#COVID-19: 2 South Sudanese from Dubai who Ignored Calls for Self Quarantine Intercepted at Elegu.

Ojara Martin mapendu Chairman LCV Gulu

Ojara Martin Mapenduzi , the Chairman LCV Gulu have come out and issued a statement on the prevailing rumour of confirmed cases of coronavirus in his district as a baseless allegation.

In his post Mapenduzi wrote, “This morning 24th March 2020, I have received several calls and reports alleging that there were two South Sudanese with confirmed Corona Virus in Gulu. I would like to clearly state that there are still no confirmed cases in Gulu”

In his revelation Mapenduzi however revealed that, yesterday evening, a joint Taskforce intercepted two South Sudanese nationals at Elegu who were trying to sneak into South Sudan.

These two are said to have arrived at Entebbe Airport from Dubai on 21st March 2020 and after going through the procedures at the Airport, they were tasked to go through self-quarantine for 14 days.

Unfortunately, yesterday morning, the two escaped from the hotel where they were self-quarantined and took a special hire on their way to South Sudan.

The special hire driver who could not maneuver the long journey on arrival in Kampala picked a colleague to accompany him take these two South Sudanese to final destination – South Sudan.

However, “they were intercepted at the border, our team brought them back to Gulu where they have been quarantined in a place with very strict conditions and security” Mapenduzi said.

According to Mapenduzi, a specialized medical team this morning conducted a swap and/or took samples that have been taken to Entebbe for proper scrutiny/tests.

Not until result are brought back there is no need for uproar. Even when the results are out and found to be negative, they will still be confined for 14 days and thereafter face justice.

“Let’s stay calm but extremely cautious about the situation and wait for official communication/information from the Ministry of Health and our Taskforce.

Mapenduzi applauded, Uganda Police Force, on ground medical team and the community for being vigilant. He urged them not to downplay their role but rather act responsibly and support the cause during this difficult time. Together we will defeat this disease – Ojara Martin Mapenduzi

Also read… #COVID-19: 4 Suspect Under Quarantine in Elegu Transferred to Gulu.

Public Transport Guide to Prevent Coronavirus, MOH Offer Quick Guidelines.

Photo by Kampala Post

Human coronaviruses are spread from someone infected with COVID-19 virus to other close contacts with that person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects.

It is for this reason that the Ministry of Health is offering guidance to the public on use of public transport to avoid infection and spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

1. Should people stop travelling in and outside Uganda until COVID-19 is controlled?

No, public transport in and outside the country should continue until government advises otherwise. However, the Ministry of Health advises people from affected countries including Ugandans to delay their travel outside the country until the situation normalises. If they travel, they are required to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days.

2. Should people avoid taxis and other bus stations that are always crowded?

People should not avoid taxis and bus parks. The Ministry of Health strongly advises park managers, drivers, conductors and travelers to strictly observe and enforce hygiene and sanitation practices issued by the Ministry of Health.

3. What should taxi/ bus owners, drivers and conductors do to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
● Provide hand washing facilities (running water with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers) to the public and ensure passengers use them before boarding.
● Clean/Sanitise/Disinfect the taxi or bus after every trip paying attention to seats, armrests and handles.
● Do not overload the taxi or bus to allow airflow and to avoid people being too close to each other.
● Drivers and conductors should have adequate protection such as masks and gloves ready for use in case they are needed.
● Ensure that safe waste disposal facilities are provided and passengers communicated to
● Managers, drivers and conductors need to understand how Coronavirus (COVID-19) is transmitted and provide regular health education to their passengers.

4. Should drivers and conductors constantly wear face masks and gloves to protect themselves?
No, drivers and conductors don’t have always have to wear masks and gloves if they are not sick themselves or transporting sick passengers.

5. How should drivers and conductors handle money paid by people suspected to be sick with Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Handle money as you usually do. However, practice regular hygiene and sanitation practices including using alcohol-based sanitisers.

