Government is effective July 1 set to elevate Fort Portal, Mbarara, Hoima, Lira, Arua, Gulu, Mbale, Jinja and Entebbe municipalities to cities, supposedly to promote regional development.
The Vision 2040 recommendation to create the new cities is to decongest Kampala, the commissioner in-charge of Urban Planning, Mr Justin Niwagaba, said last week.
According to the Local Government Act, a municipality must have a population of at least 500,000, have facilities, institutions, developments and an enabling environment that attract people to work, invest and stay there.
The private sector must also offer services to support the growing city and its population, among others.
According to Mr Niwagaba, Arua, Mbarara, Gulu and Mbale will be regional cities while others will be strategic cities; Fort Portal (tourism), Jinja (industrial), Lira (industrial) and Hoima (oil).
Nakasongola and Moroto have been differed because their planning requires a different model where basic amenities must be put in place in order to attract dwellers.
Fort Portal tourism city
A fortnight ago, Kabarole District Council approved the proposed Fort Portal tourism city after resolving to annex other lower administrative units as it gears up for the long awaited city status.
Parts of the district annexed to the proposed tourism city include Karago Town Council and Ibaale Parish from Busoro and Karambi sub-counties.
Others include Kiko, Mugusu and Kasenda town councils and Kasenda, Ruteete, Mugusu and Karagura sub-counties. These are endowed with tourism sites such as crater lakes.
The proposed city will have two divisions; one will cover the present East and South divisions, Ibaale Parish, Rubigo Parish and Karambi Sub-county, while the other will cover the present West Division, Karago Town Council, Bukuuku Sub-county and Butebe Parish.
Currently, Fort Portal has West, East and South divisions, covering about 40 square kilometers against the required 120 square kilometers, according to the mayor, the Rev Kintu Muhanga. The 2014 national census put the town population at 54,275.
The urban authority in 2016 launched a campaign of planting one million trees with the aim of creating a forest city by 2025.
Credit: Daily Monitor
Kampala. In June last year, President Museveni announced a 10-point strategy which he ordered security agencies to execute in order to tame the rising wave of violent crime that hit the country, particularly the capital Kampala and the metropolitan area.
At that time, several prominent Ugandans had been assassinated by shooting and other citizens kidnapped and murdered in cold blood.
The security measures included installation of CCTV cameras in urban areas and highways, deploying army and Local Defence Unit personel (LDUs), purging the police of “bean weevils” (wrong elements), electronic number-plating for vehicles/ motorcycles, finger-printing all guns, boda boda wearing hoods, prioritising public intelligence, use of police radio calls, drones and regulating social media.
These measures, the President said would stop or eliminate the murders, kidnaps, robberies and other violent crimes.
However, violent crime has continued to-date, especially in Kampala metropolitan area where many boda boda riders and mobile money agents have been killed.
Since the year began, the media have reported at last six people killed by shooting or using other deadly weapons in Kampala metropolitan alone.
On June 11, gunmen killed Harriet Naluwadde and Moreen Nakabubi, mobile money agents in Zzana area on Entebbe highway and the assailants escaped on motorcycles.
On May 16, Rafael Walugembe, a university student, was killed by a stray bullet during an attack by armed robbers on city businessman Denis Mwesigwa in Nateete. Mwesigwa was injured and robbed of cash.
On July 9, Rebecca Namuganya, 22, a mobile money agent in Kapeeke Village, Nama Sub-county in Mukono District was killed. The killers slit her throat from her rented house.
In May, three workers of Cheap General Hardware in Nansana Town on Hoima Road were killed during broad day light by masked gunmen who later grabbed more than Shs300m cash. The robbery lasted about 30 minutes without security response.
On June 30, 2019, Derrick Mulindwa, a boda boda rider was killed with a hammer by two robbers he was carrying as passengers at Kakyeka in Mengo, Rubaga. Police have since arrested one suspect who has confessed to the killing.
These cases account for only incidents reported by the media and do not represent the actual crime registered statistics by police, implying the toll could be much higher.
This years’s police bi-annual report on armed violence, shows that 41 cases involving use of guns were recorded countrywide between January and June.
However, the report does not specify crime statistics for Kampala and the metropolitan area to tell whether the aforementioned killings reflect an increase or decline in crime compared to the same period last year.
The report shows that 45 guns were involved in the crimes countrywide this year with 26 being AK-47 while another 26 firearms were recovered by security agencies.
The report says out of every 100,000 people, 612 were victims of crime and Kampala Metropolitan area remained top in crime rates followed by West Nile, Albertine, Elgon, Busoga North, Ssezibwa, Kiira and North West Nile.
