Category archives for: Uganda

Soldiers Beat Man to Death

By James Kabengwa

Grief struck residents of Mutungo ward in Kampala after a resident was killed in what locals called cold blood.

Rogers Waiswa, 28 was beaten into a coma and dumped at Mutungo police post on Tuesday night after allegedly stealing a bag of cement from a construction site of Brig. Matayo Kyaligonza who was not home at the time of the incident. It is alleged that UPDF soldiers guarding the home of Uganda’s ambassador to Burundi, killed Waiswa.

“The information we have is that he had been at the site most of the evening demanding his pay and when it came to night, the guards wanted him to leave.

“We think they started to beat him when he insisted on payment before departure,” Mutungo ward councillor to Makindye Ssabagabo municipality, Ahmed Ssekyanzi told Daily Monitor.

When Waiswa lost consciousness, residents allege that the soldiers dumped him at Mutungo police post cells where he died on Wednesday night at around 1am from bleeding and his injuries.

The chairperson of Mutungo Ms Stephania Mukasa said the deceased had been brought from Busoga to perform support duties for the builders.

Another resident speaking on condition of anonymity said that he met three soldiers as he drove back home.

“Two were in full uniform, another in T-Shirt and military trousers while the other one was in civilian clothes. When they saw the lights they pretended to been giving way. I only learnt they had been beating a resident after the news of his death,” he said.

Police reacts

Kampala metropolitan spokesperson Emiluan Kayima clarified that Waiswa died outside the police cells and that police are investigating two soldiers.

“Two soldiers are being investigated on suspicion that they assaulted and eventually murdered one Rogers Waiswa in Mutungo, Kajjansi. The incident happened on 15th, 8, 2017 when the late was brought to Mutungo police post and his accusers, now our suspects claimed that he had stolen a bag of cement from the construction site where these soldiers are guards,” Kayima said.

“The police post could not accept the “suspect”, because he was badly assaulted. They advised the soldiers to take him to hospital first. He was found dead where he was probably abandoned. Police took the body to Mulago Hospital for post-mortem and mounted a hunt for the soldiers, “Kayima added.

He added that sticks used to whip the deceased were recovered at the construction site. One other person who had come along with the two soldiers was arrested to help with the investigations.

Uganda

Seventh Woman Murdered in Entebbe

Barely a week after the murder of one Sarah Nakajjo, in Nkumba Bufulu, residents of neighbouring Kasenyi were left in… Read more »

Seventh Woman Murdered in Entebbe

Photo: Jobs for Felons Hub/Flickr

By Paul Adude

Barely a week after the murder of one Sarah Nakajjo, in Nkumba Bufulu, residents of neighbouring Kasenyi were left in shock last evening, after the body of Aisha Nakasinde a 25-year-old food vendor, was found murdered in the same way.

Just like the previous women killed in the last two months, Nakasinde’s body was found with a stick inserted in the mouth and another in her private parts.

The Entebbe main Police station OC CID ASP Zachariah Mbabazi told Daily Monitor that the deceased went missing last week, on August 13, when she had gone to pick more food for her stall at Kasenyi Landing site.

A missing person report was filed by the family on August 14. Nakasinde was a mother of two, and a resident of Bugabo village.

Mbabazi noted that the deceased’s body was discovered in a deserted area on a path which was a shortcut to and a small distance away from the landing site.

He however said that no arrests have been made so far in the latest incident, adding that police is set to undertake a disguise strategy to beef up security in the areas of Katabi Town council.

“We hope to develop a disguise tactic to cover majorly Nkumba and Kasenyi where the murders are prevalent,” he said.

Six other women, Sarah Nakajjo Nakintu, Norah Wanyana, Rose Nakimuli, Aisha Fendando alias Kasowolye, Gorrett Nansubuga, and Faith Komugisha, were also murdered in the same way.