6. Will government set up roadblocks to ensure that all drivers and conductors and the passengers observe the recommended control guidelines?
Government will ensure that all public transporters adhere to the set standards. It is the responsibility of every person in Uganda to practice the right behaviours to prevent spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

These include regular handwashing with running water and soap; avoiding contact with anyone with a cold or flu-like symptoms; covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue or flexed elbow.

7. Should drivers and conductors stop foreign passengers from countries with ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks from boarding taxis and buses?
No, that is not necessary because the disease can affect anyone. Foreigners should be handled like other people. They are not infectious unless if they are sick.

8. Is Coronavirus (COVID-19) an airborne disease? Can it be spread if someone sneezes or coughs in a taxi or bus?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is not spread by air (airborne), it is spread by droplets from an infected person. So, if no one openly coughs or sneezes in a taxi or bus, it is unlikely that it will be spread. It is therefore important that all passengers observe hygiene practices such as regular handwashing or use of hand sanitizers, and following coughing etiquette to minimize spreading the infection.

9. How long can the Coronavirus (COVID-19) stay live on seats, door handles and armrests?

The virus may stay live on open surfaces for up to 30 minutes. However, we advise regular cleaning of these surfaces with water and soap or disinfectant such as JIK to be sure that all live viruses have been removed.

10. What should drivers do with a passenger who is clearly sick with Coronavirus (COVID-19) like signs and symptoms?

Advise the passenger to seek medical care immediately at the nearest health facility and alert health workers on the numbers indicated below or the District Health Officials if you are out of Kampala. Provide your contact details and if possible, those of the passengers for follow-up and management by the health workers. However, remember that most people displaying symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or tiredness are likely suffering from a common cold or other respiratory illness and not necessarily Coronavirus (COVID-19).

11. What should sick passengers do if they must travel?
It is better for one to avoid travelling when sick, however, if it is unavoidable, ensure the following:
● Sick passengers should use private means to minimize exposure to others.
● Wear a surgical mask if available.
● Avoid direct contact with other passengers, drivers and conductors.
● Practice good hygiene and proper coughing/sneezing etiquette and dispose of used tissues in a provided bin.
● Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water or hand sanitizers before boarding.
● Avoid contact with others – stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) from other people.
For more information, please contact any of the following:
 District Health Officers for appropriate direction or
 Call Ministry of Health toll-free lines on 0800-203-033 and 0800-100-066

#UgandaMediaCenter #MinistryOfHealth

South Sudan: Hundreds Wounded, Villages Looted in Intercommunal Fighting In Jonglei State

Courtesy Photo

Hundreds of people have been wounded, families forced to flee their homes, and villages looted amidst intercommunal clashes that erupted mid-February in Jonglei State. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has evacuated dozens of injured people for surgical care and calls on those engaged in the clashes to respect human life and the principles of humanity.

The ICRC treated nearly 70 people suffering from gunshot wounds over the past two weeks, as fighting broke out between thousands of armed men in several parts of Jonglei State.

“It is the first time we are forced to mobilize all three surgical units we run in the country for one series of related incidents,” said Katja Lorenz, ICRC’s deputy head of delegation in South Sudan. “We have received hundreds of requests for medical evacuations and we are struggling to meet the needs.”

In Akobo, Ganyliel, and Juba, ICRC surgical teams have treated dozens of patients with gunshot injuries from different communities involved in the fighting. “We were able to evacuate the injured only when we had the guarantees from all communities that our team and aircraft would not be targeted,” added Lorenz. “We can’t land and transport the wounded if people are shooting in the area.”

This violence also forced hundreds of families to flee their homes in various parts of Jonglei State. “I don’t know if my wives and children are still alive,” said Jion Angabal Arut, a 50-year-old man from Manyabol. “My livestock was taken, the house burnt down. How can I start over again?”

The ICRC supported the South Sudan Red Cross to deliver essential items to dozens of families who fled the fighting and found refuge in Anyidi.

