Posts tagged as: state-house

MPs Question State House Shs 23 Billion Supplementary Request

Parliament’s budget committee has raised concern over the Shs 23.1 billion supplementary budget request from State House – less than two months to the end of 2016/2017.

The latest request is an addendum to an earlier request of the Shs 2.9 billion supplementary budget request from State House that was approved by parliament retrospectively.

State House received Shs 257.29 billion for the 2016/2017 financial year under Vote 002. According to the new supplementary budget request, Shs 200 million was spent as capital donation to Isingiro fruit factory and Shs 1.08 billion was given to the Federation of Uganda Football Association (Fufa) for the African Cup of Nationals football tournament preparations.

State House comptroller, Lucy Nakyobe appeared together with the Presidency minister, Esther Mbayo before the budget committee to defend the supplementary budget request.

Nakyobe told the committee chaired by Ntenjeru North MP, Amos Lugoloobi that State House exhausted its annual budget allocation on several recurrent items hence the need for additional funding to settle outstanding obligations as well as facilitate their operations through the remaining period of the financial year.

They include among others utilities such as telecommunications, electricity and water that require Shs 1.2 billion, classified expenditure of Shs 5.028 billion and insurance for the presidential helicopter and jet at Shs 1.4 billion among others.

The others include Shs 2.4 billion spent on Makerere University visitation, Shs 9.55 billion for inland travel and another Shs 3.5 billion for travel abroad.

“We have a helicopter and we have a jet but we only got money for the jet. We did not have the money for insuring the helicopter. We requested for additional funding from the beginning but they did not give us, so it remained an unfunded priority at the beginning of the financial year. But we had to insure the helicopter because it is mandatory.

Then the other issues, it is because of over activity. We did plan, for example, when you look at travel abroad, we planned for 25 visits outside the country, but as I speak we have already done 30 visits so we have consumed five extra visits. So we have already gone overboard… and also got some services on credit. When you look at the state visits we had planned for only 15 and as we speak we have already done 17″, Nakyobe said.

She defended the Shs 9.55 billion additional funding required for the president’s in land travel, saying the money will be used to facilitate local programs and settle fuel bills.

However, the committee members led by the chairperson Lugoloobi questioned whether the items for which State House requires that additional funding were of emergence nature.

Patrick Nsamba, the Kasanda North MP wondered how State House will spend such a huge sums of money in the remaining days of the financial year.

“The law clearly state the circumstances under which we should ask for supplementary, but what am seeing is additional, additional every where. The circumstances under which we should be asking for supplementary are clearly stated; under situations of emergencies, things that cannot wait for the next financial year. Look at item no.5, Mr chair, there is travel inland worth Shs 9.5 billion. So Mr chairman am just looking at the time period vs what is required”, Nsamba said.

Lugoloobi questioned why State House continues to request supplementary budgets even when it receives sufficient allocations. Nakyobe attributed the problem on emerging issues as well as under funding for some items. She explained that as the year closes, they need liquid cash to run State House as they wait for releases for the new financial year.

“The year closes on the 30th of June, but when the year closes, the other one doesn’t open automatically although theoretically is it supposed to, but it doesn’t. By the time you get to receive money for the other financial year, you still have to run because State House doesn’t close.

We’re supposed to facilitate the president at all times, come rain, come shine. So we still have to have some money to see us through that period when books have closed as we wait for new books of the other financial year to open. So it is things like travel inland that where we keep some money because the programs continue”, Nakyobe added.

The officials are expected to return back to the committee on Friday morning to discuss the classified expenditure funding.

Devolution Boss Denies Plot to Kick Out Mt Kenya MPs

By Bernard Namunane And Peter Leftie

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri yesterday denied claims by more than 40 legislators from Mt Kenya region that he plotted their downfall in the recent Jubilee Party nominations.

Mr Kiunjuri also dismissed allegations by the MPs who met President Uhuru Kenyatta about 10 days ago, that he was positioning himself to become Deputy President William Ruto’s running mate in the 2022 elections.

“I was not involved in any way in the nominations. I am a member of the Cabinet and my duty is to proclaim government policies and achievements. The MPs should carry their own cross,” he said on the phone.

NOMINATIONS LOSERS

He was responding to allegations that arose during the President’s State House meeting with disgruntled MPs from Mt Kenya.

The early morning meeting was arranged at the request of sitting legislators who accused Mr Kiunjuri of rigging them out during the Jubilee Party primaries.

