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As it happened: Thursday rolling news

By Joseph Kizza

Added 11th May 2017 09:00 AM

Updates from the latest news developments in Uganda and beyond.

As it happened: Thursday rolling news

Updates from the latest news developments in Uganda and beyond.


  • Detained children released, 'investigations to continue'
  • Rwandan opposition member assassinated - officials
  • Kagoma votes for new MP
  • Somali president asks world for help

Presented by Joseph Kizza (Twitter: @joekizza)




4.45pm:   That's it for today!

Bye bye!

For today, I will wrap up this live page in a more acrobatic fashion than usual. Thanks for sticking with me here. There are more stories on the main New Vision website. Don't miss them.




4.33pm:   Opposition member 'assassinated' in Rwanda


A member of a banned Rwandan opposition party has been assassinated, party officials alleged Thursday, less than three months before national elections are due to be held.

The body of Jean Damascene Habarugira, a member of the United Democratic Forces party (known by its French acronym, FDU), was found on Monday, police spokesman Theos Badege said, 60 kilometres (40 miles) from where he had disappeared three days earlier.

FDU vice president Boniface Twagirimana, claimed 52-year-old Habarugira had been murdered because of his opposition to the government's agricultural planning policy in his home area of Ngoma, in the east of the country.





4.10pm:   'Uber just an ordinary taxi firm'

A top EU lawyer says that ride-hailing app Uber may be a pioneer in its field but at heart it is just an ordinary taxi company and should be regulated as such.

Read details HERE






3.50pm:   Uganda martyrs movies

Martyrs' Day, marked every June 3, is not far away. And as the commemmorative day draws nearer, there has been an interesting development for that matter.

In an attempt to boost pilgrimage numbers to Namugongo martyrs' shrines, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) intends to make movies reflecting the martyrdom journey of the martyrs, reports New Vision's Pascal Kwesiga.

UTB deputy executive director, John Ssempebwa, says the board plans to make movies for individual martyrs and distribute them overseas to attract more religious tourists to Uganda.

Nice move!





3.30pm:   UBTEB exams set to officially start

Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB) final examinations will officially start Friday with a briefing of all candidates countrywide while sitting of exams is set for Monday.

New Vision's Violet Nabatanzi reports that this year, the number of candidates has increased to 15,651 candidates from 14,664 in 2016, translating to a 6.3% increase.

"The exams will be conducted in two phases, the first phase of exams will start with the first paper on Monday  up to 26th of this month while phase two exams will commence on 2nd June up to 16th  June," the executive secretary UBTEB, Dr Wilfred Nahamya disclosed.

The board registered 8,807 candidates for diploma and certificate in Business programmes, 5,297 for Technical National diploma and higher diploma programmes. Others are 1,547 candidates for specialised academic programmes including fisheries, meteorology, agriculture, wild life and lands and survey.





3.06pm:   Somalia has to rebuild security - UN chief


The conference -- focused on national security, political infrastructure, economic recovery and combating drought -- is being co-chaired by Farmajo, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Guterres said the drought was Somalia's "most pressing priority" and appealed for an additional $900 million (828 million euros) by the end of the year to prevent it worsening into a famine.

"Somalia has to rebuild security, foster transparency and accountability, deal with a crippling drought and avert famine," he said.

"More than six million people in Somalia need assistance, or nearly half of the population."

The UN said last week that Somalia will have 1.4 million acutely malnourished children by the end of the year, up 50 percent from late 2016.

The conference is also looking to ensure Somalia can take greater responsibility for its own security from the 22,000-strong African Union troop deployment.






2.50pm:   London conference: 'I will take measurable steps'


The troubled east African country, which has frequently topped the Fragile State Index, is under a new president, prime minister and parliament this year and the conference is focused on underpinning stability in this electoral cycle.

"I will spare no effort to realise the promise of my campaign which was to fight Somalia's three raging enemies: terrorism, corruption and poverty," Somalia' president, widely known by his nickname Farmajo, told the conference.

"I will take measurable steps to unleash the great potential of my people to develop their own country and to do what they know best: trade and commerce."





2.40pm:   Somalia asks for world's help



Somalia's president Thursday urged world powers to help him fight the "raging enemies" of terror, corruption and poverty, at an international conference aimed at stabilising the crisis-wracked country under his new leadership.

