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    City Bussinesswoman Charged Over Forging Trade Marks…

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    Evelyn Kunahimbire (L) and lawyer Fred Muwema (R)

    Evelyn Kunahimbire, a city businesswoman dealing in Agro-Chemicals has been charged for allegedly counterfeiting a trade mark to sell substandard products.

    Kunahimbire, 35, a resident of Matugga was arraigned before the Magistrates Court at Buganda Road and denied the three offences of forging trade mark, selling of goods with false marks and false applying of a registered trade mark.

    The presiding Grade One magistrate, Marion Mangeni ordered for the release of Kunehimbire on a cash bail of one million shillings upon an application.

    The magistrate said, “I have considered the bail application on the facts that the accused is a breastfeeding mother and she has also presented substantial sureties.”

    The court adjourned the case to September 20 for mention after the state submitted that investigations are still ongoing.

    Kunehimbire was arrested during an operation carried out by the Anti-Counterfeit Network Africa (ACN) in partnership with Bukoola Chemical Industries Ltd (BCIL) to crackdown on the illicit trade.

    The operation is part of the campaign which entailed a 90 days’ communication strategy to create awareness of the genuine agro-products on the market, an enforcement action against counterfeit perpetrators involved in the illicit trade is aimed at combating counterfeiting Bukoola products on the market, and boosting consumption of genuine inputs.

    Fred Muwema, the legal director for Anti-Counterfeit Network said that presenting Ms. Kunehimbire in court is a follow up of the legal action and follow up on the raid that was carried out to apprehend counterfeiters of Bukoola Chemical Industries Ltd Products like pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

    “They are chemicals used to eliminate various crop diseases and pests. But in violation of registered trade mark rights the counterfeiters have been duplicating their products and selling them at massive profits with no value to farmers,” he said.

    Mr Muwema cautioned farmers to be vigilant against supply of fake agro-inputs adding that genuine chemicals can only be accessed from gazetted distribution points across the country.

    “We are continuing with the operations with the Police to apprehend other counterfeiters still in the market who are endangering public health and safety. We advise farmers and other consumers to look out for genuine products and avoid being caught in the web of organized crime perpetrated by counterfeiters,” Mr. Muwema said, adding that anybody involved in the buying and selling of counterfeits commits an offence.

    The Uganda Agriculture sector which contributes up to 30% of the total GDP, over 70% of Uganda’s exports, and engages up to 70% of the country’s working population is considered as one of the priority sectors for future economic growth and economic inclusion by the Uganda National Development Plan.

    Despite the good National Development Plan, the sector growth rate of 2% is way below the average NDP growth of 6%. This low performance in the Agriculture sector has been partly blamed on the increasing supply of counterfeits and substandard agro-inputs which have negatively affected the agricultural sector and the economy at large.

    It is estimated that farmers in Uganda lose up to USD 7M to fake seeds alone, USD18M on fake herbicides, and USD 2M on fake fertilizers annually. It is estimated that the prevalence of counterfeit farm in-puts on the market is well over 50% hence a compelling explanation for loss of trust by farmers, and low adoption of agricultural technologies in the Ugandan context which is less than 20%.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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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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    Why Uganda Is Having Escalating Fuel Prices – Energy Ministry Gives Hope…

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    The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has revealed why the country is having skyrocketing fuel prices.

    In a statement released today, the ministry disclosed that there was a delay at the Busia and Malaba entry points because truck drivers had to undergo mandatory Covid19 testing yet most sectors of the economy are now fully functioning and people are using alot of fuel.

    “Uganda is a net importer of Petroleum market with an average current daily consumption of 6.5 million litres. Uganda loads its products through the terminals located in Eldoret, Kisumu, Nairobi and Mombasa and supply is majorly through road transport,” the statement reads.

    “Supply was normal with trucks being cleared as usual and drivers were allowed to present negative Covid-19 results from Kenya until 1st January 2022 when a directive was issued requiring all truck drivers to undergo testing at Malaba and Busia entry points. This however resulted in a buildup of a queue of trucks as none were entering the country.” the ministry adds.

    Mr. Solomon Muyita the spokesman of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development

    “With the full opening of economic activities, there has been an increase in uptake of Petroleum Products which saw a spike in consumption in the country that affected the 10-day stock levels. The very low replenishment based on the truck delays at the borders resulted in some stock out of Petrol at some outlets,” the statement further reads.

    The ministry assured Ugandans that Oil Marketing Companies have most of their trucks in the traffic between the Kenya loading points and the borders and once cleared in a few days, supply and prices will return to normal.

    The ministry warned speculators who are hoarding petroleum products and leading to unnecessary hike in fuel prices to desist from this bad practice.

    “The price of petrol in the country should not exceed UGX 5,000 per litre. The cases of scarcity in districts such as Hoima will be addressed shortly with the ongoing replenishment,” the statement reads.

     

    By Hope Kalamira

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    Huawei ICT Competition Inspiring African Students To Chase Their ICT Passions…

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    Under the theme of “Connection, Glory, Future”, the Huawei ICT Competition is sailing through its 6th year in Sub-Saharan Africa, with 15,000 students from up to 500 top universities and colleges in 17 countries participating, making it the largest ICT skill competition in the region.

    At the current stage, 6 countries have completed the country-level Huawei ICT Competition. Outstanding teams will compete in the Sub-Saharan African finals, which is scheduled to kick off in February, 2022.

    Over the past 5 years, the competition has attracted over 80,000 passionate ICT students, with 21 teams entering the global finals, further incentivizing contestants to excel in this field.

    The 2019-2020 Competition marks a historic milestone for Sub-Saharan Africa. Two teams from Nigeria won the Grand Prize of both the Network Track and Cloud Track, while 3 teams from Kenya, Uganda, and Mauritius were joint first prize winners.

    Globally the Huawei ICT Competition 2021-2022 has covered over 70 countries worldwide, with a total of over 130 teams competing. The global finals are expected to happen in May of 2022.

    To encourage broader participation, the 2021-2022 competition will still be virtual. Besides the traditional Network and Cloud Track, it will also officially introduce an Innovation Track. Contestants will design innovative solutions targeting general well-being, such as environment protection and closing social gaps, by utilising Huawei technologies including Huawei Cloud.

    Last year, the Mazingira Team, from Kenya took part in the invitational competition. They presented a solution called Wildfire PrediTec, to detect, analyse, predict and prevent wildfires, designed on Huawei IOT and AI platforms.

    The Huawei ICT Competition also opens up bigger opportunities to participants. As of today, the competition-related training helped over 350 students receive job offers.

    With a series of talent development campaigns in Sub Saharan Africa, including the ICT competition, Huawei hopes to skill up more than 700,000 ICT professionals by 2023. The aim is to bridge the ICT talent gap, increase academia-industry communication, and advance the digital transformation of industries.

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