You are on page 1of 48

News analysis Health Business

Money woes New ‘triple pill’ could Russia’s big

at Makerere eliminate high blood pressure move to Africa

Issue No. 596 Nov . 01 - 07 2019 Ushs 5,000,Kshs 200, RwF 1,500, SDP 8

Military at
What Museveni fears
about student strike
Nov . 01 - 07 2019 1

Issue No. 596 Nov . 01 - 07 2019

News analysis Business Health Arts Motoring

Cover story
Military at Makerere
What Museveni fears about student strike

5 The Week
US, Belgium launch Shs40bn
health project in Nwoya district No democracy without dissent:
Arrest of Makerere University
students protesting tuition
9 The Last Word
increment makes a joke of our
Against privileges for a few: democracy
Why Makerere University
students (and lecturers) do not
32 Health
need or deserve special treatment
New ‘triple pill’
14 Analysis could eliminate
high blood pressure
Money woes at Makerere: How
‘survival’ is destroying university

35 Arts & Culture

27 Business
Art X Lagos, 2019: Premier
Russia’s big move to Africa: What the art fair for the best and the
Euro-Asian nation promised African new in Africa
countries at a historic summit in Sochi

STRATEGY & EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Andrew M. Mwenda WRITERS:Ronald Musoke, Ian Katusiime,
MANAGING EDITOR: Joseph Were Patricia Akankwatsa, Julius Businge.

PUBLISHER: Independent Publications Limited, Plot 82/84, Kanjokya Street, P. O. Box 3304, Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256-312-637-391/ 2/ 3/ 4 | Fax: +256-312-637-396 E-mail: | | Website:

2 Nov . 01 - 07 2019

“I wonder why some of us see a job

advert about a placement in Canada
pinned on an electric pole and are
excited to apply or make calls to get
it.” Speaker Rebecca Kadaga warning
Makerere University Acting Vice Chancellor Prof. Umar Kakumba (2nd R) and Police Spokesperson
Fred Enaga (2nd L) address the press on the university students’ strike on Oct 28.   INDEPENDENT/ ALFRED

Chapter, Ag Executive
Director, Ignatius Ally
Nuwoha (R) condemns
practice of school
managements that
front commercial
interest over children’s “FDC should not fail IPOD even before
wellbeing in their
schools.   INDEPENDENT/ coming in. How do you generate the
ALFRED OCHWO agenda for the council on a talk show?
That is not how IPOD operates.”NRM
secretary general Justine Kasule Lumumba

Residents of Namataba,
Kirinya Parish,
Bweyogerere division
update their registration
for the 2021 general
election.   INDEPENDENT/
“We have had these conferences with
China, India and Turkey yet when
we were fighting for our freedom it
was Russia and China who supported
us.”President Museveni at the Russia-Africa

District officers who Traders arrested Ugandans who die of

82 were blacklisted
over graft
350 in Kampala after a
security operation
10,000 malaria every year according
to Ministry of Health

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 3
Manslaughter US, Belgium launch Shs40bn health project in Nwoya district
conviction in Mowzey
Radio murder case whether they get more financing
in future. He also thanked
Minister for Health Jane Aceng
Godfrey ‘Troy’ Wamala for her efforts in making sure
(Pictured) was convicted the project gets underway. US
of manslaughter in the Ambassador Deborah Malac
murder case of artiste said the Results-based financing
Moses Ssekibogo aka has shown great promise as
Mowzey Radio who died a way to confront challenges.
on February 1, 2018 after “Placing emphasis on results
sustaining injuries a bar and incentivizing stakeholders
brawl. Justice Jane Francis to achieve those results has
Abodo at Entebbe High A four year project funded Based Financing (RBF) model improved health outcomes
court noted that prosecution by USAID and implemented by at a cost of $11m (Shs4b0n). and increased demand
failed to prove to court Enabel, the Belgian development While presiding over the launch and availability of quality
beyond reasonable doubt agency in partnership with the of EHA at Koch Goma Health services among vulnerable
that Wamala killed Mowzey Ministry of Health. Enabling Centre III in Nwoya district, populations,” she said. The
Radio. Abodo however Health Acholi (EHA) is set Deputy Speaker of Parliament Belgian Ambassador to Uganda
ruled that court concurred to strengthen health systems Jacob Oulanyah told the Rudi Veestraeten and the
with prosecution that the in the Acholi sub region in residents of Nwoya and other Enabel Resident Representative
accused person participated districts of Nwoya, Gulu, districts to be accountable in Christelle Jocquet hailed the
in the brawl that ended the Amuru and Omoro and will be how they use the project adding people of Acholi for their
artiste’s life. She said that implemented through a Results that the RBF model will ensure cooperation.
prosecution didn’t connect
Wamala to the killing despite
being part of the bar brawl. Gov’t to unveil
Prosecution led by Entebbe
Resident State Attorney, Joan Shs25bn VIP prison
Keko presented 11 witnesses.
Justice Abodo also wondered The government has con-
why police failed to handle structed a new modern prison
the investigations into the to cater for (Very Important Per-
murder case properly. Earlier sons) VIPs at a whooping cost of
on prosecution told Shs25billion. David Nsalatta, the
court that on the evening Uganda Prisons Service Director
of January 22, 2018, Godfrey for Production and Engineering
Troy Wamala while at De says mini-maximum security
Bar, a popular hangout in facility will house 4000 inmates.
Entebbe town engaged in a War over taxi relocation to Usafi Park It was constructed next to the
brawl with Mowzey. old prison at Kitalya in Mityana
Taxi drivers and operators the park while those operating and will be opened in Decem-
have vowed not to relocate from at stages along Kampala streets ber. Some of the amenities at the
Old Taxi Park in the city centre should move into designated prison include a football pitch,
to Usafi Park on Entebbe Road taxi parks. However taxi opera- tennis and volleyball courts,
following a directive from Cabi- tors and drivers complained that rehabilitation workshops, a
net and KCCA. There is tension no authority has written to them school and a well-equipped
at the Old Taxi Park in Kampala or consulted them on the matter. and staffed health centre. The
following heavy deployment by “This is not a KCCA directive. new prison will accommodate
Police to enforce the relocation. Cabinet sat and approved. Those only those on life imprisonment
The Entebbe stage in the Old who will try to resist relocation Nsalatta says the prison was
Park is now occupied by taxis will be forced out by the KCCA constructed due to the conges-
plying Mukono-Seeta route as enforcement team,” Kamya said. tion at Luzira Maximum Securi-
the tension heightens. Minister The plan is part of the move by ty prison which is choking with
for Kampala Beti Kamya said KCCA to decongest the city by 3500 inmates over and above its
that taxi operators have to vacate constructing flyovers. capacity of 600. He was speak-
ing at an event organized by the
Calls for justice for slain lawyer Peter Kibirango Justice Law and Order (JLOS)
Sector where development part-
The legal fraternity has urged the government the voiceless and powerless. Police say they ners were on a monitoring and
to bring to book whoever participated in the have opened a murder charge against a UPDF evaluation exercise of the new
killing of Peter Kibirango, a lawyer who was soldier, one of the suspects. Isaac Semakadde, complex. Construction of the
killed by a mob in Mutungo, Kampala after he the founder of Centre for Legal Aid, described VIP prison started in June 2016
was suspected of being a phone thief. Friends Kibirango as a pillar in human rights who went with an estimated initial cost
of Kibirango eulogized him as a defender for out of his way to fight for the underprivileged. of Shs18bn but shot up due to
additional modifications.

4 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
Africell marks five years in Uganda with New Chapter
Marking five years of community welfare. The New
successful operations Uganda, Chapter places the customers
Africell is pleased to launch a at the heart of Africell’s focus.
new commercial direction for Strategic priorities include
the company in the exciting East enhancing the customer
African market. The strategy, experience by personalizing
called the ‘New Chapter’, builds service and customizing offers,
on Africell’s achievements in as well as increasing Africell’s
Uganda to date: including the commercial and social relevance
delivery of a new generation by undertaking a wave of new
of affordable communication corporate social responsibility
solutions, a reputation for initiatives – especially in the
outstanding customer service, Education and Security Sectors.
and improved data quality Africell plans to increase its
on 3G & 4G networks. The involvement in technology
New Chapter also stays incubation, in order to stimulate
Africell Uganda CEO, Ziad Daoud (R), Africell Group Founder, true to Africell’s continued a more active Ugandan
Ziad Dalloul (M) and Neeraj Gala, Chief Commercial Officer commitment to supporting technology sector.

Mozambique’s Nyusi Kadaga orders MPs to fly Uganda Airlines

wins second term
Incumbent Pres- Nyusi had been
ident Filipe Nyusi widely predicted to
was declared the win, based on unof-
winner in Mozam- ficial results from
bique’s election the October 15 vote,
held last month and Frelimo had
despite claims of already organised
widespread cheat- victory celebra-
ing and rejection tions in the capital.
of results by the Daviz Simango,
opposition. Nyu- of the third largest
si of the ruling party the Mozam-
FRELIMO party bique Democratic
scored 73 percent Movement (MDM), The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca support the National Carrier. “I, therefore,
of the vote, ahead secured just over Kadaga has instructed MPs and staff of write to instruct you to ensure that all official
of Ossufo Momade four percent of Parliament to use the National Carrier – trips of the Members of Parliament and the
of RENAMO, the the vote, with less Uganda Airlines while on official duty. staff of Parliament while on official duty to
rebel group turned than one percent The directive is carried in her letter dated destinations where the Airline operates are
opposition party, going to Mario October 16, 2019, to the Clerk to Parliament scheduled with Uganda Airlines,” reads the
with almost 22 per- Albino, who heads Jane Kibirige. The letter is copied to Deputy letter. Uganda Airlines started commercial
cent, election com- up smaller party Speaker Jacob Oulanyah and all Members of operations on August 23, 2019, with a flight
mission chairman AMUSI, according Parliament. Kadaga says that since Uganda to Nairobi, Kenya. It has since had flights to
Abdul Carimo told to the electoral Airlines is now operational, it was important Juba (South Sudan), Mogadishu (Somalia)
a press briefing. body. for the Parliamentary Commission to and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

AfricellUG @AfricellUG

Dial *133*2# *terms and conditions apply |

Regulated by Uganda Communications Commission

for more bundles

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 5
WorldRemit, Arsenal
select soccer stars
A panel of judges from Arsenal and
its official online money transfer partner,
WorldRemit, have selected eight coaches
as finalists for their Future Stars coaching
programme. The eight finalists will now
compete in a public vote on www.futur- for the chance to
attend a personalised training programme
with Arsenal Football Development coaches
in London - sponsored by WorldRemit. The
Future Stars programme was developed
by WorldRemit and Arsenal to celebrate
the positive impact that grassroots youth
football coaches have on their communities,
ISIS leader Al Bakr Baghdadi dead helping the children they train to develop
life skills both on and off the pitch. Now
World leaders hailed the killing of ISIS the Syrian Kurds for their cooperation. in its second edition, the Future Stars pro-
leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an import- Afghanistan welcomed al-Baghdadi’s killing gramme received over 1,400 online appli-
ant step in the fight against terrorism but as a major blow to the armed group that is cations this year from across Africa and the
added that the war against ISIS was far from expected to weaken the South Asian branch. Americas. Male Future Stars finalists include
over. al-Baghdadi killed himself along with The emergence of an Afghan ISIL affiliate in Bakit Isaac Agogo from Uganda, Feisal
his three children when he was cornered recent years created another enemy for the Abdi Hassan from Kenya, Luis Alejandro
in a tunnel in northwest Syria while being country’s US-backed government, which Castañeda Vargas from Colombia, Samuel
pursued by US military. US President Don- has been fighting against the much larger Taylor from Ghana. Female Future Stars
ald Trump engaged in a victory lap while Taliban insurgency since 2001. al-Baghdadi finalists are Beldine Lilian Achieng Odemba
hailing the US military triumph. Trump declared ISIS as a caliphate in June 2014 and from Kenya, Chinasa Ukandu from, Nigeria,
thanked Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Russia, and ISIS gained notoriety for its ruthlessness. Joan Nabisenke from Uganda and Vivian
Johana Pirateque Garzón from Colombia.

6 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
Humour Did you know?
Breathing bad air is like
drinking dirty water -WHO

The leader of the World Health

Organisation (WHO) has issued a stark
President Yoweri Museveni met the ghetto youth and launched the NRM youth camp headquarters in Kibuye. warning about breathing polluted air,
comparing it to ‘drinking dirty water’.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, 54,
said he was increasingly concerned about
pollution’s impact on children’s brain
development and unborn babies, while
blaming one in nine deaths worldwide on
the problem.
Speaking ahead of a summit on the
issue in London recently, he stated that the
‘staggering’ cost of pollution could total
‘trillions of dollars worldwide’.
He said: ‘Would you drink dirty water?
I am guessing the answer is no. Then why
would you accept to breathe dirty air? ‘Air
pollution is around us and in our homes.
It kills seven million people every year.’
He added that 91 per cent of people across
the world are living in areas where air
quality is ‘unsafe’. Labeling pollution as
a ‘public health issue’, he continued: ‘The
evidence and magnitude of the impact of
Minister Beti Kamya has said Kampala has shortage of 73,000 security lights due to outdated technology and theft. air pollution on health is overwhelmingly
The WHO says the majority of outdoor
air pollution comes from burning fossil
fuels and is urging governments to take
action or face a major crisis in public health
and finances. Dr. Tedros explained: “The
economic cost of premature deaths and
disease from air pollution is staggering,
potentially trillions of dollars worldwide.
Governments should commit to action for
better air quality in order to save lives.”
Ethiopian Dr Tedros, who was elected to
his post at WHO in 2017, said improving
air quality could lower the burden on
health services from stroke, heart disease,
lung cancer, and respiratory diseases.
He also warned about the ‘increasing
evidence’ around dirty air’s alarming
impact on young people. He continued: ‘In
children and adults, both short- and long-
term exposure to ambient air pollution can
lead to reduced lung function, respiratory
A row has erupted between MPs and Ministers over the distribution of hoes which the President pledged in 2016.
infections and aggravated asthma.

Nov . 01 - 07 2019
News analysis Health Business
Reviving Measles and rubella: Why banks won’t hurry
Anti-gay Bill One disease or two? to cut interest rates

Issue No. 595 Oct. 25 - 31 2019

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

Sabiiti on
Follow us on Twitter @ the spot!/ugandatalks Exposing the police
boss’s biggest problem

Follow us on Facebook @

Letters are
welcome ! Inside Europe’s savior complex
The Editor welcomes short and Refer to: “Inside Europe’s Meaning development aid six post world war decades.
concise letters from our esteemed savior complex: How is colonialism or opening Could we get access to the
readers on topical issues. Please Western efforts to remake up the developing world for paper so that we judge the
send them to:
The Editor, The Independent Africa have changed from local capital development uproar?
Publications Ltd, colonialism to international to die in favour of foreign Pastor Kaks
P.O Box 3304, development assistance” capital? This is reminiscent
Plot 82/84 Kanjokya St, (The Independent Oct. 18). of the India mindset in the

Email: Mwenda, Museveni spin

Refer to: “Sudan’s next were colonialists in Uganda, discovered and there was
Besigye Twerwaneko disaster: Why the plan to
hand Bashir to the ICC is
they only constructed the
Jinja Hydropower Dam.
not electricity in people’s
homes even in UK or U.S.
will fail misguided and will likely
be counterproductive” (The
What has to be remarked is
that by the time the British
It took time. Mwenda and
Museveni can spin and spin
Independent Oct.18). Presi- came here, the scientific but there is hardly anyone to
As politics is heating up in Uganda, dent Yoweri Museveni once method used for generating be convinced.
a number of politicians are strategising remarked that for the 70 electricity (electromagnetic Paul Muwanga
on how they can win the next general year or so period the British induction) had just been
election. Some are preparing ground for
the next generation whereas others are
initiating ideas meant to help them create
relevance. Recently, the four time Forum
Makerere strike shows Four years
for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential
flag bearer and now the proprietor of the
lack of being grateful without Sophia
so called ‘people’s government’, Dr. Kizza
Refer to: “Security orders journalists to Refer to: “Four years without Sophia”
Besigye launched his new strategy called
delete footage on students with disabilities (The Independent Online Oct.28). It is
‘Twerwaneko’. In Luganda, ‘twerwaneko’
at Makerere” (The Independent Online indeed saddening. Hopefully nothing
means “fighting for ourselves”. Much as
Besigye is calling us to fight for ourselves, Oct.26). The goings on in Makerere Uni- wrong happened to her. It’s been years
we believe that he is just using this to have versity shows lack of being grateful. When but since all stories don’t add up due to
a political and media comeback since God has given you the opportunity to irresponsible search teams by then. It
he has been enclosed by other political study and you think by causing problems would be best to have 50/50 chance of
groups. We very well know that such cam- you can amount to anything I think that Sophia Koetsier, a young medical intern
paigns are meant to account for the donor is total deception. Some of us we failed to in Lubaga Hospital in Kampala in 2015
money which benefits the few yet the peo- get that privilege of studying and we had but went missing in Murchison National
ple they advise to participate fully are left nobody to blame. We humbled ourselves Park, is living. But what happened to
in the same situation or in troubles. There and now God is lifting us. One day in my their tour guide?
is no way we can believe that there is seminary life the student body decided A tour guide from Kampala is some-
something new that Besigye can do or he to protest against food but I was the only thing not advisable. Tour guides are pro-
has not done in a way of opposing Presi- one who did not join that kind of satanic vided by the park management because
dent Museveni. In 2001, he said that he is act. I went to the seminary knowing my these people are very well aware of their
the hammer that could remove a cotter pin motives so I would not allow food to dis- surroundings and place of operations.
(Museveni), a campaign which failed. He tract me. Coming back to Makerere Uni- Everyone believes they can be tour
then promised tsunami to sweep President versity, you must know that things never guides just because they know few ideas
Museveni out of State House, Tubalemese go down. Every time things go up, harden but that does not make them one. A tour
and many other strategies which Ugan- yourself and let your status move up; guide must ensure client safety first. But
dans have failed. ‘Twerwaneko’ will not simple. Let it be joy when they increase it looks Sophia’s incident happened due
be different. The day Besigye and his team tuition. What you get cheaply you cannot to irresponsible personal claiming to be
will engage in campaigns which transform value. Politicians trying to fuel the indisci- a tour guide. If only the tour guide can
people’s lives, Ugandans will embrace it. pline acts will reap the same. Your genera- be questioned again after all these years I
tions will forever be in total mess. believe he may have a different story.
David Serumaga Amo
Ap Francis Manano Repairer of Destinies

