Posts tagged as: free

Govt to Look Into NGOs Distributing Sanitary Pads – Janet Museveni

Photo: Emmanuel Ainebyoona /Daily Monitor

A ambassador for women and girls demonstrates to students on how to make re-usable sanitary pads (file photo).

Government is concerned and will “look into” NGOs spearheading the distribution of free sanitary pads to school children without involving the ministry of Education and Sports, First Lady Janet Museveni has warned.

Ms Museveni, who is also the education minister, expressed her reservations while responding to suggestions by the parliamentary committee on Education on the need to regulate distribution of the free sanitary pads. The committee members led by chairperson, Connie Nakayenze Galiwango (Mbale Woman MP) said there is need for the ministry to regulate the distribution of sanitary pads to school children.

“NGOs that are dealing with the sanitary pads for instance, I don’t know of NGOs that are doing that in connection with us as an institution. There is a way NGOs sometimes deal with schools directly without us [ministry] knowing.

And yes, we are concerned about NGOs that will pick up an activity like providing sanitary pads. We’d really like to even establish whether those sanitary pads are appropriate for the children or whether they are not. But I don’t think that they are many if they are there and this is a new area that people are beginning to participate in in the country. So we’ll look into it”, Ms Museveni said.

The Education Committee members including Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West MP), Moses Kasibante (Rubaga North) and Joseph Ssewungu (Kalungu West) demanded an explanation from the Education minister why the provision of free sanitary pads to girls remains unfunded in the 2017/2018 budget.

Ssewanyana asked the minister to state government’s position on the free sanitary pad distribution, saying it has generated a lot of public anxiety. Kasibante appealed to the Education ministry not to discourage those involved in free sanitary pads distribution, since government has failed to honour its pledge.

“One of the reasons why these girls drop out of school specifically, is because a poor Ugandan cannot attend to the issue of sanitary pads. The mother of this nation, First Lady, you are aware just like I am that because of poverty we had to go for Universal Primary Education… today you are giving an equivalent of Shs 3,000 per student [under UPE]. Actually the [cost] of sanitary pad is higher than that”, said Kasibante.

In her response, the first lady noted that although she is aware of the importance of the sanitary pads to the girl child, many areas in the education sector remain unfunded because of budgetary constraints.

Jailed Makerere University research fellow, Dr Stella Nyanzi attacked the first lady in numerous social media postings for failing to advise her husband, President Yoweri Museveni to fulfill his campaign pledge on provision of sanitary pads to schoolgirls. While on the campaign trail in Arua ahead of the 2016 general elections, President Museveni pledged to provide sanitary pads to school children once reelected back in office. Government has since declared that it doesn’t have enough money to buy the sanitary towels.

Nyanzi thus kick-started a campaign under the theme “Pads-For-Girl-Child Uganda” to fundraise money to buy pads and distribute them to schools. The campaign attracted support from several people including women rights activists and NGOs.

Uganda

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Uganda Eyes More Chinese Investment – Ambassador

Fuzhou — Uganda seeks to attract more Chinese investment with “the most favorable policies,” said Ugandan Ambassador to China Charles Madibo Wagidoso on Friday.

“Foreign investors will enjoy tax exemption, quick investment examination process, and liberty to transfer capital in and out of Uganda,” said Wagidoso attending an investment promotion conference in Fuzhou, capital of east China’s Fujian Province.

The projects highlighted at the event range from a crude oil pipeline, iron ore processing, airport development and gold and gemstone mining.

China ranks the first place in terms of foreign direct investment in Uganda, totaling 4 billion U.S. dollars, according to the Chinese Embassy in Uganda.

Wagidoso said Uganda is an open and highly liberal market, a good investment destination for both state-owned enterprises and private businesses from China.

In response to the recent protest against Chinese retailers in Uganda’s capital Kampala, Wagidoso reassured investors that their interests will be well protected as always, and that domestic and foreign businesses are treated equally in the country.

“We welcome both large and small businesses from China,” Wagidoso said.

He also stressed the win-win nature of China-Africa economic cooperation. “Guangdong Dongsong, a successful company in Uganda, produces fertilizers which is in dire need for local agriculture and has created 3,000 jobs, generating tax revenue for the local government.”

In recent years, China has launched a series of projects in Uganda, including Entebbe International Airport, an agri-industrial park in the central Ugandan district of Luweero and several hydropower projects.

Uganda

Govt to Look Into NGOs Distributing Sanitary Pads – Janet Museveni

Government is concerned and will “look into” NGOs spearheading the distribution of free sanitary pads to school children… Read more »

Wise Thinking Delivered Cost-Effective Dream Wedding for Semakulas

By Alfred Ochwo

Impossible deadlines, family drama and swelling budgets are often enough stress to make a couple want to simply elope and get done with it.

