Thursday, August 21, 2014

MPs promise farmers not to pass agric inputs tax

MPs promise farmers not to pass agric inputs tax
Publish Date: Aug 21, 2014
MPs promise farmers not to pass agric inputs tax
Oyam South MP, Betty Amongi signs a petition against tax on agricultural inputs as the coordinator of Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group, Julius Mukunda looks on during a breakfast meeting for farmers and MPs at Kampala Sheraton Hotel on August 21, 2014. PHOTO/Francis Emorut
 
newvision
By Francis Emorut     
Members of Parliament have assured farmers across the country and civil society organizations that they are not going to pass the proposed tax on agricultural inputs.

The MPs announced this during a meeting with farmers at a breakfast meeting at Kampala Sheraton Hotel on Thursday.
“We are going to ensure that this tax on agricultural inputs will never be passed because it’s a bad tax,” Ibanda Woman MP, Margaret Kiboijana told farmers and her counterparts.

“We shall fight tooth and nail to make sure that this tax doesn’t succeed,” she stated.

She was supported by the chairperson of Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA), Betty Amongi who said 80% of the farmers in the country are women and therefore, the tax would affect them and vowed not to allow the tax sail through.
Farmers from Kabale handing over their petition to MPs  Margaret Kiboijana and Dr. Atwooki Kasirivu during  a breakfast meeting at Kampala Sheraton Hotel on August 21, 2014.The MPs assured farmers that they will reject tax proposal on agrictural inputs.  Photo by Francis Emorut

Bungangaizi MP, Atwooki Kasirivu told farmers that this will not be the first tax the Parliament rejects after Kerosene and water tax was shot down last financial year only the former to be reinstated this financial year with exercise duty of sh200.

He informed participants that three years ago Budget Advisory Committee which was NRM dominated but later expanded to accommodate other political interests groups was formed and the issue of tax on agriculture never featured at all.

He claimed this time around the proposed tax on agricultural inputs was smuggled in.

“It was somehow smuggled in and it will not succeed,” Atwooki said.

The MPs’ assurance comes after meeting the technical team of ministry of finance and the committee scrutinizing the budget that seem to have backed off in support of farmers.

“Half of the committee petitioned their own and turned themselves to farmers and rejected the tax proposal on agricultural inputs,” Amongi who is also Oyam South MP said.

The MPs however asked the civil society organizations and farmers to cooperate with them to bring down the proposed tax on agricultural inputs.

Three weeks ago farmers across the country and Members of Parliament launched a campaign to collect 1 million signatures and petition the Speaker of Parliament to shoot down the tax proposal on agricultural inputs.

Finance minister, Maria Kiwanuka in her June 12, Budget Speech slapped taxes on agricultural inputs including fertilizers, hoes, pesticides, poultry and others aimed at raising revenue for the national budget.

Presenting the civil society organizations analysis of the ministerial policy statement on agriculture, Richard Mugisha, programme officer, advocacy of Participatory Ecological Land Use management (PELUM) told participants that there is need to increase funding in agriculture in line with the Maputo 10% declarations yet Uganda is at 2.1%.

He also asked MPs not to pass the Biotechnology Biosafety Bill saying Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are dangerous for human consumption.

Yumbe Woman MP, Oleru Huda appealed to activists to come up with researched data that will help MPs to argue their points during debate to reject GMOs.

Farmers from Kapchorwa, Kabale and Pallisa handed over their signed petition to the MPs after the breakfast meeting which was organized by Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group.

Accessed on Friday 22nd August, 2014 from: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/658963-mps-promise-farmers-not-to-pass-agric-inputs-tax.html 

 
 

Graft killing youth enterprise - EU chief

Graft killing youth enterprise - EU chief

Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere (L), the minister for General Duties
Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere (L), the minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, and Amb Schmidt (2ndR) listen to youth who exhibited at the launch in Kampala yesterday. Photo by Rachel Mabala. 
By  Stephen Kafeero

