Government invests Shs60.7b to uplift education standards in Lango sub-region

LANGO – The government of Uganda has invested Shs 60.7b for infrastructural development in higher institutions of learning and establishment of secondary schools in the Lango sub-region.

The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni said, a greater percentage of the money is for the construction at Uganda Technical College Lira and procurement of equipment while the rest was channelled for the construction of eight seed schools.

The schools according to State Minister for Sports who is also Ajuri County legislator Denis Hamson Obua include; Apac seed, Okwerodot in Kole, Aduku in Kwania, Agali in Lira, Batta in Dokolo, Muntu in Amolatar, Ogor in Otuke and Abia in Alebtong districts respectively.

Janet Museveni revealed the development in a message delivered by Junior Minister Obua at the graduation ceremony of 343 students at Lira University in Lira City.

The students graduated with Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration and Management, Masters of Public Health, Bachelor of Science in Midwifery and Bachelor of Science in Public Health.

Other disciplines include; Bachelor of Science in Community Psychology and Psychotherapy, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Accounting and Finance, Commerce, Public Administration and Management and Business Administration.

“There are major infrastructure investments the government is making in the Lango sub-region in respect to education. For instance, Shs43.9b being invested in UTC Lira,” she said.

“This is to transform the institution into a centre of excellence on bridges and roads construction,” she added. The seed schools according to the minister costs Shs 16.8b.

She said, the education institutions not only bring construction jobs but they also stimulate the local economy primarily.

She advised the graduates stepping into the world of work to show the spirit of patriotism and love for citizens.

“Some of the countries that our young people admire so much did develop to where they are because their citizens love their country and never sought to destroy it,” she said.

The Chairperson of Lango Parliamentary Group, MP Judith Alyek said, the establishment of the university was a great opportunity for the people of Lango, Acholi and Teso to embrace higher learning.

She urged the government to have fairness and equity in the way resources are distributed to support both public universities and tertiary institutions.

Abdul George, one of the graduates said, without self-confidence and determination he would have not attained his Masters in Business Administration and Management.

He said, the major challenge faced in attempting to attain education in Uganda was the struggle to get school fees and scholastic materials.

“I would struggle to raise fees both for me and my siblings because my parents passed on when I was in senior two,” he said.

“It was so hard for me at times to understand what the teacher was teaching. All I would be thinking of was where I am going to write,” he said adding that it was such a torturing moment.

“I recalled when a teacher beat me badly because I went to school in no uniform, literally I needed to study but my parents had no money to buy a uniform,” he added.

https://thecooperator.news/8-alebtong-schools-request-for-government-intervention/

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Government invests Shs60.7b to uplift education standards in Lango sub-region

LANGO – The government of Uganda has invested Shs 60.7b for infrastructural development in higher institutions of learning and establishment of secondary schools in the Lango sub-region.

The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni said, a greater percentage of the money is for the construction at Uganda Technical College Lira and procurement of equipment while the rest was channelled for the construction of eight seed schools.

The schools according to State Minister for Sports who is also Ajuri County legislator Denis Hamson Obua include; Apac seed, Okwerodot in Kole, Aduku in Kwania, Agali in Lira, Batta in Dokolo, Muntu in Amolatar, Ogor in Otuke and Abia in Alebtong districts respectively.

Janet Museveni revealed the development in a message delivered by Junior Minister Obua at the graduation ceremony of 343 students at Lira University in Lira City.

The students graduated with Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration and Management, Masters of Public Health, Bachelor of Science in Midwifery and Bachelor of Science in Public Health.

Other disciplines include; Bachelor of Science in Community Psychology and Psychotherapy, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Accounting and Finance, Commerce, Public Administration and Management and Business Administration.

“There are major infrastructure investments the government is making in the Lango sub-region in respect to education. For instance, Shs43.9b being invested in UTC Lira,” she said.

“This is to transform the institution into a centre of excellence on bridges and roads construction,” she added. The seed schools according to the minister costs Shs 16.8b.

