Posts tagged as: high

Liberia: High Tariffs Affecting Movement of Goods At Liberia-Guinea Border

By Ishmael F. Menkor

Slow movement of goods and services is being reported at one of Liberia’s leading revenue-generating ports of entry, the border with Guinea at Ganta, Nimba County.

The movement of goods and services has reportedly been very slow since the beginning of the year, which a lot of business travelers say is a result of the high tariff imposed by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).

Some of the businesspeople interviewed told the Daily Observer that the sharp increase in tariff by the government of Liberia is hampering trade.

“Before we were paying 15% on rubber dishes, but the tariff has gone up to 20% flat; and it is very hard to make profit from it,” said a trader identified only as Serena.

“The tariff on soap used to be determined by the quantity in kilograms, but now it is strictly 20% of what you purchase,” said another woman.

The border area has since been very quiet, according to traders, with some customs officers passing the time playing games on their computers and others seen doing extracurricular activities to keep busy.

Mondays and Thursdays are reportedly the busiest days at the border, when traders travel to the nearby Guinean towns of N’zérékoré and Djéké. But according to the businesspeople this paper spoke to, that is no longer the case.

The tariff on agricultural products, including cattle, livestock, groundnuts and pepper, among others, has also increased, according to a customs agent who did not want to be identified.

He said tariff on vehicles has been increased to 10% from 17%, and said people are not crossing with goods since the increase.

He named other tariffs to include the Custom Usual Fees (CUF), 1.5%; Government Services Tax (GST), 10%; and 0.5% ECOWAS tax on ECOWAS goods.


Gambia’s Barrow Meets Sirleaf

Liberia’s President and Chair of regional bloc ECOWAS Mrs. Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has received the Gambia’s President… Read more »

Extended Justice – Now Magistrates to Hear Murder Cases

By Mariam Said

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, has temporarily conferred the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam with a status of High Court to determine murder cases, in a special dispensation expected to end next month.

The move has been made in consultation with the Chief Justice and Attorney General (AG) as per section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) – under which some principal resident magistrates could be, and have been, given what is called in law as ‘extended jurisdiction’ to hear such cases.

These magistrates will now hear the murder cases in much the same way as by normal judges of the High Court in the ongoing special sessions countrywide; it’s all part of current efforts and Judiciary’s strategy to ensure time delivery of justice to the parties involved in the cases concerned.

Under this arrangement, the four magistrates who have been conferred with such jurisdiction would hear and determine about 20 murder cases as from pre-taking to full hearing stages. Extended Jurisdiction, as it’s called, is power given to a resident magistrate to hear matters that would otherwise fall under the original jurisdiction of the High Court.

Accordingly, appeal from a decision of the magistrate with extended jurisdiction is lodged in the Court of Appeal. Section 173 (1) reads: “The Minister may after consultation with Chief Justice and Attorney General invest any resident magistrate with power to try any category of offences which, would ordinarily be tried by the High Court and may specify the area within which he may exercise such extended powers.

“(He) may invest any such magistrate with power to try any, specified case or cases of such offences and such magistrate shall, by virtue of the order, have the power, in respect of the offences specified in the order to impose any sentence which could lawfully be imposed by the High Court.

Sub-section (3) states, “For the purposes of any appeal from or revision of his decision in the exercise “of such jurisdiction, such the resident magistrate shall be deemed to be a judge of the High Court, and the court presided over by him while exercising such jurisdiction shall be deemed to be the High Court.”


Gold Regains Status As Tanzania’s Top Export

Gold has regained its prestigious position as Tanzania’s largest non-traditional goods export, thanks to a rise in value… Read more »

Zimbabwe: Local Firm Unveils New Flagship Smartphone

Zimbabwean smartphone maker Gtel has unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the X5.

The X5 — the latest in string of high specs smartphone releases from the firm — is a battery centric smartphone for power hungry users.

It comes with a powerful 4010mAh battery with dual charging chips for better heat dissipation and fast charge.

