Kayla Namulondo

Kayla Namulondo

Victoria University Students Discuss Role Of Religion In Politics

 

Victoria University students heard that religious leaders are not doing what is enough to shape the political agenda of Uganda. The critical observation was reached at during a public dialogue which took place at Victoria University campus on Jinja Road in Kampala.

The public dialogue was organized together with Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) under the theme “Religion, Politics and National Identity: A Look at the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.” Former presidential candidate Maj Gen Benon Biraaro was chief guest and speaker.

Speaking at the dialogue, Maj Gen Biraaro said religious leader have not put democracy high on their agenda adding that churches and mosques are not democratic enough internally and lack the moral standards to guide this country.

Angelo Izama, a journalist while giving a key note address to students said religion has lost its influence on setting political agenda unlike in the past. “The religious institutions lost their moral power to have an influence in politics because bent low for politics,” Izama stated.

Maj Gen Biraaro who became a people’s darling because of his articulation of issues and having a good political plan for this country during the last two presidential debates speaking at Victoria University said morality has taken a back seat in politics. Morality is the loser, he emphasized.

“We need to go back to the drawing board. Let’s say we want to create a path were a loser will congratulate the winner. Let’s agree to a position when you lose and congratulate the winner,” Maj Gen Biraaro said in reference to the continued impasse between President Museveni and opposition leaders.

The retired soldier and a bush war hero, who also believes that democracy in Uganda has not failed but rather needs  to be given a chance to start, says he is looking at a national dialogue that will bring together Ugandans to find a political solution to the situation the country has found itself in.

“We need to give dialogue maximum time. If I go at it alone it won’t work. I am looking for men and women of integrity. The problem is that when I contact some of them, they ask me - do you think president Museveni will like it – I feel bad.” Maj Gen Biraaro says of his effort to put in place a national dialogue to make Uganda better politically.

While Maj Gen Biraaro and Izama would love to see religious leaders play a part in the politics of the country some students explained that this is not right citing the constitution which bars religious leaders from directly getting involved in the country’s politics.

Hellofood Nominated For Best Mobile App

 

Hellofood Uganda has been nominated in the 2016 Social Media Awards for Innovation and Best Mobile App. The awards will be held on the 30th March 2016 at Kampala Serena hotel. The Uganda Social Media Awards honor the best people and organizations on social media, culminating in a blockbuster annual ceremony in Uganda.

The awards recognize the most innovative companies on social media, most successful campaigns, best practices, and rewards those who positively impact society most through social media.

The Awards Jury members include captains of the industry, and these include Ng’endo Machu a digital strategist and copywriter, Richard Zulu, who is founder and lead at Outbox, Barbara Birungi a web designer, social entrepreneur and the founder of Women in technology Uganda(WITU), and last but not least Mr. Badru Ntege, a pioneer and seasoned internet and technology expert.

Mr. Ron Kawamara, Managing Director Hellofood Uganda said they are delighted to be selected among the best from the all the companies involved in social media in the country.

“Hellofood being Uganda’s leading online food delivery marketplace has revolutionized food delivery in the country. This has also made us a strong resource and authority on food and the culinary industry in Uganda, which information we circulate through social media and theaward winning app."

I ask the public to try the hellofood app and see for themselves – it is free on IOS, windows and Google Play. I’m confident they will find it very user-friendly and the most convenient way to order food to their doorstep, added Ron.

With Over 1,000 Species, Uganda Is A Bird Paradise

 

There are over 10, 000 bird species in the world according to BirdLife International and of those 1,000 species can be found in Uganda not counting the other species that have not been yet discovered. Birds are wondrous creatures that can be found anywhere in the world, but each location has species that are meant for the environment they are.

Uganda being in the tropics has a variety of bird species that can be viewed from anywhere, it does not matter if you are in Kampala where buildings are competing with the skyline, you will still hear birds chirping away in the distance singing songs so beautiful you need to pause to listen.

Apart from seeing the birds all over Kampala, there are so many other places that have rare birds all over Uganda that you can go see, here are our major bird reserve recommendations. Even better, Jovago has hotels in all the major bird watching areas in Uganda so all your hospitality needs within the parks and outside the reserves are well taken care of.

Entebbe Botanical Gardens;

Right off the Entebbe- Kampala highway in the heart of Entebbe you will find a beautifully landscaped area covered with trees till the lake and as you walk through the trees you will find a number of  vervet monkeys in the trees or just walking on the grounds. Carry binoculars to identify a number of the birds that are relative to the Ugandan environment but mostly you will find; Great Blue and Ross’s turacos.