These clashes come as a new unity government was formed, an important milestone in the country’s peace process. However, violence between communities, driven by competition over resources and fueled by easy access to guns, continues.

Other parts of the country are also affected by high levels of violence. Between November 2019 and February 2020, clashes between different communities close to Rumbek in central South Sudan killed more than 250 people and injured over 300.

“In 2019, we treated 769 persons with gunshot wounds, 111 more than the year before. We are worried that 2020 could follow the same trend, deepening the suffering of families who are already struggling to recover from years of war,” concluded Lorenz. 

Banknotes Allegedly Spreading Coronavirus- WHO Warns

Banks in China began disinfecting and isolating used banknotes last month as part of efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus. (Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised people to use contactless technology instead of cash as banknotes may be spreading coronavirus.

The infectious COVID-19 virus could be carried on the surface of banknotes for several days, the WHO warned on Monday night.

To stop the spread of the disease, people should use contactless payments where possible and wash their hands after handling cash, a WHO spokesman said.

The Bank of England also recognised that banknotes “can carry bacteria or viruses” and encouraged frequent hand washing.

Last month banks in China and Korea began disinfecting and isolating used banknotes as part of efforts to stem the spread of the deadly virus.

Ultraviolet light or high temperature is being used to disinfect and sterilise banknotes, before the cash is sealed and stored for up to 14 days before being recirculated, China’s central bank said at a press conference.

A Bank of England source said there were no plans to do the same in the UK.

A Bank of England spokesman told the Telegraph: “Like any other surface that large numbers of people come into contact with, notes can carry bacteria or viruses.

“However, the risk posed by handling a polymer note is no greater than touching any other common surface, such as handrails, doorknobs or credit cards.”

Coronavirus can be spread through contaminated objects as well as droplets and direct contact with infected patients, the WHO said.

“We know that money changes hands frequently and can pick up all sorts of bacteria and viruses,” a spokesman told the Telegraph.

“We would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes, and avoid touching their face.

“When possible it would also be advisable to use contactless payments to reduce the risk of transmission.”

It is not yet known how long the coronavirus can survive outside the human body.

It has been suggested that human coronaviruses can remain infectious on contaminated objects for as long as nine days at room temperature in an analysis of 22 earlier studies of similar viruses, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) published online this month in the Journal of Hospital Infection.

However, common disinfectants can swiftly remove them, and they may also be destroyed by high temperatures, the authors wrote. It is not yet clear whether the new coronavirus also behaves in this way.

Al Shabaab Attacks US Base in Kenya

Al-Shabab said it had "successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base" before taking "effective control of a part of the base". - BBC

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) says four Al Shabaab fighters have died following a dawn attack on the Manda-Magogoni naval base in Lamu County on Sunday.

The attack comes just a week after the US said it carried out airstrikes in Somalia that killed four Shabaab terrorists following a massive car bomb that killed 79 people in Mogadishu recently.

The Kenyan military says there were no casualties on either the Kenyan or US side following the dawn attack in Lamu.

The militants had launched a 5 am attack on Manda Air Strip, which is next to Camp Simba – a Kenyan naval base with a US military presence.

The Shabaab fighters were attempting to gain entry to the military base via the airstrip.

Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia also confirmed the attack.

The Somalia-based terror group has claimed the attack.

KDF aircraft responded with some bombs and later in a statement said the attack was foiled by its soldiers.

Locals also told the Nation that gunfire had stopped in the area.

“This morning at around 5:30 am an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Air Strip. The attempted breach was successfully repulsed. Four terrorists bodies have so far been found. The airstrip is safe,” KDF Spokesperson Col Paul Njuguna said.

“Arising from the unsuccessful breach a fire broke out affecting some of the fuel tanks located at the airstrip. The fire has been put under control and standard security procedures are now ongoing.”

The Shabaab militants reportedly came from Hindi area. They are said to have disconnected power before launching their attack.

There was a power outage in Hindi Sunday morning.


