During a regional forum on labour migration, member nations push for the revision of their laws to facilitate portability of social security benefits to include migrant workers.
Presented by Joseph Kizza
(Scroll down the page for earlier updates)
3:13pm | NRM delegates dance 'kadodi'
The NRM national executive council (NEC) is meeting at Entebbe. It the second meeting of the 3rd NEC of the party.
While there, the officials have danced to some 'kadodi' music. The President's press secretary Lindah Nabusaayi has posted the video below showing the delegates all groovy . . .
here. . . plus a series of pictures to illustrate the mood.
2:45pm | Global tourism chief warns against coronavirus 'panic'
The World Travel and Tourism Council has warned that the coronavirus outbreak in China could have a "lasting economic impact" on the global tourism sector if panic is allowed to spread,
"Previous cases have shown us that closing airports, cancelling flights and closing borders often has a greater economic impact than the outbreak itself," said WTTC chief Gloria Guevara.
"Quick, accurate and transparent communication is also crucial in order to contain panic and mitigate negative economic losses.
"Containing the spread of unnecessary panic is as important as stopping the virus itself," added Guevara, the former tourism minister of Mexico who was closely involved in 2010 with the aftermath of the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus.
The worldwide economic impact of H1N1 was estimated at up to $55 billion (50 billion euros), according to the London-based group.
China, meanwhile, suffered a 25 percent reduction of tourism GDP and a loss of 2.8 million jobs due to the 2003 SARS outbreak.
Chinese authorities rapidly expanded a mammoth quarantine effort aimed at containing the deadly coronavirus contagion on Friday to 13 cities and 41 million people, as nervous residents were checked for fevers and the death toll climbed to 26.
2:20pm | Recommendations of regional forum on labour migration
Earlier today, gender, labour and social development minister Frank Tumwebaze addressed a press conference to highlight the resolutions by the Regional Ministerial Forum on Harmonizing Labour Migration Policies in the East Africa and Horn of Africa.
The forum, which Tumwebaze attended, took place in the Kenyan capital Nairobi at the beginning of this week.
It was also attended by ministers responsible for labour migration from Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan and Tanzania.
The key recommendations of the forum were;
• The member countries should revise their laws to facilitate portability of social security benefits to include migrant workers.
• The member countries should strengthen the national statistical institutions and data collection mechanisms as well as cooperation on exchange and analysis to inform policies and labour migration governance.
• Member states should establish collaboration on diplomatic and consular assistance for migrants' workers in particular in countries where some states do not have diplomatic representation, while at the same time promote and support the role of diaspora in assisting migrants workers and protecting their rights in vulnerable situations.
• The registration and regulation of private employment agencies and sharing the information on the registered agencies as well as formation of regional associations to enhance self-regulation amongst private employment agencies should be hamormised.
• Member states should promote access to justice by strengthening consular services including posting labour attaches for effective protection of the rights of migrant workers in destination countries.
12:58pm | Uganda hosts continental water congress
Meanwhile, Uganda is hosting the 20th African Water Association (AFWA) Congress in Kampala.
This is through its water and environment ministry and the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC).
The meeting is themed: Breaking new grounds to accelerate access to water and sanitation.
It got under way today and will end next week Monday.
It is understood that the Young Water Professionals Uganda Chapter are planning to hold a forum on the sidelines of the congress
This forum is expected to draw future water leaders from a number of countries across the globe.
12:42pm | Affirmative
Jackson Kafuuzi has been approved by Parliament as Deputy Attorney General.
The Kyaka South MP takes on the position previously occupied by Mwesigwa Rukutana.
12:15pm | Lining up for NRM elections
The NRM central executive committee (CEC) has proposed amendments to the part constitution and adopted lining up as a mode of voting during internal party elections.
The recommendations are to be presented to the national executive council (NEC) convening today in Entebbe "for further consideration before forwarding the same to the National Conference on Saturday".
If approved by NEC and the national delegates' conference, the secretariat will go ahead and "generate appropriate and enabling election materials that will include voter education literature".
President Yoweri Museveni chaired the Thursday CEC meeting.
According to a statement released by the party's secretariat, the senior party leaders discussed the advantages that come along with lining up for internal party polls.
They listed them as:
1. Reduction in logistical and financial costs. There will be no procurement of ballot papers, buckets, indelible ink, pens and basins among other electoral materials.