The smartphone features an elegant metallic uni body design with an attractive premium body with matte finish all over, with dimensions of 154.5*76.5*8.3mm, weighing only 182g.

Speaking during the official launch of the X5 in Bulawayo yesterday, Gtel CEO Chamunorwa Shumba said: “Zimbabwe will have the best smartphone ever with serious battery power and a powerful camera to take care of all your daily smartphone routines. We are really excited about the next flagship with serious battery power to last you days and a powerful selfie camera that will change the way humans relate to smartphones.”

In testimony to the comments from the CEO, the X5 comes with a 5.5 Inch HD AMOLED display, with capacitive touchscreen designed to present the best clarity and definition to images.

The screen resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels with 267 PPI pixel density thus producing vividly bright and sharp pictures. Colour production, viewing angles and touch response is very good.

This smartphone also houses a feature rich 13 mega pixel rear camera with LED flash, autofocus and a 16 mega pixel selfie camera upfront. It enables users to take picturesque vivid photographs whether taken day or night. The camera interface is quite simple to operate enabling you to choose from different modes.

Gtel’s X5 is operated by Android v7.0 Nougat running Amigo OS interface.

Nougat is the latest Android version, which provides new ways to control when and how you receive calls and messages. It offers a faster, smoother and more powerful computing experience.

There is improved hardware keyboard accessory support for multilingual emoji input, search key and improved App and system key chords.

This device is powered by a 2.0GHz Octa-Core processor, giving the user high performance and speed without draining the battery, while enabling multiple application use simultaneously, surfing of the internet with shorter loading time and streaming of beautiful lag-free videos.

The Octa-Core processor improves performance and extends battery life. It has 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory which is expandable up to 256GB via Micro SD card.


MP Mliswa Attacks Mugabe for Protecting ‘Corrupt’ Minister Chombo

NORTON member of parliament Temba Mliswa has accused President Robert Mugabe of protecting the “corrupt” Home Affairs… Read more »

Sheikhs’ Murders – Suspects Decline to Defend Themselves

By Baker Batte Lule

Sheikh Muhammad Yunus Kamoga and 13 others, on trial for masterminding the killing of fellow sheikhs Mustapha Bahiga and Ibrahim Hassan Kirya, have declined to defend themselves in court.

Appearing before the International crimes division of the High court presided over by justices Ezekiel Muhanguzi, Percy Tuhaise and Jane Kiggundu, the three lawyers for the accused persons told court that after consulting with their clients, they agreed that they [accused] will exercise their right not to defend themselves.

“We have informed our clients of their rights and they have elected to remain silent,” said lawyer Fred Muwema, who is representing 11 of the accused, told court.

MacDosman Kabega (the lawyer for Amir Kinene Muswaswa and Hamza Kinene Muswaswa) and Namawejje (lawyer for George William Iga) told court that their clients had also chosen to remain silent. Lino Anguzu, the principal state attorney, asked court to give them up to two weeks for them to make final submissions before the judges give their final ruling.

However, the lead judge, Muhanguzi, wondered why prosecution needed two weeks yet all the evidence they filed against the accused is on file.

“Are you going to write a textbook or thesis of sorts? All evidence is here; don’t regurgitate the evidence,” Muhanguzi said, attracting murmurs in the fully packed courtroom.

In the end, Muhanguzi ruled that prosecution should file and serve written submissions not exceeding 20 pages to court and the defence team not later than May 9.

“Further hearing is adjourned to May 26 at 9am for parties to address court on any corrections…; accused persons further remanded until that date,” Muhanguzi ruled.


Speaking to The Observer after the ruling, Kabega said there was no evidence that would compel them to defend the accused.

“They have chosen to keep quiet because there is no evidence on file that would compel them to defend themselves. Basing on the evidence adduced in court, none of the accused was directly connected to the crimes that they are being charged with,” Kabega said.

“Prosecution has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused are guilty of the crimes they are being charged with so we didn’t see any reason to go on defense.”

