Posts tagged as: district

Hawkers Threaten to Return to Nakuru Town Streets

By Magdalene Wanja And Reitz Mureithi

Tension is rising in Nakuru town after hawkers threatened to return to the streets.

Residents woke up to a dramatic scenes on Wednesday morning after the hawkers demarcated parking lots along the town’s Kenyatta Avenue, Gusii and Neru Pundit roads, with some writing their names on the tarmac using white chalk.

The hawkers then put pieces of sack on the sections they had demarcated to show seriousness of their intentions.

It was not clear who could be behind the looming return of the hawkers who were driven out of the streets by the county government two years ago.

But the business community in the town suspect a political hand could be behind the turn of events, given that their eviction had been politicised.

CAUGHT UNAWARES

Shop owners in town were caught unawares by the Wednesday morning scenes. Shocked and confused, they stood outside their shops in small groups conversing in low tones.

The battle between the hawkers and the county government has quietly been simmering since January 2015 when they were forcefully evicted from Nakuru Central Business District following a directive issued by Governor Kinuthia Mbugua.

According to the governor, the hawkers’ presence on Nakuru streets created disorder, making it difficult for visitors to navigate their way around the town.

The hawkers were then moved to the bus terminus area where stalls were hurriedly erected and allocated to individuals.

Traders in food produce were taken to the town’s Wakulima market where a temporary structure was established to accommodate them.

CAMPAIGN AGENDA

The hawkers’ eviction quickly formed a campaign agenda for candidates who were seeking various elective posts in the August 8 polls.

Depending on whether one was for or against the eviction of hawkers, two teams were formed.

The opposing team was led by Nakuru East MP David Gikaria and backed by his Nakuru West counterpart Mr Samuel Arama.

Governor Mbugua took reigns of the proposers’ team and was publicly supported by Biashara Ward representative Stephen Kuria.

As news came in on April 27 that Mr Mbugua had lost the Jubilee nomination to Mr Lee Kinyanjui, residents quickly concluded that it was the eviction episode that prematurely killed his political dream.

ANTICIPATED DEFEAT

Vendors in Wakulima and Nacha markets said they had anticipated the defeat as they had vowed to send the governor home.

However, during his campaigns Mr Kinyanjui went on record saying his administration would look into the plight of the hawkers.

During the just concluded Jubilee Party primaries, leaflets warning business owners against nominating Mr Lee Kinyanjui because he ‘intended’ to bring back the hawkers to the streets, were circulated in the town a day before the nominations.

Mr Kinyanjui dismissed the claims terming them as “kicks of a dying horse”.

He said he said he has never made any promises to return the hawkers back to the streets despite being against their forceful eviction.

323 Million/ – Given to Rombo Expected to Accelerate Economic Development

By Queen Isack

Rombo — Rombo District Council has been given some 323m/- for development projects in the 2016/17 financial year, so as to speed up development, it has been revealed here.

Rombo District Executive Director (DED), Ms Agnes John, said the money would be spent on important public projects like water provision, health centres, and ward offices. Speaking to villagers and council officials, Ms John stressed that village and ward officials should manage the projects effectively, a critical aspect being judicious expenditure of funds.

The official emphasized that the people, as the targeted beneficiaries, should keep close track of the projects, by, among other measures, regularly demanding income-andexpenditure records. She furthermore stressed that those who would not comply with government directives would be duly sanctioned.

The DED said the government had allocated 1bn/- for a water project in Ngareni village and 927m/- for construction of roads in Leto village.

The Rombo District Commissioner (DC), Ms Agnes Hokororo, said officials and the people should forge a close alliance in order to facilitate smooth execution of projects and other purposes for which public funds were allocated.

She stressed that the government was determined to elevate transparency and accountability to the peak, since it was only thus that poverty could at best be eradicated, and at worst, reduced.

The Ngoyoni Ward Executive Officer, Mr Isaya Tarimo, said the biggest challenge he faced was little awareness among the people on their importance to contribute willingly and seriously to development projects.

