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    Uganda Families Displaced, Left To Struggle Because Of China’s Mega Dam…



    Several families are living under the high voltage transmission line in absence of less risky housing.

    Construction of the Kerugma dam has deprived hundreds of people in Uganda’s Nile delta of their land, homes, and livelihoods. Many people have been waiting a decade for relocation, with some left to live under high voltage transmission lines for lack of safer alternatives.

    From a height above the riverbank, you can watch the massive concrete dam harness the powerful waters of the Victoria Nile River. When the hydropower plant is completed by Chinese company Sino hydro Corporation Limited, it is expected to produce 600 megawatts for the Ugandan electricity market.

    The hillside upstream of the river is one of the few places where you can see the whole power station. The transmission substation and part of the riverbank are fenced off and guarded by the military. Two tall surveillance towers have been built to keep intruders outside the area.
    After the construction work started ten years ago, the people in Awoo village lost most of the land they had cultivated for generations, and access to the river where they fished.

    Out of desperation, some of the villagers started to produce gravel from a large mound of rocks excavated from the river basin and dumped next to their homes during the dam’s construction. Men and women make the hazardous 30-meter climb up the deposit to collect the stones, which are then cracked manually with hammers and sold to construction companies.

    A report by Both ENDS describes how land evictions from Awoo village were forceful, with bulldozers bringing down houses, fruit trees and other properties as the community watched. A family was reportedly forced out of their house, which was then set on fire. After that, the community had no choice but to accept the limited compensation offered to them and determined by the Ugandan state.

    Today, those who do not make a living from cracking stones have few options other than doing hard labour for the power company. Normally they earn UGX 8000 a day (about US$2) for cleaning or heavy concrete work, according to the interviews by Just Finance International. This salary is only enough to buy food, they claim.

    When the project first started a decade ago, they were promised relocation to somewhere better and fair compensation for their land. This has not happened. We observed several families living under the high voltage transmission line that connects the power station to the grid which is both hazardous for the health and risky. Still, people claim they have nowhere else to go, a failure that has been flagged as a weakness by Uganda’s auditor general.
    Chinese state-owned company Sino hydro started construction of Karuma in 2013, as well as three high-voltage transmission lines. The infrastructure is a keystone project in the government’s plan to electrify Uganda, where only 22.1 percent of the population have access to the grid. The Karuma hydro plant is expected to power homes, industry, and public buildings such as schools and hospitals.

    The project has been delayed several times, forcing the government to start paying off the $1.7-billion loan to the Export-Import Bank of China before any electricity was produced. The hydro plant is now generating power but not at its full capacity.
    The communities around the dam had high expectations when construction started. The government promised well paid work, roads, a school, a health center, access to water, electricity and a fishpond.

    However, community members interviewed by Just Finance, claim that little has been completed. Not even the promise of healthcare access was fulfilled. The closest hospital is in Gulu, 65 km from the village. Another health center was constructed by Sinohydro in the town Masindi, 112 kilometers away from the villages. This investment is claimed to benefit the communities affected by the dam, but according to Just Finance sources, it serves the military and not the general public.
    Furthermore, the promised water supply is still missing and the garbage collection center for Karuma Township has also not been completed.

    A church has been built. A primary school has been renovated. And a mosque is being renovated although the building has been rejected by the Muslim community because of its poor build quality. The communities still have no access to the roads and, ironically, no one in the communities visited by Just Finance, had access to electricity.

    In Ayuda village, not far from Awoo, the situation is desperate. Despite all the promises from the government and the Chinese company, living conditions have deteriorated. Many families in the village can no longer afford school fees, and they have to walk a long distance to fetch water from springs in the jungle.

    “Our life has been overturned,” a woman told Just Finance.
    According to the villagers, more than 100 acres of land have been taken from them, with just one acre remaining. The community say they were offered 6 million UGX (1600 USD) for the land, an amount they all thought was far too low, but nobody listened, and they had to take the case to court. The process is ongoing after 10 years.

    One woman told Just Finance that she used to sell her harvest on the market and earn good money, but now she has nothing to sell. To survive, they have to work for the Chinese company. It is hard labour, and her salary of UGX 8000 per day is only enough to buy food, she said.
    The Ayuda village had more than 150 graves in the project area. Construction works have destroyed many of them, according to people in the community. No one got any compensation to move the graves.
    “It is an evil omen when the graves are destroyed. It will affect our community mentally for generations to come,” one woman said.
    The community members find it difficult to communicate with people from the Chinese company. There are no translators, and the government does not help them. This has caused misunderstanding and mistrust.
    One woman claimed she had 8 acres of land before the hydro plant was built, of which 5 were farmland. But when her land was evaluated by the government, they wrote that she only had 3 acres.
    “It was a fraud, and somebody else got the money. I have no money left and I have no land anymore. Instead of creating development this has worsened our situation and destroyed our community,” the woman said.
    Just Finance International has contacted Sino hydro Corporation Limited and Ugandan electricity company, Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), but to date they have not yet provided a response.



