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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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    NATIONAL

    Security On High Alert After Sunday ADF-Linked Bomb Blast Near Uganda, DR Congo Border

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    Uganda security agencies have been put on high alert after a bomb linked to the Allied Democratic Forces – ADF went off yesterday near Uganda, Congo border.

    The incident in the Eastern DRC happened at Pentecostal Church in Lhubirira, an immediate town located 4kms after Mpondwe border point. At least 10 people died on the spot and 47 others suffered injuries.

    “The terror attack shows that terrorism can occur any time and anywhere, and further reminds us all of the terrorist threats that we face as a country. Because of the existing threat environment, our Joint Counter terror task teams from CMI, Crime Intelligence, Counter terrorism, CID in coordination with territorial units, continue to operate with a heightened state of readiness. It is approximately, 425days, since the double terror task at CPS and Kampala Avenue that have led to several investigations, multiple arrests and recovery of an assortment of dangerous weapons. So far, 18 guns have been recovered, 1 PK gun and 116 PK rounds, 1 pistol, 7 IEDs, 21 electronic detoriators, 52 explogel explosives, 2 Axel blades, 2 emulsion explosives, an assortment of bomb making materials, walkie talkies, mobile phones, 185 other types of ammunition, and motorcycles etc. In addition, a total of 57 suspects (terrorists and rebels) have been arrested,” Police Spokesperson who doubles as the Joint Security Spokesman told the media in Kampala on Monday.

    And while those disruptive operations present a positive step in securing the safety of Ugandans, Enanga says that “there is still work to identify ADF cells of agents, collaborators, operatives and sponsors within the country.”

    “Several measures have also been put in place, to avert any hostile infiltrations and attacks at Mpondwe border and all other crossing points. For instance, we have stopped the movement of cargo and passenger boats across Lake Albert, intensified patrols in Bugoma forest and across the borderlines, bolstered security at major installations, markets and parking yards, and intensified intelligence on several targets among others,” he said.

    Enanga, however, asked the public not to be alarmed “by these steps because it is meant for their safety.”

    “We would like to further remind the public that the threats of terrorism are real, especially on soft targets, which are many and sometimes difficult to defend, especially restaurants, markets, shopping centres, public transportation hubs like taxi and bus parks, places of worship and other crowded places etc. as a result, we call upon the public to be extra alert and vigilant, as they go about their activities. Remember, the best defence against any terrorist threats is our collective community effort. Once again, please be alert but not alarmed. And report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the nearest police unit or security agency.”

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    NATIONAL

    City Babe Who Offered Room For Cousin & Her Boyfriend Arrested For Double Murder

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    The police are investigating circumstances under which two young adults died in a fire at Jinja-Nabweru on Thursday evening.

    The deceased have been identified as Patricia, 24, and Kajumba, 27.

    Findings show that the lovers visited Suzan Keitesi, 24; a cousin of Patricia on Thursday morning. Keitesi is a resident in an apartment at Jinja Kawempe Zone A, Jinja Kawempe Ward in Nabweru Division.

    However, the pair were found dead on Thursday evening in a suspicious manner, while Keitesi was rushed to a nearby clinic and later Kawempe hospital for first aid. She was later discharged that day.

    Suspecting foul play, detectives attached to Kawempe Police Station interacted with Keitesi on her hospital bed. Her statement looked uncoordinated. She has been detained as further investigations continue.

    Deputy Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire says Patricia and her boyfriend are suspected to have been murdered.

    “We have reserved the scene for further examination by officials from National Building Review Board, UMEME, and other stakeholders, to ascertain the exact cause of the fire. 

    Whereas the tenant had a gas cooker, it was in a store and it remained intact,” Owoyesigyire said. “We have however arrested Kaitesi Suzan on allegations of Murder as investigations continue.”

     

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    NATIONAL

    Aponye MD Harold Byamugisha Still Missing – Security

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    Police are searching for the Managing Director of Aponye Uganda Limited who went missing on Sunday night.

    Harold Byamugisha is said to have left home on Sunday dressed casually, promising his wife that he was to return.

    “The wife says he left home in a yellow shirt and white shorts. She said he called her around 11pm and informed her that he could return home in 20 minutes. He didn’t return,” Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire told the media yesterday.

    Byamugisha’s family has also put up an announcement, promising a Shs5m reward to anyone who can help them find him.

    “He was last seen in Ntinda on Sunday…driving his motor vehicle, a Range Rover, white in colour number UBF 017D. This is to inform the general public that whoever has any idea of his whereabouts, please call us on 0775363017, 07770611435 or report to the nearest police station. A reward of Shs5m is available,” the notice reads in part.

    But while reports emerged Friday morning that he had been found, security sources say Byamugisha is yet to be found.

    “He called us yesterday and said he is okay. But the wife who reported the case hasn’t physically seen him,” a security source said.

    Owoyesigyire says Byamugisha is still missing.

    “To us, he is still missing,” he said. “So, we are still looking for him and he is not safe and sound like he said.”

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