She said, the education institutions not only bring construction jobs but they also stimulate the local economy primarily.

She advised the graduates stepping into the world of work to show the spirit of patriotism and love for citizens.

“Some of the countries that our young people admire so much did develop to where they are because their citizens love their country and never sought to destroy it,” she said.

The Chairperson of Lango Parliamentary Group, MP Judith Alyek said, the establishment of the university was a great opportunity for the people of Lango, Acholi and Teso to embrace higher learning.

She urged the government to have fairness and equity in the way resources are distributed to support both public universities and tertiary institutions.

Abdul George, one of the graduates said, without self-confidence and determination he would have not attained his Masters in Business Administration and Management.

He said, the major challenge faced in attempting to attain education in Uganda was the struggle to get school fees and scholastic materials.

“I would struggle to raise fees both for me and my siblings because my parents passed on when I was in senior two,” he said.

“It was so hard for me at times to understand what the teacher was teaching. All I would be thinking of was where I am going to write,” he said adding that it was such a torturing moment.

“I recalled when a teacher beat me badly because I went to school in no uniform, literally I needed to study but my parents had no money to buy a uniform,” he added.

https://thecooperator.news/8-alebtong-schools-request-for-government-intervention/

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Government invests Shs60.7b to uplift education standards in Lango sub-region

LANGO – The government of Uganda has invested Shs 60.7b for infrastructural development in higher institutions of learning and establishment of secondary schools in the Lango sub-region.

The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni said, a greater percentage of the money is for the construction at Uganda Technical College Lira and procurement of equipment while the rest was channelled for the construction of eight seed schools.

The schools according to State Minister for Sports who is also Ajuri County legislator Denis Hamson Obua include; Apac seed, Okwerodot in Kole, Aduku in Kwania, Agali in Lira, Batta in Dokolo, Muntu in Amolatar, Ogor in Otuke and Abia in Alebtong districts respectively.

Janet Museveni revealed the development in a message delivered by Junior Minister Obua at the graduation ceremony of 343 students at Lira University in Lira City.

The students graduated with Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration and Management, Masters of Public Health, Bachelor of Science in Midwifery and Bachelor of Science in Public Health.

Other disciplines include; Bachelor of Science in Community Psychology and Psychotherapy, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Accounting and Finance, Commerce, Public Administration and Management and Business Administration.

“There are major infrastructure investments the government is making in the Lango sub-region in respect to education. For instance, Shs43.9b being invested in UTC Lira,” she said.

“This is to transform the institution into a centre of excellence on bridges and roads construction,” she added. The seed schools according to the minister costs Shs 16.8b.

She said, the education institutions not only bring construction jobs but they also stimulate the local economy primarily.

She advised the graduates stepping into the world of work to show the spirit of patriotism and love for citizens.

“Some of the countries that our young people admire so much did develop to where they are because their citizens love their country and never sought to destroy it,” she said.

The Chairperson of Lango Parliamentary Group, MP Judith Alyek said, the establishment of the university was a great opportunity for the people of Lango, Acholi and Teso to embrace higher learning.

She urged the government to have fairness and equity in the way resources are distributed to support both public universities and tertiary institutions.

Abdul George, one of the graduates said, without self-confidence and determination he would have not attained his Masters in Business Administration and Management.

He said, the major challenge faced in attempting to attain education in Uganda was the struggle to get school fees and scholastic materials.

“I would struggle to raise fees both for me and my siblings because my parents passed on when I was in senior two,” he said.

“It was so hard for me at times to understand what the teacher was teaching. All I would be thinking of was where I am going to write,” he said adding that it was such a torturing moment.

“I recalled when a teacher beat me badly because I went to school in no uniform, literally I needed to study but my parents had no money to buy a uniform,” he added.

https://thecooperator.news/8-alebtong-schools-request-for-government-intervention/

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DPP, Lady Justice Abodo drops murder charges against Pastor

KIKUUBE – The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Jane Frances Abodo has dropped the murder charges against Pastor George Baguma commonly known as Kagenyi of Bwera Miracle Church in Kyangwali sub-county, Kikuube district.

