Col. Shaban Bantariza buried in full military honors despite being succumbed to COVID-19

Former Deputy Director for the Uganda Media Centre and deputy government spokesperson Col. Shaban Bantariza has been laid to rest.

Col. Bantariza who breathed his last on Tuesday at Mulago Hospital was buried at his ancestral home in Kagorogoro, Mitooma District on Thursday morning.

His burial ceremony was attended by top government officials, top officers in the Uganda People’s Defence Force and in the ruling National Resistance.

A few friends were also allowed to attend the burial but numbers were limited so as to observe social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid19, a disease which claimed Bantariza’s life.

According to government spokesperson who was also Bantariza’s boss Ofwono Opondo, the falled Colonel was accorded full military honors.

“Col. Shaban Bantariza has been buried in full military honours with a 24-Gun Salute. Each of the eight firing parties shot three bullets in a calibrated pattern,” Opondo who was present at the burial posted on his social media.

Bantariza joined the army in 1985 and served it in various capacities until when he retired in 2015.

Batanzira was born in Mitooma District in Uganda’s Western Region, circa 1963. He attended St. Leo’s College, Kyegobe, in Fort Portal, Kabarole District for his O-Level studies. He then joined the Catholic brotherhood, where he trained as an elementary school teacher.

While pursuing a course at Makerere University in 1985, he abandoned his studies and joined the National Resistance Army, led by Yoweri Museveni. He attended guerrilla bootcamp in the Kabarore area, in foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains.

 He also attended and graduated from the Uganda Senior Command and Staff College, having studied the senior command course offered annually at the college.

Bantariza served as the UPDF spokesperson from 2000 to 2002 and from 2003 to 2006.[8] For a period of time, prior to February 2009, Batanzira, at the rank of lieutenant colonel, served as the commander of the Oliver Tambo Leadership School,[9] in Kaweweta, Nakaseke District, in Uganda’s Central Region.[10] On 26 February 2009, he was appointed commandant of the National Leadership Institute (NALI), in Kyankwanzi, Kyankwanzi District.

He served in that capacity until he was relieved of his duties on 7 October 2011.

In June 2013, he was appointed as Deputy Executive Director of the National Media Centre. On 2 July 2013, at the rank of colonel, he was arrested, charged with embezzlement and remanded to Makindye Military prison by the General Court Martial on charges of alleged fraud.

 After proceedings that lasted nearly three years, the Court Martial, chaired by Major General Levi Karuhanga, acquitted Colonel Bantariza due to lack of evidence against him, on 14 April 2015.

On 24 June 2015, following his acquittal by the general court martial, he resumed work at the Uganda Media Centre, the president of Uganda having directed in writing that Bantariza resumes work.

Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital threatened by increasing number of patients

People lining up at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital as they enter to seek health services (Photo/Courtesy)

Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH) Director Dr. Celestine Barigye is calling on health workers at lower health units in Ankole sub region to focus on treating people before referring them to the regional referral hospital.

Dr. Barigye while addressing the media on Wednesday said the hospital has since increased the number of patients at the hospital since the occurrence of COVID-19 pandemic in the country which has increased much pressure on the hospital workers yet they are managing patients of coronavirus.

“The challenge we have is that we have too many patients, they come from all over the places and like today really, the whole gates were full,” Dr Barigye said

He said the health workers at lower health units need to put in more efforts and help patients with cases manageable at their units other than sending them to referral.

“I encourage the health workers at the lower levels to do their work not refer everybody to this hospital because the numbers are really big, unexpectedly high but they are telling us that somewhere in the lower health units they are not being helped therefore the only rescue is this hospital so we need to work, the health workers who are there put on your masks and work on your patients. Do not just sit there and chase them from your gate, work on these patients.’’ Dr Barigye said.

According to him, Mbarara regional referral hospital currently has about 500 patients admitted and yet they usually have about 350 patients on admission which stretches the health workers at the unit.

