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MPs Ban Immigration Officers From Sleeping In Lodges

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MPs on the Internal and Defence Committee want immigration officers posted around borders across the country to stop using lodges, arguing that the nocturnal activities in the lodges is affecting service delivery.

The details are contained in the report by the Parliament Committee of Defence and Internal Affairs on the Ministerial policy statement and budget estimates 2018/2019 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The Committee highlighted the appalling accommodation facilities of the immigration officers deployed at Uganda Borders who were found without decent accommodation.

The Committee expressed concern over the fact that whereas the National Citizenship and Immigration Control Directorate has increased its annual Non-Tax Revenue collections to Shs 160 billion, its staff are accommodated in pathetic conditions.

“Staff are accommodated in lodges that are very expensive and the nocturnal activities of other occupants therein make lodges unsuitable for staff residence,” as highlighted in the report.

Following the findings, the Committee wants the Directorate of Immigration and Citizens Control to design a project for the construction of accommodation for all Immigration staff at all gazetted borders, with specific caution given to Government to allocate funds from the Non-Tax Revenue generated by the institution annually till completion of the project.

Non-Tax Revenue performance for the half year overshot target by l7% with notable performance recorded in work permit fees, visa fees (with implementation of e-payment system), as well as passport fees.

Of the projected Shs 80 billion that was meant to be collected in the Half Year, Shs 93.45 billion total revenue was generated from issuance of immigration facilities.

The MPs were also angered by Government’s reluctance to fund the implementation of the transition from paper passport to the Electronic Passport, as had been agreed by the East African Community members.

It should be recalled that the Heads of EAC Partner States launched the New Electronic passports during Ordinary the 17th ordinary summit meeting and directed Partner States to commence the issuance of e-passports by January 2017, and one year down the road, the project hasn’t kicked off.

The Committee wants Government to speed up the process arguing that the implementation of e-passport will save government annual expenditure on purchase of empty passport booklets and associated wear and tear of printing machines deployed internally and externally.

According to the Directorate, the Initial activities for the establishment of the E-passport infrastructure requires Shs28 billion while full implementation requires USD 100 million, but despite the adoption of the decision one year back, the implementation of E-Passport has remained unfunded in FY2018/2019.

During the meeting, Parliament was told that Government is considering negotiating a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement as an alternative to outright financing, however this has taken a long time yet the legal framework on PPP is in place.

Now, the Committee wants the Ministry of Finance to provide Shs 28 billion as start-up funds to kick-start activities leading to the issuance of E-Passports in FY2018/2019, with the other option for Government to fast-track the option of a PPP arrangement to ensure adequate funding to implement the resolution of the EAC Heads of State.

In the 2018/2019 budget, the Directorate’s funding is projected to increase by Shs 16.94 Bn from approved Shs 43.8 billion to the proposed Shs 60.815 billion, although the budget for arrears is expected to remain constant at Shs 1.046 billion with a significant increase of Shs 14.l32 billion and Shs 7.88 billion recorded under the Development Budget and AiA respectively.

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Why Should The President Move With A Toilet Worth Billions And 30 Cars While People Are Dying In Hospitals – MP Tinkasimire Asks

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President Museveni infront of his moving toilet. Inset is MP Tinkasimire

Buyaga county member of parliament Barnabas Tinkasimire has warned the president and the government of Uganda to stop wasting money on unbudgeted business.

Tinkasimire said this while officiating at the 1st health financing conference in Kampala aimed at tackling sexual reproductive health problems and financing gaps for adolescents in Uganda.

Tinkasimire gave an example of the twenty nine million shillings which was given to each member of parliament to carry out consultations on whether Article 102(b) should be amended yet it is their work. Tinkasimire advised that this money would have been put in the health sector to save mothers and young girls who are dying in villages without drugs and basic health resources.

Tinkasimire also cited Ministers who drive luxury vehicles with lead cars, escorts and body guards who are paid by government, as another way in which public funds are wasted.

