Posts tagged as: museveni

Court Dismisses Museveni Defamation Case Against Otunnu

Photo: Abubaker Lubowa/Daily Monitor

Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) President Olara Otunnu.

By Juliet Kigongo

Kampala — Court in Kampala has dismissed the case in which former Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party president Olara Otunnu was accused of defaming President Museveni.

Buganda Road Court grade one magistrate, Ms Joan Aciro dismissed the case on grounds that the prosecution had failed to produce sufficient evidence against Mr Otunnu.

“The only prosecution witness brought to court was Mr Gideon Tugume, a journalist working with Top Television. However, Mr Tugume who appeared in court once was never cross examined by the defence as was required in this case.

Prosecution was put on notice to bring him for cross examination but in vain. Prosecution failed to produce him therefore such testimony is of no value on court record,” Ms Aciro said.

The trial magistrate also noted that Mr Tugume in his testimony had informed court that he captured Mr Otunnu making the defamatory statements against the president. However, he did not submit in court any recording to prove the allegations.

“Court can not only base on only witness’s allegations to convict someone,”Ms Aciro added.

After the court ruling, Mr Otunnu through his lawyer Mr Asuman Basalirwa said he would sue the government over malicious prosecution.

The case arose from Mr Otunnu’s January 16, 2013 press conference in which he allegedly questioned the deaths of what he called President Museveni’s allies since the Front for National Salvation’s (Fronasa) struggles to date, saying they should be investigated.

Prosecution had stated that on January 16, 2013 at UPC party headquarters at Uganda House, in Kampala, Mr Otunnu, with intent to defame President Museveni, allegedly caused a publication of a defamatory matter.

The said incidents include: atrocities in Luwero while Museveni commanded rebellious forces between 1981 and 1986; the massacres of Muslims in Ankole in 1979 when Museveni was commander of the Western Axis of anti-Amin forces composed mainly of his FRONASA contingent.

Others are; the massacre at Ombaci in West Nile in 1981; the scorched-earth counter-insurgency operations and genocide in northern and eastern Uganda between 1986 and 2006; and the wanton killing of unarmed demonstrators on the streets of Kampala, in September 2009.

Otunnu reportedly pointed out that a lot of disappearances and mysterious deaths had occurred under Museveni’s watch and authority since the Front for National Salvation’s (FRONASA) struggles to-date, saying they should be investigated.

His remarks prompted the Attorney General to write to the then UPC president giving him five days to make a public apology for his comments, or face legal action. Mr Otunnu has since declined to make any apologies.

The State further claimed that on February 28, 2013 without reasonable excuse, the UPC leader also ignored a police summon to appear before the Media Crime Department at CIID despite acknowledging receipt of the summon at a press conference he convened at Uganda House.

Activists Challenge Law Used to Charge Stella Nyanzi

Photo: The Observer

Stella Nyanzi (C) at Buganda Road court.

By Derrick Kiyonga

The law under which Makerere University researcher was charged at the Buganda Road court has been challenged at the Constitutional court by the FDC’s chairperson for Katikamu South and two civil society groups.

The petitioners are Swaibu Gwogyolonga Nsamba, Unwanted Witness Uganda and Human Rights Enforcement Foundation. Under challenge is section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.

It states that any person who willfully and repeatedly uses electronic communication to disturb or attempts to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication whether or not a conversation ensues commits a misdemeanor and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty four currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both..

Like Nyanzi, Nsamba was charged under the same section over an offensive social media post against President Museveni. He appeared before Buganda Road court on December 19, 2016 for posting on Facebook that he will announce and mourn the death of President Museveni as and when he dies. The post was accompanied by a photoshopped picture of Museveni.

More on This

Ugandan Court Orders Stella Nyanzi to Undergo Mental Exam


Stella Nyanzi Sent Back to Luzira Until May 10I’m Mistreated in Prison – Stella Nyanzi

Ugandan Activist’s Sanity Queried for ‘Pair-of-Buttocks’ Insult

Makerere Don Stella Nyanzi Charged, RemandedStella Nyanzi, the Vulgar Activist, Takes On the Pair-of-Buttocks-in-Chief

Ugandan Court Blocks Media From Covering Stella Nyanzi’s Case

High Court Orders Prison to Produce Activist Stella NyanziCourt Blocks Journalists From Covering Nyanzi’s Case