Bwera Miracle church is under the stewardship of Pastor Robert Kayanja of Miracle Centre Cathedral Kampala.

The dropping of charges comes a few weeks after the residents attacked and demolished the church structure which has been under construction.

In July last year, more than 400 residents petitioned the Office of the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Amlan Tumusime demanding his intervention into what they termed as mismanagement of a murder case of one of their residents, John Turyamureba.

The residents accused Pastor Kagenyi of conniving with seven people to kill Turyamureba over unclear reasons.

The suspects included; Stephanie Uwimaana, the wife of the deceased, Twekabe James and Richard Musiguzi, sons of the deceased, Samuel Mugisha, Alloys Habineza, John Mbabazi and Jackson Tushabomwe all members of Bwera Miracle Church.

In August 21st 2021, the seven suspects were arrested; however, 6 of the suspects that included the children and their mother were released on police bond.

The residents protested their release on bond, forcing police from Kampala headquarters Kibuli to carryout fresh investigations into the matter.

As police carried out their investigations, Nickson Ahereza, handed himself to police, claiming that he killed the deceased together with the Pastor.

However, the DPP in a communication that was delivered to residents in Bwera villages by CID Officers from Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) headquarters in Kibuli, Kampala, Pastor Kagenyi and Nicolas Ahereza were exonerated.

According to the file that was read by Daniel Mugisa who led a team of CID officers, the DPP dropped the charges due to lack of substantial evidence to pin the suspects. According to the file which was presented to the resident, Ahereza, a key witness changed his statement that he had made at first.

According Mugisa, Ahereza denied knowing anything about the murder of Turyamureba and told the detectives that he was coached to tell lies against Pastor Kagenyi by a group of people who are in land wrangles with the Pastor. Ahereza told the detectives that the group promised to give him two acres of land after accomplishing the mission.

However, before Mugisa could complete delivering the DPP’s communication, residents speaking at the top of their voices protested DPP’s decision and accused Pastor Kagenyi of bribing the officers who handled the case.

Aston Muhwezi and Kareni Nabakyala said, the residents suspected that their witness was brainwashed to change his statement. They expressed their discontent about the judgement and vowed to appeal against the ruling.

“We are protesting because from the word go, police have not been serious with their work, after handing over the report to us, we will get somebody legal, to study the report and guide us. Then we shall sit as a village and seek a way forward, ” said Muhwezi.

But RDC Tumusime warned the residents who were threatening to harm Pastor Kagenyi against taking laws in their hands and told the residents that Pastor Kagenyi and Ahereza were free to live in the village without any disturbance.

He added that the law is ready to catch up with all those who will go against the DPP’s decision and advised them to appeal instead of engaging in violence

“According to the DPP, Kagenyi has no case, he did not kill the person, I am telling you this as an RDC. If you go against this decision, you will be arrested so let me hope those with ears have heard,” the RDC warned the angry residents.

Pastor Kagenyi commended DPP for exonerating him but accused police for failing to protect him and his property. He noted that in December last year, a group of residents attacked and demolished the church, his houses and the houses of his followers and the suspects are still free in the village.

The District Police Commander (DPC) for Kikuube district, Richard Asiimwe condemned the actions of the residents adding that the police had launched investigations into the murder.

“You people, you should not think that this is Congo, this is Uganda where laws are still working, the only person who is above the law in this Country is the President, if a general, an MP can be arrested, how about you the peasant of Bwera.”

https://thecooperator.news/police-on-the-spot-over-rising-number-of-criminal-gangs-in-gulu/

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Boda-boda riders lose millions of shillings from theft of motorcycles in Gulu

GULU – In the last twelve months, more than 170 motorcycles have been stolen from Gulu West and Gulu East Boda-boda Associations.

The motorcycle taxi, commonly known as boda bodas are the main means of transportation in Uganda and employs about 1.5 million youths according to Ministry of Works and Transport.

