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News analysis Health Business

Why NRM fears HIV treatment Fights at


Independent MPs breakthrough Posta Uganda

Issue No. 569 April. 26 - May 02 2019 Ushs 5,000,Kshs 200, RwF 1,500, SDP 8

Money fuels
fights within
Opposition
Why Mao, Besigye, Bobi Wine
cannot work together

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April. 26 - May 02 2019 1
INBOX

Issue No. 569 April. 26 - May 02 2019

News analysis Business Health Arts Motoring

Cover story
Money fuels fights within Opposition
Why Mao, Besigye, Bobi Wine cannot work together

5 The Week
30 Comments
Extinction Rebellion Disruption and arrests
can bring social change We don’t need a bigger
particle collider: When new
experiments cost billions of
9 The Last Word
dollars and take decades, we
Is Uganda’s debt sustainable?:How need to be more scrupulous
Prof Hyuha Mukwanason’s response
to my article fails to move beyond
32 Health
abstract theoretical arguments
HIV treatment breakthrough:
New experimental injection
14 Analysis could revolutionise treatment
Why NRM fears Independent MPs: Numbers show
if not checked, 30% MPs to be Independent

35 Arts & Culture


27 Business Benon Lutaaya dies at 34: In
2016 he founded The Project;
Fights at Posta Uganda :MD accused of recruiting
an NGO for uplifting female
relatives, forging financial statements and failing to artistes in South Africa
comply with government’s development plan

STRATEGY & EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Andrew M. Mwenda WRITERS:Ronald Musoke, Flavia Nassaka, Ian Katusiime,
MANAGING EDITOR: Joseph Were Agnes Nantaba, Julius Businge.
INVESTIGATIONS EDITOR: Haggai Matsiko DESIGN/LAYOUT: Sarah Ngororano
BUSINESS EDITOR: Isaac Khisa CARTOONIST: Harriet Jamwa

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2 April. 26 - May 02 2019


Offline

“We are members of the IPOD and we have


been informed about the forthcoming
summit next month. If we continue to be
treated the way we have been treated, we
shall boycott the summit”-FDC president,
Patrick Amuriat.

South African icons of the struggle, Winnie Mandela (C), Jacob Zuma (L) and Cyril Ramaphosa.
The country marked events of April 1994 when black South Africans voted for the first time.

London, England: “Most of us in the public service think


Extinction if we get a salary increment we shall
Rebellion climate
change activists perform better. I want to assure you that
lie on the floor higher salaries without efficient services
as they perform will not change anything”-Inspector General
a mass ‘die in’
in the main hall of Government, Irene Mulyagonja.
of the Natural
History Museum.

Montreux,
Switzerland:
People in “An officer must be a priest who knows
cosplay pose
on the shores the gospel of the army. You are not a
of Lake Geneva follower but a leader. The army means
during the thinking critically, having conviction and
Polymanga pop
culture festival understanding the mission and foundation
for which the UPDF was created. The kind
of love you must have for Uganda should
not be an emotional love. It is not like
getting a fever or headache” President of
Uganda, Yoweri Museveni.

number of people who


number of people number of jobs expected
100 3000 160,000
were cleared for the
age limit verdict who failed primary to be created in the oil
teacher exams and gas sector

April. 26 - May 02 2019 3


week

Extinction Rebellion protestors in Oxford Circus, London.   FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/EPA

Extinction Rebellion
Disruption and arrests
can bring social change
By Alexander Hensby One could argue that Extinction of nations at the UN’s annual climate

E
Rebellion’s week of action was change conference two months later
xtinction Rebellion burst onto fortunately timed – the extension made it clear that there is no more
everybody’s screens with of Article 50 to October has created time to lose.
disruptions and mass arrests something of a news vacuum The aim, then, is to force the issue.
across the UK and around the while everyone takes a momentary Through their blockades of iconic
world, in protest against government breather from Brexit. Nevertheless, central London sites, Extinction
inaction on climate change. Radical activists would rightly claim that Rebellion is keeping climate change
disruptions have been at the heart of climate change is the bigger looming at the forefront of the public and
Extinction Rebellion’s activism since it catastrophe. politicians’ lips, making the seemingly
was founded in 2018 – from January’s In October 2018, the UN’s climate abstract problem facing all of us feel
disruption of London Fashion Week, agency published grave projections of real. And rather than just warning
to the infamous naked protest in the enormity of the challenge ahead if of this climate emergency, it offers a
Parliament – but the scale of the most we are to limit the most catastrophic vision of an alternative future, where
recent actions has finally succeeded consequences of climate change. a Citizens Assembly takes the lead in
in forcing mainstream news cycles For both Extinction Rebellion and reducing UK emissions to net zero.
to start giving the politics of climate the Fridays for Future school strike Perhaps inevitably, Extinction
change the attention it deserves. movement, the piecemeal response Rebellion’s actions have been met

4 April. 26 - May 02 2019


Week
with a familiar backlash from some This was evident in the Global Justice on the scale of 1,000 arrests. Such an
political commentators – witness Movement of the 2000s, as the desire arbitrary target is problematic, as it
Adam Boulton’s sneering performance to recreate the euphoria of Seattle may encourage activists to take more
on Sky News, and David Blunkett’s resulted in tactical “summit hopping” risk in pursuit of a goal that is by no
indignant authoritarianism in the with diminishing returns. means guaranteed.
Daily Mail. But while activists say State agencies also learn quickly Even if one is critical of the politics
they regret the disruption caused to how to police repeated mobilisations seemingly behind many “aggravated
working people, they consider their more ruthlessly and extremely – trespass” charges, a criminal
actions a necessary evil in order to although Extinction Rebellion’s record can be extremely costly and
change the conversation. “trademark” repertoire, the tactical discriminating for many younger
Older activists will surely point use of mass arrests, so far appears to activists, especially people of colour.
to the impact and legacy of 1999’s be combating this threat effectively. This contrasts with the relative risks
Battle of Seattle, when the Global Police have powers to disperse posed to seasoned activists whose
Justice Movement successfully closed protesters, but the sheer number of job, lifestyle, or privilege allows them
down the World Trade Organisation’s people now willing to be arrested to ride the consequences. It is crucial
annual meeting. Not only was this shifts the balance of power between that Extinction Rebellion fulfils a
extremely empowering for those the public and the state. For example, duty of care to support those who are
involved, it crucially helped make
resistance to a largely abstract
neoliberal governance structure seem
concrete and real.
Much like the Occupy
demonstrations seven years ago,
Extinction Rebellion’s latest eye-
catching protests have been friendly
and open, laden with artistic
performances, talks, and human
connection. This good-natured spirit
has so far meant that the movement
has gained significant traction not
only on the airwaves, but on the
streets too.
Extinction Rebellion’s efforts are
aimed at building momentum, and
they are based in political science
– their website highlights a figure
that it takes just 3.5% of a nation’s
population engaged in sustained
nonviolent resistance to topple a
dictatorship. In the UK, that’s less
than 2.5m people. Their clear demands
and principles give the movement
a clarity and focus that the Occupy
movement may have lacked, and
they are growing week by week –
Extinction Rebellion says that 50,000
people have joined the movement A theatre group perform on Waterloo Bridge during protests.  ANDY RAINE/EPA

since the protests started.


However, contemporary mainstream police have so far been unable to clear prepared to put their bodies on the
news cycles are fast and fickle, and any of the four sites in central London, line, but with more than 900 arrested
the movement will have to act quickly as spates of arrests were closely already, its an expensive, high-risk
and carefully to maximise use of their followed by new wave of protesters game should multiple criminal charges
new-found public platform. arriving to entrench control. The be brought.
city’s police stations do not have the But for now, Extinction Rebellion
Danger of diminishing returns capacity to hold hundreds of arrested activists will consider recent events as
It’s extremely important that the protesters for long periods of time, a runaway success. They have gained
movement’s purpose does not become and court costs will discourage officers visibility, traction, and have at least
overshadowed by its tactics. Extinction from pursuing charges, limiting the temporarily steered media attention
Rebellion have ransacked the punitive power of the state. away from Brexit. Most importantly,
playbook of direct action repertoires At the same time, Extinction they have put climate change squarely
– blocking roads, using fake blood, Rebellion’s tactics risk fetishising the in the middle of public conversation.
recreating funeral marches, and act of being arrested as a symbol of Let’s hope it stays there.
surprise nakedness. While these participants’ commitment to the cause.
have so far been successful in The movement’s co-founder, Roger
bringing the movement’s name and Hallam, recently told the BBC that in Alexander Hensby is a Lecturer in
cause to the fore, using such tactics order to achieve its goal of “getting in Sociology, University of Kent
ad nauseum can quickly lose the the room with government”, it may
public’s imagination and support. need to create a law and order crisis

April. 26 - May 02 2019 5


Week
Police find body of missing IHK doctor, arrest several suspects in murder
Catherine Agaba, a doctor tragic killing of a young police custody. Police have
at International Hospital woman after the women launched investigations
Kampala (IHK) was killed murders of Entebbe and into the matter. The public
and dumped in a septic the kidnap and killing of has reacted with fury at
tank of an apartment in Susan Magara, a 28-year the murder of Agaba and
Muyenga, a residential old accountant. It is not yet lashed out at security forces
suburb in Kampala. established what could have especially the police who
Agaba had gone missing led to the murder of Agaba have been key in arresting
days before her body was but a security guard who opposition politicians and
discovered in the septic reportedly confessed to the blocking concerts of MP
tank in another case of a murder of the doctor is in cum musician Bobi Wine.

AfricellUG @AfricellUG

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for more bundles

6 April. 26 - May 02 2019


Humour Did you know?
Fastest way to
multiply numbers

Multiplying 2 x 2 is easy. But


multiplying two numbers with more than
In the space of two weeks, police have raided radio stations in Kabale, Jinja and a billion digits each — that takes some
Mubende districts to stop live talk shows where Dr Besigye was being hosted. serious computation. The multiplication
technique taught in grade school may
be simple, but for really big numbers,
it’s too slow to be useful. Now, two
mathematicians say that they’ve found
the fastest way yet to multiply extremely
large figures.
The duo claim to have achieved an
ultimate speed limit for multiplication,
first suggested nearly 50 years ago. That
feat, described online March 18 at the
document archive HAL, has not yet
passed the gauntlet of peer review. But
if the technique holds up to scrutiny, it
could prove to be the fastest possible
way of multiplying whole numbers, or
integers.
When making calculations with
exorbitantly large numbers, the most
important measure of speed is how
quickly the number of operations needed
The Supreme Court has upheld the Constitutional Court decision which allowed the — and hence the time required to do the
removal of the Presidential age limit from the constitution of Uganda calculation — grows as you multiply
longer and longer strings of digits. That
growth is expressed in terms of n, defined
as the number of digits in the numbers
being multiplied. For the new technique,
the number of operations required is
proportional to n times the logarithm of n,
expressed as O(n log n) in mathematical
lingo. That means that, if you double
the number of digits, the number of
operations required will increase a bit
faster, more than doubling the time the
calculation takes.
But, unlike simpler methods of
multiplication, the time needed doesn’t
quadruple, or otherwise rapidly blow
up, as the number of digits creeps
up, report Harvey and Joris van der
Hoeven of the French national research
agency CNRS and École Polytechnique
in Palaiseau. That slower growth rate
On 21 April , Easter Sunday, three churches across Sri Lanka and three luxury hotels in the makes products of bigger numbers
commercial capital Colombo were targeted in a series of coordinated terrorist suicide bombings more manageable to calculate.

April. 26 - May 02 2019 7


News analysis Health Business
How Sudan’s protesters Baby with DNA from Behind African Alliance’s move
forced al-Bashir out three people born to quit brokerage business

Issue No. 568 April. 19 - 25 2019


Ushs 5,000,Kshs 200, RwF 1,500, SDP 8

`It cannot happen


here’
How accurate are claims by

Inbox
Ugandans on Bashir coup?
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www.independent.co.ug

Letters are
welcome ! Mwenda misguided on proposed Lubowa Hospital
The Editor welcomes short and Refer to: “Our country’s never been on that list. A lot logic is just plain wrong.
concise letters from our esteemed misguided priorities” (The of things on that list have Government officers are not
readers on topical issues. Please Independent April 12). gone unfunded, including capitalists managing their
send them to:
The Editor, The Independent Hmmm, so now it’s “the the equipping of the exist- own money to maximize
Publications Ltd, elites made me do it”. This ing specialist hospitals with their own returns. They are
P.O Box 3304, is fiction. Notably absent basic supplies and equip- employees, and diverting a
Plot 82/84 Kanjokya St, from the guilty elites is the ment. There has never been; portion of the money they
Kamwokya. leadership of the Ugandan in any forum, a group of are managing into a per-
Kampala,Uganda.
medical profession and the individuals, elite or masses, sonal account is not capital-
Email: editor@independent.co.ug Ministry of Health. They agitating for the creation of ism at work. It is a crime.
were not consulted, and a super-duper world class Successful governments,
when they heard about hospital in Uganda at gov- like successful companies,
the contract (after it was ernment expense. There has lean heavily on employees
Lubowa Hospital will die signed) they were not
in favour. The Ministry
been a loud and persistent
agitation for the existing
who do such things. A
self-serving leadership is
Refer to: “Our country’s misguided of Health makes a list of hospitals to be properly not a national “misguided
priorities” (The Independent April 12). priorities every year dur- equipped with basic sup- priority”.
The reason that hospital should be aban- ing the budget process. plies, and for health work-
doned wherever the project has reached is The Lubowa hospital, or ers to get a living wage. Sserukeera
because it will die a stillborn death. There anything resembling it, has On capitalism, Mwenda’s
are many reasons that will kill it.
 Every poor and middle-class person
hates it.
 Extortion by service providers and
Kabaka should Excitement within
public utilities will be high on agenda.
The transformer has blown a fuse,
walk the talk opposition will cost them
the water pump has exploded, the Refer to: “Kabaka Mutebi I have never seen hate for those who sup-
air ambulance has broken, and more. decries poverty levels” (The Inde- port a political leaders like I see toward the
These will haemorrhage the hospital pendent Online April 20). The supporters of popular musician and oppo-
even if you guard it with SFC elite sol- Kabaka, his cabinet, and all his sition Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagu-
diers. Moreover opposition big-wigs local and community leaders need lanyi aka Bobi Wine. The leader of the
will avoid it. to lead by example to eradicate the Democratic Party, Norbert Mao has recent-
 The hospital has started on a very bad vices he mentions. Who of Bugan- ly been calling on people to publicly harass
leg of ill-omen. From MPs to ordinary da leaders has a model farm or supporters of fellow opposition leader,
people who have zero chance of being factory to inculcate working into Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic
beneficiaries to medics themselves youths and eradicate poverty? The Change (FDC). Bobi wine has also been
and all and sundry, this hospital is Buganda Land Board is involved calling on his supporters to harass those in
unpopular except for the likes of in stealing people’s lands; includ- Besigye’s camp. At Hotel Africana recently,
Mwenda, subcontractors and others. ing kingdom land, leave alone he uttered true though harsh statements
Even the neighbourhood will gain making peasants landless through against Besigye. Bobi Wine also called us;
zero benefit from the hospital. `Kyapa Kumeeza’ leasing land to Museveni supporters, deplorable. Is this
 The running costs will be prohibitive bona-fide owners! The kingdom is what the opposition has become; parties of
through over-billing and other opu- encouraging laziness by begging haters? Do even their leaders condone such
lent unnecessary consultation. Then from the subjects instead of using behaviors? Please tell me it isn’t so! Yet I see
the government (in its always broke other forms of earning money like few opposition leaders calling to end the
status) will default on paying accumu- tourism of Buganda rich history behavior that causes such strife and divi-
lated bills. Suppliers and the investors and regalia. So the Kabaka should sion. Some elderly people tell me that there
will fail to deliver the anticipated ser- walk the talk and blame himself used to be time when those of differing
vices leading to its dilapidation. Then and his cabinet for failing to bring political beliefs and opinions could have a
suits and counter-suits will follow and prosperity to central Buganda and civil conversation. Today, many of us don’t
the next thing you know, bedbugs will Uganda as a whole. even attempt to understand one another.
be reported in the beddings.
Rwasubutare Charles Muhigirwa Michael Woira

8 April. 26 - May 02 2019


The Last Word Opinion

Is Uganda’s debt sustainable?


