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Traders to Sue KCC over Irregularities in Taxation


THE Kampala City traders Association has threatened to sue Kampala City Council over irregularities in taxation.

Everest Kayondo, the vice chairman of the association, said they were claiming over sh3.5b from the city council following illegal licence fees it has been levying on them for the last 10 years.

We will take the City Council to court. Our lawyers are compiling evidence. Therefore whoever paid more money should present their receipts to enable us claim refund, Kayondo said at a press conference last week.

He urged traders to register with the association to claim for the fees theyhave been paying for the past 10 years.

Last May, the association petitioned Parliament seeking a probe into the legality of the trade licence fees levied by the City Council prior to the enactment of the Trade Licensing Amendment Act.

The current Trade Licencing Act requires traders to pay licences of sh100,000 and below, but Kampala City Council had hiked fees up to sh950,000, which traders contested.

The association’s spokesperson, Issa Ssekito, said their move would ensure the institution observes the law.

It is fraud for the country to rob its people, he added.

In its report, the parliamentary committee on tourism, trade and industry recommended that the implementation of the Trade Licensing Act be stayed until illegalities have been straightened out.

The committee also recommended that the trade ministry makes all businesses liable to paying licence fees irrespective of the licences required of them because they are beneficiaries of the council’s services.

During investigations, Kampala City Council attributed the fees hike to the need to increase the cash inflow in the city given the increase in population and inflation.

Kabaka, Besigye Organized SA Trip for ill Nambooze


As Betty Nambooze underwent initial medical tests in a South Africa hospital on Friday, in Kampala it emerged that state operatives tricked her off a November 2 flight to Johannesburg using ENHAS employees, in effect delaying her journey by three days. ENHAS is the company responsible for ground handling at Entebbe Airport. The Observer reported today.

The Observer has been told that a male employee of ENHAS deceitfully asked the captain of the South African Airways aircraft that was to fly Nambooze to Johannesburg last Monday whether he would be able to fly a sick passenger in need of oxygen. However, while the outspoken DP Spokesperson and Buganda activist was indeed sick, she wasn’t on oxygen as alleged.

At the same time, another EHHAS staff approached Nambooze, who had already obtained a boarding pass, and asked her whether she needed a wheelchair, which she declined.

The captain of flight SA 161 said he wouldn’t fly that passenger because he didn’t have medical personnel on board. After soliciting this objection from the captain, ENHAS staff went to the South African Airways manager at Entebbe, Catherine Mpanga, and informed her that Betty Nambooze was unfit to fly because of her medical condition.

Mpanga communicated the bad news to Nambooze and husband that the captain had refused to fly her on medical grounds. She further told Nambooze to submit a medical clearance allowing her to fly.

On her way back to Kampala to get the demanded medical clearance form, Nambooze got a phone call summoning her to face the Police’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at their Kibuli headquarters.
In the company of her lawyer, Kampala Central MP, Erias Lukwago, she met Moses Sakira, the Deputy Director of CID.

However, the same officer who had earlier issued summons for her to explain her alleged role in the September riots in Buganda said she was not needed. Nambooze and Lukwago left the CID headquarters while another lawyer, Fred Mpanga, stayed behind asking the officer to acknowledge in writing that Nambooze had appeared.

Instead, Fred Mpanga got summons requiring Nambooze to appear at Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court on November 17 to answer sedition charges.

According to the lawyers, it appears the Director of Public Prosecutions had not sanctioned the charges against Nambooze but because elements within the state didn’t want her to travel, her name was simply added onto an existing charge sheet for Siraje Lubwama, a journalist who appeared on the same talk-show with Nambooze on the now closed CBS radio.

Nambooze and Lubwama, her co-accused, are alleged to have described Uganda as a failed state in several radio talk-shows. But Police denied any role in stopping her from traveling to South Africa.


After Police denied any role, Nambooze’s husband Bakireke, Erias Lukwago, Kizito Sserumaga and Victor Mukasa went to South African Airways to establish why the airline had pulled a patient from its November 2nd flight. At the same time, our sources indicate that one of Nambooze’s hosts in South Africa issued a statement to the media, accusing the airline of abating violation of the rights of a sick woman.

The airline got to know about the press statement in time and asked their Uganda office to explain. With pressure coming from their headquarters and from Uganda, the South African Airways Country Manager, Yogi Biriggwa, told Lukwago and company that they had been tricked by ENHAS to remove Nambooze from the flight.

To exonerate South Africa Airways of any wrongdoing, Biriggwa called Catherine Mpanga, the company’s manager at the airport, and put her on a phone loud speaker for the complainants to hear.
Embarrassed by the incident, South Africa Airways offered Nambooze $120 to book in a hotel of her choice where she would stay on Wednesday before her flight the following Thursday.

They also upgraded her ticket from Economy to Business class to compensate for the inconveniences caused. They even offered to pick her from wherever she would spend the extra day. The airline went as far as getting an airline official to clear her documents through immigration to ensure a smooth trip through Entebbe Airport. Lukwago confirmed the above story in a telephone interview on Friday.

Kayihura notified

Buganda sources have told us that Nambooze’s health and her travel nightmares were discussed during the kingdom’s cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Buganda’s State Minister for Research, David Mpanga, who coordinated the trip, reportedly briefed the meeting chaired by the Katikkiro, Eng. John Baptist Walusimbi. Mpanga, according to our sources, told his Mengo colleagues that to ensure Nambooze was not disturbed again, the Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, had been notified about the urgency of her medical trip to South Africa.

Police sources have also told us that the Buganda cabinet was informed that Kayihura had no objection to Nambooze’s travel. Nambooze told The Observer shortly before flying to South Africa that she was angry with the way the state had treated her.

Even without the backing of any law, they proclaimed that we must notify them before holding any public rally. They now also want us to notify them before traveling; this is very bad for the country, Nambooze said.

Poison feared

In South Africa, doctors have subjected Nambooze to various tests. One of the doctors told The Observer on phone from Johannesburg on Friday that they had subjected her to sigmoidoscopy and gigmoidoscopy on her first day in hospital.

This was meant to establish the state of her digestive system. Nambooze has been suffering from intestinal problems for a while. Before flying to Johannesburg, her legs were slowly turning black, the reason doctors in South Africa subjected her to another test to rule out the possibility of poisoning.

Most of the doctors attending to her are Ugandan experts working in South Africa. One of them told The Observer that Nambooze’s condition can be treated but they will subject her to more medical tests. The doctor said they will examine her fully to establish whether her incarceration is part of what weakened her veins, something that causes some bleeding.

Nambooze was picked up by state operatives in the wee hours of July 18, 2008 and briefly detained at Jinja Road Police Station. She, together with Buganda Information Minister, Charles Peter Mayiga, and his deputy, Medard Lubega Ssegona, were later detained at various Police stations in Bundibugyo, Ibanda, Kagadi, Fort Portal and Kiruhura, before Ssegona and Nambooze were returned to Kampala and charged with sedition. Mayiga was released without a charge.

Besigye’s hand

Shortly after the riots, the Kabaka’s cabinet decided to fly Nambooze out of the country to seek medical treatment. The Buganda government decided that her ailment needed more advanced medical attention that Uganda couldn’t provide.

There was a proposal to fly her either to the US, UK or India. The idea of flying her out became even more urgent when FDC President, Dr. Kizza Besigye, a medical doctor, advised so after visiting Nambooze at Mukono, following an operation in September.

Besigye contacted medical colleagues in South Africa who expressed willingness to help.
All they required was to fly her to South Africa. The Mengo group, together with other well-wishers from the US, UK, South Africa and in Uganda, quickly raised money she needed for accommodation and upkeep.

I am pleased with all the help I have received. The Kabaka can give directly or through his people. For me he has done both, Nambooze told The Observer. She will be in South Africa for about a month and her lawyers are expected to inform court on November 17, that Nambooze is not ready to stand trial because of her health situation.

MTV Africa Music Awards, 2009: What a joke!

MTV Awards

The just concluded MTV Africa awards (MAMAS) are a clear testimony as to how Africa still has a long way to go when it comes to awards.

The inaugural MAMAS took place last year in Abuja, Nigeria. This year they were hosted in Nairobi with Kenya’s Nameless and Amani winning Best Male Artist and Best Female Artist accolades respectively.

Firstly, a critical viewer of MTV Base and Channel O will notice that most of the African videos played are from South Africa, Nigeria and of late, Kenya.

South Africa countries like Botswana, Angola and Mozambique are also favoured. In order for there to be fair awarding of artists, there should be equal rotation of music videos.

Secondly, the system of voting also makes matters worse. People are told to vote on the Internet for their favorite artists and naturally they vote for their home artists.

So countries with more Internet users like South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya are at an advantage.

Nigeria’s D’Banj was crowned Artist of the year but trust me, over 99 percent of Ugandans have never even heard of him.

It will be a long time before Africa has professional awards that are fair.

The writer can be contacted at: nlois50@gmail.com

Fibre Optic Broadband Goes Live in Kampala

Fibre Optic Cables

Uganda Telecom has started switching its customers from the satellite-delivered Internet connection to the new undersea fibre optic cable.

The eastern African region was connected to the rest of the world when a 17,000km-long undersea fibre optic cable delivered by the Euro-African consortium Seacom went live on July 23, 2009.

Uganda Telecom and Rwandatel signed up to Seacom this month and Uganda Telecom has announced that it is to start switching its Internet subscribers to the fibre optic cable connection.

Reports, as yet unconfirmed, say Uganda’s fourth mobile phone operator Warid Telecom is also preparing to switch on its subscribers to the Seacom cable after it paid for the right to log onto the Seacom cable via the Uganda Telecom link.

A source at Warid told the Uganda Record on Sept. 29 that the company is in the “final preparations” to connect its customers and rates will be “much cheaper” than they have been.

At present, the monthly cost of the USB modem EDGE mobile connection is 85,000shs at Warid and 90,000shs for MTN.

Other sources, however, say the current subscription rates will not come down but only the amount of band width offered to subscribers will be doubled.

The arrival of the high speed Internet is expected to reduce delays in office work, increase the use of Internet cafes by the public, enable live, online listening to music and watching video, and overall ease the flow of communications in Uganda.

A View of Africans by Africans

Funny Africa

These are views gathered from May 14, 2006 – April 2, 2009; by Timothy Kalyegira; from over 100 African citizens who have lived in, visited, transited or traveled through at least two African countries.

The question was: “From your traveling around Africa, what is the thing about Africans that puzzles you the most?”

The following are the first of the over 100 responses:

“Our inability to plan, especially long-term” — Daniel Kalinaki, Kampala, Uganda

“I’m puzzled by the religious adoration of anybody in authority” — James Onen, Kampala, Uganda

“Our complacent attitude towards poverty. People are very poor but there is a general acceptance that the rulers are the ones who have a right to money and a good quality of life (health, education, housing) while the rest happily go about with their hard lives (our fate!) They don’t think they deserve better.” — Jackie Nyagahima, Entebbe, Uganda

“Tough question. I would cite the maverick ideology, [that is] fly by the seat of the pants or makeshift attitude. A certain lack of passion and planning.” — Tom Ogwang, Gulu, Uganda

“What puzzles me is Africans’ lack of regard for time.” — Sonia Kiconco Rees, Kampala, Uganda

“People expecting to earn without working: [taking of] commission; begging; complacency with subsistence living; replying too much on nature.” — Henry Manyire, Kampala, Uganda

“Endless greed. Everywhere you go in Africa, it’s that. You set up a task force to investigate corruption and on that task force is a chairman who [himself] should be investigated for corruption. It’s crazy!” — Jaffer Remo, Kampala, Uganda

“The lack of shame. And I mean shame in a philosophical way.” — Charles Onyango-Obbo, Nairobi, Kenya

“The thing that puzzles me is their backwardness. When will they ever develop?” — Vianey Kabera, Kigali, Rwanda

“Lack of appreciation for the next generation and legacy.” — Arthur Ntengwe, Kampala, Uganda

“The fact that they ran towards a violent scene rather than away from it.” — Trupti Shah, Nairobi, Kenya

“The way we try to copy White people and then turn around and blame them for things that are our fault. Then how we always seem to discourage enterprise.” — Dennis Matanda, Kampala, Uganda

“1. They have backward innocence — [I] do not know what they don’t have or what they can’t do. 2. They are friendly and warm…[A] people of that nature are puzzling!” — Lieutenant Sabiti Kabuchu, Kampala, Uganda

