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Rotary Celebrates Historic Victory over Polio in Africa



Rotary District 9211 and Rotary International have commemorated the declaration of Africa as a Polio free region by the World Health Organization (WHO). The declaration came after four years without any case of Polio in the African region.

In a statement released on August 25, 2020 during a press briefing held at Kampala club, Rotary International stated that it was proud to announce a historic health achievement, as Africa was certified by the World Health Organization as being wild poliovirus free.

‘’This is a moment to celebrate because it has taken over 35 years for Rotary and its partners to reach the milestone in the fight against the wild poliovirus which comes as a result very hard work,’’ said Robert Nsibirwa, the past district governor of district 9211 (Uganda and Tanzania).

He also said that about 32000 Rotarians in Africa contributed funds which totaled to around USD 890 million which played a crucial role in fighting Poliovirus in the African region.

‘’35 to 40 years ago, this pandemic paralyzed the communities because many children were affected by the virus that causes polio and many people stopped visiting each other and also stopped taking their children to school,” he added.

He stressed that Rotary International started working with WHO to establish the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988 which saw many other partners join the fight that saw close to two and half billion children immunized in Africa.

‘’Uganda was declared Polio free by WHO in 1996, and for 14 years Uganda has not registered any case of the wild poliovirus but the work meant that we had to continue doing this over and over,’’ he said.

He further explained that Rotary and Global partners against Polio first joined hands with Former South Africa President, Nelson Mandela in 1996 to mobilize leaders across the continent to commit to reaching every child with the Polio vaccine.

While reacting to the news that Africa had been declared Polio free, Dr. Tunji Funsho, Chair of Rotary’s Nigeria Polio Plus Committee said that the achievement shows that the global eradication of polio is only possible with collaboration, political and financial support despite the fact that a lot still needs to be done.

Polio (Poliomyelitis) is a highly infectious viral disease that mainly affects children under the age of five. It attacks the nervous system causing paralysis in a matter of hours. Although there is no cure for Polio, it can be prevented by immunization.

A region is eligible for regional certification if it goes three years without any wild polio virus being detected from a country with in that region.

Rotary brings together a global network of voluntary leaders dedicated to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges.

It has contributed more than USD 2.1 billion to fight polio and countless volunteer hours since launching its polio eradication program, polio plus, in 1985 before establishing the global polio eradication initiative in 1988 following a partnership with WHO, UNICEF, and U.S Centre for Disease control and prevention

The inception of the GPEI initiative came at a time when 350,000 cases of Polio were being recorded every year but today only 0.1% cases of polio are evident.


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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema



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.


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




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.      

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19




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.  

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