Posted  Friday, August 22  2014 at  01:00
 
Kampala-Uganda will need a generation that is free from the fear of corruption for entrepreneurship to thrive, the European Union Head of Delegation to Uganda Kristian Schmidt, has said.
Amb. Schmidt was speaking at the launch of an EU-funded Youth Entrepreneurship Facility in Kampala yesterday.
“To generate entrepreneurship, you need a youth without fear of corruption, a free youth, a youth of hope, and a youth with trust in institutions.
If I was a young Ugandan planning to start a business, I would be worried that corruption might ruin it,” he said.
He also pointed out the content and quality of education that is currently provided in most schools, the mindset of young people, and lack of affordable finance for youth to start businesses as the other factors impeding entrepreneurship in Uganda.
Amb. Schmidt, who toured an exhibition by some of the beneficiaries of the programme together with Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere, the Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime minister, noted jobs for the youth will come from the private sector.
The EU signed a bilateral agreement with the International Labour Organisation that seeks to address youth unemployment in Uganda which currently estimated at more than 80 per cent.
The ambassador’s remarks come at a time when several youth have come out to protest the high unemployment rates in the country and rampant corruption in government.
On June 19, two university students Norman Tumuhimbise and Robert Mayanja, members of the Jobless Brotherhood, were arrested by police after they smuggled pigs into Parliament protesting against political corruption and youth unemployment.
The three-year project seeks to create decent works for young Ugandans both as a means of self-employment and job creation for others.
sdkafeero@ug.nationmedia.com

Accessed on Friday 22nd August, 2014 from:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Graft-killing-youth-enterprise---EU-chief/-/688334/2426826/-/kavlwxz/-/index.html 
 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

KASESE DISTRICT HEALTH TEAM ADOPT TO SENSITIZE COMMUNITY ON SANITATION

During a stakeholders meeting held at Bwera Primary Teachers College on 15th Aug, 2014, the Kasese district Health sector faulted the sub counties that had fallen below the sanitation and hygiene passmark including Mpondwe-Lhuburiha Town Council and Nyakiyumbu Sub county. In the meeting convened by KALI and hosted by Hon. Dr. Kiyong, MP and Minister of Defence, the LCIII chairpersons from the affected sub counties resolved to tackle health related problems they way they handled the BBW. The DHO, Dr. Peter Mukobi also informed the meeting that, indeed, health related illnesses were as a result of poor sanitation and hygiene, thus the Health department would support the sub counties to addresses these problems. Also the meeting, the Hon. Minister, pledged government support in ensuring that resources shared by Uganda and DR. Congo are optimumly used without compromising the health of the people. It was also reported that, malnutrition cases had increased in children in the district. The participant resolved to adopt a multi-thronged  approached in handling health related illnesses. The participants also noted that, despite, the recently recruited medical staff, the district staff operated below average.

Hon. Dr. Crispus Kiyonga, taking the participants through the family budget, that without money, sanitation at household will remain poor if people can not get money to improve on their hygiene, he thus called on the participants to support the coffee project in the district
Dr. Mukobi Peter, DHO responding to issues raised by the participants
Ms. Asimwe, Community Development Officer, presenting a report on the nutrition situation in Kasese district, 2014
Hon. Kiyonga taking a comment from the participants
Hon. Dr. Kiyonga also used the meeting to respond to issues raised by KALI concerning the construction of a mini-hydro plant on River Lhubiriha, Kasese district. The Minister reported that, he followed up the concerns of constructing the mini-hydro power upstream while the gravity flow scheme that serves about 200,000 people is down stream, he said that, he was informed by the developer and ERA that water for drinking will always take precedence in case the feasibility study that was recommended to see if the two schemes would co-exist. KALI had recommended that an Environmental impact assessment be carried out and involve the beneficiaries not the academic study as had been done by the developer.

Reported by

RWECO Staff

NTOROKO DISTRCT LEADERS SO NO TO TRIBAL CONFLICTS

During a recently held dialogue meeting held at Ntoroko District headquarters, Kibuuku, the leaders both political and technical vowed to sensitize the citizens against engaging in tribal wars that had affected service delivery. In his remarks, the District Chairperson, Mr. Kyamanywa Timoth called upon the leaders to condemn the recent attacks that left many of the youth dead due to being misled, he said that as a district, they asked RWECO for a dialogue with the district leaders to understand further the concerns of the citizens.
Mr. Timothy Kyamwanywa, District Chairperson Ntoroko, addressing the participants at the district dialogue held on 13th Aug, 2014

Ms. Sheila, taking the participants through the conflict tree for Ntoroko District, 13th Aug, 2014

Rev. Kinto, presenting on fair and free elections using the ethical approach and church teaching on politics of inclusiveness

Participants at the district dialogue meeting held on 13th Aug, 2014 at Ntoroko district, Kibuuku Primary School


The key action points reached were:

The participants realised that, free and fair elections were determinant for improved service delivery since of people went through elections without bribing their out, they will deliver services without compromise, therefore, Ntoroko district resolved to promote free and fair electoral processes

