Archives 2023

District Service Commissions Warned to Tackle Bribery and Embezzlement in Administrative Roles

MOROTO,(UG)-The State Minister for Public Service, Grace Mary Mugasa, has rallied District Service Commissions (DSCs) to take the lead against the rampant bribery, extortion, and embezzlement.Mugasa was speaking midweek while closing a two-day regional stakeholder’s conference, at Strikers Hotel in Moroto town.

Mugasa lamented that as a result of highly corrupt leanings, suitable candidates are always thrown out because of such practices and advised the commissions to be extra careful, warning that positive change is in sight since the government will soon advertise some jobs. The minister also advised that locally generated revenue be left in the hands of the local government to help them sort out a few issues in their administrative units.

She said the government was passionate about the stability of Karamoja adding that peace has returned to the sub-region. The chairperson for the public service, Winnie Kabogoza, asked the government to allocate adequate budgets adding that inadequate funds were impacting negatively on the service delivery. She, however, said corruption does not only involve bribery but also extends to nepotism.

The Public Service Commission this week raised concerns about political interference in the human resource recruitment process in Karamoja, with reports that the region is grappling with numerous unfilled positions at the district level, while several occupied positions are filled by underqualified candidates.

Safe Water Initiative Launched for 14,000 Residents in Ibanda District

IBANDA (UG)-Over 14,000 residents of Irimya Parish in Kicuzi Sub County of Ibanda district will have access to safe water after the Rotary Club of Mbarara launched a Shs1.4 billion water project in the area.

The project will benefit seven villages which include; Kagyezi, Katongole, Byakazo, Rwebiyongi, Buhindagi, Kuruhisi and Rwenzigye.Launched on Thursday this week, the project is being implemented in partnership with Ibanda district and Acts Uganda. Christine Ngabirano, a member of Rotary Club of Mbarara who heads this water project said that they carried out a needs assessment and found out that residents of Irimya Parish have been using unsafe water and that about 40% of the diseases they contact have in the area are water-borne.

Don Daglous Mugyenyi, President of Rotary Club of Mbarara, said the project will be implemented in a phased manner for two years, adding that one of the areas of focus for Rotary is ensuring bringing water and sanitation services closer to the population in an effort to promote disease prevention.

Nicholus Kagurusya, the Assistant District Governor for western zone three, asked the residents to ensure safety of the water equipment and report any vandalism of pipes and taps to the authorities.

CSOs Advocate for Improved Access to Education for Children with Disabilities

MASAKA,(UG)-Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) caring for persons with disabilities (PWDs) have decried inadequate funding, saying it has affected the implementation of an inclusive education policy in the country.

According to the CSOs, the lack of assistive devices such as braille, large print, tactile books, and audiobooks has excluded many children from school.

Edward Otim, the programmes manager at Sense International Uganda, in a recent interview with our reporter, said only five out of nine districts in the greater Masaka sub-region have recruited education officers with special needs, and yet inclusive education for PWDs cannot be realized without grassroot implementers and supervisors. Similarly, Richard Musisi, the Executive Director of the Association of People with Disabilities Living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda (APHA-Uganda), said out of the 2.5 million children living with disabilities in the country, only 250,000 have access to education.

Musisi urged the government to make study materials for the group available as well as resources to facilitate the implementation of the inclusive education policy. The National Council for Disability identifies multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, blindness, visual impairment, dystrophy, and deafness as the most common disabilities among learners. According to the organisation, many schools cannot manage such disabilities due to a lack of resources.

The Ministry of Education’s commissioner for special needs and inclusive education, Sarah Bugosi Kiboli, said nationwide efforts are being made to hire education officers with knowledge about special needs to facilitate the smooth implementation of the policy.

President Museveni Warns School Heads: Ensure Access to Free Education to Combat Rising HIV Cases

KAMPALA (UG)-President Yoweri Museveni has issued a stern warning to government school heads against impeding learners’ access to free education as the root cause of the surging HIV new cases among adolescents.

