Friday, September 28, 2012

Top education ministry official summoned over graft

Top education ministry official summoned over graft

By Simon Masaba

Police detectives on Wednesday summoned the commissioner for secondary education over misappropriation of $150m (about sh375b) meant for the training of post-primary school teachers countrywide.

John Mary Agaba was due for interrogation yesterday, but failed to turn up at the Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Directorate (CIID) in Kibuli where the detectives were to quiz him.

Agaba’s lawyer talked to the CIID director, Grace Akullo, apparently explaining why his client failed to show up, but declined talk to the press about the subject. It is also not clear when Agaba will appear.

Sources said Agaba is facing charges of embezzlement, causing financial loss and abuse of office.

“Most school teachers countrywide never got trained and the hardship allowances for primary school teachers in the hard-to-reach areas never reached them,” a Police source said.

Last week, the Police opened a probe into the ministry with the interrogation of John Baptist Ssemakula, the former assistant commissioner for personnel and Florence Malinga, the former commissioner in charge of planning.

They were questioned over alleged sectarianism and nepotism at the ministry in which the permanent secretary, Francis Lubanga, is accused of replacing several employees in key positions with his relatives.

Accessed on friday 28, Sept from:

Districts don’t have websites

Districts don’t have websites

By Dan Nabutsabi

A special Cabinet meeting recently approved the creation of 20 new districts. This would bring the total to 132, if approved by Parliament. While the number of districts grows, the number of those with functioning sources of credible and timely information for the public is decreasing.

In July 2003, just over nine years, the Uganda Communications Commission, through the Rural Communications Development Fund, launched its first set of 20 district information websites. Uganda then, had 56 districts.

This was in a bid to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas.

The websites contained information on health, agriculture, education, programmes, environment and infrastructure.

In his speech, the then information state minister, Michael Werikhe said, “the challenge is for each district to continuously update their sites.”

However, reports indicate that 78 district websites were completed, commissioned and handed over to the respective local governments.

These are supposed to be accessed through www.(distr ictname) Unfortunately, less than 20 are functional, let alone having any usable information.

This has forced internet users to resort to the unoffi cial but more up to date blogs, Wikipedia and social networks for information updates, which undermines e-government efforts.

The case of Bududa District In 2007, 368 participants including CAOs, RDCs, LC5 chairpersons and information offi cers were facilitated for a two-day event at Soroti Hotel that culminated into the launch of 24 district websites.

Bududa district was among them. Unfortunately, like many others, it has not uploaded any information not even posted links to other government websites.

Samson Natsambwa, the assistant CAO, blames it on the high turnover of information officers.

“It is unfortunate that many civil servants posted to Bududa stay for a short time. Once they get better jobs, they quickly resign.”

But Lyazi says many rural ICT projects face many challenges, ranging from unpredictable or lack of grid power, low usage and high operating expenses. This has made ICT projects seem like an urban phenomenon.

But, Lyazi is still optimistic, saying: “We are working with the districts to get them to fully own and prioritise maintenance of their respective portals. I am confident that this position will soon change.”

Accessed on Friday 28, Sept, 2012 from:

Mubuku contractor questionedPublish Date: Sep 27, 2012

By John Thawite

The firm contracted to rehabilitate the dilapidated Mubuku Irrigation Scheme in Kasese district, has come under fire for lagging behind schedule.

COIL Engineering was contracted last year to rehabilitate the 2,000-hectare ailing scheme at a sh19b. The monies were a loan which the Government had secured from the African Development Bank, (AfDB).

The works, which started in September, last year, were scheduled to be completed this month.

According to the project document, works include water training, water diversions, construction of dams and water canals (15km), drainage, roads, construction of culverts and foot bridges, a cattle trough and ramp, water dropping points, off takes, pipeline, and grading farmland.

But while touring the scheme last Friday, a team of AfDB and government officials were treated to a rude shock to learn that up to 40% of the works were still incomplete.

This led to the Project manager, Tsegay Teklemariam and the firm’s consultant, Frank Kiwanuka to be questioned.

The monitoring team included the AfDB task manager, Sebastian Okeke, the director in charge of President Museveni’s manifesto, Fred Kamugira and the water and environment ministry’s water management and irrigation expert, Dr. Gamal Elkassar.

In his defence, Kiwanuka unconvincingly attributed the delay on rains.

Accessed from:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Govt to recruit 6,172 health workers - MbabaziPublish Date: Sep 26, 2012

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi
By Joyce Namutebi and Henry Sekanjako

Twenty three ministries and government bodies are to undergo budget cuts as the MPs and the Executive agreed to give the health ministry additional sh49.54b.

The agreement brought to an end a week-long protracted debate on the issue.

Of this, sh6.5b  will cater for recruitment of 6,172 health centre personnel, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi said on Tuesday.

He told MPs that on instructions of Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga on Thursday, the Executive and the budget committee met and agreed on the additional financing for the health sector. They, he added, had since held several consultations before harmonising their positions.

There was heated exchange between the MPs and the Government as they tried to reach a mutually agreeable position.

