Graduates Get Employment Tips

There is always that desire to get your dream job right after university. Actually many young people refuse to take on lesser jobs waiting for the big dream job to come their way. However Rajiv Ruparelia, the promoter of Victoria University thinks otherwise.

While speaking at the second graduation of Victoria University at Kabira Country Club last week said this could be a wrong approach most times to many graduates. Rajiv, a youthful successful entrepreneur, advised that starting at the lower ranks of a working environment prepares you to grow professionally.

“The mistake many of you make is that you want to be Managing Directors after university, no, this is wrong. Start at the lower ranks and grow within the system. This prepares you to excel and gives you experience.” Rajiv, also Managing Director of Ruparelia Group said. 

Twenty three students walked away with degrees in different disciplines while two took home diplomas. The university acting Vice Chancellor Godfrey Nyakana said about 150 students earned certificates in different courses but most notably in oil and gas management.

Rajiv Ruparelia, the promoter of Victoria University

Three students earned a bachelor of nursing science, five students graduated with bachelor of midwifery science, six students were awarded a bachelor of public health and one student got a bachelor of computer science.

Also, one student got a bachelor of IT, two students got a bachelor of banking and finance, and other two students got a bachelor of business administration while one student each got a diploma in social work and social administration and business information systems.

The Chancellor of Victoria University in Kampala Dr. Martin Aliker called on graduating students of Victoria University to add value to society by being compassionate.  

“I want to take this opportunity to thank parents who have come here for supporting and funding the education of your children. To the students go out and add value to society. Be compassionate.” Dr Aliker counseled graduates at the graduation ceremony.

Joseph Nyakaana, the university vice chancellor said the University currently boosts of 199 students undertaking studies in the four faculties. He advised graduates not to sit on their laurels because they have graduated. He noted that graduating is no achievement compared to what awaits them in the employment world.

 

 

 

 

KISU – The Global Village School In Uganda

The culture diversity at Kampala International School Uganda also known as KISU is not one you can find in many places. The school was established in 1993 as Kabira International School with a population less than 70 students is home to students from 55 nationalities. These are students of different age groups.

The school which sits on 14 acres of land can easily pass as the best international school in the country. It has some of the best classroom teaching and learning tools and facilities like science labs, computer labs, practice music rooms, three performance areas, and indoor gym, outdoor basketball court, a 25m eight-lane competition pool, libraries, five acres of playing fields and smart boards in most classrooms.

English national curriculum

The school adopted the English National Curriculum for the Primary School through Year-9 in the Secondary School. After that, the school management says, students study for the internationally recognised Cambridge IGCSE (examined in Y11) and IB Diploma (examined in Y13).

Steve Lang, the school director, says the curriculum ensures that rigorous educational standards are maintained and that progression of educational experience is monitored. The IB Diploma is generally regarded as the university entrance programme of choice often preferred above national requirements. “The curriculum has been adapted to reflect the international diversity of our school community and its location in Uganda,” said Lang.

The school manager note that academic excellence is achieved through high expectations, strong motivation, a challenging curriculum, constant encouragement and excellent teaching. The school offers a friendly and imaginative environment where students are encouraged to discover and develop individual talents, whether they are intellectual, creative or sporting.

Lang reveals that a good education is about far more than what takes place in the classroom explaining that it is about guiding the whole person towards his or her full potential.

“A great school helps students to develop qualities as learners and leaders that will serve them well throughout their adult lives such as resilience, empathy, creativity, commitment, adaptability, self-confidence and humility,”

“A great school helps students to acquire transferable skills like teamwork, analysis, problem-solving, effective communication, evaluation, active listening, reflection and research; and it helps students to shape and consolidate their values such as tolerance, integrity, altruism and hard work. KISU is such a school,”

Celebrating culture richness

Asked in an interview if managing hundreds of children from different cultural background is not a hard task, Lang says no, that it is very easy. “If you can move around say at play time or lunch time you will very commonly see different friendship group made of kids from different continents. We are completely color blind and completely inclusive about each other’s cultures,”

Lang, who has been at the school for slightly over a year, says children see the cultural diversity as ‘a positive’ and an opportunity ‘to learn about other different parts of the world’. “And you know we talk of a global village, which better school to go than this one with this kind of cultural richness to prepare you for an experience in a global village,”

One of the programs at the school to harness this cultural diversity is putting in place what they call culture international day were classes are closed and students of different age groups miggle to interact and know about each other’s culture, nationality and make friends.

