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News analysis Health Business

Fight erupts over Crime HIV and young girls: New study Back to zero: UTL’s prospective
Preventers SACCO money on prevention methods investor fails to raise capital

Issue No. 559 Feb. 15 - 21 2019 Ushs 5,000,Kshs 200, RwF 1,500, SDP 8

Mutebile's
next fight
over closed
banks
Big money
at stake

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Feb. 15 - 21 2019
INBOX

Issue No. 559 Feb. 15 - 21 2019

News analysis Business Health Arts Motoring

Cover story
The next fight over closed banks
Under the spotlight: the law and big money

4 The Week
30 Comments
Kadaga wants Executive to respect
Parliament’s independence Invisible children of Africa:
Children who have no birth
certificate cannot prove their
9 The Last Word
age, parentage, or identity, or get
Impunity at Bank of Uganda: How official papers
institutional independence allowed
the central bank to indulge in gross
32 Health
mismanagement and incompetence
HIV and young girls:
New study starts on
14 Analysis
choice in prevention
Fight erupts over Crime Preventers SACCO methods
money: National Coordinator Kamugisha accused
of embezzling funds to acquire property
35 Arts & Culture
27 Business
Teaching the art of art and
Back to zero: UTL’s prospective investor community: Nagenda International
fails to raise capital: The good news is that Academy of Art and Design
the company is yet to accrue new debts emphasises self- sustainability

STRATEGY & EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Andrew M. Mwenda WRITERS:Ronald Musoke, Flavia Nassaka, Ian Katusiime,
MANAGING EDITOR: Joseph Were Agnes Nantaba, Julius Businge.
INVESTIGATIONS EDITOR: Haggai Matsiko DESIGN/LAYOUT: Sarah Ngororano
BUSINESS EDITOR: Isaac Khisa CARTOONIST: Harriet Jamwa

PUBLISHER: Independent Publications Limited, Plot 82/84, Kanjokya Street, P. O. Box 3304, Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256-312-637-391/ 2/ 3/ 4 | Fax: +256-312-637-396 E-mail: editor@independent.co.ug | advertising@independent.co.ug
circulation@independent.co.ug | Website: www.independent.co.ug

2 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
Offline

“It is very unfortunate that you left


a patient who is still breathing and
you and your doctor you give him
something to finish him off.”Kasaija on
Bank of Uganda not giving enough attention
to defunct banks

Oaks, Pennsylvania:
A man looks at
rifles displayed
for sale at the
Guntoberfest gun “The big question then, for us
show
contemporary leaders, is what have
we done since independence to make
Africa stronger and ready to counter any
exogenous threats or shall we be caught
napping like those tribal leaders of
old?.”President Museveni while attending an
AU summit in Addis Ababa
Rt. Rev. Bishop
Cyprian Bamwoze
(c) who was the first
bishop of the Busoga
Diocese of Church of
Uganda died on Feb.11
at the Uganda Cancer
Institute in Mulago. He
suffered from blood
cancer; leukemia.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:


“If they are found guilty of the
President Yoweri allegations, then the party organs may
Museveni speaks on impose sanctions that include expelling
Feb.11 during the 32nd from the party.”Jimmy Akena, UPC president
Ordinary Summit of
African Union Heads on former vice president Joseph Bossa and his
of State in Addis faction
Ababa, Ethiopia.

National IDs that have Money President Museveni Money locked up


2.2m not been picked by
Ugandans since Jan 2019
Shs70bn ordered gov’t to pay Buganda
Kingdom before 2021
Shs1.3trn in disputes in the
Commercial Court

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 3
week

Muhoozi, Elwelu get new ranks in latest army promotions


More than 2000 officers of the Uganda of Brigadier to Major General while the
People Defense Forces (UPDF) have been commander of land forces Peter Elwelu has
promoted to various ranks, a move that also been promoted from Major General to
saw President Museveni’s son Muhoozi Lieutenant General. Former UPDF spokes-
Kainerugaba a lieutenant General. Muhoozi person Felix Kulaigye has been promoted
who was promoted to the rank of Major from the rank of Colonel to Brigadier Gen-
General in 2016 according to a Feb.08 state- eral whereas Army Chief of Staff Leopold
ment was promoted together with 2030 Kyanda has been promoted from the rank
others who were promoted due to either of Brigadier to Major General.
long reckonable record of service, success- Muhoozi Kainerugaba Peter Elwelu Promoted Generals include Lt Gen Ivan
fully completing Grade II staff course and Koreta, and Lt Gen Joram Mugume. The
passing exams, completion of probation, Key among those promoted include others are Pecos Kutesa, John Mugume,
retirement or to align with establishment deputy Inspector General of Police Sabiti Proscovia Nalweyiso, Charles Awany
appointments. Muzeyi has been promoted from the rank Otema and James Nakibus Lakara.

Wanok installed as fourth KCCA passes ordinance to harmonise market operations


Bishop of Lira diocese Kampala City Council which market leaders can be result in better operations
Authority (KCCA) has elected under the term limit in markets since previously
Bishop Sanctus Lino Wanok was passed an ordinance to har- setting comes into force fol- wrangles have paralysed
on Feb.09 installed as Bishop of Lira monize the management of lowing wrangles in several business.
diocese. Wanok who Was transferred markets in Kampala. The markets mainly arising from The regulation according
from Nebbi diocese in November last bill that among others seeks poor leadership. to city counselors comes in
year takes over from Bishop Emeritus to provide a comprehensive According to the Lord handy with increased num-
Joseph Franzelli who has been licensing regime for per- Mayor Erias Lukwago, the bers of vendors who can
Bishop for Lira Diocese for 14 years manent, semi permanent bill that’s now awaiting only be managed by set out
and has now retired. and temporary markets, signing by the Attorney Gen- guidelines.
Speaking at the ordination grounds harmonise market dues and eral, through the minister of
in Lira, Wanok said his humble and provide a process through Kampala Beti Kamya, will
religious family inspired him into
priesthood and started by being an
altar boy.
Hailing from Zombo, the priest
attended Atyak Primary School, Pokea
Junior Seminary and Alokulum major
seminary in Gulu. From there he
attended Ggaba National Seminary
and pursued a diploma in philosophy
and was ordained a deacon in 1986
and then a priest the same year.
Later, having graduated in
biblical theology, he lectured at
Ggaba seminary until 2005 when
he was appointed Vicar General of
Nebbi diocese.

Minister Kiwanda on the spot over ‘Miss Curvy’ contest


Ever since the launch of a new beauty we should be treated with honour and rides on the same concept as the already
pageant that seeks to show case women respect,” said former Leader of Opposition existing Miss Uganda that recruits small
with big hips or Miss Curvy contest, junior Winnie Kiiza whereas Kasambya county and slender ladies adding that his message
Tourism Minister Godfrey Kiwanda has MP Mbwatekamwa Gaffa said, “according was misinterpreted to mean that the curvy
been on the spot. First was a social media to information I am yet to confirm is one of women were to be used as tourism product.
storm where many condemned it as a move the reasons why Kiwanda is promoting sex President Museveni has since come out
to make Uganda a sex tourism destination. tourism of the curvy ladies is that he has a on the issue saying the organizers could
Then were calls by members of parliament shop in Kikuubo which sells artificial curvy have been motivated by the recent triumph
to censure the minister which were joined hips and bums. Sources say, he could be try- of Miss Uganda Quiin Abenakyo as Miss
by various feminist groups who referred to ing to earn a living from this,” he said add- World Africa. Referring to the contest as
it as an act of dehumanizing and objectify- ing that he was going to ask parliament to Miss Nabitege (rickets), he said he will
ing women. investigate these allegations. In his defense, advise those involved quietly.
“The minister should have known that the Minister who was supported by his
women are more than just bodies, and so senior Ephraim Kamuntu said the pageant

4 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
Week

Arrested journalists released on police bond Kadaga wants


Journalists of the BBC – attempting to buy drugs as two nights were released but Executive to respect
Godfrey Badebye and Khas-
sim Mouhammed, their fixer
undercover agents in order to
expose a long held claim that a
asked to report back to police
on Mar.12.
Parliament’s
Rashid Kaweesa and driver
Shafiq Kisaame in addition to
lot of Uganda’s drugs end up in
the neighboring DR Congo and
While according to a police
statement, the journalists were
independence
Vivian Nakalikka wife to NBS South Sudan. given a go ahead to air their At a meeting in Geneva
TV’s Solomon Serwanjja were Several boxes of malaria, investigations after the Health Switzerland, Speaker Rebecca
detained before being released Hepatitis B drugs were recov- Monitoring Unit, a department Kadaga has stressed the need
on bond on Feb.08 over being ered from Serwanjja’s house in under state house that does for the Executive to respect the
found in possession of govern- Mukono when security opera- drug surveillance acknowl- independence of Parliament,
ment of Uganda labeled free tives raided the home but as edged being approached saying it is an inevitable balance
drugs. The journalists who had pressure mounted and demand regarding the story, they were required in strengthening demo-
been investigating a story that for their release intensified by still charged with being found cratic governance.
was yet to be aired were accord- media rights organizations, the in illegal possession of govern- Kadaga said issues relating to
ing to the police arrested while suspects that had been held for ment drugs. the independence of Parliament;
its responsiveness in addressing
service delivery needs of citizens
South Sudanese refugees return home should top the agenda of the
upcoming Fifth World Confer-
reception facilities with the ence of Speakers (WCS).
Office of the Prime Minister “The upcoming conference
(Uganda) to be sure we are should focus on the continued
ready in case,” he said adding attempt by the Executive to
that since last year the number water down the powers of Par-
of refugees has been reducing liament and the need to affirm
. Only 30,000 were received Parliament’s centrality in service
last year and yet last month, delivery,” she said during a pre-
the number was still very low paratory meeting in Geneva.
compared to the numbers they
In a recent plenary sitting,
would register monthly when
Kadaga criticized the Executive
the conflict was at its peak.
for postponing the debating and
The biggest number of
passing of long pending Bills,
refugees hosted in Uganda
which she said speaks to an
comes from South Sudan with
recent statistics putting it at over attempt to paralyse Parliamen-
780,000. In total, including those tary business.
On Feb. 06, Joel Boutroue, to restore peace in the war tone from the DR Congo, Burundi In Parliament, government
representative of United country continues. He although and other countries, the country business takes precedence, and
Nations High Commission said, the recent standoff hosts up to 1.2million refugees, is stewarded by Prime Minister
for Refugees (UNHCR) in between opposing parties could making it one of the world’s Ruhakana Rugunda.
Uganda said that over 20,000 see some return. biggest hosts and one with Kadaga urged her interna-
refugees from South Sudan “We are getting prepared, the best hospitality policies for tional counterparts to use the
have returned home as efforts we are looking at our own these migrants. imminent conference to make
a unified case for the indepen-
dence of Parliaments in the
University council names new members of Appointments board globe, which she said is waning
amidst growing assertiveness by
Amidst a sit down strike not have credentials to be a council, Dr Umar Kakumba, the Executive.
of lecturers at Makerere Uni- member or chairperson of the Deputy Vice Chancellor
versity, new members were the Board citing that his only for Academic Affairs and Prof
named to the Appointments known employment has been William Bazeyo, the Deputy
Board where Bruce Balaba a member of the council. Drop- Vice Chancellor for Finance and
Kabaasa who has over time ping Kabaasa was one of the Administration.
been accused by the academic conditions set by the lecturers Kiryowa Kiwanuka will also
staff association of incompe- to end their strike that began in chair the Audit Committee
tence and misuse of power was January at the beginning of the whereas Quality Assurance and
retained. He will now accord- semester. This seems to have Gender Committee of the coun-
ing to Feb.08 appointments in been ignored by the administra- cil will be headed by former
addition to being member of tion. However, the new head legislator Daniel Kidega.
the board head the University of the board is Jolly Uzamu- Other members of this com-
Council’s Finance, Planning, kunda Karabaya, the Ministry mittee include Prof Barnabas
Administration and Investment of Education and Sports rep- Nawangwe, Jude Mbabaali, the
committee. resentative to the Makerere Masaka District LCV Chairper-
In a January petition to the Council. Also on the Board are son, Dr. Sarah Ssali, the Dean
Speaker of Parliament, MUASA lawyer Kiryowa Kiwanuka, the School of Women and Gender
indicated that Kabaasa did government Appointee to the Studies among others.

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 5
Week

Kagame replaced by Egypt’s Abdel Fattah Parliament passes bill on


as AU heads of state meet in Addis traditional medicine
Dubbed, the Traditional and Complementary
President Yoweri and the truce between Medicine Bill, 2015, the bill that seeks to regulate
Museveni arrived in Ethiopia and Eritrea, use of traditional medicines and traders in tradi-
Ethiopia’s capital of were signs of a “wind tional medicine was passed on Feb.05 after being
Addis Ababa on Feb.09 of hope” on the con- shelved for years. It comes in handy with increas-
where African Union tinent. ing concern over what traditional medicine can or
(AU) heads of State However, whereas can’t do in addition to what some call misleading
convened for a two the new head is information going through mainstream media.
day summit that saw expected to focus on While presenting a report to plenary, Health
Rwandan President Paul security and post war committee of parliament chairperson Michael
Kagame handle over the reconstruction, predic- Bukenya said their interaction with National
mantle to his Egyptian 19 countries have ratified tions are that Egypt’s term Drug Authority revealed that some of the concoc-
counterpart Abdel Fat- the agreement, with 22 as AU head may not yield tions fronted by those who claim to be herbal
tah Al-Sisi as the Union needed for it to come into much. A diplomat quoted researchers and as cure to several ailments and
Chairman. effect. by AFP for instance said sickness were found to contain substances from
While discussing the Commenting on the the country is not keen on conventional medicine and lacked the capacity to
solutions for the multiple agenda for the AU, a powerful union. cure illnesses indicated.
crises on the continent international news agen- Especially because The bill that now awaits accent by the presi-
was high on agenda, the cies reported on Feb.09 Cairo has “never forgot- dent now provides for setting up a council that
presidents also discussed that United Nations ten” its suspension in will be supervised by the minister to regulate the
institutional reforms and Secretary-General Anto- 2013 after Egypt’s army activities of the traditional herbalists or adminis-
the establishment of a nio Guterres said that deposed Islamist presi- tration of traditional medicine. It’s proposed that
continent-wide free trade peaceful elections in DR dent Mohamed Morsi, members to the council include National Drug
zone. The Continental Congo, Mali and Mada- who in 2012 became the Authority, representative of the Health Ministry,
Free Trade Area (CFTA) gascar, as well as peace country’s first democrati- the director of Research, Natural chemothera-
was agreed by 44 nations deals in South Sudan and cally elected president, the peutical Research institute, two complementary
in March 2018, but only Central African Republic diplomat said. medicine practitioners and two representatives of
the traditional medical practitioners.

6 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
Humour Did you know?
Facebook finally has
unsend feature

Facebook has announced it is giving


everybody the option to “Unsend” – delete
and actually remove – messages in its
Uganda’s education is struggling with poor quality according to a World Bank. instant messaging app Messenger.
You might remember the furore last
year when it was revealed Facebook CEO
Mark Zuckerberg had given himself this
privilege, but not to ordinary users. Thanks
to TechCrunch, we discovered Zuckerberg
had used his executive power to enable
himself (and other executives) to remove
messages sent to the inboxes of other
people (and from Facebook’s servers),
which he then proceeded to do as far back
as 2010.
As an ordinary user, you can “delete” a
message by pressing and holding down a
message and selecting “Remove”, only it
doesn’t actually delete the message as seen
by the recipient, just the one that appears in
your inbox.
After the backlash regarding the
special treatment of Zuckerberg and co.
for “security”, Facebook announced that
it recognised it had given its executives
A prominent Catholic Priest and political activist has described Bobi Wine as a prophet. privacy options not available to users and
was planning to roll out the removal feature
for everybody. Until that day, they said,
Zuckerberg would not be allowed to use
the feature.
The new option, which officially
launched on Feb.10 now gives you the
chance to “Remove for Everyone”, which
means your message will be removed from
the recipient’s inbox or group chat and
Facebook’s servers (eventually). There is
just a small catch: you have to delete within
10 minutes of sending the message.
Unsending a message in the first 10
minutes of sending it means you can
correct a mistake or retrieve something you
regret sending, but you can’t go back and
edit your message history. Facebook also
confirmed it will keep deleted messages for
“a limited amount of time” in case someone
wants to report abuse, before permanently
The Ministry of Tourism has added curvy and sexy Ugandan removing them.
women to the list of tourism products to attract tourists.

