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Mbale pastor succumbs to COVID-19 as police’s Kasingye tests positive



Medics take samples from police Asan Kasingye

The chief political commissar of the Uganda Police Force, AIGP Asan Kasingye has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Kasingye is among the 97 Ugandans who tested positive from the samples tested yesterday, according to the latest update from the ministry of Health.

Kasingye disclosed his status on his Twitter handle saying, “Bad new!! [sic] i’am #covid19 positive.”

His tweet has attracted get well soon messages from his followers. On Friday, the surveillance team from Entebbe hospital collected throat and nasal swab samples from Kasingye from his home. He noted on Twitter that it was his second test in a space of two weeks. He added that he was taking the test as a personal decision to “prevent contagion.”

It was not immediately clear if he has been evacuated into isolation and how the police force. Meanwhile, police spokesperson Fred Enanga says that ministry of Health will have to send a formal statement on Kasingye before any further action is taken.

“He [Kasingye] made a personal statement. But we need formal communication from the Health ministry to confirm this information,” says Enanga.

The ministry of Health, as standard procedure, should evacuate Kasingye for isolation and management at one of the hospitals and his contacts will be traced and quarantined to curb the spread of COVID-19. However as with the New Vision journalist who tested positive, evacuation can take up to 3-4 days due to limited space in hospitals. Already the ministry has urged private hospitals to create isolation units for coronavirus patients. 

The Health ministry indicates that the 97 new cases have been registered today, bringing the cumulative total confirmed cases of Ugandans to 2,263. These cases were all contacts and alerts from Kampala with 90 people, followed by Wakiso (59), Buikwe (11) and Amuru among other areas. Yesterday, Uganda recorded its daily highest coronavirus infections at 318. To date, at least 20 people have succumbed to the virus. 

The ministry of health is urging the public to observe the preventive measures or numbers of infections will continue surging. Dr Jane Ruth Aceng noted that the numbers, especially deaths will increase if the public fails to observe measures such as hand washing, wearing of face masks, social distancing among others.

Mbale pastor 

In a related development, the coronavirus death confirmed yesterday was of Wodega Gizamba, 49, a pastor at the Community Corner Stone church in Nkoma Ward, Mbale City. He died on Wednesday at Mbale regional referral hospital. 

According to Dr Emmanuel Tugaineyo, the Mbale hospital director, Gizamba’s samples were picked shortly after he died and they were taken to Kampala where they turned positive. He said that the patient presented with signs of COVID-19 and symptoms which included difficulty in breathing among others.

Tugaineyo said that the hospital had been keeping the body since at the Mbale city morgue before burial was carried out on Saturday in Bugsege sub-county in Sironko district. However, relatives of the deceased have refuted claims by the medics, saying that their relative had hypertension which he could have died of but not coronavirus.

Charles Wogali, one of the relatives said the pastor has been complaining of hypertension for a long time. Wogali said he was surprised to be told by medics that he died of COVID-19. He wonders why some of the pastor’s family members have not been quarantined or their samples taken for testing.

Asad Gulaoba, the chairperson of Bujoloto cell says that the deceased has been his vice chairperson but every time they met in meetings he would complain of chest pain.   

However, Edward Nyongesa, the Mbale district surveillance officer said that the underlying conditions of hypertension and diabetes are the ones that led to quick demise of the victim. He cautioned residents against such talk of thinking that COVID-19 doesn’t exist saying that the disease is now in the communities.       

The death of Gizamba brings to two the number of victims who have died of COVID-19 in Mbale. Last week, another 60-year old Hamis Shafic, a resident of Budi B village in the former Namanyonyi sub-county in Mbale city was also reported to have died in Mbale hospital.

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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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