“It is [the] laissez faire attitude.” — Stephen Asiimwe, Kampala, Uganda

“The faith, the positive attitude with which they take some hard knocks that are always coming at them.” — Loy Nabeta, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

“What puzzles me the most about Africans, is how they want to go somewhere, get up in the morning, dress up, hit the road, leaving the map and compass boxed at home. How they will get there, try the genius!” — Susan Nangwale, Kampala, Uganda

“I must say it is our dismal time-keeping.” — Valentine Rwegasira, London, United Kingdom

“They seem unbothered by the shabbiness of their surroundings.” — Francis Onapito Ekomoloit, Kampala, Uganda

“Very joyous [in spite of] the daily quagmires we face. Is it masochism? Also, we hate reading! If only Africans could read more.” — Winston (“TShaka”) Mayanja, Kampala, Uganda

“Our inability to risk our material objects to defend our principles.” — Andrew Mwenda, Kampala, Uganda

“About my view [what] puzzled me in Africa is, people are more relying on others than fighting for themselves in order to get out of from where they are. 2. Compare[d] to where I’m now, meaning Europe, the people in Africa look more happy with all the complicated problems they are in.” Shewaye Legesse, Berlin, Germany

“The remarkable inability, amid all the suffering, to see that they should hold their governments accountable for improving their lives.” — Conrad Nkutu, Kampala, Uganda

“What shocks me [for example] is how the majority of Congolese have resigned to their fate. Wake [up], dress nicely, and party all night from Monday to Monday.”— Frank Nyakairu, Kampala, Uganda

“Disturbs more like. Lack of ambition.” — Paul Busharizi, Kampala, Uganda

“Their ignorance. 99 percent of them are ignorant about everything. They are ignorant even about themselves.” — Jolly Kanimba, Kampala, Uganda

“Africans are simple, superstitious, uncreative and wealth exploiters.” — Allan Sekamatte, Kampala, Uganda

“Failure to take detail seriously.” — Paul Nyangabyaki, Kampala, Uganda

“We are not bothered, so we do not pay attention to detail and for the same reason we accept (almost) anything from anyone.” — Rhona Baingana, Kampala, Uganda

“The complacency; the fact that people seem to accept things as they are. Even those who seem to have prescriptions for the issues.” — Juliet Nabwire, Kampala, Uganda

“We are crazy. First of all, we are a puzzle in ourselves: we are foreigners here in our own lands and [yet] we are [also] foreigners when we are in Europe and America. We are crazy!” — Susan Kakuhikire, Kampala, Uganda

“[The] insatiable greed for everything.” — Arthur Ruberantwari, Entebbe, Uganda

“What puzzled me most is that people in all three countries [I visited] were comfortable throwing litter all over their environs.” — Charity Ahimbisibwe, Kampala, Uganda

“I am always amazed at Africans’ ability to rise above their problems by making light of them.” — Nassozi Muwanga, Kampala, Uganda

“They are many but failure to appreciate contemporary statehood takes the meat.” — Asuman Bisiika, Kampala, Uganda

“Complacency and complaining.” — Emily Gakiza, Kampala, Uganda

“Self-destructive tendencies. An inherent frustration, a tendency to spoil, to despise one’s own…a general neglect of resources, of assets.” — Michael Bakibinga, Kampala, Uganda

“Without any hesitation, lack of initiative, a resignation to fate and inability to comprehend that one can determine one’s destiny, hence we wait for our ‘leaders’ to guide and advise us. This ranges from the Muslim in Gambia to the South African and our next door neighbours in Rwanda. Africans trust and lean on their leaders too much and our problems will always invariably be linked to poor leadership.” — Pamela Tibihikira Kalyegira, Kampala, Uganda

“Lack of respect for formal rules.” — Peter Mwesige, Kampala, Uganda

“Absence of shame; they don’t blush whatever the circumstances.” — Andrew Kasirye, Kampala, Uganda

“Their love for partying.” — Julius Dingisha, Kampala, Uganda

“Our happy-go-lucky nature, in spite of our myriad problems. However, our deep-rooted jealousies counter that.” — Raymond Byabazaire, Kampala, Uganda

“It’s that air of perpetually waiting for humanitarian intervention. A beggar mentality across [the] board, whether [it is the] elite or peasants.” — Robert Shaka, Kampala, Uganda

“Their inability to save. They believe in spending for the moment.” — Arthur Kitakufe, Kampala, Uganda

Corruption.” — Banteyehun Haile, Kampala, Uganda

“I have come across hundreds of brilliant minds who are leaders in their own right, with natural resources probably worth trillions of dollars. What else can be done to unlock greatness in our continent? That’s what puzzles me.” — Ethan Mussolini, Kampala, Uganda

“The majority’s belief [in] or recourse to the supernatural, [other] worldly or divine when confronted by a problem. This tendency transcends all strata of society regardless of their [nurturing.]” — Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Gureme, Kampala, Uganda

“Strong, optimistic, diverse and [unyielding] even in [the] worst of circumstances.” — William Babigumira, Kampala, Uganda

“Lack of a sense of when they err.” — Joachim Buwembo, Kampala, Uganda

“Most Africans I met were trying to fit either in their own countries or abroad. They are trying to find [a] social ethic that [defines] them and their world and they are confused but inexplicably optimistic about the future.” — Angelo Izama, Kampala, Uganda

“Patience in the face of incompetence and inertia.” — Ian Ibara, Kampala, Uganda

“Our [tendency] to procrastinate…Less do it yourself and always seeking external factors to sort our destiny. We just don’t know how to own up.” — Andrew Lubega, Kampala, Uganda

“Easily manipulated. Don’t stand up to bullies.” — James Masaba, Kampala, Uganda

“The fear of intellectual daring. Our people prefer pretensions to thought, [to] thought proper. It is funny how [in Africa] intelligence is not [what] intelligence does but as it postures.” — Philip Matogo, Luwero, Uganda

“Lack of ingenuity. Lack of organisation of people unless there is [direct personal benefit.]” — Winfred Rukidi, Kampala, Uganda

“The all too common refusal to connect the events and actions that directly affect their lives, unless these events are expressions of violence.” — Alan Tacca, Jinja, Uganda

“Africans are liars, selfish, very disorganised and yes some are very dirty…I am surprised how Africans can survive under such [a] horrible lifestyle year after year.” — Shawn Ray Makumbi, Kampala, Uganda

“The thing that puzzles me the most about Africans is their ineptitude in their daily work.” — Anthony Ruberantwari, Entebbe, Uganda

“Their aversion to keeping the law.” — Ben Mwine, Kampala, Uganda

“The casual way we tend to deal with serious matters. We lack attention to detail [in the way we approach] life and we want to have free things all the time irrespective of the cost. We are highly sociable people but we lack discipline, ethics and integrity especially when it comes to power and money. Even PhD holders become uncultured and can’t react differently. Lack of genuine remorse when we do wrong also puzzles me lots and it is common here in Africa.” — Lameck Kiirya, Fort Portal, Uganda

“Lack of inspiration in the sense of ideas and creativity.” — Tony Otoa Jr., London, United Kingdom

“[How we are] little bothered about time.” — Achilles Kiwanuka, Kampala, Uganda

“Why we still think Whites are much better than us. We hero worship them and elevate them to superhuman status. [Lack] of self-esteem and self worth. We don’t have much faith in our abilities [and] talents. It’s a new form of slavery — of the mind!” — Sheila Kulubya, Kampala, Uganda

“Disorder in her cities yet people seem [to be] intelligent!” — Michael Wangusa, Kampala, Uganda

“Some kind of amazing laziness which beats me sometimes. Zambians take the Cup [in this]. Showing off and extravagance is another character very typical of Africans, that’s why we shall never develop.” — Barbara Bamanya, Lusaka, Zambia

“The fear of facing the truth, especially if not favourable.” — Grace Mayanja, Kampala, Uganda

“A happy people in spite of our economic hardships.” — Edward Magumba, Jinja, Uganda

“[How] the White man lives a better life [in the African countries I have visited than the native Africans] [and how] the Black man is doing his best to please the White man.” — Didas Bakunzi, Kampala, Uganda

“The thing that puzzles most is our total lack of shame. We glorify corruption and plunder and the honest morals are disregarded.” — Obed Kamugisha, Kampala, Uganda

“Africans…keep quiet about the things that really matter.” — Kathy Kateera, Kampala, Uganda

“Laziness. They have no urge to work which [leads] to our being dependent, corrupt, thugs, [and] wanting free things.” — Charles Mugisha, Kampala, Uganda

“The propensity [for] the easy life without hard work.” — Peter Byarugaba, Kampala, Uganda

“What puzzles me to no end about we Africans is the difficulty we have in grasping deep philosophical and abstract thought and the broadest and most far-ranging ideas; the difficulty in concentrating mentally and how difficult we find it to master minute craftsmanship and detail, all of which are the basis for creating advanced civilizations. Even when motivated by the best of intentions, our efforts almost always flounder in the face of this debilitating limitation — the hard time we have in getting our minds to concentrate. Decades of elite education, international travel and residency in the sophisticated western countries, and an affluent middle class standard of living, seem to have done little to overcome this limitation.” — Timothy Kalyegira, Kampala, Uganda

“What drives me insane is that in most cases they do not act in their own interests.” — Lieutenant-Colonel Moses Rwakitarate, Kampala, Uganda

“They forget many times that they have to stand in a [queue]. They are eager to jump the queue but can’t sometimes. [At international airports] many want to be seen [as being] frequent fliers.” — Barbara Bitangaro, Kampala, Uganda

“Just as [I] believe in White mental and Black physical superiority, I get puzzled [over] why we can’t learn from the experiences of those ahead of us. I guess it proves the above.” — Samson Bill Nyatia, Kampala, Uganda

“The belief that they are just part of the system put [up] by someone else and they cannot change it.” — Ben Wandera, Kampala, Uganda

“What puzzles me is the contradiction: people are intelligent and resourceful but feel and act inferior, while being defiant and patriotic at the same time.” — Mark Ssali, Kampala, Uganda

“In one word: laissez faire attitude to life, [that is] as long as I eat and sleep, then nothing beyond that matters.” — Paul Nsibuka, Kampala, Uganda

“Untidiness and lack of regard for fellow Africans.” — Cornelius Gulere, Kampala, Uganda

“In the countries I have traveled in Africa, what beats my understanding is [that] public toilets are either dirty or completely ran down, whether in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, [or] Congo Brazzaville, yet we get surprised when things from [the] national level to [the] personal level get ran down.” — Alec Muhoho, Kampala, Uganda

“What puzzles me is why people are fascinated by Idi Amin.” — Tony Ofungi, Kampala, Uganda

“Superstitions, poor time-keeping, disorganisation, poverty and strong family bonds.” — Patrick Kamara, Kampala, Uganda

“The lack of a sense of public and civic responsibility. Privately, [our public officials] live a comfortable, decent life, but they can’t seem to apply these same standards in their homes to their public offices.” — Bernard Tabaire, Kampala, Uganda

“How we settle for much less. How we feel that people from more developed countries are better than us in all aspects (including morals). The fact that we are survivors. We are and tend to be quite a happy lot.” — Julie Nayiga, Kampala, Uganda

“That’s been a puzzling question. I guess there are loads of [contradictions like] respect then disrespect, love of life then recklessness, move to town then happy in a slum. Where is this race going?” — Margaret Wandera, Kampala, Uganda

“It’s the lack of self-confidence. Beyond the exterior is a deep-rooted low self-esteem that manifests [itself] in a variety of ways. Two ways I see: fear and emphasis on tangible rather than intangible resources.” — Martin Barungi, Kampala, Uganda

“That we refuse to outgrow our peasant mentality. That we remain chronically and lethargic[ally]…indifferent to the important things in life.” — Alan Kasujja, Kampala, Uganda

“Wanting to be involved in each others’ lives…Africans feel they have a responsibility towards and a relationship with everyone. [The reason] why a taxi guy will call you uncle and me sister. The reason your [social events] like weddings are like clan and village reunions. The reason for nepotism…That collectiveness is what I mean.” — Helen Nyana, Kampala, Uganda

“Lack of ambition. Your average African is quite content with his hut, which he calls his mansion, his three or four wives and his horde of malnourished children running around naked. Even a “rich” African doesn’t see beyond his money, flashy cars and big house.” — Fideri Kirungi, New York, USA

