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Dr Biren Yajnik and Dr Muhammad Mbabali address journalists in Kampala on July 20, 2022. PHOTO/SYLVIA KATUSHABE

 

  • Experts have urged  urged government to extend more budgetary allocations to health systems since “oral health is equally important.”

Dental surgeons under their umbrella body, Uganda Dental Association (UDA), have decried rising cases of dental health issues in the country. 

Dr Muhammad Mbabali, a lecturer at the Makerere School of Dentistry said research by the African Health Science in partnership with the university shows 90 percent of Uganda’s more than 44 million people need dental attention. 

“When we talk of oral health care, most of us interpret it as dental decay only, but it is a wide range of oral health care conditions that require dental care,” he explained while addressing journalists at the Makerere on Wednesday.

Dr Mbabali further explained that dental gum diseases are the commonest at 95 percent and if not managed well, the condition progresses to Periodontitis which is the breakdown of the structures and subsequent teeth shaking.

 

The experts attributed the surge in dental cases to excessive consumption of artificial sugars together with bottle feeding among toddlers.

“The best snack for your child are fruits and Uganda is blessed with that,” cosmetic dentist at Stelling Dental clinic, Dr Biren Yajnik observed.

According to government data, Uganda has a dentist-patient ratio of 1:120000 compared to the recommended World Health Organization (WHO) recommended 1:7500.

The UDA president, Dr Geoffrey Bataringaya highlighted need for empowering more practitioners to supplement about 398 licensed dental surgeons across the country, including those not practicing.

 “So if I am supposed to see 120,000 patients and the maximum I can offer is 4-6 patients a day, you can see the need, and when you relate those two, with the disease burden that goes up to 90percent. We (Uganda) are still in a dilemma,” he said. 

Dr Bataringaya further urged government to extend more budgetary allocations to health systems since “oral health is equally important.” By Sylivia Katushabe, Daily Monitor

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua when he arrived at CUEA University for the running mate debate.[Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua has opened a fight with a Ministry of Lands official over ownership of a piece of land in Nairobi valued at Sh1.5 billion.

Mr Gachagua, who is also the United Democratic Alliance deputy presidential candidate, and his company, Wamunyoro Investments Limited, filed an urgent suit at the Environment and Lands Court seeking to stop the official from taking over the five-acre land in Embakasi. Through lawyer Philip Nyachoti, the MP accused the Director of Physical Planning at the Ministry of Lands John Michael Ohas of illegally transferring the land’s title to Columbus 2000 Limited and denying him the rights despite being the bonafide owner.

“Mr Ohas took advantage of his position to transfer the land’s title to Columbus 2000 Limited where he is the director and deliberately tampered with the records whereby any official search indicates that Gachagua and his company are not the owners,” said Nyachoti. 

Mr Nyachoti asked the court to issue an order stopping Ohas, Columbus 2000 Ltd, and the Chief Lands Registrar from selling, sub-dividing, or interfering with the title of the disputed land pending determination of the suit. According to the lawyer, the dispute relating to the land’s ownership was determined by the National Lands Commission (NLC) in 2016 when they upheld that Gachagua and his company legally acquired the land in 2012 from the original owners.

Nyachoti argued that despite the findings by NLC, Mr Ohas and his company have refused to hand back the land to the MP after illegally and fraudulently obtaining a second title.

“The property is currently valued at Sh1.5 billion and was used by Mr Gachagua, through his company Wamunyoro Investments Ltd, as security to obtain a loan of Sh200 million from Equity Bank. Refusing to register him as the land’s owner is causing him losses,” said Nyachoti.

Mr Nyachoti accused the Ministry of Lands official of engaging in a conflict of interest by fraudulently transferring Gachagua’s land to himself and cleaning all the records to show the MP does not own the land. Gachagua, in his affidavit, swore that he acquired the land in 2012 after purchasing it from Karandi Farm Limited and Peter Mbugua at a cost of Sh24 million and had the title registered in his company’s name. The MP stated that he then assumed possession and used the title as security to acquire the Sh200 million loan, but was surprised in 2016 when Mr Ohas filed a complaint at NLC claiming that he owned the land.

“He claimed that he acquired the land in 1994 but after careful analysis, the commission dismissed his claims and found that my title was legally acquired. Even after the commission dismissed his claims to the land, Ohas has never taken any steps to appeal the decision,” said Gachagua. Gachagua stated that after the NLC’s decision in 2016, he took possession of the land until December 2019 when the Ministry of Lands official allegedly interfered with the records and removed his name as the owner. By Paul Ogemba, The Standard

 

Leaders of the East African Community (EAC) on Thursday stressed the need for closer ties between the seven-member regional bloc to bolster trade and collective economic growth.

Top officials of Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda met in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha for the first in-person EAC summit in three years.

They underscored the importance of proper infrastructure to accelerate regional integration and development, while reaffirming their commitment to implement the EAC Common Market Protocol, read an EAC statement.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said the EAC will never be able to achieve its targets until there is free movement of people and goods in the region.

“That is why infrastructure is critical if we are to achieve our objective of being a common market,” he said.

