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Two pastors, three bar owners remanded for noise pollution

Buganda Road Chief Magistrate on Tuesday sent two pastors and three bar proprietors on remand after they were arrested and arraigned in court on charges of noise pollution.

 
The two pastors identified as Edward Mukisa and Herman Ssebunje from Nkumba Miracle Centre in Bendegere village in Katabi Town Council, Wakiso District and the proprietors of Hide Out Bar and Lounge in Kololo, Sisay Beruke, Tigsti Melkamu and Steven Ssetumba, appeared in court the on charges of noise pollution and pleaded not guilty.



According to a statement from National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) dated June 29, 2022, the suspects were arrested last week in an ongoing operation against noise pollution in the country triggered by numerous public complaints.

The National Environmental (Noise Standards and Control) Regulations, 2003 defines noise pollution as “the release of uncontrolled noise that is likely to cause danger to human beings or damage to the environment.”

Prosecution said that since 2019, the two pastors have engaged in Church activities including singing clapping, Yelling and using Loud Speakers that resulted in aggravated disturbance or pollution of the Environment.

The suspect were hence charged with “failure to undertake an environmental and social impact assessment, engaging in activities that result in or aggravate pollution, discharging and emitting pollutants into the environment, failure to implement regulatory measures, orders, notices and environmental easements as required by the National Environment Act, 2019.”


Tony Acidria, the senior public relations officer at NEMA said the suspects were arrested during the latest operations for being notorious noise polluters and some of the loudspeakers were also impounded from the church.


“They are repeat offenders because the noise levels when measured were above the permissible level of 60 decibels during the day and 40 decibels in the night for places of worship in residential areas,” said Acidria.

According to NEMA, the measurements showed that the church was emitting noise levels in the range of 60 and 86 decibels, above the permissible noise levels upon inspection by officials from NEMA led by Isaac Mugabi.
The law defines daytime as running from 6am to 10pm and night hours as running from 10 pm to 6 am.

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Acidria said NEMA had severally sensitized the pastors and other church administrators and warned them to control the noise from their church in vain. 

NEMA requires establishments such as places of worship, recreational and production activities either submit project briefs or undertake environmental and social impact assessment to enable relevant authorities to guide their operations to ensure that aspects of the environment including noise, air, and water pollution are not compromised.


If convicted, the suspects face a fine not exceeding fifty thousand currency points, the equivalent of UGX 1 billion, or a maximum jail term of 15 years, or both.     

Kazo: Parish Development Model Officially launched to Improve Household Income

Hon Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal husbandry and Fisheries together with Hon. Bright Rwamirama, the State Minister of Agriculture, Animal husbandry and Fisheries and Hon. Francis Mwebesa, the Minister of Trade, Industry & Cooperatives presided over the official launch of Parish Development model (PDM) in Kazo district on Tuesday.

The training which was held at compassion hall in Kazo town council attracted leaders at local government level, politicians, religious leaders, security personnel, district technical staff, and representatives of special interest groups among others.

Stakeholders during the Official Launch of PDM at Compassion Hall in Kazo district on Tuesday.

Speaking during the launch, Hon Frank Tumwebaze asked the people of Kazo district to embrace the PDM program adding that in all government programs, this program is the first of its kind giving a lot of money going down up to parish level.

He also revealed that the parish development model is not for rich people but for the people who do not have any income to earn something.  

In his remarks, Hon Dan Kimosho, the Member of Parliament Kazo constituency revealed that PDM is a good concept that needs application of mind set change and curbing out challenges like cattle thefts, foot and mouth disease and sensitization of people on how to use parish development model for it to succeed.

Hon Dan Kimosho, the MP Kazo constituency addressing stakeholders during the Official Launch of PDM in Kazo district.

Speaking at the same function, Hon. Bright Rwamirama, called upon leaders to monitor the extension workers to ensure that they do their work noting that they are getting paid for it.