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 7
News analysis Health Business
New accusations Exercise is 2018/19 budget Insurer’s minimum capital
against Kayihura medicine proposal requirement goes up

Issue No. 558 Feb. 08 - 14 2019


Ushs 5,000,Kshs 200, RwF 1,500, SDP 8

Rebel ghosts haunt


DP, Norbert Mao
His 2021 plan now involves dealing
with Mabikke, Bwanika return

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Letters are
welcome ! Put Ministry of Health budget to good use
The Editor welcomes short and
concise letters from our esteemed Refer to: “Wrong think- though we cannot talk of we put to good use? Even
readers on topical issues. Please ing on health services” (The “governments being over the US$151 per person in
send them to: Independent Feb.08). Well developed in function but health is not reflected on the
The Editor, The Independent researched. If Mwenda under developed in capac- ground. To me, we should
Publications Ltd,
P.O Box 3304,
was a woman, we could ity” when it is the capacity go back to the basics of 1 +
Plot 82/84 Kanjokya St, be talking about “mood that brings about develop- 1. We can benefit from the
Kamwokya. swings” but we suspect that ment. In other words, we Shs16 trillion economy if we
Kampala,Uganda. he’s a man so we should are putting the cart before embarked on efficiency.
be talking about “momen- the horse. How much of
Email: editor@independent.co.ug tum shifts.” Nice article, our realised budget do Rajab Kakyama

Army on lakes improved fish Kudos Plascon on anti-mosquito paint


Last year about 13 fish companies were I think its high time others), I’m sure malaria is is not only for the health
forced out of business due to stock-outs on Ugandans realise that mis- going to be eradicated in benefits but also employ-
Lake Victoria, following declining fish stocks sion wealth creation is on Uganda. ment opportunities. Over
on Lake Victoria due to illegal fishing prac- the run; the 2020 malaria Plascon’s introducing 450 workers are needed;
tices. President Museveni in 2017 deployed goal of eradication has this paint is a huge step this is a huge step towards
the army on major landing sites. The deploy- already been initiated and because a health life is a our development.
ment followed a survey by NaFIRRI indicat- President Yoweri Museveni health mind. I strongly
ing that the Nile Perch catches declined by is strongly considering not urge the Plascon company Kevin Seguya
46% between 2011 and 2015. This has been only the infrastructural to work hand in hand with kelvinsegz@gmail.com
moving on well because the presence of the development but other the government distribute
strong army on the lake has resulted into a sectors like heath. Uganda this paint widely, at a price
reduction in the catch of small fish, cracked has been holding the sixth that any average Ugandan
down dealers of illegal nets and eliminated
position in Africa among can afford. I urge Plascon
illegal fishing activities hence improving fish
countries with high malaria to also sensitise people
size.
infection cases. Up to 30% about how the paint works
Lt. Colonel James Nuwagaba, the UPDF
of our population has been and its impact; like the
fisheries Ops Unit Chief who was appointed
victims of this disease. The two years expiration.
by President Museveni to fight illegal fish-
ing on Lake Victoria and heads the UPDF introduction of Kansai People need to know
Marine Operations, arrested culprits and anti-mosquito paint on top so that at expiration
burnt their boats and illegal fishing nets. A of other things the govern- adjustments are made. I
close watch of the number of boats on the ment has been doing to thank the President for
lake has been made easier through the intro- fight malaria (free treated creating such an oppor-
duction of number plates. mosquito nets amongst tunity to Ugandans. It
The latest catch assessment survey indi-
cates that the total length of fish in the Ugan-
da sector of Lake Victoria is at 25 centimeters
in 2018, up from 16 centimeters in 2017.the Pogba is Manchester United captain material
director of fisheries resources in the ministry
of Agriculture, Edward Rukuunya, says the Very, very Pogba must Finally, all
improved fish size has brought hope and the true, and be a team can see his
closed companies want to reopen because much respect captain for love and care
there is hope that stocks are recovering. to you my Manchester when play-
If the President had not intervened by manager United Foot- ing football.
deploying the army, the lake would only be Ole Gunnar ball Club. He Thank you
used for fetching water for home use since Solskjaer . I works very very much.
fish would have been depleted. agree with hard when
your decision are on the Anonymous
Catherine Namuddu and support pitch with his
Kampala you that Paul teammates.

8 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
The Last Word Opinion

Impunity at Bank of Uganda


By Andrew M. Mwenda
How institutional independence allowed the central bank
to indulge in gross mismanagement and incompetence

L
ast week was the most shameful for DFCU grossly undervalued CBL assets tional firms are sucking the country dry.
Bank of Uganda. During hearings knowingly and paid peanuts. Hence, a BoU officials have defined their role nar-
before the parliamentary committee month after buying them, it re-valued them rowly i.e. to achieve financial stability.
on Commissions, Statutory Authori- at prices five times higher. For example, This is helped by the FIA. In pursuit of this
ties and State Enterprises (COSASE) it was CBL had valued its branches at Shs90 bil- narrow objective, BoU officials abuse their
exposed that BoU sold the assets and liabili- lion. DFCU valued them at Shs10 billion independence by acting with impunity,
ties of the now defunct Crane Bank Limited and paid stamp duty at that price. It re- intimidating, and blackmailing owners of
(CBL) irregularly in blatant violation of the valued them at Shs48 billion immediately distressed banks with criminal prosecu-
law. after. Is this not tax fraud? tion to unfairly dispossess them. In cases
First, a caveat: I am biased when it comes Why did BOU act with such recklessness involving local owners they had also jailed
to issues of CBL. Its former owner, Sudhir and DFCU accept to go along with this some of them. This suppressed any chal-
Ruparelia, is my friend. I was a customer blatant violation of the law if the two were lenge to the criminal and fraudulent way
of CBL as were all businesses I am associ- not colluding to defraud the shareholders BoU acts.
ated with. In this capacity, I experienced of Crane Bank and the taxman? For two Previously no one questioned whether
the high quality of service CBL extended to decades, BOU has adopted a policy where, BoU followed the law or whether their
their customers and which was tailor-made whenever a commercial bank is in distress, claims against any given failing bank were
to address the specific characteristics of our their only solution is to liquidate. They true. Indeed, no one asked whether the
society. Therefore, my personal bias and make no consideration of any alternative; only option available to the central bank
interest should not blind the reader to the like how they can rescue a bank. Over the was to liquidate a bank in distress. Because
issues I raise. years, I have realised that this is a result of everyone respected their independence and
BoU took over statutory management four factors in order of their importance: believed they were doing the right thing,
of CBL on October 13, 2016. It then, on ideology, impunity, incompetence, and cor- the people at BoU felt omnipotent. Thanks
November 30, 2016, entered an agreement ruption. to Sudhir, he was the only dispossessed
with DFCU Bank to buy CBL’s assets and Ideologically there is hostility to local bank owner who decided to fight back; a
liabilities and gave DFCU unlimited access ownership of banks. We assume that factor that has exposed BoU incompetence,
to CBL records. bankers do insider lending and other prac- impunity, and criminality.
Clearly BOU had no intention or desire tices that undermine the viability of a bank. I personally experienced this impunity
whatsoever to stabilise CBL; its intention This bias is not pulled out of thin air. It is the and blackmail. During a meeting to resolve
was to liquidate. On December 9, 2016, BOU response to this that matters. The lesson we the problems of CBL at the ministry of
asked DFCU to submit a bid to buy the get from such mistakes is criminal prosecu- Finance, Justine Bagyenda, then Executive
assets and liabilities of CBL. tion of the culprits, which silences them. Director Bank Supervision, told me point
The first draft forensic audit report by BoU then hands over the local bank to those blank: “we are the state and were going to
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) on CBL it wishes in sweetheart deals that suggest destroy Sudhir and take all his property,
came out on January 13, 2017. So, essen- collusion between BoU and the buyers. including that private home he is very
tially, BoU had invited DFCU to buy CBL A business, like a person, grows from proud of if he does not play ball.” Today
assets and liabilities before it had an inven- infancy to maturity. In infancy, it will make I feel proud that I live in a country with
tory of these assets and liabilities. How can many mistakes and suffer the problems strong institutions to check this kind of
you sell what you do not know? Secondly, of incompetence, mismanagement, and impunity. As we know, it is BOU managers
BoU did all this without a forensic report even fraud. In practically every enterprise, like Bagyenda not Sudhir, who are in the
showing the present value of the assets it these mistakes should be opportunities dock.
was selling. Without a reserve price BoU for learning, correcting mistakes, and Here was the crisis at BoU: Bagyenda
simply asked DFCU to pay whatever it improving on performance. Every person, lacked basic intellectual ability to under-
wished. organisation, business or country grows stand the macro economic challenges of
Now we must remember that the Finan- through such feats and starts. Uganda, and how to resolve banks in
cial Institutions Act (FIA), clearly states that: The ideological problem in Uganda is that distress with strategic foresight. This was
“In determining the amount of assets which where local firms are involved, such mis- compounded by that fact that, while intel-
is likely to be realised from the financial takes become the excuse and the justifica- lectually astute, Deputy Governor Louis
institutions assets, the receiver shall a) eval- tion for shutting them down. To kill a busi- Kasekende approaches bank issues through
uate the alternatives on the present value ness because of these mistakes is like pun- highly technical and theoretical lenses.
basis, using a realistic discount rate; or b) ishing a child of one year because it pees To make a bad situation worse, Governor
document the evaluation and assumptions and plays in its own pee. This has led us to Tumusiime Mutebile was too ill to add any-
on which the evaluation is based, including a situation where the commanding heights thing valuable.
any assumptions with regard to interest of our economy are owned by foreign firms.
rates, asset recovery rates, inflation, asset Ugandans only work in them as employees. amwenda@independent.co.ug
holding and other costs.” BoU disregarded Hence profit repatriation, transfer pricing
these provisions completely. and other illegal remittances by multina-

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 9
cover story

The next fight over


closed banks
Under the spotlight: the law
and big money
cover story

A
By Haggai Matsiko serious legal liability,” the official said.
This bill is a rough estimate of what BoU
fter ending its public could pay in compensation required by the
hearings into Bank of former shareholders of the seven banks,
Uganda’s closure of interest rate on this money and resultant
seven commercial banks, legal fees.
attention is shifting to To get a sense of the bill, for instance,
the recommendations Crane Bank shareholders are demanding
the Parliamentary Committee on $23 million (Approx. Shs85 billion) and the
Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and bad book worth Shs575 billion.
State Enterprises (COSASE), is set to make. National Bank of Commerce is
It has emerged over the three-month demanding Shs295 billion, Global Trust
long parliamentary COSASE probe, that Bank Shs315.7 billion, and Greenland Bank
the central bank failed to follow the law Shs38 billion, another US$ 10.45 million
and procedure and made many mistakes (Approx. Shs 37 billion) and USD 11
during the closure and liquidation of the million (Approx. Shs40 billion).
banks. Louis Kasekende The shareholders of these banks are
Abdul Katuntu, the chairman of making these demands through COSASE.
COSASE captured the sentiment precisely But, as a parliamentary committee,
during one of the sessions. COSASE can only make recommendations
“You cannot have a central bank that to the executive, which can ignore them.
conducts business in this manner,” he said Then the shareholders could go to court.
as another BoU failure was exposed. The government would opt to defend its
Katuntu was reacting to revelations position or arbitration.
by shareholders and directors of Crane Should BoU and, therefore, the
Bank, which BoU took over in 2016 and government be compelled to pay the
controversially sold to dfcu bank in 2017. Shs5 trillion to the shareholders under
The committee had just heard that whatever conditions, it could have major
BoU sold Crane Bank to dfcu Bank the implications on the economy.
bank through a phone call. And it was But the other camp says there is nothing
not the first. BoU had sold National Bank for BoU to fear.
of Commerce and Global Trust Bank in According to them, the law governing
similar fashion. supervision of banks, the Financial
The defunct banks include: Teffe, Justine Bagyenda Institutions Act (FIA) 2004, gives BoU very
Greenland Bank; formerly owned by the broad latitude to close a bank under many
late Sulaiman Kigundu, National Bank circumstances.
of Commerce (NBC), formerly owned Two broad grounds that shield BoU are
by tycoon Amos Nzeyi, former Prime increasingly cited here: One says BoU can
Minister, Amama Mbabazi, among others, close a bank if the bank “is in the opinion
International Bank, formerly owned by of the Central Bank conducting business
the Emma Kato family, Cooperative Bank, in a manner detrimental to the interests of
Global Trust Bank, and Crane Bank. depositors”.
Shareholders of these banks appear to The other is when the bank “has in the
have won the sympathy of whoever heard view of the Central Bank contravened this
their revelations. Act or any other financial law in a manner
While reacting to the same on Feb.8, which is serious or persistent”.
even Finance Minister Matia Kasaijja who For all the Banks BoU closed, those
was appearing with the BoU board before invoking this shield say, it can provide
the committee had no kind words. evidence for these grounds.
“It is very unfortunate that there is a John Muwanga Crane Bank, for instance, faced under
patient who is still breathing and you as a capitalisation problems, its shareholders
doctor give him poison to finish him off,” allegedly took insider loans and severally
Kasaija said while commenting on the way contravened the FIA. Both NBC and
the central bank closed some of the banks. Global Trust Bank faced capitalisation
It has also become clear that the central issues that threatened depositors’ savings,
bank risks paying heavily for these some insiders say.
mistakes. But, The Independent can report, Some inside BoU feel that this is the
opinion on the matter among decision most important issue; that BoU caught
makers at BoU, Ministry of Finance, and these banks breaking the law. As a result,
State House is sharply divided. they argue, BoU acted rightly in closing
One camp argues that BoU can legally them. The most important thing, they
justify why it closed each and every one of argue, is that BoU protected depositors’
these banks. The other camp says BoU also savings and protected the entire financial
broke the law and should be punished. sector from contagion.
A senior official at BOU told The “A lot of people are talking but do
Independent that the central bank faces they stop and imagine what would have
a risk of coughing up a staggering Shs5 Abdul Katuntu happened if BoU had not intervened and
trillion as a result of this mess. “We face a these banks had gone burst?” asked one

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 11
cover story

Governor Tumusiime Mutebile and other BoU officials appearing before COSASE.

of the insiders at BoU, “so, the focus of on a present value basis, using a realistic was given out with no evaluation of assets.
the debate and parliament should be on discount rate, and (b) document the However, in their 2017 prospectus for
the mistakes of these banks and how to evaluation and the assumptions on which investors, dfcu noted that the Crane Bank
make sure those who made them are held the evaluation is based, including any deal was one of the best they had inked in
accountable.” assumptions with regard to interest rates, years.
Aiming to punish BoU officials asset recovery rates, inflation, asset holding These events have confirmed what the
for intervening, the insider added, is and other costs. shareholders of Crane Bank have always
punishing them for doing their job. In the case of Crane Bank, BoU did claimed; that the assets of Crane Bank,
An official at the central bank also not do any of this - at least according to which they put at Shs. 1.8trillion were
explained to The Independent that presentations made before COSASE by undervalued before being sold to DFCU
what many people do not realise is that BoU officials, former shareholders of Crane for Shs200 billion.
intervening in a bank is a delicate process. Bank and officials from dfcu bank, which In the past, while defending BoU,
“These sorts of things have to happen fast acquired the bank in question. Deputy Governor Louis Kasekende, who
enough otherwise irreparable damage will When the then Executive Director was at the centre of the transaction has said
be caused,” said the official. Supervision, Justine Bagyenda, made a that this kind of thinking betrays a lack
But another side admits that in the decision to sell Crane Bank, she just picked of understanding of the means through
process of performing its roles, BoU her phone and called the then Managing which failed banks are resolved by bank
officials violated the law and that as a Director of dfcu, Juma Kisaame and regulators.
result BoU is exposed to serious risks. invited him to her office at BoU. “It has been alleged that Crane Bank
Indeed some shareholders of some Kisaame told the committee that was sold by BoU for a fraction of the value
banks; like Sudhir Ruparelia, the former dfcu was then granted access to Crane of its assets, ignoring a fact that a bank
proprietor of Crane Bank and the former Bank assets between November 30 and has liabilities, such as deposits, as well as
proprietors of NBC are already suing BoU. December 20 2017. assets,” Kasekende said on April 6, 2018.
Their cases are largely based on On December 9, BoU then invited dfcu “When Crane Bank was resolved by the
allegations that BoU violated the FIA in to bid for the assets and liabilities of Crane BoU, the value of its assets was much less
the process of liquidating their banks. Bank. Dfcu then submitted its bid on than the value of its liabilities.
According to the FIA, BOU is obliged to December 20. Consequently, Crane Bank had a
take certain steps before selling off assets of It was not until January 13 that a report negative net worth of approximately
a financial institution. prepared by PriceWaterHouseCoopers on Shs260 billion; it was insolvent.”
The FIA for instance demands that the behalf of BoU came out. He added: “BoU did not sell Crane
sale of assets of a bank taken over by BoU According to the law, this is the Bank, because no one would have bought
should be done in a way that results in document BoU should have prepared a bank with a negative net worth of this
marshaling the greatest amount of the before engaging any buyers of Crane Bank magnitude. Instead, the BoU carried out
financial institution’s assets and protects assets. BoU should then have based on this a purchase of assets and assumption of
the interests of depositors including document to resolve Crane Bank. liabilities transaction (P&A) with DFCU.
their interest in the unprotected deposit Instead, having granted access to dfcu DFCU assumed most of the liabilities of
amounts. bank for it to do its own valuations and Crane Bank, including all of its deposits
It should also minimise costs to the due diligence, BoU then relied on the and acquired assets of equivalent value.”
Deposit Protection Fund and losses to valuations of dfcu to move to it assets of The problem with this explanation
other creditors, and ensure stability of the Crane Bank. now is that it has become clear that BoU
financial sector. The dfcu team told the committee that had not carried out a valuation of Crane
In determining the amount of assets when they did the due diligence, they Bank assets by the time it sold it to dfcu.
likely to be realised from the financial discovered a number of non-performing Indeed, information provided by dfcu also
institution’s assets, the FIA states that the assets, questionable loan approvals, poor shows that the assets of Crane Bank were
receiver shall, (a) evaluate the alternatives credit administration and collateral that undervalued.

