Sudan Reserve Soldiers Mutiny, State H’se Wants More Shs90b
These are the latest top stories making headlines today Friday in East Africa's leading media outlets.
Around 100 former South Sudanese soldiers at the Sudanese army demonstrated in Khartoum for several hours today demanding disbursement of severance pay more than six months after the south seceded and became an independent state.
The ex-soldiers threw rocks at cars driving down the busy Africa Street in the Sudanese capital. Police surrounded the demonstrators but did not attempt to disperse them.
An unidentified spokesperson for the group told the Doha-based Al-Jazeera TV that they want their dues before they leave Sudan back to their homelands after serving loyally in the army.
“We have nothing to do with the south’s separation so that we pay the price by being denied our rights.” he said, according to Sudan Tribune.
There are around 10,000 southern military officers from different ranks were relieved following the south’s decision to secede from the north.
Al-Jazeera said that it was prevented from taking photos at the scene by Sudanese authorities.
State House Wants Shs92bn
With the Ministry of Health struggling to find Shs7 billion to help thousands of children stricken by the nodding disease which has claimed hundreds of lives in northern Uganda, State House yesterday asked MPs to approve Shs92 billion in more funding for the Presidency.
Junior Finance Minister Fred Omach put in the supplementary budget request for Shs81.8 billion under its recurrent expenditure and another Shs10.1 billion for development activities— swelling its budget by 38 per cent.
Part of the money will be used to pay for special meals and drinks, welfare and entertainment.
Acholi Parliamentary Group chairman Reagan Okumu (Aswa) was aghast. He told Daily Monitor that while he was not surprised, Ugandans, and the people of northern Uganda, now know the kind of President they have, reports Daily Monitor .
“If it is true that Shs92 billion is going to State House when our people are suffering with nodding disease without any serious response, may God have mercy on us,” Mr Okumu said.
Nodding Disease Expert Jets In
A US-based lead investigator of the nodding disease has arrived in Uganda hoping to find more clues to the puzzling epileptic epidemic that has so far affected 3000 children.
Dr. Scott Dowell told journalists on Thursday that the numerous tests done at the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, USA have not revealed much about the disease.
He said, however, that two strong leads being followed are the connection to the river blindness (onchocerciasis) and low serum concentration.
Serum is the component of blood which does not contain the white and red blood cells or the clotting factor.
Medical information describes serum as the blood component which includes all the proteins not used in blood clotting (coagulation) and all electrolytes, anti-bodies, antigens and hormones. The substance is used in many diagnostic tests as well as blood typing.
The affected children get stunted, malnourished, dehydrated and mental retardation in addition to nodding which, the doctors say is actually “a series of seizures.”
Several of the victims have died, according to Dr. Anthony Mbonye, the Commissioner for Health Services in the Ministry of Health, but that the number of deaths has not been ascertained yet.
Dr. Dowel who is the CDC's director of the Division of Global Disease Detection said that tests have ruled out close to three dozen causes for the severe seizure disorder including a big number of viruses. But he observed that there was low Vitamin B6 detected.
He dismissed speculation that the disease could be connected to the chemicals in the gun powder that could have been used during the insurgency in the north. He also said that there is no evidence that the disease is communicable.
The studies on the disease started in 2009 when the Government of Uganda asked the CDC to help test the disease, according to Dr. Dowell.
The initial results showed no connection with the hypothesized environmental, food occupational and water exposures. There was also no connection to exposure to munitions and crushed roots, he said.
The medic said that though the tests have not yielded clear leads to the disease, he and his team are here [Uganda] to help the Ministry of Health treat the affected people and also carry out more research. The affected people, over 95% of whom are children aged 5 to 15, will also be treated with epileptic drugs.
In addition to the anti-convalescents, the doctors will treat the other symptoms as more research on the disease goes on.
He noted that some other studies have indicated that epilepsy is on the raise in northern Uganda, reports New Vision.
According to Dr. Mbonye, other scientists engaged in different environmental and health research are to be commissioned to carry out further studies in their different fields in the affected areas in a bid to unravel the disease's mystery.
Kalonzo Left Out Of Uhuru-Ruto Political Alliance
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto on Thursday appeared to be forging a new political front without Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka.
In a meeting with 90 MPs at Sagret Hotel in Nairobi, the two resolved to work together and start negotiations for a pre-election or post-election coalition. The meeting was preceded by another attended by the two leaders and their close allies.
Mr Kenyatta was with Mr Kiraitu Murungi, Mr Mwangi Kiunjuri, Mr Eugene Wamalwa and Mr Wilfred Ombui, while Mr Ruto was accompanied by Mr Chirau Mwakwere, Mr Robert Monda, Mr Aden Duale and Mr Ekwe Ethuro. They had earlier met at Palacina Hotel.
Musyoka did not attend Thursday’s meeting but his ally, Kangundo MP Johnstone Muthama, who was also missing, said that the VP was tied up in Cabinet.
During the morning meeting, Mr Ruto and his team are said to have asked Mr Kenyatta to put his side of the alliance under a single political entity to enable more structured negotiations. The two teams are also said to have agreed to tackle parliamentary business together, reports Daily Nation.
Sources said that it was agreed that while Mr Ruto and his allies had United Republican Party, Mr Kenyatta’s side was fragmented into different parties. Mr Kenyatta was asked not to pick Kanu or PNU due to their historical ties.
“There is a feeling that Mr Musyoka is deliberately not censuring Wiper secretary-general Mutula Kilonzo. It was therefore decided that we will negotiate with him like we will be doing with others outside our alliance,” said an MP who attended the meeting but was unwilling to be identified. (READ: Minister, MPs plot to censure Mutula)
Rwanda wants Kenyan don to refund Rwf25m
NYAGATARE–The department of civil litigation in the Attorney General’s office is seeking reimbursement of Rwf 25 million from a Kenyan lecturer at Umutara Polytechnic University who was convicted of using forged academic transcripts.
Peter Maweu, who had taught communication skills at the university since 2008, was last year handed an eight-month jail term by the Nyagatare Primary Court after it was established that he presented a forged Masters Degree to get the job.
He presented a bogus certificate inscribed in French from Kenyatta University in Kenya.
After thorough investigations, prosecutors had earlier proved to the court that Mawae never at any point studied at Kenyatta University.
Maweu’s case was first handled by the Office of Ombudsman but prosecution later issued an arrest warrant against him and subsequently pursued him in court.
During the hearing at Nyagatare intermediate court on Wednesday, the principal state attorney in civil litigation department, Marie Claire Umwali, told court that given the fact that the suspect earned taxpayer’s money through fictitious certificates, he should reimburse the whole amount of money he was paid in salaries amounting to Rwf 25,150,000.
“The suspect has committed a high magnitude crime by feeding university students skills that he illegally acquired through forged papers,” the state attorney observed.
He also blinded the University management to offer him a job he did not qualify to do, she added.
She clarified that the suspect was paid a total of Rwf 24,150,000 as salary during his time at the University while Rwf1million would be fines.
“The public university where he worked was humiliated by employing such a person on false contractual terms. This is why Maweu’s contract should be nullified and he should pay the said amount.”
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Updated on 2013-06-04 10:39
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