Posts tagged as: democratic

Liberia: Senate Concurs With House On Us$25m Renewable Energy Financing Agreement

By J. Burgess Carter

The Liberian Senate, on Wednesday, August 15, voted unanimously to concur with the House of Representatives in ratifying the financing agreement (Liberia renewable Energy Access Project) between the Republic of Liberia and International Development Association in the tune of US$25 million.

In the report calling for the ratification, the Senate joint committee on Foreign Affairs, Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources & Environment; Ways, Means, Finance & Budget; and Judiciary, Claims Petitions & Human Rights, “recognized that the loan is critical to the implementation of the nation’s economic stabilization recovery plan, and in furtherance acknowledges the immense benefits Liberia as a nation and people stand to acquire by its ratification.”

According to the report, the loan period is 20 years, including 10 years moratorium; and that the government of Liberia shall pay interest at the rate of half of one-percent (¾ of 1%) per annum on the principal amount; while services charge shall be equal to three-fourths of one percent (¾ of 1%) per annum, while the maximum charge shall be one-half of one percent (½ of 1%) on the withdrawn account.

The purpose of the loan is to generate financing for Liberia Renewable Energy Access Project (LIRENAP), which will increase access to electricity and foster the use of renewable energy sources.

According to the agreement, the grant which is sourced from the Strategic Climate Fund “shall support the scaling up of renewable energy programs under project agreements to be formulated and implemented by the Rural Renewable Energy Agency.

The joint committee in its report recommending passage observed that a portion of this amount shall also be used for investment in mini hydro plants generation in selected areas of Lofa County and also decentralized electrification in the County.

Meanwhile yesterday, the committee on Lands, Mines, Energy & Environment, chaired by Senator Albert Chie, submitted a final work on the long awaited Land Rights Act for debate, endorsement and passage, but due to the voluminous nature of the report, it was voted that debate be deferred to August 22, 2017.


CDC Pulls ‘Biggest’ Crowd

When multitude of supporters of Liberia’s leading opposition party, the Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC), converged… Read more »

Tazara, Zambia Railways Sign Deal to Ply On Each Other’s Line

By By Alfred Zacharia

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) is currently undergoing a massive transformation process as it seeks to tweak its operational efficiency, the company has said.

Tazara managing director Bruno Ching’andu said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the railway line has inked an Open Access Agreement (OAA) with the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) that will see the former extending its operations beyond Kapiri Mposhi.

Under the OAA, Tazara and ZRL will now be able to run locomotives and wagons alike onto each other’s line.

“It will enable us to extend our operational destinations to Lusaka, Livingstone and Ndola in Zambia while ZRL can run all the way to Dar es Salaam. This will help us to attain our target of transporting about 350,000 metric tonnes of cargo in the financial year 2017/18,” he said.

Currently, Tazara transports about 15,000 metric tonnes of cargo per month, suggesting that it hauls up to 180,000 tonnes per year.

“We are now determined to ensure that Tazara becomes a profitable company once again so that it can stop depending on government subsidies. This is just one of the immediate term strategies taken by the management to tweak the company’s performance as we await a long-term solution,” he said.

According to Mr Ching’adu, the government of Tanzania is also taking various measures to improve the company’s operations. It is currently in the process to planting cargo scanners for railway operators at the Dar es Salaam port. “With the scanners, railway operators will no longer use trucks to load cargo from the port since trains will then be able to go all the way to the loading area at the port,” he said.

According to the ZRL chief executive officer Mr Christopher Musonda, the move has come at a time when the Government of Zambia was in the process of effecting a Statutory Instrument (SI) that will compel all bulk cargo exceeding a certain tonnage to move from road to rail.

He said the strategy – which is technically known as ‘the transport quota system’ – aims moving 30 per of the bulk cargo from being transported by roads to rails.

“With the signing today, I believe that this open access train operations deal will offer confidence to our customers and give them a seamless, one-stop carrier,” he said.

Once proved successful, the means of operations will extend further to the Democratic Republic of Congo.