“This is a day were we celebrate our multiculturalism and tremendous variety that we have. At KISU, we have about 55 nationalities represented in our student body, 12 % of our student body is Ugandan and the rest comes from the rest of the world and to us it is a source of great joy and richness. We are enriched by these cultures and we learn about each other.

So we take off a day were normal lessons are cancelled, it is the last day of second term and we dress the way you are seeing, in our cultural attires (national dress), we bring our national food. We partake in each other’s different cultural activities particularly things that suit children and we enjoy each other.

But with this diversity comes with challenges like language barrier. KISU is a predominantly English speaking school but it has a program where students who come with no knowledge of the English language are trained by professionals called English as a national language teachers up to a level where they can participate in all the learning at the school as soon as possible.

The teaching is cosmopolitan and Lang says most teachers have a teaching background in the UK or with the UK systems. While many teachers come the UK, many are Ugandans, Russians, American, French and from other parts of the world.

 

 

Ugandans Need To Do Better In Promoting Uganda

As the International Associations of Athletics Federation World Cross-country event that was held over the weekend unfolded, there was so much noise about what could have been done to promote it even better than we did. The event falls under the sports tourism section that Uganda neglects when it comes to promoting what the country offers.

An event of such heavy magnitude brings so many nations in one country with some of the biggest media houses camping in the city to get ready for the final day. Away from covering the city with Ugandan flags like we do during independence week, what more could have been done?

Publicity
Maybe most people do not understand how PR is for events and marketing, but without it most campaigns are not relatable to the masses. Well planned PR strategies give a human face to whatever you try to market. Sheilah Nduhukire, a journalist with NTV Uganda, remarked on Saturday how it is important to not assume the media is an extension of your PR department. If you do not make effort to reach out and give them a storyline, how are they going to help you create a big cloud of publicity? You do not put up banners, billboards and street pole advertising for a big event just days to the d-day.

Journalists are there to carry 10% of your marketing but you are supposed to do the heavy lifting. The PR plans and how to execute them should be something worked on for months before the campaign kick-starts. Do not expect journalists to be there ready to take whatever you throw at them, they have many companies and issues in the country to cover.

Teamwork
The whispers and meeting about the IAAF event started at around December 2016, although the actual planning started in January 2017. Yet, it didn't look as well planned. According to someone involved in the planning, the event was a battle of wills of who of the major bodies is above the other when it comes to execution. With cards held close to their own offices, how do you expect to jointly use a huge event to promote the country when everyone wants to take individual credit.

Actual Branding
When you looked at the track where the athletes were running from, all you saw were placards of the Ministry of Education And Sports, Tourism Uganda to mention but a few. Everyone knows that sports fall under the Ministry of education and sports so why not put up well branded pictures of what the sector has done to promote sports in the country? Happy children running track in a stadium or maybe the cranes playing ball? Something that speaks work and the brand the ministry is supposed to advertise. Instead of Ugandan Tourism banners, why not throw in beautiful pictures of the scenery. The commentator subtly promoted Uganda more than most Ugandans did at the event. This is evident in most of the international events that Uganda hosts, we have not become creative with branding yet we have so much to play with.

Artistry
We usually use these huge events to promote our vast cultures with the Ndere Troupe always ready to show some Kiganda/ Kigisu or Kikiga dance for the guests; but why not go even further by promoting the other artistry? The ushers could have been dressed in something sporty made by one of our designers in the country. If you had looked closely you could have noticed the beautiful ladies handing over medals to the guests were dressed in gorgeous heels. Why weren't those ladies wearing some of those well made heels with Ugandan fabrics on them? Some of these small things people pick up on when looking at the TV when the event is dragging.

