Posts tagged as: minister

Madagascar:Chinese Businesses Donate for Madagascar’s Fight Against Plague

Antananarivo — The association of Chinese traders and entrepreneurs in Madagascar (ACECMA) made a financial donation on Friday evening for Madagascar’s fight against a deadly plague.

“On the occasion of this ceremony, I announce on behalf of ACECMA association to donate 50 million ariary (about 16,667 U.S. dollars) to Madagascar’s government for the control of plague and the fight against the spread of plague,” ACECMA President Cai Guowei said at an event marking ACECMA’s 10th anniversary.

“Chinese citizens in Madagascar attach great importance to the welfare of Malagasy people and to the charity towards the Malagasy people,” Chinese Ambassador to Madagascar Yang Xiaorong said in her speech.

“This donation from the ACECMA proves once again the goodwill of the Chinese nationals to fight the plague together with Madagascar,” Yang said.

The ambassador added that the Chinese government also attaches great importance to its relationship with Madagascar and made efforts to help Madagascar to pass this difficult moment.

China on Thursday handed over a package of medical supplies worth 220,000 U.S dollars to Madagascar for it to fight the plague that has killed 57 people in the past three months.

For his part, Madagascar’s Prime Minister Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana said that “Madagascar shares the same values, the same sense of solidarity with China.”

“Madagascar needs China for its economic recovery and I am sure that China also needs Madagascar,” said the prime minister.

“May this win-win spirit between Madagascar and China will know again unimaginable development in the near future,” said the prime minister.

According to the Madagascar’s Ministry of Public Health, the death toll from the plague reached 57 in Madagascar from Aug. 1 to Oct. 12.(1 U.S dollar is worth about 3,000 ariary)

Madagascar

Health Officials Battle to Contain Pneumonic Plague

The island of Madagascar has been experiencing annual plague outbreaks since 1980. This year however, a worse form of… Read more »

Zari, Diamond Platinumz ‘Rekindle Lost Love’ in Zanzibar

Photo: Nairobi News

Zari posted a video of herself and cheating partner Diamond Platinumz having a good time in Zanzibar, days after she had deleted pictures of the musician on her Instagram and also unfollowed him.

By Naira Habib

Bongo musician Diamond Platinumz and his Ugandan socialite girlfriend Zari Hassan are in Zanzibar to repair a love relationship that broke up after claims of cheating

Zari posted a video of the two having a good time in Zanzibar, days after she had deleted pictures of the muician on her Instagram and also unfollowed him.

Zari over the weekend arrived in Tanzania to a queenly reception for the launch of a furniture store opening. She was received by Diamond’s bodyguard.

The musician’s mother Bi Sandra wrote a sweet message on Instgaram welcoming her to Tanzania.

Zari’s video showed the couple all affectionate to each other. It starts with the two walking from their hotel to a waiting car to take them to the famous food market on the island.

Diamond is seen paying extra attention to Zari, even going as far as playing the gentleman of opening the car door for her.

The two in the company of their bodyguards were swamped by fans who wanted to take pictures with them.

Night life in Zanzibar… . #ForozaniFoodMarket. Work smart, go out and play hard!

A post shared by Zari (@zarithebosslady) on Oct 15, 2017 at 3:29pm PDT

Tanzania

Agriculture Minister Orders Sacking of Three Officials

Agriculture and Livestock minister, Dr Charles Tizeba, has directed the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Methew… Read more »

Tanzania:Dear Women, Don’t Turn a Blind Eye Towards These Cancer Signs

By Dr Chris Peterson

If you are relatively young and healthy, gynaecologic cancer signs probably aren’t on your radar, hence you’ve not paid attention. But they should be.

Statistics show many women in Africa are increasingly getting gynaecologic cancers such as endometrial also known as uterine, ovarian or cervical cancer.

All women need to be vigilant about signs, but women in their 30s and older should pay particular attention to their bodies. It’s crucial to know what symptoms to look out for.

Warning signs women shouldn’t ignore

1. Abnormal vaginal bleeding: More than 90 per cent of women who get endometrial cancer experience irregular bleeding. For post-menopausal women, any bleeding including spotting should be evaluated by the gynaecologist. For premenopausal women, bleeding between periods, heavy bleeding, or bleeding during intercourse should be evaluated.

