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Briefing: Tension Builds in Downtown Kampala; Kenyatta Speaks on Africa ‘Competition’  

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The report gives readers an early morning grasp of what’s happening in the Great Lakes region.

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Police Rush to Downtown Kampala 

Police have deployed heavily in downtown Kampala amid growing tension over the ownership of Qualicell bus Terminal, Nabukeera plaza and Jamboree Arcades.

The deployment came after traders who were yet to pay rent found locks on their shops today morning.

“It is not that we don’t want to pay,” said Joseph Mukasa, a trader at Qualicell, “But we want to be sure that when we pay, someone else will not come to demand for rent.”

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The development comes just a day after a total of 292 traders dragged city tycoons Francis Drake Lubega and Mansur Matovu aka Yanga to court, accusing them of harassment with constant closure of buildings where they operate.

In a lawsuit filed before the High Court Land Division in Kampala, the traders also accuse the two tycoons of causing losses to their businesses and unlawful rent demands.

Lubega and Young, after forcefully repossessing the management of the three structures from the family of the late Charles Muhangi in February, have been demanding that the traders operating in the buildings pay rent even when the latter claim they already paid the money to the deceased businessman’s family.

According to court documents, the traders contend that they  have been paying rent fees ranging from Shs400,000 to Shs3 million to Horizon Coaches until sometime in February 2019 when Lubega and Matovu showed up, each claiming ownership and management of the three buildings.

“The defendants have on several occasions closed the plaintiff’s shops, disconnected electricity and deployed security personnel in and around the suit premises purportedly over non-payment of rent the plaintiffs to defendants,” the court documents read in part.

Police have deployed anti-riot personnel to contain the situation which is rapidly escalating.

The traders led by Mr Denis Muganga want court to allow them deposit their rent with its (court’s) cashier until issues of who should manage the three buildings are sorted out.

Kenyatta: African Countries are not Competitors 

Kenyatta bid farewell to outgoing South African High Commissioner to Kenya, Koleka Mqulwana on Tuesday

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has said African countries need to complement each other so as to build strong economies which their citizens can utilise to create wealth so as to come out of poverty.

Speaking when he bade farewell to the outgoing South African High Commissioner to Kenya Ambassador Koleka Anita Mqulwana, President Kenyatta said complementing each other would go a long way in empowering citizens and the continent at large.

“We as African countries are not competitors, we can actually complement each other. We need to bring our people together and build the continent,” said the President.

“We have strong economies that can build our countries if we pull together. We have the resources, manpower, market, which we need to take advantage of and build the continent,” he added.

The President’s remarks follow increased attacks against immigrants after a spate of assaults raised fears of a resurgence of deadly xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Hundreds of foreign nationals sought refuge at mosque and churches in Durban in fear of attacks by South Africans accusing them of taking their jobs.

The President commended the outgoing South African High Commissioner for working hard to strengthen the bilateral and friendly relations between the two countries.

He wished the outgoing envoy success as she goes home to assume new assignments.

“Sad to see you leave. You have done well in bringing the people of the two countries together,” President Kenyatta told the outgoing envoy.

The outgoing envoy thanked President Kenyatta for his support during her tour of duty saying although she is leaving, the two countries have many opportunities in which they can utilise to increase trade between them.

“I pray that the relationship will grow to be of great benefit to the two countries. We have many investment opportunities, not only in goods and services but also in skills as Kenya has a great human resource,” said Ambassador Mqulwana.

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