Planned Tours
Yes we are very good at showing people around our country but we need to do a well planned tour for the visitors. When most people travel to new countries, some of the first things they want to try out is the local cuisine. Yet, the athletes were being sent fast food restaurants when the local food ones were just in close proximity.
If the athletes can't make it to the countryside to see the animals plus the lush greenery of the hills. Bring it to them, all those beautiful visuals of the country would have worked well around the track.

History
How can a country that has such a rich history neglect cataloguing and taking care of it. The Uganda museum is now a place you don't want to sit in for longer than 20 minutes. Most of the beautiful relics are dusty and left to rot while the toilets leave you wishing you didn't drink all that water. We can do better than just blankets and wine at the Uganda Museum. It should be part of our most valued sites in the country, it should be respected and protected.

That being said, congratulations to Jacob Kiplimo for that Gold win. You made history.

 

Credit: travel.jumia.com

 

Foodie-cation Guide To The World

A foodie is any person that loves food. Everyone in the world qualifies to be one, but an actual foodie is that who will go the extra mile for good food as well as willing to be adventurous with the tastes of the world.

There are countries whose cuisines are a delight to the tongue, so what better way than to travel the world and discover the delectable goodness it offers?

China

There are very few countries you go to and do not find a Chinese restaurant or take- out place. The Chinese have a cuisine that has registered its place on the foodie map. Visit China and let your taste buds tour the big provinces from the hot spice of the Sichuan & Hunan cuisines to the light fresh sea and mountain cuisines of the Fujian province. China is an adventure waiting to unfold.

Jamaica

You might know Jamaica as the headliner for reggae, dancehall, and ragga music or the home of legendary musician Bob Marley; but is also one of the best destinations for foodies. The best way to experience Jamaican food is visiting the country and visiting some of their best local food eateries. The hot and spicy flavors in jerk chicken or pork, commonly known as the “national dish.” Or maybe try the spicy seafood platters, Ackee & Saltfish made plus delectable sauces made with local fruits from the island.

Nigeria

Probably one of the most famous African countries and for very many good reasons, one of them being the good cuisines. With Nigeria, food is an extra hot adventure and it is not just about fufu and jollof rice. Start with the delicious edikagikong, add some agbono, pepper soup with moimoi and top it off with egusi or lla alasepo to mention but a few.

Thailand

If you have never tried Thai food, it is very important that you hand in your foodie card. Thai food is among the most healthy foods in the world with fresh ingredients and little or no frying. Some of the best dishes you will need to try out are gang jued, a clear vegetable soup with pork strips; delicious comfort food kai jiew moo saap, and of course some street foods like moo dad diew and gai yang.

Italy

First thing that comes to mind when you think of visiting Italy is pasta and Pizza. Yet the country has a vast food basket ready to be explored once you visit. Taste your way through cities with their prized dishes such as ossobucco alla Milanese from Milan, panzanella from Tuscany, Focaccia from Liguria, and top it up with Pizza Napoletana from Naples or Friuli.

India

Where else will you get authentic Indian food but in the country itself. Although most people assume all Indian food is hot and spicy, traveling through the regions will give you a new taste of India. Try some thali when in Gujarati, seafood in Kerala, biryani in Hyderabad and when you get a chance, stop by someone’s home for the best home cooked Indian food.

Uganda

Recently named one of the most welcoming countries in the world, you have not lived till you try some of the best food on the African continent. Ugandan food is a mixture of cuisines representing the different regions of the country. You will be mesmerized by the many dishes ranging from ataapa, malewa, malakwang, matooke, eshabwe, katogo, and many green vegetable stews like egobe and bisunsa. While in Kampala, make sure to try the street food too such as the rolex and muchomo.

Mexico

Well, what is a foodie-cation without authentic mexican food? Travel to the country with one of the most famous foods around the world. Sit in local restaurants and enjoy some of the best enchiladas, tostadas, tamales, all the best made guacamole, chiles en nogada, chilaquiles and of course do not forget to try the elote. You will love it.

When you choose to visit other countries for their cuisines, make sure to document it so that everyone else gets a chance to see how good and delicious the food is. You might inspire another foodie while eating your way around the world.

Credit: travel.jumia.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladies Running The East African Region

Every year during the week of 8th March, the world celebrates women and some of their biggest accomplishments. In some countries that day is marked with a public holiday and celebrated with awards ceremonies as well as women themed events throughout the week.