Tanzania

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What We Need to Address the Plight of Midwives

Photo: Dennis Agaba/The New Times

Nurse Esperance Mujawamariya takes care of her patient.

analysisBy Sharon Kantengwa

Stories about midwives usually invoke bad memories for many that have been in the labour ward. But there is also another side of midwives that we rarely get to know. It is a story that brings a smile on expecting mothers. Take for example, the story of Ruth, a mother of one and marketing executive in Kigali.

“The midwife who attended to me was kind and always had a smile on her face every time she entered the delivery room. Being a first time mum, I was worried because of the many horrifying stories I’d heard about midwives. This lady was nothing like that,” says the 31-year-old who requested to be referred to as just Ruth.

The humility and love with which the midwife handled Ruth is a contrast of the beliefs and perceptions about midwives, generally.

Josette Umucyo is a midwife at Muhima District Hospital, and is in charge of the labour ward. With nine years of experience, she has lost count of the number of deliveries conducted. Despite her hands-on experience, helping a woman to deliver is always a lifesaving moment for her and her team that requires them to give their all.

“We take the delivery process as a moment between life and death. Even though it is a joint effort with the mother, we have a bigger hand in this. That is why I put all my mind and energy into it, to ensure that the delivery is successful,” she says.

The plight of the unsung heroes

Despite this life saving role, the work of midwives is sometimes not made any easier.

As Umucyo ushers me into her office, we pass through the labour ward where I catch a glimpse of women waiting for their turn to deliver their babies. Some are all by themselves,calling out in agony because of the painful contractions.

“It’s natural for women to get labour pains but we assist them and teach them ways to reduce the pain and control the anxiety that they may have. We show them how to remain comfortable during those contractions,” Umucyo explains to me.

I did not see any men in the ward and when I inquire why the men aren’t present, Umucyo says, “Sometimes, the men want to experience the moment but they are not given the opportunity because of the limited space in the ward.”

In one of the rooms, four women are waiting to deliver. The midwives who have already conducted nine deliveries have to attend to these too.

The hospital has an estimated 25 deliveries a day, with each shift having only five midwives to attend to all the cases.

“We have only 20 midwives in the labour ward in this hospital and we conduct around 25 deliveries each day,which means that we are supposed to be 70 according to the number of deliveries we conduct each day. Professionally, two midwives are supposed to attend to one mother,” Umucyo says.

Josephine Murekezi, the president of the Rwanda Association of Midwives, says that this poses a threat to the mothers because a midwife is supposed to help the mother from the time of her first antenatal visit to when she gives birth, which does not happen because of the limited number of midwives.

Shortage of midwives?

Andre Gitembagara, the president of the Rwanda Nurses and Midwives Union, reveals that from the required 4,000 midwives, only 1,700 are registered with the council of nurses and midwives and are licensed to practice. Even with the limited number, not all the licensed midwives are in practice.

“We need more midwives, especially in health centres because that is the first point of contact for the mothers. Many of them are in referral, provincial and a few in district hospitals, yet we have 461 health centres,” he says.

Because of the limited number, he further reveals that most of those assisting in deliveries are not actually qualified midwives.

“In many health centres, especially rural areas, we have nurses who will deliver one or two mothers and yet they have to attend to other patients, and that is a big workload. This is why sometimes the A2 nurses (associate nurses) come in to help, yet they are not fully trained,” he says.

Gitembagara adds, “We also have a shortage of nurses yet they also assist the midwives. Some have since joined other business ventures while others are in other educational domains perhaps because of the working conditions. The number of those in practice is pint-sized compared to what we need.”

Murekezi blames this on the little motivation for the midwives in terms of salary and workload.

“This is a profession where we get the same salary, regardless of the experience. There is no promotion yet it is a tiring job,” she says.

She notes that it is a big challenge and a daunting situation especially when the community health workers mobilise expectant mothers to deliver in the hospital and there are not enough midwives there to attend to them,” she says.

