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
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: 


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.

Accessed on Friday 22nd August, 2014 from: 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


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



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;


RWECO staff