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Uganda Milk Producers Seek Parliament Intervention as Kenya, Tanzania Build Trade Barriers



Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga says the producers of milk and its products are concerned about the continued imposition of non-tariff barriers which they say affects trade in the region.

Kadaga who chaired a plenary sitting of the House on Tuesday, 28 July 2020 the producers of Lato Milk have sought the intervention of Parliament to facilitate trade between Kenya and Uganda.

“They told me that since January 2020, the Kenya Dairy Board has declined to issue permits to exporters of milk products from Uganda yet the country is the biggest exporter of milk in Africa,” Kadaga said.

She added that the blockage of the export of milk had a multiplier effect on farmers, the staff working in the industry and packaging industries that serve milk producers.

“Their complaint among others was that before they came to invest here, our heads of state had marketed East Africa as one market of 129 million people. But some members of the EAC are breaching protocols by introducing non-tariff barriers,” Kadaga added.

Pearl Diary Farms, the producers of Lato Milk, recently laid off 1,200 workers before warning of the possible “collapse” of the diary sector if the market restrictions imposed on Uganda by Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania were not lifted.

“We have no market within the East African Community (EAC), with Rwanda blockade, Tanzania tariff barriers in terms of levy and Kenya our biggest market limiting number of trucks that enter Kenya and limiting liquid permit to few a week which are not sufficient to sustain operations,” cried Pearl Diary General Manager Bijoy Varghese.

Kenya recently stopped the importation of dairy products from Uganda specifically Lato milk.

In a letter to COMESA Secretary General, Chileshe Mpundu Kapwempwe, Varghese said in 2019, Ugandan dairy sector earned close to $150m in export revenue which is set to “collapse to less than $50m in 2020.”

He said this is driven by the “actions of Kenyan government effectively stopping Ugandan milk exports for the last five months in contravention to the EAC principals and framework.”

Varghese said much as the Kenya media and authorities portray these actions as a protective measure towards the Kenyan Diary farmers, in reality, the “Kenyan market has got the capacity to absorb both Kenyan and Ugandan milk.”


Meeting Kadaga, the milk manufacturers also raised concerns that milk products from Kenya were allowed into Uganda yet Ugandan products had been barred from accessing the Kenyan market.

They added that Tanzania had also barred Ugandan milk products.

In the meeting with the Speaker on Monday, 27 July 2020, the milk producers called on East African Council of Ministers to address the issue urgently.

“I hope our Ministers will rise to the occasion and take on up this issue. It is our responsibility to support our producers, farmers, markets and our employment. If we open for import of goods from other markets, that should be reciprocated,” said Kadaga.

Current farm gate price is Shs 650.

Since March 2020, farm gate price has collapsed to below cost of production. The price drop is mainly driven by the lack of demand from all major processors in line with the lack of market access.

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FDC activists win Bank of Uganda pig case by simply keeping quiet




FDC activists Augustine Ojobile and Robert Mayanja

Buganda Road Magistrate’s court has acquitted two opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) activists Augustine Ojobile and Robert Mayanja of common nuisance charges.

FDC deputy chief administrative officer Ojobile and Mayanja have been acquitted by the grade one magistrate Fidelis Otwao on charges stemming from their protest held in November 2018 when they carried pig heads to the central police station (CPS) in Kampala protesting the rot in the Bank of Uganda that had reportedly resulted into the closure of a number of commercial banks in the country for many years.

According to them, corruption at the Central bank had been the sole ingredient for the closure of commercial banks in Uganda over the years because it reportedly mismanaged them and made erroneous decisions that led to their closure.

With fresh pig heads tied around their necks and stinking blood oozing across their white T-shirts, Mayanja and Ojobile walked through the streets of Kampala to the police in a protest that was spearheaded by their pressure group known as the Jobless Youth.

One pig head had a placard bearing the name of the former and late BOU governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and the other of his former deputy Louis Kasekende.

