NiCA foundation Brings Joy To Buhumba Primary School With Scholastic materials and water tanks Donations

KABALE –The Kabale District Education Officer, Moses Tumwesigye Bwengye, today commissioned two water tanks donated by the NiCA Foundation to help pupils in accessing clean water at Buhumba Primary School in Kitumba Sub County.

The two water tanks each with a capacity of 10,000 litres were constructed by NiCA as a donation with support from the Netherlands friends, and scholastic materials all worth over 42 million shillings which included exercise books, mathematical sets, pens and pencils for the pupils at the school.

While officiating at the event, Bwengye appreciated the donors on behalf of the district and encouraged the pupils to prioritize their education amidst the rise in the rate of school dropouts in the region.He noted that many children in the district are forced to abandon their education due to various reasons, including poverty, lack of resources, and early marriage.

Meanwhile, Yvonne Verhagen, the founder and the chairperson of NiCA foundation emphasized the importance of completing primary school education as the foundation of one`s future success.She noted that the donation made to the school will motivate pupils and help them to set goals that shall unlock their potential in future.

The head teacher of Buhumba Primary School Jackson Kyomukama expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the NiCA Foundation for their support stating that it’s a timely intervention. He also highlighted that the facility is a significant boost to the school, which has been facing challenges in accessing clean water and educational resources, and believes it will improve the learning environment and enhance the quality of education at the school.

Buhumba Primary School which was established in 1981 is a Church of Uganda founded school aided by under the supervision of the Diocese of Kigezi.

Church Leaders Urged to Embrace Spiritual Service, Not Material Gain

KAMPALA ,(UG)-The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, His Grace Dr. Samuel Steven Kaziimba Mugalu, has condemned the pursuit of leadership positions in the church with the intention of acquiring material wealth.

He made the remarks today while delivering his Christmas message to Ugandans from his residence in Namirembe, in the capital Kampala.

Archbishop Kaziimba emphasized that Christians should avoid mirroring the mindset of the secular world, where they believe electing a leader from their community will magically solve their problems, and clarified that church leadership is not a path to earthly gain, as some mistakenly believe, but a call to spiritual service.

Dr. Kaziimba castigated greed that has taken over hearts of many Ugandans, noting that that the same has continued to fuel corruption and criminality in the country. Quoting Philippians 2:6-7, he asked leaders to follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus Christ, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

The Archbishop also urged both church leaders and believers to place their trust in God, and not in human beings, for solutions to their difficulties, as they commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ and are ushered into the new year.

Dr. Diana Atwine Unveils Cutting-Edge Facilities at Uganda Virus Research Institute

ENTEBBE,(UG)-Dr. Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, has commissioned new offices and laboratories at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe Municipality.

Among the new infrastructure is the Medical Research Council (MRC) clinic built to conduct research on infectious and non-communicable diseases.

Other commissioned facilities include a library built for the collection and storage of books among other media material accessible for use by the institute’s scientists and members of allied institutions. Officially opened on Friday was also a sample reception facility that will be the first point of contact and where specimens requiring analysis will be received.

Atwine lauded the management and staff of UVRI plus partners for the new infrastructural developments as well as the scientific research work that was extended from infectious diseases to include non-communicable diseases. Established in 1936, UVRI is a government research institute with a mandate to engage in health research of human infections and disease processes associated with viral aetiology.  

It has been at the forefront to investigate disease outbreaks such as COVID-19 where it was the only scientific investigating institution in the initial three months of the outbreak.

Minister Sets Deadline for District Land Boards’ Annual Reports

KAMPALA, (UG)-The Minister of State for Lands, Dr. Sam Mayanja, has given all district land boards across the country a deadline of December 31, 2023, to prepare and publish their annual reports.

This ultimatum serves as a reminder of their statutory obligation under Section 60(3) of the Land Act.

Minister Mayanja said in a statement that district land boards play a crucial role in the management and administration of land at the district level. The annual reports are not only mandatory but also serve as vital tools for oversight and accountability within the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, as well as the respective District Councils.

According to the Land Act, District Land Boards are required to prepare and publish an annual report, providing details of their activities and adherence to national and district land policies.

Minister Mayanja emphasised that the absence of annual reports hampers the Ministry and District Councils in carrying out their oversight responsibilities.

Uganda Secures $325 Million Loan for Major Infrastructure Upgrade

KAMPALA, (UG)-Government has been cleared to finance the upgrading of major through a loan funding worth $325 million (Shs1.23 trillion).

This was during yesterday’s plenary sitting chaired by Speaker Anita Among.

The loan will be secured from the Islamic Development Bank (US$295 million) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (US$30 million), whereas government is expected to provide US$22 million for land acquisition. The funding aims at rehabilitating the Masindi Port Bridge to 100 years of design life, as well as roads including Katine-Ochero Road, Kiruhura-Bwizi-Rwamwanja-Kahunge road and Mpara-Bwizi road, each of which is designed for 20 years of design life.

The Deputy Chairperson of Parliament’s Committee on National Economy, Robert Migadde, observed that much as Uganda’s public debt remains within sustainable levels, the country is rated at moderate risk of debt distress. He added that ministries, departments and agencies should always undertake project designs prior to sourcing for money, in order to minimize project delays by effectively compensating project affected persons in time.

The House also authorized government to prefinance the reconstruction, rehabilitation and upgrading of major roads in Masaka and Ntungamo districts at a total cost of Shs691.6 billion.

The Speaker tasked the Committee to always follow-up on the status of implementation of projects under previous loans approved by Parliament.

