Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why do we spend on useless graduation parties when our children are jobless?

Time is now for use to be more objective. To start with, many school holidays are wasted. This is the time children would put a side the academic work and learn vocational skills. I don’t see sense in spending shs 3,000,000 on a graduation party and the following day the fellow for whom the party was made is on streets looking for a job.

The shs 3,000,000 is a lot of capital to see a graduate start something small if only the relevant skills are available. The Ministry of Education should equally help on this. The useless curriculum is responsible for creating job seekers instead of job creators.

Why is Uganda so lax in local government promotion?

SIR — Uganda is fortunate to have one of its own in the name of George Matovu as Regional Director, the Municipal Development Partnership (MDP) in Zimbabwe.

This partnership has one of the financiers as World Bank Institute (WBI). The Municipal Development Partnership is targeting local governments within eastern and southern Africa so as to help in their capacity building.

This is done through Africa Good Governance Programme on the Radio Waves and Africa Local Government Action Forum (ALGAF) via a Video Conference facility every first Friday of the month with (Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda and Washington) and lastly, an e-Learning course on the Internet: What is most unfortunate is Uganda’s poor response to the above initiatives.

While some circles allege that Uganda is a success story of local government decentralisation, it is a fact that the picture portrayed is different! Uganda happens to have the best facilities for video conference as seen from the screens of the countries that participate in ALGAF, but at times there can be as few as four people participating!

Rwanda, where the participants are poor at English registers big turn-ups. It is surprising to learn that the poor response by representatives of local governments is because there is no facilitation!

The courses are building capacity for the participants and as such, the councilors, mayors, chairpersons and officials from the Ministry of Local Government should be turning up for the sessions.

In case the authorities in Uganda’s Ministry of Local Government were not aware of the sessions by the Municipal Development Partnership for capacity building in the local governments, the time is now to get to know and positively respond to the initiative. Otherwise, Uganda’s image is bad to the extent that we are even failing to make paper presentations for ALGAF sessions!

Uganda is reaping fruits of being evil

It is unfortunate that we are reaping the fruits of being evil! When the 5 year bush war was fought and many people lost their property; and others life; many of us jubilated, but some kept a distance because it was clear that the country was set on a new footing which was difficult to predict, and now we are reaping the fruits. In the 60’s and through the 70’s; employees of Government were surviving on their pay, at least the pay made sense. We had schools which did not need perimeter walls around them; today, insecurity is the order of the day! Talk about the people freely moving with arms and those who own personal forces not forgetting the many uniformed and non-uniform armed personnel we see all armed.
A group disguises itself to liberate the people and you find many in its ranks just looting the country! In the process of looting or stealing; any one who talks about the evil is a criminal! Can you imagine how things have changed in this country? A highly placed person told me of a school where it was realized that the set exams was different from what had been leaked to them. In that school, students got some 30 minutes briefing before the students sat for the paper. And when results came back, the school was one of the best in the country! Unfortunately, other schools are victimized and such schools keep reaping!
When we have a Government with so many pockets of security personnel; so many imagining that they are in good books of the President and are at liberty to do whatever they wish, you can know that the country is in real danger. It disturbs to get a report that Fire fighters got to Kasubi and some people stopped them from fighting the fire. The question is; who are these who were so early at the scene yet wanted the Masiro completely burnt down?
Leadership is complex, however, in the situation of Buganda and the Central Government; it is unfortunate that the central Government is unbothered as it becomes more unpopular all the time. The one who put the Masiro on fire must have known that the central government was to be blamed in the end. So, if that is obvious, for what reason should Government keep on with differences with one region instead of solving them? The Government renting Buganda properties and for years does not pay rent is difficult to believe, but its the fact. The question is, what motivates Government not to pay? Assuming it is out of power come 2011, should the forthcoming Government recover from the assets of those responsible for having seen these payments made? It is difficult imagining these situations yet they are real! You can imagine the misguided action of the central government when they refused the Kabaka to go to part of Buganda; the eventual outcome was the closure of CBS Radio now over 6 months with 109 employees out of employment! Is that logical? Was there no other way of solving the problem? We cry of poverty yet the policies of government are no better than creating poverty!
We are corrupt; we are failing to see what is wrong even when it is clear. One finds the same Ugandans who are elected by the people endorsing the extension of the President in office for the sake of shs 5,000,000/-. There is no better poverty and evil at heart than this. This is the reason that people are suffering simply because of irresponsible legislators! Imagine the unemployment levels in this country, it is unbelievable but it is true! Government priorities are simply misplaced, one finds that even those you imagine have qualifications worth talking about; as long as they are to benefit from fake policies they simply endorse them.
We look forward to change and meaningful change in this country. Hopefully Ugandans will see sense and join hands to embrace such change. Why should we be always at the mercy of some people? Ugandans are so desperate now, and indeed there is need to see that and do things right.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Late Besuel Kiwanuka was a dedicated teacher

Around midnight on September 30, 2004 I got a call from my brother Mwesigwa informing me that our father Besuel Kiwanuka had earlier during the day been admitted in critical condition at Nsambya Gonzaga Ward. Given that it was already late, I decided to check on him early in the morning of 1st October 2004.
At the hospital, my father narrated what he had gone through prior to admission at Nsambya. He had developed pressure; headache; fever and dizziness. However, as he talked he seemed to have got some relief.
On the morning of October 3, 2004 at 8.30am, Mwesigwa rang and he told me, "Taata agenze," (Father has passed on!). Father was buried on Monday October 4, 2004, and life has never been the same. I am however grateful to him as I learnt a lot from him.
On February 17, 2010, I went to Nsambya hospital to have forms for the birth of my child born on May 25, 1990 endorsed. After the endorsement, I had opportunity to check on the bed where my father breathed his last.
On May 17, 2003 Mr and Mrs Kiwanuka celebrated 50 years in marriage, little did we know that he was saying bye to us!

The Life of the Late Besuel Kiwanuka
1. As a family man, he shouldered responsibilities very well; he managed not only to feed the family, but also educate all and provided good guidance;
2. The relation with mother was excellent – we never saw a fight, direct confrontation, nor did our mother ever leave home because of misunderstandings;
3. As a teacher – at College he was nicknamed "Cob – web" he would always ensure he would always ensure that his class had no cob webs and that is what he told the teachers he was teaching always to ensure.
4. As a Garden teacher - he never got things out of the College Garden without paying for them though in many cases he was putting in his own labour which would have been paid for. Our father helped the garden efforts for Ssisa Church of Uganda, and this was an income project for the Church.

5. As a saved/religious man, he was an epitome of a model saved personality and he would spare time to preach.
6. Our father used the quote: "He careth for you" 1 Peter 5:7 – "Cast your anxiety on him because he careth for you."

Our father spent most of his working career at Namutamba Teachers' College and many students went through his hands and guidance. There is time when nearly the whole staff of Namutamba Teachers' left given the bad relation with the Principal, however, Mr. Kiwanuka stayed and new staff joined him there.