“One thing I have seen in all our countries and which is common to the human race, is that we do not learn from history. This aspect is more expressed in Africans than anywhere else.” — Henry Bagazonzya, Washington DC, USA

“That [the leaders] all do not care about changing the lives of the poor and they seem satisfied playing in the mud in which they are stuck, in terms of development.” — Wafula Oguttu, Kampala, Uganda

“What puzzles me most is Africans’ failure to develop despite having resources. Facilities appear run down save for South Africa.” — Henry Ssali, Kampala, Uganda

“That a continent with so much potential and people who seem so much smarter than [other people in] so many places…seems so dire. Are we opportunists? Lazy? Or just buying time? Why do we have a “me and my stomach” mentality and not a “For God and my Country and Countrymen” one?” — Jackie Bageire, Texas, USA

“My answer is not about me but about [White] friends…who travel around Africa. What puzzles them is that the moment they meet any African, of whatever status (whether minister or beggar), the African automatically assumes that they (the Whites) are rich and tries to get the Whites to solve their financial problems…My friends say that this happens in all the countries they visit in Africa.” — Soogi Katende, Kampala, Uganda

“It is that laissez faire attitude.” — Sam Obbo, Kampala, Uganda

“What’s puzzling about Africans is their lack of perseverance in what they want to do, craze for easy life and free things, adoration of Whites and failure to work together.” — Norbert Mukasa, Kampala, Uganda

“The thing that puzzles me most is the naivety of people and the similarity of the life style amongst the common people. And everywhere you go the African elite pretend a lot and are corrupted very much. They tend to maximize their own benefit. Sometimes you can’t blame the [Whites] for doing the things they are doing to Africa because the people never wake up and those who are suppose[d] to understand what is going on…take advantage of the situation. So if you are never going to realize you are being cheated, they might as well rob you .That’s what puzzles me from the little I’ve seen and read.” — Nigist Tilahun, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

“I feel puzzled and angry that Africans are not able to pool their resources to their advantage. We seem to rely so much on foreigners to help us convert our resources into wealth. Look everywhere: if it is not the Europeans, it is the Indians or Lebanese at the centre of all enterprise. Africans are just employees earning a pittance. Maybe it is our leaders. Because look at Dubai, it is a monarchy but…that Emirate is ahead. Yet oil ranks number four on its list of [foreign exchange] earners.” — Moses Serugo, Kampala, Uganda

“For me the thing that puzzles me the most is the amazing level of natural resource endowment sitting side by side with the most nail-biting poverty. I am also puzzled by how many Africans cannot seem to see (or have they chosen to ignore) the obvious in how to get things done. Equally puzzling but no longer surprising is how politicians replicate problems from other countries in their own as if they have just come from another planet!” — John Bigyemano, Kampala, Uganda

“I am puzzled by poor people’s desire to cling onto life despite circumstances that would have dictated that they throw in the towel.” — James Mukanga, Kampala, Uganda

“Africans like throwing rubbish through car and bus windows. The sheer fact of almost all African cities having sprawling slums home to half their population!” – Martin Geria, Kampala, Uganda

“That we are so stoical. In a Mozambique hospital, four mothers sat quietly by a bed shared by their four children. Their silence seemed so wrong!” — Lilliane Barenzi, Kampala, Uganda

“Africans are inherently timid. Few believe in their own abilities.” — Eric Naigambi, Kampala, Uganda

The fact that blacks treat fellow blacks less than the Whites, i.e. you will take 20 minutes more at immigration than the Whites, regardless of whether you are travelling with a White guy. It’s everywhere, from the airline hostess, hotels, shops. Crazy world!” — Joseph Kwemala, Monrovia, Liberia

“The thing that puzzles me the most is how Africans think the world (their particular countries) owe them a living simply because they were born there. We get easily comfortable with what we have around us and never strive to achieve more. Bottom line: we hate hassle even if it means reaping in the end. Rather than climb up a mango tree and pick a mango, we would sit under the tree and wait for it to fall down. I wouldn’t really call that lazy. It’s more of being carefree.” — John Kimbe, Kampala, Uganda

“What puzzles me is why we Africans try so hard to emulate our colonial masters yet our masters mistreated us. Maybe that’s why we mistreat each other so much.” — Juliet Nsiima, Kigali, Rwanda

“The usual: the laidback attitude…all over the continent. Oh dear! Oh dear” — Franco Baitwa, Kampala, Uganda

“Most Africans are not sincere. [They] try to cheat you when [they] realise you are a visitor. Most Africans [are] disorganised in everything!” — Robert Mugagga, Kampala, Uganda

“The indifference of our rulers. They do not care. Even the enlightened and so much celebrated have lost direction. I’m turning 45 next February [2007]. All this time I’ve been around, nothing has changed about Africa. It is the same story. Poverty! I have resigned. I have lost hope.” — Martin Ssemakula, Kampala, Uganda

“Well, so many things in my mind. But I think our disorganisation frustrates me most. In a nutshell, Africans’ inability to think for the general good of [the] public is the most frustrating. Everyone thinks for himself and his own good, and that creates such confusion. I doubt we can ever have a collective voice. Find any unit [for example] a family and ask them how you can help them. All of a sudden they will disagree over everything and none will relent, even if it risks losing your help altogether. I cannot start telling you about how dirty and needlessly loud we are.” — Joseph Kabuleta, Kampala, Uganda

“How much culture has permeated the African’s psyche. Culture in Africa supersedes education and religion. Except the White South Africans perhaps. And the Algerians. Remember the Rumbek [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement meeting] minutes? The Col. Dr. [John Garang] was [espousing] brilliant strategy one minute, and then superstitious garbage the next. And it’s the same all over Africa.” — Amina Osman, Kampala, Uganda

“Knowing the right thing but spending time [and] resources trying to do things wrongly.” — Dan Kasirye, Nairobi, Kenya

“Taking people for granted. It’s rare for anyone to ask if it’s okay before they can make a decision that concerns man. Husbands, wives, kids, colleagues are all taken for granted.” — Irene Kiiza, Kampala, Uganda

“[L]ife dictators and senile presidents leading brilliant people” — Joseph Beyanga, Kampala, Uganda

“There is no escaping one thing. Wherever you go, Africans tend to live in desperate conditions. Socially, mentally, spiritually and economically. Exceptions of course exist, but generally, something is lacking. And this is what leads me to my most general observation, which can be summed up in one word – mediocrity. Poor, or rich — even filthy rich — I find that it all often rather too easy to attach that unflattering adjective to Africans.” — Moses Mwayle, Tokyo, Japan

“How they survive in harsh environments and still continue to smile.” — Pamela Batenga, Kampala, Uganda

“Their distinct lack of a curiosity about their origins and how they came to be where they are. Also, about their linguistic links to other Africans thousands of miles away. [Furthermore] the increasing loss of an age-old capacity to listen and engage in reasoned debate.” — Kalundi Robert Serumaga, Kampala, Uganda

“Africans seem helpless about their problems and even those who fought for independence…found it convenient to re-colonize us…afresh, as in, preferring to carry on the exploitation. Our voice was taken away and matters are not helped when we globalize and [our] part time thinking. Whites have to decide the how. Rwanda is lucky a whole generation did the exodus, giving way for a fresh start. Uganda’s wars have not dismantled colonial structures. So the vicious cycle.” — Ebony Quinto, Kampala, Uganda

“A typical African’s daylong struggle of the rat race survival on less than a dollar, barefooted, hungry, sweating, stressed, no health insurance, all diseased but pays all allegiance to the hoisting of the national flag and de-hoisting of the same flag, day in day out. The puzzling [thing] is that transformation stage from the subnormal state of mind, to the general population mindset, standing at attention [along] with everybody.” — Charles Kaijabwango, Kampala, Uganda

“Perhaps what puzzles me about myself and fellow Africans is the naïve faith that we have the bite to claim the same position as the West in terms of global positioning, should we bring our minds together. Or should I say that we very much claim [to be] Africanist yet deep in our hearts we [admire] everything western.” — James Tamale, Kampala, Uganda

“The thing that puzzles me about Africans is saying things they actually do not mean, the complete failure to correlate their minds with their speech, or conscious with what comes out of their mouths, makes me suspect quite a number of things about us and completely
perplexes me. It is so difficult to judge an African on the basis of what he tells you, or claims to stand for, and therein lies the problem of IQ tests and studies conducted in Africa that rely on surveys; in other words, the African purveys a high level of irrationality even where his own interests as a creature are concerned.” — Arthur Musinguzi, Washington DC, USA

“How we all see the problem and might know the solutions, but are not willing to work them out.” — Paul Amailuk, Melbourne, Australia

“What puzzles me about Africans is the uniformity in all the countries is poor time keeping, there is always the feeling that time is on their side. Despite the opinion that colonialism or the western culture has swept away the traditional African culture, I think that Africans still honour some of their customs, whether they are good or bad. The most puzzling [thing] is when they make the best of two cultures. For instance the priest who has an ancestral shrine at home, the Christian who still visits a witchdoctor’s shrine or keeps fetishes and talismans.” — Jan Annette Ajwang, Kampala, Uganda

“Africans (and Africa as an entity) always have much promise, but that’s always as far as it goes. It never materialises….A weird thing is that Africans use foreign definitions exclusively for almost everything of theirs….Many quirks, for certain. Too hospitable, yet ready to fight over a few paces of desert sand….There seems to always be some unseen Force doing its best to keep Africans at the lower rungs. If it’s not war, then bad economic policies. Not that? Try transport and communication. Not that? Something else, then. Always something. This is where I come close to believing that stuff about the curse.” — Revence Kalibwani, Entebbe, Uganda

“Copying what someone already has [created]. No originality.” — Bonnie Agea, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

“It’s our ordinariness.” — Nicholas Sengoba, Kampala, Uganda

“What puzzles me most about Africans is our lack of self esteem. We are happy to wallow in our own misery and to destroy all that is around us all the while blaming the colonialists who built the things that we are destroying. I am also disturbed by our low expectations of our leaders.” — David Mpanga, Kampala, Uganda

“Answer to your question: justification and rationalization of the absurd. Protecting the corrupt, stolen elections, land vs. cruisers, medicine versus text books, wife inheritance, female genital mutilation, lack of personal responsibility for actions in and out of home.” — Nafula Awori, Kampala, Uganda

“It is the way Africans perceive issues and fail to understand things in an African way and understand issues the western European way” — Abraham Emong, Kampala, Uganda

“Africans are intimidated [by] thinking. People do not want to think, they do not take time to think. The inability to plan and look ahead also puzzles me a lot. We have a lot of “smart” people who went to western universities and even lived there awhile but when they come back home you do not seem to see the difference. You would think that some of the western sharpness would rub against them but somehow this critical aspect of thinking eludes the African!” — Daniel Karibwije, Kigali, Rwanda

“Our speed (we seem to be trained to be slow). We take life slow not fast like elsewhere, so, poor time keeping.” — Benjamin Mpeirwe, Kampala, Uganda

“Their inferiority complex, the belief that we can not do as good a job as guys from the West, or that we can’t grasp concepts that they can.” — Ivan Musoke, Kampala, Uganda

“I am puzzled by the African’s hate of himself.” — Oscar Bamuhigire, Kampala, Uganda

“The refusal to pursue the road to success even where the road is tested. The reluctance to emulate others who have succeeded before them.” — Patrick Luganda, Kampala, Uganda

“Answering questions with questions, their unwillingness or inability to be meticulous, and their failure to keep time, most times. African time.” — Florence Kayemba, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

“Contentment with mediocre standards.” — Elias Biryabarema, Kampala, Uganda

“The fatalistic attitude that absolves the African from deciding his own destiny.” — George Okot, Kampala, Uganda

“It’s the way they laugh. Ugandans laugh so much, almost at everything for so long. I think I might be the one with no sense of humour!” — Beti O. Kamya, Kampala, Uganda

“Their lack of ambition” — Godfrey Kyedza, Kampala, Uganda

“For a reason that is not clear to me, we are so unfortunate…in many ways. And we are defeated psychologically already that we are [too] crippled to do anything, I mean even the thing we can do. We are brain-washed in a negative way…We think, me me me, from the top down. …We don’t think far…those of us who do, have a zillion obstacles…..in general, we are so unfortunate.” — Kidist Gebreselassie, Virginia, USA

