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.

World Food Programme (WFP) expands assistance to families struggling in flood-devastated regions of Sudan (17.09.2020)

The flooding is the worst Sudan has seen in nearly a century.

KHARTOUM, Sudan, September 17, 2020 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is scaling up its emergency food assistance to reach nearly 160,000 people hit by devastating floods that have affected nine states of Sudan.

“Rains and floods have been much worse than anyone could have anticipated, causing a national disaster,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Sudan, Hameed Nuru ”People have lost their homes, farmlands, schools and loved ones. Some of these people have lost everything.”

The flooding is the worst Sudan has seen in nearly a century. According to the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission, 650,000 people have been affected since the start of the rains in mid-July.

WFP provided a first round of emergency food assistance to 7,200 people and distributions for 40,000 people are currently ongoing.  “WFP is working tirelessly with the Government of Sudan and partners to get food out to the affected people. Together, we are trying to scale up the number of people reached every day,” he added.

WFP is planning to distribute two-week rations to flood-affected people in Khartoum, East and North Darfur, White Nile, North and West Kordofan, Red Sea, Sennar, and Kassala. As more assessments are underway, the number of flood-affected people requiring food assistance is likely to increase.

With the heavy rains making access to affected areas difficult, WFP has facilitated rapid needs assessments and delivery of assistance using the WFP-managed UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS). Since the start of flood season, WFP has participated in some 20 assessment missions to guide interventions and identify people who are most in need. WFP has transported three metric tons of food supplies provided by the government to flood-affected people in Bout town in Blue Nile state.

The devastating floods come at a time when hunger levels remain alarmingly high in Sudan with increased and protracted displacement, economic decline and inflation, and high food price hikes, exacerbated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, WFP continues to provide emergency food assistance to ensure critical support reach the people in need.

“WFP is also working to implement all necessary precautions during distributions to minimize the risk of contacting or spreading COVID-19 and ensure the safety of staff and the people we serve,” Nuru said.

WFP’s flood response to date has been made possible by the generosity of donors, including German Federal Foreign Office, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office, and the United States Agency for International Development.

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

African Union (AU): Press Release on Sudan (04.09.2020)

Sudan: UN agencies support flood response in Sudan but warn aid stocks ‘rapidly’ depleting (02.09.2020)

Across Sudan, some 37,000 homes were destroyed in the floods, forcing families to seek shelter with relatives and host communities.

NEW YORK, United States of America, September 2, 2020 – The UN and its partners are supporting the Sudanese Government as it responds to recent severe flooding, which has killed 90 people and affected 380,000 others, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, said on Tuesday.

The flooding was triggered by heavy seasonal rains, mainly in neighbouring Ethiopia, which caused the Nile River to rise to nearly 17.5 metres (roughly 57 feet) this past weekend: the highest level in 100 years, according to the authorities.

OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said the government has declared a state of emergency in Khartoum state alone, where more than 21,000 people have been affected by flooding since the end of July.

Homes destroyed, water contaminated

Across Sudan, some 37,000 homes were destroyed in the floods, forcing families to seek shelter with relatives and host communities. Another 39,000 houses have been damaged, along with 34 schools and nearly 2,700 health facilities.

“Access to clean water – critical in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic – has also been affected”, said Mr. Laerke, speaking from Geneva. “Some 2,000 water sources are contaminated or non-functional, according to initial assessments.”

The flooding has also impacted an estimated 125,000 refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), the UN refugee agency, UNHCR added.

Spokesperson Shabia Mantoo said rains have been particularly heavy in North Darfur state, leaving an estimated 35,000 IDPs, locals and refugees in need of help, where 15 people have died and a further 23 have gone missing.

“In Khartoum’s ‘Open Areas’ on the outskirts of the city, many South Sudanese refugees were living in make-shift homes and are in dire need of shelter,” she said.

“UNHCR is deeply saddened at the death of an 18-month old refugee girl who drowned in a collapsed latrine.”

Stockpiles rapidly dwindling

The UN and humanitarian partners are supporting national response with emergency shelter and household supplies, together with water, sanitation and hygiene assistance, food, health services and vector control.

Mr. Laerke reported that they were able to respond quickly as supplies to meet the needs of 250,000 people had been pre-positioned before the rains started.

However, with stocks “being depleted rapidly”, OCHA is calling for wider support from the international community as a $1.6 billion humanitarian plan for Sudan is less than 44 per cent funded.

IGAD Commends the Sudan Peace Agreement (01.09.2020)

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.

Sudan: Violence in Eastern Sudan – Kassala and Red Sea – Flash Update No. 2 (27.08.2020)

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)