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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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    NUP’s Bobi Wine And PFT’s Besigye To Observe Elections In Kenya…

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    L-R: NUP SG Rubongoya, Bobi Wine and Besigye in Kenya

    National Unity Platform (NUP) president Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine and People’s Front for Transition (PFT) boss Dr. Kizza Besigye have been chosen among the 36 election observers ahead of Kenya’s elections.

    Former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe is leading the Brenthurst Foundation’s upcoming election observer mission for the Kenyan national elections which are due to take place on 9th, August.

    Among the delegates selected from Uganda is Dr.Kizza Besigye, Robert Kyagulanyi, NUP General Secretary, Lewis Rubongoya and Ms. Elone Natumanya.

    Hailemariam noted that, “The 36 persons delegation, accredited by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) which includes political leaders and policy makers from around Africa, will be in Kenya from 5th-11th August and will be stationed in groups in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Uasin Gishu.”

    He added, “Democratic processes, participatory governance, peace and security on the African continent have come a long way in recent years but have also suffered a number of setbacks.”

    “Our hope is that in Kenya, we see the best democratic processes in action which are consistent with the objectives of Agenda 2036, the Africa we want, which speaks to “an Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law,” he maintained.

    The Brenthrust Foundation’s director, Dr.Greg Mills also contended that the Brenthrust foundation is committed to strengthening economic growth in Africa, in part through identifying and sharing best practice, given the continental correlation between democratic conditions and long-term development performance.

    “We look forward to playing our part in ensuring that kenya’s election election proceeds smoothly, fairly and free from upset.”

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    Government To Rehabilitate And Revamp Railway Networks To Curb High Prices Of Fuel…

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    Government is set to revamp the railway networks across the country to help curb transportation challenges arising from increasing fuel prices.

    The state minister for works and transport, Fred Byamukama confirmed the report following the president’s speech on Friday regarding high fuel prices.

    During the president’s address, he noted Uganda’s real problem currently is fuel and the answer to it is electrical vehicles and the railway.

    Confirming the report, Byamukama said that the government is revamping different railways across the country with a purpose of reducing heavy traffic jam and transport fares.

    “From Kampala to Malaba which is 243km is the only line we have functioning at the moment,” he said.

    Byamukama re-echoed that Museveni reminded the country and gave a directive that he had earlier through the ministry of works and transport embarked on revamping the railway transport in Uganda.

    Byamukama analysed that the one from Malaba to Mukono then to Kampala and the one from Tororo to Gulu is 375 km.

    “Then we have Gulu to Pakwach which is 129km, Kampala to Kasese is 350km and also we have the one from Mukono to Kampala then Kyengera to Portbell which is about 55km.”

    Byamukama also revealed that the ministry is planning to introduce a modern standard gauge railway system in addition to the 1266km metre gauge railway volume with an agenda of improving relationship among the East African member countries.

    “The East African community members agreed, we have seen Kenya and Tanzania doing it and other countries. For us, we are delayed by that connection that Kenya must connect from Naivasha up to Malaba.”

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    FDC Boss Narrates How Former Kampala Legislator Nabilah Played 3 Top Politicians In 24 Hours…

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    Former Kampala woman MP Nabilah (L) and Kira Municipality MP Semujju Nganda (R)

    Maverick Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesperson and also Kira Municipality Member of Parliament (MP) Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda has revealed how former Kampala Woman MP Nabilah Naggayi Ssempala played 3 top politicians within a period of 24 hours.

    Ssemujju narrated that Nabilah used her beauty very well to capture the three men’s attention to fulfill her goal of winning the 2016 parliamentary seat.

    “I’m telling you Nabilah is a superwoman, she met president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni early in the morning at State House Entebbe, later in the evening she was with John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, who by then was a political enemy to President Museveni, the next morning she was with Dr. Kizza Besigye who was a political enemy to Museveni and Mbabazi by then,” he said.

    He divulged that when Dr. Besigye appointed him to his select team that had to accompany him to Namboole stadium for his nomination as presidential candidate, Nabilah was not in his plans because he was briefed with evidence that she was with Museveni and Mbabazi.

    He was also told that Nabilah was an operative sent by Museveni’s camp.

    Ssemujju revealed that he was very surprised to meet Nabilah seated close to Dr. Besigye the next day.

    He said that he tried to forcefully evict her from sitting near Besigye but he was advised that he was brewing trouble for himself.

    He insisted that most of the politicians in Uganda are like prostitutes without principles to stand on.

    He added that it is the reason why in 2021, Nabilah was with NUP’s Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu and she was fronted to contest against Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago.

    He narrated that right now, he knows that there are a number of politicians who are fighting tooth and nail to make sure that there is no cooperation between Dr. Besigye and Bobi Wine because they think that that if these two opposition heavyweights cooperate, some MPs will lose their political seats.

    Nabilah was not reached for a comment because she did not pick our phone calls.

    Nabilah recently suprised court when he testified against her husband Isaac Ssempala Ssebagala before the High Court Commercial division over a debt she ate from Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba who wants to take their family house for failing to pay back his money.

    It is alleged Nabilah got the money without the consent of her husband but now wants her husband to pay or surrender the house to Baryamureeba.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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