in Uganda have reopened for final year students, seven months after all education
institutions in the country were closed as a coronavirus preventive measure.
Final year students in higher education institutions are also resuming face-to-face learning.
The schools are required to put in place hand-washing and temperature checking
facilities, and also ensure that the students maintain physical distance while
in class and around the schools.
But many schools across the country have not
met these standards and will remain closed.
On Thursday schoolchildren could be seen walking to schools early morning. Temperature checks, hand-washing, as well as recording of
next of kin and residential area details were being carried out at the school premises
the BBC visited.
Some of the children said that while they might be
safe at school, they use public transport and therefore worried about being infected by travellers
who don't adhere to Covid-19 prevention guidelines.
The country has so far confirmed 10,096 cases but the rate of infection has been steadily rising, averaging about 1,000 new cases a week.
if this phase of reopening schools goes smoothly then the education sector is expected to fully reopen in
Bobi Wine: Police stole my presidential nomination papers
BBC News, Kampala
The Ugandan politician and musician, Robert Kyagulanyi,
popularly known as Bobi Wine, has told the BBC that documents needed to secure his
nomination to run for president are missing from his offices following a raid
by security forces on Wednesday afternoon.
One of the requirements for candidates is to hand in
signatures of support from 100 registered voters from at least two-thirds of
Uganda’s districts. Bobi Wine says his team had already collected six million
signatures but that these are now missing.
“Museveni’s government is trying to block me from nominating as a presidential candidate. From questioning my academic credentials, to questioning my age - now they are making every effort to frustrate my nomination and I want to believe that is why they took the signatures away.”
"We’re not giving up, we have immediately communicated to our branches to ensure they start collecting the signatures immediately and hopefully by Friday we’re going to have the required signatures,” he said
The MP was speaking to the BBC after fleeing his offices
when dozens of armed soldiers and police arrived to carry out a search.
He also said 23
million Ugandan shillings ($6,200; £4,800) were taken. He says this money was raised to
help pay the electoral fees for party members who wish to stand for parliament.
The police have not responded to the BBC’s requests for comment on Bobi Wine’s allegations. Earlier they denied that the raid was political.
Uganda’s Electoral Commission had given the aspirants an
administrative deadline of Friday to hand in the nomination forms.
spokesperson for the commission says he can’t comment on Bobi Wine’s alleged
missing documents but says the deadline can be extended for candidates if they
raise the issue with the commission officially.
Uganda security forces raid Bobi Wine's party office
BBC News, Kampala
The party offices of Ugandan
presidential aspirant Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, are being
raided by dozens of armed soldiers and police officers.
Documents are reportedly
being taken from the premises as well as red military-style berets and
spokesperson, Fred Enanga, told the BBC: "We are carrying out operations on
misuse of some of the uniforms and accoutrements that are gazetted".
Local television station NTV Uganda has tweeted a video of the raid:
In September last year, the government designated the red beret worn by Bobi Wine and his supporters as military uniform – meaning anyone deemed to be possessing or wearing them illegally could be prosecuted.
Mr Enanga said the operation was ongoing and that officers would search other premises as well as the offices of the National Unity Platform party.
Bobi Wine has said state operatives are targeting him and his party as they prepare to challenge President Yoweri Museveni in the general election in early 2021.
But the police spokesperson insists the operation is not politically motivated.
Uganda's leader Museveni adopts childhood name
Uganda’s President, known publicly as Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has
officially changed his names, to include his childhood name, Tibuhaburwa.
The name, which is in his Runyankore mother tongue, can be translated as "he who cannot take advice or be guided/corrected".
The name change has drawn speculation and jokes from Ugandans online, some wondering what the job of his advisers is.
The president signed a declaration as required by the Registration
of Persons Act, to be formally known as Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni.
Though the name has been referred to in different instances over
his 34-year rule, he has never used it publicly.
According to the deed poll document dated 6 October,
the president says that the name has always been on his academic papers.
But it is believed that the move follows a requirement from the
Electoral Commission, for 2021 election candidates to ensure that names on
their nomination documents match those on their academic records.
The electoral body announced recently that candidates whose names
on the papers submitted are not the same as those on their academic papers will
not be nominated.
In 2017, a court ruling annulled an MPs election victory based on
the fact that he had interchanged his names on different official documents.
