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 described Rwenzururu Queen Mother, Christine Biira who died Tuesday as ‘a key champion of peace and unity in the Rwenzori region.’
“I got the sad news of the death of the Rwenzururu Queen Mother, Christine Biira, at Kilembe Hospital. Coming from the Basiita clan, she was my sister. She has been a key champion of peace and unity in the Rwenzori region. The country will miss her. May her soul rest in peace,” Mr Museveni tweeted on Wednesday.
Biira passed on yesterday morning at the age of 85.
She is the mother of Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere and Mr Christopher Kibanzanga, the State minister for Agriculture, among others.
Mr Kibanzanga, who also doubles as the chief prince of Rwenzururu Kingdom, told Daily Monitor in Kampala yesterday that their mother had been ill for the last six months.
“My mother died at around 10:30am from Kilembe Mines Hospital in Kasese. Her illness has taken more than six months. We treated her in so many hospitals in Kampala before she returned home. It is a sad moment for the royal family and the kingdom at large,” he said.
The Kilembe Mines Hospital administrator, Mr Onizimous Kibaya said the Queen Mother was admitted to the facility on May 28.
He could not immediately reveal the exact cause of death but said the hospital had been treating diabetes, high blood pressure and ulcers.
Mr Kibanzanga said the royal family and an organising committee set up in Kasese would announce the burial arrangements.
He said the body of the deceased was handed over to Uganda Funeral Services, which transported it to Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital for postmortem.
King Mumbere, who recently decried being held under house arrest despite being out on bail, was reportedly heartbroken following news of his mother’s death.
He could not be reached for a comment but sources close to him said Mumbere wants the government to allow him travel to Kasese to mourn by “at least seeing the body of his mother”. In Bakonzo culture, kings are not supposed to participate in burials but it is not clear whether they also see dead bodies.
The king who is facing charges of treason, terrorism and murder, among others, is restricted from visiting his kingdom following his arrest on November 26, 2016 during a Uganda People’s Defence Forces raid on Buhikira Royal Palace that left more than 100 people dead.
Mr Mumbere last met with his mother under highly restrictive security measures early February when she was admitted to Case Hospital in Kampala.
At that time, two of her toes had been removed.
President Museveni also had visited her there and had promised to cater for her medication abroad.
Later in March, her leg was amputated at Kilembe Mines Hospital, where family sources said, the remaining part was cut up to the thigh after failing to heal permanently. The first trouble was a wound caused by poorly cut nail, which failed to heal.
She is survived by seven children.
Eid al Fitr is the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal and it marks the end of Ramadhan, which is a month of fasting and prayer.
When contacted, the UMSC spokesperson, Hajji Nsereko Mutumba, reconfirmed the development, saying the month of Ramadhan ends today and as a result, Muslims across the country should observe Eid al-Fitr (communal prayers), which marks the end of Ramadhan and usher in a new month of Shawwal.
Ramadhan is normally observed for 29 or 30 days depending on lunar calendar which consists of 12 months of 354 or 355 days.
Hajji NSereko urged Muslims to keep up the good behavior they exhibited through the Holy Month of Ramadhan and should also celebrate it in accordance with the Sharia (law).
“The Umma (Muslim Community) should keep peace and be charitable,” he said.
As Uganda commemorates World Day Against Child Labour, rights activists have called on government to tighten policies and legislation against abuse of child rights.
The Minister of State for Gender and Culture Affairs, Ms Peace Mutuuzo who, on Wednesday, presided over the ceremony at Madibira Primary School playgrounds in Busia border town said child labour denies children their right to childhood, a good education and growing up in a safe and protected environment free from harm.
“Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams,” Ms Mutuuzo said.
According to her, there couldn’t have been a better venue than Busia border town where the prevalence of child labour is alarming because of the cross border trade that has not spared the children.
Children are often seen carrying heavy merchandise across the borderline, many times sent by adults in return of some commissions.
“Our choice of venue is intended to raise the profile of our fight against the vice of child labour in this area but also the country at large,” Ms Mutuuzo said.
However, human rights activists argue that despite several legislative policies by the international community and the government of Uganda, child labour continues to be prevalent.
Globally, it is estimated that 211 million children between the ages of 5-14 years and a further 141 million aged 14-17 are involved in some form of economic activity.
From the 2018 Statistical Abstract conducted by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) for 2016/2017, Child labourers increased to 2,055,000 up from 2,009,000 over the 2011-2012 period with over half of the children doing hazardous work.
The number of children doing hazardous work in urban areas is higher than those in rural areas.
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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Ousted Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir is to appear in court next week to face charges of corruption and illegal possession of foreign currency, the acting prosecutor general announced on Saturday.
The announcement came more than two months after the military overthrew Bashir following mass nationwide protests against his 30-year iron-fisted rule.
Bashir "will appear in court next week following charges of corruption and possessing foreign currency", Al-Waleed Sayyed Ahmed told reporters, without specifying the day.
On Thursday, an unnamed official quoted by the official SUNA news agency said Bashir was facing charges including "possessing foreign funds, acquiring suspected and illegal wealth, and ordering the (state of) emergency".
In April, Sudan's army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said more than $113 million worth of cash in three currencies had been seized from Bashir's residence.
He said a team of police, army and security agents found seven million euros ($7.8 million), $350,000 and five billion Sudanese pounds ($105 million).
When he imposed the state of emergency, Bashir issued a decree making it illegal to possess more than 5,000 dollars in foreign currency.
Bashir, who was toppled on April 11 following months of protests and is currently being held in the capital's Kober prison, swept to power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989.
Sudan suffered high rates of corruption during his rule, ranking 172 out of 180 countries in Transparency International's 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index.
Last month, Ahmed ordered Bashir questioned over money-laundering and "financing terrorism".
In an effort to quell protests that erupted against his rule in December, Bashir imposed a nationwide state of emergency on February 22.
- Charges against Bashir aides -
In May, the prosecutor general said Bashir had been charged over the killings of protesters during the anti-regime demonstrations, which eventually led to his ouster.
Ahmed also said on Saturday that 41 other charges against "symbols of the ousted regime" were under investigation.
He did not name the others accused but said most of the charges were over the "possession of land".
Protests against Bashir's rule initially erupted on December 19 after his then government tripled the price of bread.
He was ousted by the army after thousands of demonstrators launched a sit-in outside the military headquarters in central Khartoum from April 6.
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