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed told the London gathering that the conflict-ravaged state could thrive on the Somali natural flair for commerce if it can hold off the threats of famine, piracy and Islamic extremism.

The one-day conference, attended by world leaders, is looking to strike a new agreement between Somalia and its international support network to speed up progress on security, development and the economy by 2020.





2.20pm:   Take a look . . .










1.56pm:   India school head arrested over child rape


The head of a school in southern India has been arrested on suspicion of raping scores of disabled girls over a period of at least four years, police said Thursday.

They said complaints from two former pupils at the school for speech- and hearing-impaired girls in Tamil Nadu state had alerted them to the alleged abuse. Both are now adults and are working at the school.

"We received the complaint from two victims who are working in the school about sexual exploitation of girls," said Jayachandaran, a local police officer who goes by just one name.

One, a 19-year-old, alleged she was repeatedly raped by the school head when she was just 15 and that school staff had taken her to hospital for an abortion.

Police have received a similar complaint from a second female employee who alleged she was also raped by the school head, and that he was continuing to abuse children, Jayachandaran said.

"Both the complaints are under investigation, but we suspect scores of other girls were raped," he said, adding police had sought help to communicate with the students through sign language.

Three women and a man were also arrested on suspicion of covering up the abuse, while a third suspect who worked at the school has absconded.

There are more than 200 speech- and hearing-impaired girls at the private girls' boarding school.

India has a poor history of tackling sexual abuse in homes and other residential care facilities, with rights groups accusing authorities of failing to swiftly bring offenders to justice.

Last year police arrested the head of a children's home in New Delhi after six girls accused him of raping and filming them naked on his mobile phone.





1.45pm:   Mugabe 'not asleep but resting his eyes'




Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, 93, is not asleep when he closes his eyes for long periods in public events but is resting his eyes from bright lights, his spokesman said Thursday.

Mugabe has regularly had his eyes closed at recent appearances, including when he appeared on a discussion panel at last week's World Economic Forum meeting in South Africa.

"I feel like a failure when there is this reading that the President is sleeping in conferences, no," his spokesman George Charamba was quoted as saying in the state-run Herald newspaper.

"At 93, there is something that happens to the eyes and the President cannot suffer bright lights. If you look at his poise, he looks down, avoids direct lighting."

Charamba compared Mugabe to Nelson Mandela, whose eyes were sensitive to flash photography after years of working in a limestone quarry when he was imprisoned on Robben Island.

"You were not allowed to even use flashes whenever he was in the room," he said.

Mugabe, who has trouble walking unaided, is in Singapore on one of his regular medical trips.

Charamba said the president was receiving specialised treatment for his eyes and that his general health was good.

Mugabe's foreign medical trips are often criticised in Zimbabwe, where healthcare has collapsed due to the country's economic troubles.

Charamba said that Mugabe's medical care is supervised in Harare by a "very, very, very black" Zimbabwean doctor -- and that he only flies abroad for specialist attention.





1.30pm:   Kagoma by-election: Was time kept?

New Vision's Jackie Nambogga & Doreen Musingo in Jinja:

Voting in some parishes in Butagaya sub-county delayed after materials were distributed a bit late.

At Igombe polling station, materials were delivered at 8:22am local time. Biometric machines in Lubani parish, Buwenge rural failed to work.

At several polling centres, presiding officials had to wait for the five voters mandated to oversee the opening of ballot boxes at each polling stations before the exercise would kick off. Some of the residents preferred tending to their gardens before going to vote.

According to Charles Wambuzi, the Electoral Commission supervisor in the area, this was attributed to the 13 polling stations in the two parishes which were far from each other yet they had one vehicle to distribute the materials.


At Bituli Primary School, voting began at 8:15am and by 10:17am, 140 voters had cast their votes out of the 962 registered voters.
At Bubugo Primary School, of the 901 registered voters, 230 had voted by 10:36am.

Elderly people, pregnant and breast feeding mothers were prioritized by being made not to line up, a decision that angered some men threatening to quit the exercise.



1.17pm:   Kagoma by-election:

Alex Brandon Kintu, who is in the race as an independent, cast his vote at Madarasati Primary School in Buwenge town earleir on.





