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The latest news specifically on Northern Uganda's Economy with a slice of National Issues.

Tugende Extends Financial Support to Its 23,000+ Clients

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@Tugended

Tugende, a social enterprise that provides asset financing to informal sector entrepreneurs and MSMEs, has extended a package of support for its clients as they tackle the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The package includes a one-time unconditional cash transfer of UGX25,000 / KES 700 that is being disbursed out to all of its 23,000+ active clients in both Uganda and Kenya and also includes a 2-month suspension of all penalties till May 25th, along with full-time support from Tugende’s over 460 staff, who are actively working from home.

Michael Wilkerson, the CEO Tugende says the support aims at helping the Tugende community overcome the economic hardships they are facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Tugende exists to help informal sector entrepreneurs grow, thrive and own their future. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that our clients are struggling to take care of their families. When they suffer, we suffer too. This support is to let our clients know that we are together with them and together we shall pull through,” he said.

Adding, “Tugende is itself facing dire challenges. However, we are committed to being with our clients during the best and worst of times and we want to help our clients, their communities and our employees in Uganda and Kenya during this difficult period.”

Wilkerson further stated that Tugende would continue to look for more ways to help their clients during this period.

Across Uganda and many other emerging markets, motorcycles help drive the economy, mitigating traffic jams and bad roads, while offering hundreds of thousands of jobs for those with little formal education. As a result, Tugende has empowered customers unable to access formal credit and has financed over 30,000 customers in Uganda and Kenya.

Tugende was formally established in 2012 in Uganda and is a technology-enabled asset financier of income-generating assets for proven entrepreneurs, using a lease-to-own product to offer an affordable path to ownership of these assets.

Emirates Airline Conducts first on-site Rapid COVID-19 Tests for Passengers

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Emirates in coordination with Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will be introducing additional precautions. Passengers on today’s flight to Tunisia were all tested for COVID-19 before departing from Dubai. Emirates is the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers.

The quick blood test was conducted by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and results were available within 10 minutes. This test was conveniently done at the Group Check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates Chief Operating Officer said: “The testing process has gone smoothly and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Dubai Health Authority for their initiatives and innovative solutions. This would have not been possible without the support of Dubai Airport and other government authorities. We are working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights, this will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers travelling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates. The health and safety of staff and passengers at the airport remain of paramount importance.”

HE Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said: “We are glad to work with Emirates on the successful implementation of rapid COVID-19 testing at the airport for departing travellers. To tackle COVID-19, we have been proactively working with various governmental organisations and the private health sector and we have implemented all necessary measures from public health protection to provision of high-quality health services in line with the latest international guidelines. We believe strongly that the most effective solutions require close partnerships with other public and private sector organisations.”

The airline’s check-in and boarding formalities have also been adapted with social distancing in mind. Protective barriers have been installed at each check-in desk to provide additional safety measures to our passengers and employees during any interaction. Gloves, masks and hand sanitisers have been made mandatory for all employees at the airport.

Passengers are also required to wear their own masks when at the airport and on board the aircraft, and follow social distancing guidelines. Emirates has modified its inflight services for health and safety reasons.

Magazines and other print reading material will not be available, and while food and beverages will continue to be offered on board, packaging and presentation will be modified to reduce contact during meal service and minimize risk of interaction. Cabin baggage are currently not accepted on flights. Carry-on items allowed in the cabin are limited to laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items. All other items have to be checked in, and Emirates will add the cabin baggage allowance to customers’ check-in baggage allowance.

All Emirates aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai, after each journey.

Irene Gleeson Foundation to Distribute 1,000 Bibles and Transistor Radios.

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The Irene Gleeson Foundation (IGF) in partnership with Daystar Television network are set to freely distribute 1000 bibles and Transistor Radios to residents of Lamwo and Kitgum district.

In a social media post yesterday, John Paul Kiffasi, the Executive Director Irene Gleeson Foundation revealed they secured the said items specifically radios to help enhance community education and increase access to information on prevention of the pandemic.

This he said was based on the fact that majority of the people in the area rely so much on FM Radios their information.

He further noted that apart from the radios being issued out to the population, the foundation equally had the same numbers of translated bibles “Luo Bibles” that they were also going to five up to the populace.

Equator Seeds Company Injects Another 4M in Fuel to Handle COVID-19 Related Cases.

