Vision Group Editor, Five Others Incarcerated Over Defamation Charges

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Kumi, 10th/March/2020; The Magistrates Court in Kumi presided over by Her Worship Lamunu Peace has today, remanded Vision Group Journalist and sub-Editor James Odongo Akia attached to Etop Newspaper to Kumi Government Prison on charges of Cyber harassment, computer misuse, and defamation.

James was arrested on Thursday 5th March 2020 and briefly taken to East Kyoga Regional Police Headquarters in Soroti before being taken to Kumi Police station where he was incarcerated until today when he was brought before the Magistrates court for plea taking.

The journalist applied for bail through Counsel Menya Paul of Okurut, Okalebo, & Outeke Company Advocates contracted by Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda but the court declined to grant the bail bond since the other five co-accused were already on remand.

This comes on the heels of the arrest and detention of another journalist John Ogule a correspondent for Red Pepper Publications on Friday 14th February 2020 still on the charge of defamation. Ogule was granted bail on the 19th day of February 2020 by Soroti Magistrates Court.

The case is scheduled for 18th March 2020 when the journalist and the other five co-accused are expected to be brought back to court. The complainant in the case is Dr. Ekure John an Orthopedic surgeon based in Kumi.

Coronavirus – Uganda : Government and World Food Programme (WFP) distribute take-home food for 130,000 school children in Karamoja

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MOROTO, Uganda, July 14, 2020/ — The Government of Uganda and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are distributing take-home food rations to school children in the Karamoja sub-region in north-eastern Uganda to support home-learning while schools remain closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the country.

The take-home food distributions began on July 6 and will run through the month, covering more than 300 schools in all Karamoja’s nine districts. Nearly 130,000 children will each receive a ration of maize, dry beans and fortified vegetable oil.

“This year, Karamoja was hit by insecurity, floods, diseases and locusts and then a lockdown that coincided with the lean season and cut off school meals, which attract children to school,” said the Minister for Karamoja Affairs John Byabagambi.

Byabagambi said these compounded elements had left a vulnerable region at an even higher risk of food shortages and malnutrition, which create an unfavourable environment for home-schooling. 

School meals for children were halted in Karamoja when all schools countrywide had to close to contain the spread of COVID-19. A total lockdown that followed left many parents without jobs and coincided with livestock being quarantined because of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

Even before the closure of schools and lockdown, 84 percent of people in Karamoja were unable to access a nutritious meal regularly.

With food stocks running low, many families are forced to reduce the frequency and size of meals until the harvest season from August to December.

“However, we have some stocks of food grown within Karamoja and with these, we can provide school meals by another means and children can learn.’’ Byabagambi said.

Take-home rations, to which the Government, through the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs contributed 360 metric tons of maize, to supplement the WFP ration, will enable children to stay home and take advantage of alternative schooling guidelines introduced in May until schools can safely re-open. The government is distributing learning materials for home schooling in vulnerable regions including Karamoja, which has very low literacy levels.

“Take-home rations are working for WFP around the world in these unprecedented times enabling us to maintain the gains we have made through decades of school feeding, including keeping girls consistently enrolled in school,” said WFP Uganda Country Director El-Khidir Daloum.

“Because of take-home rations, we believe parents will see the direct impact of food on learning and therefore will be encouraged to send their children back to school once they re-open.”

WFP has provided school meals in Karamoja since the 1980s at the request of the Government in a bid to encourage children to enrol in and finish school. WFP normally provides at least one meal a day for all school children in Karamoja. The governments of Ireland and Germany currently fund school meals.

Since 2014, the Uganda Government has been contributing cereals to school feeding with support from WFP in line with its Karamoja feeds Karamoja Project.

Kanyamunyu Trial Adjourned Indefinitely but is Mato-Oput the Way Out?

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Kanyamunyu goes traditional accepts Mato-Oput traditional means of healing to unwind Kenneth Akena’s shooting nightmare in a special exclusive event at Ker Kal Kwaro.

