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KAMPALA, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Six family members were killed on Saturday in a road accident in the central Uganda district of Masaka when a vehicle they were travelling in collided with a truck.

The police said in a statement that the accident occurred when the vehicle carrying the family members tried to overtake and rammed into a truck.

The accident happened at Kyarushowe swamp along the Masaka-Kampala highway. The bodies have been taken to Masaka City Mortuary for postmortem examination.

According to police statistics, some 20,000 road accidents occur nationwide each year, causing more than 2,000 deaths and thus making Uganda among the countries with the highest traffic fatality rates. - Xinhua

Štefánek said the Observer Mission will include a Technology Analyst who will assess the electoral commission’s technology, specifically the Kenya Integrated Election Management System/CFM - Maureen Irungu

The Mission told news reporters at a media briefing in Westlands the includes a Technology Analyst who will assess the electoral commission’s technology, specifically the Kenya Integrated Election Management System.

European Union Election Observation Mission has set up a media monitoring team to assess poll coverage in a bid to promote a free, fair and transparent election, the Mission’s Chief Observer Ivan Štefánik announced on Saturday.

The Mission told news reporters at a media briefing in Westlands the team includes a Technology Analyst who will assess the electoral commission’s technology, specifically the Kenya Integrated Election Management System.

“For the first time in Kenya the EU EOM has a dedicated Election Technology Analyst who will assess the use of technologies in different phases of the election processes as well as social media observers to assess the role of social media and digital communication process,” he said.

The Chief Observer further added that the Mission also has a dedicated Social Media Analyst leading a team of six social media observers to assess the role of social media and digital communication.

The mission noted that the team will examine media coverage on a wide range of platforms including traditional, social and vernacular channels.

“This reflects the EU’s established election observation methodology which is based on a long-term approach and focuses on the entire electoral process,” Stefanec said.

He also said the Observer Mission will include 48 short-term observers who will arrive in the county shortly before the election day on August 9.

“This reflects the EU’s established election observation methodology which is based on a long-term approach and focuses on the entire electoral process,” Stefanec said.

The Election Observation Mission was hosted by Chief Justice Martha on Friday when the Head of the Judiciary reaffirmed readiness to handle electoral disputes. She highlighted key preparatory efforts to prepare the courts for election petitions. 

Koome noted she had gazetted 120 special magistrates in February to enhance the capacity of courts to handle electoral disputes arising from the August 9 General Election. By Maureen Irungu, Capital News

Photo Courtesy

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame’s comment that he intends to rule Rwanda for the next 20 years has ignited a debate about his intentions to run for a fourth term in 2024.

Asked if he would seek re-election in an interview with French channel France 24 on July 8, the President said: "I would consider running for another 20 years. I have no problem with that. Elections are about people choosing.

He argued that for all the criticism, the country has not been accused of holding unfair elections, unlike “a case going on in an advanced democracy,” in reference to the US.

In Rwanda, many viewed his response as sarcastic and a veiled expression of frustration at the constant question put to him by Western journalists about when he intends to step down but outside the country, it is fuelling speculation that he intends to stay in power for life.

His critics, including exiled Rwandan politicians and rights groups, immediately condemned the suggestion, with Human Rights Watch's Central Africa director Lewis Mudge telling the BBC that "what comes as a surprise is that some people are indeed surprised."

"Rwanda is a country where it's very, very dangerous to oppose the government, let alone to be a political opponent... And this authoritarian system is going to be the system for the foreseeable future," he said.

But to some Rwandans, the president's comments were taken out of context.

In an opinion piece published by the pro-government newspaper The New Times on July 12, Joseph Rwagatare, a presidential adviser, accused the media of misleading the public, arguing that “the president responded with devastating sarcasm that he would consider running for the next 20 years.”

“He could have left it at that and it would have served the journalist and others like him right. But the president was generous and offered a detailed explanation of what elections mean and the role and right of citizens in making their choice.”

Although President Kagame's current seven-year term expires in 2024, he is allowed by the constitution to run for two more terms of five years each till 2034.

Article 172 of the Constitution stipulates that “the President of the Republic in office at the time of commencement of this revised Constitution — that is President Paul Kagame in this case — shall continue to serve the term for which he was elected, and the provisions of Article 101 of this revised Constitution shall be applicable after the expiry of a seven-year term.”

While the ruling party Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) maintains that its flag-bearer will be decided in 2024, analysts do not expect a change of guard then, though they say the final decision lies with the ruling party and the coalition of political parties in Rwanda.

In December 2018, Rwandans voted in a referendum in favour of a constitutional amendment that allowed President Kagame to seek a third term in office. The idea had already been endorsed by Rwanda National Consultative Forum of Political Organisations — 11 political parties that are in coalition with the RPF. Analysts say a change of leadership can only happen if there is consensus between the political parties as well as the electorate.

Yet, ultimately, President Kagame himself will decide. And given that he remains popular, that he will be asked to stand again is a foregone conclusion.

Frederick Golooba-Mutebi, an independent researcher who has extensively worked in Rwanda over the past decade, observed that there is a broad agreement within the country that President Kagame is a good leader who has done very well and has capacity to continue doing that job.

