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    Zonal Industrial Hubs Initiative Is A Game Changer For Youths – Faruk Kirunda…

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    State House Comptroller, Mrs. Barekye Jane Bwasiisi addressing leaders on the 21 Zonal Industrial Hubs under the Presidential Initiative on Skilling Uganda

    The 21 Zonal Industrial Hubs under the Presidential Initiative on Skilling Uganda and managed under State House are set to revolutionise youth empowerment and in the drive to transform Ugandan society from a predominant peasant and low-income economy to a competitive Middle Income economy.

    Post-Covid-19 lockdown, bringing economic empowerment closer to the people is among the most important concerns of the Government. There is no single entity or person that was not impacted by the ravages of lockdown, curfew, and shutdown of sections of the economy. It is time to revive the economy with targeted and general interventions.

    Uganda still has one of the highest populations of young people in the world. These are a resource when “taught how to fish” and given the hooks but a liability when left out of national planning and programs.

    Advanced economies of the world have developed because of equipping their nationals with hands-on skills. They adopted this idea earlier than us while they were still on theoretical instruction to address illiteracy that bedeviled traditional African societies. Uganda has attained commendable literacy levels and can now channel more resources in skills development for production and industrial advancement.

    The Zonal Industrial Hubs will add great impetus to existing programmes such as Youth Livelihood Program (YLP) and stimulate production, employment as well as socio-economic transformation among Ugandans.

    As the State House Comptroller, Ms. Jane Barekye, hits the ground to sensitise leaders and the public in the different zones in preparation for their operationalisation, she will be marketing a unique Program that can be a game changer if the public embraces and supports it well.

    The hubs have been created as one-stop centres for skilling and production. They have machine capacity of 300 learners per semester making them 600 learners per year each zonal hub, bringing the total number of trainees to 12, 600 annually.

    The hubs are equipped with common user machines where trainees can make their products and sell them. For instance, at Kawumu in Luweero where the President has a demonstration farm, there is a tannery where youths skilled in shoemaking are showcasing their craft and earning big.

    Each industrial hub will also have a four-acre model or demonstration farm with the aim of promoting President Museveni’s vision of teaching farmers how to benefit economically on small pieces of land.

    There will also be storage facilities or silos to benefit the local communities around. They will store their cereals there during the peak season for free and use them during off-season.

    To the credit of President Yoweri Museveni, the Skilling Program has the power to transform lives of Bazzukulu , equipping them with both applicable and employable skills which can accord them financial independence and introduce them into the all-important money economy.
    This initiative is an answer to the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) policy of import substitution.

    Trained in baking, tailoring, knitting, weaving, shoe-making, hair-dressing, welding, masonry and carpentry, beneficiaries go on to start business and cottage industries with a multiplier effect. School dropouts and orphans have found a new lease on life from the arrangement. It should be remembered that during lockdown, a good number of girls conceived and became mothers. They may not return to their former schools. They require alternative interventions so that they don’t get left out.

    As the Program rolls out, some areas need particular attention such as the lake basin districts. Many youths in these districts earned their livelihood on the lake but went out of business following a crackdown meant streamline fishing. Many of them are idle. Intelligence information reveals that these are a potential catchment for ADF insurgents that have always tried to recruit there. For many of them, their problem is survival but not because they hate the government. They only need empowerment and they will totally denounce ideas of engaging in criminal acts.

    There are also areas where the leaders are less interested in development and have more time for politics. Youths here need general mindset change, skills and capital.
    Using the State House as the base for Skilling Uganda was strategic. Officials are answerable to President Museveni directly. Accountability is easy.
    There are also few layers of bureaucracy during implementation. After vetting beneficiaries and how organized they are, money and inputs are delivered directly to the designated beneficiaries. There are no “middle men” or brokers to eat into the capital available to beneficiaries. Neither is their political influence in selecting beneficiaries. As a result, the initiative has been free of controversy.

    Youths countrywide should organise themselves to benefit from the Hubs program and step out of the cycle of poverty. Local leaders; Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs), Members of Parliament (MPs), Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), Local Council 5 Chairpersons, District Internal Security Officers (DISOs) and District Commercial Officers (DCOs) should embrace the idea of the Hubs and mobilise their people to utilise them for maximum benefit.