Raymond Ocan, the Chairperson Gulu West boda-boda association told theCooperator that they have lost 135 motorcycles which is approximately worth Shs 800 million.

Ocan said, most of their members acquired these motorcycles through loans from the various microfinance institutions that are putting pressure on the association to repay the loans.

The General Secretary, Gulu East boda-boda association, Godfrey Ojok is also facing similar challenges with more than 40 motorcycles stolen from the association within one year.

Ojok said, most of his members are now borrowing the motorcycles from their colleagues to raise money to settle their loans from the financial institutions.

The intelligence report from the security revealed that most of the motorcycles being stolen from the area are mainly taken to Karamoja region.

Denis Odongpiny, the Resident City Commissioner for Gulu revealed in an interview with theCooperator on Wednesday that the thugs are exchanging the motorbikes with cattle from the region.

“We have established their networks which will help our investigation but the most important thing is that we need to improve on our personal security and be vigilant,” Odongpiny noted.

His counterpart, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Stephen Odong Latek of Gulu District described the situation as a big security concern which needs to be handled with structural approaches within the region.

The Officer incharge of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for Awsa River Region, Justus Twongyeirwe noted that many of such cases were not reported to police.

However, without disclosing the number of theft related cases of motorcycles that police have recorded, he noted that no investigations by the police has been linked to Karamoja.

“Yes, we can’t overrule that from our sister security organs but as police, our investigations have not linked any of the cases to Karamoja for exchange with cattle,” Twongyeirwe explained.

Meanwhile, as the vice escalates in the area, the riders have established a regional leadership structure of a boda-boda association within Acholi sub-region to streamline their governance and operation.

Maxwell Komakech, the Chairperson Patiko sub-county Boda-boda association in Gulu district was elected the Chairperson Boda-boda Association for Acholi sub-region.

The Chairman of the Omoro district Boda-boda Association was elected as the General Secretary, Secretary Finance was taken up by Kenneth Odong from Gulu district.

Ivan Ojok from Gulu West Boda-boda Association became the Regional Speaker and Emmy Ocen from Amuru district was elected as the Publicity Secretary for the association.

The association has also established different committees which include the disciplinary for dispute resolution, enforcement team and the regional coordination team.

Francis Lubangakene, the Chairperson Gulu East Boda-boda Association who doubles as the Chairperson disciplinary committee for the regional association is hopeful that this will reduce crime rates within the association.

He revealed that the association is in the process of drafting a constitution to regulate their operation, governance system; something he says will help protect both their customers and the members.

The elections were conducted on Saturday in Gulu City at Lamaco hotel presided over by the General Secretary Gulu East Boda-boda Association Godfrey Ojok as the Returning Officer.

The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah was endorsed as the Patron of the association being supported by Rosalba Oywaa with all the Resident District Commissioners co-opted as the opinion leaders.

https://thecooperator.news/hoima-drivers-elect-new-leaders-to-manage-the-park/

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8 Alebtong schools request for government intervention

ALEBTONG – Eight primary schools in Alebtong district are calling for urgent intervention from Ministry of Education and Sports after their roofs were blown off by heavy wind during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The schools calling for urgent intervention include; Telela, Angopet, Amugu Quran, Alela morden, Omarari, Angicakide, Teamyel and Amononeno. The schools also have dilapidated classrooms, staff houses and poor toilet facilities.

“The schools are without a functional water source for the learners and teachers despite water being critical in the fight against COVID-19,” said David Kennedy Odongo, the district LC5 boss.

Late last year, President Yoweri Museveni announced the reopening of the economy and education institutions after two years of lockdown.

According to a report by Communication for Development Uganda, 23,000 teenage pregnancies were recorded in the Lango sub-region during the lockdown as most parents abandoned their roles as guardians to their children.

Approximately, 15 million learners were sent home in March 2020 and resumed classes on 10th January 2022 with challenges ranging from dilapidated structures, collapsed toilets, shortage of classrooms and cracked structures.

