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    Chato School Worth More Than Money: How The Spirit Of East Africa Lives On…

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    President Yoweri Museveni this week returned from a successful state visit to the Republic of Tanzania on the invitation of President Samia Hassan Suluhu. While there, the two leaders concluded a wide range of bilateral matters.

    Among them were discussions on Oil and Gas-the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). EACOP is a flagship project that will transport oil and gas from the libertine region to the port of Tanga from where it will be exported to the world. No need to report that successful implementation of the project brings innumerable opportunities for East Africans, directly and indirectly.

    The project is now at takeoff as declared by the president at a press conference in Dar-es-salaam where an Oil and Gas symposium was held. While there, President Museveni used the opportunity to remind Tanzanians of the need to integrate as East Africans, carrying along a copy of an old newspaper from the 1960s covering the subject of Federation which leaders of the time were promoting-before the vision was lost needlessly. Museveni handed the copy to President Suluhu, symbolically to remind us all that we had overdue work to do to see the Federation come to reality.

    At the last leg of his visit, Museveni headed to Nyabirezi Village, Chato district in Geita region (in the Northwest) where he commissioned the multibillion Museveni Pre and Primary School. During the inauguration ceremony of the school, Museveni explained very clearly that he was neither requested nor commanded to build a school in Tanzania but that it was a suggestion that was brought forward by two fallen heads of state-John Pombe Magufuli and Benjamin Mkapa. The two leaders must have been inspired to think alike both for obvious and not so obvious reasons.
    Museveni revealed that he was at first invited by Mkapa to build a school in remembrance of the war against Amin war which was, eventually, constructed at Ndutwe (Primary School). Another school built around Kagera River named Nyamiyaga Primary School.

    He noted that building the schools was not because Tanzania never had money, but it was due to brotherhood and remembrance. Neither does Uganda have too much money, but considering the service rendered by Tanzania to Uganda’s liberation and the value of the cordial relations that exist between the two coutries, a few billion shillings is peanuts. Not only the school at Nyabirezi, but the value of all the three “monumental” schools is worth more than money can buy.

    Had Amin not been forced out of power, Uganda would be a heap of ruins. Remember that in just eight years of his rule, everything in Uganda collapsed. Had he stayed on, the great achievements across sectors would never have been realised, more so education. Uganda has sufficient educational infrastructure to give any child adequate instruction right from pre-primary all the way to post-graduate level. To say that because a school has been built in Chato translates to neglecting Ugandan schools is inconceivable.

    Moreover, as noted earlier, the idea to construct the school (s) and execution of works was before the advent of Covid-19. There is, entirely, no correlation between the closure of schools in Uganda due to the pandemic and the opening of schools in Chato. It was coincidental for the school being opened at this time. The president used his state visit to kill many birds with one stone-he also paid his last respects to H.E Magufuli at his gravesite within Chato.
    The words of President Suluhu to Museveni while receiving the school are indicative of the significance of the offer and gratitude of Tanzanians.
    “You have invested over US$1.6 million, Chato loves you so much. What you have done for the people of Chato can only be related to a saying which goes: ‘Give a fish to someone and they will be healed of hunger for the night but teach them how to fish and they will forever be healed for their lives,’” Suluhu said.
    The school at Chato represents the “what next?” for East Africans-a lasting bond, looking past the colonial borders that separate us. Ugandans and Tanzanians are richer as siblings by such gestures.

    A Tanzanian is most welcome to study, work and live in Uganda and vice versa. Ugandans can study at the school in Chato like we have many Tanzanians taking education in Uganda-and even other services.

    Late president Mkapa had his university education here at Makerere University while Museveni did his university education at Dar-es-salaam University.
    For both of these great alumni who went on to lead their respective countries, it was an act of the “gods” that led them to seek tertiary education in a sister country, so as to heighten their understanding of the commonality of East Africans and infuse them with passion to bring these peoples closer together in a form that works to correct the balkanisation of our lands by colonisers.

    For those opposed to the building of the Chato school, even though that changes nothing, did they prefer that such a project be undertaken by “donors” from outside Africa? Africans should not always expect donations from the outside world but should instead organise among themselves to establish mutually beneficial projects.