2. Unexplained weight loss: If you have lost weight by exercising and eating healthy, keep up the good work! But if you haven’t changed your diet or exercise habits and lose over 5kgs, this could be a sign of cancer.

3. Being tired all the time: Most of us get run-down from juggling a busy week at work, running errands and taking care of our families. But ongoing fatigue that doesn’t get better with rest can be a sign of a bigger problem. If you are constantly tired for more than two weeks, don’t assume your busy life is the only cause.

4. Vaginal discharge coloured with blood: Bloody, dark or smelly discharge is most likely a sign of infection. But it can be a sign of cervical or endometrial cancer too.

5. Swollen leg: If one of your legs look or feel swollen for no apparent reason, this may be the sign of advanced cervical cancer.

6. Feeling full all the time: Trouble eating or always feeling full are also common symptoms of ovarian cancer. Talk to your doctor if unintended changes in your eating habits lasts for more than two weeks.

7. Pain in the pelvis or abdominal area: If you experience constant pelvic or abdominal pain for more than two weeks, see your doctor.

8. A bloated belly: It is common to feel bloated after heavy eating or drinking especially during your menstrual cycle. But if that bloated feeling doesn’t go away even after two weeks or period is over, see your doctor.

9. Constantly needing bathroom breaks: Beware if you suddenly have to go to the bathroom all the time or need to take frequent or urgent bathroom breaks due to the pressure on your bladder. This is typically a sign of cancer.

10. Persistent indigestion or nausea: Occasionally, persistent indigestion or nausea can be a warning sign of a gynaecologic cancer. See your doctor if you find yourself feeling queasy more often than usual.

In many cases, these symptoms don’t mean you have cancer. But it’s better to be safe than sorry.

See your gynaecologist if you have more than one of these symptoms for two weeks or longer.

sonchrispeter@gmail.com

Tanzania

Agriculture Minister Orders Sacking of Three Officials

Agriculture and Livestock minister, Dr Charles Tizeba, has directed the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Methew… Read more »

Finally, Hamisa Mobeto Reaches Out to Zari

Photo: allafrica.com

Zari distances herself from Diamond’s claims on the love affair with Hamisa.

‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ goes the adage, but what do they say about the woman who the man ‘scorned’ with? Enter Hamisa Mobeto, the woman in the centre of the controversial Diamond confession. They had an affair and she bore him a son and since then, the scorned woman (Zari Hassan) has been trading barbs on social media with the woman her husband slept with.

Hamisa’s posts, too, had been especially fiery. In one post, she claimed Zari’s South African mansion was rented and in another, she claimed that Diamond was in fact, not Nillan’s father.

But lately, it seems like Hamisa has rethought her position and recently reached out to Zari in a social media post: “Watoto wameshatuunganisha, najua kwa sasa mambo na maneno ya watu ni mengi ila ipo siku kwa sababu mtoto wangu ana ndugu na watoto wake basi tutakuwa sawa tu.Maana inawezekana mtoto wangu akataka kuwatembelea ndugu zake au wale wakamtaka ndugu yao kwa hiyo yote yanawekezekana.”

(The babies have brought us together. I know right now there are so many things people are saying about us but I know for sure someday she and I will be cool with each other because my child and hers are now siblings and at some point he may wish to visit them and vice versa).

Interestingly Hamisa’s sentiments comes at a time when Diamond’s mother Sandra has showed much love, support and appreciation for Zari. Last week on Friday, Zari arrived in Tanzania to a rousing welcome with hundreds of fans flocking the Julius Nyerere International airport.

Diamond’s most trusted bodyguard, Mwarabu Fighter who was also there to receive her. Moments after her touch down, Sandra took to her Instagram to welcome her daughter in law:

“South Africa kwako, Uganda kwako, Tanzania ni kwako pia. You are shinning everywhere. Welcome home Mama Tee.”

The following day on Saturday, Zari and Diamond launched their furniture store in Milimani City, Dar es Salaam that was highly attended with most Tanzania celebrities and fans. It was the same day Hamisa was also hosting a party for her newly born son.