What keeps them going?

Despite the challenge, the few that the country has still cling on to their roles and seem passionate about their work. But what keeps them going to serve with a smile?

“I always try my best to focus on the mother and ensure that I help save her life. When I have successful deliveries, I congratulate myself. If my motivation was derived from the salary that I receive, I wouldn’t be here,” Umucyo says.

“I meet a number of mothers regularly who show me the babies I helped them deliver and it gives me joy and a sense of fulfilment. That is my salary,” Umucyo explains.

“When midwives assist in giving birth to a baby successfully, they are happy. This is what motivates us. The ethics we teach also make the midwives passionate. But it becomes worse when they have done something wrong because it is not expected of them,” Murekezi explains.

Prima Uwase, a mother of two, reveals that she has always dreaded delivering her babies from public hospitals because of the ‘unfriendly’ nature some people presume the midwives have.

She prefers having her deliveries done in private hospitals where she is assured of complete attention.

For Umucyo, this is no surprise to her because this should be expected of in the health centres.

“Midwives are said to be rude which is true in some cases. However, due to our overwhelming work we cannot perform to our best capability. We are most times required to alternate our roles to the most vital and urgent ones,” she says.

What needs to be done to solve the problem?

Gitembagara reveals that the country has eight training schools for midwives, which are enough, but the problem lies in retaining them to keep in practice.

As such, he explains that more favourable incentives should be provided to the midwives, especially those working in rural areas.

“The government is doing what needs to be done because we have had progress over the years. However, it should give continuous professional education to those who are already in service as we train the new ones,” Murekezi says.

She explains that the association helps in giving continuous professional development by teaching midwives more professional ways of helping the mother and the new born. It also unites them under cooperatives to save.

While some countries train ‘nurse-midwives’, Gitembagara says that Rwanda plans to adapt to this kind of training in 2020.

“We are harmonising the East African training and we need to train a holistic nurse-midwife where a graduate can be able to provide both nursing and midwifery services.

“This, however, is a long term solution. The mid-term solution is to increase the number of midwives in each health centre with the average deliveries per health centre in mind,” he says.

What it takes to be a midwife

“It just requires the will and the qualification,” Murekezi says.

“We take on those who have passed with two principle passes in Biology and Chemistry in their senior six exams.

“The first year of study in midwifery involves anatomy and physiology combined as a must, and thereafter, they can go for midwifery classes.”

Why should midwives be celebrated?

Every new mother needs at least one person to help her and the baby, to provide proper care for the newborn and also help the mother with day-to-day activities during the days right after birth. Midwives have taken training and acquired the skills to efficiently look after the baby and therefore deserve to be celebrated.

Rebekah Talitha, pharmacist

*************************************

My first experience was okay with many of the midwives being good to me, assisting me right from antenatal with a few others making some unpleasant remarks about my delivery. All the same, I’m glad they came to my rescue in those tough times.

Blessing Kyshe, businesswoman

*************************************

The delivery of a baby happens in a space of time where the mother’s life is at stake. The midwives are responsible for this procedure and because they save lives, they should be celebrated. Their profession will be an inspiration to many.

Doreen Umutesi, online marketer

*************************************

In as much as these midwives derive their joy from saving the new born baby and the mother, they deal with the anxiety of mothers and give tough love where necessary. With their tiring work, I feel they are not being acknowledged enough. Simple gratitude from the parents and the government can motivate them.

Rita Mbabazi, businesswoman

Uganda: Residents Use Community Service to Construct Roads

By Felix Ainebyoona

Mbarara — Residents of Mwizi Sub-county in Mbarara District have lived for years without a convenient access road and connection to other areas, including markets and health centres.

The people in the parishes of Ngoma, Bushwere, Kabaramu and Nyaruhandagazi are disadvantaged in terms of accessing markets, health centres and education facilities.

Travelling in those areas using a vehicle is hard due to the poor state of the roads despite the sub-county being densely populated.