President Museveni Urges Chief Justice to Prevent Sale of Muslim Property

KAMPALA, (UG) –President Yoweri Museveni has written to Chief Justice Alphonse Chigamoy Owiny Dollo asking him to ensure the looming sale of Muslim property is averted.

In a December 7 letter, President Museveni says whereas he had heard about the wrangles, he did not interfere because he was sure there are national institutions to handle them, and consequently requested the Chief Justice to review the matter and see how to restore sanity.

This state of affairs came after businessman Justus Kyabahwa took the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) to court seeking to be compensated nearly Shs19 billion for failing to give him possession of a piece of land in Ssembabule district. Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal in Kampala has today issued a temporary injunction against the sale of prime Muslim property within the city, after a decision by the court to allow an application by the Muslim leadership to stop the businessman from seizing and selling their properties.

The court, led by Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera, and Justices Geoffrey Kiryabwire and Irene Mulyagonja, will issue a detailed reasoning for their decision overturning that of their single colleague Justice Christopher Gashirabake at a later date.

UMSC had appealed Gashirabake’s decision, and the three-justice panel granted them temporary relief, restricting seizure of the Muslim property until the appeal is heard and decided.

Tragic Fire Engulfs City House in Kampala, Claiming One Life

KAMPALA, (UG)-Police say they have launched investigations into the cause of a fire that gutted City House in Kampala today morning, killing one person.

The tragic fire incident occurred at approximately 9 am and led to the loss of property worth millions in the building that is also home to the oldest political party in Uganda, the Democratic Party (DP), as well as paralyzing nearby businesses and operations.

The Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire, told our reporter today afternoon that the fire was successfully extinguished, and an investigation has been initiated to determine the precise cause of the fire, adding that the findings of this investigation will be communicated promptly to the public.

Owoyesigyire further noted that concerns remain about the possibility of additional casualties within the remnants of the building, which detectives at Central Police Station Kampala are actively working on, to verify if there are other bodies still trapped inside. Owoyesigyire also stated that the building itself is not safe for occupancy and will be closed until further notice.

The deceased, whose body has been conveyed to the City Mortuary at Mulago for autopsy, was yet to be identified by press time, with unconfirmed reports indicating that a charcoal stove could have been the cause of the inferno.

Iron Sheet Diversion Case Rescheduled for 2024

KAMPALA, (UG)-The trial against State Minister for Finance, Amos Lugoloobi, has been postponed until February 2024 due to the absence of the presiding Judge, Margaret Tibulya.

The minister appeared before Deputy Registrar Beatrice Stella Atingu of the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court, who adjourned the matter on behalf of Justice Tibulya.

The hearing will now resume on February 12 and March 15, 2024. Minister Lugoloobi faces charges related to the alleged diversion of iron sheets intended for vulnerable communities in Karamoja.The prosecution, led by DPP Jane Frances Abodo, alleges that between July 2022 and February 2023, the minister, who is also the Ntenjeru North MP, dealt with 700 pre-painted iron sheets marked “Office of the Prime Minister” at the OPM stores in Namanve, Matugga in Wakiso district, and his own constituency.

The prosecution further alleges that Lugoloobi was aware that the iron sheets were acquired through loss of public property.

Decisive Hearings Set for Petitions Challenging Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act

KAMPALA, (UG)-The Constitutional Court in Kampala has scheduled December 18, 2023, as the start date for hearings in 23 consolidated petitions challenging the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023.A panel of five justices to preside over the case will be named tomorrow.

Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire has set the hearing date for the petitions, which seek, among other things, to strike down a constitutional provision criminalizing consensual sex among adults, as termed by activists.

The petitioners include West Budama MP Fox Odoi, Uganda’s Ambassador to South Africa Kintu Nyango, veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda, Makerere University Law Professors Sylvia Tamale and Busingye Kabumba, and several civil society organizations.

The petitions further argue that the Anti-Homosexuality Act infringes on several constitutional articles guaranteeing personal freedoms and dignity, as well as hindering the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday this week, the Court will hear an application filed by Pastor Martin Ssempa who is seeking to join the Attorney General in defending the anti-gay law.

Bishop James Lubega Bbale, on the other hand, is requesting to be joined as a necessary party to challenge the Anti-Homosexuality Act for discriminating against “God’s people.”Additionally, UNAIDS seeks to be joined as a friend of the court to provide relevant information demonstrating why the law should be overturned due to its detrimental impact on HIV/AIDS prevention efforts.

JEEMA Party President Urges Bobi Wine to Clarify NUP’s Stance on Homosexuality

KAMPALA, (UG)-Bugiri Municipality legislator, Asuman Basalirwa, is concerned that Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine, the National Unity Platform (NUP) part principal, may be instrumental in the downfall of his party.

Basalirwa’s assertion stems from the statements made by Kyagulanyi regarding some NUP Members of Parliament who he claimed were working for President Yoweri Museveni of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).In response to Kyagulanyi’s recent comments, where he alleged that MPs who supported the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 were collaborating with President Museveni, Basalirwa suggested that Kyagulanyi may possess information unknown to others.

During a recent interview with the international broadcaster BBC, Kyagulanyi also argued that the Act, which garnered support from over 90% of MPs, was not passed in the best interest of Ugandans but rather as a means to suppress the opposition.

Basalirwa – the opposition Justice Forum (JEEMA) party president — emphasised that Kyagulanyi’s failure to take action against the MPs he accused of collaborating with the regime would inevitably lead to the downfall of the NUP. He however raised concerns about the party’s stance on homosexuality, highlighting the confusion within NUP regarding the issue, and called upon Kyagulanyi to clarify the party’s position on homosexuality.

Last week, JEEMA requested an apology from Kyagulanyi over his comments regarding the enactment of the anti-gay law, and urged him to retract his statement.