12.56pm:   Released children reunite with families

New Vision's Henry Nsubuga in Jinja:

Police have released 13 of the 15 children who have been in their custody since March 21. The children have been handed over to their mothers at Naggalama Police Station by Commissioner of police in charge of human trafficking Moses Binoga and Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Emiliam Kayima.


Police picked the children from the home of Abdu Rashid Mbaziira, one of the suspects in the murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his driver and bodyguard. The suspects are on remand in Luzira Prison.

According to police, the children are ranging between one and 16 years. Kayima said the children were not in police cells but in a Children's Care Centre.





12.56pm:   Children 'not arrested but instead rescued'

Binoga says that contrary to popular belief, Police di nto arrest the children but instead rescued them. This was after him warning parents and guardians on minding whom they leave their children with.

The children have since been reunited with their mothers.





12.40pm:   'Investigations will continue'

Moses Binoga, the coordinator of Anti-Human Trafficking, says that investigations into the matter on the children are continuing despite their "unconditional" release.

He tells reporters that there were reports indicating that the children were being trafficked to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to join Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel outfit.






Police has released the children said to belong to one of the suspects in the murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

Addressing the media earlier on, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima warned media against providing false information on the matter. "These children were not in police cells," said Kayima, who was flanked by Moses Binoga, the coordinator of Anti-Human Trafficking.

Kayima said that the children were under the Child Care Department of Police.






12.10pm:   Gov't to replace asbestos roofs

What kind of roof are you living under? Iron sheets? Tiles? Urm, asbestos? Anyone?

Well, if you are living under the latter and your house is government-owned, pay more attention . . .


New Vision's Mary Karugaba:

According to Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda,  government is planning to have government houses roofed with asbestos replaced. And that's the assurance the Premier gave parliament on Wednesday.

"We have set up an inter-ministerial committee chaired by myself that will review the situation and then embark on replacing all those roofs. The committee will sit next week," Rugunda said.

Most Government institutions constructed in the 1950s and 1960s have asbestos roofs and efforts by the Ministry of Health calling on the authorities to change the roofs have often fallen on deaf ears.

In many barracks, police and army officers are housed in asbestos-roofed houses although they are condemned by the International Labour Organisatio (ILO) Convention 162, 1986, which provides for the replacement of asbestos or certain types of asbestos or products containing asbestos with other materials or products evaluated as less harmful.

According to experts, materials containing asbestos are hazardous to humans and pose a public health risk. They say all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans - meaning that they can cause different cancers which include among others cancers of the ovary, lung, mesothelioma and cancer of the larynx. This is in addition to breathing complications and respiratory tract infections.





11.53am:   Kagoma by-election: Tight security

Security has been ramped up in Buwenge town council. Here, a police water canon truck is parked at Buwenge Police Station.

So far so good. No security hiccups reported . . . yet.





11.30am:   Kagoma by-election: NRM's Walyomu votes

It's a hot Thursday in Jinja . . .













11.15am:   Kagoma by-election: NRM's Walyomu votes

NRM's Moses Walyomu joined other voters in the line at Nakakulwe polling station in Butagaya.





10.55am:   Atletico won battle but lost war



In yet another Madrid derby that started off in humdinging fashion, Atletico Madrid did manage to beat Real Madrid 2-1 but lost 4-2 on aggregate in the Champions League semi-final.

Diego Simeone's men came into the game trailing 3-0 but quickly bit a mighty chunk into that lead with two first-half goals through Saul Niguez's fierce header and Antoine Griezmann's (er...oba strange?) penalty.


But Isco poked in the all-important away goal that did well to change the dimension of the game. Final score: 2-1 to Atletico. Aggregate score: 4-2 to Real.

FINAL: Juventus v Real Madrid

Nuff said.




10.40am:   Real take on Juve



It promises to be a mouth-watering UEFA Champions League final in Cardiff, for sure!

Italy versus Spain.

Real v Juve.

Who takes the honours?

Who lifts glory?

Eleven-time record champions Real Madrid of Spain will take on Italian side Juventus come on June 3. It will be a Saturday in case you are wondering.

Real however had to steady their ship against Atletico Madrid in Wednesday night's semi-final return leg to see off their city rivals and secure a place in the final.





10.35am:   It's a 1998 repeat . . .



