As it happened: Uganda Today - Tuesday February 26

By Joseph Kizza

PREMIER LEAGUE: KCCA are beaten at home by URA, Vipers pick up a point at Onduparaka, Express find a late winner, Maroons thrash Paidha while Kirinya shake off Mbarara City.

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ROLLING NEWS THROUGHOUT THE DAY

Presented by Joseph Kizza

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@joekizza

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6:35pm

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  Good evening!


That's all for today. Till tomorrow.

 

#UgandaToday

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6:30pm

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  UGANDA PREMIER LEAGUE: Tuesday's roundup


Well, well, well.

What action!

After a lethargic start to today's StarTimes Uganda Premier League fixtures, with only four goals scored across the day's five games by half-time, the second stanzas in the respective matches surely had to produce something.

They did come, eventually, I must say. Ultimately, three of the matches each registered three goals. It was the early kickoff though - Onduparaka v Vipers - that disappointed in the goal faculty. Tight encounter it turned out.

At Lugogo, URA twice took the lead to shake off Mike Mutebi's KCCA. Shafik Kagimu scored on either side of Timothy Awany's penalty, with the winner tucked home from the spot, to see URA collect maximum points on the road and remain strongly in 4th, but at the same time move to within one point of Mbarara City.

KCCA saw their lead snipped slightly and are now three points clear at the top of the table after holders Vipers managed to pick up only a point away at the Greenlight Stadium against Onduparaka.

The Venoms remain in second, six points ahead of Mbarara City, who lost 2-1 to Kirinya-Jinja SSS. In this tie in Jinja, all the three goals came in the first half. Joel Madondo struck two minutes into the game, before George Kasonko improved the home side's lead in the 11th minute. Mbarara launched their comeback with a Pistis Barenge strike less than five minutes later, but that was it in the scoring department.

Kirinya climb to 9th while Mbarara remain in third.

Maroons, meanwhile, claimed an impressive 3-0 win over Paidha Black Angels, whose relegation woes continue to slip further into the abyss. Rashid Agau opened the rout, Pius Obuya doubled the lead and Jackson Nsubuga applied the gloss to a fine scoreline.

 

Finally, Express left it late away at Ndejje University with a narrow 1-0 victory, thanks to Mubaraka Nsubuga's late goal. Express are in 7th, level on points (28) with Police, who play against Villa on Wednesday.

After two successive wins, Ndejje's resurgence came to an abrupt end, tightening the relegation screw even more on them. They are 14th on 16 points.


TUESDAY RESULTS    
Onduparaka 0-0     Vipers
KCCA 1-2  URA
Maroons 3-0 Paidha Black Angels
Kirinya 2-1 Mbarara City
Ndejje University 0-1 Express

 

#UgandaToday

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6:10pm

  KCCA trailing again, Maroons hit three, Express find opener


The goals gods heard the fans' cries.

After a below-par opening 45 minutes across the board, we have the goals coming in late.

Maroons are outdoing themselves against lowly Paidha Black Angels (3-0), URA have regained their lead against KCCA (2-1), Express edging towards victory against Ndejje University (1-0) while it is 2-1 in favour of Kirinya against Mbarara City.

Any late drama?

 

 

#UgandaToday

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5:56pm

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 Building traffic control centre


Finance minister Matia Kasaija Tuesday signed an exchange of notes and grant agreement for a project to better traffic control in Kampala city.

 

#UgandaToday

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5:53pm

PREMIER LEAGUE: Onduparaka v Vipers ends goalless

It ends 0-0 at the Greenlight Stadium in Arua.

Chances came but no takers.

In the other games, Kirinya-Jinja SSS are leading Mbarara City 2-1, Maroons are also ahead against Paidha Black Angels, KCCA have leveled against URA while there is no breakthrough yet in the Ndejje University v Express game.

 

#UgandaToday

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5:20pm

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  Half time in four of five Premier League games


A paltry three goals have been scored across 246 minutes of Uganda Premier League football today. So far.

Four of the five games on today's plate have gone into the break while the early fixture between Onduparaka and holders Vipers in Arua is still evenly poised at nil-nil.