“Now we have about 500 patients who slept here last night, usually we are in the range of 350 patients so you see that is how we get to know it. Our outpatient will vary because like when we have other clinics running, they are many and they can even reach 200 patients in a day but now they are about 250.”

Dr Barigye said there is need to expand health services in the region so that people can be able to get services at every level “the hospital should have expanded long ago because expansion is relative. You know you can expand Mbarara as Mbarara they do not only expand this one, they usually expand even those other satellite health centers to feed into this one so when you expand only this one, you can never have enough space to carry everyone in this region.”

He added, “relatively everyone has to expand because we know that our population is growing and actually, we need to get more space for expansion.”

MRRH Principal Administrator Peter Okello Odeke said due to the increased number, the hospital has gone ahead to restrict attendants to two by giving them tags to show that they are the recognized attendants.

“Because of the numbers increasing, we have gone ahead and given helpers who always come with patients tags to ensure that a limited number of two attendants is allowed in the hospital to reduce on congestion,” Mr Odeke said.

Mr Odeke said the increased number of patients affect their budget as a hospital yet the other lower units should have worked on the patients.

Mbarara district health Officer Dr. Peter Ssebutinde said MRRH serves 13 districts of greater Ankole including Mbarara city which puts a lot of pressure on the referral as people keep referring themselves to get special services.

“What we have to remember is that MRRH serves the 13 districts of greater Ankole and most people are self-referral. People make a choice instead of going to a health center IV where they will not have a blood transfusion and they know the mothers are at risk of bleeding so they quickly come to a place where they will get a better service, the regional referral hospital is overwhelmed but we need now to know exactly what is missing in lower facilities and help them get equipped,” Dr. Ssebutinde said.

Dr Ssebutinde said “Mbarara, in particular, we have done our best, we have improved infrastructure, we have constructed health structure in Rubaaya, we have done that in Bubaare, in Kashare, we are going to do the same for Kakongi in the coming financial year and then we have built capacity human resources ranging from the Doctors, Nurses, Midwives and all that so we have done our part.”

Dr Ssebutinde contends that the government needs to focus on the region in terms of health care to improve service delivery other than focusing only on one district. ‘’Mbarara is one of the 13 districts that make up Ankole region and when Mbarara alone improves and the rest of the 12 are not improving at the same pace, definitely there will be overwhelming numbers for the regional referral hospital.”

Dr Ssebutinde said the region can only improve when all the districts are involved ‘’so moving forward we need to make efforts to improve the region holistically. You look at not individual districts but you look at the greater Ankole region and make efforts to improve the region, make all the general hospitals functioning at the level of a general hospital, if it is a health center IV let it function at the level of a health center IV and that should happen across the region and that will give a good picture of the region.”

Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital has had 21 cumulative admission of Covid-19 and 13 patients have since been discharged while 8 patients bare still admitted receiving treatment.

Chemutai named Chief Registrar in new judiciary transfers

The Chief Justice, Bart Magunda Katureebe, has appointed the Registrar High Court, Mr. Tom Chemutai, Judiciary’s Acting Chief Registrar following the recent elevation of the incumbent, Ms Esta Nambayo, as High Court Judge.

The Chief Justice has similarly appointed Assistant Registrar (Inspectorate), Mr. Karemani Jamson Karemera, as Judiciary’s Public Relations Officer in the place of Mr. Vincent Emmy Mugabo, who was also appointed High Court Judge.

The appointments have come hand-in-hand with the transfers of 37 judicial officers who are being moved from one station to another in the interest of better service delivery in the Courts of Judicature.

Wrote the Chief Justice: “Following the appointment of Her Worship Esta Nambayo as Judge of the High Court, the Judicial Service Commission, under Article 147(1) of the Constitution and Regulation 19 of the Judicial Service Commission Regulations 2007/2005 has considered to appoint you as Acting Chief Registrar for the Judiciary pending its next recruitment programme from mid-January 2020.”

