Uganda: Nationwide analysis finds Gulu, Jinja, Kasese worst affected by hunger during lockdown (07.10.2020)

For the rest of the year, Gulu and Kasese are expected to remain at Crisis levels even while their markets are supplied with harvests.

KAMPALA, Uganda, October 7, 2020 – Ugandans in nine urban areas were at Crisis levels of food insecurity or worse for months leading to August because of negative impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown. The worst affected of were Gulu, Jinja and Kasese where nearly one in three people struggled to find nutritious food on a regular basis.

For the rest of the year, Gulu and Kasese are expected to remain at Crisis levels even while their markets are supplied with harvests.

These were some of the findings of the most comprehensive Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis conducted in Uganda to date, covering Kampala and other urban areas, the Karamoja region and refugee settlements and host communities for the first time.

The analysis was carried out by the Government of Uganda and three UN agencies and measures food insecurity from June through August and projected from September to December. It was informed in part by real-time data gathered by remote telephone monitoring of households in 13 urban areas, refugee hosting districts and Karamoja region in the northeast. It is the first time, real-time data informed the IPC on urban areas.

The IPC attributed Crisis food insecurity to the loss of livelihoods in the informal sector, tourism, the travel and events industry and the education sector, reduced remittances and reduced commercial networks due to the closure of borders.

Releasing the results of the analysis, the Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Eng. Hillary Onek, said that the Government is committed to ensuring food and nutrition security and well-being for all people in Uganda, including those in urban areas.

Speaking while releasing the results of the analysis, the Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Eng. Hillary Onek, said Government is committed to ensuring food and nutrition security and well-being for all people in the country, including those in urban areas.

“With these new findings, we now know, reliably, who the most food-insecure people are in Uganda, where they are and what we can do to save lives and preserve livelihoods. Such knowledge is critical before we take any decisions,” Mr Onek said.

“We thank our partners for working with us to come up with this very important analysis. We now must continue to work together to find solutions to the issues raised in the study,” Mr Onek added.

Currently, through a collaboration with the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the United Nations makes 10,000 calls a month to monitor food security in refugee areas, 12 urban areas and Karamoja region.

Using the real-time and other data, the IPC found that refugees in all 13 settlements in Uganda along with more than 1.3 million Ugandans in refugee-hosting districts and Karamoja region experienced Crisis or worse levels of hunger between June and August.

In Karamoja, all districts had worrying levels of malnutrition among young children and pregnant and nursing women, with malnutrition above emergency levels in Moroto and Napak.

The IPC attributed the high levels of food insecurity in refugee hosting districts and Karamoja to WFP’s ration cuts for refugees, the lockdown, floods and subsequent food losses, animal and human diseases, insecurity in some parts of Karamoja and reduced remittances as key contributors to the situation.

“Ration cuts for refugees will remain in place until we secure sufficient funding. To be able to provide full rations for refugees in the settlements until the end of 2020, WFP needs nearly US$15.3 million immediately,” said WFP Uganda Country Director, Mr El-Khidir Daloum.

FAO’s Deputy Representative, Ms Priya Gujadhur said “As part of the UN Uganda’s Emergency Appeal launched earlier this year, FAO has appealed for USD 7.8 million for food security, nutrition and livelihoods interventions. This will allow FAO to provide agricultural livelihood support and training in climate smart agricultural practices to help up to 10,000 of the most vulnerable households produce for their own consumption and diversify income sources through value chain development, thereby strengthening their resilience.”

Even with coming harvests this year, it is expected households will continue to struggle with food shortages partly because of lost incomes during the lockdown. All refugee settlements are expected to remain at Crisis level at best. Food security should improve in nine out of 12 worst-affected refugee-hosting districts. Malnutrition is expected to decline in two districts in Karamoja in the coming months.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the Ministry for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Kampala Capital City Authority, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and WFP participated in the IPC analysis. The European Union, World Bank and UK Aid funded the exercise

Keeping up with Kaguta S1E19: 9 million radios and running

The government plan for long-distance learning through the provision of the 9 million radios sets is on course, the money is available and those radios will be provided” Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (20.09.2020).

Yet again, the President, the marvel and the relic of the Bush-War is holding another National Speech on the matter of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus. To direct, deflect and buy time… as there are always underlining elements, which are either ditched or forgotten about. The President and his handlers doesn’t look at these or says it isn’t wise.

