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Land Fund Used for Irregular Transactions – Bamugemereire

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The Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire has handed over its report to President Yoweri Museveni and briefed him about several issues.

The land commission, among other issues tabled before the President, argued that the land fund established by the government to settle land matters is used to finance irregular transactions involving payment of huge sums of money from the land fund to brokers and well-connected individuals in Kampala.

“The Uganda Land Commission was found to have evolved a deep-seated culture as a private ‘dealership’ in Government land, with no effective control over it,” Bamugemereire said to the President at a ceremony held at State House Entebbe.

Justice Bamugemereire said the commission has prescribed the remedial measures to address the problems afflicting the systems of land administration, management, acquisition, and registration and land dispute resolution in Uganda.

The 7-member commission was appointed by the President on December 8, 2016, to inquire into the effectiveness of law, policies, and processes of land acquisition, land administration, land management, and land registration in Uganda.

According to Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the commission received complaints totaling to 8528 from 123 districts out of 135 between 2017 and 2019 which constitutes 91% of the total districts.

Speaking shortly after receiving the report, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who congratulated the commission upon their completion of the report, said that it is going to be a good nucleus for the current understanding of land use for wealth creation.

“At the core of these problems, is the lack of vision of answering the question of ‘where does wealth come from. The desperate rush for land, they think that wealth only comes from Agriculture,” President Museveni said.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni receiving a report by of the Commission of inquiry into the effectiveness of Law policies and processes of land acquisition.

The President said that wealth comes from four major sectors namely; Commercial Agriculture, Industries like factories (small, medium and big), Services like hotels, transport etc. and Information, Communication Technology sector.

Apart from commercial Agriculture, the President said the rest do not need a lot of land for one to create wealth for themselves.

“The other forms of wealth creation sectors like services, industries and ICT do not need a lot of land. We need land for infrastructure development and for conservation,” he said.

President Museveni said the report will be given to the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban development who will present it to the cabinet for discussion and government will write a white paper to address the whole issue.

The Commission among other things wants government to addresses the challenge of the perceived subservient position of customary land by ensuring that all land including customary land is registered.

“All land in the country should be put on a register after an adjudication process,” Bamugemereire said.

The Commission also recommends the establishment of an institutional framework for the administration of customary land within the Uganda Land Services Bureau framework.

The Land dispute situation, according to Bamugemereire was found by the commission to be a pandemic, in which mostly the well-to-do persons have obtained land through illegal means, bribing their way through all systems of land administration and registration.

The Commission recommended among other issues, the enactment of a distinct wetland law to reverse the tempo at which wetlands are reclaimed in Uganda and to restore degraded wetlands, amend the law to curtail the excessive powers of the chief government valuer and the commissioner for land registration.

The commission has also recommended the establishment of a Land and Environment Court, reinstatement of District land Tribunals and establishment of a land Ombudsman.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in a meeting with the members of the Commission of inquiry into the effectiveness of Law policies and processes of land acquisition.

“The land and environment court which shall have circuits in all of the regions shall entertain appeals from district tribunal as well as have original jurisdiction in the environmental matter and land acquisition compensations,” Bamugemereire said.

On the contestation over land as a result of the discovery of mineral rights, the commission recommends that a strong regulatory framework should be established to check the pervasive syndicated corruption and prevent the dishing of mineral rights at the expense of reputable companies.

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire said that as a commission, they are confident that because President Museveni holds a special place in the history of Uganda’s transformation and as a guarantor of the peace and prosperity of the people of Uganda, the recommendations of the commission can only be realized with his foresighted leadership and strategic guidance.



Source – chimpreports.com

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

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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

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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.



Source – observer.ug

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

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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”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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