Posts tagged as: chief

Raila Urges Nasa Supporters to Avoid Infighting Ahead of Main Poll

By Aggrey Omboki And Ruth Mbula

Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga has cautioned the coalition’s supporters against infighting and squabbles, saying Jubilee is the only common enemy.

Speaking at a meeting of Nasa officials at Kisii Sports Club, Mr Odinga asked Nasa members to shun wrangles, saying this will distract them from their objective of dislodging Jubilee from power in August.

“We might have our differences but they should not distract us from the mission of defeating our common enemy which is Jubilee,” said Mr Odinga.

He insisted that the alliance’s 10 million-strong voter base is a reality.

The opposition chief called on supporters to turn out in large numbers and ensure a landslide win for Nasa.

He said Nasa has enough voting numbers to defeat Jubilee in the August 8 elections.

SUFFICIENT NUMBERS

“We have sufficient numbers to [defeat] Jubilee. What we must exercise is discipline, commitment and watchfulness to ensure the victory is ours,” he said.

Mr Odinga said the registered voters in Nyanza and western Kenya are more than four million.

“We have at least 2.7 million voters in Nyanza alone and another 1.9 million in the western region. If we can mobilise at least 2.5 million in Nyanza and 1.5 million in western, we already have a head start of 4 million votes,” said the Nasa flag bearer.

NEXT GOVERNMENT

He reiterated the coalition’s determination to form the next government and urged supporters to turn up and vote on August 8.

“We mean business and are confident of getting the 10 million votes at the polls.

“However, all our supporters must turn out in large numbers and vote in order to ensure that we register an early win,” said Mr Odinga.

He said the alliance targets a 95 per cent voter turnout in the coming election.

“We need each and every voter to report to the polling station early and cast his or her ballot,” the ODM leader said.

Kenya

Former President Kibaki’s Bodyguard Sues For 2002 Accident

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Broke Yanga Breathe Sigh of Relief

Leaders of broke Young Africans have breathed a sigh of relief, after signing a mega 5bn/- sponsorship deal with betting company SportPesa.

The official partnership between Yanga and SportsPesa, on an initial five-year deal was announced during a press conference at the club headquarters in Jangwani, Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Yanga have been walking tightrope, experiencing financial challenges especially after their chief financier and club Chairman, Yusuf Manji was detained for several charges, which forced him out of the club for quite some time.

SportPesa Tanzania CEO, Pavel Slavkov and Yanga ViceChairman, Clement Sanga signed the contract in a ceremony witnessed by club leaders and a section of the club’s ecstatic fans.

Sanga said shortly after penning down a five-year partnership that the deal is a big relief for the club after months of financial difficulties. “This partnership has come at the right time as the club has been going through a difficult period…we really appreciate SportPesa’s support,” he said.

SportPesa move means the club has gained a massive financial boost and that the partnership will enable them to propel the club’s develop programmes. In-fact, Sanga said the club will be looking for more partners, who will support the vision of seeing the club move to another level.

Sanga urged their supporters and other stakeholders to support SportPesa investment by supporting their activities which aim at taking the country football into another level.

The agreement will see the SportPesa brand feature on the club’s shirt starting from the 2017/18 through to the 2021/22 seasons. Speaking after the signing occasion, SportPesa Tanzania, Director of Administration and Compliance, Abbas Tarimba said that the partnership with Yanga aims at ensuring the club follows modern methods of management.

“This is yet another gesture by SportPesa to showcase our commitment to football development in Tanzania. We are more than happy to work with Yanga, a great club. “By assisting such clubs, we believe football will progress to the levels that will improve even the national side,” Tarimba told the gathered press.

“The partnership between SportPesa and Yanga is a joint effort by the two parties aimed at ensuring the club follows modern methods of management and it grows to be self-sustaining,” Sanga added.

Yanga is the second team after Simba SC that SportPesa Tanzania has partnered with since officially opening their operations in the country on May 9. The deal with Simba was sealed last Friday, in which the club will receive similar amount to Yanga for the next five years.

To the pleasant surprise of the fans of the team known as Wekundu wa Msimbazi (Msimbazi Reds), the record agreement was announced during half time of their league clash against Shinyanga-based Stand United at the rocking National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, in which Simba won 2-1.