Again Diamonds’ mom Sandra missed Hamisas’ party and took to Instagram to praise Zari , posting:

“Kazi juu ya kazi umekusanya Mlimani City kazibebe na za Zanzibar. muweka hazina nipo, kila la kheri Inshallah #strongFamily. Ujio wako umefanya maduka ya dawa yote ya jirani na Mlimani City yaishiwe panadol… dahhh Mashallah Mama Tee.”

Tanzania

Agriculture Minister Orders Sacking of Three Officials

Agriculture and Livestock minister, Dr Charles Tizeba, has directed the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Methew… Read more »

Zimbabwe:How Zimbabwe Squandered Its Diamond Riches

opinionBy Shannon Ebrahim

JUST a year before its citizens couldn’t find basic food items in their stores in 2007 and were literally starving, Zimbabwe made the largest diamond find in recent history. The Marange fields were so flush with alluvial diamonds that within six months there were 35 000 locals sifting for them. Behind the backs of the marauding security forces, people were stuffing diamonds into turkeys, hidden pockets, and any other cavities they could.

But just two years later, the government launched “Operation Never Return” to drive out informal miners from the Marange fields using brutal methods such as dogs and helicopter gunships. The intention was to exert greater control over the profits for the benefit of the political and military elite. The windfall from the great diamond find for ordinary Zimbabweans living on the poverty line was over.

But even with the profits filtering into the local economy in 2006 and 2007, the economy of the country was so devastated that finding basic food items to buy was almost impossible. Store shelves were empty, the prices of basic items rocketed, and Zimbabweans were flooding into South Africa by the thousands.

How did Zimbabwe squander such a rare chance to revive its beleaguered economy? In 2011, the Minister of Mines estimated that Marange could generate $2 billion (R26bn) a year in revenue.

Well, the answers can be found in a ground-breaking report released this week by Global Witness which tracks who profited, and how ordinary Zimbabweans were denied.

Despite Zimbabwe quickly becoming one of the top five diamond producers in the world after Russia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana, Zimbabweans continued to starve, face an unemployment rate of 80%, endure collapsing infrastructure, and a country without cash flow. The most stunning official admission from the policy establishment came last year from Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa who said in his 2016 budget statement: “There was a greater economic impact from diamonds during times of uncontrolled alluvial panning than through formal diamond mining arrangements.”

As Global Witness has exposed, the reason formal diamond mining did not see profits filtering back into the society is because the five main diamond companies which were given licences to mine the Marange fields were allegedly siphoning off the profits either to the Central Intelligence Organisation, the Zimbabwe Defence Industries, former security force chiefs, or associates of President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe has tried to claim that private companies involved “robbed Zimbabwe” as his government had anticipated profits worth $15bn from Marange, although only $2.5bn has been received from exports since 2010. But of that $2.5bn that the state earned, only $300 million was accounted for in public accounts, according to Global Witness.

While there may have been discrepancies between what private companies received and what went to the Treasury, the government owns 50% of the companies licenced to mine, and the responsibility for selecting and overseeing the private partners.

Of the five main mining companies, Kusena is entirely owned by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), and was set up by the CIO as a source of off-the-books financing. Then there is Anjin mining in which the Zimbabwe Defence Industries has a 40% stake. Jinan mining is another, and is considered an extension of Anjin that is 50% owned by the ZMDC. Mbada Diamonds has operated one of the largest mining concessions in Marange, and its owners hide behind a web of companies. Global Witness has uncovered that the company is owned by retired Air Force Chief Robert Mhlanga, who is a close associate of Mugabe.

More recently the government has tried to amalgamate the diamond industry into the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), and has refused to renew the licences of Marange companies. The shareholders of the ZCDC are largely the same cast of characters that emanate from Mugabe’s inner circle.

The tragedy is twofold. One is that so much revenue which could have been put towards lifting people out of poverty was squandered by the political and military elite when suffering was at an all time high. Second, members of the security establishment will seek to influence the outcome of next year’s election to further entrench their control over the diamond industry.

Needed now are steps toward parliamentary oversight of the operations of the ZCDC, and greater transparency concerning the revenue flows associated with the diamond industry.