Odongo said, the situation is alarming and it is beyond the capacity of the district as it is an emergency.

“The borehole which was serving the schools broke down and we need government intervention to repair it,” he said.

The District Education Officer (DEO), Moses Olwit appealed to development partners to support the rehabilitation and repair of the broken water sources.

He said, there is an urgent need for an emergency fund to support the fixing of the dilapidated and risky classrooms including toilets.

In Apac, the district Secretary for Health and Education, Sam Opira said though the schools have reopened, there is need for the government to undertake major rehabilitations.

“Most of them need rehabilitation but other schools have done due diligence and worked on them,” he said, adding that they advised them to improvise and bring the school to a manageable state to ensure learning takes place.

https://thecooperator.news/covid-19-impact-landlord-evicts-school-over-unpaid-rent-arrears/

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Boda-boda associations suspend revenue collection in Gulu City

GULU – Different associations of boda-boda operators in Gulu City have disagreed with City Authorities on revenue collection and demanded that the Council suspends their new revenue collection directive.

In a bid to widen the revenue base, Council directed the divisions to register all boda-boda operators in their respective areas and generate revenue from them.

Meanwhile, each registered boda-boda operator is to pay Council an annual subscription fee of Shs48,000, a decision widely detested by boda-boda operators.

The City has more than 11,000 boda-boda operators scattered in 422 stages but only 2,174 of the 6000 operators in Western Division were registered and less than 1000 registered in the Eastern Division.

Raymond Ocan, the Chairperson Gulu West Boda-boda Association told theCooperator over the weekend in an interview that they are still consulting members on the new tax policy.

However, he noted that the Council has hurriedly endorsed the new policy but did not consider factors which include construction of stages for boda-boda, hygiene and sanitation.

“We are not against paying taxes but not until they provide us with shades and improvement on garbage management in the areas where we are operating from, then they can take our money,” Ocan explained.

His counterpart Godfrey Ojok, the General Secretary Gulu East Boda-boda Association has also raised similar concerns of lack of parking space for boda-boda operators in the City.

With a total of 6,000 operators, Ojok revealed that only 2,500 have so far been registered while the majority are mobile operators who do not have functional stages provided for within the City.

“The members are still discussing the policy but the most important thing is that we need more time as many of us are still recovering from the lockdown,” Ojok told theCooperator.

The two Division Mayors, Geoffrey Otim and Patrick Oola Lumumba urged City authorities to engage the associations before the implementation.

On Monday, the City Town Clerk Moses Otimong was out of office and did not pick up repeated phone calls over the matter.

The Senior Principal Auditor, Geoffrey Oyoo who was in office declined to speak, arguing that he has no legal mandate or delegation to respond to the concern.

However, with more than 12,000 boda boda operators, the City can potentially generate nearly Shs 600 million from the associations as revenue.

https://thecooperator.news/ministry-of-works-in-consultation-with-taxi-drivers-and-drivers-over-proposed-constitution/

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COVID 19 impact: Landlord evicts school over unpaid rent arrears

HOIMA -The impact of Covid-19 has started to bite in Hoima as Bright Children Nursery and Primary School was evicted over rent areas accumulated over the lockdown.

Bright Children Nursery School is located in Kiryateete, Hoima West City division in Hoima City.

The conflict erupted after the schools officially opened on Monday 10th of this month and registered a good number of pupils.

The Landlord Denis Kaija, asked the School Director, Gerald Mugabi to relocate his school from his structures over failure to pay rent arrears amounting to Shs 30 million which was accrued during the Covid-19 lockdown. For the past two years, the landlord says, Mugabi has never paid a single coin for rent to him.

Kaija issued an eviction notice to the School Director through Majimoto Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs to evict Bright Children Nursery and Primary School from his buildings.

Kaija explains that Mugabi started renting at his premises in 2016. According to the tenancy agreement, Mugabi was meant to stop using the structures in 2020 but the landlord says, his tenant has continued to use the structures even before renewing his tenancy.