During the match, Simba players resumed the second stanza wearing jerseys emblazoned with SportPesa across their chests to another rapturous reception from their fans.

SportPesa will also lend their expertise to Simba in helping the club to aggressively market their merchandise. Additionally, both clubs will receive bonuses for winning the Mainland Premier League, Cecafa Kagame Cup and the CAF Champions League titles.

According to Tarimba both Simba and Yanga will earn 950m/- in the first year of the contract, which will also see a five per cent addition per year. The two clubs however, will be required to submit audited reports to SportPesa after every three months in measures taken to ensure transparent use of the money.

SportPesa launched in Kenya in 2014 has also partnership with English Premier League (EPL) clubs such as Everton, Arsenal and relegated sides Hull City and Southampton FC as well as the Spanish league popularly known as La Liga.

The coming of the sports betting firm in the country aims at igniting hopes of sports development and strengthening of the sector in the country.

Rwanda: Tigo Slashes Local and International Call Rates

By Peterson Tumwebaze

Mutesi, a Nyabugogo-based businesswoman, has been finding it hard to communicate with her suppliers in the provinces, which has sometimes caused delays in the delivery of her merchandise.

The Tigo Rwanda customer will, however, now find it easy to coordinate the delivery of her goods following the slashing of call rates to Rwf35 per minute across all networks. According to company officials, calls to the USA, India, China and Canada will also cost Rwf35 per minute.

Announcing the new tariff in Kigali on Tuesday, Yaw Ankoma Agyapong, the Tigo Rwanda chief commercial officer, said the tariff reduction was “a response to our customer needs for a product that offers great value and also enable them to stay in touch with friends and family here in Rwanda and abroad.”

He added that in addition to the reduced call tariffs, Tigo customers will also be able to send an SMS to any local mobile network for only Rwf15.

Before the call rate cut, subscribers paid Rwf40 per minute for local calls; international calls were at Rwf51 a minute and SMS sending cost Rwf26 each.

MTN charges Rwf51 per minute for calls to the USA, India, China and Canada, while it costs Airtel customers Rwf29. For local calls both on and off, MTN charges Rwf45 per minute. Tigo has 3.2 million subscribers, MTN has 4.07 million clients and 1.59 million users are for Airtel,

RURA figures for December 2016 indicate.

Rwanda

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East Africa: Protectionist Policies Are Killing EAC’s Aviation Sector, Warn Experts

By Njiraini Muchira

East Africa’s governments have to decide whether to open up their airspace to competition or continue protecting national airlines that are struggling to remain airborne.

Protectionism, which has been sustaining local carriers, has impeded the growth of the aviation industry and has been blamed for the current exorbitant airfares. And now, regional governments are faced with the hard decision of opening the skies or maintaining the status quo.

Although Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are part of the 44 African states that adopted the Yamoussoukro Declaration, which calls for open skies across the continent, the East Africa Community states have been reluctant to comply for fear of killing local airlines.

The Yamoussoukro Declaration, named after the Ivorian city in which it was agreed in 1999, calls for full liberalisation of the intra-African air transport market by removing all restrictions on access, prices, frequency and capacity.

But the refusal by the EAC bloc to liberalise regional skies is impacting not only the growth of the sector but also tourism and trade, investment, productivity, employment and economic growth.

Benefits of open skies

A new study by consulting firm InterVISTAS on the costs and benefits of open skies in the EAC shows that while aviation in other parts of the world has been recording growth due to liberalisation, in the region it is growing at a snail’s pace.

Over the past decade, intra-EAC traffic has grown by an annual average of 3.4 per cent, compared with an average GDP growth of 7 per cent per annum over the same period.

Although other factors such as regulation, taxes and infrastructure have contributed to the slow growth, the failure by governments to open up their skies has denied the region the benefits that come with market-driven competition.

Experts say liberalisation of East Africa’s airspace would contribute $200 million annually to the bloc’s GDP and create an additional 46,320 jobs. Passenger traffic would also increase at an average of 46 per cent annually.

“Air service liberalisation leads to increased air service levels and lower fares, which in turn stimulates additional traffic volumes and can bring about increased economic growth and employment,” said Rick Russell, InterVISTAS vice-president for aviation services.

