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Category : Red Pepper

Fake Degrees Scam: Why Mak Has Zeroed On Kyambogo’s Shs 1.5bn ‘Zee Varsity Software’

Fake Degrees Scam: Why Mak Has Zeroed On Kyambogo’s Shs 1.5bn ‘Zee Varsity Software’

Fake Degrees Scam: Why Mak Has Zeroed On Kyambogo’s Shs 1.5bn ‘Zee Varsity Software’

By Venenscias Kiiza

Makerere University will spend at least shs 1,594,060,000, in a move to find a lasting solution to the management of her online academic records, with the 94 year old institution in the final stages of acquiring Kyambogo University’s “Zee varsity software,” Red pepper has learnt.

According to the leaked confidential report in our possession, the university will spend shs 500m to acquire the Zee Varsity software, shs 200m for 2 months labor to install the system, and shs 800m as annual support. Other expenditures include; shs 18m for system networking (cables, sockets, ports, switches) , shs 12m on CCTV surveillance (DVR/NVR and IP cameras), shs 43.3m on 10 computers( PC’s and UPS’), shs 15m on server discs (hard and RAM discs), and as well shs 5.7m on overtime allowances to six staff members for two months. This brings the whole total to Shs 1,594,060,000.

“Management has assessed the options available and arrived at short term expenditure worth shs 94m to secure the results data and the medium term projection worth shs1.5 billion to migrate data to a secure platform,” reads the leaked document detailing the move.

According to a report titled,‘CRISIS IN MANAGEMENT OF ONLINE ACADEMIC RECORDS’ that was submitted by management to the university council, it’s only this software that can help mitigate the problem. The report, suggests that, the University’s current system was designed and developed internally by personnel from the academic registrars’ department ICT Division cannot be used neither relied on any more.

“Due to lack of password credentials and other challenges, the system can no longer be used, “reads the report. Management has revealed that, it is currently facing a crisis in the management of online academic records, calling for an urgent intervention. The crisis is in the academic registrars’ department on the stalled processing of; academic results, issuance of academic transcripts, processing of online applications and admissions for the new students, among other processes.

This, they say has been brought about by the suspension of the six personnel over the alleged alteration of marks who previously have been manning the ‘ICT DIVISION’ of the academic registrar.

This follows the wide spread change of marks by different officials at the university, where students without fulfilling all their academic requirements had continuously graduated. The vice plunged the 94 year institution into public criticism in February this year when over 56 students were removed from the list at the eve of graduation. The university has since arrested six officials from the academic registrars’ department who are allegedly suspected to have been behind this vice.

WHY MAK HAS ZEROED ON KYAMBOGO’S SYSTEM

“The system has been developed by staff at Kyambogo university and it has been successfully tested widely and used in universities such as Ndejje, Kyambogo itself, Busitema, Nkumba and Muteesa 1 Royal University, “reads the report.

Officials say, at least this system is secure and multifunctional with a number of modules like finance, online applications, academic registrar, timetabling, course structure, provision of transcripts among others.

“The acquisition of the system requires a contractual arrangement (MoU with Kyambogo university, Ministry of ICT, and Ministry of Finance; who are already following this path to extend the system to all public universities),” reads the report in support of the Kyambogo System.

According to a detailed report, the software is modular but integrated with robust academic management system that is highly configurable to fit any context of a university regardless of the size of the university developed over the period of five years. The system is role based, meaning only one person with rights can access system functions and reports according to their roles, being the first level of security.

Multi-Campus Access

The system can be configured to fully support multi-branch/college institutions whose branches may be having large distances apart. The system can also work across a WAN with de-centralized or centralized services and components, fully with redundancy. The system has also got an integrated and unified computerized university information management solution designed to automate institution business processes and improve service delivery.

Admissions

With admissions, according to the report; the system can enable online application and submission of forms, online upload of necessary relevant academic documents, SMS notification, applicants ranking and weighting system, possible integration with UNEB, electronic dissemination of admission letters, customizable admission letter templates, admission reports and as well automated collection of admission fees.

