The Past Couple of Weeks in Uganda
President Yoweri Museveni.

The Past Couple of Weeks in Uganda

Events in Uganda in the past few weeks.

By Isaac Senabulya
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First published: August 9, 2011

Rising Sugar Prices

There has been a lot of public outcry over sugar price increase and the government has been put on the wall this week and finally came up with a temporary scrapping of taxes on Sugar imports.

The escalating sugar prices in the country have left many people scratching their heads whether we are not going back to the days in the 1970 and 1980s where sugar was on black market.

In this sugar shortage and price increase government through its minister of information Mary Karoro okurut says the intervention on reduction of sugar prices and increase of sugar supply is still the government focus. The government needs to be aware that such shortage of essential commodities may spark a serious protest ever in Uganda because people judge the pro people government on affordability of sugar, bread, salt, soap, meat and paraffin.

However, by the close of the cabinent meeting on Thursday government had  removed taxes on sugar to allow sugar importation into the country to reduce on the escalating sugar price  and we hope their strategey will work and see sugar prices going down. Museveni’s happiness in Rwanda

Were you amused by controversial President Yoweri Museveni pledge while participating in a mandatory community work fest in Rwanda where he gave $300,000 (about 777 million Uganda shillings) to a Rwandan primary school? Many Ugandans must be asking whether the money will be got from the government coffers or Museveni will be using his own money. As a farmer who has may cows and exporting cows and milk, the President may be loaded enough to make such a pledge, plus he been earning for the last 25 years as a president of Uganda.

It would be very concerning for many Ugandans if such huge amounts of money were to be drawn from the government coffers, especially when many social services need improving and the economic times hard for many Ugandans. To understand why this is an issue, you need to remember that Museveni has never made a pledge of even half that money to a Uganda school and one wonders why he had to make such huge amounts of money to a Rwanda school.

General Tinyefuza has no time for MPS

Parliament committees are now scrutinizing the policy statements and budgets of ministries and government institutions but more interest was still focused on whether the Coordinator of Intelligence services Gen. David Tinyefunza will appear appears before the presidential Affairs committee of parliament to explain circumstance under which he is occupying the House belonging to Kampala Capital City Authority.

Gen. David Tinyefunza  snubbed  the committee summons  and the security minister Muruli Mukasa did not come in the committee chaired by Buyaga West MP Barnabas Tinkasiimire. Will the General appear before this committee which is chaired by a non military MP who is extravagant with words? Is this  right committee to question Tinyefuza defiancy regarding KCCA house since the General is citing security concerns for him to  still be in this house? This house was given to Gen. David  Tinyefuza in March 2008 by the then Local Government Minister Kahinda Otafiire, who cited security reasons.

The security minister Muruli Mukasa instead of going to the committee to defend Tinyefuza , told journalists in Kampala that they want KCCA to give the General  some time as the security looks for another house for the General. The committee MPS are not giving up on Tinyefuza yet. They again summoned him for the second time. The committee ordered the General and the minister for presidency Kabakumba Masiko to be before the MPS on Tuesday August 9th.

And if you think this is just a Tinyefuza issue,  Nasser Ntegge Sebbaggala’s supporters are asking  why can’t the KCCA boss use the same force she used to evict the former Mayor  of Kampala to throw out Tinyefuza from KCCA house. There are also questions on whether this house really belongs to KCCA, because why would they hesitate to evict anyone from their own house? Let us wait and see what the next week will bring on this matter.

Make Owino fire report public

Seriously government must style up  and  make public the findings of the 2009 report on the fire that gutted Owino Park Yard Market before any new probe into the cause of the fire that razed the same trade area last week. The police should stop shaming the NRM government on the fire incidents.

And what  Dr Besigye said the government should, as a matter of urgency, release the 2009 inferno report to address some of the unanswered questions being asked by the traders holds water because how can a facilitated police headed by army General fail to produce a report on OWINO fire of 2009.

The Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura should act now and produce this report before people undermine the police capability to investigate such incidents.

Investigations aside, the government should also take a brave stand and redevelop this market into modern permanent structure to avoid all the blames and government should consider compensating those traders who have lost their commodities because most of them their businesses depend on loans they acquire from banks. But again, where will such funds come from?

But what also must be investigated is the traders claims that the market leaders who got President Museveni’s one billion shillings in the first fire could have participated in the burning of this market so that they claim that the accountability documents were burnt.

On the other side the park yard traders rejected the government one billion shillings so that they vacate this place since they were put there temporally.

By Isaac Senabulya
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First published: August 9, 2011
Isaac Senabulya is a Ugandan professional journalist with a journalism diploma in from the International Institute of Business and Media Studies (IIBMS). Senabulya started working as a journalist in 2000 and has reported for many media houses in Uganda, including radio, television and magazines. He has been reporting on many issues and covering parliament for the last 7 years.

He is affiliated to journalism bodies which include: Human Rights Network for journalists, Uganda parliamentary press Association, Uganda journalists Association. When not reporting or cross checking facts for stories, Senabulya likes watching foot ball, debating and discussing topical issues, Athletics and meeting friends.

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