Mbabazi assured them that the Government would provide additional sh49.54b for recruitment and remuneration of health workers for health centres.

“We all agreed on the urgent need to improve the health care in the country. Therefore, we shall now address the human resource challenges so as to have a properly functioning system at the local government level throughout the country,” he said.

“We have managed to struggle and get sufficient funds to embark on the recruitment of a total of 6,172 health personnel.

Accordingly, we have managed to identify additional sh6.5b as seed money to enable the Ministry of Health to start on this endeavour,” Mbabazi said, in his statement to the House.

He said this will be provided by the Ministry of Finance through a supplementary well -costed work plan.

Personnel to be recruited are senior medical officers, medical officers, senior clinical officers, clinical officers, anesthetic assistants, enrolled nurses, enrolled midwives, laboratory technicians, nursing officers and midwives.

The ministries to suffer the budget cuts to raise the sh6.5b as public service, justice, lands, trade, works, energy, gender, water, Local Government, information and tourism. Government bodies include the National Planning Authority, Uganda Tourism Board, Uganda Registration Services Bureau, KCCA, Local Government Finance Commission and NEMA.

Others are NAADS secretariat, Uganda National Bureau of Standards, Uganda Cotton Development Organisation, Uganda Land Commission, National Forestry Authority and Uganda Coffee Development Authority.

He said medical officers working at Health Centre III will earn sh2.5m per month, including an enhanced consolidated allowance.

At Health Centre IV, the Government will employ two medical doctors and 47 other professional workers and support staff while at Health Centre III, a total of 19 health workers and support staff.

He said sh3b will cover the recruitment process costs while sh3.5b is available to pay the wage bill of the people recruited.

Health minister Dr. Christine Ondoa told Parliament that besides the recruitment ban, one other challenge has been the poor remuneration of doctors.

“That is why we have not been attracting and retaining doctors at Health Centre IVs which was not covered by the recruitment ban,” she said.

Aruu county MP Odonga Otto said there were 507 unfulfilled government promises and that giving only health workers was being selective.

Cecilia Ogwal, the Woman MP for Dokolo said the supplementary budget is not allowed according to the Budget Act because it preempts Parliament actions

The chairman of the health committee, Sam Lyomoki, said the move was a positive direction for the people of Uganda.

Emmanuel Ddombo, the MP for Bunyole County, said more mothers would die if the budget had been postponed again.

Tim Lwanga MP Kyamuswa agreed that the proposal presented by the Prime Minister was acceptable.

Betty Amongi said the committee on health sat with the Ministry of Health and gave a detailed work plan that is why it had recommended sh260b and was shocked that the Prime Minister was asking for a new workplan.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said they need to save the country from the budget tension by passing it as soon as possible.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


It seemed like the seating parliament of Uganda in their usual session deliberating about the challenges of the community when the speaker introduced the cabinet of Nyahuka town council to members of parliament seating. Being a minister in your subcounty requires  research, consultation with the community and make a presentation on issues affecting the ministry to the community without consideration  for seating allowances and transport refund.  Imagine how we would save for a parliamentary session with minister debating on development  issue like they were deliberating on access to drugs without food for people living with HIV/AIDS without consideration for parliamentary seating allowances and the posh cars.   I am not surprised that the chairperson LC3 Nyahuka town council described the neighborhood assembly as for the initiative that has taught people how to fish for better service delivery in Nyahuka Town council.
For the people of Nyahuka town council their concern were people living with HIV/AIDS are given drugs but they have no food to eat and this has led people to die because of hunger as they  have no income generating projects.  Imagine the counselor for people with disabilities deliberating on 6,000,000 million shillings that was supposed to support the disabled people in Nyahuka town council but was misused because of lack of follow up by the leaders.  This issue generated a hot discussion in the neighborhood assembly to involve the mayor and the woman counselor. Cabinet members agreed to follow up the money at the district level. What about the unfair representation by the counselor who reported that the problem of Nyahuka Town council was roads yet their problem was water as addressed by Neighborhood assembly.  
The parliament (NA)was on fire when the youth representative presented the challenge of unemployment as they have become  a problem to their parents who have educated them and the members of parliament emphasized that the town council needs to introduce innovative  skills to help the youth like hand crafts. What about the youth affected by HIV who are stigmatized and the leaders were tasked to advocate for youth friendly services in the community. The parliamentarians were as well concerned by the challenge of lack of access to information from the town council to the community as well as the number of youth who are dropping out of school. In his response the town council counselor promised to follow up on some of the issues raised in the neighborhood assembly as well as continue supporting the neighborhood assembly. The CID Nyahuka had warned members of using such platforms to mobilize community members to rebel against their leaders but was disproved after the session
The neighborhood Assembly was attended among others by the Town Council Mayor, the representative town clerk for Nyahuka town council, the community, town council counselors, representatives of PWD, Representative from the association of people living with HIV/AIDS and the head of police, The head of internal security organization, youth leaders, Church leaders as well as over 70 community members. The meeting neighborhood was graced by Nyahuka person with disabilities drama group with music, dance and drama sessions declining service delivery to the vulnerable people.