8 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
The Last Word opinion

Against privileges for a few

By Andrew M. Mwenda
Why Makerere University students (and lecturers)
do not need or deserve special treatment

he strike by Makerere University rather a suffocating sense of entitlement. entitlement, victimhood, and grievance. It is
students over a 15% increase Given its history as the only high centre a mentality that spreads across many aspects
in fees, actually based on a of learning, students at Makerere think of our national life and is promoted by
recommendation by the Students they occupy a unique place in our country, opposition politicians and by Museveni for
Guild, has dominated media for a week. The hence demands for special treatment. If selfish reasons – to win votes. This mentality
government of President Yoweri Museveni, government is unable to bend to their will, has created a toxic intellectual environment
in its characteristic militarist fashion, sent in they hold it at ransom through strikes and among our elite. They want to get everything
the army. A video of soldiers frog-matching protests. Thus to address the problems of from the state for free or cheaply: health,
students, kicking them with their boots and Makerere University we need to strike at education, roads, etc. and do not want to
rifle butts went viral. This is the stuff that its gilded self-image as an institution with contribute anything in return. This was most
gives Uganda’s noisy elites an opportunity the right to hold the country hostage. This evidenced during protests against the social
to exhibit their pretentious middle class behaviour is not among students only but media tax. 
human rights sensibilities. covers the academic and non-academic staff. We have, therefore, a highly cultivated
I abhor the tactics used by the security First, there are more students enrolled in sense of entitlement without a
forces and condemn them in the strongest private than public universities in Uganda. corresponding sense of obligation. Many
terms. However, they were not surprising. And they pay higher fees that are regularly Ugandans want to milk the cow they
Opposition politicians may scream their increased to cope with rising costs. There do not want to feed. Many of them hide
lungs out at such horror perhaps deluded are even more students enrolled in all the behind claims of corruption to abdicate
into the belief that if they were in power other public universities than Makerere their obligation to the state from which they
they would act differently. Nonsense. facing similar or even worse problems. Such demand so much. Citizens should always
Poor countries rely more on repression students feel aggrieved at their fees but pay their taxes first and then demand
than persuasion to secure compliance do not harbour this exaggerated sense of accountability. There is also the lack of a
with their demands. Thus regardless of entitlement to make them believe that their sense of proportion to the resources available
the many changes of government on our needs must be addressed – or else. to the government to meet such entitlements
continent: by electoral victory, military Those who defend this dysfunctional and that elites demand.
coup, armed struggle, popular insurrection, self-indulgent culture of Makerere students  Many Ugandan elites – journalists,
or death of an incumbent, the reliance on argue that as a public university it should academics, pundits etc. support this
repression to secure compliance with state be free or cheap. But Makerere is not the dysfunctional entitlement culture because it
demands remains (alongside patronage and only public university. The more critical places them on higher moral or intellectual
clientelism) the instruments of rule. issue is the belief that being at Makerere plane than others, at least in their own
I am less condemning of these strategies gives someone a special status above estimation. It makes them feel they are
recognising that they are not only cost other citizens. The second justification is championing the interests of the masses. Of
effective and cost efficient but also perhaps that university education paid for by the course for opposition politicians, promoting
the only affordable weapons of poor taxpayer is a right. A right is something a sense of victimhood and grievance among
governments (and even poor families) in the enjoyed by all equally and cannot exclude a section of the population is profitable as it
management of power relations across time others – like the right to vote or express brings them votes by projecting themselves
and space. In fact I have just been reading an oneself. To enter Makerere and benefit from as defenders of the downtrodden. For
interesting book by Paul Collier, The Future free or subsidised education is exclusive. those in government like Museveni, giving
of Capitalism, where he shows that poor Therefore it is a privilege over which the concessions to such groups promises similar
families tend to rely more on violence than country should not be held at ransom. rewards by coming across as a generous
persuasion in dealing with their children. Makerere students and their cheerleaders father.
But let us reserve this for another column. in other sectors of Uganda’s public life Yet this entitlement culture is economically
For now, we need to address the roots need to wrestle with three things. First, counterproductive and socially destructive.
of the current strike at Makerere. The why should other parents and students It has created a dysfunctional dependency
increment in fees cannot explain it. Our be excluded from the “right” of cheap or culture on the state, which the government
country has many private universities free university education? Second, why cannot afford. Thus when these entitlements
where students pay much more in fees do students in other private or public are not met, which is inevitable given the
than Makerere yet do not strike. Uganda universities, who come from the same resources Uganda’s government commands,
has other public universities not paralysed income background and face similar they create an ever deeper sense of grievance
by incessant strikes. Makerere University expenses, not find strikes a weapon to that someone else is holding the affected
Business School (MUBS) at Nakawa is part employ regularly to advance their cause? persons down. Hence the claims on social
of Makerere and regularly increases fees but Third, why should being at a public media that one’s success depends on
its students there rarely strike. Therefore the university entitle anyone to special the state rather than their own effort are
issue at Makerere is not increase in the fees treatment? suffocating.
or even the expectation of students in public What we are seeing at Makerere is
universities for free/cheaper education but decades of indoctrination into a mentality of

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 9
cover story

Military at Makerere
What Museveni fears
about student strike

A student is arrested during the recent Makerere University fees protest

10 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
cover story

Female students face off with the army at Makerere University.

By Ronald Musoke guarantor of peace in the country. residence at the university.
“The military should take a position The soldiers went on a beating spree;
etting the military to brutally which is to remain a guarantor of Uganda’s indiscriminately dragging students out of
quell a students’ strike at security and peace; once you begin to warn their rooms and whipping them and van-
Makerere University Kampa- the youth then you have taken a position dalizing their property. Television sets were
la is a sign of what is coming because the youth have a position.” shattered and electric kettles, cups, plates,
ahead of the 2021 general Wakida, who is a member of the opposi- tables and other gadgets smashed. In one
election. That is what many tion Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) video, the soldiers are seen battering a visi-
political analysts The Independent has spoken party says the military continues showing bly disabled student with wooden crutches.
to say. sides; especially whenever a general election The soldiers beat him until they fractured his
Some of them point at public statements is around the corner. arm at the elbow. The student, James Sebid-
that senior military officers have been mak- “A country’s military is a guarantor of de’s wailing about his disability could not
ing to warn the public; especially the youth, peace and stability. Once, a guarantor begins stop the battering.
against associating with People Power, the to engage in partisan comments then they- And when the student leaders called a
latest movement to threaten President Yow- lose that role. You, therefore, become part of press conference to speak about the brutal-
eri Museveni’s 33-year old grip on power. the problem,” he said. ity, the military attacked the meeting, dis-
Joel Ssenyonyi, the spokesperson of the Wakida spoke on Oct.25, three days after persed it, and beat up everyone; including
People Power Movement told The Indepen- heavily armed mean-looking soldiers started the journalists.
dent on Oct. 28 that the military raid on Mak- daily attacks on students with batons, tear- “They unleashed the military every-
erere University was not a one-off attack. He gas and live gunfire. where,” said Ronald Kamusiime, a represen-
linked it to the election of the university’s What started on Oct.22 as a peaceful tative of students with disabilities.
Guild President on the People Power ticket. march by a handful of students, mainly girls, The leaders of Makerere University Stu-
He said the government could not easily waving placards and singing on the roads dents Guild say the strike is over the univer-
defeat People Power because “it is a move- within the university was met with brutal sity’s policy of incrementally raising tuition
ment of Ugandans who are dissatisfied with military force. Many students were beaten fees by 15% each year for new students.
the status quo and want change.” and others arrested and detained in police “The 15 percent tuition increment policy
“The People Power movement is every- cells. was marred by the neglect of duty and gross
where; it is in government institutions, it is in One of the leaders of the protest, Siperia abuse of power on the part of the committee
the police, in the army,” he said. Mollie Saasiraabo, a female guild councilor members,” a statement by the student guild
“For the military to raid students’ halls of from the School of Psychology was attacked tribunal said on Oct.27.
residence and beat up students who were by unidentified people on the night of Oct. It added: “Implementation of the
sleeping is extremely sad,” he added, “If 22 and ended up admitted unconscious at impugned policy shall have the effect of
President Museveni says he is better than Mengo Hospital. placing education at Makerere University
past regimes he needs to prove so.” But it was the television images on the beyond the reach of the poor, thus neglect-
Dr. Patrick Wakida, the executive director cold and rainy evening of Oct. 24 that ing the social-economic realities of the Ugan-
of Research World International, a Kampa- shocked the nation. Soldiers of the nation- dan community in particular and East Africa
la-based polling firm told The Independent al army were shown breaking doors in in general.”
that the military risks losing its position as a Lumumba Hall, one of the men’s halls of The students’ claim has been dismissed by

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 11
cover story

Julius Kateregga, the Makerere University Guild President during campaigns

the university administration, the security Chancellor at the time, wrote to the police That was just weeks before the Makere-
forces, and the government. The Minister of over the threat of a students’ strike. He said re University Students Guild elections on
Education, Janet Museveni, said in a state- prominent political forces in Uganda were March 15 were won by Julius Kateregga; a
ment that the students are being paid by plotting an insurgency through Makerere student who during campaigns wore the
foreign funders to use the fees increment as University and that political force is the Peo- red beret and overalls; colours of the People
an excuse to stage the strike so as to portray ple Power movement led by Kyadondo East Power movement. The NRM government
the government in bad light to the rest of the MP, Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi aka Bobi fronted a candidate in the election who lost.
world. The First Lady said the 15% tuition Wine. It was also the peak of youth-driven pro-
increment was agreed by students in 2018. According to a story in The Observer which tests in South Africa and Sudan. South Africa
“The political opposition in this country researched the issue extensively, Hisali faced the “Fees Must Fall” student protests
- who are well funded ‘somehow’ by some warned the security forces that “history while Alaa Salah; a 22-year old female archi-
‘unknown sources’ – find it useful to pay would possibly repeat itself and that the tecture student became a symbol of women
unemployed young people to riot wherever emerging People Power movement would in the protest movement that eventually
and whenever they believe they see a viable take advantage of the masses at university to toppled former Sudanese president Omar
opportunity,” she wrote. overthrow Museveni’s government.” al-Bashir’s 30-year old grip onto power in
The allegation that the student anger is Khartoum.
politically driven is not new. It has persisted Military batters lecturer At the time, the NRM government
since the tuition policy was passed by the Following Hisali’s letter, the military Spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, said there
University Council in July 2018 and mention deployed almost immediately at the strike- were Ugandans attempting to copy the
of a strike first occurred in November 2018. prone university as a “precaution” according Sudanese protesters and end Museveni’s 33
Prof. Eria Hisali, who was the acting Vice to sources. year hold onto power.

12 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
cover story
extended to the students’ social events. On we are bigger than our symbol.
the night of Feb. 15, 2019, as students gath- “We are a booming political movement
ered for merrymaking at the annual Mitch- fighting for the future of Uganda and we
elex carnival, about 50-baton wielding mili- will continue our struggle for democracy.”
tary police men raided the venue at 11:50pm The army’s activities at Makerere Uni-
and ordered the students to disperse them. versity have been condemned by many
The students protested. What followed was politicians.
a violent row and beatings. Alice Alaso, the national coordinator,
The lecturers were not spared. On the finance and administration at the Alliance
evening of March 18, soldiers beat up Dr. for National Transformation, the newest
Ronald Luwangula, a senior lecturer at the political party in the country, told The
School of Social Sciences. The soldiers were Independent that she watched the scenes at
disbanding students from a guild election Makerere in disbelief. She said the scenes
rally held at Freedom Square when they point to one issue: the erosion of freedom of
pounced on Luwangula who had just fin- expression in the country.
ished lecturing. As he moved towards his “That we can have students beaten,
office, he was ambushed by three soldiers abducted and raped because of a peaceful
who beat him senseless before security demonstration says a lot about a regime
guards attached to a private security group which has grown increasingly intolerant of
rescued him. public dissent,” Alaso said on Oct. 28.
She said the events are a reflection of the
Military in politics growing militarization and the death of civil-
Senior military officers have been warn- ian institututions.
ing the public; especially the youth, against “Makerere University is a civilian institu-
associating with People Power. tion which has a guild representative council
At a recent service at the Christian Cov- and a university council but somehow Mak-
enant Ministries in Mukono Municipality, erere University finds it easy to invite the
Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, the Commander of military to resolve the impasse,” she said,
the UPDF Land Forces said supporting the “This is a government which is in survival
“People Power Movement is ‘byoya bya mode and the people are no longer at the
Nswa,’ meaning “useless.” centre of its decision making.”
“Donning red-berets, carrying sticks will Dr. Solomon Asiimwe, a senior lecturer of
not take them to the State House,” he said, governance at Uganda Martyrs University,
“Even if they have 10,000s guns, if those Nkozi, told The Independent that military
guns are not blessed, they will not take presence in Uganda’s politics has always
them anywhere.” been and will always be pronounced.
Under the law, Elwelu’s utterances could “You cannot separate the military from
be in breach of Section 3 (1) (a) of the UPDF Uganda’s politics. In the past, the establish-
Act, 2005, which bars serving soldiers from ment had tried to sanitise it but we see its
dabbling in partisan politics. The section re-emergence,” Asiimwe told The Indepen-
says the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces dent on Oct. 27.
shall be non-partisan, national in character, “As the defender of the regime, the army
patriotic, professional, disciplined, produc- always comes in. Once the regime is shaken,
tive and subordinate to civilian authority. the defender of the regime comes in and the
Weeks earlier, on Sept. 30, the UPDF defender is the army,” Asiimwe told The
outlawed the civilian use of red berets, a Independent.
Opondo referred to Ugandans who were symbol of presidential hopeful Bobi Wine’s Julius Kaka, a former peace and security
“imagining the impossible” as “simple “People Power” movement. The head gear fellow at the African Leadership Centre,
minds.” But sources say Ugandan security was included in Uganda’s first ever gazette Kings College London, wrote about the
was put on high alert to sniff out and quell of all military clothing, deeming it to be expanding role of Uganda’s military in a
any copycat groups. property of the state that the civilian popula- February 2016 report for the International
Since Makerere University is a known hot tion cannot wear. Peace Institute’s Global Observatory.
bed of opposition political activism in the The army announced that members of the Kaka noted that since independence,
country, the government quickly deployed public found in possession of the items could Uganda has experienced a complex polit-
the military at the university even if there is a be liable on conviction to imprisonment for ical history characterized by massive and
police post attached to the Ivory Tower. up to five years. The UPDF spokesperson, systemic elimination of civil liberties, gross
At first, the military deployment looked Brig. Richard Karemire, denied the move human rights violations and sabotage of
innocent. But by December, last year, the was political and targeting People Power. He democratic governance.
soldiers’ deployment started to be felt. They said the army was merely defining its iden- “The seriousness of the problem lies in the
started by limiting access to the two chapels tity and professional outlook and adhering complexity of governance and leadership
at the university; St. Augustine (Catholic) to the East African Community protocols. styles that swing between outright dictator-
and St. Francis (Anglican). But the People Power leader, Bobi Wine, said ship and authoritarianism, and yet retains
The clergy of the two churches wrote to banning the red beret would have no real certain democratic traits,” said Kaka, “Its
the university administration, complaining impact. persistence is a threat to genuine democracy
about the military presence on the university “This beret ban is a sham,” Bobi Wine and sustainable economic development.”
premises. The administration never respond- said, “It is a blatant attempt to suffocate a
ed. successful threat to the autocratic status quo.
The brute force of the military soon But People Power is more than a red beret;

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 13
news analysis

Prof Dr Umar Kakumba, irst Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration   THE INDEPENDENT/ ALFRED OCHWO

Money woes at Makerere

How ‘survival’ is destroying university
By Joseph Were that if the tuition fees keep going up by 15% ernment pay them?

per year for each new set of students, then The lecturers have a target. They want
oel Rukoroboza is one of many parents to study medicine will cost Shs7 million per each professor to earn Shs15 million per
affected by the strike at Makerere Uni- semester by 2029. That is Shs70 million for month as President Yoweri Museveni prom-
versity. He has a daughter who is in the five year course. How many Ugandans ised them in 2015. Back then they were earn-
her second year studying a Bachelor of will be able to pay that? ing Shs2 million.
Medicine at the university. He pays tuition Is that not what the striking students Today Vice Chancellors earn Shs11.8 mil-
of Shs1.4 million per semester for her. This mean when they say they are “fighting for lion per month from Shs11.2 million, Deputy
year, his son joined the university to study the cause of our future generations”? Is it so VCs Shs9.6 million to Shs10.1 million, and
the same course. But he is paying tuition of difficult to see that a student at university professors Shs9.6 from 9.1 million shillings.
Shs1.8 million for him. today might fight for future generations? Associate professors get Shs9 million from
Since Makerere University students Shs8.5 million and a senior lecturer Shs8
started striking over increasing tuition, Lecturers’ higher pay million from Shs7.7 million. The government
Rukoroboza has watched the administration What about the university managers; announced these high salaries in January.
with suspicion. How can they insist there why are they insisting that students must Earlier, based on a salary structure the
has been no increment in tuition fees for pay more? Is it not obvious that it is because government announced in April 2017, Vice
students? Rukoroboza is clearly paying an they want to earn higher salaries? After all, Chancellors of public universities were
addition of about Shs400, 000 for his son staff salaries account for 56% of budgets of earning Shs10 million up from Shs9 million
than his year two daughter. He also pays public universities, according to the Ministry monthly, professor Shs8.5 million from Shs8
functional fees of about Shs1 million and of Finance. Material supplies take 11.96%, million and associate professor Shs8 million
Shs20, 000 per year as fees for the National student costs 11.12%, infrastructure 1.85%, from Shs7.5 million.
Council of Higher Learning. utilities 4.37%, staff development 1.37%, But by late 2018 the lecturers were warn-
Rukoroboza agrees with President Yow- and research 0.82%. But should the univer- ing that they would enter a nationwide
eri Museveni that Makerere University has sity managers be allowed to squeeze more strike effective January 2019 unless their sal-
the lowest fees structure in the East African money from students so that the staff can ary demands were met.
region. He researched it. But he is also aware earn higher salaries? Why doesn’t the gov- The truth is the government has been

14 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
news analysis
paying Makerere University staff more and Venansious Baryamureeba who was seen as On Oct. 24, starting at 7pm, the military
more money each year. But they keep on a true pro-government person. But Nawan- swooped on Lumumba Hall, a male dor-
wanting more. gwe, it appears, is determined to show that mitory, believed to be the command centre
According to Makerere’s Acting Universi- he is more pro-government than anyone. It is of the strike. Under the cover of darkness,
ty Secretary, Yusuf Kiranda, the government possibly a survival instinct. But he has been the military moved do-to-door broke down
gave the university Shs360 billion this finan- winning high praise from President Musev- locked doors, battered residents, and vandal-
cial year and Shs166 billion went to payment eni for his tough handling of the university ized property.
of salaries. According to the Ministry of affairs. “The idea was to break down the morale
Finance’s Budget Monitoring and Account- Nawangwe has shown he cannot speak of students,” one victim told The Indepen-
ability Unit (BMAU) briefing paper of June up. That is partly because of growing dent. Many students fled but some disabled
2018, the government funding for public general intolerance of President Museve- students were not so lucky and they were
universities has risen from Shs167.94 billion ni’s government to alternative views. But pounced upon and badly beaten. Over 30
in FY 2012/13 to Shs606.09 billion during Nawangwe is keeping his head down at a students were arrested.
FY2017/18. Most of this goes to staff salaries. time of growing corruption in financial man- Earlier, on Oct.23 Julius Kateregga was
Of course public universities are not funded agement on the Hill and increasing militancy arrested together with 30 other students for
sufficiently to cover the cost of inputs in among students. leading the strike.
order to offer quality education. In fact, for By then barricades of car tyres set on fire
the last five years, actual releases have been Increasing militancy by students were billowing black smoke
lower than approved budgets. When in February he campaigned to on the edges of the university where pri-
But the Ministry of Finance says the bud- become president of the Makerere Universi- vate students’ hostels are located even as
gets for money that public universities plan ty Students Guild, Julius Kateregga wore the the military patrolled on foot and trucks;
to get from private paying students – the so red beret and overalls; colours of the People pouncing, arresting, and adding to the tense
called Non-Tax Revenue (NTR) have been
increasing. Public universities are increas-
ingly dependent on collections from private Salaries in public universities
students to deliver the education service. Is
that fair? University Professor Senior lecturer Lecturer