Uganda

Former Ambassador Found Guilty of Hate Speech

Former ambassador to Uganda Jon Qwelane was found guilty of hate speech, in the South Gauteng High Court on Friday.… Read more »

Former Ambassador Found Guilty of Hate Speech

Photo: Werner Beukes/Sapa

Former South African ambassador to Uganda, Jon Qwelane.

Former ambassador to Uganda Jon Qwelane was found guilty of hate speech, in the South Gauteng High Court on Friday. Judge Dimpheletse Moshidi said, “The offending statement is hurtful, harmful and incites propaganda hate towards the LGBT community.”Moshidi said that Qwelane must turn to the LGBT community with an unconditional apology within 30 days.

The apology must be published in the Sunday Sun or any National Sunday newspaper and the proof of the published apology must be brought to court.

Qwelane must pay all costs of the proceeds, including those of the postponements and senior council.

The matter would be referred to the Saps for further investigation.

In his column headlined, “Call me names, but gay is not okay”, Qwelane expressed his opinion about homosexuals.

The column was published in the Sunday Sun on July 20, 2008.

In the column – which was accompanied by a cartoon of a man marrying a goat – Qwelane lauded Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s “unflinching and unapologetic stance” on homosexuality.

Qwelane wrote, “There could be a few things I could take issue with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, but his unflinching and unapologetic stance over homosexuals is definitely not among those.”At his last court appearance the court heard that his column was harmful and hurtful towards the gay and lesbian community.Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi for the The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) argued at the time the commission had received 350 complaints in relation to the article – which is the highest number it has ever received.Ngcukaitobi said the words contained in the column had negative psychological and emotional effects on the gay and lesbian community.

News24

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Immunity, or Not, What is Happening With Grace Mugabe?

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has reportedly denied that Zimbabwean First Lady Grace… Read more »

Pambazuka Essays Spur Entreprenueral and Intellectual Debate At Kampala International University

opinionBy George William Nasinyama and Medard Twinamatsiko

Like many young people across Africa, Ugandan youth face the challenge of acquiring appropriate skills and deploying them in achieving their dreams. An essay competition at Kampala International University gave students the opportunity to reflect on this issue and to explore solutions to youth unemployment.

The participation of 15 university students in the essay writing competition in February 2017 in “Your voice matters” project under the FAHAMU-KIU partnership was quite fascinating. In pursuit of social justice, FAHAMU has focused one of its lenses on intellectual engagement with young people to explore solutions to societal challenges in business, agriculture, citizenship, education, environment, governance, migration, culture, peace and security and technology.

The areas covered in the essay competition were relevant, topical and focused on real issues affecting the African peoples. The voices of the youth indeed matter and require utmost support to be heard. This engagement responds to this need and generates strategies to address the emerging issues in the continent. Issues of climate change and environmental conservation, access to capital and entrepreneurship, agriculture and food security, citizenship and the right to nationality, education and professional training, leadership and governance greatly affect Africa. In addition, issues of migration and Africans in the diaspora, religious fundamentalism and culture, the role of peace and security in development as well as use of technology as a tool for innovation and employment creation are fundamental for revitalizing the acumen that Africa would desire to see.

Opportunities for young people in entrepreneurship

The Government of Uganda is striving towards becoming a middle-income country under its Vision 2040. One of the key aspects of achieving this dream is providing much needed skills to the youth, dubbed ‘Skilling Uganda’. This dream is hard to come true if the youth do not have access to capital and fundamental entrepreneurship knowledge and skills to achieve sustainable development. Achieving sustainable development will require significant investment in the attainment of mindset change towards entrepreneurship skills and access to capital. Today, education world over is premised on skills development as a method of learning. The youth, however, require support in accessing capital and starting entrepreneurial ventures.