Reaction to Captain Guma Gumisiriza's statement about Federo

Captain Guma Gumisiriza David
MP Ibanda County North
Dear Guma,
RE: A Statement made by Captain Guma on Federo
I wish to take this opportunity to write to you on a serious matter regarding the future of our country. I am not new to you having been classmates through at Makerere University and not only sharing the same Hall of residence Mitchell; but also meeting for Economic classes. It is true if I remember very well, after academics at Makerere; you joined those who were in the bush to help in the effort to get sanity to this country. While you are fortunate that among the many graduates who left for the bush many are dead and some did not even reap the fruits of the war; the reasons you went there should still be ringing in your mind. It is absurd to hear you among others spearheading the NO FEDERO talk! Why should you? Are there no models of success where federo arrangements are plactised?
I am one of the pioneer staff of Nile bank, and you are aware that I met my problems in my banking career not because of my own making. It was then when Hon. Richard Kaijuka was Minister of Energy in the NRM Government that a Uganda Electricity Account was opened there. You can be sure that because of corruption in Uganda since 1991 justice has never been done. I was sacrificed by among others a cabinet Minister in the NRM Government. And you ought to be aware what it means losing a job in the bank, it is hard to get another job against that background. You are well aware of the hard ships we went through at Makerere just to get qualifications. In this role, I cannot excuse the NRM Government. If some players in the NRM Government were responsible for my problems, why do you want to suffocate the possible alternatives?
You ought to be aware that Buganda Government is taking on a number of educative programmes; meanwhile off loading some of the responsibilities the central government would. What is bad with that? All these efforts are to help the people of Uganda out of poverty, but then you come and say no President can grant us FEDERO. Sincerely, Guma, you should not be corrupted. As an academic you should have the right view of things. Assuming you were part of the Buganda establishment and you found that the Government is intentionally sitting on rents due to you, would you be happy? Guma, I wish to tell you that some of us are not happy with Government. I have communicated to people in Government about my innovation of Good Governance School Clubs (GOGOC), which I believe was hi-jacked and ‘sold’ to Government and is now Patriotism School Clubs, but my pleas that Government pays for my role has not received any response yet no body has come up to say that the originality of the idea was x, y and z.
So, my Brother Guma, power corrupts, but be objective. Uganda has highly learned people and many are aware of the possibility of a peaceful co-existence of federo states with the central government. The truth is that no body can eat all the monies made say in Uganda. As a leader, one needs to have his share and also leave others to have their share. To throw some little light on the recent riots taken as a Baganda issue this is just erroneous. The people are concerned with the sharing of the national cake; and as NRM Government fails to listen to the wishes of the people, the more we are in trouble as wrong diagnosis of problems is thought.
You may be aware that Kabaka Mutebi is soon going to visit his county – that is Buwekula; but when you learn from Hon. Bwerere Kasole and how he has prepared for the visit, it is the right approach for a Uganda where we can all co-exist. For the visit; all tribes have something to offer and if a similar strategy had been used in Kayunga there would have been no riots at all. So, my brother, my advice is that you should not be party to the forces that may be ready to get our country miles back. As a Member of Parliament the issue is that the suggestion being made for federo and not by only Baganda is workable and can lead to a more peaceful country.
Best of Luck
Willy Kituuka
(Former classmate at Makerere University 1980 – 1983)
Mitchell Hall

Monday, March 29, 2010

Was Uganda's Civil Aviation Authority negligent hence the Russian Ilyushin pluging into Lake Victoria?

The National Aviation Authority (NAA) is the government statutory authority in each country that oversees the approval and regulation of civil aviation. Due to the inherent dangers in the use of flight vehicles, NAA's typically regulate the following critical aspects of aircraft airworthiness and their operation:
• Design of aircraft, engines, airborne equipment and ground-based equipment affecting flight safety
• Conditions of manufacture and test of aircraft and equipment
• Maintenance of aircraft and equipment
• Operation of aircraft and equipment
• Licencing of pilots and maintenance engineers
• Licencing of airports and s
• Standards for air traffic control
Depending of the legal system of the parent country, the NAA will derive it power for an act of Parliament (such as the Civil or Federal Aviation Act), and is then empowered to make regulations within the bounds of the act. This allows technical aspects of airworthiness to be dealt with by subject matter experts and not politicians. The NAA may also be involved in the investigation of aircraft accidents, although in many cases this is left to a separate body (such as the ATSB in Australia or the NTSB in the USA), to allow independent review of regulatory oversight. The NAA will regulate the control of air traffic but a separate agency will generally carry out Air Traffic Control functions.

Given the above background, doesn't the story below leave the CAA to blame?Eleven people died, including two Ugandans, when the Russian Ilyushin plunged into the lake shortly after take-off at Entebbe on March 9. The plane, operated by South African Aerolift and chartered by Dynacorp International, an American company, was destined for Mogadishu with supplies for the African Union peacekeeping mission. The report by a probe committee, headed by Col. Chris Mudoola, noted that the navigator of the plane, a Ukrainian national who also perished in the crash, was using a forged First Class navigator license which was issued to another person in 1996. To the Ukrainian authorities, it appeared that “the certificate was altered, including the insertion of the navigators photograph,” the report said. The probe team also observed that the performance of the crew could have been affected by the possible effect of alcohol and fatigue as a result of lack of sleep. Various reports indicated that the crew members were seen drinking alcohol the night before. It further noted that based on available records and interviews, the operator did not ensure that the aircraft was airworthy. There was no evidence that the anomalies associated with the dual loss of engine power, which had occurred three months earlier, had been addressed, it said. The aircraft on December 15, 2008 lost engine power after take-off from Entebbe for a flight to the Democratic Republic of Congo, prompting the crew to abort the flight. In some of its disturbing findings, the report noted that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) lacks trained personnel to carry out safety oversight of aircraft manufactured in the former Soviet Union. Nevertheless, it is forced by ‘external forces’ to approve such flights. “With regards to such aircraft, CAA experiences difficulties ascertaining the authenticity of the submitted documents,” said the report. “Also, CAA encounters difficulties with the interpretation and understanding of the aircraft manuals. Furthermore, there are external forces that influence the CAA approval process.”

Increasing Fuel prices is a Planning Problem for Uganda

Petrol Prices are cause of concern as they seem to be on the increase every other day. If the reason is the soaring dollar rate against the local currency, it is most unfortunate. This again puts doubt to the much sang rosy picture of the performance of Uganda’s economy. It is public knowledge that Jinja fuel reserves had been meant to help the country in any crisis situation. Below is some write – up about developments regarding the fuel reserves:
THE Government has given the Jinja national oil reserve to TAMOIL, a Libyan oil company. The Cabinet directed the energy ministry to hand over the country’s only reserves in a letter of January 7, 2009. The decision comes at a time when the Government has unveiled plans to construct a 150 million-litre capacity fuel depot in Kampala to deal with emergencies. TAMOIL is constructing the Kampala Oil Products Terminal as well as the $250m (sh425b) Eldoret-Kampala oil pipeline extension project. According to documents, the 30 million-litre oil facility will be integrated into the pipeline project.
Energy state minister Simon D’Ujanga said the tanks would be part of the pipeline and as such, would automatically be managed by TAMOIL. “In the past it was a strategic fuel reserve, but we are now turning it into an operational fuel reserve,” D’Ujanga said. “Initially we wanted a pipeline, but later we said it will be better if it has an operational capacity along the way.”

However, the contract was not advertised as required by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) Act and as such it can be challenged. The Act prohibits sole sourcing of a public asset, service or goods except in an emergency where the waiver is granted by the procurement authority. Consequently, the energy ministry wrote to the PPDA on January 30, 2009, seeking permission to go ahead with the deal. Acting permanent secretary Eng. Paul Mubiru said in a letter since the Cabinet had already decided to hand over the tanks to TAMOIL, it had to implement the directive. He said TAMOIL had the skills and experience in fuel supply and depot operation and had already produced the design for up-grading the facility. “The cost of repair and restocking will be met by TAMOIL,” he said.