By Andrew M. Mwenda
How Prof Hyuha Mukwanason’s response to my article
fails to move beyond abstract theoretical arguments

P
rof Hyuha Mukwanason wrote in payments were Shs 2.0 trillion per year export earnings. IMF and other donors
Daily Monitor of April 13 a 4,214 while foreign debt service was $209m (Shs were always rescheduling these debts for
words-long article responding to 800 billion) per year. countries in this region continually but our
my article published in The New Ability to service this debt depends on countries could not pay. By 1989, more than
Vision of January 21 (2,400 words). In his government revenue and on the credit 100 loans had been rescheduled without
response, he purported to demonstrate worthiness of a country – which allows making our countries solvent.
that Uganda’s debt is unsustainable. Yet it to borrow new loans to pay old ones. One cannot analyse debt sustainability
nowhere in that long article does he make Government of Uganda collects tax and without looking at a nation’s financial assets
any effort to meet this promise. Instead he non-tax revenues and also gets grants (a i.e. its net debt (total debt minus financial
went into a host of irrelevant theoretical part of foreign aid) all of which it uses assets). If a country has a lot of foreign
abstractions about debt generally that have (or help it) pay local debt. It also uses her exchange reserves or a sizeable sovereign
little or no relevance to Uganda’s actual revenues to buy foreign exchange to pay wealth fund, it means it has money it can
debt situation, ironically the very issue he foreign currency denominated debt. Shs2 draw to pay its debt obligations. Uganda
was criticising me for. trillion domestic debt service is expensive has $3 billion in foreign exchange reserves,
For instance, he does not bother to state and has many negative consequences on which makes our net debt $7.5 billion.
Uganda’s debt stock, its tax revenues, private sector growth but it is only 11% of Finally we come to the issue of the debt
foreign exchange earnings or even the domestic revenue (domestic revenue is Shs burden, which is the ratio of debt service to
annual cost of servicing these debts. He also 18 trillion). Is this unsustainable? If yes, how revenue. The higher the percentage of debt
makes no reference to the debt burden (the and why? service to public revenues, the greater is the
ratio of debt service to revenue) – the very Hyuha knows or should know that a debt burden. Uganda’s total debt service
elements that are fundamental to explaining country cannot default on local-currency is Shs 2.8 trillion which is 15% of revenue!
whether a country’s debt is sustainable. denominated debt because it can always Given that Uganda also gets grants from
He does not refer to the purposes for print the money and pay its creditors. Of donors, this reduces her debt burden. Of
which the country is accumulating debt course there is a cost here: if government course one can say that donations cannot be
(such as investments in transport and prints money not backed by an appropriate part of such a calculation. But that would
energy infrastructure) and whether they level of output, it will cause inflation. But be a technical argument. As long as one has
have potential to give the country future that depends on how much inflation a generous benefactors willing to pick some
productivity gains from whence it can country is willing to tolerate and the effects of his/her bills, their debt burden would be
generate tax revenues and export earnings of this on the cost of future borrowings. low.
to meet her debt service obligations. William Easterly and Michael Bruno (both Finally, Hyuha’s arguments are not
I got the sense that Hyuha went to his economists at the world bank when they without merit. There are many cases
notes, which he took as a student or a did this study) have shown that below 40%, of mismanagement of foreign loans,
lecturer, and just copied and pasted them inflation is not very harmful to economic corruption, delays, etc. some of which
for an article perhaps to show-off that he growth. There are many arguments about Hyuha quotes from an IMF assessment.
knows the economics of debt. This is why inflation here that will divert my argument, Indeed, in my article I mention some. While
his article made a lot of abstract theoretical so let me reserve them for another day. it is important to point out such weaknesses,
arguments common in textbooks but had So this leaves the issue of Uganda’s debt it does not vitiate the fundamentals.
nothing concrete about Uganda’s debt. sustainability on the foreign debt, which I am aware that many Ugandans
Yet as an academic who claims to have is $7.2 billion. Although this is more than are frustrated with President Yoweri
studied and “published two graduate double domestic debt, its service is $209m Museveni’s long and corrupt rule. This has
level textbooks” on the economics of debt, (Shs800 billion). This is because it is given led many of our intellectuals to imagine that
readers should be looking up to him for on highly concessionary terms, a factor that things must be going badly for our country.
a concrete (as opposed to an academic or Hyuha dismisses. Ideally, foreign currency This is partly correct. However, in many
classroom) analysis of our debt situation. denominated debt can be worrisome cases this is often not true! Absolute success,
Public debt is not a static figure. On any because a country needs to earn the foreign more than absolute failure, is what drives
given day, week or month, government exchange to pay it back. Uganda earns $7.0 these frustrations. The problem with very
signs new loans and services others. To be billion in export of goods and services. many Ugandans could be with the relative
accurate one has to pick a date and say on So foreign debt service here is only 3% of success. When they look at those around
this day, Uganda’s debt was this or that. export earnings, 4.44% of domestic revenue. them who are doing well, they feel left
As of end of June 2018, Uganda’s total Is this unsustainable? behind even when their own circumstances
public debt was $10.5 billion or Shs 41.3 For a historical perspective, in 1990, have improved in absolute terms.
trillion. Of this foreign debt was $7.2 billion average debt service in Sub Sahara Africa
(68%), domestic debt $3.3 billion (or Shs was 50% of export earnings. Some countries amwenda@independent.co.ug
12.4 trillion) – 32%. Domestic debt interest debt service obligations exceeded their

April. 26 - May 02 2019 9


cover story

Money fuels
fights within
Opposition
Why Mao, Besigye, Bobi Wine
cannot work together
By Ian Katusiime

10 April. 26 - May 02 2019


cover story

O
By Ian Katusiime actual numbers, only 65,874 people voted the opposition radical fringe. And, in an
for him out of 6.9 million who voted. interview with The Independent, Bwanika
f all declared candidates Mao on the other hand got 1.86% of was quick to claim the Kyadondo East MP.
for the 2021 presidential the vote in the 2011 presidential race. “Bobi Wine is part of us. We will help
election, Norbert Mao It was low and inconsequential but it those who are with People Power with
appears to be crafting the placed him third, behind the big two of structures which will help them to stand in
most interesting strategy so Uganda’s political arena; President Yoweri various positions,” he said.
far. The President General Museveni of NRM and Kizza Besigye; The significant portions reveal parts of
of the Democratic Party (DP) has for over the freewheeling Forum for Democratic the DP Bloc strategy. It is not about the
two years been engaged in reunification Change (FDC) stalwart. Samuel Lubega presidency only, apparently. They are also
work within his party. In the latest move, who ran in the same election got 0.41% of pushing a strategy whereby opposition
Mao on April 04 in Kampala announced the vote. parties agree not to field candidates against
the formation of a new political structure So, when the four unveiled their DP each other in the parliamentary and lower
called the DP Bloc. coalition, it raised many questions. What elections. The decision on which party
The DP Bloc has four strands; the is the plan behind it? Secondly, do they will field a candidate will depend on
mainstream DP of Mao, the Peoples expect other players to take four political strength of the party in the constituency.
Development Party (PDP) of perennial minnows more seriously, simply because But this DP Bloc decision has already been
presidential candidate Abed Bwanika, they have formed a Bloc? criticised because those pushing it are seen
the Social Democratic party (SDP) of Ibrahim Ssemuju Nganda; the to be weak politically and yet they claim to
another DP-break-away maverick, Michael spokesperson of Uganda’s biggest be stronger than candidates from the FDC
Mabikke , and the still
unregistered Truth for
Justice Party of London-
based former presidential
candidate Samuel Lubega.
Although this DP Bloc
is being sold as a united
front, a closer looks
exposes it as an effort by
the four main players to
manage a very delicate
power struggle within the
DP.
Mao is the driver,
has the most political
clout, and has already
announced that he will
run for president in 2021.
But it is clear that the other Bobi Wine Mugisha Muntu Kizza Besigye
three; Bwanika, Mabikke,
and Lubega are determined to ensure that opposition party; FDC has already in Buganda, the heart of opposition. But
he treats them as equals. And he might dismissed them. that is also just a tiny part of the strategy.
–as long as they do not threaten his plans “We are battling to cut down a strong According to some analysts, the DP bloc
for the presidential election. So suspicion mvule tree and all they bring on the table of Mao, Bwanika, Mabikke, and Lubega
is rife because Bwanika, Mabikke, and are razor blades,” he told journalists. is designed to court western donors, their
Lubega are all ambitious men. But Medard Lubega Sseggona, MP for money and support.
It would not be surprising if Bwanika, Busiro County East under DP, says their
Mabikke, and Lubega insist on the DP strategy is different. Targeting donor money
Bloc fielding one joint candidate elected “It is about strategy and the candidates.” Donors routinely fund political parties
from among the “four principals”. If that He adds, “We have taken our lessons. during elections under the Deepening
happens, Mao will lose. At the heart of all We are not going to fold our hands. If we Democracy Programme (DDP), a
successful political alliances is the personal do not unite, how shall we get rid of the joint purse funded by some European
chemistry between the leaders involved dictatorship?” countries; the British, Swedes, Danes,
and Mao is an outsider ethnically in the DP On whether the coalition can get and Dutch. Under the Political Parties
Bloc. But if Bwanika, Mabikke, and Lubega the voter numbers, Ssegona is cryptic: and Organisations Act, 2005, donors can
try to push him out, the DP Bloc will break “Bashir had just won an election. Even only give Shs400 million a year max to a
and Mao will run as a DP candidate. In the Museveni who gets millions today political party. That is not a lot of money.
that case, Bwanika too could run as a PDP struggled to get 100,000 votes in 1980.” But other money flows in indirectly
candidate. He is weak and does not stand Lubega too was unfazed by Ssemuju’s through equipment and trainings. It
a decent chance but that does not matter to scoffing. According to him, Ssemuju and also keeps opposition leaders politically
him. His strategy is built around the idea his ilk are living in the past. relevant.
that he also runs. “The political landscape has shifted,” he Other players; like the United States
In the last presidential election, Bwanika said on a radio talk show. The implication Agency for International Development
got 0.9% of the vote. It was too low but a is that FDC is no longer as powerful as it (USAID) and its embassy also bring in
40% improvement on the 0.65% that he has been. Apparently, FDC’s militaristic money from the National Democratic
managed in 2011. He had won his highest former president has been replaced by Institute (NDI) and the International
ever tally in a general election in 2006 political debutante Robert Sentamu Republican Institute (IRI). This funded
when he scooped 0.95% of the vote. In Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine as the leader of Olara Otunnu, the Uganda Peoples

April. 26 - May 02 2019 11


cover story
Congress (UPC) presidential candidate in
in 2011.
For a party to receive money, however,
it must undergo and pass certain critical
Why coalitions
eligibility tests. Is it registered by the
Electoral Commission? Are its financial
systems in order? What about its other
structures? How much money does it raise
fail in Uganda
from membership? The donors do citizen
surveys, analyse proportions of votes By Ian Katusiime and who would be its joint candidate. DP

I
won by parties and independents, and and UPC pulled out months to the election
test internal democracy which is based on n Uganda either the coalitions have frag- leaving FDC with lightweights JEMMA, CP
whether or not a party has held a national mented and eventually fallen apart or and the SDP. In the end, FDC had to exit an
delegates conferences, for example. The role the numbers just do not add up. In 1996, empty coalition and went it alone.
of women, party branches at district level. when the first semblance of democratic In 2015 as opposition flirted with the idea
Previously, three opposition parties have elections were held in more than ten years, of a single candidate again, almost the same
got donor money; FDC, the UPC and the there was a first attempt at a coalition when problems surfaced. Mbabazi was seen as an
Peoples Progressive Party (PPP). These the DP and UPC, under a loose federation untested and untrustworthy outsider but
are the ones that got the so-called “direct of the Inter-Party Forces for Cooperation more critically, neither he nor Besigye were
funding”. (IPFC) backed the candidacy of Paul Kawa- willing to step down for the other.
But even others in the mix got something nga Ssemogerere.
under the “indirect funding”. The DP, Although some people were surprised Weak political parties
Justice Forum (JEEMA), NRM and SDP that the two parties had put their bitter Henry Muguzi, the executive director of
were in this group. This group is not given rivalry from the 1980 elections aside, they the Alliance for Election Campaign Finance
cash but they are given material assistance, never gave the candidacy of ‘Semo’ as he Monitoring (ACFIM), an NGO that advo-
equipment, and training. The best place to was known, a chance since the Museveni cates for increased transparency in political
be is in the “direct funding” group. Mao’s government was still widely popular. Not party financing, says the failures of coali-
cleaning house in DP appears to be an effort surprisingly, Museveni romped to victory tions are rooted in the failure of political
to present a decent face to donors. with 75%, his highest margin to date. parties themselves.
But the donors also love to fund alliances. With Uganda still firmly under the Move- “Most of these parties are major Kampala
This is mainly for two reasons; first, ment single party dispensation, the idea of bubbles and they do not exist outside Kam-
donors are motivated by the success of a coalition did not seem to have any impact. pala,” he explains. “It is only the NRM that
opposition coalitions elsewhere to remove In the 2001 election, elements within UPC is able to field candidates outside of this.”
incumbents. In 2000, opposition parties in and DP came together to back ‘Reform Muguzi says because of this, many elec-
Senegal formed Sopi (or “Change”) alliance, Agenda’ a pressure group with strong asso- toral constituencies exist only on paper and
defeated an incumbent and ended 40 years ciation to Besigye. The pact did not mean this affects a process of forming a coalition.
of one-party dominance. In 2002, Kenya’s much because either parties had candidates; “These parties operate where there is media
opposition grouped under the National Aggrey Awori and Francis Bwengye respec- and where they are seen.”
Rainbow Coalition (NARC) and kicked out tively attached to them, running in the same He adds, “For as long as they do not
KANU which had governed Kenya since election. establish a firm grip at the grassroots level,
1963. But this came after they individually The 2006 elections were a different propo- they will remain weak.”
first garnered over 60% of the vote in 1992 sition since Uganda had adopted multiparty Frank Rusa, Country Representative
and 1997 elections. Pre-electoral opposition politics in 2005 and parties had no time for of Netherlands Institute for Multiparty
coalitions have changed governments loose pacts since each was testing out its Democracy (NIMD), an organisation influ-
in Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, own strength after the “opening up of politi- ential in the national dialogue process,
Mauritius, Nigeria, and The Gambia. So cal space.” says the lack of issue-based engagements
donors are convinced that since Ugandan As early as 2008, the Inter Party Coop- in Uganda’s body politic cannot be ruled
parties are small and weak, they only eration (IPC) was taking shape. It brought out for the failure of coalitions. “It is mostly
stand a chance if they are united under one together FDC, UPC, DP, SDP and the Con- about who should be the flag-bearer and not
platform. servative Party (CP) but by 2010 had begun about the issues therein. Everybody wants
The second reason is organisational; the to collapse over disagreements ranging from to be a leader, who should be the face?”
donors find it is easier to monitor finance the credibility of the Electoral Commission
to one entity rather than chase ten tiny
groups. So political parties like to present
themselves, in name if not in reality, as embarrass Museveni. When that failed, ground one for the eventuality of a donor-
blocs, forums, alliances and so on. Their Otunnu quit the IPC coalition and failed to backed alliance joint candidate negotiation.
names reflect that. There is Mao’s DP Bloc, even vote for himself. In that setting, small players always insist
Besigye’s Forum for Democratic Change, In 2016, it was The Democratic Alliance on being treated as equals and the biggies
and Mugisha Muntu’s Alliance for (TDA) and former Prime Minister Amama like FDC play along –hoping to win their
National Transformation (ANT). Mbabazi was its anointed candidate to vote. So the DP Bloc of minnows Mao,
The donors, of course, also have agendas challenge Museveni. When Kizza Besigye Mabikke, Bwanika and Lubega might end
they push through the grant receiving refused to fall into line and it became up more powerful than FDC.
organisations and it is easier to push the obvious that the opposition could not
agenda through one body. In 2011, the front one joint candidate, TDA collapsed. Besigye, Bobi Wine stuck
donors funded the Inter Party Cooperation Amama Mbabazi went on to score a paltry In an interview with The Independent,
(IPC). Its mission, pushed vigorously by 136, 519 votes against Besigye’s 3,508, 687 however, Bwanika insisted that their intent
Otunnu with America’s backing, was to votes. is on the democratic gains that can be
ensure parties boycott the election – to The DP Bloc must, therefore, be seen as made from the alliance.