'I'm a hustler, a ghetto child' - Eddy Kenzo
This Is Africa
Emma TicksonCopyright: Emma Tickson
For someone who spent most of his childhood on the street,
Uganda's Eddy Kenzo has what could be considered a surprisingly upbeat attitude
Quote Message: Me, I’m here to promote the good vibe. I’m here to show people what kind of life we go through and the happy side of it, not only the sad story all the time."
Me, I’m here to promote the good vibe. I’m here to show people what kind of life we go through and the happy side of it, not only the sad story all the time."
Kenzo’s mother passed away when he was just three years old. For the next 13 years he and his brother lived a hand-to-mouth existence.
"The only thing I could do was look for something to eat. You go and you start washing dishes. From there you start lifting things from taxis, helping people in different ways. Then I became a porter on some buildings. Life was just like that."
Like many youngsters, Kenzo dreamed of becoming a footballer. But a natural instinct to entertain led him in a different direction.
Quote Message: I used to sing, dance for people – music was my thing during the street times. I would entertain people, always happy."
I used to sing, dance for people – music was my thing during the street times. I would entertain people, always happy."
Today, the 30-year-old has no such concerns. A bona fide superstar, his songs are known across the world. He recently appeared on a Times Square billboard in New York promoting his latest song.
It's a reworking of the classic track Missounwa, with Ivorian legend Monique Séka that was recorded during an unintentional five-month lockdown in Ivory Coast caused by coronavirus travel restrictions.
"I tried my level best to keep myself busy, trying to work out, keep in the house, keep social distancing, because in the beginning I was so scared about Covid."
From life on the street to being confined indoors by coronavirus, things have certainly changed for Eddy Kenzo. But he says his tough upbringing will stay with him forever.
"Me, I’m a hustler, I’m a ghetto child," he tells the BBC, adding:
Quote Message: It is my dream that we can have more and more people from humble beginnings to make it big, even bigger than me. That's my prayer every day."
It is my dream that we can have more and more people from humble beginnings to make it big, even bigger than me. That's my prayer every day."
In a community torn apart by violence, this Kenyan school is bringing students together from opposite sides of the divide.
Millions feared lost in Uganda mobile money hacking
Business correspondent, BBC News
More than a million dollars may have been stolen by cyber criminals who attacked Uganda's mobile digital payment system over the weekend, although that has not been confirmed by the telecom companies or banks.
Stanbic Bank and the mobile operators MTN and Airtel have admitted there was an “incident.”
More than 20 million people using mobile payment platforms have been affected since Saturday.
Telecom giant MTN has described the hacking - which targeted the company that moves the money Pegasus Technologies - as "unprecedented" because of the scale and magnitude of the crime.
The mobile digital payment
system could be out of commission for a month as investigations continue.
Internet use has also been disrupted because owners of mobile devices use money transfers to pay for data.
Mobile transactions are worth
more than $7bn (£5.4bn) a year in Uganda.
Ugandan judge injured in road accident
A Ugandan judge was injured in a road accident on Monday morning while travelling to a court in the western part of the country, according to the Uganda Red Cross.
The Daily Monitor newspaper has identified the judge as Paul Gadenya. He was previously the chief registrar of the judiciary.
The newspaper quotes a police spokesperson as saying the cause of the accident is still under investigation.
A hospital official is quoted as saying the judge was in a life-threatening condition and will be air-lifted to the capital, Kampala, for further treatment.
The Uganda Red Cross has tweeted photos of the wreckage of the judge's car:
Uganda to discharge Covid-19 patients without testing
Uganda's health ministry has revised its protocol for discharging Covid-19 patients that will see asymptomatic patients leave hospitals without a retest.
Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said patients who have been in isolation for 10 days will be discharged without testing if they do not show symptoms.
"If PCR [Polymerase Chain Reaction test] is positive at day 10, a repeat after five days will be done and discharged if PCR is negative. If PCR is still positive at day 15, discharge at day 20 without further PCR testing will be done," she said.
This will reduce the number of days that patients wait to be discharged after the first test.
Previously patients could only be discharged after having two negative tests. But some patients had complained about the time spent waiting for the confirmatory test despite not showing symptoms.
Uganda has to date confirmed 8,287 coronavirus cases including 4,430 recoveries and 75 deaths.
Coronavirus: Uganda reopens borders for passengers
BBC News, Kampala
Uganda has reopened its international borders for the first time
since March when they were closed as a control measure against the coronavirus
The East African country closed its borders to passenger travel even
before it registered its first case of Covid-19, but continued to allow both
land and air cargo.