In East Africa as we celebrate this wonderful week, it is important that we point out some of the top leading ladies that are putting their individual countries and the region on the map. In no particular order or sector of expertise, here are some of the ladies running East Africa.

Jennifer Semakula Musisi

There was a time when people thought that women were not strong enough to be put into positions of power and authority till ladies like Jennifer were given such positions. She has debunked the myths and fought tooth and nail to bring give Kampala the glow it has acquired. Mrs. Musisi is a force to be reckoned with, a lawyer by profession. Jennifer is an advocate of the high court of Uganda with training in administration and taxation from universities such as George Washington and Harvard. She is the Executive Director of the Kampala City Council Authority, a position she has held and won accolades for since 2011.

Lucy Mbabazi

Even if her story starts as it does with so many Rwandans who were born in Uganda because of the senseless slaughter which led to them being displaced. Lucy is a technopreneur who was resourceful in helping the World Food Program incorporate technology in their relief distribution to refugees in the DRC. She is currently spearheading the mVisa partnership between the Rwandan Government and Visa. Lucy attended the  Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Public Policy.

Mwamvita Makamba

One of the most known leading ladies in Tanzania, Mwamvita has worked her way up with a searing passion after graduating with an MA in International Relations at the University of Dar Es Salaam. She has been working with Vodacom since 2009 and has had several positions till now. Currently, she is the Head of Pan Africa Business Development for Vodacom Business Africa and Vodacom Enterprise Unit for Vodacom Group. Still in Vodacom International Markets, Mwamvita oversees the implementation of Corporate Social Investments and Stakeholder International Relations.

Helen Njoroge

As the founder of Tenders Kenya, Helen is passionate about creating opportunities for women especially with startups as well as employment for the Kenyan youth. Prior to Tenders, Helen was the Coordinator for the Federation of Women Entrepreneur Associations which fueled her fire to work hard and elevate fellow women while at it.

Margaret Blick Kigozi

One of the most influential women in Uganda standing strong for over the years is this doctor, mother and business lady. Dr. Maggie Kigozi as she is commonly known has inspired girls to know that they can always have it all without a lot of work and commitment. She has a degree in Medicine from Makerere University, served as the Managing Director of Crown Beverages then later as the first female Executive Director of the Uganda Investment Authority. The mother of three aspires to improve the lives of women entrepreneurs in the region.

Esther Mbabazi

At 28, Esther is famously known for being the first commercial female pilot in Rwanda. Her dream came to be when she was sponsored by RwandAir to go study in Miami Florida after training at the Soroti Flying School Uganda.

Nancy Kacungira

Her name rings power through the media world and  her TEDx talk has been watched by thousands of people whom she has inspired. Nancy has a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Design and Visual Communications and a Master of Arts (M.A.), Communication & Media Studies from Leeds University. She has worked with some of the best media houses in the region including NTV Uganda, Power FM and currently is an anchor at KTN in Kenya. In 2015, Nancy won the first BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.

There are many more women in the region that deserve to be recognised for all the work they do and their achievements which all can’t fit on a page. Keep celebrating all of them no matter what sector it is they are in.

 

Credit: travel.jumia.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sudhir Ruparelia Businesses That Positively Changed Lives Of Ugandans

The meteoric rise of businessman Sudhir Ruparelia has been well documented over the years. His rise is one that was driven by passion, pedigree and desire to be a better person.

Born in in 1956 in Kabatoro, Kasese, a small town in western Uganda, Sudhir would overcome the political turmoil of the 1970s under President Idi Amin Dada who expelled all Asians of Indian origins, to become one of the richest men in Africa.

In August 1972, Sudhir who was only 16 relocated to the United Kingdom with his family following the expulsion of Indians by President Amin. While in the UK the youthful Sudhir would craft his business acumen by undertaking odd jobs, working in factories, supermarkets and as a cab driver.

He saved some money and returned to his 'beloved Uganda' in 1985, a few months before President Museveni took leadership of this country. With just $25, 000 he would embark on a journey that saw him establish a business empire that has diligently served this country with earnest.