Registration

The system on this is said, to enable first time registration of fresh students, student enrolment enforced in the first two weeks to project revenue, class lists can also be generated from known class size which guides in the planning of student management.

“It also provides provisional registration for special category of students such as the statehouse sponsored ones. Reduction of fake teaching loads since it can also enable time tabling, photo management (storage, capture), and optional biometric kit integration for capture of finger prints…” reads the report.

Still with this functionality, it can also support provisional registration based on configured policy, self-registration of continuing students, registration status indicated on student portals, registration reports, managing retakes registration, automatic administration surcharges, such as late registration.

Finance and Payments management

The recommendation report further revealed that, the system has got an integrated real-time payment information management function that according to the university officials bridges the gap between information systems and payment platforms such as banking, mobile money among others. “The system structure is based on student enrolment, it can be linked to the bank through APIs like MAKPAY, strict instructions to the bank not to post offline, have reference numbers attached to every student invoice that expire, auto generation and dissemination of invoices, “the report adds.

Other functionalities include; instant payment notification through Email and Sms, and splits payments. Fees are also attached to a person according to the student status, allows for advance payments, students are able to view their financial status, automatic reconciliation, configuration of receivables, intuitive reports, billing system among others.

Results and Transcripts

According to the report, the system has got a program manager, grading system, results entry where lecturers have got accounts for marks entry as well as academic supervisors,. Lecturers can also be assigned teaching loads and be notified by Email, has got a two factor authentication, can track changes for results through unapproved policy and process.

“With this system, changes can be initiated by students, the system also times out when idle as part of the security measure; it can disseminate results (Email, Print, Portal), and as well registration and results are linked for control purposes,”

The system also can process transcript and testimonial templates, retake and missing marks management, online academic document verification, reports, and as well transcripts is secured by QR-code; enable students to view their marks and as well printing of both transcripts and testimonials.

Human Resource

Officials have also since revealed that, the system has got an online application for the filling of vacant positions, document solution uploads, integration to other applications like finance for payments, results and timetable. It has also got leave and contracts management features.

Security

Officials contend that, unlike the Makerere one, this system uses two factor authentication, access code changes every after 30 seconds, it is operated under a controlled environment(operational terminal are user specific and network secured by static IP credentials). The system has also got scans and checks for behavioral patterns and institutes preventive mechanisms.

We have since established that on Wednesday April 5th, a few members of Makerere university management, led by chairperson of the ICT committee, Dr.DavidTurahi, visited Kyambogo University for further discussion regarding the E-Kampus. Another group was also dispatched to Mbarara University of Science and Technology on 7th April for a presentation, whereby they were all impressed.In order to avoid bias, the report also outlines other software’s/systems under survey, however they have all since proved insufficient given the nature of a university like Makerere.

0 Comments / 0 View / April 26, 2017 5:05 PM

Graduation Mess: Fired Mak Procurement Officials Speak Out

Graduation Mess: Fired Mak Procurement Officials Speak Out

Graduation Mess: Fired Mak Procurement Officials Speak Out

By Venenscias Kiiza

Makerere University has suspended two officials from the Procurement and disposal unit for allegedly involving in dubious deals, falling short of following the PPDA Act, Regulations & Guidelines in the recently concluded 67th graduation ceremony.

The suspended officials are Levi Tushabe, the manager Procurement and disposal unit and Francis Nyenda also from the same unit. They are set to appear before the disciplinary committee for further action. The decision to suspend them was reached at on Friday evening by the appointments board committee, following a report into the alleged mismanagement of the 67thgraduation that was presented to the board.

According to the suspension letter seen by this reporter signed by Vice chancellor Prof John Ddumba Ssentamu, the two are accused of grossly flouting PPDA Act 2003 and PPDA regulations 2014.They are also accused of abuse of office and gross negligence, unethical conduct and presentation of Deen establishment company for which was contracted to supply chairs, yet it is not a limited company and not an NSSF and VAT compliant.

