As it happened: Uganda Today - Monday March 4

By Joseph Kizza

"We continue to actively monitor the situation along the Ugandan side of the border between Uganda and Rwanda, five days after it was closed to commercial trucks from the Ugandan side," says Police.

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ROLLING NEWS THROUGHOUT THE DAY

Presented by Joseph Kizza

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@joekizza

(Scroll down for earlier stories)

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5:02pm

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  Good evening!


Let me end it here today.

Hopefully, will be back tomorrow. Don't forget to scroll down this page for earlier stories. There are also plenty more stories on this very website for your reading pleasure.

Cheers!

 

#UgandaToday

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4:55pm

I have great respect for Parliament- IGG

New Vision's Pascal Kwesiga:


The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Irene Mulyagonja, has said she will comply with parliamentary rules in respect to her recommendation for a criminal investigation against MPs who investigated Bank of Uganda.

The ombudsman indicated last week that the inspectorate had asked the Internal Security Organization (ISO) to institute a criminal investigation against legislators on the Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) committee.

The committee chaired by Abdul Katuntu probed the closure of seven commercial banks by the Central Bank.

During plenary last week, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and MPs, chided the IGG for her recommendation, interpreting it as an attack on the House and said it sought to bring the entire Parliament into disrepute.

Kadaga said the IGG would be summoned to answer some questions regarding her recommendation to ISO. Asked for a comment on the parliamentary outburst on Monday, Mulyagonja said she will abide by the House rules.

"I know that issue has been referred to the Committee on Rules, Discipline and Privileges and I am ready to appear before that committee to explain these issues. I have great respect for Parliament and the Speaker."

 

#UgandaToday

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4:44pm

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  Suicides are preventable - and you can help


Let me bring to your attention this worrying statistic:

Every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide!

This is according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). But the global health agency adds that suicides are preventable and that is totally okay to talk about suicide.

So are there warning signs that someone may be seriously thinking about taking their life?

Yes, and, according to WHO, here is one of them: Saying goodbye to close family members and friends, giving away of valued possessions, or writing a will.

And who is at risk of suicide?

People suffering from chronic pain or illness and someone with depression or an alcohol or drug problem.

So, most importantly, what can you do?

Among the several ways WHO suggests is finding an appropriate time and a quiet place to talk about suicide with the person you are worried about and letting them know that you are there to listen.

And if you think the person is in immediate danger, do not leave him or her alone. Seek professional help from the emergency services, a crisis line, or a health-care professional, or turn to family members.


So, good people, let's be our brother's and sister's keeper.

 

#UgandaToday

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4:26pm

  Parliament vets NPA presidential picks


Away from the diplomatic discourse, Parliament's Appointments Committee is busy studying under the microscope a group of people chosen by the President to take charge of the National Planning Authority (NPA).

They include Prof. Pamela Kasabiti Mbabazi, the pick for chairperson and Prof. Sam Obwoya Kinyera as her deputy.

 

#UgandaToday

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4:12pm

Border spat: 'Awaiting a political and diplomatic solution'

 

The police is patrolling all the border crossing points on the Ugandan side to ensure safety of all truck drivers, and their merchandise, said Enanga.

"We want to use this opportunity to call upon all stakeholders including members of the regional/district security committees, local government leaders, opinion leaders and business community to ably communicate with one another, and implement the new cross-border procedures and processes, and further allocate and deploy resources to meet the specific traffic needs on the Ugandan side, as we await a political and diplomatic solution to the problem.

"We want to, however, reassure the public that business on the Ugandan side is normal; despite the disruption in travel on the Rwandan side.

"We would like to further caution the media and in particular the online channels, who are trying to alarm the situation, to observe their reporting in a balanced manner," said Enanga.

 

#UgandaToday

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4:07pm

Police continues to monitor situation at Uganda-Rwanda border

Earlier today, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga addressed reporters on the general security situation in the country - of course, the subject being the Uganda-Rwanda border matter. This was at the Police headquarters in hilly Naguru.

He said as Police, they are actively monitoring the situation along the Ugandan side of the border. It is five days today since the Katuna border was closed to commercial trucks moving from Uganda, resulting into a costly standstill in business activities at and beyond the border point.

 

"The border supports bilateral trade between Uganda and Rwanda with thousands of commercial trucks crossing each year, in both directions with goods.   In addition, thousands of individual, cross the border each day thus demonstrating the integral role the border plays, as both an economic and social lifeline," Police said in a statement.

"We have noted with concern that as a result of the delays in processing people or passengers and or closure of the border for commercial trucks carrying merchandise to the Rwandan side, there is an increase in traffic congestion that could have a negative impact on both countries economic and ways of life."

 

#UgandaToday

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3:50pm

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  'Setting the ball rolling'


"We are setting the ball rolling as we want to finish on a high in the group with good results against Tanzania," Uganda's football governing body FUFA quotes Cranes head coach Sebastien Desabre as saying.

"I have summoned a new player on the team playing in Germany while some have been recalled to the squad. We are hopeful they will do a good job.

"I have been impressed with the quality of players in the domestic league. During the local camp I will choose nine players to complete the group for match against Taifa Stars," says the Frenchman.

The 15 foreign-based players and nine other stars from the local camp will take part in residential camp in the Egyptian capital Cairo from March 18 until March 22.

