Connect with us

News

Calls for probe as dead dolphins wash up near Mauritius oil spill | Mauritius News

Published

on


Greenpeace has called on the government of Mauritius to carry out an “urgent investigation” after several dead dolphins washed up on the island country’s shores, a month after a major oil spill caused by a ship that ran aground.

“This is a deeply sad and alarming day for the people of Mauritius,” Happy Khambule, Greenpeace Africa’s senior climate and energy campaign manager, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Greenpeace appeals to the authorities to carry out a swift, transparent and public autopsy on the bodies collected.”

The Japanese-owned MV Wakashio struck a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on July 25 and began spilling oil on August 6, prompting the government to announce a state of environmental emergency.

The spill spread over a vast area of endangered corals, affecting fish and other marine life in what some scientists have called the country’s worst ecological disaster.

The impact of the spill is still unfolding, scientists said, and the damage could affect Mauritius and its tourism-dependent economy for decades.

The Associated Press news agency on Wednesday cited environmental groups and experts as saying at least 14 dead dolphins had washed up on Mauritius’s coast. Other dolphins stranded onshore and appeared seriously ill, according to environmental consultant Sunil Dowarkasing.

“This is a terrible day. We are seeing these dolphins swim up to the shore in distress and then die,” said Dowarkasing, a former member of parliament. “We have never seen deaths of these very intelligent marine mammals like this. Never.”

Jasvin Sok Appadu, a government official from the fisheries ministry, put the number at 17.

“The dead dolphins had several wounds and blood around their jaws, no trace of oil, however. The ones that survived, around 10, seemed very fatigued and could barely swim,” Appadu told Reuters news agency.

A spokeswoman for local Mauritian environmental group Eco-Sud called for the autopsy results to be released publicly and said the group wanted to be present during the autopsy “to better understand why the dolphins died”, but was still waiting for a response from authorities.

Worryingly, the AFP news agency reported at  least nine melon-headed whales had also washed up on the shores of the country.

The animals, some of which were still alive when they were found and later died, were stranded on the southeastern beaches of Grand Sable, and some of them appeared to have injuries.

Local government official Preetam Daumoo told AFP he had seen 13 dead whales and one still alive. Authorities loaded some of the bodies into the back of a van to be taken for autopsies.

Daumoo, like other residents, said he feared the stranding of animals was a result of the ship running aground and spilling more than 1,000 tonnes of fuel into the pristine waters.

However, experts said it was too soon to say what had caused the deaths of the animals.

Owen Griffiths, of the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society, told AFP, “it is probably a very unfortunate coincidence”, referring to a similar stranding in 2005.

“Likely they followed a school of fish into the lagoon, got confused, could not find their way out to sea again and tried to head out to sea directly over the coral reef instead of finding the pass. In their panic and stress they collided with corals, became exhausted and died,” he said.

“At this stage, we have no idea of cause of death. An autopsy with stomach content analysis and lung examination – to look for oil traces – needs to be done.”

Mauritius has appealed to the United Nations for urgent aid, including help from experts in oil spills and environmental protection.

Oil spill off Mauritius coast threatens ecosystem

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies





Source – www.aljazeera.com

News

Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema

Published

on

When court sat on Friday to hear the Kiggundu’s application to stop independent audit, he did not have a written application, and Justice Henry Adonyo instead ordered the plaintiff’s lawyer Fred Muwema to go make a written application seeking court to dismiss the audit and return to court on September 30 for a hearing of the application. But this adds more pressure on Kiggundu who is choking with the loans.

On 31 August, the judge ordered the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to carry out and independent audit into the accounts of the businessman and financial statements exchanged between the two parties, and present a report to court.

When asked by journalists why he has filed for an application seeking dismissal of the audit, Fred Muwema had this to say. “We are saying that let the validity and legality of those credit facilities (loans) be decided first before you can audit” He said.

The ruling on the application of the main suit to determine whether the businessman owes loan arrears to the bank is set for 5th October 2020, after which a date for hearing of the case will be set.

Background

Hamis Kiggundu through his companies Ham enterprises and Kiggs International (U) ltd sued DTB branches in Kenya and Uganda for deducting money from his accounts something which the bank contends and said they only acted as per the loan agreement of deducting 30% from Kiggundu’s accounts to recover the credit facilities rendered to him between February 2011 and September 2016

But Court documents filed by the bank in their defense shows that Kiggundu, between February 2011 and September 2016, was granted various credit facilities by the said DTB Banks.

First, via Ham Enterprises Limited, Kiggundu obtained a loan of $6,663,453 and another Sh2.5bn from the DTB (U) to finance his projects in the real estate business.

Later, according to New Vision, he got a facility worth $4.5m through Kiggs International (U) Limited from DTB (K) and mortgaged his properties, which include Plot 328 located at Kawuku on Block 248 Kyadondo, three plots that include 36, 37 and 38 on Folio 1533 Victoria Crescent II situated in Kyadondo and land on Makerere Hill Road on LRV 3716 Folio 10 Plot 923 Block 9.

Documents show that as of January 21, 2020, Kiggundu was in default on payment obligations of $6.298m on the loan facility of $6.663m, as well as sh2.885b on the demand overdraft facility of sh1.5b and the temporary demand overdraft facility of sh1b.

The banks say that Kiggundu was in default on the payment of another $3.662m out of a total loan facility of $4m and another $458,604 on a loan facility of $500,000, as of January 21, 2020.

The DTB consequently served him with a demand notice to either pay up or lose the assets that he submitted as collateral security. The bank threatened to attach a plot on Makerere Hill Road and other prime commercial properties.

Analysts says that Kiggundu’s lawyer is playing delaying tactics aimed at stopping the independent audit as ordered by the court earlier. Kiggundu had wanted court to believe his own audit of loan transactions, but that would amount to injustice to the banks that gave him money-DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya.

Continue Reading

News

Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded

Published

on

By


The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      





Source – observer.ug

Continue Reading

News

Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

Published

on

By


Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  





Source – observer.ug

Continue Reading

Trending