National News


Police Still Using Rudimentary Ways to Identify Unknown Persons



Uganda Police Force is yet to adopt new technologies of identifying unknown persons.

These include bodies recovered without any identification documents, severely injured persons, the mentally ill and children among others.

Currently, once police receives an unknown person, they provide descriptions detailing the color of their clothes and estimated age and invite the public to identify the person.

Luke Owoyesigyire, the Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson deals with several unknown persons on a weekly basis.

According to Owoyesigyire, they try their best to describe the appearance of the unknown person and make announcements calling up friends and relatives with a missing person to identify them.

He explains that although the method works most of the time, it is very tiresome, costly to the police force and sometimes inaccurate.

Where the face is unrecognizable, the force has had to bare the cost of DNA against several claimants while in other circumstances the bodies are left at the mortuary for months and years.

In 2015, when the National Identifications and Registration Authority-NIRA completed the national identity card enrollment exercise, the plan was to share the data with Uganda Police Force. The data would include a finger print database that would make identification of persons simpler by comparing their finger prints to an existing database.

However, NIRA has never handed over the data base to the Police force. Currently, police has to make a formal request to NIRA for any information to be checked unlike Telecom Companies, which are in possession of the database.

Police Spokesperson, Emilian Kayima says there is hope in the planed Forensic Center of Excellence at Naguru Police Headquarters by a Chinese firm in exchange for 60acres of land for the construction of a satellite City.

"Once we have the Regional Forensic Center of Excellency constructed and equipped, we shall create our own database with all those things," Kayima said. The Directorate of Interpol and international relations is already developing a database.

The database includes details of high profile suspects and individuals seeking letters of good Conduct. Even then, the database isn't utilized with some of the people not cross referenced to it.

Maintaining it has become hard because of the failure by detectives to take the finger prints of suspects.


Dr. Stella Nyanzi Asks for Adjournment Citing Miscarriage



Hearing of the case in which, Dr. Stella Nyanzi sued Makerere University for failing to reinstate her failed to take off this morning when she informed court that she was unwell following a miscarriage.

Justice Lydia Mugambe of the High Court Civil Division was scheduled to start hearing the application filed by Dr. Nyanzi through her lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde in November last year accusing Makerere University of disregarding orders by Makerere University Staff Appeals Tribunal reinstating her.

Makerere University Staff Appeals Tribunal chaired by George Omunyokol ruled against Dr. Nyanzi's suspension in 2016, saying it was illegal. It ordered her reinstatement and payment of her emoluments, a thing that wasn't down prompting Dr. Nyanzi to run to court.

The matter came up for hearing today, but Dr. Nyanzi informed Justice Lydia Mugambe that she couldn't proceed because she was unwell following a miscarriage that she had in Luzira prison last week.

Dr. Nyanzi had a cannula on one of her hands and didn't have her trade mark dreads. Her lawyer, Isaac Ssemakadde also asked for adjournment, saying he also wanted to get some records pertaining Dr. Nyanzi's employment details at Makerere University.

He explained that the records that show the process of Nyanzi's employment and minutes of the meeting leading to her suspension are in soft copies with his client. Ssemakadde noted that the University had concealed the documents alleging that Dr. Nyanzi was invited to one of the meetings with the Appointments Board to discuss her issues but she was non-responsive.

But Ssemakadde told court that Nyanzi attended the meeting and blasted the members for failing to understand how she was employed at Makerere University.

The university, which was represented by Esther Kalinga didn't raise any objection to the adjournment. Although Ssemakadde asked for a week of adjournment, Kalinga said she needed more time arguing that she is new in the case and needs time to read the file.

Kalinga argued that Hudson Musoke who was representing Makerere University in the case was unwell. Justice Lydia Mugambe told Makerere University to always implement court orders.

Mugambe said that the university shouldn't be put in a mess because of intrigue. Dr. Nyanzi will now return on February 13th, 2019 for hearing of her case.


Petrochemicals Driving surge in Oil Demand- IEA



The International Energy Agency (IEA) says petrochemicals are rapidly becoming the largest driver of global oil consumption. In a report released on Friday, IEA estimates that there will be an incremental demand growth of 9.6 million barrels of oil a day between 2017 to 2030 with about 99 million barrels per day (bpd).

Petrochemicals - that are derived from oil and gas are used in all sorts of daily products such as plastics, fertilisers, packaging, clothing, digital devices, medical equipment, detergents and tyres. The projection is good news for countries in East Africa especially Uganda as it moves towards the production of oil and gas in the Albertine Graben.

Some experts have suggested that petrochemicals and fertilizer industries can be developed alongside Uganda's oil and gas industry. Some had suggested that Uganda's oil and gas development faces a bleak future as the global automobile industry moves from fossil powered cars to electric ones.

The Future of Petrochemicals report is among the most comprehensive reviews of the global petrochemicals sector, and follows other reports in the series, including the impact of air conditioners on electricity demand, the impact of trucking on oil demand, or the role of modern bioenergy in the renewable sector.

Petrochemicals are particularly important given how prevalent they are in everyday products. They are also required to manufacture many parts of the modern energy systems, including solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, thermal insulation and electric vehicles.

Dr. Fatih Birol, the IEA's Executive Director said economies are heavily dependent on petrochemicals, but the sector receives far less attention than it deserves. "Petrochemicals are one of the key blind spots in the global energy debate, especially given the influence they will exert on future energy trends," said Birol

He said their analysis shows that they will have a greater influence on the future of oil demand than cars, trucks and aviation. Demand for plastics - the key driver for petrochemicals from an energy perspective - has outpaced all other bulk materials (such as steel, aluminium, or cement), nearly doubling since 2000.

In Kampala, and other urban areas across the country, it is becoming common to see piles of plastics collected by human "scavengers" for sale to recycling firms. Some of the plastics are re-exported to garment firms in China and Japan.

Globally, advanced economies are estimated to use up to 20 times more plastic and up to 10 times more fertiliser than developing economies on a per capita basis, underscoring the huge potential for global growth.



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