In various press interviews Sudhir says his first investment project upon his return to Uganda was importing salt and other basic commodities that were lacking in Uganda from Kenya. He later bought properties in Kampala from the profits he made before venturing into selling and importing beer, again from Kenya which had a relatively stable economy.

"It soon occurred to me that the greater profit was in importing beer oneself, so I became the biggest importer of beer to Uganda. You have to remember that none of the Uganda-based beer factories were operating. I imported Tusker from Kenya." Sudhir is quoted in an article that was published in Daily Monitor in October, 2012.

He says the beer business created the cash-flow he needed at the time. But because he was trading in dollars and shillings, he was inspired to start a foreign-exchange business. Crane Forex Bureau was born. He reveals that he was the 'largest dealer in foreign exchange within six months and have remained so until now.'

Sudhir continued to prosper now that economy had been liberalized by the Museveni government. The continued success of his forex business, money lending and financial consultancy saw the birth of Crane Bank, a fully-fledged commercial bank in 1995.

From the birth of Crane Bank, Sudhir has never looked back, rising to be East Africa’s richest man and number 18 in Africa as revealed by US magazine Forbes in 2012. Forbes put Sudhir’s worth at about $1.2billions.

Sudhir under his conglomerate Ruparelia Group of Companies owns businesses in real estate, education, hospitality and entertainment, banking, insurance and financial services and the agriculture sector.

Through these businesses he has uplifted millions of Ugandans through direct and indirect employment, philanthropy, inspiration, business partnerships and many other ways. For the last three decades Sudhir has been one of the largest tax payers.

Crane Bank

In 1995 Sudhir established Crane Bank on Kampala road. The Bank went on to become a major force in the banking industry winning international awards for its contribution to the country’s financial sector.

From a single brank on Kampala road, the bank grew to have 46 branches across the country employing directly about 600 Ugandans and thousands indirectly. It was a major source of credit and loans to many local businesses. As a local bank, it inculcated a saving spirit in many Ugandans which helped them grow financially.

But a turbulent and an inconsistent economic environment saw the bank struggle in 2015 making a reported loss of Ush3bn and increased non-performing loans. Bank of Uganda the regulator of the financial sector later took over its management in 2016 before selling it to DFCU Bank in 2017.

Sudhir also have other investments in the financial sector including Crane Financial Services, Crane Forex Bureau, Karibu Forex Bureau, Redfox Bureau De Change, Stanhope Forex Bureau and an insurance company called Goldstar Insurance Company Limited. These continue to employ and impact many lives of Ugandans.

Hotels and Resorts

Under the Speke Hotel Group, Sudhir has over the years established numerous high end and budget hotels in Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja and other parts of Uganda. These include Kampala Speke Hotel, Kabira Country Club, Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, Speke Apartments Limited, Tourist Hotel, Speke Resort and Conference Centre, Forest Cottages, Dolphin Suites among others.

The Munyonyo Speke Resort complex is a 5-star Hotel and resort which sits on 76 acres on an idyllic setting at Munyoyo on the shores of Lake Victoria. A report by Ventures Africa says this is easily the most valuable asset in his extensive property portfolio.

The resort has 59 Presidential suites, mainly because in 2007, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting took place there and 59 Heads of state were present.

Other facilities include 10 state-of-the-art conference rooms, including a 1,000-seat ballroom and 9 multi-function meeting rooms accommodating groups of 10 to 300.  The resort also has Uganda’s only Olympic size swimming pool, an equestrian centre and a choice of bars and restaurants.

The collection of these hotels offer employment to Ugandans directly at the hotels as chefs, waiters and waitress and support staff. The hotels also directly consume local agricultural produce from Ugandan farmers.

These hotels offers recreational facilities to Ugandans. Many Ugandans have held their weddings, parties at any of Sudhir hotels, giving them a good time.

Biggest flower grower and exporter

Every venture Sudhir puts his hands onto prospers. Even in agriculture the businessman has enjoyed success. He is the leading grower and exporter of flowers in the country through his Premier Roses and Rosebud, both located in Entebbe, Uganda.

Rosebud Ltd is the country's largest exporter of roses commanding around 40% of Uganda's rose-export market while Premier Roses produces the highest quality cut roses in the world.