It has been discovered that, there were a lot of anomalies in the handling of the graduation activities especially in the awarding of contracts to the suppliers and service providers, something that has since plunged the institution into spotlight.

According to the graduation budget, seen by this website; the university spent; shs 61,350,000 on hiring equipment and procurement items, shs 6,400,000 on first aid, shs 20m on security, shs 48.3m on publicity, and shs 249,170,000 on printing. Others include; shs 306,550,000 on venue expenses, shs 25,350,000 on workshops, shs 99.8m on allowances, shs 15,600,000 on extra load and as well shs 9,144,00 on meals. The whole budget summed up to shs 841.6m, although the university secretary maintained that they could have spent only Shs 500m.

We have since learnt that, the award of contracts for these huge sums of money deals had to go through the procurement process, and it is from here that the two officials messed. According to sources, some of the contracts were awarded without approval of the university authorities, exchange of kickbacks, and inflated prices.

“During the preparations for the graduation ceremony, there were suppliers and service providers who had to follow the PPDA Act, overseen by the university’s procurement and disposal unit. This is where there was a problem,” revealed University secretary, Charles Barugahare.

According to Barugahare, during the preparations and the graduation ceremony, he noticed that a lot of businesses were going on, which he says had not been approved by the university’s relevant organs. The business people included those who were selling; drinks, packed food, snacks, and photographers, among others at an event that lasted four days. He contends that, it was from this background that he instituted a small team of his trusted men, to go on ground and investigate what was happening. However, the investigating underground team hit a dead end when on the day of submitting their findings (which included exhibits, such as receipts and some files), were attacked by unknown people and grabbed everything they had, before vanishing in air.

This incensed top officials and realized that, there was foul play in everything. It was on this, that the university vice chancellor Prof John Ddumba on request of the university secretary instituted a probe committee to investigate the matter and produce a well prepared report. This was chaired by Prof. Noble Banadda, Head of Department of Agricultural and Bio-systems engineering under the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). Other probe committee members were; Dr. Tumps Ireeta, Dr. Stella Amero, Joan Mutekanga and Goddy Muhumuza, the university’s legal officer who was also secretary to the committee. It is this committee’s report that the appointments board relied on to suspend the two officials.

This also follows earlier suspension of Margret Etuusa, Makerere University’s deputy academic
registrar in charge of Certificates and Ceremonies one month back for illegally authorizing the collection of money from parents and students to keep their phones during the recently concluded graduation ceremony. It was later revealed that Exxon Contractors Ltd, a company belonging to one Yasin Mwandha, was hired by the Office of the Academic Registrar to offer the service after paying shs1m to the university.

SUSPENDED OFFICIALS SPEAK OUT

When contacted the manager procurement, Levi Tushabe said, he is still in shock following his suspension, trying to think about the whole matter and how the university sealed his fate.

“All I can say is that I have been wrongly suspended. I tried my level best as the head of procurement to ensure the graduation was successful, but this is how I have been rewarded. I haven’t gotten a full copy of what they are really accusing me of, apart from seeing the brief contained in my suspension letter,” Levi said.

On the issues raised in the suspension letter where, they are accusing him of contracting the Deen Establishments, to supply chairs when not compliant with VAT and NSSF on top of being not a registered limited company, Levi said, that’s not true.

He says it is a genuine and reputable firm, which has been supplying Makerere University over the last years. Accordingly, Deen establishments was contracted to supply chairs for the four-day event. He says, at first the academic registrar and the contracts committee approved 10000 chairs, with each chair at shs 500 per day. This means in four days, the university was to spend shs 20m on chairs. However, he says, the university later realized that the 10000 chairs were not enough and made a last hour requisition directing the manager procurement to look for other 2000 chairs in addition, at shs 4m for four days .It was at this point that Levi again contacted the Deen establishments and agreed to supply more chairs. However, the university accuses him of not informing the contracts committee about the decision, something which he denies.