Mr Russell pointed to sectors such as telecommunications, utilities, railways and other sectors, where liberalisation has brought about competition and benefits to the economy.

Costly domestic air travel

In East Africa, the domestic air transport market remains protected, translating into low accessibility and affordability.

“Air transport in East Africa is expensive, with high airfares and freight charges,” said Lilian Awinja, executive director of the East Africa Business Council. For instance, a return ticket between Dar es Salaam and Bujumbura costs $988, compared with $850 for a return ticket between Dar es Salaam and Dubai, and $1,410 between Dar es Salaam and New York.

Worse still, one cannot fly directly from Bujumbura to Dar es Salaam; it takes six hours to connect via Nairobi. At times, the journey takes 13 hours, involving three connections.

Currently, Kenya Airways and its budget carrier JamboJet dominate the regional skies, flying to 12 routes out of the 22. The Kenyan national carrier which last week appointed Polish national Sebastian Mikosz as chief executive officer to spearhead its turnaround after several years of tottering on the brink of insolvency.

Late last year, Air Tanzania, which for many years has performed poorly, due to lack of aircraft, was given a shot in the arm when President John Magufuli announced it will in June 2017 acquire a B787-8 to begin longhaul flights to the United States, China, and Russia.

“Governments have a duty to protect their airlines and that is why we are not able to walk the talk in the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision,” said Daniel Malanga, acting director of economic regulation at the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority.

To ensure that local airlines are protected from global carriers seeking to exploit opportunities in the region, governments have opted for bilateral air services agreements, through which they impose exorbitant taxes, landing fees and air navigation charges. Across the region, passengers pay an average of $45 in taxes in each country while airlines pay an average of $350 for an Airbus 320 in the main international airports.

The high cost of air travel in the region has significantly contributed to the stunting of the growth of intra-EAC traffic, with the total existing demand being 2.6 million passengers, excluding domestic services.

While liberalisation will allow new carriers to enter the EAC market, it will offer local airlines a means to restructure and increase profitability by expanding into new markets and gaining access to a wider pool of investment.

LIBERALISATION BENEFITS

AIRFARES IN East Africa could go as low as 9 per cent, if partner states fully liberalise their airspace, according to a new study. This will in turn stimulate passenger demand and increase flight frequencies within the region by 41 per cent.

The study, Costs and Benefits of Open Skies in the East African Community, conducted by the EAC Secretariat and the East African Business Council in collaboration with the Department for International Development and the East African Research Fund estimates that liberalisation of airspace could result in an additional jobs and GDP growth. Other studies have found that liberalisation has led to increased traffic volumes, greater connectivity and choice and lower fares.

Sectors such as tourism are highly dependent on good air access, and East Africa Tourism Association is calling for affordable air transport for the EAC residents. “It is time to recognise the potential of East Africa as a source market. EAC residents should be encouraged to travel within their own countries and region,” the association said.The study recommends open skies and harmonisation of taxation of air passengers and air service charges in the EAC. Other recommendations are improvement aviation infrastructure and security, training of aviation professionals, more private sector investments and removal of foreign ownership restrictions.

By Christabel Ligami

Nigeria: Nama – Achieving Aircraft Landing At Zero Visibility

By Anthony Awunor

Recently, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) made inroads in the area of proper and efficient management of navigational aids which has helped in no little measure to ease landing of aircraft in all the airports in the country. ANTHONY AWUNOR, in this piece, looks at the performance of the agency in that regard.

Perennial recurrence of flight cancellations and delays owing to the weather abnormalities are major challenges airline operators face in the country.

In aviation, the situation becomes more worrisome due to, either heavy rainfall, thunderstorm, cloud including the harmattan haze phenomenon which usually occur towards the end of every year.

Cautious of the above fact, NAMA recently pledged its readiness in landing aircraft at zero visibility just as the agency also revealed its plan to install Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) in no fewer than 18 airports nationwide to ensure safety in the airspace.

Managing director of NAMA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu, gave the hint recently while taking journalists around the Kaduna airport.

According to Akinkuotu, the country has Category 2 ILS’ and had bought 11 new ones which it would be putting in airports including Minna, Benin, Ibadan and some other places while using others recovered on other airports.