The meeting lasted about 40 minutes as President Kenyatta was expected to attend the National Delegates Conferences of Jubilee-friendly parties that endorsed his re-election.

He was also scheduled to preside over the Jubilee Party’s NDC to formally get the endorsement from delegates.

VOTER APATHY

Several speakers at the State House meeting accused the Devolution CS of working in cahoots with members of the Jubilee Party elections board to rig the primaries in favour of their opponents.

Three MPs who spoke to the Daily Nation in confidence, said the agitated legislators warned that Mr Kiunjuri’s actions risked causing voter apathy in the Jubilee Party stronghold.

“Those who were given a chance to speak all pointed fingers at Kiunjuri because his hand in the shambolic nominations was very clear, especially in Laikipia, Nyeri, Nyandarua, Murang’a, Kirinyaga and even Embu.

“Cess (Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire), for instance, complained bitterly about the way she was rigged out, blaming Kiunjuri for her tribulations,” an MP who attended the meeting said.

DEPUTY PRESIDENT

“We are aware he was working with election officials at the county level to ensure most of us (sitting legislators) did not win the nominations.

“We know he wants to position himself as Ruto’s running mate in 2022 by locking out popular politicians from the region,” another MP from Nyeri said.

President Kenyatta is said to have listened quietly, once in a while asking some of the speakers to elaborate their statements before rising to address their concerns.

He is then said to have asked the aggrieved legislators, who included Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe, his Murang’a counterpart Kembi Gitura, Kiambu Woman Representative Anne Nyokabi, MPs Jamleck Kamau (Kigumo), Kabando wa Kabando (Mukurweini), Ms Mbarire, Dennis Waweru (Dagoretti South), Ndung’u Gethenji, Esther Murugi (Nyeri Town), Mary Wambui (Othaya) and Esther Gathogo, among others, to choose two people from among themselves to be channelling their concerns to him going forward. They settled on Mr Kamau and Ms Wambui.

“He appeared genuinely surprised by our revelations, but asked us not to stop campaigning for his re-election in our various constituencies and counties,” another source said.

ACCEPT DEFEAT

Yesterday, Mr Kiunjuri challenged the lawmakers to provide evidence to prove their allegations as he stated that the Jubilee Party National Elections Board can attest to his innocence.

“Anybody who claims I was involved should prove that I had a hand. They should stop drawing the President into it because even government intelligence can prove me right.

“If you lost in the nominations, don’t use me as a scapegoat. I will not allow it,” he said.

The Devolution CS asked how he could influence the outcome of the nominations in six counties and urged the MPs to go back to the voters and ask them why they rejected them.

“I am surprised that I have powers to interfere in all those counties in the region. If those claims were true, then I should be so powerful. They should carry their own cross,” he said.

2022 POLITICS

On allegations that he was positioning himself to become Mr Ruto’s running mate in 2022, Mr Kiunjuri said he was content with his ministerial post and accused some of those who went to State House of eyeing the deputy president’s slot in five years’ time.

“I challenge anyone to tell me one day when I uttered words that I want to be Ruto’s running mate. Kenyans know who is positioning himself and I hereby tell them that a drowning man can hold onto anything, including a snake.”

The MPs told the President that more than 20 legislators from the region had made up their minds to run as independent candidates during the August 8 election.

President Kenyatta is said to have granted their request to run as independent candidates but on condition that they would campaign for his re-election.

Those who have declared their intention to run independently include Mr Gitura, Ms Mbarire, Mr Kabando, former permanent secretary Thuita Mwangi and John Mututho, among others.

Govt Brushes Off Ex-Prime Minister’s Criticism Against Magufuli

Photo: allafrica.com

CCM’s John Magufuli and Chadema’s Edward Lowassa.

By Gadiosa Lamtey

Dar es Salaam — The State House brushed off former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa’s criticism on President John Magufuli’s failure to pay last respects to 32 pupils, two teachers and a driver who perished in a road accident in Karatu a week ago.

Presidential Communications director Gerson Msigwa told The Citizen that “the President doesn’t conduct his responsibilities to please Lowassa.”

Mr Lowassa, who is also a member of the Chadema Central Committee, told reporters here yesterday that Arusha residents were disappointed by the President’s failure to pay last respects to 35 victims of the bus crash.

President Magufuli was represented by Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan during the event.

Mr Lowassa said the President, was supposed to attend since the accident touched the hearts of many Tanzanians.

He also accused the State House of failing to issue any statement on why the President failed to show up.

“As an Arusha resident and a leader, I’m seriously disappointed. His absence has saddened many people in my home region and the entire country.”