Ethiopia:Ethiopian Companies to Benefit From EIB Backing for U.S.$100m Private Equity Fund

press release

Luxembourg — The European Investment Bank (EIB) will support private equity investment across Ethiopia though support for the new USD 100m Cepheus Growth Capital Fund. The EIB’s USD 10 million participation represents the first backing for an Ethiopia focused fund and one of the first engagements with a single country private equity fund in Africa by Europe’s long-term lending institution.

“The European Investment Bank is committed to fostering private sector investment across Africa. Our first support for private equity in Ethiopia, through the Cepheus Capital Growth Fund, will help leading local companies to expand and succeed. The fund manager’s significant financial experience and understanding of Ethiopia will ensure companies can unlock their true potential. With this new initiative the EIB will help Ethiopia, the second largest country in Africa, to meet key sustainable development goals and continue its recent impressive economic growth.” said Ambroise Fayolle, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.

EIB Vice President Fayolle this week visited Ethiopia on a two day visit. During his stay in Addis Ababa he met business leaders, entrepreneurs and diplomats, as well as Ethiopian government officials and representatives of the Economic Commission for Africa.

“Private equity investment will strengthen the growth of leading companies in Ethiopia and create new jobs across the country. This new cooperation with Cepheus demonstrates the European Investment Bank’s commitment to Ethiopia and support for economic growth across the country in the years ahead.” said Ambassador-Designate Johan Borgstam, Head of the European Union Delegation to Ethiopia.

The Cepheus Growth Capital Fund, founded by two Ethiopian born partners, will invest in private sector companies all over Ethiopia involved in manufacturing, consumer goods, agriculture and agro-processing. The fund is expected to invest between USD 3 million and USD 10 million in each company. The EIB participation in the Cepheus Growth Capital Fund was approved by the EIB’s shareholders in September and is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks in conjunction with support from other international investors.

The expected first ever support for private equity investment in Ethiopia was announced in June this year during a visit to Addis by Pim van Ballekom, EIB Vice President responsible for operations in East Africa.

Cepheus Growth Capital is led by Managing Partner Berhane Demissie. The Addis Ababa based operations team with significant African experience in private equity, banking and fund management will manage direct investments. Its investment strategy is focused on job creation and supporting social improvement.

During his visit to Addis Vice President Fayolle also addressed the African Microfinance Week conference alongside Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. The African Microfinance Week is a bi-annual major conference dedicated to development of financial inclusion in Africa and is supported by the EIB. More than 300 organisations were represented at this year’s conference that focuses on enhancing microfinance support for youth employment.

In recent years the EIB has supported investment to improve water infrastructure across Ethiopia and provided credit lines to back private sector investment. The EIB is currently finalising support for mobile banking in Ethiopia, it is also examining possible future backing of off-grid solar investment and financing for renewable energy projects and industrial parks.

Over the last five years the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 10.1 billion for investment across Africa.

Copyright European Union, 1995-2017

SOURCE European Investment Bank

Ethiopia

Ethiopian Airlines to Partner Tour Firms

Ethiopian Airlines is looking for tour and travel companies to partner in order to boost regional tourism and trade… Read more »

Uhuru Torch Here to Stay – President Magufuli

By Abdallah Msuya in Zanzibar

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday hit out at critics of the Uhuru Torch race, arguing that it remains relevant to Tanzanians, considering its role in unifying the nation and stimulating socio-economic development around the country.

The 2017 Uhuru Torch race climaxed yesterday after a marathon in 31 regions across 195 councils, where it inspected and inaugurated 1,512 development projects worth 1.1trl/-.

Dr Magufuli presided over the torch’s extinguishing ceremony at the Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar and used the occasion to respond to those questioning its relevancy to Tanzanians in the modern era.

The President gave three reasons he would not consider shelving the Freedom Torch during his tenure in office, insisting that it is more relevant now than ever.

“The Uhuru Torch is a national symbol that promotes development; unites Tanzanians and strengthens our union; it also symbolises freedom and light and during my tenure and Dr (Ali) Shein’s tenure, the Uhuru Torch race will be sustained,” the President vowed.

He said that he was quite aware that some sections of society were longing for the torch to be abandoned. “I asked myself are these people part of this country’s history?

If you were born in this country you would definitely understand its significance to the nation.” Previously, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Parliament, Work, Youth, Employment and Disabled), Ms Jenista Mhagama, read a report for the just concluded Uhuru Torch race, which showed that 1,512 projects worth 1.1trl/- were inaugurated across the country.

