Parliament Passes UGX 12Billion For Amuru Sugar Works Compensation

 
 
 

 

KAMPALA

The Budget Committee of parliament has approved Shillings 12 billion for compensating of people affected by the development of Amuru Sugar works project. The Lands, Housing and Urban Development Ministry had requested for Shillings 19 billion to compensate the residents in the surveyed area.

Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South Member of Parliament in Amuru district, says the Budget Committee passed the request to pave way for the public private-partnership project. The sugar project, which is being implemented by Madhvani Group of companies and government commenced in 2007.

However, the project stalled due to land wrangles pitying government against residents. Olanya appeals to local leaders in Ndir, Bombay, Oforo, Barolam and others to ensure that the right people benefit from the compensation process. Denis Obbo, the Spokesman of the Lands, Housing and Urban Development Ministry confirmed the development.

He says the ministry is aware of the development, saying the Ministry will start compensating residents as soon as the Finance Ministry disburses the money. He however, says since the disbursement is coming from a supplementary budget, they will effect payment before the end of the 2017/18 financial year.

At least 7,000 hectares of the 40,000 hectares of land Madhvani sought in Lakang, Bana and Kololo among others in Amuru Sub County for establishment of the project was surveyed early this year. Five residents sued the land board and Madhvani for illegally transacting land belonging to residents.

They are Concy Aciro, the former Amuru Woman Member of Parliament, Michael Ocula, the former Kilak Member of Parliament, David Ocheng Penytoo , the former Gulu Municipality Member of Parliament, Zachaeus Uma and Jackson Obalim.

In 2012, court ruled that the land is not customary. Court will rule on an appeal lodged by the five on May 24th, 2018.

 
 

Makerere Fails To Meet Targets in Strategic Plan

 
 
 
 

KAMPALA

Makerere University has not fully transitioned into a research led university due to declining numbers of graduate students, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe has revealed. The University's dream to become a research-led university by 2018 has failed prompting the university council to extend its strategic plan by one year.

Prof. Nawangwe however, says the university will strictly aim to become a research University in the next strategic planning period. While the university administration says the extension is line with the National Planning Framework, PRIME RADIO has learnt that the extension resulted from the university's failure to meet it targets in the ten-year strategic plan passed in 2008.

The plan explicitly articulated the direction of the university in three main areas including being a learner centered problem based instruction providing experimental and flexible learning, a research driven University where research and teaching/ learning are mutually reinforcing and knowledge transfer partnerships.

The current strategic plan will be ending in 2018/19 following the one year extension in preparation for the successor strategic plan (2019/20-2029/30). A research university is one with at least 20% graduate student enrollment. However, the graduate enrollment stands at 9%.

"Although we set out to become a research-led university in the current strategic planning period, we declined considerably from a graduate student enrolment ratio of 13% to the current 9%," Prof. Nawangwe argues. Adding that; "This unfortunate development was occasioned by a deliberate reduction in graduate student admission by some units; and a considerable increase in undergraduate enrolment in the search for money to run the University."

Over the ten year period, the enrollment levels had exceeded the Strategic Plan projections of 35,000 students including both undergraduate and graduates by 2011/12 academic year, the highest being 41,094 students recorded in 2012/13. Other enrollment parameters included increasing the enrollment for international students and science based disciplines while decreasing enrollment in humanities.

The number of females has been constant at 44% of the total enrollment with international students declining to 2% compared to the 2008/2009 baseline value of 8%. Similarly, the graduate students mix remained at an average of 6% compared to the strategic plan projection of 20%. Graduate student composition at the College of Computing and Information Sciences - CoCIS reduced from 5% to 3% while College of Humanities and Social Sciences-CHUSS, College of Natural Sciences- CoNAS and College of Education and External Studies-CEES registered graduate enrolment was at less than 5%.

In order to achieve its dream to become a research led university, Makerere needs to increase its graduate enrolment. However, the institution says this couldn't be achieved because of limited funding, graduation rates and poor record keeping. Government stopped funding for graduate programmes in 1998.

Majority of PhD students are attached to specific funding projects mainly through donor support. This limits the number of students admitted and as a matter of fact the bulk of PhD students are University Staff and as the percentage of staff with PhDs increases, the potential number of PhD students reduces.