Hon. Bright Rwamirama, the State Minister of Agriculture, Animal husbandry and Fisheries addressing stakeholders during the Official Launch of PDM in Kazo district.

 Hon. Francis Mwebesa, emphasized the need for people to join cooperatives in order to reach more market and have one voice in demanding good price of the products.

The UGX 490 billion PDM project is a presidential initiative on wealth and job creation which was on 26th February 2022 launched by the President of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as another strategy for accelerating wealth creation, improving incomes and welfare of subsistence households.

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The PDM program was rolled out in October 2020 as part of the National Development Plan III to support among others, market vendors, welders, taxi drivers, boda-boda riders, women and restaurant owners from over 10,594 parishes in the country to come together and form of SACCOS to enable local economic development.

Story by Byaruhanga Paddy

Shock as Man Buys Own Coffin For the third time in Death Preparation

An 87-year-old identified as Aloise Otieng’ Ominang’ombe from Teso South Constituency in Busia County has bought a new coffin where he would like to be buried after his death.

Prior to this, he bought two others coffins in 2009 and 2012 which he says are now out of fashion and will be turned into pieces of firewood during his funeral, as the new one becomes his final resting place.

While rehearsing inside the brand new coffin for his future burial, Aloise Otieng’ Ng’ombe, a father of 18 revealed that the move is a deliberate effort to teach his community at large that death in inevitable and it is only wise to prepare for such unprecedented times.

“I want this to go as a lesson to my community at large. You may lack basic needs when you are alive. But when you die, people will slaughter bulls, buy you nice clothes and shoes yet you will be long gone. That is why I decided to plan for a send-off befitting my status in society,” said Ominang’ombe.

Ominang’ombe inspects the inside of his newly purchased coffin.

Ominang’ombe disclosed that his newly purchased coffin is worth Ksh.58,000 (approximately UGX 1.8m) and has been stored at his shop in Obekei area.

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The incident has sparkled mixed reactions from members of the public, with some supporting his decision while others are opposed to the old man’s plans as they insist that it is against religion.

Man arrested for Slapping Minister

Police in Amuria district are holding a 39-year-old man for slapping the State Minister for Works and Transport, Hon. Musa Ecweru.

ASP Ageca Oscar Gregg, the PRO East Kyoga, said the incident happened on Sunday, June 26, 2022 during Sunday service at St. Micheal Catholic church in Wera parish, Wera sub-county in Amuria district.

The suspect identified as Okurut Micheal, 39, is said to have walked to the altar like other congregants, knelt down and got his blessings after which he got up and slapped the minister as he was giving his sermon.

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The suspect was immediately arrested and is currently detained at Wera Police station where a case of assault was opened and inquiries and investigation into the matter have since commenced.

CHOGM resolves to prevent violence against women and girls

Rwanda welcomed more than 5,000 Commonwealth organization delegates to its capital Kigali last week for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held under the theme, ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’, to discuss shared priorities that will shape the work programs of the organization.

The four-day event attracted dignitaries from Commonwealth forums on youth, women, business and civil society, presidents, prime ministers and their representatives from across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Pacific and Europe who assembled at the Kigali Conference Centre for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic spread globally and delayed the meeting for two years.

Established more than 70 years ago, the Commonwealth organization started with the objective of upholding democracy, rule of law and good governance around the world.

Two years after Uganda became the first country on the African continent to host the CHOGM, Mozambique and Rwanda joined the organization comprised of mainly former British colonies with Rwanda becoming the last country to join the Commonwealth, in 2009.

Speaking during CHOGM on Friday, Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda said; holding the meeting in Rwanda, a new member with no historical connection to the British Empire, expresses the host country’s choice to continue reimagining the Commonwealth for a changing world.

Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda addresses other leaders from Commonwealth nations at the opening ceremony of the CHOGM at Kigali Convention Centre in Rwanda.

“The Commonwealth we need is on the frontlines of global challenges, not on the peripheries, watching events unfold. Our special strength is to bring issues into focus that might otherwise be overlooked,” said Kagame.