#UgandaToday

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5:15pm

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  Legislators debate COSASE report on banks' closure


 

New Vision's Mary Karugaba:

Parliament Tuesday kicked off debate on the report of commissions, state authorities and state enterprises (COSASE), with a call to the committee chairperson to name the individuals that were involved in the mess that led to the sale of the banks.

The MPs wondered why for 23 years, Bank of Uganda did not have a single report on the closure of banks.

Several legislators argued that it was the individuals that caused the losses and therefore should be held accountable. Some referred to the report as lacking because of failure to name the individuals that were involved in the closure.

"The report states that there were transactions that were done within six hours. That is illegal and because of that, the taxpayer incurred losses. Those involved should therefore be named," said Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju.

Busongora North MP William Nzonghu wondered why the committee did not include what he "watched during the investigations".

The COSASE report on closure of seven banks was tabled last week by the committee chairperson Abdu Katuntu, who handed over office to Kawempe South MP Mubarak Munyagwa on Monday.

In their report, the MPs faulted the manner in which Bank of Uganda closed the banks and recommended that the bank should never dissolve any bank without strictly following the procedures. 


#UgandaToday

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5:00pm

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  In Wednesday's MWALIMU


 
This week's education pullout MWALIMU, which will come out in Wednesday's New Vision newspaper (or the e-paper), leads with a story on revamping National Teachers Colleges (NTCs). Will this improve the country's education quality?

Nearly 17 years ago, the education ministry closed half of the country's NTCs on the basis that demand for Grade 5 Diploma had dropped. However, the Government recently launched a sh96bn reconstruction project to revamp the country's remaining five NTCs and to strengthen the professional competencies of teacher trainers. We analyse the reasons behind this change of heart.

UNESCO in sh94b education plan

The plan is aimed at attaining fundamental human rights, sustainable development and advance science and technology in the education sector while taking into account ethical, cultural and economic rights.

OPINION

We can improve education quality.

On his maiden visit to Ireland, Moses Wambi discovered how the Irish have made learning easy and now shares his experience. He shows how Uganda could borrow a leaf and improve its own system for better results.

PARENTING

Don't miss our Parenting Councillor, Bob Kisiki; on ‘Why we must avoid domestic violence'

 

#UgandaToday

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4:54pm

  GOAL ALERT! - Mbarara begin comeback, URA leading


What a cracker of a game we've got here! Forget about what's happening at Greenlight Stadium.

Mbarara City have pulled one back less than 10 minutes after conceding the second. Make that three goals under 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, visitors URA have gone in front 25 minutes into the game against table toppers KCCA.

Can we say that the goal gates have burst open?

 

#UgandaToday

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4:43pm

  GOAL ALERT! - Kirinya find second


The hosts are shredding Mbarara City to pieces. They double the lead under a dozen minutes to establish a genuinely comfortable start to proceedings in Jinja.

Make that the only goals scored so far across the five games.

It is still goalless between Onduparaka and Vipers as is in the KCCA v URA, Maroons v Paidha Black Angels and Ndejje University v Express games.

Meanwhile, it's half-time at the Greenlight Stadium.

 

#UgandaToday

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4:35pm

  GOAL ALERT! - Kirinya leading


There may be a goal drought at the Greenlight Stadium, but we have an early goal in Jinja as hosts Kirinya-Jinja SSS take the lead against Mbarara City FC.

Now that's how you bang them in!

That's the first goal - and only one so far - of today's five fixtures.

 

#UgandaToday

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4:30pm

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 Onduparaka v Vipers still goalless as other games kick off


The other four games on today's menu are underway, but no goals to show for in the early kick off at Greenlight Stadium.

 

#UgandaToday

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3:55pm

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  Five minutes to kickoff - Onduparaka v Vipers


Today's early kickoff is at Greenlight Stadium in Arua as Onduparaka FC host defending champions Vipers SC.

This is the first of five Uganda Premier League games today. And here is how the visitors are lining up . . .

 

And the hosts will start like so . . .