The Government of Uganda is implementing the Youth Livelihood Scheme (YLS) and supporting access to micro-finance credit facilities. The scheme aims at empowering the youth through access to financial capital and developing entrepreneurship skills. Many youth have enrolled in the scheme although there are still challenges that may hamper the success of the scheme. Among other projects selected and funded include small and medium business enterprises, piggery and poultry projects, vegetable growing and apiculture. The model involves accessing the scheme funds and returning the principal after investment. Policy makers and implementers look at access to financial capital as a pathway to achieving sustainable development. In addition, the government has prioritized the creation of science, technology and innovation (STI) infrastructure in institutions of learning. This programme aims at creating a big number of scientists, engineers and other skilled graduates to fuel industrial development, entrepreneurship and innovation as detailed in the 2009 National STI policy. These strategies, therefore, challenge the youth in higher institutions of learning to harness the available opportunities and strive towards achieving their life goals.

At Kampala International University, we understand the urgency of the matter. The employability of our graduates is very important to us so we have prioritized and designed a number of programs to help prepare our students for a productive job market. From entrepreneurial training, internships and skills enhancement programs, KIU is doing what we can to ensure the best outcomes for our graduates. For example, KIU in collaboration with the Wadhiwani Foundation based in California, USA, is due to launch an entrepreneurship training program for university students and the youth at large. The goal is to provide entrepreneurial skills to the youth enrolled on this program to create campus companies by the time of graduation/completion of the program. In this way, graduates of this program will become job creators and not job seekers. Strategies like this one will in turn contribute to economic growth and enhance national competitiveness.

Current challenges and limitations

The current major youth challenge in Uganda is unemployment, largely due to inadequate skills. This situation has continued to affect the prospects of young people to achieve their dreams. The lack of gainful employment amidst qualifications is a frustrating situation among the youth. Reports from the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) indicate that the 47 universities and 207 other tertiary institutions produce approximately 700,000 graduates annually for only 90,000 employment positions (NPA, 2016; Ahimbisibwe, 2017). This escalates the unemployment situation known to result mainly from less skilled graduates.

According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, unemployment among the youth currently stands at the rate of 20%, where about 60% of the youth are unable to get jobs as a result of courses that are not relevant to the employment and industry needs (UBOS, 2015). Although the government has put in place well designed programmes to equip the youth with financial capacity and entrepreneurship, there are still mind-set challenges, limited awareness and institutional weaknesses that continue to hamper their formidable success. Furthermore, there is inadequate engagement between policy makers, implementers and the youth beneficiaries. This mismatch is detrimental to the success of such initiatives.

Most youth engage in enterprises but such ventures do not stand the test of time, as most do not celebrate their first birthday. This failure is due to limited business acumen among the youth and institutional weaknesses that affect potential success. Investments in youth require systematic processes and prioritization on what the youth are interested in, their capacity to engage and the forecasted returns. Therefore, starting from their own idea is the best approach to cultivate what the youth are able to do. A bottom-up approach is paramount for youth programme success.

Feedback on submissions for the essay competition

Youth engagement through essay competitions on topical issues affecting real people is desirable and relevant in supporting the youth to gain skills in effective research and writing for public consumption. The engagement will be a success if the creative thinking along issues that most affect society is implemented. The creative ideas need support to turn into viable projects. The continuity of this program across Africa will stimulate the spirit of tackling Africa’s own problems using Africa models of development.

The competition at KIU received 15 submissions and three were selected to receive awards, namely, Ladu Moris Emmanuel (Citizenship and the Right to Nationality); Jackob Jonga (Leadership and Governance) and Nasser Kisubi (Environmental Conservation and Climate Change). The winners were all Bachelor of Law students. The engagement of young people to contribute to the process through Pambabuza News Essays Writing Competitions is instrumental and indeed a welcome gesture for pan-Africanism, intellectualism and regionalization.

The platform presents a new chapter of solving some of Africa’s challenges by providing students with an opportunity to share their views and plans for Africa. Bringing students together across Africa will enhance commonality and a spirit of Africanism that will lead to regional confrontation of African challenges. The essay competitions should be extenteded across Africa to give opportunities to young people to appreciate the world around them, develop an idea, hatch it into a concept and develop it into an intervention. KIU appreciates this great partnership and believes in achieving much more in years to come as we continue our quest in ‘Exploring the heights’!