However, documents show that PPDA wrote back to the ministry last month, saying the issue was outside its mandate. The PPDA said the matter was being handled by a Joint Coordinating Commission (JCC) formed by Kenya and Uganda to manage the pipeline project. “Any contracting arrangements in respect of the Jinja Storage Tanks and Tamoil are the responsibility of the JCC,” acting PPDA boss Cornelia Sabiiti said in the letter. He instead referred the ministry to the Solicitor General for legal advice. Earlier, the Solicitor General had said that the JCC was acting on behalf of Kenya and Uganda and so its decisions overrode the PPDA Act. Under the current arrangement, TAMOIL will build the pipeline, own 51% of it, form a joint venture company with the Ugandan and Kenyan governments to operate it for 20 years before surrendering ownership to them. Uganda started building the oil reserves in Jinja, Nakasongola, Gulu and Kasese in the 1970s. However, only the Jinja one was built with a capacity of 30 million litres. The facility needed sh31.23b to refurbish and restock. The Government said it did not have the money and so gave the deal to TAMOIL. The energy ministry has been struggling to raise the sh50b needed to restock the reserves with at least 20 million litres of diesel and 10 million litres of petrol. At least sh79m was needed to repair the hose pipes, sh74.7m for the depot repair and sh82m to transport three million litres of kerosene from Jinja depot to Kampala. The Government sold 11.5 million litres in 2002 and realised over $37m (sh64.7b) which it used to buy fire fighting equipment for the reserves. The first attempt to restock the oil reserves was cancelled by the PPDA because the energy ministry contravened procurement rules in awarding the contract to Kenlyod Logistics. The project was re-tendered and awarded to GAPCO and MOGAS oil companies. The companies, however, did not sign contracts because the ministry lacked money. Shortly afterwards, the ministry closed down the empty depot, exposing the country to greater risk of fuel shortage. The Mombasa oil refinery is due to close for renovation in June. Uganda suffers acute oil shortages whenever there is a disruption in the supply line from Kenya. Over the last five years, the country has suffered shortages in December, January, March, April and in June. Uganda relies on oil companies whose limited facilities can hardly store fuel to last the country 10 days. Uganda consumes 2.2 million litres daily and demand grows by 7% annually. The new management is expected to renovate and increase the capacity of the existing oil reserves, buy new equipment, build three new tanks and install a computerised monitoring system. Tamoil won the right to build a $60m liquid petroleum gas storage facility in Mombasa in 2007 under a deal which caused a public outcry as the Kenya government carried out sole sourcing. The Libyan firm is also investing $300m in upgrading the Mombasa refinery, which serves the entire East Africa market with refined products. The relinquishing of the country’s only oil reserves by the Government also follows several failed attempts by energy ministry last year to restock the tanks. Political interference coupled with the refusal of Parliament to approve the sh45b requested by the energy ministry to restock the reserves bogged down the project. The Auditor General too declined to issue an Audit Warrant for the sh45b, arguing that the expenditure would have risen beyond the 3% government’s supplementary ceiling.
Fuel crisis reveals planning failure in Ugandan Energy Ministry
Below is a report in the government controlled New Vision newspaper that relies on information from Uganda’s Auditor General to reveal serious irregularities in the management of Uganda’s strategic fuel reserves. Following a crisis in Kenya, fuel run out surprisingly quickly in Uganda. Surprising that is to some. As noted on this blog- this was an accident waiting to happen and has to do with the manner in which the Ministry of Energy is run as well as the overall deemphasis on the delivery of public goods in Uganda which affects other services like roads and health care. More analysis is forthcoming here but suffice it to say that the mismanagement of public resources itself is not accidental but part of the functional turn of the wheel of the political patronage system- which emphasises private goods. The Ministry of Energy is a disaster having failed to respond to Uganda’s electricity needs, botched a dam extension project along the Nile in one of the most underreported scandals in the country’s civil service and now engaged in a controversial petroleum exploration program without any real reform in its own structure.
Uganda’s lead technocrat in the Ministry, Kabagambe Kaliisa, is a 15 year veteran of the Ministry who has been named in a corruption scandal by the government Ombudsman. Today when the Ministry is not publishing fake figures of Uganda’s electricity demand( figures privately questioned by the World Bank but never acted on) , the Ugandan Energy Minister Daudi Migereko is fighting public relations wars. Like the “vanishing” of Uganda’s strategic fuel reserves, the truth is that the Ministry is not in a condition that can serve Ugandans best and requires a complete overhaul. But first public information about its incapacity should educate that change, something we will try to do here in the coming days. One fact, special interests have overwhelmed the Ministry are glaring example being its outright failure to prevent the faulty construction of the Owen Falls Extension project, a project which has proved according to one notable hydrologist, the greatest threat to Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water body. That failure is accompanied by allegations of corruption including one by a senior Minister that Migereko’s successor took a bribe of US$ 6 million. Also unresolved is whether the damn extension project has benefited largely downstream country, Egypt, which despite having a permanent presence in Uganda dedicated to the Nile remained silent. This reporter was told that Egypt’s water projects have significantly been boosted by the draining of the lake courtesy of the dam project. Uganda has never conducted an investigation into the matter to determine who was complicit in the project failure. In light of the current crisis- it is worth revisiting what happened.
IT took only a couple of days to paralyse Uganda. Within 48 hours, the violence in Kenya had led to severe fuel shortages all over the country, pushing up oil prices, doubling bus fares, raising food prices and seriously affecting business and public life. Dealers were greatly taking advantage of the crisis to hoard and ask exorbitant prices, up to four-fold in the case of petrol. Contrary to other countries, which have oil reserves that can last months or even years, Uganda’s reserves seem to be minimal, if existent at all. The country needs 1.2m litres of diesel per day, almost half of which is used for power generation, and 543,000 litres of petrol. ENERGY minister Daudi Migereko has declined to reveal how much fuel is in the reserves. There is something but we have declined to release the figures. We don’t want them to become a subject of debate, he told Saturday Vision. Earlier, in March 2007, energy state minister Simon D Ujanga had told Parliament the reserves were dry. The reserves have been used up, he said. It will be trickling in. At the moment we cannot talk about reserves because whatever comes in is being consumed. The question is whether anybody knows at any given time how much oil reserves the country has. In the mid 70s the Government started the construction of four fuel depots, in Jinja, Nakasongola, Gulu and Kasese. However, of the four depots that were in plan, only one, in Jinja, with a total capacity of 30 million litres, was actually completed. The Government loans out fuel from these reserves to private oil companies whenever there is a disruption in the supply chain and the oil companies reimburse the same amount in fuel stocks. The depot is also used to assist new oil companies stabilise in the liberalised competitive oil industry. But according to a report by the Auditor General, the oil companies were not reimbursing as much and as fast as they should. By August 31, 2006, the companies owed the Government oil products amounting to sh6.8 billion. It was noted that some loans had taken so long to be settled. The recoverability is increasingly becoming difficult, said the Auditor General’s report. Also, it pointed out that the oil companies had not paid the required penalties of 22% on any outstanding balance after 30 days, which had accumulated to sh5.4 billion by August 31, 2006.
There is another reason why it is difficult to tell the level of Uganda’s reserves. Information collected from employees at Jinja Storage Tanks revealed that the pumps and meters used were installed in 1978 and have not been replaced since then, said the Auditor General’s report.
It was noted from the records that, although the meters should be serviced regularly, the ones in Jinja take years to be serviced. Faulty meters can give misleading readings which can lead to fraud. The receipt meters are also problematic, according to the Auditor General. It has been noted that when products are being returned or delivered, the ministry uses the dip sticks (measuring tools) of the trucks that deliver the products, the report said. It is possible to be given a faulty dip stick which reads more stocks than what has been actually delivered. It recommended that inlet meters be introduced to help check the readings provided by drivers. In addition, the report noted that there was inadequate staffing at the Jinja reserves resulting into late billings, late reconciliations and postings into the ledgers. This is risky, as at any given time, it is impossible to tell actual stocks held. As a result of lack of staff, it added, the flow of information between the Jinja Storage Tanks and the ministry headquarters was very poor. Administration at the ministry is sometimes not up to date with what is going on at the Jinja Storage Tanks. Energy minister Migereko admits that there were problems with oil companies not reimbursing. There was a problem some time back. We have tried to recover that fuel. Only one company has not reimbursed. The matter is in court, he said. He explained that the Jinja storage tanks were built when the demand for fuel was not as high as today, and that the other depots were not completed due to financial constraints. He also pointed out that the breakdown at the refinery in Mombasa and at the oil pipeline had affected Uganda’s capacity to store enough reserves. However, with the Eldoret-Kampala pipeline project starting in May this year, Uganda’s fuel problem should be addressed, Migereko announced. As part of the pipeline project, we are expanding the Jinja reserves, build storage facilities in Kampala, Mbarara and Kasese. By the time we produce our own oil, in 2009, we can take advantage of those facilities to distribute fuel to various parts of the country.” He acknowledged that the Kenya crisis had pre-empted their plans. “The pressure has come up much earlier than our own plans.” As oil trucks are starting to arrive in the country, there might be some temporary relief from the biting fuel prices. But it will take another two years before Uganda can escape its precarious dependence on its neighbour.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Authority of Kabaka Mutebi has the potential to help development efforts of Buganda