The 24-man Cranes team will fly to Tanzania on March 23 to face the Taifa Stars the following day.

 

#UgandaToday

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3:43pm

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  2019 AFCON QUALIFIERS: Desabre names squad to face Tanzania


 

Meanwhile, in another story related to the Cranes (but the senior side), national head coach Sebastien Desabre has named a list containing 15 foreign-based players that will face Tanzania in Uganda's final 2019 AFCON Qualifier.

The Cranes already booked a place in the finals, with this last game to spare.

 

#UgandaToday

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3:35pm

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  Poor weather delays Cranes U17 friendly



 

#UgandaToday

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3:27pm

Free health services at Mulago

In the buildup to Internationaol Women's Day, Mulago Specialized Women and Neonatal Hospital will offer free health services, including breast examination and cervical cancer screening, on Thursday and Friday.

 

#UgandaToday

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3:10pm

Makerere scholars to debate on Miss Curvy pageant

 

New Vision's Violet Nabatanzi:


Scholars at Makerere University's School of Women and Gender Studies were set to ebate the controversial Miss Curvy contest ahead of International Women's Day celebrations due this Friday.

Dr. Consolata Kabonesa, an associate professor at the university, said the discussion on curvy women will be part of activities of the gender identity week that started today.

The dialogue is expected to attract staff, students and development partners, among others and will discuss on topical issues related to gender and sexuality.

She said the discussion will help people to know the benefits of Miss Curvy and those against will also know why they should not participate.

"Women need to know why they should participate in the Miss Curvy pageant or not. Miss Curvy is a topical issue, we need to give women an academic face about this," said Kabonesa during a press conference at Makerere.

Recently, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebeca Kadaga, said plus-size women should also be given a platform rather than being discriminated against.

She noted that winners of the Miss Curvy pageant can always partner with people like Miss Uganda Quiin Abenakyo and promote the country using their beauty and talent.

(Read more on Kadaga endorses Miss Curvy contest)

 

#UgandaToday

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2:40pm

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  ITB BERLIN EXPO: Kiwanda leads 30-member team to Germany


New Vision's Ali Twaha:


A 30-member delegation led by Godfrey Kiwanda, the state minister for tourism, and officials from Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) have set off to showcase the country's tourism products and services at the ITB Berlin annual expo in Germany.

The expo is slated for March 6 to 9, 2019 at the Messe in Berlin. According to a statement from UTB, it is the world's leading travel trade show for every international expert in the tourism industry.

UTB chief executive Lilly Ajarova says that the expo is a huge opportunity for Uganda tour operators to attract new business, given the high profile as well as large number of participants that grace the event every year.

 

#UgandaToday

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2:25pm

  RUGBY: Referees course for schools


New Vision's Faith Kiai:


During the schools rugby season, match officials will get some much-needed reprieve as the Uganda's Schools Rugby Association (USRA) is actively carrying out training exercises for students to help with officiating.

The training, which is the second of its kind conducted this season, took place at Namilyango College School and handled by some of Uganda's best rugby educators in the shape of Ramsey Olinga, Ann Sizomu and Robert Bwali.

"We are trying to build capacity for match officials and we thought it was wise to train students who love the game but are not players. So two weeks ago, we started with King's College Budo and this time it was Namilyango."

These training sessions come in as counter-measures for emergency situations in case officials are short-staffed, then they can get a helping hand from the students that have undergone training.

The next pit stop for the training will be at St. Mary's College, Kisubi. The training will also go to other schools on the rugby circuit thereafter.

 

#UgandaToday

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2:13pm

'A step forward': URA intercepts two wanted Vietnamese nationals

National tax body URA has blocked two wanted nationals of Vietnam from leaving the country through Entebbe International Airport.

"URA customs officers stationed at @EBBsAirport intercepted two wanted Vietnamese nationals, Nguyen Van Thanh & Dinh Van Chung from Qatar Airways as the duo attempted to flee from Uganda to evade prosecution," tweeted URA, alongside pictures of the suspects, one of whom wore a checkered shirt.


The two foreigners are said to be part of an 18-strong racket suspected to be behing the "ivory and pangolin dirty trade" in Africa.

URA says the interception of the two men is a "step forward in the quest for justice" as others remain at large.

URA tweeted further: "This racket is said to have been operating in Uganda for the last three years from a warehouse in Kyebando and a house in Bugolobi. Two other houses in Kololo with links to this racket were raided and two women arrested believed to be involved in prostitution activities".

 

#UgandaToday

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1:50pm

Katuna, Kyanika borders 'remain closed'

Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo says that while there is "easement of customs" at the Mirama Hills border, the Kyanika and Katuna points remain closed.

He also says that Uganda "remains welcoming to Rwanda nationals" although particular cases of "alleged arbitrary arrests and detentions" will be sorted diplomatically.

 

#UgandaToday

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1:13pm

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  LUNCH BREAK


 

#UgandaToday

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12:57pm

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  US tourists, their pilot killed in Kenya chopper crash


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American tourists and a Kenyan pilot were killed when their helicopter crashed on an island in a lake in northwest Kenya, police said Monday.

The accident occurred in the Central Island National Park in Lake Turkana at around 8pm (1700 GMT) on Sunday, police said in a statement.

All five on board the chopper were killed.

"Security personnel dispatched to the scene confirmed that among the five were four Americans and the Kenyan pilot."