The President have hold these speeches on a semi-regular since the first lockdown in March. He has prolonged the journey and be careful to open up society. Something he continues, as the elections are getting closer and the usage of the pandemic seems more and more obvious. As he don’t want to open to much. As that would allow the opposition and others to gather more frequent in the time ahead.

Today, I will only digress into the favourite quotes of the evening, as the whole speech is to much. He will pledge, offer tokens, which will not be delivered. Just like the Village TVs and Food Delivery during the first lockdown stages….

Here is the best quotes of the evening:

We plan to distribute radios for distance learning but the parents might take them from the children to listen to disco” – Museveni

Long distance learning will continue. The rest of the world is learning online. This route of distance learning is a very good route, and we will consolidate it” – Museveni

I therefore call NRM members not to fight. Why do you fight? Suppose you lose a tooth? Fighting is useless. Write a letter and send to Tanga Odoi. We shall come and audit” – Museveni

Bars remain closed because most of them are in enclosed areas. But also because drunkards can’t control themselves, and would therefore struggle to comply with Covid-19 prevention guidelines” – Museveni

So, here we are… there are still curfews. Restrictions on bars, pubs and elsewhere. Churches can gather, but with a limited crowd. Also, sports can resume and play, but without any spectators. Gyms and casinos are closed still… months upon months with lockdown.

He can try to play cute and funny about things. However, his still serious about the pandemic. Using it as tools for the up-coming elections. This speech was no different. The promises of radios are re-used and it will be an empty pledge.

This is just another edition of the President. With new directives yet again. Also, defensive…but that is to expect. That he defends the NRM and the NRM Primaries. Even saying staying in line for voting isn’t called a gathering. That shows the foolish of the enterprise of this President.

President Museveni can talk… that’s why its no need to look through the whole speech. This is a little gist. Peace.

Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC): Court Appeal Judgement Overtaken by Events (08.09.2020)

Opinion: For 65 dollars more and you can enter the Republic…

It is amazing that a Republic like Uganda can charge $65 or 245,000 shillings on entering the Republic to be tested for COVID-19 or Coronavirus. This from a same government that has gotten grants upon grants to combat the disease. That is why this is infuriating.

Yes, no republic have boundless of funds or money to combat a global pandemic like this. While the government of Uganda have gotten support from all sort of foreign donors and multi-national organizations to beat it. Still, they sought to profit and cover their expenses on the ones arriving at Entebbe and the border points.

This means, the truckers, foreign aid workers, tourists and the ones who has the disease has to be tested, pay and then even quarantine somewhere. Certainly all of that costs and the quarantine “hostel” or “hotel” will not come for free either.

The “Cost Recovery Fee” is really showing the blatant disregard for the ones entering the Republic. Also the diaspora who are stranded and has to cough up funds to pay additional fees on entering. Like foreign students and maids abroad cannot afford this. Neither can the average truckers. This will either stop the testing or create a market for questionable behaviour. Since people cannot afford this.

Yes, the UN workers and Multi-National Organizations can afford doing this to support their projects. They will just allocate funds to expenses to secure their staff. However, the random and ordinary citizen cannot afford this. This is such a huge cost.

This is also spitting in the face of the donors and the ones offering grants to Uganda. As they are charging the same people on entering. Ensuring they are both offering grants and also getting fees to cover expenses. They are double paying for this.

Nobody is winning on this. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) just showing they have no sense and doesn’t want to cover their bases. They rather get additional funds. Then actually ensure the safety of the border points and see if they can trace the sources of the spread.

That they are doing it is insane. The state should know better and the donors should now ask for transparency and accountability over the COVID-19 Funds. Since, they are now clearly asking to be covered twice and sometimes by their own, but also by the same people who has used grants and donations to make it possible. Peace.

Opinion: Akena traded the UPC to become MP

James Akena, the son of Milton Obote. Who is now running for his second term as a Member of Parliament. Who is continuing to keep the agreement alive between Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and National Resistance Movement (NRM). The deal has clearly been sealed and been favourable for a few within the UPC.

The UPC have gained some MPs and also Cabinet Members. Some of them has left the UPC for the NRM. However, it would be hard to spot the difference at this point. Akena took over … for Otunnu and since then made a deal.

A deal that has secured Akena and few others. He has traded away UPC’s legacy over nothing. A coalition who has sealed the fate for some.

The UPC isn’t much, when the Party President is going for a slot as a incumbent MP. It is not like the UPC is supposed to be a brief-case party. Alas, the actions made and the way it operates. It is getting closer to that. The NRM is swallowing it and the relevance is becoming meaningless.