The Tazara Railway links Dar es Salaam Port in Tanzania to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia. The single-track railway is 1,860 km long. The governments of Tanzania, Zambia and China built the railway to eliminate landlocked Zambia’s economic dependence on Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa, both of which were ruled by white-minority governments. The railway provided the only route for bulk trade from Zambia’s Copperbelt to reach the sea without having to transit white-ruled territories. The project was built from 1970 to 1975 as a turnkey project financed and supported by China.


World Mourns Elephant Warrior Wayne Lotter

Wildlife enthusiasts across the globe are in mourning after a man who has been fighting poaching in Tanzania, amid death… Read more »

Plan to Nominate Ex-Governor Ruto Faces Hurdle

By Samwel Owino and John Ngirachu

A proposal to have former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto nominated to the National Assembly to take up the role of Minority Leader has split Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement.

Officials of the Opposition party in Parliament told the Nation that the matter had been brought up at meetings but was not received well by some members.

A section of the party’s leaders are of the feeling that the proposal is legally untenable.


It also emerged that the party has already written to IEBC seeking to replace one of its nominees, ostensibly Knut secretary-general Wilson Sossion.

Two officials of the party confirmed the letter had been written.

“We know it is not legally possible but let us wait for the IEBC response,” the officials who sought anonymity said.


Another source within the party’s hierarchy described the move to have the Chama Cha Mashinani leader enter the National Assembly as counterproductive to the coalition.

It is understood that Mr Ruto himself requested the slot after being defeated in the gubernatorial race by Dr Joyce Laboso.

ODM party chairman and Suba MP John Mbadi promised to get back to us with a comprehensive answer but is yet to do so.

He did not also answer our calls and text messages.


When contacted, ODM executive director Oduor Ong’wen referred us to Ogla Karani, who is the chairperson of the committee mandated to deal with party nominations list.

Changing the list of possible nominees to Parliament submitted to the electoral commission would be difficult because the Elections Act states:

“A party list submitted shall not be amended during the term of Parliament or the county assembly, as the case may be, for which the candidates are elected.”

The proposal has echoes of another in the post-election period in 2013 when the opposition mulled over how to get Mr Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka into the House to lead the Opposition.

That plan did not come to fruition as there were similar legal hurdles in the way.


Opposition MP Urges President Magufuli to Emulate Kenyatta

Arusha Urban MP (Chadema) Godbless Lema has called on President John Magufuli to borrow a leaf from Kenyan counterpart… Read more »

Nine Nairobi MPs Sent Home as New Ones Take Over

By Collins Omulo

Nairobi County voters sent packing nine members of Parliament in the recent General Election.

Only eight lawmakers elected to the 11th Parliament in the 2013 elections have made it back to the 12th one.

The voters’ decision saw political heavyweights swept away.


Only Mr Kenneth Okoth (Kibra), Mr Timothy Wanyonyi (Westlands), Mr Paul Simba Arati (Dagoretti North), Mr James Mwangi Gakuya (Embakasi North), Mr George Theuri (Embakasi West), Mr Yusuf Hassan Abdi (Kamukunji), Mr Isaac Waihenya Ndirangu (Roysambu) and Mr T.J. Kajwang’ (Ruaraka) were spared.

Those sent home are Mr Dennis Waweru (Dagoretti South), Mr John Ndirangu (Embakasi Central), Mr John Omondi (Embakasi East), Mr Irshadali Mohamed Sumra (Embakasi South), Mr John Njoroge Chege (Kasarani), Mr Joash Olum (Lang’ata), Mr Benson Mutura (Makadara), Mr Steven Kariuki (Mathare) and Mr Maina Kamanda (Starehe).


Mr Waweru lost to comedian John Kiarie, alias KJ, twice.

The first time was in the Jubilee Party primary and the second was in the main election, in which Mr Waweru contested as an independent.

Mr Ndirangu lost to Mr Benjamin Gathiru in the Jubilee primary for the Embakasi Central seat, while Mr Omondi was defeated in the ODM primary by political greenhorn and former University of Nairobi student leader Paul Ongili, alias Babu Owino.


Mr Julius Musili Mawathe replaced Mr Sumra.

Ms Mercy Wanjiku Gakuya beat Mr Chege, both in party nomination and in the main election after he chose to go the independent way, to become the only woman MP in the county.