12 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
cover story
Dfcu provided two lists of some of the “BoU asked us to raise a shortfall of Shs7 at a loss arising from conflict of interest
assets it acquired from Crane Bank. The billion. We raised it in four days. There between BOU staff and the potential
first list showed how dfcu valued these was now a shortfall of Shs300 million and buyers.”
assets before it acquired them and the they did not even give us one day to raise COSASE based its probe on the Special
other showed values of the properties it. We had demonstrated capacity to raise Audit it asked the AG to undertake
a month after dfcu acquired them. dfcu money,” Mbabazi said wondering why, following the controversy surrounding the
officials said the second valuation was despite this, BoU had gone ahead to close takeover and sale of Crane Bank to DFCU
carried out by an independent firm. their bank. last year.
Anita Among, the deputy chairperson The shareholders of Global Trust Having interacted with the BoU
of COSASE, read out some of the values. Bank told the committee that following management, shareholders of defunct
She noted that while dfcu valued one of a demand on July 04, 2014 to recapitalise banks and dfcu officials, COSASE invited
the properties at Shs400 million before the the bank, the shareholders were not given the BoU board on December 08, 2018.
takeover, a month later, an independent time to comply and the Bank was shut on Asked why the board abdicated their
valuer hired by the same bank valued the July 25, 2014. They said that BoU sold their role in the closure of the banks, a member
same property at Shs2 billion. bank 15 days before they closed it. of the BoU board; William Kalema,
Concerned that this could have applied Shareholders of Greenland Bank led attempted to shield the board from the
to all the properties, among asked dfcu for by Ahmed Nsubuga also raised issues mess.
the asset register—a list of all properties surrounding the liquidation of their bank “No, we weren’t involved in mechanics
acquired from Crane Bank. Officials from that remain unresolved 20 years after it of closing the banks,” Kalema said, “When
dfcu, which acquired the said properties, was closed. They fingered BoU over the it comes to mechanics of closing a bank,
said they did not have the asset register. manner in which its assets were sold. there isn’t enough time. If we had better
They said it was with BoU. In December 2007, BoU signed an supervision, we would have foreseen
Committee members also raised agreement with a grey entity, Nile those problems, in some cases, those
concerns that dfcu had acquired Crane River Acquisition Company, to sell the problems weren’t revealed. In some cases,
Bank in the absence of the statutory
manager, contrary to the law.
But William Ssekabembe, a senior
dfcu official, told the Committee that the
bank had several meetings with Katimbo
Mugwanya, who BoU had appointed as
the statutory manager for Crane Bank to
handle the takeover.
“There is no way we would have taken
over that bank without certain insights,”
Ssekabembe, “I can confirm that we
had several meetings and the statutory
manager stayed on for several weeks with
certain facilities that he was using for some
time.”

This forced the committee chairman,


Abdul Katuntu, to rule that Ssekabembe
swears an oath because committee
members suspected that he was not telling
the truth.
And this was because while appearing
before the committee, the statutory NBC shareholders Amos Nzeyi and Amama Mbabazi appearing before COSASE
manager, Katimbo Mugwanya, had told
the committee that he was on his farm the debt portfolio of Greenland, ICB and the supervision people were taken by
day dfcu took over Crane Bank. Cooperative banks at US$25 million or surprise.”
He said that he only received pictures Shs.8.9 billion. The loans were worth This infuriated the legislators. Katuntu
on WhatsApp, the mobile messaging app, Shs135 billion. noted that that if BoU had a very strong
showing dfcu staff loading files and other The sales price offered of Shs8.898 billion supervision department, it should have
stuff from Crane Bank and taking them. represented 26% of the total secured loan seen this thing coming.
It is not only Crane Bank that BoU portfolio and 7% of total loan portfolio. “We don’t see any emergency in any
handled in this manner. The committee Critics say BOU did not raise the (closure) unless your bank supervision
heard that Bagyenda contacted Crane maximum amount possible from the sale wasn’t working or if it was working, it
Bank’s A. Kalan asking to sell them of these assets in line with section 33(5}(d) withheld crucial information. From the
National Bank of Commerce. of FIS 1993. facts we have, we don’t see any bank that
NBC shareholders, Mathew Rukikaire, Overall, these revelations confirm the collapsed from nowhere,” Katuntu shot
former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi fears of Auditor General John Muwanga. back.
and Amos Nzeyi raised concerns that “I observed that there were no The question now is whether Katuntu’s
despite a 2012 BoU monitoring report guidelines/regulation or policies in place to committee will recommend that the central
indicating that NBC’s total assets were guide the identification of the purchasers bank pays for the mess surrounding the
worth Shs21billion, well above the then of defunct banks,” the AG noted in his closure of these banks. And what the
minimum capital threshold of Shs10 special report on defunct banks, “In the government and the courts do about it.
billion, the central bank went ahead and absence of guidelines of the sale of banks,
closed their bank. there is a risk that bank assets may be sold

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 13
news analysis

Museveni (in hat) meeting crime preventers at Lugogo last year.

Fight erupts over Crime


Preventers SACCO money
National Coordinator Kamugisha accused
of embezzling funds to acquire property
By Ian Katusiime From several interviews conducted with Reserve Force. Awany was handed the

B
crime preventers across the country, Kamu- crime preventers docket when Museveni
laise Kamugisha, the National Co- gisha runs a one man show of both the ordered the crime preventers to be brought
ordinator of Crime Preventers has crime preventers as an outfit and Mwanga- under the command of the Reserve Force in
in a short time reportedly bought za as the SACCO. “When we were going to March 2018.
himself four cars, a house, a farm, a meet the president, we were told not to ask According to various forces The Indepen-
shop in Kikuubo; the business hub of Kam- anything,” one said. Kamugisha has report- dent spoke to, there was friction between
pala, and prime plots of land in Entebbe, edly created a small band of loyalists with Kamugisha and Gen. Awany. In a meeting
Mbarara, and Wakiso. And some people whom he works on given projects. over SACCO matters, Awany told Kamu-
are not impressed. Crime preventers paint a picture of some- gisha “You have no right to fire and hire
“This is someone who has no job and one who runs the organisation with an iron people randomly, if you want to change
he has just graduated (January 2019) from fist. “We would go to Kampala to collect our anyone, first write to us”.
university. We have reason to believe he is savings and we would just find different Sources say due to Awany’s checks and
using SACCO money,” one of them told The people at the secretariat,” a source said. In inquiries, Kamugisha resorted to working
Independent. addition, it is alleged he would fire treasur- with Maj. Gen. Proscovia Nalweyiso whom,
In fact, members of the crime preventers’ ers and other managers of the SACCO in Kamugisha claims, is the crime preventers’
Mwangaza Savings and Credit Coopera- case they disagreed him with on virtually coordinator at State House. This could not
tive (SACCO) have written to the Ministry anything. be independently verified. Kamugisha is
of Trade and Cooperatives demanding an The case has sucked in Lt. Gen. Otema said to have networks to State House.
audit of Mwangaza. Awany, the Commander of the UPDF A few weeks ago, Awany appointed an

14 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
news analysis
the ministry of Trade and Cooperatives to
carry out an audit of Mwangaza, trace any
Mwangaza has not missing funds including the presidential
donation, fully decentralise Mwangaza to
held any Annual district level, and also do a review of the
General Meeting Mwangaza Constitution.
When Gen. Kayihura advised on the
(AGM) ever since decentralisation of Mwangaza to district
level, those who were recruiting at district
inception or sat level were told by Kamugisha to regis-

to review the
ter their members with the promise that
their savings would be deposited on their
leadership or give accounts. Those who were waiting for the
money did so in vain.
members a report Nothing new
on how SACCO Allegations of corruption against Kamu-
funds are being gisha are not new.
Those who were perturbed by Kamu-
managed gisha’s management style took the matter
to Kayihura at his home in Kashagama,
Lyantonde on December 30, 2018. Kayihura
summoned Kamugisha to account for his
actions and on December 31, 2018, a meet-
ing that involved Kamugisha’s team and
Mwangaza SACCO was set up on the the accusers happened, at the same venue.
advice of Museveni in 2014 at a pass out “Show them documentation of how you
ceremony of crime preventers at the Police acquired this property, these people will be
Training School Kabalye in Masindi. the ones to defend you in case of anything,”
Museveni wanted the crime preventers to Kayihura told his protégé Kamugisha. In
access quick loans from their savings. return, Kamugisha said he had acquired
It was designed as a source of initial capi- whatever he had through proper means.
intelligence officer attached to the Reserve tal for most crime preventers who had just According to another source who was in
Force, a one Col. Bagadda, to follow up on left university and were jobless. The setting charge of recruiting crime preventers into
the audit. However information on how far up of Mwangaza came in handy when Mwangaza, Kamugisha did not make prop-
the audit has gone remains scanty. numbers of crime preventers were growing er accountability when he was purchasing
rapidly as they were being recruited to beef two particular items; a Public Address
Kamugisha speaks out up the re-election campaign of President System and two block-making machines
“Those stories are false,” said Kamugisha Museveni in the 2016 general elections. in 2017. The Public Address System was to
when The Independent contacted him for But now, members say, without getting be used by Police as it rolled out the com-
comment. He referred The Independent to accountability, it is hard to tell whether munity policing program across the country
Gorden Byakatonda, Principal Cooperative there is any money on the Mwangaza while the block making machines were to
Officer at the Ministry of Trade and Coop- account. be used by police for building residential
eratives who he said was already auditing The mismanagement of Mwangaza has quarters for officers in Naguru. Police
the SACCO. Byakatonda declined to com- created more disappointment among crime would use the two items and in turn pay
ment on the matter. preventers who were already deflated when back to Mwangaza which money would
The SACCO was set up by National their benefactor Gen. Kale Kayihura was then be ploughed back into the SACCO.
Crime Preventers Forum in 2014. At its replaced as Inspector General of Police last There was a setback though when Gen.
peak, Mwangaza savings were estimated year. Kale Kayihura was sacked in March 2018
between Shs800million and Shs1 billion. Getting back their money has always and replaced by Martins Okoth Ochola.
According to this source, over 50,000 crime a challenge, members say, but it has now The new IGP Ochola had not bought into
preventers from all over the country sub- become impossible. the idea of crime preventers from the onset
scribed to Mwangaza. “Blaise makes all the decisions and and the community policing program sub-
Each member paid an initial subscription anyone who dares to question him; he dis- sequently lost momentum rendering the
was a fee of Shs17, 000, bought any number misses from the organisation. He runs the machines idle. This affected the entire pay-
of shares in the SACCO at Shs10, 000 per SACCO alone and he appoints the treasurer ment plan.
share, and saved Shs5, 000 and Shs2, 000. at will,” another source told The Independent. Kamugisha is said to be cagey about the
President Yoweri Museveni also donated Mwangaza has not held any Annual Gen- exact cost of the Public Address System and
Shs50 million to the SACCO. eral Meeting (AGM) ever since inception as the block making machines.
Several members told The Independent required by its constitution or sat to review A source privy to the transactions of
that Mwangaza SACCO risks closure due the leadership or give members a report these machines said Kamugisha invoiced a
to alleged financial misconduct by Blaise on how SACCO funds are being managed. cheque of Shs100million for the block mak-
Kamugisha. They say he has turned Mwan- There is basically no accountability for four ing machines to the Police Director of Engi-
gaza into a one-man affair, and is the prin- years, a member said. neering and Logistics, Godfrey Bangirana.
cipal signatory to the Mwangaza account Members accuse Kamugisha of stifling However Bangirana was alarmed at the
after allegedly kicking out any member of Mwangaza and probably depleting all its amount of money and immediately rejected
the SACCO secretariat who dares to oppose money. the invoice. One machine costs about
him. The disgruntled crime preventers want Shs20m according to informed sources.

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 15
interview

Even without GMOs, Uganda


can beat food insecurity
Across the world, discussions around food are changing from focusing on just whether there are enough
quantities to feed everybody to whether people are consuming quality. Experts are worried about increasing Non-
Communicable Diseases which have a direct link to what people eat. Obesity used to be mainly a problem of
the west but the 2016/17 Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) figures put prevalence in Uganda at 14% among
young adults. The same data showed 24.4% of the population faces acute food insecurity. Antonio Querido, the
new Uganda country representative for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) spoke
to the Independent’s Flavia Nassaka about these issues, elimination of hunger, climate change and biosafety.

How would you describe Uganda’s

U
food security situation?
ganda is a country with a
huge potential when it comes
to agriculture. It’s blessed
with a lot of water and fertile
soils which can guarantee sustained
production and food security. But
when we look at the statistics in terms
of food and nutrition, we realise that
there is still a lot of work that we need
to do to ensure that the rural poor are
targeted and supported to become food
secure. We also have to diversify the
type of food that they have since now
it’s not only about quantity but quality.
I was aware of Uganda’s potential
even before I came in; that’s why we
at FAO are now trying to see that our
on-going programmes respond to these
challenges.

Most of these programmes are


targeting rural areas yet the reality
now is that urban dwellers are food
insecure too; especially when you
look at it in terms of quality eating.
What’s your view?
That’s true because UBOS figures
tell us 64% of Ugandans can’t afford
three meals per day and 40% eat below
the daily dietary intake of calories. We
focus on urban settings too because we
understand the pressure that comes
with movement of people to the city;
especially in a country where the
economy is not doing well. In urban
areas we provide technical support
into the kind of agriculture
that we know happens
there. Our role is
to ensure that
it’s done in a
sustainable
manner.
But, we

16 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
interview
should also not forget that the mass Uganda, as one of the biggest
movement of people to the center also refugee hosting countries, has
creates opportunities in the rural areas been depending on FAO for food
that’s why we also have a programme
focused on making agriculture more As you know, donations. Should this trend worry
us?
attractive to young people as a form of globally, No. We are already making
income generation. them self- reliant. The response
We put more emphasis on the rural donations is a coordinated effort under the
areas because it’s where there’s more
potential to invest in agriculture with
continue leadership of the Office of the Prime
Minister. It has been designed under a
plenty of land planting crops, rearing to reduce. simple basis that most of the refugees
cattle and establishing fish farms.
Governments were farmers and herders in their
areas of origin. You know we have
Parliament recently passed a that depend a community that we are not certain
biosafety law that regulates
research, development and release
on aid should of how long they will be here; so we
resolved to make them self- reliant
of Genetically Modified Organisms be critically because we have the land that they can
(GMOs). It had been shelved for
long. It was first introduced in 2012 thinking about acquire and the technical knowhow.
This is not only because it puts a lot of
as National Biotechnology and how to go around pressure in terms of response but from
Bio-safety Bill but turned out very the humanitarian perspective, people
controversial. What’s your view about this challenge can put the energy that they have into
use of GMOs? good work. It improves their self-
Use of GMO seeds has been a huge esteem when they stop depending on
area of discussion with particular only food rations and they can also
concerns on biodiversity and the case of Uganda, its allocated only 3% contribute to the economy in terms of
perspective of food security and of the total budget yet in 2015 African providing a labour force.
safety. We have to ensure that leaders meeting in Malabo, Equatorial
GMO seeds don’t have undesirable Guinea adopted a resolution to invest What will be the focus of FAO in
impact on the ecosystem. The law 10% in order to accelerate agricultural Uganda as we embark on the next 40
in place should understand the growth and transformation because years journey?
implications such that decisions are they realised that to see changes in The priorities are set by the
made accordingly. Most importantly, the sector they have to invest more in government of Uganda but we will
it requires having in place strong institutions, in processing and farm continue to insist on increasing
institutions to monitor and follow inputs. We will know how countries production and productivity. We also
up some GMO seeds if safety is to be are progressing in two years’ time want to ensure that use of water, use
guaranteed. but I can say there’s a positive trend of fertilisers and pesticides is done in
when it comes to Uganda - aware of its a sustainable manner. The challenge
Are they a solution to food limitations as a country. for us is to feed every one and to leave
insecurity? We also need to see the role of a production base that is valid for the
Yes, in some cases depending on private sector in agriculture. The future generation. That’s why we are
what you are modifying – when you government has a role of creating looking into sectors like aquaculture
start inserting genes from animals into opportunities for them to invest that have a huge potential but
plants then that becomes tricky and through increasing access to finances have not been utilised. Recently we
requires a lot of attention. We need to for entrepreneurs in the sector. launched a project in 25 communities
further study what we need to modify where 20 to 25 youth are supported
and what we don’t want modified. What about development partners to engage in aquaculture. The idea
Apart from that, even without them like you? is to make them look at fisheries as a
we can still make major strides in Our resources are not loans but business. Our role is to closely work
agriculture. Farmers have a range of donations that have to be mobilised with them and equip them with the
new technologies at their disposal from other partners. We at the necessary techniques for sustained
in the area of pest control, seeds beginning of every cooperation cycle production.
improvement that can greatly improve sign an agreement where we commit
quantities. In Africa, what we should the amount of resources we will Finally, countries in the west are
seriously consider is investing in contribute and then try to mobilise facing a huge challenge of obesity;
mechanisation if we are to have for implementation. For this cycle, Uganda’s situation is not yet that bad.
substantial leap. we have made a commitment of $100 What lessons should we be taking
million for the next five years. As you from what’s happening elsewhere?
This year, FAO marks 40 years of know, globally, donations continue to Over weight is almost 20% in
operating in Uganda. All these reduce. Governments that depend on Uganda, that can’t be taken lightly. We
years, you have been pushing for aid should be critically thinking about should be looking at how we increase
increased agriculture production, how to go around this challenge. nutrition awareness. It’s only through
mechanisation and achieving the change of habits and the way we feed
goal of zero hunger but progress has ourselves that will save us.
remained low. Where is the problem?
Agriculture has traditionally been
a sector with least investment. In the