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, and the identities of the victims would be released once their next of kin have been informed, the statement said.

Known as the Jade Sea, Lake Turkana, which is popular with tourists, is the most saline lake in East Africa and the largest desert lake in the world.

It is also a candidate site for the birthplace of mankind.

Its islands are breeding grounds for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and several snake species while the lake itself is important to migratory birds.

Last year, UNESCO placed it on its list of endangered World Heritage Sites, in part because it is threatened by Ethiopia's construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Omo River, which replenishes the lake seasonally.

 

#UgandaToday

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12:40pm

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  Award-winning Egyptian photojournalist freed from jail


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Award-winning Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid was released on Monday after spending nearly six years in prison following his arrest while covering a bloody crackdown on protests, his lawyer said.

The photographer, widely known as Shawkan, last year received UNESCO's World Freedom Prize, dismaying the Egyptian authorities who accused him of "terrorist and criminal acts".

"He was released at 6:00 am (0400 GMT) from the Al-Haram police station (near the Giza pyramids) and is currently at home," his attorney Taher Aboul Nasr told AFP.

 

Shawkan was detained in August 2013 while covering clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi that turned into a bloodbath in which hundreds of demonstrators died.

The photojournalist was jailed and put on trial along with 739 defendants, most of them charged with killing police and vandalising property.

It was one of the largest mass trials since the 2011 uprising that toppled veteran president Hosni Mubarak.

In September an Egyptian court upheld death sentences against 75 defendants and gave Shawkan a five-year jail term -- which covered the time he had already served -- but he remained in jail awaiting his release.

Shawkan was accused of "murder and membership of a terrorist organisation" -- charges that can carry the death penalty -- sparking condemnation from international rights groups which demanded his release.

Amnesty International said at the time he had been convicted "simply for doing his job as a photojournalist and documenting the police brutality that took place that day".

Another 214 people who were sentenced in September to five years in prison were released from prison on Monday.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former army chief, was elected in 2014 nearly a year after leading the military's overthrow of Morsi following mass protests against the Islamist's year-long rule.

Sisi, who critics say has carried out a widespread crackdown on dissent, was re-elected in March 2018 after securing more than 97 percent of the vote in the absence of any serious competition.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranks Egypt 161st out of 180 countries on its press freedom index.

 

#UgandaToday

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12:10pm

Lowering nomination fee for aspiring youth leaders

During the conference, the chairperson of the National Youth Council, Lillian Aber, has asked Speaker Kadaga to intervene in a move to have fees lowered for youth to vie for political positions. She said the current sh3m is discouraging for those having political leadership aspirations.

In response, Kadaga says she would ask Parliament to push down the nomination fee. "It used to be sh400,000 - I don't agree with the current nomination fee."

 

#UgandaToday

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11:57am

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  Commonwealth Youth Inclusion Regional Conference underway


 

#UgandaToday

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11:50am

Commonwealth Youth Inclusion Regional Conference underway

The Commonwealth Youth Inclusion Regional Conference is going on in Kampala, with youth delegates from all over the world in attendance.

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga launched the event themed 'Advancing Youth Political Participation and Leadership in Africa'.

 
Some key stats (courtesy of @Parliament_Ug):

- The Commonwealth is home to 2.4 billion people, which is approximately 30% of the world's population. Over 1.2 billion people of the Commonwealth's population are under 30 years of age.

- Only 12 Commonwealth members have more than 30% women in political offices. The Commonwealth Partnerships for Democracy will work with Parliaments in the next two years to improve representation of women, youth and people with disabilities.

- 50% of Commonwealth members have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities, which prohibits all discrimination based on disability.

 

#UgandaToday

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11:40am

  Kololo noise case goes to Court of Appeal


Here is a three-minute read for you . . .


New Vision's Michael Odeng:


While the High Court had dismissed a petition by residents to evict businesses, especially bars out of Kololo, they (residents) are not about to give up. The residents have run to the Court of Appeal, challenging the decision of Justice Henrietta Wolayo, the Civil Division of the High Court deputy head. Kololo, an upscale serene residential area, was over the years turned into a business hub as mushrooming bars and entertainment centres sought to cash in on diplomats and Kampala's affl uent class who live in the suburb. The lawyer representing Kololo residents, Patson Arinaitwe confi rmed the development to Sunday Vision on Friday. "We fi led a notice of appeal and requested for court proceedings because it was wrong for the judge to dismiss the case," Arinaitwe stated in a telephone interview.

Arinaitwe added: "We still believe that High Court has jurisdiction to handle the case." He said the case is about not only noise pollution, but also a right to a clean and healthy environment and nuisance. Arinaitwe also said the relief sought by the complainants, including damages at a tune of sh75m with 30% interest, places the case under the jurisdiction of the High Court and not the magistrate's court. Property owners in the area are accusing several bars including H20 Bar, Casablanca, Big Mike's, Bubbles O'Leary's, Atmosphere Bar and Wave Lounge, of disturbing their peace.

Also dragged to court are Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the landlords of the people who host the contested bars. Among the complainants are Shariff Mansur, Vadodaria Rushikesh, Timothy Kreutter, Malik Bharwani, Elizabeth Roussos, Renee Industries Limited and UBK Development Limited. According to court documents, plaintiffs are owners and occupiers of real property and dwelling houses on John Babiha Avenue, Acacia Road, Windsor Crescent and Somero Road in Kololo.