Others are Klaas’s and Diederik Cuckoos , Woodland Kingfisher , Broad-billed Roller ,Black and white casqued hornbill and starling, African Fish eagle and Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Hadada Ibis and Hooded Vultures, Shikra , Lizard buzzard , Long-crested eagle , Grey kestrel, Black Crake, Blue-cheeked Bee eater, Angola swallow , winding and red faced cisticolas , Grey capped warbler, common wattle-eye , and Green- throated and scarlet-chested Sunbirds.  

Mabira Forest;

The thick forest cover along Kampala- Jinja highway is home to over 315 including unrecorded rare bird species throughout and offers a variable bird list to any bird enthusiast. Mabira forest is also the best place to start your bird tour in Uganda and while there you will be able to see species such as; Yellow White-eye, White-shouldered Titi and African Dusky Flycatcher.

Others are Hairy-breasted Barbet, Barn Swallow, Speckled Tinkerbird, Collared Sunbird, Little Green Sunbird, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Yellow-billed Kite (sighted in flight over the forest), Bocage Bush Shrike (Grey-green Bush-shrike), Hooded Vulture, Red-capped Robin Chat, Ashy Flycatcher, African Shrike Flycatcher, Grey-backed Camaroptera and Red-billed Paradise Flycatcher.

You can also see African Harrier Hawk, Great Blue Turaco, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Black-and-white Mannkin, Slender-billed Greenbul, Weyn's Weaver, White-throated Greenbul, Grey-headed Nigrofinch, Viellots Black Weaver, Red-chested Cuckoo, Buff-throated Apalis, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Jameson's Wattle-eye, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, African Blue Flycatcher among many others.

Bodongo Forest Reserve;

This expansive mixture of tropical tree species is a true bird paradise is one of Uganda’s biggest forest reserves with over 360 bird species with 22 species that can only be found in that very area such as; Puvel’s Illadopsis, Nahan’s Francolin, and the Chocolate–Backed Kingfisher, White-headed Saw-wing, White Wagtail and Black-eared Ground-Thrush.

Others are Little Crake, Yellow-billed Barbet, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, African Paradise Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Lemon-bellied Crombec, African Moustached Warbler, Green-backed Eremomela, Yellow-throated Greenbul, African Citril, African Golden-breasted Bunting, Black-crowned Waxbill. Be sure to even more endangered species all over the reserve. 

Mount Elgon

Mount Elgon is located in the eastern part of Uganda has thick forests with a up to 300 species. The park harbours 43 of the 144 species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome and 56 of the 88 species of Afrotropical highland biome that occur in Uganda with some isolated records of the near-threatened species, the Taita Falcon. Mount Elgon represents a range limit of some species or races that occur in the highlands of Kenya and northern Tanzania, such as Hunter’s Cisticola and Jackson's Francolin.

You can find the; Cape Robin, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Little Rock-Thrush, Northern Anteater C, Nightingale, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Mountain Yellow Warbler, African Reed Warbler, Little Rush Warbler, Upchers Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff, the Uganda and Brown Woodland Warblers, Green Hylia, White-browed Crombec, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, the Stout, Thrilling, and Rattling Cisticolas. Chances of seeing the Banded Prinia, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird among several others. 

Semuliki National Park;

This park has a large number of mostly Central African bird species that are not easily sighted in the rest of East Africa such as; Savanna biome, Piapiac, Red-throated Bee-eater,and Purple Glossy-starling, Blue Swallow, White-throated Blue Swallow, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Spotted Greenbul, White-starred Robin, Lowland Akalat, Red-throated Alethe and Fire-crested Alethe.

Others are Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Red-eyed Puffback, White-tailed Robin-Chat, Northern Bearded Scrub-Robin, Capped Wheatear, Common Stonechat, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Oberlaender Ground-Thrush, Grey Ground-Thrush, Little Grey Greenbul, Toro Olive Greenbul, Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-throated Nicator, Western Nicator, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Black Saw-wing, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Long-tailed Hawk. 

About Jovago

Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service with offices in Kampala (Uganda) Lagos (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya) and Dakar (Senegal) founded by Africa Internet Group and has MTN and Millicom as its investors. Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago.com has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.

