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Bank of Uganda Directs Banks To Extend Loan Repayment Holidays Of Up To One Year To Borrowers Affected By Coronavirus Pandemic…

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Bank of Uganda has directed Commercial Banks, Credit Institutions, and Microfinance Deposit Taking Institutions (MDIs) to extend loan repayment holidays up to one year for borrowers affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

In a Monetary Policy statement released by the acting BoU Deputy Governor, Adam Mugume, the central bank said that these credit relief measures are going to help mitigate the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring financial sector stability, and facilitating the financial intermediation process during this pandemic period.

“The allowable credit relief measures and terms thereof include repayment holidays for a maximum of 12 months, loan tenor extensions, and any other forms of debt restructuring covered in existing regulations,” Mugume said.

The satatement further reads, “The credit relief measures contained herein, do not eliminate the debtor’s obligation to repay borrowed funds. Furthermore, these credit reliefs are to be extended to borrowers of Commercial Banks, Credit Institutions, and Microfinance Deposit Taking Institutions (MDIs) supervised and licensed by BoU.”

According to Mugume, the allowable credit relief measures and terms thereof include:-

  1. Repayment holidays for a maximum of 12 months, loan tenor extensions, and any other forms of debt restructuring covered in existing Regulations.
  2. These credit reliefs shall only be granted within the 12 month period with effect from April 01, 2020.
  3. Consumer protection remains paramount, and any credit relief(s) offered must be in the best interest of customers, and with full disclosure.
  4. The decision to offer a credit relief to a customer or decline a request for a credit relief from a customer is the responsibility of the Supervised Financial Institution (SFI).
  5. Borrowers are encouraged to request, and SFIs may offer, credit relief. In either case, the borrower must consent to any credit relief granted.
  6. The credit status at the time of granting a repayment holiday shall remain unchanged for the duration of the said repayment holiday.
  7. The prepayment of arrears as a condition for restructuring a credit facility is suspended for 12 months with effect from April 01, 2020.

“Bank of Uganda assures the public of its commitment to safeguard financial sector stability. The application of these credit relief measures shall be monitored, and BoU stands ready to issue additional measures as risks from the COVID-19 pandemic evolve,” he said.

 

By Temuseewo Mpoza

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How COVID19 Exposed Intrigue Inside Kabushenga’s Fragile Vision Group And Forced Top Journalists To Run To Other Media Houses For Safety And Into Politics…..

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The deadly CODVID19 pandemic has not only exposed the fragility of our economy but also unmasked witchcraft, intrigue and National Resistance Movement (NRM) party politics at play in the country’s leading media house, Vision Group, which has forced top experienced journalists and managers to leave the company.

All hell broke loose when the group Chief Executive Officer of the company Robert Kabushenga implemented the board’s decision to send some of the staff on forced leave because of the outbreak of COVID19 pandemic.

Among the top journalists who were affected is the famous Innocent Tegusulwa of the host of the famous ‘Toli Mwavu mutwe gwo gwe mwavu’ show and Noordin Ntege all of Bukedde 1 television.

The affected individuals were supposed to receive a payment of Shs500,000 as their monthly salary. Credible sources at vision group whispered to theGrapevine that immediately after the forced leave ended, a number of staffs reported back to their work stations and among them was Noordin Ntege and Tegusulwa thinking that the COVID19 dust had settled and they were free to resume work.

Unfortunately, they were informed that the company had added them another term of forced leave.

Tegusulwa and Ntege on behalf of the affected staff immediately petitioned Kabushenga to explain to them why their forced leave had been postponed and why they were no longer allowed to sit at their stations.

Sources at the Vision group further disclosed that Kabushenga refused to meet the petitioners and directed them to discuss their issues with Bills Tibangana, the head of Televisions at Vision group.

This website established that in the meeting, Tibangana told Tegusulwa that he should wait until the company recovers from COVID19 financial shock.

The source disclosed that Tibangana’s communication forced Tegusulwa to play his last card by declaring his political move to join Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform party.

Tibangana on the other hand informed Ntege that Vision Group top management resolved to let him come back because he was needed to host political programs due to his experience in hosting political programs but on condition that his supervisor Hannington Muluta, the head of current affairs on all vision broadcasting waves officially communicates to top management.

“From that time, the man was always in Muluta’s office pleading with him to recommend him to the top management but he kept on promising him that he was going to work it. After some time, Noordin decided to move on because by that time there were a number of televisions asking him to join them,” our source revealed.

At this point, Ntege decided to move on and join Jinja based Baba TV as the station’s manager and head of politics and current affairs.

When contacted, Ntege confirmed that he left vision group to Baba TV because of a lucrative big offer from Baba TV.