“We are looking for money to put in the health sector, there are things we can cut off to save a life, the convoy of the president is too much, how can one Person move with more than 30 cars with each car is using a lot of fuel while other people are starving and dying in hospitals without drugs? Putting that aside, the president moves with a toilet worth more than a billion shillings, these are the critical wastages we should cut off to save lives by put this money in the health sector,” Tinkasimire said.

Tinkasimire assured Ugandans that he will not support the increase of salary for the members of parliament if brought at the floor of parliament because MPs are the most well paid people in this country and they do a lot  of side businesses, “so the money they are proposing as increment should be put in the health sector.”

 

By Mboowa Nathan

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Put Sanitary Pads In Toilets And Public Places Like You Do Condoms – Minister, MP Advise

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Minister Muyingo talking to the press

As Uganda joins the rest of the world to commemorate the menstrual hygiene day on 28th May 2018, the woman MP for Otuke district, Akello Sylvia, has advised government and Civil Society Organisations to consider putting Sanitary towels in public places like hospitals and bars as it’s done with condoms which are almost found everywhere and are always for free.

Akello signaled that this will help girls and women access sanitary pads because sometimes, some of them don’t get any signs when they are going into their Ps which leaves them embarrassed once the signs finally show.

“You can’t be a happy man in a happy marriage if you have a girl or women who doesn’t menstruate, men, you shouldn’t shy away from talking about menstruation and you should take this too as your responsibility,” Akello said.

Akello said this while officiating at the opening of the National Symposium on menstrual hygiene management in Uganda at hotel Africana in Kampala where the state minister of education Hon. John Chryzestom Muyingo was the guest of honour.

In his speech, Muyingo emphasized that men should break the silence and talk to their female children about this issue.

Muyingo said that Menstruation is one of the issues that affects the performance of girl children in schools and this determines their stay in schools.

“Many times, when we release national examinations, we are asked why the performance for girls is poor, we don’t get a good answer to this question but this problem (Mestruation) is top. We need to break the silence, these girls need assistance and guidance,” Muyingo explained.

Muyingo, who owns a number of schools cautioned that girls miss two to four days of school because of menstruation which affects their performance.

He called upon parents and guardians to continue helping these young ladies access and have pads so that they don’t miss school as the government of Uganda works out a strategy on how to further help them have sanitary towels in schools for free as promised by the president.

 

By Mboowa Nathan

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Museveni Meets UK Defence Forces Students: Talks To Them About Patriotism And Pan-Africanism

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President Museveni yesterday met students from the UK Dfence Academy at State House in Entebbe. Museveni who preached Patriotism and Pan-Africanism to these students wrote on his social media page, “Addressed students from the UK Defence Academy–Joint Services Command and Staff College, who are undertaking the Advanced Command and Staff Course.

I welcome these students, led by Colonel Martin Mackey, to Uganda. Our discussion centred on why Africa has lagged behind in development despite having a huge deposit of natural resources.

From my understanding and having been involved in issues concerning Africa, I have identified 10 strategic bottlenecks that have caused this lag. For our engagement, I focused on two main ones.

First is the issue of emphasising identity at the expense of interests. Europe at some stage had this problem, for instance the conflicts between catholics and protestants. But they were overcome.

Africa has had a number of bankrupt leaders who promote this kind of ideology and thus sustain this conflict. Identity is good, we should know who we are. But we must ask what our interests are.

Our interest should be prosperity through production of goods and services, which is more important and should override identity. To counter sectarianism, the NRM government promotes patriotism and Pan-Africanism.

The other bottleneck is the small fragmented markets which cannot sustain and stimulate mass production, creating a problem for the producers and service providers. Africa cannot, therefore, favourably compete with other continents.

However, we are gradually addressing these bottlenecks and in Uganda’s case, we shall in the next couple of years move into the middle income bracket.”

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