Victoria University Gets New Guild President

Uganda’s fastest growing private university, Victoria University, recently inaugurated a new student leadership team lead by Peter Isiko who takes over from Keith Mugabi as guild president.

The university also used the handover ceremony as the student and the entire institution staff’s end of year party. The event was held that at University main campus located on Jinja road, in the new Victoria Cafeteria.

The University thanked the outgoing cabinet for the enormous work they rendered to the institution. Mugabi, the outgoing Guild president, was in particular highly praised in a very special way for having led the Guild Council in an extra-ordinary way.

VIctoria University Promoter Rajiv Ruparelia

Speaking at the function Mr. Rajiv Ruparelia, the University Promoter, urged students to embrace team work and commitment in all they do if they are to be successful in Life. Students and staff members were served with lots of food, drinks and music.

The university then broke for the Christmas holidays. Students will resume their studies on 18th January 2017. The University is committed to the advancement of higher education in the country and the East African region by establishing exemplary, specialised and employment-oriented education. The university is currently enrolling for the JAN-FEB 2017 Intake.

Kigorogya Residents Request For Closure Of Fake Drug Shops

By George Busiinge

Residents of Kigorobya sub county, Hoima district are asking government to close fake drug shops that set up business when they heard that the area is going to be swimming in oil and gas money. Hoima and the neighboring districts have seen numerous local and international investors set up business to tap into market generated by the discovery of oil in the region.

But among the businesses set up in the region are fake drug shops, clinics and health facilities as owners anticipate fleecing the unsuspecting customers. Over four health units in Kigorobya sub county, Hoima district have been closed by the ministry of health for failure to comply with the set standards.

A team from Allied Health Professionals Council led by Fred Oyesige, the regional officer this week found several clinics illegally operating and being managed by non-qualified medical personnel. Among the closed facilities include Bethel drug shop in Kigorobya town council, Lyne Drug shop in Kibegenya, JMS in Kapapi among others.

Oyesige observed that several licensed drug shops were found operating as clinics and health centres saying this puts lives of patients at risk. “About 70 percent of patients who seek health services from private facilities get it from the unqualified personnel" He observed.

Several drug shop operators were seen closing and taking off on learning that the inspectors were in area. Oyesige noted that the operation is going to continue to other parts of the district to make sure that health services are streamlined for better delivery.


Hoima Youth Arrested For Mismanaging Livelihood Funds

By George Busiinge

Police in Hoima District arrested 8 leaders of different youth groups over failure to refund money given to them under the Youth Livelihood Fund. The youth were arrested on Tuesday on the orders of Isaac Kawooya, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner, while monitoring these youth groups which were given the money and mismanaged the funds as well as using it for personal gains.

The suspects were identified as Obema Charles, Nakabiito Doreen, Beatrice, Jane Beleru, Sunday Wilfred - the chairperson of Igambiro rice growing youth group in Kigorobya, Bugambe and Buseruuka sub-county in Hoima district.

The money in question totaling Sh6.6m was given to Igambiro rice growing youth group during the last financial year. The money was received by the group chairperson, on behalf of the ten group members. Several youth groups in Hoima failed to account for the money they received during a meeting convened by the RDC Kawooya and Hoima district focal person Isaac Bitamale. Some youth groups neglected their projects like maize grinding mills.

Bitamale says that some youth members used the money to buy their own things like boda bodas and other things which were not planned for in the youth lively hood programme. Bitamale says that 66 youth groups in Hoima district were given Shs554m but only managed to recover Shs40, 819.

Giraffe: The Endangered Gentle Giant

The Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardis or the Rothschild Giraffe commonly known as the Giraffe is one of those under appreciated wild attractions found in Uganda. Apart from the tree climbing lions of Ishasha, the Ugandan giraffe is unique to its home and cannot easily be found elsewhere apart from in Uganda and Kenya where they have lived for years.

