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
President Museveni has broken his silence on Mr Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa, the businessman at the heart of Rwanda-Uganda stand-off.
In a letter published by the New Vision, a government owned newspaper, on Tuesday, President Museveni on March 10, 2019 wrote to his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame explaining circumstances under which he met the businessman and other Rwandans the Kigali government declared as rebels.
Rwanda has accused the Ugandan government of harbouring and supporting its dissidents under their umbrella Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and torturing its citizens among others.
However, Mr Museveni, in the said letter states that he refused to support Rwandan dissidents because the issues they were raising are an “internal matter of Rwanda” and that it is against the stand of the African Union for one country to interfere in the internal affairs of sister countries.
According to the President, Ms Charlotte Mukankusi approached him accusing the Kagame government of killing her husband before she asked him (Museveni) for support.
“I told her that we could not support them because what was happening in Rwanda was an internal matter of Rwanda. I explained to her that the stand of the African Union is a scientific one and it is correct. Interfering in the internal affairs of sister countries is wrong because, first of all, outsiders cannot understand situations of sister countries well. They can make mistakes. Secondly, those mutual interferences in one another’s internal affairs will interfere with the bigger normal, non-controversial, State to State activities — trade, transport, etc,” he said.
Below is Museveni’s full letter as published in the New Vision
Your Excellency Paul Kagame,
Greetings from the people of Uganda and from myself. I am writing to let you know that by accident, I, at last, had a meeting with a Rwandan who admitted to being a member of the group you told me about — Rwanda National Congress (RNC). This is a lady known as Mukankusi, whom, I am sure you know, but I had never met before.
One of my National Resistance Movement (NRM) contacts kept telling me that there was a Rwandan lady who had some important information to give me and that she wanted to come with somebody known as Gasana, who also had important information.
When I heard of Gasana, I thought that it was the Gasana who was behind me at Ntare and who, for a long time, had worked in the foreign affairs ministry of Uganda. When they came a few days ago, I discovered that Gasana was a completely different person. I think I had seen this gentleman once when the delegation of the Security Council had visited Uganda some years ago.
I then asked them what they wanted to tell me. Mukankusi told me that her husband, Rutagarama, had been killed by the agents of the Rwanda State. She mentioned Nziiza, Munyuza, etc. How had she confirmed this? That she had been told by those very people. I then asked her what she wanted me to do about it because this is an internal matter of Rwanda.
She said she wanted me to know bad things that were happening in Rwanda. She further told me that she had joined the RNC to resist Your Excellency’s Government and she wanted us to support them.
I told her that we could not support them because what was happening in Rwanda was an internal matter of Rwanda. I explained to her that the stand of the African Union is a scientific one and it is correct. Interfering in the internal affairs of sister countries is wrong because, first of all, outsiders cannot understand situations of sister countries well.
They can make mistakes. Secondly, those mutual interferences in one another’s internal affairs will interfere with the bigger normal, non-controversial, State to State activities — trade, transport, etc.
It is, therefore, correct to only concentrate on bilateral or multilateral issues and never involve oneself in the internal affairs of other countries. She was disappointed with my reply and I told her that I will inform you in writing.
Gasana, on the other hand, said that he was not involved with the RNC, but that he came to help a white lady, Wolfson, who we had declared persona-non-grata, to come back and continue with her charity work.
Some of our (people in the) diaspora had worked on it with him. He told me that he works with the Jewish Agency and, apparently, they are the ones who support Wolfson.
Mr. Rujugiro also came, separately. He seems to be resisting the idea of selling his businesses, which he had accepted (to do) before. He countered the idea of giving money to Kayumba by saying that even if he sells the factories in Uganda, he still has more lucrative factories in Angola, DR Congo, etc., a total of eight of them. He can send money from those.
He denied sending money to Kayumba or being a politician. He said that he had only supported RPF at the late Rwigyema’s request and your request.
If, therefore, he is still a problem to Rwanda, the correct option is to use the Courts of Uganda to prove the case of terrorism and then his assets can be frozen. You did not respond to my letter of October 15, 2018, which contained that proposal.
All these people left Uganda after only a few days. This was to inform you of these encounters. As I told you when we met, there is no question of Uganda supporting anti-Rwanda elements.
Indeed, I have not heard Rwanda saying that Uganda “supports” these elements. What I heard and what you told me when we met was that some of these elements were “operating” from or “in’’ Uganda to recruit, etc. It is this aspect that the joint teams should work on.
I invited Ambassador Mugambagye and I linked him with our people and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This is easy to follow up. What is wrong is for Rwanda agents to try to operate behind the Government of Uganda. I get a lot of stories; but I will never raise them unless I have confirmed them.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni President of the Republic of Uganda March 10, 2019
Polls have opened in South Africa with the leaders of the three main parties vying for votes in a race that could test the ruling ANC's long-held dominance.
Here is a look at the three:
The shrewd president
Cyril Ramaphosa, the leader of the ruling ANC party, took the country's reins last year after a dramatic and varied career intertwined with the birth of modern South Africa.
He was a pioneering young trade union leader, an anti-apartheid activist, and a Nelson Mandela protege who led talks to end white-minority rule and helped write the new constitution.
When Mandela walked out of jail in 1990,
But after missing out on becoming Mandela's successor as president, Ramaphosa instead became a hugely wealthy businessman through stakes in McDonalds, Coca-Cola, mining and telecommunications, and developing a taste for breeding rare cattle.
In 2012, his image was badly tarnished when police killed 34 striking workers at the Marikana platinum mine, operated by London-listed Lonmin, where he was then a non-executive director.