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 17
news analysis

Sports betting ban


Why putting money on Kasaija not Bahati is smart
By David Ajuna But Timothy Amanya, a lawyer said the significant investment they bring to Uganda
ban on betting activities is good. that cannot be done once local ownership of
On Jan.20 David Bahati, the minister of “Its effects are very dangerous; especially the betting firms is undertaken”.
state for Finance made an announcement psychologically and economically. It cor- Kasaija’s intervention and the apparent
that has shaken the betting industry in rupts morality in society,” Amanya said. lack of policy clarity, immediately sparked
Uganda and attracted international atten- That is the view of many religious leaders. speculation that Ugandans, after seeing
tion. They say betting increases the scale of law- how much free money the foreigners were
Bahati who was speaking at an event in lessness. harvesting, had decided to kick them out
Rugarama, in Kabale town, announced that As the opposition got more heated, and take over the betting business.
the President had directed the National two days later, on Jan. 22, Bahati’s senior Another story was that there was already
Gaming Board Uganda (NGBU) to stop minister, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija a deal a multinational betting company and
licensing sports betting, gaming and gam- called a press conference to announce that some top government officials. The said
bling companies. Bahati said the President Bahati had run way with the President’s multinational betting company had lobbied
was concerned that betting, with false idea. Apparently, according to Kasaija, the the parliament with a pledge to pay US$10
promises of easy money, was diverting President had not directed a ban on betting. million (Approx. Shs37 billion) annually to
youth away from hard work. Rather, the President had directed a ban on monopolise betting in Uganda.
Reaction was instant and heated. licences for foreign-owned betting firms. Information from NGBU indicates that
Edgar Agaba, the Chief Executive Officer Going forward, Kasaija told journalists, only there are 40 legally licensed operating bet-
of NGBU told The Independent that ban- Ugandan companies would be allowed to ting companies in Uganda. There are 20
ning ban could a result into the government engage in betting. licensed casinos, 15 slot machine companies
losing more than Shs50 billion in taxes in “I will soon issue a statement indicat- and one pool betting facility in the country.
the coming financial year. ing that government shall no longer issue The NGBU is mandated, under section
Agaba said his organisation will be seek- licenses to foreign betting companies,” said 4 of the Lotteries and Gaming Act 2016, to
ing clarity from the government. the minister. issue licenses, regulate, enforce, inspect and
“I have no policy direction as yet on the In an interview with a local daily, Kasaijja mastermind dispute resolution in lotteries,
matter,” he said to explain why he could said government will determine the num- casinos, gaming and betting hubs.
not comment more. ber of betting companies and where they The act also grants the Board powers to
Sports ‘shadow’ minister and Makindye will operate in a new regulatory regime. conduct investigation, examination, inspec-
West legislator Allan Ssewanyana was Kasaijja said the President’s quarrel with tion and issue directives for the proper
equally unimpressed. foreign betting companies was their ten- management of the betting industry.
“Government should shift energy to dency to repatriate profits. Gambling is popular among Ugandans;
creating jobs for the youth before prohibit- “All the money they earn from sports especially the youth. It has picked up main-
ing betting,” he told The Independent, lovers is moved to their countries of origin,” ly in the last six years.
““Museveni and his group have deliber- Kasaijja told the Independent. In recent years, betting shops have
ately refused to create avenues for youth Kasaija went on to say that government emerged and spread out widely in cities,
employment, but instead have swung into would also terminate the licenses of the towns and villages across the country.
action to even curtail the only source of already running foreigner-owned betting Fortebet is the largest betting company in
income for these young men and women.” companies. Close to 90% of the betting firms Uganda with more than 250 shops spread
Andrew Kitakka, a better at Fortebet in in Uganda are owned by foreigners. out across the country.
Nakulabye said the ban is not necessary. Kasaija also dismissed the claim that for- A 2018 GeoPoll survey 57% of youth in
“Government also gives good deals to eign owners of betting firms are “investors” Uganda were betters. That is higher than
foreign companies. How come they have – meaning members of a favoured club of the Africa average of 54% youth who have
not banned them all under the disguise of foreigners with money in Uganda. Accord- ever betted.
wanting to end repatriation. Their reasons ing to Kasaija, bthe foreign betting barons GeoPoll is a full service research provider
are not substantial.” cannot be investors because “there is no that consists of multi-modal mobile survey-

18 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
news analysis

Online betting and mobile money


By Victor Odundo Owuor for the continent. They list off a number Despite the crushing implications of

T
of gambling benefits including increased sports betting through mobile phone plat-
he growth in mobile money services employment opportunities, easy money for forms, the practice has become an intoler-
has created new opportunities for low-income earners, tax revenue for govern- able addiction across the continent. This is
merchants to sell their products ment, and general economic growth. worrying given that betting has been recog-
and services. One of these is the What they don’t talk about is the devas- nised as a gambling disorder.
fast-growing sports betting sector which tating effect betting has on many of those
has taken a number of African countries by who participate in it, more than half of Unintended consequence
storm. whom are below the age of 35. Two decades ago financial inclusion - the
What’s further spurred the growth is This is particularly problematic in Africa notion that individuals and businesses
rapid internet penetration. Consumers now because the continent has the youngest should have access to banks, credit unions
have easy access to online sports betting population in the world. Over 420 million and financial institutions - was heralded as
services even in remote areas. Countries like Africans are aged between 15 and 35. On the much awaited trigger for Africa’s eco-
Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Senegal, top of this unemployment is extremely nomic growth.
the Democratic Republic of Congo, and high. About 35% of Africa’s young people Cellular phone technology enabled low-
Tanzania are seeing a huge expansion in are unemployed. Only one out of six Afri- income earners, many of whom live in
sports betting and other forms of gambling. can youths is in gainful wage employment. economically fragile and conflict-affected
Betting on major European soccer These unemployed and underemployed countries, to access financial services. And a
leagues, as well as local and national teams, youths are easily stimulated by sports young and highly mobile-literate populace,
has become a multimillion-dollar industry. which is a major craze on the continent. plus the availability of affordable mobile
Much of this betting is done on mobile And betting appears to offer a way out of telephones has led to the phenomenal
phones with studies showing that mobile poverty. growth of mobile money services in coun-
platforms are quickly becoming the pre- In this kind of environment, it’s easy to tries with otherwise low bank penetration.
ferred means of gambling. see how the value proposition of mobile- While this has had a positive effect on
The combined size of the gambling based sports betting is so attractive to young economies across the African continent,
industry in Kenya, Nigeria, and South people given that bets as small as USD$1 it has also had undesired effects on poor
African was projected to be worth USD$37 can deliver a win of USD$500. people. These run the risk of being ignored
billion in 2018. In Kenya alone, a 2017 study In Nigeria, 60 million people aged because financial inclusion is still backed
found that an estimated 2 million individu- between 18 and 40 spend up to USD$5 mil- by multilateral organisations, governments,
als engage in mobile-based sports betting. lion on sports betting daily. The majority central banks, and private-sector actors. It
The proliferation of betting is one of the are unemployed or underemployed young also features in seven of the UN’s 17 Sus-
unintended consequences of the growth in people who stake an average of USD$8.40 tainable Development Goals.
mobile money services which have taken daily Approx.Shs30,000 daily). Governments need to recognise that,
off on the back of a drive for financial inclu- while, for the most part, financial inclusion
sion. Since 2014 mobile phone platforms Consequences of mobile-based through mobile money has had a positive
have been fronted as the key to improving betting impact, there have also been down sides.
financial inclusion on the continent. But The exponential growth of mobile tele-
these eventualities were never what were The Kenya study showed that most peo- phony has contributed to a higher betting
envisaged. Yet financial inclusion remains ple who engaged in mobile-based betting prevalence and the rise of gambling addic-
an action point because the majority of did so in spite of the inherent dangers. tion in Africa.
adult Africans are unbanked. One of the dangers is that low-earning
But it’s time that governments recognise young people often borrow money for Victor Odundo Owuor is Senior Research
the scale of the problem that’s been created. betting. This places them in a cycle of per- Associate-One Earth Future Foundation,
petual debt. Rising debt levels compound University of Colorado
Young gamblers an already dire situation – 40% of people in Source: the conversation
Supporters of mobile-based sports betting Africa live on less than USD$1.90 (Approx.
in Africa will tell you how good it’s been Shs7,0000)a day.

ing platforms and a panel of respondents in availability of smartphones. refused to discuss the matter with the press
more than 60 countries around the world. More than a quarter of smartphone own- saying government had not given them
It survey shows that Uganda is number 2 ers in Uganda have used them for online ‘official communication’ about the ban. But
after Kenya in betting. In Kenya, up to 76% gambling, and more than 90% of online as the debate on whether betting is banned
of youth are betters. Ghana has the least bookmaker customers use their mobile or not and Bahati appears to have a differ-
number of youthful betters in Sub-Saharan device services. ent directive than Kasaija, the smart money
Africa with 42%. The development of internet gaming has is on Kasaija. With Museveni as what bet-
James Mpiirwe, the NGBU manager of led to the launch of many online gambling ters call the bookmaker – the boss who
Compliance and Inspection, told The Inde- companies like Bet365, Fortebet, Sports Pesa determines the odds whom Ugandan bet-
pendent that Ugandans spend an estimated and 888 Holdings. This has given Ugandan ters call `omuyindi’ - Indian, Kasaija is the
Shs150 billions on betting annually. gamblers access to more than 400 betting banker. Museveni and his government offi-
One of the major contributors to the websites locally and internationally. cials cannot shutdown a money maker.
popularity of betting has been the mass Their top officials of gaming companies

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 19
news analysis

Fallacy of better democracy


The claim that democracy fares better
in the West than in Africa is a mistake
By Steven Friedman Africa think about African democracies. most, four democracies. Today, coun-

O
Challenging this myth is a central tries in which the government is not
ne day, if they follow instruc- theme of my book `Power in Action: at least elected in a free vote in which
tions, Africa’s new democra- Democracy, Citizenship and Social Jus- opposition parties contest are a small
cies will grow up to be “real” tice’, which has just been published by minority. But there is still a deep-rooted
like those of Western Europe Wits University Press. feeling among Western academics, poli-
and North America. This assumption Over the past two decades, the book cymakers and journalists that African
makes little sense – but it influences the notes, democracy has blossomed in democracies are not yet “the finished
way many people in the West and in Africa: in 1990, the continent housed, at product” – that they are still on their

20 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
news analysis
The academics are reflecting a widely democracies. To show the absurdity of
held view. Western governments that claiming that Western democracies are
set out to make the world democratic always better, think what would hap-
were trying to “help” democracies out- pen if an African president was elected
side the West to become just like those because he won the vote in a state
in it. European and U.S. politicians who where the voting machines were faulty
care about democracy elsewhere share and the governor was his brother? This
this view. So do many Africans. happened in the U.S. in 2000 – and no-
one has declared it an “incomplete”
Colonial mindset democracy.
Academics on the African continent Third, the democratic idea is that
are keen to study whether their democ- every adult should have an equal say in
racies are on the way to being “consoli- the decisions which affect them. Where
dated” and much commentary on the does that happen? Nowhere. So no
continent assumes that a “grown up” democracy is a “finished product”. All
democracy looks like Britain, France fall short of the democratic goal and so
or the U.S. This is particularly so in Western democracies are no more real
countries like South Africa which house than those elsewhere. It also makes little
a significant minority of people of sense to claim that one democracy is
Western origin, many of whom believe further down the road to “completion”
that the West is the home of civilisation than another – democracy has many
to which the rest of the world should aspects and on some, newer democra-
aspire. cies outside the West are further down
This view has a distinctly colonial the road than those they are meant to
flavour. The moral excuse for colonial- want to be.
ism was that it was bringing to the colo- More people vote in some African
nised “civilisation”, which meant what- countries than in some in the West.
ever people in the colonising country South Africa does more to promote
valued. There is no difference between women’s participation than most West-
this and trying to persuade the formerly ern countries. A study of Botswana
colonised that their democracies can complained that its people did not value
only become “real” if they mimic those democracy because only 45% of vot-
in the West. ers knew the name of their Member of
But it makes very little sense to claim Parliament – but the equivalent figure in
that Western democracies are the “fin- Sweden was only 33% and several other
ished product”. European countries lagged far behind
First, Western democracies differ Botswana, whose voters are better
between themselves. So which version informed than Swedes.
are people in Africa meant to mimic?
Must their countries become unitary Inferiority complex
states like Britain or France, or fed- In sum, the democratic inferiority
eral like the U.S. and Germany? Must complex of many Africans is unwarrant-
African states give unions and busi- ed. The idea that our democracies are “B
ness associations a say in decisions Grade” and those of the West are prime
as Sweden, Austria and Switzerland quality is false.
have done? Must language or religious None of this means that African
groups be allowed a special say as democracies are better than those in the
Belgium and Holland have done? It is West. It means that the idea of “real”
not clear which of the many forms of and “not yet real” democracies express-
way to becoming full democracies. Western democracy Africans are meant es a colonial mentality, not reality.
This view gave birth to a field of aca- to want to be. Like all democracies, Africa’s have
demic study in the West – the search Second, the “finished products” of much room for improvement. But they
for “democratic consolidation”. It the West are not that finished. Britain will never become what they could be
emerged because academics assumed has an unelected house of traditional if they struggle to become a copy of a
that the new democracies were not yet leaders and clergy – the House of Lords. romanticised Western democracy. Afri-
“complete”, even though they called The U.S. system allows the half million ca’s democracies will progress if they
themselves democratic. And so they set residents of one state to have the same concentrate on the core democratic prin-
out to discover whether democracies say in the Senate as the 35 million of ciple – giving more and more people a
in Africa (and Asia and Latin America) another. Several Western democracies say over more and more issues – and
were “consolidated”, which meant that detain suspects without trial – the U.S. debate how to do that in their particular
they were the finished product. has done this for nearly two decades at conditions.
The academics have never said how Guantanamo Bay, far longer than South
we would know a “complete” democ- Africa’s apartheid state ever detained Steven Friedman is Professor of Political
racy when we saw one. They don’t have anyone without trial. Studies, University of Johannesburg
to – it is obvious from their writing that, The media in several Western coun-
to become the “finished article”, democra- tries is judged by specialists to be less
cies have to become like those in the West. free than those in some non-Western

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 21
Our ambition is to power
advertorial Uganda’s prosperity
Our ambition is to power
U
Uganda’s prosperity
meme has positively anchored Uganda’s electricity Innovating for Service
supply industry that is projected for further growth
During the last 13 years, Umeme has innovated and
on commissioning of new generation plants.
implemented technologies that have delivered a remarkable
The success of Umeme is traced to implementation customer experience.
of it strategic plans over the period. This has focused
We rolled out SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data
on investment in the electricity distribution infrastructure to
Acquisition) and other auto switches for remote monitoring
           
and control of the distribution network. Network automation
enforce the distribution infrastructure, and increase customer
Investments
connections.
mation
has led to has
higherled to higher
system system
uptime and uptime
better supply reliability

The company has invested over USD and betterconsumers.


to electricity supply reliability to electricity
600m in the distribution network to ensure consumers.
Realising that billing and revenue collection processes
Investments Realising
were cumbersome that andbilling and revenue
inconveniencing collec-
to our customers,
safe,efficient and reliable electricity sup- we rolled out a pre-payment metering system called Yaka
The company has invested over USD 600m in the distribution
ply. The impact of the investments is sum- tion processes were cumbersome
in 2011. So far 950,000 out of 1,200,000 are on the and incon-
Yaka
    
         
marised
The impact below:
of the investments is summarised below:
veniencing
system. to our customers, we rolled out
a pre-payment
During the samemetering systemimplemented
period, Umeme called Yaka an
in 2011. So
integrated far 950,000
payments out enables
system that of 1,200,000
customers arepay
Performance Area 2005 2018
   on
theirthe
billsYaka system.
24/7 through mobile money, Visa and through the
numerous bank platforms. The payments convenience has
Network line length (km) 16,000 34,000 During the same period, Umeme imple-
naging




increased the revenue collections rate from 80% in 2005 to


Distribution Transformers 6,000 12,000 mented
an average ofan99%integrated
over the lastpayments
4 years. system
Distribution transformer capacity (MVA) 550 1,900 that enables customers pay their bills 24/7
For the post-paid customers, we have introduced the
Selestino Babungi, Managing Director, Umeme through mobile money,
system, Visa and through