The Rothschild giraffe population has drastically reduced over the years, leaving an estimated minimal number of 800 and above. The Giraffes live in some of the fertile locations of Uganda and Kenya making it easy for people who practice farming to encroach on their habitats and sometimes attacking them.

The Rothschild giraffe is said to be a relative to the deer family, and science might soon prove that Giraffes used to be shaped like deers centuries back before they evolved into the gentle giants they are today. There are many attributes that make the Rothschild giraffe stand out from the rest the Giraffe family including:

  • Standing at an estimated height of 20 feet tall, they are considered the tallest giraffes in their subspecies.
  • They can weigh up to an estimate of 2,500 pounds, and with the female giraffes being several pounds lighter than males.
  • The spots on their body are quite unique; they are brown patches with cream or white lines marking through the brown spots. Their long legs have fewer markings and stop at the top turning into a pure white spread from the kneecaps.
  • The Rothschild giraffe has more horns; five than its other relatives who usually have two. There are two in the regular place on top of the head, one in the middle and two at the back, the first three are easier to notice.
  • They have very long necks although their vertebrae is the same length as that of a human.
  • Their senses are very acute meaning that they can see even further than a normal person and have a strong sense of smell.
  • They are also attributed with averagely long tails that help to thwart flies off their bodies.

Their height is also attributed to their long legs and necks but the legs contribute a lot to the swiftness of the Rothschild giraffe making them very fast and agile. It is believed that they can easily match up with a cheetah in the wild just incase they are being chased around for prey. Although this has not be proven, these giraffes are not an easy prey to catch in the wild and that’s why they are not constantly attacked.

  • They have characteristics of cows with four stomachs meaning they chew cud as well.
  • Feeding is made easy with their long necks that reach out to the trees and the long strong tongues to tag at the leaves.
  • It has been observed that the males tend to feed from the high branches whilst the females feed on the lower ones.

Giraffes can reproduce when they are between three and five years old which is estimated to be sooner for females compared to the males. Their gestation period can last up to 16 months and they usually give birth to one calf a time. There are many breeding projects being carried out to increase the population of Giraffes through Uganda and Kenya.

You can get a chance to see these gracious giants in Kidepo, Lake Mburo and Murchison falls national parks in Uganda, but in Kenya you might enjoy an up close with them at the Giraffe Center right in the heart of Nairobi.




Jumia Market Hit New Sales Record During Black Friday

Jumia Market thrilled Ugandans with its Black Friday Sale on 25th November 2016 (the third of its kind since Jumia Market introduced the concept to Uganda in 2014).#JumiaMarketBF trended on Twitter throughout, while the website attracted 3 times more traffic and 11 times more orders than on a normal day!

With exclusive deals of up to 70% off electronics, home appliances and fashion, plus support from MTN, NTV and Capital FM, a spike in sales was expected, but Jumia Market exceeded expectations by hitting a new record of online sales in Uganda.

For those not familiar with the concept, ‘Black Friday’ originated from the U.S. and is known as the biggest shopping day of the year. Stores offer major discounts and customers get to shop for deals they would otherwise not find on a regular day. Now ‘Black Friday’ is a global movement, and takes place every last Friday of November in a number of countries.

Although the concept was first introduced to Ugandans exclusively by Jumia Market, 2016 saw the concept being adopted by other retailers in Uganda, including local supermarkets. A popular supermarket received an overwhelming crowd of customers as a result of their Black Friday promotions. Shocking images of the congested scenes at the supermarket surfaced on social media, and Jumia Market UG’s social media manager couldn’t pass up the opportunity to poke some fun by tweeting the following picture with the caption: “Black Friday shopping in supermarkets vs. on Jumia Market! Choose the easy option with #JumiaMarketBF”

For the first time, Jumia Market offered selected Black Friday deals for 5 days (from Monday 21st November) so some customers were able to secure their deals early – but the full range of deals were only unlocked on Black Friday itself.