In his June address last year, Mr Museveni said the installation of CCTV cameras, deployment of LDUs and other listed security measures would constitute a magic combination to eliminate urban crime.
The Shadow minister for Internal Affairs, Mr Muwanga Kivumbi, said the violent crime is still prevalent despite the security measures because government invests less in intelligence gathering and spends a lot on reactionary means to fight crime.
“Police is supposed to detect and prevent crime and apprehend suspects. This requires enhanced spying. But how do we invest in CIID (Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Directorate) [when] only Shs200m is for CIID for every district? This is very little. Also, each district gets Shs900,000 for operations,” he said.
“If you have five sub-counties, that means each will get Shs150,000 for operations. They are literally immobile. But even the little they have is always wasted in defending the regime,” he said.
However, the director of Internal Security Organisation (ISO) , Col Kaka Bagyenda, insisted the killings will be eliminated. “This will soon end,” he said
Government has embarked on a programme to decongest Kampala city and the metropolitan area of traffic jam by constructing 10 expressways to ease traffic flow.
The project is part of the bigger traffic control plan that government is working on with the Japanese Development Agency (JICA) to signalise at least 30 city junctions to ease traffic.
The acting head of transport planning and traffic management at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Mr Joel Wasswa, told Daily Monitor that the Japanese government offered funding and construction of a traffic control centre.
“The Japanese government through JICA is helping us establish an urban traffic control centre and also signalising about 30 junctions. That project is set to commence this year and it will see the control centre established here [KCCA offices],” Mr Wasswa said.
According to the plan, 10 expressways will be constructed in the next five years, in addition to upgrading some of the existing city roads to dual carriage ways and widening others.
During the manifesto presentation review last month, the Minister of Works and Transport, Ms Monica Ntege Azuba, said progress has been made in addressing the city traffic problems.
She said construction of the expressways would reduce the traffic burden on the current roads and ensure smooth flow of vehicles to and out of the city.
“Ahead of the elections, we promised the people of Kampala and Uganda that we would work on these projects. We are here to announce that progress has been made and Kampala-Entebbe Expressway is already done and works on the other expressways will start soon,” Ms Azuba said.
The new expressways
Kampala-Jinja Expressway is at procurement stage, meaning government is searching for a contractor. This follows the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, which is complete and currently in use.
For Kampala-Mpigi Expressway, the contract was awarded to a consortium of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and China Railway 19th Bureau Group Company Limited.
A number of works for other expressways are either under procurement or funds are being sought to start the projects, while others are undergoing designing.
Mr Mark Ssali, the corporate affairs manager at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), said all is set for the big infrastructure development.
He said construction of the expressways will decongest the city and make it more accessible at cheaper and more efficient rates. “The expressways will reduce congestion and jams and therefore reduce travel time and cost. They will also stimulate trade, agricultural and industrial development, boost tourism and foster regional integration,” Mr Ssali said.
He said government has already signed contracts with some construction companies but other projects are still under procurement or design.
Others are Kibuye-Busega Expressway, Busega-Mpigi Expressway, Kampala-Bombo Expressway; Kampala Outer Beltway (Ggaba-Seeta-Matugga-Wakiso-Nsangi), Kampala Flyover Construction and Road Upgrading Project.
Also in consideration are Nakasero-Northern Bypass Express Route, Kampala-Nansana-Busunju Expressway and Kampala-Bujuuko Dual Carriage.
“For Busega-Mpigi, we have signed the contract for civil works, and had an official handover of contract to the contractor. Next is mobilisation and commencement of physical works. For Kibuye-Busega, government is in discussions with potential funders and an agreement is due soon and for the Kampala-Bombo Expressway, feasibility studies and detailed designs are ongoing,” Mr Ssali said.
He said for Kampala-Busunju-Hoima Expressway, UNRA is in the process of securing a consultant for feasibility studies. He said once this is complete, UNRA will move to the next stage.
He said all the planned expressways are aligned to the national plans such as those of KCCA and the National Development Plan.
While works of the Kampala Northern Bypass capacity improvement project are ongoing, Mr Ssali said the process took long because of delays caused by land acquisition. He said other projects are also on course.
Kampala. Court has dismissed an application seeking to block a government entity from constructing a sewage treatment plant to mitigate the irritating stench at Kiruddu Hospital in Kampala.
On May 5, the Assistant Registrar of the High Court Land Division, Ms Justine Atukwasa, ruled that the construction of a sewage treatment plant is meant for the greater good of the wider public which should not be stopped.