The trial of murder key suspect Mathew Kanyamunyu and his girlfriend Cynthia Munwangari has been adjourned indefinitely after presiding judge Stephen Mubiru returned back to his duty station as Gulu resident judge.

Kanyamunyu and Munwangari are accused of shooting dead child rights activist, Kenneth Akena in 2016 after he reportedly scratched Kanyamunyu’s vehicle around Lugogo in Nakawa Division. 

After hearing of the 13th prosecution witness, the trial of the suspects which was part of a special criminal court session presided over by justice Mubiru was this afternoon adjourned indefinitely after the session came to an end. Mubiru, now returns to Gulu to handle cases within his jurisdiction. 

As a result, the trial will now be pushed to another convenient session whose dates are not yet fixed, a development which might require that the trial starts afresh. John Paul Akena, one of the brothers to the deceased said that the adjournment spells doom because to them, it tantamount to the denial of justice. He, however, hastens to add that the family will continue waiting with hope for justice.   

Before the adjournment, the state prosecutors led by Jonathan Muwaganya presented their 13th witness; detective assistant inspector of police Steven Walimbwa who was the investigating officer in the alleged murder. 

He said that on November 12, 2016, he got instructions from his boss, detective assistant superintendent of police Godwin Agaba, the head of the Criminal Investigations Department at Jinja Road police station requiring him to go to Norvik hospital and take Akena’s body to the City Mortuary for postmortem. 

Walimbwa said the examination was done by two doctors and he witnessed a projectile being removed from Akena’s rectum and seven mops. He told the court that while there, detective Seargent Haruna Mugisha took pictures of the events in the presence of the deceased’s brother. 

He added that later, he went to Wandegeya police station where fellow detectives handed to him some exhibits including Kanyamunyu and Akena’s cars, two mobile phones, a bunch of keys, a knife, a right-handed shoe, black dress and navy blue trouser with its coat.

The court further heard that Walimbwa got an order from the directorate of public prosecution to release the car to Kanyamunyu which was done in May 2018.  Walimbwa narrated that he wrote to the commissioner in charge of private firearms in the ministry of Internal Affairs seeking to find out whether Kanyamunyu could have ever acquired a license to possess a firearm.  

But the commissioner in charge of firearms reportedly wrote back saying that they didn’t have any record indicating that Kanyamunyu has ever applied for a gun or been licensed to have one.

I Will NOT Quit Until I liberate Uganda – Besigye

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FDC presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye
FDC Presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye, not dreaming of stepping down soon wait for him in 2021

The four-time presidential candidate from Ugandan biggest opposition camp Forum for Democratic Change, Dr Kiiza Besigye has told off Ugandans who have been telling him to hit the exit of politics to calm down because he still has a mission to accomplish.

‘I am not ready to quit until I liberates this country from the hand of the dictator referring to president Museveni”

This pronunciation is believed to have been sparked by the pressure levied on him by pressure from supporters of Kyandodo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine who have been everywhere on social media telling he “Besigye” not to contest in the 2021 poll.

Speaking last evening during FDC’s 15 years’ anniversary celebrations at Namboole, Besigye said that he is not fighting for any Ugandan but rather for himself to be free.

He says that his major struggle now is to liberate institutions in the country which he alleges are working for the government, rather than working for Ugandans.

He cited the recent high court ruling in which he was asked to seek for justice from his own courts since he swore himself in as a president. He has also accused government of causing divisions in the opposition.

Bull Dozer Fight: We Will Simply Defeat You – Muhoozi Warns Bobi Wine

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Muhoozi-Bobi

“I told you my young brother, that you can NEVER intimidate us. We are much stronger than you can ever imagine to be. If you want to fight we will simply defeat you. We want peace! But if you attempt to fight us then Bring it on,” Gen Muhoozi tweeted on Tuesday.

