Category archives for: Uganda

Zari Focusing On Putting ‘Negative Energy’ Behind Her

Photo: allafrica.com

Zari distances herself from Diamond’s claims on the love affair with Hamisa.

By Paul Owere

One day after Diamond admitted that he had cheated and fathered a child with video vixen Hamisa Mobeto, his fiancée and mother of his two children Zari Hassan is focusing on the positive.

In an early morning post on her instagram page on Wednesday, the socialite and business woman based in South Africa appreciated the concern that her thousands of followers had expressed over the incident.

“Ladies and gentlemen I have heard you loud and clear, the advices, the consolation, the pity, the hurt you are feeling on my behalf most of all the betrayal. But let’s look at this on the positive side,” she wrote.

This left her fans wondering whether she had already chosen to forgive and forget and above all move on.

“When a person chooses to cheat on you it’s not you actually it’s them who usually turn out to have played themselves while they thought they are playing you,” she added.

She instead advised that no one should look down on themselves when such things happen it was never of her making.

“You should never look down on yourself, don’t ever think you are worthless because of another person’s mistake and never blame yourself,” she said.

With her birthday approaching she is looking forward to picking herself and get into a celebratory mood.

“Always look at how to pick yourself up and get going. That said, with my birthday approaching let’s put all this negative energy behind us and appreciate life!”

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Charles Ssenkubuge ‘Siasa’ – Drama’s Living Legend

By Agnes Nantaba

Renowned stage and movie drama actor Charles James Ssenkubuge aka Siasa is cocky, with a loud laugh, and a natural suaveness – what is sometimes called swag. It is, therefore, not surprising that he is a dominant figure in Uganda’s entertainment industry circles. That he has spent 35 years in the limelight merely adds to his clout.

Kampala, Uganda | AGNES E NANATABA | Although he had for years been on stage with plays like “Ndiwulira” and TV with the 1990s series “Kigenya Agenya”, Ssenkubuge became a true household name when he took the radio airwaves by storm as part of the Radio Simba FM early morning show, ‘Binsangawano’ crew. His acting career is so powerful that even his contesting as a presidential candidate in 2001 – which many would highlight as a peak of their life, is a mere blip for Ssenkubuge. Today, he works as the General manager and Special Programmes Director for Salt Media.

“Pastor Bujingo had heard about me and loved my radio work but he also knew that I had accepted the Lord Jesus as my personal savior in 2007 so he called encouraged me to work with him,” says Ssenkubuge.

It all started at Kampala High School where Ssenkubuge and colleagues like Aloysius Matovu and Andrew Benon Kibuuka started acting to pass exams rather than make money. As students of literature, Ssenkubuge says they chose to live the characters in one of the plays, ‘The road’ by Wole Soyinka for an easier understanding.

The acting was a success and Ssenkubuge soon joined Kampala Dramactors. He recalls first foray was with a play titled ‘Mr. Kateete’; a political theme which did not please then-president Milton Obote and the group was disbanded and in 1982. It morphed into Bakayimbira Drammactors.

Ssenkubuge started writing his own scripts kicking off with ‘Agaali amakula’ that would later be picked on as a set book for A-level literature. It depicts a home suffering loss of one parent. Ssenkubuge says it had hints of autobiography.

“I lost my mother, Evan Norah Nakintu Mugambe in primary seven and the environment changed,” he says, “We got detached from our father.” He says play was a massive hit because many identified with the sorrow and tribulations depicted.

Ssenkubuge has maintained that trait of observing real life experiences keenly and arranging them into plays or performances.

Even at Makerere University as a student of Literature and Philosophy, Ssenkubuge still juggled school and acting. Four years after graduation and working with a clearing and forwarding company, Ssenkubuge was awarded a contract with ministry of health to write a play on HIV/AIDS. This was during the scourge’s peak. It was also personal as he had lost four siblings to AIDs. He came up with ‘Ndiwulira’ cautioning people about HIV/AIDS. It was so successful it was was commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni and toured the whole country.

“It was Bakayimbira’s greatest achievement,” Ssenkubuge says. Today, he boasts of writing over 50 plays/ scripts. He says he has retired from stage acting.

Born on December 2, 1962, Ssenkubuge is the last of 23 children of the late Fenenkasi Mugambe. He recalls fighting and killing snakes from as early as eight years as the home was located in the middle of the forest. But he says they are fond memories.