The Prince of Wales, who represented Queen Elizabeth II as Head of the Commonwealth, emphasized the need to “respond to climate change and biodiversity loss that threatens our very existence … as we build back from the pandemic that has devastated so many lives.”

During the same meeting, Patricia Scotland retained her position as the Commonwealth secretary-general after she was re-elected with 27 votes against 24 of Kamina Johnson, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Jamaica.

Scotland who in 2016 became the first woman to hold the Commonwealth secretary-general post said that she is determined that when the role of Secretary-General rotates to Africa, two years from now, she will hand on the baton with a stronger and more effective powerful Commonwealth than ever before.

Other new guidelines launched by HRH, the Duchess of Cornwall for Commonwealth countries include stopping and preventing violence against women and girls.

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Globally, one in three women and one in six men have experienced a form of domestic or sexual violence in their lifetime.

“In the strength of our unity, we, the women and men of the Commonwealth, stand with victims and survivors, who, despite the temptation to hide away in silence, speak up so that others know they aren’t alone—whether in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Pacific or the Caribbean and Americas,” The Duchess of Cornwall said on Wednesday, adding, “In so doing, we have the opportunity to end gender-based violence and those laws and practices that discriminate against women.  And each one of us must take personal responsibility not to let this opportunity be lost.”

About the Commonwealth:

Key facts

Full name: Commonwealth of Nations

Member states: 54(+ 2 new)

Head of the Commonwealth: Queen Elizabeth II (since 1952)

Secretary-General: Patricia Scotland (since 2016)

Population: 2.5 billion

Area: 30 million square kilometres

Foundation of modern Commonwealth: 1949

Headquarters: Marlborough House, London

Focus: Development, democracy, climate change

Landmark events

1926: Balfour Declaration. Declared the UK and the dominions as equal in status as members of “the British Commonwealth of Nations”.

1931: Statute of Westminster. Established legislative independence for the dominions and set the basis for the relationship between Commonwealth realms and the crown.

1949: London Declaration. Birth of the modern Commonwealth. Allowed republics as members, to allow independent India’s continued membership. “British” dropped from title.

1971: First Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Singapore.

1991: Harare Declaration. Sets out Commonwealth’s core values.

2020: The Maldives becomes the Commonwealth’s 54th member after application for re-admission was approved.

Population, area, GDP 

Countries drawn from: Africa (19 + 2 new), Caribbean and Americas (13), Pacific (11), Asia (8), Europe (3).

Biggest country by population: India (1.4 billion).

Smallest country by population: Tuvalu (11,000).

Biggest country by area: Canada (9,984,670 square kilometres).

The Commonwealth also admitted Gabon and Togo (former French colonies) as its 55th and 56th members respectively. It follows formal expressions of interest by Gabon and Togo and consultation with member countries.

Leaders accepted applications by the two West African countries at the closing session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Samoa was also selected as the host of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that will be held in 2024.

The Commonwealth, which began as eight nations in 1949, has grown to 56.

Primary School Teacher Arrested For Allegedly Sodomizing 18 male pupils

Police in Butaleja District is holding a 40-year-old teacher at Mabale Primary School in Butaleja Sub–county, Butaleja district on allegations of molesting and sodomizing about 18 male pupils aged between 7 to 12 years.

According to Butaleja territorial police, the teacher who reportedly committed the crime between January-May 2022 was reported by David Nambula Magson, the school head teacher.

Moses Mugwe, the Bukedi South Regional Police Spokesperson said detectives have already recorded statements from the complainant and at least 13 of the victims adding that medical examinations on the victims will be done by the regional police surgeon.

Mugwe noted that the crime scene was visited by police and well documented; adding that they have commenced investigations into a case of sodomy against the primary school teacher under a general enquiry file.

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The suspect is currently detained at Butaleja Central Police station and “will be charged accordingly” after police investigation.