His warning was directed towards presidential hopeful Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine urging him not to attempt or even think about fighting President Yoweri Museveni and the regime at large because they will put him to his rightful place.

Muhoozi who also doubles as a Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations said the National Unity Platform (NUP) leader should know that they are stronger than what he thinks.

The warning comes shortly after Bobi Wine’s earlier assertion that he was going to end President Yoweri Museveni’s dictatorship rule by hook or crook.

“What we have observed today is a new beginning which is going to see the end of dictatorship that has crippled our country. I want to tell Mr. Museveni that since you have failed to control your greed for power, our generation is here to save you from yourself,” Bobi Wine said on Tuesday after being nominated to run for President.

“I come before you as the most committed person to lead this liberation. Fellow Ugandans, I present myself as a servant, not a boss. We are going to run a people-centered government,” he added.

Kizza Besigye, Listed Most Arrested Man in the World – Guinness Book of Records

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Besigye Meets Baguma

Former President Forum for Democratic Change party, Kizza Besigye, has been recognized by the Guinness World Book of Records as the most arrested man in the world.

Besigye was marked in the world book of records on Monday, 20th January 2020 when he was arrested for the 50th time and locked behind bars at Nalufenya Police Station. The arrest foiled his mission to address party loyalists who had camped at Bugembe Stadium in jinja.

Besigye got into running battles with police officers from Jinja Police Station, Bugembe Police Station and Kakira Police Stations before soldiers from Gadaffi Army Barracks were deployed to take charge.

Police fired teargas at Dr Besigye supporters after a public address system he was supposed to use inside the stadium, was allegedly dismantled by police.

Besigye’s arrest has now cemented his legacy in the world book of records for having the highest number of arrests in the world. 30% of his arrests alone came in 2016 when he got arrested more than 15 times during Uganda’s general elections.

Norway gives NOK 25 million (approximately $2.7million) to support UNDP in the Strengthening of Electoral Processes in Uganda

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The Norwegian Government has committed NOK 25 million (approximately USD 2.7 million/UGX 10 billion) to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s election support project “Strengthening Electoral Processes in Uganda” (SEPU). UNDP is working with UN Women, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in implementing SEPU.

As a response to the Electoral Commission’s invitation to the United Nations (UN) to support the 2020/2021 elections in Uganda, the UN deployed an electoral needs assessment mission in March 2019.

The mission recommended UNDP to develop an integrated electoral assistance project to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Electoral Commission and other institutions with an electoral support mandate, such as the Police, Judiciary, media, civil society and political parties. Voter education, stakeholder engagement, peace building and promotion of electoral participation for women, youth and people with disabilities are also important components.   

 “Through the Norwegian support to the UNDP Project “Strengthening Electoral Processes in Uganda”, our aim is to assist and support Ugandan institutions, the civil society and political parties in ensuring fair, open and peaceful elections in 2021.

Joining forces with the UNDP and building on its experience in electoral support, is particularly important today given the additions challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic”, says the Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda, Elin Østebø Johansen.

On her part, UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Elsie Attafuah, highly commended the Norwegian government for the invaluable support and the exceptional leadership of H.E. Elin Østebø Johansen in promoting democratic governance processes and mobilising donor support for the project during this crucial period in the history of the country.

She noted that, the Uganda elections support project is part of UNDP’s global mandate to strengthen democracy and governance processes in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular SDG16 on promoting peace, justice and institutional capacity strengthening.

Ms. Attafuah further said UNDP’s electoral support is informed by the understanding that elections are critical building blocks for consolidating democracy, nurturing peace, stability and sustainable development.

“This project will seek to build the capacity of key electoral institutions, enhance electoral transparency and promote dialogue to build public and stakeholder confidence in the electoral process”, she pointed out.

The total budget of SEPU is USD 10.5 million (approximately UGX 39 billion). It will be implemented over a period of two years, spread between 2020 – 2022. Other donors to the SEPU project are Austria, Denmark, Sweden and UNDP, who have collectively pledged an amount of USD 7 million to the project.