On April 4, Muhanguzi ruled that the prosecution had proved a prima facie case against the 14 and that required them to defend themselves.

Consequently, Muhanguzi told the accused that they had four options to choose from; to give a sworn or unsworn testimony, to call witness to testify on their behalf or to keep quiet, which they chose to do.


Suspended Minister in Sex and Bribe Scandal Cited in Fake Qatar Jobs Deal

The interdicted minister of state for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations, Herbert Kabafunzaki, is embroiled in… Read more »

It’s Judgment Day for Desh Kananura

By Anthony Wesaka

Kampala — The High Court in Kampala is today expected to pass its judgment that will determine the fate of city businessman Andrew Kananura alias Desh who is accused of murdering his employee Badru Kateregga at Panamera Bar located at Naguru, Kampala.

Court has two options to either convict him of the murder charges that attract a maximum penalty of death by hanging or acquit the suspect.

Further, court has an option of lessening his murder charges to man slaughter that attracts a life imprisonment sentence on conviction.

The judgment is expected to be read out by trial judge Joseph Murangira at 2pm.

Last week, two court assessors Mr Robert Kabureta and Ms Rehema Babirye, in their joint lay man’s opinion, advised court to find Kananura not guilty of murdering his employee on grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against him.

The assessors also advised court to acquit the accused on grounds that most of the prosecution witnesses, who testified against them, were basing their testimony on mere hearsay.

Equally, the court assessors advised court to acquit Kananura’s co-accused including his brother Raymond Kananura and two of their co-accused Cyrus Maganda and Samuel Muzolewa.

Legally, assessors’ opinion is not binding to court because the trial judge can either agree with their advice or depart from it.

However, these assessors called for the conviction of the fifth suspect, Jacob Onyango.

The assessors explained that this was after the deceased died in his presence and that he even saw the suspects running away from the scene of crime.

Its prosecution’s case that on September 30,2012, the accused and others still at large, while at Panamera Bar beat and killed Kateregga, a bar attendant, over Shs30,000 which the deceased had received as a tip from a customer.


Tanzania Maintains Place As Second Largest Military Spender

Tanzania maintained its position as the second largest military spender in East Africa last year as the global… Read more »

Dr Stella Nyanzi Sent Back to Luzira Prison

Makerere University researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi has been sent back to Luzira by Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s court pending an application for the revision of her case filed in the High court by her lawyers.

Lawyer Nicholas Opiyo asked for an adjournment of the case pending determination of their application seeking to block a planned psychiatric examination against Dr Nyanzi.

The mental examinations were sought by the State during Nyanzi’s maiden appearance before the magistrate’s court earlier this month. Nyanzi is charged with two counts of cyber harassment and offensive communication contrary to provisions of the Computer Misuse Act.

Nyanzi was also charged with using the internet to disturb the peace and right to privacy of the president. Prosecution alleges that Nyanzi used her social media pages to refer to President Yoweri Museveni as “a pair of buttocks.” She denied the charges but told court that she always writes ‘metaphorically’ to deliver messages to ‘those in power’.

In reference to her vulgar and erotic posts, prosecutor Jonathan Muwaganya filed an application on April 10, asking court to order that Nyanzi is subjected to a psychiatric examination.

Muwaganya told court that Nyanzi has a history of erratic psychiatric disorder and was once a patient at Butabika national referral mental hospital. The application was based on the affidavit by SP Mboniva Emmanuel, one of the police officers investigating Nyanzi’s case.

But her lawyers rushed to the High court to challenge the request saying that the state wants to use the mental test to declare Nyanzi an ‘idiot’ and send her to a mental health facility.

Opiyo told court that the defense team hoped the High court application would be heard before today’s appearance. However, High court has set tomorrow as the hearing date for the application.

Opiyo said that the State’s application was brought in bad faith and with utmost act of ambush to deny them an appropriate response.

He said they need time to respond to all arguments raised by the State in its application for mental health examination. He also argued that the defense team only received a copy of the application after arriving at the court.