12 April. 26 - May 02 2019


cover story

Kizza Besigye speaking at a rally

“Our objective is to win together, resolved based on personal relationships on Besigye not to run for a fifth time. They
build electoral power and bring all our between the players. Bobi Wine is a perfect claim Besigye’s message of “votes cannot
individual processes together,” he says. ethnic fit with Bwanika, Lubega, and remove Museveni” confuses voters. But
“Secondly is to govern together where Mabikke. They will also easily accept his the real reason is their fear of Besigye
we position ourselves and distribute leadership because Bobi wine currently has dominating them. It is obvious that the
candidates from the presidency, to MPs the political momentum. The Bwanikas best chance for the opposition is if all stand
and councilors,” he adds. Bwanika states also do not have much to lose as they do behind Besigye as their single candidate.
the third goal of the bloc is to have a not have the same clout as Mao outside the But they cannot. Besigye has also
unified policy platform. party. repeatedly brushed such calls aside, saying
Bwanika explains that the DP Bloc is But Bobi Wine’s strength is also his no one asked him to join the struggle he is
working on a formal agreement under weakest point. He cannot join a coalition involved in. FDC deputy secretary general,
which People Power of Bobi Wine will be unless he is guaranteed of two things; first Harold Kaija, says the idea of a coalition
incorporated. When that happens, which he must lead the coalition, and secondly, clearly does not fit anywhere in their
appears inevitable given Bobi Wine is he must be the joint presidential candidate defiance strategy.
schmoozing with donors, it could cause of the coalition. That cannot happen with “We have been at this for a very long
even more challenges for the DP Bloc and Mao in the DP Bloc. If Bobi Wine defeats time,” he told The Independent in an
possibly make a break-up inevitable. Mao in a vote of the DP Bloc, Mao will interview recently, “Our colleagues expect
Part of the reason for such fear is that reject it and run as a DP candidate. Then to go register, vote and wait to be declared.
Bobi Wine has already declared his Bobi Wine will also have to run as an It cannot work.”
intention to run for president in 2021. independent People Power candidate. Kaija says this attitude by those in the
That puts him on a direct collision course The FDC stalwart Kizza Besigye faces coalition is the reason FDC cannot join
with Norbert Mao under the DP Bloc. the same dilemma as Bobi Wine. He too them. He poured more scorn on some of
On paper, Mao is Bobi Wine’s senior has since 2001 boxed himself into a corner the coalition leaders.
in politics. Mao is a former Makerere as the alpha male. He must dominate any “We believe teams should be organising
University students’ guild president who coalition that he joins. He cannot join a internally. Some of those in the coalition
has been in national politics since the coalition unless he is the joint presidential are regime apologists,” he said.
1990s. candidate of the coalition. And it has little Therefore, Besigye and Bobi Wine
Bobi Wine is a ghetto raised kid, who to do with personal choice. His supporters appear destined to run as independents in
gained prominence through notoriety and fellow leaders in the organisation the 2021 elections. And donors do not like
and music. He only joined politics in 2017. expect that. It happened with the that. They see them as spoilers. Mugisha
But in any fight for leadership, especially Interparty Coalition (IPC) in 2011 and TDA Muntu’s ANT party remains an unknown
within the DP Bloc, Bobi Wine will easily in 2016. quantity. That is how Mao’s coalition of
thrash Mao. As already seen, leadership This time Mao, Bobi Wine, Bwanika, minnows presents the most interesting
fights within coalitions are usually Lubega, and Mabikke have all been calling strategy in 2021.

April. 26 - May 02 2019 13


news analysis

Why NRM fears


Independent MPs
Numbers show if not checked,
30% MPs to be Independent
By Haggai Matsiko

14 April. 26 - May 02 2019


news analysis

Comparative percentage growth of Parliamentary membership for NRM,FDC,and INDEPENDENT between 2006-2016
30

25

20

15
Percentage Growth

10

5
2006-2011
0
2006-2011 2011-2016 2011-2016 2006-2011 2011-2016
-5

-10
NRM FDC INDEPENDENT

F
inally, President Yoweri Independents participate in elections. Independent MPs react
Museveni’s ruling At the centre of the law is a provision
NRM party and the that a person is only eligible to stand as Not surprisingly, current
four opposition parties an independent candidate for election Independent MPs do not like the move.
represented in parliaments if they are not a member of a registered Legislator Cecilia Ogwal sees it
have something they agree political party. In case, they have been as part of the growing intolerance
on; aspiring Independent MPs must be members of a political party, they must within political parties. She says, as a
failed at the next election in 2021. They have ceased to be a member of that politician who championed the push
accuse independents of opportunism. political party for at least eight months for the return of multi-party politics,
“You have politicians who benefit before the date of the election. she understands how important having
from the branding and goodwill of the This clause is aimed at preventing rules of engagement is. But at the same
party and then turn around to fight it,” situations where after losing party time, she told The Independent, it is
Democratic Party President, Norbert primaries, contenders jump out of the important for parties to leave an option
Mao told The Independent. party and contest as independents in where independents participate in
But the real reason behind the NRM many cases even defeating party flag elections.
and opposition party’s move appears to bearers. She used her personal story to
be fear and desire to control. If the move works as envisaged, explain why. Towards the 1996
“Some Independents have become it will give political parties more elections, Ogwal fell out with her party
extremely disruptive,” Mao says, “All control on the selection process of then—the Uganda Peoples Congress
they do is fight the party. This is a parliamentary election candidates and (UPC) after defying a directive issued
legitimate concern. And if you have a also ensure they tow the party line by then party leader, Milton Obote, for
problem you find a solution.” while in parliament. members to boycott local council and
The solution Mao and his fellow parliamentary elections.
party leaders appear to have agreed She successfully contested for the
on is to kick independents out of the Lira Municipality seat and won. Then
parties and block their emergency at after successfully championing the
election time. return of multi-party politics in 2005,
To deal with the Independent she found herself in trouble with the
candidates, the political parties have party again. By this time Milton Obote
worked with the Electoral Commission was dead and his wife Miria Obote
and came up with the Regulation of and son Jimmy Akena were seeking to
Independent Candidates Bill, 2019. capture control of the party.
The National Consultative Forum Miria became party President and
(NCF), a platform that brings together Jimmy Akena targeted Ogwal’s Lira
all political parties registered by the Municipality seat. As part of the ploy,
(EC), adopted the Bill on April 17 at a Ogwal was blocked from participating
retreat at a Hotel in Entebbe following in UPC party primaries and eventually
a week’s deliberations. Reagan Okumu Cecilia Ogwal lost the Lira Municipality seat to
Specifically, the Bill seeks to spell Akena.
out the circumstances under which A few months later, however, she

April. 26 - May 02 2019 15


news analysis
won the Woman MP seat for newly
created Dokolo District.
“If the option of contending as an
Independent was not exist available,
I would have been denied an
opportunity of serving my people who
clearly still needed me to represent
them,” she says.
Ogwal says that her troubles had
nothing to do with the masses but
the fact that a group within the party
targeted her and a group of other UPC
leaders, during the big storm that
rocked UPC before and after the death
of Obote. Indeed, around that time UPC
lost several senior leaders to both the
ruling NRM and FDC.
When she later joined the FDC,
Ogwal says she saw colleagues
encountering similar problems as she
had encountered in UPC.
She cites the cases of Kitgum
Municipality MP Beatrice Onywar and
Aswa County MP Reagan Okumu as
some of the contradictions that have
caused problems for political parties.
Ahead of the 2016 elections, Anywar
was gunning for Kitgum Municipality
but apparently, FDC handpicked Denis
Onekalit as FDC flag bearer.
“There were no primaries. Worst of all
my nomination papers, which had been
signed by FDC members, were stolen
at the last minute when I was seeing
Dr Kizza Besigye at a hotel in Kitgum,”
Anywar told The Observer in July 2016,
“I had to go back to the EC and pick
other forms with a day to nomination. I
am independent against my own wish Bobi Wine (R) campaigns for Kasiano Wadri (L) in Arua Municipality.
because my party messed me up.”
Meanwhile, Reagan Okumu, then
the FDC Vice Chairman for northern Independents are becoming a real threat fell to 34 MPs or 9% in 2011 and up 36
Uganda was in 2016 forced to contest as and one they must deal with now. MPs or 8.4% in 2016.
an independent after Gulu High Court Between 2006 and 2011, therefore,
in December 2015 declared Christopher Numbers show Independents FDC’s growth fell by 8.1% and grew by
Acire to be the rightfully nominated strength a miserly 5.8% between 2011 and 2016.
FDC flagbearer for Aswa County. The Independents, meanwhile, have
Okumu won the election as an A look at the numbers confirms the been on the roll. They were only 37
Independent but is still recognised as an fear that parties have of the growing (11%) in 2006, grew to 43 (11.4%) in 2011
executive member of FDC. This, critics presence of Independents in parliament. and then to 66 (15%) in 2016.
have pointed out, contradicts the party Since the return of multiparty In terms of growth, therefore, the
constitution. politics in 2005, Uganda has had three Independents grew by 16% between
But Ogwal says cases like these parliamentary elections—2006, 2011 and 2006 and 2011 and in the last election,
explain why you have enlarging 2016. by a staggering 53%. If they were to
numbers of Independent legislators in In 2006, the ruling party had 206 MPs maintain that streak, they could grow
parliament. out of a total of 319 MPs, it grew the by a whopping 90% in 2021. If we were
“People are treated unfairly by number to 263 MPs out of 375 MPs in to extrapolate, there is no doubt, which
parties,” Ogwal told The Independent, 2011, and 293 out of 426 MPs in 2016. would bring their numbers to 125
“That is partly why they lose primaries In terms of control, the NRM party MPs or 30% of parliament. With that,
but win the general elections. This controlled 64% of parliament in 2006, the Independents can start calling the
is the experience we have been then 70% in 2011 and 68% in 2016. In shots.
witnessing. That is why for as long as terms of growth, however, these figures It is not clear whether political
we do not have true internal democracy mean that the party grew its control by parties have made these calculations.
with in parties, we should not take 28% between 2006 and 2011 and then by But even if they have not, the analysis
away the option for people to run as a measly 11% between 2011 and 2016. of growth of strength offers a window
Independents.” The second biggest party, the Forum into why both the ruling NRM and
But for both the leaders of the for Democratic Change (FDC) had 37 other political parties are in panic
opposition and the ruling party, MPs or 11% of parliament in 2006, this mode over independents.

16 April. 26 - May 02 2019


news analysis
candidates he supported in subsequent remains what form the Independents
elections won. – who are provided for in the national
Thanks to Bobi Wine’s support, constitutional order - will take by 2021.
Independent candidate Kassiano Mao says that no one should interfere
Wadri swept the Arua Municipality with people’s constitutional right to
by-election beating both NRM’s Sarah participate in elections but at the same
Tiperu and FDC’s Bruce Musema. time, people should not attempt to eat
Both FDC and NRM had thrown their cake and have it.
their all behind their candidates. “If a party doesn’t meet your needs
Museveni and Besigye campaigned for the best option is to leave it but not to
their respective candidates. They lost. stay in it and keep fighting it,” Mao
In the Arua Municipality by-election, says, “That doesn’t foster constitutional
NRM was looking to retain the seat development.”
that was previously occupied by a He says the Political Parties Act
party stalwart, Ibrahim Abiriga, who provides for the establishment of
had just been murdered. regulations on how to participate as an
Wadri and FDC’s Bruce Musema’s Independent and that is what the NFC
votes combined were slightly above has been trying to put in place with
7000. On the other hand, NRM’s that law.
Tiperu and the other five party leaning “They have looked at how other
independents had over 9000 votes countries have done it,” he says.
combined. Mao says that in the process of
“NRM lost because of internal finding out what works, the NFC
dynamics,” NRM’s Ofwono Opondo looked at what other countries have
lamented blaming the loss on messed done.
up party primaries, which he claims In Zimbabwe, they completely
divided the ruling party’s support abolished independents. In Kenya, for
and gave chance to an independent one to become an Independent, they
candidate. should not have associated with a
Indeed, during the 2016 elections, political party for a period of time.
Museveni struggled with several But others are viewing the motive of
NRM-leaning independents who were the law suspiciously. Crispin Kaheru,
challenging party flag bearers. the coordinator Citizens’ Coalition
In another by election, riding on for Electoral Democracy in Uganda
Bobi Wine’s support and mobilisation (CCEDU) told The Independent that
skills, Asuman Basalirwa beat NRM’s while on the face of it, the law appears
Francis Oketcho and FDC’s Eunice intended to strengthen multi-party
Namatende in Bugiri Municipality. politics in the country, it could be aimed
Armed only with his `people power’ at curbing the growing strength of
The People Power wave slogan and popularity as an artist, independents in parliament.
Combine these numbers with Bobi Wine has disrupted the political “Creating certainty is important
the so-called Bobi Wine wave – landscape in Uganda. for multi-party politics and to that I
phenomenon behind parvenu People Power candidates have since think establishing a legal framework
legislator, Kyagulanyi Sentamu aka won student guild presidential races that regulates the participation of
Bobi Wine’s easy defeat of candidates at Makerere, Nkumba, Kyambogo and Independents is legitimate. But,
fronted by bother the ruling NRM and Mbarara universities. under the circumstances, this
FDC in the Kyadondo East by-election And ahead of the 2021 elections, law appears aimed at targeting
in 2018. He ran as an independent. Bobi Wine is seen as the most popular individual independents. In bringing
Despite being new on the political contender against President Yoweri an independent law, one senses a
scene and appearing unprepared Museveni. temptation to target the legitimate
without any established party backing, The existing tensions between his independents.”
Bobi Wine won easily with 78% of the camp and that of Kizza Besigye, who He says that if the political parties
vote. has until recently been the defacto were only looking at preventing political
Bobi Wine also worked with a small leader of opposition in Uganda having opportunism, they would start by
group of Independents and some challenged President Museveni for four establishing strict guidelines envisioned
opposition MPs in a bid that almost times in vain speaks volumes of Bobi by the Political Parties Code of Conduct
failed the ruling party from lifting Wine’s political clout as much does the that has for years been gathering dust in
amending the constitution to remove fact that other opposition leaders like parliament.
the 75-year age limit. The ruling party Mao and former FDC Mugisha Muntu’s He says the law to regulate
had to fall back on the military to efforts to quote the youthful legislator. independent candidates appears part of
beat the MPs into submission before As Bobi Wine’s popularity soars and the big plan for the establish parties to
the constitution could be amended. It Independents continue to eat into the consolidate their privileged position in
now appears Museveni does not want share of political parties, it makes sense the politics of the day.
groups of MPs he cannot control. that the parties are fighting back. But “It is a contentious issue,” Mao says,
And in a few months, Bobi Wine, the since the muddy party primaries will “But people should put their cards on
Independent with no party structures inevitably results in fallouts as some the table and debate it in good faith.”
no huge wards of cash has become a aspirants are either locked out of the
kingmaker of sorts. He ensured that race or feel cheated at the ballot, it

April. 26 - May 02 2019 17


news analysis

Sudan can avoid past mistakes


By drawing lessons from its history it can ensure negotiation
of settlements of the country’s broader conflicts

By Willow Berridge 1964, which ushered out Sudan’s first Protesters continue their sit in outside

A
military regime, and the April Intifada army headquarters, which originally
military coup d’etat in Sudan of 1985, which ousted the second. began when they demanded the army
has ended Omar al-Bashir’s As in the 1985 uprising, the military support the movement against al-
30-year rule. maintain that they are siding with a Bashir. They now fear the army may
This is the sixth coup the popular uprising. A Transitional Mili- use force to break it up.
country’s military have led since inde- tary Council has been formed and its The continuing protests have forced
pendence in 1956. The military were leadership maintains that it’s commit- the Transitional Military Council to
pressured into the coup by the coun- ted to bringing back a civil state and change its leader once already. And
try’s third major civilian uprising. His- multi-party democracy. there are worrying signs that the
torically, the two most famous upris- But there’s still considerable skepti- transition to civilian rule will not be
ings were the October Revolution of cism towards the new military leaders. smooth.