“I know for a fact that that’s not a view (that he should continue ) held only within the RPF. Even people who wouldn't be RPF supporters agree with that sentiment; that the country has benefited a lot from his leadership and they would be quite happy for him to continue. Ultimately it becomes his call,” said Dr Golooba-Mutebi.

But the imminent challenge for the RPF is to sustain the gains under the young generation. For one thing, they have to maintain economic development, but perhaps more importantly maintain social cohesion and unity. By Berna Namata, The East African

President Yoweri Museveni who is also the Commander in Chief of the UPDF has assured the army that the issue of salary enhancement will be handled gradually as the economy improves.

"Initially we planned to have a private earn the same as a grade three primary school teacher. At the time, the ones from Major up were not touched. Now we have increased from Major to General. As the economy improves, we shall keep on moving until we handle all," he said.

Gen Museveni was on Friday officiating at a pass-out ceremony of over 100 platoon commanders and over 450 armour crew graduands at the Armoured Warfare Training School Karama in Mubende district. 

The Nile Post, in an exclusive story last week reported that the UPDF High Command and the Army Council that sat at State House in Entebbe has given a green light to the increment.

It was also agreed that enhancements for UPDF generals be considered first since they are not many in number, considered to the lower ranks.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the UPDF spokesperson, Brig Felix Kulayigye confirmed the development, adding that it would require shs630 billion to effect the same.

Brig Kulayigye said a technical team led by Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary and comprising personnel from the same ministry and Ministry of Public Service presented a number of salary enhancement options that had been proposed to the Ministry of Finance.

"The meeting agreed with the team recommendation of 100% enhancement for general officers because they are few, they have served for long and many of them are set to retire this financial year 2022/23,"the defence spokesperson said in the statement. 

The president on Friday further confirmed the development, to the excitement of many officers who fall in the category.

It is also good news to the others who are also assured of increment sooner than later.

The commanders who were passed out on Friday were trained in armour gunnery, combat driving, armour design and maintenance, communication, tactics, political education, military health international humanitarian law, military war and mine warfare among other things.

The president heartily congratulated the leadership of the army for implementing his directive of using a combined approach while training a force that can annihilate the enemy with strategic precision.

"I want to congratulate the commanders and all of you. When I advise you, you listen and you implement. You must use all the combined elements to subdue the enemy. I congratulate you. You were very accurate, hitting targets during the exercise! I didn't see any body missing. Therefore we are moving very well," he observed. 

Least paid UPDF soldier to earn shs1m, generals to get shs15m in new army salary structure. General Museveni had prior to his remarks witnessed a spectacular military exercise by graduands that also involved other sections of the army including the air and land forces and tank artillery.

The president also described as substandard attacks on the enemy of using only a single element tactic 'like a person eating cassava without sauce and drinking water' citing the recent case of rounding up cattle rustlers in Karamoja sub-region where soldiers where using 'fata nyayo - follow the footsteps".

"If you eat cassava or millet food alone, you can die. You need sauce and water, if not it will send you to hospital. You also need salt and all spices to make the sauce nice. In order to eat properly you need combined elements. So it is with war, you need a combined assault," he counseled.

General Museveni added that with this type of training, the army is finally getting into the system and culture of a real revolutionary army.

He however advised the graduands to mind their health by avoiding situations that can end their life prematurely like alcoholism and immorality.

The Deputy Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) Lt. General Peter Elwelu thanked President Museveni for always supporting and guiding the army in order to achieve the historical mission. He also thanked the Commandant of the school for a job well done and congratulated the graduands upon successfully completing their course.

The Commandant of Karama Armoured Warfare Training School Colonel Jackson Kajuba said the core objective of the course was to produce armour commanders and armour crews capable of executing their duties effectively and efficiently in all conditions. He added that the school endeavors to produce ideologically clear officers and men who understand the importance and the value of the people.  

The Colonel further said that the aim was also to inculcate into the graduands the culture of creating wealth through individual or group activities.

The ceremony was attended by senior military and Government officials.

Others present included district leaders from Mubende and Kyegegwa, religious leaders and the neighboring community.

General Museveni later a warded gift to the best performers in all categories.

The recipients included Lt. Juma Mulebe as the best overall student.

Others were Lt. Juma Musizo, Private Akello, Pte Ahurira Erisa, Pte Charles Lochap, Pte Hosea Onaba, Pte Hassan Haruna, Pte Godongo David and Lt. Sunda katsigazi.

Gov't seeks Shs630bn to retire Sejusa, Tumwine, raise soldiers' salaries... By Kenneth Kazibwe, Nile Post

The victim died after allegedly being battered by her spouse. [File, Standard]

Police in Hamisi, Vihiga County have arrested a 67-year-old man for allegedly killing his 65-year-old wife.

Authorities say the suspect allegedly beat up his spouse to death over a Sh200 row.

The couple’s 35-year-old son is also in custody for allegedly helping his father kill the victim. 

Police said the two dumped the victim’s body in a 12-foot pit in Muhudu Village on Friday, July 15.

The area assistant chief, Wilface Pali, said a fight ensued after the victim asked her husband for Sh200 to buy food. By Brian Kisanji , The Standard

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