He went to Ssanda Primary school, where his fondest memory was when two helicopters landed in the neighborhood followed by truckloads of soldiers. He would later learn they were searching for of a British High Commissioner who had reportedly gone missing and was later discovered in hiding with an African girl. He went on to Uganda Air Force Primary School Entebbe, Old Kampala Senior Secondary School, Kampala High school and Makerere High School from where he joined Makerere University to pursue bachelors in Literature and Philosophy and later Masters in Drama.

Ssenkubuge is married to Agnes Lillian Ssenkubuge whom he met at Makerere University and they have four children. Ssenkubuge says although theatre seems to be fading, TV could be the savior as it is on the lookout for local content.

****

Charles James Ssenkubuge’s Liteside

Any three things we don’t know about you?

It’s now ten years since I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior. I did it silently for not wanting to be overwhelmed and indeed, it has worked as people can tell the changed personality in me. I am a pastor at Gospel Lite Independent Baptist church in Kansanga. I am also a very kind person.

What is your greatest fear?

The fear of sin; I fear for if the Lord returns now, will he find me ready. As human beings, we make so many mistakes but repent less and that worries me a lot.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I am a very shy person which many people can refute. However, being shy is one of the ingredients of a good actor.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Talking unnecessarily; I hate people who talk unnecessarily a lot although I’ve learnt to deal with the different characters in people. I don’t allow to be influenced by other people.

Which living person do you most admire?

I admire President Museveni for his ability to rule Uganda for more than 30 years.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I often give away my money but I pray to God to help me reduce because I can give away money when I too have pressing needs.

What is the greatest thing you have ever done?

It’s still under construction and just about to materialise. I have been working on it for so long so in a period not so far from now, it will explode.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

I may not know the most overrated virtue but one weakness I have observed about Ugandans is the growing begging culture. Many Ugandans have been made to believe that begging from one person to another is no problem and yet we have to instill a culture of hard work.

What does being powerful mean to you?

Being able to stand in for others like Jesus did.

On what occasion do you lie?

When someone needs money from me and I have not yet got the money, I would rather tell a lie especially when I am short of words. But we all tell lies especially on phone.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I believe that I don’t look bad and I don’t know how it feels like to be taller or shorter so I am comfortable.

Which living person do you most despise?

Presidents Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump for being careless yet they are in control and have the ability to avoid havoc. One of them should come out smarter to avoid havoc.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Caring, hardworking, loving, comforting, listening, problem solver and protective of others.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Loving and listening .

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My wife, Agnes Lillian Ssenkubuge is ever there for me and even before I got born again, she used to understands me and the environment around me. God manufactured her specifically for me.

When and where were you happiest?

I am.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Nothing beats being an actor.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Being an actor for the last 35 years is not a mean achievement.

Where would you most like to live?

Uganda but particularly in my home village for the green vegetation and relaxed environment.

What is your most treasured possession?

My art and talent of communication; I always thank God for my voice and even when I went for insurance, I only insured my voice.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

I have been very lucky to have come out alive and never hit during the hardest political times. But being tortured is incomparable .

What is your favorite occupation?

Being a servant of God.

What do you most value in your friends?

No betrayal, caring, and straight forward.

Who are your favorite writers?

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Chinua Achebe talk about things happening around us. They organise events and write about them to address issues affecting people.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Alex Mukulu has managed to put up spectacular performances to an international level and Marian Ndagire is persistent and tells good stories.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Mahatma Gandhi’s thinking about humanity, Nelson Mandela’s selfless efforts as a visionary leader and Princess Diana.

Who are your heroes in real life?

The world is without heroes.

What is your greatest regret?

I don’t regret anything.

What is your motto?

Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.

****

Zari Denies Knowing About Diamond’s Love Affair with Hamisa Mobetto

By Hilary Kimuyu

Ugandan Socialite Zari Hassan is not a happy woman after her Tanzanian boyfriend and father of her two children Diamond Platinumz admitted to fathering a baby with video vixen Hamisa Mobetto.

During live interview with Tanzania’s Cloud FM , the Zilizopendwa singer admitted to having an affair with Hamisa and even claimed to have told Zari about it.

Zari apparently didn’t like the claim that she knew about the love affair and came out swinging at Diamond.