“The guys gave me a big deal they doubled my pay, I am very happy and my life is now safe,” a happy Ntege said.

In the same development, Tegusulwa also joined Pastor Jackson Senyonga’s top media as a political show host.

Many senior staffs are at crossroads not knowing what to do next since most sections have been joined as the company continues to cut costs.

Like any other big organization, sources inside the industrial area based media house also told theGrapevine that there is a lot of intrigue among staff with many fighting for their colleagues positions using all the arsenal they can think of including witchcraft.

 

By Sengooba Alirabaki

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Trouble As Kenyan Salt Smuggled Into Uganda Leaves Traders, URA Counting Loses…

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Kenya based Krystalline Salt Ltd; producers of Kay Salt, and also one of the largest salt producers in East Africa are currently under fire on allegations of smuggling salt into Uganda.

Reports indicate that the giant salt producer has minted billions of Uganda shillings from the illegal trade. Stores in Kampala are filled to capacity with non taxed Kenyan salt branded with a ‘For sale in Kenya only’ tag, a clear implication that the product is only smuggled to the country it’s not taxed.

Krystaline also manufactures and distributes Habari salt within the East African market and capitalises on using the same channels of distribution for Kay salt which is reserved for only the Kenyan market.

Krystalline Salt Limited seems to be be paying a deaf ear to the fact that tax evasion by individuals, corporations and trusts is totally prohibited, and highly punishable; it without doubt facilitates the misrepresentation of the actual economic state to the tax authorities reducing their tax liability characterised by dishonest tax reporting like declaring less income, profits or gains differing from the actual amount.

At a busy trading center like the st. Balikudembe (Owino Market) in Mengo Kisenyi, Kampala, there’s case evidence of wholesale stores with Kay Salt in bulky stocks.

The Kay salt producers have not only evaded taxes and other import duties, but also lubricated excruciating losses to legal brands on the market, dropping their sales to over a 60 percentage decrease.

It is reported that the Kenya bound salt product is smuggled into Uganda via it’s borders of Busia and Malaba.

One anonymous trader revealed the different ways salt is smuggled into the country; he said it’s mainly smuggled through narrow ‘panya’ paths by facilitated by bicycle riders who make many trips a day with small quantities. Then people with disabilities with their wheel chair bicycles make several trips a day with reasonable quantities, And then the big trucks which directly pass through the right paths after bribing their way through.

The Traders admitted that the illegal purchase of the product is cheaper at the border, where they purchase to sale in different packages.

Reports also indicate that Kay salt is not only smuggled into Uganda, but also Burundi, DR Congo and South Sudan.

By doing so, Kay salt is breaching the Uganda Revenue Authority importing requirements that include; import declaration, content particulars, suppliers invoice, documented evidence, carriage of goods, customs value declaration, compliance information, good release order, among other elements.

 

By Baron Kironde

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Doing Business In Mbale, Iganga, Tirinyi Made Easy After Road Construction Giants Dott Services Puts Final Touches On 100km Road…

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Dott Services Contracts Manager Eng. Jamesone Olonya

Road construction giants Dott services limited has revealed that they are putting final touches on the 100km Iganga-Tirinyi-Mbale road.

During a media tour of the state of the art road, Dott Services Contracts Manager Eng. Jamesone Olonya, thanked Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) for diligently playing a supervisory role during the construction process, he promised that the project is expected to be finished next month (August).

“We are happy that throughout the duration of this whole project, we have been closely supervised by our employer and we think the UNRA team is doing a very good job,” Eng. Olonya said.

Eng. Olonya said that the 100km road that cost UGX 135 billion and was fully funded by the Ugandan government will not only ease transport for people and goods, but will also reduce accidents since they have put special walkways for pedestrians in some busy trading centres.

“Completion of the road was initially set for April 2020 but it was extended by three months by UNRA after heavy rains raised the water levels on the many rivers along the highway,” Eng. Olonya said.

The road starts at Nakalama, a suburb of Iganga District, on the Jinja–Tororo Highway, approximately 44kms and proceeds in a north-easterly direction, through Namutumba, Tirinyi and Kamonkoli before ending at Mbale, a total distance of about 100 kilometers.

Locals in Iganga and Mbale told theGrapevine that they are happy that the new road is going to boost business in their areas by easing the movement of goods in the four eastern districts of Iganga, Namutumba, Tirinyi in Kibuku District, Kamonkoli in Budaka District, and Mbale.

DOTT Services Ltd is a 25 years’ old Ugandan Company, incorporated in 1994.

The construction company is ranked in Class A1 tier and also has operations spread out in countries like Zambia, South Sudan, Tanzania and India among others.


By Sengooba Alirabaki

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