“According to PPDA rules, a bid that does not exceed shs 5m can be handled by PDU without necessarily going though the bidding process and that’s what I did, because the extra 2000 chairs were to be supplied at shs 4m.The academic registrar approved and signed for it even,” he added.

Efforts to get a comment form Francis Nyenda were futile as he could not be reached by press time.

Shs800m discovered on officials account

Although we could not confirm these allegations independently, it has been alleged that the probe committee discovered shs 800m on the account of suspended deputy academi registrar in charge of Certificates and Ceremonies, Margaret Etuusa.

We are not sure, whether this is part of shs134m; she is estimated to have collected from unsuspecting parents and graduands to offer phone keeping services. Parents and students who had carried phones were required to pay between Shs 3000 and 5000 for each phone to be kept by the company that was assigned since such gadgets were not allowed at the graduation venue.

“She had turned her office into an office of deals. We are investigating all that. We are told she has the protection of the Vice chancellor, but we shall find out everything,” said, one of the probe committee members, who preferred anonymity.

In her suspension letter dated 7th March ,Dumba stated that Etuusa’s suspension followed public outcry of the said incident ,adding that the university’s image had been put into disrepute and portrayed as a place where anyone can do anything at will and without sanction.

“Preliminary investigations have shown that you are the officer at the Centre of the above controversy of purported fleecing of money from the unsuspecting members of the public, and attempting to paint the good image of Makerere University ‘black’, “reads the letter.

Dumba went ahead to accuse Etuusa, for illegally handling the process of charging phone owners without the approval of the university authority, and for irregularly and illegally awarding the contract to whoever was fleecing money from the public which he said amounted to gross misconduct and abuse of office.

“You overstepped your powers and abused your office by single handedly procuring the phone handler. You flouted the PPDA provisions and vested yourself with powers of the contracts committee without such mandate, so your actions are susceptible to fraud, abuse of office and tantamount to gross misconduct contrary to the well-known and laid down procurement laws, policies and procedures,” Dumba wrote, revealing that Etuusa’s written explanation was found not convincing.

14,897 students graduated with degrees and diplomas during the week long exercise. Each of the graduands was accompanied by two people, which means the company could have collected up to Shs 134m from the graduands and their parents if each of them turned up with their mobile phone, among other gadgets.

However, Ritah Namisango, the Makerere University’s spokesperson, was quoted by the local daily denying that the institution had hired anyone to keep prohibited items at a cost.

Commenting on the matter, Etuusa said that the matter is being blown out of proportion by some individuals within management trying to witch-hunt her. She has since asked management to handle it in an appropriate manner rather than using her as escape goat.

0 Comments / 0 View / April 26, 2017 4:42 PM

Another MP Thrown Out of Parliament

Another MP Thrown Out of Parliament

Another MP Thrown Out of Parliament

Forum for Democratic Change has today lost another member in parliament after Court of Appeal nullifying the election of Kyaddondo East Member of Parliament Apollo Kantinti over non compliance of electoral laws.

Kantinti appealed in mid last year following High Court’s Isabirye Kaweesa judgment nullifying Kantinti’s election and ordering for fresh elections in his constituency.

This followed a successful petition by his arch rival Sitenda Sebalu who lost to Kantinti by a small margin of 326 votes in the February 18 election.

Sebalu accused Kantinti and the Electoral Commission for conniving to commit several election irregularities which he said affected the quality of the election in Kyadondo East in a substantial manner, hence the nullification of the same by the court.

However, Kantinti appealed against the High Court’s ruling and today the Court of Appeal has ruled that:

“We have found in our resolution on ground number seven that the learned trial judge was correct when he held that there was noncompliance of the electoral laws which substantially affected the results of Kyadondo East Constituency,” reads part of the joint ruling by Justice Paul Mugamba, Justice Cheborion Barishaki and Richard Buteera.

“The election of Kyadondo East Constituency is here by set aside and the electoral commission ordered to conduct fresh elections in the constituency,” the judgment states.