Social media has been critical of the President’s failure to attend the event.

Meanwhile, Mr Lowassa has condemned Dar es Salaam authorities for banning a meeting on democracy

He said the aim of the meeting was to bring Tanzanians together to discuss challenges facing democracy and the way forward.

“Ours is a democratic society and everyone has the right to express his/her feelings. CCM should know that one day this country will be led by another party and it will be in a position that we are in right now,” he noted.

Tanzania

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Insurance Firms Eye Govt Assets

By Ali Twaha

After this month, about 800 insurance professionals from all over the world will gather in Uganda to begin discussions on how to improve insurance penetration in sub-Saharan Africa.

As they plan for this forum, the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) indicated that top on their agenda is to improve the figures by getting government to insure its assets and properties. Currently, most of government’s assets and properties are not covered by any insurance company.

However, this is not the first time insurance players have hinted on the plans to insure government assets and properties against risks. The argument that insurance companies lack the capacity to insure such large assets and fears by government that insuring its assets might increase its expenditure bill have stalled the plans of insuring public assets.

MANAGEABLE

“What the central government holds is really manageable when we look at the capacities of the insurance companies,” the chief executive officer of IRA, Ibrahim Lubega Kaddunabbi, said.

For instance, in 2006, MV Kabalega capsized after colliding with MV Kaawa on Lake Victoria. Investigations into the incident later showed that both vessels did not have insurance cover, causing an estimated loss of Shs 45bn to government, reports show.

The incident, then, set the stage on the urgency of having some key government assets insured. According to information from IRA, since government assets are many,they plan to take on assets such as motor vehicles and buildings for a start.

According to a recent ministerial policy statement signed by the minister for presidency, Esther Mbayo, State House needs a total of Shs 233.228bn in the 2017/18 fiscal year budget. A breakdown of the figures indicates that State House alone will be spending at least Shs 7.2bn on motor vehicle maintenance.

Some of the maintenance issues result from involvement in road accidents. For instance, when a government motor vehicle knocks you, according to IRA, you sue the attorney general, a process that may be costly and time-consuming for some victims.

Section 49 of the Motor Vehicle Insurance Act 1989 states: “It shall not be lawful for any person to use or to cause or to permit any other person to use a vehicle on a road unless there is in force in relation to the use of the vehicle by that person or that other person, as the case may be, a policy of insurance in respect of third party risks that complies with the requirements of this Act.”

Section 50 of the same Act goes ahead to exempt government vehicles from insurance: “Subsection (1) shall not apply to a vehicle owned by the Government of Uganda.” According to IRA, these are some of the laws they plan to change through parliament to have government assets insured.

“The losses which government incurs now as a result of not insuring is tremendous and this is the case we are making to them,” Kaddunabbi said.

“We have begun discussions with different ministries.”

According to Fred Muhumuza, an economist and researcher at Financial Deepening Uganda, government prefers to operate with that risk saying the “cost of insurance to government would be much higher.”

CAPACITY ISSUES

With a contribution to gross domestic product at a paltry 0.6 per cent and less than one per cent penetration level, according to Ernst and Young, the insurance sector in Uganda is still operating below the sub-Saharan average of 3.5 per cent.

Experts say the promotion of life insurance, medical care, agriculture or micro insurance as well as the growing middle-class may help close the gap.

According to the 2015 industry report from IRA, gross premium underwritten by the 29 insurance companies (21 non-life and eight life) increased from Shs 502bn in 2014 to Shs 612bn in 2015, representing a 21.68 per cent growth. The report indicates that Shs 214bn was paid out in claims, compared to Shs 184.3bn in 2014.

According to Jim Mugunga, the public relations officer at the ministry of finance, government is under no obligation to insure its assets. He questioned whether the insurance companies have the capacity to provide cover for these assets.

“There are certain assets that cannot be insured by these [insurance] companies. There is a lot of gymnastics into this issue [of insuring government assets]. Government assets depreciate. I can’t tell how much the ministry of finance is valued,” Mugunga said.

OPPORTUNITIES

Meanwhile, players in the insurance sector say they will pull together resources to provide cover for the assets. In areas where the risk is very high, the chief executive officer of Uganda Insurers Association, Miriam Magala, said they will join hands with reinsurance companies.

“We do have the capacity to underwrite those assets. Because what happens is that the whole market pulls its resources, which will ad- dress the capacity to make sure they can undertake that risk. But also, we will work with external markets to make sure the risk is appropriately covered as well as managed,” she said.

