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Disagreement Over Chamber Member Composition Derails Arua City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Leadership Election

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15 hours ago

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November 3, 2023

Disagreement Over Chamber Member Composition Derails Arua City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Leadership Election

The highly anticipated election for the leadership of the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Arua City, originally scheduled for November 1, 2023, was marred by turmoil and had to be postponed.

The election came to a halt due to a bitter dispute concerning the eligibility of chamber members who were also designated as voters. The factions supporting the chairpersonship candidates, Dr. Ronald Debo and Trinity Caesar Draecabo, vehemently argued over the authenticity of the listed members who were supposed to cast their votes.

In response to the chaos, Jobel Ayiko, the acting Arua City Commercial Officer and Ayivu Division Commercial Officer, issued a warning about potential legal consequences if the election proceeded without adhering to the required procedures. Ayiko expressed concerns, saying, “This election will have legal implications because its technical terms were not met. Other members will not be qualified because of the failure to meet the technical requirements, and besides, I’m not properly prepared by the headquarters to conduct these elections.”

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The impasse ultimately led to the decision to postpone the election, leaving the delegation from the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who had traveled from Kampala, with no alternative but to reschedule the exercise for a later date.

However, Dr. Debo expressed his disappointment with the postponement, describing it as an unfortunate turn of events. He emphasized the importance of unity and the primary objectives of the Chamber, stating, “All in all, I’m not a fan of chaos. We are aspiring to serve. The Chamber is like the Rotary Club; it is serving humanity, but, in this case, we are serving the business community. Its main objective is to promote and protect businesses and entrepreneurs against bad policies and other challenges of business.”

Dr. Debo also emphasized that the focus should be on business interests rather than tribal or religious divisions, saying, “The fight is not against a tribe; the fight is not against a religion or ethnicity. Business has no tribe; business has no boundary.”

He encouraged the people of Arua to embrace unity and avoid unnecessary conflicts, urging them to work together to advance their common interests. Dr. Debo conveyed his determination to persevere through the challenges, stating, “I’m still a candidate though I’m going through a lot of threats, but I have remained steadfast because I know the opportunity the Chamber has for the business entities here.”

The unsuccessful election aimed to usher in a new leadership team to replace the existing Arua Chamber leadership, currently led by Jackson Atima Lee Buti, the incumbent Arua Central Division MP.

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Ministry of Luwero-Ruwenzori Triangle Donates Iron Sheets to Schools Affected by Rain Damage

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7 days ago

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October 28, 2023

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Ministry of Luwero-Ruwenzori Triangle Donates Iron Sheets to Schools Affected by Rain Damage

The Ministry of Luwero-Ruwenzori Triangle has contributed 6,954 iron sheets to aid schools whose roofs were either damaged by heavy rains or had deteriorated over time.

Nineteen primary schools in Luwero district and thirteen in Nakaseke District were beneficiaries of this donation. Notable among the recipient schools were Ngoma Church of Uganda, Bujubya, Bukalabi, Mayirikiti, Mifunya, Lumpewe, Kifampa, and Kituntu primary schools in Nakaseke. In Luwero district, schools such as Butuntumula, Kyanukuzi, Luwero Boys, Manywa Blue, Kasaala Girls, Wakatayi, Wobulenzi UMEA, Wobulenzi Public School, and Star Junior Academy were among those that received assistance.

James Tumuhairwe Ninsiima, the headteacher of Ngoma Church of Uganda Primary School, shared that a classroom block, devastated by a storm fifteen years ago, has remained unrepaired, forcing students to study under trees or in shared classes. The school received 400 iron sheets, allowing them to start renovating the block and accommodate around 800 students.

Ignatius Koomu Kiwanuka, the LCV Chairperson of Nakaseke district, revealed that some schools had constructed new classroom blocks but couldn’t afford to roof them. The distribution of iron sheets aimed to support such schools in completing these structures.

Koomu also emphasized the urgency of renovating old schools, highlighting the risk of dilapidated structures collapsing due to heavy rains, potentially endangering the lives of students.

Burton Bbumba, the headteacher of Luwero Boys Primary School, expressed relief at receiving 200 iron sheets. The school plans to use them to replace old sheets and ensure a conducive learning environment, especially during the rainy season.

Florence Bbosa from Luwero District Education explained that due to budget shortfalls, the district had been able to construct classroom blocks in only a limited number of schools each financial year. The donation of iron sheets is anticipated to help mitigate classroom shortages in the district.

During the distribution in Luwero town council, State Minister Alice Kaboyo, in charge of Luwero Triangle, launched the initiative. She emphasized the sheets were to be used exclusively for roofing classroom blocks and revealed that private schools would also benefit from this aid.

The Ministry procured a total of 8,874 iron sheets at a cost of 631 million shillings, intending to donate them not only to schools but also to veterans in need.

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Laropi-Umi Ferry Suspends Services, Leaving Travelers Stranded in West Nile

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2 weeks ago

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October 24, 2023

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Laropi-Umi Ferry Suspends Services, Leaving Travelers Stranded in West Nile

Travelers heading to Adjumani, Moyo districts, and other parts of the West Nile region and South Sudan are facing a predicament as Laropi-Umi Ferry temporarily suspends its services on the Albert Nile.

The suspension was prompted by a Sunday night incident when a Kenyan fuel truck with the registration number KDB 946K/ZD 2456 plunged into the river at Laripi Landing site in Pakoma East Cell, Laropi Town Council, Moyo district, while disembarking from the ferry.

Ignatius Dragudu, the North West Nile Region Police Spokesperson, reported that the accident occurred at approximately 8:19 p.m., with no injuries reported.