Presiding magistrate James Ereemye said Nyanzi was sent back to Luzira on the request of her defense team. Nyanzi had recently taken up a campaign code-named ‘Pads 4 Girls’ in which she castigated government for failing to fulfill its commitment to provide sanitary pads to all schoolgirls.

The provision was part of President Yoweri Museveni’s campaign pledges ahead of the 2016 general election.



Tanzania Maintains Place As Second Largest Military Spender

Tanzania maintained its position as the second largest military spender in East Africa last year as the global… Read more »

Uganda: Makerere to Postpone Admission of Dental Students

Makerere University is considering postponing recruitment of students into the department of dentistry due to staffing gaps.

The university vice chancellor Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu revealed this while appearing before parliament’s education committee yesterday, Monday. He cited a challenge of staffing at the university, including at the dental department where only five of the 10 available positions are filled.

He told the education committee that the university’s College of Health Sciences, under which the dental department operates, requested the university administration not to admit new students in the next academic year until Shs 1.3 billion required for staff recruitment is provided.

Ddumba also highlighted the high costs of equipment required in the dental department without which students cannot be trained. He told URN that for the university to run the department of dentistry effectively it would require about Shs 10 billion in order to procure the required equipment.

“Equipment [is] very expensive. We are not talking about Shs 1 billion actually, about maybe Shs 10 billion to run that school of dentistry. And the other one is about the staffing who are not there”, he said.

The revelations angered the education committee vice chairperson, Pallisa county MP Jacob Opolot, who warned Makerere not to take a such a drastic direction that he described as sensitive.

He noted that his committee is going to look into the university’s budget and allocate the required amount to recruit staff for the dental department. According to Makerere’s FY 2017/2018 budget estimates, the university has allocated a total of Shs 400 million to improving the dental school. This allocation is up from the Shs 200 million that was allocated to the department in the current FY 2016/2017 budget.

The 2015 Auditor General’s report noted that out of 2,774 established academic positions at Makerere, only 1,333 (about 48 percent) about are filled, leaving a staffing gap of 1,441 positions (about 52 percent).

Meanwhile, the matter of staffing gaps in public universities continues to cause concern in education sector with universities pushing for an allocation of Shs 79.7 billion to recruit academic staff in FY 2017/2018.



I Love That Man Trump – Uganda’s Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni has urged African leaders to stop what he described as ideological meandering. Leaders, he… Read more »

Malawi: Construction Firm Vows to End Bumpy Ride, Fix Roads

Plem Construction Company has said it taking action to fix, patch and reconstruct roads that have developed potholes, drifts and cracks in northern city of Mzuzu and also rectify problem in Lilongwe’ Area 24 upgraded roads.

The road firm said it will not tolerate poor work, saying there should be value for public funds paid to the contractors by ensuring that the work is of high standard.

Plem said that it would not be appropriate to term the quality of work of upgraded Mzuzu Airport-Chiputula-Katawa Road as ‘inferior’, saying the defect is due to “unnatural conditions”.

“We are taking action to rectify the 70 meters [which cracked],” said the construction company in response to Nyasa Times questionnaire.

The contractor said they have already proposed to their client – Mzuzu City Council – to provide additional layer of slurry “free of cost to the government” in order to fix the road.

Plem is also doing the same in Lilongwe.

Plem Construction Company site agent Burnet Rodgers Ngoma said: “The upgrading of Area 24 Road was highly affected by the rainy season. We did not complete it as there is one more layer remaining which we will do by next week.”

The company has agreed to do additional layer of sealing at no extra cost to tax payer.

“That is 6 km of extra seal costing us millions to protect our image [as good contractors] and ensuring our commitment to the nation of high constructions standards,” said Plem.

“We will not just try and fill potholes; we try to resurface roads as that is much more cost effective.”

The company added: “People will see we are closing roads to resurface, which means roads overall will be in a better condition.”

It added: “We remain committed in improving the condition of our roads projects.”