What happened on Friday, March 26, 2010 when Buganda officially closed the mourning for the burnt Kasubi Tombs (Buzibu Azala Mpanga) when hundreds of people turned up for prayers is testimony enough that Kabaka Mutebi’s authority if well used by both Buganda Government and the Central Government, can greatly be used for the development efforts of Buganda region. However, it is unfortunate that Buganda kingdom has run broke and implementation of its flagship development projects have stalled, the Daily Monitor revealed (CBS closure breaks Mengo’s back) .
Mengo officials say since government took the Central Broadcasting Service radio off air five months ago, their ability to reach out and mobilise people and cash has been impaired. The kingdom’s business of tapping money from willing donors, locally and internationally, through sale of ‘Buganda certificates’ has slumped by 33 per cent, according to Ms Joy Mukalazi, the secretary to the Annual Donation Fund - the formal name of the fundraising. Each of the certificates, which buyers hold with prestige as testimony of their contribution and allegiance to Buganda, go for between Shs1, 000 and Shs10 million making it affordable across different income groups. The Broadcasting Council closed CBS and revoked the radio’s license on September 10, last year accusing its presenters of breaching minimum broadcasting standards and inciting that month’s bloody pro-Kabaka riots in and around Kampala. Matters are not helped that the radio, which had 150-strong staff, was a profitable trading arm of the kingdom, generating a monthly gross income in excess of Shs1 billion, a board member of the radio, who preferred not to be named to freely discuss the sensitive business information, said.

Spending so much on anti riot gear reflects Government as authoritarian

Friday, March 26, 2010

Did the MPs really block the shs 440bn budget?

Draru's case may need an International Court to handle


The testimony that sealed Kazini's fate

On September 22, 2005, The Weekly Observer exclusively published excerpts of a testimony by now jailed MAJ. GEN. JAMES BUNANUKYE KAZINI to the committee investigating ghost soldiers. To understand his three-year prison sentence handed out last week by Court Martial chairman LT. GEN. IVAN KORETA, one needs to read Kazini’s testimony again. Below we reproduce a slightly edited version.
COMMITTEE: We would like your particulars on record, army number, name, appointment and the various offices you have held in the recent past as an introduction.
KAZINI: I am Maj. Gen. James Kazini. RO 1331, served in various capacities in UPDF. I begin with NRA as a regular army. I was a CO (Commanding Officer) of 14 Bn, I will not mention the period, and then I was CO 1 Bn (battalion), then Bde (brigade) commander 301. Then I was camp commandant GHQs (General Headquarters), commandant Military Police, armoured battalion CO at that time – CO mechanised regiment.
After that I was Operation Commander West Nile in Koboko. From there, I became second in command of 4 Division, then later (1996) the Division CO; after 4 Div I became the army (Chief of Staff) COS - 1998. During my tenure as COS, I was overseer of operations in DRC (Operation Safe Haven) and overseer of operations against ADF, two roles. Then I became the acting Army Commander (November 4, 2001).
COMMITTEE: We would like to hear from you the role of Army Commander and Chief of Staff in strength management and passing of financial claims?
KAZINI: When I became the Chief of Staff (COS)… first of all, there was no correct handover and take over. I just inherited a stamp from Chefe Ali. When I was appointed, I came to Bombo. I only found his ADC, Lt. Nuwe [Kyepaka], who was seated on his desk. He said, ‘Welcome the new COS, here is the stamp’. I got the stamp, went and sat in the chair and started working. No handover report.
The duties, which I found were actually rubber-stamping documents, flow of documents, purchases, procurement, vouchers. There is what is called a punched ladder, where documents come in, we don’t know their source of origin but you would see the vote holders’ signature, they just endorse to the PS [Permanent Secretary].
It took me time to understand because I was endorsing things I didn’t know about; uniforms, dry rations, fuel, etc. Then when these documents go to the PS that ladder… those vouchers, you are the COS, you just sign without even knowing the background of what is on the vote.
As time went on, I started asking myself even at that time, the question of paying soldiers was not the business of the COS.
COMMITTEE: What reasons can you give this Committee why Afande Chefe Ali did not hand over?
KAZINI: I don’t know. The culture of handover was not there in UPDF.
COMMITTEE: The genesis of ghosts in UPDF to your knowledge, the background how the whole thing started and whom you think the main actors and main weaknesses are?
KAZINI: I want to tell the chair that they should understand the word ghosts and balances. These are two different things, which you need to understand. I think ghosts originated from balances. It begins in a given financial year; let’s say financial year 2004-2005. I have a document here, which I have brought as a case study for May this

year (2003), how much money was verified and paid out to soldiers and how much money came out of the Treasury, which left behind a balance of 1.9 billion shillings officially.
COMMITTEE: What you are saying is that because names are not declared, whether deserters or dead, the Treasury keeps remitting money every month which is known?
KAZINI: By the Director of Finance and Permanent Secretary. Now the Chief of Staff and Army Commander are aside. We don’t know that.
COMMITTEE: PS knows it?
KAZINI: Yes, Director of Finance and Principal Accountant.
COMMITTEE: Those know?
KAZINI: Very well.
COMMITTEE: That this money that has come from the Treasury has no owner?
KAZINI: Yes. It remains here and it’s put on what they call below the line account.
COMMITTEE: Even before money goes to the Division or Bde to be eaten, already there is money here at the HQ which is known and you are giving an example that in May alone Shs 1.9 billion was availed officially, which was put on what account?
KAZINI: Below the line account. This money comes here and is deducted officially from the Treasury bill. Looking at the documents, the amount of money released from Treasury in May was Shs 10.6 billion. Then the balance of Shs 1.9 billion. Yes, and it’s deducted every month, official balance; that is what I am saying. Yes, this is a paper on ghosts. What I meant is that big balance of the so-called ghosts remains here. That is what I call the official balance. There are these other small balances which people (field commanders) buy time (with); [saying] after all if we submit this one it’s going to remain at the HQ and be eaten. Let me also remain with this one until the financial year ends.
COMMITTEE: Does that mean that the people at the HQ actually have the list of the dead, AWOL and deserters they already know?
KAZINI: They do! It arises because we know the verified strength, they have already verified the strength, there are the dead, AWOL (Away Without Official Leave), and deserters. So instead of telling the Treasury, the wage bill should be cut by this amount this month, they don’t do it because it’s internal.
COMMITTEE: So you are sure there are ghosts?
KAZINI: Yes. For sure there are ghosts in the army but controlled now. There is the official and unofficial (in other words at the MOD HQs and in units).
COMMITTEE: Why are some people saying that you are the one who encouraged ghosts?
KAZINI: I don’t know. I don’t think I was encouraging ghosts. It’s me and it’s on record in message books [who] started this question of fighting ghosts. I am the third [fourth?] AC (Army Commander). There was Afande [Elly] Tumwine, [Salim] Saleh, Gen. [Mugisha] Muntu, and [Jeje] Odongo… all these things were there. Whether they were sleeping, who knows? So absurd to say it’s me. May be I got into people’s ways of …
COMMITTEE: We would like you to tell us who created ghosts in 4 Division to your knowledge.

