Amavubi, Leopards in Tough CHAN Quarter Finals Clash

Oxfam International Executive Director Mrs. Winnie Byanyima, web who in the past months has been championing a global campaign against economic inequality, page has brought the fight back home.

Mrs Byanyima on Wednesday appealed to the Ugandan government to lead fellow governments in the East African region and the continent as whole in bridging the worryingly widening gap between the rich and the poor.

Byanyima and Oxfam believe that this ever growing gap has been exacerbated by rich companies and individuals around the world taking advantage of the old global taxation systems to avoid paying taxes, buy more about there by pushing the heaviest tax burden onto the poor small entrepreneurs.

She says this is the major cause of the slow economic growth of most African and other less developed countries around the world.

A report released by Oxfam last week titled “An Economy for the 1%” indicated that a small group of only 62 super rich people today, own more wealth than the 3.5 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world’s population. This figure was last year at 80 and in 2010 at 388.

In a recorded presentation she made at the Uganda Martyrs University (UMU)’s Annual Research Conference on Wednesday, Mrs Byanyima stressed that the inequality challenge is even more vivid in her home country.

“Our own Sudhir Ruparelia’s wealth amounts to $1.1 billion.  If he gave away half of his wealth to his fellow citizens over the next 15 years, this would reduce poverty in Uganda by 1%, lifting hundreds of thousands out of poverty,” she said.

“But that’s not the point. Economic inequality will not be solved by the rich giving away their riches. The inequality we have today has to be tackled from the root. We are not envying the rich, but we are growing slower because of such inequality.”


The super rich, she says have rigged the world economies through tax havens and tax breaks which benefit nobody but them.

“Through this, they avoid paying their share of taxes, robbing governments of the vital money that could pay for schools, health care and other essential services.”

In Africa according to the Oxfam ED, almost one third of the financial wealth of rich individuals, which stands at 500billion dollars, is held offshore in tax havens. This costs the continent up to 14 billion dollars per year in lost tax revenue.

She notes, “This money is enough to save the lives of 4 million lives of sick children and employ enough teachers to get every African child to school.”

“We now must rewrite the rules of taxation and end the escape of taxes from our continent. We have to close all the loopholes in our taxation systems.”

Race to the bottom

Winnie Byanyima says many African counties have been shoved onto what she terms as the “race to the bottom” as they compete for foreign investors.

Here, governments strive to make themselves more attractive to investors by offering tax holidays, tax havens and breaks.

African leaders including Yoweri Museveni hold that only through attracting as many foreign investors as possible, will their countries tackle the unemployment challenge and foster faster economic growth through industrialization.

On a number of occasions the Uganda Revenue Authority has complained about the persuasive tax incentives given exclusively to these foreign companies.

“When the rich aren’t paying their taxes, governments tend to resort to setting regressive taxes such as the VAT. Through VAT a market woman who sells tomatoes, pays more tax relative to her income than a millionaire businessman in Kampala,” Byanyima argued.

In her message, Mrs Byanyima appealed to Uganda, to lead the rest of the continent out of this trap.

“Uganda should engage the African Union to set regional standards, so that the continent can be protected from racing to the bottom,” she said.

She also called for government to focus more on investing in areas that directly benefit poor Ugandans, such as agriculture and infrastructure.

But for all this to happen, she says, people must be able to tell their government and get it to do what they want.

“People must be able to hold their government accountable. We must bring the power back to the people,” she said.
The football fraternity in Eastern town of Jinja and well wishers have organized a football match between Jinja Veterans and CAF A coaching students to fundraise for Mathew Lucha who is terribly ill.

“On Saturday 30th January, recipe we have organized for a match to raise some money to help our veteran player and coach Mathew Lucha’s medical bills, adiposity ” one of the organisers told ChimpSport.

“He is in a deplorable state and we really have to come to his aid as fast as possible. We hope that as many people as possible turn up for the game.”

The Jinja Veterans team will be guided by Michael Dogu while the CAF A coaches will be captained by former Cranes Skipper David Obua.

Lucha is a veteran midfielder who joined newly promoted Nile Breweries FC in 1978.

He was nicknamed ‘Zagallo’ by many fans who ‘equated’ him to the 1970 Brazilian World Cup star Mario Zagallo.

He joined SC Villa in 1982 but later returned to Nile.

Lucha entered into the Cranes setup in 1979 while still in A-level.

Lucha has recently coached JMC Hippos and Jinja SS in the Fufa big league, guiding the latter to two consecutive finals.
The Amavubi stars of Rwanda face a daunting quarter final task on Saturday against a free flowing DR Congo side that has been firing goals for fun in the ongoing Africa Nations Championships.

Rwanda qualified as top team in group A with six points following their 1-0 and 2-1opening victories over Ivory Coast and Gabon respectively.

The Congolese Leopards overwhelmingly won their first two games against Ethiopia and Angola with results.

The two sides fatally lost their last games 4-1 and 3-1 versus Morocco and Cameroun in that order. However, thumb they had both rested over nine first team players respectively.

The low scoring hosts go into the match with a good head-to-head boost considering the fact that they have beaten the Leopards in the last two attempts with an identical 1-0 result which include the recent CHAN build up in Rubavu.

The match will be played at the Amahoro stadium in Rwanda’s capital of Kigali.

Coaches speak out

Coach Jonathan McKinstry (Rwanda):

We expect a very difficult game, as we know that DR Congo are a dangerous opponent. But we also believe that we have the qualities to put in a top level performance and get the result we all want. I would encourage all Amavubi supporters to be loud from the first whistle until the very end of the contest.

Their support is a huge encouragement to the supporters, and with them being the ’12th man’, I am confident we can get the win that will move us into the semi-finals.

Florent Ibenge (DRC):

We worked so hard in the earlier matches to put this pressure off. The players know our mission. We have 23 players on the team and all the players are good to go.

 In the last game (against Cameroon), some players missed due to accumulated cards but they are all available.

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