In his petition, Nsamba says that the section contravenes Article 29 (1) B(a) of the Constitution when it is applied to an individual who makes critical comments on public affairs regarding a politician or a person who has assumed a public role.The article stipulates that, “Every person shall have the right to–freedom of speech and expression which shall include freedom of the press and other media…”Through Rwakafuuzi and company advocates, Nsamba says the section of the law should be struck down by the court because the Constitution establishes Uganda as a democratic society.”My lawyers have informed me that freedom of expression is a very important element for the sustenance of the democratic order,” says Nsamba, who is out of prison on bail.Also under challenge in the petition is section 179 of the Penal Code Act which provides for criminal libel which the petitioners says is inconsistent with Article 29(1)(a) of the Constitution as well as regional and international human rights and standards.In his affidavit in support of the petition, Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala, the executive director of Unwanted Witness, says the imposition of criminal sanctions for defamation has chilling effect on freedom of expression and the maintenance of democratic order.More on ThisStella Nyanzi Sent Back to Luzira Until May 10

The controversial Makerere research fellow Dr Stella Nyanzi will remain on remand until May 10 to know the fate of her… Read more »

Legislators Protest As Museveni Asks for More Advisors

Photo: The Observer

President Museveni with wife Janet Museveni (L) and Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda.

By Sadab Kitatta Kaaya

President Museveni has asked Parliament to make room for another 18 presidential advisors in the next financial year.

The move is in keeping with the president’s tradition of shoring up the numbers of his presidential advisors after every election cycle or cabinet reshuffle. However, the request, which would raise the number of presidential advisors from 145 to 163, has met strong opposition from members of Parliament.

According to the 2017/18 ministerial policy statement for the Presidency, the appointment of the 18 presidential advisors will push the wage budget for the advisors up by Shs 28.5bn.

By the time he was sworn-in last year for his fifth elective presidential term, Museveni had 141 advisors. He drafted in four former ministers who lost the February 2016 elections. The 18 new advisors will be appointed on ministerial terms, joining another 12 who were previously appointed on similar terms.

According to the ministerial statement’s executive summary, which is signed by the minister for the Presidency, Esther Mbayo Mbulakubuza, the appointment creates a funding gap of Shs 18.32bn. This is in addition to Shs 2.6bn earmarked to facilitate 10 new resident district commissioners (RDCs) in the newly created districts, plus Shs 150bn to cater for outstanding presidential pledges.

While MPs on the Presidential Affairs committee of Parliament are in agreement with the budget request for the RDCs and presidential pledges, they are not swayed by the president’s request for more ad- visors.

“We have raised these issues with them [the Presidency] but they have not responded. We want to know why they want to increase the number of presidential advisors yet all the many advisors he [Museveni] has never get to meet him,” committee vice chairperson, Susan Amero Amuria Woman), told The Observer on April 24.

“In any case, if they [advisors] ever meet the president, they [ministry for Presidency officials] should tell us what they advise him about when the economy is in such bad shape,” Amero added.

PSEUDO CABINET

Mbayo was not readily available to be interviewed for a comment and the senior presidential press secretary Don Innocent Wanyama declined an interview at the weekend. He instead referred this writer to the ministry of Public Service. Amero, however, said ad- visors appointed on ministerial terms are largely people who Museveni drops from his cabinet.

“They get the same facilitation they were earning as ministers,” Amero said.

Asked why someone is dropped from cabinet, only to continue paying him or her a ministerial salary, Amero said, “That is one of the issues we want them [the Presidency] to explain.”

But opposition MP Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality) accused the president of abusing the budget.

“There are essentially two issues relating to this matter; one is the blatant abuse of the budget by the presidency because the presidency is one of the entities with a bloated budget yet it is one of the known unproductive entities but rather consumptive,” Mpuuga said on Monday.

“The second issue is that the president is using public resources to advance the interests of his party through irregular appointments because while he has the right to appoint people, he has no right to appoint people who are redundant,” the DP politician added.

Mpuuga said the scenario presents a classic case of the president running two cabinets, one which is vetted and works with parliament and another which works in his office.

“The one which works in his office is comprised of presidential advisors and their duty is to advance the interest of his party which to me is tantamount to abuse of public funds. We have ministers quarreling over what to do and he is adding more people,” Mpuuga said.

THE FIGURES

On average, each of the advisors earns a gross monthly salary of Shs 2.3m in addition to a driver who is paid Shs 209,859.

But some advisors like Fred Kaliisa-Kabagambe, the former permanent secretary in the ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, and former first deputy prime minister Henry Muganwa Kajura, bag a monthly salary of Shs 15m, almost seven times more than what former prime minister Apolo Nsibambi and former attorney general Peter Nyombi earn as advisors.