. . . of the UEFA Champions League final, I mean.






10.23am:   FUFA Elective Assembly



FUFA's electoral committee has confirmed a big turn up for the delegates who picked up forms to contest for the 88 slots in the FUFA Elective Assembly due this year in August.
Each of eight FUFA regions will be represented by six delegates while special interest groups such as schools, beach soccer, players association, women and others are represented by two delegates.
However, the committee chairman Samuel Bakiika says that although many picked forms, there is delay in returning them yet the process is expected to close today (Thursday). 





10.10am:   Reforms at KCCA

Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA)  has relieved 58 staff of their duties in efforts to deliver quality services in Kampala city.
In a missive released by the Authority, reforms include redeployments, transfers, assignment of higher duties and non-renewal of some of the expired contracts.
So far, 18 solid waste supervisors from central division have been relieved of their jobs because of failure to meet their expectations while 40 Law Enforcement Assistants have not got their contracts renewed, the statement said.





9.46am:   Kagoma: Locals cast their ballot

New Vision's Donald Kiirya in Jinja:

"Voting has begun peacefully this morning in Kagoma constituency as people join qeues to vote for their favorite candidate. Here at Nakakulwe polling station in Butagaya sub-county, I can see residents in a line waiting to cast their ballot. It's the same polling station where the NRM candidate Moses Walyomu is epxected to cast his vote any time from now."






9.40am:   Kagoma by-election: Voting under way

Meanwhile, in the eastern part of the country, in Jinja, locals of Kagoma Country are casting their ballot for a new representative in parliament.

The Kagoma county seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal nullified Moses Walyomu's victory due to bribery issues.
The Electoral Commission Chairman Simon Byabakama warned everybody taking part in the exercise to be law-abiding during and after the polling process to ensure a smooth conduct and conclusion of the by-election.
In the race are NRM's Walyomu, FDC's Timothy Lusala Batuwa, while  Alex Brandon Kintu and Mohammed Bidondole  are independents.





9.30am:   London conference on Somalia


International leaders, including President Yoweri Museveni, are gathering in London to thrash out agreements with Somalia aimed at stabilising the country under its new political leadership.

The one-day conference is looking to strike a new compact that will accelerate progress on security, development and the troubled east African country's economy by 2020.

The Thursday meeting is being co-chaired by Somalia's new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and British Prime Minister Theresa May.





9.18am:   Museveni in UK


President Yoweri Museveni is in London for a two-day working trip. He got there on Wednesday accompanied by his wife, Janet, and he is expected to attend the Somalia Conference at the Lancaster House today.





9.15am:   The papers

KCCA FC, Manchester United and local motocross are all mentioned on the back (sports) page.





9.12am:   The papers

Meanwhile, vernacular newspaper Bukedde is continuing with the coverage of a developing conflict in East Asia. It leads with a story of China testing a new missile close to the Korean Peninsula.

A possible warning to the US and South Korea, maybe?

Another developing story, this one local, is also flagged on the front page: Stella Nyanzi and court.

Again, you can read these papers online HERE





9.08am:   The papers

On the sports pages, New Vision is saying that 2016/17 league champions KCCA FC return to continental affairs (CAF Confederation Cup) without four key players.

The paper has a blend of local and international sports news for you, including Manchester United's key Europa League tie against Celta Vigo later on Thursday.





9.05am:   The papers

Well, well, well. The spotlight is on members of the Ugandan parliament in New Vision's lead story.

Parliament has been hit with fresh accusations of extortion following
allegations that committees of parliament are soliciting and importuning government entities that they superintend over for all manner of financial and material favours.

The edition leads with a picture of President Museveni in a handshake with visiting China's vice-minister of foreign affairs, Zhang Ming.

Stories on tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia and Stella Nyanzi are also flagged.

FYI, we have a digital copy of the whole paper which you can read HERE





9.00am:   A fresh start!

Hello and good morning to you all. Hoping this finds you well and, er, in one piece. Welcome to yet another day of rolling news right here, where I'll do my best to keep you up-to-date with news developments here in Uganda and beyond the borders.

Strap yourself in and stick with me for the long ride. Don't forget to keep refreshing your page for updates.

So, with that out of the way, what are the papers saying today? Let's have a quick look in a bit . . .



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