 

#UgandaToday

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3:45pm

'Court summons MP Kakooza'

Apparently, court has issued criminal summons for Kabula County MP James Kakooza.

 

#UgandaToday

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3:30pm

  BUBU Expo: Exhibitors from broader scope


The event will feature the following:

- an exhibition for local products (goods and services)

- a National Women Entrepreneurs' Conference

- an awards dinner to recognize the BUBU compliant government institutions, local producers and service providers with quality products and competent local service suppliers

- a networking conference between Government and the local private sector players. 

"The exhibitors have been drawn from a broader scope comprising of construction, energy, textile, stationary, footwear, agricultural products, dairy, pharmaceuticals and so much more. We are targeting over 300 MSMEs as exhibitors and over 140,000 show-goers during the three days," said trade minister Kyambadde.

"I urge all fellow Ugandans to turn up in big numbers at Kololo Independence Grounds to appreciate the potential we have in Uganda."

During the three days of the expo, a number of institutions will offer Corporate Social responsibility services:

- Free medical services from Nakasero Hospital, Dr. Agwarwal's Eye Hospital, Makerere Joint AIDS Program, Reproductive Health Uganda, AAR Healthcare, Point of Touch Nutrition and Health Services, Naguru Hospital; AHF Uganda Cares, Elpa Uganda and Uganda Blood Transfusion services

- Free hands-on skills training in cosmetics, juice and soap making, and brickets making by Uganda Industrial Research Institute 

- Free registration of businesses advice by Uganda Registration Services Bureau 

- Advice on electricity use by Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA)


#UgandaToday

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3:23pm

  Upcoming BUBU Expo 2019


 

According to trade minister Kyambadde, Uganda produces cotton in large quantities.

"Government security agencies used to import their uniforms from China and other countries but now they produce their uniforms from local textile industries. Police, UPDF and Prisons have uniforms made here. Those in the medical industry also have their uniforms made here. The cotton is used to make the uniforms is also grown in Uganda," she said in the earlier press conference at the Uganda Media Centre.

Buy Uganda Build Uganda is the highest level of patriotism. I thank all our partners that have contributed greatly to this cause, said the minister.

The three-day BUBU Expo will be held at Kololo Airstrip from March 7 until March. Government agencies and private sector establishments will showcase at the exhibition.


#UgandaToday

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3:15pm

  Upcoming BUBU Expo 2019


Earlier today, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde, addressed a press conference about the upcoming Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) Expo 2019, during which she gave an assessment of the two years of BUBU implementation.

She said Uganda has five cement factories, with production rising over time.

 

#UgandaToday

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2:45pm

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  Acholi leader visits Bunyoro king


There was an air of excitement as the visiting leader from Acholi land arrived at the palace of the king of Bunyoro. Guests were treated to a dollop of traditional entertainment punctuating a warm welcome.

 

Both delegations met inside the palace and held discussions ties.

 

The Bunyoro monarch appeared in good spirits as he sat flanked by his wife on one side.

 

The Acholi paramount chief wore a light coat over a tunic (kanzu).

 

A group photo of the two delegations at Karuziika palace.

 

The two leaders exchanged a handshake after their meeting.

 

#UgandaToday

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2:30pm

Acholi leader visits Bunyoro king

The Acholi paramount chief, Rwot David Onen Achana, has paid a visit to the king of Bunyoro, Solomon Gafabusa Iguru, at his Karuziika palace in Hoima to discuss how the two institutions can co-operate to benefit from oil and gas activities going on in the country.

 

In the pictrue above, the Acholi leader is seen walking alongside the chairman of Bunyoro Royal Commission, Kabagambe Kaliisa, at Karuziika palace heading for a closed-door meeting with the king.

And below, Bunyoro king Solomon Gafabusa Iguru and his guest, the Acholi paramount chief.

 

 

#UgandaToday

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1:07pm

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  BREAK TIME


Off to replenish . . .