He said the Category 2 ILS was effective enough to bring down an aircraft from at least 100feet from elevation and visibility of less than 800metres up to 1000 feet.

“We might also add that quite often we hear our pilots talk about what kind of capabilities we have in the harmattan and this system is a category 2 ILS which will bring us down to at least a 100feet to from elevation and visibility of less than 800 metres up to 1000feet which is quite good.

“Our harmattan can be bad but I am sure that for 95 per cent if not 100 per cent of the time with an operable ILS Category 2 system we should be able to get it every time. So come December there should be no reason or no excuse,” he said.

On replication, Akinkuotu added, “Government has tried, we have an order, contracts for 11 ILS, I know there is Lagos, Port Harcourt, Minna, Benin there is Abuja, Kaduna but they are 11 that are going to be installed. They are brand new but don’t forget that we are going to recover some items, Lagos has an ILS and I think Ibadan too is going to get from the new ones so whatever we recover, we will put them at some of the other airports. I would expect that over time when all of the assets are in we should be able to do not less than 18 fields.”

On the means of installation, the NAMA chief executive hailed the dexterity of the agencies’ engineers stating that they have been doing quite a great job over the years even when underappreciated.

“I must say here that it was done by NAMA engineers which sometimes they are not given the kind of recognition they deserve. Contractors tell us that they fixed it but they (NAMA) engineers fixed it and they have done a very good job as we have calibrated it,” Akinkuotu said.

In addition, NAMA as an agency demonstrated its technical prowess when it delivered its statutory obligation throughout the period that Kaduna International Airport was used as alternative to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja for the six-week runway repair period.

Despite all these efforts by the agency, there was recent allegation in some quarters claiming poor Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) at the airports.

In their reaction, NAMA maintained that its landing aids were working at optimal level, stressing that the nation’s air navigation service provider has always adhered to the cherished rules and regulations of the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) which Nigeria is a party to its charter.

According to a statement debunking the claim signed by NAMA’s general manager, Public Affairs, Mrs Olajumoke Adetona, the ILS/DME and VOR/DME in Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Bauchi airports were calibrated by South African Flight Calibration Company (FSCL) before the closure of Abuja airport for repairs of the runway recently.

It therefore, stressed that all the facilities presented were certified as operating optimally without restriction and within ICAO specifications.

In the same vein, the airspace manager of Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos, Mr Lawrence Ajayi, refuted the claim that ILS at Runway 18L and 18R were unserviceable.

According to Ajayi, Runway 18R has precision approach lighting system which is one of the best in the industry, while 18L has simple approach lighting system because it is not busy at night, saying that both of them are working at optimal levels.

On the radios, he said radio frequency 127.3mhz has an improved range and is working perfectly just as the radio frequency 124.7 mhz is also in good condition and both of them are on presently.

Also refuting the allegation in the said publication, the director of safety electronics and engineering services, Engr. Farouk Umar, said in aviation, there was nothing like epileptic communication.

“It is either you are communicating or you are not communicating. If this were to be true, international flights would not have been coming into the country. Nigerian airspace is safe for both local and international flights,” he said.

He stressed further that “it is absolutely not true that some areas in the airspace have no communication at all.”

On the issue of ILS, Farouk said all the agency’s ILS were on Category Two, lamenting however that “most of the aircraft in the country do not even have the facilities to fly Cat3 because the aircraft need to be equipped with Cat3 facilities to be able to land in zero visibility, just as pilots themselves need to be trained on Cat3.”

The truth according to Farouk, is that “the ILS we have, you need other facilities at the airport and in the aircraft to complement them while the runway and the airfield lightings are not within the control of NAMA. Our ILS is Cat2 and the visibility minima is 800 meters which is okay.”

While advising journalists to check their facts well before rushing to press,Farouk assured that the Nigerian airspace was as safe as it could be anywhere in the world adding that the relative safety in the nation’s airspace over the last few years was indicative of the fact that NAMA is alive to its responsibilities.

Nigeria: Telecoms Sector Contributes N15 Trillion to GDP – NCC

Nigeria’s telecommunications sector contributed over N15 trillion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since the liberalisation of the sector, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, made the disclosure at an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday.