U
Customers on the Grid (‘000) 290 1,200 automated meter reading eBill and smsBill to shorten
Distribution energy losses 16.5% 38.0% the numerous
the commercial bank
billing cycle.platforms. The pay-
meme has positively anchored ments convenience
The Umeme contact has centreincreased
provides a the 24/7rev-access
Uganda’s electricity supply in- Electricity Sales (GWh) 1,015 3,000
enue
platformcollections
for our customersrate from 80%orininquire
to report 2005on to our
an
dustry that is projected for further average
services. In of
line99%
with over
modernthe lastwe4 years.
trends have incorporated
growth on commissioning of new Innovating for Service For the post-paid customers, we have
generation plants. During the last 13 years, Umeme has introduced the automated meter
UMEME POWER: reading
Transforming Uganda 7
The success of Umeme is traced to innovated and implemented technologies system, eBill and smsBill to shorten the
implementation of it strategic plans over that have delivered a remarkable customer commercial billing cycle.
the period. This has focused on investment experience. The Umeme contact centre provides a
in the electricity distribution infrastructure We rolled out SCADA (Supervisory Con-
UMEME Power Book.indd 7
24/7 access platform for our customers to 12/8/18 10:15 AM

to improve on effeciency, reduce energy trol And Data Acquisition) and other auto report or inquire on our services. In line
losses, expand and re- enforce the distribu- switches for remote monitoring and control with modern trends we have incorporated
tion infrastructure, and increase customer of the distribution network. Network auto-
connections.
EME POWER: Transforming Uganda

ndd 6 12/8/18 10:15 AM

President Yoweri Museveni meets Umeme’s managing director Selestino Babungi, Board Chairman Patrick Bitature,
Chief Financial Officer, Florence Nsubuga and board member, Gerald Ssendawula at State House Entebbe
22 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
advertorial

Our Journey
digital and social media Building Technical Capacity
platforms in our communica- Because we prioritise the
tion channels. The Umeme development and skilling of
App has most of the features our employees, Umeme contin-
for customer self-service. These ues to lead in the training and
include; balance enquiries, development of technical and
reporting network issues, and engineering staff.
checking on network status We recruit 20 Graduate
etc. As a business, we prioritise Trainees and 100 technicians
technology in driving efficien- from universities and technical
cies across our operations. colleges per annum.
The new staff undergo a 3
Distribution Efficiency year technical development
Efficiency is important in programme ahead of their
the quest to provide afford- commissioning as engineers or
able services. To that end, technicians.
Umeme has improved the Due to this deliberate policy,
electricity distribution effi- the technical capacity of the
ciency from 50% to 85% as of engineering department has
2018, through reduction of drastically improved.
energy losses to 16.5% from The company employs 1,500
38% of 2005, coupled with direct employees with an addi-
increased revenue collections tional 700 contractor staff. 23%
to 99% from 80% of 2005. of the staff are female.
These improvements have
benefitted the sector and the Financial Performance
consumers to an estimated The company aspires to
saving of US$ 170m per remain an attractive investment
annum. for its shareholders and capital
providers. As such, delivering
Electricity Demand sustainable profitability is an
I am also glad to note that important pillar for the busi-
continued growth in electric- ness. Over the first 6 months President Yo
ity demand nowstands at of 2018, the company’s profits   
600MW from the 180MW of were Ushs 61 billion. Umeme  
2005. Electricity sales have is also among the top ten tax
 
 
been growing at 9% per payers in Uganda with average Gerald Ssenda
annum hitting the 3,000 GWh tax remittances of Ush 75 billion
in the last 12 months compared per annum.
1,000 GWh of 2005. In 2013, the company mobi-
With increased customer con- lized US$190 million of long
nections and industrial demand term financing from the Inter-
this trend is projected to con- national Finance Corporation,
tinue over the coming period. capacity requires significant estimate of US$ 1.2 billion is
Stanbic Bank and Standard 8 UMEME POWER: Transforming Uganda
investments in the distribution required to fund distribution
As a result, the number of Chartered Bank, to finance its
electricity generation plants infrastructure. Going forward, network investments over the
investment program to 2018. therefore, our investment plan next 10 years. Our ambition
have increased from two in
2005 to 21 as of 2018, with a will be focused on uptake of is to power communities,
The Future UMEME Power Book.indd 8
new capacity, increased access, businesses and industries for a
combined installed capacity of As an investment driven
930MW. and driving efficiencies in the prosperous Uganda.
sector, the upcoming generation business operations. A total

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 23
Back to zero: UTL’s prospective
investor fails to raise capital
The good news is that the company is yet to accrue new debts

By Julius Businge

U
identified a Nigerian-based firm, competition in the telecom industry that
Taleology Holdings GIB Ltd – out of is dominated by three multinationals
gandan government the six firms that had submitted bids to firms – MTN, Airtel and Africell.
is back to the drawing takeover UTL – the latest information Evelyn Anite, the finance minister in
board to identify a new reveals that the company has failed to charge of investment and privatization
prospective investor to raise the required capital. told The Independent on Feb.05 that
take over 69% shares Taleology had been given up to they are taking the matter back to
in Uganda telecom that January 26, 2019 to have raised 10% Cabinet for approval to seek for a new
were formally owned by the Libyan of the US$70million (Shs255bn) to investor.
authorities. enable it takeover operations of UTL “It was wrong to choose this
The Libyan authorities through as a majority shareholder, according to company…it was a waste of time; but it
the investment firm, Libyan Post, officials familiar with the matter, but is good to learn a lesson,” she said.
Telecommunications & IT Holding failed to raise the money. She said the Financial Intelligence
Company (LIPTIC), withdraw UTL needs around Shs255bn to clear Authority (FIA) report had earlier
funding to the company in 2017 citing some of the Shs536bn debt as well identified gaps in the Taleology’s
government’s failure to honour its as help it upgrade its network to 4G financial and telecommunication
financing obligations, a decision that especially in major towns of Kampala, capability that made it unfit for the task
triggered the Ugandan government to Entebbe, Gulu, Mbarara, Mbale, Tororo, but a section of government technocrats
take full control of its operations as it Busia and Fort Portal to guarantee fast approved the deal.
seeks for a new investor. internet speed to its customers. A leaked FIA report to the media last
Though the government had The new investment is expected to stir year showed that Mauritius Telecom

24 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
business
was the preferred company to buy a geared towards stabilising the foreign 2017 to currently US$70 per Mbps,
majority stake in the troubled UTL. exchange market, more jobs would a step that triggered other telecom
Asked on whether the company be created to the local population, he operators to lower their tariffs.
would lose business to its rival industry added. It also influenced the reduction of
leaders – MTN and Airtel – because interconnection fees with MTN from
of the continued confusion, Anite said Progress registered so far Shs112 per minute to Shs25 per minute.
for as long as she is still serving as Data from the Uganda Registration As a result, the cost of making a call
minister and Yoweri Museveni serving Services Bureau (the official from UTL to MTN has reduced from
as President, all possible options will administrator) reveals that several Shs300 per minute to Shs120 per minute.
be explored to ensure that the company achievements have been recorded “We hope to do the same with all
keeps running until a competent since April 2017 when provisional other telecom operators to reduce the
investor is identified to run the business. administration started following the exit cost of communication in the country,”
“With all the incentives and the of Libyans. the bureau said in a notice shared with
support given to it, UTL is still a very The Independent.
strong company,” Anite said. However, UTL executives remained
Part of the Shs255bn is supposed to cagey on the company’s customer base.
help settle the outstanding company But in 2017, the company had 700,000
debt amounting to Shs536bn. customers, which represents only 3%
market share of Uganda’s telecom
Good news industry, whose subscriber base stands
The good news according to Anite at 23million for both fixed and mobile.
is that ‘no new debt’ has accrued since
the company was handed over to the Genesis of UTL troubles
provisional administrator. UTL’s troubles stretches as far
Some analysts, however, had hinted as 2007, characterized by heavy
on the possibility of liquidating the indebtedness, decline in market share
company as an option of dealing away and losses as a result of inadequate
with what they described UTL as ‘a investment, competitive pressure,
white elephant’ that is highly indebted dilapidated network and corporate
with old infrastructure. governance challenges.
However, the government has ruled The situation worsened when UN
out that plan. imposed sanctions on the Libyan assets
“UTL is an important asset to Bemanya Twebaze at the height of political turmoil in Libya
government; we can’t just play with it,” in 2011 affecting capital inflow to the
Anite said. “This time we are going to company.
be more serious with the search for the As at 2017, the Libyan government
new investor.” through a private company called Ucom
Anite’s view is supported by Kabiito controlled management as the major
Karamagi, the mananging partner shareholder with 69% shareholding.
at Ligomarc, a top commercial and Ucom was in turn owned by the
corporate law firm in Kampala that has Libyan Post, Telecommunication and
handled transactions of similar nature. Information Technology Holding
Karamagi told The Independent on Company (LPTIC) via its subsidiary
Feb.05 that there is a reason to give the LAP Green. The government of Uganda
provisional administrator the benefit of owned 31% shares.
the doubt given his knowledge of the Though Ucom resumed control of
company’s potential at the moment. the company two years later following
“There is still value in the company the lifting of international sanctions
in terms of number of customers and against Libya, LPTIC was not able to
assets; I am sure that if government had inject more capital into the company
no interest in it,liquidation would have citing disagreement with the Ugandan
happened long time ago,” he said. Evelyn Anite government.
He supports government’s directive This triggered the Libyan authorities
to all its agencies to subscribe to UTL to bow out of the company and latter
services as a measure to keep the These include; enhanced company the latter was placed under provisional
company afloat. value where creditors’ claims and the administration in April 2017.
Karamagi, however, says the total liabilities have reduced from
government could assess the possibility Shs709bn to Shs536bn. Other companies that had interest
of raising money on its own and Similarly, the company has recorded in UTL takeover
have a plan of offering some shares improved efficiency with network
to Ugandans by listing it on the stock availability increasing from 75% in April  Safaricom
market. 2017 to 97.5% at the moment and wage  Afrinet Communications Ltd
The advantage with this option, bill falling by 45 % to 1.02bn during the  Baylis Consortium
Karamagi says is that the scenario of same period under review.  Neubacher Montage LLP
foreign investors repatriating profits UTL has been able to influence a
made out of the business would be reduction in the cost of internet to
prevented. ministries, departments and agencies
In addition to supporting efforts (MDAs) from US$300 per Mbps in June

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 25
business

Banks keep interest rates stable


Mutebile maintains CBR at 10% and
projects 6.3% growth of the economy
By Julius Businge torical trend of 25% registered in the larger inflation rose from 2.2% in December 2018

B
period before 2011. to 2.7% in January 2019.
orrowers from commercial banks Currently the average commercial bank UBOS and BoUofficials maintain the
will not experience changes in lend- lending rate for prime borrowers stands at view that inflation is still contained, sup-
ing rates in the coming few months 20.3% up from 19.3% in the quarter to Sep- ported by low food inflation which has
after Bank of Uganda maintaining tember 2018 when the CBR was 9%. averaged minus 2.2% since the beginning
the central bank rate –which influences Meanwhile, the private sector that has of the FY2018/2019. The other supporting
changes in interest rates market – at 10%. over the years complained about the high factors are; the decline in international oil
In separate interviews shortly after Bank cost of doing business partly due to high prices and a stable exchange rate.
of Uganda Governor, Emmanuel Tumu- cost of lending did not welcome Mutebile’s Meanwhile, annual core inflation – the
siime Mutebile announced the new rate announcement. target for Mutebile’s monetary policy – rose
on Feb.07 – the same as that of December The Kampala City Trader’s Association from 2.8% to 3.4% during the same period.
last year – top commercial bank managers (KACITA) Chairman, Everest Kayondo Going forward, Mutebile said the
said they would continue to watch closely whose association houses 200, 000 members medium-term (2-3years) inflation outlook
actions being taken by the Governor before said “nothing is going to change”. remains relatively unchanged from the
making critical decisions regarding their “It is no longer the CBR that is determin- December 2018 round of forecasts, with
lending rates. ing the interest rates in the market,” he told inflation projected to converge to the BoU’s
“In this case it is a wait and see situation The Independent. target of 5%.
as we continue to push for private sector Instead, he said, continued borrowing However, he said that its outlook in the
credit,” said Edgar Byamah, the managing by government in the domestic market was intermediate period has improved, largely
director at KCB. largely to blame for the high interest rates. driven by a relatively stronger shilling and
He added that banks are important enti- The government currently borrows from good crop harvest.
ties in Mutebile’s policy actions because Headline and core inflation are forecast
they serve as transmission mechanism to peak at 5.5% and 5.3% in the first quarter
through which his actions get response of 2020, which are lower than the previous
from the market. estimates by 0.6 and 1.1 percentage points
Byamah said they anticipated the central respectively.
bank maintaining the rate at 10% because “There are nonetheless upside risks to
inflation – which influences the change in the outlook including the future direction of
the rate – had not gone up sharply. food crops prices; the path of the exchange
“As KCB we will maintain a cautious rate which in part is contingent on exter-
approach,” he said. “We believe that the nal economic environment and ensuring
Central Bank has maintained a cautious demand pressures on account of the posi-
approach to keep inflation in check…it is a tive output gap.
balancing act.” the domestic market through the central
Anthony Kituuka, the executive director bank by selling treasury bills and bonds at Strong economy
at Equity Bank said the adjustment in their rates ranging between 10-15%. Mutebile used the press conference to
lending rates is normally influenced by cen- He said that government is favored in the announce that the economy is projected to
tral bank actions and in this case “nothing credit market largely because his group is grow by about 6.3% in FY2018/19, higher
will change” in response to BoU’s decision. described as a ‘risky borrower’. than the 5.7% the previous year.
“Our pricing is still competitive,” he said “Traders are borrowing yes but they He said that growth would remain on a
adding, “But when an opportunity arises are not enjoying the lower interest rate,” steady growth trajectory over the coming
with the changing market dynamics we will he said. Unfortunately, Kayondo said his years, with output trending above potential.
adjust our lending rates.” group has to painfully borrow from banks This, he said, would in part be supported
Kituuka said any changes that they will at current high interest rates because there by his accommodative monetary policy
make in their lending rates will be geared are limited viable options of raising capital stance and the resultant favorable financial
towards supporting private sector to bor- to support business operations. conditions, fiscal impetus and multiplier
row at affordable rates to avoid recording effects of public infrastructure investments.
non-performing loans. Mutebile’s views The other factors have to do with ensu-
Bank of Uganda Executive Director in While announcing the unchanged rate ing strong domestic demand conditions
charge of research, Adam Mugume told The of 10% at Bank of Uganda headquarters in and improved agricultural performance.
Independent after Mutebile’s announce- Kampala, Mutebile said his decision was Still, Mutebile said, there are risks to
ment that the momentum of the private made after assessing that the risks to the this growth projection including weath-
sector credit (PSC) growth would continue projected inflation path were roughly bal- er-related constraints and challenges
following the new CBR pronouncement. anced. relating to financing of public investment
“It is a question of balancing,” he said. The January 2019 consumer price index programmes in addition to escalating
He said PSC was currently growing at 11%, data from Uganda Bureau of Statistics global trade frictions and lower than
higher than 0.8% per annum recorded in (UBOS) indicates that inflation remains rela- anticipated global growth.
2016. But the 11% is lower than the his- tively subdued although annual headline

26 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
Executive Style

Mazima boosts
savings for retirement
Two years ago, Mazima ing the registration process.
The other way is signing up
Retirement Plan was
through our Google app or
granted licence to start
visiting our offices and filling in
operation. How is the
paper documents.
market responding to the

S
saving services? What is Mazima’s geographi-
o far, the uptake cal coverage at the moment?
for our services We serve all people coun-
is positive. We trywide. However, we are still
have more than struggling with two things –
800 members, with about first, people wanting us to have
Shs1bn as contribution. This physical offices and secondly,
is because people bought we are running a digital service
the idea and money started available anywhere. Our feel-
coming in. We also worked ing is that going physical will
with big organizations such increase capital requirement
as MTN, Airtel, and the yet we need to grow customer’s
Pride Microfinance. contribution and be in position
to pay dividend.
What is the composition of
your clients? What is your comment on the
Most of our customers earlier proposal to have the
are those between 30-40
Mazima Retirement Plan was in 2016 granted an pension sector liberalized?
years and split equally operating licence by the industry regulator, Uganda I am a pro-liberalisation. The
between male and female. Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA). points raised by those opposing
Female customers, The company’s CEO Livingstone Mukasa liberalisation stems from the
however, are the constant spoke to the Independent’s Isaac Khisa about fear that people will run away
contributors. Generally, our with the contributor’s money. If
the progress registered in promoting voluntary you look closely with the law as
customers range from boda
boda’s to doctors. Mazima
retirement plans targeting informal sector and the it is now, actually that is already
is where one can find the opportunities that lies ahead. closed out. For the past few
rich and the poor, the years Mazima has been in this
educated and the illiterate For one to access his or her market, I can say that we have
and we are proud for that as a on the members contribution saving, the customer should made the pension sector better.
team. irrespective of the amount have saved for at least a year. More and more people are now
saved. Last year, for instance, Mazima’s account is not a com- getting interest in saving for
How are you investing we paid up 8.6% net interest on mercial bank but an individual their future.
shareholders contribution to the member’s contributions. retirement’s benefits account. Where do you see Mazima
yields returns? retirement plan in the next five
We have a framework on How do you look at the How are you mobilsing the years?
how to invest the funds. We level of long term savings in population to register for maz- We came to solve a problem.
have a fund manager and Uganda? ima retirements scheme? We hope to double the number
the custodian in the name of Though the situation is That is our biggest assign- of contributors to about 3,600s
Britam Insurance and Housing improving, I still feel more than ment on the market. Our members by next year. We are
Finance Bank, respectively. One 40% of our savings are kept biggest cost is how to advise also becoming more innovating.
of the most important thing under mattresses. We are seeing more people to sign-up for the We have a health insurance cov-
that our shareholders and the many people interested in scheme. There’s therefore need er for our contributors worth
prospective shareholders need signing up for saving schemes. to tap into groups as well as Shs 150,000 per individual per
to know is that the customer’s We are soon going to see saving strong referrals. annum. We are also developing
contribution is secure. We may culture picking up. However, more products such as enabling
not guarantee shareholder there’s need to understand How can one sign-up with contributors have access to
return on their contributions that the poor save differently Mazima retirement plan? cheap housing as well as higher
but we guarantee him or her from the rich. The poor save for We have made it simple. education financing. We would
the principal. emergence but the rich save for Once an individual signs up like to see our contributors liv-
investment. with us and agree with the set ing in decent homes as well as
But some savers may only be terms and conditions, we have ensuring that their children are
interested in getting returns How long can one save to be signed an agreement with MTN educated. Entering at least three
out of their money? allowed to access their sav- which sends us customer’s newer markets is also among
Off course, we pay interests ings? data. This helps us in complet- our priority.

