Monday, 26 November 2012

Landmine victims suffering as government help delays

News updated at Kasese E-Society

In June 1991, as Mr Ahab Ndathu was inspecting a newly constructed water spring for his community in Kasese District, he stepped on an object, which he later recognised as a land mine, whichhas left him without limb for the last 21 years.

Mr Ndathu said he was in a group of 30 people but was the only one who lost a limb.

“I was the second last in the group. While the rest were able to pass by the landmine, I did not. It hit me and cut off my left limb,” Mr Ndathu recalls. He says he was in Kagando Hospital for a month and later transferred to Mulago hospital where he got a prosthesis (artificial leg).

The 50-year-old and a father of five, Mr Ndathu is the coordinator for Kasese Landmine Survivor’s Association. He says he cannot participate in hard labour.

Ms Lucy Toobalo, a mother of nine lost her leg in 2004 in Agago District. She says she lacks Shs700,000 for an artificial leg becuase the one she has is loose.

While opening meeting on victim assistance in Kampala yesterday, State Minister for the Elderly and Disabled, Mr Sulaiman Madada, said government was committed to helping the victims but their funds were misappropriated.

“We need to work together and ensure all money is used for its intended purpose,” Mr Madada said.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Rwenzori gets monitoring units

News updated at E-Society Kasese

The Rwenzori information centres network (RIC-NET), a non-governmental organisation, has launched E-centres and websites to enable easy flow and sharing of information by the public.
The creation of the information websites is expected to improve service delivery, accountability and transparency in Rwenzori Sub-region.
RIC-NET in conjunction with Rwenzori consortium for civic competence, an NGO, established the centres in Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kasese and Bundibugyo districts.
The RIC-NET Executive Director, Mr John Silco Murugahara, told this newspaper last week that local government officials will be able to channel accountability reports to residents through the new technology.
“Issues of accountability and transparency will be managed well because now everything will be made public and easy to track. The services will be taken closer to the public and they will be able to monitor us,” Murugahara said.
“We set up the E-centre as a way of poverty eradication. We believe that if community members are looking for information, it will save them time and money and at the same time give them the rightful information,” he added.
The scheme, according to authorities, focuses on rural people and an SMS line through which the residents will be channeling queries has been created.
The Kamwengye deputy Resident District Commissioner, Ms Beatrice Akello, said district authorities have to strengthen the coordination and information flow in the district.
The Kabarole Chief Administrative officer, Mr Juma Nyende, said they now face the problem of poor attitude and ignorance of residents in ICT. The initiative had reportedly been introduced by the government in 2009.

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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Rwenzururu Nyabaghole Foundation for Development [RWENFOD] to be launched

 By: Kasese E-Society
There are just 5 days to the launch of Rwenzururu Nyabaghole Foundation for Development RWENFOD. The function will be held at Boma grounds in Kasese town and the 1st Lady Hon. Kataha Janet Museveni will preside over the function. The function starts at 10:00am. before being hosted at Boma ground, Hon Janet Museveni will be visiting three selected homes in Maliba to popularize the program for sanitation and hygiene. All the Banyarwenzururu are kindly requested to attend the function in big numbers, you are all 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Police in Kasese arrests rail theives

Police in Kasese are holding twelve people for allegedly stealing rails from the redundant Kasese-Jinja Railway line.
The District Police Commander Michael Musani said that eight of the suspects were arrested yesteday while loading the rails on a Kanta-Truck registration number UAF 250Y in Hima town council.
He said that they had stolen the rails from the Railway line near Kasese Municipality before being found in Hima town council.
The DPC said the suspects we found with twenty one rails and twenty nine slippers.
He identified them as Peter Mugisha, Abel Akisha, Boaz Bwambale, Rashid Bwambale, Jockim Bwambale, Ronald Mugisha and the other only identified as Bishimungu.
Those arrested today are Eric Muhairwe a Rwandan national, Shiraj Mugisha from Mbarara, Amos Mushabe and Amos Kamusime all from Kamwenge district.
The truck driver Ezra Sibanza was also arrested.
Police have also detained one of their own Peter Ndegire who was pointed out by the suspects during interrogation as a person they deal with.
According to the DPC the suspects have allies in Kasese town with which they steal peoples and public property.
Musani said that investigations into the theft and about the other suspects still at large are ongoing.
He said that the suspects who are in police custody will be produced to court and answer charges of theft.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Pupil sits exam while in labour