    Tanzania is lucky because it has never suffered from internal problems like the ones Uganda experienced. Her leaders never had to camp in Uganda either as refugees or ambitious liberators but they have all had cordial relations with Uganda. Tanzania has always refused to ignore us, since she has a coastline and a landmass nearly six times ours, but they have always chosen “brotherhood” with us. We could also choose to pretend about our past and the demands of the future, but to what end?

    Now, therefore, the task before us is to use any opportunity available to advance the shared interests of the people. Resources permitting, more schools and pipelines, hospitals, roads and other such initiatives of benefit should be undertaken in both countries.
    Uganda and Tanzania have historically enjoyed warm relations except during Amin’s time.

    With that history of good neighbourliness, why should we separate now and in whose interest? Who is hurt when a school is constructed in any part of East Africa by East Africans? These are enemies of Africa ever looking for ways to sow bad blood but they will go down alone.

    The spirit of East Africa lives on!

     

    By Faruk Kirunda
    The author is the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary
    Contact: faruk.kirunda@statehouse.go.ug
    0776980486/0702980486

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    CRIME

    Katanga Residents, Leaders Plead For Protection After Makerere University Threatens To Evict Them…

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    Bagonza the chairperson Busia zone

    Residents and leaders on the disputed land in Katanga suburb, Kawempe Division have appealed to authorities to protect them from threats of eviction by Makerere University.

    Led by the local leaders of Busia and Kimwanyi Local Council areas in Wandegeya Parish, the residents said that they are legally occupying their binanja after the High Court declared them bonafide occupants on the contested land.

    In 2015, High Court Judge Owiny Dollo, now the Chief Justice ruled that the Katanga Valley land was occupied by four family members and based on their licenses, they are now bonafide occupants whose rights are well protected under the laws governing ownership of land.

    In his ruling, Justice Dollo noted that the four families are Jonathan Yosamu Masembe, Bulasio Buyisi, George Kalimu and Samalie Nambogga.

    They were battling with Makerere University and the Commissioner for Land registration over the cancellation of their Land titles and ownership of the land by Makerere University.

    Makerere University disagreed with Dollo’s judgment and appealed the ruling in the Court of Appeal. The appeal is pending hearing and determination.

    It is alleged that Makerere University has on several occasions run to various offices asking for help and permission to destroy buildings and evict more than 50,000 residents including bibanja holders without following the due process of the law.

    In a joint statement, leaders led by the chairman of Busia Zone, Abdu Ssekajja, asked the authorities to restrain Makerere University authorities to desist from misleading the public about their stay on Katanga land.

    “We have read reports and statements calling us land grabbers but I want to put the record clear that we are binanja holders and the court ruled that we are occupying this land legally,” Ssekajja said.

    He further appealed to Makerere University authorities to prosecute their appeal rather than resorting to illegal means.

    According to Ssekajja, before making his ruling, justice Dollo visited the land and interacted with all parties before making his decision which remains in force until a higher court rules otherwise.

    He told reporters at their Local Council Offices in Katanga that all Makerere University has to do is to follow the legal procedure in order to resolve the dispute.

    His remarks follow an outcry in the media by Makerere University authorities who appealed to the government to come to their rescue and save their 10-acres of land in Katanga.

    In October last year, the High Court had to stop security agencies from arresting Katanga land occupants led by Pastor Daniel Walugembe in regards to the same dispute.

    Kampala City lord Mayor Erias Lukwago also asked Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) technical wing to halt the impending evictions in Katanga near Wandegeya to stave off what he described as undesired consequences.

    In a September 2nd, 2021 letter to the KCCA Executive Director, Mr. Lukwago warned that it will be a glaring breach of law for the physical planning directorate and the building control board to issue demolition orders and approve plans submitted by Makerere University before the Court of Appeal pronounces itself on the matter.

    “I am utterly shocked at the way KCCA management team gets embroiled in matters involving flouting of court orders” Lukwago noted.

    Lukwago said that matters concerning Katanga Valley land have been a subject of protracted legal battles stretching from 1993 to date.