PROF. GEORGE WILLIAM NASINYAMA is Deputy Vice Chancellor Research Innovation & Extension and DR. MEDARD TWINAMATSIKO is Senior Lecturer, Kampala International University.

Museveni Concedes to Oppositon On Proposed Land Law Changes

By Christina Okello

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is to set up a special committee to examine land law after charges that proposed amendments to it will fuel land-grabbing. Plans to sell 10,000 hectares of land for investment have already sparked naked protests in the north of the country.

Opponents of the amendment, which has been in the works for some time, claim that it would allow the government to arbitrarily confiscate land from owners.

“There is already a history that it [the law] would be abused should such a change be done,” Henry Nickson Ogwal, director of Action Aid Uganda told RFI.

For him the bill in its current form goes against the constitution, which says that there must be “prior, adequate, fair compensation before the land is taken from anyone”.

Ogwal is not the only one who thinks that.

Several opposition MPs have been putting pressure on the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) to drop the amendment bill.

On Wednesday, after a heated meeting at the State House, they received a temporary reprieve.

Museveni agreed to set up a special committee to look into the Land Acquisitions Act, and then deliver its conclusions in the coming weeks.

“I see a strong indication that this law will be struck down,” reckons Ogwal, without denying the need for development.

Land-grab fears

“We all agree that there is need for a land acquisition law,” he says. “But the government must settle the land it may require legally and constitutionally.”

Fears over potential land grabs have come to the fore particularly in the northern district of Amuru.

“The government has always wanted that land for the last 10 years, even without the amendment,” the area’s MP, Akello Lucy, told RFI.

However, she does think that the amendment “would actually boost the government in ensuring that they don’t struggle with the people when they want to acquire land” and allow it to sell it off to the highest bidder.

In Amuru’s case that happens to be major investment company Madhvani Group, which wants to build a sugar factory on the 10,000-hectare plot.

It has the government’s approval and the government has been trying to get locals’ agreement. Except that efforts to conduct a survey of the land have been met with resistance.

Naked protests

Last week Lands Minister Betty Amongi was greeted by angry protesters, who stripped naked in protest at the plan.

Images of people being teargassed by police were later published.

Contacted by RFI, Minister Amongi said the survey was going according to plan and had been very successful.

“Yes, she can call it successful, but legally it is not successful because the use of force is not called for really,” asserts Lucy.

“If it was the will of the people, I am not sure they would be needing all that security, actually the security would be the people themselves and not the army and the police that they’ve deployed.”

Lucy maintains that the people of Amuru are not averse to investment, what they are unhappy about is the government’s approach.

“Forcing those who are not willing to give up their land and then intimidating them. That is why there has been really serious resistance.”

Contentious land history

Land is a sensitive issue in Uganda, particularly in the north where there have been long-running disputes over who actually owns what.

“There is a history in this country in the past, when the government had taken the land of citizens for different purposes, including for development projects but without paying them,” explains Ogwal.

In northern Uganda land disputes have often been triggered by former refugees returning from displacement camps seeking access to their land, some of which the government had already sold to the Madhvani Group.

“The government has set the problem it is solving as being failure of government projects to be implemented in time,” says Ogwal.

“Yet it is corruption and inefficiency that is slowing down these projects,” he says. “Amending the constitution is the wrong solution.”

Oboth Warns Parliamentary Committee Colleagues On Land Bill

By GODFREY SSALI

Kampala — The chairperson of the Parliamentary and Legal Affairs committee Jacob Markson Oboth has warned his colleagues against expressing their opinion on the land bill that seeks to amend article 26 of the constitution.

Oboth (MP West Budama) said that though MPs have the right to express themselves over the bill in as far as seeking to legalize compulsory land acquisition for government development projects, the committee must first process it.

Addressing the media at parliament this morning with his deputy Robinah Rwakoojo (Gomba West), Oboth noted some of the committee members have been biased against the bill even before the government has completed its session.

“We all have opinions as individuals but if you come with a bias then you are not worth the salt. We need to listen to all people and get information that will guide us.”