While the graduate student numbers remained below average at 6%, there was an increase in the number of PhD students and graduate. The number of registered PhDs had reached 594 by 2015 and the university had advanced towards an annual graduation of 60PhDs.

While PhD graduates increased from 30 in 2008 to the current 70, it remains less than the target number of 120 PhDs per year. These low PhD graduation numbers are a result of the laborious and lengthy PhD study process usually taking on average 7 years more than twice the recommended three years. Prof. Nawangwe says being the only university in the Country with research capacity; Makerere must provide the necessary leadership in research for the country's socio-economic development.

"Many institutions of higher learning, including more than 40 universities have sprung up in the Country, and these lack the requisite human resource to provide quality education to hundreds of thousands of young Ugandans they are enrolling. Only Makerere has the capacity to address this serious problem," Prof. Nawangwe said.

Prof. Nawangwe however says there are few developments that make the move to a research university quite feasible, including the Visitor's call to do more research into the problems facing Africa; the Visitation Committee's recommendation that Makerere becomes a research University; and Government's sustained enhancement of staff salaries, hence reducing pressure on the University to look for extra resources for its operations.

 
 

Somali Clan Chiefs Plead against AMISOM Withdrawal

 
 
 

 

KAMPALA

Clan Chiefs in Somalia are calling for the retention of forces deployed under the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), despite a UN resolution calling for their withdrawal.

The United Nations Security Council in 2017 resolved that AU troops be gradually withdrawn from the Horn of Africa country by 2020. As a result of the resolution, AMISOM reduced its troop size by 1,000 soldiers last year, remaining with a 21,000 force. The troop size is expected to be slashed down by 1,000 soldiers this year.

However, clan leaders in Somalia say that although there is a semblance of peace and tranquility, people still harbor fear for the Al-Shabaab militia, who are operating within 5 kilometres from the AMISOM bases.

The District Commissioner of Shallamboot Nura Usmani where Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) contingent under AMISOM has a forward operating base says soldiers should be maintained to conduct operations to chase away and completely defeat Al-Shabaab.

Nura also says Al-Shabaab cannot attack villages protected by AMISOM because they know their strength. "Alshabaab cannot come and attack here. It's not that we are inviting them… they know that they will be defeated by AMISOM and Somalia National Army," he says.

Speaking through a translator, Nura says they have cemented relationships and collaborations with AMISOM troops in the area and as a result, the two entities share security information without suspicion.

Nura's wish is that AMISOM commanders should authorize operations to kick Al-Shabaab out of neighbouring villages.

Abdullah Bashir, another chief in Buufow, where UPDF has another forward operating base, equally says Al-Shabaab should be pushed out. Bashir explains that there are times where Al-Shabaab attacks villages at night.

The statement that Al-Shabaab terrorists are not far from clans cooperating with AMISOM soldiers was made by nearly all clan leaders. Unequivocally, the clan leaders say AMISOM soldiers should carry out operations to totally defeat the enemy.

The commander of UPDF Shallamboot forward operating base Lt Col Fred K. Mwesigye explains that they cannot carry out offensive operations in areas infested with Al-Shabaab because AMISOM is defensive, not offensive. If UPDF was in Somalia not under AMISOM mandate, he says rules of engagement would be different.

 
 

Influx of Commercial Sex Workers Worries Bunyoro Bishop

 
 
 

 

HOIMA

The influx of commercial sex workers in the Albertine graben has drawn the attention of Rt. Rev, Samuel Kahuma, the Bishop of Bunyoro Kitara diocese.

Bishop Kahuma says many commercial sex workers have invaded the oil rich Hoima district to tap into the available opportunities that could come with people working in the oil industry.

Most of these have come from the districts of Masaka, Fort portal, Mbarara, Kampala Kyankwanzi, Ntoroko, Wakiso and Kamwenge districts.

They currently operate in Hoima town, Buseruka trading center, Kamugole, Katanga, Kigorobya and Kaiso, Kijangi, Mbegu Tonya and Butiaba landing sites of. They charge between Shillings 5000 to 10,000 per night.

Bishop Kahuma says unless the influx of the commercial sex workers is controlled, it will cause uncontrolled suffering to the people of Bunyoro, more especially the youths.