Especially, when there is no motivation to stand up to the Presidency. Sign a deal with the ruling regime. The regime who toppled the founder of the party and Obote II. The same party that this happened too.

This is the UPC of 2020. A party who has traded its soul for a quick fix. Instead of trying to act as a opposition and be a different breed. It instead became a crony and a lackey. A cheap trick for the President and his men.

Akena has traded away the glory. Signed of the legacy of his father. Just to become MP and live a lavish life on the public expense. He could stand for something. The man could have used the platform for change and make a difference. However, he chose the easy route … a road ahead, which was a simple pay-off.

Jimmy got paid and is happy to reconcile his fate as a lackey. A man who uses his party as a way of securing his life-style.

The UPC was used in a bargain. The President didn’t do much, but got his former enemy to its knees. That is how easy it was… just a few envelopes and titles. From there no stress, no issues, just a deal. That was it and how simple to get his way.

Akena becomes MP and the NRM has an ally. They don’t have to care or even sign them off. Just give them a few shillings. Then, they will remain silent and be buddies. Peace.

Uganda: Ministry of Finance, Planning & Economic Development – Media Statement on COVID 19 Cases (24.08.2020)

Opinion: I’m sorry Lumumba, I don’t believe you…

Yesterday, National Resistance Movement (NRM) Secretary General Justine Lumumba held a press conference ahead of delegation conference of the party and the road-map for the elections. This being in general campaigning and such.

On key point stood out to me and it was this one:

6. On the 7th August 2020, CEC sat to consider and approve the regulations that will be used during the Extraordinary Meeting of the 3rd National Conference, including the related NEC and CEC Meetings. Some have been mentioned above. Others include:

a). CEC directed that the Ministry of Health SOPs should seriously be observed to throughout the conduct of all political and electoral activities of the NRM. This shall be done in order to ensure that we protect the population from the risk of infection of the COVID-19 virus.

b). CEC directed that there should video recording of the entire Meetings of NEC and the National Conference, to ensure maximum transparency.

c). CEC has strongly emphasized that any form of bribery, utterance of any sectarian statements and use of inappropriate language, are unacceptable. Such practices are contrary to the values and principles of the NRM (please see Code of Conduct in the Fourth Schedule of the NRM Constitution), and the laws of Uganda. Any breach any shall have dire consequences. I therefore wish to call upon all NRM members to be law abiding, and to also strictly adhere to the MOH SOPs. The law enforcement officers are hereby called upon to ensure members comply with the law” (National Resistance Movement – ‘Media briefing by the Secretary General’ (9th august 2020).

As we see here, the highest organ of the ruling party have directed the party. A party which has flaunted, forgotten or not cared about the presidential directives and guidelines in concern to the spread of COVID-19. That is why the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Health have landed on strict guidelines, which made certain types of gathering illegal, this being processions, rallies and bigger meetings in general.

I doubt that Captain Mike Mukula, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, Evelyn Anite, Haruna Kasolo, Frank Tumwebaze or Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng will face the law. I really do, these people combined with the Flag-Bearers to be will be able to get away with rallies and processions. That has happen all across the Republic.

We know this, even sons-of-bush-warriors who is running for Parliament can have rallies. These are all okay in Up-Country. They are either doing supposed launches of government programs or internal party elections. However, these sort of activities would be blocked in a heart-beat with tear-gas, arrests and anti-riot police on the beckon-call of the RDCs. We know this treatment is only for the opposition, the NRM are above that and will not be touched.

That is why Mukula, Kamuntu, Anite, Kasolo, Tumwebaze and Aceng could all during the COVID-19 have rallies and similar types of activities. They can say, its something else, but all is bathed in yellow.

We could laugh about it and just say its a misfortunate affair. However, I don’t believe … the Police Force’s, ISO, CMI or the LDUs will crackdown on the NRM. That is not happening. It haven’t happen in the past neither in the near future. Not as long as the King stays the King.

These are untouchable. The SG of NRM said the right thing, but I don’t believe it. Until I see the bracelets and the charges done in Court. Which we will not see, because that will not be a good look ahead of the elections. Peace.

Opinion: The UPC is loosing [and Akena is a failure]

That James Akena, Obote’s son get a second term as the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) Presidency is neither shocking nor surpising. He secured the role and title ahead of the General Election in 2016. When there been talk that Museveni paid him 1 billion shillings and dispersed Olara Otunnu from the throne.

