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UPDF Retires 1036 Officers, Militants

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One thousand thirty-six Officers and Militants of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) have today honorably retired from active service in the Forces after most had completed 20 to 40 years of service to the nation and the region.

Due to the COVID-19 situation in the country, the retirement ceremonies were conducted in eleven centers across the country to ensure social distance.

The Commander Special Forces Command (SFC), Maj Gen James Birungi presided over the ceremony for the retirees under his command at Entebbe SFC Headquarters whereas the Deputy Commander Air Forces, Major General Tumusiime Katsigazi presided over the ceremony for Air Forces personnel at Entebbe Air Forces Headquarters.

All the Division Commanders presided over the function or were represented by senior Officials in their areas of responsibilities in Masindi, Kakiri, Mbarara, Mbale, Gulu, Pader and Kabarole respectively.

The biggest number; 362 Officers and Militants were retired from Land Forces Head Quarters in Bombo where the Commander Land Forces (CLF), Lt Gen Peter Elwelu was the chief guest.

The CLF urged the retirees to consider being there for their families as one of the core issues to do on retirement.

“You have been very busy and did not have time for your families, now you finally have the time,” he said adding that the retirees need to stay in their villages and concentrate on agriculture which is the backbone of Uganda’s economy and not run to the cities.

“Now that you are going home, I encourage you to go to the garden. When God created us, he put us in the garden, not in the cities,” he said.

Retirees bidding farewell to the force.

He also urged them to continue promoting peace and security while in their communities and shun all those that are deemed to create instability in the country.

“We have to make sure this country remains peaceful for this is the only Country we have, that God gave us,” said Lt Gen Elwelu.

Finally, he urged them to be ambassadors of government in spreading the messages aimed at protecting the people of Uganda against COVID-19. He shunned those who say there is no Coronavirus and showed concern at the level of defiance by Ugandans in following the Ministry of Health guidelines against COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is not a dream, it is real. Go and be ambassadors for humanity in your communities, sensitize against COVID-19 as per the Ministry of Health guidelines. The problem with we Ugandans is being very stubborn. We are only lucky that God is with us otherwise we would have paid heavily,” he said.

“Ugandans need to stay indoors as guided and that it is God’s will that the world is under lockdown,” he added.

“Tell your people that it is not government putting us under lockdown but God’s will. As per places of worship, they belong to God, if God so wants us to open them, he will create the condition to open them, stop blaming the President,” Elweru emphasized.

The senior-most retiree Col Stephen Kato thanked the UPDF leadership for providing the retirement schedule three to four years in advance that enables the retirees to appropriately prepare for their next life. He said the retirees have got many experiences, learned skills while in the force that will be beneficial in their future engagements.

Concurrently at the other retirement Centers around the country, various messages and advice were passed on to the retirees.

In Kakiri, Maj Gen Sam Kawaga told the retirees to walk with their heads high for having served in and been part of a great force, the UPDF.

“This force has contributed to peace and security in Uganda and beyond and it is just wonderful that you have been part of that journey,” he said, adding that their retirement is the normal journey of every soldier; recruitment, service and finally retirement.

In Kabarole, Brig-Gen Moses Kwikiriza told the retirees that retirement does not mean being tired.

“Stay safe and remain focused, work hard to improve on your livelihood using your packages,” he said.

Brig Kwikiriza further advised retirees not to live a reckless life that would expose them to dangers such as HIV. “The country wants you healthy, alive and as law-abiding citizens engaging in productive activities,” he said.

The retirees were urged to maintain a high level of discipline.

In Mbale, Brig Gen Joseph Balikuddembe thanked the retirees for the selfless service rendered to the country and advised them not to be lured into subversive activities.

“You have done a great job especially in fighting the Lord’s Resistance Army and insurgencies in Eastern Uganda. It is for these efforts rendered that the country is now stable. You are leaving us better than you started, thank you comrades and may you go in peace,” said Brig Gen Balikuddembe.

In Masindi, on behalf of Maj Gen Sam Okiding, the 101 Artillery Brigade Commander, Brig Gen. Dan Kakono, told the retirees to maintain their military discipline as a means to prosper in civilian life. He urged them to continue embracing patriotism, nationalism and Pan-Africanism. He told them to further promote democracy and socio-economic transformation in their communities.

In Pader, Brig Gen Michael Kabango told the retiring officers and militants to desist from indiscipline acts that might block their chances of being recalled for other special assignments by the army and asked them to keep fit through healthy living.

“The struggle in your lives is not yet over. You must be productive at all times and be good leaders as you interface with the community,” he said.

In Nakasongola, Brig-Gen David Isimbwa (DAAC-LF) who represented the Nakasongola cantonment congratulated the Officers and men for their contribution in the liberation struggle of Uganda, and the region subsequently.



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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