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New survey enduring global support for refugees

June 20, 2024 10:42 amNew survey enduring global support for refugees

By Winfred Watenya

As Uganda joins in commemoration of the World Refugee today, a new survey has revealed enduring public support for refugees, alongside stark variations in attitudes.

The 52-country survey report from Ipsos and UNHCR, released as part of

UNHCR’s “Hope Away from Home campaign”, aims to shed light on issues related to refugees and contribute to a better global understanding of public attitudes towards refugees.

The survey takes place against a backdrop of unprecedented levels of forced displacement, with more than 120 million people forcibly displaced globally, by May 2024, as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, or events seriously disturbing public order.

One of the key findings is that global support for offering refuge to people seeking safety from war or persecution remains high.

Almost three in four people (73% Global country average) express support for offering refuge to those fleeing war or persecution. Support is highest in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, with 93% in Kenya and 92% in Uganda.

According to data from the Office of the Prime Minister, Uganda is home to nearly 1.7 million refugees and asylum-seekers, most of them from South Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The World Refugee Day is being marked under the theme; “Hope Away from Home: A World Where Refugees Are Always Included.

 

 

Museveni to quiz UIA officials over Shs500m 

June 20, 2024 10:22 amMuseveni to quiz UIA officials over Shs500m 

By Busein Samilu

In another move seen as tightening the noose of corrupt government officials, president Museveni is today set to quiz officials of the Uganda Investment Authority over an alleged cash bonanza.

More than a dozen officials involved in what has become ‘the honoraria cash saga’, will today appear before the president to explain their role in the controversial payment of Shs545m taken from a loan-funded project.

High-placed sources have told Daily Monitor that the seven-member Board, chaired by Morrison Rwakakamba, has also been summoned to State House Entebbe, to explain how the money meant for infrastructural transformation project at Kampala Industrial Park was shared amongst the 14 UIA officials including the Director General, Robert Mukiza.

The president last week met Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and the junior Finance Minister in charge of investment docket, Evelyn Anite, who had earlier in a plain-speaking June 12 letter to UIA board chairman, described the honoraria payment from a project loan as “despicable, uncouth, barbaric and uncultured”.

The authority’s spokesperson David Rupiny confirms that a selected number of the entity’s top officials attended the meeting at State House whose details, he was not privy to.

Donor community urged to increase refugee support towards Self-Reliance Model

June 20, 2024 9:49 amDonor community urged to increase refugee support towards Self-Reliance Model

By Winfred Watenya

Government has implored the World Food program (WFP) with support from other donors to provide the requisite resources to implement the Self-Reliance Model that critically envisages investments in the livelihoods sector for refugees and the host communities.

This comes as Uganda joins in commemorating the World Refugee Day under the theme; “In Solidarity with Refugees”, in a world where refugees are welcome.

In his message for the day, the minister for disaster preparedness and refugees Hillary Onek says while Uganda is committed to its international Obligation under the law, guided by the Pan African Ideology- UBUNTU.

“With our open door policy, we call upon the international community under the Global Refugee Forum and support Uganda to be able to host refugees in a humane and dignified manner.

Minister Onek has also committed to ensuring that the refugee response in the country is supported through the political and technical leadership of the sector in the country

The national World Refugee Day commemorative event is being held at Rhino Refugee Settlement in Terego District.

 

World Refugee Day: UN calls for solidarity, inclusion amid record displacement

June 20, 2024 9:31 amWorld Refugee Day: UN calls for solidarity, inclusion amid record displacement

By Winfred Watenya

UN chief António Guterres says with forced displacement at a record high of 110 million people around the world, there should be more solutions to resettle refugees and help them rebuild their lives.

He also stressed the need for solidarity with host countries and communities and said Guns must fall silent if the exodus is to stop.

Guterres adds that these are individual women, children and men making difficult journeys – often facing violence, exploitation, discrimination and abuse.

Youngsters need quality education amid the upheaval, and generous host nations also need resources so that refugees can be fully integrated into society and the labor force according to the UN chief.

This year’s world refugee day theme is “Hope Away from Home: A World Where Refugees Are Always Included.

“During my decades when I commissioned for refugees I witnessed the resilience and contributions of the refugees across all of life, their  perseverance in the face of adversity inspires me every day, they represent the very best of human spirits”, Guterres said.

                          

Former Mulago hospital boss Baterana charged, remanded over alleged corruption

June 19, 2024 6:52 pmFormer Mulago hospital boss Baterana charged, remanded over alleged corruption

 Former Executive Director of Mulago National Referral Hospital Dr Byarugaba Baterana has been arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court and remanded to Luzira Prison over corruption related charges.

The charges stem from the alleged irregular payment of billions of shillings to some suppliers.

He is jointly accused with nine others including former hospital employees and directors of a private company, Setramaco International Limited and Convention World Limited.

Dr Baterana and others have been charged with the offences of abuse of office and causing financial loss regarding contested payments of billions of taxpayers’ money.

These are said to have flouted payment procedures amounting to over Shs11bn, when they among other things irregularly processed payment of Shs 3bn to Setramaco International Limited purportedly for the payment supply of consumables.

These were reportedly meant to be used in the routine servicing and repair of large size sterilization equipment with an alleged capacity of 1500 litres, which never existed at the hospital; an act that was prejudicial to the interests of their employer.

The group is also accused of making another payment of over Shs1.5bn to the same company for sterilization equipment.

While Shs7.5bn went to the alleged supply of consumables and repair and service of sterilization equipment at old Mulago, Kirudu and Kawempe hospitals. However, they have denied the charges slapped against them.

Presiding magistrate, Albert Asiimwe has sent the suspects on remand because it was already late for court to hear and determine their bail application although the charges against them are bailable.

They are expected to return to court on June 24 for hearing of the bail application.

 

 15 perish in Kassanda road crash

June 19, 2024 6:39 pm 15 perish in Kassanda road crash

At least 15 people are confirmed to have died in a road crash that occurred this afternoon at Namirayngo in Kassanda district along Mityana-Bukuya road.

According to Wamala region police spokesperson Racheal Kawala, the crash involved an Isuzu Forward truck, Reg no. UBA 605A, which was carrying market vendors from Mityana Town to Bukuya.

She says the yet to be identified driver of the truck lost control on a slope, causing it to overturn, resulting in the death of 11 people on the spot.

Kawala says scores of others have sustained serious injuries and have been rushed to Mityana Hospital and Bukuya Health Centre IV for treatment.

The bodies of the deceased have been conveyed to Mityana hospital mortuary for post-mortem examination, while the vehicle has been towed to Kassanda Police Station for further inspection.

“Inquiries are ongoing to determine the cause of the accident.

The scene of the crime has been visited by traffic officers, and the bodies of the deceased have been conveyed to Mityana hospital mortuary for post-mortem examination. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims”, said Kawala in a press statement issued on Wednesday afternoon