VC Nawangwe’s problem Soroti 8,269,796 6,388,464 4,733,654

Joel Rukoroboza is a fictitious parent
designed to illustrate how the increase in Kabale 8,031,761 6,781,147
tuition fees is affecting students and parents
at Makerere University. Lira 8,433,349 7,381,147 4,597,402
But the arguments and figures raised are
real. They are what many people expected 6,463,821 (science)
the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawan-
gwe, to bring up with the government. That Gulu 6,390,578 5,126,042 4,040,776
is what previous VC’s did. When Nawan-
gwe in 2017 campaigned to become vice Kyambogo 3,895,482 (Ass. prof) 3,861,872 2,636,864
chancellor on a `strike free’ plank, many
believed him. Makerere 4,837,779 4,856,547
They saw him as someone who knows
a lot about the money and administration Muni 4,276,732 6,156,020
problems of the university, having been in
charge of its finance and administration. Bustema 8,031,761 (science) 6,248,373
Some of them admired his more forcefulness
when compared to his predecessor, Prof.
Source: Ministry of Education and sports FY 2017/18
Ddumba Ssentamu; a gentle giant who
approached management like he was walk- Power movement that is pushing to oust atmosphere.
ing on eggshells. President Museveni from power. It was the second day the security forces
Nawangwe charmed them with his When he emerged winner in March, his were ransacking the university campus in
smiles and calming blue suits against the triumph was celebrated as defeat of the a hunt for the strike leaders; mainly mem-
commanding dark blue or black. He also Museveni government which also backed a bers of the university students guild. Many
spoke a lot about humility and team work. candidate in the race. Aware of strong oppo- students were beaten and some bundled
But Nawangwe soon revealed his tough side sition political sentiments, the government onto waiting trucks and dumped in criminal
and the financial miracles he promised failed responded by increasing the military pres- cells at neighbouring police stations. But the
to materialize. ence at Makerere University in April. worst was yet to come.
Nawangwe had campaigned under an Columns of police and UPDF started As white plumes of teargas fumes filled
ambitious finance programme. He promised routinely patrolling the campus allegedly to the air and gunshots rang out from a com-
to get private investors to use the universi- ensure security but also as a show of force. bined force of heavily armed police and
ty’s prime land to put up a teaching hospital, Whether intended or not, having the mili- the military combing the university and its
five star hotel, upper and middle income tary and students so close sets the stage for neighbourhood for students, many Maker-
apartments and modern students hostels. sparks of tension to easily fly into political ere University students who spoke to The
But he now wants students to pay more to fireballs. Independent saw the arrest of Kateregga and
meet his staff’s demand for higher salaries Then, on Oct. 22, the students went on others purely as a matter of a fight over an
and allowances. Nawangwe was not always strike – as they have done almost each year. unfair tuition policy. They said the univer-
like this. In fact, when he campaigned in But this time the government reaction was sity, without consultation, increased their
2017, his main challenger was former VC different. tuition fees by 15%.

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 15
news analysis

Students going through a check point at the University’s main gate on Oct.28.  INDEPENDENT/ ALFRED OCHWO

But when The independent spoke about and November because most of the students Those who increased the tuition have their
the arrest of students to lecturers and other are yearning for power and want to be children studying outside this country,”
observers, the discussion often went beyond remembered when they contest in Febru- Nalukwago told journalists.
tuition. Many spoke about money problems ary,” Kiggundu told journalists referring to Police pounced on them before they could
at Makerere University, but mainly seen as the period when the student guild elections make the move and at least 20 students were
corruption in financial management, under- are held each year. arrested but later released on police bond.
funding by the government, underpaying of He said the October strikes are usually By then the university had already sus-
lecturers, and unfair reliance on money paid spearheaded by third-year students who are pended two students, including Siperia
by private students to run the university; the exiting and continuing students with ambi- Mollie, a Psychology major and member
so called non-tax revenue. tions of leadership. of the Guild Representative Council (GRC)
Many others saw elements of politics. The question is why, if the university who were viewed as leaders of the strike.
They saw the emergence of a People Power administration have analysed these patterns, Mollie later emerged as a martyr of the strike
guild president at Makerere University to does the strike culture persist and each strike when she was found unconscious after being
be at the centre of the current problems. But is treated as a surprise? attacked and molested by unknown people.
others pointed at the steely management Watching from the sidelines, other lectur- Many believe her ordeal is attached to her
style of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas ers who have seen it before recognized the role as a student leader.
Nawangwe. pattern. They saw young men and women The country was outraged. Members of
Having a People Power guild president running for student guild leadership but Parliament said Makerere University Vice
at Makerere University is nothing usual. with ambitions that went beyond the univer- Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe is
The NRM government also had a candidate sity. Many wanted to join national politics unfit for the job.
allied to it, who emerged third because with a bang. It had happened before. Some MPs; Gerald Karuhanga (Ntun-
Makerere University has historically been Many leading politicians today are former gamo) Latif Ssebagala (Kawempe North),
a hotbed of anti-government political senti- Makerere university student leaders. They Florence Namayanja (Bukoto East), Paul
ment, and most student leaders come from include two former presidential candidates Mwiru (Jinja East), Muwanga Kivumbi
opposition stock. and leaders of national political parties, (Butambala), James Acidri (Maracha East),
Kateregga, a 24-year old Bachelor of Norbert Mao of DP and Olara Otunnu of the and Barnabas Tinkasimire (Buyaga West)
Education third year student identifies with Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) and several spoke to journalists at parliament.
the Uganda Young Democrats (UYD) of current and former MPs; Gerald Karuhanga, “I personally think that the vice chancellor
the Democratic Party (DP) but opted for the Gerald Kibalya, Emmanuel Dombo, Charles is not qualified to lead Makerere,” Acidri
People Power badge as has been happening Rwomushana, Anne Adeke Ebaju, Asuman said, “The brutality at Makerere is some-
since Kyadondo East MP, Robert Ssentamu Basalirwa (leader of JEEMA party). thing that I thought ended during the days
Kyagulanyi popularized it. Others are in politics but outside parlia- of Gen Idi Amin.”
Another contestant identified with the ment like Sarah Kagingo, Susan Abbo, and “Students have a disagreement over
leading opposition party, the Forum for Robert Rutaro. Even the current deputy tuition increment, they come out with
Democratic Change (FDC) and many were Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah is a placards. The best you can do as a
“independent”. Some like David Musiri who former speaker of the Makerere University government is to come with military men,
called himself ‘Gen. Musiri’ also identified Students Guild. It is a pattern seen at almost with tanks, brutalize, torture, treat them in
with People Power and adopted militaristic all universities. the most inhumane and degrading manner,”
styles. The strike started on Oct.22 when main- Karuhanga said, “It was last seen during Idi
ly female students announced a march to Amin’s time where they picked students
Ambitious students Nakasero State House to hand President from their halls of residence and crashed
Following the arrest of Kateregga and the Museveni a petition against the tuition their doors, crashed their materials but also
other students, Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu, increase. The Guild Vice President, Judith went for the same students; breaking their
the university communications manager, Nalukwago, led them. Many waved plac- legs, torturing them, some even raped, some
was in no doubt about what was going on. ards denouncing the tuition policy. pierced with knives.”
“This usually happens during October “This university is for poor students.

16 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
news analysis

Teaching English
Why the language policy is failing rural children
By Medadi Ssentanda vocabulary learning. However, studies refer vate schools – for example, in the materials

instead to word families – “the word and all provided and in exposure to English.
ganda’s language policy requires its inflected and derived forms”, counted as In private schools, it’s compulsory for all
that rural schools should choose a one. In Africa, there are numerous studies of children to speak English at school all the
dominant local language to use as language-in-education policies. But there is a time. But government school learners only
the language of learning and teach- shortage of research on vocabulary learning encountered the language in English lessons.
ing for the first three years of primary school in both first and second languages. Also, children in private pre-primary
while English is taught as a subject. The As far as we know ours is the first study in schools encounter English learning at the age
fourth year of schooling is a transitional year Uganda that evaluated the number of words of 3 or 4 while those in government schools
in which English as the language of learning children acquire in the process of learning do so only at 6 (when they join grade 1).
and teaching is introduced. English then English. It was clear from our classroom observa-
becomes the medium of instruction. tions that the two sets of learners were at
In areas where it’s not easy to choose a How English is taught different levels of communicative English.
dominant language, as is the case in urban The curriculum development centre Those in private schools were able to answer
schools, English as the medium of instruc- set guidelines on how English should be questions posed by the teachers while those
tion is recommended. taught from grade 1 to grade 3. It suggested in government schools found responding
We investigated the circumstances under presenting at least five new words every in English challenging. Some learners in
which children learn and acquire English in day, using short dialogues, presenting new government schools responded in Luganda
central Uganda’s rural Rakai district. sentence structures, pictures and wall charts, (their mother tongue) to questions posed to
We set questions related to the learning and using songs, games, acting, rhymes, them in English.
and teaching support materials for English, exercises and speech. We saw that teachers used their class time
the challenges rural Ugandan learners differently. The curriculum development
face in learning English, the differences centre guidelines stipulate that English
between government and private schools lessons last 30 minutes. But those in pri-
on vocabulary teaching and learning as vate schools were between 40 to 60 min-
well as opportunities available for learners utes. Government school teachers were
to acquire English in rural schools. also less punctual.
We conducted the study in 2012 in four
rural schools. The results of this study are Going forward
still relevant because the language-in-ed- We conclude that the targets set by the
ucation policy has not changed. Teacher curriculum development centre need
training and curricula are also still the reviewing for two reasons. The first is
same. We found that learners faced vari- that they are unrealistic, given the envi-
ous challenges in learning and acquiring ronment in which English is being taught
English. It was difficult for them to reach in rural Uganda. The second is that they
the vocabulary levels set out by the coun- fall below what’s required for a learner to
try’s National Curriculum Development be able to comprehend English texts and
Centre. For example, they are expected to The centre discourages teachers from access the curriculum in English.
learn at least 800 English words after three using learners’ mother tongues while teach- The recommended two years to acquire
years. The essence of the mother tongue pol- ing English – an approach not supported basic communicative skills and four years
icy was partly to enhance the teaching and by research. The centre expects the curric- to acquire cognitive and academic language
learning of English in Uganda. But our find- ulum to be well-structured and supported proficiency is only possible in well-resourced
ings point to a host of difficulties faced by by appropriate materials. But teachers in environments. Our study shows that chil-
learners in private and government schools. our study viewed the curriculum as poorly dren in rural Ugandan schools can’t acquire
We conclude that Uganda needs to rethink structured, repetitive and inadequate. They these in three years only.
how English is taught in rural contexts. In said they did not have the right materials There are broader issues to consider too.
addition, the time of transition to English as and that learners were not able to learn the Learners need more time to be exposed to
a language of learning and teaching should desired vocabulary in each school year. the language before they can learn through
be reconsidered. We did not see recommended methods it. But children in government schools
like role play and speeches being used. mostly use their mother tongues and aren’t
A difficult subject Instead, teachers asked learners to read after exposed to media in English. Moreover,
Studies show that vocabulary is a crucial them and to chorus. Another challenge we teachers in rural areas are not very proficient
element in reading and comprehension. encountered related to training. The Nation- in English.
According to some studies, learners of al Curriculum Development Centre recom- The government needs to review the
English need knowledge of the 3000 most mends a one-teacher-one-classroom policy. policy. It also needs to employ qualified and
frequent words to read and understand So there is no specialist English teacher for specialised teachers in English language and
graded readers. grades 1 to 3. support materials for English need to be
But nobody has studied whether that is thoroughly evaluated.
realistic in poorly resourced learning envi- State schools versus private school
ronments, such as those in Uganda. Teachers also pointed to a big disparity Medadi Ssentanda is a lecturer, Department of
The curriculum development centre also between schools funded by the state and pri- African Languages, Makerere University
considers “words” when speaking about

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 17

Besigye at the launch of Tubalemese in January 2018.

Besigye reloaded
Does Twerwaneko mean he will run
against People Power in 2021?
By Ian Katusiime on a strong quest for change. But now it which gives a right to Ugandans to

may beg the question; will his campaign defend the constitution in case anyone
r. Kizza Besigye’s recent plank still be change on his fifth shot at tries to overthrow it or abrogate it.
launch of a national campaign the presidency when there’s a 39-year- The article puts agency in the hands of
dubbed Twerwaneko (Let’s de- old Bobi Wine on the same 2021 cam- Ugandan citizens.
fend ourselves) is being seen paign trail? Besigye launched Twerwaneko at a
by some as a strategy for the veteran Besigye calls Twerwaneko a “clarion press conference at his Katonga Road
politician to launch himself right back call” to address the enormity of chal- office flanked by members of his ‘Peo-
into the political fray after close to three lenges and injustices that the country ple’s Government’ like vice president
years of a Bobi Wine tidal wave. is facing; incessant murders, land grab- Erias Lukwago, who is Kampala City
Government spokesperson Ofwono bing, police brutality, kidnaps, pov- Lord Mayor and other senior members
Opondo said as much to Besigye when erty. The campaign will be kicked off like Rubaga North MP Moses Kasiban-
the two squared off on a popular tele- with a citizens’ national convention. te.
vision talk show. “As you all know, He also told those present at his Besigye said those seeking change
for the last two years, Mr. Besigye had Katonga Road office in Kampala where in Uganda should find convergence in
been relegated to the hind of the pol- he launched it on Oct. 24 that there Twerwaneko.
itics, the media and public discourse. is an existential threat to Ugandans Roland Mugume Kaginda, Coordina-
Twerwaneko is one way to dramatise a adding “new people” could take over tor of People’s Government in Western
comeback.” Uganda. Uganda and ‘Minister for Trade’ in the
On the previous four occasions; 2001, He says his new campaign is pre- same government says the people’s
2006, 2011 and 2016, Besigye has stood mised on Article 3 of the Constitution government is ready to work with all

18 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
forces to bring change and he does not years in exile. His presidential bid got proclamations. In 2009, he said a polit-
appear to be using the same radicalism electrified when he was jailed on friv- ical tsunami would sweep the NRM
like Besigye or most of those in FDC olous charges of rape. His third bid in government from power.
have. 2011, it can be argued was due to the In January 2018, Besigye launched
“What Besigye is trying to say is that absence of any potent challenger to Tubalemese (let’s fail them) which was
we need to first level the ground. He is Museveni. aimed at shunning businesses owned
saying, how can we work together to 2016 proved tricky for Besigye due by members of NRM.
level the ground?” he told The Indepen- to the candidature of Amama Mbaba-
dent in an interview. zi. He was lackluster but initially got FDC hits back
“The government is trying to create everyone talking with the belief that he Harold Kaija, the FDC deputy secre-
a problem between People Power and would attract the neutrals who were tary general says the Bobi Wine team
us. We just want to put the country in caught between the Museveni-Besigye does not have a “working formula”
order.” horse race. But the torture and brutal- adding that the latter group is doing
He says if the government accepts ity meted out on Besigye during the what FDC has been doing over the
reforms, it would be a good starting Walk-to-Work protests seemed to have years.
point. He adds, “If the government re-awakened the adoration voters had “We have been at this game for
refuses and keeps on doing what it is for Besigye when it came to nomina- long. We should be looking for a way
doing, like recruiting crime preventers, tion time. of retiring Mr Museveni” he tells The
then you cannot do much.” 2021 is two years away and Besi- Independent. “He organises elections
Kaginda an otherwise hardline mem- gye’s firepower has been neutered by and he decides the winner. How do
ber of the People’s Government spoke a young and likeable politician whose you unpack him? We are looking at a
with a resigned tone during the inter- election to Parliament in 2017 created way of ensuring Museveni does not
view. Sources within People’s Govern-
ment say not everyone is on board with
the Twerwaneko campaign.
If Besigye is targeting the 2021 presi-
dential elections, then his timing looks
perfectly set as campaigns start next
It also means the ruling party,
National Resistance Movement (NRM),
the opposition Forum for Democratic
Change (FDC) and the latest politi-
cal vehicle, People Power, led by MP
Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine are
likely to slug it out in what promises to
be a swashbuckling clash in February
President Yoweri Museveni with
NRM enjoy incumbency and have state
machinery at their disposal. FDC with
the indefatigable Kizza Besigye has
thumped NRM in by-elections in Jinja
East and for the Rukungiri Woman MP
seat in 2018 and is the only opposition
party worth its heft. Museveni unveiling a mural of himself as a Man of the Ghetto in Kampala.
On the other hand, the People Pow-
er under Bobi Wine have been testing
their appeal, and quite successfully on new talking points for the next general appear on the ballot” he says.
some occasions, like with the by-elec- election. At times, Besigye has become On the seeming impossibility of
tions held in Arua and Bugiri last year. a bit-part player in the political process this event, Kaija has a quick answer.
Museveni is bent on keeping power as the NRM regime unleashes its wrath “Bashir thought he was going to be on
at all costs, which is his motivation on Bobi Wine. the ballot in 2020. The same with Kabi-
for running in 2021 and Bobi Wine is Police has blocked his concerts, the la” Both are no longer president albeit
eager to prove his star appeal as a new army has outlawed his red beret outfit in different circumstances; one having
player in a scene dominated by politi- which People Power partisans defi- been pushed out and the other quit
cians from a fast fading Bush War era antly don, leaving Museveni and the after a negotiation with his would be
(1981-1986). Therefore it leaves Besigye singer-turned politician locked in an successors.
in sort of a bind. Although he has not inter-generational battle. With Pres- Kaija tells The Independent that the
explicitly stated that he is contesting, ident Museveni unveiling murals of infrastructure of an incumbent is some-
sources in FDC say he will take anoth- himself as a man of the Ghetto, he is thing ordinary Ugandans must deal
er chance at the presidency. showing that he is ready to apply any with and not just those in the opposi-
In 2001 he had broken ranks with tactic as long as it is countering Bobi tion.
the Movement and stirred anti-regime Wine. “We are stuck. How do we get out
forces those both in and outside gov- Meanwhile Besigye; a four time pres- of here?” he says. “I always challenge
ernment. idential candidate has hailed 2019 as people. We are not living in a normal
2006 was a much needed second the year of action. But his critics say it situation. There is wining and being
chance for Besigye who had spent five is not the first time he is making such declared a winner.”