KAZINI: You see we discovered there are ghosts, no army in 4 Division at the time. We made a report to the C-I-C through the AC at that time and he brought somebody called Nakayenga. They found ghosts in 1996, and you remember one paymaster (Lt. Osele) killed himself because he was cornered. He was sending Shs 400m to the Director of Finance, Maj. Bright Rwamirama, at that time every month, even more.
We found that the army was not on ground and we scaled down. There was merging of units. It’s on record. Merged including Brigades, scaled down because the army was not on ground. 405 Bde was deleted from the books at that time under Lt. Col. Dradiga…At that time we didn’t know how many Bdes were supposed to be in UPDF and how many Bdes were cut off because by the time I became COS, by establishment we could see only Bde formations 501 and 503; the rest could appear as battalion formations without Bde. They were there but few.
The parade was supposed to be done at Chwero of Nakayenga. They went there, they didn’t find soldiers. Then when they were going to fly out, Dradiga threatened to shoot an RPG [at the] helicopter of Nakayenga. We had to intervene with mambas. He didn’t fire at it but threatened and when the woman came, she went to the C-I-C and said she has given up the work, can’t continue because she is going to lose her life.
COMMITTEE: You remember a Capt. Byakutaga ran away with money for our troops in Operation Safe Haven?
KAZINI. It’s on record that it’s me actually who sent a message looking for him because soldiers in Basankusu were complaining about non-payment for a month. I sent a message and they said he had taken the Arua route bringing the money. So we waited and he never appeared. That is another case, he just ran away with the money. Hopefully, he will appear one day and say he was leaving GHQs for pay in the very eyes of the acting Chief of Staff at that time, Brig. Kashaka. So it really disturbs me how one could withdraw Shs 1.3 billion in cash and is not given security.
COMMITTEE: Maj. Bush would antagonise the Chief of Logistics and Engineering (Brig. Oketa) allegedly on your orders, and Maj. Nuwe in Military Police [antagonised Lt. Col. Dick Bujingo]?
KAZINI: Maj. Bush has been OC POL [officer in charge of petrol, oils and lubricants] in that department since the beginning of this army… It was not me who deployed him, it was COS. I was in Gulu. I found that those who had come from Egypt had been deployed. But to say that I was using him to abuse Oketa… actually that was an abuse to me.
I never sent Bush to abuse Oketa. Oketa said many things, as you know, and he is the one saying that he is the one who removed me from the army command as I am talking now. It’s not correct.
First of all, I came with CLE [Chief of Logistics and Engineering], we came at the same time, me as COS, Oketa as CLE. This is a kind of conflict. What Brig. Oketa was aiming at was different. I can explain a few things.
What he wanted [to say] actually was that I was interfering in his work because I was implementing the President’s directives. The President said that let the army get out of procurement, and contract with civilian organisations like Total, Shell and all that, it should be MOD [Ministry of Defence]. That was what I was implementing.
Whenever I would not be here, he [Oketa] would bulldoze these undersecretaries around, threaten to box them. They are here; ask Madam Byengoma, Kakooza, etc. He would tell them that he is a fighter – but we are the ones who captured Oketa in Masaka – that I have brought German dogs in Gulu to guard me against him. Whenever I would be here, he would not bulldoze the ministry. Maj. Nuwe became an OPTO (in charge of training and operations of Military Police) after his course in Egypt. There is not even a single day that I had given him orders to undermine his commanding officer (Lt. Col. Dick Bujingo). No. Maj. Nuwe is there and you know Military Police, what work do they do apart from guarding a few soldiers here in Bombo and escorting Bank of Uganda money?
COMMITTEE: There have been allegations that you promoted a particular type of people, like Lt. Col. Segamwenge, Lt. Col. Mawa [Muhindo], Lt. Col. L’Okech, Maj. Nuwe [Kyepaka]?
KAZINI: The power of promotion is vested in the C-I-C [Commander-in-Chief]. People were promoted by the C-I-C because they excelled in operational performance. Actually, what I was doing, I was saying this one has done that, this one has done this, so he does that. That one I think the C-I-C had those powers.
Now, when it comes to jumping ranks, so many people had jumped ranks, now about Afande Muntu [Mugisha], he was a colonel and he became a major general. How about Jeje Odongo, why don’t you include them on the list?
COMMITTEE: The question is because those ones were promoted by the C-I-C directly.
KAZINI: Even these ones were promoted by C-I-C. There are messages that promoted Segamwenge, Mawa, L’Okech and Nuwe directly without referring to the promotions board.
COMMITTEE: Some people are complaining that you lied to H.E. about those people, they have never performed?
KAZINI: If I lied, then that one I accept. If the President can be lied to then… but why should I lie to my C-I-C, first of all I am a soldier. I took an oath, why should I tell lies to mislead him? Then those people who are saying that I am telling lies should give facts, we shall listen to them.
COMMITTEE: Why do you think such a thing (promotions) should have prompted protests?
KAZINI: They complained, then later on 1,300 officers were promoted randomly, even those who were dead. The C-I-C was made to sign an administrative order promoting people, even those who died. Was that justified? When we promoted 1,300 people randomly before elections!
Because of lack of records, a list was taken even as people had disappeared, others had gone to Rwanda, why don’t you talk about those? Just a few of those like L’Okech who did well in Congo!
Because really to complain about these four people, really we promoted many and you don’t even comment on that mistake that was made of random promotion, these fake service numbers, fake names, the list is there, it can be verified. Whether those people had done courses, how were they promoted by the so-called Commissions’ Board at that time, who chaired it?
COMMITTEE: The Bihanga recruitment. 7,000 recruits were crammed into a place which allegedly was inadequate and poorly facilitated?
KAZINI: We have trained that number before in Bihanga. Secondly, the situation in

Ituri warranted us to train them there. So we wanted quick recruitment elsewhere in the west to reinforce Ituri if you [know what] was happening at that time. So there was no peculiar motive. It was purely based on the situation as it was at that time.
You see a big majority of UPDF come from irregular forces (LDUs). So there is nobody who can [claim] that the Bihanga forces training was shoddy when you know that 70% of the UPDF originated from LDUs.
COMMITTEE: Why was there friction between you and Chief of Training (COT) Col. Muhesi over this Bihanga issue, and Col. Potel Kivuna?
KAZINI: The problem I think arose from supplies. Everybody here knows that when you have a training wing you don’t supply; so they thought that now it’s Potel going to do the supply, of course helping me, like that.
So we denied the COT a chance.
So the conflict was that I was denying him that chance. He even came to me saying, you know your sister came to me. There is this chance we are going to train. I told him, Muhesi don’t tell me this - you know he is married to my cousin sister – that your sister is now going to have milk because we are going to have training.
I said, me I know how to make my money, [but] not from that line. That is the whole problem, not congestion. Saying that my sister is now going to get milk…
COMMITTEE: So Inspector General of Military Equipment (IGME) does not know how many guns he has?
KAZINI: Yes, returns. I started it one time as AC for these big ones and the weapons which were not working. He failed because he had no database. So we were telling commanders that when you are sending nominal rolls, put the serial numbers of the weapons, it was never done.
COMMITTEE: So really you do not know where these guns are?
COMMITTEE: And what you are saying is that commanders can deploy them as and when they want?
COMMITTEE: Without central counter?
KAZINI: Yes. A gun is supposed to have a Bn (battalion) number and a serial number recorded. With us it is not the case, we just give out guns like that. For example, all those guns given to the Arrow Group, they were just from stores anywhere and given.
COMMITTEE: But then, how do you run the army? By magic or what?
KAZINI: You know we have been running the Army because of the good politics of the President. Because that is how LDUs come in. You get surprised, where is the army? AC, Fanya LDUs hapa, andika document fanya Bunyoro/Buganda LDU. Like that. The army has been surviving on the goodwill of the President and his good politics. Fanya hii, fanya hii. Standing army, where is it?
Even you remember when the RPAs went, they deserted about 4,000 people, and we were all here. Nobody said let us verify strength… these people have gone, they should be counted AWOL (Absent without official leave), then their numbers will be known. Can anybody tell us how many RPAs left the army?
It is just an imagined number from the press. But you know really somebody would have said no, I think they have escaped, here are their names. There is no record of the RPA who escaped. We would have it in data. Kalekezi, Kagame, somebody, nobody had it.