Mr Nixon Korir, popularly known to his supporters as Generali, replaced Mr Olum of ODM.


Former Nairobi mayor George Aladwa defeated Mr Mutura of Jubilee.

Lawyer Anthony Oluoch replaced Bishop Margaret Wanjiru’s son, Mr Steven Kariuki, as MP for Mathare.

Musician Charles Kanyi Njagua came tops in Starehe to replace Mr Kamanda, in a contest of youthful politicians.

He contested against activist Boniface Mwangi and businessman Steve Mbogo Ndwiga.


The Jubilee Party has the highest number of new lawmakers, leading with five.

ODM has three and the Wiper Democratic Movement one.

ODM regained the Makadara and Mathare seats but lost the Lang’ata one.

Germany Extradites Genocide Fugitive Today

By Felly Kimenyi

German authorities will today extradite to Rwanda a man suspected to have helped mastermind the Genocide against the Tutsi in the former Gikongoro Prefecture, now part of the Southern Province.

Jean Twagiramungu was arrested two years ago and has been battling extradition in different courts of the European country until he exhausted all legal means.

He was arrested from the German city of Frankfurt, according to prosecution.

Speaking exclusively to The New Times Thursday evening, Prosecutor General Jean Bosco Mutangana confirmed the development, saying that the suspect was expected in the country late Friday.

“We are ready to process him through courts of law as we have done with other suspects. This is a very positive development in efforts to book those responsible for the Genocide. The implication is that Germany cannot be considered safe haven for these fugitives any more,” Mutangana said by phone.

Twagiramungu, survivors say, used his influence as a teacher to order Interahamwe militia to take arms and kill their neighbours.

“He always brandished traditional arms including machetes everywhere he went. He was seen with such at various roadblocks where several Tutsi were killed,” a survivor from the former Gikongoro prefecture said.

This is the first Genocide fugitive to be extradited from Germany, but in 2014 a court there handed a 14-year jail sentence to Onesphore Rwabukombe, a former district mayor, after he was convicted of a role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Also, Germany has previously tried and convicted two leaders of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an outfit largely made up of Genocide perpetrators that is based in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The two are Ignace Murwanashyaka, the militia group’s founding president and his deputy, Straton Musoni, who were convicted for war crimes and sentenced to 13 and eight years, respectively.

According to Mutangana, the extradition is a “very crucial step towards ensuring justice” adding that this will embolden them to continue hunting for the fugitives wherever they are.

“I believe there are countries that could borrow a leaf from Germany. Of course we have previously had other extraditions from Western countries like Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, Canada and the US, among others,” he said.

Besides these countries, global jurisdictions like the now dissolved International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda transferred to Rwanda suspects of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Despite these efforts, however, some countries remain reluctant to send fugitives to Rwanda, or even try them in their courts of law.

Most recently, a court in the United Kingdom, a few weeks ago, turned down the request by Rwanda to extradite five men who for over a decade have fought extradition efforts despite the glaring evidence pinning them.

These men, the Government and Genocide survivors contend, should be at least tried in the UK if the latter cannot extradite them to Rwanda.

In refusing to extradite, suspects, the UK courts have maintained that there were still no guarantees that the suspects would get fair trial.

This is despite a landmark ruling by both the ICTR and the European Court of Human and People’s Rights, which in 2011 ruled, after extensive investigations that the Rwandan judicial system had the capacity to try any suspect in accordance with international standards.

Ugly Beauty – Ethnicity and Politics in Kenya

opinionBy Ouma Kizito Ajuong

Kenya’s ethnic diversity is both a blessing and a curse. Whereas the diversity is a great heritage to celebrate, ethnicity has been used to create division for political ends. The country goes into elections on 8 August sharply divided along ethnic lines. Kenyan voters will do well in this election to elect leaders who are dedicated to serving the whole country, not sections of it.