When Mugabi failed to pay, Kaija sought police intervention last year where Mugabi agreed that the school will be relocated by November 30, 2021 which has not been done.

He noted that, it was surprising that Mugabi is still operating and recruiting children in his buildings despite failing to honour the agreement.

However, Director Mugabi says, he did not leave the premises because the Landlord also failed to fulfill the agreement they made while at police.

He noted that, the landlord was supposed to pay the school Shs 2million as compensation for some structures that were set up by the school at the site.

He added that if the Landlord had complied, they would have shifted to another place. “Tenant Mugabi / director of Bright Children Nursery and Primary School, is ready to leave so long as the Landlord meets what we signed while at Hoima police,” said Mugabi.

But Kaija rubbished the claims of his tenant saying, his efforts to pay Mugabi the Shs2m have yielded no fruits since Mugabi has always failed to honor the invitation to pick his money.

He further noted that several times he has tried to give Mugambi the Shs2m so that he can vacate his building but Mugabi keeps dodging him.

Kaija also noted that, he has involved several offices including the Hoima City Education department but they have not helped and this forced him to resort to forceful eviction of Mugabi from his buildings since he is unable to pay.

He noted that Hoima City is demanding him Shs5.7 million, property tax and he is unable to pay since his tenant has failed to pay him his rent arrears.

Denis Asiimwe, a Court Bailiff from Majimoto Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs said, the school was closed last week but Mugabi illegally broke the seals and gained access into the structures.

He demanded him to return the 15 padlocks which he broke before any action is taken against him.

Johnson Kusiima Baingana, the Hoima Oil City Principal Education Officer says, his office has received several complaints over the school and promised to make a follow up.

The government through the Ministry of Education and Sports had earlier directed all the Landlords to pardon school owners rent arrears accumulated during a two year lockdown; Landlords say that they are also between a rock and had place.

https://thecooperator.news/clerics-rally-teachers-to-return-to-their-profession-and-save-the-nation/

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Gulu City authorities order for fresh allocation of lockup shops at Gulu main market

GULU – Gulu City authorities have ordered for fresh allocation of lockup shops, stalls and pitches at Gulu Main Market to vendors to restore sanity in the market.

The Council resolution was based on the report by an Adoc committee that was instituted to investigate the challenges in the market related to ownership, taxation and revenue collection in the market.

The committee which is composed of 5 members and chaired by the Woman Councillor IV for Agwee/Queens Parish Gifter Aber for Laroo-Pece division was established in November,2021.

The investigation that was concluded by the end of December, 2021 uncovered several irregularities leading to the resolution to reallocate the lockup shops, stalls and pitches.

The reports indicate that of 515 lockups shops, 97% of them were rented out to vendors between Shs 150,000 to Shs 600,000 depending on their positions.

Technocrats, political leaders and clerics whose identities were withheld from the report were implicated in fraudulent acquisition of the shops from the then Gulu Municipal Developers Association.

In 2015, a group of 85 developers signed the tenancy agreement with the council for a joint ownership of the market but the committee found out that their number has exceeded 240 members.

The tenancy agreement gave the developers 6 years of ownership of the shops which has expired and Council also resolved to terminate their contract with the developers in order to take full control and ownership of the market.

Meanwhile, some of the individuals implicated in the scandals were found in possession of between 5 to 10 lockup shops arising from fraudulent acquisition which they sublet to vendors.

The Gulu City Mayor, Alfred Okwonga told theCooperator in a recent interview that the Council resolved to carry out fresh re-allocation of the lockup shops, and stalls in the next two weeks.

Whereas the Council moves towards reallocation, the report by the adoc committee also exposed a variation of the revenue collected which caused financial losses to the Council in the last two years.

With a projection of more than billions of shillings in annual revenue from the market, the Council only realized Shs106.8 million in 2021 creating a shortfall of the revenue collected in the year.

The revenue performance in the market has increased according to the quarterly performance reports, as Council collected Shs426 million from the market between July and September 2021 with the introduction of the Integrated Revenue Administration System (IRAS).