COMMITTEE: Interpersonal conflicts, first of all are they there?
KAZINI: No, they are not there. It is just undermining authority that is there. Because I did not make myself the COS [Chief of Staff]. These people would go around saying but who made this Kazini the COS, hii mtu hakukuwa porini….[this man did not even fight in the bush] Mambo kama hiyo [stuff like that]. After that AC…. Huyo hana shida [he has no problem] with the C-I-C, the appointing authority. That me I did not go to school.
That is up to the C-I-C. The knowledge I have, maybe he appreciated it. That is why he gave me that appointment. So it is something like that. To me, it is not conflict, it is just undermining authority.
COMMITTEE: During your leadership, you had problems with Col. Muhesi, Brig. Oketa, Brig. Tumukunde, Col. Burundi, among others, and your reasons for that perception?
KAZINI: There were others. Now that you have mentioned some of them, you should also mention others (Col. Angina, Col. Muzoora, Maj. Mutengesa, Lt. Col. Dick Bugingo).
Let me start with Brig. Tumukunde. You know very well Tumukunde was the Chief of Personnel and Administration (CPA). When Afande Saleh came to Gulu as the overseer, Tumukunde said that it was me who had asked the President to bring Afande Saleh, and yet the whole AC would be the one to come there.
He went to the President and said that may be Afande Saleh’s people are not working in the GHQs. Then whenever I would say something, Tumukunde would intervene. When he (Tumukunde) became Chief of Military Intelligence (CMI), I happened to be the COS. The AC then, Afande Jeje [Odongo], mandated me to go and preside over the handover/takeover as COS.
I went there and sat with the C/Comdt [Camp Commandant], he refused to come, that he does not recognise me as COS. Me what I did was to tell the person taking over to continue with work.
From CMI he became the 4th Div CO [Commanding Officer]. He commanded the Division well and then he made a lot of changes there, and the balances, he landed on it, he handled it the way he wanted. We did not care about that one.
But the worst strong point came when he planned an operation to go and attack Kony in Sudan at Lubanga Tek, which later on failed. I was not told anything, I was here as the COS. It was between him (Tumukunde), the AC then, and the President.
They went and marshalled forces, organised, I did not know anything…
The President is the one who told us there is a mission going to happen there, me I was just hearing like news.
So what Tumukunde did; he went, flagged off the forces, and he flew to America. I was not monitoring anything. It was the President who knew that the operational commander was not there. Then he called off the forces because they did not have food, they had got tired. It is a long journey…
It was Oketa to command the operation after he had given all the confidence that he would succeed. They had reached almost 10km to the target but Mzee [President Museveni] was given information, I think from intelligence. Out of the force, I think they were 1,500, 500 were already on stretchers. This is the information I got much later.
Then he said stop, and come back. Tumukunde, I understand, was in the USA. For him

he said: Aaah, this is Kazini now, who has undermined my work, my operation.
He met me here in corridors and told me, and I said, ‘I did not know about your operation, Tumukunde’. I was taken by surprise to read the message of H.E the President stopping the operation but I did not know really about the operation.
I would have supported it, I did not want it to end. But for him he took it that I had sabotaged it. Only to find out the operation commanders he had sent; Rwandese and other people, they got stuck on the way, food could not reach. It was a rainy season, between the border and that place you can’t take less than seven days… everything was stuck on the way. Okay those things happen. So that is another matter.
Things continued like that. One time, he was saying that when I was made the COS, I came with the following people; he used to talk about it openly. Lt. Col. Mugenyi Phenehas to be CPA, Obwoya Fearless to be CLE, like that, like that. He said that first of all, I took Afande Saleh to the North [to] manufacture a coup d’etat… That is Tumukunde, Sir.
I said, Tumukunde, why are you making up all that? And when I was COS, he [Tumukunde] never appeared in my office, to call him on phone, he refused. I looked for a way to arrest him but I couldn’t because as I told you the COS is not empowered to do anything like that.
It continued, then lastly there was an eviction of people from houses in town.
This was H.E.’s directive. He said that people who are living in houses of Indians, go and convince them to get out of people’s houses; when they refuse and there is an eviction letter, you should take them out.
It happened that Tumukunde’s sister had a house in Kololo. Me, I did not know. When that thing happened, Tumukunde knew that I had specifically tasked Military Police to evict his sister from the house.
I told Tumukunde that I didn’t know of it. If he had rang me, that eviction I would have stopped until he sorted it out. So that is undermining of authority, it is not a problem concerning cohesion in the army.
When he was handing over CMI [Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence] to Mayombo, I was there. The AC mandated me, you go, and see the handover. You know what he said?
“I know you have followed me again, now I am going to Gulu, I do not think Gulu will be my last office, because you are still behind me” – at the handover ceremony! So that is Tumukunde.

General Mugisha Muntu is sympthetic to Baganda over Kasubi Tombs burning

At times working for Government is bitter

Dr. Olara Otuunu, a potential replacement for President Museveni

Prof. Nsibambi would be dead if ...

Hope Uganda Government is serious paying Mengo this time

The commitment of the cabinet of Uganda to pay all monies due to Mengo is a good development as long as it really gets implemented. What is disappointing is how Government requests the Mengo establishment to put in its invoice for the long outstanding debt. It is believed that Government ought to have official tenancy terms with Mengo and as such should know what in monetary terms is outstanding. The Information minister Kabakumba Matsiko confirmed that Cabinet had discussed issues raised by Mengo in the aftermath of the fire that gutted the Kasubi royal tombs.
“Whatever is owed to Mengo by the Government will be paid once verified and agreed on. When and how is the question,” she said. The issue of when again puts us to square one. Earlier this financial year, it was said that money owed to Mengo was to be paid. By then talk was about shs 8bn; however, a few months to the end of the financial year, the money is yet to be paid.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mr. J. C. Kiwanuka taught at SMACK for 50 years!