Initial findings suggest that the fuel tanker, en route from Kenya, was destined to deliver its cargo to a fuel station in KajoKeji County in neighboring South Sudan at the time of the accident.

Allan Ssempebwa, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Communications Officer, stated that efforts are underway to retrieve the submerged fuel tanker from the river. This action is necessary to clear the way for the ferry’s operations to resume. Additionally, UNRA plans to assess the damage to the ferry before resuming passenger services.

The suspension of the ferry has left numerous travelers stranded at Umi and Laropi Landing sites, with some resorting to expensive private boat hires to cross the river. UNRA has, however, advised travelers to use the Obongi-Sinyanya ferry as an alternative route to cross to Adjumani or Moyo district.

Charles Tiondi, a resident of Adjumani district, urged the government to expedite the construction of the proposed Laropi bridge to address the persistent transportation challenges between Moyo and Adjumani. He stated, “The bridge project should kick off. We are tired of the ferry. Ferry, ferry every time.”

Arnold Alema, a passenger traveling from Kampala to Adjumani, explained that the situation compelled them to take the longer Obongi-Sinyanya route.

The Laropi-Umi Ferry, certified with a capacity of 180 passengers and 120 tonnes of cargo per trip, has been a vital transportation link. It typically serves an average of 1,500 to 1,800 passengers daily, according to the Ministry of Works and Transport.

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Uganda’s President Orders Airstrike on ADF Rebel Camp Near Congo Border

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2 weeks ago

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October 22, 2023

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Uganda’s President Orders Airstrike on ADF Rebel Camp Near Congo Border

Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, announced on Saturday that the country’s military helicopters carried out an attack on an Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel camp located 60 km from the Uganda-Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) border.

President Museveni stated, “The attack was devastating because it was a clear target, and the reconnaissance plane was monitoring from the air,” on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter.

This air raid occurred shortly after a suspected ADF rebel attack on a safari vehicle, resulting in the tragic deaths of two tourists and their guide in a western Uganda national park.

A week prior, ADF militants attacked a cargo truck transporting onions, resulting in the death of one civilian and the vehicle’s destruction.

Museveni confirmed that a group of five individuals responsible for these acts is being pursued.

The President had previously cautioned about potential ADF rebel attempts to infiltrate the Uganda border due to mounting pressure from Ugandan and DRC joint forces.

Ugandan troops have been collaborating with their DRC counterparts since 2022 in combating the ADF, a branch of the Islamic State in Central Africa, responsible for causing turmoil and launching attacks in North Kivu and Ituri provinces in eastern DRC.

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Kitatta, Namyalo, and Gashumba Unable to Substantiate Ownership of ‘Tova Ku Main’ Slogan, Rules URSB

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2 weeks ago

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October 19, 2023

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The claims of ownership over the popular campaign slogan “Jajja Tova Ku Main” have been dismissed by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB). Hadija Namyalo, the Head of the NRM Office of National Chairman, Lwengo District Chairman Ibrahim Kitatta, and social commentator Frank Gashumba had all asserted their rights as the originators of the slogan, which gained prominence in late 2022 in support of President Yoweri Museveni’s continued presidency.

Gashumba sought to copyright the artistic rendition of President Museveni’s photo and the slogan, but his application was contested by both Namyalo and Kitatta, each claiming ownership of the slogan. However, Assistant Registrar of Copyright, Denis Birungi, ruled that none of the three could substantiate their ownership.

Kitatta’s claim was dismissed as unconvincing since he objected to the slogan, which Gashumba sought to copyright as an artistic representation that included a 2019 photo of President Museveni. Kitatta’s assertion that he had registered a copyright for the words in January 2023 was also invalidated, as the slogan had already been in use in 2022.

Namyalo, who contended that she had engaged Gashumba to create the artistic works on her behalf, lost her claim after failing to provide evidence of any contractual agreement. Although she had receipts for payments to Gashumba for creating T-shirts with the artistic words, she could not produce a contract proving that she had commissioned him to undertake the work.

The URSB found no proof that Gashumba was the creator of the works, as the used photo was not taken by him and could only be defined as a derivative work under copyright law. Gashumba failed to provide evidence that he had received authorization from the copyright holder of the original image before making adaptations and modifications, making his ownership claim invalid.

Following the ruling, Namyalo stated that the Office of the National Chairman would continue to use the slogan and the artistic representation of the President in its campaigns since neither Gashumba nor Kitatta owned it. The slogan has been used at NRM functions and events where President Yoweri Museveni has received endorsements for extending his rule beyond 2026, representing the position of pro-Museveni youth referred to as Bazzukulu (grandchildren).

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Tragic Road Crash Claims Six Lives and Injures Two in Masindi District

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2 weeks ago

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October 19, 2023

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A devastating road accident on the Masindi-Pakwach road within Masindi district at Murchison Falls National Park claimed the lives of six individuals on the spot and left two others in critical condition this Wednesday.

The accident involved an Isuzu truck bearing registration number UAZ 404H, which was transporting passengers and construction materials from Kampala to Pakwach.

The victims have been identified by the police. They include Vincent Odoch, aged 29, who was the driver, Muhammed Swaleh, 23, Oscar Nyankoli, 23, hailing from Lira district, Aron Akandwanaho, 24, a resident of Rukiiga district, and Constance Bizimana, 24. The sixth individual’s identity is currently unknown.

Julius Hakiza, the police spokesperson for the Albertine region, has reported that the injured parties, Emmanuel Muhuruzi and another individual known only as Otim, are in critical condition and have been transferred to Mulago National Referral Hospital for immediate medical attention.

The bodies of the deceased have been taken to the mortuary at Masindi General Hospital to undergo a postmortem examination, as authorities work to piece together the circumstances of this tragic incident.

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