Muslim UPDF Officer Who Saved Cardinal Wamala’s Life Wants to Meet Pope Francis

The region is set to benefit a great deal through facilities offered by the One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) in the EAC Partner States.

Already where the facilities are running bilaterally, sales there is facilitation of free movement of persons and the enhancement of trade between the Partner States, recipe an EALA report adopted by the House states.

In the regard, troche regional legislators are calling for the fast-tracking of all remaining works of the OSBPs to allow its implementation for further integration.

At the same time, it is key for the assent of the OSBP Bill, 2013, in the Partner States to be finalised to give it legal effect in the entire region.

It has been stated that Partner States are implementing the OSBP Initiatives bilaterally as they await for completion of the Assent process.

At the moment, the Bill which was introduced by the Council of Ministers is in Rwanda for the final assent signature. Already, the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have assented to the Bill.

The recommendations are contained in a report of the Communication Trade and Investments (CTI) on the OSBPs in EAC Partner States debated and passed by the House.

The report was presented to the House by Hon. Nancy Abisai on behalf of the Committees Chair, Hon. Mukasa Mbidde.

EALA Members undertook an On-Spot Assessment on the One Stop Border Posts in EAC Partner States in the months of April and September 2015.

Phase one of the assessment covered OSBPs of Mutukula (Uganda/Tanzania), Mirama Hill/Kagitumba (Uganda/Rwanda) and Rusumo (Rwanda/Tanzania) on 8th to 11th April 2015. The second phase covered Lungalunga/HoroHoro (Kenya/Tanzania), Taveta/Holili (Kenya/Tanzania) and Namanga (Tanzania/Kenya) from 30th September to 3rd October 2015.

The objectives of the One–Spot assessment was to find out the status of implementation of the OSBP initiative project and its effect on the movement of people and the EAC business environment.

It also set to interact with stakeholders and identify opportunities and challenges affecting the implementation of effective OSBPs and to come up with relevant recommendations.

Stakeholders who participated in the On-Spot Assessments included Revenue Authorities, Immigration, Bureau of Standards, Police, Clearing and Forwarding Agents, and Traders. Others were Transporters, Local Authorities and Development Partners as well as officials from the EAC Secretariat.

One Stop Border Posts lessen days and facilitate inter-regional and international transport and road transit. According to analysts, when exiting one country and entering another, OSBPs combine two stops into one.

During the meetings, Members were informed that the construction of OSBPs were delayed at the Mutukula (Tanzania side) due to late handover of the site, power outages and floods among others. Mutukula on the Uganda side also had delays occasioned by re-designing challenges, delays in relocation of police posts occupying the area and delay in release of funds among others.

The OSBP on Mirama Hills, which was financed by TradeMark East Africa to the tune of USD 7.8 Million was however completed in time as was the facility at Kagitumba, Rwanda/Uganda border.

Construction at Rusumo border is expected to be concluded in time in December 2015. In Namanga, the Report indicates that construction on the Tanzania side has been completed even though not formally handed over due to a number of outstanding issues

Generally on all borders, there is limited knowledge on borders with regards to OSBPs, lack of operating manuals and inadequate water supply. In its findings, the report underscores training and sensitisation programs and the need for teamwork.

Hon. Straton Ndikuryayo said the Bill was key in ensuring trade facilitation. Hon. Bernard Mulengani said various basic amenities including school, water and housing were lacking and this may have impact on enhancing OSBPs. He further said Partner States were managing OSBPs on bilateral agreements and there was need to address the matter.

The Secretary-General of the EAC, Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera mentioned that the EAC Summit of EAC Heads of State was keen to assent to the Bills more efficiently.

“In the recent past, they have assented to Bills including the EAC HIV and AIDS Management Act, 2012, EAC Conflict Management Act, 2012, EAC Elections Act, 2012 and the EAC Community Emblems (Amendment) Act, 2008. Others are the Customs Management Amendment Act, 2012 and the EAC Supplementary Act, 2012,” he remarked.

The Secretary-General reiterated that the EAC OSBP Bill and the Vehicle Load Bill were currently in Rwanda on the last stop and that the process of assent was on.
Former Internal Security Organization head of discipline, remedy Retired Lieutenant Bahati Mohammad Kabahena, has expressed displeasure with the manner in which he has been abandoned by a government he diligently served for many years.

Lt. Bahati told Chimpreports in an exclusive interview yesterday that he felt he deserved a bit of appreciation, after his heroic acts including saving the life of the head of Uganda’s Catholic Church, Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala from a terror attack.

Rtd. Lt. Bahati says that in 1992 the Cardinal was kidnapped by a group of terrorists and that he was called in for the rescue.

“I entered the Cardinal’s office where he had been besieged. I did what I did and with the help of God and my training, the Cardinal is still alive and well and serving the Lord,” said Bahati.

The former spy chief, who is currently in Kabale district after quitting the army 15 years ago told our reporter that while he feels privileged to have saved the life of the man of God and the face of the country which raised the rating of the Uganda’s security organs; he is saddened that he has not been appreciated in any form.

To this day he said, he still lives impoverished and all he did has never been recognized. In other countries which greatly value the works of their men in uniform Lt Bahati noted, by now he should have been handed a medal or some other form of appreciation even if it is not financial.

“Like now, His Holiness the Pope is coming to Uganda. Shouldn’t I be among those granted the opportunity to meet him? Wouldn’t he want to meet that gallant officer who saved the life of the beacon of the country’s Catholic Church?” he wondered.

Bahati says that to him, being a Muslim, it would mean a lot if he got to shake hands with His Holiness the Pope.

“It would add value to President Yoweri Museveni’s rating in his fight against terrorism; but also it would demonstrate that Uganda offers security for every one irrespective of religion, color, or sex.


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