    With such cottage industries taking shape and with a growing population of skilled young people, Uganda’s drive as an industrial and modern economy is well on course.

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

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    CRIME

    Kabaka Mutebi, Tycoon Ham Kiggundu Kigo Land War Deepens As BLB Boss Faces Prosecution Over Conflict Of Interest …

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    Tycoon Ham Kiggundu (L) and Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi (R). Inset is Bashir Juma

    Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s Kigo Land war with city tycoon Hamis Kiggundu, the proprietor of the Ham Enterprises Limited has deepened after Ham’s lawyers called for the prosecution of Buganda Land Board (BLB) boss Bashir Kizito Juma over conflict of interest.

    Kabaka through his lawyers led by Buganda Attorney Christopher Bwanika, lawyers from K&K Advocates and S&L Advocates petitioned the registrar Land Registration John Karuhanga seeking the cancellation of land titles Comprised on Kyadondo Block 273 plot 23974, 23976, 23975, 23977 and Kyadondo Block 273 plot 87,99, 110 situated at Kigo in Wakiso district.

    Kabaka asserted that he is the rightful owner of the land and accused Ham of fraudulently conniving with officers at Wakiso district land board to grab his land which he inherited from his father and grandfathers.

    He added that Ham admitted that he illegally obtained the land and accepted the cancellation which he strongly objected to in his defense before Karuhanga.

    In his defense, Ham, through his lawyers led by Fred Muwema contended that he is the owner of the land after he legally obtained it from Wakiso district land board.

    He claimed that the survey report which Kabaka Mutebi based on to argue his case is fake since it is not even dated and that’s the reason why he appointed a private surveyor William Matovu to conduct another survey report which contradicted with that of the Kabaka. He promised to present it to the registrar.

    He pleaded to the registrar not to base on the testimony of Bashir Kizito Juma, the legal Attorney to Kabaka because he has a conflict of interest in the matter.

    “Our contention is that there is an actual conflict of interest in the duties of Bashir Kizito Juma acting both as a public officer and a private officer of the complainant,” Ham’s lawyers said.

    They added, “This type of conduct by Bashir Kizito Juma is against the Code of Conduct and Ethics of Public Service issued under the Public Standing Orders 2010.”

    They divulged that conflict of interest is a punishable crime in Uganda especially where a public officer holds a position in a private body whose operations are in conflict with his official duties.

    He added that the irony of the matter is that the freehold titles were granted by the Wakiso District Land, which employs Bashir Kizito Juma which means that he is both a witness and the architect of the complaint.

    “This tribunal can therefore not entertain this conflict of public officers to pursue a conflicted complaint which derogates all best practice in public law. In our considered view, entertaining this complaint as presently filed is to perpetuate illegality and a constitutionally prohibited act,” they stated.

    Ham pleaded with Karuhanga’s tribunal to dismiss the complaint and declare him the rightful owner of the said land.

    Bashir Kizito Juma is the head Corporate affairs, operations and business development at Buganda Land Board (BLB), a corporate body that runs the kingdom’s land.

    Karuhanga is set to declare his team’s decision this week.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    Dr. Musenero’s Troubles Escalate As Parliament Gives IGG Three Months Ultimatum To Investigate Her Over Alleged Mismanagement Of Covid-19 Funds…

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    IGG Betty Kamya (R) and Minister Musenero (L)

    Parliament has given the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Beti Kamya three months to carry out further investigations into allegations of financial mismanagement against the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Monica Musenero.

    “We have agreed as a House that there are some burning issues such as abuse of office, money that has been lost, that we refer this and give the IGG three months to report back on the action taken,” Speaker Anita Among said yesterday.

    The resolution was reached during a plenary session when the parliament adopted amendments from the select committee report tabled on May 11 that was first tasked to investigate the alleged mismanagement of Covid-19 funds.

    According to the report, there were gross irregularities, including Shs. 2.6b that was unaccounted for that is why members recommended for the disbandment of the Presidential Scientific Initiative on Epidemics (PRESIDE) and that Dr. Musenero be personally held accountable for the alleged mismanagement.