According to the LC 1 Chairperson, Mr Bony Mahatane, Kamurani Village (Ngoma Parish) alone has a population of 2,600 people with Bakiga comprising more than 90 per cent.

He said majority of the population grow bananas, coffee, beans, peas, cassava, sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes as food and cash crops but cannot take them to markets because of poor roads hence selling them cheaply.

Mr Mahatane said the highest price a farmer can sell a bunch of matooke is Shs5,000 yet it costs more than Shs10,000 in areas with better access to roads.

To access the nearest health facilities of Bugamba and Mwizi Health Centre IVs, residents have to walk a distance of more than 20km.

Mid-last year, a eucalyptus forest in Nyarubanga Village caught fire and five people, including a pregnant woman died while trying to save the plantation.

“Five people were burnt by wildfire as they were trying to save the forest. The fire started from a garden where a resident was burning grass. We called for help from police and a fire brigade was sent but could not reach where fire was because there was no road. People died and the forest was destroyed,” says Mr Joram Nuwakuma, the Bushwere Parish internal security officer.

It is this tragedy and other hardships that compelled residents to embark on constructing new roads.

So far, they have constructed a 9km road that starts from Kikunda village in Bushwere parish. It connects to the neigbouring sub-counties of Bugamba and Rukoni East in Ruhaama Ntungamo.

The residents formed a 12-man committee from the parish of Bushere to spearhead the project. The committee comprises chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary, treasurer, four defense personnel, three ‘engineers’ and a mobiliser.

Mr Edward Tuhamize was chosen as chairperson and Mr Aron Banyoya was handed the task of mobilisation.

The residents signed an agreement allowing the road to pass in their land.

“Since people wanted good services, they allowed the road to pass through their land. We had our first meeting on June 27, 2016. We convened another one a week after where we made a minute for people whose land was to be encroached on by the road project to sign a memorandum of understanding and 40 signed,” said Mr Tuhamize.

He added; “After the agreement, we informed the LC3 Chairman, Mr Godfrey Sunday about the project and he supported it.”

“There was a strong need for a good road, there was one but in a very sorry state and passing through a forest where thieves could hide and terrorise travellers was very risky. We decided to construct a road in an open and secure place. This road will steer development since some traders have been cheating farmers because of lack of access to markets,” said Mr Sunday.

Rules and procedure were put in place to guide them on how to operate. Saturday was chosen as the day for the community work. Every able bodied man is supposed to report for the road construction by 8am.

Using the same mobilisation approach, residents of Ngoma Parish have also constructed an 8km road. It starts from Kamurani and goes through Kashekure village connecting to Nyaruhandagazi Parish in Bugamba. The area Member of Parliament, Mr Charles Ngabirano, Resident District Commissioner, Capt Martha Asiimwe and the Chief Administrative Officer, Mr Felix Cuthbert Esoku, while inspecting road works on May 8 promised to provide grader to improve the road.

Voices

“Bulungi Bwansi is the way to go for it enables communities to take charge of their development needs. When I was in South Korea in 2016, I found that this model of community development has been used in most parts of the country; there is self-help and cooperation amongst the communities.”

Martha Asiimwe, MBARARA Resident District Commissioner

“We agreed to work together as community. So they picked me to mobilize the residents for Bulungi Bwansi (community service) every Saturday morning. Mr Aron Banyoya, road committee MOBILISER

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.

Mwambe Is New Tanzania Investment Center Boss

By Deogratius Kamagi

Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli has appointed Mr Godfrey Mwambe the new Tanzania Investment Center (TIC) Executive Director.

In a statement to the media from Director of Presidential Communication issued on Wednesday, Mr Mwambe is replacing the acting TIC boss Clifford Tandari who has been appointed the Morogoro Region Administrative Secretary (RAS).

Prior to the new appointment, Mr Mwambe was a District Commissioner for Manyoni District in Singida region.

The new Morogoro Ras, Mr Tandari is replacing Dr John Ndunguru who is retiring.

The Manyoni DC vacant will be filled soon.

Tanzania

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Board Plans 60% Cotton Output Rise

Mwanza — The government wants to increase cotton production by about 60 per cent in the next three years as it seeks to bring the textile industry back to vibrancy, the Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB) said yesterday.

Director general Marco Mtunga told eight regional commissioners from the Western Cotton Growing Areas (WCGAs) during their visit to the Mwabusalu Seed Multiplication Station in Meatu District, Simiyu Region, yesterday that the goal would be achieved through adoption of best agricultural practices.

WCGAs encompass Simiyu, Shinyanga, Geita, Mwanza, Kagera, Kigoma, Singida and Tabora. “Adopting best agricultural practices including embracing contract farming, supported by adequate supply of quality inputs (seeds, insecticides, sprayers, fertilisers) will raise cotton output by over 60 per cent in the next three years,” Mr Mtunga said yesterday.

TCB is also banking on the adoption and multiplication of UKM08 — a newly certified cotton seed which is expected to improve the quality of cotton lint and yields.

He said the seed was developed through a project that was supported by the government and its development partners.

The two parties supported a research that was conducted at the Ukiriguru Agricultural Research Institute (Uari) to come up with the best seeds that could be used by cotton farmers.

“It has developed a number of new seed varieties and one of them is UKM08 which is currently being multiplied,” he said.

To ensure a sustainable revival process of quality cotton seed, the government has also created an enabling environment for the private sector to invest in seed multiplication, processing and marketing of cotton seed for planting to farmers.

The revival process will involve all stages of seed production from breeder seed, pre-basic seed, and basic seed to certified seed.

Uari will produce both breeder and pre-basic seeds at Ukiriguru and Nkanziga farm in Misungwi respectively then the private sector will collect the seeds for further multiplication at Mwabusalu in Meatu.

“The basic seeds produced in Meatu will be taken to Igunga district to be multiplied to get certified seed ready for distribution to farmers,” he explained.

Some of the advantages of the new seed, according to Mr Mtunga, include the fact that it tolerant to pests, diseases and drought.

Tanzania

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Tanzania: Board Plans 60% Cotton Output Rise

Mwanza — The government wants to increase cotton production by about 60 per cent in the next three years as it seeks to bring the textile industry back to vibrancy, the Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB) said yesterday.

Director general Marco Mtunga told eight regional commissioners from the Western Cotton Growing Areas (WCGAs) during their visit to the Mwabusalu Seed Multiplication Station in Meatu District, Simiyu Region, yesterday that the goal would be achieved through adoption of best agricultural practices.

WCGAs encompass Simiyu, Shinyanga, Geita, Mwanza, Kagera, Kigoma, Singida and Tabora. “Adopting best agricultural practices including embracing contract farming, supported by adequate supply of quality inputs (seeds, insecticides, sprayers, fertilisers) will raise cotton output by over 60 per cent in the next three years,” Mr Mtunga said yesterday.

TCB is also banking on the adoption and multiplication of UKM08 — a newly certified cotton seed which is expected to improve the quality of cotton lint and yields.

He said the seed was developed through a project that was supported by the government and its development partners.

The two parties supported a research that was conducted at the Ukiriguru Agricultural Research Institute (Uari) to come up with the best seeds that could be used by cotton farmers.

“It has developed a number of new seed varieties and one of them is UKM08 which is currently being multiplied,” he said.

To ensure a sustainable revival process of quality cotton seed, the government has also created an enabling environment for the private sector to invest in seed multiplication, processing and marketing of cotton seed for planting to farmers.

The revival process will involve all stages of seed production from breeder seed, pre-basic seed, and basic seed to certified seed.

Uari will produce both breeder and pre-basic seeds at Ukiriguru and Nkanziga farm in Misungwi respectively then the private sector will collect the seeds for further multiplication at Mwabusalu in Meatu.

“The basic seeds produced in Meatu will be taken to Igunga district to be multiplied to get certified seed ready for distribution to farmers,” he explained.