18 April. 26 - May 02 2019


news analysis
between left-leaning and Islamist- these ministries will be in a position
leaning factions in the professional to determine the fate of the deeply
movement. The result was that the Inti- entrenched, and highly corrupt, mili-
fada failed to achieve a number of its tary and security complex established
aspirations for more meaningful social by al-Bashir and his Islamist allies.
transformation. It’s also crucial that any new tech-
It’s crucial that the professionals nocratic cabinet is not seen as being
and other political forces do not allow biased towards one political group or
the same issues that divided them in set of interests.
1985 to divide them today. This could Historically there has been a great
play into the hands of the factions in deal of crossover between prominent
the military that want to maintain the professional unions and the political
authoritarian system which awarded parties. Particularly with regards to
the majority of the government’s bud- lawyers, doctors and university lectur-
get to the security sector. ers who played a prominent role in the
forerunner of today’s Sudan Profes-
The principal players sional Association.
Events since al-Bashir was forced out In 1964, many of the professionals
suggest there’s still a lot left to play for. who participated in the first transi-
Lieutenant General Ahmed Awad tional cabinet were members or sym-
Ibn Auf was named as al-Bashir’s pathisers of the Sudan Communist
replacement. But he was forced to step Party. In 1985, a good number of them
down after just one day as protesters sympathised to a greater or lesser
regarded him as too close to al-Bashir’s extent with political Islam.
regime. During the uprising, the Sudan Pro-
General Abdel-Fattah Burhan then fessional Association has been good
took over the military council, immedi- at not making its affiliations clear.
ately promising to “uproot” al-Bashir’s But as it becomes more public – and
regime. He also promised to hand over members engage in talks and join tran-
power to civilians after a two year tran- sitional bodies – there will inevitably
sition period. be considerable speculation as to its
Burhan, a soldier by profession, has sympathies.
never previously taken any political
positions. His role in the army included Representation of marginalised
responsibility for Sudan’s operations groups
alongside the Saudi led coalition in
Yemen. He also has close ties to the The new cabinet should also take
Transitional Military Council’s new two other issues on board: women’s
deputy leader Mohammad Hamdan representation and regional represen-
aka Himeidti, who helped him remove tation.
al-Bashir from power. Previous transitional cabinets have
Himeidti is the commander of been very male dominated. This needs
the Rapid Support Forces, a private to change, particularly given the
There is a real risk that a trend military force which was partially inte- enormous presence of women on the
which emerged during the last two grated into the military and security streets during this uprising.
transitional periods of 1964 - 1965 and services. The unit is regarded by many Regional representation is also key.
1985 - 1986 will be repeated. On both as a re-branded version of the Janja- There’s a real risk that the trend from
occasions key rebel groups didn’t par- weed militias of which Himeidti was the last two transitional periods con-
ticipate in the negotiations. This meant himself a part. These perpetrated mass tinues. Then, political forces based
that negotiated settlements of the coun- atrocities during the government’s in the riverine north negotiated the
try’s broader conflicts were doomed counter-insurgency against the rebel transition to democracy and rebels
from the get go. movement in Darfur from 2003. did not participate in the interim gov-
The other danger is the military’s How the leaders of the Darfur rebel ernments. This meant that the war in
future role. Key here will be the rela- factions react to Himeidti’s involve- the periphery continued, as did the
tionship between the new military tran- ment will be crucial to the viability of regional inequalities that fed it.
sition council and the civilian leaders any transitional government Burhan Then it was the southern-based
of the Intifada. leads. rebels that were sidelined during the
Sudan has seen this movie play out Equally important is who comes out transitional process. Now it could be
before. In 1985, Siwar al-Dahab became on top in the current contest over key those who have taken up arms in the
chairman of a transitional military ministerial posts. West of the country.
council after he had ousted President It’s crucial that both east, west and
Gaafar Nimeiry in a coup. After elec- Control of ministries the new south – and particularly the
tions, he surrendered power to prime The Transitional Military Council groups targeted by the regime’s lethal
minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. has demanded that it’s represented in counter-insurgencies – are given fair
Siwar al-Dahab, relatively unam- both the interior and defence minis- representation.
bitious but politically conservative, tries.
played on divides between the politi- Care needs to be taken on these Willow Berridge is a Lecturer in History,
cal parties and the professionals, and appointments. Whoever controls Newcastle University

April. 26 - May 02 2019 19


Fights at Posta Uganda
MD accused of recruiting relatives, forging financial statements
and failing to comply with government’s development plan

T
By Isaac Khisa another five years. sustainable operations countrywide.
Leading the fight are employees, But sources familiar with its
he Managing Director for who in their various capacities, have operations and various investigations
Uganda Posta Limited, petitioned the head of the Anti- reveal that the company could, instead
James Arinaitwe, is caught Corruption Unit at State House, be heading nowhere but towards its
up in a fight to secure a Lt. Col Edith Nakalema and the end.
‘third term’ following the Inspector General of Government, To make matters worse, the term of
expiry of his contract last Irene Mulyagonja over Arinaitwe’s the Board of Directors that is supposed
month, The Independent can exclusively bad leadership and the company’s to play an oversight role at the
reveal. dwindling performance. government owned company expired
With the decline in the company’s Established in 1998 to offer mail- in March 2018.
financial performance, intimidation, related services such as acceptance In addition, the second five-year
nepotism and non-alignment of the of letters and parcels; provision of post term for the current managing director
entity’s strategic plan to the National office boxes; and sale of postage stamps, expired on March 31, 2019, creating a
Development Plan, the anxiety that the packaging, and stationery, UPL is supposed power vacuum in the cash strapped
MD is shown exit is high. to provide postal services, and harness entity.
The fight has deepened in the past the benefits from its vast resources In the midst of this confusion, the
two weeks following reports that there or asset base and diversification Solicitor General, in a letter dated
is a plan to renew his contract for opportunities at its disposal to run April 04 to the Permanent Secretary

20 April. 26 - May 02 2019


business
for Information, Communication and MD speaks out year under review. This left the company
Technology and National Guidance, with merely Shs528.2million as profit.
Vincent Bagiire, and Managing However, Arinaitwe said he is not In 2016, the company recorded a
Director, said there is need to appoint surprised with the allegations. He, for Shs1bn net profit. However, in 2017, the
the members of the Board for UPL instance, said UPL operates an open company recorded a 540% drop in profits
that will eventually appoint the next contract that is subject to renewal to Shs 4.45bn loss.
managing director. meaning that a good employee will In addition, the Auditor General’s
But as the company awaits the new always be rewarded with another report for 2018 shows that UPL had an
MD to be appointed, The Independent contract. outstanding tax payment of Shs4.3bn. Of
has learnt that emotions are high at the He said although his contract expired these, Shs1bn relates to unpaid Pay As
company headquarter and majority and is yet to be issued with another You Earn (PAYE) and Shs 3.28bn relates
employees do not want the current appointment or termination letter, he is to unpaid value added tax (VAT).
MD’s contract renewed. still the substantive managing director The Auditor General, John Muwanga,
“We as UPL employees feel that it is for UPL by virtue of conduct. noted that during the financial year
time we lay down our tools,” one of the He also denied allegations of hiring his under review, 21 members of staff left
employees who preferred anonymity relatives to work for the company. the organisation as a result of expiry
said. “The company has a human resource of contracts, dismissals and transfer of
“Imagine I can’t even communicate department that does recruitment… and services and these were not replaced,
on my phone freely because my boss leading to staffing shortfalls within the
(Arinaitwe) seems to be tracking our company.
conversations.” He said the high staff turnover affects
A section of employees, for instance,
accuse Arinaitwe of influencing
Multiple company operations and achievement
of company objectives as a result of man
recruitment of his family members
into the company at the time of
sources that power gaps.
“I have advised management to
restructuring. spoke to The devise a strategy of retaining staff in the

Independent
So far, he has influenced the company and also ensure that vacant
recruitment of at least 12 of his family positions are filled for efficient and

said Arinaitwe
members involving his children, nieces, effective service delivery,” Muwanga
nephews and cousins, according to said.
documents that The Independent has
seen. is fond of Muwanga also pointed out that
though the entity obtained a certificate of
The other area of concern that The
Independent has established is that in coming up compliance issued by National Planning
Authority confirming that its budget
December 2016, the management of the
Post Bus handed over its operations to
with financial is aligned to the strategic plan and the
NDP, UPL was instead issued with a
another company, Fort Express. The
arrangement was that Fort Express pay
statements certificate of non-compliance by the NPA
due to failure to align the time horizon of
Shs80 million per month to the agency that do not the Strategic Plan (2013/2014 – 2017/2018)

reflect actual
from the 10 buses. and the NDP II (2015/16 – 2019/20).
But a few months into the operation, Furthermore, the Strategic Plan (2013-

operations,
the company failed to meet its 2018) expired at end of financial year
obligation leading to accumulation of 2017-2018 and had not been replaced,
debts worth Shs700million.
Though the contract was terminated picture of the Muwanga said.
Arinaitwe, however, is not new to
and buses reverted to UPL, the vehicles
were once again given to the same organisation controversies. In 2013, the Ministry
of Finance, Planning and Economic
operators, this time under a different Development wanted him out on claims
name – Double K Professional Drivers. that his first five-year term did not yield
“The same company is still failing the expected results. He was accused
to meet the agreed terms while of mismanagement, fraud and poor
(Arinaitwe) continuing to receive the corporate governance.
share from the operator,” the sources I do not participate in the exercise,” he
said. said. Government’s view
Multiple sources that spoke to The With regard to financial performance, Commenting on the fights at UPL,
Independent said Arinaitwe is fond of Arinaitwe said the company has been Bagiire said he is indeed aware of the
coming up with financial statements performing well and that the Auditor issues and that the government plans to
that do not reflect actual operations, General has always accorded the make pronouncements soon.
picture of the organisation. financial statements as a true reflection of He said the ministry made its
“To make matters worse, he the company operations. submission to the cabinet regarding
(Arinaitwe) intimidates everyone in However, the Auditor General’s constituting a new board at the UPL
our offices and whoever disagrees with reports for the past four years reveal so as it can proceed to appoint a new
him is shown the exit or transferred that the company is not doing well as managing director.
to another branch” the sources said, expected. “We have also heard of recruitment
adding that so far more than 100 For instance, the Auditor General’s of relatives in the company but a gain
employees have left the company report for 2015 shows that UPL that is the matter that is required to be
during his tenure. generated Shs18.98bn but incurred reported to the IGG for investigations,”
Shs18.45bn as expenditure during the he said.

April. 26 - May 02 2019 21


business

Digital tax stamps: A waste


of tax payer’s money?
Studies show new initiative will
merely benefit the contracted firm
By Patricia Akankwatsa UNBS covers only 17 entry points out of the city were selling a substantial number of

O
about 165 borders, leaving most of the bor- cigarette packs carrying either counterfeit or
n April 12, the Uganda Revenue ders with no manpower and an avenue for out-of-state tax stamps.
Authority announced that it had smugglers. Illegal cigarette sales were more pervasive
rolled out digital stamps to com- This is further compounded by the fact in independent stores, as opposed to chain
bat illicit trade and seal revenue that UNBS staff serve as public officers with stores, according to the study published in
leakages. This move follows Kenya and their appointment letters stating that they the BMJ journal Tobacco Control.
Tanzania that have already done so. need to work for 40 hours a week yet people “Our research found that illegal cigarettes
Clare Musiime Bakanga, the change in the private sector potentially work 24 are regularly available over the counter in
leader digital tracking solutions at URA said hours a day for the entire week. To make New York City,” said study author Diana
the taxman plans to start with cigarettes the situation even worse, UNBS is charged Silver, associate professor of public health at
in May and thereafter spirits, NYU’s Steinhardt School
beers and wines in July. She of Culture, Education,
said soda and water are set to and Human Develop-
be included into the initiative ment and College of
in August and September this Global Public Health.
year, respectively. “Taxes on packs sold
“URA is working with the with counterfeit or out-
Uganda National Bureau of of-state tax stamps are
Standards (UNBS), to ensure not being recouped by
they minimize revenue leak- the city and the state.”
ages, combat illicit trade and John Njiraini, the Com-
money laundering and be able missioner General at the
to trace the whereabouts of the KRA told his guests dur-
product,” she said. ing the 2018 Tax Stamp
URA has already contracted Forum in Nairobi that
a Swiss Company, SICPA, to while tax stamp technol-
install and run the Digital Tax ogy is now well devel-
Stamps system at a cost yet to oped, its effectiveness
be disclosed. especially in combating
Digital tax stamps are tax evasion, depends to
tamper-proof physical paper a large measure on the
stamps with security features extent to which, such
and codes that are applied to technology is infused
goods or their packaging to prevent coun- with the responsibility to fight counterfeits into other tax compliance processes.
terfeiting. The stamps enable traders and that has already overwhelmed the institu- “There is need therefore to look at tax
manufacturers track the product’s move- tion given its limited human resource capac- stamp systems not in isolation but as part
ment and government to monitor compli- ity and expertise. of the holistic process of addressing tax
ance of the product and stamp. In the region, Kenya and Tanzania imple- compliance, and hence as part of the wider
But the current situation both at the mented digital stamps in 2016 and 2018, technology infrastructure built to support
UNBS and URA shows that the initiative is respectively, for various products including tax compliance,” he wrote for the Standard
already dead from its inception, and instead wines, spirits, tobacco, and beer to seal tax newspaper, a Kenyan-based daily.
government is likely to incur costs with leakages. He said the present practice where tax
minimum or no returns. However, data from Kenya Revenue stamp systems are developed as stand-
First, the initiative is targeting formal Authority for July-December 2017 showed alone platforms, may not in the long run
manufacturers who already have clear and that tax collected from sale of beer, effectively deliver the kind of holistic solu-
audited production and distribution pro- cigarettes and spirits – the main revenue tions required for tax administration. After
cesses for tax purposes, signaling the digital streams – declined by 16.3%, 16% and all, he said, detecting evasion of excise taxes
tax stamp company will add limited value 11.2%, respectively, compared to 2016, without having commensurate interven-
into the tax collection measures. amidst, the availability of digital stamps. tions to address other tax streams equally
Secondly, UNBS has a limited number of A study carried out in New York City affected is not only narrow minded but also
staff for not only covering the entire country in 2015 by public health researchers found possibly as well self-defeating.
but also for doing many things. Currently, that licensed tobacco retailers throughout

22 April. 26 - May 02 2019


business

The Hilton Hotel brand is renowned for quality and high standards

Hilton Hotel enters


Ugandan market
New player expected to boost local tourism industry
By Ronald Musoke the next five years, including entering new it will attract a number of tourists who have

G
markets such as Botswana, Ghana, Swa- been yearning for their services.
lobal hotel brand, Hilton, will ziland, Uganda, Malawi and Rwanda. So “Hilton opens Uganda to a different
soon enter the Ugandan market, far, development of 53 properties is in the segment of clientele. It is a very positive
boosting the country’s fast grow- pipeline. development for Uganda in terms of inter-
ing hospitality industry. The com- “Uganda is a country very close to my national reputation and quality,” said Lilly
pany’s representatives on March 22 signed heart, so I am very proud to have been able Ajarova, the executive director at the Ugan-
a hotel management agreement with TWED to be personally present at the unveiling of da Tourism Board.
Property Development Company to man- this fantastic hotel,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Amos Wekesa, the executive director of
age a 23-storey property. Hilton’s Senior Vice President in charge of Great Lakes Safaris, one of the leading local
The construction of a 244-guest room development for Europe, Middle East and tourist agencies told The Independent on
property on 1200 sq metres in the upscale Africa during the unveiling of the plan. April 19 that Hilton’s entry into the country
Nakasero suburb in central Kampala is This development comes as the hotel is good news for Uganda.
already underway. The complex will com- chain managers plan to open its 96 guest “When you have a brand like Hilton
prise several high-end meeting and confer- room Hilton Garden Inn Kampala in the which has millions of people as its per-
encing facilities including a ballroom for up coming months. manent clientele, it exposes the country to
to 500 guests, a 518-car park, spa and fitness “This is a landmark year for Hilton in spenders who only prefer to stay in hotels
centre and outdoor swimming pool. Uganda as we prepare to welcome guests like Hilton because of the standards it
It will also have multiple restaurants for the very first time at our upcoming Hil- stands for,” Wekesa said, “That shows that
offering a wide range of dining outlets to ton Garden Inn Kampala, so no better time Uganda’s hospitality market is maturing.”
include a destination sports bar and a sky for us to be signaling our commitment to He said there is need for Uganda to
bar with city, golf course and lake views. the market than by partnering with TWED encourage more international hotels to
Guests will be able to choose between to bring our flagship Hilton Hotels & invest in the country because once they
upscale guest rooms and a range of suites, Resorts brand to the country.” have a stake in the economy, they pick
including a Presidential Suite. “We couldn’t be happier to be entering interest in protecting the country’s image
Founded in 1919 by Conrad Hilton, the the field alongside Hilton, an operator with in case of bad publicity.
Hilton hotel brand is one of the biggest and a strong commitment to the market and 100 Meanwhile, Marriott International
most luxurious hotel chains in the world, years of industry expertise,” said Dr Dan announced recently that Uganda is among
operating over 4,000 hotel facilities in over Twebaze, the managing director, TWED several countries where it expects to add
113 countries. However, many of these Property Development Company. nearly 20 properties under its Middle East
properties are franchised to independent The Hilton Hotel brand could have and Africa portfolio this year.
operators and companies. entered the country’s hotel industry much This follows the acquisition of two
Its brand portfolio is said to be the highest earlier through the management of AYA properties previously owned by the South
performing and most-diverse in the indus- Property, now known as Pearl of Africa Africa-based Protea Hospitality Hold-
try with 12 brands, over 715,000 hotel rooms Hotel. Instead, the South African based Sov- ing, where it has been operating as Protea
and a workforce of over 155,000 worldwide. ereign Hotels was granted the management Hotel for the past five years. Marriott man-
In Africa, the hotel chain operates 43 contract. agement said they plan to open two more
hotels and is embarking on an exciting Tourism industry executives told The properties in Kampala – Hotel Naguru and
period of growth, with plans to double its Independent that Hilton’s investment in Naguru Skyz.
portfolio of hotels on the continent during Uganda is a plus for the tourism industry as

