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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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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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