He also said he had appointed Mr. Karemani PRO, “in line with the Judiciary’s Strategic Plan to enhance and sustain information sharing and communication on the institution. Mr. Karemani will handle the assignment alongside his normal duties as Assistant Registrar.

While transferring the 37 judicial officers, who include Deputy Registrars, Assistant Registrars, Chief Magistrates, Magistrates Grade One and Magistrates Grade Two, the outgoing Chief Registrar, Ms Nambayo, said the transfers would be effective January 1, 2020.

She said the changes were in a bid to improve service delivery in the courts.

“Some of the transfers are meant to fill the gaps created by the elevation of some Judicial Officers as well as routine transfers aimed at promoting better relations between the Judiciary and stakeholders especially with the JLOS community and district authorities.”

Tom Chemutai; He is a career Judicial Officer who started out as Magistrate Grade One in 1995 at Kisoro Magistrates Court. Between 2001 and 2003, he served as Personal Assistant to then Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki and he was thereafter appointed Chief Magistrate (2004-2010). In 2010, Mr. Chemutai was appointed Deputy Registrar and his first posting was at Mbarara High Court. He later went on to work at the Judicial Training Institute, Criminal Division and later the Executions and Bailiffs Division.

In 2014, President Yoweri Museveni appointed him full Registrar and was immediately deployed to the Supreme Court. He has been for the past one year, serving as the Registrar High Court. Mr. Chemutai holds a Masters in Law from Makerere University specializing in Criminal Law. His Bachelor’s degree is from the same institution and has post graduate diploma in legal practice from Law Development Centre. Mr. Chemutai has held several leadership positions including Council Member, Secretary General – East African Magistrates and Judges Association as well as Council Member of Uganda Judicial Officers Association.

Karemani Jamson Karemera: He started out as a Legal Officer at the Legal Aid Project of Uganda Law Society in 1996 before crossing over to the Judiciary as Magistrate Grade One in 2000. In 2010, he was appointed Chief Magistrate and his first posting was in Kitgum. He was assigned Ag. Assistant Registrar, Criminal Division a docket he handled between 2014 and 2015. He was thereafter sent to Buganda Road and later Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court as Chief Magistrate. In 2018, he was appointed Assistant Registrar and was posted to the Inspectorate of Courts, a position he holds to date.

Mr. Karemani has served as Deputy Treasurer, Treasurer East African Magistrates and Judges Association. He has served as Publicity Secretary for the Rotary Club of Kitgum and for the last seven years represents Chief Magistrates on the Judiciary Performance Enhancement Committee. He represents the Judiciary on the Committee of Strengthening Access to Justice for Children in East Africa.

Govt confirms to lose 5 properties in Kenya

Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance explaining to the House (Photo/Courtesy).

 The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has confirmed that Uganda is on the verge of losing five properties in Kenya with their leases expiring soon.

The government’s revelation is contained in a report on the status of the properties in Kenya under the management of Uganda Property Holdings Limited (UPHL) after MPs rejected Government statement on the commemoration of 20years of the East African Community (EAC).

The statement read in part, “Save for five (5) properties which ore left with 5-6 years, all the other properties have more than 20 years left of their lease term. All the properties under the management of UPHL are safe, property rates for them are fully paid to the relevant authorities on time and there are no legal issues or cases involving the same.”

Government also revealed that the threw in doubt the chance to have the properties revert back to Uganda after the enactment by Kenya government in 2016, The Land Laws (Amendment) Act, 2016 which amended the Kenya Land Act, 2002 with Section 47 and Section 49 (13) which are likely to affect Uganda’s operations in Kenya.

Section 47 restrains an individual who is not o Kenyan citizen, a government of a country other than Kenya or a political subdivision of a country other than Kenya or an agency of such a country from owning land that is within a radius of 25 kilometers from the inland national boundary or within the first and second-tier from the high watermark of the Indian Ocean.