The registrar added that if in its final judgment court finds that Mr Steven Lwanga, who is claiming ownership of part of the land is the rightful owner, he can be compensated.
“The question would be what is the threat here that would render the applicant’s main application and the matter nugatory that it cannot be addressed through the award of damages? I do not find any such threat. He still has remedies at disposal including compensation for his equitable interest,” Ms Atukwasa ruled.
She continued: “In conclusion, therefore, bearing the above consideration in mind, I have come to the finding that this is not a fit and proper case for the application of interim injunction to be granted.”
The registrar further explained that court declined to issue a temporary injunction against government halting the construction of the sewage plant because it does so only in compelling circumstances.
Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, said following the court ruling, they are waiting for the National Water and Sewerage Cooperation to commence the construction of the treatment plant.
“This land was given to the ministry by Buganda Land Board which promised to sort out all third party claimants. So, we are now waiting for the National Water and Sewerage Cooperation to commence the construction of the waste treatment plant,” Mr Ainebyoona said yesterday.
In his petition, Mr Lwanga had sought for an interim injunction blocking Buganda Land Board (BLB) and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) or their agents from further trespassing on the contested land measuring 2.75 acres in Valley Zone, Salama Parish in Makindye Division where the treatment plant is set to be constructed until his main case has been concluded to determine his claim of ownership.
Mr Lwanga is claiming the land which was also formerly claimed by a one Serufusa who acquired it from Prince Richard Nakibinge of Kabaka, Sir Daudi Chwa lineage.
In February this year, following complaints from the residents about the terrible stench at Kiruddu Hospital, government and BLB negotiated to acquire the 2.5 acre land to build a sewage treatment plant to remedy the problem.
The BLB offered a lease to government through KCCA. Early this year, the area MP Allan Ssewanyana and the residents held a demonstration to protest the stench. Police arrested the MP.
Once the treatment plant is completed, the sewage from the hospital will be channelled directly to the plant since the current septic tanks cannot contain the huge sewage discharge from the hospital.
Credit: Daily Monitor
Suspected kidnappers of US tourist Kimbley Sue Endicott have been arrested. Endicott and a Ugandan tour guide Jean Paul Mirenge Remezo were kidnapped by four gunmen, who hijacked their safari vehicle from Queen Elizabeth National Park on April 2.
The gunmen had demanded a ransom of $500,000 (about Shs1.8b) using Ms Sue and Mirenge’s cell phones.
Police said the two were rescued from the Democratic Republic of Congo by a joint effort involving the Uganda police force, Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and sister security agencies.
Reports indicate that the US military also provided support to Ugandan security forces to accomplish the mission. The support included intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets and liaison officers, according to US news outlets.
Ms Sue was handed over to the US Embassy in Kampala by Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola on Monday.
Two of the four gunmen have reportedly been apprehended. The two were only identified as Hakim and Kwarishiima. Sources said the suspects were flown from Kanungu District in western Uganda where they were tracked using a device which was placed in the ransom money they received before setting Ms Sue and Mirenge free.
"The joint security team actively investigating the kidnapping incident and successful recovery of an American tourist Ms. Kimberly Sue Endicott and a Senior Tour Guide, Jean Paul Mirenge- Remezo, has made some arrests of suspects, on suspicion of being involved in their kidnap," police tweeted on Tuesday.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga confirmed to URN that there were some arrests made in regard to the kidnap. He, however, declined to divulge details.
"I can confirm that there were some arrests but I am yet to get details. I will brief you when I get the information," Enanga said.
US President Donald Trump on Monday tasked the Ugandan government to hunt the kidnappers and bring them to book.
“Uganda must find the kidnappers of the American tourist and guide before people will feel safe in going there. Bring them to justice openly and quickly,” President Trump tweeted.
The kidnap cast a shadow on Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the most visited tourist attractions which is home to lions, hippos, crocodiles and various types of antelopes.
Credit: Daily Monitor Uganda
East African Legislative Assembly, Kigali, October 28, 2014: EALA is set to commence review of the Rules of Procedure tomorrow, the Speaker, Rt. Hon Margaret Nantongo Zziwa has ruled this afternoon.
The ruling followed a Motion introduced by Hon Judith Pareno seeking to adjourn other business in the House until the review/amendment of the said Rules of Procedures are debated on as a matter of priority.
According to the mover of the Bill, Article 60 of the Treaty stipulates that the Assembly may make, amend, add to or revoke to the rules governing the Assembly. The motion, which was seconded by Hon Nancy Abisai further avers that the term of Commissioners of EALA ends on December 5, 2014 and that their election is neither provided for in the Administration of EALA Act nor in the Rules of Procedure.