 

Buganda Explains Mandatory Land Registration

 

Buganda Land Board recently launched a campaign aimed at registering all Title-holders on Kabaka’s land in a bid to regularize their tenancy.  Buganda Land Board Head of Legal Ndawula Barnabas in this interview explains the motives of the campaign. 

Please tell us what the campaign is all about the wetuukire campaign you launched recently.

Wetuukire’ is a campaign that is calling upon all persons currently in possession of land titles on Kabaka’s land, which were formerly issued by Uganda Land Commission and District Land Boards to regularize their tenancy with Buganda Land Board. The campaign is scheduled to start on March 1st and will end on April 30th 2016. 

What do you exactly mean by Kabaka’s land and what areas does it cover?

Kabaka’s land refers to all that land vested in the Kabaka of Buganda by virtue of his office and held in custody for the people of Buganda. Kabaka’s land includes:

  • The Kings official estate ‘Olusuku lwa Ssabasajja’ measuring 350 square miles covering the counties of Kyadondo, Busiiro, Kyagwe, including such areas as Munyonyo and Makindye and Buziga.
  • It also covers all land that was managed and controlled by the Buganda Land Board as a creature of the 1962 constitution of Uganda, which entails urban and peri-urban areas of municipalities and towns in Buganda kingdom
  • It also includes the Sazza and Gomboloola estates measuring 8 square miles and 49 acres respectively found in all districts of Buganda covering some parts of Mukono, Wakiso and Kampala and different areas within rural/up country districts in Buganda region. 

How is it that persons were able to obtain titles on Kabaka’s land in the first place?Individuals did get hold of titles on Kabaka’s land especially lease titles by way of interests created by Uganda Land Commission and the District Land Boards. 

Wasn’t the issuance of such titles by Uganda Land Commission and District Land Boards legally binding?

In light of the prevailing circumstances at the time, one may say that technically it was legal because it was state sanctioned. The Central Government under the Obote-I Republican constitution of 1967 confiscated Buganda Kingdom assets, of which land was the largest.

The 1967 constitution also created the Uganda Land Commission which was given the mandate to manage all public land, of which the confiscated Buganda Kingdom land was among.

This was further escalated by the 1975 Land Decree which declared all land to be public land and vested the same in the State to be held in trust for the people of Uganda and to be administered by the Uganda Land Commission. Further still, in 1998 District Land Boards were created and given further mandate to manage land within their respective districts. 

If the titles were legal then, what is the rationale behindBuganda Land Board’s regularization of tenancy on the same land now?

Buganda Land Board is regularizing tenancy on the land becausethe land was officially handed back to Kabaka’s Government. In 1993, the Government of Uganda through the Traditional Rulers Restitution of Assets and Properties Act Cap 247 entered various legally binding agreements with Buganda Kingdom culminating into a memorandum of understanding between themselves in 2013 under which various land titles and properties were officially returned to the Kabaka. 

Are there any repercussions that can affect tenants who haven’t had their titles validated by BLB?

Yes,it is vital for title holders to have their titles validated because Buganda Land Board is now the controlling authority of the land. As the authority, Buganda Land Board needs to know the tenants currently residing on the land. Once BLB has the knowledge of the tenancy and has authenticated the tenancy, the title holder will enjoy security of tenure guaranteed by BLB.

In addition, financial institutions and Commercial Banks are now accepting only those land titles on Kabaka’s land that have been validated by Buganda Land Board. Furthermore, all transactions to include the sale, exchange or donation of land with titles on Kabaka’s land are now rendered invalid by law, if not consented to by Buganda Land Board. 

Does this mean that Buganda Land Board wants to evict tenants off Kabaka’s land through the Wetuukire campaign?

‘Wetuukire’ campaign is an initiative by Buganda Land Board to ensure that all tenants on Kabaka’s land enjoy peaceful and economically sustainable use of the land they occupy. Buganda Land Board is therefore not chasing anyone off Kabaka’s land.

We are simply acting within our mandate and calling upon all tenants on Kabaka’s land that received land titles issued by Uganda Land Commission and District Land Boards to come  and regularize their land titles with Buganda Kingdom, this is both free hold and Lease titles.

In brief, are you saying that one cannot buy /sell or mortgage this land in a legally binding manner unless and until the same has been validated by BLB?

The simple answer to that is YES! It is therefore entirely to the benefit of the title holder to heed to our call to have their land title regularized at this point to avoid inconveniences in the future. All those that don’t comply will handled within the existing law.

 

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