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 27
Business
CSR CSR

UBL announces 2019 Graduate Trainee Programme Airtel rewards PLE stars

U
on the programme where nder its corporate social
they admit and introduce responsibility function,
graduates to the world of Airtel Uganda on Feb.05
business by giving them rewarded 14 pupils from
real job experience and various schools it has adopted over the
formal training in their ca- years with scholastic materials worth
reer progression. Trainees Shs15million. They would later use
on the programme take the materials in their new secondary
on responsibility in vari- schools. The beneficiaries had to be
ous departments and are the best performing in the last year’s
given supporting training Primary Leaving Examinations. The
measures and mentorship 15 schools are; St. Ponsiano Kyamula
by experienced managers. – from Makindye Division of Kampala
Uganda Breweries Human Resources Director Catherine district, Sseke Primary School – from
Khabure (Centre) with the graduate trainees. The company’s Human
Lwengo district outside of Masaka,

U
Resource Director Cath-
Nanfugaki Primary School from Jinja
ganda Brewer- necessary skills needed to erine Khabure, said: “We
district and Ndeeba Church of Uganda
ies Limited succeed in the job market. at UBL believe that the key
Primary School from Kayunga district.
announced on The beneficiaries are; Simon to developing a sustainable
Flavia Ntambi Lwanga, the human
Feb.04, the 2019 Patrick Lapyem, Patience expert workforce is by con-
resource director at Airtel used the
intake of their Graduate Katulinde, Dorah Kukunda, tributing towards develop-
event held at the company’s head
Trainee Programme that Fridah Nakibuuka, Brenda ing their knowledge base offices in Kampala to announce that
is aimed at molding fresh, Kobutungi and Collin and giving them hands on going forward they would focus on the
talented graduates and Kajubi. The company has field practice.” development of ICTs in these schools.
equipping them with the for over 10 years carried

BANKING INNOVATION

Centenary Bank Innovation series is back

P
trains Mbarara ublic relations firm,
brainchild Burson Cohn
products, and services that
affect the growth of firms.
Brainchild BCW Business Unit
Head-PR, Walter Wafula said.
Diocese priests & Wolfe, has unveiled “Our next edition will bring This development comes at

P
the third edition of In- together industry experts, the time the government plans
riests of Mbarara Dio- novation Series that will take entrepreneurs, and policy to hire more firms to market
cese have been urged place at Golf Course Hotel on makers in the tourism and tourism abroad.
to embrace financial March. 07. hospitality sector to discuss Latest data from Civil Avia-
management as a means Innovation Series is a the theme: Game-Changing tion Authority shows that the
to grow and develop parish proj- set of thought leadership Creativity: The Road total number of arrivals at the
ects. This call was made during a events aimed at promoting to Hyper Growth in Entebbe International Airport
financial literacy training session innovation in business Hospitality, in an effort to – 60% tourists – increased by
conducted by Centenary Bank through thought-provoking tackle the current sector 199,703 visitors to 1.8million
recently through its corporate discussions on new and cost- bottlenecks and pave way in 2018.
social responsibility program. effective ways of delivering for its double digit growth,”
Holding one third of the bank-
ing population of Uganda, Cen- RETAIL
tenary Bank aims at equipping
its customers including SME’s, Kenya’s supermarket collapse over Ksh 1bn debt

K
special interest groups, invest-
ment & women clubs across the enya’s retailer, Kenya’s top supermarket
country with financial manage- Ukwala Supermar- chains. The retailer filed for
ment skills. kets has applied liquidation in November
Some of the areas the bank to the court for the last year, informing the
trained the priests include: strat- permanent closure of its court that it had found it
egies on how to start, sustain, business, revealing that it is impossible to remain afloat.
develop and grow parish proj- unable to pay its debts that Total creditor claims against
ects, stakeholder analysis cen- have accumulated to nearly Ukwala amount to Kshs
tred on leveraging relationships Sh1 billion. The struggling 930 million, yet the firm’s
to build beneficial networks, retailer is said to owe Kenya assets are valued at a paltry
books & record keeping, taxa- Revenue Authority Kshs 840 Kshs19.3 million.
tion and compliance. million, making the taxman This comes as Uchumi
In 2018, the Bank held a num- the biggest loser out of the and Nakumatt continues to
ber of financial literacy engage- more than 300 suppliers struggle to remain a float
ments across the country cover- and institutions that have upon quitting the Ugandan,
ing the Eastern, Northern and lodged claims against what Tanzanian and Rwandan
central regions. was once counted among markets.

28 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
Business

Strong customer demand


stir business expansion
By Isaac Khisa that with new orders increas-

T
ing, firms took on extra staff
he increased customer across the agriculture, indus-
demand for products try, services and wholesale and
and services triggered retail sectors.
expansion in produc- Increased operating capac-
tion capacity in January, defy- ity meant that companies were
ing the slow order common able to keep on top of work-
with the start of the year. loads in spite of continued
The latest Markit Stanbic new order growth.
Bank Uganda Purchasing The bank’s PMI for Janu-
Manager’s index (PMI) cover- ary stood at 57.5 in January,
ing January shows increased up from 56.6 in December
demand that led to companies 2018 citing strong customer
The Airtel Uganda team led by the Managing Director, VG Somasekha (3rd expand fastest in the past 24 demand.
L) pays a courtesy call to the European Union Ambassador – Head of months. The PMI index is based on
Delegation Attilio Pacifici (3rd R) on Feb.05. The Ambassador lauded Airtel Jibran Qureishi, Regional data collected from purchasing
for its continued infrastructural development in Uganda.   Courtesy Photo. Economist E.A at Stanbic executives drawn from diverse
Bank said domestic demand is sectors such as agriculture,
clearly picking up, and that the mining, manufacturing, con-
trend will carry through for struction, retail and services.
the most part of this year. Readings above 50.0 signal
“Of course, if a Final Invest- an improvement in business
ment Decision (FID) is made conditions on the previous
for the oil sector, Gross Domes- month, while readings below
tic Product growth could pos- 50.0 show a deterioration.
sibly expand by 6.5% year on Benoni Okwenje, Stanbic
year in 2019,” he said. Bank’s Fixed Income Manager
“However, for this to mani- said “Signs of stronger cus-
fest, weather conditions need tomer demand resulted in a
to remain favorable to suf- further expansion of new busi-
ficiently boost the agriculture ness in January, extending the
sector.” current sequence of growth to
The survey also revealed two years.
President Yoweri Museveni chairing the 6th round of the annual
Presidential Investor’s Roundtable (PIRT) at State House Entebbe on
Feb. 07. President Museveni said many of his ministers are sleeping,
selfish and only think about themselves instead of implementing
issues agreed upon.   Courtesy Photo.
Weekly share price movement (Feb. 08)
Security Feb. 08 Jan. 28 Movement
BATU 30,000 30000 00
BOBU 134 134 00
CENT 1,298 1,247 4.0
QCL 200 200 000
DFCU 690 800 13.8
EABL 7,838 6,108 28.3
EBL 1,575 1,474 7.0
JHL 15,622 15,789 1.0
KA 327 286 14.3
KCB 1,589 1,479 7.4
NIC 14 14 00
NMG 2,280 2,181 4.5
NVL 337 337 00
Stnabic Bank Chief Executive, Patrick Mweheire (2nd R) presents a
dummy cheque to veteran Rotarian Emmanuel Katongole (2nd L) as a SBU 29 29 00
contribution towards Rotary blood bank at Mengo Hospital on Feb. 11, UCHM 29 29 00
2018.  Courtesy photo. UCL 18 19 5.3
UMEME 300 300 00
ALSI -- -- --

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 29
The refurbished Reception area at the MUJHU youth center. Registration of REACH study participants is ongoing.

HIV and young girls


New study starts on choice in prevention methods

S
By Flavia Nassaka Phase 2 trial aimed at establishing the safety If approved, the ring would be the first
and acceptability of drugs. The efficacy of biomedical prevention method specifically
omething unusual is happen- the two drugs was already confirmed in for women and this according to another
ing at the Makerere University Phase 1 studies. researcher; Dr. Brenda Mirembe, might
– John Hopkins University Across all the three countries participat- happen in two years’ time. She says that’s
(MUJHU) research collabora- ing, the new study is expected to take about why it’s important for them to get addition-
tion facility at Mulago hill in three years to conduct, with results being al information on how it’s likely to perform
Kampala. anticipated in late 2022 or early 2023. among girls as young as 16 years old. These,
The walls of the aging building have been Dr. Clementia Nakabiito a senior microbi- according to her, present a big challenge
freshly painted white with carefully coated cide researcher who led the previous study for the HIV/AIDS prevention fight in the
patches of hot colours; reds, orange, and on the Dapivirine vaginal ring in older country.
blues. The old style plain walls, typical of a women explains that the study will be con- Statistics from the recent Uganda Popu-
laboratory, are out, together with the huge ducted within 18 months. The participants lation – based HIV Impact Assessment
tables, machines and sample storage fridg- will be enrolled on Truvada for six months (UPHIA) report show high levels of new
es. In their place, are rooms accessorised and then on the vaginal ring laced with HIV infections among girls between ages 15 to
with artistic designs made out of carefully drug dapivirine for six months before ask- 24 years. The prevalence among this age
crafted wood and pieces of African Kitengi ing them to choose the type they want for group is 9% against the national average of
cloth - to depict what’s trending for a typical the final six months. 6%. When compared to males of the same
Ugandan youth. “Our aim is to give people choices. In age, prevalence is almost four times higher.
“We want participants to feel relaxed, the final episode we will be able see if more The trend carries through to adulthood,
happy and stimulated by the environment girls prefer the ring or the tablet. Those on where women are disproportionately affect-
that surrounds them by using art deco that the ring will be required to change it month- ed; with 8.8% of adult women living with
can lift their mood,” says Dr. Carolyn Ake- ly and the pill is supposed to be swallowed the virus compared to 4.3% of men.
llo, a researcher at the facility. every day,” Nakabiito says. Scientists argue that to reverse this grim
Akello is part of a group of scientists The participants will, after a specific picture, there is need to avail women with
who recently launched a study on HIV in period of time, be routinely tested to see the more devices and methods that they can
young girls aged between 16 and 21. The levels of the drug in their blood. This will monopolise to prevent them from contract-
Researchers expect 60 participants – 20 from help to determine adherence. ing the disease, even as they face challenges
age group 16 to 17 and 40 from age group A similar study has already been done in of gender-based violence (including sexual
18 to 21. the United States of America where by 96 abuse), lack of social protection and infor-
The girls enrolled in the study are all girls ages 15-17 were randomly assigned to mation about how they cope with these
HIV negative. But they are required to be use the dapivirine ring or a placebo (ring inequities and injustices.
enrolled on two HIV prevention methods; without drug) for a month for six months. The other challenge is that even when
the HIV drugs Truvada and the Dapivirine Results of this study were released in these devices and methods become avail-
vaginal ring. They will use these as a form 2017 and found the ring to be well-tolerated able, they remain out of reach for most
of prevention from the virus or Pre- Expo- and acceptable. Adherence was also high women and girls. For instance, Nakabiito
sure Prophylaxis (PrEP). with 95% of the rings returned after use says, the devices go through a lot of approv-
The study dubbed REACH; short for having drug levels indicating consistent use als and yet when these are completed,
“Reversing the Epidemic in Africa with during the previous month. policy makers also take long to provide the
Choices in HIV Prevention” is the first of its Truvada PrEP has been approved for products. She gives Truvada as an example
kind in the country to target this age group. use among key vulnerable populations where even as Uganda was one of the coun-
It enrolled its first participant on Feb.06 and in Uganda; including sex workers and tries where efficacy of PrEP was established,
targets to enroll 299 others at five research sero-discodant couples. The ring, even as it cannot be generally accessed by those in
sites in Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and it has been proved to be effective among need unless it is through demonstration
Zimbabwe. older women in clinical trials, is still going sites. She says if this initiative alone became
Akello who is one of the investigators through regulatory procedures in order for more available, it can greatly reduce the
told The Independent on Feb.07 that this is a it to be approved for general use. numbers of new infections.

30 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
comment
By Victor Odundo Owuor
Ban on sports betting would be good
The industry has a negative social
impact a developing country

P
resident Yoweri Museveni was Brunei, Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Indonesia, Determining the benefits
recently reported to have ordered Qatar, and Lebanon all have an official ban Two approaches are most commonly
that no new licenses can be issued except in casinos. adopted to measure the effect of gambling.
for established sports betting, gam- In addition to religious reasons, gambling The first is a cost-benefit analysis, the sec-
ing, and gambling companies. In addition, prohibitions are driven by concerns about ond an economic-impact analysis.
permits issued to existing firms will not be money laundering, gambling addiction, and Both approaches seek to determine the
renewed when they expire. in the case of sports betting, issues around net benefits of gambling activity but they do
This after the sports betting industry has the integrity of sports. Sports betting has it in different ways. A cost-benefit analysis
burgeoned in recent years, creating con- been the focus of quite a number of illegal considers the economic efficiency of gam-
cerns that it’s leading to severe addiction activities such as match fixing, point shav- bling activity by seeking to determine all
problems, especially among young people. ing and bad calls at key moments. the individual costs and monetary benefits
Museveni, his minister of finance, and Online gambling is banned in Singapore of various aspects of the activity. This type
other government officials assert that online and Cambodia. Under Singapore’s Remote of analysis compares the costs and benefits
sports gambling is diverting the attention of Gambling Act, all forms of online betting that result from gambling.
young people from hard work. are illegal unless exemptions are granted On the other hand, an economic-impact
The latest move is not the first time the but these are rarely issued and come with analysis uses “multiplier effects” to deter-
government is taking steps to curb gam- high minimum requirements aimed at mine the compound impact of gambling on
bling. Two years ago Uganda’s National limiting the amount people can spend on economic activity including on jobs, income,
Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board betting. operating costs, productivity and competi-
introduced a 35% revenue tax on gambling Albania passed a similar law to Uganda tiveness. This type of analysis attempts to
activities. in October 2018. measure the net positive economic effects
Uganda is in good company. A host of Italy is considered to have one of the of gambling including any ripple effect that
countries around the world have banned worst gambling problems in the world. gambling may have on the economy.
gambling. In sub-Saharan Africa several The country accounts for only 2% of the Unfortunately, both approaches are
countries have been grappling with similar global population but for almost 25% of the flawed.
regulatory challenges. For example, Kenya, world’s gamblers. A sizeable percentage of A cost-benefit analysis is flawed because
which is the third largest gambling market Italians are classified as gambling addicts. it attempts to consider economic efficiency
in Africa after Nigeria and South Africa, by quantifying aspects like stress, mental
introduced a 35% profit tax on gambling Industry support anguish, and entertainment, which are
operators in early 2018. The tax was subse- Given that gambling poses a social risk, immensely difficult to value.
quently reduced to 15% following a strong Museveni’s ban should have received And economic-impact analyses fail
lobbying effort by the gambling industry. unqualified support. But it hasn’t. Major because they pay scant attention to the real
But can a case really be made for a gam- online gambling proponents such as the private and social costs of gambling.
bling-free society? American Gaming Association, the Profes- This leads to conclusions that often
Assessing the impact of gambling in sional Golfers Association, and the National amplify the benefits of gambling while
countries on the continent is hard because Basketball Association argue that banning downplaying the costs.
the industry remains under-researched and sports betting, gaming, and gambling cuts Perhaps the best way to determine
heavily polarised. And it’s also difficult off much-needed revenue. They say that the benefits of a gambling-free society is
for countries to come up with policies that gambling revenue stimulates economic through the public health approach. A
aren’t backed up by evidence. On top of this growth, lowers taxes, pays down national public health perspective allows researchers
there’s a strong lobby defending the indus- debt, funds social programmes and pro- to consider the economic and social conse-
try. And gambling policy affects employ- vides entertainment options. quences of the industry.
ment, business, tourism, entertainment, A second argument advanced against From this perspective it’s clear that
social service delivery, regulation, cultural the ban is that it will simply push gambling there’s a need for action. Laws prohibiting
heritage, and religion. underground. This, in turn, will contrib- underage gambling should be rigorously
Nevertheless, I would argue that, based ute to an overall rise in crime, incidents of enforced. But laws aren’t enough. Strategies
on recent research there’s a strong case to be match-fixing, and significant loss of govern- to increase education and public awareness
made to ban gambling because it’s rapidly ment revenue as has been documented in about problem gambling are vital.
evolving as a public health concern in sub- India and Singapore. Collaboration is needed so that social
Saharan Africa, especially among young There’s some evidence to support this policies and effective public health interven-
people. In my view Uganda is right to argument. In some countries people have tion options can be developed.
have taken action because of the industry’s been swindled in underground gambling
negative social impact to this developing markets. This has prompted Brazil, Cambo- Victor Odundo Owuor is Senior Research
country. dia, Russia, China, Slovakia, Sweden, Den- Associate-One Earth Future Foundation,
mark, Romania and Greece, among others, University of Colorado
A global problem to rethink their gambling bans. These coun- Source: the conversation
Almost all Muslim majority countries ban tries have made efforts to re-regulate the
gambling on religious grounds. The United gambling market after initially restricting or
Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, completely banning the industry.