31 December 2016 is remembered as the day Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi, now a principal of the oppostion National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition, was enthroned the leader of the Luhya community in Western Kenya. This was a deliberate attempt to fortify the much-desired Luhya unity ahead of the 8 August 2017 general election. It was a move to fill the blank in community leadership left by the late Christopher ‘Kijana” Wamalwa, galvanize the Luhya vote into one basket and give them the bargaining power for a larger chunk of the national cake. While it is easy to condemn the “Mulembe” nation, this is the norm rather than the exception in Kenya. Their neighbors from the Lake region to begin with understand well the concept of ethnic mobilization. The Luo have been a political flock shepherded by Raila Odinga for about two-and-half decades now. The Luo-Nyanza ethnic constituency seems to have hereditarily passed from father to son.

This story is replicated in the lower eastern region with Kalonzo Musyoka as the benefactor of the Kamba vote. Things are not different in the Rift Valley as the Kalenjin community -once the force behind President Moi – today gravitates around the Deputy President William Ruto. Lastly, a copy-and-paste scenario can be said of the Mt. Kenya region firmly behind their son, President Uhuru Kenyatta. As the 2017 general election draws near, the battle lines are drawn as one merger of communities forming NASA goes up against another merger of other communities in Jubilee. Why this? Why are political contests in Kenya centered on ethnic groups and not issues that affect the people? This article attempts to give answers to these questions.

Centrality of ethnicity as a social-economic construct in Kenya

In order to understand the reasons for and effects of ethnic mobilization in Kenya, there is a need to conceptualize ethnicity and to synthesis its origins as a political idea in Kenya. Ethnicity is loosely defined as the state of belonging to a social group usually characterized by common national or cultural traditions. In Kenya, ethnicity defines life. Tribal cultures define nutrition, architectural choices, families, marriages, religion and therefore it is not strange that ethnicity is at the center of politics. The different ethnic groups also practice different economic activities mostly determined by the area of residence within the country. 21st century Kenya, however, presents a situation that calls for a delicate balance on issues of tribalism. While on one hand community and culture are part and parcel of Africans, ethnic-based discrimination, segregation and nepotism are largely frowned upon.

The Constitution of Kenya 2010, which is the ultimate social contract document, illustrates this delicate balance. Starting with the preamble, Kenyans are very proud of their ethnic, cultural and religious diversity as they strive to live in peace as one indivisible sovereign nation. Article 7 defines both the national and official languages in Kenya, which are unifying factors by design, as it also protects the diversity of languages. Article 11 highlights culture as the foundation of the nation. It calls upon Kenyans to promote all forms of cultural expression. Article 10 on the other hand insists on national unity and inclusivity. The supreme law frowns upon discrimination on the basis of tribe, language and ethnicity while Article 44 promotes the right to language and participation in cultural life. Thesw articles are compounded by Articles 32, 33 and Article 36 which allow citizens to form associations of any kind.

Article 45 on marriage and family also recognizes African marriage, another aspect of culture and diversity. Article 159(3) proposes traditional dispute resolution mechanisms where they are not in contravention with the Bill of Rights. This, in a way, acknowledges the role elders play using customary law which is ethnic-based.

Article 91 of the constitution demands that political parties should embrace a national character. This is intended to build a united nation as opposed to an ethnically scattered one. Article 63 is, however, centered on community land, which is purely an aspect of ethnicity. Article 100 insists on affirmative action to ensure inclusivity. Article 94 (2) brings out parliament as a body that represents national diversity. The same requirement is made of the president when making appointments in accordance with his/her functions in Chapter 9 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. Lastly, the issue of devolution in Chapter 11 adds to this running theme with finality. The idea of the people of Kenya seeking devolved units of governance must be due to realization that, although they are a sovereign nation, they are made up of smaller units with different needs and by extension ethnic backgrounds.

Having discussed these, the idea is quite clear that while Kenyans embrace cultural and ethnic diversity, national unity should not be compromised, hence the need for a delicate balance. How does all this play out in politics and elections in Kenya?

Sins of the fathers…

Kenya’s pre-colonial history is the place to start to get a proper grounding on this issue. Records paint a picture of communities with different leadership structures, ways of life, economic activities, languages and aspirations. There were communities in Kenya with kings, famously the Wanga; others had chiefs, while there were those who used the council of elders in running community affairs. Politics was all about keeping the customs and protecting the interests of people in these communities. The colonial masters came with a formal institutionalized government that was meant to help them colonize the people. They came with a new religion meant to change African culture, new laws and a system of marriage. The introduction of Western culture into Kenya still plays a big part in our social-cultural dynamics.