She took to her Instagram and told the musician that he played himself and not her.

“Haha you are playing yourself, the lies you telling about me knowing about your side chic. Try and fix your mess and stop with the lies. Me being quite doesn’t mean I am stupid. Be very careful with your words,” Zari posted.

Am such an early morning person as some can see on my snap, usually up by 5am. Let ‘ s start this day on a different note, shall we🤗 Ladies and gentlemen I ‘ ve heard you loud and clear, the advises, the consolation, the pity, the hurt you feeling on my behalf most of all the betrayal. But let ‘ s look at this on the positive side. When a person chooses to cheat on you it ‘ s not YOU actually its THEM which usually turns out that they played themselves while they thought they are playing you. You should never look down on yourself, don ‘ t ever think you are worthless because of another person ‘ s mistake and never blame yourself. But always look at how to pick yourself up and get going. That said, with my birthday approaching let ‘ s put all this negative energy behind us and appreciate, LIFE! 🌹

On her long post, she added; “When a person chooses to cheat on you it ‘ s not YOU actually its THEM which usually turns out that they played themselves while they thought they are playing you.”

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Striving for Peace, Decent Life for All, ‘Very Pertinent’ UN Assembly Theme, Says Ugandan President

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, took the podium expressing support for the theme of the United Nations 72nd General Assembly – ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent life for all on a Sustainable Planet’ – questioning why the world’s elites failed to see its pertinence.

“Who would lose if all the people on the globe led a decent life,” he said, namely by having enough food; inoculations for “immunizable” diseases; drinkable water; education; clean electricity; fair-paying jobs; and respectable homes. “Parasitism is the only obstacle to global affluence, prosperity and peace,” he added.

Turning to “the dangerous situation on the Korean Peninsula,” he believed that, as “kith and kin,” the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) would do well to alone discuss their re-unification. He cited a unified Viet Nam, as well as that of Germany in 1990. Noting the strength of a unified Korea, he posed the queries, “Why do some actors fear strong nations in the world? Why should the Koreans themselves (North and South) allow external forces to continue to divide them?”

“We always strive not to allow actors, foreign or local, to divide the African peoples, regardless of the complications involved,” he underscored, saying that Uganda accommodates many African refugees on account of a conscious ideological position – “not to allow any actors to divide us. We only fight traitors.”

On “the small issue” of enforcing sanctions against the DPRK, Mr. Kaguta told the Assembly that Uganda is in compliance. “We do not have to trade with North Korea. We are, however, grateful that, in the past, the North Koreans helped us to build our tank forces,” he concluded.

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UK Investors Irked By Bureaucracy in Uganda

By GODFREY SSALI

Kampala — Investors from the United Kingdom face frustration due to bureaucracy and corruption as they seek to start up business in Uganda.

This was revealed by Lord Dolar Popat from the House of Lords while hosting the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to a dinner in London, Monday 18th September 2017.

Lord Popat was born in Uganda but left the country in 1971 before the expulsion of Asians by Idi Amin. He is currently the British Prime Minister’s trade envoy for Rwanda and Uganda following his appointment in January 2016.

Lord Popat said that Africa is endowed with all the natural resources in the world and the British investors are keen to focus more in the areas of trade and investment. He however, expressed concern with the slow pace of doing business in Uganda.

“The only way we can create employment for the 70,000 graduates every year is through trade and investment. However, things in Uganda are still tough and people get frustrated and leave,” he said.

He cited an example of Rwanda that exploited the gap of the air route to London and started flights between Kigali and the UK following the exit of British Airways.

“When I met President Kagame and told him about this availability, in a few weeks, they bought two planes which are now flying this route. In Uganda, we have been talking of an airline for years. We have a problem; things get delayed,” he added.

The Speaker said that she would take up the issue with the responsible ministries and address the problems that investors face in trying to start business in Uganda acknowledging that bureaucracy and corruption has to be tackled head-on.

“I met two investors at the Uganda-UK Convention who have been trying to get into Uganda for 10 years but have been frustrated. We shall see how to work on these matters,” Kadaga said.

Kadaga added that Uganda is interested in more investment that would create employment and not let the country continue being a market for imported products.

She however, called for fairness in the investment regime especially when it comes to the contracts that the foreign companies sign.