Section 49(13) prohibits non-Kenyan citizens or Governments other than Kenya to apply for a renewal of the lease. Foreign governments, individuals or companies do not have a right to renew on an expired lease.

When the Ministry of Finance sought the opinion of the Attorney General William Byaruhanga, regarding the new law in Kenya, the Attorney General opined that Kenya is a sovereign State with on unhindered right of self-determination under international law.

He added that Section 47 of the Kenyan Land Amendment Act does not entirely prevent ineligible persons; foreigners or foreign governments from acquiring interests in controlled land.

He said that the amendment simply and only requires that transactions in controlled land can only proceed with prior written approval of the Cabinet Secretary and that in considering on application for approval, the Cabinet Secretory must seek approval of the relevant authorities.

Byaruhanga also argued that under common law jurisdictions (including Uganda and Kenya), non-citizens cannot own land in perpetuity but can obtain leasehold interest, the maximum term, therefore, being 99 years.

He argued that the above provision is acceptable, fair and in order and there is no need for Uganda to contest the provision as discriminatory.

UPHL owns twenty-three (23) properties in Kenya-Mombasa and the properties are owned on leasehold terms and currently have running leases. Of the above mentioned 23 properties, 11 are warehouses; one is a car park, 2 office blocks, 3 commercial blocks, 4 residential houses, and two yards.

The Ministry revealed that all the properties in Mombasa are developed, have running leases and also are being rented out of competitive rates in Mombasa and that all the properties are titled and UPHL is in custody of the Certificate of Titles with no title mortgaged and that the company has no single loan from any bank.

FUFA president Justus Mugisha to grace the 2019 UBSA University Beach Soccer Championship

The 9th edition of the university beach soccer championship 2019 scheduled for this Saturday 26th October at Lido Beach Resort Entebbe with more than 16 universities confirmed participation.

This championship started 9 years ago in 2011 with inaugural tournament won by Multitech Business School .

The championship has been consistently organised and attracted a good number of universities across the country.

St . Lawrence university are the defending champions after beating the Nkumba university in the finals of 8th edition last year.

As the country prepare to host Afcon 2020 Beach Soccer finals , such elite championship helps the technical team of Uganda sand cranes and league clubs to have a variety of choices as they select players to strengthen their squads and for the national duty.

Remember, Uganda is to take part in the 3rd edition of Copa Dar es salaam international beach soccer tournament from 20th to 26th , December 2019 . So this university championship will also provide an opportunity for the head coach Mr. Salim Jamal Muwonge and team.

Teams are expected to arrive at Lido Beach Resort Entebbe by 10:00am tomorrow to undergo the player verification exercise to weed out non students.
This tournament is strictly for university students .

Any institution that will will be caught fielding non students will be severely handled as per the rules and regulations of this championship.

This championship is organised in line with Association of Uganda University Sports ( AUUS ) and Federation of Uganda Football Associations .

The guest of honour is the acting Fufa President Mr . Justus Mugisha .
Teams are kindly encouraged to keep time and carry along the players documents for verification.

The previous winners of this Beach Soccer Competition include;
2011- MultitechBusinessSchool
2012- BishopStuartUniversity , Mbarara
2013- St . Lawrenceuniversity
2014- Mubs
2015- Mubs
2016- Nkumbauniversity
2017- Nkumbauniversity
2018- St . Lawrenceuniversity
2019——————-???

Boris Johnson to try for 12 December election

Boris Johnson has said he will give MPs more time to debate his Brexit deal, but only if they agree to a 12 December general election.

The prime minister told the BBC he expected the EU to grant an extension to his 31 October deadline, even though he “really” did not want one.

He urged Labour to back an election in a vote he plans to hold next week.

EU leaders are expected to give their verdict on delaying Brexit for up to three months, on Friday.

Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told MPs the government would on Monday table a motion calling for a general election.

Shadow leader of the House Valerie Vaz said Labour would back an election “once no-deal is ruled out and if the extension allows”.