The debate on amendments was interrupted on the 26th March 2014. Today, Hon Pareno moved that the debate resumes immediately and that it should be placed on the Order Paper as the 1st item on the agenda of the next business of the House.
Article 49 (2) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community provides that the Assembly shall make its Rules of Procedure and those of the Committees.
The move was preceded by a Motion moved by Hon Mike Sebalu that the East African Community Co-operative Societies Bill, 2014 be read for the second time. The object of Bill is to provide a legal framework for Co-operative Societies in line with Article 128 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC strengthening the role of private sector as an effective force for developing economies.
The Bill is divided into ten parts. Part 1 deals with preliminary matters which according to Hon Sebalu, lay down objectives of Co-operative Societies which include: solving problems collectively, co-ordinating knowledge and skills and promoting self-reliance amongst Members.
The rest of the areas contained in the Bill deal with the formation, rights and duties of Members and Privileges. The Bill further contains clauses whose content include the assets and liabilities, settlement of disputes and winding up/dissolution of Societies.
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Former South African president Jacob Zuma on Friday withdrew from testifying to an inquiry into corruption under his rule, citing biased treatment and harsh questioning.
In the corruption scandal popularly referred to as "state capture", Zuma is accused of overseeing mass looting of state assets during his nine-year tenure.
"We are here today to say that we will take no further part in these proceedings," Zuma's lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane told the inquiry commission in Johannesburg.
"Our client from the beginning... has been treated as someone who was accused."
An agitated Sikhakhane said the inquiry had become "a political process," drawing loud clapping and cheering from Zuma loyalists in the public seats at the inquiry.
Zuma, who started testifying on Monday, had dismissed all accusations made against him by previous witnesses to the inquiry.
He was due to give a final day of evidence on Friday after the inquiry was adjourned on Wednesday when he complained that the questioning was effectively a court cross-examination.
Zuma was ousted by the ruling ANC party in 2018 and replaced by his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, who has vowed to clean up the government.
On the first day of his testimony, Zuma gave a rambling address saying he was the victim of conspiracies and years of "character assassination", and accusing foreign intelligence agencies and spies of working against him.
He also said he had received multiple death threats and attempts on his life.
The former president, 77, later replied to many questions at the inquiry by saying he did not remember or was unaware of meetings and conversations that other witnesses had mentioned.
Zuma was not legally summonsed to attend the inquiry, but was invited to reply after being implicated in graft by several previous witnesses.
"I expected that he would cooperate, which he did by agreeing to come," said judge Raymond Zondo, who is chairing the inquiry.
"The first purpose was to give him an opportunity to tell his side of his story."
The inquiry is investigating a web of deals involving government officials, the wealthy Gupta business family and state-owned companies.
The Indian-born Gupta brothers -- Ajay, Atul and Rajesh -- have left South Africa and are now based in Dubai.
One witness, former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene testified that Zuma pushed policies on nuclear power and aviation that were designed to benefit the Gupta family.
"Mr Zuma and his legal team are in effect asking to be excused from the application of the rules," the inquiry's lead lawyer Paul Pretorius said.
"If the questions are detailed and if the questions and difficult... so be it.
East African Legislative Assembly, Kigali, October 30, 2014: EALA has this morning adjourned sine die (indefinitely) on the last day of business owing to a quorum hitch.
The Rules of Procedure (Rule 13) provide that the quorum of the House shall consist of half of the elected Members provided that such quorum shall be composed of at least three of the elected nine Members from each Partner State.
Only two Members of the Assembly from the United Republic of Tanzania were present in the House this morning. Kenya had 8 Members, Burundi 8 Members, Uganda 7 Members and Rwanda 9 Members, during the roll call by the Speaker.
Hon Susan Nakawuki brought the matter of objection to quorum to the notice of the Speaker, who suspended the House for 15 minutes in accordance with the Rules. Upon resumption, the numbers remained the same.
As at the time of interruption, the Motion moved by Hon Dora Byamukama on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, to remove Hon Shy-Rose Bhanji as a Member of the EALA Commission (EALA's policy organ) by way of secret ballot was on the Order Paper. Under the Rules of Procedure (Rule 18) any item of business standing on the Order Paper as at time of interruption shall be placed on the Order Paper for the next Sitting.
The Motion moved under Article 31 (l) avers that the Member had exhibited misconduct while on an EU Benchmarking trip to Brussels, Belgium on October 7-11th, 2014 and attended by Members of the Commission and Chairpersons of EALA's Committees.