There was also a deal made between the UPC and the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Akena became the Lira Municipality MP and two other UPC MPs became part of the cabinet. This was UPC President wife, Betty Amongi (Oyam County South) and also Ruth Acheng became Ministers in the 10th Parliament.

Achieng have now switched camps and is running on a NRM ticket in Lira district. She has left UPC. As she got the most out of the political deal between UPC-NRM in 2016.

Now we got to wait what Akena and Amongi plans ahead for the Party. The status quo is cleared. However, the UPC isn’t in a sign of strength. It is not like Akena have the popularity or the reach to be viable for the masses. He got more than enough to get re-elected as MP in Lira Municipality.

Akena might think he has it, as his the next generation of UPC leader. The UPC only had 6 MPs in the 10 Parliament and the UPC blamed Otunnu fraction for this after t he polls. The party and the leadership have to use a lot of time to fight for Uganda House and the Milton Obote Foundation (MOF) nearly through the party out of it after the election in 2016. So, its not like UPC has gone from victory to victory.

In 2011 the UPC had 10 MPs and by 2016 when Akena ran the final campaign the party got 6 MPs. While they are losing main contenders who are going to the NRM like Achieng. There is little traction and the UPC becoming a fringe party.

One of the old horses who sold out. The UPC doesn’t have character under Akena. It is leaflet of a party, nearly a briefcase and that shouldn’t be the case for a historical party like this. The party wasn’t a one man ballad. Neither under Otunnu or anyone else. However, under Jimmy its been all him and they have campaigned with Museveni.

We don’t know what they will do ahead of 2021. Akena shouldn’t run for Presidency, he will get near nothing and be fruitcake compared to ones really standing.

Akena should support one of the opposition candidates to give them more hope. Jimmy got nothing to do in the big-league. Forgive me, but a man signing a deal with NRM in 2016 and letting people run in the cabinet. Isn’t really someone who stand up to them years later. He is already compromised and this time he cannot blame Bbosa or Otunnu for his own failure to run the operation.

Jimmy is a train-wreck and he has done it all on his own. Akena comes from a political family, but that doesn’t mean he is political savvy or has the ability to do things. Just like the daughters and sons of pastors isn’t all made to run churches either. They can sing in the choir, but cannot lead the public to salvation. Neither can Jimmy spark any flame or interests outside his nearest constituents.

Akena can push through this second term. It will be gloomy, but if he continues dealing with NRM. He will still be relevant and keep his career alive. Not because of his work or dedication, but because Museveni has bought an ally. Which cost him nearly nothing and he get the party as a price. One less competition.

Jimmy, you can act like your big, but that doesn’t make you big. It is all an imagination… It’s fiction. Peace.

Keeping up with Kaguta S1E18: The Documentary….

Well, so there is another one. Would think there have been enough speeches and national addresses on the matter. Just like always, because I don’t care to be to specific or care. I will only address the funniest quotes. Address them and let, bygones be bygones.

There will be seriously pledges that the President cannot commit too. Neither have infrastructure or funds to do. Like he has promised, masks, radios and Village TVs. However, little to non has been given. Only more Presidential Directives and Guidelines, which have to be explained the next day by various of ministries and parastatal’s who has do the bidding to fix.

Therefore, this edition will not be different from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Who was late to the party, but still delivering his common posho and calling it a day. Also, today he dropped a trailer or a documentary, where undated clips from South Africa and Brazil, where the situation on COVID-19 is dire and harder hitting than in the Republic. A nice scare tactic to ensure him reasons for extended lockdown and continue to block public gatherings.

Favourite Quotes of the Evening:

Like you’ve seen in the video, you notice that many of these countries have so many sick people but they don’t have beds. Because of the firm steps we took, that’s why we have few numbers, much less than beds” (Museveni, 21.07.2020)

We shall not accept anything that threatens life. That is why I involve our scientists in everything I do. We are fortunate to have good scientists. If you attack our scientists, I can tell you to go to hell” (Museveni, 21.07.2020).

Therefore salons shall open, provided they ensure masks for everybody and face shields for the operators, temperature guns, social distancing and no air conditioning” (Museveni, 21.07.2020).

For the bodas, the boda rider shall put on a helmet to cover the face and enclose the mask. The person behind shall have a mask. The rider should record every person he transports. They will start on the 27th of July” (Museveni, 21.07.2020).

With the schools, we have to make a decision before September because that is when the 3rd term is supposed to start. This is a big issue. We are going to put a lot of emphasis on distance learning like providing radios to learners” (Museveni, 21.07.2020).