0 Comments / 0 View / April 26, 2017 3:42 PM

Another Sudhir Forex Bureau Closed

Another Sudhir Forex Bureau Closed

Another Sudhir Forex Bureau Closed

The Bank of Uganda has closed yet another Forex Bureau belonging to the embattled business mogul Sudhir Ruparelia.

At first it was Crane Forex bureau, now it’s Stanhope Forex Bureau Limited all belonging to Sudhir.

According to the statement released by the deputy governor, Louis Kasekendi, Stanhope Forex Bureau’s license expired and was not renewed despite all the efforts to remind the owner.

The forex bureau is therefore not permitted to transact any business as prescribed under Foreign Exchange Act 2004.

“Stanhope Forex Bureau limited is not permitted to transact any business prescribed under the Foreign Exchange Act, 2004. The public is warned that whoever deals with this Forex Bureau, its proprietors, directors or managers In relation to foreign exchange or money remittance business does so at his or her own risk,” statement reads in part.

All these however come a few months after Sudhir’s Crane bank was taken over by Bank of Uganda before being sold to DFCU bank over insolvency.

0 Comments / 0 View / April 26, 2017 3:15 PM

Kabafunzaki Cited in Another Dirty Deal

Kabafunzaki Cited in Another Dirty Deal

Kabafunzaki Cited in Another Dirty Deal

The embattled state minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations, Herbert Kabafunzaki, is involved in fresh controversy over a botched labour export deal that he allegedly engineered while still in cabinet.

The Rukiga county MP is being accused by 92 youths from his own constituency, who say he collected money from them to take them to find jobs in Qatar and United Arab Emirates, but disappeared from them after pocketing the money.

According to the youths, Kabafunzaki and his political assistant in charge of Muhanga town council, Allen Kabasi Kyirasha, collected Shs600, 000 from each of them

The complainants say they deposited the money, which was meant to help process their travel and medical documents in Equity bank, Kabale branch on account number 032200893120.

They claim that Kabafunzaki and Kyirasha promised to take only those who had paid up in February this year but to date nothing has happened.

They claim that after paying the money, Kabafunzaki and his aide cut off communication. They now want Kabafunzaki and Kyirasha to refund their money since they have lost hope of getting the jobs.

However, Kabafunzaki denied the claims saying he has never involved himself in any jobs deals and he doesn’t know those people claiming that he took their money.

“I have never received people and I have never received any money from anybody. I have no company that takes people abroad,” he said.

Kabafunzaki is currently suspended from office for allegedly soliciting a bribe of Shs 30m from Mohammed Hamid, the director of AYA Group of Companies, which owns Pearl of Africa hotel in Nakasero.

@Observer

0 Comments / 0 View / April 26, 2017 2:01 PM

Kanyamunyu Company Shut over Debts

Kanyamunyu Company Shut over Debts

Kanyamunyu Company Shut over Debts

Quatum Logistics Express, a company owned by the incarcerated Mathew Kanyamunyu has been closed by Uganda Revenue Authority over accumulated debts in tax revenues

URA says the company has failed to clear a debt of over Shs13m from Value Added Tax and thus couldn’t be allowed to continue running.

This website understands that in November 2016, URA signed a memorandum of understanding with the director of Quatum, Kanyumunyu to clear a debt of sh25m shillings which had accumulated over a period of two years.

But the company, located on second street Industrial Area, paid only sh12m and reportedly issued two cheques that bounced.

URA’s head of the Debt Collection Department, Stanley Karyemera, said directors of the company have been given 14 days to clear the debt before the company is handed over to the auctioneers to sell it off in order to recover the balance of sh13m.

0 Comments / 0 View / April 26, 2017 1:29 PM

More Political Diplomats are Appointed than Career ones – Kuteesa

More Political Diplomats are Appointed than Career ones – Kuteesa

More Political Diplomats are Appointed than Career ones – Kuteesa

The Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs, Sam Ku­teesa has lamented over the im­bal­ance in the ap­point­ment of more po­lit­i­cal diplo­mats over ca­reer diplo­mats.