Betty Neshiwe, the Butaleja District Senior probation officer noted that such cases have not been common in Ugandan schools but asked that justice should prevail.

Aidah Mugoya Nehole, the district secretary for gender, labour and social development said the suspect should be disqualified from teaching and government should ensure that he is punished. 

Hajira Namagogwe Butaleja, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) also condemned the alleged teacher’s alleged act.

Police discover decomposing body of woman who disappeared in December 2021

The territorial police at Entebbe has arrested, Nkurunzinza Laurent alias Mulaalo 38, a casual labourer and resident of Bukola village, Nkumba Parish in Katabi Town Council Wakiso District.

Luke Owoyesigire, the deputy police spokesperson Kampala metropolitan said that the suspect was arrested following the disapperance of Twinomujuni Prossy, 28, a resident of Kawafu cell, Nkumba Parish Katabi Town Council in Wakiso District that was registered by Twinomujuni’s husband on 7th December 2021.

After interrogation, the suspect told detectives where the body of the deceased was.

On Thursday June 23, 2022, Nkurunziza led Flying Squad Unit operatives and detectives to his work place in Bukolwa village, Nkumba Parish, Katabi Town Council in Wakiso District where the body was buried.

The suspect had buried the victim in a white polythene bag in the piggery farm where it was found decomposing.

Owoyesigire said the suspect also led the police to the farm house, where a hammer suspected to have been used in the murder and the hoe, which was used to dig the grave were recovered and exhibited.

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The body of the deceased was taken to the city mortuary at Mulago for a post mortem.

The suspect has been detained at Nateete Police Station as investigations continue.

Owoyesigire said that the motive of the murder will be communicated in due course.

Kazo district registers increased cases of cattle theft.

By Racheal Nuwahereza

Police in Kazo district has registered over 24 reported cases of cattle theft in the months of April and May this year.

Speaking to our reporter, ASP Lukooto John, the Kazo district police commander (DPC) revealed that in April 2022, 11 cases of cattle theft were registered while in May 2022, 13 cases of cattle theft were registered citing an increase in cases of cattle theft in an area.

Dpc Lukooto revealed that he suspects the cases are much more than those reported and urged  farmers to be vigilant with their animals especially during the night and always profiled the details of their workers.

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“We have put measures in place, done community sensitization and it’s still ongoing. We are encouraging people to profile their workers and have someone to look after cattle when they are grazing especially in the night so that they do not become an easy target for the thieves,” said Lukooto.

Dpc Lukooto also noted that Buremba sub-county and Buremba Town Council have the highest reported cases of cattle theft followed by Burunga Sub-county, all in Kazo district.

An independent study by Kazo FM established that most cattle thieves slaughter the animals and disguise the meat in milk cans which they use to transport it.

According to section 266 of the penal code Act, any individual charged with cattle rustling once he/she is convicted, is liable to imprisonment for life.

Story by Byaruhanga Paddy

Teachers refuse to bow down to intimidation, vow to continue strike

By Racheal Nuwahereza

Following a letter by Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire, the Public Service Permanent Secretary where the government issued a directive that striking teachers should return to their duty stations by June 24th, or risk being scrapped off the payrolls, teachers under their umbrella body Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU), have declared that their resumption of duty depends on how fast the ministries of public service and Finance conclude the review process and whether the outcome of the said review process is satisfactory.

Innocent Ahimbisibwe, the UNATU Chairperson Kazo Branch called upon teachers in Kazo district to stay firm until they receive what they want. He reminded teachers that the purpose of the industrial action is to ensure there is fair salary enhancement across board.

“There has been no satisfactory feedback from the government and therefore the only option is to continue with industrial action. We cannot give up the struggle without any positive outcome. The intimidation is deliberate and meant to scare you. Stay firm and remain at home, industrial action continues. If we endure the strain, we shall get to where we want to go. Do not give up!” said Ahimbisibwe.

A class teacher at Rwabwonyo Primary School in Gabarungi Ward-Kazo Town Council, who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity, said that they are tired of this government for its imbalanced actions. 