Lawyer's submissions

At the commencement of hearing the case, the lawyer representing the respondents, Jonny Patrick Barenzi, raised an objection directed at the jurisdiction of High Court to entertain the suit. He cited regulations 43 (7) of the National Environment (Noise and Vibrations Standard and Control) Regulations 2013, which designates the magistrate's court of fi rst instance to hear the case. In reply, Arinaitwe, the lawyer for the applicants, countered that the applicants' cause of action is in the common law tort of nuisance and not statute. He further submitted that the High Court has unlimited jurisdiction and, therefore, it is not precluded from hearing the suit.

High court ruling

On Tuesday, Justice Wolayo dismissed with costs the Kololo noise pollution case, on grounds that it was fi led in a wrong court. According to Wolayo, the residents should have fi led an action for breach of statutory duties under the Noise and Vibrations Standards and Control Regulations 2013 in the magistrate's court. "The law designates the magistrate's court as the court of fi rst instance, meaning the High Court comes on appeal," she stated. Justice Wolayo stated that the competent court of jurisdiction has powers to stop the emission of noise from any source after the complainant has proved personal loss, injury or discomfort caused by the emission.

Complainants' suit

The plaintiffs claim that the businesses violate their right to a clean and healthy environment by emitting noise beyond the maximum permissible levels.

The complainants also accuse the defendants of hosting music concerts, playing loud music and hosting late night parties. They allege that street parking by bar patrons disrupts users of surrounding streets and pedestrian walkways, causing fatal accidents. It is further alleged that the noisy nightlife has resulted into prostitution and drug abuse. They say the social clubs have continuously erected big size screens with music videos and fl oodlights that refl ect into their properties.

 

#UgandaToday

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11:20am

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  Museveni to commission agricultural equipment


Meanwhile, President Yoweri Museveni will this Thursday commission and hand over earth-moving equipment, 1,061 motocycles and 126 vehicles for agricultural extension workers and 114 tractors for farmer co-operatives across all regions of the country.

This is according to the agriculture ministry.

 

#UgandaToday

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11:10am

TREASON CASE: MP Francis Zaake granted bail

New Vision's Denis Ojwee:


MP Francis Zaake showed up for his bail application hearing that had been scheduled for 9am in Gulu.

Later on, his wife Bridget Nnamirembe, brother Daniel Mugambwa and fellow legislator Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala County) stood surety for him and were each bonded with non-cash of sh10m.

Gulu senior resident state attorney Patrick Omia represented the prosecution side. Zaake was represented by Henry Komakech Kilama, Tonny Kitara and MP Medard Ssegona.

After granting him bail, judge Stephen adjourned the case until March 14, when Zaake and his 35 co-accused are expected to re-appear in court in Gulu. The Mityana Municipality MP is among 36 treason suspects in connection with the chaos that broke out during the last day of campaigns in the Arua Municipality by-election on August 13, 2018.

He was remanded to Gulu Central Prison in Gulu Municipality on February 22 by the Gulu Chief Magistrate, Isaac Emerald Kintu. After his release 10 days later, the visibly relieved MP driven off from the court premises in a white Pajero, with supporters chanting in excitement.

 

#UgandaToday

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11:06am

TREASON CASE: MP Francis Zaake granted bail

Earlier this morning, Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake, accused of treason, was granted a sh5m non-cash bail by Gulu High Court after appearing before the court in northern Uganda for hearing of his bail application.

The legislator was instructed by Gulu resident judge Stephen Mubiru to return with his 35 co-accused on March 14 - which is next week Thursday.

In a clear showing of solidarity for Zaake, a number of politicians appeared at the court, including MPs Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine), Paul Mwiru, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, Muwanga Kivumbi, Allan Ssewanyana and Latif Ssebbagala.

 

#UgandaToday

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10:52am

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  Raring to hit the skies


The Crane is pumping power in its wings, ready to take on the skies - soon.

Need I remind you that the Pearl of Africa has been without a national airline since 2001?

Soon, that will change. The first of four Bombardier CRJ900ER aircraft recently completed its maiden test flight successfully and very soon, the gigantic bird will be handed over to Uganda for operations.

 

#UgandaToday

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10:45am

  Todays sports Ras toon


Local cricket is embroiled in a deep crisis since the election of the Uganda Cricket Association chairman ended in a draw recently.

 

#UgandaToday

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10:37am

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  WATCH: Around Uganda


 

#UgandaToday

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10:33am

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  Nominate your most outstanding woman


Speaking of International Women's Day, Sunday Vision would like you to nominate your most outstanding women and say why they/she inspire(s) you.

Only this time, we are not considering our mothers for this contest. Sorry.

Send an email, including a photo of your nominee, to sunday@newvision.co.ug. Or use Facebook (thesundayvision), Twitter (@thesundayvision) or WhatsApp: 0797345461

 

#UgandaToday

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10:20am

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  Over 200 women to receive awards


Meanwhile, on Friday this week, Uganda will celebrate International Women's Day, as will other nations across the globe. Here, all the attention will be on Rwiimi Primary School in Bunyangabo district, where the national celebrations will be hosted.

Over 200 women will receive awards for making a difference in their communities. The categories include women in media, health, the army and teaching, among others. Gender and culture minister Peace Mutuuzo hails initiatives such as Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme Fund that support women.