The committee was forced to give the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Kahinda Otafiire and Lands Minister Betty Amongi two weeks to consult and come up with a stronger case for the bill due to resistance from MPs on all sides.

The two week’s time was given because the Ministers failed to answer fundamental questions on what the amendment intended to cure.

However by Monday, when the government was expected to report back to the committee, nothing was done, so the committee has written back to remind the government.

Oboth says the delay has stalled the committee work since they cannot get views from other stakeholders’ before the official position of the government.

Uganda

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Vice President Ssekandi to Head NRM Caucus On Amendment Bill

By GODFREY SSALI

Kampala — The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) Parliamentary Caucus resolved to set up a committee chaired by the Vice President Edward Ssekandi to advise on amendments to land laws.

This was revealed by the Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa (Kiboga) who was flanked by the vice chairperson of the NRM caucus Solomon Silwany (Bukooli Central) while addressing the press at parliament.

Nankabirwa said the caucus met the president on Wednesday at State House and agreed that a ten-man select committee comprising of ministers and MPs will make consultations and report back to the rest on what laws must be changed to fast track land acquisition without stalling projects without removing the right to fair, prompt and prior compensation of project affected persons.

The committee includes Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, the attorney general William Byaruhanga, the minister of Justice and constitutional affairs Maj.Gen. Kahinda Otafiire.

The other committee members are Gaster Kyawa Mugoya (Bukooli North), Denis Hamson Obua ( Ajuri County), Robinah Rwakoojo Gureme ( Gomba West) , Sam Bitangaro (Bufumbira South) , Jackson Karugaba Kafuuzi (Kyaka South)

The committee has been given two weeks.

A section of MPs from the ruling NRM welcomeD the setting up of a select committee to advise on the constitution amendment bill regarding compulsory land acquisition.

Bunyole West County MP James Waluswaka expressed optimism that the committee will do a great job in ensuring that development projects are not delayed by land acquisition issues.

He says that most of the compensation disputes have been in the central region unlike in his constituency in Butaleja district where many were satisfied with the rates from the government valuer for the Standard Gauge Railway.

Amuria district MP Susan Amero said that the bill has received mixed feelings from the caucus with many suggesting that the legal framework for land be amended in accordance with provisions of the Constitution.

Uganda

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Uganda Makes Significant Progress in National HIV Response

By GODFREY SSALI

Kampala — Findings under the Uganda Population HIV Impact assessment survey conducted last year indicate that Uganda’s Hiv prevalence has dropped from 7.3% to 6.0%.

The survey indicates that HIV/Aids is now prevalent among adult women and higher in urban areas.

The findings released by the ministry of health follows a survey conducted last year in 10 regions of Uganda to understand the prevalence and impact it has had on different population segments

The findings show that the national prevalence rate is 6,0% and that HIV is higher in women at 7.1% compared to men at 4.3%.

The findings show that the prevalence is lower in the West Nile region and higher in the central region.

A total of 16,670 women and 12,354 men aged 15-64 years were interviewed and tested for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B in the survey that was conducted from August to March 2016.

The minister for health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng told journalists at Uganda media Centre that the burden of HIV infection in the country is still unacceptably high.

“Among women, HIV prevalence is highest in the age groups of 35 to 39 years & 45 to 49 years, at 12.9% & 12.8% respectively,” said Aceng.

Aceng said that the HIV prevalence rates among adolescents are still high attributing it to complacency and lack of awareness among young people.

The US ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac said that the results show that efforts to fight HIV and Aids have been successful.

She added that there is need to ensure that those of treatment continue to receive attention.

“We need to make sure that the successes (in the fight) of Mother to Child transmission are not reversed,” said Malac.

Uganda

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Nandala-Mafabi – Why I Didn’t Contest for FDC President

By Baker Batte Lule

In the 2013 elections for the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president, the current secretary general NATHAN Nandala-Mafabi put in a strong showing, although he lost to Gen Mugisha Muntu in a highly contested race.

