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Kira mayoral race: Mutebi eyes second term

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Julius Mutebi, Kira municipality mayor

Incumbent Julius Mutebi is confident of winning another term of office as Kira Municipality mayor in the forthcoming 2021 general elections, MOSES MUGALU reports.

Mutebi, who won the Kira mayoral race in 2016 on Democratic Party (DP) ticket but has since switched to the highflying National Unity Platform (NUP) this time, faces stiff challenge from Mamerito Mugerwa, the former mayor and likely ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party flag-bearer.

However, Mutebi is optimistic voters will give him another term.

“This has been my first term in a new municipality but I have performed quite reasonably well and my achievements are visible in the electorate,” Mutebi told us in an interview this week.

Kira attained the municipality status before the 2016 general elections and slipped into the hands of the opposition, with Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda and Mutebi winning the MP seat and mayoral post respectively.

Previously, it was under the tight grip of NRM for several years with Mamerito Mugerwa as the kingmaker of the local area politics. The municipality consists of three divisions; Namugongo, Kira and Bweyogerere, with an estimated population of 450,000. Mutebi insists switching from the DP to newly created NUP, led by MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, will not affect his winning chances.

“The electorate has already demanded we unite under the umbrella [NUP’s symbol] where the situation is ripe for the bigger picture of change of leadership in the whole country,” he said.

Mutebi, 45, is also banking on the political wave induced by Kyagulanyi among the youth to actively participate and decide their destiny through elections. He estimates that more than half of Kira’s voters are youth.

ACHIEVEMENTS

In the last four years, Mutebi has registered some commendable success despite resistance from within the local government structures. 

He explained: “I have not had any problems with the central government but we lost almost two years in battles with technical staff because
of the bureaucracy which I wasn’t familiar with. Remember, I came from the private sector where things move very fast but here there’s a lot of red tape; so, the first two years were quite frustrating.

“Fortunately, we have forged a good working relationship and there are many achievements to show in the past two years.”

Mutebi outlines some of his achievements that include expansion of the tarmac road network in the municipality. He has overseen the construction 25 kilometres of tarmac roads with a proper drainage system in the last two years.

Before, Kira had 31 kilometres of tarmac roads, which he says lacked proper drainage and were constructed over 15 years. The new roads include Kirinya-Bukasa (6km), Ndiwulira (1.6km), Bulindo-Nakwero (5.5km), Kungu-Najjera (1km), Kito-Kirinya (1km), Shell Malindi-Kireka (1.5km), Agenda-Mbalwa (1.6km) and Azam-Makanga, a 1.5-kilometre stretch.

Some of these roads have as many as 100 smart street solar lights installed in selected areas to boost security. The municipality’s road works and engineering unit has been equipped with vital machinery such as a water bowser and compactors, which they previously used to hire expensively from private owners.

In the education sector, the municipality has given desks and water tanks to all government-aided schools. There has been an increase of
scholarships; from a paltry four to 7,000, availed through the office of the deputy mayor in the last four years. They have also constructed classroom blocks and water-born toilets in some schools.

Through lobbying, Mutebi has also had major breakthrough in the health sector. For instance, the municipality has upgraded its health centre
three to four with new structures, a laboratory, an ambulance and other assorted equipment. They also have a hospital being constructed at the municipal headquarters.

GOING FORWARD

On the part of administration, Mutebi acquired seven brand new pick-up vehicles and a three-storied office block is being constructed. Furthermore, the municipality has acquired 12 acres of land to set up a garbage dumping site and a cemetery in Menvu. Mutebi wants to build a vocational institute to impart skills into the youth in Kira.

“It’s better to turn the Youth Livelihood Fund into an institution because when you give them money, they just eat it and never return it. We have already secured the land in Buto, Bweyogerere where we can construct such a vocational institute,” he says.

If re-elected, Mutebi plans to increase the municipality’s revenues by automating tax collection.

“Currently, we’re collecting 60 per cent of the target revenue from trading licenses, property tax and plan approvals but we can do better through an automated tax collection system because it minimizes personal negotiations between our collectors and taxpayers,” he explained.

In the last financial year (2019/20), the municipality collected Shs 17 billion against a target of Shs 24 billion. With such limited resource envelope, Mutebi says his vision to constructing durable (two-seal tarmac) roads in the municipality cannot be achieved.

Despite being one of Kampala’s fast emerging affluent suburbs, Kira received a paltry Shs 1.6 billion from the Uganda Road Fund in the last financial year. This amount cannot construct more than two kilometres of a single-seal tarmac road. Yet, the overall state of roads in the municipality is not enviable.

EDUCATION

Mutebi is a graduate on political science from Makerere University. He also has a master’s degree in human resource management, which he
studied at Kingston University in the UK. Born and bred in Kireka, Mutebi started his elementary education at Kamuli primary school before joining Kyambogo college and Makerere high school.

After four years in the political office, Mutebi says he now has the ability to convince different partners to support the municipality budget for development projects. It is against such background that he wants another term in office.

mugalu@observer.ug





Source – observer.ug

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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema

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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.

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded

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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

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

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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

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