Danbatta said the sector’s contribution to the GDP increased from eight per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 to nine per cent in the first quarter of this year.

He said that since his assumption of office about 18 months ago, the industry had been adding between N1.43 trillion and N1.45 trillion to the economy every quarter.

Danbatta said that his administration had been implementing the eight-point agenda it set out for itself to achieve.

He said that the quality of service offered by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) had not been impressive but that there had been an improvement in the first quarter of this year.

According to him, continuing drop in service quality has really created a huge gap between consumers and the MNOs.

He argued that poor quality of service was a reason for drops in mobile subscriptions.

“The commission will review the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set for the operators to meet, with a resolve that any of the MNOs that failed to meet up will be adequately sanctioned,” Danbatta said.

Speaking on the continuous drop in telephone subscriptions in the country, the NCC chief disclosed that the commission discovered that some subscribers were migrating from Third Generation (3G) to 4G/Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.

“So they would rather use WhatsApp to communicate and even make free calls.

“Consumers are moving away from high tariff services to cheaper and free services,” he added.

The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management of the commission, Mr Sunday Dare, said that the commission had already read the riot act to service providers on poor services.

Dare said that this year’s first quarter KPI result was under review.

He said that there was no deadline on improving QoS on the part of the operators but that sanctions were on the cards.

“NCC is not in the habit of giving deadlines but when we get to giving deadlines, then know that we had sounded it long enough for the operators to improve,” Dare said.

NAN

Nigeria

126 Suspects Arrested As Boko Haram Infiltrate Borno IDP Camp – Army

The Nigeria Army on Wednesday said it had arrested about 126 suspected Boko Haram members at the Internally Displaced… Read more »

Ministry Official Charged With Torture of UPDF Soldier

By Bill Oketch & Isaac Otwii

Dokolo — A principal assistant secretary with the East African Community Affairs ministry has been charged in court for allegedly torturing two people including a UPDF soldier.

Mr James Okuja was on Tuesday arraigned in the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Lira District and charged with two counts of torture contrary to Section 2 (1), Section 4 (1) and Section 5 (a) of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act.

Prosecution states that Mr Okuja, a resident of Wakiso District and others still at large on May 1, 2017 at Dokolo Hotel in Dokolo District intentionally inflicted severe pain or suffering on Pte Paul Ocen by tying, beating and burning him with hot metal as a way of punishing him for suspected criminal trespass to Dokolo Hotel and malicious damage to a toilet water system.

The charge sheet further states that the accused and others still at large on May 1, 2017 at Dokolo Hotel, Dokolo District, internationally inflicted severe pain or suffering on Lameck Owong by way of tying him with a rope, beating, burning with hot metal as a way of punishing him for suspected criminal trespass to Dokolo Hotel and malicious damage to a toilet water system.

However, Mr Okuja denied the charges in court.

He then applied for bail which was granted after his lawyer, Mr Innocent Omara told court that his client has a serious illness, among others.

State Attorney, Mr Waiswa Bengo had protested Mr Okuja’s release, arguing that there was no proof that prison authorities could not manage his said medical condition as stated by the defence lawyer.

Mr Bengo further argued that Mr Okuja would interfere with police investigations.

However, the presiding Chief Magistrate, Alex Mushabe Karocho, granted the accused a cash bail of Shs300,000 after he presenting two substantial sureties, his uncle Faustino Pule and sister Esther Etap Okuja. Each of the sureties was bonded Shs5 million not cash.

“I have carefully listened to the grounds enumerated by counsel for the accused on which this bail application is premised. I have also listened to the counter arguments by the learned State Attorney and court has this to say… … ,” Mr Mushabe ruled.

“The accused is a man of advanced age, he has provided medical proof that he is suffering from medical condition requiring continuous treatment, no evidence has been availed to show that the accused indeed will interfere in investigation in event of release,” he said, adding that allegations of torture have gained notoriety countrywide.

However, the Chief Magistrate noted that it does not in any way erode the grand principle of presumption of innocence till one pleads or is found guilty by a competent court.

The accused will again report to court on May 31, 2017.