Uganda is expected to hold its 4th general election between 10th January and 8th February 2021.

#GuluSpeaks Inaugural Dialogue on Child Prostitution Blossom. Action Next.

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Did you know that about 70% of the alleged child prostitutes and women in prostitution in Gulu district are non residents or born of the area? Did you know that even married women have special clients that tap on them to come have a service and resert home to serve their men at home? Hahahaha, its not poverty nor war memories.

Stop the blame game child prostitution in Gulu is a problem of mindset one leader echoes. Rehabilitation, education and lifelong support thought after. Thought after leaders out rightly say, Child prostitution and prostitution in totality is illegal and criminal especially when kids are involved. its defilement.

Well better and upto date story coming up shortly……

Photos Credit: #GuluSpeaks Media Team

We were part of the inaugural #GuluSpeaks Community dialogue held at Taks Centre on 14.03.2020
I am a father to a girl and keep on wondering how my daughter will grow up one day when I am no longer around her. Every child deserves a decent life – Ojok, the Coordinator #GuluSpeaks relents on Parenting.
My personal encounter raising a child with lived experience changed my mindset on issues of child prostitution – Counsel Tonny Kitar, mega lawyer.
Speak up, #GuluSpeaks with Comedian/Musician Okeng Born Town of Ejang fame
Vice chancellor Gulu Gniversity Professor Openjur Lader, Chairperson National Youth Council Hon Aber Lilian who also doubles as Senior presidential Advisor on Youth Affairs caution singer mothers and fathers over decent parenthood.
Gender base and sexual Rights Activist have a word to nod over #GuluSpeaks
Larsen Jasper, You speak we listen and act #GuluSpeaks
Hon. Alex Okoya’s insight on child prostitution is real. With the vice widely practices in the confines of his area, Okaoya has a different take on action point to address the issues of Child prostitution. #GULUspeaks
Alobo Monica, Director St. Thereza School #SpeaksOut
whereas you are too much focused on the girl children, young boys are equally being abused by older women- Obol Justine Simple Man
Listening to voices of change
An ordinance can be passed to help curb the vice but if the implementation is going to stagger like the some many by laws passed in the district then is as useless as not trying to even invest in it. Politicians reaping from the business or hand a hand in this should be warned we are yet to name and shame them……….

Ambassador Malac, Lazy Acholi Youth And Pitfalls Of Negative Peace – Norbert Mao

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The US ambassador to Uganda, Ms Deborah Malac. FILE PHOTO
The US ambassador to Uganda, Ms Deborah Malac. FILE PHOTO

Guest I Nobert Mao I On October 23, the US Ambassador to Uganda, Ms Deborah Malac, reportedly warned youth in northern Uganda against laziness and dependency if they want to progress economically. She’s supposed to have made this statement in Gulu at a youth training on agriculture organised by Feed the Future Uganda. The theme of the training was ‘Breaking the Mold, Unlocking your Potential’.

According to the press, the envoy was disgusted by the slothfulness of the youth who have failed to exploit economic opportunities available to them for overcoming poverty.

“It will not happen if you just sit there and wait for it to happen, if you sit and wait for government to do something for us, which will never happen because it is all about personal commitment, energy and maximally using the available opportunities to spur development,” the ambassador said.

“There should be critical steps everybody needs to take, you need to set goals and understand what it looks like when you reach that goal. Young people need to build support teams in order to achieve goals and follow the plans they have in place.” She was shocked that despite the abundance of land and rainfall the youth continue majoring in lamentations and excuses. She urged the youth to embrace farming as a business.

Since she made that statement, social media has been awash with opinions debating the cause, genesis and consequences of the laissez affaire attitude of youth towards farming. The meeting of more than 200 youth was intended to inspire them to take greater interest in farming. Of course, the elephant in the room is the government’s refusal to adequately fund agriculture. Most of the National Budget goes to security and infrastructure. The focus is on tear gassing youth instead of empowering them with productive skills and capital to enable them play a meaningful role in the economy.

