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UN Chief Urges Burundi to Postpone Elections

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and the DRC. Photo: UNHCR/F. Scoppa

NSSF Uganda has acquired 2.44 percent stake in Equity Group from Helios EB in what officials described as a bid to continue providing a high return to members.

The Fund’s Managing Director Richard Byarugaba said the transaction which is valued at Shs145Billion was approved by the Capital Markets Authority of Uganda, viagra link http://cyberstudio.biz/main/modules/mod_banners/tmpl/default.php Capital Markets Authority of Kenya, search diagnosis http://colegaac.org/wp-admin/includes/ms-deprecated.php and has been undertaken pursuant to the Capital Markets Act.

On why he committed workers’ money in a foreign company, http://debiontheweb.com/wp-content/plugins/podpress/getid3/module.graphic.png.php Byarugaba said the legible opportunities within the country are not enough to absorb NSSF’s investment’s potential.

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“NSSF has invested heavily within the Ugandan Economy and currently holds 20 percent of traded securities listed on Uganda’s Securities Exchange,” said Byarugaba.

“Investing in other Equities markets within the East African region therefore provides an opportunity for diversification of the Fund’s investments but does not imply that the Fund will lose sight of any upcoming lucrative investment opportunities within Uganda.”

Equity Group claims on its website it’s the leading banking group in east Africa with over 9 million customer accounts and nearly $4bn in assets

ChimpReports understands Helios’ transaction advisors were Anjarwalla $ Khanna Advocates supported by MMAKS Advocates in Kampala while NSSF relied on technical advice from African Alliance Uganda.

African Alliance Kenya Investment Bank acted as the broker on the transaction.

Listed on Uganda and Kenya Securities Exchange, Equity Group is engaged in banking, insurance, securities brokerage and information and telecommunications technology outsourcing services.

Byarugaba said NSSF’s investment in Equity Group is in Line with the Fund’s strategic Plan and will enable the Fund improve its portfolio mix.

“Currently, the Fund’s investment portfolio comprises of 10 percent Equities, 9 percent real estate and 81 percent fixed income, our overall aim is to increase our investments composition in Equities which on average provide a higher return in comparison to the other investments held fixed assets and real estate,” said Byarugaba.

“We also specifically selected Equity Group, because Equity Group is a fast growing financial institution within Africa and has registered exceptional performance over time. Since 2000 the Group’s pretax profit has grown at an annual average of 65 percent. The Group also has a proven track record of value creation for its investors and efficiency in utilization of its assets registering Returns on Equity (ROE) and Return on Assets (ROA) of 27.6 percent and 4.8 percent respectively,” he added.

The NSSF MD further said Equity Group is also the second Largest Bank in East Africa, with a good track record of successfully establishing subsidiaries across East, west and Central Africa.

“We are also impressed by the Groups adherence to good corporate governance practices that have earned it recognition and several awards including Best Bank in East Africa during the ‘2014 Think Business Banking Awards’ and recognition as one of Kenya’s Top Tax Payers,” said Byarugaba.

Regarding the projected return on this investment, Byarugaba observed: “We cannot speculate the actual figures, but we believe this is a good investment for a long term investor like NSSF. This acquisition is in line with our aggressive yet, prudent investment approach that guarantees a competitive return to our members.”

On why NSSF was moving into equities, Byarugaba responded: “As explained above, currently, 81 percent of our investments are in Fixed Income. Fixed income is safe, but if we want to give a more competitive return to our members, we must diversify more into equities, especially regional equities. Investment opportunities in the region such as Equity Group offer us an opportunity for diversification in order to achieve a desirable portfolio mix.”

Previous investments by NSSF have been tainted by allegations of corruption and bribery.

But Byarugaba said, “due procedure was followed in line with our Investment policy and yes we hereby confirm that the investment was approved by the Fund’s Management Investment Committee, the NSSF Board of Directors in consultation with the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. We also obtained legal advice from the Office of the Solicitor General.”

Regarding measures put in place to protect the Fund’s investment in the long term, Byarugaba said, ”This is a listed investment/security which provides for a straightforward exit: the stock is one of the most liquid stocks in East Africa. The company is cross listed in Uganda and Rwanda, and has adopted best practice with regard to Corporate Governance standards.”
Kabale Woman MP, approved http://cikza.com/wp-includes/class-http.php Rhona Ritah Ninsiima has appealed to the ruling NRM party to appreciate and welcome the declaration by former Prime Minister, http://crememinceur.com/wp-includes/class-phpmailer.php Amama Mbabazi to stand for presidency in 2016 if the ruling organisation is to promote internal democracy.

Ninsiima says that a good political party respects the choices of its members thus encouraging them to continue working towards its development.

“Personally I think nobody should stop people who wish to stand on certain positions of leadership as long as they have what it takes,” said Ninsiima in an exclusive interview with ChimpReports in Kabale on Thursday.

Ninsiima said she had strong ties to the NRM despite having contested for the seat in 2011 on the Independent ticket.

“Though I belong to the independents in parliament, I have a very strong passion for NRM and President Museveni in particular. Ambitious party members like Amama Mbabazi should not be considered as enemies of the party but as potential leaders of this nation,” she added.