The new projects showed a 111.6 per cent rise in terms of capital investment from last year’s Uhuru Torch race, whereby a total of 1,387 projects, worth 498.89bn/- were launched. “Out of these projects, industrial ventures were 151, worth 569.83bn/-, which is equal to 57.97 per cent of all developments inaugurated in 2017.

The launched industries have employed 13,610 Tanzanians who have different skills,” said Ms Mhagama. She noted that 21 projects, worth 3.1bn/- in 19 councils could not be inaugurated or have foundation stones laid due to poor execution or planning of the ventures.

“The contractors behind the projects were ordered to rectify all weaknesses observed during inspection using their own funds and PCCB has been directed to conduct thorough investigation and take to task those who will be found guilty,” Ms Mhagama said.

President Magufuli received the report presented to him by Freedom Torch race leader, Amour Hamad Amour and promised to work on their suggestions.

On the other hand, Ms Mhagama said the Uhuru Torch race enabled the government to get information about HIV/AIDS prevalence in some parts of the country. According to her – 80,037 people were tested for HIV/AIDS whereby 1,458 (about 1.82 per cent) tested positive.

When it comes to the economy, Dr Magufuli defended the state of the country’s economy and slammed those who claim that it was on the decline due to a range of policies currently being implemented by the government.

JPM said contrary to those unfounded claims, Tanzania’s economy was steady and right on track, growing at a rate of 7.1 per cent. He was also optimistic that the government’s industrial drive was bearing fruit with more small, middle and big scale industries mushrooming in the country.

“I know there are some people out there who are mocking our industrial drive, but the truth is that industries are being constructed as vindicated by statistics unveiled here by the Uhuru Torch runners,” he told critics.

President Magufuli also reiterated his resolve to protect the country’s natural resources for the best interests of all Tanzanians. He, thus, vowed to improve the supervision of all available resources.

“We have so many resources … but you’re all witnesses to the fact that these resources have not helped us much, only a few Tanzanians and a few others from outside are reaping the benefits of our resources, during our tenure, me and Dr Shein, we won’t allow that situation to go on.”

“We’ll make sure that the resources benefit all Tanzanians and we have started taking measurers by amending mineral laws … already, the production and revenues are going up thanks to these reforms,” he noted.

He urged Tanzanians to be patient as his government implements a number of reforms, oozing confidence that the future is bright.

The 2017 Uhuru Torch race, which shot off on April 2 in Katavi Region and graced by Zanzibar Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Idd, toured various parts of the country, where different development projects were inspected and launched, while shedding light on government’s development endeavours, notably the 2025 development agenda, which centres on industrial economy.

During the 195-day marathon, the Freedom Torch sought to encourage locals to play part in the building of industrial economy for the envisaged national development, through its motto; ‘Participate in the promotion of industrial economy for national development.

” The Uhuru Torch also sought to draw attention to ongoing crusades against corruption, diseases (notably malaria and HIV/Aids) and narcotic drugs abuse, which is a growing problem among young population.

Are Some MPs Spying for Museveni On Age Limit?

Photo: The Independent

President Yoweri Museveni

By Sulaiman Kakaire

As the fight against lifting of presidential age limits grinds on and shapes into what promises to be bruising battles ahead, some opposition MPs have come under suspicion of working against their colleagues.

Informed sources say almost the same sort of mistrust troubling the ruling party, is creeping into the ranks of those opposed to Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi’s constitutional amendment bill (no.2), which seeks to scrap the 35 and 75-year presidential age limits.

“The thinking amongst members is that there are some of us who are acting as links for the president… Their brief is to inform the president or his agents on whatever development happens or what the group intends to do. This sort of mistrust is dividing us as members,” said a source privy to the pro-age limit campaign task force.

Sources say the mistrust came to the fore during a meeting held before the MPs were suspended and violently evicted from parliament on September 27 before the Magyezi bill was introduced into the House. Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko reportedly accused a female colleague of recording what he was saying during that meeting.

According to the source, who attended the meeting, Nsereko said: “[the lady] recorded me or perhaps the whole meeting. I was able to discover this because my phone has got an application or enhancement that would detect that I am being recorded within the surrounding and it picks the identity of a phone or device recording.”