One of the things the insurance industry is grappling with is the low public confidence in its services.

Magala said: “So, if the government does insure its assets, it will definitely build public confidence to take up insurance covers. It will build capacity in the market because they will be able to underwrite a lot more risks.”

Uganda: Insurance Firms Eye Govt Assets

By Ali Twaha

After this month, about 800 insurance professionals from all over the world will gather in Uganda to begin discussions on how to improve insurance penetration in sub-Saharan Africa.

As they plan for this forum, the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) indicated that top on their agenda is to improve the figures by getting government to insure its assets and properties. Currently, most of government’s assets and properties are not covered by any insurance company.

However, this is not the first time insurance players have hinted on the plans to insure government assets and properties against risks. The argument that insurance companies lack the capacity to insure such large assets and fears by government that insuring its assets might increase its expenditure bill have stalled the plans of insuring public assets.

MANAGEABLE

“What the central government holds is really manageable when we look at the capacities of the insurance companies,” the chief executive officer of IRA, Ibrahim Lubega Kaddunabbi, said.

For instance, in 2006, MV Kabalega capsized after colliding with MV Kaawa on Lake Victoria. Investigations into the incident later showed that both vessels did not have insurance cover, causing an estimated loss of Shs 45bn to government, reports show.

The incident, then, set the stage on the urgency of having some key government assets insured. According to information from IRA, since government assets are many,they plan to take on assets such as motor vehicles and buildings for a start.

According to a recent ministerial policy statement signed by the minister for presidency, Esther Mbayo, State House needs a total of Shs 233.228bn in the 2017/18 fiscal year budget. A breakdown of the figures indicates that State House alone will be spending at least Shs 7.2bn on motor vehicle maintenance.

Some of the maintenance issues result from involvement in road accidents. For instance, when a government motor vehicle knocks you, according to IRA, you sue the attorney general, a process that may be costly and time-consuming for some victims.

Section 49 of the Motor Vehicle Insurance Act 1989 states: “It shall not be lawful for any person to use or to cause or to permit any other person to use a vehicle on a road unless there is in force in relation to the use of the vehicle by that person or that other person, as the case may be, a policy of insurance in respect of third party risks that complies with the requirements of this Act.”

Section 50 of the same Act goes ahead to exempt government vehicles from insurance: “Subsection (1) shall not apply to a vehicle owned by the Government of Uganda.” According to IRA, these are some of the laws they plan to change through parliament to have government assets insured.

“The losses which government incurs now as a result of not insuring is tremendous and this is the case we are making to them,” Kaddunabbi said.

“We have begun discussions with different ministries.”

According to Fred Muhumuza, an economist and researcher at Financial Deepening Uganda, government prefers to operate with that risk saying the “cost of insurance to government would be much higher.”

CAPACITY ISSUES

With a contribution to gross domestic product at a paltry 0.6 per cent and less than one per cent penetration level, according to Ernst and Young, the insurance sector in Uganda is still operating below the sub-Saharan average of 3.5 per cent.

Experts say the promotion of life insurance, medical care, agriculture or micro insurance as well as the growing middle-class may help close the gap.

According to the 2015 industry report from IRA, gross premium underwritten by the 29 insurance companies (21 non-life and eight life) increased from Shs 502bn in 2014 to Shs 612bn in 2015, representing a 21.68 per cent growth. The report indicates that Shs 214bn was paid out in claims, compared to Shs 184.3bn in 2014.

According to Jim Mugunga, the public relations officer at the ministry of finance, government is under no obligation to insure its assets. He questioned whether the insurance companies have the capacity to provide cover for these assets.

“There are certain assets that cannot be insured by these [insurance] companies. There is a lot of gymnastics into this issue [of insuring government assets]. Government assets depreciate. I can’t tell how much the ministry of finance is valued,” Mugunga said.

OPPORTUNITIES

Meanwhile, players in the insurance sector say they will pull together resources to provide cover for the assets. In areas where the risk is very high, the chief executive officer of Uganda Insurers Association, Miriam Magala, said they will join hands with reinsurance companies.

“We do have the capacity to underwrite those assets. Because what happens is that the whole market pulls its resources, which will ad- dress the capacity to make sure they can undertake that risk. But also, we will work with external markets to make sure the risk is appropriately covered as well as managed,” she said.

One of the things the insurance industry is grappling with is the low public confidence in its services.