A 14-year-old girl in Kasese District endured two days of due labour to sit this year’s Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE), which were characterised by many interesting tit bits, including very old candidates. The oldest candidates were a 56-year-old grandmother in northern Uganda and a 37-year-old pastor in Kabarole District.
The 14-year-old expectant mother (names withheld) struggled with labour pains on the first day and the school hired for her a midwife to be by her side in a private room at Nyakasanga Primary Healthcare clinic, about a kilometre from her school.
“I decided to come and sit the exams because I thought I could, despite being pregnant. I am sure to complete this paper before giving birth to my first child,” she said.
Ministry of Education regulations permit girls to continue with their education even when they are pregnant.
“At the end of the first exam (mathematics), the supervisors told us that the girl’s condition changed and that she had pain. We rushed her to hospital where she was kept until the time to sit the afternoon exam. She told us she was ready to continue,” said Mr Joshua Munzomba, the headteacher.
When she did not deliver, the District Education Officer, Mr George Mainja, intervened by allowing the girl to sit the exams in a special care room under the guard of a police woman. A midwife attending to her, Ms Doloroza Muhindo, told the Daily Monitor that the girl was still experiencing the first stages of labour.
Meanwhile, there was a short interruption at Kitengeesa Church of Uganda Primary School PLE centre in Buwunga Sub-county after 17 candidates from Nakiyaga Model Primary School began shaking their heads and shouting at the top of their voices shortly after they started their papers. The school sits its pupils at Kitengeesa because it doesn’t have a centre number.
A pastor was called in to conduct prayers and the pupils stopped the shouting and resumed writing their papers. The headteacher of the school, Mr Abdu Mubiru, said the symptoms started manifesting among the pupils several weeks ago but their cause is not clearly understood.
After the incident some pupils were taken in a police ambulance to Masaka Regional Referral Hospital for medical examination but the doctors said preliminary check-ups did not reveal any sickness. The cause of their problem continues to be a mystery.
Denis Wokorach, a P7 pupil at Panyimur Primary School in Nebbi District, endured a heart condition to sit through the two days of examinations.
He sat on a mattress while being attended to by his grandmother in the examination room. Wokorach looked pale. He occasionally feels dizzy, has to rest and resume answering questions later.
His father had earlier stopped him from doing his PLE exams because of his sickness but Wokorach insisted that he would do them as long as he could hold a pen.
Police in Kasanda Sub-county, Mubende District, yesterday arrested Namabaale Umea Primary School deputy head teacher for alleged involvement in Primary Leaving Examinations malpractice.
According to the Officer in charge of Kasanda Police Station, Ms Patience Baganzi, they have arrested the deputy head teacher and the impersonator and are helping police in investigations. Also summoned by police is the head mistress.
The suspect had been asked by the head teacher to sit for another pupil who left school due to pregnancy. However, the invigilators identified the anomalies in the passport photos when they realised that the candidate who was sitting for the paper did not correspond with the one on the Uneb album.
Police also arrested the director Holy Generation Nursery and Primary School for allegedly embezzling his pupils’ registration fees. Thirteen candidates could not appear for PLE after they found out that the school had not registered them with the examinations board.
The director (name withheld) allegedly collected Shs110,000 from each pupil as registration fees for Uneb and pocketed it, instead of remitting the money to the examination body.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Government to sell Kilembe mines

News Updates at E-Society Kasese

The miserable years of redundancy at the previously busy Kilembe Mines could soon be over if the current appeal by government for a buyer attracts interest.
The Privatisation Unit in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has issued a statement of request for confirmation of interest for concession of the assets of Kilembe Mines Limited, the company that operates the Kasese Copper Mine and a smelting plant in Jinja.
The statement is an invitation to prospective buyers to confirm their interest in the deal.
The statement adds that the successful bidder would enter into a concession agreement with the government, take over the rehabilitation of assets, revive the mining activities and carry out further exploration activities.
Kilembe Mines Limited was established and incorporated in Uganda as a mining company in 1950 and registered the highest copper production in the 1970s when maximum output soared to 17,000 tons yearly.
However, the success lasted until 1982, leaving the mine on a care-and-maintenance basis. The company, whose majority shares of 99 per cent is owned by government and one per cent by Toro Kingdom, currently survives by generating and selling electricity to the national grid.
Mr Fred Kyakonye, the general manager of Kilembe Mines, has confirmed the move by government to sell the property to an investor. He explained that the transaction would ease attempts to access resources and revive the company.
Mr Kyakonye also explained that the years of redundancy has attracted encroachers who are stealing the property of the company, adding that presently, they spend much of their time frequenting court to battle over ownership claims of the assets such as land from the encroachers.
Mr Kyakonye, however, said the mine has potential that only requires technical and financial resources to restore.
The present attempt to sell off the assets of Kilembe Mines is one of the many endeavours government has made over the past years to revive the copper producing firm, one of the largest investments in the mining sector.
In 2010, government sought investors to manage Kilembe Mines, whose assets include a copper mine, power generation plant, lime factory and a timber treatment plant. At the time, government proposed a joint venture, with a progressive buy out of all its shares by the potential investor. It, however, said share holding percentage would be determined by the level of investment.
In the current plan, government has said it is seeking to implement the divestiture of the Kilembe Mines Limited through a Public-Private Partnership, meaning it would jointly own the property with the private firm. However, this arrangement could also change.
A statement from the Privatisation Unit says while government’s preference is for a Public-Private Partnership arrangement, interested bidders could propose other suitable arrangements.
The transaction comes at a time when there is a reported attractive market price of copper and cobalt with increasing demand especially in China, India and Japan. In addition, the management of Kilembe Mines says there is a confirmed 4 million tons of copper ore at the mine as well as an un-exploited 2,800 acres under the mining lease.
Some of the products also produced at the Kilembe Mines include wagon wheels, brake blokes, pulleys, water pumps, man- hole covers, seed oil mills, bricks making machines, mini- hydro electric plants, and various ferrous and non ferrous castings for manufacture of spare parts for machinery.
The sale of the company could also provide sufficient employment.