Zimbabwe: Air Zimbabwe Banned From Europe… So Is It Safe for Mugabe to Use?

Photo: Flickr

Bad news for Zimbabwe’s national airline which is headed by President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law: it has just has been barred from flying to Europe over safety concerns.

News of the ban, contained in a press release from the European Commission, will deal a blow to the struggling carrier’s plans to resume once-popular direct flights to London.

The European Commission maintains an Air Safety List of airlines that they say don’t meet international safety standards and are barred from operating in the European Union.

One of four banned

Tuesday’s statement names Air Zimbabwe – regularly used by Mugabe on his overseas trips – as one of four airlines added to the list “due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European Safety Agency”. All five of Air Zimbabwe’s planes were grounded in April, the Zimbabwe Independent reported. It’s not clear whether all five are now back in the skies.

London flights stopped

Debt-riddled Air Zimbabwe doesn’t currently offer flights to Europe. Flights to London were discontinued in 2012 after one of the airline’s Boeings was seized at Gatwick over an unpaid debt. These days passengers occasionally post updates of problems with internal Air Zimbabwe flights or flights connecting Zimbabwe to neighbouring South Africa. SA-based journalist Audrey Chimwanda at the weekend posted a photo of herself on an Air Zim flight from Joburg to Harare which had just four passengers (though two days later she reported that the return flight was “almost full”). There have also been claims of handwritten boarding passes.

Nepotism charges

Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore was last October given the position of Chief Operations Officer at the airline, with the former pilot tasked with helping to turn around the company’s fortunes. While critics said the appointment was a clear case of nepotism, officials maintained Chikore excelled during the interviews and hadn’t been favoured because of his links to the First Family.

Ban could be lifted

The commission’s statement said: “The EU Air Safety List seeks to ensure the highest level of air safety for Europeans citizens.” It said a total of 181 banned airlines from 16 countries should take heart from the case of Benin and Mozambique, whose airlines had their bans lifted on Tuesday.

“I am glad that we are able to take all carriers from Benin and Mozambique out of the air safety list. It shows that work and co-operation pays off,” commissioner for transport, Violeta Bulc was quoted as saying.

Fit for the president?

The British government has advised its staff against using Air Zimbabwe, according to an update on the British embassy in Harare’s website.

There’s been no official reaction yet from the Zimbabwean authorities to the European ban on Air Zimbabwe, though as former Chronicle editor Mduduzi Mathuthu (@mathuthu) tweeted: “In wake of EU ban we should be asking if Air Zimbabwe aircraft fit to be carrying any passengers, including President.”

It’s understood that a plane was leased from Bahrain for Mugabe in March.

Source: News24

Zimbabwe

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Uganda: Monitor Partners With aBi to Boost Agriculture

By Godfrey Lugaaju & Eseri Watsemwa

Kampala — Monitor Publications Limited (MPL) has partnered with Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi) in the forthcoming farm clinics to promote a competitive, private sector agribusiness development and enhance wealth creation in Uganda.

The partnership that was sealed yesterday at aBi premises saw aBi fund the Seeds of Gold campaign with Shs100m to support the execution of the farm clinics and the Climate Smart Symposium.

Under the theme ‘Climate smart farming’, the partnership will aim at providing practical information, knowledge, training and solutions for agribusiness through increasing awareness and enhance adaptation and mitigation against the impact of climate change.

Mr Andre Dellevoet, the Chief Executive Officer of aBi, said it is essential to counter some of the threats of agribusiness something Daily Monitor has been doing for the last four years in practical trainings dubbed ‘Seeds of Gold farm clinics’ which have tackled aspects to do with fish farming, goat rearing , pig production, poultry, and diary.

“Seeds of Gold is one of the key media initiatives in the country to make the agribusiness people aware of modern farming and specific topics within agribusiness that matter most to the sector,” he said, adding that aBi is seeing this as a very important platform to reach out to farmers across the country.

Ms Victoria Ssekitoleko, a board member of aBi, said it is important to underline the importance of information in agriculture as whatever we do agriculture will remain the backbone of Uganda.

“We are happy to see that programmes like Seeds of Gold are now on board and while we have done a bit, a few people know about it. We shall appreciate if we get timely information because apparently, if we had acted in time, may be information about the army worm would be going around Africa and not just Uganda. We shall generate information and will be relying on you to spread the information,” she said.