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 19
Kaija states that he is more worried democracy and stand four times and on dential flag-bearer in 2015, Besigye told
about the political dispensation in the fifth time you say it doesn’t work, Muntu that he was guaranteed of two
Uganda. “There is no provision for we believe it works,” Bobi Wine said. million votes when he stands for Presi-
transition in the constitution.” He says Bobi Wine has found favour with the dent at the national level, given that he
the fact that the Ugandan constitution ‘1986 children’ as they are called. These had scooped the said number of votes in
only states that when the president dies, are Ugandans born in the Museveni era, the three elections he had contested in.
the VP shall take over leaves a lot of when a 41-year-old Museveni captured Besigye was directly challenging
trouble for a post-election period say in power on January 26, 1986 after a five Muntu, then party president, on his
the event that Museveni is defeated at year guerilla war. The oldest Ugandans potential for attracting votes. But now
the polls. in this generation are 33 years old, a few the ground seems to be shifting from
“We would have a constitutional cri- years younger than Bobi Wine, who is under Besigye’s feet, four years later.
sis when another candidate wins, how 37.
does the incumbent hand over?” Museveni cheekily calls them Research World poll
Kaija tells The Independent that Twer- ‘Bazukulu’ (grandchildren) as he A poll survey released in May by
waneko is not an election platform as it addresses them in his regular letters on Research World International (RWI)
appears to some people. Echoing Besi- Facebook and Twitter. Ironically, the placed Besigye behind President Musev-
gye, he says, “This is meant to empower Bazukulu are the voters Bobi Wine is eni and Bobi Wine. The poll indicated
Ugandans to stop the abuse of freedom banking on to oust Museveni in the next that Museveni would score 32 per cent,
of speech, stop the killings, the land election. He has been urging them to followed by Bobi Wine with 22 per cent
grabs. All this has been going on with- get National IDs and register for voting and Besigye with 13 percent. RWI sur-
out serious accountability.” day. veyed 2,042 respondents aged 18 years
Kaija took a swipe at DP, Uganda’s So the emergence of Bobi Wine, a and above across Uganda.
oldest party, for riding on the Bobi popular musician, on the political scene FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Semujju
Wine wave. “They (DP) always Nganda said the
want someone to campaign poll was inaccurate
for DP while contesting as an but admitted that he
Independent. It started with would use its findings
Mbabazi whom they knew was for internal research.
an Independent but kept on The poll was
associating with him” instructive because
He says it is the same with RWI is headed by Pat-
Bobi Wine. “But now they have rick Wakida, a known
fallen out with Bobi Wine and sympathiser of FDC.
they are nowhere to be seen.” Critics of Besigye
According to Kaija, the failed have also pointed out
dalliance of Bobi Wine with DP his anti-election rhet-
is proof of Besigye’s mettle as oric which is said to
a candidate. He also dismisses leave his supporters
the argument of those saying in confusion. Often,
Besigye has run four times he has told the masses
without getting the desired that the NRM junta
change with the analogy of an cannot be uprooted
untiring job seeker. Besigye and Bobi Wine in talks early this year. using elections only
“If you apply for a job ten for him to stand.
times, does that mean that you This was the mes-
are doing the job itself?” he asks. sage Besigye gave right
“We calculate your tenure when you presents a direct challenge between before and after the 2016 elections.
are in office not when you are out there Museveni and the Bazukulu who are Before the 2016 elections, which Besigye
trying to get the job,” he adds. “If you Bobi Wine’s peers. says he won with a margin of 52%, he
are asking Besigye to leave then you are This demographic dynamic leaves said he would guard his votes against
being unfair because you are not asking Kizza Besigye in a tricky position. In the NRM state machinery.
Museveni who is in office to leave.” 2021, he will be 65 with hopes of adding So the criticism aimed at Besigye has
As Besigye and FDC look beyond to his three million vote tally from the been denouncing the viability of elec-
elections, Bobi Wine has been trying 2016 election. In his defence, Besigye tions while at the same time claiming
to shore up support among his base says he has never stopped anyone from victory in the same elections.
looking at the 2021 polls as a way of standing. Brian Atuheire, an unwavering
delivering change. Besigye and Bobi Besigye polled an impressive two supporter of Besigye says there is an
Wine exchanged words in April this million votes in the first three elections anti-Besigye campaign in the media.
year when Besigye dismissed the chance he took on Museveni, and notched one “We have seen new candidates before.
of an alliance between Democratic Party million more votes in the 2016 election. We saw it with Mao and Otunnu in 2011
(DP) and Bobi Wine. It could be a real test though for the and with Mbabazi in 2016. The new can-
Bobi Wine wondered why a four time former FDC president to bag the same didates with the support of the media
presidential candidate was discourag- vote tally with an insurgent Bobi Wine, have not won.”
ing those who intend to use the same who has galvanized a disgruntled and Atuheire adds that people should
path of elections to achieve change. “For bulging Ugandan youth population, on focus their efforts on Museveni who
a leader to say a vote can never oust the same ballot. first stood in 1980 and in 1996 before
Museveni without offering a solution When Besigye and Muntu faced off asking Besigye who came in 2001.
is disappointing... Don’t talk about in a televised debate for the FDC presi-

20 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) is an autonomous Public Corporation wholly
owned by the Government of Uganda. The Corporation has implemented a number of reforms
aimed at improving its commercial, technical and financial performance, in line with the National
strategic objective of universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.

he Corporation’s strategic focus 6). 100)
as enshrined in the corporate Over the past five years, the  Capital Development Projects
plan 2018 – 2021 and Five Corporation has rolled out a number  Water Loss Prevention Programmes
(5) Year Strategic Direction of Performance Improvement \  Stakeholder Engagement
2016 – 2021 is to ensure water for all Programmes aimed at improving Programmes
for the socio–economic growth and service delivery and enhancing service  Environmental Protection
transformation of Uganda. This is in coverage. These include among others; Programmes
line with the overarching Government  Infrastructure Service Delivery  Staff Capacity Development
Policy of universal coverage as Programmes (ISDP) undertakings
enshrined in the Vision 2040, National  Water Supply Stabilization Plans The Corporation has since registered
Development Plan (NDP II), the (WSSP) remarkable growth and improvement
Government (NRM) Manifesto, and  100% Service Coverage in most of its key performance
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG Acceleration Programme (SCAP indicators among which include:

The Minister of water and environment Hon. Sam Cheptoris turns on a water tap at a recent function commissioning a
community public tap, looking on is the MD NWSC, Dr. Silver Mugisha and the Minister of state for water Hon. Ronald Kibuule

Oct 01 - 07, 2019 i

Growth in Geographical Coverage: public taps at a highly subsidized tariff of  Rehabilitation of water sources,
The Corporation has reached out to more sh25 per 20 liter Jerry can. Currently, the demarcation of land & ownership,
Ugandans, through takeover of towns Corporation is installing over 1000 Public protecting embranchment of
from 23 towns in 2013 to 253 towns Stand Posts (PSPs) across the Kampala water sources, and adherence to
currently. The Corporation’s service service area. To date the corporation has environmental and social safeguards
coverage is estimated to serve over 10 installed 17,186 public taps across the in implementation of major capital
million people within in its areas of country projects and other operational
jurisdiction. Sewer Mains: The Corporation’s activities.
Water Production: NWSC has annual sewer extensions have increased 100% Service Coverage Acceleration
upgraded its production infrastructure from 24kms in the last financial year to Project (SCAP 100): The project, being
to augment service delivery through the 59kms to date. In addition, deliberate financed by NWSC together with the
implementation of capital development interventions are being under taken Government, aims at providing safe water
and Water Supply Stabilization Plans especially in Kampala to increase sewer to 100% of the population in all villages
(WSSP). The corporation’s production coverage under the protection of Lake under NWSC jurisdiction (at least 12,000
capacity has grown to 135 million liters Victoria - Kampala Sanitation Project. villages). The project aims at ensuring
per day Catchment / Source protection: universal and equitable access to safe
Water Pipe Network (Km): The Environmental protection is crucial to water supply in all villages under NWSC
Corporation expanded its water network the sustainability of the Corporation’s jurisdiction by 2020.
length through the installation of new business given the impact it poses on The project, whose implementation
water mains to pave way for accelerated water sources. The Corporation has started in July 2017 is to be implemented
installation of new connections and undertaken a number of initiatives to over a period of three years (2017-2020)
improve access to safe water. The total safeguard the environment among which and entails accelerated installation of
water pipe network has more than include: Public taps targeting 2 public taps per
doubled from 5,670 Km in 2013 to 17,623  Over 1,000,000 trees have been village or a tap per 200 people.
planted under the one million tree
Customer Base: The NWSC campaign in all Highlights of project
customer base has grown rapidly due
to the ongoing network expansion. The
NWSC Areas.
customer base currently stands at 659,157 To ensure sustainable delivery of
customers. The average number of new services and meet the exponential growth
connections installed per annum has in demand emanating from accelerated
grown to over 69,000. This is attributed geographical expansion, the Corporation
to expansion of the pipe network and has intensified its capital development
increased customer outreach. programmes with a plethora of projects
Pro-poor Initiatives: NWSC being implemented in the various NWSC
provides service to the less-advantaged operational areas. The following key
communities through the installation of milestones have been registered;

Laying of pipes ongoing for the Katosi water treament project

ii Oct 01 - 07, 2019
Table showing ongoing project implementation

Kampala Sanitation Programme  Construction and operation of the Naki-  All components have been
Phase 2 (KSP – LVP2) vubo Waste Water Treatment Plant completed.
Objective: To provide improved  Construction of Nakivubo and
hygiene and sanitation services Kinawataka sewers (30km), and
for Kampala city residents, and  Construction of Kinawataka Pre-treat-
protection of Kampala’s natural ment and pumping station

Kampala Water Lake Victoria  Refurbishment of Gaba 1&2 water treat-  Refurbishment of Gaba
WatSan Project ment plants 1&2 was completed
Objective: To address water  Water network rehabilitation, extension  Detailed designs for the
supply challenges in greater and rezoning construction of the Kam-
Kampala metropolitan area up to  Construction of a new water treatment pala East Water Treatment
the year 2040 plant in Kampala East and Katosi and Plant is at 95% completion.
construction of Kampala Transmission  26.4km out of 54km of the
main Katosi - Kampala Trans-
 Water and Sanitation works in Informal mission main has been laid
Settlements  Procurement of contractor
for Water and Sanitation
works in Informal Settle-
ments is in progress.

Water Management and

Development Project (WMDP)-  Bushenyi WatSan Project: Construction  Bushenyi WatSan Project
of the Kitagata Water Treatment Plant was completed.
Objective: To improve water  Construction of reservoirs in Kikuba-  Arua WatSan Project was
supply and sewerage services in Ishaka and Kitagata completed.
Arua, Bushenyi and Gulu towns.  Arua WatSan Project: Refurbishment  Gulu WatSan Project is at
and upgrading of the current water 78% progress.
treatment plant, and increasing the
storage capacity for treated water from
1.4M litres to 5M litres.
 Gulu WatSan Project: Upgrading and
expansion of the existing water treat-
ment plant from 4M litres to 10M litres
of water per day.
 Upgrading of the existing water supply
and distribution network

Integrated Program to improve

Living conditions in Gulu –  Construction of a water treatment plant  Detailed design of all water
at Karuma supply infrastructure has
(Phase II Nile option).  Bulk transfer of water from Karuma to been done.
Objective: To bridge the gap Gulu and the six towns enroute to Gulu  Construction of Karuma
left by the Uganda Water intake (capacity) at 85%
Management and Development progress.

Integrated Water Management

and Development Project  Water supply and sanitation infrastruc-  Procurement of design
(IWMDP) ture improvements in Adjumani-Pakele review and supervision
Objective: To improve water and neighbouring towns. consultant for Mbale and
 Water supply and sanitation infrastruc- Adjumani at tender evalu-
supply and sewerage services in ture improvements in Mbale and neigh- ation stage
Adjumani, Gulu and Mbale towns bouring towns of Kibuku, Tirinyi, Kad-  Review of tender docu-
including source protection in ama, Budaka, Busolwe, and Butaleja ments for the bulk transfer
Adjumani, Gulu, Mbale, Arua and  Bulk transfer of water from Karuma to mains by World Bank is in
Bushenyi towns Gulu and the six towns enroute to Gulu progress

Oct 01 - 07, 2019 iii


Development of Water and  Construction of a new Water treatment plant  Contracts for design and
Sanitation Infrastructure for the in Kagera and associated infrastructure to supervision consultancy
Isingiro, Mbarara-Masaka Areas- meet the demand for Mbarara town up to signed.
South Western Cluster. the year 2040.  Detailed design for all compo-
Objective: To improve the living  Water supply and sanitation infrastructure nents is ongoing.
standards and productivity of the improvements in Masaka and Mbarara and
population in the project areas the neighbouring towns.
through provision of good quality
water and improved sanitation

Wakiso West WatSan Project  Development of a new Water Treatment  Process of procuring consul-
(WWWSP). Plant, storage reservoir, pumping main, tant for design and supervi-
Objective: To improve the quality distribution system, a faecal Sludge Treat- sion ongoing.
of life, health and economy ment Plant and Supply of Water in Informal
of people in the southern and Settlements.
western parts of greater Kampala.

Upgrading of the Kapeeka Water

 Increase production from 1,100 m3/day to  Upgrading of the Electrome-
treatment plant 2,500m3/day. chanical Installations has been
Objective: The project is aimed  Laying of 7.6km DN 250mm Bulk transfer done
at addressing the current water main from the Reservoir to the Industrial  6km out of 7.6km (78.9%) of
supply and wastewater collection Park the bulk transfer to the indus-
and treatment challenges for  Upgrading of the Water Treatment Plant trial park has been laid
the Kapeeka community and (additional 5,000m3/day)  Contract for upgrading of the
industrial park.  Development of groundwater system Water Treatment Plant has
been awarded
 Drilling of boreholes is in
progress, 2 out of 3 boreholes
have been completed

Kapchorwa Water Supply Project.

Objective: The project is aimed at  Construction of new water works with  Pipe works are at final stages,
a capacity of 3000m3/ day and 4km DN and civil works at the Water
improving water supply services 200mm Delivery main Treatment Plant are at 75%
in Kapchorwa town. completion.

Sembabule water supply

improvement project.  Construction of a new intake and water  Detailed designs completed.
treatment line including; flocculator, coagu-  Contract for works awaiting
lator, clarifier, filter and ancillary works. signature.
Objective: To increase water  Upgrading the entire distribution network,
production from 300m3/day and extension of services to surrounding
to 3000m3/day and upgrading towns.
and extension of the water
distribution network.

Fort Portal Water Production

project  Construction of flocculator, coagulator, clari-  Construction works are at
fier, filter and ancillary works. 40% progress.
Objective: To improve water
quality and increase water
production in Fort portal town.

Packaged Sewage Treatment

Plants for Fort Portal.  Design, supply, installation and operation of  Installation and assembling
Objective: The project is aimed at sewage treatment plants. of compact treatment units
addressing wastewater disposal complete.
challenges in Fort Portal town.  Test – running and opera-
tionalisation of the installed

iv Oct 01 - 07, 2019

The goal of Uganda’s water supply
and sanitation sector is to increase
NWSC Promotes the Water implemented during the year. At the
convention schools get to showcase their
access to urban and rural water and Sanitation agenda creativity based on thematic areas within
supply services from 77% and 65% the Sanitation, Water and Environment
respectively to 100% and 79% by through the Youth and sector.
2020. The Government through the
Ministry of Water and Environment School Clubs The schools therefore showcase their
activities and knowledge of the water
has recognized the cross-benefit of In October 2014, NWSC launched the sector in the form of competitions. The
access to safe drinking water and School Water and Sanitation (SWAS) school competitions include; display of
improved sanitation, and has in the clubs as a novel initiative that targets WaSH tech innovations, Poems, Skits,
last decade made substantial progress school going children who as a criti- Essays, SWAS campaign/SWAS Project
in terms of increasing coverage. cal segment of Uganda’s population. and interschool quiz competitions.
In spite of the progress, there are Through the SWAS clubs, NWSC creates The NWSC SWAS clubs initiative
still disparities in potable water awareness about water and sanitation in that started with only 67 schools in 2014
and improved sanitation coverage the country by sensitization and empow- boasts of over 405 participating schools
across and within districts and erment of children. across all the NWSC operational areas to
regions, affecting some of the most NWSC through the SWAS clubs date.
marginalized and poor in the country. endeavors to promote literacy, expres- Through the “Plant a tree, save the
In the spirit of continued sion and creativity among young people future” campaign, NWSC together with
innovation and the need for increased on water and sanitation issues by engag- the SWAS Clubs and the Young Water
productive and allocative efficiency, ing the member schools annually for Professionals (YWP) has managed to
NWSC with the support of the a series of activities. The activities are plant over 1,000,000 trees. The YWP-
Government and development geared towards promoting access to safe Uganda Chapter is an association bring-
partners will continue investing drinking water, good sanitation practices ing together professionals below the
part of the Surplus from its business and environmental protection. age of 35years with the aim of pooling
operations into infrastructure Once every year NWSC hosts all SWAS competences in order to provide unified
development projects so as to ensure schools to the annual SWAS Conven- approaches towards solving the challeng-
adequate water supply to the growing tion. This is an annual event that marks es facing the water and sanitation sector.
population. the climax of all SWAS Clubs activities

The Chairman Board of Directors NWSC, Eng. Christopher Ebal awarding one of the best performing schools at the recent SWAS Convention

Oct 01 - 07, 2019 v


Four years without Sophia

On Monday August 31, 2015, Sophia Koetsier arrives at Entebbe airport in Uganda. She is 21 years old,
bright and ambitious, with a great zest for life, about to embark on a new adventure in a faraway country, on a
continent she has never been to. That summer she had acquired her bachelor of Medicine at the University of
Amsterdam, effortlessly passing her exams, with high grades, while working a part-time job throughout her study.