As a result, Nandala-Mafabi, who later claimed there was rigging on election day, was largely expected to once again vie for the seat. However, he stayed away. In an interview with Baker Batte Lule and Olive Eyotaru, he explains why, and is also not shy to take a dig at his old nemesis Muntu.

Many people expected you to stand for the FDC presidency but you didn’t. What stopped you?

Everybody in FDC is free to stand for any position. The other time we were only three candidates [but] now they are five; so, the party is growing.

The more people come on board [to contest], the more things have to change. We must give chance to other people to also come up.

You mean to say that is the only reason you didn’t stand?

I am here making sure that the party operates efficiently, making sure that we identify candidates, train leaders; that’s now my job [as secretary general]. You need someone who is a worker.

I am in this party because we want power and because of that, you need people who are ready to work, not people pretending to be working but are not. I know I am one of the workers. I know most of the villages in this country.

Who are you referring to when you say there are people who are just pretending to be working?

FDC is not a party that should be at the headquarters. What are we doing here? We could be here, say, for two days in a week and the remaining days we are in the field working.

You see, what does the FDC want? It wants power. Where is that power? It’s with the people. If we are not going to the people to look for [their support to get] the power, how will we get it? If the person gets the message from FDC, even if you brought a trillion shillings [as a bribe], he will not change.

Are you not supposed to be part of those people who should be in the villages?

I go to the village; that’s why I am an MP and I am not from the municipality. Let me ask you, how would you go to Bugisu or Teso to convince people to join FDC if your mother, brothers and relatives are not in FDC?

Why not convince yours first? Have you ever asked yourself a question why some people who want leadership in the party want to go to other regions to convince other people to vote them when in their areas they are not there?

We should be realistic, by the way. This election should be about what you are bringing on the table, not what you are taking from the table.

It’s an open secret that you are not one of the biggest fans of [current FDC president] Gen Muntu. It wouldn’t surprise if one said you are referring to him here.

I don’t need to be a friend of anybody; the only thing is that if I have an assignment, I do it as told. And to do my job, we don’t need to be friends; that’s how I live.

If you want friendship, we can go and meet somewhere else; but when we are at work, it’s work. My interest in this party is to take power. I don’t need to be your friend. If you cannot bring your own on the table but you want to pick from the table, it becomes a problem.

There are those saying that you opted out because it was clear you couldn’t win; so, you saved yourself from the embarrassment of losing again.

Who did the poll to show that I cannot win? It is only me who can carry out a poll. To begin with, there was a poll done by the New Vision that showed that I was leading.

If I had contested in this election, I was going to win with a very big margin. You have seen everybody here complaining why I didn’t stand. Even those who supported Muntu are saying we want you. You know why? They know I am a worker. Ask anybody whether they have given me an assignment and I have failed to deliver.

You have seen me in offices; which office has defeated me? I was chairman national economy [committee of Parliament], chairman Pac [Public Accounts Committee], leader of opposition; did you see how vibrant those offices were? So wherever I have been, you see results.

Now that you have elected not to stand, do you have a candidate you are supporting of the five?

Because they are five certainly, I will support one person. I have one vote.

And that person is?

This is a secret ballot, although we have allowed all members of NEC to go and campaign for any candidate they want. It’s only me who is going to remain at Najjanankumbi to keep it for three months.

There seem to be divisions in the party, where some members are for ‘defiance’ and others for ‘compliance’? Are you not worried that this will tear up the party?

We need structures and defiance. Museveni can never give us power just like that. Where is Amama Mbabazi, the man who helped Museveni have all this power; the man who was behind the tapping law, the Public Order Management Act and other bad laws?

Now, he is on this side with me and I told him one day he will be caught. He was the SG for the NRM; they used to vote, now they appoint. If you are going to talk about any secretary general of a party in Uganda, there is only one; this one you are seeing here.

Word doing rounds is that you fell out with Dr Besigye and his defiance group; that’s why they couldn’t back your candidature.

I am a member of the defiance group and in the people’s government, I am the minister for finance. I am a member of defiance; even in my house my children are defiants.