One of the experts, Mr Markfat Odong, attributed the laziness and inability to seize available opportunities to poor attitude and mindset. As if to buttress the same point, Mr Jackson Omona, the chairperson of Kitgum District, said: “Communities now adore poverty and have given up in their own efforts to get out of it because they still believe in handouts.”

Point taken. But is it as simple as that? Let’s interrogate the indictment of the youth by going beyond the usual rhetoric. Let’s ask one simple question. Has “peace” returned to northern Uganda, or for that matter Acholiland?

To put it another way: Is the war over? An honest answer would, therefore, be that the guns are silent but the war is not over. In short, what we have is negative peace. You can even call it a tentative peace.

Uche M Jaffar Her observation is very true most youths in Northern Uganda are lazy they prefer betting, music and handouts 4rom politicians and yet we have vast lands that have been entirely left only for the women to work on. I have never seen a serious farm owned by a youth in the north but go to the clubs and betting centers 24/7 you can really see the influx of our youths. You can’t blame the government and the war coz during the post era we received very many NGO’s that empowered and are still empowering us with a varieties of life skills but the fact is we the youths of North are lazzy.

Otim Dennis Good observations indeed but let’s not for get the market aspect, Imagine buying soya seeds a kg @ 3,000/ & you toil for 4 months only to be shocked by a 1,300/ market price. The next year you change your strategy to may be sunflower seeds going for 50,000/ a kg & meeting challenges of birds among others & still the market price is below 1,000/,Really??????

Take Risk to Realize Success in Your Business – Kyambadde.

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Amelia in Amuru
Minister of trade, industry and cooperative, Amelia Kyambadde and the main investor of the Atiak Sugar Project, Amina Hersi Moghe in a guided tour of the sugar factory expected to start production next year in April. PHOTOS BY ISMAIL LADU

Amuru I Daily Monitor I The Minister of Trade, Industries and Cooperatives, Ms Amelia Kyambadde, has advised women in Acholi Sub-region to take risk if they are to succeed in their business ventures.

Speaking on Thursday during the inauguration of Atiak Sugar Planting Outgrowers’ Cooperative Ltd in Atiak Sub-county, Amuru District, Ms Kyambadde said many women in the region shy away from venturing into business opportunities that would turn profitable and change their lives because they fear losing money.

“Be ready to take risks, if you don’t take risks, you will not be anywhere, take that risk to start a business and succeed,” she said adding that most of the successful people around the world took risks.

Ms Kyambadde cited Amina Moghe Hersi, who is establishing Atiak Sugar Factory in Amuru saying she took a risk to start her investment.

She lauded the out growers for venturing into sugarcane growing since the sugar industry is one of the key industries in East Africa citing that in Uganda, sugar production has increased by 10 per cent from 240,000 metric tons in 2008 to now 430,000 metric tons currently.

Ms Kyambadde promised to help women outgrowers dealing in the production of honey, Shea butter oil, ground nut butter and crafts with fast tracking certification of their products.

Ms Joyce Santa Laker, the chairperson Atiak Sugar Planting Out Growers’ Cooperative Ltd, said four districts are now directly implementing sugarcane growing citing Adjumani, Lamwo, Gulu and Amuru.

She noted that their ultimate goal is to change the mind-set of the community and engage them in productivity.
Ms Amina Moghe Hersi, the owner of Atiak Sugar Factory, told women that the region will now be the food basket of Africa since they will produce all food crops.

Cooperative membership:  The Atiak Sugar Planting Outgrowers’ Cooperative Ltd comprises 4,070 members, majority of whom are women from Acholi Sub-region and Adjumani District, who were former abductees, sex workers, persons with disability, HIV/Aids persons and those from nodding syndrome families.