he had recently decided to continue arrived around 6 pm. Shortly after that spread out over some 45 meters. It included
with Tropical Medicine after getting Sophia disappeared. a pair of knickers attached to a branch high
her master of Medicine. Her long What happened between arrival and dis- up in a tree, one shoe and pieces of torn fab-
term plan was to become a surgeon appearance is not clear. A short search was ric, some of them tied to dead wood. Those
or a gynaecologist. But first she was going conducted until it got too dark. pieces make up one leg of a pair of trousers
to work eight weeks as a medical intern in The circumstances surrounding Sophia’s Sophia owns, but it is not clear what she was
Lubaga hospital in Kampala. Sophia took disappearance are obscure and many things wearing when she disappeared. No other
well to life in Uganda and its people. As was do not add up. garments were found, nor the second shoe.
clear from the extensive and enthusiastic Shortly before Sophia went missing her The items were close to the one that was
weekly reports she sent us, her parents and phone had broken down. It was later found found the previous morning. According
her two brothers. in her luggage with her passport, bank pass to local police they weren’t found simulta-
After the internship she wanted to see and other personal items. neously because, due to excessive rain, the
some more of Uganda, before returning Sophia’s disappearance was in the media items had been under water. Photographs
home to the Netherlands on the 10th of for just a few days. From the start it was do not support this explanation. Forensically
November. Three days later we would assumed that it must have been a ‘fatal acci- trained people who saw the photographs of
attend the festive ceremony where Sophia dent’; the girl had mental problems, she was these items are adament they have not been
was to receive her official bachelor’s degree attacked by an animal, eaten by a crocodile, under water. They also call it ‘manipulated
certificate from the University of Amster- killed herself, drowned, end of story. It was, pieces of evidence’. A question that inevi-
dam. perhaps conveniently, ignored that no blood tably comes up is if the items were actually
We did not pick her up at the airport that traces were found, no signs of a struggle, there on Thursday.
day and we did not attend that ceremony. and no remains were ever found. Rangers On Saturday morning October 31, again a
To this day Sophia has not returned home. said they watched for increased activity by day later, dogs arrived. It is not clear which
On Wednesday October 28, Sophia vultures in the days after Sophia went miss- trace or scent the dogs were following.
arrived at Murchison National Park togeth- ing. They didn’t see any. They did not have Sophia’s scent and their
er with two fellow students and their tour The morning after Sophia’s disappearance handlers did not ask for it. And there were
guide, also driver; they had met in Kampala. one item, allegedly hers, was found some plenty of scents as many people had been
He had arranged for the three girls to stay five meters from the river bank. Nothing walking in the area by then. A fact the Scene
at the Student Centre, a very low budget else. The next morning, Friday, a trail of puz- of Crime officers, who arrived that same
accommodation in the park, where they zling items was found along the river bank, morning, were apparently unaware of as

26 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
they cordoned off the area. And there she was indeed, a Sophia’s eagerness to learn has passed, without Sophia. As
It is not known who was pres- personality from the start and things and to be useful, how every week, every day means
ent at the Student Centre that keeping those eyes, and ears, quickly she picked things up. ‘A one more day, one more week,
evening. wide open whilst going through born doctor’ according to Chris- without Sophia. And we do not
It is not known who entered life. She is very perceptive and tine. In Sophia’s own words: know if the passing of the days,
or left the park that evening or observant, with an open mind. ‘The next day was an interest- weeks and months, will bring
the day after. Quoting some excerpts from her ing day on the maternity ward. us closer to her, or further away
No one seems to have been weekly reports from Kampala is I spent all day on labour ward from her.
seriously heard. the only way at this moment to and was really useful. Christine The 28th of October marks
Clearly the investigation left hear her voice. taught me how to catch a baby four years without Sophia, four
quite something to be desired, as On her serious effort to learn after delivery. This was harder years of painful, devastating
has been observed and acknowl- Luganda right after arrival: than I thought, but Christine insecurity, four years of won-
edged since then by both Ugan- ‘I have learned some more guided me. After that I took the dering what happened to our
dan and Dutch professionals. Luganda now. If you say baby away for post natal care. I beloved girl; is she still alive,
Words like ‘tunnel vision’ were ‘oliotya?’, which means: ‘hello, could do this several times. It’s where could she be, under
used, and ‘blaming the victim’. how are you?’, to the local peo- so nice to do this for those tiny which circumstances?
We can only speculate about ple, they really like that. Things creatures and it is really great to No child is more present than
the reason why a ‘fatal acci- like ‘webale’ (thank you), ‘nde be useful.’ a missing child. Perhaps only
dent’ scenario was so eagerly bulungi’ (I’m fine) or ‘sula parents in a similar situation can
embraced from the start, despite truly understand what it is like,
the lack of any evidence to back not knowing what happened,
it up. Thereby excluding all oth- wondering whether your child
er possiblities, including crime. is alive and worrying about
Perhaps it was the easiest option their fate, each and every day.
to get rid of an incomprehensi- I know there are many of you
ble story and many people do in Uganda, suffering from the
not like stories without an end. same ordeal, especially in the
It seems that Sophia was north.
not well at the time. Very occa- From the moment they are
sionally she develops sleeping born, our children are, and will
problems which can cause her always remain, our Achilles
to become restless. She had also heel and we shall never give up
been taking malaria pills from on them.
the day she arrived in Uganda. It has pained us immensely
These pills can have unwanted to see the case so easily dis-
side effects. missed. We have been fighting
However, Sophia is far from ever since to get people, and
crazy and has never shown any especially authorities, out of
sign to anybody at any time of that ‘fatal accident’ tunnel. It
being tired of life. On the con- seems we are starting to reap
trary, her love of life is immense bulungi’ (good night) are really
On October 22 she writes: some of what we have sowed
and her ambition has no bounds. good to know.’After attending ‘Before we left I really wanted but everything is going too slow,
If you don’t know anything, a party she comments on Ugan- to say a warm goodbye to every- of course, as for us every day
nothing can be ruled out but we dan women’s dancing prowess: one in the hospital. still counts. We cannot and will
find it hard to believe Sophia ‘The girls here are truly excep- We gave away our medical not rule out she might be some-
laid out those items herself. Like tional dancers. They could really splash goggles and midwives where. But where? And how?
we find it equally hard to believe teach us Dutch people a thing and surgeons were really hap- We can use all the help we
she went into the river. In one or two... Jojo taught me her py with them. Our white coats can get to solve the mystery of
of her weekly reports Sophia, a killer moves and I tried them out we gave to Christine, who was Sophia’s disappearance.
good swimmer, writes about an immediately. The reaction was: really eager to have them. We Four years without Sophia is
outing to Ggaba Beach at Lake ‘Huh, Sophia is dancing like an also exchanged email addresses unreal, incomprehensible and
Victoria: African girl?!’ with her. After saying goodbye unbearable.
‘The only thing lacking was to everyone in maternity we It is hope that keeps me
the option to cool off a bit. Even And how she is enjoying her stopped by the other wards. together, that makes me come
though the locals went swim- stay: I sincerely regret my stay here back to Uganda, time after time,
ming in the lake we decided is over. All the people in the hos- always hoping to find Sophia
against that, because of the ‘I am starting to get used to pital are so sweet. I will really and take her home.
chances of getting a parasite Uganda more and more. The miss them and hope to be back When nothing is certain,
infection.’ way of life, the habits. I am one day. Who knows, as a doc- everything is possible and mira-
Sophia was born on Decem- almost considering simply stay- tor of tropical medicine?’ cles do happen.
ber 7, 1993, our first child and ing in Africa, cause jeez, it’s so The next day Sophia starts
only daughter. Her name means relaxed here!’ her roundtrip. Six days later, Marije Slijkerman
‘wisdom’ in Greek. Most of her stories were Wednesday October 28, 2015,
Barely fully born, she looked about her work in Lubaga hos- she disappears.
us straight in the eyes, with her pital. Christine was one of the Every 28th day of each month
big, dark eyes, wide open, as if midwives who often worked is a difficult day for us. A painful
saying: ‘Well then, here I am’. with Sophia. She told me about reminder that another month

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 27
Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin and a section of African Presidents during the just concluded Russia-Africa Economic Summit in Sochi.

Russia’s big move to Africa

What the Euro-Asian nation promised African
countries at a historic summit in Sochi

By Isaac Khisa & Julius Businge umes with Africa at $39billion in 2017, mak- He said Russia is currently among the top
ing it Africa’s third-largest trading partner ten suppliers of food to the African mar-
ne might have probably behind China and the European Union, ket, with product range of counter trading
heard about Sochi, Russian according to the figures compiled by the U.S. expanding, and the share of non-resource –
city located on the Black Sea agency USAID. agricultural and industrial – products
Coast near the border with On the other hand, the value of China-Af- increasing.
Georgia, for co-hosting the rica trade in 2017 was $148 billion, down Russia is now exporting more agricultur-
2018 FIFA World Cup. from a high of $215billion in 2014. India-Af- al products than weapons to the markets
But the quiet resort city with merely rica trade volume stood at US$62bn for the of third world countries, in which weapons
300,000 people – equivalent to a fifth of 2017-18 year, representing a 22% growth. now account for $15billion and agricultural
Kampala’s population, captured global As such, Putin, whose country dominates products nearing $25billion in sales exports,
attention again, this time for hosting the first in the sale of military arms in Africa, has according to the Russian government.
ever Russia-Africa Economic Summit from pledged to work with the various African
Oct.23-24. states to upgrade their transport infrastruc- Bilateral meetings
The historic meeting marked the begin- ture, develop telecommunication and digital On the sidelines of the summit, Putin also
ning of renewed relations between Russia technologies, provide information security held bilateral meetings with various African
and Africa. The Euro-Asian nation, which as well as offer advanced technologies and heads of state including Uganda’s Yoweri
had a strong influence in Africa alongside engineering solutions. Kaguta Museveni, South Africa’s Cyril
US and China, had frozen its relations with He said Russian companies will also fur- Ramaphosa, Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed and
the African continent following the collapse ther assist African countries in developing Central African Republic’s, Faustin-Arch-
of the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1990s. national healthcare, ensure broad access for ange Touadéra to discuss areas of collabo-
This created the opportunity for its rivals all segments of the population to qualified rations.
China, US, China, India and EU to strength- medical care and strengthening Africa’s And like all other presidents who held the
en their position on the continent as the true capacity to deal with epidemics. bilateral talks, President Museveni said the
trading partners. He also revealed that Russia is partici- summit was long overdue given that Russia
But the continued isolation of Russia from pating in an initiative to ease the African had similar conferences with India, China,
meddling into the internal affairs of other countries the debt burden. He said the debt Turkey and Japan.
sovereign states by the west has forced Rus- write-off now stands at US$20bn. He, however, said the defense and securi-
sia’s President Vladimir Putin to return to “I want to emphasis that such work is ty needs to be one of the areas of collabora-
the continent to boost its trade volumes. absolutely beneficial, since it also gives Rus- tion with Russia owed to its strong military
Russia’s trade volumes with Africa has sian companies the opportunity to work in muscle.
doubled over the past five years to US$20bil- the African market, interact with the African “We have been cooperating very well,
ion, but Putin says that needs to be doubled partners and receive appropriate benefits in ‘you’ have supported in building an army by
in the next five or so years. the interests of the Russian Federation and buying good Russian equipment, aircrafts,
However, its rival US had its trade vol- its citizens,” he said. and so on. We want to buy more,” he said.

28 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
“We have been paying cash in the past, investments include; Gazprom, Rostec and Mozambique, Eritrea, Somaliland, Egypt,
cash, cash, cash. And this slows down the Rosatom, with most of their operations in Libya and Sudan.
pace, because we must have cash to pay. Uganda, Algeria, Angola, Egypt and Nige- Russia has also become the largest sup-
What I proposes is that you supply and we ria. plier of arms to Africa, accounting for 35%
pay,” Museveni added. Russia has also been re-establishing links of arms exports to the region, followed
Majority of the head of states, however, with Angola and Botswana, where Alrosa, by China (17 %), the United States (9.6%),
urged the Russian companies to consider the Russian giant, mines diamonds. Russia and France (6.9 %) between 2012 and 2016,
investing in their mineral resources such as has interests in Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, according to the Stockholm International
diamond, uranium, zinc, gold, copper, and Ethiopia, Morocco, Democratic Republic Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Currently,
iron ore, among others, to create jobs to their of Congo, Sudan, and the Central African Russia is also involved in training Central
citizens and boost their economies. Republic. Africa Republic’s army and presidential
Alongside the summit were trade exhibi- The gold producer, Nordgold, which guard.
tions where Russian companies and inves- acquired the mine in 2010, has since invested This development comes three months
tors to showcased their potential to boost the almost $1billion in the Guinea to extend Lefa since the African countries launched the
strategic partnership. mine’s life and improve efficiencies at the African Continental Free Trade Area in
Russian companies, for instance, show- operation. The firm said it has also paid $180 Niger in July, opening up market for goods
cased their different military hardware, million in corporate taxes and royalties from and services to 1.2billion people with a com-
medicine, car manufacturing, and nuclear 2011 to 2018. bined GDP of US$3trillion.
energy, agriculture, security, and informa- Russia is also building a major industrial It also comes a few months since China
tion and communication technology, among zone comprising 23 firms in a planned inter- and Japan hosted African heads of state for
others. national industrial and logistics hub near their countries to boost trade relations.
However, a handful of African countries
including Kenya and Morocco showcased
their products that mainly included agricul-
tural. Already, Kenya exports tea to Russia.

Landmark agreements signed

During the summit, Russian companies
signed cooperation agreements with various
African countries. LUKOIL, which has been
active in Ghana, Cameroon, the Democratic
Republic of Congo and Nigeria, signed an
agreement with the Equatorial Guinea to
participate in hydrocarbons trade.
New Cloud Technologies signed an agree-
ment with the Democratic Republic of the
Congo to enable the latter state access the
Russian software package MyOffice for vari-
ous purposes including education.
The Roscongress Foundation, Russia’s
socially oriented non-financial development
Russia has been a major supplier of weapons to Africa and the country’s arms exporter hopes the
institution and a major organizer of interna- first Russia-Africa summit will help boost business on the continent (AFP Photo/Andrea PALASCIANO)
tional conventions, exhibitions, and public
events, signed cooperation agreements with Egypt’s Suez Canal and Putin says there are
a number of African countries to establish a plans for more firms to join in the future. Economists speak out
direct dialogue with representatives of the The Zone that will produce a range of Commentators on the latest development
authorities and the business community of products from agriculture to machinery, told The Independent that chances are that
the continent. intends to use Egypt as an anchor to expand there will be no contestation between Russia
This includes agreement with the Egyp- into the continent. and the other big countries such as China,
tian Exporters Association — Expolink, the The Middle East country is also working EU, USA because China has already taken
National Agency for Investment Promotion on a fertilizer factory in Zambia as it explores over Africa.
of the Republic of the Congo, the Nigerian opportunities in the east African region, with Ramathan Ggoobi, a senior economics
Investment Promotion Agency, the Eswa- infrastructure development being in the lecturer at Makerere University Business
tini Investment Promotion Authority, the top agenda. It also made it clear that it will School (MUBS) said Africa is just trying to
Chamber of Commerce of Burkina Faso, continue to train military personnel and law diversify risk by not over concentrating on
the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and enforcement officers for African countries China when other alternative markets are in
Agriculture of Tanzania, the Chamber of at specialized Russian institutions. place.
Commerce and Industry of Abuja, the Kenya Currently, military personnel from 20 China has so far invested billions of
National Chamber of Commerce, the Cham- African countries are studying at higher dollars in infrastructure projects including
ber of Commerce and Industry of Mali, and education institutions of the Russian Defence railways, airports, oil and gas, roads and
the Confederation of Business Associations Ministry. Russia has also signed military energy, in many countries in Africa includ-
of Mozambique. cooperation agreements with over 30 coun- ing Uganda.
So far, some of the Russia’s companies tries on the continent, including; Rwanda, “I think they (African leaders) are being
that have already made inroads in Africa Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Guinea. wise,” Ggoobi said, “What I don’t know is
investing mainly in mineral resources – The Swedish Defence Research Agency whether Russia still has the muscle to com-
diamond, gold, graphite, pozzolana, iron says there is also heated speculation about pete with China…because China has built a
ore, phosphates and copper, among others. the potential for establishing military bases lot of capacity in the last four decades.”
Some of the companies that have made their in several countries including Burundi, Ggoobi added that China has taken over

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 29
not only Africa but almost the entire world,
and that it recorded such a rapid expansion
under the watch of superpowers.
forum exposes
He, however said, it is never too late for
countries like Russia to come to the conti-
“I am optimistic that Africa is also going

to develop within a short time as Russia’s
influence in Africa could trigger US and EU
to return big on the continent,” he said.
On the other hand, Julius Kiiza, a senior
lecturer at Makerere University and expert
on industrial policy and political econo-
my told The Independent that there are two By Julius Businge beans, maize, coffee, bananas, vanilla, hor-

important issues to look at in the recent ticulture and more. He said agribusiness is
superpower’s scramble for the content: Rus- ilberforce Kisamba-Mugerwa thriving partly because the government has
sia’s capabilities and Africa’s interest. is an agricultural economist greatly improved the supply of infrastruc-
He said Uganda and Africa should discuss and board chairman of the Mi- ture – electricity and roads – which facilitate
how to tap into the capabilities of Russia, crofinance Support Centre. He trade.
China and the rest in a manner that pro- also served as the Chairman of the National Sekitoleko (Chairperson for UAA), said
motes transformation. Planning Authority from 2008 to 2018. Vic- Uganda is an agricultural country and
He said African countries need to tap into toria Sekitoleko is the current chairperson of therefore Ugandans are agriculturalists.
Russia’s military capabilities for the peace Uganda Agribusiness Alliance (UAA) and “We need to educate famers and children
and security of its citizens. former minister of agriculture. about agriculture,” she said. She said that
“I don’t think we need to go to a super These two individuals speak with author- the country needs to take advantage of the
power or a vibrant actor in the geopolitical ity on matters agriculture and the economy 67% of the children that drop out of school
space to ask for assistance in agro processing which is why their counsel is taken serious- by primary seven level. “We need to pre-
which does not add substantial value…I find ly both at individual and policy level. pare them for the inevitable…agriculture,”
that as a wasted effort…if you are talking to On Oct.28, they took part in the agribusi- she said. Sekitoleko also urged the youth
Russia, you need to be talking big,” he said. ness meeting that was organized by UAA in agriculture to form associations to boost
Kiiza also said that Africa should and its partners at Golf Course Hotel in their ability to consistently supply to the
strengthen the area of human capital devel- Kampala, mainly tar- market. She
opment to promote local content. geting the youth. also urged the
“The policy documents are talking about Speaking on the youth to use
local content but we are not adequately sidelines of the simple man-
investing in that space,” he said. “…we need meeting, Mugerwa ual machines
to attract foreign assistance in a manner that told The Independent and mobile
forces investors to partner with our local that Uganda being a phones to
companies.” purely agricultural access market
He added that there is need for the Afri- country, and having and other
can countries to develop their iron and steel the fastest growing opportunities.
industry due to its supportive nature to other number of the youth The Chief
sectors such as industries and construction. population, the latter Executive
However, Nikita Gusakov, the chief have to be put at the Officer of
executive officer at the Russian Agency for centre of this econom- UAA, Edward
Victoria Sekitoleko Kisamba Mugerwa
Export Credit and Investment Insurance ic activity. Katende
(EXIAR) told The Independent in an interview “What is important said that
that Russia’s absence in Africa meant that now is increasing productivity, production by empowering the youth to be active in
they had to return in a big way. and ensuring high quality standards,” he Uganda’s agricultural value chains, the
“For a long time, Russia has not been said. For that to happen, he said the youth unemployment problem would partly be
active in promoting its products especially must have good ideas about where to solved. According to the Uganda Bureau
in Africa. Many people didn’t know what invest. of Statistics data for 2013, the share of the
Russia can offer” he said, adding that the Mugerwa said that youth should not be unemployed youth as a percentage of the
country now plans to participate in activi- obsessed with getting capital from financial total unemployed persons in the country is
ties and exhibitions to boost its visibility in institutions because it is expensive. Instead, 64%, one of the highest in the world.
Africa. Russia is currently a shareholder of he said, they should explore other sources Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija says in
the continent’s multi-lateral lender, African like families and other savings groups to be the current budget speech (2019/20) that
Export Import Bank. able to invest in the agricultural value chain value addition in agriculture is one strategic
When asked to justify why one should to improve their livelihood. pillar being fronted to achieve social eco-
think of doing business with Russia and “Don’t rush for credit unless you know nomic transformation. “We have already
not either China or Europe, Gusakov, said: the exact interest rate and the purpose for successfully established a few product
“Our aim is to boost our trade between us which you are borrowing that money for,” value chains in agro-industry in citrus
and not to squander the African resources he said. fruit, vegetable oil and dairy industries,” he
the way other countries are doing,” he Mugerwa said that as the population said, “the next move is to expand product
said. He added that Russia, like, Africa, grows, more business opportunities will value chains to other commodities across
has many mineral resources to exploit and come for those engaged in trading bee keep- the country.”
benefit the population. ing and processing, shea butter, fishing,