The Chairman Gulu main market vendors association, Patrick Omaya is hopeful that the market will realize more than a billion shillings from revenue collection with the new finance system which he says, will eliminate corruption in the City and improve on public accountability.

He also revealed that the re-allocation of lock-up shops, stalls and pitches in the market will kick off with fresh registration of the vendors in the next two weeks for verification.

“There was manipulation at the time of allocation that smuggled in more people, most of whom were technocrats,” Omaya told theCooperator in an interview.

The tenancy agreement gave the developers 6 years of ownership of the shops but most of them according to the market authorities have rented out their shops to the vendors.

The Principal Auditor, Gulu City Council however noted that the clause in the tenancy agreement does not give power to the developers to transfer their interest which he says has not been followed.

“The party agreed not to transfer his or interest to a third party without the approval of the Council, the transfer can only be granted whenever there is any eventuality or demise but this is contrary to what we see in the market,” Oyoo said.

Gulu Main Market was constructed at the cost of Shs 29 billion under the Market Agricultural Trade Improvement Project (MATIP) and commissioned by President Museveni in 2016 with the expected capacity to accommodate over 4,000 vendors.

https://thecooperator.news/hoima-drivers-elect-new-leaders-to-manage-the-park/

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Ministry of works in consultation with taxi drivers and drivers over proposed constitution

HOIMA – Ministry of Works and Transport has promised to address the challenges affecting the taxi drivers and owners in the country through the proposed taxi operator’s constitution.

This was revealed by Ministry officials during a regional validation meeting for the draft constitution of the taxi industry.

Recently, Ministry of Works and Transport drafted a constitution on the instructions of the president, to govern the National Association of Taxi Operators.

The meeting held in Hoima City attracted municipal and city leaders, leaders of taxi drivers and owners from the districts of Hoima city, Kagadi, Kibaale, Buliisa and Masindi.

Robert Kisakye, the Senior Licensing Officer at Ministry of works said that a plan to have the constitution for the National Taxi Operators’ Association was reached during a meeting that was held between the taxi operators and President Museveni.

He explained that the national constitution will help the taxi operators to vote for their national leadership.

Kisakye explained that multiple fees paid on the road, harassment in the taxi industry, people leading the industry who are not taxi operators, failure to get support from the government in terms of financial subsidy and mismanagement of funds are some of the challenges which were identified by taxi operators during their meeting.

“The association is mainly going to address the challenges that taxi operators face in the industry. The idea of a constitution came from a meeting between taxi operators and the President. The taxi operators felt the need for accountable leaders and the desire to participate in decision making process in the industry,” said Kisakye.

He added that different officials are traversing the country collecting views of the taxi drivers and owners which they will incorporate into the constitution before passing it into their policy.

There was overwhelming endorsement from Bunyoro as the taxi operators agreed to form an association and offered ideas on how they want the association to look like.

The Ministry will now incorporate these views from the regional meetings and come up with a final constitution that will regulate the association.

Musoke Matia, a businessman and owner of taxis in Kagadi district welcomed the initiative adding that it was long overdue to have the association and laws governing taxi operators.

He noted that this business has been facing several challenges including indisciplined drivers, lack of transparency and over taxation adding that once the draft constitution is passed into law, it will solve many problems.

He further noted that this constitution is going to streamline the taxi industry and restore sanity among the operators.

Karungi Mustafa, the Chairman of Masindi District Taxi Driver’s Association and Hamfrey Mugisa the Chairperson of Hoima Taxi and Bus Park commended the president for the initiative adding that the constitution of the taxi operators’ associations will eliminate masqueraders from the taxi business and give them an opportunity to advocate for their rights.

They said that taxi operators have not been benefiting from the industry as they expected due to lack of a national body to organise them.

They also demanded for regional balance during the elections of the national leaders of the taxi operators’ association.

https://thecooperator.news/hoima-drivers-elect-new-leaders-to-manage-the-park/

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