The two earn about Shs 2.3m. The former chairman of Uganda Aids Commission, Vinand Nantulya, also earns Shs 15m a month, Shs 4m higher than what is paid to former Obote-II government Security minister Chris Rwakasisi, former minister for the Presidency Beatrice Wabudeya and Franco Ojur, all of who earn Shs 11.1m.

Museveni’s former private secretaries Mary Amajo and Alice Kaboyo earn Shs 7.3m and Shs 6m respectively for advising the president.

“We advise him to re-use those resources to put medicines in our hospitals and improve staff and remuneration for doctors and teachers,” Mpuuga said.

According to John Mark Agong, a budget policy specialist with Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (Csbag), the money government intends to spend on the advisors could be used to provide free sanitary pads for schoolgirls for eight years as well as capitalise the health insurance scheme for more than 10 years.

“Under health, there is need for Shs 45bn for sanitary towels to keep the girls at school, the health insurance scheme needs more than Shs 10bn for startup, which money is not available,” Agong said.

The money, Agong said, is several times more than the Shs 60bn that will be cut off the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) budget next financial year, which could be used to fight armyworms that are destroying maize plantations across the country.

“No substantial investment has been put to fight army-worms, which are destroying maize crops across the country, which has more than 70 percent of its population depending on agriculture,” Agong said.

Like Mpuuga, Agong argued that money spent on the presidential advisors should instead be spent on provision of small-scale irrigation kits.

“Operation Wealth Creation is distributing farm inputs that need elements of value addition if the farmers are to get returns from their efforts. Adoption of the technologies by the farmers is still low and it will require resources to disseminate these technologies,” Agong argued.

‘Petty’ School Problems Are for Community to Solve – Education Minister Janet Museveni

By Jonathan Kamoga

If properly embraced, government programmes like Operation Wealth Creation will solve petty school problems in rural areas like lack of toilets and building the First Lady also Education minister, Janet Museveni has said.

Ms Museveni made the remarks on yesterday, Monday while commissioning the newly renovated National Teachers College in Kaliro district in Eastern Uganda.

She was reacting to a request for pit latrines and more classes in government schools by the Kaliro district chairperson, Ibanda Wycliffe. The minister said that such issues are not a priority of government, adding that they can be handled by community and local council authorities.

“Leaders have to relate their demands to other demands of other sectors say health”, she said. Adding: “Government is looking at many things now but priority is infrastructure, if communities embrace wealth creation, it is the only way we can address these issues.”

She appealed to local leaders to vigorously embrace the different programmes government brings under wealth creation and ensure people in their localities fully participate to increase household income.

“When our people have income, we shall not have problems like lack of latrines and classrooms. We shall not wait for government or development partners,” she said.

RENOVATION

NTC Kaliro has been renovated under a partnership with ministry of education and sports and the Belgium development agency (BTC). The renovation saw face lifting of many classroom blocks, construction of new ones, and furnishing of different lecture rooms, improving ICT rooms, putting up a water tank and a biogas kitchen among others.

Kaliro becomes the third college to be renovated under this project after Muni in Arua and Mulago Tutors colleges.

Others that are in the pipeline include Abilonino Instructors College NTC Mubende. The project’s first phase looks at infrastructural and institution development.

The Belgian ambassador to Uganda, Hugo Verbist said that; “In the second phase, there will be high priority in social welfare. This will go hand in hand with strengthening skills.”

Students at the college expressed delight over the renovation with most of them saying the previous environment that they were in, was not conducive for learning since equipment was limited and the buildings were dilapidated.

Asiya Auma, a second year student at the institution offering math and chemistry said that with new equipment, they will be able to achieve better education.

“I came here and when I saw the old buildings, I wanted to go back. You cannot come to an institute which is worse than the secondary school you are coming from. Some students were studying under tree shelter but now we are really grateful for this development,” Auma told The Observer.

Africa: Google Highlights 60 App and Game Nominees for Second Annual Play Awards

By Michael Simon

Google I/O is just about three weeks away, and Google is already starting the festivities. Along with the developer’s preview of Android O, the company has now announced the finalists for its second annual Google Play Awards, and there are even more awesome apps on display this year.

While all of the main awards remain, including Best App, Best Game, Best Standout Indie, and Best Standout Startup, a number of new apps will be recognized this year in an array of categories, including AR, VR, and Android Wear. This year, each category includes five nominees, with winners to be announced on Thursday, May 18. We’ve listed all the nominees below, and you can also find them all on a single Play Store page.