The President noted that out-of-school juveniles are the most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, a development he blamed on government school heads who have failed to implement the free education policy introduced in 1996 to help children from poor families pursue their education to the end. He made the remarks yesterday during the World AIDS Day commemoration held at Kibaale playground in Rakai district, under the theme: “Ending AIDS by 2030: Keeping Communities at the Centre”.

President Museveni advised parents to keep their children in school in order to control the rising numbers of HIV infections among the young people. He on the other hand, advised Ugandans living with the virus to take medication as prescribed by health practitioners.

The President further urged parents to embrace government programmes such as the Parish Development Model (PDM) and Emyooga in order to improve the livelihoods of their families, noting that poverty is among the lead causes of the surge in HIV infections. According to the recent statistics from the Uganda AIDS Commission, about 52,000 new HIV infections and 17,000 AIDS-related deaths occur every year. These new infections are occurring among the young girls and women between the age of 15 and 24 years.

Every December 1, people around the globe observe World AIDS Day, uniting to show support for people living with HIV and those affected by the virus, as well as to remember those who lost their lives to the scourge.

Global Leaders Greenlight Climate Disaster Fund at UN Summit in Dubai

KAMPALA( UG)- World leaders have approved a climate disaster fund that will help vulnerable nations cope with the impact of drought, floods, and rising seawater.

This positive move was revealed on the first day of the United Nation’s Annual Climate Summit that is underway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).In his opening remarks, Sultan Al-Jaber, the UAE’s Minister of Industry who is chairing the summit for its 28th meeting said the agreement marked a “positive signal of momentum” at the close of 2023. The leaders agreed that the fund will channel money to countries hardest-hit by climate-related disasters including in Africa.

On the sidelines of the event, the Ugandan delegation led by Energy Minister, Ruth Nankabirwa on behalf of Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, showed readiness as they called for a comprehensive transformation of climate finance, a matter that has long been at the heart of international climate negotiations. Talks in recent years were tainted by the failure of richer countries to make good on their 2009 promise to provide $100 billion a year in climate finance for resilience and clean energy by 2020.

However, speaking at the conference that opened yesterday and runs until December 12, the British High Commissioner to Uganda, Kate Airey, said leaders need to increase pace in decision making if such pledges are to be realized.

Mpuuga Nsamba Urges Government Action for Enhanced Access to HIV/AIDS Services

KAMPALA (UG)-The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba, has called on Ugandans to spearhead activism in pushing the government to ensure improved access to HIV/AIDS services nationwide.

In a statement, Mpuuga emphasized the importance of readily available testing, counseling, treatment, and support services for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.He believes this accessibility is crucial for the government to achieve its 2030 goal in the fight against the disease.

Mpuuga further urged leaders at all levels to take action and empower communities to take a leading role in efforts to end HIV by 2030. Additionally, he urged patients to strictly adhere to their Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) to avoid the risk of drug resistance.

Meanwhile, scientists from the Medical Research Council (MRC), Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have expressed concern over low viral load suppression among people living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda, despite much of the group being on treatment, a development they blame on drug resistance.

This year’s World AIDS Day national commemoration was today held in Rakai District, part of the Greater Masaka sub-region, where the first HIV case in Uganda was identified in 1982.

Bishop Akanjuna Advocates Compassion: Urges Christians to Support HIV/AIDS Patients

KABALE –The Bishop of the Diocese of Kigezi, Rt Rev Gaddie Akanjuna, has urged Christians not to discriminate and stigmatize HIV/AIDS patients but rather take good care of them so that they can live longer and happy lives.

Bishop Akanjuna made the call today during a confirmation service at Emmanuel Mayengo COU Parish under Kamuganguzi Archdeaconry in Katuna Town Council of Kabale district.