The point of this historical journey, however, becomes clear when the natives wanted independence from the colonial masters. British colonialists were clever enough to ban any national political organization, hence forcing the people to come up with ethnic and regional political parties to push the independence agenda. After independence, President Jomo Kenyatta and the independence-era leadership came together in the name of national unity, dissolved Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) and formed a national mass party, KANU. However, the national unity government was not to last long as political and personal interests among the leaders became greater than the love for country.

Historians points to the 1992 general elections as a victory for Kenya with regards to democracy because Kenya went back to a multi-party system, which had been banned by KANU. As much as that may be true, it is also the point at which the ethnically characterized politics truly came to the fore. The contestants were basically tribal lords who mobilized their people so as to get to power. The 2002 general elections brought a new element into elections in Kenya, which is formation of coalitions of tribes against others. Much as 2002 election was ethnic-based, the country generally felt that it was time for the people to break with the past. After getting to power, President Mwai Kibaki and his government tried to bring the people of Kenya together but it was not to be. Once again, political differences, betrayal and desire for ethnic supremacy were viewed as being more important than the unity of Kenya

The 2007 general election remains a big dent in Kenya’s political narrative. The highly contentious presidential election pitting President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga showed the ugly side of ethnic-based politics. It was tribe against tribe, with people killing one another on the streets, properties being burn and the police and other security forces unleashing hell on innocent civilians. Complete breakdown of law and order brought Kenya teetering on the brink of a civil war. One may argue that the 2007 conflict was just part of the turbulent growth towards democracy and political maturity but there is a view that the ethnic-based politics to date arises from Kenyans carrying forward the mistakes of the founding fathers.

Why ethnic mobilization characterizes Kenya’s politics

As stated above, politics of ethnicity seems to be part of Kenya from the pre-colonial period. Neither the colonial nor the post-independence governments have worked on bringing the country together as one nation. As a result there is very little of a national bond and whenever citizens have to make a choice, they often resort to their strong ethnic ties. Ethnic mobilization appears to be the only known and proven way to go. When politicians in Kenya consult with their councils of elders as is the tradition, they are never concerned about the competence of these leaders, they never seek their visions and dreams. For them (elders), what is important is that the politician understands the customs and is willing to protect the community. This view is held by a huge chunk of the electorate hence the need to use ethni-based politics to win elections.

There is also a need to maintain power and control over resources especially where the resources are scarce. Unfortunately, there are communities within Kenya that have always felt more entitled than others. They, therefore, seek to control resources and are paranoid over lose of control. This naturally creates politics of conflict, hence the need for ethnic mobilization

Low levels of civic education among many voters in Kenya is another reason why ethnicity flourishes. Kenya still has fairly high illiteracy levels and a worse record of civic education. It actually looks like civic education is often left to politicians who are always happy to play the tune of tribe and divisive politics rather than issue-based politics. It is hard to expect issue- based politics when the voters do not understand their true power and what their political representatives owe them. The flip side of the argument is also true, when the politicians are illiterate – and Kenya has witnessed quite a number – there is very little in terms of issues that can be expected from them.

Ethnicity flourishes because over the years there are a lot of Kenyans who have lost faith in political solutions. They feel disillusioned and therefore make their decisions purely on ethnic grounds because they do not care. Unfortunately for Kenya, these people are the middle class, the ones expected to set the political agenda for the country by pushing for issue-based politics.

Are Kenyans patriotic? Is there evidence to show that they hold to national ideas? What is it that holds the people together? It is true that Kenyans are an amazing people. They often come together in times of crisis; but it is also true that as a people, they lack a true national identity. Most Kenyans today do not find pride in the colors of our flag; they are too busy to be in solidarity with the aspirations of our founding fathers and mothers. The fallback position remains the ethnic cocoons.

Ethnic mobilization works best for the political class. When one gets to power primarily as a tribal leader, they perceive their responsibilities are limited to the needs of their community, not the nation. It is, therefore, much easier for them to form ethnic alliances or work for the interest of few ethnic than for the rest of the country.