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Equator Seeds Company limited has again injected another 4 million Uganda shillings in fuel as part of their corporate social responsibility in the fight against COVID-19.

According to Okello Tony, the Director Equator Seeds Company limited they revived an over whelming number of request from neighbouring district after they openly came out and supported COVID19 task force in Gulu and Omoro district.

Fund allocation – From the four million we gave kitgum district one million shillings, extend two million to the team in Kiryandongo and the balance of one million went to Oyam district Taskforce.

“We just decided to give what we had with the hope that normalcy returns in the country. As a people’s focused company, we could not ignore presidential call for support and so we put in our humble contribution to add onto the big pool” Okello said.

Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech while receiving the gift applauded the team from Equator seed for taking a lead in helping inspire action for change.

“The loyalty of corporate companies and businesses with a human touch will be tested this time round that the same people who support them need them more than before” Komakech said.

Adding that, this was the right time to mapped out potential business partners who were more concerned with issues of humanity and not mere driven by agenda of maximizing profits from their business for personal gains.

In Oyag, the offer was handed over to Mr. Walter Iriama, the chief administrative officer of Oyam district local government who welcomed the partnership.

Issa Hassan, the Kyrandongo district Production Officer who picked the up the two million shillings chaeque from Equator sees on behalf of Dorothy Ajwang, the chief administrative officer Kiryandongo applauded the company for walking the talk and standing with the district during hard times.

As the virus roars on across the continent Uganda has confirmed number of 53 cases. #Besafe

Debunking the Conspiracy 5G – Coronavirus Link theories.

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5G Revolution

Governments and media globally are stepping up to debunk the conspiracy linking 5G mobile technology to coronavirus, which led to some 5G masts being set on fire in Britain last week.

When asked by a reporter about the so called “theory” that 5G telecommunications towers could play a role in the spread of the disease, British Cabinet Officer Minister Michael Gove said: “That is just nonsense, dangerous nonsense as well.”

NHS England’s national medical director, Stephen Powis said the 5G conspiracy idea was fake news with no scientific backing that risked damaging the emergency response to the outbreak.

“The 5G story is complete and utter rubbish, it’s nonsense, it’s the worst kind of fake news,” Powis said. “The reality is that the mobile phone networks are absolutely critical to all of us.”

Dangerous Fake News

Last week South African health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize also spoke out against the ongoing rumours, calling it “fake news” that did not stand up to scrutiny.

“The reality is that 5G is a technology, and coronavirus is an organic infection that is based on a living viral agent,” Mkhize explained.

During a 5G webinar last week, organised by the National Electronics Media Institute of South Africa, Prof Antoine Bagula, from the University of the Western Cape said, “Radio frequency spectrum falls under non-ionizing radiation with low energy/band, this is low risk to human health. Today if you go for an X – ray, which is a form of ionizing radiation, you are covered by lead. You know why? It is because they are following guidelines to ensure that you are not over exposed to radiation.”

During the same webinar, Dick Sono, Chief Director of Radio Frequency Spectrum at the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies also addressed the issue saying, “There are guidelines is to ensure that we do not over expose humans to radiation. 2G, 3G and 4G have been also deployed under the stringent regulations and mobile network operators have followed these in deploying their networks. The same will be applied to 5G networks.”

The fake theories doing the rounds on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok, come at a critical time in the pandemic and plays on people’s emotions.

Global communications industry body, the GSMA said: “The telecoms industry is working around the clock to keep vital health, education and emergency services online, businesses running, and friends and families connected. It is deplorable that critical communications infrastructure is being attacked based on outright mistruths. We urge everyone to trust health authorities and rest assured communications technology is safe. There is no link between 5G and Covid-19.”

Fortunately, some of the social media platforms have started to take responsible response.

YouTube has reduced the amount of content spreading conspiracy theories that it recommends to users and removed some of the conspiratorial content, since that could “that could misinform users in harmful ways.”

“We also have clear policies that prohibit videos promoting medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment,” a YouTube spokesperson said.

Less Powerful than Visible Light

The conspiracy theories calming that radiation from 5G towers can lower the body’s immune system has been condemned by the scientific community.

Dr Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading says,

“Your immune system can be dipped by all sorts of thing – by being tired one day, or not having a good diet. Those fluctuations aren’t huge but can make you more susceptible to catching viruses.”