It is why Patrick Luyima Semakula and Brendah Nakanjako had to think strategically. Being Seventh Day Adventits, they planned their wedding day on April 9 during the Lenten season to avoid peak wedding season stress and also save money.

Semakula, a banker with DFCU, said during lent, wedding venues and service providers are cheaper compared to other months where there are many parties in town.

So, they had a wide choice for the perfect venue, photography, the bride’s dream gown and finalizing a guest’s list in a short period.

“Haah, this has been quite a short time for preparation. We are Seventh Day Adventists and everybody was wondering why we are wedding during lent, but for us we discovered that there is not much work for service providers; so, we had to take that advantage,” he said.

The couple were wedded at Bbunga SDA Central church by Pastor David Ssemwogerere and later hosted their guests at Seascallop restaurant in Kamwokya for a reception.

HOW THEY MET

“I met Nakanjako at a church-related activity, but at first I hesitated thinking that she was Kenyan; later I discovered that she was Ugandan,” he said.

“We took time [dating]. And during this period we had many challenges that included family disagreements, but later all that was resolved.”

Semakula said the couple prayed together and remained focused on their goal until God answered their prayers and gave them their dream wedding.

“Nakanjako is a very strong and committed Christian who loves God and that really moves me to say I have got the right companion and I promise to always be there for her,” he said.

Uganda

Govt to Look Into NGOs Distributing Sanitary Pads – Janet Museveni

Government is concerned and will “look into” NGOs spearheading the distribution of free sanitary pads to school children… Read more »

Court Throws Out Kyadondo East MP

The Court of Appeal has upheld the High court judgment nullifying the election of Apollo Kantinti as the Kyadondo East Member of Parliament.

The three Court of Appeal judges; Richard Buteera, Cheborion Balishaki and Paul Mugamba concurred with the earlier judgment of Justice Henry Kaweesa, saying the elections didn’t comply with electoral laws, which substantially affected the final results.

They ordered the Electoral Commission to conduct by elections for the constituency.

The judgment followed an application filed by Sitenda Sebalu, the former NRM candidate challenging the decision by Wakiso district registrar, Sarah Bukirwa and the Electoral Commission to declare Katinti winner despite the irregularities that marred the election.

In his application, Sebalu argued that results from seven polling stations were excluded from the final tally. He also argued that there were errors in tallying results from some areas like Kabubu polling station, which affected his chance of winning the elections.

While reading the judgment this afternoon, Didas Muhumuza, the Court of Appeal assistant registrar noted that “After a careful re-evaluation of the evidence on record, the judges have also come to a conclusion that it was not clear on who won the Kyadondo East constituency election since results from 9 polling stations were not included in the final tally.”

The justices also ordered Kantinti to pay costs of the suite.

Uganda

Govt to Look Into NGOs Distributing Sanitary Pads – Janet Museveni

Government is concerned and will “look into” NGOs spearheading the distribution of free sanitary pads to school children… Read more »

Meru High Court Dismisses Case Seeking to Bar Munya From Poll

By Ken Bett

The High Court in Meru has dismissed a petition seeking to block Meru Governor Peter Munya from defending his seat.

In a ruling made on Thursday, High Court Judge Alfred Mabeya struck out the case saying the petitioner, Mr Isaiah Kithinji, did not exhaust all avenues set out by the State before filing the petition.

Justice Mabeya said that the businessman should have first filed a complaint before the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission before seeking court audience.

He noted that the EACC had already admitted they were probing the county government over various allegations.

“EACC should be allowed to carry [out] the investigation first before the petition is brought to court. The court will not undermine independent institutions, therefore the petition is struck out,” said Justice Mabeya in his ruling.

FREE TO CAMPAIGN

Speaking after the ruling, lawyer Bonbegi Gesicho who held brief for Mr Okong’o Omogeni said the county chief was free to campaign after the ruling.

He asked locals seeking to file similar petitions in future to follow the right procedures before rushing to courts.

The businessman had moved to court seeking to have the PNU leader stopped from defending his seat, citing financial impropriety in his administration for the last five years.

Through lawyer Kiogora Mugambi, Mr Kithinji sought to have Mr Munya barred from presenting his nomination papers.

But Governor Munya told the court that only EACC has powers to bar him from contesting in the August 8 polls.

He said the High Court sitting in Meru lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Kenya

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Uncaring Parents Must Be Taken to Task – Mwalimu

By Valentine Oforo

Dodoma — The government yesterday issued a directive to all regional social welfare officers to take to court parents who don’t provide their children with essential needs.

Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children minister Ummy Mwalimu told Parliament that there has been a significant increase in the number of street children in many urban centres in the country, all being the result of poor parental care.

She was answering a question by Konde MP Khatib Saidi Haji (CUF) who wanted to know the measures the government was taking to overcome the rising spate of street children in urban centres in the country. He challenged the government to strategise effective campaign to overcome the situation before things got out of hands.

“Don’t you think that it is high time now you removed these hapless children from the streets by finding a better ways of caring for them?” He asked.

In her response, Minister Mwalimu said according to The Child Act of 2009, it’s mandatory for a parent to provide his children with basic needs, including food, shelter and clothing.

But in contrary, she said some parents did not take their parental duties seriously causing their children to flee into the streets.

“The fifth-phase government is very keen and committed to ensure the protection and welfare of children and that is why the free education scheme has been introduced so that even children from poor households get better education,” she said.

According to her, a special census conducted in 2012 in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza showed that there were at least 5,600 street children in Dar es Salaam. Most of these were those children who had escaped from different 10 upcountry regions.

She mentioned the regions with their percentages in brackets like Dodoma (9 per cent), Mwanza (7 per cent), Morogoro (7 per cent), Tanga (6 per cent), Lindi (6 per cent), Iringa (5 per cent), Coast (5 per cent Kilimanjaro (5 per cent), Arusha (4 per cent) and Dar es Salaam (28 per cent).

Tanzania

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Airtel Stops Pan-African Scratch Card Top-Ups

By Muthoki Mumo

Telecoms firm Airtel has discontinued the service that allowed customers to top-up airtime using local scratch-cards whenever they travelled in Africa.

The roaming top-up service was terminated last month and customers advised to use their mobile money for top ups while travelling to countries within the One Airtel footprint.

“Airtel’s roaming top-up service was discontinued following the introduction of free top-up services through the Airtel Money platform across our network,” the telecom firm said in a statement.

The decision is in line with recent trends that have seen mobile telephone firms encourage customers to buy airtime through mobile money platforms to cut down on distribution expenses associated with scratch cards.

Airtel has a presence in 20 countries in Africa and Asia. In some of these markets, the company runs the One Airtel service, which treats roaming customers as local subscribers. This means that an Airtel user from Kenya could travel to Nigeria, and be charged local rates.

Statistics from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) show that Kenyans roaming abroad made 36.9 million minutes of calls in the quarter to December 2016, a marginal increase from the 32.13 minutes recorded the previous quarter.

Airtel has the second largest subscription market share, 17.6 per cent, after Safaricom #ticker:SCOM . The company has previously said it is incurring operating losses.

Airtel is fighting to become more competitive in a market that is dominated by Safaricom.

CA data shows that Airtel’s voice traffic market share declined 1.1 per cent in the quarter to December 2016 even as it faces tough competition from newcomers in mobile money.

Airtel’s parent firm Bharti Airtel recently announced it was considering merges or stake sales at some of its African operations as it sought to make its continental subsidiaries profitable.

In Kenya, the battle for profitability is tied up with the debate on dominance with smaller operators Airtel and Telkom Kenya arguing for stricter regulation of Safaricom.

Kenya

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Cape Town Throws Successful Jazz Fest

By Samson Baranga

More than 3,700 music lovers from all over the world thronged Cape Town for its annual International Jazz festival.

One of Africa’s grandest gathering, the festival was marking its 18th edition, and what a way to ring in the birthday!

Friday and Saturday evening saw 50 acts across five stages and revellers were spoilt for choice. With the festival program in hand, patrons moved from stage to stage to catch the performance of their artiste of interest.

An impressive mixture of big names and newcomers ensured that there was something for everybody. South Africa’s Judith Sephuma, the Soweto String Quartet plus the all-female R&B group, En Vogue, needed no introduction.

While the older persons and fans of Tsepo Tshola sang along to many of his songs including Holokile, We Want to Enter among others inside Kippies, many younger showgoers were busy screaming their lungs out for Tom Smich at the Bassline stage.

Tsepo Tshola has been at it for 47 years but shows no signs of slowing down. He had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hands as he grooved away on stage.

The festival is also planning decades ahead by working with future jazz players through the teaching and development program. At the Green Market Square, an all-star band selected from eight schools performed at the free concert.

In addition, Chris Hani High School band opened the Basil Manenberg Coetze stage on day two. Another Tsepo was possibly born that day. While both days were masterfully curated, day two stood out for me.

Thandiswa Mazwai performed to a packed Rosies stage before Laura Mvula, based in the UK, put up a powerful performance that ended towards 1am bringing an end to a magical two days of singing, dancing, reminiscing, shouting out loud and creating memories.