Other sources at this meeting reveal that the accused individual was so outraged, a hot exchange ensued. Matters were saved from degenerating further by the intervention of Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Kira Municipality MP and chief opposition whip.

“If it was not for Hon Ssemujju to calm the situation, the two were almost closing-in on each other and could have become physical,” the source said.

By press time, The Observer had failed to reach the female individual for comment; however, Nsereko described these revelations as old news.

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“What is the value addition of the story? Who does it benefit? It is diversionary; you should not write things that are going to polarise us,” Nsereko said.Ssemujju neither denied nor confirmed what happened in an interview with The Observer.”I cannot give any comment about that. First call them and find out what happened, then come for my views,” he saidCOMPLICATES PLANNINGThat incident has since had a ripple effect on planning and organisation within the anti-age limit campaigners.”This is why there was no clear approach on what to do after the suspension. There were some of us who felt like fighting back was the right approach yet some members felt that there could have been some room for engagement,” The Observer was told.”Some people did not envisage a physical fight or violence [in parliament]. The other side [NRM] could have had it [fighting] at the back of their mind but we could have maybe handled it differently. This could not have happened but there was no prior coordinated planning for the session,” said one member, who declined to be named for fear of offending colleagues.Indeed, some members think the attack on them by Special Forces Command plain-clothes operatives was effected with insider help.”It cannot be a coincidence that when the security operatives entered the House to evict the suspended MPs, they started effecting the said order by throwing out people like Ssemujju and Mpuuga (Mathias Mpuuga, the Masaka Municipality MP), who had not even been suspended. It could have been that they were tipped off by one of us… ” said the source.At the time, Ssemujju and Mpuuga were coordinating the pro-age limit campaign strategy. Now, things are little more complicated, Ssemujju said this week.”Everyone is welcome to make a contribution regardless of their political affiliation. This is why religious leaders and civil society organisations are playing a big role,” he said.”You can’t say the opposition is to do it alone or that let’s leave it to only a few people. This requires all our collective voices. MPs have played their role and we need the people… ,” Ssemujju said.Asked whether mutual mistrust will not hurt their planning, Ssemujju said it will not if all Ugandans are united against the proposed amendment.”Every day we handle a meeting on age limits but this [MPs squabbling] is what we go through every day. MPs are complicated people and you cannot stop them from talking or addressing the press. It is within their right and I have no problem with it, except where they are addressing it on behalf of other colleagues. That is wrong,” Ssemujju said.Regardless, Mpuuga says they will continue mobilising the masses through their respective agents of socialisation like the church, civil society groups and cultural leaders.”How can you plan for violence by the army? You just have to mobilise the people to your side,” Mpuuga said.Currently, there are three planning teams working against the Magyezi bill.One group includes the whole opposition, independents and some NRM ‘rebels’. Then there is the opposition group, whose lead strategists include Ssemujju, Mpuuga and Muhammad Muwanga-Kivumbi (Butambala).The third group are largely NRM rebels, including, Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Monicah Amoding (Kumi Woman MP), Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (Kasambya).Tentatively, the opposition has organised joint rallies as part of an overall strategy to fight the proposed amendment of Article 102(b) which lays out the 35 and 75-year age limits for presidential candidates.

I Don’t Regret Leaving Cabinet Over Term Limits – Sarah Kiyingi

Photo: The Independent

President Yoweri Museveni

interviewBy Amos Ngwomoya

As the debate on the lifting of the 75-year age cap on the presidency rages, Sunday Monitor’s Amos Ngwomoya catches up with former Minister of State for internal affairs Sarah Kiyingi and she shares her views on the matter and other issues in the country.

You have been out of the spotlight for many years now. What have you been up to?

I have been basically living my life; I have been farming, teaching people the Bible, counselling and praying with them. I am a Christian and I have realised that God has a lot for us and this can be realised when you read the Bible. Many people are troubled out there because they don’t know God.

At a time when the majority Cabinet members kept quiet about deleting presidential term limits from the Constitution, you were one of the few who spoke against it and got fired. Is that a decision you regret?

Regret what? Even before the presidential term limits were removed from the Constitution, I had seen it coming and I actually went to one of my church leaders and I told him that Mr Museveni wants another term. But I made it clear to him that if the matter was passed in Cabinet, I would oppose it and thereafter resign because it was unconstitutional.