Both companies redefined the flower growing business in Uganda by introducing unique technology and utilising modern equipment technology, such as metallic greenhouses, grading hall and leading cold-room facilities, as well as a fully computerised hydroponic irrigation system.

Rosebud’s Ravi Kumar said they export about 15 million flower stems every month and about 150 million stems of flower annually. This contributes millions of shillings in terms of taxes. Sitting on 46 acres, Rosebud employees hundreds of people. The same is said of Premier roses.

Schools and a University

Sudhir has over the years said that his knack for education inspired him to massively invest in quality education. He has a primary school, Kampala Parents School, which follows a local curriculum but is run under international standards. Its good performance has continued to be a benchmark for many schools.

His other international schools Delhi Public International School-Naguru and Kampala International School Kampala (KISU) have established good record offering international curriculums following an investment workth $150m.

Kampala Victoria University has risen from its former shadows to be one of the leading private universities in the country. The Jinja road based University is research driven, attracting schoolars from over 30 countries in the world.

It has the most unique classroom facilities and tools, most of which you can’t find in public universities. With these investments, you cannot ignore Sudhir’s contribution to the education sector.

He has not only employed hundreds of Ugandan teachers but has offered a place for Ugandan children to acquire knowledge and proper career guidance from professional educators.

Real Estate and Property Development

Through Meera Investments Ltd and Crane Management Services Limited (C.M.S.), Sudhir has become the biggest and wealthiest landlord in Kampala. In the decades since its establishment in 1994, Meera Investments, has built a reputation with its innovative ideas in real estate, particularly in property development and construction, throughout Kampala.

Crane Management Services Limited is a highly professional property management company, in operation since 1996. It has a rich asset base and forms part of a financially sound group having diversified business interests. It manages of the Ruparelia properties in the entire country.

These two companies have made Sudhir an enviable property mogul. They have been spearheaded a vast property acquisition and expansion in the recent years. Hundreds of engineers, architects and thousands of manual laborers have been employed by these two companies.

Some of Sudhir’s most known properties in Kampala include Crane Chambers on Kampala Road; City House on Luwum/William Streets; Raja Chambers, Baumann House; Police HQ, and Development House on Parliamentary Avenue; and Platinum House on Market Street.

He has recently added Kampala Boulevard on Kampala road and Speke Apartments on Wampewo avenue adjacent Jinja road.  All buildings that housed the now defunct crane bank belong to him. All his hotels are housed in his properties. He is reporteded to own a quarter of Kampala’s prime land and properties.

Philanthropy

The businessman shares his blessings with the unfortunate Ugandans through his Ruparelia Foundation. The Foundation has undertaken numerous Corporate Social Responsibility activities across the country.

From education, sports, general welfare, poverty eradication, improving livelihoods, supporting the welfare of wildlife and preservation of the environment by fostering partnerships among businesses, corporations, with the government, non-governmental organizations and individuals, the Foundation has done it all. 

Is Busoga Tourism Initiative Failing Tourism In Busoga?

Busoga Tourism Initiative was recently named the most active tourism cluster by the organizers of this year’s Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards. This however surprised many industry players who believe the tourism cluster has hardly been active ever since it burnt its fingers with everything it touches crumbling as soon as it opens.

Busoga Tourism Initiative has kick started tourism projects like Busoga tourism expo, Kagulu rock climbing challenge and Bishop Hannington Kyando martyrs day celebrations. All these projects died in their infant stages.

When BTI’s inaugural activity, the 2012 Busoga tourism expo, failed to have its second baby step before eventually going into limbo, some gave the cluster a benefit of doubt, thinking it was just a failure on its part to attract back its sponsors.

Indeed, BTI bounced back in 2013 with the Kagulu rock climbing challenge, which was massively attended but went down after its second edition of 2014, which was embroiled in a cash bonanza fight.

This followed President Yoweri Museveni’s pledge of Shs100m, which money was handed over to Mr. Edward Kafufu Baliddawa, BTI’s chairman. The money, which was meant to develop Kagulu, apparently was diverted into other ‘things’, sparking off fights that saw the climbing challenge paused to this date. And Mr. Baliddawa’s BTI has never accounted to the people of Busoga how he spent this money.