April. 26 - May 02 2019 23


business

Customers transacting business inside a mobile money shop in Kampala. The World Bank says mobile money
has especially provided a safe method for low-income rural-based people to send money and save income

Going digital could boost Sub-


Saharan Africa’s economies
But only a small proportion of the region’s
population is hooked to the internet
By Ronald Musoke the rural economy but would also serve as a 2018, but growth was subdued at 0.8% over

S
tool that accelerates the process of structural the year, as policy uncertainty held back
ub-Saharan African economies are transformation from agriculture to digital- investment. Angola, the region’s third larg-
sluggishly growing owing to global enhanced, manufacturing and/or informa- est economy, remained in recession, with
uncertainty, poor management of tion and communication technology (ICT) growth falling sharply as oil production
debt, inflation as well as political based services. remained weak.
and regulatory uncertainty, according to the The latest report downgraded economic But growth picked up in some resource-
latest World Bank’s bi-annual analysis of growth in sub-Saharan Africa to 2.3% for intensive-countries like the Democratic
the state of African economies. 2018, down from 2.5% in 2017, thanks to a Republic of Congo and Niger, as stronger
Most of the economies in the sub-region population boom that is growing faster than mining production and commodity prices
also remain fragile but, embracing the the economies. The World Bank said this boosted activity alongside a rebound in
‘digital economy’ fundamentals could help scenario has played out for the fourth con- agricultural production and public invest-
uplift their fortunes, senior World Bank secutive year and, although regional growth ment in infrastructure.
officials said. is expected to rebound to 2.8% in 2019, it In other countries such as Liberia and
“The digital economy will create more will have remained below 3% since 2015. Zambia, growth was subdued, as high
jobs, encourage entrepreneurship for youth, inflation and high debt levels continued to
raise productivity of farmers, bring more Mediocre economic performance weigh on investor sentiment.
women into the labour force, and create The World Bank said several countries Interestingly, non-resource intensive
new markets—all of which boosts growth,” in the sub-region had recorded mixed eco- economies such as Kenya, Rwanda, and
the World Bank report known as ‘Africa’s nomic growths during the period under Uganda in eastern Africa as well as Benin
Pulse’ released on April 08, reads in part. review, citing a slowdown in economic and Ivory Coast in West Africa recorded
“This is a game changer for Africa,” activity in advanced economies, emerging solid economic growth in 2018.
said Albert Zeufack, the World Bank Chief markets and developing economies and,
Economist for Africa. Zeufack said digital global uncertainty related to trade disputes Fragile economies
transformation could increase growth by between the United States and China. Still, the World Bank says fragility in sev-
nearly two percentage points per year in In Nigeria, for instance, growth reached eral countries is costing the entire continent
sub-Saharan Africa alone. 1.9% in 2018, up from 0.8% in 2017, over half a percentage point of growth per
The transition to a digital economy reflecting a modest pick-up in the non-oil year which actually translates into 2.6 per-
would not only provide a platform to boost economy. South Africa, on the other hand, centage points over five years.
agricultural productivity and modernize came out of recession in the third quarter of Fragility has not only kept African coun-

24 April. 26 - May 02 2019


business
tries from creating jobs and reducing pov- strong entrepreneurial mindset in Africa while mobile money users were initially
erty as quickly as possible, it has also come and the growing number of digital entre- taxed 1% on deposits and withdrawals on
at a cost in terms of social cohesion and preneurial intermediaries, can translate this top of a revised excise duty of 15% up from
the social contract between citizens and the potential into vibrant or comprehensive 10% on transfers.
governments. digital entrepreneurial ecosystem with com- President Yoweri Museveni supported
The World Bank says this is not just an mercial digital hubs that can generate talent the move saying the tax would rein in on
economic issue. In order to escape this situ- to compete at the global level. social media users who use the platforms
ation, the World Bank says most economies But the World Bank warns that the digital for peddling gossip and lies. Critics said
need to emulate Ethiopia and Rwanda, two economy requires a strong analogue foun- the move threatened to derail the gains that
of the fastest growing economies on the dation, consisting of regulations that create have been registered over the years.
continent. “There are lessons to be learned a vibrant business climate and let firms Nanfuka said more progressive policies
from these countries. They improved their leverage digital technologies to compete and taxation models that directly affect
policy environment, strengthened their and innovate, skills that allow workers, citizens need to be reviewed. The digital
institutions, and strengthened state capacity entrepreneurs and government officials to economy should be looked at in terms of
to deliver services to their people.” seize opportunities in the digital world, and local content, affordability, inclusion, and
accountable institutions that use the internet accessibility of digital platforms.
Go digital to empower citizens. For Dr Fred Muhumuza, an economics
Going forward, the World Bank says sub- This is something Juliet Nanfuka, the lecturer at Makerere University, the digital
Saharan African economies could benefit research and communication officer at the economy should be part of the menu not a
from the digital economy, a move that could Collaboration on International ICT Policy cure-all for the woes of economies in sub-
unlock new pathways for inclusive growth, for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) Saharan Africa because of the nature of the
innovation, job creation, service delivery, agrees with. economies, its people and the political and
and poverty reduction in Africa. She told The Independent on April 18 that regulatory environment in these countries.
Digital technologies could, for instance, much as the Uganda government has put Muhumuza told The Independent on April
help ease information asymmetry problems in place enabling infrastructure (national 19 that because most of the policies in coun-
and improve communication by reducing broadband backbone) the actual cost of tries like Uganda are politically motivated,
search costs and potentially improve market accessing internet by individuals might be it might be hard for people to tap into the
efficiency. digital economy like South Korea and other
Mobile phones, for example, could help Southeast Asian countries have done.
reduce informational barriers for consum-
Digital applications have “But even in trying to do so, we cannot
ers, producers, and traders and facilitate encouraged the growth of copy and paste policies from other regions
learning about prices while other mobile micro, small and medium sized of the world; we need to support our own
applications may also help farmers, traders, enterprises through access to innovations, strengthen our infrastructure
and firms to identify potential buyers (sup- ICT-enabled financial services and lower the costs of access to these and
pliers) for their products in an expanded and marketing many other technologies.”
geographic area. He, for instance, says Uganda’s access to
World Bank says low-income individu- undoing some of these gains. electricity would markedly improve if, for
als—especially those living in remote, rural ICT experts say there are perhaps few instance, there was deliberate support from
areas—have restricted access to formal African countries where the evolution of the the government for people to access solar
financial institutions and they tend to resort digital economy has been more apparent energy technologies.
to costly self-insurance mechanisms to share than Uganda over the last 20 years. “We need to interpret these technologies,
risks, and mobile money provides a safe Last year, a United Nations Conference domesticate them as well as allow innova-
method for individuals to deposit savings— on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) tions that are locally generated and promote
especially for more immediate needs. e-commerce assessment report of Uganda them,” he told The Independent.
Mobile phone– based applications can noted how digital applications have encour-
also be used as a teaching tool in classrooms aged the growth of micro, small and medi- But that is not all.
or as substitute teachers, which in the pro- um sized enterprises through access to ICT- UNCTAD says the absence of relevant
cess can boost the acquisition of educational enabled financial services and marketing. data on the ICT sector, such as e-commerce
skills by school-age children and adults. A quarterly communications market statistics is impacting on the capacity of
However, in order for this to happen, report by the Uganda Communications states to make informed policy and imple-
Africa needs to implement reforms and Commission (UCC) for December, 2017, mentation decisions.
promote investments in the digital economy noted how Uganda had 18.8 million “Governments need to design policies
to accelerate growth—and possibly, leap- internet subscriptions representing a 48% and regulations to significantly increase
frog the traditional growth model—while penetration rate. The bulk of internet access broadband deployment (especially to rural
building core infrastructure, systems, and (77%), the report noted, is via mobile whose areas to bridge the urban-rural divide) and
competencies. penetration rate stands at 65 connections investment in the tech sector through pub-
per 100 inhabitants. lic-private partnership extending tax incen-
Digital handicaps There were also 23 million mobile money tives for infrastructure investment to private
It, however, remains to be seen how a subscribers in the country of 38 million businesses,” UNCTAD said in its report.
region that only has 27% of its 2.3bn popu- people and there were more than 340 mil- “There is also a pressing need to integrate
lation hooked to the internet, few citizens lion transactions during the period under a gender perspective in all relevant poli-
with digital Identity Cards, few businesses review, totaling Shs 18.1 trillion (US$ 4.7bn). cies and strategies and to make a concerted
adopting digital technologies and only But in an unprecedented development, effort to mainstream women empower-
few governments investing strategically in beginning July 1, 2018, social media and ment in strategies, policies, and budgets
developing digital infrastructure, services, mobile money users were directed to pay addressing issues of gender equality, as well
skills and entrepreneurship can be trans- a tax of Shs 200 (US$0.05) per day to access as focusing on accessibility, affordability,
formed by the digital economy. various social media platforms including safety and digital skills in Africa.”
Still, the World Bank insists that the Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and LinkedIn

April. 26 - May 02 2019 25


Executive Style

No real development in Africa


without regional integration
In the recently released UN’s Assistant are small and fragmented
World Economic Situa- and don’t stand a chance
tion and Prospects for 2018 Secretary-General to compete internationally
report, Africa’s economic Ahunna Eziakonwa unless they have the collec-
growth for 2019 is pro- is the new Director of tiveness. So Africa trading
jected at 3.4%, a marginal the Regional Bureau with Africa will increase our
increase of 0.9% from 2018. competitiveness in terms of
What do countries need to for Africa of the United global trade.
do to accelerate economic Nations Development

L
growth? Programme (UNDP). What is the UN doing to
ow productivity is a She spoke to Africa encourage holdout coun-
problem. There must tries to join AfCFTA?
be higher uptakes in
Renewal’s Kingsley The UN, led by the
innovations and new Ighobor on issues Economic Commission of
technologies to propel pro- pertaining Africa’s Africa, supports the free
ductivity in the agriculture socio-economic trade area. UNDP firmly
and small-scale enterprises. development. believes holdout countries
Agricultural modernization need to get more informa-
in most countries is low, as tion on how this will affect
it is still rudimentary, not agriculture weakens policy tion. This must cut across public them so that they can make
capitalized and not commer- space for agricultural spending; and private sectors. UNDP’s informed decisions on how to
cialized. This means we have a low political will to accelerate Gender Equality Seal stan- be fully engaged in the process.
huge potential there. The conti- input subsidies, expand exten- dardization exercise, which has
nent’s economies are vulnerable sion workers, research and rural been launched in countries like Tell us about UNDP’s work in
to the volatility of commodity infrastructure, and high lending Uganda, is geared to promote Africa currently.
prices in the global market. rates limit small-scale farmers’ gender equality in workplaces. UNDP is in every single Afri-
That’s why diversification is the access to finance. Land reform can country. We see ourselves
solution. Africa must diversify is key to address fragmentation What unique attributes do as a companion for countries
its agricultural products, and and maximize the benefits of women bring to the table? in their development journeys.
add value to its primary com- economies of scale in land use. Well, when you ask some We support communities to
modities and exports to avoid African governments must be of the African presidents who build better livelihood oppor-
exporting its jobs to the rest of given policy space to invest in have appointed women, they tunities, and we support the
the world. agriculture and agribusinesses say, “Women are less corrupt, youth in entrepreneurship and
to propel economic diversifica- and you get more accountabil- work with countries to de-risk
In 2003 African leaders met in tion. ity in the use of resources when the investment climate. Over
Maputo, Mozambique, and you employ a woman.” Plus, the past five years, our efforts
agreed to invest at least 10% of Land distribution negatively women are the ones who are to increase access to electricity
their national budgets in agri- affects women yet there are basically managing the lives of have reached 3.35 million Afri-
culture. Only a few countries more women than men en- their families in many countries. cans in 3,472 communities.
have met that commitment. gaged in agriculture. What can
Why is this so? countries do to remedy the Currently 52 countries have Can you name one or two
Fifteen years after the Mapu- situation? signed the framework agree- countries where you have re-
to Declaration, only seven coun- We must abrogate all laws ment for the African Continen- corded outstanding successes?
tries—Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, that are obstacles to women tal Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Many success stories come
Niger, Mali, Malawi, Senegal engaging and being integrated but only 22 countries have to mind, such as Enterprise
and Zambia—have consistently in the formal economy. Women ratified the agreement. What Uganda, established by UNDP
met this target. In fact, countries need affirmative action to be could Africa derive from a free more than 20 years ago. It’s
like Malawi even went beyond relieved of some cultural duties trade area? now an independent body with
the target, achieving as high as so they can have time to further I don’t see the future of devel- a capacity to help institutions to
21% in 2013 compared to the their education to compete in opment in Africa without suc- grow into enterprises. In Ethio-
average of 3.1% for sub-Saharan the economy. Real financial cessful regional integration. It’s pia, UNDP helped establish
Africa. Several factors account investment in a deliberate probably one of the most sig- the country’s first commodities
for underinvestment in agricul- way to systematically support nificant steps that the continent exchange, which has grown
ture in Africa. The implementa- women’s education is impor- has taken to address its market into a multimillion-birr [Ethio-
tion of the Structural Adjust- tant. Political empowerment is paradox. Even though Africa’s pian currency] enterprise, and
ment Programme in Africa very important, too. We have population is over 1.2 billion the Ghana Stock Exchange is
reduced agriculture financing; seen countries like Rwanda and and it is expected to reach 2.5 one of the highest-performing
low international funding of Ethiopia moving in this direc- billion by 2050, our markets in Africa.

26 April. 26 - May 02 2019


Business
RETAIL INVESTMENT

Shoprite widens payment New UIA board starts work

U
option for customers ganda is Morrison

S
targeting to Rwakakaba,
outh African retail chain, create a mil- Fred Opolot,
Shoprite, has widened payment lion jobs per Maima
option for its customers with the annum in the coming Obombasa,
introduction of Mobile Money years through cre- Gertrude
Payment. Previously, customers had ation of a conducive Lutaaya,
to always pay for products in cash and business environ- Godfrey
credit cards. ment, according to Byamukama
junior finance minister for good investment environ- and Joshua Mutabi, a
Christopher Ssali, the Senior Manager,
investment, Evelyn Anite. ment,” she said while representative of the trade
Mobile Financial Services Products at
“Our target is one mil- unveiling the new board ministry.
MTN Uganda said “more people are now of the Uganda Investment
embracing cashless payments as a result lion jobs per year and a Started in 1991, the UIA
total of 25 industrial parks. Authority. is a semi-autonomous
of convenience.” The seven member
Shoprite Uganda has retail branches in We expect you to not only government agency that
license a 100 companies board that will serve three drives national economic
Lugogo Mall, Clock Tower, Village Mall, years, will be chaired by
Acacia Mall and Victoria Mall. Across weekly, but also facili- growth and development
tate them to succeed by Emely Kugonza. Other in partnership with the
Africa, the retail chain has operations in board members are;
15 countries, operating 2, 700 outlets. providing them with a private sector.

BANKING
CSR

MultiChoice Africa to develop young film makers Afrexibank records


$275.9million profit

M P
ultiChoice Af- increase MultiChoice Talent the enrichment, development,
rica in partnership Factory’s purpose of upskill- and fostering of storytellers an-African multilateral
with its flagship ing film and TV creatives. The across Africa, a continent lender, African Export-
initiative Multi- training covers cinematogra- steeped in a rich history of Import Bank has released
Choice Talent Factory (MTF) phy, audio, and storytelling. dynamic, creative and pas- its abridged audited
and the New York Film Acad- “This groundbreaking sionate visual and performing financial statements for the year
emy College of Visual & Per- collaboration speaks to our artists,” said Jim Miller, NYFA. ended 31 December 2018, show-
forming Arts is developing the commitment to partnering The New York Film Acade- ing strong financial and opera-
continent’s creative industry with industry experts such as my prides itself in developing tional performance, with total
through training and skills de- the New York Film Academy students through a “learning comprehensive income for the
velopment as well foster new to promote and protect the by doing” approach, blending year amounting to $285.4 million.
and original programing. growth of Africa’s creative a mixture of traditional film The total comprehensive
The training that started in industries,” MTF Director, school instruction with course- income reflects a solid growth
January this year involves a Cheryl Uys-Allie, said. work and practical experience, of 24 % compared to the prior
series of ‘best in class’ work- “The New York Film Acad- where students learn to make year performance of $229.8 mil-
shops in various cities to emy is honored to be a part of films by actually making films. lion and was achieved mainly
due to higher net income in 2018
amounting to $ 275.9 million
TRANSPORT compared to $220.5 million in
Uber riders can now tip their drivers 2017.