30 Nov . 01 - 07 2019

Fighting insurance fraud

IRA boss tips sector executives on managing
scams that could haunt performance

By Julius Businge The other solutions are; quickly report

and share information within and to the
nsurance companies must put in place relevant authorities on fraud incidents like
feasible policies to manage fraud that IRA, Uganda Insurers Association. Also
could easily jeopardize their good per- carrying out hacking tests to improve on
formance. systems security and quality assurance of
This is the summary of what Ibrahim the different software in place and holding
Kaddunabbi Lubega, the Chief Executive policyholders or beneficiaries liable for
Officer for Insurance Regulatory Authority their duties when taking out insurance
(IRA) told sector executives on Oct.24. or reporting a loss/claim could also help.
The executives had met at the 44th CEOs Companies were also advised to deal with
breakfast meeting held at Kampala Sere- only licensed intermediaries for proper
na Hotel. The theme for the meeting was standards and adequate safeguards in the
“evolving market conduct challenges, conduct of sound business.
impact and way forward - fraud in insur- Kaddunabbi added that fraud can also be
ance” eliminated through education and aware-
Kaddunabbi said fraud is a big risk. Ibrahim Kaddunabbi ness targeting different sector players,
He cited the KPMG East Africa Insurance establishment of shared databases among
Fraud report, 2015 that says…in Uganda, insurers like Insurance Fraud Register and
fraud adds 10% extra amount to the premi- Motor claims database. In addition, coop-
um/the amount of money an individual or eration with supervisors such as Financial
business pays for an insurance policy. Intelligence Authority and professional
In addition, he said, insurance fraud is a bodies such as chartered accountants,
real risk in today’s business environment, forensic auditors, law society, loss asses-
and businesses of all sizes can find them- sors. Above all, there should be punitive
selves a target. He said risks increase as sanctions against the perpetrators.
businesses become more complex. Kaddunabbi said, by leveraging on exist-
“Elimination of the risk of fraud is diffi- ing institutional structures, there are oppor-
cult,” he said, “But it is possible to mitigate tunities for building strong risk frameworks
the risk and reduce the opportunity for that could improve the overall control of
would-be fraudsters to target your busi- fraud.
ness,” he added. “Fighting alone can deliver, but only to
He said companies should formulate a limited extent,” he said. He added that
feasible policy on fraud which should be Allan Mafabi players that embrace the right mix of tools,
consistently implemented to reflect the rel- staffing, training and technologies are better
evant operational procedures and controls. schemes, fidelity guarantee claims and suited to fight fraud.
He said risk management policies should credit bond guarantees. Others are, fake That notwithstanding, Kaddunabbi said,
target products, clients, staff, outsourced death schemes, domestic policy schemes, fighting insurance fraud is a collective
firms, claim handling and dealings with cash in transit schemes, burglary schemes responsibility and requires collective effort.
intermediaries. and more. But, he added that the first step is taken
Fraud can be internal and external. Inter- individually through detection, preven-
nally, it is characterized by falsification of More solutions tion, sharing and reporting to the relevant
claims, theft of information, intellectual Kaddunabbi urged companies to per- authorities.
property fraud, and false employment form pre-employment and in-employment Chief Executive officers did not dis-
history. Externally, it takes the form of stag- screening of staff, establish a clear dismissal agree with their regulator but instead said,
ing thefts/robbery, arson, forgeries, cash policy for internal fraud cases in order to already they were moving fast to fighting
premium suppression, premium inflation deter other potential perpetrators, establish fraud.
and misrepresentation of the risk to reduce internal complaints procedures for disgrun- Allan Mafabi, the Chief Executive Officer
premiums. The other external types of tled staff, observe the four eye principle, to at Britam Insurance Company (Uganda)
fraud are related to suppliers and cyber of involve more than one person in decision Ltd said on the sidelines of the meeting
information technology systems. making for validation, proper governance, that they had recorded some cases of fraud
According to the IRA data, fraud cases transparency and control. which they reported to the IRA.
reported and investigated for the years 2018 He also told them to improve and He however said that internally, they
and 2019 totaled to Shs3bn and Shs4.9bn strengthen information systems to limit have built systems to fight feared scams
respectively. The most common reported data breaches, reduce on human contact that could negatively impact on their
cases with higher amounts include issuing and enhance information technology sys- performance.
fake policies and forgeries, motor related tems.

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 31
Executive Style

Startups must embrace new

technologies to flourish
What more should our and support. They need

readers know about you? to develop good security
e provide train- firewalls to manage cyber
ing in digital risks that could collapse
skills for indi- the business. Startups can
viduals and use ICTs to collaborate and
organisations. We help them spread in markets globally.
to develop ideas for busi- Governments have three
ness growth and to solve roles in this; providing
societal challenges. We do infrastructure, regulating
work in different countries ICT usage and promoting
around the world Uganda human capital develop-
inclusive. ment. It should also be the
biggest user of technology.
What is your general as-
sessment of the enterprises Access to credit is a head-
that you engaged with in ache to most startups in
Uganda? Uganda. What is your ad-
It is one thing having an Anthony Giannoumis (in a tie) is from Oslo Metropolitan vice to them?
idea, it is one thing creating University and Amit Patel is the Creative Director at the It is important for start-
a product and it is another London based entrepreneurship firm (Experience Haus). ups and other businesses
challenge to get that prod- They have accumulated 25 years as experience in matters to look for partnerships
uct into the hands of users. enterprise development. Recently, they were in Uganda to like donors and other
Startups here are willing offer counsel to young entrepreneurs camping at Kafeero funding organisations
to learn and to try out new Foundation and Mfano business and design hub. Jointly, they that are ready to support.
approaches. They have Startups also need to make
learned from the experienc-
answered questions from The Independent’s Julius Businge a step back and think cre-
es of businesses that col- atively, understand how
lapse after the first or second much money they to spend
birthday. They are listening, What is the best way to use gov- other more meaningful areas of and on what. You don’t need
creative and ready to explore ernment funds for startups? their business. Once you sup- to spend lots and lots of money
new opportunities. I am a big believer of such port many and they succeed, to get your idea to work. In the
funds. They create opportuni- it means others will learn from process, you have got to learn
What should a business strate- ties. What I think is that who- them and create more opportu- and validate your business with-
gy for a startup look like? ever is supporting those groups nities in the economy. out going into major debt.
Customer research is lacking should figure out the best way
here. They need to do more and to measure success. It goes back The buzz now is about using Actually some businesses start
find out what the true needs to doing research. Find out what technology to satisfy customer and once they fail they give
are for the customer and work do these young entrepreneurs expectations…yet some of up completely. Isn’t that prob-
towards satisfying them. It is want, how you can help them, these tools are expensive for a lematic in the grand scheme of
not good to start a business bas- and also understand why some- startup? things?
ing on your assumptions. You thing has worked for some and ICTs are important for start- In that fix, it is important to
need to figure out who your failed for others. You don’t stop ups to use to communicate and make a step back and redesign
customers and their needs are supporting them. disseminate information to your business strategy. Talk to
for you to succeed. suppliers, partners, clients or business mentors and also try
What other incentives would collaborators. The most import- to understand how others that
From a wider perspective, you advise the government to ant thing to do is to make sure succeeded did it.
what opportunities do entities offer to startups in a small econ- that your messages are clear
like Kafeero Foundation/Mfa- omy like ours? and provocative to your stake- What management ethos
no design hub create? There have to be training holders. You have got to be stra- would you advise young entre-
They unlock learning hubs to expose the startups to tegic while thinking about the preneurs to embrace?
and create opportunities for opportunities related to incen- web solutions to deliver value Innovations, collaboration,
business growth. When that tives on land, taxes and others. proposition to your clients. You teamwork, willingness to learn
happens, businesses become Startups have to be given the don’t want to spend money on new approaches should be
sustainable and go on to sup- space to grow. Not all of them technology that won’t achieve part of a management strategy
port livelihoods and contribute are going to make money right results for you. They need to for any startup eying big
economically in terms of jobs away. Incentives allow business- have a vision or a goal that will opportunities.
and paying taxes. es to save money and invest in attract investors to come in

32 Nov . 01 - 07 2019

Airtel cuts mobile Total opens new station in Kamwokya

money charges

irtel customers using its mobile
money platform to transact will
experience some relief following its
move to cut withdrawal charges.
The company announced on Oct.28 that cus-
tomers would starting Oct.31 enjoy massive
reduction in cash withdrawal and person to
person transfer rates. It said that the move
is geared towards enhancing of a cashless
economy and financial inclusion. “Airtel
customers can now enjoy 79% and 69% re-
ductions on withdrawal and person to per-
son transfer rates respectively making it the

most competitive rate on the market today,” Officials opening the fuel station.
V.G Somasekhar, the company’s managing fter operating for weeks, fuel was officiated by the French Ambassador
director said. He added that the new rates distributor Total Uganda opened to Uganda, Jules–Armand Aniambossou,
justify the company’s efforts towards creat- officially its new station at Acacia the Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago
ing affordable and innovative solutions for on Oct.25. The station is part of and other leaders. The company’s Manag-
customers including a relentless focus on the the 27 GAPCO sites that the company ing Director, Obi Imemba said customer
fundamental needs of their customers. The acquired in 2018. They are all being re- expectations are changing and are always
transactions would apply to all transactions branded. The company has a total of 180 working to satisfy their demands. One of
between Shs1-7million. In addition, the stations across the country. Company the services being offered at the station is
company has increased the transaction limit officials said customers are experiencing an automated car wash which, officials
from the usual Shs5million to Shs7million. fast and good quality service. The launch said can be done in just 20 minutes.


Shs1bn needed for Girl Guides meet Brainchild gets Shs130m

for innovation forum

he Uganda Girl Guides Associa- World Conference meeting will attract
tion has launched a fundraising delegates from more than 150 countries artners and sponsors of innovation series,
drive aimed at raising awareness of World Association of Girl Guides to a thought leadership forum by brainchild
and funds towards hosting Uganda. Akello said they are targeting Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) received
the historic World Conference of Girl to raise Shs1billion to finance the World a Shs50million sponsorship towards the
Guides. The conference will be held Conference. Uganda bid to host the firm’s fourth edition from Roke Telecom and Total
from July 11– 17, 2020 at Speke Resort World Conference in New Dehli in India Uganda on Oct.24. In total, the company needed
Munyonyo. The body which has been in in 2017 beating a super power USA. The Shs130million for the event. The forum would
existence in the country since 1914 is af- conference will attract over 800 dele- ran under the theme “fast-tracking infrastructure
filiated to the global World Association gates from 150 countries. “This not only project completion through innovation.” Sponsors
of Girl Guides and Scouts (WAGGS). presents an opportunity to deliberate on for the fourth edition of Innovation Series include;
Speaking to the media in Kampala issues affecting the body but also benefit Roke Telkom, Golf Course Hotel, Total Uganda,
Molly Grace Akello, the Chief Com- the economy,” she said. Sanlam, Garage Group, DVI, Seamless Events,
missioner of the UGGA said the 37th Vacker, Quicket, Radio City, Aka Dope and Fire-
works Advertising. Walter Wafula, the Business
Unit Head-PR at Brainchild BCW said: “Together,
this year, our partners have contributed Shs130
million to support Innovation Series in a bid to pro-
mote the spirit of innovation in Uganda,” he said,
adding that, “Hosting such thought leadership
events requires enormous human and financial
resources. This is why we have on-board partners
like Roke Telkom, Golf Course Hotel and Total.”
The forum took place on Oct.31 in Kampala. Waf-
ula said that as a PR firm they have joined efforts
towards supporting the government to fast-track
and implement infrastructure projects that are crit-
ical in accelerating the country’s growth agenda.
Alexander Bazirake, the corporate relations manag-
er at Roke Telkom and Sheila Tusiime Mugisha, the
head for corporate communications at Total Ugan-
da said they would totally support the implemen-
tation of the recommendations from the forum.
Akello (middle) addressing a press conference.

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 33

Vivo Energy unveils new

programme for clients
By Julius Businge including the Shell Africa mobile

app, website or by simply visit-
ivo Energy Uganda has ing any Shell service station.
announced the intro- On registration, they will be
duction of a pioneering issued with a loyalty card or
nationwide customer a Near Field Communication
loyalty programme, designed (NFC) tag, which they are
by Shell, called the Shell Club. advised to use after every pur-
In a media release dated Oct. 24, chase.
the company said that the us- Shell Club registered custom-
er-friendly platform will enable ers will earn and accumulate
customers to earn and accumu- points on every purchase above
late points for all their purchases Shs5, 000 made at Shell service
at Shell service stations, which stations ranging from fuels,
Airtel Chief Commercial Officer, Amit Kapur (R) and Airtel money director, can be converted into rewards. motor oils and lubricants, gas or
Eric Kirobia (2L) pose for picture during the unveiling of discounted airtel The company’s Managing Di- shopping at Shell Select shops.
money rates on Oct. 28. The announcement took place at the company’s
headquarters in Kampala.  INDEPENDENT/ ALFRED OCHWO rector, Gilbert Assi said the Shell The rewards are not limited
Club is a demonstration of Vivo to Shell products. Customers
Energy’s commitment to inno- will be able to choose from the
vation, revolutionising customer services offered by the compa-
experiences, and redefining the ny’s partners, including mobile
relationships Shell has with its and consumer electronics, health
customers. “The Shell Club is an clubs and spas, tour and travel,
integrated rewards system that airtime, cinemas, restaurants
will allow our customers to earn and more.
points for every shilling spent at “There is definitely more
our Shell service stations. Our joy in every visit to Shell,” Assi
customers will be able to use said. He said that rewards will
their earned points to redeem be redeemed from an extensive
gifts of their choice from our catalogue of gifts and offers on
extensive rewards catalogue,” the Shell Africa mobile app.
Assi said in the release. Vivo has a fuels storage capacity
To benefit from the pro- of 17,500 m³ and 150 service sta-
gramme, clients are required to tions across the country.
register through various ways,
Market Women Representatives pose with their certificates awarded
by the Institute for Social Transformation during the 3rd National
Market women Entrepreneurs symposium held on Oct. 23 in Kampala. 

Share price movement (Oct. 01)

Security Oct. 01 Aug.08 Movement
BATU 30,000 30000 00
BOBU 128 128 00
CENT 1,060 1,157 8.4
QCL 128 130 1.5
DFCU 650 650 00
EABL 7,054 7,243 2.6
EBL 1,341 1,446 7.2
JHL 11,668 13,261 12
KA 86 105 18
KCB 1,416 1,411 0.3
NIC 12 12 00
NMG 1,449 1,609 9.9
NVL 325 329 1.2
SBU 27 29 6.8
UCHM 10 12 16.6
UCL 13 14 7.1
TECNO Country Director, Shiva Zhong and MTN General Manager for UMEME 297 297 00
Sales and Distribution, Joseph Bogera launches 4G Phone promotion
on Oct. 24 in Kampala.  INDEPENDENT/ALFRED OCHWO ALSI -- -- --

34 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
New ‘triple pill’ could
eliminate high blood pressure
A new combination drug may have the potential to revolutionise hypertension treatment
worldwide, after a clinical trial has declared it safe to use and very effective

By Agencies adds, is that it “is not only time inefficient, 50 percent of the participants who continued
it’s costly. We also know that many doctors on traditional hypertension therapy.
n a recent clinical trial led by research- and patients find it too complicated and In the study paper they published in
ers from the George Institute for often don’t stick to the process.” `JAMA’, the authors explain that after 6
Global Health — with branches in the So, Dr. Webster and colleagues tested a months from the start of the trial, 83 percent
United Kingdom, Australia, and India method that, they hoped, would be more of the people who had started on the “triple
— they tested the effectiveness and efficient, would not have additional side pill” were still following this same treatment.
safety of using an innovative drug for effects, and would remove some of the To the contrary, most of the participants
the treatment of high blood pressure, or hy- inconveniences related to a traditional treat- following a traditional treatment had added
pertension. This drug, nicknamed the “triple ment. This is how they came up with the medication or increased drug quantities by
pill” by the investigators, combines low dos- “triple pill,” which combines fixed low doses the 6-month mark.
es of three existing drugs for blood pressure. of three already existent drugs commonly “The World Heart Federation (have) set
Namely, these are: telmisartan (20 mil- used to treat hypertension. an ambitious goal that by 2025 there will
ligrams), amlodipine (2.5 milligrams), and be a 25 percent reduction in blood pressure
chlorthalidone (12.5 milligrams). ‘Triple pill’ vs. traditional therapy levels globally,” says study co-author Prof.
According to World Health Organisation The clinical trial testing the efficacy and Anushka Patel.
(WHO) data from 2008, about 40 percent of safety of the new combination pill took place “The triple pill,” she continues, “could be
adults aged over 25 had raised blood pres- in Sri Lanka. It involved 700 participants — a low-cost way of helping countries around
sure worldwide. The WHO also estimates aged 56, on average — whose average blood the world to meet this target.”
that hypertension is responsible for 7.5 mil- pressure amounted to 154/90 millimeters of
lion of all deaths across the globe. mercury (mm Hg), which is a typical sign of ‘This study has global relevance’
That is because this condition is a major hypertension. Researchers at the George Institute believe
risk factor for both heart disease and stroke, Of all the participants, some took the that their “triple pill” could really make a
making it a priority to have effective treat- combination pill, while others continued to difference to current therapy for hyperten-
ments in place for the regulation of blood follow their usual blood pressure-lowering sion. Right now, the team is looking into
pressure. Normally, people with hyperten- therapy, as per their doctors’ advice. the combination drug’s cost effectiveness
sion start taking one blood pressure drug In contrast to those following traditional for various countries and putting into place
at low doses, only to have to return to their therapy for hypertension, a larger number strategies to make the drug accessible across
doctors time and again. They then get pre- of those taking the combination pill were the world. “This study has global relevance,”
scriptions for increasingly higher doses and able to lower their blood pressure effectively, says Prof. Patel.
more hypertension drugs. reaching their target pressure of 140/90 mm “While the most pressing need, from the
According to study co-author Dr. Ruth Hg or under. The target for individuals with perspective of the global burden of disease,
Webster, “Patients are brought back (to the diabetes or kidney disease was 130/80 mm is low- and middle-income countries, it’s
doctor’s office) at frequent intervals to see if Hg, which many people taking the “triple equally relevant in a country like Australia
they are meeting their targets with multiple pill” were able to reach. where we’re still achieving only (40–50 per-
visits required to tailor their treatments and More specifically, 70 percent of the people cent) control rates for high blood pressure,”
dosage.” taking the “triple pill” achieved their target said Patel.
“The problem with this approach,” she blood pressure, compared with a little over Source: Medical News Today