Corruption in Kenya is often described as a cancer. It is a problem that appears to have no solution, morphing into different forms in successive government. What many people might not know is that corruption isn’t just an issue of personal greed. If one campaigns on an ethnic basis, it behooves them to reward members of the ethnic groups that put them in government. If Kenyans want to deal with corruption, they have to think of how they vote and try to kick out ethnicity as a major factor in elections.

The other effect of ethnically mobilized politics is the danger of civil wars. It is vital for Kenyans to remember that they are not any different from the citizens of Rwanda, South Sudan or even DR Congo, nations that have witnessed atrocious civil wars. Political games based on ethnic considerations have the capacity to burn down a country and leave it in ashes. Institutions and commissions are in place to ensure peace, but there is need to always remember that real peace, just like honesty, and patriotism, are not borne of legislation. They are built into people culturally.

Related to this are ethnic intolerance, hatred and segregation. On the surface it appears absurd that Kenyans can hate one another on tribal basis but one glance at the social media sphere paints a gloomy and worrying picture. Hate speech flourishes because of ethnic intolerance often manifest in crowds at political rallies leading to violence and even deaths.

How do we solve this? Kenyans can’t obviously do away with ethnicity. However, there is a need for the electorate to keep the debate away from tribe. The electoral wars need to be fought on other issues that affect Kenya and there are plenty of those to go round. There is also need for Kenyans to insist on fair representation as well as an accountable leadership.

The author is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a person living with physical disability.

Governor of Bubanza Narrowly Escaped From Ambush

By Lorraine Josiane Manishatse

The Governor of Bubanza ran into an ambush staged by unidentified armed people in the evening of Tuesday 15 August. The incident took place in Gihanga Commune along Bujumbura-Cibitoke road, in the west of Burundi. Police say no one was killed or injured in the attack.

Gunfire was heard yesterday evening at around 8 pm in Gihanga Commune of Bubanza Province on the National Road (RN5) commonly called Bujumbura-Cibitoke road, say Gihanga residents. They say a group of people armed with guns ambushed the vehicle of Tharcisse Niyongabo , Governor of Bubanza.

The governor said those who tried to murder him were not identified. He said he is going to collaborate with security forces to improve security on the Bujumbura-Cibitoke road.

Pierre Nkurikiye, the police spokesman, describes those who ambushed the vehicle of the Governor of Bubanza as armed robbers. “It’s a group of bandits. They are the ones who often ambush vehicles to steal passengers’ belongings”, Nkurikiye said.

He said that despite the rapid intervention of the security forces, the criminals were not identified. “The Governor’s bodyguards fired on the attackers and the latter retreated to the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said.

He said the attack did not cause any damage except the governor’s vehicle which was hit by the bullets.

Nkurikiye denies rumors that the attack was allegedly carried out by Burundian rebels based on Congolese soil. According to Nkurikiye, the ambush staged yesterday on the RN5 did not target the Governor of Bubanza. “The criminals fired on the governor’s vehicle without knowing it. They had ambushed any vehicle that passes to steal passengers, as they often do, “said Nkurikiye.

A person was killed and another injured in an ambush on the same road on 24 July.


Youths Arrested While Going to Tanzania

At least thirty-six young people were arrested on Wednesday 16 August in Ruhororo Commune of Ngozi northern province.… Read more »

CHAN Perfect Chance for Rookies

By Andrew Mwanguhya

Kampala — The 2018 Africa Nations Championships (Chan) due in Kenya provides a priceless opportunity for newbies across the continent to announce their arrivals.

But they will have to first take care of pending duty this weekend to confirm their slots in this domestic players’ tournament, with champions Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) currently having bragging rights.

Uganda are one of 15 nations fighting for this slot, with a trip to Kigali, Rwanda this week determining whether the Cranes will make it a fifth straight appearance at the finals or not.

Stakes are hugely in favour of coach Moses Basena’s men having cruised to a 3-0 first leg victory over Antoine Hey’s Amavubi Stars last Saturday.

Should the Cranes avoid an unlikely 4-0 defeat, they will be on their way to Nairobi for the finals early next year.