“We have everything needed, resource wise, to develop into first world economies, but why do we still lag behind? Secondly it is obvious that the white man is intellectually superior to the African. What is the cause of this? Were we created that way by God? Isn’t there anything we can do improve our lot in terms of intellect?” — Anthony Apiku, Entebbe, Uganda

“Honestly, it’s one of those tough questions but I must say, unfortunately, we seldom pay attention to detail… It’s that folly of aversion to detail that confines many African countries to [a] never ending state of confusion…about silly mistakes, about not being inquisitive, about taking things for granted, about taking orders as givens.” — Moses Khisa, Calcutta, India

“With the exception of South Africa, the African countries I’ve visited are dirty, poor at keeping time (flights and so forth) and corrupt. In fact we Africans appear resigned to mediocrity if not failure. Poor governance is bafflingly apparent everywhere.” — Mark Namanya, Kampala, Uganda

“They all seem to take time for granted, who so and so dresses like this, marries the other, yet [make] no effort to stop what affects them like corruption, abusive leaders, environmental degradation etc. Even [in] Kenya [in 2008] it was a tribal question not a principal of good governance [or] democracy.” — Sarah Nsigaye, Kampala, Uganda

“Africans generally find it normal never to keep time. It puzzles and annoys me.” — Mariam Nakisekka, Kampala, Uganda

“The stark, shameless manifestation of boorish self-interest of African rulers we call ‘leaders’!” — FDR Gureme, Kampala, Uganda

“The lack of shared values. Some sacrifice, others are in church. Some are in Kololo [an upscale residential district of Kampala], others in hovels and huts…Chaos!” — Joseph Ntiro, Kampala, Uganda

“What strikes me most is that the African [is] puzzled about being African! Most answers point to what exactly makes an African: lazy, dirty, unserious, little interest in education, especially further education, no sense of time, etc. If that’s what makes an African, why do we want to change it? Why are we surprised or puzzled by this? I spent many years in Europe, living like a high middle class European but my instinct was always to get back to Africa to live like an African. An African will always get fed-up with keeping time all the time, with working so hard that every task is completed, with reading something constructive and educative everyday (other than gossip in the newspapers!). I did…and others are making that great decision of coming back to Africa right now, abandoning highly [sought after] lucrative jobs. Why? To live the African dream, and I mean dreaaaaam.” — John Katto, Kampala, Uganda

“Their [inability] to adapt, change, modify their life style. As in, you take a girl to Rome, you are dinning out and pasta is the norm for dinner and she asks for matoke. [a staple Ugandan dish made from the banana] We are unique!” — Denise Akii-Bua, United Kingdom

“I tell you what really puzzles me these days. Mugabe!  He’s still here!  He has single-handedly destroyed a prosperous nation.  He thinks printing more money will somehow solve the economic crisis. And, he almost won re-election! He took his sweet time announcing his defeat, and then promptly made it impossible to hold a re-run. What happened next?  He became president again! And the victor?  He became prime minister and widower to boot within a matter of months. And Mugabe’s peers?  They looked on sheepishly and made incoherent sounds about Zimbabweans being best placed to solve their internal problems.  Could this really be a true modern day story?  Regrettably, it’s an African one.” — Ebert Byenkya, Kampala, Uganda

“What puzzles me about Africans is deference without accountability. We defer to others based on wealth, office, social status and race without question…The other things are apathy and opportunism.” — Simon Sebaggala, London, United Kingdom

“Generally good people and too trusting. We do not ask questions even when they are necessary.” — Stephen Batanda, Kampala, Uganda

“[The] love for shortcuts to everything.” — Joel Isabirye, Kampala, Uganda

“I am puzzled by the very strange way we have failed to ‘sell’ and also uphold our values/knowledge/histories, geographies from within our ‘localities’ and so easily accept what others have thought of us.” — Ronald Muwambi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

“What puzzles me about Africans is the lack of humility and poor marketing skills. It puzzles me how Africans can brag even after they commit inhumane offences [against] people they are supposed to protect. African leaders are very good at this. About marketing, we Africans have lots of hidden talents and skills but we are very poor at showing that we are good at anything.” — Isaac Mutenyo, London, United Kingdom

“At this point, the fact that there is no end in sight for the suffering and no room for true democracy and so forth.” — Merawit Biadghlign, Seattle, USA

“What puzzles me about Africans is our lack of accountability. We are known for creating problems, but failing to own them.” — Sandra Luba, Los Angeles, USA

“[In Ethiopia and Zambia and other African countries]…It is the same disorganisation of management by crisis, where there is so much time to organise [events], moreover things that don’t cost money, but at the last minute [nothing has been done]” — Jude Kagoro, Kampala, Uganda

How Olara Otunnu Frustrated Tito Okello, Opened Way for NRA victory

Olara Otunnu

Dear editor thanks for good work I just want say some few words regarding Maruru. This double-faced man came to Arua with the late Brig. Gad Wilson Toko. The man looked very nervous even he could not smile in the meeting place.

No wonder this man was doing Museveni’s work. Even some of us wondered why General Tito Okello Lutwa had given him such job as he was from Western Uganda. We discussed it but Lutwa had wanted to bring the blood birth in the country which he paid the price.

You can remember when Toko was removed from the Nairobi peace talks of 1985. Toko had known all the tricks. He was very tough on M7, even he went to slap M7 for insisting on the useless issues.

Secondly, the fall of the Lutwa government should be attributed to the then Foreign Minister Olara Otunnu who was not happy with people from West Nile. These people even used to refuse to supply our UNLA soldiers with arms at Katonga bridge which made our boys to withdraw. It was not the defeat at all I can assure all Ugandans.

My brother was at the front line by that time. He told me all the details. He told me that they had defeated these NRA but the confusion was from Olara Otunnu which Toko himself told us in London when he was the treasurer of the West Nile Welfare Association in London. These are facts.

As today Ugandans are paying the price, Olara Otunnu should be responsible. Toko told us that Olara Otunnu thought that we wanted to bring Amin back to power which was not in our mind we just wanted to stop the madness in our beloved country only.

Aluma UK

Comment by Radio Katwe Management:- We have had to edit Aluma’s message because it was not clear. When you are writing such important Ugandan history, Aluma and others, we request that you please take time and explain things well because many Ugandans who read Radio Katwe today were small children at that time and cannot understand this history.

For those who don’t know, Olara Otunnu was the young man who was chosen by the Military Council of General Tito Okello to become Uganda’s foreign minister after the Obote II government was overthrown in 1985. Olara Otunnu is also a cousin of the late Tito Okello.

When Tito Okello overthrew Obote, he brought back many former Uganda Army soldiers who had served under Idi Amin and who after the 1979 Liberation war had fled to Sudan and Zaire.

These are the men who came to Kampala under Major Amin Onzi and others and we used to call them the “Anyanya” but there were also some Sudanese supporting Okello’s coup.

It is also important to know that the fact that Tito Okello an Acholi could bring back Amin’s men to work alongside him shows that maybe he knew that all along Amin’s army was not so murderous as we were told. We leave history to judge this matter.

Then the story of Brig. Toko slapping Museveni is true. Actually what happened was that during the peace talks, Museveni was behaving the way General Laurent Nkunda is behaving now in Congo whereby you agree to go for peace talks as a way of consolidating your military position and getting reinforcements.

Once you have reinforced, you come out and claim that the side you are negotiating with has violated the peace terms and so you are going back to fighting. President Joseph Kabila of the DRC it seems is too inexperienced to understand the way Museveni and his stooges like Nkunda and Kagame behave during peace talks.

This tactic was also used to weaken and eventually topple President Juvenal Habyarimana’s government. Apparently, Museveni taught his boys, because that is how the RPF to become strong and eventually to take power in Kigali.

But back to Toko, he stood up at one point during the talks and walked over to where Museveni was seated and slapped him badly, shouting ?Museveni, why are you fighting your wars in Uganda when you are not even a Ugandan?

Security had to rush in and cool Toko down. President Daniel arap Moi who was presiding over the talks ordered the media?s cameras to be taken and the film of Toko slapping Museveni to be destroyed. There was a media blackout on the incident and the NRA negotiating team demanded that Toko should be removed from the Tito Okello negotiating side as a condition to remain in the talks.

That is how Toko who was from West Nile and the Vice Chairman of the Military Council left the Nairobi peace talks and when Museveni took power, Toko refused to step in Uganda for many years.

Museveni used another man with West Nile blood, Col. Kahinda Otafiire, to try and convince Toko to return, which he did in 1993. When Museveni said at Kololo airstrip in 1993 Independence Day that Ugandans should never allow to hand power to swine, Toko was seated in the VIP stand behind Museveni and sources in Arua tell us that Museveni was aiming the statement at Brig. Toko.

When you see the Acholi fighting Museveni for many years and you see Joseph Kony persisting, it is because of this bitterness which Aluma is telling us about.

The UNLA had defeated Museveni militarily and up to now it hurts Museveni to admit that. The NRA took power in 1986 not because it was strong but because there was misunderstanding within the Military Council and within the UNLA at the time.

It is like how Sheffield United can take advantage of a defensive error within Arsenal and end up scoring a surprise goal although Arsenal is normally the stronger team.

You can see that Museveni has failed to defeat Kony. The Acholi had power in their hands in 1985 and they could have held it for a long time because they are very serious soldiers and brave. But it was defensive errors which cost them power.

That is also why Museveni maintains a huge PGB to guard him. He is still disturbed by the fact that he came to power through a defensive error by the Okello junta, not because his boys with their big hips were great commanders.

He also gained the civilian support and international media support by fighting a cynical war in Luwero whereby Museveni used the NRA to massacre civilians, blame the UNLA, and turn civilians against Obote.

This is how we should understand the Maruru story and Aluma’s letter responding to it.

Murchison Falls Captivates Canadians


Uganda is a beautiful country.” Sheila Walters, a Ugandan- born Canadian exclaims. To capture the country’s beauty in detail, she can not help overworking herself. Sheila and her husband Bryan in company of several Uganda tour operators are on a boat expedition on River Nile in Murchison Falls National Park. Though she is worn out with fatigue, Uganda’s beauty still overwhelms her.

Her lips are overworked. They have to pull on a cigarette, expel the smoke, laugh, and keep smiling at the same time. In addition, her lips also have to let out an occasional yell: “Ohhh Uganda is a beautiful, nice place. Sheila’s hands are busy. She grasps and steadies her camcorder as she records the copies wildlife along the river. Every time she gets a good shot, her body wobbles with excitement. We get nervous, lest she falls off the 25-horse power boat leisurely cruising along the river.

Bryan just concentrates on shooting still pictures using a pocket Nikon digital camera. Like his wife, he records hippos, buffaloes, elephants and crocodiles. The first crocodile amuses the Canadian couple. The massive crocodile has its mouth wide open. Flies enter its mouth at will. The boat moves closer to the gigantic reptile. The old creature does not move an inch. It seems as if it seem s as if it has not seen us. “Crocodiles can live beyond 100 years in captivity. Each crocodile uses 3,000 teeth in its life Span.” Our guide explains, his voice cracking through the evening breeze over the boat’s engine rev.

“Crocodiles can lay up to 80 eggs and if the temperatures during the incubation period are above 30 degrees centigrade, only males will be hatched. Females will be produced when the temperatures are lower,” the guide continues and the crocodile pretends to be listening. It opens its mouth wider and ‘listens.’ Sheila’s camcorder becomes busier. Bryan’s camera does the needful until Express Travel’s Tours consult Deo Lubega’s ancient Nikon F camera clicks.

Lubega is among a group of tours and travel agents who are in our group. His camera’s shutters crack and startle the huge crocodile. Frightened, the crocodile, in a slat second, dashes and dives into the water. It disappears for good. “Ooh, Uganda is such a beautiful country,” the honeymooning Sheila again cries out. By the time we hit the bottom of Murchison Falls, the Canadians are spell bound. “But why do some people say the place is not secure? Are there rebels in this park?” The overwhelmed couple asks. “No,” everybody answers. At night, October 19, the excited Canadians buy drinks for every member of our group.