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 31
comment
By Line Gordon
Feeding the ten billion
It requires transforming the food system to address
obesity, improve health, and protect the environment

O
ur current diets are bad for our particular. It needs to halve the amount the main part of a meal.
health and are harming the of food waste by 2050. It must move to We went to great lengths to stress that
planet. Two billion people are more efficient and sustainable produc- this diet is flexible and can be adapted
now overweight or obese. Poor tion systems and invest more in healthier to different cultures and different pro-
diet is the biggest cause of noncommuni- crops. And people need to eat more duce, whether Asian, European, African,
cable disease in the world, posing a greater fruit, vegetables, nuts, and legumes and or those of the Americas. The common
risk of morbidity and mortality than unsafe reduce their dairy and red-meat con- Mediterranean diet of a generation ago,
sex, alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse com- sumption. Our analysis indicates that with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit,
bined. moving to such a balanced diet could has much in common with our planetary
The way we produce and consume this prevent 11 million premature deaths per health diet. Similarly, those of us in
food, meanwhile, damages Earth’s life- year. Nordic countries used to consume less
support system. It accounts for about To achieve this, the Commission pro- meat and fewer dairy products, in line
one-quarter of greenhouse-gas emis- poses a “planetary health diet” of 2,500 with the Commission’s recommendation.
sions and is the biggest cause of land-use calories per day for an average global It is important to recognise that shifting
change, biodiversity loss, and water citizen leading an active life. The diet to the planetary health diet will not in
extraction, leaving rivers dried out. provides daily consumption ranges for itself lead to sustainable production. We
The sheer volume of books on healthy different food groups (such as 200-600 also need to improve how we produce
eating and weight loss suggests that grams of vegetables per day). We recom- what we eat. There is no single path to
people want to move to healthier diets. mend that people eat significantly less sustainable production. Whether food
But few countries are taking action to red meat than they currently do in most producers operate large businesses,
improve diets and preserve the environ- parts of the world. intensive farms, smallholdings, or
ment. The big question is whether we A typical weekly meal plan under our organic farms, all can support the dietary
can sustainably provide a healthy diet to proposal might include a hamburger, a and sustainability transition.
a global population that is projected to couple of chicken dishes, and one or two Since the report was launched, the
reach ten billion by 2050. fish meals, with the others being plant- Commission has been overwhelmed by
Two years ago, the EAT-Lancet Com- based. Vegetarian or vegan diets also fall the support shown for its conclusions. At
mission, comprising 37 scientists from entirely within our food group ranges. the same time, several industry groups
16 countries – me included – set out to Alternatively, people might use animal- and other commentators have argued
provide an answer. We began by deter- based foods as flavorings rather than as that meat and dairy are an important
mining what a good diet for a healthy part of a nutritious diet. While I agree
life should contain. We then explored that they can be part of a healthy diet,
the implications of such a diet for global that part should be much smaller than it
sustainability of food production in the is today.
future.
The Commission published its find- It is important Some argue that it simply is not fea-
sible for large populations to adopt
ings in January in the medical journal
The Lancet. Our report identifies, for the
to recognise healthy, sustainable diets. Globally,
however, we can trace how diets have
first time, scientific targets for diets and that shifting to changed dramatically in recent decades.

the planetary
the global food-production system. With Now, we want the report to start a dis-
more than 5,000 stories about the report cussion among all stakeholders – from
already in the international media, its
release clearly has hit a nerve. That is
health diet will farmers to consumers – about what we
will be eating, and how we produce it,
not surprising, given that its findings not in itself lead ten, 20, and 30 years from now. If we

to sustainable
have implications for food companies, can do that, our food system can benefit,
farmers, and consumers everywhere. rather than harm, our own health and
Our main conclusion, supported by
reams of peer-reviewed evidence, is
production that of the planet.

that feeding ten billion people on a sus- Line Gordon is Director of the Stockholm
tainable planet is possible. But doing Resilience Centre at Stockholm University.
so will require a transformation of the Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
food system to address obesity, improve
health, end forest loss, curb greenhouse-
gas emissions, and protect the oceans.
The world must do three big things in

32 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
comment
By Dominique Nouvian Ouattara
Invisible children of Africa
Children who have no birth certificate cannot prove their
age, parentage, or identity, or get official papers

A
name, an official identity, and a na- tance. Unregistered children also are fre- Pierre Poirier, whose commitment and
tionality recognised by everyone: quently among the first to suffer discrim- work I greatly admire. We discussed the
most of us take these things for ination and mistreatment. Because their status of children’s rights in the region,
granted. Yet, for nearly a quarter- age cannot be proven, they often become including registration of births, issuance
billion children around the world, including victims of child labor or trafficking and, of birth certificates for all children, and
tens of millions in Sub-Saharan Africa, such for girls, forced marriage. the fight against child labor – all of which
basic rights are unattainable luxuries. As African governments seek to are inextricably linked.
According to UNICEF, the births of increase registration rates among their Civil-society organisations and NGOs
some 230 million children under the age populations, they should keep two have a crucial role to play in reducing the
of five – about one-third of the world’s fundamental principles in mind. First, enormous numbers of “invisible” African
total – have never been registered. Asia is although there is no one-size-fits-all solu- children. The Children of Africa Founda-
home to 59% of these unregistered chil- tion to the wide disparities in registration tion, of which I am president, was set up
dren and Sub-Saharan Africa a further between and within different countries, 20 years ago to care for disadvantaged
37%. All of them grow up “invisible,” successful approaches in one place could and vulnerable children and currently
even to their own country. inspire governments elsewhere. For works in 12 African countries. Its projects
The problem is particularly acute in example, some countries, including Côte in Côte d’Ivoire include the Children’s
certain African countries: only 3% of d’Ivoire, have established “mobile court Hut in Abidjan, health-care initiatives
children in Somalia, 4% in Liberia, and hearings” that travel around the country such as ophthalmological caravans and
7% in Ethiopia have official papers, for and allow unregistered people to receive the Mother-Child Hospital of Bingerville,
example. Registration levels also vary a birth certificate. and educational schemes such as a Bib-
widely within countries, both in Africa In addition, developing effective and liobus and school supply kits.
and elsewhere. Children born in rural sustainable initiatives requires the full Additionally, I have launched a major
areas, which are often far removed from commitment of African governments, project together with Côte d’Ivoire’s
administrative centers, are less likely to policymakers, and non-governmental ministers of interior and justice that
be registered than those living in cities. organisations, as well as the continued allows any child enrolling in sixth grade
Income is another factor, with children engagement and assistance of interna- to obtain a certificate of studies, thereby
born into the poorest 20% of households tional agencies. For this reason, I met last ensuring that they can receive a birth cer-
being far more prone to slip through October with UNICEF’s regional director tificate. Our hope is that other countries
bureaucratic cracks. Children of ethnic- for West and Central Africa, Marie- on the continent will follow suit.
minority or refugee families are even less Let’s be clear: 230 million unregistered
likely to appear in a civil registry. children around the world is a global
We know the main reasons for non-reg- crisis in urgent need of solutions. Every
istration. Many parents, owing either to
lack of education or ignorance of official
Every single case single case is an individual tragedy that
leaves a child at serious risk of discrimi-
procedures, settle instead for rituals, cer- is an individual nation or worse, and leads to emotional

tragedy that
emonies, or even birth records issued by damage that can last a lifetime. Only by
maternity hospitals. Political crises, wars, upholding for all children their most
and internal displacements aggravate the
problem: parents fleeing to safety with
leaves a child at basic right – an identity – can we ensure
that no child is left behind.
their children typically are not preoccu- serious risk of
pied with registering them properly. Dominique Nouvian Ouattara is First Lady
The consequences, however, can be discrimination or of Côte d’Ivoire.
severe. Unregistered children are born,
live, and die in anonymity. With their worse, and leads Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
physical and legal existence unnoticed
by national authorities, they are often
to emotional
condemned to lives spent on the margins damage that can
of society.
Children who have no birth certificate last a lifetime
cannot prove their age, parentage, or
identity, or get official papers such as
a passport. They find it extremely hard
to gain access to basic services such as
health care, education, and social assis-

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 33
comment
By Andrew Mafundo
Uganda needs to mitigate climate change
Managing future risks and ensuring health and well-
being requires adapting and building resilience now

Scanned by CamScanner

T
he earth is reaching a climatic tip- at the different levels of government. The Wetlands Day at Limoto Primary School
ping point faster than ever before. office of National Environment Manage- in Pallisa District, the government in
That is the tragic reality. And this ment Authority (NEMA) focal person partnership with the United Nations
will affect all of us. The atmospheric and local government environment Development Programme (UNDP)
temperatures are expected to increase across taskforce continue to be under funded launched a $44.3m project.
the globe and rainfall may increase or de- yet they are expected to oversee envi- The project is funded by the Green Cli-
crease, depending on location. ronmental protection activities in entire mate Fund to support building resilient
Ultimately, climate change will have district. communities and ecosystems through
significant negative impacts on the Towns and peri-urban areas seem to be restoration of wetlands and attendant
economy, human health, energy use, and more affected and forgotten. Population catchments and will be implemented in
biodiversity and ecosystem services. far exceeds the infrastructure capacity, 24 districts of eastern and southwestern
The current severe heat stress and leading to the deterioration of the urban Uganda.
reduced air quality being experienced environment. The authorities have not In order to achieve sustained ecological
across the globe is an alarm bell for taken tangible action or invested in restoration, government and imple-
everyone to engage in the climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. menting partners should be ready to
fight. Since Uganda is heavily dependent For example, there is continuous envi- handle challenges that face such projects
on rain-fed agriculture, the belief is that ronmental degradation and pollution namely: lack of clarity on institutional
the major impact of climate change will in Kampala and Wakiso, which include mandates, roles and responsibilities, lack
be decreased agricultural production solid waste, abattoir waste, sewage, of grassroots community involvement,
leading to food shortages. sanitation, drainage, industrial pollu- corruption and political interference. The
Conservationists argue that Uganda tion, plastic and traffic pollution, atmo- local governments in the benefitting dis-
had made a positive move to sign up to spheric pollution, urban agriculture, soil tricts need to be involved because they
the United Nations Framework Conven- dumping in wetlands and land-filling, play a leadership role.
tion on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and rapid and unplanned urbanisation and Further policy attention should aim at
followed it with development of the water hyacinth. constructive engagement in the design
National Climate Change Policy and In the past, little climate adaptation and implementation of programs that
Implementation Strategy in 2012/13. financing was directed towards the rural can receive funding. There can be
A road map for the development of areas. Nevertheless recently, during emphasis on accountability for effective
the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) national celebrations to mark 2019 World use of climate finance and improving the
was submitted to the Secretariat of the effectiveness and equitable distribution
United Nations Framework Convention of funding for climate change adaptation
on climate change at the beginning of in the entire country.
2015. However, the full implementation
of the priority adaptation and mitiga-
There is There is opportunity to engage and
empower grassroots women and youth
tion actions principally remain on paper opportunity groups to act on climate change to

to engage
because they are conditional on the sup- achieve sustainable development. They
port of international stakeholders. have vast knowledge and experience
The government needs to urgently
review and make relevant reforms in
and empower to participate fully in deciding climate
change action; especially in turning the
the current climate change adaptation grassroots tide on land use.
approach; most especially building insti-
women and youth
We all have a responsibility to make
tutional capacity to conceptualise climate better environmental choices in our own
compatible development projects as well
as increase and manage climate finance. groups to act on homes, at work, and on the means of
travel. Without a doubt, industrialists,
The current climate change impacts and
costs are expected to persist because of
climate change religious and cultural leaders, politi-
cians, the media and business owners
our past and present-day environmental to achieve play a central role in the protection of
decisions. We must act now to adapt and
build resilience to a changing climate so sustainable environment. It will take everybody’s
involvement and contribution to tackle
that we are able to proactively manage
risks, protect our health and ensure the
development the scourge of climate change.

well-being of Ugandans. The writer is Executive Director of Citizens’


Government should prioritise and Concern Africa-CICOA
increase climate change action funding andrew.mafundo@citizensconcernafrica.org

34 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
ART | BOOKS | SOCIETY | TRAVEL | CULTURE

Teaching the art of


O
By Dominic Muwanguzi

nly a handful of university


art graduates wind up in

art and community


full practice on the local art
scene. So where do the rest
end up? In an average class
of 60 students, only about
seven or ten emerge as artists, and mostly as
graphic and fashion designers.
What explains the reality that many go
Nagenda International Academy of Art and
into business, remain unemployed, or go
back to school to switch courses?
Design emphasises self- sustainability
Some point at how art is taught; the
approach is hypothetical and does not give Community participation is critical, and from Wits University, South Africa. They
opportunity to students to get hands on takes two forms; firstly, the local commu- share personal experiences on racism and
skills. Many do not relate with the commu- nity becomes a source of ideas and materi- poverty in their neighbourhoods to expose
nity where they will end up working. Their als the students integrate in their learning Ugandan students to the real world. They
art training creates problems yet is should or art making processes. Environment are compelled to think of solutions.
be solving problems. sustainability in the community requires “It is a process that involves the art stu-
The Nagenda International Academy of students to make art which is environment dents unlearning what they have already
Art and Design (NIAAD) wants to change friendly; involves waste materials-synthetic learnt and achieving a more realistic image
that by emphasising hands- on –skills and and organic- from local households that are of the world that they live in. Unfortu-
collaborative projects. This, they believe, recycled into functional art such as fashion nately, theoretical art education does not
makes art teaching and learning more prac- accessories, jewelry and fabrics, and stained facilitate such experience,” says Kitto.
tical and holistic rather than ideal. glass mural paintings. The school also uses Affirmative Art,
Each student engages with the commu- Secondly, the collaboration with conti- with a laboratory open for students to dis-
nity for at least three weeks while under- nental and international institutions like cover their full potential through drawing
taking a specific project under the theme University of Art and Design Education their dream- what they want to achieve in
of problem solving. Learning outside the Zurich enable students to see art training life- on paper.
classroom space stimulates creativity and beyond the usual academic qualifications “It assists in our self –discovery as stu-
innovation. Skills and independent thinking like certificates, diplomas and degrees, but dents,” says Juliet Murawingwa.
develops. The learner is trained to create art as a medium of interacting with the com- NIAAD is located in Namulanda,
responding to the needs of the community. munity and its needs. approximately 20Km from Kampala City,
For example, they produce drawings, flyers Derrick Kitto, a lecturer at the Academy on Entebbe Road. It is a tertiary institu-
and brochures for area schools and commis- teaches Visual Communications Design tion registered by the National Council of
sioned artworks for towns and cities. using audio recordings of black students Higher Learning.