I won't take so long. Promise

 

#UgandaToday

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12:58pm

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  Preventing P. vivax malaria relapse - G6PD testing



For tafenoquine, a precise measurement of G6PD status (quantitative) is required. At present, quantitative G6PD tests are only accessible in well-resourced laboratory settings; such tests are not readily available for many people living in countries affected by P. vivax malaria. To safeguard the health of these vulnerable populations, the introduction of tafenoquine should be accompanied by a WHO prequalified point-of-care quantitative G6PD test.

Several point-of-care quantitative G6PD tests are either under development or have recently entered the market; some are expected to be submitted by manufacturers for review by WHO's prequalification team in late 2019. The WHO prequalification process aims to ensure that in vitro diagnostics, medicines and other health products meet global standards of quality, safety and performance.

WHO guidance around the use of tafenoquine for the treatment of P. vivax malaria will be developed in parallel with a review of G6PD point-of-care quantitative tests. The guidance will be developed in an independent, comprehensive and efficient manner through a collaborative process that involves the 3 levels of the Organization and multiple departments. 

 

#UgandaToday

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12:55pm

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  Preventing P. vivax malaria relapse - A key safety challenge



There is, however, a key safety challenge associated with both tafenoquine and primaquine. Among patients who have a deficiency of the enzyme G6PD (glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase) - a genetic condition with a prevalence of up to 35% in some countries affected by P. vivax malaria - the drugs can trigger a severe blood disorder known as acute haemolytic anaemia.

Knowing an individual's G6PD status before treatment is critical to mitigate the risk of patient harm. This is particularly important for tafenoquine as it is a single-dose treatment and the drug remains in the blood for several days; as a result, haemolysis could continue for days in patients with G6PD deficiency. Primaquine, which is eliminated in a matter of hours, can be stopped if symptoms and signs of haemolysis occur. 

 

#UgandaToday

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12:52pm

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  Preventing P. vivax malaria relapse



More than one-third of the world's population is at risk of Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) malaria, the second most common species of malaria. According to the WHO World malaria report 2018, the P. vivax parasite accounted for an estimated 7.4 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2017. About 82% of P. vivax malaria cases in 2017 are found in just 5 countries: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Pakistan.

 

For the treatment of P. vivax malaria, WHO recommends standard antimalarial medicines followed by a 14-day regimen of primaquine to prevent relapses of the disease. Though primaquine is highly effective, patients are required to take daily doses of the medicine for a full 2-week period. As such, treatment compliance is a challenge.

A new medicine, tafenoquine, offers fresh hope in global efforts to combat P. vivax malaria. Tafenoquine has the distinct advantage of being a single-dose treatment, thereby increasing the likelihood of treatment compliance. It was recently approved by 2 stringent regulatory agencies, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration for adults 16 years of age and older.

 

#UgandaToday

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12:43pm

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  FUFA Women's Cup - round of 16 draw for Wednesday


 

#UgandaToday

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12:25pm

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  Promoting human rights: Vision Group, DGF sign MoU


 

Vision Group has signed a sh1.3bn memorandum of understanding with Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) on promotion of human rights and freedoms in Uganda.

Vision Group chief executive Robert Kabushenga and DGF head Wim Stoffers signed the MoU at the DGF offices in Kampala on Tuesday. The agreement is for one-and-a-half years but renewable.

 

#UgandaToday

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12:15pm

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  Point of view


Break time at Pere Achet Primary School in Kabaraole district in western Uganda.

 

#UgandaToday

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11:55am

Defamation: UJA president, 3 others granted bail

Meanwhile, Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) president Kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira and three others have been granted a non-cash bond of sh4m on charges of criminal defamation.

Kazibwe is accused of airing a story on local TV, where residents of Katanga were threatened with illegal eviction by Pastor Daniel Walugembe. His co-accused include the LC1 chairperson, Thomas Bagonza, Beatrice Nabwire and Hassan Ssegawa.

Their sureties were also bonded at sh4m non-cash. The matter has been adjourned until March 28, 2019.

 

#UgandaToday

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11:45am

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  Uganda Premier League action today


For the lovers of local football, I should warn you that you will be spoilt for choice today. What with five games on today's menu!