Edward Kafufu Baliddawa, BTI’s chairman

Amidst strong criticism, BTI was able to soldier on by organizing the 2014 Bishop Hannington, Kyando, which was the second martyrs’ celebrations organized by the cluster. However, even this hit a dead end that very year when it was discovered that Mr. Baliddawa had allegedly forged a land title for Kyando in the names of BTI. There are similar claims about Kagulu.

Insiders at Busoga Kingdom say Mr Baliddawa was chased from Kyando.  The same people have threatened to take the former MP to court over Kagulu forged land title. This was unearthed after it was discovered that Mr. Baliddawa had clandestinely registered BTI as a personal company.

Previously, BTI had been started as an association that brings together parliamentarians from Busoga to promote their area as a tourism destination. Its leadership had Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga as the Patron and Mr. Baliddawa, who was the Kigulu North MP, as the chairman.

However, without the knowledge of the Speaker and Busoga parliamentarians, Mr. Baliddawa went ahead to register BTI as a personal company, adding relatives as other directors.

 According to the company file with the registrar of companies, BTI’s directors include Mr. Baliddawa, John Wamulo (Mr. Baliddawa’s uncle), Margret Nandhase (Mr. Baliddawa’s relative), Mawazi Bulagala (Mr. Baliddawa’s relative), Symphony Tours & Travel Ltd (Baliddawa’s company registered with his wife) and Advanced Tours & Travel Ltd (another of Baliddawa’s companies).

This perhaps explains why there has always been a rift between Busoga tourism officials and BTI, with the former preferring to work parallel to BTI activities. In fact, in 2015, when Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) was focused on partnering with regional tourism clusters to develop and promote domestic tourism in the country, it got stuck in Busoga in that an urgent meeting was held on October 21, 2015.

“During the consultative meeting held at Jinja Nile Resort, all stakeholders acknowledged all the work done by BTI and agreed to join this tourism cluster for the development of tourism in the whole of Busoga region, and also endorsed the patron and the chairperson of BTI Hon. Edward Baliddawa.

They made special recommendations as well which included:-

  • Choosing an interim committee ofBTI with a representative from each of the following groups (cultural leaders, district leaders, site owners, hotel owners, tour operators, youths, NGOs & women plus Media). Attached is a list of the said committee.
  • Holding an annual general meeting so that they stakeholders are officially initiated into BTI.
  • Change of the Constitution ofBTI to be all inclusive • They endorsed all the founding members as well.
  • All matters concerning tourism development and promotion in Busoga sub region should be channelled to BTI,” reads a letter written by UTB CEO Stephen Asiimwe to the Speaker and BTI Patron.

“This is therefore to request you Rt. Hon to champion streamline the underlying factors so that we can make budgets and work plans for the next financial year 2016 / 2017.”

BTI’s Baliddawa launched a book but some journalists dragged him to court saying he stole their work

Members of the interim committee included; Simon Kaita, the Jinja tourism officer to represent district leaders, James M. Mbatia, the manager Mada hotels Uganda to represent hoteliers, Nyesigawe R. Johns of Crater Lakes Safaris to represent tour operators, Bulagala Mawazi, to represent the youth, Namansa Juliet Faith to represent NGOs and women, Moses Zikusoka to represent the media, Chief Waguma Yasin to represent cultural leaders, and Godfrey Yuwju to represent tourism site owners.

The committee managed to have its first two meetings at Nile Resort hotel but after they lost enthusiasm after it became clear to them that Mr. Baliddawa wasn’t willing to change BTI’s constitution and make the cluster all embracing. Instead, he was bent on discussing what activities they can do together. Eventually, members lost morale and began boycotting the meetings.

Since the 2014 Bishop Hannington celebrations, BTI has never held any tourism activity while tourism clusters like that of Buganda, Lango and Ankole have been so active.

BTI’s awarding comes at a time when it just recently undusted itself to launch a travel book called the Best of Busoga. But even the book is under contestation after two Ugandan journalists sued Mr. Baliddawa and BTI for copyright infringement.

Details.In their suit filed on January 24 in the Commercial court, Simon Musasizi and Edward Echwalu claim that Baliddawa didn’t write the book, Best of Busoga, as he claims.