    Gloves Off As Prime Minister Nabbanja Declares War On Minister Lumumba Over UN Trip…



    Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja (R) and minister Kasule Lumumba (L)

    Furious Prime Minister who also doubles as the Kakumiro district woman Member of Parliament Robinah Nabbanja Musafiiri has declared a war on Justine Kasule Lumumba the minister of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister over the recent trip to United States of America to attend the United Nations Assembly.

    Nabbanja revealed that she was surprised to see Lumumba attending the Assembly meeting because she was not given permission from her as the leader of government business who is responsible for giving ministers and government officials permission to travel abroad.

    She explained that she kept quiet while in US. However, when they immediately landed at Entebbe, she issued a directive not to refund any money to Lumumba and the people she travelled with because they traveled on their own.

    “She will not bring here her fighting practices she has exhibited where she came from. We don’t even have that slot of the minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister. I directed that she should not receive a refund for the money she used in that trip,” a furious Nabanja told CBS radio.

    She added that she was told that Lumumba was part of the delegation that went with Jessica Alupo the vice president whom Nabbanja said does not have authority to ask because she is her boss.

    She however explained that president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni gave her the green light to travel to the UN Assembly.

    Nabbanja noted that for her to travel to the US to attend the UN Assembly, she first received a special invitation from the UN and report to the president who allowed her to travel.

    She said that while in the US, she meet a number of investors on the sideline of the UN Assembly who picked interest to invest their money in Uganda.

    She added that she also met some of the top leaders of the World Bank who promised her that very soon, they are going to lift the ban they slapped on Uganda because of the Anti-Homosexuality Act passed by the parliament and signed by President Museveni.

    Nabbanja denied allegations that she travelled with a huge delegation including his physical trainer.

    She divulged that she traveled with only five people and among them was his bodyguard, protocol officers and others.

    She threatened to take legal action against the Monitor Publication adding that some papers are used to fight her by publishing malicious stories which put her in bad light before right thinking members of socity.

    “They wrote that I stole Shs9bn which was allocated to teach youths how to drink coffee, yet the money was misused before I was even appointed a prime minister. Enough is enough, I’m going to act against them and you will hear the results,” a furious Nabbanja threatened.

    She explained that her predecessors used to travel abroad with huge delegations but they were never publicised as it was done to her.

    It is on this note that she alleged that her enemies are using the media to put her down but vowed to go down fighting.

    Hamson Obua the government Chief Whip in parliament revealed that during the NRM parliamentary caucus meeting at State House Entebbe, Nabbanja and Alupo were given the opportunity by the president to clear the air over the huge delegation they both traveled with to UN Assembly. They both denied the allegations.

    theGrapevine has established that there has been a silent war between Nabbanja and Lumumba with the Prime Minister accusing Lumumba of disrespecting her and backbiting her.

    Before being appointed a minister, Lumumba, who was the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party Secretary General had a bad working relationship with Dr. Tanga Odoi the party Electoral Commission chairperson.

    theGrapevine made efforts to get a comment from Lumumba over her boss’ allegations against her but her known phone numbers were not going through.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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    Brig. Gen. Ddamulira Advised To Clear Air On Allegation Of Shielding Criminal Gangs To Avoid Ending Up Like Gen. Kayihura…



    Criminal Intelligence boss Brig. Gen. Christopher Ddamulira

    Uganda’s representative to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) James Kakooza has advised the nonsense police’s Director for Criminal Intelligence Brig. Gen. Christopher Ddamulira Sserujogi to come up openly and clear the air on allegation made against him of shielding criminal gangs in Kampala city and Metropolitan areas because he fears a nasty ending like former Inspector General of Police Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura.

    Kakooza revealed that when Gen. Kayihura was at the helm of police leadership, allegations were made against him that he used criminal gangs to solve political questions.

    Kakooza narrated that he severally pleaded with Kayihura that if the allegations are true, he should stop because it was soiling his name.

    He added that Gen. Kayihura’s enemies based on his cooperation with criminal gangs to fabricate criminal allegations against him including pinning him over his involvement in the high level murders in the country.

    He stated that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni based on the said allegation to fire Kayihura from police leadership and ordered for his arrest and prosecution in the court martial.

    “If president Museveni didn’t handle Gen Kayihura’s issues with maturity and experience, he would have ended up being sentenced to death or life imprisonment because the allegations placed on him were very treasonous. So my young brother Brig. Gen. Ddamulira should come out and clear the air on those allegations put against him,” Kakooza stated.

    He added that Brig. Gen. Ddamulira’s statement will not only cleared him but it will also clear the good name of the UPDF institution.