Ku­teesa, while meet­ing Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment on the For­eign Af­fairs com­mit­tee on Tuesday noted that cur­rently, only 17.1% of the 35 am­bas­sadors spread across the world are ca­reer diplo­mats.

Ku­teesa, who pre­sented the 2017/​2018 bud­get es­ti­mates be­fore MPs, re­vealed that only six out of the 35 diplo­mats have served in diplo­matic ser­vice for years and have ad­e­quate ex­pe­ri­ence to han­dle foreign pol­icy mat­ters.

He named them as Phillip Ka­tureebe sta­tioned at Mom­basa, Kenya; Nimisha Mad­hvani posted to Abu Dhabi; Katende Se­bu­jja posted in New York; Ado­nia Ayebare in New York; Richard Kabonero in Dar es Salaam and Solomon Rutega in Guangzhou.

The min­is­ter re­vealed that he has made rec­om­men­da­tions to the Pres­i­dent, who is the ap­point­ing author­ity, to consider ca­reer diplo­mats first dur­ing his con­sid­er­a­tion of am­bas­sadors for post­ings, a decision which a sec­tion of com­mit­tee MPs agreed to.

Rose Mu­tonyi, the com­mit­tee chair­per­son agreed that the im­bal­ances in the diplo­matic ap­point­ments could cause in­ter­nal squab­bles, es­pe­cially ca­reer diplo­mats who feel left out.

Mu­tonyi tasked Ku­teesa to or­gan­ise a meet­ing be­tween the com­mit­tee and the Pres­i­dent to iron out some of the discrep­an­cies in the For­eign Ser­vice, as well as bud­getary con­straints that have seen a number of for­eign mis­sions in dire straits.

The Pres­i­dent early this year ap­pointed new am­bas­sadors, with the list dot­ted with politi­cians who lost in the 2016 gen­eral elec­tions.

They in­cluded for­mer De­fence min­is­ter, Dr. Cris­pus Kiy­onga, Joy Ruth Ochieng, Phibby Otaala, Bar­bara Nekesa, Jame Mbahimba and Re­becca Otengo.

@Parliament

0 Comments / 0 View / April 26, 2017 9:33 AM

Education Sector yet to Receive over UGX100bn in Presidential Pledges

Education Sector yet to Receive over UGX100bn in Presidential Pledges

Education Sector yet to Receive over UGX100bn in Presidential Pledges

The ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor is yet to re­ceive Ugx100 bil­lion in pres­i­den­tial pledges in the 2016/​2017 fi­nan­cial year.

Mem­bers of Par­lia­men­t’s ed­u­ca­tion com­mit­tee re­vealed that the 18 votes un­der the Min­istry of Education are yet to re­ceive the funds, in spite of re­minders to the Pres­i­dent to do so.

While meet­ing the MPs on the com­mit­tee on April 24, 2017, Pro­fes­sor Joy Kwe­siga, the Vice Chan­cel­lor of Ka­bale Uni­ver­sity re­vealed that pres­i­den­tial pledges amount­ing to Ugx 47 bil­lion have ac­crued since No­vem­ber 2016.

Prof. Kwe­siga gave a break­down of the pledges, ex­plain­ing that Ugx 10 bil­lion was for the con­struc­tion of build­ings to house the Fac­ulty of En­gi­neer­ing; Ugx 15 bil­lion to con­struct a uni­ver­sity li­brary; Ugx 7 billion to equip the sci­ence, en­gi­neer­ing and med­i­cine lab­o­ra­to­ries; as well as Ugx 15 bil­lion to con­struct a Fac­ulty of Health Sci­ences.

She re­vealed that in the 2017/​2018 fi­nan­cial year bud­get, these funds have not been al­lo­cated, yet there was an agree­ment to have the monies al­lo­cated in phases over fi­nan­cial years.