According to the Motion, the Member in question made derogatory remarks about some EAC Partner States, some Members of the Summit of EAC States and verbally insulted Members of the delegation.
The Resolution condemns and expresses displeasure in the mis-conduct of the Honorable Shyrose Bhanji.
The Motion was supported by Hon Abubakar Zein, Hon Christophe Bazivamo, Hon Bernard Mulengani and Hon Dr. Martin Nduwimana. Others were Hon Hafsa Mossi, Hon Abdulkarim Harelimana, Hon Peter Mathuki, and Hon Mike Sebalu.
Those who opposed the Motion were Hon Makongoro Nyerere, Hon Taslima Twaha, Hon Mumbi Ngaru and Hon Susan Nakawuki.
In her contribution, Hon Shyrose Bhanji denied the allegations terming them as character assassination. She urged the House that all allegations be put in writing to afford her an opportunity to formally respond.
The Speaker has also announced in the House of the resignation of 5 Commissioners from the EALA Commission. The Members are Hon Abubakar Ogle (Kenya), Hon Christophe Bazivamo (Rwanda), Hon. Patricia Hajabakiga (Rwanda), Hon Hafsa Mossi (Burundi) and Hon Jeremy Ngendakumana (Burundi)
This now means that for the Commission to transact any business it needs to be re-constituted according to Article 3 of the Administration of the East African Legislative Assembly Act.
Source: EAC News Press
The Ukraine ceasefire deal agreed on Thursday appears little more than a sticking plaster that will allow Kiev and Ukraine rebels to wind down the fighting but leaves thorny questions on resolving the conflict unanswered, analysts said.
Some 16 hours of talks in the Belarussian capital Minsk -- which saw one reporter collapse with high blood pressure as negotiations continued through Wednesday night -- produced an agreement on a ceasefire to take effect from today and the withdrawal of troops.
The deal -- overseen by president Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko -- staves off an immediate threat of Washington beginning to supply weapons to Kiev but is no guarantee that fighting will not resume in the future, analysts said.
The agreement signed by Kiev and rebels left many of the trickiest issues unresolved: the depth of decentralisation, control of the Ukraine-Russia border and the size of the separatist regions to be given autonomy.
“It is unclear how a long-term solution will come out of today’s agreements,” Nikolai Petrov, a professor at the Moscow-based Higher School of Economics, told AFP.
“It is impossible to expect a serious long-term solution to this problem until it becomes clear how the political situation will develop in Kiev and what ties there will be between Russia and the West.”
Petrov compared the deal, agreed with the support of German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande in Minsk, to an earlier truce accord that was agreed there in September which was widely flouted.
Arming debate in US
The deal at least “reduces the probability of the US and other Western countries supplying Ukraine with defensives weapons,” said chief economist Holger Schmieding of German bank Berenberg.
Observers have warned that if Washington gets involved militarily, a regional conflict that has claimed more than 5,300 lives could enter a dangerous new stage and become a proxy war between Russia and the West.
But Eugene Rumer, director of the Russia programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the US debate about arming Kiev was unlikely to die down.
“The voices on the Hill in support of arming Ukraine are likely to grow louder and more assertive if as I fear...this agreement does not deliver on what everybody wants it to deliver on.”
Schmieding said that even if Moscow and rebels honour the agreement, the deal still allows them to overrun the strategic railway hub of Debaltseve. “Russia has the edge on the ground.”
Speaking after the talks, Putin -- who managed to leave without signing anything -- indicated that fighting near Debaltseve was a key sticking point in the negotiations.
The rebels have encircled up to 8,000 Ukrainians troops and expect them to lay down arms, he said. The Ukrainian army denied the claim.
Security analyst Pavel Felgenhauer said both sides could use a breathing space and in any case the fighting on the ground will become difficult during a spring thaw.
“It was impossible for rebels to advance further without Russia sharply ramping up its intervention and the use of aviation,” he told AFP.
“It’s not a good time to fight right now. It’s beginning to thaw.”
“Things will grind to a halt until the summer or later spring when the ground dries out -- then hostilities will resume and intensify.”
Analysts said that upcoming political and economic events both in Russia and Ukraine will serve as a bellwether indicating the conflict’s future direction.
“It’s a very fragile equilibrium,” said Petrov. “It depends what happens first -- a large-scale political and economic crisis in Ukraine or whether Russia will weaken under Western sanctions and will face problems at home.”
Source: Daily Monitor