Shs20 Million Reward for Information on Blast Suspects

KAMPALA (UG) –Security has announced a Shs20 million bounty on two men they believe are behind the two blasts that went off on Saturday night injuring one person.

In a statement released by the deputy Defense spokesperson, Col Deo Akiiki, the two improvised explosive devices exploded in Kikubamutwe, Kabalagala and another in Nabweru, Nansana Municipality.

He added that the improvised explosive device (IED) that exploded in Nabweru was allegedly planted by two young men on the same day after hiring the rental for three months and left in the room where the explosion took place.

The IED that exploded in Kabalagala was left at a veranda of a house in a busy street.The army has since released two photos of men suspected to have been behind the two blasts and placed a Shs20 million bounty on each head.

Col Akiiki said in a statement last evening that investigations into the matter continue but asked the general public to be vigilant and security conscious as the festive season approaches.

President Yoweri Museveni yesterday also urged citizens in public places like churches, markets, mosques and leisure centres, to be vigilant of strange faces and revenge attacks from the ADF rebel group, after revealing that seven of their camps had been devastated last week in the ongoing Operation Shujaa in the DRC.

Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo Reveals President’s Plan to Fund Schools with Auctioned Cattle Money

KAMPALA (UG) –President Yoweri Museveni has suggested that money generated from auctioning impounded cattle belonging to defiant migrant cattle keepers commonly referred to as Balaalo be used for constructing schools in Northern Uganda.

Chief Justice Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo’s letter from the President that our reporter accessed last evening indicates that some cattle keepers were already fleeing forceful eviction from the region, leaving behind their cattle.

Justice Dollo had also made the same revelation on Friday while responding to questions from journalists on the update of the eviction of the cattle keepers from the Acholi sub-region. In the letter, President Museveni admits that the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Wilson Mbadi, had notified him of the readiness of the Fourth Infantry Division to commence the eviction of the defiant cattle keepers.

Owiny-Dollo said the President also disclosed that he would direct the army to confiscate cattle abandoned by fleeing cattle keepers so that they are auctioned, and the proceeds used for building schools in the respective areas once the Attorney General gives a nod.

President Museveni’s proposals come nearly a fortnight after the ultimatum he issued to non-compliant cattle keepers to vacate North and North-Eastern Uganda expired on November 24.Last month, State Minister for Northern Uganda Rehabilitation, Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, revealed that about 80,000 herds of cattle in Northern Uganda belong to non-compliant migrant cattle keepers who have no adequate grazing land nor water sources.

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.

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.

Anthrax Outbreak Alters Menu at World AIDS Day Commemoration in Rakai District

RAKAI,(UG)-Guests at today’s World AIDS Day national commemoration in Rakai District will not be served meat as the norm has been at most public functions in the area.

The resolution came following an outbreak of Anthrax which has so far claimed 17 lives and left at least 28 others sick in the nearby Kabira Sub County of Kyotera District.

Rakai District Health Officer, Moses Sakor, told our reporter today morning that they received a directive from the President’s Office to serve their guests with other sauce(s) for fear of slaughtering an infected animal.

The Ministry of Health confirmed an Anthrax outbreak on Monday this week, long after locals thought the disease was witchcraft. Humans acquire Anthrax, a bacterial disease, from infected animals or occupational exposure to affected or contaminated animal products.Now, the Rakai District LC V chairperson, Samuel Kaggwa Ssekamwa, has urged all residents to avoid eating meat when they are not sure about its source, with the Kyotera District Health Officer, Dr Edward Muwanga, committing to sensitize communities to contain the spread of the disease.

This year’s World AIDS Day under the theme: “Let Communities Lead” is being commemorated Rakai District, which is part of the Greater Masaka sub-region, where the first HIV case in Uganda was identified in 1982.

Tree Conservation Efforts: Speaker Among Urges Government to Cut Cooking Gas Taxes

KAMPALA (UG)-The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Anita Among has asked the government to reduce taxes on cooking gas, making it more affordable for all Ugandans and promoting environmental conservation.

According to the speaker, many people have resorted to cutting down trees for charcoal and firewood due to the high cost of cooking gas, noting that deforestation has had a detrimental impact on the environment.Since Parliament and the government have banned tree cutting for charcoal production, speaker Among believes it is crucial to lower cooking gas taxes to discourage further deforestation.

She acknowledged that Parliament has been encouraging Ugandans to plant trees and avoid cutting them down.However, she emphasized that some Ugandans have no choice but to cut down trees for firewood or charcoal due to the high cost of cooking gas.

The speaker also urged MPs to continue setting an example for their communities and the country by planting more trees to conserve the environment.

Ugandan Government Allocates 3 Trillion Shillings for Kampala’s Mega Renovation Project

KAMPALA-The government has revealed, through the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, that it has set aside approximately 3 trillion shillings to renovate Kampala.

This was stated by Ramathan Ggoobi, the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, while speaking to reporters in Kampala.

According to Ggoobi, the government has learned a hard lesson for failing to maintain Kampala, but it is now considering a long-term strategy that includes heavy investment in revamping its infrastructure, such as roads, drainage systems, and automated traffic controls, among other things, that will change the face of the city.

This comes after the Special Forces Command’s engineering regiment began road rehabilitation work in the city.Ggoobi pointed out that this year, the economy of Uganda has been affected by the changing weather conditions comprised of heavy rains which have swept away many road infrastructures.He noted that most roads are currently impassable, and some people are requesting that the government repair them.

Ggoobi stated that it is impossible to work on roads during El Nino, but resources have been set aside to complete the work as soon as the rain stops. For example, each district has been allocated one billion shillings for road maintenance.

The secretary to the treasury also updated the country on the funding of Masaka-Mutukula road which he said is in a very bad state yet it is a strategic one to the economy of the country.

Ending Gender-Based Violence: Stakeholders Push for Equal Attention to Men’s Issues

KAMPALA (UG)-Stakeholders have asked the Government to come up with affirmative action programmes to Favor males living violence-free lives, so as to end gender-based violence and equal rights for all.

Speaking during the event to commemorate the International Men’s Day at Kololo Ceremonial grounds in Kampala yesterday, Prof. Maggie Kigozi, the coordinator for men’s rights, appealed to the Government to strike a balance in service delivery to bring more men on board.

Kigozi, who is also a parent, noted that much attention has been shifted to girl children at the expense of boy children who she said are at a crossroads of morals.

According to Joanitah Kawalya, Afrigo Band singer and men’s advocate, several men have been beaten up by their wives, but fear to report because of the embarrassment factor. She demanded that strong voices be raised to rescue men from such acts of violence.

In November 2014, the Ministry of Health brought together partners to develop the National Male involvement strategy, which highlighted men’s shared responsibility in promoting healthy families and men’s active involvement in parenthood.

According to stakeholders, so much has been done to women and men have been left behind on several programmes, something that leaves a huge gender gap.