Regular showgoers and local press hailed this year’s edition as an outstanding success. Festival director Billy Domingo is quoted on www.iol.co.za, a partnering publication, to have said that the response exceeded expectations.

“We knew we had a great lineup, but the response has exceeded expectations. From the crowds that queued to see Thandiswa Mazwai, to packed stages for young artistes such as Tom Smich, there was a whole new energy and appreciation.”

Africa

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Kenya: Couples Recover From Jigger Attacks to Renew Wedding Vows

By Martin Mwaura

Ten couples who have recovered from jigger attacks had another reason to smile after they renewed their wedding vows in a ceremony in Murang’a County on Saturday.

Charitable organisation Ahadi Kenya Trust, which was commemorating 10 years of fighting jiggers chose to celebrate the milestone by organising a mass wedding for the couples in Kandara.

The couples said their vows at ACK Emmanuel Kagundu-ini Church and were thereafter treated to a reception at Kagundu-ini Polytechnic.

Family members and friends joined in the celebrations.

Ahadi Kenya CEO Stanley Kamau said the Ahadi team had been working tirelessly to achieve their objective of halting the spread of jiggers.

This, he said, had been done through the mission of creating a better life for people and a promise to bridge the poverty gap by empowering the poor.

OFTEN ISOLATED

Dr Kamau said many jigger-infected people are often isolated, stigmatised and neglected. He said the mass wedding ceremony was an endeavour to elevate these individuals to become fully-functioning members of the society.

“When we first met them, we saw annoyance, desperation, isolation, pain and hopelessness on their faces but today we are seeing happy people, clean and hopeful for the future,” he said.

“The 10 were heavily infested and some could not even move around and were isolated, but we have changed their lives which is the last project in the line of our activities,” he added.

He said that some of the couples who tied the knot met during the free Ahadi clinics.

SOURCE OF LIVELIHOOD

‘We have given them dairy cows, bananas and chickens as gifts. We want to empower them by giving them a source of livelihood so that they will be stable,” he saidMr William Gitau and his wife Veronica Wairimu, who have been together for the last 30 years, could not hide their joy after the event.

The parents of seven thanked the NGO for the help.

Ms Jane Wairimu, a mother of three, narrated how she was isolated by neighbours when she had jiggers. Ms Wairimu met her husband, Mr Bernard Muiruri, during one of the Ahadi Kenya clinics.

The two narrated how life was so difficult for them adding that they can now at least afford a smile as all the troubles were behind them.

‘We are grateful and happy to have been married as we could not afford the wedding as it is costly, will continue loving one another till death do us part,” said the couple’I never thought I would get married, I am happy for the double blessing, getting healed, finding a husband and on top of that, I am now legally married,” she said.

Murang’a women rep Sabina Chege urged other NGOs to follow suit and help transform people’s lives saying what Ahadi had done was a testimony.

Nigeria: 41 People Die of Meningitis in Sokoto – Health Commissioner

The death toll as a result of the meningitis epidemic in Sokoto State has now risen to 41, Health Commissioner Balarabe Kakale has said.

Mr. Kakale disclosed this to journalists in Sokoto on Sunday when he gave an update on the state of high alert declared by the state government since March 20.

He said that the deaths were mostly recorded out of the nearly 600 clinically confirmed cases of meningitis in the eight worst-hit local governments.

They are Rabah, Kebbe, Tureta, Gada, Dange/Shuni, Wamakko, Kware and Bodinga.

Mr. Kakale said: “the epidemic was caused by the type “C” strain of meningitis and not the type “A” strain which the people of the state had hitherto developed immunity for.

“This new strain of meningitis is deadlier than the dreaded Ebola disease as it kills within four to six hours of afflicting a patient.

“More than eighty per cent of the victims also had not been immunised, hence, the aggravation of the epidemic.”

The commissioner further stated that the state government has embarked on a state-wide, mass vaccination for the people of the state, against meningitis.

He explained that over 700,000 persons, aged one to thirty years were being targeted across the 23 local governments of the state.

Kakale further stressed the need for the people of the state to ensure that their children were fully immunised against the child killer diseases like measles, whooping cough, yellow fever and diphtheria, among others.

“They should also desist from self-medication as adequate drugs and medicament were provided by the state government for the free treatment of the patients.

“No fewer than one hundred medical personnel comprising of medical doctors, nurses, ambulances and other logistics are still operating across the state.

“The people should also desist attaching traditional beliefs like witchcraft and report all suspected cases of meningitis, measles and other diseases to the nearest health facility.

“We will not rest on our oars until when the epidemic is fully mitigated, although the cases had drastically reduced.

“Some of the isolation camps hitherto set had since been closed in most of the local governments,” Mr. Kakale said.

(NAN)

Nigeria

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