Sheila K

Monday, September 24, 2012


Listen and Act, participants at the NA launch in Nyahuka
On 19 September 2012, Nyahuka town council neighborhood assembly was launched among the guests invited were the Town clerk, Mayor Nyahuka Town council, community development officer, the Nyahuka council to the district, O/C Police, the GISO the neighborhood executive committee and a drama group among others. In the opening remarks of the mayor Mr . Friday Bisoro thanked Good Hope and RWECO through European Union for the support to the town council. The town clerk too in his closing remarks welcomed the programme and commented that it is the first of this kind in this area and recommended it should expand in terms of the period.
Among the issues discussed were. Government should put in more efforts about the nutrition of people living with HIV/AIDS, the problems of youths who have become drug addicts other than engaging themselves in constructive work, a lot of school drop outs due to the lack of proper guidance by parents, domestic problems among others, there is inadequate accessibilities to information, stigma to PWDs and persons living with HIV/AIDS for instance the funds for PWDs never reach them “ Mr. Mugisa Fred Chairperson PWDs Nyahuka town council  had this to comment “ 6 millions funds  meant for PWDs did not reach them, the  district instead used it for some thing different” and low self esteem is affecting the vulnerable groups.

Kidima Margret
Good Hope

Ministers dodge ICT training

Ministers dodge ICT training

Kalangala Trip September 2012

Heading to Bufumira, Kalangala District, Jimmy of RWECO (left) and Rose FHRI
I hope you are all well in the respective regions.
To Jimmy Odyek, I hope you travelled safely back to the Rwenzoris!
Colleagues, this mail goes out with gratitude and thanks for the support you cushioned FHRI with during the Kalangala Action Plan (KAP), 19th - 21st September 2012. The expertise, advice and encouragement you shared were vital! Little wonder, the mission was a great success! 
Forming and launching (read Conducting) N/A's, rolling out Vertical Tracking, dialoguing one on one with the district leaders and then an hour long radio programme all in one mission contributed significantly on the project impact. 
Noteably, local government leaders commended civil society approach and methodology to Neighbourhood Assemblies! Pointed out the weaknesses in the "barazas" by OPM.
To RWECO, thank you so much for appearing on stage with FHRI and particularly Jimmy for your charismatic yet kind attitude to the vulnerable communities out there! Bufumira islanders appreciated you!!
Comrades, we are back in office from the mighty Ssese islands!
Ever grateful,
Rose, FHRI.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Worth it for Accountability-Kamwenge E-society

Kamwenge District Local Government last week received ICT equipment for the set up of the center at the district. This comes after the signing of the MOU with Rwenzori information centers Network (RIC-NET) on behalf of RWECO.
Computers, heavy duty printer/copier/scanner, furniture among other things were delivered at the District by the RIC-NET ICT team.
The equipment was received at the clerk to councils’ office by the District planning unit and there after the ICT team went ahead to assemble and laying the Local Area Network for the center.
In her remarks the clerk to council was so thankful for the partnership and said that it would boost information sharing and skills at the district. mean while Mr. Binyina Kiiza of the District planning department was grateful and worked closely with the team during the set up.
Other officers at the district were also happy and appreciated such a big package that was availed to them (District).
The E-society center is in full operation this morning with an ICT staff their attending to it and receiving every interested user. The two days of serious work have left Kamwenge District Local Government headquarters with a working Local Area Network (LAN) and a wireless hotspot with active internet.
The district website will also be online very soon as we are starting the design with immediate effect.
RIC-NET staff Joy and Yosia terminating cables
Center ready for use

Friday, September 14, 2012

On 6th September 2012 good hope foundation for rural Development  under the EU project conducted a meeting on the findings of service delivery an activity that was conducted by community monitor in july 2012 in the areas of water and health  in the four sub-counties of Nyahuka T.C , Kisubba , Sindira and Karusandara  respectively . In Nyahuka town council out of 49 water points, 09 are functional and in kisubba out of 44 water points, 35 are not functional. Indeed this was the reason for water borne related out breaks like cholera, 80% of the water facilities are not owned by the community to an extent that there is no water users fees and care takers. Any breakdown it’s the district water department that comes in for repairers. Information from the community development officers of these sub-counties conformed that some of the water users committees are not trained due to constrained resources hence not knowing their roles. There is need for immediate attention.
In the meeting the town clerk Nyahuka T.C Ms Katusime Harriet thanked RWECO- and Good Hope for their work on ground and continued support 

while during the field in Bundibugyo, RICNET together with the Bundibugyo District Local Government, ushered in a new product " Bundibugyo District E-Society.
It was on 5th September 2012 when staff from RIC-NET Yosia and Elijah were in full swing at the district connecting the E-society. The equipments were received by the district vice chairperson MR. Baluku Godfrey Mbalibula and UBC Bundibugyo branch staff. By 6th September it was already functional with the e-society, information sharing and dissemination in Bundibugyo will improve with the rest of the world.

 Kidima Margret
Good Hope