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 35

‘Sadfishing’ on social media

What you need to know about posting
online about emotional distress
By Agencies a psychologist in the San Fran- with mutual friends to find out “If someone is deeply trou-

cisco area. if anyone else has already done bled and the issue isn’t a quick,
adfishing” is when so.” temporary situation, social
someone solicits atten- ‘Sadfishing’ and emotional If the person tends to discuss media can at least be a catalyst
tion online by posting distress not wanting to live, it should for the person to hopefully get
something emotional. be taken seriously, Giller add- professional help,” Bennett
There’s no definitive way to There’s no definitive way to ed. said. “It can be very reassuring
tell whether someone is truly tell whether someone is truly Keep in mind that not every- to receive messages online
in crisis, so any alarming post in crisis, so any alarming post one is open to discussing their from others who are compas-
should be taken seriously, say should be taken seriously, adds mental health online, but some sionate.”
experts. Jelena Kecmanovic, PhD, a people find it empowering. Fran Walfish, PsyD, a family
Is your friend on social clinical psychologist in Arling- As such, their post may be a and relationship psychother-
media looking for support, or ton, Virginia. request for support so they feel apist in California, agrees that
is something seriously wrong? And someone may indeed connected and hopeful, Giller responding one-on-one is key.
It’s hard to tell where some- want or need attention because says. “The biggest risk (of
one is coming from when they they’re in emotional distress. Concerned about someone responding openly in a post,
post something emotional on One way to try and deter- you know and want to take for example) is inadvertently
social media. A new survey mine whether someone is real- action? setting your friend up for bul-
warns that how we respond ly in trouble (namely, about to Before responding, consider lying and public humiliation,”
could be harmful if the person she said.
is troubled. It’s OK to ask someone
When someone solicits atten- whose post you think may
tion online by posting some- be serious if they’re having
thing emotional, it’s known as thoughts about hurting them-
“sadfishing.” But some social selves, or if they’re feeling
media users can view emo- hopeless.
tional posts as just a way to get “It is imperative to also
attention and miss the signs of remind the desperate person
serious distress. that ending their life is a per-
According to a report based manent termination to a tem-
on interviews with more than porary problem and state of
50,000 students ages 11 to 16, mind,” Walfish added.
troubled children who genu-
inely seek emotional support Asking for help
online feel worse when other It’s OK to refer a friend for
users suggest they’re simply professional help, too. People
trying to get attention. who work in the mental health
In some cases, how their or crisis services fields are
peers responded was even trained in suicide prevention
more harmful to their mental and can respond to a situation
health. It also made some harm themselves or another if you think the person is just that may be overwhelming to
children vulnerable to further person) is to think back about having a hard time, or if they’re an untrained person.
manipulation. previous posts. suicidal. That can help you If you’re truly concerned
It’s hard to tell whether If they seem to be having a tailor your response. about someone’s safety, help-
someone is looking for support hard time and it comes out of Reach out via a private ing them call 911 or a suicide
or just attention, since social the blue, that could be a sign mention, call, or have a con- prevention line, or getting
media doesn’t provide the con- they need help, says Shoshana versation in person. Tell them them to go to the ER, can pre-
text that in-person interactions Bennett, PhD, a clinical psy- you saw their post and are con- vent suicide, Kolmes adds.
do, according to Lindsey Giller, chologist from California. cerned, or offer up a referral to “People who are not trained
PsyD; a clinical psychologist in “If this person is typically counseling or a mental health in crisis services should not put
New York. dramatic and posts often in this support hotline, Giller says. themselves in a position to try
“It can be tricky to read too manner, you’ll probably react Responding to posts online to prevent a suicide,” Kolmes
much into a person’s social differently than if the post is can influence mental health, said. “Instead, it’s best to get
media postings since people out of character and unusual,” so be mindful if you respond. the person to seek help or to
may often vent or post mes- Bennett said. “No matter what, Saying something careless get someone involved who is
sages with a particular audi- if a friend talks seriously about could be even more distressing, professional trained to inter-
ence (or individual) in mind,” hurting himself, check in and as well as minimizing some- vene in an emergency.”
explained Keely Kolmes, PsyD, make sure he’s OK, or connect one’s pain, Giller adds. Source: Internet

36 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
By Michael Aboneka
No democracy without dissent
Arrest of Makerere University students protesting
tuition increment makes a joke of our democracy

he right to dissent is by and large it, then the practice of the same should be contest-you write back and honourably
an extension of the freedom of seen. Dissenting views must be respected disagree.
conscience, expression, movement, all the time because that is what democ- No amount of tear gas or heavy deploy-
religion, assembly and association racy is about and as long as we do not ment of militia can change a mind; at
enshrined under Article 29 of the Constitu- respect them, then we are a pretending least not mine. So when the state deploys
tion of Uganda, 1995. democracy. such means of harassment, assault on
Uganda also signed the African Charter It has further become increasingly diffi- dissenting views it is attempting to hold
on democracy, elections and good gover- cult to hold a different view than those in water in a basket. It will not succeed in
nance (ACDEG) in December 2008, which power. It seems only government people taking away our opinions or minds.
espouses the right to dissent and holding in positions of power in the state have To those who feel we should not have
opinion important for any democracy. monopoly of opinion. We have had a dissenting views, where should those
The charter, under Chapter 4, further series of events; such as the amending of with dissenting views go? How should
enjoins states to protect such freedoms the Constitution to remove the presiden- we live without debate? How should we
and, under article 27(8), enjoins states tial age limit period, where all those that live with only one opinion? As a country,
to protect and promote the freedom of were opposed to lifting of the age limit we need to think critically about these
expression, opinion and the press and under the campaign famously known issues because as a citizenry, we shall
media. as “togikwatako” were pounced upon, always speak out our minds. That is
Now that Uganda has committed to beaten, detained; including our own what I am doing in this article and it is
promote and protect these freedoms, MPs. Several rallies were reined in and always our right to do so. Whoever feels
why is the right to dissent in this country stopped because they were opposed to disturbed by our opinions, before they
becoming increasingly an offence? the lifting of the age limit. One wonders procure teargas or order brutal arrests,
Recently, a group of students in Mak- why there was public consultation in the they should invest in reading and writing
erere University Kampala were opposed first place only to be suffocated by the intellectual rebuttals to our opinions-this
to the arbitral increment of tuition to state militia. We have recently had a jour- is what they call democracy.
which they took to the “streets” of the nalist assaulted, arrested and detained Moving forward, our leaders must
university in a peaceful demonstration. for his beautiful writings, most of which respect our views whether in agreement
They were exercising the right to peaceful some people in power thought was not or in dissent because they are our views
demonstration and opinion under Article good reading. In a democracy you don’t and they matter too. Secondly, public
29 of the Constitution of Uganda and arrest, intimidate and detain “brains”, participation in all affairs of the state is a
27(8) of the ACDEG. But to the surprise you rather engage in an intellectual right guaranteed under Article 38 of the
of many; especially, those who live in constitution and, for that reason there will
Uganda, they were pounced on, harassed, always be different views and opinions
assaulted, arrested, and carted off in on different policies and decisions. It is
police trucks. ggggggg still our right as citizens to challenge any
Over 30 students were arrested and
bundled to Wandegeya Police Station.
Whoever feels undemocratic and arbitral policies that
do not reflect our will and power for the
They were denied access to lawyers and disturbed by our leaders are our servants and must at all
even food. What crime did they commit? opinions, before times respect our views. As we move
Is having a different opinion a crime? towards elections (which are supposedly
Be that as it may, we also learned later they procure teargas the means of change of government for
that the arrested and assaulted students or order brutal a democratic state), we need to respect
were suspended while they were in the
cells. This is the worst joke of democracy
arrests, they should all views. And if the right to dissent is
abused further, I think elections will be
I have ever witnessed. How do you arrest invest in reading and meaningless for Uganda.
a student for speaking out on the arbitral writing intellectual
increment of tuition? What happened to Michael Aboneka is the Project Coordinator
the great Makerere University where we rebuttals to our of African Governance architecture (AGA |
promote intellectual debates? What hap- opinions-this is what Uganda)
pened to the right to fair hearing under
Article 28 of our Constitution? Is the they call democracy
Makerere University administration and
the state murdering our own Constitution
once again?
We need to stop pretending. If we are
indeed a free democratic state as we call

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 37
By Paola Subacchi
Locking China out of the dollar system
How rival hegemons are decoupling of the two
largest economies and creating a bipolar world order

he recently announced “phase one” actions and freeze assets. For example, access to stock indexes managed by
agreement between the United States in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan U.S. firms. How such policies would be
and China has been touted as an issued an executive order under the implemented remains unclear; it would
important step toward a compre- IEEPA blocking all payments to Panama be no easy feat. But lacking a well-de-
hensive deal that ends the trade war that has after a coup brought Manuel Noriega to fined strategy has never stopped Trump
raged for over a year. But if you think that power. (Funds intended for Panama were before, especially when it comes to using
U.S. President Donald Trump is ready to diverted to an escrow account established economic levers to advance geopolitical
abandon his antagonistic China policy, think at the Federal Reserve Bank of New objectives.
again. In fact, the Trump administration is York.) This approach may work in the short
already moving to launch another, closely Trump – who has proved more than term, but it is sure to catch up to the U.S.
related war with China, this time over finan- willing to cry “emergency” when it suits Trump’s repeated weaponisation of the
cial flows. him – has cited the IEEPA many times, dollar undermines trust among holders
In a highly integrated world economy, including to justify tariffs on imports of dollar-backed and US-verified assets.
trade and finance are two sides of the from Mexico and to assert his authority How many foreign companies will be
same coin. Cross-border trade transac- to demand that U.S. companies “imme- willing to list on a U.S. stock exchange
tions depend on a well-functioning inter- diately start looking for an alternative knowing that they may be delisted at
national payments system and a robust to China.” Hoping to drive Venezuelan will? And how many non-U.S. residents
network of financial institutions that President Nicolás Maduro from office, will keep their assets in U.S. banks if
are willing and able to issue credit. This he used the IEEPA to freeze the assets of any geopolitical skirmish can result in a
financial infrastructure has been built state-owned oil company PDVSA. freeze?
around the U.S. dollar – the most liquid Trump has also forbidden U.S. inves- As mistrust of the U.S. mounts, the
and exchangeable international currency. tors from purchasing any debt owned drive for international monetary reform,
The dollar’s position as the leading by Venezuela’s government or trading which China has been advocating for the
global reserve currency has long afforded in shares of any entity in which it holds last decade, will gain momentum. This
the U.S. what Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, a controlling stake. Meanwhile, Trump could mean expanding the international
then France’s finance minister, dubbed has given Juan Guaidó, the U.S-backed role of other currencies, such as the euro
an “exorbitant privilege”: America can interim president, access to Venezuelan or, if China has its way, the renminbi. It
print money at negligible cost and use it government assets held at the Fed since could also lead to the creation of an alter-
to purchase goods and services globally. his predecessor, Barack Obama, froze nate monetary system, centered on the
But, with the opening up of global capital them in 2015. needs of developing countries, especially
markets, the U.S. has also gained exorbi- Contrary to popular belief, Trump has oil and commodities exporters.
tant leverage over the rest of the world. not imposed more sanctions than his By broadening the nexus between
Today, some 80% of global trade is forebears. But he has devised particularly economic interest and national security,
invoiced and settled in dollars, and most creative ways – often taking advantage Trump is encouraging the decoupling of
international transactions are ultimately of America’s disproportionate financial the world’s two largest economies and
cleared through the U.S. financial system. leverage – to ensure that his adminis- the emergence of a bipolar world order
About 16 million payment orders transit tration’s measures impose maximum led by rival hegemons. Beyond frag-
daily through the Euro-American Society damage, regardless of the effects on third menting the trade and financial system
for Worldwide Interbank Financial parties. Likewise, Russia faces not only that has underpinned the global economy
Telecommunication (SWIFT) network. standard asset freezes and transaction for decades, the stage would be set for a
Thus, U.S. restrictions on capital flows blocks, but also limits on access to the devastating conflict.
have more far-reaching effects than any U.S. banking system and exclusion from
trade tariff. And yet imposing them procurement contracts. Paola Subacchi, Professor of International
requires only invoking the 1977 Inter- China, which is already struggling with Economics at the University of London’s
national Emergency Economic Powers declining exports, sluggish investment, Queen Mary Global Policy Institute, is the
Act (IEEPA), which allows the U.S. pres- weak consumption, and a growth slow- author of The People’s Money: How China is
ident to declare a national emergency down, apparently is next. The Trump Building a Global Currency.
and deploy a range of economic tools administration is reportedly considering
to respond to unusual or extraordinary restrictions on U.S. portfolio flows into Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
threats. China, including a ban on U.S. pension
The IEEPA has formed the legal basis funds from investing in Chinese capital
for many U.S. sanctions programs, with markets, delisting Chinese firms from
presidents using it largely to block trans- U.S. stock exchanges, and limiting their

38 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
By Matsiko Godwin Muhwezi
Museveni and balokole oldguard
Why the President ill-advised intercourse with the
kiwempe balokole old-guard portends an anticlimax

t is an open secret that the laws of kitole visas, this old guard has resorted than we know Mama Jonah, Musuuza,
Uganda and its attendant machinery and to kissing some military boots (yes, the Sebunya and whoever else somehow
political machinations are designed to people faulting Mr. Joseph Kabuleta for makes it to mainstream media mbozi za
give incumbents a head-start in election- kissing Prophet Elvis Mbonye’s shoes malwa these days.
eering. Any politician trying to campaign at have sold their souls to the state and are To realise who the opinion leaders of
this point will be faced with flying porcu- unapologetic about it). the Balokole movement are you do not
pine hair from some black book of this our They recently organised a sham high need theological training. Prophet Elvis
democrat banana republic. Dr. Kizza Besigye level meeting with the President, gath- Mbonye and his remnants; including the
cannot freely be hosted on talk radio, some ered hordes of well meaning people to Joseph Kabuleta some princes love to hate
people cannot perform at innocuous kidan- prop some numbers but the distraught and lock up, will galvanise more youth in
dali concerts, and guess what; we have a situation of the majority was evident. this country than the entire Balokole old-
government that is suddenly keen on regu- Ironically, the balokole old guard is a guard combined.
lating fashion! handful but still bicker over who poses Relatedly, it is bad enough that a person
Conversely, President Museveni is free with the president or shakes his hand; excommunicated from a religion in which
to sell his yellow brand across the country at least their father Judas had the unity he is supposed to be a priest is trusted to
in a plethora of activities. For argument’s of mind to convince his investors to pay galvanise diametrically opposed religious
sake, we will call the wealth creation full value upfront for his bounty. Poor views. If Fr. Lokodo was not good enough
campaigns, outlandish bye-election believers at Cricket Oval were left to fight to be accepted in the Catholic Church, I
endorsements, meet and greets, cameo over veggie samosas and pints of super wonder how he is expected to be trusted
appearances at silent majority Bazukulu dip before trekking the dusty hillock to by the Balokole.
concerts, occupational hazards and not downtown taxi park. Everybody knows that the Religious
political campaigning. Still, the real alert Balokole, who are no Faith Based Organisations policy is an
Where though is this approach ill-ad- longer Kiwempe, have maintained their instrument of religious oppression. For
vised? I would say the unholy alliance resolve against state religious patronage. one of the few educated people from the
between the President and the Balokole Either the President has lost touch with Eastern horn of Uganda, Lokodo’s skills
old-guard is a still-birth in an incubator. this demographic of Ugandans or does would be better employed elsewhere. I
If the President’s endearment to the not care that he is creating the most pas- wonder if the people he represents under-
Balokole community in the 80s and 90s sionate enemies yet! stand what job he does and how irrele-
was his supposed rescue and validation Bottomline, we in the Balokole commu- vant it is to their daily struggles.
of the Kiwempe movement, that ship has nity do not know those people anymore Sooner or later, this little endeavour
long sailed. In-fact it has docked a thou- will crumble faster than a house of cards.
sand miles away, beyond the mark set The Balokole old guard will run out of
by Christopher Columbus and Vasco da lies and hyperbole to solicit state favours
Gama. and accept the fact that they have become
These supposed Balokole leaders, never irrelevant in the gospel that propelled
a better place to use the notorious phrase them out of oblivion.
“self-styled”, traversing the country Everybody Sooner or later, all personal funds,
holding wealth creation crusades, are the knows that printed notes, oil money, taxpayer’s con-
worst allies for anyone seeking political
affinity with the Balokole community.
the Religious tributions, or wherever else these wealth
crusade gimmicks are being funded from,
First off, they are flat out liars; paradox Faith Based will become porous and we will all get
of paradoxes! Yes; they are pull-neck Organisations back to sense and sensibility. Basically,
choked in debt, inchoate building proj- we will all be fine, but will President
ects, unpaid media staff, and tax evasion policy is an Museveni? Some soundtrack by Sam
hide and seek. But guess what; this old instrument Smith in a James Bond movie has my con-
guard has the liquidity to dish out their cluding line!
benevolent change to Ugandans across of religious
the country. No, we are not aware of oppression The writer is a lawyer and author
the late night meetings in Kalangala,
Mukono, the Serena and Nakasero hill;
we are haplessly blind to brown enve-
lopes and Mpekonis financed by state
Ever since most of them ran out of
schemes to dupe American patronage and