For the churches, I have asked the scientists to continue consulting with them on how they can meet safely. So for now, let them remain closed” (Museveni, 21.07.2020).

The airport and border points will remain closed until the situation abroad settles down. I know we are losing a lot of money because of tourism, but life is better than wealth” (Museveni, 21.07.2020).

This selfishness is not acceptable and in some cases, we’ll have to confront it. If you don’t care about our country, we shall not care about you. you must care, if you don’t care about us, go to another country. Those threatening to riot, we shall crash you” (Museveni, 21.07.2020):

My 2 cents to this mess:

What we are really seeing is that his proud of all his measures. That the Republic been able to stagnate the Coronavirus. It has cost, but it has been able to stop it by the lockdown. That is why his proud after dropping a documentary about elsewhere today.

We are seeing his defending the scientists. The scientists that finds solutions for him and decisions for him. He follows them or if not his guiding them to make sense.

Today, he will struggle to defend. His opening salons and arcades with strings, also in a weeks time opening up for boda-boda’s. All with measures and needs for both the operators of boda boda’s and the salons. These are now able to open, however the airport and houses of worship is still closed. Like there can be no measures there to stop the spread and scientific reasons for so.

It seems that the President keeps the churches closed, because if that opens than rallies and campaigns can be legal and he wants to keep scientific elections by any means.

Also, he continued the promise of far distance learning and radios for the villages. That shows that the previous promise returns, but still no proof or plan to actually do it. The state has to make up stuff and explain that one.

There will be guidelines made tomorrow. Statement from various of ministries will come out too. To explain the new measures and everything. That is just how things are and some ministers are busy writing to print tomorrow. Peace.

Mr. 1986 won’t play fair for 2021 [and the Movement continues to hold rallies]

For the ones thinking social distancing, lockdown measures and COVID-19 isn’t a nice sideshow for a “Scientific” election. Sorry brother, you were wrong. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and its allies can campaign in the villages, towns, give away gear and even occupy churches for rallies.

That is now proven over the last two weeks. Several of ministers has been busy “campaigning” using government programs. Suddenly speaker Kadaga is in her district giving away masks. Minister of Justice Kamuntu holding rally in a church and in a yard. A State Minister for Health Aceng holding a rally in a sub-county in district, where she the flag-bearer in the election. Also, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Tumwebaze held a rally for SAGE too. Minister Kasolo have been holding rallies in the name “Emyooga” too. All of this is happening and we are supposed to believe this all part public official work.

However, the opposition can nearly participate on radio shows. Without the police officers coming barging in. Opposition parties cannot hold press conferences at their offices without being raided. Opposition parties cannot met activists at own party offices up-country without getting their MPs arrested. This is all things that happen in the same window of the Ministers holding rallies.

Meanwhile, we are supposed to cheer and joy for the Movements opportunity to campaign. They are using all tricks of the trade. While the policing of the opposition continues. The opposition cannot do anything without meeting police officers. This is a renewed Public Order Management Act (POMA) just under Presidential Guidelines of Lockdown during COVID-19. Which is supposed to be supported by scientists.

However, the same people who are running the guidelines are breeching it and not begging for mercy. The same folk who are closing venues, churches and public rallies are holding the exact same thing. This is really showing how blind-sided the Movement is.

They are thinking people are so stupid, that they are not understanding or grasping the issues at hand.

This is electioneering before the Elections Road Map and scientific measures that was put in. Therefore, the concern for spreading COVID-19 cannot be that big. When the Ministers are all up in people’s faces and holding rallies. While, they are closing everything else for everyone else. Unless, they are immortal and super-humans, the sort who cannot spread the virus nor be asymptomatic. These MPs and Ministers are so special, that they are above the law and above the fear of the coronavirus.

Everyone else has to be frightened and are in danger. They are not like these people and they are unique, they are special and true VIPs. These folks would usually have the ability to travel abroad for healing. The rest have to go to a hospital with lacking equipment, staff and enough ICU beds. That is just the mere reality.

If the state was worried about the COVID-19. Its high ranking officials wouldn’t campaign on a regular. If the state was holding free and fair elections. The opposition would be able to do internal party works and also prepare for 2021 in a fair manner. However, that is not true. The opposition cannot hold rallies or do their thing. Nevertheless, the Movement can do whatever it want.

That shows the injustice and impunity of the state. They are just misusing their power and reign. It is so obvious, that’s its foolish at best. Peace.