But you may ask, is the money indeed benefiting the underprivileged women at the grassroots?

 

#UgandaToday

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10:10am

Rwanda-Uganda border matter: 'I beg for calm' - Minister Oryem

New Vision's Eddie Ssejjoba:


Ugandan traders have narrated what they are going through following Rwanda's decision to block Ugandan products. New Vision has learnt that Ugandan trucks that are returning from the Democratic Republic of Congo through Katuna border post are also being redirected by Rwandan authorities to the Kagitumba border post, hundreds of kilometres away.

Many that had by Saturday been parked at the Rwanda side of the Katuna border post waiting to be cleared to cross into Uganda were directed to go through Kagitumba and enter Uganda via Mirama Hills. Drivers who reportedly hesitated to comply were handcuffed and detained. New Vision has learnt from sources that Cabinet is today supposed to discuss the issue when it convenes.

Sources also said Rwanda's actions are not only illegal under the East African Community protocols, but also under the World Trade Organisation's rules.

 

Scores of trucks stranded

#UgandaToday

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10:00am

Thousands of African elephants killed annually

By the way, about 30,000 African elephants are slaughtered every year for their ivory. How do we stop it? According to EuropeAid, we can do so:

- By improving law enforcement

- By tackling corruption

- By involving local communities to fight wildlife crime

 

#UgandaToday

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9:56am

'Consevation hero'

On a hot day, tourism minister Ephraim Kamuntu led celebrants in a march past from Arua Primary School to Boma grounds for the World Wildlife Day celebrations. And at the event, the minister called to the fore and recognized "conservation hero" Jovia Basita, who recently fed a leopard cub rescued by her husband on milk for three days in Masindi district near Murchison Falls National Park.

A Uganda Wildlife Authority team were later notified and picked the vunerable little cuddly leopard and took it to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) for care. 

By the way, there are an estimated 2,000 leopards in Uganda but with habitant loss being one of their greatest threats.

 

#UgandaToday

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9:50am

'Let's join hands in protecting wildlife'

On his part, Minister Kamuntu rallied Ugandans to "join hands in protecting wildlife" because tourism is a major contributor to Uganda's GDP while PM Rugunda, representing President Yoweri Museveni, underlined the need to invest in awareness activities.

 

#UgandaToday

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9:45am

Uganda marks World Wildlife Day in Arua

 

On Sunday, Uganda joined the rest of the planet to mark World Wildlife Day, observed every March 3 to celebrate and raise awareness of the globe's wild fauna and flora.

This year's commemmoration was themed 'Life below water: for people and planet' and here in Uganda, the national celebrations were held at the Boma grounds in Arua district.

Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda was the chief guest. Godfrey Kiwanda, the state minister for tourism and the European Ambassador to Uganda, Attilio Pacifici, were among the other high-profile officials and dignitaries as well as wildlife enthusiasts that attended the event. There were various exhibition stalls.

 

"Ugandans should make an effort to care about ocean life even when we are a landlocked country," said Ambassador Pacifici, expressing the European Union's commitment to conservation efforts and protection of vulnerable species in Uganda and around the world.

"Protecting the oceans and the wildlife species is about protecting us and our lives, it is about safeguarding the future of our daughters and sons and securing for them a world in which they can live."

 

#UgandaToday

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9:35am

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  Ethiopian Kejelcha breaks world indoor mile record


 

Meanwhile, Ethiopia's Yomif Kejelcha smashed the world indoor record for the mile, clocking 3:47.01 at the Bruce Lehane Invitational in Boston, Massachusetts, on Sunday (3).

But note that that record is pending the usual ratification procedures.

It was third time lucky for the 21-year-old, having narrowly missed out on breaking world indoor records in his two previous races. He finished just 0.01 outside the world indoor mile record at the Millrose Games, clocking 3:48.46, and was then beaten to the world indoor 1500m record in Birmingham one week later when compatriot Samuel Tefera won in 3:31.04.

Kejelcha dug in deep and crossed the line in 3:47.01, taking 1.44 seconds off the previous world indoor record set by Hicham El Guerrouj in 1997. Moments later, his 1500m split was confirmed at 3:31.25, making him the third-fastest indoor performer in history behind Tefera and El Guerrouj.

His mile time is also an outright Ethiopian record, bettering the outdoor mark of 3:48.60 set by Aman Wote.

USA's Johnny Gregorek finished second in 3:49.98, moving to sixth on the world indoor all-time list, just 0.09 shy of Bernard Lagat's North American indoor record.

 

#UgandaToday

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9:25am

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  WATCH: Uganda's U17 side training in Turkey


Meanwhile, the Uganda Cubs (the U17 national team side) are in Turkey, busy prepping up for the 2019 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations.

The competition will kick off in April in neighbouring Tanzania, with Uganda up against the likes of Nigeria, Angola and the hosts themselves. Uganda's football governing body FUFA has posted a video of the Cubs going through the drills in Antalya.

 

#UgandaToday

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9:18am

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  Uganda Premier League at the weekend


 

The round 22 of the Uganda Premier League saw the teams in the top half of the table win and all but one of one those in the bottom half lose.

One game was postponed - URA FC v BUL FC. And in the rest of the seven games, all the home sides registered a victory.