I support Dr Besigye. I am not like Museveni who says squatters are his people but when Besigye comes out to help him defend them, he teargases them.

How would you rate the five years of Gen Muntu?

The five years have expired and he is going to produce his score card of what he has done. So, the delegates will ask him what he has and intends to do. I have worked with him for the last two years after I was voted overwhelmingly. Gen Muntu decampaigned me.

He never wanted me to be voted. He talked to every delegate that ‘don’t vote for Nandala as the secretary general’ and I think that was bad as leader. He said I could only become the SG over his dead body [but] I am here; why is he still alive?

When I came here, I supported him; there is no activity that he wanted me to engage in that I haven’t. In the presidential flag bearer race, they told me, ‘don’t go to the field; they will know which side you belong.’

I sat here for four months doing nothing; I was a prisoner of war. When it was over, we went to the presidential election; you saw me everywhere.

I campaigned in my constituency only twice; on the day of nomination and the last day of the campaign. Who did the campaign? The structures [of FDC in his constituency].

I have heard some people say that Nandala was bought by Museveni to kill FDC. Those saying that, even their mothers cannot vote FDC. They just play on our blood… . During day, they are FDC and at night they are NRM. Even the fuel they put in their cars is NRM. Even the money they eat is NRM. Some of them use others as conduits to get NRM money.

Why are people associating you with NRM?

I don’t know which NRM they are associating me with; do you know any? I have been chairman IPOD and, as chairman, you talk to the leaders of all parties. Who are the leaders?

NRM’s chairman is Museveni. DP has Mao. FDC of course Muntu and in UPC, there is Akena of NRM. So, during Eala, I was writing letters to all of them and talking to them. So, how did you want me to communicate to them when I am not talking to them? Museveni is not my enemy; he is my opponent in politics.

I want to take power away from him. If you are a supporter of Mbale Heroes [football club] like me, when we come and beat KCCA, are we your enemies? We must learn politics.

Some of our people, when they go to Museveni, they go there to eat and they assume that all of us go there to eat.

Where would we fish if not the NRM? We shouldn’t put roadblocks. That’s why in my village, I talk to NRM to convince them to join FDC. We have a problem in FDC when we want money for the party [and] it’s not there, [but] when there is an internal election, there is a lot of money. Where is it coming from? We need to investigate.

New Cancer Machine Not the Best, Says Doctor

By Zurah Nakabugo

Dr Ekwaro Obuku, the general secretary of the Uganda Medical Association, says the new Cobalt-60 cancer machine for radiotherapy services, which arrived at Mulago national referral hospital on Wednesday is not the best for cancer patients since it uses old technology, has many side effects and treats fewer patients per day.

“Cobalt 60 technology was first discovered in 1949… . Cobalt 60 technology has challenges with disposal of radioactive waste, which must be managed by a health sector to avoid side effects,” he said.

However, Dr Jackson Orem, the executive director of the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), balked at this argument, saying the new machine has modern technology and is safe.

“This is a very good machine with modern technology and good service. We also know how to handle the wastes. That is why on the site, here, we have our temporary depository to keep waste securely awaiting for repatriation,” he said.

However, Obuku told The Observer on August 16 that Uganda should have gone for the new Linac or linear accelerator treatment machine, which is safer as it doesn’t generate nuclear waste and treats more patients within a short time.

“With the cobalt-60 technology, you take a minimum of two to six hours treating one patient and in a day it handles only four patients yet sometimes power goes off at Mulago hospital,” he said.

Orem said the machine will handle 80 patients per day and it is very safe to both patients and doctors.

The new cobalt-60 cancer machine has been procured by government and the Geneva-based International Atomic Energy Agency at Euros 640,000 (Shs 2.7bn), including shipping.

However, Obuku said the Linac machine goes for about $4m (about Shs 15bn). He added that government should have invested in the better modern machine or, if not, buy at least five cobalt-60 cancer machines since the patients are increasing daily and one machine is not enough to handle all cases within short time.

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