“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. —Ralph Waldo Emerson”
JATT Forces Return to Streets
The military raid of Boda Boda 2010 premises in different parts of Kampala has seen the return of Joint Anti Terrorism Track Unit (JATT).
Until recently, JATT’s operations were limited and largely invisible.
Special security operations were conducted by the police’s Counter Terrorism units.
However, the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) under Brig Abel Kandiho and Security Minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde appear to have empowered JATT to return to duty.
Sources in intelligence say JATT’s officials played key role in investigating the Al Shabaab bombings in Kampala in 2010.
“JATT led by an officer at the rank of Major used special skills to hunt down the Al Shabaab elements in the city. The entire ring of terrorists was nabbed and successfully prosecuted in courts of law,” said an insider who preferred anonymity to speak freely.
With the crackdown on organized crime expected to intensify this week, officials say JATT’s crack teams will be used to raid residences of criminals in the city.
“JATT will serve as the strike team of the operations with support from military police,” said a source.
Defence Deputy Spokesperson Lt Col Deo Akiiki says, “More detailed investigations will be conducted with a view of arresting all those still at large and prosecuting them.”
Museveni to Speak at Special Oil Skilling Forum
President Museveni is expected to make a keynote address at as Skilling Forum targeting oil industry opportunities.
The Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Sports will host its first two-day forum solely dedicated to skilling Ugandans and developing local content capacity starting today Monday.
Officials say Museveni will brief participants at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel event, as Ugandans gear up to grab the numerous opportunities in the Oil and Gas industry, with preparations towards First Oil intensifying.
Also to grace the forum will be Hon Janet Museveni, First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, who has recently committed her ministry to championing the training of Ugandans interested in working in the oil industry.
According to Dr Elly Karuhanga, the Chairman of the UCMP, more than $10 billion is expected to be invested in Uganda even before a single barrel of oil is gotten out of the ground, because of an urgent need for support infrastructure including pipelines, a refinery, roads and an airport amongst others.
However, being a nascent industry in Uganda, oil exploitation remains heavily dependent on foreign expertise.
With some of its core functions being to promote, encourage, protect and foster responsible exploitation and service delivery in the extractive sectors, Dr Karuhanga feels the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum is obliged to use its wide reach to help as many Ugandans as possible to work in the country’s oil and gas industry through avenues like this skilling & local content forum.
“Skilling takes time that it is why it’s called skilling. We need everyone to come and get skilled to manage our oil industry. This assembly will gather all institutions – public and private – that are involved in skills development and training to lay the ground for clear programs that will help Uganda achieve its Local Content aspirations,” said Dr Karuhanga.
According to the 2014 Industrial Baseline Survey (IBS), titled, “A survey to foster opportunities for Ugandans in the Oil and Gas sector”, Uganda’s petroleum sector will generate 100,000 to 150,000, direct and indirect jobs.
The survey identified limited information, lack of skills, poor infrastructures, and administrative bureaucracy among others, as some of the barriers that would hamper Ugandans from working in the sector.
It also revealed that only 25 industries of the 420 surveyed in Uganda had high potential to supply the sector.
“There is a lack of depth in numbers of very remedial skills along the value chain whether it’s driving, welding or fabricating. These gaps can be filled with skilling and training and a little bit of guidance,” says Mr Patrick Mweheire, Stanbic Bank’s chief executive, and also the vice chairman of the UCMP.
Apart from training individuals, preparing Ugandan companies to compete for contracts within the industry will also be a key subject at the conference.
A law to address the maximization of value-addition and job creation through the use of local expertise, goods and services, businesses and financing in all undertakings in the oil industry (the Local Content Bill) is being developed and will be one of the major topics discussed on Monday and Tuesday.
“We have to figure out how to keep a significant percentage of the oil investments in Uganda. The Chamber will continue to engage the state, through a special committee, to ensure that the upcoming Local Content law addresses all our concerns so that many Ugandans can participate in the sector,” says Dr Karuhanga.
According to the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, 927 entities had been successfully verified and qualified to feature on the 2018 National Supplier Database for Uganda’s oil sector as of December 31, 2017.
Of these entities, 561 were companies registered in Uganda while 366 were registered outside the country.
On January 17, 2018, Gulf Interstate Engineering (GIE), a USA based engineering and design company, held a public workshop and presented the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) finding requirements of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project and discussed the opportunities for local Ugandan businesses and service providers in support of the National Content initiative.
This followed a similar workshop organized by the China Offshore Oil Engineering Company (COOEC) two days earlier, which focused on the opportunities available in the development of CNOOC’s Kingfisher Oilfield in the Albertine Graben.
Case Hospital Boss Dr Ssebaale Free to Travel Anywhere – Police
Case Hospital boss, Dr SsebaalePolice have denied claims that Case Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Dr Kato Ssebaale has been stopped from traveling out of Uganda.
The development comes after the arrest of Ssebale’s driver Mawa Muzamiru as a part of a huge investigation into the murder of Case Hospital Accountant, Francis Ekalungar.
Ekalungar was kidnapped and later murdered on Tuesday 2 Jan 2018.
His body, which was burnt beyond recognition, was discovered by police in Kajjansi along Entebbe Road.
The military has since commenced an in-depth investigation into the incident, leading to the arrest of several members of the Boda Boda 2010 militia who have confessed to the murder.
Reports had earlier indicated that Dr Ssebaale, a reputable laparoscopic surgeon and gastroenterologist, was supposed to travel to London, United Kingdom last week only to be blocked pending investigations into the murder of his employee.
“Dr. Ssebaale Kato, the proprietor of Case Hospital has not been stopped from traveling abroad as earlier stated,” said Police spokesperson, Emilian Kayima
Dr Ssebaale also told ChimpReports he had not been blocked from travelling anywhere.
“I am traveling today. That’s not true at all,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ssebaale also confirmed that Ekalungar had earlier sacked the Case Hospital driver Mawa over indiscipline.
It’s alleged Mawa had ties with criminal gangs in Kampala.
However, in what is suspected as a case of poor judgement, Dr Ssebaale overruled the decision of his top manager Ekalungar, returning Mawa to work as his private driver.
It’s said Dr Ssebaale also used Mawa as driver to the burial ceremony of Ekalungar.
Parliament Week: Shs 75m Raised for Albino Centre
Parliament Week 2018 has kicked off with an estimated UShs 75 million raised in cash and pledges towards the establishment of a centre for people living with albinism.
The funds were raised as a result of the Charity walk flagged off by the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, on Sunday.
The charity walk is part of the several activities to mark this year’s Parliament Week which runs from 21st to 25th January 2018.
Participants led by the Speaker, and included the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon. Winifred Kiiza, Members of Parliament, and the general public walked from Parliament Building into the city centre and back to the starting point.
The Speaker called on MPs to prioritise the debate on Albinism when House resumes. She noted that although the Constitution clearly states the right to health, there is no enabling law that addresses the issue of people living with albinism.
“The time is now to stand up for those who have no voice, let us be their voice and ensure that we have that debate, and come up with resolutions,” said the Speaker.
Kadaga also directed the Clerk to Parliament to ensure that relevant ministries including that of Health, Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Education and Sports participate in next year’s charity walk, arguing that they play an important role in addressing the issues of People living with albinism.
The Speaker also revealed that the Parliamentary Commission will be implementing a decision to employ people living with albinism.
“I am happy to report that last year, I made a pledge that we shall employ people living with albinism; this year, we shall employ at least one person living with albinism in Parliament,” said Kadaga.
The People living with Albinism applauded Parliament for providing them with a platform to address their grievances.
The Executive Director of the Association of People Living with Albinism, Jude Ssebyanzi however appealed to the Speaker to ensure that skin cancer and sunscreen are included in the current draft Cancer Policy.
He said that due to the omission of sunscreen in the Cancer Policy, it is categorised under cosmetics, making it costly.
“The current Cancer Policy is worse than Ebola for people living with albinism because it doesn’t mention skin cancer which is affecting persons with albinism, as a result, people with albinism are dying of skin cancer,” said Ssebyanzi.
He added that the Universal Primary Education, Universal Secondary Education and Special Needs programs are discriminatory.
“These programs do not cater for people with albinism and as a result, teachers do not know how to handle us and this has led to high school drop out of people with albinism,” said Ssebyanzi.
In a play performed by the Luwero District Albino Association highlighting the plight of albinos, the group decried rampant discrimination in the health, education sectors and while seeking for employment.
They appealed to the Ministry of Education to make it a requirement to print examination papers in larger font sizes and have albinos sitting at the front of classes to improve their learning.
There are 375,000 people living with albinism in Uganda. As such, Parliament started a Charity walk last year to fundraise for establishment of a centre for people living with albinism which saw UShs 35 million raised. The plan to establish the centre for persons living with albinism is a five year project.
6 Killed as Anti-Kabila Protests Gain Momentum
At least 6 people have been killed in the Sunday protests called by the Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The opposition wants President Joseph Kabila, whose term of office ended almost two years, to relinquish power and hold fresh elections.
Protesters led by clerics stormed the streets of Kinshasa, Kisangani, and Bukavu where they called on Kabila, who took power after his father’s death in 2001, to quit.
Kabila has previously maintained the country lacks the much needed resources to conduct national elections, extending his hold onto power.
Authorities have since banned the protests and arrested hundreds of demonstrators.
The United Nations Council underscored the need “to do everything possible to ensure that the elections on 23 December 2018 are organized with the requisite conditions of transparency, credibility and inclusivity, including the full and equal participation of women at all stages, as well as the importance of youth engagement.”
“It is important that all parties be able to express themselves in a peaceful and calm manner in the current political transition period in order to foster a democratic debate in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution,” said Maman Sidikou, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of MONUSCO.
Government over the weekend cut off internet to contain the protests which it says are mobilised via social media.
Kabila was mandated to step down after the expiry of his second and last term in 2016.
He, however, reached a deal with opposition, clergy and civil society to quit by December 2017 which didn’t happen.
The election was postponed to December 2018, a move that sparked protests in the country.