“On top of employing persons from their countries of origin, they decide to import everything and not buy any local products. How can a company like Tullow Oil import beef and tomatoes from Brazil and South Africa respectively,” she wondered.

The Speaker asked Lord Popat to urge the British government to ease the process of securing visas to the UK citing the high costs and long processing times.

“The cost has risen to over 200 pounds whether you get the visa or not. The conditions are not fair. We need equity. If you reject the application, refund the money,” she said adding that ‘when you apply for the visa, you have to wait for your passport for over a month making you a prisoner in your own country.’

Lord Popat said that he will push for a 48-hour turn around for business visas like has been done for Rwanda.

Earlier in the day, the Speaker attended the 4th Teso Development International Conference at the University of East London.

Kadaga called for the revival of good systems of food security and storage as it was in the past.

“Issues of food security and storage are things we need to go back to. We need to marry the existing systems and the traditional methods for this cause,” Kadaga said.

The Speaker, while responding to a request for land in Soroti that the Iteso diaspora intend to build a teaching hospital said that she will call for a meeting of all stakeholders ‘to conclude on land for the university teaching hospital.’

Oulanyah Calls for Calm Amid Tensions Over Age Limit Bill

By GODFREY SSALI

Kampala — The Deputy Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has confirmed that he has received two notices of motion in relation to a constitution amendment.

In his communication to the members, Oulanyah who chaired the Tuesday session said that he had received two motions. The first is from Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi seeking leave of parliament to introduce a private members bill to amend the constitution on issues which include the age limit.

Another motion before the speaker is from MPs opposed to the removal of the presidential age limit and seeking for the establishment of the constitution review commission to get views from the public about the constitutional amendment.

Oulanyah said the notices of motion will be discussed first with the house business committee chaired by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to decide if it can be scheduled for business Thursday afternoon.

The Business Committee is provided for under Rule No.150 of the Rules of Procedure and it is mandated to arrange the business of each meeting and the order in which it shall be taken.

Tension at parliament

Oulanyah warned the MPs against inciting the public by stoking violence even within the precincts of parliament for the police to respect their immunity from prosecution.

The precincts of parliament were tense as the premises had been surrounded by Military Police and Mambas, anticipating a backlash of citizens and MPs opposed to the lifting of the controversial Age Limit Art 102 (b).

THURSDAY: D-Day for Age Limit debate https://t.co/1lwkEj5ZXH pic.twitter.com/GkKA6jUFl9

— The Independent (@UGIndependent) September 19, 2017

Oulanyah defended the heavy security deployment around parliament saying it’s been prompted by mps who have been threatening violence.

Oulanyah who was reacting to concerns raised by the opposition deputy chief whip Roland Mugume Kaginda (Rukungiri municipality) about the unusual deployment that is scaring the mps justified the presence of the security forces noting that they were there to keep law and order given the current tense situation at parliament.

Oulanyah noted that a number of mps have been heard in electronic, print and on social media threatening to cause war in parliament when it comes to the proposed amendment of constitution to lift president age.

“I have watched a clip on social media where an honorable member of this house is calling for a war in parliament that has never been seen over the age limit. When you do that you make parliament look like a scene of crime and you cannot stop police from deploying,” said Oulanya.

Magyezi death threats, Abiriga brawl

The Member of Parliament for Igara West Raphael Magyezi has meanwhile told reporters at parliament that he is receiving death threats because of his private members’ bill on proposed amendment of article 102 (b) of the constitution to lift the age limit of the presidency.

“I have been to police to report threatening messages on my life and family because it is my right to be secure. If you say you will finish Magyezi and his team, what do you mean??” said Magyezi

Magyezi said he has already written to the speaker about his intention to present a motion seeking leave of parliament to introduce an omnibus Private Member’s Bill to amend Articles 102 (b), 108(3a) and 108(4) in a move seen as a significant step towards securing a free run for President Yoweri Museveni to seek re-election in 2021.

Flanked by a host of other MPs including, Juliet Ssuubi Kinnyamatama (Rakai) and (Rtd) Col.Ibrahim Abiriga (Arua Municipality), Margaret Komuhangi (Nakasongola), Robert Musoke (Budiope west) Magyezi noted that they are going to consult their constituents about the matter and that they will not be intimated.

Earlier in the afternoon, Bernard Atiku (Independent, Ayivu County) had a brawl with Abiriga Ibrahim (NRM Arua Municipality) over the now very hot issue of the age limit removal.