Whilst the Jumia Market Black Friday deals were in plenty, some sold out within a few hours due to high demand, including the 17% off deal on the iDroid Miami Smartphone; a power bank which was reduced from 25,000 UGX to only 5,000 UGX; and MTN’s buy one get one free deal on the Huawei Y221 and Huawei Y3 – a deal which was exclusive to the MTN shop on Jumia Market and not available in any of their service centers.

Ugandans will be happy to know that they can certainly expect another Black Friday sale from the leading online marketplace in November 2017! Follow Jumia Market’s social media accounts for updates.

Facebook: JumiaMarketUG

Twitter: @JumiaUG

Instagram: @JumiaUG

MTN Appreciates Customers

MTN Uganda this week embarked on yet another drive to appreciate its customers and also reaffirm its commitment to deliver a distinct and excellent service. This is a quarterly activity carried out by the entire company right from the top management team to the customer frontline executives, taking place at allMTN Service Centres countrywide.

The objective of the engagement is to appreciate and recognize customers who make up MTN’s big family of over 10 million. All MTN staff have taken to solving customer queries and educating them on existing innovations like MoKash and data related issues.

During these engagements, customers areinvited to interact directlywith MTN’smanagement team at the different service points. It’s through these interactions that the leadership gets a better understanding of customer experiences and finds solutions to enhancing it.

MTN’s General Manager for Customer Experience Dorcas Muhwezi said; “As a business, we value each and every customer on the network and it is important to keep in close touch with all our customers and improve their experiences on the MTN network. It has been exciting to seeall MTN backend teams and top management joining Service Centre staff to serve, educate, interact and listen to customers with the main objective of appreciating them and seeking feedback on our products and services.”

Ms. Muhwezi also thanked customers for their continued confidence and commitment to the MTN brand. Last month, MTN markedits 18th anniversary in Uganda by engaging customers in celebrations activities across the country.

Hoima Legislators Tasked To Follow Up On Museveni Ambulance Promise

BY George Busiinge 

Hoima district health department has challenged Hoima district Woman MP Tophus Kaahwa and Buhaguzi County MP Dan Muheirwe to remind president Museveni about his pledge of buying an ambulance for Buhaguzi health sub-district.

Last year, Hoima district partnered with Theta Uganda to fundraise for a Sh200m ambulance, which will be stationed at Kikuube Health Center IV in Buhaguzi County. But, the Hoima district heath inspector Fredrick Byenume told journalists that the campaign was halted after President Museveni during his campaign rally in Kizirafumbi Sub County early this year pledged to buy an ambulance for the area.

Byenume says there is need for the area MPs to remind the president about the pledge. Many mothers in Hoima  district villages struggle to access health facilities during delivery whereby others  board small  cars  which  delays  them  on  the way  and  they  end up  delivering  on  the side of  the road.

Early  this  year  one  mother  delivered  on the  roadside near  Kobil  petrol  station   approaching  Hoima  referral hospital. The lucky woman delivered   before reaching the Hospital in  a small  car which  they  had  hired.

Some women die or lose their newborns due to delays in reaching health centers. Hoima is one of the districts with high maternal mortality rates. Dan Muhairwe the Buhaguzi County MP says that he submitted the matter to the parliamentary committee on Government Assurances.

The committee was set up to scrutinize the assurances, promises and undertakings given by ministers and other agents of government in Parliament from time to time and report on the extent to which those assurances, promises and undertakings have been implemented.

However, Muhairwe blamed the district for halting the fundraising drive saying that the promise of president to buy the Ambulance did not mean that the exercise be halted. By the time the campaign was halted the drive, over sh10 million had been realized.

Jumia House, Stanbic Bank Launch Mortgage Calculator

Jumia House Uganda, a leading online platform for selling, renting and leasing property has partnered with Stanbic Bank, a leading financial services provider, to launch a mortgage tool that will help clients compute details of mortgage loans they intend to acquire.

The tool which has been called the Mortgage Calculator, and can be accessed on the Jumia House website, will provide quotations for mortgage acquisition, compute interest rates, determine repayment time and amounts with a click of your computer or mobile phone buttons to instantly give you feedback.