Holders Vipers SC scored two past SC Villa without reply at St. Mary's Stadium to keep within touching distance of leaders KCCA FC, who beat Express FC 4-2 at Lugogo. After Saturday's six-goal thriller, the Red Eagles slid to 11th place.

Mbarara City also kept up with the big boys at the summit by edging rock-bottom side Paidha Black Angels 2-1 at Kakyeka Stadium to maintain a firm grip of third place.

 

Meanwhile, at Greenlight Stadium in Arua, Onduparaka FC registered a second win in the last five games with a 2-1 victory over Maroons FC. The Caterpillars climbed back to 5th place while Maroons remain on the fringes of the relegation zone in 13th.

Tooro United FC made huges strides with a narrow 1-0 win over Police FC at Buhinga Stadium. The Soccer Jaguars leapfrogged the Cops into 7th place while Police are in 9th.

Bright Stars FC, now in 10th, brushed aside struggling Ndejje University FC with a comprehensive 3-0 victory. That was Ndejje's second defeat after two successive wins had appeared to mark the beginning of their lift out of the relegation zone.

Kirinya-Jinja SSS FC were 2-1 winners over another side battling relegation - Nyamityobora FC. For Kirinya, who are 8th, that was a third win in the last five games while Nyamityobora, who are second from the bottom, Saturday's was a fifth defeat in their last six matches.

 

#UgandaToday

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9:10am

Top Police officers probed over fake academic papers

 

New Vision's Pascal Kwesiga:


The Police leadership has resolved to institute criminal investigations against 21 top Police officers accused of using fake academic documents to join the force. This follows a decision reached during the meeting of the Police chiefs on January 25 and a directive by the internal affairs ministry to have a criminal probe instituted against the officers.

The top Police officers accused of uttering false academic documents include four assistant commissioners of Police. Others are senior superintendents of Police, superintendents of Police, assistant superintendents of Police and five cadet assistant superintendents of Police. In a February 15 letter to the Inspector General of Police, the internal affairs ministry permanent secretary, Benon Mutambi, said the matter regarding irregular promotions and recruitment was brought to the attention of the Police authorities at their 94th meeting on January 25.

"Under minute no. 889/2019, the Police leadership resolved to subject the said officers to criminal investigations. The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to request you to institute criminal investigations against the officers as per the decision of the Police authority," Mutambi stated.

He buttressed the internal affairs ministry's recommendation for criminal investigation with findings of the Inspectorate of Government probe last year into the irregular promotions and recruitment into the Police. Allegations of Police officers joining the Police Force with fake academic documents and buying ranks are not new in the force. In 2010, over 120 non-commissioned officers were demoted to lower ranks after it emerged that they had bought promotions from their bosses.

In 2016, some individuals in the Police petitioned the Inspectorate of Government, challenging the promotion of about 500 officers. The petitioners claimed that the officers who were promoted had been in the force for a short time and skipped some ranks.

 

The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Irene Mulyagonja (pictured above), last year said several Police officers had joined the force with forged academic papers and had since been promoted.

 

#UgandaToday

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9:00am

Today's Ras toon

The Government is seeking parliamentary approval for a supplementary budget of sh770b, so critical that it cannot wait.

 

#UgandaToday

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8:57am

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  Back to UG


Okay, that's just about it for the morning African update. Back to the Pearl.

Let's see what Ras has for us today . . .

 

#UgandaToday

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8:55am

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  Nigerian pipeline explodes, forces hundreds to flee


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A major Nigerian oil pipeline exploded Sunday, local police said, forcing nearby residents to flee and raising suspicions of possible sabotage.

The Nembe Creek Trunk pipeline runs from an oil terminal in Bonny to the state of Bayelsa with capacity of 150,000 barrels per day. The explosion happened on Friday.

"We have not been officially briefed on the incident, but it occurred," Bayelsa State Police spokesman Asinim Butswat told AFP.

"No lives were lost as a result of the explosion and we can't confirm if it was an attack by militants or an equipment failure unless the people managing the facility go there" to determine the cause, he said.

OPEC member Nigeria is Africa's biggest producer of crude oil.

Ndiana-Abasi Mathew, a public relations official for Aiteo, the company that manages the pipeline, confirmed the incident in a text message on Saturday.

"There is no official statement at the moment but I can gladly inform you that the fire has been contained and no lives were lost," Mathew said.

Oyinkro Jasper, a local chief from Kalablomi, one of the affected communities, said the blast forced hundreds of residents to flee as it caused "a huge inferno" along the pipeline, which ran through six communities.

Nigerian pipelines are prone to accidents and are sometimes pierced by people who refine the oil themselves to sell on the informal market.

The explosion could also be the result of a criminal act after the re-election of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

During his first mandate, a group called The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) had claimed several attacks on oil infrastructure.

In February, the NDA warned that "strike teams are active and gallantly waiting to receive instructions from the high command to cripple the Nigerian economy again" if Buhari won the election.

 

#UgandaToday

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8:47am

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  Sirleaf's son due in Liberia court after central bank probe


 

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The son of former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and two other senior figures at the Liberian Central Bank are due in Court Monday following a probe into missing banknotes.

Two of them were detained just hours after independent US investigators dismissed rumours that a haul of newly-printed cash that should have been put in the national reserves had gone missing.

But the report, by private consultants Kroll Associates, did raise concerns "regarding the overall accuracy and completeness" of the bank's internal records and found evidence of "systemic and procedural weaknesses".