Best App

Citymapper

Fabulous

Memrise

Money Lover

Quik

Best Game

Choices

Fire Emblem Heroes

Lineage 2 Revolution

Pokemon Go

Transformers: Forged to Fight

Standout Indie

Causality

Kingdom: New Lands

Mars: Mars

Mushroom 11

Reigns

Standout Startup

CastBox

Digit

Discord

Hooked

Simple Habit

Best Android Wear Experience

Bring!

Foursquare City Guide

Lifesum

Runtastic

Seven

Best TV Experience

AbemaTV

HaystackTV

KKBox

Netflix

Red Bull TV

Best VR Experience

Gunjack 2: End of Shift

Mekorama VR

The Arcslinger

The Turning Forest

Virtual Virtual Reality

Best AR Experience

Crayola Color Blaster

Dinosaurs Among Us

Holo

WayfairView

Woorld

Best App for Kids

Animal Jam

Hot Wheels: Race Off

Teeny Titans

Think! Think!

Toca Life: Vacation

Best Multiplayer Game

Dawn of Titans

FIFA Mobile

Hearthstone

Lords Mobile

Modern Strike Online

Best Accessibility Experience

A Blind Legend

Eye-D

IFTTT

Open Sesame

SwiftKey Symbols

Best Social Impact

Charity Miles

Peek Acuity

Prodeaf

Sea Hero Quest

ShareTheMeal

Africa

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 »

Africa: What Is Albinism and What Causes It?

Al Jazeera has received a number of questions about albinism following the publishing of our investigation into the killings of people with albinism in Malawi.

The report, “Killed for their bones: On the trail of the trade in human body parts” explores the reasons behind the devastating attacks on the community in Malawi over the past two years.

Al Jazeera answers some of your questions below.

What is albinism?

Albinism is a congenital disorder that results in a lack of pigmentation (known as melanin) that gives colour to hair, skin and eyes. Other conditions associated with albinism include vulnerability to bright light, which can cause legal blindness.

Because their skin is particularly vulnerable to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, they can also be predisposed to skin cancer and lesions. According to a 2014 study, people with albinism in Africa are 1,000 times more likely to get skin cancer than others.

There are five genetic types of albinism, the most common being oculocutaneous (“oculo” meaning eye and “cutaneous” meaning skin) type 1 (OCA1) and type 2 (OCA2).

What causes albinism?

Albinism is caused by a recessive gene, meaning both parents must carry the gene for it to be passed on. The parents themselves do not need to have albinism.

Many children with albinism have blue or brown eyes. Sometimes, the eyes might appear pink or reddish, and that is a result of the iris having very little colour. Albinism is a lifelong condition and does not cause intellectual disabilities.

Children with albinism usually have normal intelligence but their poor health and poor vision can often result in persons with albinism abandoning schooling.

People with albinism are considered legally blind because their photoreceptors (or cells in the retina that detect light) are unable to adequately convert light into clear signals to the brain. As a result, persons with albinism have a condition called nystagmus. This is when the eyes continuously flutter. They may also have problems reduced depth perception and with tracking an object with their eyes.

How common is albinism?

Albinism occurs globally, in all gender, racial and ethnic groups. Estimates of affected people as part of the general population vary from region to region. The highest rate is in Sub-Saharan Africa with an estimated 1 in 5,000 people likely to be a person with albinism in Tanzania.

What is the preferred term?

The term “albino” has historically been used in a derogatory manner, so “person with albinism” is preferred when referring to people with albinism. “Albino” also defines a person by his appearance, but “person with albinism” puts the person before their condition.

Africa

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 »

Police Boss Criticized Over Crime Rate

By Dicta Asiimwe

Uganda’s police chief Kale Kayihura is under pressure to explain the increasing crime rate, which was worsened by the recent killing of police spokesperson Andrew Kaweesi.

He has now turned to a government policy requiring all mobile phone users register their Sim-cards.

Critics accuse him of knee-jerk and diversionary reactions that distract from questioning his tactics and capacity to fight crime. They point to the lack of a single conviction in a string of at least 14 high profile murders over a period of four years. Two petitions were filed in Court challenging the registration exercise.

However, the government granted a 30-day extension.

General Kayihura said unregistered Sim-cards hinder investigations.

He said mobile phones had become “weapons that criminals use to carry out murders and theft.”