Labour would offer the PM its support for a “proper timetable” for the Brexit bill to allow MPs to scrutinise and amend it, she added.

In a letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Johnson says his “preferred option” is a short Brexit postponement “say to 15 or 30 November”.

In that case, he writes, he will try to get his deal through Parliament again, with Labour’s support.

The prime minister adds that he “assumes” Mr Corbyn “will cooperate with me to get our new Brexit deal ratified, so we leave with a new deal rather than no deal”.

If, as widely expected, the EU’s Brexit delay is to the end of January, Mr Johnson says he will hold a Commons vote next week on a 12 December election.

If Labour agrees to this, the government says it will try to get its deal through before Parliament is dissolved for the campaign on 6 November.

The prime minister told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg: “I’m afraid it looks as though our EU friends are going to respond to Parliament’s request by having an extension, which I really don’t want at all.

“So, the way to get this done, the way to get Brexit done, is, I think, to be reasonable with Parliament and say if they genuinely want more time to study this excellent deal, they can have it but they have to agree to a general election on 12 December.”

Asked what he would do if Labour refused to vote for an election, he said: “We would campaign day after day for the people of this country to be released from subjection to a Parliament that has outlived its usefulness.”

The prime minister has repeatedly insisted the UK will leave the EU on 31 October, with or without a deal.

But he was forced to send a letter to the EU requesting an extension, under legislation passed by MPs last month.

MPs voted on Tuesday to back the first stage of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, putting the deal the PM agreed with Brussels into law – but rejected Mr Johnson’s plan to push it through the Commons in three days.

The BBC’s Europe editor Katya Adler says EU leaders are set to decide on Friday whether to grant the UK a three-month Brexit extension.

Most EU nations back it but France “is digging its heels in”, she adds.

So there could be an emergency summit in Brussels on Monday to allow leaders to reach agreement face-to-face.

President Macron favours a short, sharp Brexit delay, encouraging MPs and the UK government to concentrate on ratifying the newly negotiated Brexit deal.

Mr Macron is fed up with the more-than-three-year EU focus on Brexit and the ever-present threat of a no-deal scenario.

He would rather shift attention to reforming the EU itself, to the benefit (he believes) of the countries remaining in it.

Landslide killed two P7 candidates in Kasese.

Residents of Kyambarwa village, Mahango Sub-county in Kasese District are in grief following a mudslide that on Monday 14th October 2019 killed two girls who were set to sit their Primary Leaving Examinations.

A rock is said to have hit the house where Winnie Biira, 18, and Patience Kabugo, 15, were sleeping and killed them instantly.

Two other family members survived narrowly. The incident came following heavy downpour in the area.

The Mahango Sub County chairperson, Mr Eric Maathe Muhasa, told journalists the mud gave way following a heavy downpour that started at 6:00am and lasted for more than five hours.

Mr Bakahania Baluku, the father to the deceased, said says the incident happened at about 6:00am but the news spread later at around 9:30am because it was raining heavily.

“We could not make an alarm because no one would have heard due to the heavy rain,” he said.

Nyamutidi Baluku, a neighbour who rushed to the scene shortly after hearing an alarm says it was impossible to save the girls as they were already buried under the rubble. However, the search and rescue mission is still ongoing.

In June this year, landslides hit the same region leaving over 100 people homeless after the landslides destroyed houses, crops, household items and killed livestock.

SC Villa beat Wakiso Giants 2-0 Namboole.

Uganda Premier League
SC Villa 2-0 Wakiso Giants FC
Mandela National Stadium, Namboole
Wednesday, 09-19-2019.

SC Villa continued their fine start to the season with a 2-0 win against Wakiso Giants on Wednesday night.

After a goalless first half, Amir Kakomo and David Owori scored in the second period to ensure victory for the record league champions.

This is Villa’s 4th victory of the season and it sees them move up to second on the log with 15 points, one behind leaders BUL FC.