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 39
By Ishmael Munene
Threat to academic freedom
The power of the purse in universities means authorities
are fundraisers not defenders of academic freedom

cademic freedom is the right en- engineering, medicine, and government. ability to teach and pass students, generate
joyed by university teachers to Subjects that encourage critical liberal revenue for the universities through contract
teach, research, and write in their thought – like literature, history, sociology grants, and undertake community outreach.
areas of expertise without fear of – were considered less crucial for develop- Their work is a routine of teaching, grading
retribution by institutional powers or polit- ment.Academic freedom was threatened and paperwork completion. This gives
ical authorities. further by politics more broadly. During this them little time for scholarship and critical
In universities, academic freedom is time the country was an authoritarian one- thought.
desirable because their work is to search for party state. Academic community activism The rise of part-time teaching staff as a
truth, transmit knowledge and, often, speak against this resulted in the arrest, imprison- cost-saving measure is also a threat to aca-
truth to power. Constraints on this freedom ment and exile of academics and campus demic freedom.
threaten the very essence of the university’s closures. Academics also censored them- These academics lack security of tenure,
purpose. selves in their teaching and writing. are poorly paid, teach excessively large
Fundamental to academic freedom is From mid-1990 to the present, threats to classes, and do not take part in university
autonomy: the ability of universities to make academic freedom have arisen from the governance. This makes them more com-
internal decisions independent of state con- rapid expansion of the higher education pliant with university and student demands
trol, or control by any outside agent. Gen- sector, which now operates as a market. on teaching and grading practices than aca-
erally, this means that academic freedom demics with tenure.
cannot be divorced from its financial base. Market forces Many also teach in multiple universities
There are 37 state universities in Kenya and About 20 years ago, the government cut which can compromise their institutional
23 private ones. The state subsidy to public university budgets as part of cost-saving loyalty and the quality of teaching. Aca-
universities has fallen dramatically. measures. It also liberalised the higher demic freedom is best protected when
For about 20 years, since the state cut its education sector by allowing private sector academics are united in the defence of their
budgets, Kenya’s universities have been actors to finance and develop universities. profession.
shaped by a drive for profit to cover oper- It also meant that public universities had to
ating costs. In 2011 private revenue – from generate revenue from the market place. The What is taught
streams like tuition fees, programme fees universities are expected to employ business Trying to fill funding gaps also affects
and contract research – actually exceeded operating models, observe a corporate gov- what is taught. Universities now prioritise
state subsidies in Kenya’s top five public uni- ernance ethos, compete, and sell goods and applied sciences, technological and business
versities. This commercialisation of learning services. There are now state universities programs due to high student demand and
means the role of university authorities is with an enrolment of about 539 749 students. perceived market needs. The basic sciences,
that of fundraisers and managers, rather This commercialisation of the university the foundation of applied sciences, and lib-
than leaders and defenders of academic poses a serious threat to academic freedom eral studies have less commercial value.
freedom. in public and private universities. Academics in applied disciplines also have
In addition to this, since the bulk of Universities are no longer primarily centres more access to research grants. This means
research funding is from international of knowledge discovery and transmission. they are able to generate more research
donors, the focus is on applied scientific They have turned knowledge into a com- revenues for universities than their counter-
research and multidisciplinary studies. modity. Their focus is less on the knowledge, parts in basic sciences and humanities. The
Basic sciences and humanities – the building growth and development of the student result is that academics are divided into two
blocks for critical thought and action – are but more on selling goods and services to a camps: those seen as crucial for the universi-
neglected. “consumer”: the fee-paying student. ty’s survival and those that are dispensible.
Academic staff have less power when it Disciplinary divisions run counter to soli-
Evolution of academic freedom comes to making decisions on curricula darity needed to defend academic freedom.
Kenya’s public universities have gone and teaching. These decisions are now Academic freedom must be a shared
through two eras which have both placed driven by what students want, rather than responsibility between academics and
constraints on academic freedom. teaching needs and university require- university administrators. While student
From 1963 to mid-1990 the state was the ments. For instance, universities now offer representation in governance is encouraged,
sole financier of the universities. It was also more diplomas and certificates (rather than academics should have most power and
dominant in the management of university degrees) in response to student demand. authority on matters related to teaching,
affairs. Academic freedom took a back seat. A new importance has also been attached research and student assessment. Admin-
In this post-independence era, university to student evaluation of teaching. When istrators must oversee finance and general
enrolment stood at 452 undergraduates in these evaluations are used to determine administration.
1963. It eventually rose to 5 454 undergradu- promotions, tenure and pay increase, they
ates and 1 383 postgraduates in 1983. can be used to penalise academics critical of
The institutions had a narrow focus: train university administrations. Ishmael Munene is Professor of Research,
people for the independent state. Emphasis Foundations & Higher Education, Northern
was on subjects that enhanced national Academic routine Arizona University
development. This included agriculture, Now, academic staff are evaluated on their Source: the conversation

40 Nov . 01 - 07 2019

Art X
Premier art fair
for the best and
the new in Africa

By Dominic Muwanguzi

he premier International Art

Fair, Art X Lagos, is in its fourth
season this year and is offering
wider-ranging packages of
interest; including a series of
curated projects, art talks and
live events intended for a diverse audience
of art collectors, art connoisseurs, art critics
and artists. The event is also a platform for
both established and emerging artists on the
continent and its Diaspora to showcase their
latest innovation. As such, major galleries
and museums across the African continent
exhibit the best in their collection to tap into nous expressionism where the artist adopts showcase of a diversity of technique, subject
the growing market for modern and contem- traditional artifacts or practices and values in matter and concept embodied within larger
porary art from Africa. their art to produce authentic and relevant framework of innovation. In this, the Fair
An array of exhibitors (art galleries and art. The artist this year featured in the Lon- ceases to be a platform for only selling the
museums) - from the perennial 18 to now 26 don 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair to best artworks or showcasing the best of the
- will occupy the booths at the festival. These underline his studio maturity and growing time, but a potential platform to critique art
will include Arthouse - The Space (Nigeria), prominence globally. from the continent and its Diaspora. The
Goodman Gallery (South Africa) and Galerie To represent a new breed of emerging art- benefit from such appraisal is that artists
Voss (Germany). ists, Afriart presents Andrew Arim (Uganda) and respectful art managers acquire varied
Notably, East Africa will be represented at the fair. Since 2018, Arim with his debut knowledge in art production and presen-
by Afriart Gallery (Kampala) and Circle Art solo show, `A Portrait of Power, Control tation, subsequently growing the local art
Gallery (Nairobi). This representation is and Authority’, has caused raptures in the market.
symbolic of the growing interest and value local and international art fora. His latest East Africa’s visibility at such international
in art from the East African region since the production builds on the success of the pre- forums is still limited but it is worth celebrat-
launch of the Circle Art Auction in 2013. vious series where the artist still emphasises ing this small victory for the featured artists
The art sale has since elicited continental technical competence and studio dexterity and galleries. This penetration into the very
and international attention for the artists (mystery and suspense) in his hyper realistic competitive art market will subsequently
that have featured in it including, Geoffrey paintings. This showcase in new talent is grow the local art scene and provide the
Mukasa and Peter Kamwathi. replicated in the Johannesburg Art Fair ( needed global attention for the artists. It is
In the 2019 edition of Art X Lagos festi- 2018 & 2019) where artists like J.B Sekubul- unlike in the past where such participation
val, Uganda’s seasoned artist Henry Mzili wa, Adonias Ocom and Sungi Mlegeya was almost impossible.
Mujunga- represented by Circle Art Gal- ((Afriart Gallery)have made outstanding
lery- will display his latest series of work in appearances. Art X Lagos takes place from 1st November- 03
a wider context of African Identity. Mzili The dichotomy of the established and November 2019 at the Civic Centre, in Victoria
is largely inspired by the concept of indige- budding artists in one space enables a Island, Lagos.

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 41
Posh weddings Gigantic asteroid heading to earth will arrive just before Christmas
banned Unfortunately, it’s a matter sidered so dangerous. At that
of time before we are hit by narrow distance, it’s feared a
No more excessive spending an asteroid and the European slight gravitational nudge could
on weddings; that is the new Space Agency recently found send it careering into humani-
law in Uzbekistan. It comes a space rock that could be on a ty’s homeworld. However, the
with other measures that have collision course with Earth. Cos- impact will only be powerful
prompted public anger and a mologists on the continent keep enough to cause deaths in a local
campaign. The new law oblig- and has a one in 385 chance of
a list of all the most dangerous area. ESA added 2019 SU3 to its
es wedding planners to notify ploughing into our planet on
space rocks – and they have ‘risk list’ 14 days ago. This data-
the local authorities in advance September 16, 2084. It is expect-
just added an object called 2019 base is ‘a catalogue of all objects
and cut back on length of cel- ed to come within 73,435 miles
SU3 to this dossier of doom. for which a non-zero impact
ebrations, number of guests, of Earth, which is why it’s con-
The asteroid is 14 metres wide probability has been detected’.
singers and rented cars. The
new regulations also apply to
birthdays and funerals and Taxis ban hugs and kisses on back seat Public servants to wear
come into force in January 2020.
The government says public
Some taxi drivers in the Tajik capital Dushanbe have had
enough of passengers kissing on the back seat, and have
clothes made in Kenya
pressure on families to host put up signs banning such displays of public affection. The It will now be mandatory for all civil
lavish festivities pushes them usual signs discouraging smoking, drinking and listen- servants in Kenya to wear locally made
into debt. President Shavkat ing to loud music have been joined by images of couples clothes every Friday following new gov-
Mirziyoyev criticised “shame- embracing. Public opinion is divided for and against the ernment’s directives effective Oct. 17. In a
less spending” on feasts, which drivers’ initiative in a country facing a clash between tradi- circular sent out to all ministries, the new
can cost $20,000 (Approx. Shs75 tional Muslim rules of decorum clash and a modern urban Solicitor General Ken Ogeto explained
million) in a country where environment. Some say taxi drivers should “just get on with the order was aimed at promoting local
monthly incomes rarely exceed their job” as public shows of affection are perfectly legal. textile industries in line with President
$300 (Approx. Shs1 million), But cabbies complain that some passengers go much fur- Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda.
and urged families to use the ther, and offer them money to turn a blind eye. “Beyond government, we must create
money to help those in need. demand for our own products by active-
His recommendation to cap the ly consuming those products ourselves,”
number of guests and singers Ogeto said. The idea was first mooted
fell on deaf ears, prompting by President Uhuru Kenyatta in June
the government to enforce the 2019. He noted there was need to create
curbs. “We need to find out demand for locally produced wears and
where people get the money for urged civil servants to embrace local
these lavish weddings, if they wears. The Big Four agenda is Uhuru’s
don’t earn much. It could be legacy development blue print which
illegal,” a leading pro-govern- entails manufacturing, food security,
ment MP suggested. affordable health care as well as housing.

Office work is terrible on `Quantum reading’ helps memorise

your body, scientists warn 100,000 words in five minutes?
Millions of office workers are at risk of suffering
Can you imagine read- as well as recite what they
major health problems; including hunched backs
ing hundreds of written have read, after a 72-hour
unless they make major changes immediately,
pages simply by rapidly class. It costs 269,000
experts have warned. To illustrate the danger, a
flipping through them for yuan (Approx.Shs140
lifesize model dubbed ‘Emma’ has been produced
a few minutes, sometimes million). According to
to indicate what will happen to people who con-
blindfolded? That’s what China Daily, the technique
tinue to batter their body for the next 20 years. The is that even if the text is
the Beijing Xinzhitong was allegedly developed
‘Emma’ model has a permanently bent back, vari- written in French, Ger-
Qiguang Education Tech- by Yumiko Tobitani, a
cose veins from poor blood flow, a rotund stomach, man, or English, it would
nology in Yancheng, Jiang- Japanese educator who
dry and red eyes from hours staring at a screen, be translated to your own
su province is allegedly also wrote a book on it.
sallow skin influenced by artificial light, hairy ears language and connects to
promising to teach under “When you flip the pages
and nose due to poor air quality and eczema caused images so that you under-
“quantum speed read- of the book, images start
by stress. She suffers strained eyed, sore back, and stand the book immedi-
ing”. The school targeted to appear that helps you
headaches. William Higham, a behavioural expert ately.” Most people are
students between ages understand its contents,”
who helped the develop the new model, recom- laughing at the gullible
10 and 16, promising to Yumiko Tobitani explains
mends improving sitting posture, taking regular parents who paid for such
make them able to read in a video presentation.
walking breaks and rearranging desk set-ups. courses.
100,000 words in minutes, “Another wonderful thing

42 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
Lexus drone points
By Agencies

t’s a car that comes with its own drone-
like valet to carry your luggage or bring

to future motoring
in the groceries.
And it has a glass roof that can project
an image of a star-fiiled sky at night, screen
videos or provide navigation assistance.
Luxury car maker Lexus has used the
46th Tokyo Motor Show to unveil its vision control screen while the rear-seats mould to four in-wheel motors, and Takashi Wata-
of future motoring and it’s made quite an fit the body shape of the passengers. nabe, the chief engineer on Lexus’s electric
impact. The LF-30 electric car is only a con- The LF-30 also uses artificial intelligence vehicle programme, told journalists, “At this
cept at this stage, but it points to the near to distinguish the voices of its passengers time, what we adopted in the concept car is
future for the company which is planning to to provide personalised information stored one of the specific examples for electrifica-
expand is offering of alternatively-powered onboard and adjusts elements of the interior tion in the future that we want to use. We
vehicles. environment, such as air temperature, audio want to develop in-wheel motors for use in
Lexus intends to “broaden its response settings, favourite navigation routes and electrified vehicles.”
to the needs of various regions around the can even make proposals for activities after In addition, the car has no visible
world” through the development of electric arrival. charging port - because Lexus is evaluating
vehicles using hybrid, plug-in hybrid, bat- The Lexus LF-30 is designed to preview how wireless charging can make EV own-
tery and fuel-cell technologies. how the Japanese manufacturer would take ership more ‘premium’ and luxurious by
By 2025, it will have electrified versions a bespoke electric car platform and turn it doing away with cables and ports. “In the
available for all models as it aims for sales of into a production model. future we want to enhance the convenience
electrified models to outpace those of con- It is dramatic-looking flagship model, of charging,” Watanabe said, “so we wanted
ventional petrol engine cars. with an overall length over five metres. It’s a contactless charging system that didn’t use
A key driving feature of the LF-30 is the not a direct concept linked to any produc- cables. We’ll hope to accelerate our develop-
four in-wheel motors which can provide for tion car, but rather a showcase to highlight ment so that we can achieve this contactless
rapid acceleration and a top speed of 200 the fact that Lexus’s first all-electric model charging system as soon as possible.”
km/h. They allow for precise electric motor - a conversion of an existing hybrid vehicle, And once the driving is over, the car
control providing instantaneous adjust- most likely - is due in 2020. deploys the Lexus Airporter drone support
ments to how the vehicle performs and The concept demonstrates further evolu- vehicle.
handles, something Lexus calls “posture tion of Lexus’s design language, incorporat- The Airporter allows its owners to escape
control”. ing the lengthy wheelbase and floor-mount- those mundane chores, such as carrying the
The system is also designed to be adap- ed battery that are common on bespoke EV bags, bringing autonomous motoring right
tive, adjusting to the skills and preferences platforms. to the doorstep.
of an individual driver. It also reveals two targets of Lexus’s long-
The driver’s cockpit features a gesture term electric car ambitions. The LF-30 has Source: Internet

Nov . 01 - 07 2019 43
global comment
By Yao Yang
Open secret of development economics
It is about taking the difficult but necessary steps
over the long term to achieve sustained growth

his year’s Nobel Memorial Prize fell below 20% of GDP before 1978. and convincing theories to explain the
in Economic Sciences recognises And after that, its national saving rate mechanism, the prevailing neoclassical
Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and increased in most of the years leading up Arrow-Debreu model cannot account for
Michael Kremer for their work to 2008, reaching a peak of 52% of GDP in increasing returns.
using randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in that year. Practically speaking, economic coor-
developmental studies. This year’s selection For a country to make full use of dination tends to require government
has elicited a broad array of reactions from domestic savings, it must develop its action. When the four East Asian Tigers
around the world, not least because RCTs own manufacturing capacity. As Lee (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea,
are a source of controversy among academic Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding leader, and Taiwan) attracted worldwide atten-
economists. To many in China, the Nobel famously observed: “No country has tion in the late 1980s, their rapid growth
Committee seems once again to have missed become a major economy without invited a lively debate about the proper
the Chinese development experience, which, becoming an industrial power.” But role of government in economic devel-
after all, had nothing to do with RCTs. building manufacturing capacity is hard: opment, giving rise to the notion of a
To be sure, some of this criticism it often requires a country to start with “developmental state.” But the 1997 Asian
amounts to sour grapes. The Nobel Prize “dirty jobs,” while encouraging tireless financial crisis raised serious doubts
has been awarded to only three Chinese entrepreneurship. about the Asian model, and development
nationals – for literature, medicine, and China has done both. It began with economics has since reverted to the neo-
peace – since its inception. Nonetheless, labour-intensive exports, and gradually classical paradigm.
China’s economic history offers important developed the most complete production In China’s case, government has played
lessons that today’s RCT-driven approach network in the world; and it now ranks an obvious role, but it should not be
to development research has missed. among the countries with the largest credited with all of the country’s success.
Researchers in the field seem to have number of entrepreneurs globally. Yet, Government intervention has proved
forgotten the wisdom imparted by the since the 1990s, very few development most effective when it has mirrored that
classical development economists of the economists have studied how countries of other East Asian economies: helping
1950s: economic development is about can industrialise and produce their own with the accumulation of production
taking the difficult but necessary steps to entrepreneurs. capacity and providing coordination
achieve sustained growth. Likewise, today’s development eco- when needed. It is unfortunate that Chi-
For example, increasing domestic sav- nomics has largely missed how soci- na’s economic success is so often viewed
ings is very difficult, but imperative. ety-wide coordination can capture scale as a harbinger of an entirely new develop-
Classical development economists such economies of production over time. While ment approach: “state capitalism.”
as Pei-Kang Chang, Roy F. Harrod, Evsey classical economists such as Paul Rosen- In any case, there is much that RCTs and
Domar, and Robert Solow saw that sav- stein-Rodan, Albert O. Hirschman, and contemporary development economics
ings are essential for jump-starting eco- Alexander Gerschenkron had systematic have missed. Experiments might help
nomic growth in a poor country. Their policymakers improve existing welfare
central insight was mostly intuitive: even programs or lay the foundation for new
subsistence farmers know that improving ones, but they cannot tell a poor country
one’s life in the future requires saving how to achieve sustained growth. As the
some money in the present, in order to For a country old Chinese saying goes, “Giving people
purchase another piece of land or better to make fishing nets is better than giving them
equipment with which to improve one’s fish.”
current plot. full use of There is no secret to China’s economic
But in the 1970s, savings from oil-rich
countries and Japan flooded global
domestic success. It has simply followed the advice
of classical economists, taking the difficult
financial markets, and gave rise to a new savings, it steps that are necessary for progress over
idea. Thenceforth, it was assumed that
developing countries could simply rely
must develop the long term. One doesn’t need an exper-
iment to identify those steps; they are the
on international borrowing to accumulate its own same for all developing economies, and
domestic capital. Despite the severe losses
suffered by the heaviest borrowers, par-
manufacturing they have been known for decades.

ticularly in Latin America, this idea has capacity Yao Yang is a professor at the National
lingered on. School of Development and China Center for
Yet for its part, China launched an effort Economic Research at Peking University.
to accumulate capital through domestic
saving starting in the early 1950s. Despite Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
being one of the world’s poorest coun-
tries, China’s national saving rate never

44 Nov . 01 - 07 2019
Stay Informed
Our online platforms have
limitless possibilities
The Independent magazine

Independent Publications Limited, Plot 82/84, Kanjokya Street, P. O. Box 3304, Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256-312-637-391/ 2/ 3/ 4 | Fax: +256-312-637-396 | E-mail:,, Website: