Latest News

A Sudanese national remanded for engaging in fake Gold

March 22, 2019 10:30 am

By Ruth Anderah.

Three people including a South Sudanese National Lawrence Malong and a Congolese National Mike Lota Okitalunyi have been further sent on remand at Luzira prison on charges relating to a botched Gold deal in which an Ethiopian businessman lost 1.9 million US dollars .

The 2 suspects are jointly charged with a Ugandan Businessman Thaddeus Zikusokawith charges of obtaining money from DessieWagnew by falsely pretending that they were selling to him 150kg of Gold whereas not.

Wagnew who resides in South Africa but flies into the country to follow his case has explained that he met Malong through a friend who told him that he had a Gold trading licence and that he can help him export Gold to Dubai and Hong-Kong markets in China.

That however in February 2017 after advancing Malong money to facilitate the transfer of 1 Kg of Gold, he informed him that it would be too expensive to ship only a few handful of Gold to Dubai and instead advised Wagnew to shoot up to 150kgs for which he also paid the 1.9m US dollars .

Wagnew says the group made him lose more money by flying  to Hong-Hong to wait for the Gold which they knew they never had and that is when he realised that he and been conned .

Now the case has been adjourned until 4th April 2019 for further hearing.

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Prime Minister's PS Guwatudde on spot over abuse of taxpayer’s money

March 22, 2019 9:30 am

By Moses Kyeyune.

mkyeyune@ug.nationmedia.com

Ms Christine Guwatudde, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister faces a sack, if Parliament adopts a report of the Public Accounts Committee, in which she is implicated for abuse of tax payers’ money.

The committee wants the accounting officer relieved of her duties.

At the core of the MPs’ concerns is the manner in which OPM accumulated arrears to a tune of shs 1.566 billion as of December 31, 2017, and failure to implement budget as approved by Parliament.

“It was observed that an amount of shs 1.566 bn was irregularly incurred as domestic arrears outside the approved estimates appropriated by Parliament,” reads the report in part.

The lawmakers noted an “unsustainable trend” of increase in the arrears from shs 86.48 million in 2015 to shs 797.40 in 2016 and 1.566 bn in 2017.

During the year under review, PAC notes, the Office of the Prime Minister cleared the 2016 million debt using funds diverted from other activities “posing a risk of diversion of funds for settling the obligations.”

The auditor general, Mr John Muwanga, in his earlier report cautioned that such accumulations endanger service delivery while attracting costs on litigation.

“Accruing domestic arrears without clearing previous domestic arrears is a violation of the law and may lead to nugatory expenditure in form of litigation costs in case suppliers sue the OPM for delayed payments,” the report reads.

PAC notes in their report that MsGuwatudde failed to plan and manage the activities as indicated in the policy statement of the vote based on the annual cash flow plan issued by the Secretary to Treasury.

The MPs further faulted the Permanent Secretary for failure to obtain supplementary funding to pay for the arrears which had not been budgeted for.

For the year ended June 30, 2017, OPM received 130.487 billion and not 156.851 billion that had been budgeted.

A review of the Office of the Prime Minister’s expenditures according to PAC, revea1ed that the entity charged wrong expenditure codes to the tune of shs 467.849 million.

“Mischarges undermine the importance of the budgeting process as well as the intentions of the appropriating authority and lead to financial misreporting,” reads the report.

It is upon this observation that the Mps concluded, MsGuwatudde be relieved of her duties, on grounds that “a mischarge constitutes and offence” punishable by sacking under section 79 (1)(q) of the Public Finance management Act, 2015.

The committee further established that the OPM continues to operate without a National policy for Disaster preparedness and management since 2011.

They blamed this on “laxity by the Accounting Officer (MsGuwatudde) to have the policy document in place which may curtail the smooth operations of the disaster preparedness and management department mission to mitigate disasters affecting the country such as drought, floods, landslides, and crop and animal diseases.”

The committee has asked OPM to fast track the approval of the policy.

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PAC wants Kagole Kivumbi sacked over misappropriation

March 22, 2019 9:00 am

By Moses Kyeyune.

mkyeyune@ug.nationmedia.com

The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has recommended for the sacking of Mr Kagole Kivumbi as Secretary to the Judicial Service Commission over alleged misappropriation of funds.

The committee chaired by Soroti Woman MP Angeline Osegge, noted in its report on the audit inquiry of 2016/17 that Mr Kivumbi diverted funds from actual budget allocations.

According to the report, whereas the commission received 3.356 bn (99.6%) of the budgeted 3.374 bn, a number of planned outputs were not implemented, constraining service delivery and the purpose of budgeting and budgetary controls.

MrKivumbi is said to have attributed the diversion of funds to ‘urgent needs’ within the Commission, when he appeared before PAC last year.

“The Accounting Officer (MrKivumbi) responded that the under performance was due to reallocation of funds from Barazas to cater for recruitment activities, reallocation of funds from desk sets to buy furniture for the new members of the Commission and under release of Funds by the Ministry,” reads the report in part.