Bishop Kahuma explains that transactional sex is condemned in the bible and calls upon youth to stay clear of the commercial sex workers.

He calls on other religious leaders in the region to preach against commercial sex work and integrate commercial sex workers into church activities.

Kahuma wants government to come up with a special project like vocational training that could integrate the commercial sex workers into developmental work as opposed to commercial sex.The commercial workers approached by PRIME RADIO declined to explain why they involved in the risky business.

 
 

Bamugemereire Issues Fresh Criminal Summons For Amongi

 
 
 

 

KAMPALA

Lands Minister Betty Amongi did not show up at the Commission of Inquiry into land matters where she had been summoned for questioning. This is the second time that Amongi is refusing to a criminal summons asking her to appear before the Commission to record a statement in relation to accusations that she used her office to acquire property belonging departed Asians.

Amongi was expected at the Commission by 9:00 am but she did not show up. She has seemingly defied the Criminal summons issued by the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Commission.

The Commission has according to the Judiciary Spokesman, Solomon Muyita been forced to issue fresh summons against the embattled Minister who is also being accused of abusing the land fund under Uganda Land Commission.

Betty Amongi is now required to appear before the Commission tomorrow at 9:00 am. The Commission's Acting Secretary, Dr. Douglas Singiza on Friday issued criminal summons requiring Amongi to appear and give her testimony today.

Officials at the Commission say Amongi has neither personally or through her lawyers communicated why she did not appear today as per the criminal summons.

The Minister is being investigated for ordering Uganda Land Commission to pay millions of shillings in suspect land buyouts and compensation from the Uganda Land Fund.

The Bamugemereire Commission has heard from various witnesses that Uganda land Commission may have lost billions of shillings from the Land Fund through connivance with the Lands Ministry officials.

 
 

Luweero Archdeacon Held Over Defilement

 
 
 

 

LUWERO

Police in Luweero district has detained the Archdeacon of Luteete Archdeaconry over alleged defilement.

Reverend Canon Kezekiah Kalule aged 62 attached at Luteete Archdeaconry is currently detained at Luweero Central Police Station.

Kalule is accused of defiling and impregnating a 16 year old girl who has been under her custody since 2007 as she pursued her education at Luteete Primary School. The girl was placed under his custodianship by the grandmother and was being sponsored by Compassion International ,a non government Organization under the Church.

Paul Kangave the Savannah Regional Police Spokesperson, says that Kalule has been on police bond but due to public fears that he may jeopardize investigations, police has been forced to cancel his bond and detain him.

He was arrested on the weekend when he had come to renew the bond.

Kangave says that Kalule will soon be presented to court to face charges of aggravated defilement.

Police had planned to present Kalule before Luweero magistrate court on Monday to face charges of aggravated defilement on file CRB 22/2018 but it's reported the Office of Directorate of Public Prosecutions has since called for review of the file.

The Luweero Resident State Attorney Beatrice Alok was out of office to comment on the case but PRIME RADIO has learnt that the file was transferred to Office of DPP on 2nd May last week.

Kangave confirmed the development and says that Kalule will be detained until Resident State Attorney gives advise on next course of action.

The girl who is pregnant has already recorded statement at Luweero Central Police where she pinned Kalule for defiling her for the past four years. She has been transferred to Wakissa Ministries,Kampala for rehabilitation.

PRIME RADIO Reporter visited office of Luweero Diocesan Secretary Canon Mephibosheth Musisi and Bishop Eridard Nsubuga Kironde for comment but all were out of office.

However Luweero Diocesan Bishop Eridard Nsubuga Kironde was quoted by media on Sunday saying the matter has been left to Police to establish the truths and take appropriate action.

Bishop Nsubuga has since replaced Kalule as archdeacon of Luteete with Reverend Geoffrey Kasana pending investigations of the case.

Recently Police in Bamunanika arrested Lay leader Yekoyada Nsubuga attached at St. Phillip Bajjo Church of Uganda for allegedly defiling a 13 year old girl at Nkuluze village in Bamunanika sub county.

Geoffrey Sserunkuuma a lay leader attached at Bbowa Church of Uganda is also run for defiling 17 year old pupil at Bbowa Primary School.

Christians have since asked Bishop Eridard Nsubuga Kironde to take stringent measures to stop the sexual offenses eating the priests.

 
 

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