U
The results, released in Cairo,
ber riders partners. show that the Bank’s total assets
are now “With this feature, grew by 13 % from $11.91 billion
able to tip Uber is providing an ave- as at 31 December 2017 to $13.42
drivers nue that will enable those billion as at 31 December 2018,
at the end of a trip, driver-partners that often with that result explained mainly
thanks to a new tip- go above and beyond by the solid growth in net loans
ping feature. The for riders and eaters get and advances which went up
company said in a recognised and rewarded. 30.3 per cent.
statement that the This could be the driver Commenting on the results,
feature will enable that waits for riders to Bank President Prof. Benedict
Uber riders to do safely enter their home,” Oramah said the performance
more than just rate he said. was a reflection of the strength of
drivers but show their The new feature will Afreximbank’s underlying busi-
appreciation through from the tips. Alon Lits, Gen- be 100% optional and ness and restated commitment to
tips for excellent service. eral Manager for Uber in Sub riders will be given optional “driving our strategic objectives,
All tips from riders will go Saharan Africa said the new tip values as well as an option to strong orderly growth in assets
directly to drivers and Uber feature is in response to the to customise an amount for and earnings.”
will not deduct any service fees feedback received from driver- their driver.

April. 26 - May 02 2019 27


Business

DTB sign up SWIFT


speedy service
By The Independent secure financial messaging

D
services.
iamond Trust Bank The service is already car-
Group has become rying over $300 billion a day
first East African in 148 currencies across more
bank to go live on than 1,100 country corridors.
SWIFT’s global payments More than $40 trillion was
innovation (gpi) service. transferred over the service
This is a rapid cross- in 2018.
border payments service that Diamond Trust is active in
includes real-time payments Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania,
tracking and transparency on and Uganda. Around 40% of
transaction fees and foreign SWIFT global payments are
exchange rates. credited to end-beneficiaries
“Reducing friction in cross- within five minutes. Half
Kaddunabbi Ibrahim Lubega, the chief executive officer at the IRA (in a border payments is a priority are credited within 30 min-
suit) visits some of the stalls during the CBS PEWOSA trade fair at the for us and our clients. As utes; three quarters within
Muteesa II Memorial grounds at Wankulukuku.   COURTESY PHOTO the first East African bank to six hours; and almost 100%
go live on global payments within 24 hours.
innovation, we are now offer- Denis Kruger, Head of
ing our corporate customers sub-Sahara Africa, SWIFT
faster, more transparent and said, “I am delighted that
traceable cross-border pay- Diamond Trust Bank is live
ments,” said Suraj Shah, head on gpi and will be able to
of centralised operations at extend the benefits to its cus-
Diamond Trust Bank. tomers.”
“SWIFT global payments “We are very proud of
innovation addresses some the value that gpi delivers
of the biggest challenges to the financial industry by
around cross-border pay- tackling the frictions, costs
ments and makes the process and delays associated with
simpler for all parties.” cross-border payments. We
SWIFT is a global member look forward to seeing other
owned cooperative and the banks in East Africa follow
Vivo Energy Managing Director, Gilbert Assi (R) and Markh Investments world’s leading provider of suit,” he added.
Ltd MD Maria Namusoke fuel a truck to mark the official opening of the
new state of the art fuel and lubricants management system at Markh
Investments premises on April 18. The system is designed to help
customers with big fleets reduce their operating costs, save time and
improve productivity.   COURTESY PHOTO.

Weekly share price movement (April 05)


Security April 05 March 29 Movement
BATU 30,000 30000 00
BOBU 130 130 00
CENT 1,178 1,182 0.3
QCL 180 190 5.2
DFCU 670 670 00
EABL 7,758 7,610 1.9
EBL 1603 1,487 7.8
JHL 15,045 15,202 1.0
KA 180 185 2.7
KCB 1,656. 1,619 2.2
NIC 14 13 38
NMG 2,297 2,214 3.7
NVL 334 334 00
President Yoweri Museveni (in a hut) and First Lady Janet Museveni SBU 30 30 00
inspects the first two Bombardier CRJ900 jets at the Entebbe International UCHM 19 22 00
Airport on April 23. The aircrafts are expected to form the back bone of UCL 16 16 00
the Uganda Airlines regional flights.  COURTESY PHOTO UMEME 297 298 0.3
ALSI -- -- --

28 April. 26 - May 02 2019


comment
By Henning Melber
A century of international civil service
Why an idea conceptualised a 100 years ago at the
League of Nations still matters to the aspirations today

T
his year marks a century since a adopted by the UN member states The hitherto unclarified causes for the
formal international civil service through his diplomacy during the Cold plane crash remain a matter of renewed
was introduced into the world. The War era. I present arguments and evi- investigations. These were triggered by
first time this particular breed of dence why frameworks for governance, the book of Susan Williams, Who Killed
professionals came into existence was at the their interpretation and implementation Hammarskjöld?.
signing of the Versailles Peace Conference matter.
during 1919 and the subsequent establish- Why global leadership matters
ment of the League of Nations in January The UN and decolonisation My book argues that despite all the
1920. Decolonisation on the African con- limitations, values matter for a global
The United Nations (UN) will mark the tinent gained momentum during the governance body seeking to solve – or at
occasion later this month when it dis- 1950s. The UN became an important least contain – conflicts through multilat-
cusses the challenges of multilateralism forum for the growing demands for self- eral diplomacy. It highlights the battles
committed to a rules-based world order. determination. As Secretary General, over the power of definition by different
For global governance, an international Hammarskjöld played a prominent role interest groups in the era of decolonisa-
civil service matters. Simply because it as events unfolded. These culminated in tion and the East-West conflict as well
would be impossible to promote and the Congo crisis of 1960/61. Faced with as the potential role and influence of an
maintain a rules-based world order the secession of the Katanga province individual in charge of the UN Secre-
without it. and Belgian destabilisation threats soon tariat.
An autonomous civil service is crucial after independence, the Congolese gov- It recognises Hammarskjöld as an out-
for operations within the global gover- ernment requested the UN to intervene. standing international civil servant, who
nance system – an idea conceptualised a This resulted in one of the biggest UN believed in the spirit and word of the
100 years ago at the League of Nations. interventions ever. UN Charter and the virtues of a service
Already then, international civil servants Hammarskjöld’s role in the process is at guided by loyalty to its values and prin-
were expected to be loyal to the aspira- the centre of the analysis. It examines the ciples.
tions of the international community and scope and limitations his office provided Individual leadership is important. But
to remain neutral and independent of under the existing unequal power rela- I also emphasise the limitations such
any authority outside their organisation. tions of the post-World-War-II order. an office and its incumbent have. The
Eric Drummond, a British diplomat His support for the struggles for study also critically reflects on some of
involved in the drafting of the League of national sovereignty shows that indi- the failures and flaws during Hammar-
Nations Covenant and the first Secretary viduals and their running of office do skjöld’s time as Secretary General. After
General of the League of Nations (1919- matter. This is true even though the all, while he set the bar very high and
1933), played a crucial and pioneering policy of big powers imposes limitations remains widely respected, he was far
role in conceptualising an independent on them. from unfailing.
international civil service. But it was Dag When Hammarskjöld and 15 others in Nevertheless, I argue, his term ended
Hammarskjöld, the UN’s second Secre- his company died in a plane crash near with his integrity intact. This was evident
tary General (1953-1961), who elaborated the Northern Rhodesian mining town of from the fact that towards the end of his
the concept. He set lasting standards that Ndola in the night of September 17/18, time in office he was portrayed through
survive to this day. 1961, the adjacent white settler-minority a lens of suspicion and mistrust in the
An independent civil service was a regimes were visibly relieved. And West and open calls for resignation in
huge part of Hammarskjöld’s arsenal. As despite the world-wide recognition and the East. Revealingly so, the newly inde-
his numerous statements and speeches appraisal, the secret services of all big pendent states remained to a large extent
document, his terms in office were powers had closely followed his attempts supportive. For them he was “their” Sec-
guided by strong and coherent ethics to bring the Katanga province back into retary General.
concerning the independence of the the Congolese territory. A hundred years after the creation of an
international civil service. Reassessing Hammarskjöld’s anti- international civil service, Hammarskjöld
At the core of his ethics were integ- hegemonic stance suggests that there deserves to be remembered for leading
rity, loyalty to the principles of the UN were more than enough parties satisfied by example.
Charter, independence from any national that he could not bring his mission to the
or regional interests and the courage to planned end. After all, the secessionist Henning Melber is Extraordinary Professor,
uphold these values. Katanga province was under firm control Department of Political Sciences, University
In my new book I pay tribute to Ham- of Belgian and other Western mining of Pretoria
marskjöld’s commitment to these princi- companies. It was the biggest supplier Source: The Conversation
ples as they applied to self-determination of uranium for the US nuclear arms race.
on the African continent. As a mineral-rich resource of global
The main focus is on the interpretation relevance it was of highest geo-strategic
and implementation of the principles interest.

April. 26 - May 02 2019 29


comment
By Sabine Hossenfelder
We don’t need a bigger particle collider
When new experiments cost billions of dollars and
take decades, we need to be more scrupulous

B
etween Lake Geneva and the costs, these have not yet occurred. numerous. But when new experiments cost
Swiss Jura, more than 100 meters Of course, high costs may be justified if billions of dollars and take decades to pre-
(328 feet) below the surface, lies a there were a good chance that the invest- pare, as they do now, we need to be more
circular tunnel, 27 kilometers (17 ment would yield major benefits to society. scrupulous in our investments. Otherwise,
miles) in circumference, containing super- And past research in the foundations of budgets can quickly be drained by costly
conducting magnets that accelerate protons physics has undoubtedly benefited human- experiments that deliver null results, such
almost to the speed of light. At four loca- kind massively. In the last century, research as observations that confirm existing theo-
tions in the tunnel, the protons are made breakthroughs have enabled the devel- ries, rather than support new hypotheses.
to collide. Particle physicists observe these opment of all modern electronic devices In the last 40 years, this is exactly what has
collisions, in an effort to learn what matter is (transistors, microchips, lasers, LEDs, been happening. The LHC confirmed one
made of and what holds it together. digital cameras, and soon maybe quantum reliable prediction: the Higgs boson. That’s
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), oper- computers) and medical imaging methods it. And when it comes to effects that the
ated by the European Organisation for (X-rays, ultrasound, spectroscopy, magnetic Standard Model does not predict, the LHC
Nuclear Research (CERN), is the largest par- resonance, positron emission tomography, is only the most recent in a long series of
ticle collider ever built and was the source and electron tunnel microscopes). particle-physics experiments – including all
of grand hopes when it was launched in But there is no reason to believe that a previous experiments carried out since the
2008. Some predicted it would find the par- larger collider would pay off. The problem Standard Model was completed in the 1970s
ticles that comprise “dark matter,” which is not that physicists do not have more – that have produced null results. Far from
astrophysicists believe constitutes 85% of foundational work to do. Their most robust providing evidence of unified forces or new
all matter in the universe. Others expected theories still confront unsolved problems, symmetries or particles, these endeavors
the LHC to deliver evidence of new natural and further progress could result in new taught physicists to invent particles that are
symmetries or additional dimensions of advances, especially in quantum theory (the more difficult to measure.
space, or to help explain “dark energy” basis of modern computer technology). The Yes, null results are also results. They
(which supposedly causes the observed problem, instead, lies in their approach. can rule out hypotheses. But if you need
accelerated expansion of the universe). Physics has changed, but the methods of to develop a new theory, they are not very
None of this has happened. The LHC did particle physicists have not: they still rely on useful. A null result identifies a dead end,
enable the discovery of one new elementary serendipitous discoveries. That works when of which there can be a huge number. To
particle, the Higgs boson – the last missing exploratory experiments are diverse and make progress in understanding the foun-
particle predicted (in the 1960s) in the Stan- dations of physics, we need results that
dard Model of particle physics. But that was point to a path forward. A larger collider
in 2012, and no new particles have been probably will not provide that.
found since. Would building another, larger
collider change that?
There are There are research areas that are currently
more likely to yield actual results at a lower
Proponents of a new collider say that a
larger collider could measure more pre-
research cost, such as astrophysical studies of dark
matter and experiments probing the quanti-
cisely the properties of already-known
particles, and, because it would reach
areas sation of gravity. These are the areas physi-
cists should focus on right now.
slightly higher collision-energies than the that are If technological breakthroughs make col-

currently
LHC, it could bring forth new discoveries. liders more affordable, or other experiments
But physicists currently have no reason to deliver reasons to think that a larger collider
believe that a larger collider would produce
evidence of anything that is not already in more likely will show physicists new particles, it might
be worth building one. But that could be 20,
the Standard Model. Discovering any addi-
tional new particles might require energies to yield 50, or 100 years from now. Until then, we
should invest in more promising research.
a billion times higher than what the next
collider would produce.
actual Sabine Hossenfelder is a research fellow
Moreover, particle accelerators are very
expensive. The colliders (both linear and
results at a at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced
Studies. She is the author of `Lost in Math:
circular) for which physicists in China and
Japan and at CERN have put forward pro-
lower cost How Beauty Leads Physics Astray’.

posals would cost some $10-20 billion each, Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
and take 20-30 years to build. While certain
technological advances could bring down

30 April. 26 - May 02 2019


comment
By Michael Aboneka
Genuine electoral reforms needed
The Supreme Court in 2016 noted the need for electoral
reforms and made a number of recommendations

U
ganda will go to polls again in against any State organ or officer who the failure to represent all categories of
2021 which is barely two years violates the Constitutional duty to allo- people; especially the youth.
from now. The electioneering year cate to candidates equal time and space The Commission since its appointment
will start next year (2020) as the on state owned media, amendment of the in November 2018 has not started work
Electoral Commission and some Political Presidential Elections Act to bar giving because it requires about Shs13 Billion
Parties have already launched their road- of donations during election time, pro- to kick start the work. Even if this is
maps towards the 2021 elections. hibition of public servants in campaigns, secured, it will take almost two years
I have observed and participated in all electoral reforms must be worked on for it to do a thorough review involving
Uganda’s elections for some time and within two years of the tenure of the Par- wide public consultation and another
one thing remains common, the rush to liament among others. one year to have the proposals debated
put things in order towards election time. The Attorney General was ordered to and subsequently passed.
We always want to do things last minute; furnish Court with updates on the prog- With reference to the 2021 elections
including forming new constituencies ress made in addressing the above within road map, Presidential and Parliamen-
that were not earlier planned for days two years. Game Changers (an Activist tary candidates will be nominated in
towards elections so that some political Group) in their petition reminded the August 2020-next year and if we are a
rewards can be made. Attorney General of the fast approaching serious country that respects the inter-
For all the elections we have held, a deadline (August 2018). But up to now, national and regional charters to elec-
number of observers have released obser- there has not been any communication on tions and democracy such as the African
vations and made recommendations and the same by the Attorney General known Charter on Democracy, Elections and
then packed their bags and left us prom- to the public and if this is the case, would Governance (ACDEG) and the people
ising to come back again to do the same the Attorney General be in contempt of of Uganda, we should by now have
thing in a another election. Court? concluded the preliminaries for electoral
There have been processes for devel- In addition, Parliament was occupied reforms.
opment of reforms that go deep to the with lifting the age limit and extending Further, the Minister of Justice and
electoral democracy and Uganda and their own tenure while ignoring the Constitutional Affairs has on various
it is unfortunate that these proposals many shelved electoral reforms. occasions decried the lack of funds to
are deliberately ignored for reasons A Constitutional Review Commission support the process of reviewing elec-
unknown to us. Prior to 2016 elections, was put in place to review the constitu- toral reforms. This song is now almost
there were proposed reforms from tion in a bid to promote a democratic three years old and we are still looking
various actors. The most profound was country. The Commission was received on; pretending to be a democracy. Fur-
the Citizens’ Compact on Free and Fair with mixed feelings as its composi- ther, there has been a call to appoint
Elections which was birthed out of the tion was heavily contested because of more judges. But the response has been
National Citizen Consultations on Free that the government lacks funds. What
and Fair Elections-the first of its kind. this means consequently is that we may
The Citizens Compact contains a number have a situation where election petitions
of great proposals but they have all been
shelved.
The Attorney are delayed; thereby denying justice
simply because of shortage of human
After the Elections, the National Con-
sultative Forum started the process
General was resource. It is now clear that the reforms
have not been given priority yet we want
of harmonising all the proposals for
consideration before the 2021 elections.
ordered to to participate in the coming elections.
It seems that without the reforms, the
A number of proposals were made by furnish Court next elections will not be free and fair

with updates
the various political parties and up to right from the start. To have them in this
now, no one knows where this process manner will be pretending that we are a
ended. There have been several processes
and events but with similar outcomes; on the progress democracy. If we believe in elections and
democracy as a country, we then need to
shelving of ideas and waiting for the next
election. made in stop pretending about it and take these
reforms seriously. They affect not only
In the Election Petition no.1 of 2016, the
Supreme Court observed the need for
addressing the the outcome of the elections but the pro-
cess as well which is equally crucial.
electoral reforms and made a number of
recommendations such as revising the
above within
number of days from 30 to 60 in which
to file an election petition, amendment
two years Michael Aboneka is a Partner at Thomas &
Michael Advocates
of rules to use oral evidence in such peti-
tions, use of technology in voting, an
electoral law to provide for sanctions

April. 26 - May 02 2019 31


Kenyan hospital opens
human milk bank
Kenya’s first human milk bank has opened at Pumwani Maternity Hospital. Moina Spooner, from The Conversation
Africa, spoke to the team spearheading APHRC’s research efforts in the establishment of Kenya’s first milk bank.