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 35
Robots serve up Woman divorces husband three minutes after marrying him
food, fun in cafe A newlywed couple marriage before even ing her up, the groom
in Kuwait recently leaving the courthouse reportedly insulted his
The robots at the made history for having they got married in. wife by calling her “stu-
Enjoy Budapest Cafe the shortest marriage The two had just signed pid” for slipping. That
can do it all - they can in the country’s exis- their marriage contract was apparently too
serve up food and tence. They decided to in front of a judge and much for the woman
drink, tell jokes, dance go their separate ways were walking out of to bear, so she turned
with the kids or just just three minutes after the courthouse when around and asked the
hang out for a chat getting married. The the bride accidentally judge to dissolve their
with customers. couple ended their tripped. Instead of help- marriage on the spot.

Man has toothpick This `thought box’ helps you think, costs Shs2.3m Young prefer
removed from The Thought Box old music, says
inside his heart is exactly what it
sounds like – a box to research
help you think. Just Research has suggested
A 29-year-old Chinese have a seat on the that modern music really
man can consider himself included `Thought isn’t as good as the old clas-
lucky to be alive after Stool’, put the box sics. A study has found that
doctors removed a wooden over your head and golden oldies stick in young
toothpick stuck in the right use the earplugs that minds far more than the
atrium of his heart. Mr. Zhou come with it to detach relatively bland, homoge-
underwent an open-heart from everything nous pop of today. A golden
operation on January to have around you and just age of popular music lasted
an excessive growth removed think. If that sounds from the 1960s to the 1990s,
from his heart. He had been like the kind of thing academics claimed. Songs
suffering from poor health With open offices thoughts. But with you need in your
being so popular the `Thought Box’, a from this era proved to be
with doctors had been unable hectic life, The Form much more memorable than
to properly treat his illness. these days and dis- $650 cardboard and Emporium online
tractions pretty much fabric box that you tunes released in the 21st
During his heart operation, store has the Thought century. Music from the
surgeons discovered that the everywhere you look, put over your head, Box ready. Just know
it can be difficult you can enjoy some vinyl era is still very popular
cause of his health problems that you’ll have to pay among young people. The
was a simple toothpick but to find a personal personal place any- $650 (Approx. Shs2.3
space to gather your where. scientists tested a group of
how found it its way into million) for it. young people on their abil-
the man’s heart is unknown. ity to recognise hit records
Zhou doesn’t remember
swallowing the toothpick,
Passengers kept on grounded plane for 6 hours from different decades. The
643 participants, typically
but told journalists that he Passengers aboard information. Accord- that typically lasts aged 18 to 25, maintained a
had the habit of putting a a recent Ryanair ing to one customer, approximately three steady memory of top tunes
toothpick in his glass when flight from Prague, some passengers hours, were permitted that came out between 1960
drinking with his buddies, the Czech Republic, experienced anxiety to disembark from the and 1999. In contrast, their
to help him easily identify to Madrid claim they attacks on the plane, plane. After walking memory of 21st-century
his drink on the table. In fact, were left stranded on and parents struggled through the snow and songs from 2000 to 2015
he admitted to swallowing a their plane for more with their children. winds, they spent the – while higher overall –
toothpick by accident before. than six hours with- Eventually, the pas- night at the airport. diminished rapidly over
Luckily, it had lodged into out food, water or sengers, on a flight time.
his throat and he was able to
reach down and remove it
with his fingers. Man wins lottery twice using the date of mom’s death
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. as in August,” said the 58-year- a few more times after his big
That seemed to be this Maryland old from Severna Park, according win using different combinations
man’s strategy when it came to to Maryland Lottery officials. of numbers representing his
playing a lottery game with his He explained that the first time mom’s life. When those didn’t
winning numbers, and taking he won was in August 2018, and lead to a win, he used the same
home a $10,000 prize for the sec- he used the date of his mother’s numbers he did in august, and
ond time in months. death on a $1 bet that led to a won the same $10,146 prize.
“I won with the same numbers $10,146 win. He played the game

36 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
Why are BMWs catching fire?
B
MWs are catching mysterious fires in 2017, the company has issued four fire- never came to inspect it.
in the U.S. and owners have filed related recalls affecting more than 1 million Lynn Wrench’s 2011 BMW 328i xDrive
more than 90 complaints about the vehicles across various years and models. ignited while it was parked and turned off
issue to the National Highway Traf- The luxury automaker isn’t the only in her hometown of Colgate, Wisconsin.
fic Safety Administration. But the govern- vehicle producer to take that step. Car BMW offered her $1,500 to sign a non-
ment watchdog for automotive safety does manufacturers collectively have issued 62 disclosure agreement.
not have an active investigation into pos- parked-car-fire-related recalls since 2017. In “I wouldn’t even be able to talk with
sible causes. “These BMWs have [had] these January, Hyundai and Kia recalled 168,000 you about this. Or anybody,” Wrench said.
fire problems for a very long time,” says vehicles for fire risk. But while U.S. regula- “Why would I do that?”
Jason Levine, the executive director at the tors have declined to investigate, BMW has Joseph Santoli, an attorney who’s sued
nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, “They’ve faced scrutiny elsewhere. The company BMW in the past, told journalist he has been
taken a very long time to respond to them. was recently fined $9.9 million by the South contacted by many angry BMW owners
And it doesn’t seem that they’re getting to Korean government after its transport min- exploring their legal options after reporting
the bottom of the problem.” istry determined officials had tried to cover that their parked cars caught fire.
BMW insists that car fires can result from up technical problems related to dozens of In October 2017, Laura Ohme said she
a variety of external reasons “unrelated engine fires in diesel cars and moved too and her two sons were forced to flee their
to product defects.” In 2017, a company slowly to recall affected vehicles. California home when her 2014 BMW X5
spokesperson suggested several other The company has issued statements say- ignited while it was parked and turned
potential causes of car fires, including a lack ing that “with approximately 4.9 million off in her garage. The family escaped
of maintenance, improper maintenance by BMW vehicles on U.S. roads, fire incidents unharmed, but the resulting fire destroyed
unauthorised mechanics, aftermarket modi- involving BMWs are very rare. ... BMW their home. Fire investigators were able to
fications, rodent nesting and even arson. takes every incident very seriously.” pinpoint her recently purchased BMW as
“In cases that we have inspected and Virginia Chamlee’s said her 2005 BMW the source of the blaze.
are able to determine root cause,” a BMW X5 ignited as it was parked and turned off “We’re not the only family that has lost
spokesperson told ABC News, “we have in her driveway in Jacksonville, Florida, everything because of a BMW car fire,”
not seen any pattern related to quality or in July 2018. She reported the fire to BMW Ohme said. “Fix the problem.”
component failure.” Since the initial report immediately but she said the company

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Feb. 15 - 21 2019 37
Ann Linda Namuddu: On her
poetic metaphors of love
By Agnes E Nantaba theme to feminism, women’s rights and

A
empowerment.
nn Linda “I want to work in women’s spaces
and be part of formulating solutions for
social problems affecting women through
poetry,” she says.
Namuddu Namuddu prides in her mother, Robinah
Mubeezi is a Namugenyi Ntaate, for nurturing her
promising poetic instinct. She introduced reading to
poet with her when she was just two years old. When
an artistic the youngster showed love for reading, her
streak who mother took advantage of her curiosity,
loves to nurtured her imaginativeness, and taught
write her to tell stories, and homeschooled her
about for three years. Namuddu says her mother
love. In a was good at all that. Soon she started
space of writing short stories and eventually poetry.
two years, When she joined St Theresa Boarding
between Primary school, Namuddu’s unique use of
2012 and words and expressions was admired by her
2014, teachers.
the 28- “I used to speak in metaphors and
year old says similes and some would call me funny,”
she wrote says Namuddu, “It was a poetic way of
65 poems all speaking that now goes onto paper.”
of which were In high school, she encountered poetry
monothematic in the English literature classes. She was
about love. introduced to the structure of poetry and
Recently, she says, consumed even more poetry from books in
she has decided to the library.
switch At Makerere University, she studied
Social Work and Social Administration.
But she retained her poetry as a way of
socialising. She joined a group of young
thinkers at the Lantern Meet of Poets.
They would meet to share ideas on
poetry written on pieces of paper
and use an anonymous system to
critique each other.
Namuddu still goes to the
Lantern Meet of Poets, writes,
performs, and recites her
poetry. She is critiqued,
occasionally gets a standing
ovation and bare knuckled
criticism. She thrives on the
ironies. She says her poems
are reflections in which
metaphor marries precision,
morals bubble in amorous
anger, simmer with charm
and playfulness, or ooze
a sensual sweetness; all of
which are challenges in love.

38 Feb. 15 - 21 2019
Q&A

Ann Linda Namuddu’s Liteside


Any three things that we don’t point in time and to use it to What or who is the greatest What do you most value in

I
know about you? liberate others in minute and love of your life? your friends?
am artistic; which is a subtle ways. There was a time I love my mother and a Empathy is the biggest thing
strong trait within me. I was very timid and afraid of couple of other family mem- for me because it sustains
Empathy and being in- everything but that has since bers and friends. relationships.
dependent minded also stopped with the knowledge
define me. that I accumulated through the When and where were you Who are your favorite writers?
process of internal reflection. It happiest? I enjoy the works of Haruki
What is your idea of perfect has formed my character that is Towards the end of last Murakami a Japanese writer.
happiness? taking me along. year, I got something that I Lately I discovered Khalid
Happiness is momentary; kept praying for seven years. I Hussein. I would also read
good relationships with What do you consider the am still riding on that wave of anything by Audrey Lord who
people is where I draw a lot of most overrated virtue? happiness. writes about race, gender and
happiness, contentment and Being humble; I don’t under- class; her essays are timeless
satisfaction. stand what the word humble Which talent would you having been written in the
means. There’s humility of not most like to have? 1960s. Their writings speak to
What is your greatest fear? being abusive or taking advan- I wish I was sporty because me
Violence of any form. tage of people but sometimes it sustains life. I wish I also had
what is described as being the knack for numbers. I wish Who is your hero of fiction?
What is the trait you most de- humble is being introverted. my piano playing improved I am torn between Jane Aus-
plore in yourself? Humble is an overrated virtue. from where it is. ten and Thomas Hardy. Both
I am more of a thinker than If you could change one thing are good observers of human
a doer. I am full of ideas but What does being powerful about yourself, what would character and know how to
executing them is a challenge. mean to you? it be? hold a mirror up for us to see
Having scarce resources; Our quirks and differences our comical ordinariness.
What is the trait you most de- which can be knowledge or are what make a beautiful
plore in others? material. It makes one powerful world. The world would not be Which historical figure do you
Existing around people who by being at the top of the hier- beautiful if we were all made most identify with?
lack empathy is hard. Such archy because they have the the same. Harriet Tubman in the U.S.
people are not aware of the resources centered on them. who used to help slaves escape.
effects of their actions on other Where would you most like I admire the fearlessness in a
people and how far reaching On what occasion do you lie? to live? woman risking herself for oth-
they may be. I find myself telling lies to I have travelled through my ers for freedom. It’s not an easy
save my life. It is the best way reading and realised that there place to break the law and risk
Which living person do you to get out of it. is no place like Uganda. Else- their neck not only for them-
most admire? where the world is so mecha- selves but for others in pursuit
Mellissa Kiguwa is a woman What do you most dislike nised and this has brought a for something that they are not
I met at the Lantern Meet of about your appearance? discrepancy in human relations even sure that they will get.
Poets. She is the most intel- I have made peace with but we still have it here. I
ligent woman I have met, very physical aspects of myself. would only fix a few problems What is your greatest regret?
brave and confident. As I was like transport and crime. I regret all the times I have
getting into my young child- Which living person do you not done something because I
hood, I lacked women idols but most despise? What is your most treasured was afraid to fail.
I found her to be one. I admire Violent, self-centered and possession?
her tenacity and how well bal- misogynistic people in both My book collection from my How would you like to die?
anced she is. men and women. first book of letters and vowels; My idea about death keeps
every time I go to bed my worst changing. Initially dying at
What is your greatest extrava- What is the quality you most fear is theft of my books. It has 50 was okay for me but life
gance? like in a woman? sentimental value to me and is so good to me lately so 70
I just love good designer Intelligence and kindness. would be broken if I lost them. wouldn’t be bad for me. I don’t
perfume and it’s pricey. I can want to die through violent or
defend it as a necessary evil. What is the quality you most What do you regard as the cruel means.
like in a man? lowest depth of misery?
What is the greatest thing you Intelligence and kindness. Loss of valuable life is really What is your motto?
have ever done? a sad moment. You don’t even Act as if it’s possible to
I have been able to liber- Which words or phrases do know how to comfort people in change the world.
ate my mind and acquire you most overuse? such times.
the knowledge I have at this Well.

Feb. 15 - 21 2019 39
Global comment
By Jesse Griffiths
End US stranglehold on World Bank
Nominations for the World Bank presidency open amid
demands for conduct a transparent, merit-based process

N
ominations opened last week for the chief economist of Bear Stearns at the ment’s desire to appoint the unsuitable
the World Bank presidency, one time of its collapse, Malpass did not see the Paul Wolfowitz as World Bank president,
of the most powerful and im- 2008 financial crisis coming, and has since and then spent the next two years trying
portant jobs in the international made his way into the U.S. Department to get rid of him, eventually succeeding in
system. Many commentators have as- of the Treasury through political appoint- 2007.
sumed that U.S. President Donald Trump’s ment. He has no significant experience What would a good candidate look like?
pick for the job will be a shoo-in. But his- working in developing countries, and he The Board’s selection criteria include some
tory and current geopolitical conditions is openly skeptical of the benefits of mul- of the essential points. The nominee should
suggest this may not be the case. tilateralism – the very raison d’être of the have a proven track record of leadership
To be sure, the United States has selected World Bank. and experience in managing large public
all 12 previous World Bank presidents, Third, an alliance of developing coun- organisations with international exposure.
owing to an informal deal it struck with tries and European governments backing They should support multilateralism, offer
European governments after World War a merit-based selection process could be a clear strategic vision for the Bank, and
II, granting the Europeans the pick of the in the cards. The developing countries in demonstrate strong diplomatic, communi-
top job at the International Monetary Fund the Intergovernmental Group of 24 will be cation, and management skills.
in exchange. Yet there are three reasons to putting forward good candidates to chal- The obvious omission in the Board’s
think that this anachronistic carve-up of lenge the U.S., as they did last time. Several criteria is a deep understanding of devel-
the international financial system’s top jobs heavy hitters are already being touted, so opment issues. Given that the World Bank
could be about to end. the question is whether other developed operates only in developing countries, this
First, the leadership selection process at countries – particularly European powers, missing category should and will loom
international organisations is becoming which are over-represented on the board – large in the selection process this time
increasingly merit-based across the board. will still back the US. around. Malpass, with his lack of experi-
For example, everyone assumed that the Surely, it is time for European govern- ence in international development, will
Eastern European Group would get its ments to take the high road. They should look wholly insufficient when compared
“turn” to pick the next secretary-general announce that they will no longer insist to a heavyweight candidate backed by the
of the United Nations in 2016. But after on choosing the IMF managing director G24.
several rounds of public voting, the Gen- (which would be bowing to inevitability The World Bank has reached a critical
eral Assembly elected former Portuguese anyway) and back the best candidate for juncture. Now is the time for it to conduct
Prime Minister António Guterres, the the World Bank presidency. They should a transparent, merit-based process to select
nominee of the Western European and bear in mind their experience in 2005, its next president. Fortunately, the Board
Others Group. when they acquiesced to the U.S. govern- took some major steps forward last time
The Trump administration has already around, not least by interviewing several
suffered a similar loss of its own. Last candidates. Still, the process was not trans-
year, its candidate to lead the International parent. This time, the interviews should be
Organisation for Migration, Ken Isaacs,
was put out of the race in the second round The nominee conducted in public, or candidates should
be required to defend their records in a
of voting. For the first time since 1951, the
agency elected a non-American, the much
should have a variety of public forums. And, as with the
UN secretary-general selection process, the
better qualified António Vitorino of Por- proven track Executive Directors’ final votes should be

record of
tugal. publicly recorded.
Moreover, the World Bank presidency The next World Bank president will have
has itself become increasingly contested in
recent years. When the most recent presi-
leadership and a difficult job. Given mounting global
challenges, the institution will have to be
dent, Jim Yong Kim, was interviewing for experience rebuilt and repositioned for a new age.

in managing
the job in 2012, he was widely regarded as Only a truly merit-based, transparent pro-
less impressive than the two other candi- cess will deliver that outcome.
dates, both of them former finance minis-
ters and heavyweights on the international
large public
scene. Only with the determined backing organisations Jesse Griffiths is Head of the Development
Strategy and Finance team at the Overseas
of the Obama administration did Kim
manage to get over the line with the Bank’s with international Development Institute.
Executive Directors.
Indeed, the second reason why this time exposure
may be different is that the Trump admin- Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
istration has nominated an especially
unsuitable candidate: David Malpass. As

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