He added that radio waves involved in 5G and other mobile phone technology sit on the low frequency end of the electromagnetic spectrum. Less powerful than visible light, they are not strong enough to damage cells – unlike radiation at the higher frequency end of the spectrum which includes the sun’s rays and medical x-rays.

Weak Governance Leading Cause of Cattle Raid in Lamwo

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Courtesy Photo / PMLDAILY

Lamwo district has registered over 100 cases of cattle raids since January with the most affected sub counties being Madi Opei and Agoro that neighbor South Sudan.

According to Mr. Charles Obong Okwera, the Madi Opei Sub County Chairperson; a sub county most known for roaming animals says that his area has suffered the brunt of cattle raids over the years because his people are not bothered about the safety of their animals.

Meanwhile, Mr. Denis Onyon, the Agoro subcounty Chairperson said much as a number of measures have been put in place by the Sub County and district authorities, there are still non-compliant residents who do not make close watch of their livestock.

He also notes that much as the loose system of governance in neighboring South Sudan is to blame for the raids, the advanced age of most security personnel in his sub county makes them ineffective.

He asked residents to closely watch their animals as a supplement to the increased deployment along the borders with South Sudan.

Lamwo Resident District Commissioner, Mr. James Nabinson Kidega Nok revealed that they have increased the number of armed personnel at the border. He also said that security teams recovered most of the animals that had been looted. He said livestock raids will soon become history in Lamwo district since a number of measures are already underway.

He asked locals to liaise with his office in a bid to ensure safety of livestock that the communities in Lamwo take pride in as a source of wealth.

COVID-19: Uganda Airlines Suspends Several Flights.

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Uganda Airlines has announced planned suspension of flights to Mogadishu, Kilimanjaro, Mombasa, Zanzibar and Nairobi due to the Corona Virus –COVID 19 pandemic.

“Following the spread of COVID-19 and the control measures put in place by various countries to contain its spread; In compliance with health and safety guidelines, operational requirements and regulatory obligations, we wish to communicate changes to flight operations,” reads a statement on the website of Uganda Airlines.

According to the statement, Uganda Airlines flights to Kilimanjaro will be suspended effective March 20, 2020, Mombasa effective March 22, 2020 and Zanzibar effective March 23rd, 2020. 

“Flight No. UR520/521 Entebbe to Mogadishu is suspended effective Thursday 19th March 2020. All operations to Somalia suspended until further notice. Reduced Frequency for Entebbe, Nairobi, Flight No UR206/207 (Afternoon) will be suspended effective Monday 23rd March till further notice. The rest of the flights UR202/203 (Morning) and UR204/205 (Evening) will remain in operation,” further reads the statement.  

The statement posted on Tuesday evening also says Uganda Airline flight No UR360/361 from Entebbe Airport to Bujumbura will be suspended effectible March 22, 2020 until further notice. Since its outbreak in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, 173,344 people across over 152 countries have tested positive for corona virus infection.

In Africa, over 300 cases in 25 countries have been recorded. The cases in Rwanda and Kenya has triggered in Uganda, which is has to date not recorded a case. A number of big events have been called off. President Yoweri Museveni is scheduled to announce travel restrictions and the country’s preparedness plan later this afternoon.   

Health Ministry, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has called for calm in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak in some East African countries, saying the ministry is moving the country’s preparedness level from ordinary to advanced level.     

More travel bans to countries with high COVID-19 cases are expected. Recently, Uganda issued travel restrictions to people residing in 16 countries including Italy, San Marino, Iran, South Korea, France, China, Germany, Spain, Belgium, USA, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Austria, and Malaysia.    

The World Health Organisation (WHO) which declared the disease a pandemic believes that collective effort in fighting the disease can have a big impact. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director general recently called upon the entire world to play their part in fighting the disease. 

“This disease affects everybody. Governments, people and companies all have a part to play. This is a pandemic that can be controlled and overcome if everyone plays their part,” Dr. Tedros said. #URN

Redevelopment of Gulu Airport, President Museveni Give a Green Light

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Courtesy Photo: President Museveni at the launch of Uganda CRJ900 jet

The quest for Gulu airport to be revamped and expanded to an international standard by local leaders and business community is on course after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni endorsed a face-lift to the airport.

An Artistic impression of Gulu Airport

President Museveni pledged to revamp the airport following a setback the facility suffered during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel activities in Northern Uganda.