How long has it taken to open? What were the establishment of a pilot human milk systematically collect, pasteurise, test,

T
the biggest obstacles? bank in Pumwani Maternity Hospital. This store, and distribute donated breast milk.
he process of establishment of hu- includes the launch of a research project An effective system has many operational
man milk banking in Kenya started which examines its feasibility, effectiveness, processes to ensure it provides safe, high
in 2016. It was spearheaded by the acceptability and aims to estimate the cost quality donor milk. They start with screen-
NGO PATH, in partnership with of establishing an actual human milk bank ing and recruiting donors who must be
APHRC and Kenya’s Ministry of Health, in Kenya. healthy mothers with surplus milk beyond
among other partners. It was rolled out in There have been challenges. Being a new the needs of their own child’s. Donors must
two phases. concept, there have been some logistical undergo health checks including tests that
During phase one we assessed people’s challenges, for instance some of the equip- screen for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B
perceptions and acceptability of using ment wasn’t locally available so it took lon- and C. Diseases could be passed to children
donated human milk. We also looked at ger to get it all done and installed. through breastmilk.
how feasible it would be to set a bank up. There have also been concerns by some Donors must then express milk in
The results were encouraging. About 90% community members and health workers hygienic conditions, after which the milk is
of participants were positive about it, 80% over the safety and quality of the donor pasteurised. This involves heating the milk
would donate their breast milk, and about human milk. in a water bath at 62.5°c for 30 minutes fol-
60% indicated that they would allow their However, we’ve had support from the lowed by rapid cooling.
children to be fed with donated human government which has been critical in At the bank, the milk is frozen and stored
milk. addressing the logistical challenges. Advo- at -20c. When needed, it’s thawed to room
A committee was also set-up to provide cacy and communication activities are temperature and issued to children who
oversight and guidance on human milk also being rolled out to create awareness don’t have access to their own mothers’
bank work in Kenya. They were sent to on human milk banking and address any milk. A prescription by a qualified health
South Africa to learn more about the human concerns. professional is needed for this.
milk banking process. Finally, local strate- What is a milk bank and how does it Why are they needed?
gies were developed. work? Although breastfeeding is the most
We are now in phase two of the project: Human milk banks are facilities that natural and best way to feed infants, many

32 April. 26 - May 02 2019


health

HIV treatment breakthrough


New experimental injection could revolutionise treatment
By Agencies dosing schedule, such as ... weekly, semi- tenance is unprecedented, and it opens up

S
monthly or even monthly,” Wang said. a host of potential new treatment options
cientists have developed a new “Two, biological protein drugs have lower for patients with resistance-prone HIV
therapy for HIV/AIDS that they say toxicities to the liver, kidneys, etc. And infection.”
could lead to longer periods of pill- three, certain antibody drugs, such as UB- The study is a first step toward making
free treatment and even eventually, 421, can exhibit beneficial immunomodula- it possible for patients to move away from
perhaps, to what experts call a “functional tory effects that cannot be achieved by small daily pill treatments and rely on longer term
cure”. molecule drugs.” control of the virus.
Researchers at Taiwan-based United The researchers plan to study UB-421
BioPharma report encouraging results with next in people who have been recently
a single injection that seems to check HIV as diagnosed with HIV but are not yet taking
well as daily pill regimens. medications; they will see if the shot can
A report on their study published in a the control the virus for up to six months.
New England Journal of Medicine this April Wang is hopeful that the results will be
says the results add to a growing number of positive. Already, further analysis of the
studies suggesting that patients may be able data from the current study suggest that
to take pill holidays without putting their longer remissions may be feasible.
health at risk. Not only did the antibody UB-421 block
Currently, patients have to take combina- HIV from infecting new cells, but it also
tions of medications keep the virus under The HIV knock-out seemed to modify the study participants’
control and not damaging their immune The new therapy involves an injectable immune cells in ways that made them
systems, which could lead to more serious, monoclonal antibody called UB-421 which better able to fight off the virus. UB-421
fatal outcomes. promises to keep the virus in the patient’s seemed to activate certain immune cells to
“Therefore, the patients’ greatest struggle blood stream below-detectable levels. The better recognize and destroy HIV, including
is contending with the daily regimen of UB-421 anti-body is designed to stick to the the hard-to-reach reservoirs where the virus
pills, unappreciated long-term toxicity same site on immune cells that HIV uses to tends to hide from immune cells.
and stigma. These can impact a patient’s infect cells; the idea is that UB-421 would “We think [UB-421] could be a great
quality of life,” said says Chang-Yi Wang, compete with HIV and occupy more of agent in future studies for activating T cells
chief scientific officer and chairperson of the these sites, preventing the virus from enter- to do many things, including cleaning the
company and lead author of the study. ing and infecting new cells. body of virus,” she says.
The patients must also adhere to a strict In fact, UB-421 binds to immune cells If the immune system can be retrained
medication regime. Missing a dose of the with 50 to 100 times greater affinity than to better ward off HIV, that could lead to
pills, they are warned, can give the virus the HIV does and can even knock HIV out longer and longer periods of pill-free treat-
chance to develop resistance to the drugs of the entry site when the virus is already ment and even eventually, perhaps, to what
and lead to a surge in new copies of HIV there. “We were able to use this antibody experts call a functional cure for HIV —
that flood the body. to maintain durable viral remission using a should UB-421 allow patients go years with
Wang said there are several benefits to single agent instead of a cocktail of drugs,” undetectable HIV levels without needing
antibody drugs. says Chang-Yi Wang, chief scientific officer pills or repeated antibody injections.
“One, antibodies have long half-lives and and chairperson of the company and lead “We don’t know exactly what passively
can be administered with less a frequent author of the study. “Such a durable main- transferring antibodies is doing,” says Dr.

babies may lack access to their mother’s were born early, have low birth weight, are Is this the first of many?
milk. This could’ve happened for many orphaned, malnourished or are severely ill. Although WHO recommends that the
reasons – maybe the mother is sick, hasn’t Evidence paints a very strong picture in milk banks be set up, Kenya is just the
got enough breast milk or is dead. favour of donated human milk over infant second, after South Africa, to establish a
From our formative research, 44% of formula. It’s more effective in reducing the human milk bank in sub-Saharan Africa –
newborns in urban health facilities were risk of disease and infections – like inflam- even though it is a pilot.
separated from their mothers for varying matory bowel disease, leukemia and respi- We hope that human milk banking will
periods of time. This ranged from less than ratory tract infections – in newborn babies be scaled up in Kenya and the rest of sub-
an hour to more than 6 hours and even days and is better tolerated by babies that are Saharan Africa, using the evidence we gen-
after birth. Of these infants, only 14% were born prematurely. erate from our research.
fed on mother’s own milk during separa- In the US and Brazil, the use of donated
tion. 36% of the newborns weren’t fed on human milk was reported to reduce the Elizabeth Kimani-Murage is a Research
anything during this period and an addi- length of hospital stay for sick infants and Scientist at the African Population and Health
tional 23% were fed on formula or cow’s save on the cost of health care. Research Center and Adjunct Assistant
milk. Given the benefits of using donated Professor, Brown University. Milka Wanjohi,
When breastfeeding is not an option, the human milk over infant formula, the WHO Taddese Zerfu, Esther Anono and Eva Kamande
World Health Organisation (WHO) recom- has called for the global scale-up of human from the African Population and Health
mends donated human milk as a lifesav- milk banks. These are expected to increase Research Center contributed to the writing of
ing alternative. Particularly for babies that access to safe donor human milk. this article.

April. 26 - May 02 2019 33


health

HIV used to
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute
on Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which par-
tially supported the study. “But there is some-
thing going on to induce at least partially — not

cure ‘bubble
perfectly — better immune responses than the
body naturally makes against the virus.”
Fauci notes that UB-421 works by mimicking
the door on immune cells that HIV uses to enter

boy’ disease
and infect. Fauci and other researchers are also
studying antibodies, called broadly neutralizing
antibodies, that bind to HIV itself and prevent it
from infecting cells. It’s likely that an effective,
long-acting and pill-free treatment for HIV may
involve a combination of agents like UB-421 and
broadly neutralizing antibodies, says Fauci, so By Agencies Children’s Hospital in San Francisco.

U
that HIV is both crippled and prevented from
entering cells. “Something like that could be a .S. scientists say they What is this syndrome?
knock-out punch,” he says. used HIV to make a gene The case of David Vetter is perhaps
therapy that cured eight the most famous case of severe
Details of study infants of severe combined combined immunodeficiency (SCID),
In the nonrandomized, open-label, phase 2 immunodeficiency (SCID) or “bubble a disease that made it impossible for
clinical study conducted in Taiwan, 29 volun- boy” disease. him to engage with the world outside
teers with well-controlled HIV were asked to Results of the research, developed a plastic chamber.
discontinue their normal regimens of daily oral at a Tennessee hospital, were Nicknamed “Bubble Boy”, Vetter
ART pills at the time of their first injection or published in the New England Journal was born in 1971 with the disease and
one week later, depending on their ART regi- of Medicine. died at the age of 12 after a failed bone
men. The babies, born with little to no marrow transplant.
Fourteen study participants received regular immune protection, now have fully Within 20 seconds of his birth at the
weekly infusions of UB-421, while 15 received functional immune systems. Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston,
higher-dose infusions but once every two Untreated babies with this disorder he was placed in a plastic isolation
weeks. At the end of the 8- or 16-week treatment have to live in completely sterile chamber, where he lived until the age
period, all volunteers restarted their previous conditions of six when he
ART regimen and were evaluated in follow- and tend was given a
up visits up to eight weeks later. Apart from a to die as special plastic
single participant who discontinued the study infants. suit designed
because of a mild skin rash, volunteers in both The gene by Nasa, the
groups maintained HIV suppression (plasma therapy US space
HIV RNA levels under 20 copies/mL) through- involved agency.
out the treatment period in the absence of ART. collecting His parents
This indicates that the injections — in both dos- the babies’ had already
es and frequencies — were effectively control- bone lost one child
ling HIV from replicating further and spreading marrow to the disease
infection. Previous experimental infusions of and before he was
broadly neutralising antibodies (bNAbs) have correcting born.
suppressed HIV for about two weeks by target- the genetic defect in their DNA soon
ing proteins on the virus itself, but the rapid after their birth. What are other treatment
mutation rate of HIV induces antibody-resistant The “correct” gene - used to fix the
strains that render the treatment ineffective. options?
defect - was inserted into an altered
UB-421 theoretically avoids this possibility by version of one of HIV, the virus that Currently, the best treatment for
blocking a stable human protein that HIV uses causes AIDS. SCID-XI is a bone marrow transplant
to infect T cells. Indeed, resistance to UB-421 Researchers said most of the babies with a tissue-matched sibling donor.
was not seen in this study. Because the small were discharged from the hospital But according to St Jude, more than
study did not include a comparator group within one month. 80% of these patients lack such donors
receiving a placebo infusion, further studies Dr Ewelina Mamcarz of St Jude, and must rely on blood stem cells
have been planned in Taiwan and Thailand to
an author of the study, said in a from other donors.
evaluate the safety and efficacy of UB-421 as a
statement: “These patients are This process is less likely to cure the
treatment for HIV. In a related study, scientists
toddlers now, who are responding bubble boy disease, and is more likely
at the National Institute of Allergy and Infec-
to vaccinations and have immune to cause serious side effects as a result
tious Diseases (NIAID) are currently evaluating
systems to make all immune cells they of treatment.
the safety of regular infusions of two highly po-
tent bNAbs that may prevent the development need for protection from infections Previous advancements in gene
of resistant HIV strains by targeting two distinct as they explore the world and live therapy provided alternatives to a
areas of the virus. Last year, researchers at the normal lives.” bone marrow transplant, but these
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Dis- “This is a first for patients with treatments sometimes involved
eases found that short-term ATI did not increase SCID-X1,” she added, referring to the chemotherapy and had implications
the HIV reservoir size or cause irreversible most common type of SCID. for a range of other diseases,
damage to the immune system, supporting its The patients were treated at St including blood disorders, sickle
use to determine the efficacy of ART-free novel Jude Children’s Research Hospital cell anaemia and thalassaemia, and
therapeutics on virologic suppression. in Memphis and at UCSF Benioff metabolic syndrome.

34 April. 26 - May 02 2019


ART | BOOKS | SOCIETY | TRAVEL | CULTURE

Benon Lutaaya dies at 34


In 2016 he founded The Project; an NGO dwelt a lot on their survival.
So when he was selected to be an Interna-
for uplifting female artistes in South Africa tional Artist in residence at the Bag Factory
Artists’ Studios in Newtown, Johannesburg
in 2011, he focused on achieving the most

B
By Dominic Muwanguzi and unique. I love to surprise myself. When out of it for the vulnerable. He had gradu-
people see my work though, I would like ated as a teacher with a Bachelor of Fine
enon Lutaaya passed on in them to enjoy each piece for its color har- Art from Kyambogo University in 2009 and
Johannesburg Hospital on mony, pleasing visual appeal and the ability was just two years old into his professional
April 14. His career spanned to connect and communicate” he once said. career but quickly gained recognition in
only nine years but he had He painted with emotion and dug deep South Africa.
already made his mark. He below the surface. His art explored the core; He was a selected artist for the Thupelo
donated over one million the hidden and obscure, the important. He International Artists Workshop 2012, won
South African Rand (Approx. Shs270 mil- gained popularity for his paper collage the Ithuba Arts Fund grant in September
lion) to children’s charity and arts causes portraits; often done using found paper and 2011 in Johannesburg, and was selected
and in 2015 co-sponsored the prestigious other recyclable material he picked off the amongst the only 12 artists on the African
Reinhold Cassirer Award that supports tal- street. Through layering, recycling, shred- continent whose artworks and profiles
ented young visual artists. ding and painting, the artist responded to featured in the DSTV/Multichoice Calen-
His greatest achievement, however, could the notion of manipulation and reapplica- dar for 2012. He was featured in many art
be the NGO he set up in Johannesburg in tion of objects. One reviewer described how magazines and media including, Collagista
2016 to offer female artists a space where “life, beauty, and character all come vivid in magazine in France, Casscan Foundation
they could do their art fulltime. He called Lutaaya’s often powerful, colorful and pro- community newspaper in the UK, African
it The Project Space, located in two places; vocative paintings”. Elegancy magazine in Kampala, BBC TV
August House and Victoria Yards in the His images were abstract and he loved world service, SABC3, and Summit TV.
centre of Johannesburg. Artists like Ugan- to paint children and helped vulnerable He was awarded numerous accolades;
da’s Stacey Gillian Abe benefited from it. children in real life. Children, for him, were including the Citizen Influencer Brand
He had sale-out shows, wide global artis- symbols of vulnerability, abuse, rape, dis- award at SA Brand Summit 2018, African
tic recognition, and a long list of waiting placement as refugees, and exploitation as Youth Ambassadorial Award, Frankfurt,
clients. His work was bought by collectors child soldiers or street-children. Germany and Bright Young Things by Art
from South Africa, Europe, and Canada. He He based on his personal story to portray Africa Magazine. He has been associated
will be remembered as a rising star with a the flitting nature of life for the poor, mar- with Charity; funding many children initia-
passion for pushing the limits. ginalised, and discriminated. In his collage tives across South Africa.
“I enjoy coming up with something new paintings, the child is always alone. He