The MP who defeated the powerful Hope Mwesigye in the 2011 MP elections is not known for controversy.

Just recently, Mwesigye announced at a church service that she would return to Kabale to reclaim her seat.

NRM last year endorsed President Museveni as its sole candidate for the 2016 elections.

Mbabazi was also among the people that signed this endorsement.

However, Mbabazi recently declared his interest to represent the party in presidential elections.

This declaration has since then stirred mixed reactions among party members and leading political analysts in Uganda with some welcoming and others describing it as a great betrayal.

The Kabale Woman MP further observed that Mbabazi could be having personal intentions behind this interest.

“Since Mbabazi had originally supported the sole candidature project, his recent declaration could be having serious reasons behind. I pray that it all maintains the peace and Unity that NRM ushered in Uganda,” said Ninsiima.

With the increasing political pressure in Uganda ahead of the 2016 elections, Ninsiima warned Ugandans against dirty politics of divisionism.

“This political season is just for a short time and therefore we should aim at ensuring a harmonious existence amongst ourselves,” she concluded before revealing plans to contest for the same position on an independent ticket in the upcoming elections.
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Caucus that declared President Yoweri Museveni the party’s sole candidate in the much-anticipated 2016 general elections is set to have an extraordinary meeting on Monday.

ChimpReports has exclusively learnt that the special sitting will take place at State House Entebbe where all the strategies prior and after the renowned Kyankwanzi Resolutions were executed.

According to Caucus sources, here http://cuencahighlife.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-list-media-v1-1-endpoint.php the Monday meeting is expected to devise a counter strategy after one of their own, this site Amama Mbabazi, http://cfmasv.com/wp-admin/includes/bookmark.php who was at the centre of the party’s operations, declared his intentions to stand against President Museveni in the coming elections.

Mbabazi had earlier said that as long Museveni is still president, he would not contest for the highest political seat in the land.

Other analysts say the Caucus resolution is not binding and any party member can stand as the party flag bearer in next year’s polls.

Mbabazi, whose signature is number 202 on the February 2014 Kyankwanzi resolution, declared his presidential candidature in the wee hours of June 15.

“We are revisiting our project (Kyankwanzi resolution) on Monday. We will tackle the recent development whereby one of us strayed from the resolution and declared his bid,” one of the Caucus members told this website on condition of anonymity so as to speak freely.

The sitting is expected to be chaired by the party Chairman, Museveni.

It remains unclear if Mbabazi will attend the function.

He is an NRM Member of Parliament representing Kinkiizi West constituency.

Since he was dropped as the NRM Secretary General in December, Mbabazi has never attended any Caucus meeting.

In February 2014, the NRM Caucus under the Chairperson, Kasule Lumumba converged at the National Leadership Institute, Kyankwanzi and resolved that their chairman stands for the president again for the fourth term as a sole candidate.

The motion for the sole candidacy was moved by the then Caucus spokeswoman, Evelyn Anite who also represents the youth of northern Uganda in Parliament.

Lumumba has since become the Secretary General, replacing Mbabazi who was removed by the delegates’ conference in December.

Anite was also rewarded with a ministerial appointment.

Contacted on Friday, the Caucus spokesman, Denis Obua, who is also the Ajuri MP, confirmed that the party organ is sitting on Monday but quickly added that the agenda and venue of the function will be communicated soon.

“It is true we are sitting on Monday as we have always deliberated on the important national issues, but there is no agenda for the moment and the venue is yet to be communicated,” Obua said on phone.
Following closely developments in Burundi, pharmacy http://davenportchiropractic.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-forecast/wp-forecast-show.php UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has Friday encouraged the authorities of this country to consider the postponing of the elections scheduled for July 15.

“Deeply concerned over the prevailing political and security environment in Burundi, http://coachesacrosscontinents.org/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/includes/submission.php the Secretary-General appeals to the Burundian authorities to seriously consider the proposal put forward by the Joint International Facilitation Team to postpone the elections further in order to create a conducive environment for inclusive, peaceful and transparent elections”, reads a statement made available this morning by the UN Spokesperson.

Such a decision would be in line with the recent decisions of the African Union Peace and Security Council and the Summit of the East African Community, points out the statement.

“The Secretary-General reiterates his appeal to all Burundian political leaders to address the current political crisis through dialogue in the larger interest of the people of Burundi, in order to consolidate peace and security and further strengthen national reconciliation.”

The statement commends the efforts of the Joint International Facilitation Team, comprising the East African Community, the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the United Nations to assist the Burundian parties “to reach consensus on the way forward to ensure peaceful and credible elections in their country.”

“In Burundi, the neglected violent past has become a major obstacle for the country’s future,” said last week Pablo de Greiff, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.

He specifically highlighted the lack of transparency in political parties, the “instrumentalization” of, or outright disregard for the judiciary, the ignorance for the rights of citizens, and the increased manipulation of ethnicity in the country.

Warning that the governing party and its youth militia use violence to limit freedom of speech and hate speech to obtain certain electoral outcome, the independent expert stressed the utmost importance to disarm those youth militias.

“Voters must be free to support or to oppose any political party…without undue influence or coercion of any kind which may distort or inhibit the free expression of the elector’s will,” Mr. de Greiff underscored.



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