That will open floodgates to several debutants at a major continental event. Actually, only six members of the squad fighting to ensure Uganda seal the Chan ticket were in Rwanda for the 2016 event.

Muzamir Mutyaba – two-goal hero against Rwanda last Saturday – Ismail Watenga, Timothy Awany, Isaac Muleme, skipper Bernard Muwanga and Erisa Ssekisambu were part of former Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic’s team that finished in the group stage in the previous edition.

The likes of Geoffrey Sserunkuma, Kezironi Kizito and Frank Kalanda have since left the country for better fortunes while others have simply fallen out of form and favour.

Derrick Nsibambi, Paul Mucureezi and Tom Masiko among others are some of those that are fancied to debut on the continent in Cranes colours should Uganda finish the job on Saturday.

“I’m ready to play my heart out for my nation to win the game against Rwanda,” said Mucureezi, 24, scorer of four goals in the 5-1 routing of South Sudan before Rwanda also fell prey.

Coach Basena believes in his players but also knows they cannot take Rwanda, at home, for granted.

“This is just the first half of the two matches,” he said, “The second and most decisive match is on Saturday. I therefore expect my players to stay focused because it is work half done.”


Squad in 2018 final straight

I. Watenga (Vipers SC), K. Saidi (Proline), T. Ikara (Kirinya Jinja SS), B. Ochan (KCCA), N. Wadada (Vipers SC), J. Adriko (SC Villa), I. Muleme (KCCA), T. Awany (KCCA FC), T. Rashid (Onduparaka), S. Kabugo (Proline), B. Muwanga (SC Villa), P.Musamali (KCCA), M. Waisswa (Vipers SC), D. Bukenya (Vipers SC), N. Kasozi (Synergy), M. Muzamir (KCCA), P. Mucureezi (KCCA), S. Sserunkuma (SC Villa), T.Masiko (Vipers SC), S. Muhammad (Onduparaka), F. Tumwesigye (Vipers SC), S. Kagimu (URA), E. Ssekisambu (Vipers SC), D. Nsibambi (KCCA)

Chan 2016 finals squad and their clubs then

J. Alitho (Vipers), M. Kigonya (Bright Stars), I.Watenga (Vipers), D. Okot (KCCA), R. Kasagga (URA), J. Nsubuga (Bright Stars), I. Muleme (SC Villa), H. Wasswa ‘Dazo’ (KCCA), T. Awany (KCCA), J. Ochaya (KCCA), B. Muwanga (Bright Stars), I.Ntege (KCCA), A. Kirya (SC Villa Jogoo), K. Kizito (Vipers), M. Muzamir (KCCA), F. Miya (Vipers), M. Kiiza (SC Villa), R. Ssentongo (URA), G. Sserunkuma (Lweza), F. Kalanda (URA), C. Okhuti (KCCA), F. Olaki (Soana), E. Ssekisambu (Vipers)

Uganda: Revenue Authority Denies Holding Onto Cancer Machine

By Yudaya Nangonzi & Ali Twaha

Uganda Revenue Authority has denied claims that it is delaying clearance of the radiotherapy machine which was expected to be unveiled at the Uganda Cancer Institute this morning.

According to Dickson Kateshumbwa, the commissioner for customs at URA, the authority already cleared the machine but it is up to the ministry to clear other fees.

“The reports that it (cancer machine) is being held at URA are false. When we do our part and release it, it’s up to the responsible ministry or hospital to take it away. We understand that there are safety issues they have to fulfil [but] we don’t have any claims on this machine,” Kateshumbwa said at the inaugural African Tax Administration forum at Serena hotel, Kigo.

He says the machine was immediately released after lodgement under method one and it is exempted from taxation.

“The entry number is C61459 and it was released and exited from customs. I understand that they have to pay transportation and clearance at the warehouse but that is outside URA,” he said.

Kateshumbwa’s comments come after a flopped ceremony where the ministry of Health had invited journalists to witness the handover of the machine to Uganda Cancer Institute early this morning.

At around 1:24pm yesterday, ministry of health spokesperson Vivian Nakaliika Serwanjja sent an email informing inviting the media.