The terror group has escalated its attacks on Kenya in recent months. Shabaab militants on Thursday attacked a bus at Nyongoro area, Lamu County, with three people losing their lives in the incident.

The bus had come from Mombasa and was headed to Lamu. KDF soldiers killed four suspected Al Shabaab fighters and captured one after the attack.

Before that, at least ten people were killed, including police officers, when the terrorists attacked a bus in Wajir County using an Improved Explosive Device (IED) in Kotulo area on December 7.

Its militants also kidnapped two businessmen on December 26 in Liboi area along the Kenya-Somalia border. They were then freed on December 27, with police saying they had launched a manhunt for the culprits after the attack.

Al Shabaab’s deadliest recent attack was a car bomb that claimed the lives of 79 people in Mogadishu, Somalia on December 28.

South Sudan: ICRC facilitates the release of 23 persons including 11 children


JUBA, South Sudan, January 3, 2020/ — The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has facilitated the release and transport to Juba of 23 persons – including 11 children – previously held in Central Equatoria, in relation to the conflict in South Sudan.

On 29 December 2019, the ICRC received a request from the National Salvation Front (NAS) – an armed group active in the Equatorias – to facilitate the release of 23 persons. “The operation took place on 31 December 2019 in coordination with all relevant authorities, allowing families to be reunited with their loved ones at a time of celebration. Before bringing them to Juba, the ICRC – acting as neutral intermediary – ensured that the released persons were handed over voluntarily and that their health condition allowed them to travel safely,” said James Reynolds, the ICRC head of delegation in South Sudan.

The ICRC facilitated medical attention as well as accommodation upon arrival in Juba. The organization also offered transport arrangements by land and air for the released persons.

Among the persons handed over to the ICRC figures the four-year-old child of a late IOM-volunteer who died during fighting end of October. The child will be reunited with his father.

This is the fourth time the ICRC facilitates a release of persons held in captivity since the signing of the peace agreement in September 2018.

The ICRC is mentioned as a neutral facilitator for the release of detainees in the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians, and Humanitarian Access that was signed between the parties to the conflict in December 2017 as well as a supervisor for the release of detainees in chapter II of the R-ARCSS.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s Case of Deportation Hangs in Balance.

Chaka Chaka
Chaka Chaka - Courtesy Photo

NORTHERNEWSWIRE | South African singer, Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s visit to Uganda was cut short after she got deported before her performance in the eve of the Ugandan.

According to Fred Enanga, the Police Spokesperson, Chaka Chaka was destined to headline a show at Enkuuka at Lubiri Mengo but this was cut short after she was found to have entered the country with an ordinary visa which could not allow her to perform or indulge in any money making venture.

“She was escorted to Entebbe Airport by police and a team from immigration department prior to the show where she was advised to reconsider applying for a working visa but she refused” Enanga said.

Responding to the wide speculation on her alleged deportation Chaka Chaka denied the allegations saying “I took the decision of going back at free will without any force or pressure of deportation”.

However earlier news reports indicated how the artist had been allegedly detained inside her room at Pearl of Africa Hotel where she had been staying since Monday when she stepped into the country.

Abbe Musinguzi aka Abitex could not trace the whereabouts of Chaka Chaka saying, “Yvonne’s issue is hard to understand. The last time I spoke to her in the morning, she was leaving the hotel to come for a soundcheck at the venue. But I was later informed that she was being detained by security officers at the hotel who said they were offering her security. She was refused to leave the hotel,”.

Meet Aamito Lagum, Ugandan Supermodel Fighting Climate Catastrophe

Aamito lagum. Photo Credit-tdsblog
Aamito Lagum. Photo Credit-tdsblog

The Conversation I OkayAfrica – We talked to Aamito Lagum about the climate strike and what her activism means to her

You may know Aamito Lagum from the first season of Africa’s Next Top Model in 2013, where she blew away the competition in the popular reality television show. After taking the crown, she moved to New York and started walking in many of the world’s biggest fashion shows. Dozens of magazine spreads, campaigns and photo shoots later and Lagum is a globally recognized face with a big following. But she’s also a person deeply concerned about climate change.