It was a slow start for the Jogoos as they struggled to create chances.Faizo Muwawu had a shot blocked by Derrick Emukule and out for just a corner at the stroke of half time.

After the break, Villa looked like a rejuvenated side as they took the game to Wakiso.

Owori shot over after he was put through on goal by Kakomo’s deflected shot.Kakomo then took matters in his own hand as he blasted in the opener on 54 minutes after he was set up by Nicholas Kabonge.

The second came 14 minutes from time with Owori lashing onto a lofted pass before dinking the ball over Emukule and into the back of the net.

Wakiso Giants came into the game on the back of a 2-1 victory at home to Mbarara City FC in their last game and looked good value for at least a draw, in the early exchanges as they took the game to the home side.

.Viane Sekajugo was brought down outside the area by Keni and the custodian was lucky to march away with just a booking.Moments after conceding the first goal, Fahad Kawooya thought he had levelled matters after bundling in a lose ball from a Krizestom Ntambi free kick but the effort was ruled out for offside.

Keni was equal to all that Wakiso threw at him and tipped over a Ibrahim Kiyemba cross turned into shot, midway into the second half.Wakiso ended the match with 10 men after Kawooya was shown a second yellow card following an altercation with Ambrose Kirya.

The Purple Sharks have now lost 4 of their first 8 games and drop to 7th on the log with 10 points.In their next fixtures, Wakiso will be at home to Proline FC while SC Villa are away to Maroons FC.

Team line ups;

SC Villa:

Saidi Keni (GK), Ibrahim Kibumba, Derrick Ndahiro, Gavin Kizito, Asuman Harishe, Amir Kakomo, David Owori, Faizo Muwawu, Emmanuel Kalyowa, Ambrose Kirya, Nicholas Kabonge.

Wakiso Giants:

Derrick Emukule (GK), Fahad Kawooya, Hassan Wasswa, Simon Namwanja, Ibrahim Kiyemba, Hassan Ssenyonjo, Hakim Ssenkumba, Tom Matsiko, Karim Ndugwa, Krizestom Ntambi, Viane Sekajugo.

The other games played on Wednesday

-Police FC 1-3 Vipers SC
-Mbarara City FC 1-2 Maroons FC

Museveni tasks Commonwealth countries to promote investments.

President Yoweri Museveni has tasked the Commonwealth countries to use their numbers to mutually promote investments, work together on security, cultural exchanges and also examine the options on trade without disturbing the Continental Free Trade Area arrangements in Africa.

The president was on Thursday 26 addressing the Commonwealth parliamentarians who are in the country for 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.

Museveni said that the Commonwealth Association is a great potential with a very big population and also with the benefit of a uniting language.

He said that the Commonwealth countries in substance are democratic, albeit with variations in form, urging that “this is a great achievement.”

The president asked the delegates to promote the spread of the benefits of scientific innovation saying that like in all ages, the advances in science and technology, have always been the primers of change in society for good or for evil; but this time insisting that those advances are only for good and never for evil.

He also reminded them of their role to protect of the environment, “not only a core point of our commitment but also a basis of our agreed point of action.”

Below is Museveni’s full speech

H.E. Vice President, Edward Ssekandi;

Rt. Hon. Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda and President-designate of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference;

Secretary General of the Commonwealth;

Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA);

Distinguished Rt. Hon. Speakers and Heads of delegations from all CPA regions;

The Vice Chairman of the NRM Party;

All Parliamentarians here;

Invited guests;

Ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of the people of Uganda, I welcome you, the members of the CPA, again, to Uganda.   You are most welcome. I say that I welcome you to Uganda, again, because I was very much here when you were here last, 52 years ago.  I was not in the meetings themselves. I was, however, 23 years old that time, a first-year student in the University of Dar-es-salaam and already a very active student leader, leading the University Students African Revolutionary Front (USARF).  The meeting must have taken place during the short holiday because I remember I was in Uganda and not in Dar-es-Salaam.

