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COVID-19: GEMS Cambridge School Kampala to Close This Year



The prominent GEMS Cambridge International School, Kampala (CIK), is closing shop, Chimp Corps report.

The school, which attracts kids of Kampala’s wealthy elite, said it was unable to continue operating in the country due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“… the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to affect families, businesses and whole industries around the world – and our school is no exception. The pandemic and the resulting uncertainties have proved exceptionally testing, and our enrolment numbers have been severely impacted as well as our ability to sustain our operations, despite our best efforts,” said Riz Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Africa, in a letter to parents this Tuesday.

“As a result of these circumstances, we have been forced to make some very difficult decisions, and it is with great sadness that I am writing to advise you that CIK will close after the first term of the new academic year, with 31 December 2020 as a tentative closure date,” he added.

The development underlines the impact of the the novel virus on Uganda’s economy.

Many parents have been struggling to raise large sums of money in school fees for their kids at GEMS with some being dragged to courts to recover unpaid dues.

Depending on the grade (from kindergarten to secondary level) annual fees at GEMS range from 6,000 USD to 17,500 USD.

An application fee of 350 USD also applies.

The closure of the school means parents/guardians of students looking elsewhere for Cambridge education.

A Cambridge education prepares students for life, helping them develop an informed curiosity and a lasting passion for learning. Cambridge Schools say they can shape a curriculum around how they want their students to learn, helping them discover new abilities and a wider world.

Cambridge students are widely accepted in top study destinations worldwide, such as the US, UK and Australia, as well as in many other countries.

Riz said the decision to close the Uganda branch has been an incredibly hard one to make and comes as a last resort.

“Over the summer period, we have been assessing the impact of the pandemic, whilst exploring options with our regulators. We have communicated this at the earliest possible time after exhausting all options. We know it will cause disruption to you and your family, and we will do whatever we can to lessen the impact and ensure the upcoming transition is as smooth and seamless as possible,” he said.

Affected students have been asked to remain with the school through Term 1.

“Alternatively, we are making available the option of enrolling at Hillcrest International Schools, Nairobi, Kenya, either at the beginning of term 1 in September 2020 through remote learning or for term 2 in January 2021 through remote learning or physical attendance at the school premises. Years 7 to 13 students will be offered boarding options when the physical school premises reopen in Kenya; this is expected to be at the start of term 2 in January 2021,” said Riz.

GEMS Cambridge has been operational in Uganda since 2013.

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge



Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.



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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?



The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail



Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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