In 2018 she spoke at the Global Climate Action Summit bringing her experiences as a Ugandan into the discussion. This month she took part in the Global Climate Strike, meant to push leaders to deal with the crisis. We talked to Lagum about what the climate crisis means to her and how she hopes to empower fellow Ugandans on issues of climate justice.

How did you first get involved with climate change activism?

I grew up in Kampala and used to visit my grandmother in the northern part of Uganda. It was there that I started noticing the climate literally changing. It was beginning to feel hotter and hotter, there were shorter rainy seasons and a much longer dry season. I especially remember that there used to be a river near my grandma’s where people would fish and get their drinking water—it was the life of the village. As time went on, the river dried up, and there’s been less and less activity there. I was in Uganda this past year and travelled up north. It was so hot, worse than I’ve ever experienced. Activism is something I’d say I had been curious about for a long time and wanted to know more. Now that the world is talking about climate change, I feel like I can now put into words what I saw when I was growing up in Uganda—and that I see to this day.

Why is environmentalism close to your heart?

For me, it’s a very personal issue. In America, there’s enough to sustain us throughout the year. During the winter, we don’t have to worry about whether we’ll have enough food to get us through the dark cold months. But in Uganda, people are eating only one meal a day because there just isn’t enough food. This isn’t because they’re lazy and can’t work, it’s because the climate is too unreliable. When the rain comes, it’s too heavy that it spoils the crops. When the hot season comes it takes the crops a really long time to grow—so the harvest has a small yield and the food isn’t enough to sustain them. People starve, to be honest. And when it comes to hunger, I know it’s the women and children who suffer the most.

What do you think is the most pressing issue facing the continent in regards to climate change?

The continent is one of the most susceptible places on earth to climate change, at the same time we are the least responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions that have created this crisis. The biggest effect on Africa right now is the erratic weather patterns. In countries like Ethiopia, there are people who say they used to see drought every five or six years, now they say it’s happening every two or three years. In the Somali region, people say the 2017 drought hasn’t really ended in some areas and people are unable to recover between dry periods. At the same time, there is too much rain in Mozambique during winter months. Just this year there were violent storms like Cyclone Idai, which was literally one of the worst storms on record in that part of the continent.

Oxfam, for instance, is pushing for governments and large companies doing business in Africa to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. But they’re also working with farmers in parts of the continent to adjust their crop cycles to the changing weather patterns, even to take out loans or help build up their savings so they have a kind of buffer. I think we also have to be careful to protect some of the continent’s greatest natural resources—our rivers, lakes, forests. I realize that work and new economic opportunities are important to fighting the very real and heart-breaking poverty there, but we have to also be sure to protect the nature that millions there rely on for things like fishing and even tourism.

Can you talk more about the work you do with Oxfam and how it’s improving happenings on the ground?

Oxfam is fantastic. When I went to Uganda with Oxfam, my main focus was on women and the work Oxfam and its partners are doing do to help women. It’s the women who have the power to make change on a household level, who focus on the children and what they need to thrive. The men don’t make those kinds of decisions. The work Oxfam is doing helps women make the kind of small-scale decisions that lead to big change.

One example of an Oxfam program we saw was at a refugee camp in Uganda, where women were making sanitary pads for girls who couldn’t afford or access them. The girls couldn’t go to school because of this. Something so basic has the potential to reduce the number of school dropouts and have a much larger impact on these girls’ lives.

It’s important to realize what power women in Africa have to affect long-term change. For instance, it’s the women who do the cooking and decide whether to burn charcoal, firewood or briquettes. If they begin to use briquettes versus firewood, that teaches their children that firewood isn’t good for the environment—briquettes are often made of recycled materials, they produce less smoke, and they don’t require cutting down trees. These are the kind of simple, but important choices that kids will grow up knowing. Oxfam is empowering women so women can pass on their values and knowledge to their children, so they’ll make better decisions growing up.