“In 2019, teachers were promised to get what they are striking for and today in 2022 they recently made decision of discrimination in increment of salaries for teachers,” he said.

Adding that, they want to receive the positive response from the government but not the intimidations.

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On Wednesday, Bitarakwate noted that the ongoing industrial strike by UNATU over what they referred to as discriminatory salary enhancements is illegal and in total breach the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement that was signed by government in 2018.

“The strike is illegal and in breach of the principles and spirit of the law and particularly sections7(2)(a) and (b); and 8(1) and (3) and the public service negotiating , consultative and Disputes Settlement Machinery Act, 2008 and the Recognition Agreement signed under this act because neither has UNATU given a notice to strike nor had the dispute Settlement Machinery been exhausted,” she said.

Adding that teachers’ demands cannot be addressed in the FY 2022/23.

“While government is committed to working with all parties towards achieving better salaries for all public servants, your demands for a salary enhancements cannot be addressed in the financial year 2022/23,” she said.

“By copy of this letter, the Chief Administrative Officers and Town Clerks are called upon to take stock of the teachers present and submit absent teachers by June 30,2023 foe eventual removal from payroll,” warned Birakwate. 

Story by Mwebaze Deus

Airtel’s ‘Uganda Needs of You’ Campaign reveals 3 more Inspiring Ugandans changing society.

Judges in the ongoing Uganda Needs More of You Campaign have identified the first batch of Techpreneurs who have leveraged technology to positively influence their communities.

At the start of March, Airtel Uganda called upon ordinary Ugandans to submit their stories or nominate anyone who they believe deserves to be recognized for utilizing technology to solve in their communities and changing the lives of others.

David Birungi, the Public Relations Manager at Airtel Uganda expressed his gratitude to participants who have responded to the call saying; “We are impressed by the compelling stories of various Ugandans who have championed innovative ideas to positively impact their communities. As a solution provider that connects businesses to their client and families to their loved ones through affordable internet products and services, Airtel Uganda will continue to support initiatives like UG Needs More of You so that we inspire more people to continue on this journey to transform their communities and economy as a whole.”

He added, “In the first batch, three stories have so far been identified, these will be open to the public voting process and a televised series on select media houses that will feature the nominees as they showcase how they have used technology to transform their business and the community around them.”

The stories that will feature in the first phase of the voting process include;

  • Ensibuuko, a Savings Group that enables SACCOS to access digital savings accounts, loans, and other financial services through a phone.
  • Jaguza Tech, a clod livestock management system that empowers livestock farmers, strengthens food security, and mitigates the risk of livestock disease, and,
  • Wabibi Pads, producers of reusable sanitary pads for women and girls in marginalized communities and have embraced social media to reach and train over 1,000 women and girls and also distributed over 10,000 packs since 2020.
Bernadette Ojawo,Founder and CEO of Wabibi Pads.
Gerald Otim; CEO and Founder of Ensibuuko, a Savings, Group

Over the next course of weeks, the 3 stories above will continue to be voted by the public to make it to the next stage of the campaign. The final transformative stories will receive cash rewards to boost their performance at a final gala in August 2022. The voting has been opened to the public and they will vote for their favorite story by dialing 162 or using SMS (162).

The stores are being vetted by a jury comprising of; Dr. Maggie Kigozi, the Chairperson of Africa Scout Foundation, Mr. Maurice Mugisha, Deputy Managing Director, UBC TV, Mr. David Birungi, PR Manager at Airtel Uganda and Ms. Noela Byuma, Acting Head Brand and Comms at Airtel Uganda.

 “Globally, technology continues to be a key driver of economic growth, which facilitates efficient provision of improved goods and services within society resulting into positive social changes like the creation of income-generating avenues for those employed in sectors that provide tech solutions for their customers.  As Airtel, we are proud to front such a cause that derives an agenda that influences socio-economic development,” Birungi concluded.

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