Abiriga was seen taking a bottle of cold water to cool off the steam after the scuffle with the police coming in to separate the dueling duo.

Black Africans Were Pivotal in Early Science and Technology

opinionBy Patrick Tabaro

A few years back, a book titled Heresy in the University edited by Prof Jacques Berlinerblau caused uproar, especially in North America.

The book followed Martin Bernal’s Black Athena: The Afro-Asiatic Roots of Classical Civilization in which the author argues that Greeks acquired their civilization from Egypt. In the second and third volumes of the book, Prof Bernal gives archaeological and documentary poof of his assertions. The heresy Berlinerblau refers to is Bernal’s contention that Africans civilized Europe.

In this essay, I would like to demonstrate that the basic discoveries and inventions that have fundamentally impacted human culture and civilization were contributed by Africans.

So much appears from Dr Cheikh Anta Diop’s book, Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology. Since entire books have been written on the subject, I will concentrate on mathematics, science and technology.

It is a good idea to study Martin Bernal’s book because in volume one of Black Athena, he gives the explanation why Eurocentric writers, especially academics, allege that Africans have never discovered or invented anything of use to mankind.

The oldest mathematical statement in written form is found in Africa. This is the Ishango bone found at Ishango village to the west of Rwenzori mountains, straddling the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.

It was discovered by Jean de Heinzelin, a Belgian national, in 1960. The bone is currently believed to be more than 20,000 years old.

An analysis by mathematicians, scientists, and archaeologists shows that the three columns on the bone indicate the instrument was used to construct a numeral system or as a counting tool since the markings on the bone are arranged in prime numbers.

One scientist, Alexander Marshack, after examining the bone microscopically, proposed that it might represent a calendar (lunar) based on the movement of the moon.

The ancient Egyptians are on record as having stated that their origin is the Great Lakes region at the foot of the Mountains of the Moon [Ruwenzori]. We do not know whether there is a nexus between this Ishango mathematics and the knowledge systems of the ancient Egyptians apart from the DNA/melanin similarity.

However, by 4236BC, the Egyptians had made a calendar based on 365 days it takes the earth to orbit the sun. This means the black people of Egypt beat Copernicus (14732- 1543 AD) by more than 5,000 years in discovering heliocentricity that is the phenomenon that the earth moves around the sun, and not the other way round. In 2500BC, Pharaoh Nefrikare sent a military expedition to the Rwenzori mountains.

Further and more complicated evidence of knowledge of heliocentricity is found in the comparison between measurements at the base of the great pyramid at Giza, built by Khufu (Cheops in Greek) and the distance traced by planet Venus round the sun. This indicates that the African people knew that all the planets of the solar system orbit the sun.

The classical Greeks who civilized Europe appear on the historical scene very recently, between 650BC and 300BC when the familiar scientists and philosophers such as Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle appear on Europe’s intellectual scene after their studies in Egypt.

All these Greek thinkers, apart from Socrates, have been established to have studied under priest sages of Egypt. One of the famous Greek scientists was Hippocrates (460-377BC) of the Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors on graduating from medical school hailed as the father of medicine in Eurocentric circles; but he researched from the library of Imhotep’s temple in Egypt to study Egyptian medicine.

As Dr Charles Finch shows in his book African Background to Scientific Medicine, the black Egyptians wrote medical textbooks 5000 years ago, and had specialist doctors.

The diseases of each human organ were under the care of a specialist after careful physical diagnosis of patients. It is for these reasons that the father of medicine was Imhotep, the Egyptian, and not Hippocrates, the Greek according to many authorities.

An apt observation in the same field of medicine is the record made by Dr Felkin when he visited Bunyoro in 1879 in connection with a caesarean operation performed by a Munyoro native doctor. This type of surgical operation was known in Buganda and eastern Congo.

The Munyoro doctor saved both the mother and the baby; in Europe then, only the mother could have been saved according to Dr Felkin.

Evidently, Africa was ahead of Europe in that regard as late as 19th century when European powers met at Berlin in 1884-1885 to dismember Africa.

The mathematics, astronomy and science of the black Egyptians is best explained in the technology embodied in the construction of the pyramids.