The protest at CPS came a few days after another that was staged at the Central bank where two piglets were dumped bearing the name of Juma Kisaame (a Muslim), the former managing director of DFCU bank. 

As a result, the duo was arrested and taken to Buganda Road court on charges of common nuisance and the prosecution adduced evidence from five witnesses who included police officers and Muslims who were reportedly angered by the protest.

According to the witnesses, the actions of Mayanja and Ojobile were annoying to the people whose names were mentioned and tagged on pig heads, and the smell that was coming out of the fresh pig heads was most likely to result in injury to a considerable number of the public by affecting their health, and the protest affected businesses since some shops allegedly had to close to see what was happening outside due to their commotion.

But when Mayanja and Ojobile were asked to defend themselves over the allegations, the duo that didn’t have legal representation chose to keep quiet as their defense and let the court make its decision based on what the prosecution witnesses had testified to.

In a judgement read today Friday by Otwao, he indicated that the evidence from the prosecution witnesses is wanting because none of the people alleged to have been annoyed by the actions of the activists testified in the case or recorded a statement with police.

According to Otwao, the testimonies were based on what the witnesses were feeling as individuals and that there were no abusive statements on the pig heads that the prosecution had indicated which would cause annoyance, save for putting the names of people only. 

As such, the court has ruled that such testimonies cannot be relied on to convict a person because the prosecution has failed to prove that there was common injury, danger to the public or destruction of property.

Consequently, the magistrate has acquitted the duo and directed that each of them starts the process to seek a refund of the Shs 500,000 that each had paid to be released on bail.

The activists have welcomed the ruling saying that the court has recognized that the citizens have a right to protest peacefully.

The pig protests have been commonly used by activists who subscribe to this group known as the Jobless Brotherhood which has since rebranded to the “Alternative”.

In 2016, their members including Luta Ferdinand who is now facing trial in the court-martial on different charges, and Joseph Lukwago were arrested for dumping piglets at parliament protesting the Shs 200 million given to each MP for buying personal cars.

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Saudi Arabia executes 81 people in a single day | Death Penalty News




The death penalty applied for a range of charges in the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom’s modern history.

Saudi Arabia has executed 81 men over the past 24 hours, including seven Yemenis and one Syrian national, on charges including “allegiance to foreign terrorist organisations” and holding “deviant beliefs”, state news agency Saudi Press Agency said, in the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom in its modern history.

The number dwarfed the 67 executions reported in the kingdom in 2021 and the 27 in 2020.

“These individuals … were convicted of various crimes including murdering innocent men, women and children,” SPA said on Saturday, citing a statement from the interior ministry.

“Crimes committed by these individuals also include pledging allegiance to foreign terrorist organisations, such as ISIS [ISIL], al-Qaeda and the Houthis,” it added.

Some travelled to conflict zones to join “terrorist organisations”, according to the SPA.

“The accused were provided with the right to an attorney and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process,” it said.

“The kingdom will continue to take a strict and unwavering stance against terrorism and extremist ideologies that threaten the stability of the entire world,” the report added.

The men included 37 Saudi nationals who were found guilty in a single case for attempting to assassinate security officers and targeting police stations and convoys, the report added.

Saudi Arabia’s last mass execution was in January 2016, when the kingdom executed 47 people, including a prominent opposition Shia leader who had rallied demonstrations in the kingdom.

In 2019, the kingdom beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, most of them minority Shia, in a mass execution across the country for alleged “terrorism”-related crimes.

Saudi Arabia’s human rights records have been under increasing scrutiny from rights groups and Western allies since the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

It has faced strong criticism of its restrictive laws on political and religious expression, and the implementation of the death penalty, including for defendants arrested when they were minors.

Saudi Arabia denies accusations of human rights abuses and says it protects its national security according to its laws.

SPA said the accused were provided with the right to a lawyer and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process.

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Nigerian student in Ukraine: 'Mummy we keep hearing bombs'




Hauwa’s son Suleiman is a Nigerian student in Sumy – she says the family are fearful and anxious.

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