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Eyewitness 24

Eyewitness 24

Unmasking the hidden truth

75 Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) staff were arrested on Friday on suspicion of abetting tax evasion and bribery.

The move is the latest effort by KRA and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution in the fight against corruption.

“Investigations into the rackets have been in progress for the last four months with covert assistance provided by national law enforcement agencies to help in trailing money and communication,” a statement from KRA said.

The 75 suspects have not been charged and are being questioned, the statement added.

DPP Noordin Haji later released a statement saying a number of them are alleged to have colluded with certain individuals to evade payment of taxes and reduce tax liability.

Haji revealed that out of all the senior and middle level management officers under investigation, 62 of them are from the Domestic Taxes Department and 18 are from the Customs and Border Control Department.

With the dust settling down after the arrival of the two Bombardier CRJ900 planes, the question now is how the national carrier will avoid the past mistakes that led to its demise some 20 years ago.

The management of the revamped Uganda Airlines needs not to look very far for the best business model and corporate strategy to embrace if they’re to beat the odds and make Uganda Airlines profitable.

Uganda Airlines management can borrow a leaf from our very own National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), which has been sweeping global awards year in, year out as the best managed and profitable organization; not just in Africa but in the world.

Unsurprisingly, NWSC, which still maintains its status as the best performing Parastatal in Uganda, was last month announced winner of the prestigious “Utility Distinction Water Leader 2019” at a function held at the Natural History Museum in London.

In addition, the corporation was recognised for its efforts to turn around  the utility into  Africa’s most bankable water utility after securing the continent’s highest ever credit rating for the sector.

South Africa’s Global Credit Ratings Co assigned NWSC a long term national scale issuer rating of AA (UG) and a short term rating of A1+(UG).
Established in 2006 by Global Water Intelligence, the awards recognizes the most important achievements in the international water industry within several categories, and reward those initiatives in the water, wastewater and desalination sectors that are moving the industry forward through improved operating performance, innovative technology adoption and sustainable financial models.

This was the second time NWSC is receiving the Distinction Water Leaders Award, having won the same prestigious award in Paris 4 years back.
The NWSC Managing Director, Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha, speaking exclusively to Eyewitness24 attributed the award to the support from the Government of Uganda, the Board and committed staff at corporation and customers who support the utility by paying bills promptly.

“The award is in recognition of the work NWSC is doing in delivering services to our people. We are committed to 100 per cent service coverage in all the areas we operate in and we extended our service footprint from 27 towns to 240 towns in the last financial year,” he said
“We are aggressively extending our network to serve more people in the country. In addition, we working on water supply stabilization plans to address all water supply challenges in the network and large infrastructure service delivery projects aimed at improving access to clean safe water and sanitation services in Uganda,” said Eng. Mugisha

WHAT MAKES NWSC TICK
According to Dr. Mugisha, NWSC was operating in 23 towns five years back, and now it operates in more than 240 towns.
“Customer base has grown from 300,000 customers to now over 615, 0000 customers with a network length to a tune of 15,000kms,”he said.

“NWSC moved from 80kms of water mains extensions per year to now over 2000kms of water mains extensions per year and on top of that its assets grew from Shs650 billion to 1.75 trillion among others.”

Recently, NWSC launched the Service Coverage Acceleration programme, aimed at extending services to over 12,000 villages across Uganda by 2020.
In the #SCAP100 programme, NWSC plans to extend water services to more than 12,000 villages; install 140,000 new connections; install 20 000 public stand pipes; and by 2020, have more than 8,000kms of water mains extensions in place.
NWSC also has the largest sewage treatment plant in East and Central Africa with design capacity to treat 42 million litres of waste water every day and generate 630kw of power from biogas.
The plant which is located in Industrial Area at Wankoko, Old Port Bell Road on completion in a few months to come will extend up to 37kms of sewer lines to various parts of Kampala. It will also treat water from the heavily polluted Nakivubo Channel.

On the other hand, the corporation plans to build sewerage treatment plants in Nalukolongo and Kajjansi and its also piloting packaged sewage treatment technology in Fort Portal, Kisoro and other towns of operation to improve sanitation and health.

“The corporation is working to achieve 100% service coverage in all its areas of operation,” revealed Dr. Mugisha.