“Dear all, the honourable minister of health will be receiving the cobalt60 radiotherapy machine tomorrow Wednesday at the radiotherapy department, Mulago at 8:30am. This mail therefore serves to invite you/your media house to cover the event,” reads Nakaliika message.

While some journalists arrived on time, there was no sign of the machine or the minister. They were informed that the function had been postponed. Several doctors at the institute were seen forming small groups, discussing in hushed tones. Many patients who had heard of the machine’s arrival had already lined up for radiotherapy services.

Nakaliika has since written back to the media saying “this event has been rescheduled. We regret any inconveniences caused. We shall keep you updated on the new schedule. Thank you.”

Join us tomorrow Wednesday 16th August as we receive the Radiotherapy machine at the Uganda Cancer Institute at 9:00 Am.#UCI50 #StayingAlive

— UgandaCancerInstitut (@UgandaCancerIns) August 15, 2017

Dr Jackson Oryem, the director of the institute, reportedly told journalists that the machine was still stuck at URA pending clearance of some issues. He said a new date will be communicated.

The radiotherapy machine at Mulago broke down in April last year and procurement of a new one has had to endure endless setbacks, one of them being the delay in construction of a new banker (a room where the machine is housed).

Last week the cancer institute announced on their twitter account that the machine had arrived in the country.

We would like to confirm to the general public that the new radiotherapy machine has finally arrived in the country. #UCI50 #StayingAlive

— UgandaCancerInstitut (@UgandaCancerIns) August 13, 2017

More to follow…


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Mary Arach Wins Big At Young Achievers Awards

By Andrew Kaggwa

Uganda is fast becoming a home of awards and festivals; almost each year, a new establishment is set up in one of the categories.

Only a few though live to see their first anniversary, and the story of the Young Achievers’ awards that took place on Saturday evening at Kampala Serena hotel is one of the few exceptions.

Started seven years back, the Young Achievers awards have since proved to be one of the few award shows that have stayed around and grown bigger with each ceremony – from the days they used to happen in modest rooms to the Victoria room, the shows are becoming calendar events not just for socialites but business minds, innovators and influencers in different fields.

The awards recognize youths that are making a difference in nine categories like journalism, creative arts, technology innovations, agriculture and business, among others.

This saw people like photographer Abdul Zahara, cinematographer Ian Akakwansa alias Sasha Vybez, journalist Raymond Kataha and footballer Farouk Miya nominated for different accolades.

In a partnership with Reach A Hand Uganda, a youth-led organization, the theme for this year’s event was ‘Rewarding innovation and excellence, inspiring the next generation of world leaders’ and aimed at getting young people to be involved with the change they crave.

With nominees and winners like Ricky Papa Thompson, co-founder Safe Boda, or Muhammed Kisirisa, executive director of Action for Fundamental Change and Development, the stories were as inspiring.

For instance, Ricky Papa used to be a gateman at Akamwesi hostel in Nakawa. He later became a boda boda rider before turning into an innovator while Kisirisa came from Bwaise to make a difference in people’s lives.

During the awards show, Akakwansa, a renowned music video director, won the Creative Award for Film and Photography, beating Acess Film’s Haruna Ssebagala, Faces Up Uganda’s Emmanuel Ssekitto and freelance photographer Zahara.

In a video interview, he said when he started out as a photographer, he had no idea this would change him or touch people’s lives.

Famous fashion collector Brian Ahumuza of Abryanz Collection took home the accolade of Creative Award in the fashion category, noting that they started small vending clothes in smaller shops but he is happy he has been able to turn his business into a fashion empire and inspiration.

President Yoweri Museveni was supposed to be the chief guest though in absence, he delivered a video message where he asked the youth to be involved in activities that add something onto them because this is their time to shine.

The biggest award of the night, Overall Winner, went to Zilla Mary Arach, co-founder of Lacel Technologies, who earlier on had picked up the Farming and Agro Processing award, and whose initiative creates different applications that they intend to use to digitize agriculture.

Sadly though, Arach wasn’t present; thus it was a friend that accepted the awards for her, noting that agriculture is a virgin territory that has not been fully exploited by the technological boost.


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