    Kazo County Member of Parliament, Dan Kimosho who moved the motion to amend the report has thus called upon Dr. Musenero to step down from her office as investigations into her case continue.

    In response, however, Dr. Musenero who has since denied all the allegations told parliament that “If there is in any way, in my work and in the way I handled things, offended anybody, I regret those things and I will work to build a reputation and to build the science.”

    “The report refers to money which was lost but that money never left the Ministry of Science to go to PRESIDE scientists, because PRESIDE itself didn’t receive any money. There was no money lost and Musenero never touched any money.

    “Now, when you go to a technical institution like IGG, which is okay because we will sit and analyze the evidence. I am happy with the recommendations of the committee report, although they have some things which were not very accurate. We shall be telling the public what those facts are,”  Dr. Musenero added.

    Since last year, Dr. Musenero has been reporting to the committee to respond to a wide range of issues linked to the development of the Covid-19 drug of which the project is registering significant progress.

    President Museveni on several occasions publicly applauded Dr. Musenero with a vote warning all her perceived detractors that he would die with them should they continue attacking “his scientists.”

    Museveni recently even cautioned that the unwarranted fights would derail the projects of developing numerous virus vaccines.

    The President on many occasions has said that Uganda is likely to be the first African country to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.

     

    By Kobusiinge Monica

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    NATIONAL

    End Of Operation Shujaa: UPDF To Withdraw Troops From DR Congo In Two Weeks Unless M7 And Tshisekedi Agree On Extension…

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    Commander Operation Shujaa, Maj. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga (with walking stick) in DRC

    The Commander of Land Forces Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba has announced that Uganda will remove its troops from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in two weeks after months of massive fights and bombings in a fight against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) terrorists.

    According to Lt. Gen. Muhoozi, Operation Shujaa will officially cease in about two weeks.

    “Operation Shujaa will officially cease in about two weeks according to our original agreement. It was supposed to last for 6 months. Unless I get further instructions from our Commander in Chief or CDF, I will withdraw all our troops from DRC in two weeks,” Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba revealed on Tuesday.

    Muhoozi however added that Operation Shujaa will only continue if President Museveni and President Tshisekedi agree to extend it.

    “To be clear Operation Shujaa will continue even for another 6 months if the two Presidents, Kaguta Museveni and H.E. Tshisekedi decide to extend it. The two of them are the ultimate authorities. The Joint Forces of UPDF and FARDC are happy to keep eliminating ADF,” he added.

    Under the command of Maj. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga, Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) in November last year launched an operation code-named operation Shujaa with air, artillery and ground attacks against ADF rebels in eastern DR Congo in a move to eliminate the Islamist militants who had allegedly launched terror attacks on Uganda.

    Maj. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga, celebrating Women’s Day with Congolese women in Kainama trading centre.

    The ADF has for several years operated in the volatile North Kivu which borders other provinces including Ituri to the north and South Kivu to the South and has been a battleground for a number of rival armed ethnic groups since 1998.

    The province consists of three cities including; Goma, Butembo and Beni as well as six territories Beni, Lubero, Masisi, and Rutshuru.

    According to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, the ADF which was designated as a terrorist group by the US government has used the name Madina at Tauheed Wau Mujahedeen (City of Monotheism and Holy Warriors (MTM) to refer to emphasize its links to the Islamic State.

    In 2019, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an ADF attack and first referenced a “Central Africa Province.”

    The organization is allegedly led by Musa Baluku, who served as a senior ADF Islamic legal official before consolidating power following Mukulu’s arrest in 2015.

    The group has been blamed for last year’s bomb attacks in Kampala which killed over seven people and left others with severe injuries.

    Following the launch of an operation against the group in the thick DRC forests by a joint force of the UPDF and Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FADRC), the ADF rebels were said to have fled their hideouts and were roaming in the thick jungles after their lives were made difficult.

    Consequently, the group has been carrying out attacks on several villages and towns where they know the joint forces are not present and looting food and animals.

     

    By Kobusiinge Monica

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