Shakib Nsubuga, the country manager Jumia House Uganda said the tool also provides instant communication with the bank to kickstart negotiations for the loan acquisition.  “Also, agents can help clients to check and know if they can afford the property and the loan. This helps the agents and buyers to make quick decisions,” Nsubuga explained last week at the launch of the tool at a hotel in Kampala.

Brian Mutungi Tukahirwa, the head, homes loans at Stanbic Bank, said one of the problems prohibiting the growth of mortgage loans in Uganda is lack of information. He believes that with this partnership, clients will be able to make informed decisions on how to deal with the bank.

“Regular people can now know how they can get proper information and how to process the loan. We are bridging the knowledge gap and bringing banking services closer to customers. Customers can decide how much they can borrow and develop a repayment plan because they can compute it all on the website,” Mutungi explained.

To have a mortgage approved in Uganda, you need to have a valid form of identification i.e. passport or national Identification Card, passport photo, LC1 letter for address verification, spouse or next of kin signature.

Mortgage rates in Uganda have recently experienced unplanned fluctuations that have affected borrowers. With the rates fluctuating in different financial institutions finding the right bank and mortgage rate has become challenging and risky. Banks like Stanbic Bank offer a competitive mortgage rate of 17.5%.

Bats Invade Hoima Health Centre

BY George Busiinge

Bats have invaded Kibiro Health Centre II in Kigorobya Sub County, Hoima district causing anxiety among health workers and patients in the area. Although the bats have colonized all the health center departments in Hoima district, the outpatient is the worst affected especially  in the areas  along  the  shoes of  the lake Albert  in Kyangwalisub-county  and  Kigorobya sub-county.

There are black marks on the health center’s white ceiling as a result of the bats and a stench from the mammals’ waste is felt as you enter the facility. Yofesi  Babyesiza, the Kibiro village chairman spoke  to  Earthfinds explaining that the mammals make noise as they  fly all over the place at night. There is fear that the mammals  might  bring other  diseases which  they  don’t know  in  their  village.

He says because of the bats’ waste, cleaning is difficult as the place gets dirty every night  because  u  can’t  sleep  when  they start making noisy which  have  made  patients  to abandon  the  health centre.

Babyesiza says efforts to remove the bats have failed and that a report has been made to the district health office. They are aware and have promised to come and work on it, Babyesiza said. Apparently, the Hoima district secretary for Health James MugenyiMulindambura says they are yet to source funds from the Primary HealthCare vote to purchase pesticides to fumigate the notorious mammals.

He however advices health management committees to fumigate the health centres with locally made chili pepper powder and  means  as the government  looks  for  money   to buy  some  pestscides  for  the health  centres   within  Hoima  district.

21 Mourners Drown In Lake Albert, Police Retrieve Bodies


BY George Busiinge

A total of 21 people drowned in Lake Albert last week; Julius Hakiza, the police spokesperson for mid-western region revealed. Police managed to rescue 11 people while still living but unfortunately the other 10 were dead. The bodies were retrieved after an intensive search by fishermen, marines and the police.

Of the 10 who died in the accident, police retrieved 8 dead bodies last week and 2 more were retrieved Monday morning. Hakiza  says  that  the people  who drowned  were coming  from  a burial ceremony  which took place at Kabolwa landing site in Buliisa  while  proceeding to a  landing site  called  Kagoya  in Nebbi district.

Hakiza explained that a hole in the boat caused the drowning accident. Water entered the boat through the hole leading to the drowning. He  added that  these  people had carried  firewood  and other heavy  things  to use  while  at  the  burial  ceremony. The leaking boat was overwhelmed by the weight and it gave way.
Meanwhile  dead bodies  have been handed  over to  the relatives for  burial  except  the  2 which  have  been  retrieved  on Monday morning. They are also going to be handed over to the relatives after identification process.


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