I normally, tell my young Party/Movement comrades that what they call history, I call current Affairs.  Hence, while for many of you the meeting that took place here 52 years ago is history, for me it is current affairs.

I would like to recognize the support of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second, the Queen of United Kingdom, who is the patron of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC).

Let me appreciate the CPA Chairperson, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka and the CPA Secretary-General Mr. Akbar Khan. I thank you all for the invitation to speak to you today.

The host Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has been doing alot in our country and through the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association networks over the years. These efforts must be the reason we are hosting the CPC in Kampala today. I congratulate her, the Members of Parliament and the Uganda Secretariat of the CPA for successfully organizing this conference and appreciate their hard work.

The newspapers in Uganda have been reminding us that the two controversial issues of that time were: the regime of Ian Smith in Rhodesia and the United Kingdom (UK) joining the European Union (EU) and abandoning the Commonwealth special economic arrangements.

Since that time, the issue of Rhodesia was unilaterally resolved by Africa through the war of liberation executed by Zanu and Zapu, supported by Africa and the socialist countries. It is good that the British government, under Margaret Thatcher, came in, last minute, to facilitate the transition with Lord Soames and those other arrangements.

The issue of the UK membership in the EU is, of course, back in the news, with Brexit.  The people of the UK, through internal processes, have the capacity to direct the destiny of that country.

When I met Her Majesty, the Queen in 1987, I told her that the Commonwealth was an Association of great potential.  With a population of 2.4billion people, it is the only international organization that I attend and I do not have to put up with the inconvenience of translation with ear appliances.

We can communicate directly through the use of the English language.  This is a phenomenon of great potential if it is properly used. We could cooperate in security, investments, culture and governance. Can we revive the preferential trade arrangements?  Here in Africa, we are now committed to the CFTA, to COMESA and EAC. What preferential commercial arrangement could Africa have with the UK, with France or with Portugal? Of course, we have some arrangements with the EU that includes France. Maybe we could have arrangements with the UK, even when they are out of the EU, as well as with the other Commonwealth countries such as India, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, etc.; but as the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) ─ the whole of Africa, not portions of it.

However, unfortunately, much of this potential is clouded by ideological disorientation, bigotry, ego-centrism and myopia.  Alot of time and energy is spent on the enterprise of some groups trying to control the destiny of other people. This is wrong and unnecessary. History is our good teacher on this.

Man has been here for the last 41/2 million years, eversince we evolved as wise primates known as homo sapien sapien, from the earlier species. Right from the beginning, the problems facing man were two:  oppression of man by nature and oppression of man by fellow men. Oppression of man by nature involved: floods, drought, disease, landslides, wild beasts, darkness, cold, etc., etc.  Oppression of man by man involved: slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, fascism, etc. In a recent speech in Japan, I pointed out that for much of the human history, man could notably tame nature on account of the limited knowledge by man as far as the scientific laws were concerned. Gradually, however, man invented fire around 1.5 million years ago; started domesticating crops around 10,000BC; started domesticating livestock around the same time; and invented iron tools, around 1200BC.

Nevertheless, even with those advances, man continued to rely on human muscle and the muscle of beasts. Human muscle involved the use of the hand-hoe, blacksmithing, carpentry, clay-work (okunogoora, kubuumba), etc.; and beast muscle involved the use of donkeys, camels, horses, etc.

This use of human and beast muscle meant low quantities of production and low speeds in terms of activity. However, in the year 1438, Johannes Gutenburg invented the Printing Press. In the year 1698, Thomas Savery invented the steam engine for pumping water and in the year 1823, George Stevenson converted the steam engine to the task of pulling railway engines. This constituted the First Industrial Revolution. Since that time, portions of humanity have been through the second and the third Industrial Revolutions. On account of some historical events, mainly precipitated by the internal weaknesses of Africa and also on account of external greed during the period when some portions of humanity were being emancipated from the reliance on human and beast muscle power, Africa was in the throes of the slave trade, colonialism and neo-colonialism. Therefore, Africa, largely, missed out. Nevertheless, by a combination of factors, Africa, along with other colonized peoples in India, Indonesia, Indo-China, Pakistan, etc., shook off the shackles of colonialism and regained their freedom, the last being South Africa in 1994.