Magala said: “So, if the government does insure its assets, it will definitely build public confidence to take up insurance covers. It will build capacity in the market because they will be able to underwrite a lot more risks.”

State House to Spend Shs 550 Million Daily Next Year

Photo: The Observer

State House Entebbe.

By Josephine Namuloki

State House will spend Shs 550 million daily starting July 1, if parliament approves its budget for the 2017/18 financial year, with nearly Shs 13m going to welfare and entertainment alone.

According to the ministerial policy statement signed by the minister for presidency, Esther Mbayo, State House needs a total of Shs 233.228 billion for its different activities in the second year of President Museveni’s latest term of office.

A breakdown of the statement indicates that State House will spend Shs 552m daily on nine activities of the 36 budgeted-for items. These include; travel and transport, miscellaneous and other expenses, general expenses, communications, maintenance, staff allowances and staff training.

Others are supplies and services, welfare and entertainment, special meals and drinks, classified expenditure, travels inland and travels abroad and vehicle maintenance.

The statement indicates that Shs 4.707bn has been budgeted for welfare and entertainment, compared to Shs 4.755bn in the financial year ending June 30 this year. This means the president’s residence will spend Shs 12.898m on welfare and entertainment daily.

The latest State House budget is down by Shs 48m compared to that of the 2016/17 financial year. Mbayo said this is a result of government’s decision to cut all ministerial and government departmental budgets to cater for food procurement for hunger-stricken districts.

State House says its entire budget will cater for some 36 items, including staff salaries, classified expenditure, gratuity expenses, supplies and services. If State House knocked entertainment out of its budget for a year, its budgetary allocation of Shs 4,707,826bn would help plug shortfalls in some sectors such as health promotion, education, and effective communication to the population.

A health sector ministerial policy statement indicates a shortfall in the health ministry budget, which requires Shs 5bn annually for scaling up health promotion and education and effective communication to the population.

The ministry of education and sports ministerial statement indicates that the permanent secretary Alex Kakooza earns Shs 3,768,835 per month. The State House daily entertainment budget can, therefore, pay Kakooza’s salary for at least three months.

For the primary teachers at entry level, who earn Shs 250,000, the State House daily entertainment tab could pay four teachers’ salaries for a year.

Summary of how Shs 551.508m will be spent daily on nine items

Item

Budget in Billions

(2017/18) (Shs)

Monthly

expenditure (Shs)

Daily

expenditure (Shs)

Vehicle maintenance

7,256,550

604,713m

19,881m

Travel in-land

31,662,704

2,638,559bn

86,747m

Travel abroad

18,495,005

1,541,250bn

50,671m

Classified

expenditure

38,400.000

3,200,000bn

105,205m

Special meals & drinks

3,497,494

291,458m

9,582m

Welfare&

entertainment

4,707,826

392,319m

12,898m

Staff training

2,095,001

174,583m

5,740m

Staff allowances

17,143,991

1,428,666bn

46,970m

Miscellaneous

78,042,000

6,503,500bn

213,814m

Total

201,300,571

16,772,048bn

551,508m

Uganda

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Presidency Says Opposition Party is Corrupt

Photo: PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto pose with government officers at the launch of the National Government Public Information Portal at KICC in Nairobi on April 10, 2017.

By Aggrey Mutambo

State House on Tuesday evening called out on opposition outfit ODM for “deflating” own weaknesses by criticising his government achievements.

In a reaction to ODM’s latest censure after the Jubilee administration launched a new website to tabulate its achievements since taking power in 2013, State House said the opposition party led by Raila Odinga had panicked and ran out of ideas to counter the facts.

“Why is ODM afraid of the government’s achievements? What does ODM find frightening about expanded access by Kenyans to improved social services?” President Uhuru Kenyatta’s team posed.

The beef with ODM was that the party was annoyed with the Presidency’s launch of information portal www.delivery.go.ke, which State House had said would create a nationwide discussion on the progress the government had made in implementing projects and informing Kenyans about them.

This was meant to be a ‘two-way’ access to information policy, where Kenyans are to inquire and get responses on progress, State House had indicated.

But ODM argued the new portal duplicates what other websites, Huduma, MyGov and State House, have been doing.

In fact ODM claimed the information on the new portal has filtered out information on progress of prosecuting those involved in the corruption scandals that have hit the Jubilee administration which it claimed had gobbled up Sh300 billion in four years.

In a bitter rejoinder, the President’s team claimed ODM was diverting attention and argued corruption was the only language ODM understands, and listed scandals Mr Odinga, as Prime Minister, allegedly looked the other way when his associates’ hands were caught in cookie jars.