Some of the advantages of the new seed, according to Mr Mtunga, include the fact that it tolerant to pests, diseases and drought.

Tanzania

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Cotton Sector Revival Seen On Contract Farming

The government is determined to revive the cotton sub-sector and increase production in a bid to boost the agricultural sector and the textile industry which at one time was the country’s biggest source of export revenue.

The Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB) Director General, Marco Mtunga said in Mwanza over the weekend that some of the strategies being adopted towards that end include adoption of contract farming and multiplication of UKM08, a new certified cotton seed which is expected to improve the quality of cotton lint while boosting cotton yields in Tanzania.

“Application of Good Agricultural Practices supported by adequate supply of quality inputs (seeds, insecticides, sprayers, fertilisers) will raise cotton output by over 60 per cent in the next three years,” he told eight Regional Commissioners from the Western Cotton Growing Areas (WCGAs) who visited the Mwabusalu seed multiplication Ward in Meatu District, Simiyu Region.

Proper processing of seed by delinting which is the removal of lint from it is critical in ensuring high germination rates and limiting disease spread. Mtunga said the government and donors have supported research at the Ukiriguru Agricultural Research Institute (UARI) to come up with the best seeds that could be used by cotton farmers. It has developed a number of new seed varieties – one of which – UKM08 is currently being multiplied.

The UKM08 has a ginning outturn (GOT – lint as a share of seed cotton) of 42% compared to 34 per cent for UK91, the current major variety, and a 25% higher yield. “As a sector, quality seed forms the basis of quality and high yields in cotton farming. In order to ensure a sustainable revival process of quality cotton seed, the government has created an enabling environment for the private sector to invest in seed multiplication, processing and marketing of cotton seed for planting to farmers,” he said.

The revival process will involve all stages of seed production from breeder seed, pre-basic seed, and basic seed to certified seed. Ukriguru Research Institute will produce both breeder and pre-basic seeds at Ukiriguru and Nkanziga farm in Misungwi respectively then the private sector will collect the seeds for further multiplication at Mwabusalu Ward in Meatu District.

The basic seeds produced in Meatu will be taken to Igunga District to be multiplied to get certified seed ready for distribution to farmers.

Due to fusarium wilt infestation in many cotton producing areas, which is a disease that can last in the soil for over 30 years, suitable areas for seed multiplication include the whole of Tabora region, Singida region, Meatu district and some parts of Itilima district only.

Tanzania Cotton Board has been instructed by the government to ensure that all cotton farmers plant certified seeds come 2019.

In implementation of the government directive, during 2016/17 farming season, a total of 4,108 acres have been planted to cotton at Mwabusalu Ward with a target of producing 500 tons of delinted seeds which will be adequate to plant 55,000 acres in Igunga during 2017/18 farming season with an expected output of 7,000 tons of certified delinted seeds.

Using the seed rate of 6 kilogrammes per acre, the quantity of seeds to be produced will be enough to plant one million acres which the national acreage. Igunga District this farming season planted 46,100 acres of UKM08 standard seed which is expected to produce 4,000 tons of seeds.

Nzega District planted 4,500 acres to cotton with an expected output of 700 tons. This quantity if delinted will cover more than 10 districts during 2017/18 farming. In order to sustain seed multiplication programme, Tsh. 377 million has been budgeted by the Cotton Development Trust Fund to be spent on construction of irrigation infrastructure at Nkanziga farm in Misungwi to boost production of prebasic seeds.

“In order to successfully rollout the UKM08, avoid contamination, and maintain purity of the seed we have put a system in place that allows the Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute to identify, register, inspect and certify cotton farms that are planting UKM08. Deliberate adulteration of the seed crop will not be tolerated.

TCB is calling upon cotton farmers and buying agents to resist the urge to adulterate cotton otherwise they will face the full force of law through the mobile courts which helped to curb adulteration the previous season leading to over 95 per cent germination of the current crop.

Other efforts being undertaken as part of the revival process include sensitisation and training of key stakeholders”.