Now that colonialism has been defeated, our advice to friends is that ego-centrism, greed and bigotry should be banished so that we use the enhanced scientific knowledge of man to cause the universal wellbeing of the whole of humanity without exception.  Unfortunately, greed continues to obstruct the mutually beneficial interaction within the different portions of the human race and to block the optimum use of scientific knowledge for the universal benefit of man as a whole. Artificial conflicts, propelled by greed or ignorance, always cause avoidable losses and waste time.  This greed and ignorance, obscure the facts and impede human co-operation.

The other night, on the 24th of September, at the reception of the Chinese, I pointed out that Karl Marx, in 1848, pointed out that up to that time, in the 41/2 million years of human existence here on earth, man had gone through 4 social systems: the primitive communalism system (some of it still being practiced by some forest dwelling groups in Africa and the Amazon); the slave state (like ancient Rome); feudalism; and capitalism.  Of the four social systems witnessed by man up to that time, the only rational ones were the primitive communal system and the capitalist system. The slave system and the feudal systems were restrictive, exploitative and irrational.

Capitalism, by emphasizing the minimization of costs in order to maximize profits, brought rationalization into the production process. Also by rewarding initiatives, it unleashed the productivity of society.  In recent times, you have seen how people like Bill gates of Microsoft and Zuckerberg of Facebook, through introducing new technologies, have both built up alot of wealth but also empowered society more. This has been the story of capitalism in the last 300 years in some parts of the Globe ─ innovation, specialization and exchange.  By 1929, however, an irrationality had already been detected in capitalism. Maximization of profits meant minimization of costs, which, at that time, included minimization of wages. Low wages meant also low purchasing power. Low purchasing power, meant low demand for the products of capitalism. The capitalist efficiency in the production of goods and services had to be balanced with the commensurate purchasing power; otherwise, the system would collapse.

That is how some economists like Maynard Keynes came up with the socialist idea of the Welfare State, where the State would give free money to the citizens to enable them to buy the products of the capitalist factories.

By that hybridization, the challenge to capitalism of the disequilibrium between the productive capacity of the capitalism and the aggregate demand of the market, was transcended.  Countries like China have further pushed forward the strategy of market socialism. As a consequence of this hybridization, the world has seen greater prosperity than in 1929 when capitalism faced the challenge of the disequilibrium between production and consumption.

Hailstorms destroy several gardens in Rukiga district.

A destroyed banana plantation (Photo/Courtesy)

More than 70 homes in Kita, Kakirare, Nyamirembe and Nyamugaza villages in Kitanga parish Kashambya Sub-County, Rukiga district have been left stranded after their food crops including banana plantations, sorghum, cassava, Irish potatoes, beans and maize gardens, cabbages among others were destroyed by the heavy rains.

The rains which left several feeder roads in the area impassable also destroyed about five kitchens.

According to the Kitanga parish councilor Mr Bosco Turyasingura, the rain which hit the area for at least an hour started on Sunday afternoon 22/09/2019 at around 1:00 pm.

Mr. Katungi Deo one of the locals from Kita village whose banana plantation were swept away during the downpours said that he is afraid of their next source of income as famers we earn from our gardens now are destroyed, I appeals to the government to intervene immediately because famine seems next that may hit them following the destruction of their crops and gardens.

Mr. Musiguzi John also called for the immediate intervention of the district authorities for relief so that the affected families do not completely suffer.

“Government especially the ministry of disaster preparedness should run to the rescue of these communities devasted by the calamity,” Mr. Musinguzi urges.