Early the following day, after a peaceful and comfortable night at Paraa Safari Lodge, the game drive adventure kicks off at 7:00am. Luck is on our side. Our guide spots a leopard perched up on a tree. The shy predator disappears before any body can take its photo. A few moments later, we come across another leopard. It is gracefully resting on a tree branch and looks defiant. It shares with its eyes as sharp as our cameras’ focus on its body. The Canadians have no words. They just take as many shots as they can. It is at this moment that Lubega runs out of film. After a couple of minutes, daring Sheila gets out of the Paraa Safari Lodge four-wheel drive vehicle to get a better view of the spotted beast. The beautiful creature, with glowing eyes, does not like her movements. It dashes down as if it is going to pounce on her. As a result of her reflex action, she finds herself back in the vehicle, in her seat.

Sightseeing at Murchison Falls The savannah landscape teems with giraffes. They peep at the vehicle with pride. They seem to be in no hurry. They hesitate to leave the middle of the road. As the vehicle approaches, they majestically and gracefully move away occasionally turning their long necks to peek at their visitors. They move with poise, similar to that of Ziper models on the catwalk. The interesting drive continues.

We count our selves lucky again after sighting a male lion stalking some kobs. We get closer. The lion ignores us. We close the gap to about 15 metres, the lion just yawns. I save the last hunt for breakfast. They just run away. We stare, least aware that we are next to their head-a no nonsense old aggressive lion called Abraham. We have now got used to harmless lions.

We drive closer. It is a mistake. Abraham is far from friendly. He roars and licks his tongue. We ignore him to our peril. Not being used to such arrogance from man, Abraham roars again. The earth shakes. Before we know what he is up to, he charges towards the vehicle. We drop on our seats from atop the vehicle roof, shaking with fear. As we become terrified, one of Abraham’s wives’ emerges from a nearby shrub. She has three cubs. The cubs and their mother run away as cameras turn in their direction. The driver follows in a leisurely pursuit. The animals increase their pace we give up.

Sighting two leopards and eight lions in one hour is the best luck a tourist can ever get. We call it a day.” It is because you came with us. We have brought luck from Canada.” Bryan and Sheila joke. Later, when we move close to elephants which surprisingly become friendly, the Canadian honeymooners make up their mind: “When we get children, we will bring them here. I was born in Uganda when Idi Amin expelled Indians,” Sheila who married fireman Bryan on June 15 last year says. Paraa Safari Lodge sponsored the trip to Murchison falls National Park. The hotel management occasionally takes officials from various tour and travel agencies on such trips to create awareness about the safety of the park.

Sheila and Bryan were tourists who happened to move with us. Most tourists from the US and UK are wary of visiting the place because the travel advisories from their respective embassies have blacklisted the park as unsafe. The UPDF spokesman Major Shaban Bantariza says those who say the park is insecure are speculating. “We chased the terrorists from Zambia swamp in Apac District near the park to Aswa County Far Away. We have deployed two battalions in the park. It is safe,” he says. Paraa Safari Lodge has also slashed their rates by 50% to promote domestic tourism during the current off peak season. Bed and breakfast at the up market lodge now goes for $45 while full board accommodation for two is $105.

The park also runs a special bus to the park at a rate of $20 per a one-way trip from Kampala. Alternatively visitors can fly to the area for $85 per person for a one-way trip.

Uganda Budget 2006/07 Scraps Taxes on Condoms & Cooking gas


Budget speech Financial Year 2006/07 Theme: Enhancing Economic Growth and Households Incomes through Increased Production and Productivity. Delivered at the meeting of the 1st session of the 8th Parliament of Uganda at the Parliament Buildings on Thursday, 15th June, 2006 by Honourable Dr. Ezra Suruma, Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development

PRELIMINARIES Your Excellency the President, Mr. Speaker Sir, Honourable Members of Parliament, 1) I beg to move that Parliament resolves itself into a Committee of Supply for the consideration and approval of:
a) The Revised Revenue and Expenditure Estimates for the financial year 2005/2006; and b) The Proposals for the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the financial year 2006/2007.
2) Mr. Speaker Sir, Article 155(1) of the Constitution provides that the President shall cause preparation and lay before Parliament estimates of revenue and expenditure for each financial year. I am accordingly performing this duty on behalf of the President.

INTRODUCTION 3) Mr Speaker Sir, permit me to start by congratulating His Excellency the President and the National Resistance Movement Party for the resounding victory in the just concluded elections under a multiparty dispensation. I also congratulate you and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament on the double victory of your re-election as Members of Parliament and Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively. In the same spirit, permit me to congratulate all Members of the 8th Parliament for their victory in the first multi-party elections over several years.

Objectives of the Financial Year 2006/07 Budget 4)The budget I am presenting today is a statement of the revenues that Government expects to collect in the financial year 2006/07 and how it plans to allocate these revenues as Government pursues its economic development vision. It also gives a report on what has been achieved in the previous financial year.

5)The theme for this year’s budget is ‘Enhancing Economic Growth and Households Incomes through Increased Production and Productivity’. In line with this theme the budget has three major objectives:
(i) To stimulate the economic growth and development
(ii) To provide resources for basic public goods and services
(iii) To promote and maintain macroeconomic stability.

6) In order to ensure that the budget priorities provide tangible benefits to the people, the interventions being proposed will provide opportunities for enhancement of both self and wage employment, and remove constraints to labour productivity. Priority has been given to interventions that will stimulate different sectors of the economy to contribute to employment, income generation and growth.

7) Mr. Speaker, in financial year 2006/07 we will deepen the strategy for economic growth in order to increase household incomes and reduce the prevalence and depth of poverty among our people. We will continue to provide resources for public goods and services such as security, law and order, scientific research, education, health and other important social programmes.

8) Government will also maintain its renowned emphasis on economic stability, which is critical for the attainment of economic growth and development. Economic stability will be assured through the containment of inflation and the maintenance of public confidence in an orderly market-based economy.

9) Mr. Speaker Sir, before elaborating the strategic priority actions aimed at achieving the objectives I have just spelt out, allow me to report to this august House the performance of the economy in the past financial year.


Economic Performance and Forecast Growth
10) Preliminary estimates by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics show a slowdown in economic growth in financial year 2005/06. Real Gross Domestic Product at market prices is estimated to have grown by 5.3 percent this financial year, compared to 6.6 percent in financial year 2004/05. The estimated growth of 5.3 percent for financial year 2005/06 is slightly higher than earlier projections of 4.9 percent. In nominal terms, Gross Domestic Product at market prices is estimated to amount to sh17,014b, up from sh15,156 b. Taking into account our population of 26.9m, this amounts to Gross Domestic Product per capita of Shs 632,000, compared to about sh580,000 in financial year 2004/05. In real terms, Gross Domestic Product at market prices is estimated to amount to sh11,949b, up from sh11,353b in financial year 2004/05.

11) The slowdown in growth is largely attributed to two domestic shocks; the prolonged drought, which affected agriculture production, and the reduction in hydro electricity generation capacity at Jinja, which resulted in major load shedding in the second half of the year. This has resulted in a decline in two major sectors of the economy, namely agriculture and manufacturing, which has meant heavier reliance on service and construction for growth in financial year 2005/06.

12) Real Gross Domestic Product at market prices is projected to grow by 5.9 percent in financial year 2006/07. This would be an improvement on 2005/06 but still below our target of 7.0 percent. Provided the economy does not suffer another drought, production of both food crops and cash crops is expected to improve, which would raise overall agricultural growth to 3.4 percent. Growth in industry is expected to recover to 7.6 percent, although formal manufacturing output will not rebound strongly until the second half of the year when additional thermal generation is expected to come on board. Growth in services is expected to remain strong at about 7 percent.

Agriculture 13) The prolonged drought, which severely affected large parts of East Africa, has had a major impact on agricultural production in financial year 2005/06. The estimated growth rate of the whole sector, 0.4 percent, is the lowest annual growth rate in agriculture since financial year 1991/92. Monetary and non-monetary food crops, which together comprise two-thirds of agriculture value added output, grew by a mere 0.3 percent. This poor performance in the food crop sector was exacerbated by a decline in cash crops of 7.4 percent. Cotton production fell from 250,000 bales in financial year 2004/05 to only 100,000 bales in financial year 2005/06, as a result of drought and low farm gate prices in the previous season. Tobacco production also fell significantly, owing to difficulties in contract negotiation between buyers and farmers. The present trend of a declining growth rate in agricultural production is not only a cause of widening income and asset inequality and an immediate obstacle to poverty reduction but also a constraint to sustainable and broad-based development of the non-farm sectors of the economy.

Industry 14) Mr. Speaker Sir, the impact of the energy crisis is yet to be fully known, since data on industrial output for the second half of this financial year are not yet available. However, it is estimated that growth in industry has declined from 10.8 percent in financial year 2004/05 to a disappointing 4.5 percent in financial year 2005/06. Hardest hit is the formal manufacturing sector, where growth has fallen sharply from 13.5 percent to -3.5 percent. Most manufacturers have either been forced to reduce production, revert to 24-hour shift work patterns or use diesel generators, which has increased their costs of production. The only sub-sector within industry that performed well was the monetary construction sector, which registered growth above 10 percent for the fifth consecutive year.

Services 15) Growth in road transport, telecommunications and financial services remained strong, while impressive performance was also registered in the hotels and restaurants and air and support services sectors. The telecommunications sector has been the fastest growing sub-sector in the economy, with the number of mobile phone subscribers passing the 1.5 million mark in December 2005.

Investment 16) Investment is projected to increase to 24.6 percent of GDP in financial year 2005/06, of which private investment is projected to increase by over three percentage points to 19.6 percent. Our rate of domestic savings, although still low, is expected to rise by just over a percentage point to 9.1 percent of GDP. This is welcome progress towards greater sustainability in our domestic economy. A large share of domestic and external savings is being channelled into commercial and residential construction. The challenge is to attract these savings into more productive investment such as plant and machinery. The share of private construction in Gross Domestic Product has steadily increased from 8.8 percent in financial year 2000/01 to 15.0 percent in financial year 2005/06, accounting for almost the entire rise in private investment.

17) Foreign direct investment is estimated to have increased by US$15m in financial year 2005/06 to US$261m or 2.8 percent of Gross Domestic Product. This compares favourably to less than US$50m in the early 1990s.

Exports 18) Total export earnings of goods and services are expected to grow by 10 percent in financial year 2005/06 and exceed US $1.3 billion. Much of this growth is due to an improvement in world coffee prices and increased fish volumes and unit prices. The unit price index of goods exports, which weights movements in all goods export prices, is estimated to have improved by 17.4 percent. In contrast, despite increased fish volumes, the goods export volume index is estimated to have declined by about 5.0 percent compared to last fiscal year, due to lower export volumes for coffee, cotton and tobacco.

Inflation 19) Mr. Speaker Sir, the average rate of underlying inflation over the first 11 months of financial year 2005/06 was 5.3 percent, slightly higher than our target of 5.0 percent. One of the major price pressures during the year has been the continued rise in world oil prices, which has fed through to increases in petrol pump prices and transport fares relative to the previous year. However, Bank of Uganda has once again been successful in containing these inflationary pressures and underlying inflation now stands at 4.4 percent, down from 6.4 percent in July 2005.

Monetary Developments
20) Mr. Speaker Sir, performance under the monetary program was good. Consistent with the broad macroeconomic objectives for the year, the Bank of Uganda maintained a tight and cautious monetary policy stance. Consequently, the March 2006 target for base money growth was met. The banking sector remained healthy with the ratio of non-performing assets to total advances remaining very low at less than three percent as of March 2006.

21) In financial year 2006/07, the Bank of Uganda will continue to pursue monetary, financial and exchange rate policies aimed at ensuring continued monetary and financial stability, which is conducive to growth and investment.

Exchange Rate Developments 22) Bank of Uganda continued with a flexible exchange rate policy in financial year 2005/06, with occasional intervention to smooth volatilities. The shilling experienced depreciation pressures against the US dollar in the first four months of this financial year, with the average exchange rate depreciating by 6.8 percent from sh1,738 in June 2005 to sh1,857 in October 2005. For the remainder of the financial year, the exchange rate has remained relatively stable.

Interest Rate Developments 23) By April 2006, the effective yields on the 91-day, 182-day, and 364-day Treasury bills averaged 7.9 percent, 8.4 percent and 10.0 percent respectively, which are lower than the rates in the same period last year. Similarly, rates on Government bonds fell relative to last year. For example the yield on the three-year bond fell from 15.5 percent in June 2005 to 13.5 percent in March 2006. It is anticipated that the Government’s comprehensive strategy for domestic debt management will help to determine the optimal mix of securities issuance and enable the reduction of interest costs.