It's the StarTimes Uganda Premier League action this evening as defending champions Vipers SC visit Onduparaka FC in what is billed as a mouthwatering tie.

Another clash to look out for is the match at StarTimes Lugogo Stadium as table toppers KCCA FC host URA FC.

Kirinya-Jinja SSS FC will entertain Mbarara City FC while it's a stugglers encounter between Maroons FC and Paidha Black Angels. Express FC, who you could call the Jogoo if you like, are away at Ndejje University FC.

All but the Vipers game (4pm) will kick off at 4:30pm.

 

#UgandaToday

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11:35am

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  WATCH: Kadaga on Sunday traffic fiasco


 

#UgandaToday

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11:25am

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  2018 UACE RESULTS OUT ON THURSDAY


This Thursday, the education and sports ministry is expected to release the 2018 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) results.

Today, education ministry and Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) officials were to meet for a discussion on matters concerning the exams ahead of the release.

Brace yourselves for Thursday then.

 

#UgandaToday

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11:18am

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  WATCH: Around Uganda - Odonga Otto quits FDC


It's party politics as the Aruu County legislator walks out of the leading Opposition political party in Uganda.

 

#UgandaToday

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11:10am

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  Ex-M23 combatants, dependants repatriated to Congo


Pictures from Entebbe International Airport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#UgandaToday

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10:55am

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  Ex-M23 combatants, dependants repatriated to Congo


Uganda has handed over 70 ex-M23 combatants and 10 dependants for immediate voluntary repatriation to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This has been at Entebbe International Airport on a warm Tuesday morning.

 

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#UgandaToday

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10:47am

JEEMA on disunity in Opposition

Meanwhile, Justice Forum (JEEMA) president Asuman Basalirwa and colleagues were to address the public on the disunity in the Oopposition and on human rights abuses in the country at the party's headquarters in Mengo, Kampala.

Will update you on what came out of that address.

 

#UgandaToday

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10:40am

Assaulted traffic officer's daughter says mum is 'hurting'

Maria Goretti Nabakooza is the daughter of Police Sergeant Esther Namaganda, who was roughed up while on duty on Sunday. She says her mother has been traumatised and she should get justice.

"She has been disrespected. She does not want us to see her in her pain. But we know that down there, deep inside of her, she is hurting. This is not what she signed up for - to be beaten."

 

#UgandaToday

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10:35am

Kadaga wants assaulted traffic police officer promoted

 

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga says she would like to see Esther Namaganda promoted. This was while receiving a petition by women rights activists at Parliament, who want more to be done to protect female folks from being harrassed.

The activists are expressing their desire to see action against (Rtd) Maj. Gen. Matthias (Matayo) Kyaligonza. During the meeting, Kadaga said Namaganda should be promoted for the resilience she showed while executing her duties.

"We ask the Inspector General of Police to promote that lady because despite the pressure, she insisted on doing her job according to the law. So I think she is one of those who should be applauded."

Meanwhile, other human rights activists are calling on Kyaligonza to resign, saying that his behaviour does not befit a diplomat. Others want him arrested and prosecuted for the violence and assault he and his team delivered upon Namaganda.

"We hope that the appointing authority is going to immediately discharge Kyaligonza of his duties as ambassador because he is not fit to represent this country abroad," said one female activist. Several politicians have also condemned the assault.

 

#UgandaToday

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10:20am

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 Police hunt for three robbers


Meanwhile, Enanga also said they had snuffed out four armed robbers over the weekend.

But three remain at large and the Police are hunting them.

 

#UgandaToday

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10:15am

Traffic officer Namaganda hailed for acting 'professionally'

One incident that has caught the attention of the ever-keen Ugandans is one that happened along the the Kampala-Jinja highway in Seeta, Mukono district on Sunday.

The main actors in this real-life episode: (Rtd) Maj. Gen. Matthias (Matayo) Kyaligonza, his military bodyguards and a traffic police officer, Sgt. Esther Namaganda. The action of Kyaligonza's minders has since drawn condemnation from different individuals and groups, including politicians and human rights activists.