Mr. J. C. Kiwanuka, the longest serving teacher at St. Mary’s College Kisubi (SMACK) from 1951 – 2001 made 89 years in July. We thank God for the gift of life he has given to our great Mathematics encyclopedia popularly known as Manoeuvre. He began teaching at Mary’s on October 1st 1951 making 57 years since he reported to teach at his former school. He is a graduate of Nottingham University, got his degree in June 1951, and was sponsored by Buganda Government.
Mr. J. C. Kiwanuka in the DP Government
As a Minister of Education in the short lived Democratic Party Government (for about one year), J. C says that he had the advantage of having been President of Uganda Teachers’ Association (UTA) hence knew many problems that existed in the profession, and following the Lawrence Commission Report with some adjustments, their Government acted on:
1) Improving Teachers’ Salaries and Conditions of Service;
2) They enacted the Teachers’ Pension Schemes for all teachers;
3) Equalised salaries of male and female teachers of the same grade, lay or religious;
4) Awarded 300 scholarships to suitable candidates in all walks of life including tailors, shoe makers, etc;
5) Started Higher School Certificate in Girls’ Schools for example Gayaza High School, Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga and Trinity College Nabingo;
6) Some schools were given initial Government grants, for example Bishop S.S.S Mukono, Kibuli S.S.S, Christ the King Girls’ School (Kalisizo), Mary Hill Girls’ School, Lubiri S.S.S and Kiyira College (Busoga) built by the Kyabazinga.
7) During the one year stay in Government, they J. Cs administration enacted the Board of Governor’s Rules for Senior Secondary schools and Teachers’ Colleges.
8) The Teachers’ Conditions of Service were also enacted.
Manoeuvre says that when he started teaching at SMACK, starting HSC at St. Mary’s had penetrated his mind. He talked the matter over with the Late Brother Louis Chuonard and Brother Oscar Roger both former Headmasters of SMACK. Fortunately, they were also very keen on the idea. The Executive Committee of St. Mary’s Old Boys Association (SMOBA) made an appointment with the Late Governor Andrew Cohen to meet and discuss the matter. The Governor accepted to meet them, they discussed the matter, and on the occasion of the School’s Celebration of the 50th Anniversary, Sir Andrew Cohen broke the news that he had allowed the school to start Higher School Certificate (HSC). Sir Andrew Cohen broke the news that St. Mary’s Old Boy’s Association (SMOBA) was the only body that contacted him on this matter.
Mr Kiwanuka says that he feels very grateful to God for the venture of the HSC, which ended up a success through the vehicle of the Old Boys. The school now gets so many graduates from Makerere University and other Universities. Asked why SMACK has always excelled, Mr Kiwanuka says, “Because of her excellent basic foundation; spiritually, morally, academically.” He further says, “The first three Medical Doctors in Uganda are SMACK products (Dr Bamundaga, Dr Bamugye and Dr Baziwane). He says, “The old colonial idea that there was hardly anybody in Uganda that was capable of reading successfully for a degree was first smacked by a SMACK product. He smashed the theory on the colonialists’ own ground”.

While Headmaster, Brother Anthony Kyemwa more than a father!

Brother Anthony Kyemwa more than a father!
I will never forget the parental care of Brother Anthony Kyemwa former Headmaster of St. Mary’s College Kisubi (SMC). Kyemwa saw the school through very difficult time in the 70’s. The school had no fence but trust the Brother, he was in control. There was insecurity in Amin’s time, but the Brother made it to see us go for preps where teachers at times were scared. He endured through the strikes mostly due to food. I thank the Brother for the parental care. For the students, reading was pleasure (unlike the situation now when cheating of examinations is the norm by a number of students who don’t want to read yet they fictitiously want to show they excel at books. For us we could even compete in bathroom! Those students who would go for Express (reading from midnight to 3.00am) would wake up their friends for Oriental (reading from 3.00am to breakfast time or thereabout). Cooking water with bedsprings for heavy coffee was normal. We were good at summarizing for exams. Brother got respect from students; they could see him from a distance and would get moving very fast to wherever they were required. The Brother gave us freedom to move around Kisubi hill but this never compromised academic standards/excellence. Asked about what led St. Mary’s College Kisubi to be at the height of glory and fame it enjoys as far as academics is concerned, Brother Kyemwa said, “In my opinion, the aspirations of the students and staff led to the rise of the school. There was a strong spirit of competitiveness with other leading schools; that is Kings College Buddo, Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga, Namilyango to mention but a few.” Brother Kyemwa’s message to the SMACK community if they are to maintain the established tradition of excellence is: “Discipline should be emphasized because it is with discipline that one can concentrate on one’s work. There should also be a strong school spirit among the students because this unites them in all aspects.” “When I meet former students of St. Mary’s College Kisubi, they always thank me for having emphasized discipline.” Brother Kyemwa would like to be remembered as one who tried under the circumstances of the time. He tried to keep the school standards up and never down.

Oh God! “How many more need to die on our roads?”

Not long ago, I went for an Introduction Ceremony of a long time friend. On our way back, I wondered whether it was worth risking life to go for some of these functions given our drivers. To the function we had an institution driver who was driving a new vehicle and it is until traffic police warned him about his speed that he realized he was speeding. On the way back, I thought changing vehicles was a better option. It wasn’t! We came while it rained and at times I had to tell the driver to mind our security, and by grace of God we arrived in one piece. Recently a bus crushed into a trailer in Lugazi and the death toll has risen to 40! I remember a time when Idi Amin banned the trucks on roads at night. Given the death rate on our roads, it may be better to have trucks stop traveling at night. 40 people can not perish in accident and we take this normal. Speed Governors are yet to be enforced, and it is a political decision that they are yet to be implemented. There is simply a lot of junk vehicles including buses imported in the country as well as used/old spare parts. After those deaths, what happens to the dependants? Is it any body’s concern? Can we get serious in this country and stop having politics leading in all decisions to be made. If vehicle owners cry about the cost of fitting speed governors, should we scrap them and just let people die? What ever possible ought to be done to have safer road transport

. Govt. Sponsorship promotes Exam Cheating!
If Government removes the Government sponsorship at higher levels of learning, you can be sure that cheating to pass exams will greatly have been fought! The driving force to cheat exams is that even with what traditionally were good grades to take one to the University for a good course and at the same time be Government sponsored is all now history to the extent that one needs to have an average of say B’s not to be sure of Government sponsorship, a situation which is not easy given the 4 principle subjects students offer. Government sponsorship is political, in that Government has political capital in sponsoring some students, however, it makes no sense if the system is wholly abused and Government is not able to bail the country out. We know many of the rich are the beneficiary and many poor students who are bright have to look around for funding, yet if all paid for tuition the discrimination would be more, yet tuition could even be lowered compared to current levels. There is fear that if corruptly based decisions are maintained by Government, the future of the country is a real doom. Strong decisions have to be made to get the country back on the road, short of that, Uganda is simply finished. Money saved would go to infrastructure development and better learning facilities as well as employment creation which graduates target.

President Museveni does not need poverty visits

I am always amazed whenever I hear that President Museveni is on a visit to some district and is really touched by the poverty prevailing in the countryside. He ought to be concerned about the poverty because much of its intensity is directly due to the harsh economic policies of the day, more so given
the global financial crisis.
Finance Minister Dr Ezra Suruma told Parliament on Thursday, 23 2008 that while Uganda is not directly exposed to the risk, the crisis could lead to a reduction in money remitted by Ugandans in the Diaspora, aid flows from donor countries, and foreign direct investment into the country.
The minister’s statement came a few hours after Central Bank Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime - Mutebile told a press conference, called in the wake of the shilling’s slide against the US dollar, that the global economic woes would slow Uganda’s growth.
“We expect the recession in Europe and the US to reduce demand on our exports. This will lead to less earnings from exports, earnings from tourism are also going to be affected,” Mr Mutebile said. “Tentatively, I can say that instead of the 8 per cent growth rate, it will be in the range of 5 or 6 per cent.”
The global financial crisis, triggered by risky loans given to US borrowers and sold on across the world, has been raging for several months mainly in the developed world. Mr Mutebile told a press conference on September 24 that while there was need to be concerned, the effects on the Ugandan economy would be minimal.
The two economic chiefs, however, were forced to raise the red flag Thursday after the shilling fell steeply against the US dollar in this week’s trading. The shilling traded at Shs2,200 to the dollar by close of Wednesday before cooling down marginally yesterday to Shs2,000 after the Central Bank injected $300,000 (Shs600 million) into the market.
“There are already signs of depreciation of the shilling in the foreign exchange market,” Dr Suruma told MPs. “We are watching it very closely and will take the action necessary to encourage exports and stem inflation.” Given the above new development, knowing that things have not been better either for the poor prior to this development, it should be is easier on a macro – level for the president to help the poor people by remaining in his office and dealing with among other things the following:
Creation of new districts/administrative units – not only should there be a ban on this, but actually some created districts should cease to be. This culture of politicking is funny, and also annoying. You get to Kajjansi trading centre where one Town Board would be created, but because people want to reap from politics, here are two town boards to be created in same district one bordering the other and the dividing line is a water passage which crosses Entebbe Highway from the side of Uganda Clays! These would under normal circumstances be in one Town, but trust political schemers, we are to have two towns in what would be one town! Secondly, again under Local Governance, time is now to trim the number of counselors on various councils because supporting them is already to heavy a duty in financial terms to the poor.
Oversized Parliament – we don’t need the oversized Parliament, and the games going on now as regards the Temangalo land saga show you how the institution is gradually losing repute! Less than half the size of Parliament we have can deliver better and even be better facilitated. It is in the mandate of the President to see this a reality if he is really concerned about the poverty.
He should do away with Presidential advisers – much of the work these do if at all they do anyway is supposed to be done by the technical personnel in the Ministries.
Check corruption – if the President does not get the corrupt investigated to the end, he may have to stomach more of what for example Bishop Luzinda said at the burial of Dr. Sebunya. Corruption has reached stinking levels and people can now react in ways which may even embarrass the Head of State. Prosecution should be done to the conclusive end and not just make news that some prosecution is on and shortly after abandoned.
The President need to identify cadres capable of manning critical aspects of the economy which are productive in nature instead of sycophants we always hear about who are useless yet milk the economy.
There is need for cutting all tax rates across the board – this will positively boost disposable income hence the purchasing power for goods and services and chances are that more taxes will be realized, as well as productivity, as high costs of virtually everything are constraining increased economic activity.
Much has to be done to boost agro-based industrialization. It is not clear why this is failing, as this is one basis for export income.