Com­mit­tee vice chair­man, Ja­cob Opolot was bit­ter with the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent for fail­ing to meet its oblig­a­tions through bud­get­ing for the funds.

Opolot sug­gested that the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, Fi­nance and of­fi­cials from the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent hold a meet­ing to dis­cuss how gov­ern­ment will pro­vide the funds to fa­cil­i­tate de­vel­op­ment at the institu­tions.

The com­mit­tee also met dif­fer­ent uni­ver­si­ties, among them Mak­erere Uni­ver­sity.

Dur­ing the in­ter­face, Mak­erere Uni­ver­sity Vice Chan­cel­lor, Prof. John Ddumba-Sen­tamu re­vealed that the uni­ver­sity re­quires more fund­ing to­wards equip­ping a new den­tistry school.

Prof. Ddumba-Sen­tamu noted that the uni­ver­sity will open the school, un­der the Col­lege of Health Sciences in the new aca­d­e­mic year how­ever there are no funds to pur­chase and run the equip­ment and pay staff.

He says due to the fi­nan­cial con­straints, the uni­ver­sity will not ad­mit new stu­dents in the new aca­d­e­mic year.

In re­sponse, Opolot said the com­mit­tee will scru­ti­nize the in­sti­tu­tion’s Ugx388 bil­lion and al­lo­cate at least Ugx300 mil­lion to fa­cil­i­tate the den­tistry school.

@Parliament

0 Comments / 0 View / April 26, 2017 9:20 AM

Ugandans Detained In China on Drug Related Cases Face Execution

Ugandans Detained In China on Drug Related Cases Face Execution

Ugandans Detained In China on Drug Related Cases Face Execution

By Serestino Tusingwire

Ugan­dans de­tained in China on drug re­lated cases risk fac­ing ex­e­cu­tion in line with Chi­nese laws af­ter gov­ern­ment ef­forts to have them de­ported back home hit a snug.

While ap­pear­ing be­fore the For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee of Par­lia­ment on Tuesday, Hon Sam Ku­teesa the For­eign Affairs Min­is­ter said that gov­ern­ment is still ne­go­ti­at­ing to have Ugan­dans serve their sen­tences from home.

“We have ap­pealed to China to have our cit­i­zens come and serve their sen­tences at home but the challenge is that they do not trust our ju­di­cial sys­tem,” Ku­teesa said.

The Min­is­ter also told the com­mit­tee that China treats drug traf­fick­ing as a se­ri­ous of­fence, pun­ish­able by death and as thus, the au­thor­i­ties feared to let any con­victs be taken out of the coun­try.

Min­is­ter Ku­teesa’s sub­mis­sion fol­lowed con­cerns raise by Mbale Mu­nic­i­pal­ity MP Jack Wa­manga Wa­mai and Kawempe North’s La­teef Sse­bag­gala.

The law­mak­ers wanted him to ex­plain gov­ern­ment ef­forts in sav­ing the con­victed na­tion­als from death. Ac­cord­ing to a 2016 re­port, Uganda has about 120 cit­i­zens in Chi­na’s pris­ons cells out and 73 are on death row.

0 Comments / 3 View / April 26, 2017 8:53 AM

Malaria still number one killer, 63% Ugandans prefer self medication to testing

Malaria still number one killer, 63% Ugandans prefer self medication to testing

Malaria still number one killer, 63% Ugandans prefer self medication to testing

By Sarah Achen

The new study reveals that majority of Ugandans don’t believe in malaria testing known as RDT.

The study which was released by HEPS Uganda at Piato Restaurant in Kampala on Thursday 13th indicates that 63% of the population believes in the outcome of malaria test, 21% not always, conduct their own diagnosis say theirs is more important and 16% have never had a malaria test. Others that also attended included CEHURD, PATH, Reproductive Health Uganda, Infectious Disease Institute among others.

According to Dr George Bwesigye from Najeera hospital, RDT Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) assist in the diagnosis of malaria by providing evidence of the presence of malaria parasites in human blood. RDTs are an alternative to diagnosis based on clinical grounds or microscopy, particularly where good quality microscopy services cannot be readily provided. The current charge for RDT test is Shs 3000-4000.