The army said they have arrested the two bodyguards of retired senior army officer Kyaligonza, who is also Uganda's ambassador to neighbouring Burundi. "The good news is that the UPDF leadership swung into action, and as I speak now, those two soldiers have been arrested and are detained at our military police headquarters in Makindye," said Brig. Richard Karemire, the army spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Police say they are preparing to prefer criminal charges against the two soldiers.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga told a press conference on Monday: "Although the military has gone ahead to charge its officers - the two of them -, there are also criminal consequences that are supposed to be handled in the civil court. This is the reason why we are working with the CMI (Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence) to bridge this gap and explore the opportunity of charging the suspects on both criminal charges and under the Court Martial."

 

Police also intends to summon Maj. Kyaligonza through the foreign and internal affairs ministries after the traffic officer accused him of slapping her.

"As a matter of protocol,  since the ambassador is mentioned, the team, through the police leadership, calls for the summoning of the ambassador, Maj. Gen. (rtd) Matthias Kyaligonza through the ministry of internal affairs, the ministry of foreign affairs on probable charges of assault and unlawful obstruction of an officer on duty."

As Uganda's envoy to Burundi, Kyaligonza reports to the ministry of foreign affairs and UPDF's Karemire clarified that prosecuting him is out of their jurisdiction since he is retired. "He is no longer serving. He has a different status. So that also has to be  factored in when you are talking about this incident and how it should be managed. It can't be handled the same way as these two soldiers we have arrested, who are in our regular force."

Meanwhile, Enanga hailed Namaganda for acting "professionally" and for not retaliating.  They are taking care of her treatment and "speedy recovery".

"Good enough, the injuries were not so grave," said Enanga, adding that Police are also going to quiz Kyaligonza's driver and look into allegations by Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) journalist  Peter Otai, who claims to have also been assaulted by Kyaligonza's bodyguards.

 

#UgandaToday

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10:00am

Get inspired

 

#UgandaToday

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9:50am

COSASE: Munyagwa replaces Katuntu - 'Big shoes to fit in'

 


Munyagwa will chair COSASE for the next two and a half years to the end of term of office of the 10th Parliament. His in-tray is already filled, and his predecessor was keen to remind him so.

"Every chairperson who comes over inherits backlog. You are not going to create backlog. Backlog is already there. And I am going to bequeath to you another backlog for which you will have to take over," said Katuntu.

The months leading up to this handover were punctuated with friction between Munyagwa and members of the Opposition against Katuntu and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga for extending Katuntu's tenure beyond Janury 13, when its term was meant to end.

"I am just suprised to see Katuntu, a person I have long known as a lawyer and as an advocate of rule of law to allow himself be part of these mafia manoeuvres - to break the law, shift goal posts in order to favour his personal interests."

That was Munyagwa then.

And this was Munyagwa during the handover:

"What is not in contention is that I am replacing a very great personality. Honourable Katuntu is one of the most brilliant lawyers we have in town. So as he told you, you who will go planning to compare me with him, I think that won't work. Because, I mean, the shoes I am supposed to fit in are big shoes. There is no doubt."

As he takes over office, Munyagwa is yet to get his deputy after Kadaga rejected the appointment of  Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante as the new COSASE vice-chairman to replace Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among. The Speaker instead designated Kasibante on the appointments committee.

"I need to engage the Speaker over this and the leader of Opposition as well. I need a vice-chairperson. I also need to save time for my personal work," said Munyagwa.

 

#UgandaToday

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9:40am

Munyagwa takes COSASE chair - 'This is history'

 

Kawempe South MP Mubarak Munyagwa has taken over chairpersonship of Parliament's Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) from Abdu Katuntu.

Katuntu's tenure was extended for more than a month to allow him complete the investigations into the closure of seven commercial banks by the Central Bank. So after steering COSASE for two and a half years, Katuntu cedes the office to Munyagwa. As per the parliamentary rules of procedure, standing committees such as COSASE change leadership after two and a half years.

COSASE is mandated to look into the audited accounts of 112 statutory authorities and state enterprises. In his tenure, Katuntu's committee managed to deal with 14 institutions.