“We are not adequately interlinked, and because we are not a common market, because we operate separately – which is what some people want us to be – we remain markets for other regions.”

Kenyatta stressed that “value addition to national products was key,” warning that without that “the region would essentially be exporting jobs as is now the case,” read the statement.

‘Somalia belongs to East Africa’

Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who attended the summit as a special guest, urged the EAC leaders to speed up his country’s membership process.

“Somalia belongs to East Africa. There is no one country among the seven countries sitting here that Somalia is not linked to by business, by community by any other means … people from all these countries are helping Somalia get back on its own feet,” he said.

He praised the EAC for having “many sacrifices” for Somalia, which first applied to join the bloc in 2014.

“To repay that back, we need to be part of this community. Now Somalia is right at the corner, and we believe that we have great potential to contribute to this community,” said Mohamud.

Other leaders who attended the event were Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye, DR Congo Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde and South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs and International Relations Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin.​​​​​​​ - Andrew Wasike, Anadolu Agency

  • Chief Economist, Africa, World Bank, Andrew Dabalen   WORLD BANK 
  • Kenyan-born economist, Andrew Dabalen, is the new World Bank Africa Region Chief Economist.

    Dabalen, who assumed office on July 1, replaced Albert Zeufack, who was named Country Director for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, Burundi, and Sao Tome and Principe.

    In his new role, Dabalen will be charged with developing economic studies in the region that will shape the implementation of development projects funded by the World Bank. 

    Chief Economist, Africa, World Bank Andrew Dabalen
    Chief Economist, Africa, World Bank Andrew Dabalen during a conference on October 18, 2018. WORLD BANK
     

    "The Chief Economist is responsible for providing guidance on strategic priorities and the technical quality of economic analysis in the region," stated the World Bank on its website while making the announcement.

    Dabalen's selection was based on his prowess in success in the fight against poverty guided by scholarly research. He has worked with World Bank for over a decade, a journey that began in Kenya. 

    While he was born in the country, his parents moved to Washington DC, where he attained his education. He took economics for his undergraduate degree.

    The economist cum scholar holds a Master's degree in International Development and a Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural and Resource Economics, both from the University of California. 

    He then took up research in global economics and has published scholarly work which has been referenced by other intellectuals across the world.

    "His work focused on poverty and social impact analysis, inequality of opportunity, program evaluation, risk and vulnerability, labor markets, and conflict and welfare outcomes," reads his World Bank profile.

    Among his publications is 'Sources of the persistent gender wage gap along the unconditional earnings distribution: findings from Kenya' which he published in January 2013.

    He joined the World Bank in 2011 as a Lead Economist and has served in various capacities including Senior Economist in the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia Region. 

    In addition, he worked as a Lead Economist and Practice Manager for Poverty and Equity in Africa and most recently, Practice Manager for Poverty and Equity in the South Asia Region.

    Logo at the entrance of World Bank Building in Washington DC, USA.
    World Bank offices in Washington DC, USA.  FILE
     

Some of the recovered cattle that had been stolen by armed rustlers in Karamoja Sub-region. PHOTO/MUDANGHA KOLYANGHA

What you need to know:

  • During the same period, UPDF says 2,921, livestock have been recovered.  

Joint security forces have arrested 400 suspects and recovered 186 guns and 650 live ammunition from warriors in ongoing operations to rid the North Eastern Uganda of deadly cattle raids and criminality.

According to him, the operation is running in about nine districts that comprise the Karamoja Sub-region as well as in districts of Kabelybyong and Katakwi in Teson Sub-region.

“For these arrests and recoveries UPDF employed both forceful and voluntary approaches” UPDF 3rd Division spokesperson, Maj Isaac Oware said about the operation started May 16, 2022. 

“About 232 suspected criminals have been prosecuted through the court martial sitting in Moroto District for various offences including possession of firearms. Others have been prosecuted through civil courts and could have been remanded or sentenced,” Maj Oware added.

 

However, he said “a good number were found with no case and were released to their respective communities after investigations.”

“These operations are targeting criminal elements in five categories which include armed criminals [warriors], those who drive livestock using bows and arrows, collaborators [Informers] and suspects of cattle theft and this has paid off because currently the rate of raids has drastically reduced,” the serviceman revealed.

During the same period, UPDF says, 2,921 livestock have been recovered.  

The 39th Battalion under 405 Brigade recovered over 200 herds of cattle from raiders along the Lions Bridge, a border belt between Napak and Abim districts.

“This single big recovery was done with air support [Helicopter] and close coordination with Kotido District leaders,” Maj Oware disclosed.

He added: “Security forces have the mandate to see that all routes entering Karamoja are safe and are more secure for effective service delivery. Insecurity had caused fears,” Maj Oware further observed. 

Karamoja lawmakers had called for a review of security strategies for the area following increased insecurity characterized by cattle rustling.

“There is need for government to commit to protecting Karamojong people who face the danger of starvation, poverty, and sickness. They cannot sleep at night or do economic activities because of rustlers including those from Pokot-Toposa in neighbouring Kenya,” MP Achia Remigio [Pian County] said. By Mugangha Kolyangha, Daily Monitor

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