Bishop Akanjuna reminded believers that the HIV threat still exists and is increasingly spreading among the young population. He however asked Christians to shun stigmatizing and discriminating among their relatives and friends who contract the disease, but rather love and support them.

The prelate also challenged those living HIV-positive lives to heed to the medical prescription of the ARV drugs if they are to live longer and healthy.The bishop’s message came as Uganda joined the rest of the world to commemorate World AIDS Day under the theme: “Let Communities Lead”

.Preaching during the service in which he also confirmed 43 Christians into the Anglican faith, Bishop Akanjuna asked believers to live holy lives and urged parents to set a good example for their children.

Tragic Loss: Makerere University Mourns the Passing of First-Year Education Student

KAMPALA,(UG)-Makerere University was yesterday gripped in shock after a student from the College of Education and External Studies was found dead in her room at one of the university halls of residence.

Patricia Ochola Erik, from Otuke District, was a first year student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with Education, and awaiting to sit for her end of second semester exams that commence next week.

While sources that preferred anonymity in order to speak freely said the late Ochola was found dead in her room at Africa Hall, the university management gave a conflicting account when they told our reporter last evening that she died on arrival at the university hospital.

The anonymous sources added that her roommates also learned about it in the morning after they had tried to wake her up in vain.Ochola had epilepsy, a condition that her relatives think could have claimed her life. The university now awaits a postmortem report from Mulago National Referral Hospital to ascertain the cause of her death.

The Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, and Winifred Kabumbuli, the Dean of Students, condoled with the bereaved family, describing Ochola as an industrious student and very active at her college where she was the coordinator of her literature class.

Government Proposes Shs3.5 Trillion Supplementary Budget to Address Budget Shortfalls

PARLIAMENT,(UG)-The government has tabled a supplementary schedule requesting parliamentary approval for a Shs3.5 trillion borrowing plan.

This financial maneuver aims to address previously unfunded priorities and shortfalls in the 2023/2024 budget, according to the State Minister for Finance (General Duties), Henry Ariganyira Musasizi.

Musasizi while tabling the supplementary budget during plenary yesterday, emphasized the urgency of approving the same, noting that the funds are crucial for various sectors, including the renewal of National Identification Cards under the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) and the upcoming population census in 2024. He revealed that Shs1.5 trillion has already been expended under the 3% financial window.

Despite initial assurances from the Ministry of Finance about reducing such supplementary requests, Musasizi justified the move, explaining that critical items were initially omitted from the budget, but added that the government is committed to maintaining efficiency and not exceeding the 3% limit.

The supplementary budget proposal occurs against the backdrop of the ongoing fiscal year’s budget, totaling Shs52.7 trillion.

Unveiling the Reality: Statistics and Insights on HIV Prevalence in Uganda from MUJHU Research, Hiv Infection High Among Girls

KAMPALA,(UG)-As Uganda celebrates World AIDS Day today, scientists and researchers from the Makerere University – John Hopkins University (MUJHU) research collaboration say females still have higher HIV infections.Josephine Nabukenya, the youth coordinator for the Stephen Lewis Foundation Programme at MUJHU says there are more infections in women, especially teen mothers, than men.

According to Nabukenya, whose remarks were in a media interview yesterday in Kampala, rape and sexual assaults lead to the shoot up in HIV infections among women, adding that the financial situation has also often pushed females compared to males for the need of material wealth through reckless sexual lifestyle. With rising cases of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, Nabukenya urged for more research to find a cure for the deadly disease believing that the introduction of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has made the research industry slow to respond to vaccines and better medication, due to laxity and complacency among the population.

Doreen Kemigisha, a public health specialist at MUJHU, called upon parents to always spare time for their children to avoid false information from spreading, regarding the disease. According to the 2017 World Health Report, the prevalence of HIV among adults aged 15 to 64 in Uganda was 6.2 percent of which 7.6 percent was among females and 4.7 percent among males.The percentage corresponds to approximately 1.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda.