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Bankers To Review Interest Rates, Sudan Warns South Rebels

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pill geneva; font-size: small;”>In a meeting that took place at State House Nakasero, cure this afternoon the President and the investors discussed a wide range of issues hinging on business opportunities in Uganda particularly the creation of a special economic zone.

Mr. Sitki and his delegation confirmed to President Museveni that their company is ready to start investing in Uganda and singled out the areas of processing and exporting Uganda coffee as well as meat processing.

Uganda and Turkey have in the recent past signed a bilateral trade agreement that will formalize the business traffic between the 2 countries. The signing of the agreement followed a first joint economic commission of a Ministerial session held in Kampala.

According to statistics, trade between Turkey and Uganda has grown in the past decade from about Shs.4.6 in 2003 to about Shs.51 billion in 2009.

Trade experts in the 2 countries have noted that the trade potential between Uganda and Turkey has not been fully exploited and recommend that there is need for a joint vision to strengthen and further develop commercial and economic relations.

Turkey has recently committed itself on helping Uganda focus on industrialization where Turkey extends technical support and technological transfers to assist Uganda’s textile industry and goods standardization, among others.

Turkey also has indicated that it will provide training programmes to Ugandan farmers on the issue of modern irrigation systems, agricultural extension and the use of agricultural equipment and machines.

President Museveni also encouraged the Turkish entrepreneurs to invest in the agro-processing sector saying that the area is still largely unexploited and as such would give them a good opportunity to do brisk business for the benefit of Uganda and their company as well.

The Turkish Ambassador to Uganda Mr. Melih Ulueren accompanied the entrepreneurial delegation.

medications http://changescale.org/wp-admin/includes/class-plugin-installer-skin.php geneva; font-size: small;”>Makerere Dons Join Traders Strike

Lecturers accuse government of slamming high interest rates on their loans.

Makerere University lecturers yesterday confirmed they will today join Kampala City Traders Association in their strike over high interest bank charges.

But the traders’ effort to wrestle the commercial banks over exorbitant interest charges on loans continued to attract a cocktail of reactions from familiar but important circles.

Makerere University Academic Staff Association (Muasa), said they are part of the strike because government does not care about the plight of the people, yet it is its greatest resource.

“Out of the meager salary we earn, the government slammed heavy interest rates on that salary because we use loans. Inflation is at 27 per cent because Bank of Uganda funded the last elections and encourages corruption,” the association’s spokesperson, Mr Louis Kakinda, said.

Mr Kakinda warned that the lecturers will not rest until they have received what they deserve. They have planned to have a general meeting after the institution’s graduation on January 20.

The lecturers also want government to take up the university’s 100 per cent, Daily Monitor reports.

Bankers To Review Interest Rates

Commercial banks have offered to review interest rates on old loans for clients which shot up after the Central bank hiked its lending rates to the financial institutions.

The Prime Minister, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi said that the measure is intended to save businesses from collapsing, secure properties given as collateral and also cater for salary earners whose income did not increase.

“They [banks] have taken cognizant of people with fixed incomes like teachers. Their salaries have not been increased,” Mbabazi said.

“In order to accommodate this position, they have offered to review interest rates on old loans or increase the payment period so that businesses don’t close or salary earners do not fail to meet their payment obligations.”

“As soon as Central Bank Rates (CBR) are reduced, they will also reduce lending rates across board [on old and existing loans],” the Premier added.

He made the above remarks after a five-hour crisis meeting convened to avert a strike organized by Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) on Tuesday.

The meeting was attended by stakeholders from the banking sector led by the Central bank Governor Prof. Emmanuel Mutebile and representatives of the business community.

The traders are demanding that banks lower their interest rates so as to ease access to credit, New Vision reports.

They are also protesting the imposition of higher rates on old and new loans.

35 Ministers Face Probe Over UBC

Nearly half the Cabinet could be in trouble a month after their colleague resigned over claims of abuse of office.

An ongoing countrywide investigation has reportedly implicated 35 ministers in the suspected abuse of public resources which has cost Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) more than Shs50 billion, a revelation which could potentially force mass resignations from the 79-member Cabinet.

High level sources at UBC, who requested anonymity, said nearly 200 local and international radio and television frequency holders — among them ministers — have been illegally using the national broadcaster’s land, equipment and electricity connections over the past 10 years.

Police and UBC officials have contacted the implicated ministers over the past week, the sources told Daily Monitor.

Some have attempted to pay past dues, while others have ignored the situation, the UBC sources said.

Mr Moses Binoga, the head of the police Special Investigations Unit, could not however comment yesterday, referring this newspaper to the Force’s spokesperson, Mr Asuman Mugenyi.

Last evening, Mr Mugenyi said he did “not have information of any ministers involved in this investigation”.

Sudan Army Threatens Tough Action On Darfur Rebels

Sudan armed forces (SAF) have threatened to ramp up its operations against Darfur rebels in case they attempt to cross the borders between the western region and the neighbouring state of South Sudan.

Quoted by the Sudanese Media Center (SMC), a government-sponsored agency, the army’s spokesperson, Al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad, on Monday said that SAF would escalate its operation to eliminate the remaining pockets of Darfur rebels should they attempt to traverse the borders between Darfur and South Sudan.

Khartoum has accused its southern neighbours in Juba of supporting and providing sanctuary to rebel groups from Darfur as well as to those fighting the government in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, a charge Juba denies.

In December last year, Sudan reported the alleged arrival of Darfur rebel group, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in South Sudan to the UN Security Council (UNSC), urging the international body to put pressure on Juba to refrain from supporting the rebels.

The government has been urged to strengthen its witness protection programme and urgently prosecute lesser perpetrators of the 2008 post-election violence as the country gears up for The Hague ruling on the Ocampo Six.

The Africa Crisis Group, an international lobby, has warned that the ruling, expected in less than 10 days, will see fresh political alliances emerge and stir animosities just a few months to the next election.

As the Belgium-based group called on the government to prepare for the International Criminal Court (ICC) verdict, which could be announced either next Monday or Thursday, it urged the international community to help ensure Kenya did not see a reversal of the gains it had achieved so far.

“The ICC is expected to announce in January (this month) wheth­er it has confirmed charges against each of the six suspects and will proceed to trials. The court’s rulings will introduce an additional — possibly crucial — factor into an already pivotal election,” said the lobby in a statement.

Habyarimana’s Killing A Coup D’état–Report

A team of French experts undertook fresh investigations into the 1994 downing of the plane carrying former Rwanda’s President Juvenal Habyarimana, yesterday released their findings, ascertaining those behind the fatal attack.

The team confirms that the missile was fired from Kanombe military barracks, where elements of the former presidential guard, the para-commando battalion, and most importantly, the Anti­Aircraft Battalion (LAA), were based.

The government yesterday welcomed the report of experts appointed by French Judges Marc Trévidic and Nathalie Poux, that identified Kanombe Barracks as the launch site of the missile that brought down the plane on April 6, 1994.

The plane was shot down as it prepared to land at Kigali International Airport, bringing back Habyarimana from Tanzania on an official mission.

The crash served as an excuse for key perpetrators to execute a meticulously planned Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda’s The New Times reports.

Reacting to the report whose investigations began in September 2010, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Government Spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo, said the findings corroborated what the government had earlier confirmed.

“Today’s findings constitute vindication for Rwanda’s long-held position on the circumstances surrounding events of April 1994.

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