Charles Sirleaf, who held a senior post at the bank until last August, was arrested last week shortly after the release of the report. So too was another senior executive Dorbor Hagba.

Milton Weeks, the bank's former governor until he stepped down when President George Weah took power in January 2018, surrendered to police on Friday.

A police source told AFP the three men would appear in court on Monday.

The report from Kroll Associates dismissed rumours that a container Liberian dollars worth US$102 million printed in Sweden had gone missing during transfer to the central bank.

But it raised concerns over procedures and practices at the bank that it said "were longstanding and continue to the present day".

One of the world's poorest countries, Liberia has been struggling with rampant corruption which Weah vowed to combat when he took office a year ago.

Following the protests that followed reports of the missing banknotes, Washington intervened at the request of the Liberian government and civil society groups, commissioning the inquiry by Kroll Associates.

Sirleaf, the first elected female head of state in Africa, was president for 12 years.

She gained widespread praise for stable governance following back-to-back civil wars which killed an estimated quarter of a million people.

In 2011, she was joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

#UgandaToday

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8:42am

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  Nigeria court says extradition of Cameroon separatists 'illegal'


 

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A Nigerian court has condemned as "illegal and unconstitutional" the arrest and deportation of Cameroonian separatists who had applied for asylum in Nigeria, the lawyers representing them said Sunday.

In January 2018, Nigeria arrested and deported 47 anglophone separatists who had fled Cameroon following a crackdown by the authorities.

The move was denounced by UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, which said most of them had filed asylum claims and accused Nigeria of breaching international agreements.

"Justice Chikere declared the arrest and detention of the 12 applicants illegal," said a statement from Nigerian law firm Falana & Falana, referring to a ruling issued this week in the capital Abuja.

"Consequently, Justice Chikere declared the deportation of the applicants illegal and unconstitutional, awarded (compensation) to each of them and ordered the federal government to ensure that they are brought back to Nigeria forthwith."

Among the 12 claimants was separatist leader Julius Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, president of the self-declared "Republic of Ambazonia", who was arrested along with his supporters on January 9 by Nigerian intelligence agents.

The group was sent back to Cameroon on January 26, and Ayuk Tabe was put on trial for "terrorism" in December at a military court in Yaounde, Cameroon's capital.

At the hearing, defence lawyer Femi Fakana argued that the arrest and detention of refugees and asylum seekers constituted a breach of Nigeria's constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.

The judge agreed, saying the expulsion of the group was in "utter violation" of legal obligations which ban Nigeria "from expelling or deporting refugees" from the country.

And he ordered the government to ensure they were brought back to Nigeria, and that their fundamental rights be respected.

Since their deportation, the 47 have been held in secret at a high-security facility at police headquarters in Yaounde.

Clashes between the armed forces and separatists take place almost daily in the two Anglophone regions on the western flank of Cameroon, where resentment at perceived marginalisation by the French-speaking majority boiled over into an armed uprising in late 2016, prompting a harsh government crackdown.

 

#UgandaToday

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8:36am

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  Anger in eastern DRC as six die in Goma shootings


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Bandits shot dead six people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo overnight, sparking angry protests by residents who blockaded the main street running through Goma city on Sunday, officials said.

In a separate incident in South Kivu meanwhile, the army said they had killed six members of a former rebel militia.

In North Kivu, the deputy prosecutor of Goma, Claver Kahasa, told AFP: "We have just recovered the bodies of five civilians and a soldier who were killed" during an overnight gun battle.

"Armed bandits came into Goma to the Ndosho neighbourhood and have left the town bereaved by shooting dead five civilians," said city mayor Timothee Muissa Kiense.

In a separate incident in South Kivu meanwhile, the army said they had killed six members of a former rebel militia.

Since the start of the year, at least 25 people have been killed in a string of shootings in Goma by unidentified gunmen, often referred to as bandits.

"The population is very clearly angry, there is a lot of tension," said the mayor, whose city is the capital of North Kivu province and home to one million people.

Residents furious at the ongoing violence ravaging the country's east blocked off the main road leading to the western Ndosho district, halting traffic, an AFP correspondent said.

The incident occurred just hours after a group of newly-elected regional MPs met with local officials, the police and the army to discuss the growing insecurity in the city.

"It is unacceptable that they can continue to kill people like that in Goma," MP Jean-Paul Lumbulumbu, who was leading a group of lawmakers, told AFP.

 

North Kivu, which borders Uganda and Rwanda, has been gripped by violence for decades, with numerous militia groups and armed gangs roaming the province and fighting for control of territorial and natural resources.

In neighbouring South Kivu meanwhile, the army said Sunday they had shot dead six milita members because they had been mistreating civilians.

Soldiers had launched an assault Saturday on a rebel camp in the village of Kafulo, where they had made their base after recently surrendering, said army spokesman Captain Dieudonne Kasereka.

The group were followers of rebel chief Ebwela Mutetezi Kibukila who at the end of January surrendered to the authorities along with 300 of his men.

Speaking on local radio Sunday, Ebwela Mutetezi said they had decided to end their fight after former president Joseph Kabila handed over power to his successor, Felix Tshisekedi, in January.

They been gathered at Kafulo awaiting word from the government when the soldiers attacked, taking them by surprise and killing his wife and six of his men, he added.