Museveni said Gulu airport was active and one of the country’s busiest airports in the 1960s but inevitably degenerated especially during the two-decade long LRA rebellion between 1986 to 2006 before the notorious LRA rebels were flashed out. 

Museveni also explained that the airport once rebuilt will encourage foreign tourists intending to visit Kidepo Valley National Park and Murchison Falls to fly and land directly in Gulu as opposed to passing via Entebbe Airport. 

Moses Laker, a concerned citizen in Gulu town welcomed the President’s pledge as a long overdue gesture to the business community and accelerate economic recovery of post war Northern Uganda.

Meanwhile, Gulu District Council Speaker, John Okwonga, also applauded Museveni for the initiative and urged that the process should be quickened given Gulu’s rapid development as a regional business hub.

Gulu Airfield located three kilometers north west of the central business district has been mostly used for military and civil operations. The airdrome has a single paved runway and is situated over 1,000 metres above the sea level.  

In July this year, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced that it is seeking 600 billion Uganda Shillings redevelop Gulu Airport and two other regional airfields that includes Arua and Kasese to international standards.  

Carrefour Opens State of the Art Shopping Store in Uganda, 130 Scoop Instant Jobs.

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Amelia Kyambadded at the launch of Carrefour
Amelia Kyambadde at the launch of Carrefour

Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, has finally made its way into Uganda with the official launch of its stores in the country yesterday.

Located at the popular Oasis Mall, the store covers 2,800 square meters, catering to the evolving customer needs in Uganda and responding to the growing demand for modern retail in Kampala. Carrefour offers shoppers great value and choice, through a combination of offers and promotions while delivering unbeatable prices, quality and its renowned customer service.

Presiding over the official ceremony, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde, Uganda’s Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives stated that the country’s growing population, coupled with a vibrant economy will support Majid Al Futtaim’s commitment to Uganda.  

“The entry of a global retail brand like Carrefour goes a long way in ensuring that the expanding community is catered to. With rapid urbanization, there is an increased demand for superior and high-quality products offered at great value, and we are very confident that in Majid Al Futtaim, we have the right partner,” she said.

“By building the capacity of local suppliers, Majid Al Futtaim is encouraging value addition which will in turn help to boost household incomes. This supplements the Government’s job creation efforts.”

The minister further noted that by buying from local suppliers, Majid Al Futtaim is also helping to strengthen the Government’s ‘Buy Uganda, Build Uganda’ policy and that they will continue to support companies that promote inclusive growth in their operations.

Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim – Retail explained that Carrefour’s first launch in Uganda is an integral part in the retailer’s long-term ambition of strengthening its presence in the East African region:

“We are committed to operating in Uganda for the long term and are happy for the opportunity to contribute to further developing the retail sector to the benefit of the community. Carrefour is here to modernize the grocery retail sector by bringing international best practices, and delivering the best value products to our customers, as we work to realize our vision of creating great moments for everyone everyday”.

The store stocks up to 20,000 products, a mix of international and local brands, all certified by relevant government agencies, applying international hygiene standards in order to guarantee food safety to customers.

Majid Al Futtaim has recruited 130 Ugandan employees and has contracted 50 more from external local companies. The company has also engaged 260 local suppliers to stock the Carrefour store in Uganda. The company owns the franchise rights to operate the Carrefour brand in over 30 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Today it operates over 300 stores in 16 countries across that network.

Uganda Anti-Corruption Network a Propaganda Machine – Mwaka Lutukmoi.

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Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, head of statehouse anti corruption unit, is the biggest layer of corruption. Mother being a Muhima, a Muganda father and a husband from west Nile,  she cuts the best covert activist figure by the tribal thieving regime. 

Formed under article 99 (4) of the constitution,  the office is supposedly to be a rapid response unit, a bridge between the President,  the public and anti corruption groups. But are there established bodies ? Why ignore them for chest thumping Edith.  Look hidden case like Isimba dams with Kadaga of parliament with strong evidence. But why Edith ignore?

We have; Anti corruption bodies like the IGG, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Anti-corruption coalition,  Anti-corruption courts, Director of public prosecution ( DPP) , Auditors General (AG) etc but being clandestinely destroyed. 

The Edith’s department brags of achievements of making 115 arrests in 44 diarists, prosecuting 88 and convicting 7 by September 2019.