24) The commercial banks’ weighted average lending rates were fairly stable over most of the financial year. However they remained high due to the following factors: (i) the large size of government’s fiscal deficit which gives commercial banks the option to invest in risk-free Government securities rather than lend to the private sector (ii) the perceived high risk of lending to the private sector due to both the structure of the economy with a large agricultural base and absence of a credit reference bureau (iii) lack of competition and dynamism among commercial banks who are content to service stable ‘niche’ market segments; and (iv) high operating costs from modernisation, expanding outreach and the low income base of customers.

Private Sector Credit 25) Credit to the private sector from the banking system is estimated to have increased by 14.6 percent between June 2005 and March 2006. Trade and other services continued to take up the largest share of commercial-bank credit as at end March 2006, with a share of 60.2 percent of total credit, followed by manufacturing and agriculture at 18.5 and 10.1 percent respectively.

Micro Finance
26) During financial year 2005/06, three additional Microfinance Deposit-Taking Institutions (MDIs) were licensed under the Microfinance Deposit-Taking Act 2003, taking the total number to four. The newly licensed MDIs are PRIDE Microfinance Limited, Uganda Microfinance Limited and Uganda Finance Trust Limited. Combining the performance of all four MDIs, both customer deposits and consequently credit available for lending grew strongly in the year.

27) In a bid to further bolster the level of savings mobilisation and investment among the poor, Government adopted the strategy this financial year of supporting member-used and member-owned financial institutions, commonly referred to as Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisations (SACCOs). The objective has been to assist communities to start and operate these institutions for financial service delivery at the sub-county and subsequently at the parish level.

Medium and Long Term Financing

28) Mr. Speaker Sir, with respect to medium and long-term financing, Government is currently restructuring Uganda Development Bank as a source of longer-term credit, which is not currently available from commercial banks. Once the restructuring is complete, this will present a good opportunity for Government to place an Industrial Fund for private sector development in UDB, which can be managed transparently, with clear criteria for access and eligibility. In addition, Government will identify long-term lines of credit, such as the European Investment Bank Apex loan scheme, which can be channelled through UDB to viable productive sectors of the economy. To date, a sum of Euro 90.4 million has been disbursed to private investors under Apex I, II, III and IV, and a further Euro 19.6million is still available for lending.

29) The Government has continued to consolidate its participation in regional integration activities with the objective of facilitating trade and investment in the East African Community. During this financial year, the convertibility of the three East African Community currencies has increased substantially. Attempts are also underway to implement the East African cross-border payments system. Furthermore, in an effort to ensure financial sector stability in the region, the three East African Community Central banks have adopted risk-based supervision which will strengthen the financial sector and help mobilise and channel resources to productive sectors.

Fiscal Performance
Revenue performance
30) Mr. Speaker Sir, in light of the lower than projected economic growth this financial year, domestic revenue has performed below target. Total domestic revenue is expected to amount to sh 2,242b, compared to the budgeted level of sh2,281b. This under-performance is on account of shortfalls in both tax revenue and non-tax revenue collections from line ministries and other Government departments.

Expenditure Performance 31) In this financial year, sh2,685b was released, excluding donor financed projects. Releases to the Poverty Action Fund amounted to sh886b, resulting in a pro-rata performance of 98.2 percent. The overall performance demonstrated continued prudent and effective fiscal management.

32) Mr. Speaker Sir, in FY 2005/06, the Agricultural Sector focu+-sed on providing advisory services to farmers through the continued roll out of the National Agricultural Advisory Service (NAADS). NAADS was rolled out to 8 new districts of Gulu, Kaberamaido, Kasese, Kotido, Mubende, Nebbi, Ntungamo and Sembabule. This brings the total national coverage of NAADS to 344 sub-counties and 37 Districts.

33) Emphasis was also placed on the control of livestock vector and disease outbreaks. The sector carried out extensive vaccination of animals, and plant pest and disease outbreaks were controlled. Two trial mobile plant clinics were tested in the districts of Mukono and Mbale, while three were operational in Soroti, Iganga and Mukono in collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations.

Lands, Environment and Natural Resources 34) Mr. Speaker Sir, during financial year 2005/06 a draft Land Registration and Titles Amendment Act was prepared to support land ownership rights and 16,000 hectares were purchased using the Land Fund.

35) The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) enhanced the capacity of districts to manage the environment. In collaboration with NGOs, NEMA also developed draft sample guidelines for mainstreaming environmental management into development planning at the local government level. During financial year 2006/07 Government will ensure sustainable use of natural resources through strengthening the National Forest Authority and the Forest Inspection Division to enable effective mobilization of the District Forest Services and communities in sustainable forest management.

36) With respect to meteorology, civil works for installing automatic weather stations commenced and the Tororo Meteorological station was renovated. In the next financial year, national meteorological services will be improved by equipping the centre with facilities and personnel to monitor and forecast changes in the weather and climate to enable more effective utilization of climate information for agriculture.

Tourism Development
37) Mr. Speaker Sir, over a ten-year period from 1995 to 2004, indications are that international tourist arrivals have increased and consequently earnings from the tourism sector.

38) The overall drive in the tourism sector during financial year 2006/07 will be to provide strategic financial and policy interventions, create sustainable tourism infrastructure, and gain more access to the tourist source markets in Africa, Middle East and Eastern Asia. In addition, emphasis will continue to be placed on strong and reliable security for tourists.

Mineral Development 39) Mr. Speaker Sir, mineral wealth can support Uganda’s national economic and social development and poverty reduction goals. During financial year 2005/06, efforts were made to stimulate the development of the mineral sector by designing systems for Geological Information, Documentation and Environmental Management.

40) Government also continued efforts to explore the crude petroleum resources in Western Uganda. Exploration wells were drilled in Mputa and Waraga sites and in both instances crude petroleum was discovered. The quality has been confirmed and efforts are underway to determine the commercial viability of the sites.

41) Road infrastructure, which provides for over 90 percent of passenger and cargo traffic, comprises 10,800 kilometres of national (trunk) roads, 27,500 kilometres of district roads, 4,300 kilometres of urban roads and approximately 30,000kilometres of community roads. The Government has committed substantial funds to road improvement (mainly national roads) under the Road Sector Development Programme. During the financial year 2005/06, Government completed the upgrading of the following national roads, Kagamba –Rukungiri and Gayaza – Kalagi. In addition to these, a total of 554kilometres of the following national roads are currently at various stages of upgrading/rehabilitation; Karuma – Olwiyo, Olwiyo – Pakwach, Fort Portal – Hima, Hima – Kasese –Kikorongo and Kasese –Kilembe, Kikorongo – Katunguru and Equator road, Busunju-Kiboga, Kiboga – Hoima, Kafu – Masindi and the Kampala Northern By-pass.

Waterways 42) The Kalangala ship was commissioned on 26th January 2006. This ship is providing an efficient, safe and affordable transport between the Ssese Islands and the mainland.

43) Mr. Speaker Sir, in financial year 2006/07 Government will survey navigable routes and landing sites on Lake Victoria, design and rehabilitate Nakiwogo and Lutoboka landing sites on Lake Victoria and undertake economic studies of landing infrastructure on the Albert, Kyoga, George and Bunyonyi Lakes.

Air Transport 44) Over the last five years international passenger traffic passing through Entebbe has increased substantially. Exports of fresh agricultural produce have also increased remarkably.

45) Mr. Speaker Sir, in financial year 2006/7 government will capitalise the Civil Aviation Authority in order to enable it undertake crucial investments to maintain regional and international standards. The Authority’s medium term development programme will be implemented in order to upgrade facilities to meet the demand in growth and foster regional competitiveness. Some of these facilities will also be crucial for facilitating the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2007.

46) Mr. Speaker Sir, a national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy and strategy will be implemented with the aim of increasing usage of ICT in the economy. In order to ensure efficient service delivery at both the centre and local government levels, an E-government Strategy and Master Plan will be developed in the medium term. The newly created Ministry of Communications and Information and Communication Technology will spearhead interventions in this sector.

Privatisation and Utility Reform
47) Mr. Speaker Sir, Government remains committed to broad based private sector led growth of the economy, through reform and privatisation of the parastatal sector. As at the end of April 2006, 128 divestitures had been completed using various modes of privatisation. Twenty-four public enterprises are in various stages of divestiture. Kinyara Sugar Works and the Dairy Corporation are in advanced stages of divesture while the Mandela Stadium Concession, Stanbic Bank and National Insurance Corporation Initial Public Offerings will be completed in financial year 2006/07.

48) In financial year 2005/06, in order to enhance performance primary teachers salaries were increased from Shs 125,000 to Shs 150,000. To enhance teacher education, construction of libraries in 16 Non-core Primary Teachers Colleges was undertaken.

49) In a bid to enhance equitable access to public universities during financial year 2005/06, 896 students were admitted through the district quota system; 40 students were admitted due to special talent and 64 special needs students were admitted as people with special needs. To increase access to higher education, Government has set up a management committee to kick-start a public university in Eastern Uganda. It is expected that the university will open its gate to students in academic year 2008/09.

50) Mr. Speaker Sir, during financial year 2005/06, the health sector performance in reproductive and health immunisation was satisfactory. Mr. Speaker Sir, the ‘couple years of protection’, a measure of effectiveness of family planning, increased by 10 percent due to improved availability of contraceptives and intensification of outreaches. The DPT3/Pentavalent coverage of 89 percent performed above the target of 85 percent. Sub-National Immunization Days (SNIDs) were implemented in the 15 high-risk districts of Northern Uganda, following isolation of the wild polio virus in southern Sudan in 2004.

51) In respect of HIV/AIDS, a national sero-survey showed that prevalence has increased from 6.1 percent five years ago to 7.1 percent. This calls for scaling up of interventions to reduce HIV/AIDS prevalence especially among vulnerable groups.

Water and Sanitation
52) Mr. Speaker Sir, the major priority for the sector is the provision and proper management of safe water and sanitation facilities and the provision of water for production. Water coverage in rural areas increased from 61.3 percent in June 2005 to 63.4 percent by June 2006. The sector completed the construction of 6 water systems in Hoima, Mubende, Bujenje, Bwijanga, Kyatiri and Aduku. Construction of water systems are on going in 13 towns of Iganga, Mityana, Mpigi, Kigumba, Apac, Pakwach, Nebbi, Soroti, Kaberamido, Sironko, Sembebule, Nagongera, and Kangumbira.

53) In the large towns operated by National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), service coverage improved from 67 percent in June 2005 to 70 percent in June 2006. The Unaccounted for Water (UfW) indicator reduced from 33.8 percent in June 2005 to 29.3 percent by June 2006 and new water connections increased from approximately 22,000 in FY 2004/05 to about 28,000 in FY 2005/06 due to a new customer-friendly connection policy.

54) Mr. Speaker Sir, with respect to water for production, a total of 9 new valley tanks were constructed in Sembabule district during financial year 2005/06. Two windmill powered abstraction systems for watering facilities were also installed in the Karamoja region and the rehabilitation of Kailong dam was carried out.

55) For financial year 2006/07, about 4,600 new water point sources and almost 2,000 rainwater tanks will be constructed in the rural areas. This will target the poor and un-served villages and parishes. In order to improve hygiene and sanitation, up to 10 percent of the district water grant should be earmarked for this purpose. New piped water and sanitation schemes will be provided to small towns, in particular to district headquarters, these include: Soroti, Kaberamido, Sironko, Iganga, Mpigi, Mityana, Kigumba, Apac, Packwach, Nebbi and Kamwenge. Government will also construct 3 new sewerage systems and drill 86 production wells and 150 boreholes for hand pumps.

56) Government will expand the water production capacity in Kampala and Entebbe to meet the increasing water demand. In addition 28,000 new water connections and 270 new sewerage connections will be provided country-wide.

57) Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to highlight the resource envelope available for financing government programmes in financial year 2006/07.