Kasereka said the former rebels had mistreating local people and stealing from them.

 

#UgandaToday

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8:30am

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  Govt failing to honour peace commitments - CAR armed group


 

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One of the Central African Republic's main armed groups on Sunday accused Bangui of failing to honour "its commitments" under a peace deal signed in February by forming a new government without changes to the main ministries.

The authorities had shown "bad faith, amateurism and incompetence", Noureddine Adam, head of the Popular Front for the Renaissance of the Central African Republic (FPRC), said in a statement.

"The president (Faustin Archange Touadera) has just snuffed out the hope of the Central African people in the Khartoum peace agreement," he added.

The group's political leader said it would "not take part in this government charade", without elaborating further.

A new government was formed earlier on Sunday -- in accordance with the deal which called for an "inclusive government" -- but with all the main ministers remaining in post.

The peace deal was agreed in Sudan between the Bangui government and the 14 CAR armed groups controlling most of the territory in the strife-scarred country.

The agreement called for a series of confidence-building measures, such as establishing joint patrols and the creation of a truth and justice commission within 90 days.

The pact was the eighth since 2012 in the mineral-rich country.

CAR has been struggling to recover from the bloodletting that erupted when former president Francois Bozize, a Christian, was overthrown in 2013 by mainly Muslim Seleka rebels.

Former colonial ruler France intervened militarily under a UN mandate, pushing the Seleka from power, and a 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSCA, was established to help restore stability.

Despite elections in 2016, the country is still engulfed in regular clashes. The armed groups control about 80 percent of the CAR.

The conflict has left thousands dead and forced a quarter of the population of 4.5 million from their homes. 

 

#UgandaToday

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8:23am

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  In face of protests, Algeria leader vows to quit early if re-elected


 

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Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika pledged Sunday not to serve a full term if re-elected at April polls after huge protests against the bid to extend his 20 years in power.

The ailing leader, who suffered a stroke in 2013, vowed in a letter read out on state television to organise a "national conference" that would set a date for early polls which he would not contest.

"I pledge not to be a candidate in that election which will ensure I am succeeded in undeniable conditions of serenity, freedom and transparency," the letter read.

"I listened and heard the cry from the hearts of protesters and in particular the thousands of young people who questioned me about the future of our homeland", it said.

Bouteflika's bid to placate demonstrators came after tens of thousands of Algerians took to the streets against his bid for a fifth term in office in the biggest challenge to the authorities in years.

Just after the announcement his campaign director formally submitted his candidacy for the April 18 poll ahead of a midnight (2300 GMT) Sunday deadline.

Following that move a fresh demonstration erupted in central Algiers,  and elsewhere in the country, with several hundred young people marching in the streets still opposed to Bouteflika's candidacy.

Bouteflika remains in Switzerland where he has been for a week undergoing what the presidency describes as "routine medical tests", but there was no legal requirement for him to submit his candidacy in person.

The veteran leader uses a wheelchair and has rarely been seen in public since his stroke.

 

Hundreds of students staged new demonstrations against the president on Sunday in Algiers and other cities, two days after the tens of thousands of protesters thronged the country.

Chanting "Bouteflika go away", the students rallied near the main city centre campus of the University of Algiers, which was cordoned off by police, AFP journalists said, while others demonstrated at other campuses.

Police fired water cannon to prevent protesters from reaching the Constitutional Council, where presidential bids were formally lodged, security sources said.

Rallies inside and outside campuses in the northeastern city of Annaba also drew hundreds chanting anti-Bouteflika slogans, a local journalist said on condition of anonymity.

The TSA news website reported other protests in Algeria's second and third cities, Oran and Constantine.

Bouteflika's announcement in February that he would seek another five-year term despite his failing health has unleashed pent-up frustrations in the North African country.

The presidency has not detailed when he will return from the Geneva hospital.

On Saturday, Bouteflika sacked his campaign manager Abdelmalek Sellal, a former premier who successfully oversaw the president's past three re-election bids, state media said, without giving a reason.

Sellal was replaced by Transport Minister Abdelghani Zaalane.

Alongside Bouteflika, several other candidates have registered, including prominent retired general Ali Ghediri, who was the first to announce he would run and has promised change.

A Sunday editorial in El-Moudjahid newspaper, a government mouthpiece, said protesters would be "disappointed" in their campaign to force Bouteflika to pull out of the April election.

 

#UgandaToday

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8:17am

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  Around the continent


Interestingly, the sun is already up over Kampala following a 30-minute-plus downpour. Funny weather, this.

So, how about we briefly check out what is happening around the continent.

 

#UgandaToday

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8:12am

Patience pays, days come and go

Mondays.

They can mean to be sluggish, especially after a weekend of activity - or inactivity as a matter of fact. You probably might wish you could skip all these five working days and hop right back into the weekend. Right?

 


Well, if wishes were elephants . . .

Anyways, unfortunately, you can't avoid the inevitable. You will have to be patient and walk through each day as it comes and soon, you will be right back in the weekend.

 

#UgandaToday

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8:05am

Good morning - Here's today's inspirational quote

Hello and welcome everyone. It's the fourth day of the third month of the year and the start of a brand new week. Kampala is waking up to a downpour, but instead of letting the rain dampen our Monday spirits, how about we draw some inspiration from it, huh?

 

"Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one's voice." - Joseph B. Wirthlin