Strengthen Agricultural Extension Workers, Leaders In Bunyoro Ask Government

Bunyoro leaders have called on Government to strengthen agricultural extension workers country wide if Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) to make an impact in communities. They claim that OWC workers only distribute seeds and inputs without giving farmers extension guidance.

OWC replaced National Agricultural Advisory Services Organization-NAADS. It was established by President Museveni in July 2013 with a view to eradicate poverty and facilitate growth of household income, mainly through agriculture.

A report on the progress of the program for Bunyoro region presented by the Kibaale district production officer Peter Ssetayi, indicates that the program is facing a lot of challenges which include delayed delivery of inputs, planting of inputs in wetland, lack facilitation and transport for extension workers, inadequate extension works and supply of poor quality inputs among others.

Ssettayi said extension workers are crucial in assisting farmers to make right choices on top of learning new technologies.  The report also indicates that farmers receive little inputs while others do not utilize the inputs they receive.

It further indicates that instead of supplying the inputs to parishes were farmers can easily access them, the inputs are delivered to farmers at the sub county headquarters which are located at a far distance from the beneficiaries.

However, Ethel Bakisula the NAADS senior procurement officer admitted to the challenges but promised that government is working had to address them. She urged different stakeholders monitor and advocate for the program to ensure its progress.

Hoima Residents Irked By Continued Arrest Of Missile Man

By George Busiinge

30-year-old Anatoli Kiiza, a resident of Kiryangobe village in Kitoba sub-county, Hoima district was arrested almost two weeks ago by security operatives in Hoima.Albertine region Police spokesperson, Julius Hakiza told the media that the suspect was detained at Hoima Central Police Station to ascertain the motive behind the manufacture of the said missile.

According to sources, Kiiza was later transferred to the anti-terrorism unit in Naguru, Kampala. This is the second weapon to be invented by Kiiza. The first missile allegedly made by Kiiza was confiscated by police in 2012 as he was planning to test it at Lake Albert.

His mother, Margaret Biferamunda says this was the seventh time his son has been arrested. James Mugenyi Mulindambura, the district councilor for Kigorobya Sub-county and Jackson Wabyona, the Hoima district FDC Chairman, want government to take on Kiiza such that he develops his innovations.

They say that Banyoro used to be inventors but were disorganized by the British colonialists adding that arresting Kiiza signifies that government is not ready to help Banyoro to restore their inventions.

Mulindambura explains that Kiiza is not the first Munyoro to invent such weapons, disclosing that in 1980s one Mwesigwa Mutarama of Kigorobya sub-county in Hoima district was killed by the Milton Obote government after they found him making landmines to support President Museveni’s NRA struggle.

They demanded the Minister of Bunyoro affairs Earnest Kiiza and otherleaders to intervene and help Anatoli meet the president.

Sugar Cane Poaching Threatens Masindi

By George Busiinge

Poaching has traditionally meant the illegal capture of wild animals,but it is now a new word in the sugar industry. Sugar cane poaching has emerged among big sugar millers. It refers to a practice in which emerging millers target established factories by buying sugar cane from out-growers supported by established factories.

Competition over sugar cane had in the past been limited to Busoga region in eastern Uganda where Kakira Sugar Works complained about new millers eating intoits 8,500 out-growers.But other big factories such as Kinyara Sugar in Masindi, western Uganda, face a similar challenge.

The competition has been extended to Masindi with sugar cane beinghauled all the way to sugar mills in Buganda and Busoga. The millers exploiting Kakira, Lugazi and Kinyara factories' out-grower system are reportedly paying morefor sugar cane hauled from Masindi.

It is common for travelers to northern Uganda to encounter long haulage trucks loaded with sugar cane from Masindi. Earthfinds could not reach Kinyara Sugar Limited's Corporate Affairs Manager, Kirunda Magoola, for a comment about the threat to their out-growers. 

But Masindi Resident district Commissioner, Godfrey Nyakuhuma has in the past called for an end to sugar cane poaching. Nyakuhuma said the practice could be a recipe for disaster for Masindi if Kinyara Sugar operations were affected.

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