 NWCS TROPHY CABIN OVER FLOWING
In 2018, NWSC won the Digital Customer Experience by Utility brand and best Utility brand on social media awards at the 5th Digital Impact Awards Africa. The awards were meant to recognize companies that are changing the face of financial service delivery by using technological and digital innovation.
In the same year, the corporation bagged two awards for Best Digital Media Management Campaign and the prestigious People’s Choice award at the 7th edition Public Relations Association of Uganda Excellence Awards.
In 2017, NWSC also scooped two awards for “Best Government Agency on Social media and Best Customer Service” during the Digital Impact Awards


In October 2014, NWSC was named the year’s winner of the Golden Europe Award for Quality and Prestige which was created in Europe to recognise firms around the world which have distinguished themselves in provision of quality services.
The same year (2014) in August, NWSC won the Global Water Leaders Award in Paris and in May 2014, NSWC had been voted the best African water utility.

BY OUR REPORTER
 
Mary Busingye Karooro Okurut, the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister is in trouble yet again for allegedly defrauding the limping Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) to the tune of one billion shillings.
MPs of the parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) want Karooro Okurut to refund One billion shillings that  she allegedly received from the fraudulent sale of land on which UBC sits.
 
The COSASE Committee, chaired by the firebrand Kawempe South MP, Mubarak Munyagwa  has resolved to summon  Karooro Okurut and other directors with a Company called 'Extreme Innovations' fleeced through the fraudulent sale the land belonging to a Chinese investor.
A source that preferred anonymity told the EYEWITNESS that this is an old scandal that the committee wants to determine to its logical conclusion probably recommending for the censure of the minister for her role in the scandal. 
 
HOW IT STARTED  
In 2009, UBC leased a two-acre piece of land at Kibira Road for 49-years to a private company, Extreme Innovations Ltd, whose directors are Karooro and Margaret Muhanga, her fellow legislator for Burahya County in Kabarole district.
 
Eight months after the acquisition of the land, they allegedly sold it to a Chinese investor at $150,000. The purchase is said to have not followed procedures laid down by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act.
 
Under Section 309 of the Penal Code Act, any person who conspires with another by deceit or any fraudulent means to affect the market price of anything publicly sold, or to defraud the public or any person, whether a particular person or not, or to extort any property from any person, commits a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for three years.
 
At the time of the scandal, cabinet and the NRM caucus had just forced former Presidency Minister Kabakumba Masiko to resign in another scandal. Ms Kabakumba, who was also Minister in-charge of Kampala, resigned following allegations that she illegally used UBC equipment, including a transmitter which was being used at her Masindi-based Kings Broadcasting Service FM radio.
 
Karooro Okurut already has a file at the CID headquarters with the police having preferred the charge of conspiracy to defraud against her over the minister's role in the alleged fraudulent sale of Uganda Broadcasting Corporation land.
Over the years Karooro has been silent over the matter, while Margaret Muhanga, denies that they sold the land at one billion shillings.
 
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As the clock counts down the time until the 2021 general election; wild accusations, bickering, accusations, slander and other shallow acts of deceit emerge between insecure non performing incumbents and aspiring firebrand politicians of all sides of the politics divide.

A lot of educated members of the public are embarrassed with such low show of morals and ethics and are now shying away from reading or listening to such irresponsible and unethical rubbish.
 It really hurts when some politician you expect to be mature indulges in these lowly, shameful, despicable acts,simply because they feel it's they are entitled or  it’s their God given right to occupy some political seat forever.

At the age of 65 you would expect the good jjajja of Bushenyi, Mary Karooro Busingye to be way above selfish and childish politics but alas, the Jjajja has stooped so low to the extent of throwing around silly tantrums against a perceived political opponent.
For starters, The minister of general duties in the office of the Prime Minister, Hon Mary Karooro Busingye has been the woman Member of Parliament for Bushenyi  for  the last 15 years, having taken up the seat in 2004 after Bernadette Bigirwa died. This was before the end of the latter’s tenure in the 7th Parliament. She has since won the seat in 2006, 2011 and 2016, which make it three solid terms to date.

When I read an unsigned purported petition allegedly about “Abuse of Office and corruption National Water & Sewerage Cooperation” to the head of the Anti-corruption unit of State House, Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, I couldn't contain myself from laughing. The amateurism and the panic  of our Jjajja Karooro to make such idiotic concoctions and unsubstantiated allegations against a very well  managed  state parastatal is quite absurd.