April. 26 - May 02 2019 35


Man gives up `rich’ life to live on the street
Simon Lee graduated from university “To me, it’s liberating. I don’t pay rent, I wasteful people that there is always some-
with a degree in chemistry and, until 1997, don’t have to buy a house, I can sleep any- thing someone else has discarded that he
had a steady office job. But one day he where. Street sleeping solved a lot of my can use.
decided he did not need the stress of a problems,” the 52-year old Simon Lee told “If you want to be happy, instead of
white-collar job, so he quit. He got another journalists, “I’m low maintenance, I don’t being like a human and carrying around the
job tutoring children but quit in 2004 and use money, so I don’t have to make money. burden of pride and dignity, be like an ani-
2006 started living on the street in Hong I don’t chase fame or material things.” He mal instead,” the 52-year-old believes.
Kong. says Hong Kong has so many rich and

You can hire Notre Dame Altar cross survives


someone to devastating fire
“eat for you” – A cross that somehow camera by the first photogra-
in China remained intact after the dev-
astating fire at Notre Dame
phers amid harrowing images
from within the fire-ravaged
Cathedral has become a sym- cathedral. A smouldering pile
A new type of online
bol of hope for France. The of what appeared to be the
service allows people to
hire others to eat or drink crucifix at the altar of the cathe- charred remains of the roof ‘World’s smallest baby
their favorite treats,
either to cure their bore-
dral in Paris stood tall despite
the blaze which ravaged the
and spire lay smoking in front
of the altar, while the cross that boy’ goes home
dom or satisfy their crav- building on April 08. The ‘mir- escaped destruction glowed
ing without the calories acle’ cross was captured on from within the gloom. The world’s smallest baby boy,
that usually come with it. who was born in October in Japan
So, if you love eating and weighing as much as an apple, is
drinking for free and are now ready for the outside world,
looking to make some his doctor said April 12. Ryusuke
pocket change, there’s a Sekiya was delivered via emergen-
job in China with your cy Caesarean section, after 24 weeks
name on it. All you have and five days of pregnancy as his
to do is to show whoever mother Toshiko experienced hyper-
hires you video evidence tension. At 258 grams he was even
of you eating or drinking lighter than the previous record
the said treats. They will holder, another Japanese boy who
pay you between 2 yuan weighed just 268 grams. Ryusuke
(Shs1000) and 9 yuan was kept in a neonatal intensive
(Shs5000) plus the cost of care unit and fed via tubes. Doc-
the food. It’s not exactly tors used cotton swabs to apply
a get-rich quick kind his mother’s milk to his mouth.
of job, but there are Nearly seven months later, the boy
quite a lot of people has grown 13 times in weight, and
willing to do it for the weighed three kilogrammes when
free eats alone. he was released from Nagano Chil-
dren’s Hospital.

Largest ever blue Woman gives birth to ‘drunk’ baby


diamond unveiled A 35-year-old woman has given birth to a baby girl
with enough alcohol in its system than would be consid-
The Botswana state-owned ered a severe state of intoxication for an adult, causing
Okavango Diamond Company, possible problems with heart function and breathing.
which markets gemstones, The mother, who doctors say was intoxicated during
announced the find on April the birth, had been drinking at home but she was unable
10 in Gaborone. It said the to tell them how much she had drunk. Neonatologist
20-carat gemstone is the largest Natalia Grigorieva said that the baby girl weighed in
ever blue diamond found in at 2.5 kg and looked fine, but she added: “it’s hard to
Botswana. It has estimated the say what will happen next.” The incident happened in
stone was formed between 500 Lithuania and the mother is facing charges. The baby
million and 3 billion years ago. will stay in hospital until the alcohol leaves its system.

36 April. 26 - May 02 2019


Protect your car from the sun
Direct heat from the sun can hurt your car
outside, inside, and in engine
So what can you do about the heat a hurt-
By Motoring Guru ing your car outside, inside, and in engine?  Wax your car. A layer of wax between

T
your car’s finish and the sun’s ultravio-
he weather has been hot. Tempera- Inside protection let rays is a great way to help protect it.
tures in Kampala have averaged 80°  Park in the shade. It is the easiest form  Check tire pressure. Make sure you fol-
F. It is forecast to get cooler in the of protection. low your vehicle’s manufacturer recom-
coming weeks. Still, you must re-  If it’s safe to do so, open the windows mended tyre pressure.
member that the sun and heat can damage a crack to help lower the interior tem-
your vehicle inside and out. perature and equalise the air pressure. Engine protection
Some tests have shown that on a hot day,  Use a windshield sun protector or visor.  Check cooling system. Check belts and
the interior of a can be heated in excess of It’s a way to keep your car cool and pre- antifreeze/coolant and change regularly.
145° F. Interior surfaces exposed to direct vent sun damage.  Top up fluids: Overheating greatly
sunlight have recorded temperatures in  Install seat covers. They not only protect increases when fluid levels are below
excess of 195°F. Remember water boils at leather and fabric seats, but they also recommended levels. Regularly check
212°F. So we are talking serious heating help keep them cool. motor oil, transmission fluid, power
here.  Protect leather seats with a conditioner. steering fluid, and brake fluid.
Now imagine what that does to your To help avoid cracks or tears, keep seats  Check Battery. The vehicle’s battery and
dashboard and seats. That is before we talk clean, and apply leather conditioner complete charging system must func-
of the car’s body colour and engine. often. tion properly.
Some of the trouble from direct sunlight  Check air conditioning. If interior tem-
hitting your car for long daily includes Outside protection perature isn’t cool enough, the refriger-
dashboard drying and cracking. Leather  Wash and dry car often. It helps ant charge level in the air conditioning
seats too will crack and tear and the exterior remove dirt and dust particles that system may be low or there may be a
paint will fade and crack. In case you use can cause micro scratches and dull more serious problem.
the AC because of the high temperatures, your car’s finish.
remember such and high accessory loads
can cause the battery to wear out and fail
quicker. Finally the hot pavement can lead
to underinflation of your tyres. That is a
bad combination that may lead to a
blowout. Even the best tyres can
lose about one pound of air
pressure a month.

April. 26 - May 02 2019 37


Jessica Nanyunja: On
her vision for pot water
Pot water in a way revives the glory of our cultures
By Agnes E Nantaba relatives liked pot water. So she thought

J
of marketing pot water on a commer-
essica Nanyunja is the brain behind cial scale.
Harmony Nutri Foods Limited with It was easy because she already
its flagship brand of Harmony pot had the banana juice making fac-
water. It is a darling amongst many tory. Her only challenge was find-
Ugandans who have yearned to rekindle ing the pots. In 2017, she made
their love for pot-smoked water. Many the first sales of pot water worth
decades ago, most Ugandans used clay Shs300, 000. She redesigned the
products; including kitchenware and pots water bottles in the shape of pot
to store and cool water. and the business has grown. She
“Pot water in a way revives the glory makes up to 8000 liters of pot water
of our cultures,” says Nanyunja,“It brings per day. It currently brings in 80%
in a new concept of traditionally flavored of her company income.
drinking water.” Nanyunja is the last born and only
Having mastered the art of food busi- girl in a family of three. Her father
ness during university time at Kyambogo died when she was only three years
where she pursued a bachelor’s degree in old. Her mother took to entrepreneur-
Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Nanyun- ship and hard work to fend for the little
ja immediately ventured into processing souls.
and packaging of banana fruit juice in the Nanyunja went to Trinity College Nab-
brand of ‘Harmony Omubisi’. bingo and Mengo Senior School before
But the business stalled as she went joining Kyambogo University. She is
for further studies in Belgium. Her married. She looks forward to
mother, Gwokyalya Harriet Ssali could opening the first nutrition
not manage on her own. The initial plan supermarket.
was to restart the business when she
returned upon completing her Master’s
degree programme. But then she got an
opportunity to pursue a PhD in Biosci-
ence Engineering which took another
four years. Nanyunja is proud that she
graduated with a PhD in 2015 from Ghent
University in Belgium before clocking 30
years. She also has a high understanding
of food, nutrition and rural development.
Many would expect a graduate of PhD to
consider taking an academic journey of
imparting knowledge and skills but she
chose another path.
“Teaching isn’t my passion,” she says,
“I had already made up my mind to
return home and start-up something.”
She secured a grant from Belgium to
reawaken her banana juice business and
in 2016 focused on giving it the natural
taste of locally produced Omubisi but
with the professional touch of a food tech-
nologist.
Her family did not like the business.
They said it devalued her qualifications.
She also faced several environmental
shocks. But she stuck to her passion.
However, Nanyunja noticed that her

38 April. 26 - May 02 2019


Q&A
news analysis

Jessica Nanyunja’s Liteside


Any three things that we on raising us with the best. you have accumulated What do you regard as the

I
don’t know about you? She is also a very loving doesn’t concern people but lowest depth of misery?
m a visionary; my and open minded person. what good they can learn Being judged wrongly
greatest joy is to have For my career prospects, I from you. and paying dearly for it
an idea and bring it to admire Aliko Dangote for is the worst injustice any
life. I am a big dreamer being an industrialist who What is the quality you human being can be made
and very hardworking. I pushes for Africa to shine. most like in a woman? to face.
also believe that I am a kind He has demonstrated that it Knowledge and belief in
person. Being a Christian is possible in Africa. who she is; it’s from within What is your favorite
has tamed me so much. to the outside. A woman occupation?
What is your greatest should also be able to Innovation and creativity
What is your idea of extravagance? balance many roles without is my passion.
perfect happiness? For the love of reading, I losing the focus.
Peace of mind and living spend a lot on books. What do you most value in
my blue print. I am one What is the quality you your friends?
person who believes that What is the greatest thing most like in a man? There must be something
we are here for a short time you have ever done? Loving and ready to that connects us.
and the earlier we do what Creating a brand in sacrifice at a bigger cost.
we ought to do in life, the the market and being Who are your favorite
better. appreciated. It is something What or who is the greatest writers?
that I never dreamt of. love of your life? Brian Tracy teaches me
What is your greatest fear? My mother, husband and a lot about setting goals,
Poverty; I have What is your current state siblings; I however find being myself and achieving
experienced a life of plenty, of mind? a hard rock between my excellence. I also love to
scarcity and plenty again so I am happy mother and husband. read Stephen Covey; he
I don’t wish to fall back to reminds me that whatever
poverty. What do you consider the When and where were you happens is my concern and
most overrated virtue? happiest? that nobody can take away
What is the trait you most Often times, we overrate When I graduated with a anything from me if I don’t
deplore in yourself? failure on the side of PhD in 2015, it was a dream permit it. From him, I have
I am very emotional, so government and yet we also come true. When I met my learnt that I can achieve
I easily let go of anything have a role to play within husband for the first time anything I want.
that compromises my our means. Uganda gives a in 2008; I have never felt
peace of mind. This is at naturing environment that loved and assured of love Which historical figure do
times not good because creates the opportunity to like whenever I meet him. you most identify with?
some conditions in life try out ideas and thrive. In December 2016, I was James Mulwana (RIP)
require persistence and happy seeing Harmony built a fountain of wealth
resilience. What does being powerful Nutri Foods factory from just a vision to
mean to you? stand after a period of something great. He started
What is the trait you Having authority and construction. the idea from the visionary
most deplore in capacity to do whatever part. He proves the power
others? you want in your own Which talent would you of vision and following it
Dishonesty; you terms. most like to have? through.
would rather tell me I would love to improve
the bitter truth and I On what occasion do you my negotiation skills. What is your greatest
find a way of dealing lie? regret?
with it that an open I like it straight. Where would you most I don’t dwell on regrets.
lie to save a situation like to live?
for a short time. What do you most dislike I love Nigeria because How would you like to
about your appearance? most of its people think big die?
Which living person Weight is taking a toll on and try to execute the ideas. After clocking 80 years, I
do you most admire? me but I know what to do. can sleep away.
I admire my mother; What is your most
she is very confident Which living person do treasured possession? What is your motto?
because even when she you most despise? I value my brand and You don’t have to be
became a widow at a I despise people who are would wish that even after great to start but to be
very young age of 27, she arrogant and proud because I am gone, somebody takes great, you must start.
made a decision to focus at the end of the day, what on the mantle.

April. 26 - May 02 2019 39


Global comment
By Walter Ochieng
Will free trade make Africans sick?
Governments should first consider ways to compensate
countries for health services used by foreigners

E
arlier this month, The Gambia be- richer countries, and from public to private rose after import taxes on those products
came the 22nd country to ratify the health care. This results in weaker, under- were removed. Similarly, tobacco and
agreement establishing the African staffed public-health systems, especially in alcohol consumption could increase if
Continental Free Trade Area (Af- poorer countries. Moreover, influxes of for- large multinational companies use existing
CFTA). The agreement is expected to enter eign clinicians will irk local medical profes- rules to compel countries to lift advertising
into force soon; once 22 countries have sionals by increasing competition for jobs. restrictions on these goods.
deposited their ratification documents with There are also worries that big pharma- African governments should learn from
the African Union (19 have so far). ceutical companies will push for restric- the experience of other trading blocs, and
By removing trade barriers and allowing tions on imports of generic drugs into the act now to protect the poor from the unin-
the free movement of goods, services, and AfCFTA, as happened in Guatemala after tended health consequences of open trade
people across Africa, the AfCFTA could the Central America Free Trade Agreement policies. AfCFTA countries should also seek
help to increase combined consumer and took effect. Such restrictions push up the legal exemptions that uphold legitimate
business spending on the continent to $6.7 cost of these drugs and hurt the poor the government policies protecting public
trillion by 2030. But the new trade bloc’s most. welfare, such as those designed to reduce
possible impact on the health of over one Free movement of people also increases tobacco use.
billion Africans has barely been discussed. the risk that diseases will spread across To alleviate the strain that foreign patients
That is an alarming oversight. borders, especially given weak disease- put on countries’ public-health budgets,
The African Union views the AfCFTA as surveillance systems and the instability of governments should consider introducing
an important step toward integrating the some African countries. The continuing an African health insurance card similar to
continent and promoting regional trade. Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic the one used in the European Union. Such
Given the experience of other free-trade of Congo is a pressing concern. Other dan- a system would compensate host countries
blocs, however, the pact raises concerns gerous infectious diseases, such as cholera, for the government-provided health ser-
about the weakening of government- may also spread farther and faster. vices used by foreigners.
funded public-health systems, increasingly Rates of chronic disease could increase, Furthermore, African countries should
unequal access to care, a medical brain too. Epidemiologists have noted increases develop policies on medical tourism that
drain, higher drug prices, increased con- in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease fol- cover long-term medical visas and enable
sumption of unhealthy products, and the lowing other trade deals. In several Pacific cross-border use of health insurance. And
spread of diseases. African governments island countries, for example, consumption rather than increasing entry barriers, profes-
should act immediately to assess these of processed foods and sugared beverages sional groups should lobby for standardised
threats and counter the AfCFTA’s potential medical exams across the continent to weed
negative health implications. out quacks and improve the quality of
As is true of other trade pacts, the AfCFTA care. Finally, extra investments are needed
free-movement rules will allow people to in border health services and emergency-
access government-funded health services response centers to protect against the
in any member country. This will increase Free spread of diseases.

movement of
the number of foreign patients seeking African countries should lobby for these
treatment in countries with relatively strong measures now, before the AfCFTA enters

people also
health-care systems, such as Kenya and into effect, because renegotiating trade
Uganda. But citizens of these destination deals once they are implemented is difficult.
countries will feel the pinch as underfi-
nanced medical services are stretched even increases Moreover, trade blocs are vulnerable to col-
lapse if governments don’t address impor-
further. And because no country wants to
subsidise its neighbours’ health systems, the risk that tant issues beforehand.
The AfCFTA could yield enormous eco-
political tensions could rise, too.
The new free-trade area is also expected
diseases will nomic benefits for Africa. But its possible
negative impact on Africans’ health should
to drive growth in private health care,
including medical tourism. For example,
spread across not be ignored.

as demand for cancer treatment soars,


visa-free travel will enable people in the
borders Walter Ochieng, a doctor and health economist,
is an Aspen New Voices Fellow who has worked
15 African countries without radiotherapy in government, humanitarian, and non-profit
services to seek care elsewhere. health services in several African countries.
But there is a downside to this growth.
Private health services and medical tourism Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
induce clinicians to migrate from poorer to

40 April. 26 - May 02 2019


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