You work in what some would consider two very different worlds: modeling and activism. How does one inform the other for you?

I actually don’t think they’re two different worlds. The world is one, and everything is interconnected. Modeling provides an opportunity for activism. As a model you have to ask how do you influence people, what do you say to people to create positive change? If you’ve been given some sort of platform—even if it’s not modeling—it’s so important to ask how you can create some kind change. That’s the direction we’re going in. We now have a lot of access to people with just one click. We can post something and 100,000 people will see it instantaneously. It’s fantastic and I feel very blessed that I’m living in this day and age.

I also see the fashion community paying lots and lots of attention to the need for more sustainable products. I know examples of denim companies that are more sustainable—they’re into more sustainable fabric and more sustainable ways of running their business. Stella McCartney is always advocating for sustainability, holding people accountable, and researching how products are made. There’s also an increasing amount of information on fast fashion companies which aren’t sustainable or ethical. Lots of people I know no longer buy from them and are becoming more conscious. The more that people talk about these issues and become aware, is how change happens.

How do we empower people on the continent to take action against climate change in order to protect their livelihoods?

I think many of the things that happen on the continent is because people aren’t aware. They don’t know that years of what they’ve been doing will have an impact on generations after them. People coming together, getting information, spreading the word about climate change is one of the ways we can make change.

Africa is so rich in oil, minerals, and other natural resources, that many large foreign companies are looking to do business there. But there isn’t lot of information about the kind of damage they can do to the environment and people’s health. For instance, major mining companies on the continent create so much coal dust that it causes people to have asthma and pollutes the harvest rain water.

In Uganda, only a percentage of people own phones. So this means not many people have access to information through Facebook, and other social media channels. Most people still listen to the radio and that’s not reaching people our age. So how do you get to the woman in the small village who doesn’t know about these huge companies? That they are polluting the land, that the animals are dying because they’re drinking polluted water from companies that are dumping waste water everywhere? I believe if they knew, they would come together, and they would hold their governments and decision-makers more accountable.

One of the things that’s most important for everyone to understand is that nothing will get better unless rich countries most responsible for climate change –including the US, Germany, and the United Kingdom – reduce emissions and take serious climate action. I truly believe information is power.

Kayihura Speaks on US Sanction, Blast Pompeo.

Gen Kale Kayihura
Gen Kale Kayihura

These Americans are hypocrites after their accusation of grave Human Rights violations, corruption, and smuggling drugs, gold and wildlife…is not only absolutely false but outrageous and infuriating.

I am an upright citizen of Uganda. I do not own assets or bank accounts in United States, or anywhere else outside Uganda. The freezing of my so-called assets therefore, is comical.

To sit in Washington and make the spurious and unproven baseless allegations is the highest form of disrespect of a foreign country. I remain resolute against this new wave of actions based on concoctions and lies.”

Gen. Kayihura’s full response to the US sanctions

I have been informed about the statement of the United States Department of the Treasury issued on the 13th of September 2019. In the baseless, unverified and outrageous statement, I am accused that while I was working as Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Uganda, I engaged in Human Rights violations, corruption, and smuggling drugs, gold and wildlife.

This is not only absolutely false but outrageous and infuriating, especially that these accusations and decisions have been made without according me an opportunity to respond to them, whereby I would give evidence to the contrary. The United States Government was known as a government that believed in due process, rule of law and democracy.

There was absolutely no due process accorded to me before false wild and defamatory statements about my person and my record were issued from Washington, without any bother to verify such allegations, which are in actual fact against the state of Uganda for which I was working.

To set the record straight, I am an upright citizen of Uganda, who whether in my public or private capacity is pro-people and I have never been corrupt as alleged, or at all.