Ramaphosa had called for a crackdown on the strikers, whom he accused of "dastardly criminal" behaviour.
He returned to politics to become Jacob Zuma's vice president in 2014, often drawing criticism for failing to speak out against corruption and government mismanagement.
Renowned for his patience and strategic thinking, Ramaphosa narrowly beat off pro-Zuma rivals to take over the leadership of the ANC in 2017 and then claim the presidency when Zuma was forced out last year.
Ramaphosa's support base crosses South Africa's racial and class divides, but he still faces strong opposition from factions within the ANC.
"This is a decisive moment in our country, in the history of South Africa, this is a moment when... we choose hope over despair," he told supporters at the ANC's final campaign rally.
Born in Johannesburg's Soweto township, Ramaphosa took up activism while studying law in the 1970s, and spent 11 months in solitary confinement in 1974.
Transport woes for residents of Lolwe and Sigulu sub-counties in Namayingo District will soon be history when Uganda’s largest ferry starts floating on Lake Victoria.
This is because the construction of Sigulu Ferry at Masese Landing Site, Walukuba-Masese Division in Jinja Municipality, is in advanced stages.
The long awaited MV Sigulu, a government undertaking, is meant to serve residents of Lolwe and Sigulu sub-counties in Namayingo District.
Uganda National Roads Authority says about 95 per cent of construction works are complete.
“MV Sigulu ferry now under construction at Masese, Jinja. Progress at 95 percent. UNRA executive director [Ms Allen Kagina] inspects ongoing works,” said UNRA's media relations manager, Mr Allan Sempebwa, on Wednesday.
JGH Marine A/S, a Danish firm contracted to build the ferry, started construction in September 2018.
The vessel is going to be Uganda's largest ferry with a capacity of 300 passengers when complete, according to Mr Sempebwa.
Mr James Ouma Wandera, the district secretary for health and education, said expectant mothers had been making a 20km boat expedition to Kenya to give birth and immunise their children.
“They sail to Kenya and back at Shs30,000 and after giving birth, make another trip to immunise the child,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ms Kagina and a team of technical staff have started a four-day inspection of road projects in eastern Uganda.
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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Investors waiting for clearance to venture into large scale planting of cannabis, also known as marijuana are right to get angry with the government for taking long to institute legal framework to regulate the intoxicating but high-value medicinal crop, the State Minister for Agriculture has said.
Mr Christopher Kibanzanga says several investors and medical research institutions have expressed frustration over delays to grant them licences to grow marijuana for medical purposes.
The products harnessed from cannabis, according to the minister are of high value and marketable. He believes that if the fortunes of the high value crop are properly tapped it can easily transform the fortunes of a country in general.
At the same time, he warned that it has the potential to turn a country into a chaotic State as evidenced in some South American and South-Central Asia countries that are grappling with the drug problem.
Marijuana is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical or recreational purposes. In Uganda, there are restrictions against planting or using the cannabis substance although the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 2015 allows cultivation, production and exportation of medical marijuana and obligates the minister to issue written consent to that effect only—medical marijuana.
“We are aware that Investors are becoming impatient and they have a right to do so,” Mr Kibanzanga told Daily Monitor in an interview on the sidelines of ASERECA Council of Patron Ministers Summit that ended over the weekend with a study trip to Nakasongola District, Central Uganda.
“Some of them are investors from Israel, United States of America, Canada and others are from research institutions, all writing to me over the matter—growing of marijuana. They need the situation sorted out before they can legally and meaningfully engage in the business,” he said.
He continued: “But this involves a process which comes with complexities. We need to benchmark with other countries and see how they have done it. So it’s not going to be easy. This process could take us 1-2 years.
“We need to train our police officers on how to deal with this crop and related products in addition to improving our capacities in several other areas so I call upon our friends (investors) not to put a lot of pressure on us because we don’t want to turn this country into Afghanistan, Colombia or Cambodia where there are challenges to regulate this kind of situation.”
It emerged in the interview that investors are looking to countries in East and Central Africa to grow cannabis because according to Mr Kabanzanga it can be grown easily and cheaply in this part of the world.
Government, although in uncoordinated manner, has driven its point home. Health Minister, Dr Jane Aceng and State Minister for Investment Ms Evelyn Anite Kajik have all put to a stop the activities of the investors involved in the business until the legal framework to allow operations are in place.
And to lift the ban according to Mr Kibanzanga, it will take coordination of the three ministry—health, internal affairs and agriculture.
He said: It’s not the ministry of agriculture to lift the ban. We shall only lift the ban with our colleagues at internal Affairs and ministry of Health. Discussions are ongoing but it will take time because we are mindful of the cost that this kind of product can have on our country.”
Daily Monitor understands that Cabinet paper regarding the matter has been submitted and a decision was taken that law must be amended to allow industry players to go about their investments. Ministry of agriculture is the leading sector in this process. And when it comes to processing of the crop into a drug then National Drug Authority (NDA) and the ministry of health will take over. And implementation of the regulations and laws thereafter will be enforced by the ministry of Internal Affairs.
1. Industrial Hemp (U) Ltd
2. Together Pharma Ltd
Applied pending licence
3. Natgro Phama (U) Ltd
4. Medraw (U) SMC Ltd
5. Urban Properties (U) Ltd
6. Prime Ranchers
7. Silver Seeds (U) Ltd
8. Dave and Dave Group
9. Seven Blades
10. Cannops Africa
11. Quest Worths International Group
12. Premier Hemp
13.Sativa Agro-tech Ltd
14. Zeus Agro Ltd
15. Owesia U Ltd
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