From the measurements of the great pyramid, one can calculate the value of pie, the distance from the earth to the sun and the circumference of the earth, to mention only three of the wonders of the pyramid technology and mathematics.

These accounts appear incredible precisely because Asian and Europeans invaders had a systematic policy of destroying African civilization as have done many conquerors in history. African history was written and falsified by victors against the vanquished.

The author is a retired judge.

Army, Police Cordon Off Parliament

By Sadab Kitatta Kaaya

Unnerved by the escalating political tensions, authorities have thrown a heavy security blanket around the parliamentary buildings to stave off possible clashes between the promoters of the lifting of the presidential age limit and those opposed to it.

Large numbers of armed, watchful civil and military police, backed by covert surveillance personnel patrolled the grounds as well as Parliament and Nile Avenues yesterday.

Positioned at strategic points were water cannon trucks among other crowd control gear, bringing a warzone feel to the House precincts and surrounding areas.

Their presence has been interpreted as a not-so-subtle show of force by elements of the security forces, that those opposed to the lifting of the presidential age limit say is meant to intimidate them.

At the end of back-to-back meetings, which drew in Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah, Clerk of Parliament Jane Kibirige and police chiefs, it was resolved that access to Parliament be restricted to the public.

A day earlier, the two Parliament heads met Kampala Metropolitan Police commander Frank Mwesigwa as security agencies increased their presence around Parliament.

On Tuesday morning, the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura also went to Parliament for a closed door meeting with the parliamentary leadership, further heightening the siege mentality.

Kayihura arrived shortly after 10am and hurried into Oulanyah’s office on the 5th floor of the Eastern wing of the parliament buildings. He emerged an hour later to talk to his troops deployed around Parliament even as spontaneous acts of civil disobedience played out around the legislature.

These security meetings were held in anticipation of the tabling of a motion seeking to amend the Constitution and removal of the presidential age limit – a hugely divisive proposal.

The proposed amendment has stoked anxieties at a Parliament where some MPs, especially those opposed to it, are inviting the public to pour into the House to follow the proceedings live. In a brief chat with journalists, Kayihura defended the heavy deployments.

“The deployments are because some people want to disrupt the peace of Parliament, Parliament must transact business in peace [but] everybody is marching. They want to march on Parliament without even clearance from Parliament and police,” Kayihura said.

He did not take any questions. The Observer, however, understood that in his meeting with Oulanyah, it was decided that the public gallery be closed to the public.

This was part of the instructions that Kayihura was overheard giving to his commanders at Parliament. The police have since become very suspicious of people standing in groups anywhere near Parliament.

THREATS

On Monday, four MPs opposed to the lifting of the constitutional presidential age limit were summoned to record statements at police over statements they made last week.

The MPs; Muhammad Nsereko (Independent, Kampala Central), Theodore Ssekikubo (NRM, Lwemiyaga), Allan Ssewanyana (DP, Makindye West) and Barnabas Tinkasiimire (NRM, Buyaga West) were required to report to the Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Directorate (CIID) Kibuli yesterday.

Mark Paul Odong of the police’s directorate of criminal investigations said in the letters that the MPs are accused of offensive communication.

Ssekikubo and Tinkasiimire skipped their appointment with the police because they had “more important issues to attend to at Parliament” leaving only Nsereko and Ssewanyana to go to Kibuli for interrogation. They were later released without charge.

Opposition MPs criticised the police summons, arguing that they are unlawful since what MPs say within the precincts of Parliament is privileged and protected by guarantees of immunity under Chapter 6 of the Constitution.

“The arrest of MPs can’t be accepted, no amount of intimidation, no level of deployment shall scare us,” Kawempe South MP Mubarak Munyagwa said at an opposition press conference.

“I want to tell my NRM colleagues who are pushing for this amendment; if you don’t trust your martial arts tactics, better get off this campaign. We are serious about this, we shall sort ourselves out one on one should that bill be tabled. You defeat us on the floor, we shall follow you, we know where you sleep,” Munyagwa said.

The opposition caucus questioned the heavy deployment around Parliament.

“We are disappointed that the police is being used to address these political issues. In my constituency, a young man has died in police cells because he was opposed to the amendment. When I was walking into Parliament, I saw another man chained to the fence being brutalised by the police,” Denis Lee Onguzu, the Maracha South MP, said.