That conflict was bad, and thus, the district leaders teamed up to sensitize the communities to engage in productive work than engaging in counter productive work. That sub county meetings will be organised and RWECO will help to bring out the message of peace to all the youth in Ntoroko district. the participants also resolved to promote sports for peace in the district, the district speaker Ms. Tembe was assigned to promote sports for peace since she was a youth and net baller

The technical staff and political wing will hold join quarterly meetings and also invite development partners to brief them on on-going projects since information was key in developing the district;

Participant also resolved to mainstream peace building in the rest of the activities starting with the Community based department;

Reported

RWECO staff

Monday, June 23, 2014

TAKING KASESE DISTRICT TO THE NEXT STEPS IN DEVELOPMENT

RWECO and the Kasese District Development Network through the public private partnership initiative that has seen CSOs, private sector and government share development concerns facilitated the Kasese district Conference 2014 on June 11th, 2014 that brought together, the Government, CSOs and private sector to debate and share ideas on how to move Kasese district to the next steps in the next 10 years. The Conference was attended by 70 participants drawn from device fields. The participants at the Conference made 8 declarations and 5 resolutions that were later presented to the Kasese district political and technical team on 16th June 2014.

Participants at the Kasese District Conference 2014, held at the Kasese district Multi-purpose hall, on 11th June, 2014


 The Declarations at the Conference:


Preamble
We the participants in the Kasese district conference held in Kasese District at Multi-purpose hall on 11th June 2014  confirm and by consensus agree that the facts and information presented during the conference reflect the development needs of Kasese district  among others;
Conscious of the need to develop human resource, protect the environment and Natural resources, improve our economic potential, quality of education and food security at household level which directly related and influence each another, appreciating the need to act to improve the quality of education, utilize the potentials and endowments that exist and can facilitate change to see the Kasese we want by 2025, here by commit ourselves and resolve that;
  1. Fighting household poverty and improving the quality of education becomes a priority for everyone and all development partners in Kasese District;
  2. The sub county leadership with support from the district should organize decentralized conferences at sub county levels by mid-2015;
  3. Conduct community meetings in villages, schools and churches to sensitize parents and other stakeholders on the importance of education, the need to produce on and utilize household land, sustainable environment management, community tourism and Local economic development and ensure sustainable household food production and incomes.
  4. The district and sub county leadership develop a road map that will clearly show the targets, milestones and actions for the Kasese we want by 2025.
  5.  This conference be conducted annually; the district by working with other development partners dedicate resources for this and annual reviews conducted to assess the commitments in this conference.
  6. All leaders work together to ensure that each household has leased and utilized land well, has sufficient food for home consumption and marketing for income generation.
  7. The office of the district chairperson and the organizing team assumes the responsibility to monitor and follow-up on all the commitments made in this conference.
  8. All elected leaders take the political responsibility for the quality of education, investments ventures,  sustainable exploitation of natural resources, production at household level and tapping from community tourism since they were voted into office to ensure better service deliver;
  9. ·       

  10.  
    Mr. Baritazale Kule, Ass. Commissioner, MoEF, delivering his presentation at the KAsese Conference 2014


    Lt.Col (Rtd) Dula Mawa Muhindo, Kasese District Chairperson, opening the Conference 






Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Districts resolve to sustain E-society Centres in Rwenzori region- Uganda

From a humble beginning of initiating E-society centres in the Districts as resolved at  the Kasese 2008 stakeholders roundtable  meeting, all the seven Districts of Rwenzori region (Kasese, Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kyenjojo, Ntoroko, Kyegegwa and Bundibugyo) have established and  resolved to keep and sustain  the District ICT (e-society) Centres in absence of the initial support from HIVOS through RWECO/RIC-NET.
This resolution was reached as RIC-NET offered to the Districts the last cheques for supporting the e-society.

District staff in Bundibugyo e-society centre
All the Districts have appointed, on temporary terms, a staff to take care for the e-society centres paid  from the  District local revenues.
Though RIC-NET continued to offer technical support, internet bandwidth  and pay staff up to to March 2013, the Districts took over all other costs and eventually the staff salary and internet subscription from April 2014. In recognition for this effort, RIC-NET in partnership with RWECO offered a bridge up contribution of one million shillings to each District as a honorarium to their staff this financial year.
Hon. Rwabuhinga Chair Person LC V Kabarole receives a chegue from John Silco Director of RIC-NET
Deputy CAO Bundibugyo receives the Honorarium cheque

Mr. John Chief Finance officer and Mr. Shabani ICT officer Ntoroko
The Deputy CAO Bundibugyo District said that this contribution was timely and sign recognizing their efforts on sustaining the e-society centres. This was a good sign and prove of Public Private partnership efforts in the region.
Districts went ahead to lobby the Ministry of public service to take on the e-society staff as permanent District staff on government payroll. And so far, Kasese District has officially recruited the ICT officer, Ntoroko and Kamwenge have received a go ahead and they are yet to recruit the ICT officers. 
Other Districts have formally requested and awaits for the formal response from the Ministry of public service.