In April, 2019  BOU hoax. The resent arrests including the BOU saga of April 2019 are all stage managed to show that government has zero tolerance to corruption.

All the so called bosses implicated were released and case forgotten but they are facilitated. The team benefits, another, administrative expenses in presidency to promote patronage. 

If they are serious, hang them, make corruption a capital offence punishable by death! We must have a new beginning, let parliament come with punitive laws to make corruption very expensive. In China and North Korea, corruption and even bribery are capital offense punishable by death. 

In April 2019, the governor Bank of Uganda, Mr. Emmanuel Mutebile, invited the state house’s Nakalema to investigate theft in the Bank. To cleanse him, the uncleans able. 

Already parliament then, the committee on commissions, statutory Authorities and state enterprises conducted an investigation on BOU and reported irregularities in the closures of defunct Banks with clear indications that officials at the bank could have benefited financially. 

The moral question is, why did Mutebile, a close associate of Museveni invite state house instead of CID? 

Again in June, it’s party after Party! Corruption bonanza in Uganda’s big corruption casino, ‘patronage and dictatorship. What happened? 


The news of BOU, URA, and Civil Aviation Authority officials were arrested over printing money.  They stole and printed on behalf of Uganda, shillings 90 billion ( $ 24million ) and the same government officials rescinded the story,  again shillings 200 billion ( $54 million) was printed allegedly. 


Uganda on paper looses $300 million yearly.  The corruption bonanza is the thing, the Museveni’ regime has its lifeblood on corruption.  This is a result of patronage which inhibits high level corruption, and the corrupt are rewarded other than punished. 

COURT TIRED OF TRYING SMALL FISH. 

” Untouchables, come rain, come sunshine, they’re never going to court, not while there’s somebody close to them in power, that is because of the politics involved ” A prosecutor in Anti-corruption court on May, 21, 2013. Remember order from above. 

” This court is tired of trying Tilapias when the crocodiles are left to swim. ” Justice John Bosco Kabatsi, in June 29th 2010 after ruling a case.  In Uganda, its Party after Party, drama after dramas, that has kept impunity and patronage. They always let the big fish swim and let high levels corrupt swim freely as long as the money will bribe voters to keep the regime. 

High profile cases. 

The Nakalema caricature of fights against corruption is an abuse and a show akin to the Anti corruption walk Museveni and corrupt pregnant men did while locking corruption in statehouse, their homes, churches, and cars!


Cases that makes Nakalema, a joker.

There are many but I will delve into a few that robbed the poor and sick Ugandans. 

  1. The OPM 2012, $12.7 million, meant to help the Northern and Eastern Ugandans poor who went through a genocide for 2 decades.  Remember the plastic axes and hoes, Nobert Mao, Gulu chairman then exposed! Most if not all the culprits are free. It’s meant for PRDP.  Plan for recovery, development and peace. 
  2. The Global fund eaten off, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and immunization.  GAVI Money eaten in millions of dollars. Those suffering from Aids, TB, and malaria died but some of them bounced back as ministers. Remember the Muhezi etc. et al. No one was prosecuted. 
  3. Presently, Hon. Anite Evelyn, minister for investments, declared the interests of Mafias in grabbing UTL, UTL has assets worth billions of shillings.  It’s over sea investment alone on West Indian Submarine cable company is at 9.13%, $10 million.  

Every mafia was salivating.  Thank God, Anite tried to save us, but everything, including Lt col Nakalema state house group is just a D-COY. Actually, all parastatals like UTL were moneyed but the regime holder, call them mafias shares. It’s sad that they use small people, who are implicated at the altar of the innocent small fish. 

In 2016; Hon Sam Kutesa received $500.000 from a Chinese, Mr Patrick ho, now convicted in American jail for bribery. President Museveni is implicated.  Can Nakalema investigate these big fish? This is the known ones, on oil, on other natural resources is insurmountable. 

I conclude by noting that, Ugandans are given a raw deal by many in leadership, the reason for overstay of Museveni in power is patronage, a patronage that has made economics out of politics. Call it Econopolitics.  Ugandans must not think they have even an opposition that want change, disunity, helps the regime to remain in power and their business. MPs get ATLEAST 20 million shillings monthly, they can afford to live. Now the young people must think twice and cause a generation change, the old are fighting for themselves, business and family. 

Whats your take?