The registration exercise had been framed as a security measure.General Kayihura also went to court seeking a gag order against the media reporting and writing about the murder of Kaweesi.

He said journalists are allegedly jeopardising national security and hampering investigations into the murder of the former police spokesperson.

The assassination of Mr Kaweesi prompted President Yoweri Museveni to publicly accuse the police of being full of criminals. He directed Gen Kayihura to carry out a yet to be done clean-up of the force.

Uganda

Human Rights in Spotlight as President’s Critic Remains in Jail

As the magistrate court at Buganda Road resumes hearing of cases against Stella Nyanzi on Monday April 25, focus is… Read more »

Prison Officials Block Dr Besigye From Accessing Detained Dr Nyanzi

By Damali Mukhaye

Former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye has been denied access to Makerere University academician, Dr Stella Nyanzi who was recently remanded to Luzira Prison.

The officials at the entrance of the prison’s women wing told Besigye to first reverse his car as they “consult big people on whether he should be allowed to enter or not”.

The official only identified as Bwambale said they could not allow Besigye to see Dr Nyanzi because today (Friday) is not a visiting day for inmates and that he can only be allowed if there was an “order from above.”

Mr Bwambale however declined to disclose whom he was referring to as ‘the above.’

“We can only allow you inside if you get clearance from Prisons headquarters,” Mr Bwambale told Besigye who was accompanied by other FDC members Ms Margaret Wokuri and Paga Gloria.

Dr Besigye told journalists that he wanted to see Dr Nyanzi “to encourage her not to give up on the fight but be strong as the struggle continues.”

“I have been in such situations several times and I understand what she is going through. I come here to encourage her, advise her and see the situation she is in and how I can offer my support, “Besigye said.

Dr Besigye then went to the men’s wing to see Kawempe South Member of Parliament, Mr Mubarak Munyagwa who was recently remanded for failing to refund Shs100m he allegedly fleeced from a city businessman one Mr John Baptist Maali.

However, prisons authorities blocked journalists from entering.

Dr Nyanzi was on April 10 charged and remanded to prison for insulting president Museveni on Facebook.

She’s charged with two counts including cyber harassment contrary to section 24 (1)(2)(a) of the Computer misuse Act 2011 and offensive communication contrary to section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.

In the first count, prosecution alleges that “Dr Nyanzi on January 28, 2017 at Kampala District or thereabout used a computer to post on her Facbook page “Stella Nyanzi” wherein she made a suggestion or proposal referring to His Excellence Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as among others “a pair of buttocks” which suggestion/ proposal is obscene or indecent.”

In the second count, prosecution states that Dr Nyanzi “between January 2017 and march 2017 in Kampala district wilfully and repeatedly used electronic communication to post messages offensive in nature via Facebook, transmitted over the internet to disturb or attempted to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of his excellency the president of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni with no purpose of legitimate communication.

Uganda

Suspected DR Congo Soldiers Kidnap Four Ugandans

Four Ugandan fishermen have been abducted by suspected Congolese soldiers on Lake Albert in western Uganda, security… Read more »

Museveni Throws Out Officials On Qatar Trip

Photo: PPU/Daily Monitor

Visiting. President Museveni and the First Lady Janet being received by His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (right), the Amir of the state of Qatar at his residence (Emir Dewani). Left is Sam Kutesa, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

By Frederic Musisi

Kampala — President Museveni single-handedly picked the list of government officials in the delegation accompanying him to a three-day State visit to oil producing Qatar in the Middle East, according to highly placed sources.

The President, who left for Qatar on Tuesday afternoon with his wife Janet, sources said, threw out a list of officials from the ministries of Labour, Agriculture, Energy and the usual long line of protocol officers who had lined up for the trip, opting to unusually travel with a lean team comprising select officials from Foreign Affairs and Finance. The President’s delegation usually varies from time to time depending on the nature of the trip and assignments at hand.

A technical team was in Qatar much earlier shuffling back and forth over the MoU paper work but sources intimated the President could have dropped some officials premised on his “Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo” (era of no-compromise) sloganeering, in which he signaled government starting to show some seriousness. During this year’s Liberation Day celebrations, the President rapped officials for excess travels, even where assignments can be executed by a small team, a practice he said should stop.

At the Hamad International Airport in the capital Doha, Mr Museveni was received by out-going ambassador to Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) Dr Ssemuddu Yahaya who was reassigned to Tehran (Iran), and Qatari minister for Municipality and Environment Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi.