    On September 15, Internal Affairs Minister, Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire, directed the Inspector General of Police to guide members of the force to refrain from interfering with court orders not only in Katanga land matters but also in matters of similar nature.

    “Where a party is aggrieved, he or she should not use the Police force and the police force should not allow it to be used to defy a court order. The only course of action such a party should take should be to move to court to make a ruling on the matter,” Gen Otafiire wrote.

     

    By Hope Kalamira

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    CRIME

    Drama In Makerere Medical Student Murder Trial, State Asks Judge To Throw Lawyers Alaka, Ochieng Out…

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    There was drama today at Mukono court during the hearing of a case in which Mathew Kirabo is on trial for the murder 19-year-old Makerere medical student Desire Mirembe.

    It all started when state prosecutor Ainebyona Happiness complained to the trial judge His Lordship Henry Kaweesa Isabirye about the new advocates who joined the defense team.

    Happiness expressed her dissatisfaction at the presence of counsel Caleb Alaka and counsel Evans Ochieng who joined Counsel Charles Dalton Opunya and counsel Ali Hassan Kato as defense lawyers.

    Happiness read to court the law which defines the act that was being done by the defense lawyers and asked the judge to guide her on that matter.

    “The Advocates conduct regulations 2 of the advocates Si267-2 indicates that no advocate shall represent any person without receiving instructions from that person,” she stated.

    This was however challenged by defense lawyer Dalton Opunya who claimed that regulation 2 of the advocates professional conduct Si267-2 allows the authorised agent of the accused person to allow other lawyers to participate.

    “My Lord, we were instructed to handle this matter. We agreed that I get other lawyers to assist us. I believe unless guided otherwise that I am authorised to add in lawyers with regulation Si267-2. We pray that the court continues with the current setup of four lawyers of the accused,” Counsel Opunya said.

    When the judge made a ruling on that matter, he said that the two counsels joined not as fully instructed counsels but as assistants.

    “I therefore instruct for purposes of this case and in the interest of proceeding forward that the two lawyers only play a peripheral role of assisting both counsels Opunya and Kato,” Judge Henry Isabirye ruled.

    The two counsels consented to the ruling.

    When the case proceeded, the judge asked the defense counsels to put their submissions in writing. They asked for more time.

    The judge later granted them more time to put their submissions in writing and also serve the State. He also gave State the whole day tomorrow upto 4:00PM to serve the defence counsels.

    The judge adjourned the matter to 28th, January, 2022 for a ruling of whether or not the suspect, Kirabo, has a murder case to answer or not.

     

    By Hope Kalamira

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    Bobi Wine Blames Government For Failing To Help Fallen Local Investor Sembule…

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    National Unity Platform (NUP) president Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine has blamed government for failing to help local businessman Christopher Sembuya when his business empire was collapsing.

    Kyagulanyi, who was one of the many politicians who witnessed Sembuya’s burial at Kikwayi village, Buikwe district begun with giving a brief background about Sembuya who passed away last week.

    Works and Transport minister Gen. Katumba Wamala laying wreath on Sembuya’s casket

    Sembuya understood the dynamic of doing business in Uganda and championed indigenous banking, industrialisation and broadcasting in Uganda.

    Sembuya started Sembule Investment Bank (now Bank of Africa), Pan World Insurance which turned into Lion Assurance and Cable International Television which then turned into WBS Television.

    Some of Sembuya’s family members paying tribute to the fallen investor

    The deceased also co-founded Sembule Group of Companies in 1971 and was proprietor of Sembule Steel Mills which was the first Ugandan founded company to manufacture steel products such as wire mesh and nails.

    According to Kyagulanyi, by 2000, Sembuule was a leading brand name in Industrialization across East Africa.

    Some of the prominent politicians who attended Sembuya’s burial

    Kyagulanyi also noted that when Sembule’s businesses ran into a financial trouble beginning around the 1990s and were eventually put under receivership, government still did not help.

    “It is a pity that until his death 2022, Mzee Ssembuya was still seeking government help of about Shs.18billion to revive his business empire,” the NUP president said.

     

    By Hope Kalamira

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