    Kakooza’s advice comes days after Kira Municipality legislator and also the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda accused Brig. Gen. Ddamulira of shielding criminals that beat up FDC delegates and stole their belongings both at Busabala and Katonga where they had gone to attend the Extra-Ordinary Delegates Conference summoned by party national chairperson Wasswa Birigwa.

    The Observer newspaper journalist Baker Batte also accused the criminal gang of stealing his brand new laptop.

    However, while speaking to theGrapevine, Batte confirmed that his latotop was recovered by Katwe police even though they have not yet handed it over to him.

    The ghetto leadership in Kampala city, Mukono, Wakiso districts also issued a statement asking Ssemujju to apologize to Brig. Gen. Ddamulira for tarnishing his name that he is shielding criminal gangs in the city.

    Shafik Kalyango, the coordinator ghetto structures, John Lukuse and Geoffrey Nsamba who were arrested by police for terrorising FDC delegates.

    They confessed that they are members of the ghetto structures which is supervised by State House, Brig. Gen. Ddamulira and officials from the ministry in charge of Kampala Metropolitan whose objective is to turn them into good citizens.

    Kalyango added that they are mobilizing the ghetto youths who have not yet joined their structures to avoid being used by the politicians to fight their battles against their political enemies and among them are those who beat FDC delegates and journalists.

    Ssemujju admitted to having seen Kalyango’s letter on social media even though it he not yet been officially served.

    He appreciated the efforts made by Brig. Gen. Ddamulira to organise youths in the city.

    He added that officially, Brig. Gen. Ddamulira denied having knowledge of the criminals hired by the Najjanankumbi FDC camp of party president Patrick Amuriat Oboi and Nathan Nandala Mafabi the Secretary General.

    Ssemujju however noted that there are elements in security circles who are working with criminal gangs in the city.

    He pleaded with Brig. Gen. Ddamulira to use his office to tame them because they will wreak havoc in the country.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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    DP Fights Deepen As Legal Advisor Declares Mbidde A Bush Lawyer Over Party Court Defeat…



    Lawyer Erias Nalukoola (R) and DP national vice president Fred Mukasa Mbidde (L)

    Furious Democratic Party (DP) legal advisor Erias Nalukoola has declared his party national vice president Fred Mukasa Mbidde a scrubland lawyer who lacks authority to challenge his understanding and interpretation of the laws of the land.

    Nalukoola was responding to Mbidde’s statements where he accused him of causing the party’s defeat in the Civil Division of the High Court by Ben Kiwanuka, who petitioned Court after the party leadership denied him the opportunity to compete for the position of the party Secretary General in the recent party delegates’ conference held in Gulu district.

    Mbidde explained that the party top leadership didn’t give instructions to Nalukoola to represent the party in the said suit insisting that he is responsible for the party defeat.

    He added that even though Nalukoola is the party’s chief legal advisor, it doesn’t mean that he automatically has the right to represent the party in all legal duties since the party has the right to hire a private law firm to represent them after assessing the gravity of the matter and establishing that their in-house legal officer cannot hold it successfully.

    Mbidde revealed that the party leadership including Norbert Mao, the party president general who also doubles as the Constitution and Justice minister in president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s government declared the elections made at the party delegates conference in Gulu illegal.

    He assured party members and supporters that the party leadership is going to study the judgment and establish whether they appeal it or not because most of them are proven lawyers.

    However, in response, Nalukoola blasted Mbidde and warned him to never again compare himself to him when it comes to matters of law and interpretation.

    He challenged him to table solomonic cases he won in courts of law like he has been doing.

    He wondered why Mbidde who studied law at a mature age after studying other inferior courses at Makerere university can compare himself to him who directly from Kawempe muslim Secondary School went to Makerere University school of law and passed with flying colours and followed them up with a successful practice.

    Nalukoola who was hosted at Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s CBS radio talk show revealed that when the judgment was delivered via email, Mbidde was among the DP top leadership members who stormed his office at Masengere building seeking for help to interpret the judgment but he was busy.

    When Nalukoola’s secretary advised him to wait for him because he was very busy, he instead decided to go.

    He explained when Kiwanuka petitioned Court against DP and served as the party legal advisor, he directly discussed the merits of the case with Dr. Gerald Siranda the party Secretary General who was among the witnesses who swore affidavits defending the case and was in the know of whatever was going on.

    He boasted that DP partly succeeded in the judgment even though they were ordered to pay part of the costs Kiwanuka used in the entire case.

    He advised Mbidde and his group who signed an agreement with president Museveni to buy a cock and take it to his father thanking him for producing and educating a bright son who helped their party and the country at large.

    Nalukoola pleaded with Mbidde to concentrate more on the agreement he signed with Museveni instead of advising him on DP issues which are less of his concern.

    By Grapevine Reporter


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