The study involved listeners from up county radio stations was carried out by TRAC.fm in partnership with HEPS malaria campaign with the support of Ministry of Health, development partners carried out the study between Feb 6-22 2017 with 4586 responses.

It was also discovered that malaria had the greatest impact on people’s life accounting for 43%, followed HIV, thirdly Tuberclosis and lastly others at 15%.

The poll was aiming done to find out why people shun testing for malaria and 32% of the respondents say they don’t need the test, because they know if they have malaria or not, 24% say the tests are too expensive, 23% of the people don’t know there is a test and 21% add that the tests are not available.

Responding to the study, Denis Kibira the Executive director of Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS), the poll results indicate that there is public doubt regarding the quality of RDT on the market.

Civil society organisations health advocators say that eliminating malaria is everyone’s responsibility but government must take the lead by funding only 5% of the malaria budget because government is not demonstrating leadership.

The national response to malaria is funded from the national budget and from donations from development partners. The challenge is that response is too dependent on external donors, with government contributing barely 5% of total funding. Available data indicate that between 2014 and 2016, government for malaria totaled US dollar 11.8m, which is just about 5.6% of the total expenditure on malaria over the three-year period amounting to US dollar 207.6m.

Out of the total budget shs 60.9m US dollar government contributes 3.6m US dollar for malaria leaving a gap of 80%. Uganda needs shs 308m US dollar to eliminate malaria completely out of the country.

Malaria is still one of the major diseases affecting families all over Uganda. Testing a blood sample is the most conclusive way to know whether one has malaria or not. This can be done by a health worker or at home, using a testing kit.

Testing malaria makes treatment more effective and allows for other treatment options when one does not have malaria, as only one in three cases of fever is actually malaria. However, based on numbers from the Ministry of Health, only 60% tests for malaria.

Kibira explains that there is need to expedite the proposed reform of the law to expand the regulatory mandate of National Drug Authority to include medical devices.

Patrick Ojilong the advocacy manager of Action Group for Health Human Rights and HIV/Aids (AGHA) adds that 95% of the malaria funds are donor funded. If we don’t invest now our dream of eliminating malaria from Ugandan might be far from near.

Malaria is the single cause of illness death in Uganda. The country has the third highest number of deaths from malaria and one of the highest reported malaria transmission rates in the world. Malaria accounts for 30% -50% of outpatient visits, 15%-20% of hospital admissions and up to 20% of all hospital deaths.

Ministry of Health estimates that in 2013, 27.2% of inpatient deaths of children under than five years of age were due to malaria. Overall about 16 cases and about 10,500 deaths are reported per year.

Early diagnosis and treatment of malaria reduces disease and prevents deaths. It also contributes to reducing malaria transmission. The Uganda Malaria Reduction Strategic Plan 2016-2020 sets three targets in the control of malaria: to reduce annual malaria deaths from the 2013 levels to near zero by 2020, reduce malaria morbidity to 30 cases per 1000 population for instance reduction from the 2013 levels by 2020 and to reduce malaria parasite prevalence to less than 7% reduction from 45% in 2010 by 2020.

It was recommended that there is no quality assurance of Rapid Diagnostic Response commonly known as RDT by the private sector outside the National Drug Authority procedures and their quality should be ascertained by NDA.

Although many diseases can be prevented these days, people still affected by infectious diseases. Some diseases have a minor impact; others have a bigger impact on someone’s life. This impact can be loss of a family member, frequent illness, illness of family members, or loss of work days due to illness.

The Budget Framework for Financial Year 2017/18 indicates that up to 80% of funds required to procure medicines for malaria-the country’s single biggest cause of illness and death – have not been allocated. Since health care, including medicines are by policy provided free of charge in public health facilities in the country, government has the obligation to mobilize funds to fill the current funding gap for anti-malarial medicines.

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