Viral fever outbreaks in Uganda.
Honorable D’Ujanga Simon, Minister of State for Energy, together with representatives of Access Power (www.Access-Power.com), EREN RE (www.EREN-Groupe.com) and donors celebrated today the inauguration of the solar power plant in Soroti.
Made up of 32,680 photovoltaic panels, the new 10 megawatt facility is the country’s first grid-connected solar plant and will generate clean, low-carbon, sustainable electricity to 40,000 homes, schools and businesses in the area.
The project was developed under the Global Energy Transfer Feed in Tariff (“GET FiT”) (www.GetFiT-Uganda.org), a dedicated support scheme for renewable energy projects managed by Germany’s KfW Development Bank in partnership with Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Agency (ERA) and funded by the governments of Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union. The GET FiT programme helps renewable energy sources become more affordable and therefore more accessible in Eastern Africa.
Cycles of Violence, Reprisals Need Justice.
Ugandan authorities should investigate the conduct of security forces in response to recent clashes in western Uganda, Human Rights Watch said today. Security forces killed dozens of people and arrested at least 139 during violence on November 26 and 27, 2016, in the town of Kasese between Royal Guards of the region’s cultural kingdom, Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu (Bakonzo), and government forces.
Many details of the violence, including the total death toll, remain unclear. Police have stated that 46 Royal Guards were killed and 139 others arrested following attacks on several police stations on November 26, during which at least 14 police officers were killed. The king was also arrested on November 27, and eventually transferred to Nalufenya police post in Jinja, Eastern Uganda, where he is still being held. Police have not yet said what, if any, charges will be brought against him. There is no independent corroboration of affiliation or total number of those killed.
The Uganda Police Force has been continuously ranked as one of the most corrupt institutions in Uganda, and was identified as the most corrupt East African Region institution in the Transparency International East Africa Bribery Index. To its credit, it does have a promising legal framework, including a national information access law and law mandating discipline for police misconduct. The work now is to make those legal requirements work for the people of Uganda.
The people of Uganda deserve law enforcement agencies that are accountable and transparent. With the opportunities created by the 2006 Access to Information Act it’s possible for them to move forward by providing useful public information. There are some signs that the police are trying to make progress, principally with their publication of information about the public’s complaints. While this is a good first step, it’s insufficient. The quality and timeliness of this data must improve. In addition, police must work more effectively with the media to ensure that their information is getting out to a public which is unlikely to be able to find their information online.
A significant victory in the long struggle to end the reign of Uganda’s military dictator was won last week after a bold action by the country’s burgeoning women’s movement. In late August, Uganda’s parliament presented a bill before House Speaker Rebecca Kadaga suggesting that the age limits for judges be raised, which activists believed would inevitably lead to the raising of presidential age limits. Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled Uganda for 30 years, is set to surpass the constitutionally-permitted maximum age of 75 this term.
On the shores of Lake Victoria in southern Uganda, a parcel of land is pitting a Norwegian timber company against more than 10,000 villagers.
Deep within a pine and eucalyptus forest on the shores of Lake Victoria in southern Uganda, a parcel of land is pitting a Norwegian timber company against more than 10,000 villagers who say its “green” project is costing their homes and livelihood.
The land in dispute is 500 hectares within an area of about 6,500 hectares in the Bukaleba Forest Reserve, leased for 50 years in 1996 by Uganda’s government to privately-owned Green Resources, one of Africa’s largest forest companies.
Arrests, Beatings, Assaults on Participants
Ugandan police unlawfully raided an event late in the evening of August 4, 2016, the third night of a week of Ugandan LGBTI Pride celebrations, brutally assaulting participants, seven human rights groups said today.
The event was a pageant in Kampala’s Club Venom to crown Mr/Ms/Mx Uganda Pride. Police claimed that they had been told a “gay wedding” was taking place and that the celebration was “unlawful” because police had not been informed of the event. However, police had been duly informed, and the prior two Pride events, on August 2 and 3, were conducted without incident.“We strongly condemn these violations of Ugandans’ rights to peaceful association and assembly,” said Nicholas Opiyo, a human rights lawyer and executive director at Chapter Four Uganda. “These brutal actions by police are unacceptable and must face the full force of Ugandan law.”
In any true democracy, the streets are filled with rejoicing upon a popular candidate’s electoral victory. The majority are excited and satisfied for a new beginning. In Uganda, the only things filling the streets after the February 18 voting day were military machinery and silence. General Yoweri Museveni’s continued stranglehold on his 30 years in power was underway.