I opposed it in Cabinet but they passed it and when it was brought to Parliament, I still told them not to pass it but they insisted.

You spoke out against term limits at great political risk, and your political career literally ended there. Don’t you regret that?

No, no, no. For me, I don’t really think that’s the reason my political career ended because I had a plan of serving two terms but also, I wanted to serve people because politics is just a service and I believed that what I hadn’t done, other people would accomplish it.

More on This

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Uganda’s Age Limit Bill Goes Through First Reading

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Age Limit Debate Shuts Down Parliament – Again

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What were your reasons for opposing the lifting of the presidential term limits?You see, people ought to be honest. For me, I really believe that [President] Museveni did a good job in the beginning. We went through difficult times during Idi Amin and Milton Obote’s regimes and we didn’t have structures. We needed somebody who would build structures and Museveni did this. A constitution was made, Judiciary formed and many others. Now after forming these structures, you need a leader who will abide by the law and honour institutions, but that’s not Museveni. He doesn’t believe in structures.Did the President ever call you when you opposed the lifting of term limits in 2005?No, he didn’t. I guess he knew that I wasn’t going to accept it because I had made up my mind. He never called me.In 2005, former ministers Bidandi Ssali [Local Government], Eriya Kategaya [First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs] and Miria Matembe [Ethics and Intergrity] and you opposed the lifting of term limits. This time, no Cabinet member has spoken out against removing the age limit for the presidency yet. What do you think has changed?The young ones who are now there are being given money. I don’t know their reasons and they can speak for themselves because those of us who opposed the lifting of term limits are no longer there.How do you think his overstay in power has affected the country?I am not an economist but that’s obvious. When you see doctors demanding for a higher pay, it means you are asking Museveni to print more money because he isn’t ready to surrender power soon. Anything that isn’t contributing to his agenda of remaining in power won’t get priority and it will just get superficial attention because the main issue is sustaining Museveni in power.Some people say it would not matter if there were no age limits and term limits so long as elections are free and fair. What do you say to this?May be. For instance if we happened to have free and fair elections in Uganda, Museveni wouldn’t be President. He would have even gone at the time they removed presidential term limits from the Constitution.But as I told you, Museveni doesn’t respect institutions and he doesn’t respect people who head those institutions. Like in the Electoral Commission, he will make sure he puts people he wants there.Have you had an opportunity to meet the President since you were fired from Cabinet?I have never met him. I have been to meetings and events where he officiates but we have never met and talked ever since I left Cabinet 10 years ago.What would you tell him if you met him?I would tell him my mind but of course I won’t go looking for him because I really think it’s a wastage of time. I think he can’t change unless God touches him. He is now hard-hearted and he perhaps thinks that there is nothing else he can do if he retires from politics.ProfileCareer. Ms Sarah Kiyingi joined Parliament as Rakai Woman MP and served between 1996 and 2006. She was appointed Minister of State for Internal Affairs in 1998 but dropped in a 2003 Cabinet reshuffle, alongside ministers Jaberi Bidandi Ssali (Local Government), Miria Matembe (Ethics and Integrity) and Eriya Kategeya (First deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs) for opposing the lifting of presidential term limits, which saw President Museveni contest for a third term. Ms Kiyingi has since retired from politics.

Elders Reject Age Limit Bill

Photo: The Independent

President Yoweri Museveni

By Franklin Draku

A conclave of elders has asked Members of Parliament pushing for constitutional amendments to shelve the ‘Age Limit Bill’, they said only seeks “to suit one person’s interest”.

The elders’ forum also reminded President Museveni who will be 77 in 2021, when his current five-year term expires, that “time has come for him to rest so that a new generation can take over” the reins of the country.

Some of the elders who convened in Kampala last Friday to discuss the proposed national dialogue called for wider consultations and warned that if the Bill is rushed through Parliament, there will be consequences — it will sow seeds of disunity in the country and undermine peace and stability.

Warning

Former Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi and former Chief Justice Samuel William Wako Wambuzi were outspoken and in no uncertain terms warned those pushing for the removal of age limit caps to go slow on.