“ODM wishes that every successful government project was a corruption scandal. Therefore, ODM believes that any resources spent on development is a wasted.

“To deflect attention from their many dangerous shortcomings, ODM loudly and falsely criticise Government achievements,” said PSCU.

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Rid Lake of Weed Menace

editorialBy Editorial

The water hyacinth is a real menace to the fishing communities in Lake Victoria, where its spread in recent years has defied efforts to contain it.

At one point, villagers were mobilised to go into the water and pull it out, which turned out to be a futile exercise. Experts also unleashed pests to feed on it, but the hardy plant remains defiant.

Of course, the biggest casualty is the fisherman, who uses a canoe. The thick growth blocks waterways, making boat navigation nearly impossible. But this evil thing is also spoken of in positive terms.

It is has been touted as a source of hardy material for making furniture, as some locals were even happy to declare that thanks to the weed, some delicious species of fish that had disappeared for decades are now back.

The latest positive talk about the water hyacinth is by a top official in the Presidency. State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu says the government intends to use the weed to produce energy and make bags.

According to him, this will enable the recent ban on plastic bags to be enforced. These are good ideas, but what the fishing communities urgently need is a more comprehensive and practical effort to deal with this spreading menace.

With the expertise and resources at the disposal of both the national and county governments it’s a shame to let the weed choke the lifeline of locals.

Kenya

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Moroto Hospital Boss Interdicted

By Steven Ariong

Moroto — The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine, has interdicted the Moroto Regional Referral Hospital director, Dr Filbert Nyeko, over allegations of financial mismanagement.

In a March 30 letter addressed to Dr Nyeko, a copy of which Daily Monitor has seen, Dr Nyeko has been asked to step aside to pave way for investigations.

Quoting Section Fs (8) and F-r (16) of the Public Service standing orders, Dr Atwine indicated that Dr Nyeko will receive half salary with immediate effect until the investigations are complete.

“You are well aware that there are ongoing investigations against you regarding the alleged mismanagement of funds and abuse of office instituted by detectives attached to the State House Health Monitoring Unit,” the letter reads in part.

In the letter, Dr Nyeko is accused of involvement in alleged embezzlement and diversion of funds meant for a regional workshop in the 2015/2016 financial year. He is also jointly charged with the human resource officer for alleged manipulation of the payroll and causing overpay to his salary to the tune of Shs11.7m.

Dr Nyeko is also said to have caused financial loss to the hospital to the tune of Shs38.7m when he allegedly damaged the hospital car while carrying out private work.

Dr Atwine directed that Dr Nyeko hands over office to a senior consultant, Dr Alfred Ogwang in accordance with section F-d (4) of the standing orders. “And keep away from the hospital premises until you’re advised otherwise,” the letter adds.

Dr Nyeko confirmed receiving the letter but said he would appeal the decision.

Challenges

Work at the hospital has been paralysed following investigations by the State House Health Monitoring Unit. Several workers have quit while others fear to report for duty. Last week, an expectant mother, Ms Karren Kisike, died due to over bleeding after she was left unattended to because most staff were required to record statements.

Uganda

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Kenya: Uhuru Directs Release of Sh1.2bn to Promote Miraa

By Pscu

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the release of Sh1.2 billion to implement recommendations to improve the profitability of miraa farming.

He issued the directive on the cash which was allocated earlier, after a Task Force he formed to give recommendations on the miraa sector presented its report to him at State House, Nairobi.

Besides the Sh1.2 billion being released for implementing the recommendations, the government has also allocated another Sh1 billion, in the budget that was presented last week, for promoting the miraa sector.

President Kenyatta said all priority recommendations by the task force should be implemented within the year.

“The money that was allocated will now be released and it will be used in accordance with the recommendations of the task force,” said the President when he spoke after the report was presented to him.

Key among the immediate recommendations of the Miraa Task Force is providing seed capital for farmers to access affordable credit.

This is aimed at redemption of leased miraa farms to break the cycle of poverty. The Government will facilitate the setting up of SACCOs so that farmers can access the credit in an organised manner

The government will also set up a scientific study at KEMRI in collaboration with the EU with a view of developing a scientific basis for getting the restrictions lifted on the crop in parts of Europe.

Another immediate recommendation is the registration of miraa farmers to facilitate target intervention and eliminate possibility of fraud.

The report also says a farmer-controlled agency styled along the lines of similar agencies for other crops should be formed.

Kenya

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