2. It will provide for a desirable Party cohesion because of being transparent.
3. It will uproot multiple voting.
4. It will reduce on temptations of election manipulation & commercialisation of politics.
5. Reduce on administrative costs the Party has been grappling with.
6. It will cure challenges of election postponement due to delays in production, packing, and transportation of huge volumes of election materials.
7. Lining up will be in conformity with the National Laws of Uganda especially the Local Govt Act.
8. Will cure allegations of ballot stuffing.
9. It will eliminate and make extremely risky the phenomenon of election managers swapping results.
10. Allegations of ghost Polling Stations will be eliminated.
11:44am | Fallen Kabojja Jr Sch director to be buried in Butambala
Hajji Nasser Lubega will be laid to rest today in Gombe, Butambala district at 4pm, reports New Vision's Umaru Kashaka.
The director of Kabojja Junior School and former general manager of the defunct Greenland Bank died early Friday.
Funeral prayers were scheduled to be held at Kibuli Mosque, before his remains would be moved to Butambala for interment.
11:23am | Reviving farmers groups
|By Ismael Kasooha in Kibaale:|
The National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) secretariat has developed a new strategy for the financial year 2020/2021 and the medium term to ensure greater impact on household incomes and national export earnings.
This was revealed by the NAADS executive director, Dr. Samuel Mugasi, during the bi-annual review for operation wealth creation for Bunyoro region at in Kibaale district.
In his presentation delivered for him by Dr. Thomas Nshemereirwe, the livestock development officer at the NAADS secretariat said that the strategy will also take into consideration the community value chains proposed to move 68% of the farmers into the cash economy.
The focus will be put on linkage between agricultural extension and the entire input distribution chain.
10:40am | Yellow Fever outbreak in Moyo, Buliisa
Minister Aceng says there have been two confirmed cases of Yellow Fever in Moyo district, both of whom are male.
It is revealed that they were dealing in cutting and trading timber between Uganda and South Sudan.
The two men are said to have have moved into Moyo from South Sudan on January 2 and that upon arrival, they fell ill. The following day, they were admitted at Logobo Health Center III in Moyo, before being later referred to Moyo General Hospital.
According to the health minister, the two cases presented with symptoms of fever, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, abdominal and joint pain, confusion and unexplained bleeding.
Menawhile, the two confirmed cases in Buliisa were a married couple, aged 37 and 38, respectively. The man is said to be a cattle farmer trading in milk between Uganda and DR Congo.
His blood sample was taken to Uganda Virus Research Institute for testing and results returned positive for Yellow Fever virus.
The ministry says that, working with partners, it has dispatched rapid response teams to the affected districts to "support investigations, active search for cases, community mobilization and sensitization".
10:34am | Minister confirms Yellow Fever outbreak in Moyo, Buliisa
|By Cecilia Okoth:|
Health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has addressed the press at the ministry headquarters in Kampala and confirmed the outbreak of Yellow Fever in Moyo district in West Nile region and Buliisa district in Bunyoro sub-region.
Four cases were confirmed. Three died and one survived.
The minister says Uganda has had four outbreaks of Yellow Fever so far and now qualifies to have the vaccine added to the routine vaccine schedule. Plans are under way to have vaccines brought into the country.
10:20am | Coronavirus news
There is a lot of information coming in on the Novel coronavirus. A whole lot. And China being one of the popular travel destinations for many Ugandans, we shall be updating you with what is happening there in the course of the day.
10:17am | China confirms second virus death outside of epicentre
China on Friday confirmed a second death outside the epicentre of a SARS-like virus outbreak that has infected hundreds of people, raising the overall toll to 26 dead.
Officials say 24 deaths have occurred in Hubei, the central province that is home to Wuhan, the city identified as the centre of the outbreak.
The death was in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, which borders Russia and is some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) from Wuhan, the local government said.
It follows confirmation Thursday of the first death outside the epicentre -- an 80-year-old man diagnosed with the new virus in northern Hebei province, who died on January 22.
Hebei province borders Beijing, where a number of public Lunar New Year events have been cancelled and the Forbidden City -- one of China's most famous cultural landmarks -- has been closed until further notice in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading.
Millions of people have been sealed off in Hubei as public transport has been shut down in eight cities across the province, with Wuhan under lockdown in an unprecedented quarantine effort.
The National Health Commission said Friday the number of confirmed cases had leapt to 830.
9:50am | Coronavirus: Beijing cancels Lunar New Year events
Large-scale Lunar New Year events in Beijing have been cancelled as part of national efforts to control the spread of a new SARS-like virus, city authorities announced Thursday.