Yesterday, the President held bilateral talks with the Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani at his residence, who expressed interest in exploring investment opportunities in Uganda and proposed that the two countries create a coordination team led by two ministers to oversee this prospect.

“We can work in two ways, through government and the private sector,” President Museveni was quoted in a statement issued by his press secretary Linda Nabusayi.

“The private sector can invest and process food, textiles, minerals and tourism while government cooperation can look at energy, roads, technical education, innovations and industrial parks.”

The President, who specifically tapped junior Finance minister in charge of Investment Evelyn Anite to coordinate the Qatar-Uganda business interests, said the two countries could as well cooperate in the fields of Energy and Infrastructure.

Premier Abdullah bin Nasser, according to the statement, indicated that with his country hosting the World Cup tournament in 2022, Ugandans could as well take advantage of the migrant labour wave sweeping into the country to tap into the immense jobs available, especially with construction of stadiums and other amenities.

Earlier, the President held a meeting with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, where they witnessed the signing of four MoUs between Uganda and Qatar in the spheres of defence signed by Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa and Qatari defence minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah, and on political consultations also signed by Mr Kutesa and his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.

Other MoUs, on reciprocal cooperation in the protection of investments was signed by Finance minister Matia Kasaija and Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al-Thani, the Qatari minister for economy and commerce, and cooperation in agriculture also signed by Mr Kutesa and Sheihk Mohammad Al Rumaihi, the minister for Municipality and Environment.

Later, Mr Museveni and his wife held a meeting with Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser, the chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, a non-profit organisation.

The meeting discussed investments in Uganda, especially in education. The Foundation previously, has been working with the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, founded by US Actor Forrest Whitaker, in empowering youth in Northern Uganda.

Uganda: Uganda Losing Millions in Illegal Fishing Says Ministry

Photo: Daily Monitor

Waters of River Nile (file photo).

By Paul Adude

Entebbe — The Minister of Agriculture Animal industry and Fisheries, Mr Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, has said government is losing a lot of income in the fisheries sector due to continued use of bad or illegal fishing methods.

“Currently Uganda earns about $150m (Shs542b) in exports annually but some time back when all factories were operational, we were earning $400m (Shs1.4 trillion), which I believe if all regulations were in place we could earn double that figure to a tune of $800m (Shs2.8 trillion) annually” he said.

The minister made the remarks while addressing journalists during the pass out ceremony of the second batch of UPDF officers of the Fisheries Protection Force (FPU) at the Fisheries Training Institute in Entebbe.

Mr Ssempijja said there is need to protect the fisheries sub-sector which contributes 3 per cent to the national GDP and 26 per cent to the agriculture sector GDP.

“We used to have up to 23 fish processing plants countrywide but 13 factories have closed due to lack of enough fish supply to justify their existence in the country and were operating below 20 per cent, we no longer get income because some people are using illegal fishing methods,” he added.

He said that the Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) is going to fill the law enforcement gap that has hit the fisheries sector since November 2015 following President Museveni’s orders to disband the enforcement bodies.

“We used to have enforcements before like police and the army but they failed to maintain order with some people that were deployed to enforce instead indulging in criminalities. This forced President Museveni to put a stop to their operation until we come up with a better way of enforcing law in the fisheries sector,” he said.

Maj James Nuwagaba the UPDF commanding officer Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU), during the pass out said the newly trained 50 army officers would join the 56 first batch deployed on parts of Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga and Bwera-Kasese to oversee the enforcement of law around the water bodies in the country.

He further warned business men, citing rally ace Ponsiano Lwakataka, who he described as being a constant trouble, continuously dodging and bribing people along the roads till he reaches the selling market. “Where civilians have failed we shall handle the areas people, like Lwakataka, Asiimwe and Umaru we know them we will deal with them,” he said.

Maj Nuwagaba said that by the April 30, Kalangala District will be cleared of illegal fishing activities and then the Force will monitor those who may want to go back and revive the illegal trade.

Mr Pius Wakabi Kasajja the Agriculture ministry permanent secretary advised the soldiers to avoid getting comprised to join illegalities and work with the community.

“Even though you operate militarily you’re going to work in citizen areas, deal with them using the law like you have been trained, don’t be too fast to pull the trigger because some people will die to taint your image,” he said.

Uganda

Suspended Minister in Sex and Bribe Scandal Faces Fresh Charges

The State yesterday added one more charge against the former junior minister for Labour, Herbert Kabafunzaki, who is… Read more »

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