Plem said they take a proactive whole-life approach to roads, making sure that wherever possible preventative work is carried out to extend the life of a road surface before potholes start to form.


Civil Society Accuses President of Favouring His Tribe

A group of civil society organisations (CSOs) has accused President Peter Mutharika’s administration of favouring his… Read more »

Police Sends Aya File to Director of Public Prosecutions

Photo: The Observer

Aya group boss Mohammed Hamid (2L front) hosting President Museveni (with hat) at his hotel in Nakasero.

By Johnson Taremwa

The police last week forwarded to the director of public prosecutions (DPP) a file containing sexual harassment allegations against Muhammed Hamid, commonly known as Aya, The Observer has learnt.

In March, Jamila Opondo, 30, a former employee of Hamid, accused her boss of sexual harassment. Opondo reported two cases of assault and sexual harassment against Hamid at Old Kampala police station and Central police station under file numbers SD 36/25/03/2017 and CRB 531/17.

The police spokesperson for Kampala metropolitan, Emillian Kayima, told The Observer last week that police investigated the two cases and the files were sent to the DPP for legal advice.

“When the lady [Opondo] reported two cases, police summoned Aya [Hamid] and he recorded his statements and we later released him on police bond pending investigations,” he said.

Kayima added that if the DPP sanctions the files and says Hamid has a case to answer, then he will be taken to court.

“Nobody is above the law. If the DPP says he appears in court, we shall take him and he faces the law,” he said.

Kayima further said the complainant was called twice by police and she refused to turn up.

“Police called Opondo twice to come and update her cases and she refused, saying she would consult her lawyers before coming to police,” said Kayima.

On Saturday, the spokesperson for the DPP, Jane Kajuga, said she could neither confirm nor deny that the office had received the files.

“If the files were sent on Friday, it is possible that they are still with the registry. But I have not seen them,” she said.

Recently, Hamid masterminded the arrest of the former minister of state for Labour, Herbert Kabafunzaki, who was reportedly trying to solicit a bribe from him. The minister was arraigned in the Anti-corruption court last week but was eventually released on bail.


Stella Nyanzi Goes to High Court to Fight Mental Exam

The Criminal division of the High court has recalled from Buganda Road chief Magistrate’s court the case file of Dr… Read more »

Uganda: Fall Armyworm Has Got People Talking Now

By Michael J. Ssali

The fall armyworm is present in Uganda and it is destroying maize, sorghum and other food crops as well as some fodder grass species. We have seen footages on TV screens of the minister of Agriculture Vincent Ssempijja and other officials handing over tonnes of insecticides to various stakeholders in the agriculture sector to fight the new pest reported to have arrived in Africa only last year from the Americas.

About Shs10b has been set aside by the government to prevent the spread of the fall armyworm. But, it will take a lot of time and effort to teach farmers how to effectively combat the pest, which may involve the use of biological control methods such as digging trenches around the farm, getting natural predators like birds to eat the worms, and burning the infested crops as David Phiri of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has disclosed.

The fall armyworm is a fairly large insect which can be seen with the naked eye and so it is easy to associate with the damage it causes when entire crop fields are wiped out.

Nearly everywhere we hear voices, including those of religious leaders calling upon government to take immediate measures to control the pest.

Yet for more than a decade, we have had perhaps more dangerous tiny pests that have reduced the production of food crops such as bananas, cassava, and sweet potatoes with little concern from the same people about the delay by Parliament to pass the Biotechnology and Bio-safety Bill.

With the passing of the Bill into law, farmers can begin to grow bananas, cassava and potatoes that are protected against the disastrous microscopic pests which have no chemical cure.

There is reported acute food shortage in Teso sub-region mainly due to drought. In his Easter message Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga lamented the high level of food insecurity in the country. Why not pass the Biotechnology and Bio-science Bill first and then deal with the caterpillars?


Stella Nyanzi Goes to High Court to Fight Mental Exam

The Criminal division of the High court has recalled from Buganda Road chief Magistrate’s court the case file of Dr… Read more »

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