The report adds that, “this practice undermines the importance of the budgeting process and results into financial misreporting.”

The Public Finance Management Act under Section 79 (1) (q) provides that a mischarge is irregular and constitutes an offence.

As a sanction, the committee has recommended for MrKivumbi to be sacked.

“The Accounting officer should be relieved of his/her duties and should never be re-appointed in accordance with Section 79 (1) (q), 79 (2) and 80,” the report reads.

The committee further observed that that the budget process was not streamlined to allow sufficient funds to each account and that “budget controls were adamantly not adhered to such as seeking authority for any reallocation.”

As a stop gap measure, the committee has recommended for the streamlining of the budget process to ensure that sufficient funds are allocated to each account.

The lawmakers also want accounting officers to ensure strict adherence of budget controls, which include seeking authority for resource appropriation from Parliament.

The committee also raised concern over the delayed disposal of cases within the complaints management system, leaving the case backlog at 614 at the time of writing the report.

However, the auditor general, Mr John Muwanga, in his new audit report of 2018 highlighted the continued existence of such backlogs.

The report also noted a number of unimplemented activities over payment of pension worth shs 30.8 million and low absorption of funds, resulting into an unspent balance of Shs 995 million.

Parliament is yet to debate the report.

Early this year, the deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, said that delayed handling of PAC reports has created room for accounting officers to escape justice.

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Broadcasters ask government to remove taxes on production equipment

March 22, 2019 8:00 am

By Damali Mukhaye.

Broadcasters have asked government to reduce or remove taxes on production equipment if they are to promote local content.

The call follows an appeal from the executive director of Uganda communication commission Godfrey Mutabazi who asked all broadcasters to implement the 70% local content rather than promoting the international content as it is witnessed during the meeting between the commission and broadcasters.

Mutabazi says that most local televisions are promoting Chinese telenovelas while the local drama and movies are given little time.

However the chairperson of the national association of broadcasters Kin Karisa says that the cost of producing local content like drama is very costly due to the high costs imposed on production equipment.

It is from this that he called upon government to make the equipment cheaper.

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Nigerian Singer Burna Boy arrives in Uganda ahead of concert

March 21, 2019 3:22 pm

By Lawrence Ogwal.

Burna Boy (real name Damini Ogulu) who is slated to perform at a concert on Friday March 22nd, has arrived in the country. The plane he was in touched down at around 12:30pm at Entebbe Airport. The singer will headline a concert at Sheraton Hotel’s Gardens along with Ugandan singers Sheebah, Irene Ntale and Vinka on the show dubbed Burna Boy KLA Experience.

This will be the second time Burna Boy is performing in Uganda, after he performed at the Mega Fest event at Namboole Stadium in 2014. There will be a meet and greet event this evening at Former Pyramids located on Yusuf Lule Road. Entrance to the meet and greet will be Shs 100,000.

The main concert tomorrow will also go for Shs100,000 VIP and Shs50,000 ordinary. Burna Boy has been performing in different African countries in what he calls  the African Giant Tour. However, his show tomorrow is not part of that tour. Speaking to the press at Entebbe International Airport, the artiste says he cannot wait to perform in Uganda again. “Ugandan people have the vibe that I want and I promise them that tomorrow will be a movie, let them all come for the Burna Boy KLA Experience,” he said.

Some of his popular songs include On The LowGbonaYeMiss You BadSekkle DownGiddemKilling Dem and Gbesile, a song he did with Navio among other songs.

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Manager Jeff Kiwa - 1 billion for the Sheebah / Cindy battle

March 21, 2019 2:42 pm

Sheebah Karungi’s manager Jeff Kiwa has assured Cindy Sanyu, that if there is no money, amounting to Shs 1 billion, then there will be no battle between her and Queen Sheebah.

This has stemmed from a current cat fight going on between the two artistes over who is better musically.

Yesterday, Jeff went on his Instagram account named Born So Lucky, posted a video of Sheebah in the studio recording a song and captioned it “No Billion, No Battle”.

The exchange between the two artistes has been going on for some time. Sheebah recently said she cannot have a music battle with Cindy as she is a feminist who will not take part in such an event. However, in the interview on Spark TV’s Livewire show, Sheebah remarked that Cindy has not built herself a house despite spending so many years in the music industry, compared to Sheebah who has done so. Cindy clapped back by saying that Sheebah and many other female artistes signed to record labels, are dummies who have no say on the kind of music they release.

“We are not at the same level. Sheebah is a great artiste, she is very entertaining. She just needs a little more practice and then we can have a battle which is fair because it wouldn’t be fair to put me on a stage with Sheebah right now,” Cindy said during UBC TV’s Horizon Vibe show.

Jeff Kiwa has been Sheebah Karungi’s manager ever since her break out song titled Ice Cream. The two have come a long way and he has seen Sheebah rise to the top. She has also staged two major concerts at Hotel Africana.