The e-society centres have not only become places for accessing information and sharing between District civil servants, CSO , youth and the general public; most Districts have used the centres  in skilling the youth with ICT and entrepreneurship skills. 
Girlssingle mothers or displaced by ADF rebels attack- training in ICT at Ntotoko E-society centre

Ntoroko District has so far trained over 250 youth and held a certificates award ceremony on 20th May 2014 presided over by the Chair person LC V Ntoroko District.


RIC-NET and CSOs   efforts to  initiate e-society centres follows the establishment of a network of  50 rural information centres in the most counties/ sub counties in the region that enables information access, documentation and sharing among the  farmers, youth, women. elected leaders and general public.

M John Silco of RIC-NET with some youth who trained at  Ntoroko  e-society centre
 E-society centres, Dynamic District websites, District e-libraries, District  online discussion groups coupled with sponsored radio programmes, web-sms based platforms and neighborhood  assemblies  has led to an effective convergence of several information accesss and dissemination channels leading to a relative quick feedback process among stakeholders. A success story of the collaboration between RIC-NET, CSOs and local government structures.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

COUNTING LOSSES AFTER NYAMWAMBA RIVER BURST ITS BANKS IN KASESE DISTRICT




Having heard the many reports on mass media about the floods in Kasese together with my colleagues at office we decided to spend our greater morning of Wednesday 14th May, 2014  in Kilembe.  What is reported on television is just a clip of what took place in Kasese on Thursday 8th May 2014    The place that used to be  home for many is filled with big stones and rocks. The Kilembe mines offices which used to be striking and confortable, is  host of a river  that washed away some structures. One could not resist the depressed faces of the residents who are living on hope that humanitarian aid and the government would come to rescue them from the situation.  

RWECO staff monitoring in Kilembe 14th May, 2014
 The most touching experience was at Katiri Primary school where the flood found the   head teacher and primary seven pupils in class. The situation was so alarming that the head teacher  and the pupils had to evacuate through the window. Under normal circumstances the windows were high for a human being to pass through but the little children managed to escape death amidst all the circumstances though they are now nursing browses. The  courage of the children to reinstate their school was a great motivation for  me as by  12th may 2014 morning the children were busy removing water and silt from the classes even without a formal call by the headmistress.  The headmistress of Katiri primary school was encouraged by efforts of the pupils but however complained that the thieves broke the school cupboard to steal books and other relevant information of the school. 

Pupils of Katiri Primary School, wondering what next after the school was flooded. These pupils came to clean up on Monday with their Headteacher.

 Bulembia  Primary school  was the most affected school of all as the river burst its banks and  washed away a 2 classroom block with all its furniture.  Other classroom blocks were  weakened by the water and the  big question remain  whether or not the school will be able to open on Monday 19th May, 2014  as other schools open.
It was shocking to also observe that part of the Kilembe mines offices were also washed away by the floods while the remaining part is hanging in the middle of the flowing river that burst its banks.  In my view the offices are not safe for human settled because they were  weakened by the floods.  Also the road that was reconstructed a few months ago is the new course of river Nyamwamba, however on critical observation, tarmac on the drive way  was just a small layer in a lay man’s language!!! . UNRA should do a value for money audit even when the road was washed away by the floods. 

Bulembia Primary school was totally washed away. Where will the children Go!!! Hope the Presidents visit to the affected families and institutions on Wednesday 14th May, 2014 will bring hope to the citizens.
  In my view the floods in Kilembe caused total destructruction  which will not require renovation and relief aid but reconstruction to enable people continue living without having to worry about the next the rain. I have been humbled by the efforts of the local leaders of Kasese, Hima Cement and Hima Tibeti  and CSO for their endavour to desilt the river as well as counsel the local population around Kilembe.  Man should also be blamed for degrading the environment because of Human activities around the river banks, climate change have caused havoc to human life.  The condition at Kilembe is a typical example of how climate change can affect human being and as citizen of Uganda we therefore need to protect our environment for a better tomorrow.
By RWECO Team
Sheila K & Gilbert m