In June this year, about five Ugandans were ambushed and killed by unknown gunmen in Moli village, about 140 kilometers from Juba, the capital city of South Sudan.
A month earlier in May, a Ugandan businessman was shot dead while his driver escaped with injuries. With the signing of the peace agreement in South Sudan, Ugandan traders were hopeful that they could take back their agricultural produce there.
However, the transporters are complaining over being mistreated. Some traders in South Sudan are complaining about corruption, double taxation and insecurity along Nimule–Juba road.
This is unfortunate because South Sudanese enjoy a cordial relationship with Ugandans.
My simple request to South Sudanese is to stop mistreating Ugandans when they come into your country so that they can also get an opportunity to work and cooperate with you.
Islamic University in Uganda, Kampala.
Govt should avail free life jackets to all landing sites
The ministry of Works and Transport and the Uganda Police should ensure that all operators of boats and passengers wear life jackets.
The government should as well give out free life jackets to all landing sites because the number of lives lost on Ugandan water bodies is alarming.
However, few people are complying with this regulation and instead choose to risk long journeys on Uganda’s major lakes unprotected.
Moses Mulumba, a passenger who regularly travels from Ggaba landing site to different islands on Lake Victoria, says the authorities are not strict about enforcing the wearing of life jackets. That is why he doesn’t bother to wear one.
Most of the commercial boats doing transport on Lake Victoria have no life jackets and this poses a risk to passengers in case the boats capsize.
For instance, on August 6, 2018, five people from the same family drowned when the canoe they were travelling in capsized during bad weather on Lake Victoria. Their bodies were found without life jackets.
Therefore, I call upon government to tighten up the regulatory mechanisms and regulations to ensure that there is more use of life jackets and make sure that the boats are well inspected for safety.
UPDF’s new mambas are impressive
There is a saying that goes: “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
I was impressed with Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) manufacturing and assembling plant for amoured personnel carriers (APCs), Nyoka 4x4s which have been nicknamed mambas. Most noteworthy about these mambas are that they are landmine-resistant.
The facility was launched on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 by the commander-in-chief, President Yoweri Museveni.
It is good to see that the investment in artillery at the Nyoka military conversion facility located at Magamaga military barracks in Mayuge district has finally borne fruit.
These mambas come with many advantages: they strengthen the army’s artillery; they will reduce fatalities among our soldiers by protecting them from occupational hazards such as snipers and unseen dangers like landmines; they will speed up the transportation of soldiers and logistics to battlefields.
All in all, their presence will boost the soldiers’ confidence on the battlefield.
Having strong artillery is necessary to protect our borders, which is especially important for Uganda since it is a landlocked country. Due to its open-door policy and pan-Africanist outlook, Uganda has also become a haven of peace for refugees from neighboring countries.
Stabilising the region is important to prevent any spillover effects from regional insecurity.
Passport office needs urgent change
Before Gen Aronda Nyakairima (RIP) was appointed as the minister of internal affairs, the immigration office had become completely rotten, with corruption reigning supreme.
When he came in, sanity prevailed and getting a passport became the easiest thing in Uganda. One would actually get a passport within one week if you fulfilled all the requirements. Before he came, it had reached a point where it would take six months to get a passport.
Today, a few years after his death, the ghosts are back at immigration office.
I reached here this morning at 7:47am to pick passport forms to process my daughter’s passport. It is now 9:13am and I am still waiting for nothing else except picking mere forms!
Mr. President, the only institution that has proved to be efficient in Uganda is the UPDF. May you kindly bring UPDF soldiers here to serve angry and hungry Ugandans who are yearning for better services?
When will this malaise of government employees serving citizens as if they are doing them a favour end?
Minister Namuganza attacks on Land probe unfortunate
State minister for Lands Persis Namuganza has thrust herself into the limelight by launching an attack on the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire.
The minister who did not have a friendly sail before the commission, let loose her fury to the media, lamenting that the commission of inquiry was all but, “a waste of taxpayers’ money which has outlived its usefulness.”
The minister’s attitude does not add value, but takes away public confidence in the commission, demoralizes the commission and its staff and, above, all speaks to the lack of political will by the leadership of the ministry to ensure that the commission, notwithstanding its challenges, succeeds and achieves its mandate and objectives.
Namuganza’s statements cannot be taken lightly, given her critical role as the line minister. Her ministry is expected to play a significant role in the implementation of the findings of the commission.
Her tirade directed at the commission comes at a time when her senior colleague at the ministry didn’t have a cordial appearance at the commission.
Therefore, to the extent that she has, after a single appearance, written the work of the commission off, and declared it a waste of time and resources, one cannot help but wonder what the technical and political leadership at the ministry thinks of and feel about the commission.
It is prudent upon the minister to be part of the solution, and not the problem and, above all, to have the humility to appreciate that we are all below the law and respect must be earned, not demanded.
It is in the interest of the minister, taxpayers and the appointing authority that the commission achieves its objectives and there is value for money and time because some of the commissioners are government employees who have had to leave their duty stations to do the work of the inquiry while still earning from their earlier postings.
So, the investment on the part of the Ugandan taxpayer is considerable. Her remarks come on the backdrop that reports from similar commissions of inquiry have been challenged in court, even after government has invested enormous resources in these inquiries.
Accordingly, we urge and expect the minister to be part of the team working tirelessly to support the commission of inquiry.