The national carrier, Uganda Airlines, on Thursday morning ran its regional
flights to Nairobi, Kenya, and Mogadishu, Somalia, as scheduled.
Other international airlines have also been landing and taking off.
The civil aviation authority has advised out-bound travellers to
be at the airport at least four hours before scheduled departure.
Immigration officials at the airport are encouraging passengers to
use self-service booths where available to minimise contact.
Passengers coming into Uganda
will be required to present a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of their departure.
Those who present a negative test will not be required to go into
But if someone arrives without a test certificate, a sample will be
taken and they will be made to quarantine at their own cost as they await
The country experienced a rise in coronavirus cases in September,
averaging about 1,000 new cases per week. Total cases are at over
Although the government has been working to increase the number of
beds and the capacity of isolation centres across the country, health workers
who have spoken to the BBC worry that resources
might be stretched if cases continue to rise.
Court rules against reinstating Uganda election age limit
BBC News, Kampala
The East African
Court of Justice has dismissed a case which challenged the Constitutional Amendment Bill, removing the age limit to contesting the presidency in Uganda.
This means President Yoweri Museveni is allowed to stand for re-election.
Male Mabirizi had petitioned the country’s Supreme Court, which upheld the
amendment, after which he took matters to the regional court.
The change in the
constitution removed the requirement for anyone wishing to stand for the presidency to be aged between 35 and 75 years.
Mr Mabirizi had
also challenged the process by which the law was passed by parliament in 2017,
which was marred by punch-ups on the floor of the house, and an invasion by the
military special forces.
court in Arusha, Tanzania, has ruled that the process through which the bill
was passed did not violate the East African Community treaty.
If the court had ruled
in favour of the petitioner, it would have left President Museveni’s
candidature for the 2021 elections in the balance.
Court to rule on Museveni's eligibility in Uganda's polls
The East African Court of Justice will on Wednesday rule on a challenge to a decision by Uganda's supreme court to uphold a constitutional amendment that removed the age limit for presidential candidates.
The 2017 amendment eliminated the requirement that candidates vying for the presidency be under 75 years old.
It allowed President Yoweri Museveni, who is over 75 years old, to run for another five-year term in the January 2021 general elections. He has been in power since 1986.
Lawyer Male Mabirizi went to the East African Court, based in neighbouring Tanzania, to challenge the supreme court's verdict. He wants the clause on an age limit for presidential candidates reinstated.
He said in court papers that the constitutional amendment was done "through violence and deployment of military police in and outside parliament", the Daily Monitor newspaper reports.
East African states integration plan is too ambitious
Business correspondent, BBC News
The legislative assembly of
the East African Community (EAC) wants to speed up the integration of the region's
The body has launched a plan
to complete the process within five years, but based on continual arguments
between countries over trade issues the time scale may be too ambitious.
The EAC is made up of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan.
Economic integration in East
Africa will be supported by four pillars: the customs union and common market,
which are being implemented despite a few problems, plus a monetary union and a
The speaker of the EAC assembly, Martin Ngoga, says in the next five years all the legal requirements
for the four pillars will be in place, as well as a mechanism to ensure that
directives issued by the heads of state summits are implemented.
The plan sets out to move
quickly towards a monetary union and create a close political union.
The unified financial system
would mean a regional central bank and the adoption of a single currency, which
seems almost impossible in the next year, because of the economic chaos caused
by the coronavirus pandemic.
Add to that the overcoming of any political divisions between the EAC member countries.
The regular arguments over trade between the nations in
East Africa also highlight the challenges the EAC faces to integrate the
region's economies within five years.
Disputes over exports of sugar in the region, or the
current dispute between Tanzania and Uganda over charges for road freight
transporters using the port of Dar es Salaam, undermine the kind of harmony
needed to integrate the economies in East Africa.
Uganda denies selling conflict gold from DR Congo
Business correspondent, BBC News
A human rights group has accused Uganda of channelling gold mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo that funds conflict, but the authorities insist that refiners are not processing metal from illicit sources.
Ugandan gold exports have more than doubled in one year, fuelling the concerns. Its biggest market is the United Arab Emirates, having overtaken countries of the East African Community.
The campaign group Impact, which is based in Canada, says the authorities in Rwanda and Uganda need to clamp down on smuggling of Congolese gold across their borders.
It claims just a small fraction of the 15 to 22 tonnes mined in DR Congo every year is officially recorded and exported.