Dr Otuunu is really a mature politician

Dr Olara Otunnu, the new President of Uganda People’s Congress has shown maturity and that he stands for Unity and Reconciliation on appointing three of his former opponents as party executives to drive campaigns for 2011 ballot. Former UPC National Chairman, Mr Yonna Kanyomozi, an ex - Co-operatives Minister during Obote II Government, and Mr Sosparter Akwenyu have been named Special Presidential Envoys. While Mr Henry Mayega, who together with the duo lost the Party President slot to Dr Otunnu at the delegates’ conference, is now Regional Vice Chairperson for central region.
There is a lot we learn from such acts of civilization as this is the way forward in healing wounds.

Uganda People’s Congress National Leadership Team

President: Dr Olara A. Otunnu

Secretary General: Mr. Joseph Bossa

Assistant Secretary General: Mr. Emmanuel O. Ofumbi

Deputy Spokesperson: Mr. Moses Nuwagaba

Party Chairman: Maj. Edward Rurangaranga

Party Vice Chairman: Rev. Fr. Jacinto Ogwal

Regional Vice Chairpersons:
-West Nile: Hon. Dr. Moses Tako Apiliga

-Northern: Mr. Julius Ochen

-Eastern: Ms. Rebecca Ereemye

-Central: Mr. Henry Mayega

-Mid Western: Mr. Matiya Kisembo

-South Western: Mr. Ndiwa Dikora

Regional Mobilisation Coordinators:

-Northern: Mr. Paul Ogwal Olule

-Eastern: Mr. Michael O Osinde

-Mid Western: Mr. John Mary Kato

-South Western: Mr. Gideon Twinomugisha

National Party Treasurer: Mr. Peter Mukidi Walubiri

Assistant National Treasurer: Ms. Winnifred Adio

Leader People With Disability: Dr. Apollo Ekibo

National Women Leader: Mrs. Ruth Masika

Women's Leadership Council:

-Coordinator: (Membership To Be Confirmed,..)

Mrs. Margaret Ateng Otim

National Youth Leader: Ms. Cecilia Anyakoit M

Deputy National Youth Leader: R. Emmanuel Rukundo

Youth Leadership Council:

-Coordinator: (Membership To Be Confirmed...)

Mr. Robert Kanusu

The UPC Council Of Elders:


Justice George Masika

Mr. Zaberio Byabagambe

Mr. Dick Nyai

Mr. Samwiri Mugwisa

Mrs. Mary Tiberondwa

Mr. Silvano Isiagi

Mr. Nasur Ogwang

Mr. Andrew Nyote

Rt. Rev. Bishop Cyprian Bamwoze

Major. Edward Rurangaranga

Office Of The President

Special Presidential Envoy: Hon. Simon Ross Euku

Special Presidential Envoy: Mr. Chris Opoka Okumu

Special Presidential Envoy: Mr. Patrick Mwondha

Special Presidential Envoy: Hon. Yonnasani Kanyomozi

Special Presidential Envoy: Mr. Sosparter Akwenyu

Party Secretariat

Chief Administrative Envoy: Mr. Wagonda Muguli

Hon. Namirembe Bitamazire: Time is now to deal with Examination cheats

Honourable Minister of Education and Sports, Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire, it is true that a number of schools in Uganda are cheating in National Examinations. You can make a difference by coming up with strategies together with the Uganda National Examination’s Board to reduce to acceptable levels the rate of cheating in our examinations.

When some of us move around, the stories are told of how schools are cheating in examinations. My appeal to you is to see this mal – practice is arrested. I have a few proposals to realize the objective:
1) The number of examiners who set papers is a liability. These people are known and rumours have it that some schools invite these people to meet students and chances of leaking set numbers cannot be ruled out;
2) Get Head teachers out of Examination business; at least I have known that these collect papers for their schools. All these procedures help the exam leakage. These people should keep off the schools during examinations until the papers for the day have been taken;
3) The activities of those who set regular papers should be checked. Chances that they receive examination leakages cannot be ruled out;
4) Government should enact a law which leads to nationalization of any school that gets involved in the cheating of examinations;
5) I think Government should get some reward to those who have information regarding the cheating of exams, this is an incentive to arrest the mal – practice.

Hon. Minister you may have to accept the level of cheating in Uganda is beyond acceptable levels. There is a time when at Makerere University when New students were told that if they are sure that they don’t know Mathematics, they shouldn’t mess with registering for Statistics. This means that at these Institutions of Higher Learning, it is common knowledge that schools/students cheat to pass examinations.

Katikiiro has agreat Challenge regarding re-construction of Kasubi Tombs

When people were called upon to raise funds for Kabaka’s Palace re – construction; there were reports that some of the items donated for the work had been diverted. It should be clear that people sacrifice, and it becomes most unfortunate for a few to see it as opportunity to reap where they did not sew. Hopefully, the Katikiiro and all concerned will ensure value for all the works done to re – construct the Kasubi Tombs and at the same time ensure that all funds collected get to the main accounts and that dual control is emphasized. Money is very tempting. The Katikiiro needs to ensure that the controls also control him because he is a human being as all other people are and can be tempted.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Possible methods of fundraising for re – construction of Kasubi Tombs

1. Get to request Telecommunications Companies to initiate sms messages for example: Masiro; have that message sent and each time this is done; say shs 500 could be remitted to the Masiro fund;
2. Have people of Good will open standing orders on their salary and have the amount remitted to the Masiro account;
3. Request each of the districts in Buganda to have their council pass an amount for Masiro construction;
4. Have all FM Radios with Buganda at heart incorporate say shs 1,000 additional to the official charges and have this remitted to the Masiro account;
5. Make house to house fundraising almost similar to how the Mengo Certificates are sold;
6. Go to schools around the country and appeal to students to make some contribution;
7. Collect money after each Church service/mass and send the money to the account;
8. Make fund raising dinners of different categories around the country;
9. Request our musicians to organize and have a percentage of the collection to the Masiro account;
10. Have our missions make appeals internationally;
11. Request land lords who can to part with some fraction of rents earned to the cause;
12. Request all manufacturers in Uganda who have a feeling for Buganda to deduct a small percentage from their sales price for Masiro fund