During the handover function at Parliament on Monday, Munyagwa, in lively spirits, called the transition "history".

"This is history! Katuntu handing over to Munyagwa [laughter]. Thank you honourable chair," he said. On his part, departing chair Katuntu urged Munyagwa to work with all members of the committee regardless of their political affiliations.

"You will need a working relationship with your members. No chairman succeeds except when he has a working relationship with his members. Two, there could be a challenge of qurom."

 

#UgandaToday

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9:30am

Today's Ras Toon

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire has petitioned President Yoweri Museveni to intervene on the contentious Mutungo land saga.

 

#UgandaToday

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9:25am

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  Tanzania's foreign affairs minister in Finland


And to wrap up the African roundup, here is a picture of Tanzanian foreign affairs minister Augustine Philip Mahiga exchanging a handshake with his Finnish counterpart Timo Soini during a meeting in Helsinki, Finland on Monday.

 

#UgandaToday

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9:20am

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  Gabon's President Bongo makes post-stroke appearance


President Ali Bongo, whose stroke last October plunged Gabon into uncertainty, held  a string of meetings on Monday ahead of the first gathering of the cabinet, according to the government.

The authorities released photos of Bongo meeting the heads of the Constitutional Court and National Assembly and his chief of staff.

Film footage was also disseminated on social media, showing Bongo waving to passers-by through the lowered window of his car as it negotiated heavy traffic in the capital Libreville.

National Assembly president Faustin Boukoubi told Gabon 24 television that he was "pleasantly surprised" by the meeting with Bongo.

It had "warmed his heart" to meet Bongo, Boukoubi said, adding that the president had "retained his powers of memory" and "lucidity" and was "very alert".

A statement from the president's office said Bongo had also received several ministers and added that "the new government's first cabinet meeting" under Prime Minister Julien Nkoghe Bekale would be held on Tuesday.

 

Bongo returned to Gabon overnight from Morocco, where he has been receiving treatment after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage on October 24 while on a visit to Saudi Arabia, officials said.

He "may go back" to Morocco later, an aide to Bongo told AFP.

On January 15, Bongo made a swift return from Morocco to presidence over the swearing-in of new ministers.

Official footage of that ceremony showed him opening and closing the session, and a few brief shots showed him seated in a wheelchair and squinting slightly.

During his months abroad, speculation about Bongo's health has proliferated despite the government's insistence that he was in good shape.

His prolonged absence also stoked concern about a vacuum of power, apparently sparking a brief attempted coup by renegade soldiers on January 7.

Bongo took office after an election in 2009 that followed the death of his father, former president Omar Bongo, who took office in 1967.

Bongo senior had the reputation of being one of the wealthiest men in the world, allegedly amassing a fortune derived from Gabon's oil.

 

#UgandaToday

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9:15am

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  Harry & Meghan meet therapy horses, take tea with Morocco's king


 

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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan wowed Morocco Monday, visiting stables where horses provide therapy for disabled youngsters, sampling local cooking with underprivileged children, and taking tea with the king.

The royal couple, on their last official foreign tour before becoming parents, petted horses and strolled hand in hand through the equestrian club in Sale in the outskirts of Rabat.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as they are formally known, met disabled young people grooming horses, and heard how spending time with the animals helps them face their challenges.

Meghan chatted with Zakaria, a 20-year-old with mobility issues who become an IT instructor with the help of equine therapy, 24-year-old Driss, who has speech difficulties, and Ikram, a 19-year-old with Down syndrome.

The royal couple, who married last year, appeared relaxed as they stroked horses poking their heads out of the stable doors in the morning sunshine.

A joking Harry asked if anyone had carrots to feed them, and confided that he missed his own horses.

Dressing down

 

A heavily pregnant Meghan, wearing her hair in a pony tail, came dressed in casual black jeans, a Breton striped shirt, green jacket and ankle boots.

Harry also opted for a casual look with grey jeans, a light blue shirt and a black, padded jacket for the visit to the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports.