Mr Tonny Glencross, MPL’s Managing Director, said Monitor has been involved in farming with a weekly magazine Seeds of Gold which has also started airing on television as a programme.

“As much as we can educate farmers to take them to another level, we have different kinds like subsistence, commercial and we try to talk to all of them to grow the industry as it is a crucial sector of the economy,” he said, stating that this is the second time aBi is partnering with MPL with a difference of taking the farm clinic outside Kampala in the East, West and the North this time round.

“We are going to focus on beans, chillis, banana, diary, passion fruit, this time round and we have got agricultural experts from Mbarara and Makerere to train and educate communities to be substantially better,” he said.

Sarah Nalule MPL head of marketing for MPL, said they have also put in place a symposium where farmer groups and experts will make sure that information is disseminated in a friendly manner. “Based on the feedback we got from the farmers, they have challenges to do with climate change. A lot of information has been put together to help curb this but the agricultural sector at the grass root does not have this information or even when they receive the information it is not put in a format they can best hence coming up with the symposium to address this,” said Ms Nalule.

Mr Dellevoet said aBi is proud to be associated with the Seeds of Gold initiative as it is in line with aBi’s strategic objective of strengthening competitiveness of Uganda’s agricultural and agro-processing sectors, through provision of various interventions.

“This years’ farm clinics’ theme is in harmony with aBi’s Green Growth Strategy and the selected commodities such as; dairy, horticulture, maize and cereals, are among commodities that aBi supports through its value chain development interventions,” said Mr Dellevoet.

About aBi

It is a group of registered companies; aBi Trust and aBi Finance, is a multi-stake holder entity co-founded in July 2010 by governments of Uganda and Denmark. Its objective is to promote private sector agribusiness development to enhance wealth creation in Uganda.

Election Dispute Tribunals Have 108 Pending Cases

By Richard Munguti

With only two days remaining for the Political Parties Disputes Tribunals (PPDTs) to conclude deciding on the cases arising from the recently concluded primaries, there are 108 undecided disputes among them that of Governor Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), Machakos gubernatorial aspirant Wavinya Ndeti (Wiper), and Nyandarua Woman Rep Wanjiku Muhia.

The tribunal has given a jail warning to Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju if the party presents the name of Senator Chris Obure to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as its gubernatorial candidate for Kisii County. Mr Obure’s nomination has been challenged by four petitioners led by Mr Alfred Nyangweso and Mary Okemwa.

Also the certificate issued to Mr wa Iria has been cancelled as well as that of Ms Muhia.

Jubilee Party has been directed to repeat nominations for Endebess within 72 hours under the watch of a returning officer from outside the area.

As the two tribunals appointed by Chief Justice David Maraga worked late into the night to conclude the 263 disputes arising from the party primaries, IEBC expressed concern that the tribunal had over shot the timelines allocated to finalise the disputes.

BY FRIDAY

One of the tribunals’ chairpersons Kyalo Mbobu told the Nation that by all means all the hearings must be concluded by Friday.

“We have tried our best to dispose of the disputes as they were filed but the number kept swelling day by day. But come Friday we shall have finished determining those that are pending,” Mr Mbobu, who is sitting alongside James Atemi and Hassan Abdi, said.

“As at today (Tuesday) the tribunals have heard and disposed of 155 disputes out of 263,” he said.

Mr Mbobu is chairing one tribunal while Ms Milly Lwanga Odongo is presiding over the second comprising Mr Paul Ngotho and Dr Adelide Mbithi.

The two tribunals had not sat since Tuesday morning as they were in a meeting and also writing judgements.

The tribunals were expected to conclude the disputes by last Saturday but were compelled to continue this week due to their increasing number.

When PPDT presided over by Mr Mbobu resumed session it ordered Jubilee to hold repeat polls for Entebes within 72 hours. At the same time it dismissed the appeal filed by Dagoreti South MP Dennis Waweru against John KJ Kiarie.

Kenya

EU Trade Deal, Funding Mechanism Top Agenda of Region’s Summit

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between East African Community (EAC) partner states and the European Union,… Read more »

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