Implicated Police Officers to Explain Torture Claims Before Media

Photo: NBS TV/Youtube

Now Kamwenge town council mayor Geoffrey Byamukama claims that police detectives tortured him from the now notorious high security Nalufenya police detention facility in Jinja district.

By Joseph Kato

Kampala — Upset by false official accounts amid mounting public criticism over torture of civilians, the police leadership has resolved to parade before journalist implicated officers to explain in person the torture of suspects.

Police spokesman Asan Kasingye said yesterday that subjecting individual errant officers to account for their actions would bring sanity and redeem the police image currently smudged by grisly images of torture marks on suspects incarcerated over the death of ex-police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweezi.

Kaweesi, his body guard Kenneth Erau and driver Godfrey Wambewo were killed in a hail of bullets on March 17 in the city suburb of Kulambiro. In the aftermath, suspects held by police have endured physical assaults and, in some cases, limped to court with exposed wounds.

In the most chilling of sights, leaked images showed Kamwenge Mayor Geoffrey Byamukama, whom police arrested and kept incommunicado since March, rotting away at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala with deep wounds to both knees and ankles.

The gory pictures stirred public anger and pushed police to announce the arrest of three of its implicated officers it said would be tried for torture.

The Anti-torture Act assigns criminal responsibility for individuals, meaning a person, even if acting in official capacity, can be prosecuted in their private capacity.

“In police, we are trained to interrogate suspects, but torturing them is out of the investigation procedure,” said Mr Kasingye, who, initially denied Mr Byamukama had been tortured only to make a U-turn when graphic photos emerged to provide incontrovertible evidence.

At yesterday’s press conference at police headquarters in Naguru, a Kampala suburb, Mr Kasingye said a detective does not “need to torture a suspect to make him admit or gather evidence that connects him to the crime”.

More than a dozen people have been charged in court and remanded to Luzira prison for allegedly killing Kaweesi, his driver and guard. Quite curiously, Mr Byamukama, who has suffered most visible injury, is not among those arraigned in court. Police have suggested he likely killed another person, but never named his victim.

The Force’s official version is that Mr Byamukama, who was picked up from Ministry of Lands headquarters on April 5, was involved in a scuffle with two police officers who arrested him after it became clear he was being taken elsewhere and not police headquarters in Naguru as communicated at the time of his arrest.

The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, who ordered that Mr Byamukama be taken to Nakasero Hospital for treatment, last week also ordered for the arrest of four police officers including Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Patrick Munanura, ASP Fred Tumuhirwe, Sgt Tumukunde and Constable Ronnie Byenkya, who are suspected to have tortured Mr Byamukama.

“You must come out and tell the public who told you to torture the suspect. We also clean our Force of people who take the law in their own hands,” Mr Kasingye said yesterday in a desperate move to protect his integrity and that of the police.

Police yesterday returned Mr Byamukama to Nakasero Hospital for review and announced that he will be returning to the hospital after every two days.

Wounded suspects

Mr Kasingye said police was also interrogating police officers who reportedly received and detained wounded suspects without following the standard operational procedures.

Police officers are prohibited from detaining wounded suspects and encouraged to get statements from any person who brings a suspect for detention.

Five of the 13 suspects being prosecuted over Kaweesi’s killing claimed they were first tortured by Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence before being transferred to police at the infamous Nalufenya detention centre.

“Our procedures are that when someone brings a suspect, an officer on duty has to establish whether the suspect was brought in good condition. The person who has brought [the suspect] must make a statement,” Mr Kasingye said.

Police worried

In another development, police have expressed concern over refugees allegedly engaged in arms smuggling and cattle rustling. Police said some people from South Sudan pose as refugees, but are cattle thieves who sell the animals across the border.

Police have discouraged Ugandans from going to Juba without security escort from Uganda or South Sudan as they are a target of different rebel groups. Last week, two Ugandans from Arua District were abducted and killed by suspected South Sudan rebels on the Nimule-Juba highway.

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