At a parallel press conference yesterday, Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi, the designated mover of the anti-age limit bill, told journalists that the police came in after he filed a complaint.

“I was receiving text messages threatening me and my family, so, I ran to police and reported the case,” Magyezi said.

The Igara West legislator, a ruling party member, is the chief mover of the controversial amendment, which once passed will clear the way for President Museveni to cling onto power after he tops the current age limit of 75 year ahead of the next election in 2021.

“This is not a Magyezi motion…I hear threats left and right but I would rather hear the arguments; I would love to see Ugandans move away from the culture of threats and insults,” Magyezi said.

Mobile Money Transactions Hit Shs 44 Trillion

By Ali Twaha

A report by Bank of Uganda found that the annual amount of money transferred through mobile money totalled Shs 43.83tn in 2016, up from Shs 32.7tn in 2015. This accounts for a 34 per cent jump in value.

BOU said the volume of transactions also increased by 40.5 per cent to 974.7 million in 2016 from 693.3 million a year before.

The growth is attributed to the convenience of the platform that allows users to send money at their own time of convenience. As at December 31, 2016 there were seven mobile money service providers: MTN, Airtel, Uganda Telecom, Africell, M-Cash, EzeeMoney and Micro Pay.

Uganda Communications Commission 2015/16 annual market and industry report said the number of registered mobile money telephone lines increased to 21.5 million as at the end of 2016 from 21.1 million as at end of December 2015.

NSSF DEAL

Meanwhile, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) last week announced their partnership with MTN Uganda to allow savers to transfer their savings to the fund through mobile money.

According to NSSF, a survey they conducted last year on voluntary contributions found that 67 per cent of the respondents said it would be much easier to remit their monthly contribution through a mobile money platform.

MTN Uganda chief executive officer Wim Vanhelleputte said: “This will enable a significant part of our customers pay their pension and ensure they don’t retire into poverty.”

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NRM’s Abiriga in Fist Fight Over Age Limit

By Sadab Kitatta Kaaya

Tempers flared at parliament yesterday as two MPs exchanged blows in the full glare of cameras.

MPs Bernard Atiku (Ayivu) and Ibrahim Abiriga (Arua municipality) had to be separated by police and onlookers just outside parliament’s main entrance.

It all started after Abiriga, who was with a group of journalists, abused Atiku who was walking towards his car in the parking lot.

“You see that man, he is a fool, he is stupid,” Abiriga said while pointing at Atiku.

Atiku stopped to hear what Abiriga, clad in his trademark yellow outfits, was telling the journalists.

“We were watching the Onduparaka game [with Maroons on Saturday in Luzira], that man [Atiku] gave some football fans money and told them that I and Evelyn Anite [State minister for Investment and Privatisation] are non-Ugandans, that we are Congolese,” Abiriga said.

Abiriga and Anite are some of the most vocal supporters of the proposal to scrap presidential age limits from the Constitution.

Atiku, on the other hand, is among the MPs opposed to the proposal. During the Luzira game, some youths displayed placards denouncing Anite and Abiriga.

“How can he say that I am Congolese yet I come from Rhino camp [in Lower Madi, Arua district]?” Abiriga wondered.

After listening to Abiriga’s rants, Atiku changed course and walked to Ngora MP David Abala. Still, Abiriga interrupted their chat.

“You man, don’t talk to that fool,” Abiriga told Abala who retorted “But you are also a rebel.”

Incensed, Abiriga walked up to the two MPs to fight Atiku. He threw a punch at Atiku but the retired army officer was overpowered.

Abala was joined by police officers manning parliament’s main entrance to separate the two legislators from Arua. The fight came hours after Kawempe South MP Mubarak Munyagwa advised his NRM colleagues to prepare for physical confrontation.

“I want to tell my NRM colleagues who are pushing for this amendment; if you don’t trust your martial arts tactics, better get off this campaign. We are serious about this, we shall sort ourselves out one-on-one should that bill be tabled,” Munyagwa said.

Abiriga has been away from parliament for at least two weeks. He returned yesterday and immediately joined his colleagues to mobilise for Thursday’s anticipated tabling of the motion seeking to amend Article 102 (b) of the Constitution.

While Abiriga asked for water immediately after he had been separated from his more youthful colleague, he later claimed to have dodged Atiku’s kicks and punches.

Atiku said he was forced into the fight by the provocative Abiriga.

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