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Ishaka-Kagamba Road Still Intact 4 Years after Construction



Unlike shoddy work that is in some cases done on most Ugandan roads which makes them impassable shortly after construction, Ishaka – Kagamba road constructed by Dott services limited, fully funded by the Government of Uganda is still intact 4 years after construction.

Dott services limited, the contractor of the road officially handed it over to Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) on June 30, 2016.

The road has significantly facilitated not only the transportation of goods but also shortened the distance between various districts and helped control traffic on other roads.

The distance from Kasese to Ntungamo via Bushenyi district has been shortened and transportation of goods especially cement from Hima eased due to the presence of the road.

The 35-kilometer road stretch from Ishaka town in Bushenyi district to Kagamba in Ntungamo has eased transportation of people and trucks taking much less time compared to before.

Eng Jamesone Olonya, the Dott services contracts manager explained how the road has shortened the distance, curbed traffic, and facilitated transport especially trucks carrying cargo mainly cement from Hima in Kasese district.

Jamesone Olonya the contracts manager Dott services limited.

According to the information from UNRA, there was a need to shorten the distance to Kasese especially Hima because of the cement that comes from there.

“So, if you notice, from Ntungamo to Mbarara, it would be about 64 kilometers and then Mbarara to Ishaka, it’s another 61 kilometers. So that’s about 125 kilometers. But if you use that Kagamba – Ishaka road, Ntungamo to Kagamba is 15 kilometers and then Kagamba to Ishaka is 35 kilometers, so that is 50. So, if you take 50 from 125, you will get a difference of almost 75 kilometers,” said Olonya.

“It has helped a lot with traffic because when the community has been used to a gravel road and then all of a sudden you pave it, people will begin crossing anyhow and then they get hit. But because of this road facture, you find that the level of accidents is reduced. You may never stop it completely but reduces quite a bit,” he added.

On the initial contract sum which was 97 billion shillings, Olonya said, there was a small variation that inflated it to 101 billion shillings.

Asked whether as a contractor he came across some challenges, Olonya said that the actual physical work began in 2014 although the contract was signed in 2011. This, he said, was caused by the time spent by UNRA settling issues of the project affected persons.

“These were the biggest challenges because the contract was signed in 2011 November and the instruction to commence the work should have been in February 2012. However, there were a lot of properties that were within the construction corridor with the alignment of the road. This made UNRA take nearly 2 years to sort out the matters of people affected by the project,” he said.

The road was officially handed over to UNRA on the 30th of June 2016.

Further, due to the nature of the terrain characterized by very steep slopes, Olonya said, there was a lot of cutting to get the width of the road which in turn required a lot of property.

Gabions constructed to protect the road from running water and erosion.

The aspect of weather, 800 meters of spring water which was never picked up in the design, the swamps between steep hills where the road was passing were among the hindrances encountered.

On the steep slopes, gabions and trenches were constructed to protect the road from getting damaged by the running water and erosion. Olonya said drainage is the life of a road.

“Here we thought quite a lot in terms of design because the volume of water here and the speed by which it would be going down, it would eat up the road and the life is the road is really drainage. If the drainage is not good, even if you do a very good pavement, it will get spoilt,” said Olonya.

We asked John Kambeho, a resident of Ishaka town how he felt about the road and he applauded the work done by the contractor.

“The road was constructed excellently. The tarmac is not slippery,” said Kambeho.

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million



Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe




A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News




Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.

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