I do not own and have never owed any property in the United States, or anywhere else outside Uganda. I do not have any bank accounts outside my country, Uganda. The insinuations in the statement that I could own any property outside Uganda are totally fabricated and malicious. The freezing of my so-called assets therefore, is comical.

I reject completely the characterization of the Uganda Police Force as some criminal outfit that I led. Under my tenure, we grew the force to almost 40,000 people and introduced a number of departments to serve the public better.

The statement from the Treasury is not just factually inaccurate. It is not just procedurally improper. It is not just an absolute travesty of justice; it is also extremely hypocritical. The fact is that the FBI worked closely with me and with units of police that were involved in fighting crime, including the Flying Squad. They were not scandalized by my leadership but actually gave me an award for my contribution in the fight against terror.

here is no high profile case in which our units did not liaise with the FBI. They participated in, for example, the investigations into the assassinations of the late Joan Kagezi and the late Andrew Felix Kaweesi, as well as the 2010 terror case. The Treasury would thus do well to sanction those officers also.

The FBI officers were not spared the false allegations I had become accustomed to. In fact, in the East African Court of Justice in the High Court of Uganda, and in a court in London, allegations were made about torture of the 2010 terrorist suspects, where the FBI was specifically mentioned, and FBI officers testified.

To have people who should have a better context of the challenges we faced and of the effort we undertook in the fight against terror, issue such nonsensical statements, is truly the height of hypocrisy. The Treasure Secretary would be well advised to conduct some research before speaking out against individual persons. For the record, investigations into the murders of the late Joan Kagezi and Andrew Felix Kaweesi were also conducted with help from the FBI. In the case of the latter, the FBI were at the scene of the crime to help us reconstruct it. The FBI also worked with Flying Squad. Thus, instead of searching for my non-existent US properties, the Treasury should instead be helping in the fight against global terror.

The allegations of Human Rights abuses in relation to Nalufenya, purportedly committed under my watch are false and without foundation. There is no person who was tortured under my instruction or with my knowledge in a police facility in Uganda. In fact, a number of Governmental and Non-Governmental institutions, in particular the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and the Uganda Human Rights Commission, visited Nalufenya from time to time. They fully interacted with the detained suspects, and received first-hand information that there were no complaints of their conditions while in detention. Indeed, in their report, the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights stated that there was no torture of suspects taking place in Nalufenya.

As a matter of fact, it is important to point out that during my watch and tenure, I institutionalized in the Uganda Police Force, the observance of Human Rights and the fight against corruption by establishing such departments as the Professional Standards Unit and the Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Services. Whenever any complaints were brought to my attention, I caused investigations of the same, and those culpable were handled through the due process of law either in civil courts or the Police Disciplinary Courts. A case in point is the Mayor who was tortured before he reached Nalufenya, and those officers were arrested, charged and prosecuted.

I find the allegations that I engaged in illegal transactions, such as the smuggling of drugs, gold and wildlife outrageous and insulting. This would be laughable if it were not such a grievous alignment of my character. Those who know me find these accusations absurd and extremely frustrating, to say the least. It is all the more scandalous since the American authorities cannot even specify the allegations and give me an opportunity to respond. The due process of law is disappearing in Washington and standards have slipped, but has it become so cavalier in its disregard for due process?

Let me also clarify on the role of the Flying Squad within the Uganda Police Force. I inherited some of these units of the force, where prior the department was called the Violent Crimes Crack Unit, then the Rapid Response Unit, and finally Flying Squad. This unit was to comprise a group of police officers who respond rapidly to criminal and violent incidents.

These officers helped in resolving cases such as preventing murders, recovering illegal firearms and more. Units like these are created to respond to the changing nature of the criminal underworld. Any indiscipline in the force would be handled without stopping the evolution of the police into a force that can carry out its constitutional mandate of preventing and detecting crime. These units simply supplement the work of the territorial police, and even the United States Police contain such units.

Criminalizing them would only help crime thrive. The Uganda Police, and myself as its former head, did everything we could to fight crime, including receiving help from the FBI, setting up units like Flying Squad, expanding the force, and equipping its directorates.