They have reminded MPs that no Constitution in the world can be all inclusive and called those calling for removal of constitutional safeguards “misguided”.

“The President himself said when one is 75 years old, [he or she] gets tired. He himself has said that so why do you … him?” Prof Nsibambi questioned those hawking the disputed Constitutional amendments.

Acknowledging Mr Museveni’s contribution to the development of the country, Prof Nsibambi said, time has come for him to rest so that a new generation can take over the leadership.

He also advised the NRM leader “to accept that people shape the nation but after sometime they must allow the nation and the institution to shape them.”

With a smirking face, Mr Wambuzi paused and questioned the proponents of the Age Limit Bill on why they are rushing with the amendment without the input of Ugandans.

He reminded the architects of the Bill about the hegemony of the Constitution and the need to move cautiously because Ugandans need a happy, peaceful and prosperous nation.

“The national Constitution is the fundamental law, the supreme law I think [the people in Parliament] should pay due respect to the Constitution not to jump and amend the Constitution merely to suit one person’s interest”, he counseled.

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He also warned that the Constitution must only be amended when it must, adding that the supreme law cannot be amended every time an obstacle is envisaged by one person who wants to stay in power for life.He reminded the pro-age limit removal members that it took over five years to come up with the 1995 Constitution and therefore cannot be amended in just two weeks or even months.Justice James Ogoola, the retired Principal Judge of the High Court and the chairperson of The Elders Forum of Uganda criticised those plotting against the age limit cap and wondered why the age limit proponents are rushing to amend the constitution without involving the citizens.A Private Members Bill on the Constitutional amendments was tabled on September 27, amid fierce protests Parliament.The bill was drafted by Igara West MP, Raphael Magyezi and it has the Cabinet backing. It was tabled after security operatives raided Parliament and evicted MPs opposed to the Bill.Trouble started after Speaker Rebecca Kadaga suspended some of the MPs opposed to the removal of age limit.The scuffle in Parliament left some legislators hospitalised and others arrested on various charges.The Bill is now property of Parliament and is before Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.The committee starts public hearings on October 31.Those pushing for the amendments insist that Article 102 (b) is discriminatory and should therefore be amended to allow those above 75 years and below 35 contest for presidency.To illustrate their argument that their Bill is not simply hell-bent on helping Mr Museveni to contest for the sixth-elective term, the Bill proposes separate amendments to Article 104 [challenging a presidential election], Chapter 11 [Local government system] and Article 61[Functions of the Electoral Commission].On challenging a presidential election petition, the Bill proposes to amend Article 104 and increase the deadline for filing the petition challenging presidential election results from the current 10 days to 15 days.Clause 3 provides that the Supreme Court shall inquire into and determine the petition expeditiously and shall declare its findings not later than 45 days from the date the petition is filed.Under Clause 6, where such an election is annulled by court, a fresh election shall be held within 60 days from the date of the annulment.An amendment to Article 60 proposes that the Electoral Commission shall hold presidential, general parliamentary and local government council elections within the first 30 days of the last 120 days before the expiration of the term of office of the president.Justice Ogoola however, warned that the issue of the amendment should not only be handled by the few legislators, but the entire nation should be involved through wider consultations and dialogue.”Our view on this is that yes if we find big difficulties with it, let’s take it to those who own the Constitution, let them discuss its merits and demerits up and down in a measured way”, Justice Ogoola said.Ms Rhoda Nsibirwa Kalema, the first female legislator and a former member of the Constituency Assembly, who took part in the drafting of the 1995 Constitution faulted the government for failing to translate the supreme law into major local languages for easy understanding by those who do not understand the English language.Key issuesBiased. The proponents of the Bill insist that Article 102 (b) is discriminatory and should therefore be amended to allow those above 75 years and below 35, contest for presidency.Petition. On challenging a presidential election petition, the Bill proposes to amend Article 104 and increase the deadline for filing the petition challenging presidential election results from the current 10 days to 15 days.Cancelling poll. Under Clause 6, where such an election is annulled by court, a fresh election shall be held within 60 days from the date of the annulment.Role of EC. An amendment to Article 60 proposes that the Electoral Commission shall hold presidential, parliamentary and local government council elections within the first 30 days of the last 120 days before the expiration of the term of office of the president.

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