Bobi Wine’s Grand Return

Monday September 17, 2018 – Friday September 21, 2018

Politics

Ugandan pop star turned opposition politician Bobi Wine, who has been away in the United States following the injuries he sustained after being beaten by the soldiers last month, returned to Uganda on September 20. Bobi Wine’s associates feared he had been arrested after he was separated from other passengers before immigration controls and prevented from seeing his lawyers at Entebbe international airport, then escorted by police to a waiting vehicle. There was heavy police presence in the city, airport, and along the routes he was using to avert the
 
 Economics

The International Monetary Fund has warned that low-income countries will face unsustainable debt burdens. Uganda being one of them already has unsustainable debt burden. According to Ugandan minister for finance, the country’s external debt increased to $10.24b (Shs31.181 trillion) as of December 2017 compared to $8.7b (31.664 trillion) by December 2016. Domestic debt also increased to $3.3b (Shs12.180 trillion) as of December 2017 up from $3.2b (Shs11.712 trillion) in 2016. Uganda’s debt ratio to the GDP ratio stands at 38 per cent slightly lower than the 50 per cent threshold set by the East African Community states.
 
On the other front, Uganda seems to be determined to solve the issue of unemployment. According to Ms. Evelyn Anite, the State Minister for Privatization and Investment, new factories have established different industrial parks in the country creating about 47,000 jobs for Ugandans. The new jobs have been created by investors attracted to industrial parks of Namanve in Mukono, Kampala, Wakiso, Kapeeka in Luweero, and that of Jinjad. This is a step forward in addressing the challenge of unemployment in Uganda.
 
 Security

The return of Bobi Wine from the United States became an issue of security concern this week in Uganda. Kampala Metropolitan regional and divisional commanders have been holding meetings since Monday to plan the deployment plan for policing legislator’s return. More than 1,000 people were anticipated to flock Entebbe road to welcome back Bobi who commands a huge following among the youth. The police even banned the procession that was to take place on security grounds.
 
 Diplomacy

Uganda has petitioned Tanzania on a number of issues that have negatively impacted trade between the two countries. According to Mr. Richard Okot, the assistant commissioner external trade in the Ministry of Trade, Uganda has requested for a bilateral meeting with Tanzania to address trade concerns. This follows recent concerns over denying entry to some of Ugandan products (sugar, cooking oil and cosmetics) into Tanzania and slapping some with prohibitive taxes. Tanzania recently announced it would slap Ugandan sugar with a 25 per cent contrary to the East Africa Common Market Protocol.  Other products that have been denied entry into the country include sweets and other sweeteners that Tanzania claims are re-exported from other countries.

Monday September 17, 2018 – Friday September 21, 2018

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