58) Mr. Speaker Sir, the total amount of resources available in financial year 2006/07 is estimated at Shs 4,255 billion, representing an increase of 18 percent on financial year 2005/06. Approximately 59 percent of the budget in financial year 2006/07 is projected to be financed by domestic revenues, whilst the balance will be provided through the support of our donor partners. This represents a slight decline on the current financial year, when 60 percent of the budget is estimated to have been financed by domestic resources. The widening of the deficit, from 8.6 percent in financial year 2005/06 to 9.2 percent in financial year 2006/07, is a reflection of the urgent need to provide a short-term solution to the energy crisis. Interest payments and domestic arrears repayments are expected to amount to Shs 408 billion in financial year 2006/07. This means that Shs 3,847 billion will be available to support economic and social development.

59) Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to now turn to the strategic priority actions for financial year 2006/07. The strategic priorities identified will support the attainment of Government objectives as embedded in the National Resistance Movement Manifesto of 2006.
The Manifesto recognises the need to improve production and productivity, encourage value addition, provide social services that are critical to economic growth, and provide security and uphold the rule of law.

Resources will therefore be provided for the implementation of these strategic priority actions which must be accorded preference in light of limited resources.

60) Mr. Speaker Sir, Honourable Members will undoubtedly be aware of a number of sectors which require increased resources in order to accelerate the economic growth, social progress and stability of the country. Let me cite the specific priority actions which require the most urgent attention:
1. Investing in the Energy Sector to deal with the energy crisis; 2. Rural Development and Support to Urban Poor
3. Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Northern Uganda;
4. Industrial Development
5. Support to Scientists
6. Development and Maintenance of Transportation Infrastructure
7. Defence and National Security
8. Justice, Law & Order; and
9. Investment in Social Sectors.
61) Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to elaborate the actions Government will be undertaking in these areas.

Investment in Energy Development
62) Mr. Speaker Sir, the prolonged drought reduced effective generation capacity at the Kiira and Nalubaale hydropower stations from 180MW to 135MW at the beginning of this year.
Coupled with increased demand for energy arising from economic growth over the years, this has created a severe power shortage. The current shortfall in electricity supply at peak periods amounts to almost 200 MW. Development of immediate energy generating capacity sources to address this gap is therefore a critical focus of the financial year 2006/07 Budget.

63) Key actions that Government will undertake beginning in financial year 2006/07 are as follows:-
a) immediate procurement of additional thermal power capacity of 100 MW to deal with the current crisis and
b) establishment of the energy fund to finance the development of Bujagali and Karuma hydro power projects in partnership with the private sector.

64) Government has allocated an extra sh70b to thermal generation in addition to the deferral of loan repayments to Government from the electricity generation, transmission and distribution companies amounting to sh33b per year. This will contribute towards subsidising the cost of thermal energy generation. While the recent increase in tariffs will meet some of this cost, revenues from tariffs cannot by themselves cover the high cost of thermal power generation.

65) Government is also allocating Shs 99 billion to the Energy Fund, which will be ring-fenced for dam construction only. The newly created Energy Fund will be set up in the Bank of Uganda and will only be used for investment and not for routine recurrent expenditures. Government, using the Energy Fund, will develop the larger hydropower generation facilities at Bujagali and Karuma with the private sector in order to address the power crises in the long term. Government is also encouraging the development of smaller hydropower options. A total of 235 rural electrification schemes have been accomplished all over the country since 2001.

66) Further actions to improve efficiency in energy use and demand are being implemented through importation of 500,000 energy saving bulbs, and support will be given to consumers installing solar lighting and water heating systems.

67) Mr. Speaker Sir, the principal target of the rural electrification programme in financial year 2006/07 and the medium term is to link more of the district headquarters and the productive areas to the main grid. The productive areas, which will enhance exports, include landing sites, tea and wet coffee processing centres.

Rural Development and Supporting the Urban Poor
68) Rural development remains a central tenet of Government’s socio-economic development strategy over the medium term as 20 million Ugandans live in rural areas where 98 percent of the population depend on agriculture. Agricultural output has been growing slower than anticipated since financial year 1998/99 leading to lower overall GDP growth performance, with a percentage growth of only 0.4 percent in 2005/06 as compared to 4.6 percent in 2000/01. The crop sub-sector in particular continues to perform poorly and faces an increasingly high incidence of diseases (coffee and banana wilt) as well as animal diseases.
There is widespread food insecurity in areas affected by conflict in north and north-eastern Uganda resulting in high malnutrition. In other parts of Uganda, protein-energy mal-nutrition, and child stunting remains a serious concern.

69) Mr. Speaker Sir, to address these concerns, the financial year 2006/07 Budget will focus on raising the incomes of the 4 million households through the following actions a) Improve agricultural productivity and production
b) Improve marketing and trade
c) Increase access to rural financial services (RFS)
d) Establish a Community Information System (CIS) to monitor progress

70) These strategic actions will be focused on the needs of the household using the sub-county as the operational center for delivery of the respective programmes. The financial year 2006/07 Budget will empower the sub-county and its structures to carry out the development role. The Strategy will be implemented by deliberately engaging more households in gainful production enterprise by re-orienting the role of sub-county chiefs and production personnel at the Sub-county level to undertake community mobilisation. I have allocated Shs 9 billion for the rural development activities.

71) All Sub-county chiefs will receive training to transform them into change agents who will be responsible for showing households what the viable commodities to produce are. The Sub county chiefs will also coordinate their activities with Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisations (SACCOs) to provide the necessary credit to households and cooperatives. The key personnel at the Sub-county will facilitate the formation of SACCOs to deepen micro finance activities, and the collection of community information statistics.

72) Mr Speaker Sir, the Integrated Support to Farmers Groups and NAADS will be re-focused to support this initiative. NAADS and other on-going extension projects will be deepened with an emphasis on targeting the poor and linking more effectively with the National Agricultural Research System. NAADS will be rolled out to cover 517 sub-counties in 65 districts, up from 344 sub-counties in 37 districts in financial year 2005/06. A target of approximately 39,000 farmers groups will be supported in financial year 2006/07, rising from 20,000 farmer groups supported in financial year 2005/06. An additional Shs 10 billion has been provided to NAADS for the roll-out.
Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Northern Uganda
73) Northern Uganda continues to have the highest incidence of poverty due to the persistent insecurity over many years. With renewed peace and security, the financial year 2006/07 budget has prioritised the implementation of the Northern Uganda Recovery and Development Plan which is being developed. For financial year 2006/07 I have allocated Shs 18 billion for resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons, post-conflict recovery and development of Northern Uganda.
Industrial Development 74) Mr. Speaker Sir, energy shortages and inadequate transport infrastructure translate into high costs of production and consequently affect the competitiveness of Uganda’s products. In financial year 2006/07, Government’s interventions in the industrial and infrastructure sectors are all geared towards addressing these constraints and thereby supporting private sector development. In the industrial sector, the country will focus on export-oriented investments by establishing Economic Processing Zones that support agro-zoning and processing.

75) Mr. Speaker Sir, Government will therefore complete and begin implementation of the National Industrialisation Policy. The Namanve Industrial Park and other spatial schemes have been prioritised for completion. Government has allocated Shs 5 billion for the development of the park and a credit of US$30m has been obtained from the World Bank for its completion. This project will be actively pursued in financial year 2006/07.
76) Standards and capacity for quality assurance will also be improved by enhancing the capacity of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards. This will include the accreditation of laboratories for standard development and implementation, and quality assurances; continuing Product certification and monitoring of all imports on the mandatory list at all entry points.

98) Mr Speaker Sir, the budgetary proposals of the following Self- Accounting Bodies have been submitted in compliance with Article 155(2) of the Constitution. 1)Courts of Judicature
2)Electoral Commission
3)Inspectorate of Government
4Parliamentary Commission
5)Uganda Law Reform Commission
6)Uganda Human Rights Commission
7)Uganda Aids Commission
8)National Planning Authority
99)In accordance with Article 155(3) of the Constitution, government has made recommendations on them. I hereby lay both the budgetary proposals and the recommendations of Government before this August House, as required by the Constitution.
100) In order for me to submit a fully-financed National Budget for your consideration in accordance with Article 155(1) of the Constitution, the budget provisions of these Self-Accounting bodies are in accordance with the resource envelope conveyed to them in the course of budget preparation, including the presentation of the National Budget Framework Paper to Parliament, in accordance with the Budget Act 2001.
SCHEDULE OF INDEBTEDNESS 101)Mr. Speaker Sir, in accordance with the provision of Section 13 (1) and (2) of the Budget Act 2001, I hereby lay before the House the Statement on: (i)Government’s total external indebtedness as at 31 March, 2006; and (ii)the grants that Government received during financial year 2005/06. 102)With respect to Section 13 (3) of the same Act, Government guaranteed a loan of $5.5m to Uganda Development Bank Limited during financial year 2005/2006. 103)Details of the utilisation and the performance of each loan and grant, including the extent of the achievement of the objectives and targets, will be provided in the policy statements of the ministries and departments which received the loans and grants as well as in our poverty monitoring and assessment reports.

REVENUE AND TAX MEASURES FOR FY 2006/07 Revenue Outlook for Financial Year 2006/07 104)The provisional URA revenue outturn for financial year 2005/06 is sh2,212.6b against a target of sh2,230.2b. The shortfall of sh18b is attributed to the current power crisis, which slowed down growth and reduced business profitability. Total domestic revenue collections for financial year 2006/07 are projected at sh sh2,566.8b of which URA collections are projected at sh2,524.9b and non Uganda Revenue Authority revenue at sh41.9b. Revenue collections include new measures that will raise sh50.5b. 105) Mr. Speaker Sir, may I now turn to a few vital tax issues for the financial year 2006/07 Budget. The full details are contained in the amendments to the tax laws.

Incentives to Capital Markets
106)Mr. Speaker Sir, I am proposing to reduce withholding tax on dividends distributed by companies listed on the stock exchange from 15% to 10% and exempt the income of the investor compensation fund. This measure is to encourage savings, promote capital markets and harmonise the withholding tax rates on dividends within the East African Community.

Value Added Tax
Exempt supplies

107) Mr. Speaker Sir, I am proposing to exempt Value Added Tax on Liquid Petrol Gas (LPG) to increase its affordability given its use as an alternate source for lighting and cooking.

Exempt and Zero-rated VAT Schedules
108) Mr. Speaker Sir, I am proposing to exempt Value Added Tax on contraceptives sheaths and acaricides to promote the use of condoms in the fight against HIV/AIDS and to promote animal husbandry, respectively.

Income Tax
Withholding Tax

109) Mr. Speaker Sir, the Government withholds 6% on payment for goods and services of sh1m or more from suppliers but there is no legal requirement for private companies to do so.
I am therefore proposing to widen the scope of withholding agents to include beer manufacturers, soft drinks bottlers, banks, petroleum, telecommunication, insurance, and construction companies. However, the 6% withholding tax will not apply to suppliers whose tax affairs are up to date. This measure is expected to generate sh6.4b.

Withholding tax as a final tax on Treasury Bills
110) Mr. Speaker Sir, I am proposing to introduce a final withholding tax of 15% on gross interest received from purchases of Government securities. This measure is expected to generate sh13.2b.

Excise Duties
111)Mr. Speaker Sir, I am proposing the following changes in the excise duty regime: i)Increase duty on non-malt beer from 20% to 30%. This policy is expected to generate sh4.3b. ii)Impose a 10% duty on bottled water. This measure is expected to generate sh1.7b. iii)Impose a specific rate of sh500 per 50-kilogramme bag of cement. This measure is expected to generate sh7.6b. iv)Impose 5% duty on landlines and public pay phones. This is expected to generate sh2.9b.

Environmentally hazardous used goods
112)Mr. Speaker Sir, in the June 2004 Budget Speech, I announced that Government would initiate measures to minimise importation of used goods. I am therefore proposing to introduce a 10% environmental levy on motor vehicles, excluding goods vehicles, aged eight years and above, and a specific rate of between sh20,000 and sh50,000 on household appliances. This measure is expected to generate sh4.6b.

Traffic Fees and Licences 113)Mr. Speaker Sir, I am proposing to increase traffic fees and licences on motor vehicles other than commercial ones, upwards by 5%. The measure is expected to generate sh3.3b.

Tax Administration
114)Mr. Speaker Sir, I intend to press ahead with the reforms in URA to strengthen its performance to ensure improved services to taxpayers, encourage compliance and deter evasion through quality audits.

Non-Tax Revenues
115)I am proposing that rates of Non Tax Revenues collected by the ministries be revised upwards by an average of 20%. This measure will generate sh5.2b.