Chinese authorities have been telling people to avoid crowded places over the busy Spring Festival holiday to try and halt the spread of a new coronavirus which has infected over 570 people.
The city government said it would call off events including temple fairs -- which have attracted massive crowds of tourists in past years -- urging citizens "to strengthen prevention and support".
In a post on China's Twitter-like platform Weibo, city authorities added that the move was to help epidemic prevention and control.
Beijing's city government said they would provide more information "as the epidemic situation evolves."
The central city of Wuhan, where the virus emerged, was put on lockdown Thursday, with outbound trains and planes indefinitely suspended. Tollways on roads out of the city were closed as well.
Neighbouring Huanggang announced that public transport and rail services would be suspended at midnight, while a train station was to be closed in a third city, Ezhou.
Beijing Tourism Net, which is regulated by the city's Bureau of Culture and Tourism, added in a separate Weibo post that the Beijing Ditan and Longtan Temple Fairs -- originally scheduled for January 25 to 29 -- would be cancelled.
The fairs, which have been held for roughly three decades according to Chinese news outlet Xinhua, saw 1.4 million Chinese and foreign tourists over five days last year.
Beijing Tourism Net added the Tanzhe Temple Scenic Area, Jietai Temple Scenic Area, and Miaofeng Mountain Scenic Area in Mentougou District would also be closed.
9:45am | 'New Chinese virus not yet a global health emergency'
A deadly virus outbreak in China and beyond does not yet constitute a global emergency, the World Health Organization has said, urging China to keep its lockdown of some 20 million people "short".
"I am not declaring a public health emergency of international concern today," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters after a two-day emergency meeting in Geneva on the virus.
He stressed though that the decision to hold off on issuing the declaration used for the gravest epidemics "should not be taken as a sign that WHO does not think the situation is serious."
"This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency," he told reporters.
The new respiratory virus has claimed 18 lives since emerging from a seafood and animal market in Wuhan, infected hundreds of other people nationwide and has been detected as far away as the United States.
The new virus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
The WHO has confirmed that the new virus can be passed between people, at least those in close contact. Chinese health officials warned it could mutate and spread further.
But Tedros stressed there was so far "no evidence of human-to-human transmission outside China."
In response to the outbreak, China has effectively quarantined nearly 20 million people, and announced measures to curb the disease nationwide as hundreds of millions of people began travelling across the country this week for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Tedros hailed China for taking "measures it believes appropriate to contain the spread of coronavirus in Wuhan and other cities."
But he said "we hope that they will be both effective and short in their duration."
9:20am | Parliament Week drawing to a close
Today is the penultimate day of the annual Parliament Week, which has since the beginning of this week, been running under the theme: Parliament: Building a strong democracy in Uganda.
Today, there will be a public debate at Parliament on the theme, and already, members of the public who are keen on taking part are registering.
Members of the public lining up for registration to participate in the Public debate on the topic: Public Parliament; Building a strong democracy in Uganda.#ParliamentWeek2020 pic.twitter.com/v5QaubEQhC— Parliament of Uganda (@Parliament_Ug) January 24, 2020
9:13am | Today's Ras Toon
Friday's editorial cartoon is based on a study that revealed that Lake Victoria is heavily polluted with deadly chemicals and that it is shrinking in size.
Lake Victoria has been heavily polluted with high traces of three dangerous minerals, a new study has revealed. The study, conducted by researchers from the Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas in the US and Makerere University, has frightening revelations about the lake's future.
The Assessing the Landscape Ecological Changes of Murchison Bay, Lake Victoria Using Satellite Imagery study relied on analysis of water samples and satellite data to track changes.
Partial findings of the study presented at an international research conference in the US recently indicate that the lake has been significantly degraded by pollution and encroachment.
9:04am | Let us pray
MORNING PRAYER— New Vision UGANDA (@newvisionwire) January 24, 2020
Oh Allah, I ask You for knowledge that is of benefit, a good provision, and deeds that will be accepted. pic.twitter.com/8CWbdwCH5r
9:00am | Can you sniff the weekend?
Oh yes, you can. Definitely!
The aura is filled with a TGIF vibe - and I know you fancy it.
Good morning to you all. Welcome to this live page, and as usual, I will keep you posted with bits of what's happening in Uganda, about Ugandans beyond the borders and any news that is relevant to Uganda.
Let's creep right in.