The National Water & Sewerage Cooperation is currently under the stewardship of  Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha.
Dr. Eng. is coming under attack from the Minister for one simple reason; his wife Anne Katusiime Mugisha is nursing intentions to represent the people of Bushenyi as their Woman MP for Bushenyi district in 2021 on the NRM ticket.

For that reason, Karooro is now making these baseless lies and accusations strewn with such anger and fervent belief that the innocent public if not corrected is beginning to believe in them.
To many of us, such tactics of hitting below the belt are sickening and simply disgusting.
Most of the time, many of these unethical politicians like Mary Karooro  look at the public as fools who can be easily manipulated and twisted around their fingers with wild tales of exploits, nepotism and cronyism while justifying and glorifying in their bogus  deeds.

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Dr. Lawrence Muganga might not be one of the most renown scholars or academics in the world but he's doing the country proud through his contribution and work in the education sector.

Recently, he published a book titled; "You Can't Make Fish Climb Trees" which is a must read to anyone who values education especially teachers, education managers, technocrats, parents, students and other education stakeholders.

Ever since he published the book, he has had countless TV and Radio interviews in different parts of the world and when he visited Uganda, he had a significant number of interviews on NTV Uganda and other media outlets.

It is through the book and the numerous interviews that the Ugandan-born Doctor managed to scoop a deal worthy Shs 3.7 billion ($1m) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to have the book available to as many people across the world as possible - mainly in Africa.

According to Dr Muganga, Africa's biggest problem currently is the education system that focuses on cram work than practices and skills to help students face the challenges of the world that they live in.
He focuses on 'Authentic Learning' which means an education that prepares students for the real world by equipping them with real-life skills to face the challenges of now and the future.
 
When you read this book, it clearly demonstrates why Africa is still lagging behind other continents despite the vast mineral resources!
Why is it that every big project in Africa is being executed by the Chinese despite the engineers Africa produces annually;  the answer is very simple; schools produce theoretical graduates.
Schools in Africa still teach theoretical subjects as opposed to those in Asia, Europe, America and elsewhere who teach practical skills relevant to the current changing world.
It is in Africa where you find a young girl or boy interested in becoming a Doctor but she or he is being taught William Shakespeare, Napoleon and Hitler; of what relevance are they to his/her dream?

Now that African scholars are standing up to highlight the challenges keeping Africa behind and offering tangible solutions, we see a ray of hope for the African continent!

The book is available online on amazon.com, www.lawrencemuganga.com, books.friesenpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, chapters.indigo.ca, Amazon kindle, nook and kobo, iTunes and Google play.
In Uganda, the book is available in Aristoc Book Store and in Rwanda, it is available at Charisma Book Store.

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In an interview with CCN’s Robyn Curnow, Kyadondo East MP and People Power team leader Robert Kyagulanyi  said he is considering challenging President Museveni in 2021 Presidential elections.

Asked what next after leading Ugandans in several campaigns including social media tax, Bobi Wine said, "we realize Ugandans can’t be free unless they are freed themselves from military and lawless rule being championed by president Museveni, who has in power for 33 years. And seemingly not ready to give Ugandans any opportunity for peaceful transfer of power’’

Bobi wine added "we started a peaceful campaign recently calling on all Ugandans especially the youth who have been pathetic to elections to go ahead and register as voters as opposed to being supporters. Indeed, the response has been so huge, Wee believe by the time we get to elections in 2021, we will have as many Ugandans registered as voters. President Museveni is on the way out’’

The Financial Intelligence Authority has said it is going to start inspecting closely and thoroughly Bryan White and other people who splash money in public.

During a press conference on Tuesday, officials from the authority said they are going to collaborate with banks to identify their source of  income.

FIA is responsible for combating and preventing money laundering in the country and enforcing compliance by accountable persons with requirements of the Act.  The Authority was established by section 18 of the Anti-Money laundering Act, 2013, and it started operations in 2014.

 

Shahid Khan, Chairman of Fulham Football Club, today announced that he has appointed Claudio Ranieri as Manager of Fulham Football Club, replacing Slaviša Jokanović.

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