Work Permits
116)Mr. Speaker Sir, I am proposing to increase fees on work permits for foreign employees from sh135,000 to $1,000. This measure is expected to generate sh2.4b.
East African Community Issues
117)The implementation of the East African Customs Union (EACU), which commenced on 1st February 2005, is progressing well. In accordance with the Program for the Elimination of Internal Tariffs, the duty imposed on selected goods from Kenya has been reduced from 10% to 8%.
118)Mr. Speaker Sir, pre-budget consultations of East African Community Ministers of Finance in Arusha reviewed the implementation of the Customs Union Common External Tarrif. Accordingly, a number of changes to the Common External Tariff were proposed. One of the most outstanding proposals was to exempt from import duty energy saving appliances in response to the current power crisis.
119)Mr. Speaker Sir, all these measures announced will take effect from July 1, 2006.

Tax Expenditure
120) Mr. Speaker Sir, pursuant to Article 152 Clause (2) of the Constitution, I wish to report that from July 1, 2005 to date I did not exercise powers conferred by any law to waive or vary a tax.
However, Government paid taxes amounting to sh18.65b for hotel developers, higher level education institutions, Non-governmental organisations and some enterprises. The details of this are laid before this august House.

Arrears on Government Procurement
121) Mr. Speaker Sir, Government has accumulated a tax liability to the tune of about sh120b arising from commitments to pay tax on donor-funded NGO projects. The tax arrears are a result of budgetary constraints and failure of Ministries to honor their obligations. I am therefore proposing to write off the tax arrears except PAYE and withholding taxes. I am also instituting a new tax payment mechanism to be managed by the Accountant General and Bank of Uganda.

Double Tax Agreements 122) Mr. Speaker Sir, Government of Uganda and the Government of the Kingdom of Netherlands concluded an agreement for the elimination of double taxation agreement and the prevention of fiscal evasion.
The purpose of this agreement is to reduce tax impediments to cross border trade and investment and assisting tax administration in information sharing. The Government of the Kingdom of Netherlands finalized the ratification process.
The Government of Uganda is required, under the Ratification of Treaties Act, to table to Cabinet for approval and lay it before Parliament.
I am laying before you the agreement for ratification in accordance with the Act.

123) Mr. Speaker Sir, the financial year 2006/07 budget is providing resources for the implementation of the manifesto of the NRM government. The vision of this government is that households should have the minimum income to meet their basic needs of life. We hope to achieve this by transforming households that live in traditional subsistence production into modern farmers.
This vision will be achieved through the implementation of the budget interventions such as those I have presented today.
124) Mr. Speaker Sir, as we come out of the energy crisis and as our resource base grows, we shall be able to increase the allocations to improve the conditions of the poor by increasing and improving employment opportunities for all. Because Bonna bagaggawale means bonna bakole. Incomes for all means employment for all.
125) The preparation of this budget has been particularly challenging as the funding constraint for the financial year 2006/07 has been much more severe than in previous years on account of the need to deal with the energy crisis and its impact on the economy. Government has had to make hard choices in allocating resources to high priority areas and identifying efficiency savings in non-priority areas to fund these expenditure priorities. I believe that these choices will maximise national welfare. They will focus expenditure on the strategic priorities necessary for accelerating economic growth and development in Uganda.
126) Mr. Speaker Sir and Honourable Members, I highly commend this budget to you and I beg to move.

Opoka With LRA Because Kony Is Hotter Than Ssemo


Is the heavily bearded man appearing with Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebels in the bush in a recent photo captured and released by the UPDF James Opoka or not? Do not even argue about it. It is Opoka, former personal assistant to exiled presidential candidate and Movement National Political Commissar Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye.

President Yoweri Museveni fired the first shots some months ago when he alleged that Besigye seemed to have links to Kony rebels because his aide Opoka was with them in the bush. Later the accusations became more rampant, with the post-election organisation Reform Agenda of which Besigye is chairman, being linked to Kony. President Museveni, in all fairness, however acknowledged that most supporters and members of the Reform Agenda were not in favour of armed rebellion and wouldn’t know if their leaders had links to Kony rebels.

If there is anyone who should know this, it is Museveni. Given Ugandan politics over the last 36 years, and MuseveniÕs own history, that is a necessary condition for success. When Museveni himself took to the bush in February 1981 after the UPC stole the December 1980 elections, even his political comrades in the Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) didn’t know about it.

However, the big argument about whether the man in the photograph is Opoka or not is a petty issue and misses the big, and tragic, picture. To appreciate the problem let us look at two scenarios. Rebels of the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) in the west sowed Kony-type terror until they were contained at the end of 2000. However, when one of its top military leaders, Commander Benz, gave himself up and then “defected” to the UPDF side, he was warmly welcomed.

The UPDF milked Benz to score political points. If Opoka tomorrow denounced Besigye, and defected, would he appear in court and be sent to Luzira, or be taken to Nile Hotel and given a Benz?

It is in that question that we must begin tracing the road that leads people like Opoka to Kony.

Assume Opoka had chosen to be in a group photo with pacifist Democratic Party leader Dr. Paul Ssemogerere and other party members, would the government Ð or any editor for that matter Ð have been interested enough in the photo to publish it? No. Certainly no. This is because Ssemogerere is not a military leader. For that reason, Opoka would not go to him. Nor would government have been interested in that link.

The gun culture, or what the more intellectually inclined call “militarism”, is so entrenched in Uganda today, you are only taken seriously if you are a potential rebel, a rebel, an ex-rebel, government soldier, or UPDF general. After the 1996 presidential elections in which Ssemogerere was the main challenger to Museveni, the president heaped so much insult on the DP leader and said he had been a “traitor” because he resigned as deputy premier and minister without informing him in advance, and that he would “never have anything to do with him”. Museveni has expressed stronger feelings against Kony for sure, but while, albeit reluctantly, he has set up a government delegation to talk to Kony, he is less likely to send someone even as lowly as the State House messenger to talk to Ssemogerere about working together.

Besigye, on the other hand, is a colonel. And he is alleged to have links with dissident UPDF officers, lieutenant colonels Samson Mande and Anthony Kyakabale, who are believed to have raised a force waiting in exile.

One can expect that since free political party activity has been ruled out by the Constitution and the Political Organisations Act (POA), and the Police continue to crack down hard on even opposition seminars, the civil option will remain discredited in Ugandan politics. Meanwhile the logic of militarism requires that anyone who is armed be talked to, and therefore people will call on Kony. If by some miracle the LRA survives, and the allegations that there is another rebellion being planned turn out to be true and serious, then Kony’s negotiating position could improve and the Kampala government might actually make him some offers he can’t refuse.

In all this, the politics of the Ssemogereres is being marginalised.

For parties like DP and UPC to be relevant today, they canÕt talk about their agenda Ð like multipartyism or election reform. They are relevant only if they talk about the issues of the militarists or brought up by them: ending the war in the north; appealing for the displaced people to be helped, for the government and the LRA to end the war by talking, and their leaders have to look around for peace prayers to attend.

Right now there is a big Movement programme underway for its leaders that will include military training for government ministers and LC-V chairpersons in Kyankwanzi, and eventually all LC officials.

If they were being taken to the UMI to do courses in IT and micro-finance management, then perhaps the Opokas would be going to the Kennedy School of Government in order to have more competitive ideas.

But in a country where the leadership improvement course is learning to disassemble, assemble, and shoot a gun, itÕs not surprising that a desperate opposition will go to KonyÕs camps for tutorship.

That is the sad reality of the Opoka-LRA photo: Democratic politics in Uganda is all but dead. The rebels and soldiers have won.

Uganda Celebrates the 23rd World Tourism Day in Style


On 1st September 2002, as part of the events leading to World Tourism day, major corporates in Uganda joined the tourism fraternity in a fundraising drive for Rhino Fund Uganda. Nile River Explorers organized this as the first ever-rafting competition in conjunction with Nile Breweries.

This was an add on to the 62sq km land in Nakasongola donated by Africa Ones’ Director Capt Roy; for a breeding project for both black & white Rhinos to be brought into Uganda. Other organizations that made contributions were UNDP, International Rhino Fund – IRF, Dutch organizations in addition to the 10 million Uganda shillings that was raised on the day of the race.

The race covered a stretch of approximately 5Km starting below the Kiira dam wall ending at Bujagali Falls. Competing companied included Pearl of Africa Tours & travel, Barclays Bank Uganda, Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Rainbow International School, Trasami, Ambroseli International School, B.A.T (U) Ltd, New vision, Semliki Lodge & Safaris and the Madhivani Group.

Secondly, we had the mountain / forest biking festival in Mabira Forest Ecotourism Project on 7th September. This was organized by Forest Department of Uganda in conjunction with Uganda Mountain Biking Association and proudly sponsored by Road Master Cycles (U) Ltd, Nile Breweries, Adrift, Rwenzori Beverages Co., Mama mia’s Restaurant, Italbike and Colline Hotel.

A Ugandan gentleman who went away with a brand new Mountain Bike won the Men’s 52km race. Whereas, the women’s event of 26km was won by a Dutch lady who bagged another Mt.Bike courtesy of Road Master Cycles (U) Ltd. The other activities of the day were a children’s short race of 13 years and under plus the treasure hunt, obstacle course and long pull.

On the 27th September 2002, the world celebrated the World Tourism Day under the theme ”Eco tourism, the key to Sustainable development.” Uganda joined the rest of the world and the main celebration was held at the Nile Hotel Upper Gardens after a match past led by the Minister of State for Tourism Hon. Jovino A. Akaki from the Centenary Park to Nile Hotel. Also present were stakeholders in the tourism industry, Primary Schools, University & College Students.

This year’s 6th Domestic Tourism Exhibition organized by Uganda Tourist Board as another activity in commemoration of the 23rd World Tourism Day attracted 45 exhibitors surpassing the number of exhibitors in the previous years. In his opening remarks the Minister for Tourism, Trade & Industry Professor Edward Rugumayo thanked all the people involved in the tourism business and encouraged the young the people to be aware of the environment and conserve what it has for sustainable development. To increase the level of participation of the local people, he urged Ugandans to get to know what their country has to offer for tourism and be part of the consumers of the tourism product. This will in away increase the volume of tourist traffic in the country.

The General Manager Uganda Tourist Baord Mr. James Bahinguza closed the 3 day Domestic Tourism Exhibition on 29th Sept 2002; awards were also given to the best exhibitors who had excelled in various aspects of presentation in relation to this year’s theme. The lucky winners were:-
1. First Prize: Uganda Community Tourism Association – UCOTA.
2. Second Prize: Marasa Holdings Ltd (Mweya & Paraa Lodges).
3. Third Prize: Rwenzori Mountaineering Services Kasese – RMS.
Present to entertain the guests and exhibitors were traditional dancers from Tebifanana Abifuna cultural group; who presented traditional music, dance and drama.

Miss Tourism Africa Viviene Waithira Maina also graced the celebrations during the ” The African Harvest Food Festival” held at Nile Hotel Upper Gardens. The food festival had full support from the Kenya High Commission – Kampala and the Tanzanian High Commission – Kampala. A Variety of African dishes from Madagascar, Tunisia, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Congo, Malawi were served to mention but a few.

The Rt Hon. First Deputy Prime Minister Eriya Kategaya was the Chief Guest during the African Food Festival that attracted 250 Guests including 15 Dutch tourists from Holland that were on a Uganda tour for 2 weeks. Other dignitaries included Members of Parliament, Members of the Diplomatic Corp, the Minister of Tourism, Trade & Industry, Chairman of Uganda Tourist Board,Director Tourism, Trade & Industry and members from the Tourism Private Sector.

Tiner School of Design & Beauty entertained the guests with a cultural catwalk, Ndere Troupe with cultural dances representative of the different tribes of Uganda, Racheal Magola also presented a song stressing Uganda’s endowment.

Uganda the Pearl of Africa had celebrations in other districts and towns like Entebbe town. Here the celebrations were spearheaded by His. Worship The Mayor of Entebbe town. Uganda Wildlife Education Center that is an animal orphanage offered free entrance to all men in Uganda.

Mr Waigo John Paul, Administrative Manager, UTB with MIss Tourism Africa, Viviene Waithira Maina.

Entebbe Sailing Club hosted the 2 day Fishing Competition held on 28th / 29th Sept respectively. With a record catch of Nile Perch fish weighing 26Kgs, 23Kgs and 18Kgs.


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