That is why during my tenure, we worked greatly to expand Fire Brigade and Traffic, a Legal Unit as aforementioned, building the K9 Unit, on Forensics, creating a Pathology Department, Community Police, and Rapid Response. I therefore reject completely the characterization of myself and the Uganda Police under me, put forward by this statement from the United States. Such a statement would be the equivalent of painting American security departments with the broad brush strokes of the controversies surrounding the Abu Ghraib prison, notorious for torture, Guantanamo Bay, and the police shootings of ethnic minorities.

By and large, the almost 40,000 police officers I left behind work as public servants for the betterment of Uganda, our sovereign country, and during my time the police were brought closer to the people. I too always acted in good faith for God and my country.

The idea that I used corruption to entrench my political position is completely nonsensical. The IGP in Uganda is appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament. There is no space for me to campaign and use corruption to keep my office. Any assertions of the sort are the result of poor research by American authorities. It is only in the United States where Police leaders are elected and can hence entrench their positions politically.

It is truly surprising that the US Government would pass judgement, make decisions and take actions on me based on deceitful propaganda, rather than facts and the truth. These allegations fit the now discredited narrative, which has been perpetrated by intriguers in Uganda since I left the Uganda Police Force. Their objective was to falsely criminalize me and accuse me of all sorts of crimes in order to malign me and destroy my public persona.

Regarding the sanctions on myself, my wife, and my children – I find them unfortunate because it is legally, morally, and factually baseless. In any case, neither I nor my family had any plans to travel to the United States, and therefore do not have any need to apply for visas to go there. There was no need to bring my family into a statement based on falsehoods and fabrications.

I find it hypocritical that the United States Government authorities could claim to uphold Human Rights yet in their letter and action, they fall below the lowest standards of the due process of law. How can they accuse, judge and condemn a person without the basic decency to respect the principles of natural justice, specifically, affording a person the opportunity and the right to be heard?

To family, friends and well-wishers in Uganda and abroad, I wish to assure you of my innocence. This is only the latest part of an ordeal we have had to endure since I left public office in March 2018. It is particularly curious that this statement has come now, at a time when the truth about my innocence in relation to the multiple allegations against me were coming to light. And at the same time, when the conspiratorial plots to criminally frame me were finally being exposed to the country and the world, most recently in the Parliament of Uganda.

Lastly, I view the false allegations and the ridiculous action as an attack on the sovereignty of Uganda, as I and the Uganda Police Force are targeted in an official capacity. To sit in Washington and make the spurious and unproven baseless allegations, and take action on them without any effort to establish any truth, against a former IGP and a National Police Force is the highest form of disrespect of a foreign country.

I remain resolute against this new wave of actions based on concoctions and lies.

Self Help Africa Raises Over £100,000 to Help Thousands Affected by Conflict in Uganda

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Self Help Africa has raised more than £100,000 to help thousands of people affected by one of Africa’s most notorious conflicts - Photo by SHA

A Northern Ireland charity has raised more than £100,000 to help thousands of people affected by one of Africa’s most notorious conflicts.

The money raised by Self Help Africa will help rebuild the lives of families and people in Northern Uganda a region ravaged by warlord Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

The amount is to also be matched by the UK government, doubling the impact of the charity’s ‘Give2Grow’ campaign.

Self Help Africa, which merged with War on Want NI last year, raised the money through an appeal at the charity’s shops around the north and other activities staged over the past three months.

Fundraising manager Denny Elliot said it would “make a real impact on the lives of local people”.

“This area of Uganda was totally ravaged by the child soldier army of Joseph Kony,” he said. “Homes were burned, crops destroyed, livestock killed, and families lived in constant fear that their own children would be abducted into the LRA. Many fled their homes into government-run camps, and some only returned a decade or more later, to find that their farms had returned to wilderness”. Follow through the campaign herein at www.selfhelpafrica.org.