At a later event the couple sampled Moroccan cuisine -- which Meghan declared "delicious" -- and heard how cooking is used to help disadvantaged children.

They met renowned Moroccan chef Moha and tasted harira -- a traditional Moroccan soup -- as well as tajines, salads, and couscous.

The children made Moroccan pancakes using a recipe from a cookbook launched by Meghan last year in her first solo charity project to support families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in London.

Meghan then changed into a black pleated dress and white jacket while Harry donned a grey suit to visit the Kasbah of the Udayas, a fortress at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river.

Later, the pair met King Mohammed VI for what was the first British royal visit to Morocco since Prince Charles and Camilla in 2011.

Harry and Meghan were received at the palace by Crown Prince Moulay Hassan -- the former actress resplendent in a long, blue, flowered dress, and her husband bearing letters from his grandmother, the Queen.

The couple's trip focuses on initiatives to promote girl's education, women's empowerment, and bringing disabled people into the mainstream.

 

#UgandaToday

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9:00am

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  Sudan's Bashir bans unauthorised rallies


 

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Monday banned unauthorised rallies as he announced a slew of new measures to end demonstrations that have rocked his rule for weeks.

Bashir's latest orders come as part of a nationwide state of emergency he imposed on Friday after a sweeping crackdown failed to suppress protests against his administration.

"As part of a state of emergency declared by the president, he issued an order banning any gathering or rally that has not been authorised," the presidency said in a statement.

Bashir gave sweeping powers to the country's security forces to raid buildings where "suspicious activities were being carried out" and also search people, the presidency said.

Blocking roads and stopping traffic was banned, after protesters obstructed streets with rocks and tree trunks to prevent security forces from entering their neighbourhoods.

Publishing news "that hurts the citizens or the constitutional system" on any platform, including social media, was also outlawed.

But the group that is spearheading the demonstrations rejected the new measures, which also banned strikes.

"We are calling on our people in the capital, across all states, towns and villages to take to the streets now to express their rejection of the new emergency measures," said the Sudanese Professionals Association.

The state of emergency prompted Washington's acting envoy to the United Nations, Jonathan Cohen, to urge Khartoum to "respect the rights of all individuals in Sudan".

The US diplomat called on Bashir's government to "bring an immediate end to the violent repression of peaceful protests."

 

#UgandaToday

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8:55am

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  Rigging claims fly as Nigeria poll results come in


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Nigeria's main opposition on Monday accused the ruling party of trying to rig presidential elections as the incumbent cemented a lead, but monitors voiced concern about polling day problems and violence that caused dozens of deaths.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of President Muhammadu Buhari of colluding with the electoral commission in an attempt to "manipulate the results".

PDP chairman Uche Secondus told reporters the APC was using security agencies and ministers to put pressure on the authorities. "It's as if we are in the military era," he added.

The accusation, rejected by the APC as a "childish" attempt to discredit the commission and the process, came as Buhari -- a former military ruler -- took an early lead when first results were announced.

With 12 states declared and counting adjourned until 0900 GMT Tuesday, Buhari was ahead by seven states to five, with 2,976,721 votes to 2,690,616 for former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, of the PDP.

To win, a candidate needs a majority of votes and at least 25 percent of support in two-thirds of Nigeria's 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.

A total of 72.7 million people were eligible to vote in the presidential poll as well as parliamentary elections held at the same time.

The election -- the sixth in the 20 years since Nigeria returned to democracy after decades of military rule -- took place on Saturday, a week after a last-gasp postponement.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) blamed logistical difficulties, which were not entirely ironed out by the weekend, forcing voting to go into a second day.

 

#UgandaToday

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8:50am

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  AROUND THE CONTINENT


So February, the shortest month on the calendar, is nearly done. Two more days to chalk off and we shall be marching into another month!

But before we get there, let's have a look at what's happening around the continent.

Next up . . .


#UgandaToday

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8:45am

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  Good morning, here is today's quote


"If you want to be reminded of the love of the Lord, just watch the sunrise." ― Jeannette Walls.

She is the author of 2009 novel Half Broke Horses, detailing the life of her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith.