Museveni appointments, you must have been God sent. William Kituuka Kiwanuka ONE YEAR ON - JENNIFER MUSISI Publish Date: May 01, 2012
Sunday, May 27, 2012
How MTN lost mobile billlons Thursday, 24 May 2012 23:52 Written by Jeff Mbanga MTN lost over Shs 15bn in a scam Suspense account manipulated MTN Uganda explains scam Crafty MTN Uganda staff manipulated the mobile money suspense account –where cash from poorly executed transactions is kept – and stole up to Shs 15 billion, The Observer has established. News of the scam broke only on Wednesday but top managers have known about it since early this year. And as MTN struggles to manage the fallout from the scam, we have spoken to sources within MTN that explained to us how it happened. Many a subscriber has pressed a wrong digit or entered a wrong figure while trying to send money on MTN’s mobile money service. Our sources have explained that when that happens, the system recognises the transaction but does not complete it. Hence, while money is sent, it is usually not received. Such money is then kept in a suspense account, according to our informed sources. The suspense account system is also used in commercial banks for money whose ownership is not yet clear. Many subscribers struggle to recover such money because the process is long and tedious. A good number, especially those with small amounts, simply give up. MTN staff monitor this money and the crafty ones eventually make fictitious claims as to whom it belongs. A statement issued by MTN Uganda said the company was upgrading its mobile money system when the fraudsters took advantage of gaps in the system. Our source also revealed that there are some people who deposit fake bank notes, especially in areas where the dealer might not recognise such counterfeit, leaving the depositor to withdraw genuine money. In some cases, crafty staff are well aware of the counterfeit notes and work with accomplices, whom they advise on dealers that might blindly accept the fake money. In addition, we have been told that some MTN staff abuse the commission system. Under this system, the dealers, who operate mobile money kiosks are supposed to earn a commission of Shs 800 per transaction. This commission system is supposed to be automated, but some crafty MTN workers have previously managed to hack in and deny some dealers their commission. The worst affected commission agents are those whose daily transactions are less than Shs 2m. These dealers also tend to have a poor recordkeeping regime. In many cases they are unable to reconcile their transactions with MTN’s because of lack of proper records. Unscrupulous MTN staff exploited this loophole and arrogated themselves the duty of deciding how much commission such dealers should take, often diverting hefty sums for their own benefit. Industry sources have told The Observer that the scam brings into focus the issue of regulation. The question as to how the mobile money service is to be regulated has been around for a while with no convincing answer. Both Bank of Uganda and the Uganda Communications Commission share some powers to regulate the service. But there has been no comprehensive law or policy on such a critical financial service. Meanwhile, sources have told us that MTN Uganda is engulfed in tension as a result of the scam coming to light. Yesterday, the company’s top management was locked in meetings and the issue was high on the agenda. We have been told that MTN is yet to decide whether to hold its internal audit department responsible for the mess that has so far cost at least three senior staff their jobs. More staff are expected to get the sack as investigations unfold. The scam was reportedly discovered after an investigation team arrived from South Africa earlier this year, following a tipoff. The team carried out due diligence on the company’s mobile money operations and found loopholes. After their preliminary findings, the team recommended a broader investigation.
Museveni appoints KCCA deputy executive director Thursday, 24 May 2012 23:47 Written by Siraje Lubwama More than a year after Jennifer Musisi assumed office on April 15, 2011 as executive director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), President Museveni has finally appointed her deputy, Ms Alice Muhoozi, a source close to State House has told The Observer. News of the appointment of the little-known Muhoozi, which surprised not only City Hall technocrats but also Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, comes at a time when Musisi is in India on a business trip, expected back home at the end of this month. “After considering five people that were recommended to him, and having done his own sourcing, the President has finally zeroed in on Alice Muhoozi, who, if she goes through the vetting process successfully, will be KCCA deputy executive director, in charge of administration, general duties and public relations,” the source, who requested anonymity, told The Observer, Wednesday. The source added that the five individuals from whom Museveni picked Muhoozi included three women and two men. When contacted, the presidential press secretary, Tamale Mirundi, said he was not yet aware of Muhoozi’s appointment. “At times, the people appointed leak the information to the press themselves,” he said. According to our source, once Muhoozi is approved by the Public Service Commission, she will relieve Musisi of most of her current responsibilities in the Authority, leaving the executive director to concentrate on revenue collection and expenditure. Until now, Musisi, who is serving a five-year, renewable term, is charged, under the KCCA Act of 2010, with all executive functions of managing Kampala city, while the Lord Mayor plays a largely ceremonial role in the city. Lord Mayor Lukwago told The Observer yesterday that he was not aware of the appointment, and our efforts to speak to the minister for Security, who is also in charge of Kampala, Muruli Mukasa, were fruitless, as his known telephone was switched off the whole day and we were unable to secure an appointment at his office. KCCA spokesperson, Peter Kauju, said the Authority had not received official communication on the appointment. “It’s not true; it’s speculation,” he told The Observer yesterday. “The position is provided for in the law, but there has been no official communication yet to that effect from State House. Besides, if the person is appointed, he or she will have to go through the Public Service Commission interviews. For now, all that has not happened”. A technical officer in KCCA who requested not to be named, told us: “There’s a male name we’ve been anxiously expecting, but Muhoozi’s name is a surprise to me. [Nonetheless,] we’re ready to receive anyone”. Last year, President Museveni appointed eight directors, three of them women, to head the Authority’s various departments. They are: Jennifer Kaggwa (human resource), Phoebe Lutaaya-Kamya (revenue collection), Harriet Mudondo (gender, community and production), Daniel Kyambadde (treasury services), Andrew Kitaka (works and engineering), Michael Okua (legal affairs), Moses Bwire (internal audit) and George Agaba (physical planning). While four of the directors, like Musisi, their boss, moved to KCCA from the Uganda Revenue Authority, Muhoozi has not worked with the tax body and little is known about her background thus far. A search on the Internet cited her as one of the authors of the Runyankore/Rukiga-English Dictionary published in 2009. Her co-authors are President Museveni, Manuel J.K. Muranga, Aaron Mushengyezi and Gilbert Gumoshabe. firstname.lastname@example.org
It is disturbing to learn that UPDF women soldiers are being sent to front line in Somalia. Surely, what the big deal that leads Uganda authorities to send women on mission to the battle front in Somalia. Can Uganda observe the women and the role they are expected of performing in society. It should not be killing other people. many be, since President Museveni discouraged UPDF getting into love relationships with Somali women, the option remains to have Ugandan women sent to Somalia, but still, these women should not feature on the front line as is clearly seen in photos by the Bukedde newspaper. William Kituuka Kiwanuka DO NOT TOUCH SOMALI WOMEN, MUSEVENI TELLS UPDF SOLDIERS
It is unfortunate that the NRM Government messed up the economy so much to the extent of making workers earnings useless. This was done most prior to the 2011 general Elections when it is believed that money was poured into the economy to bribe the voters. That having taken place, it is wrong for the leaders of the workers to agitate for legislation for a minimum wage. What these leaders can attempt to do is ask Government for the lower wage to be fixed for Government workers, but not a minimum wage legislation. If Government fixed shs 200,000 as the minimum wage, what can happen is that people who are desperate for work will be able to tell employers that they are willing to accept a lower pay on the basis that very many people want work. So, in a country with the Uganda type of unemployment, the best strategies by Government are to see that as many people can be helped to get some income, and as the economy booms, it is capable of affording bigger pay. William Kituuka Kiwanuka. WORKERS PROMISE TO PITCH CAMP AT STATE HOUSE COME JUNE 4 By Ismal Musa Ladu Posted Sunday, May 27 2012 at 00:00 Kampala If threats raised by 20 workers unions led by the Workers MP are anything to go by, then the gates of State House and several government ministries will on June 4 be flooded with demonstrators. In a statement released on Friday, the groups raise a red flag, warning the President and various government ministries and departments that they will be pitching camp in their offices until workers’ long outstanding demands are met. In an interview with MP Sam Lyomoki, he said: “We are mobilising not less than 5,000 workers at any one time to storm State House and demand that issues of minimum wage are sorted out once and for all.” “This is a matter that has been around for at least 20 years,” he added. According to Dr Lyomoki, each ministry will be stormed to address particular demands that largely fall under its docket, save for the minimum wage where the fight will be taken to State House for the President’s attention and intervention. “We are prepared for the police. And we are not about to give up this course of action until all our demands are met,” said Dr Lyomoki. The Central Organisation of Free Trade Unions-Uganda, pointed out 20 pressing issues in the statement, among them the minimum wage issue, operationalisation of the industrial court, workers involvement in matters pertaining to the National Social Security Fund - pension sector and interests, and honouring of the presidential pledges to workers. email@example.com
Uganda is to host the Uganda - Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Investment Forum from May 28 to 30, 2012 at Sheraton Kampala Hotel. The forum which is to focus on Cotton; Dairy; Meat; Tourism; Energy; Fruit and Vegetable is welcome, however, there is a problem that the Government of Uganda has failed to address appropriately if viable investments are to be attracted in the country. It is the problem of cost of production. Much of what would be produced in Uganda given the available resources can not be produced economically or competitively. It is for that reason that Star Coffee ventured to do their processing in Tanzania and the extraction of oil which is done in Kenya. It is time Uganda got serious. Uganda Investment Authority (UIA)ought to come out open and tell Government that it is waste of time to want to call in investors who will find production costs on the high hence will not be able to market competitively what they will produce. The power tariffs are a big problem in the country. Recently, a gentleman from UMEME was heard telling someone who does the business of Milling maize flour that it is not possible to make profits if the one milling has no method of cheating to see that he pays for fewer units of power than what has actually been consumed. That is the Uganda that is attracting foreign investment. Uganda investment Authority ought to get the real facts of the actual costs on ground in Uganda to the prospect investors so that those people get the right picture and are able to judge whether it is worth wasting time to venture into the country or not. We should move from the politics of State House safe guarding any selected investment or even waiving off taxes that should have normally been paid. If we get the information regarding the various variables in the production process brought out clearly in comparison with other countries, it may be a worthy starting point. It is true that debt servicing is one reason the taxes/tariffs are high, but the Government of Uganda ought to see to it that as a priority, the production cost are comparable to those in countries that we are bound to compete with. UGANDA SET TO HOST GULF INVESTMENT FORUM