Friday, June 22, 2007

Carbon footprint calculator launched - Yahoo! News UK

Martin Makara ( has sent you a news article

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This is a good thing that should be publicised and monitored in Uganda and all vulnerable African countries.


Carbon footprint calculator launched


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cart Before the Horse: Workers MP's are Offside.

Dear Sir,


Uganda's lack of a strong trades union system was supposed to be solved by the representation of workers in parliament. Trades union, though a good for the workers, can cause damaging instability for fragile economies like Uganda's that already have it rough recovering from total breakdown. Representation in parliament was supposed to act for workers as a substitute for them.


Representation of workers in parliament has hardly achieved much for them. A simple look at the streets of Kampala and other towns will reveal cleaners unhealthily working without protective gear. This is the same case in building and road construction. The workers' MP's have never sought legislation disqualifying contractors who do not provide protective wear for their employees from winning central and local government contracts. No worthy potential contractor would not like to qualify for a government contract, therefore such rules would be complied with by many. Also a poor and exploitative public transport system hurts workers most but, notoriously, workers' MP's are 'deafeningly' silent about it. The high and unpredictable fares, on top of scarcity of PSV's at peak hours, hurt the worker financially and mentally every single working day. This affects productivity and potentially makes Uganda's labour force less competitive, thus discouraging investment and threatening Ugandans' employment opportunities. These MP's have never sought legislation compelling tender boards to include service users who are in most cases workers. Awards of public transport management tenders therefore seldom have any input from passengers because they have no designated representation, hence the exploitative nature of the industry.


It is my opinion, therefore, that opposition to the proposed local service tax by workers' MP's is myopic and disgustingly populist. What should be opposed is any unfair assessment of each individual's obligations to make sure that it is not oppressive; not the tax per se. The tax has the potential of increasing employment opportunities and improving service delivery in rural towns and areas. Though not easy to accurately establish, I am certain that employed Ugandans have in some way borne the burden of the unemployed and poor service delivery in rural areas through disbursements for everything from extended family members' school uniforms to human and animal medical care. An increase in public cash in rural areas has the potential of stimulating economic activity there and reducing financial burdens on directly elected politicians who are costing the economy a lot of money.


Our workers' MP's should instead be constructive and suggest that the Bonna Bagaggawale scheme, SACCO's, commercial banks, microfinance and other financial institutions incorporate the local service tax into the products and services offered to their customers. This would most of all go a long way in popularising and promoting a saving culture among workers at all levels. Local governments can use these institutions to collect the tax as well as distribute the tax certificates in convenient ways to both the taxpayer and collector. Those who feel that a lump sum payment would hurt them can make arrangements with their respective financial services provider to pay for them the full amount which would be recovered in instalments convenient to and agreed upon by both parties. After all is said, the local service tax should not be outrightly opposed. What should be opposed is the magnitude of its burden on payers.


Martin Makara,


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Thursday, June 07, 2007 has sent you a New Vision News Article!

Hi there! thought you might be interested in this article from The New Vision online:

They also added this comment:
"What is Jane Kasumba saying?"

UBC content is professionally selected

SIR — I write in response to Mr martin Makara's letter "UBC, what message do you wish to convey in 'Wife Swap'" published yesterday. makara insinuates that some of the content aired on UBC a few days ago, bordered on immorality.

I wish to assure your readers and our viewers that we take stringent measures to sieve our programmes. Our programmes aim to be informative, educative and entertaining. The programmes you watch are professionally selected by our programmers to ensure they are in line with our editorial policy. Our producers and directors preview all content before it goes on air.

Thereafter a detailed report is written on the programme. This report will determine the life span of the programme on our airwaves. These are not the only precautionary measures employed by UBC. Programmes that may require parental guidance always mention this before the programme. A TV mention scroll is also used within the programme to caution the viewer. Any graphic content in a programme is always edited before it goes on air. Programmes that may have episodes where parental guidance is advised have their time slots changed.

All such programmes air after midnight. Programmes that may deviate from our editorial policy are not aired. Above all our producers and directors also painstakingly create local programmes that aim to morally uplift our viewers. Even in the instance of Wife Swap, one or more of the above precautions was taken. I thank your readers and our viewers for their constant support and interest in UBC.

Jane Kasumba (PRO)
For Management

You can also read the article online at:

Uganda Cranes or Uganda Chameleons?

Now that the ‘small’ issue of beating ‘our new biggest sporting rivals’, Nigeria, is done and dusted (what insolence!), we have never had a better time to accord serious attention to something many of us wrongly take to be simply cosmetic – consistent and attractive national football/sports kits. Three or four different football kits in as many home games is disturbing to some fans like me. If there are still any doubts about the abilities and competencies of FUFA’s new management, given the body’s lousy past, inconsistency with kits is not helping to cast them aside. My fears that a kit for Ugandans to be proud of, like Cameroon’s, were not being taken seriously were not laid to rest by the casual manner in which FUFA’s Aldrine Nsusbuga dismissed it as unimportant. While appearing on UBC, he was asked by Jane Kasumba which of the three different replica shirts in the studio that night was part of the official Cranes kits. His answer: ‘it doesn’t matter as long as it has something to do with Uganda on it’. That may be true for the fans but should not apply to the Cranes too.

Replicas of former official kits supplied by Hummel are quite popular simply because they are beautiful. There is the white one with black, yellow and red stripes and impressions of crested cranes (Nsubuga wore this one in the TV programme and in Nigeria ), and the yellow one with black and red bars in its bottom half with ‘ Uganda ’ emblazoned on the chest. These shirts were dumped quite unceremoniously and I have heard some people insinuate that it is because they are a child of Dennis Obua’s FUFA regime. However, judging from the popularity of the Hummel shirts, even with tourists and expatriates, I think they should come back! Their potential for marketing for the Cranes, FUFA and suppliers looks very promising. If there are any obstacles stopping Uganda from accessing those popular designs from anywhere else than Hummel, we should know so that in case there are any financial implications, we deal with them.

The unveiling of a kit in some countries for club and national sides are occasions of pomp and ceremony. I think it would be good for Lawrence Mulindwa and company to unveil the two kits mentioned above as the official ones for the Cranes in the next few weeks while we are still high on beating Nigeria and long before we play Niger. It would be nice to have them before the Lesotho game, but that would probably be asking for too much. We can never accurately quantify the contribution of visuals in marketing anything but we know that they play very important selling and identity roles. FUFA should stop looking at kits as being just cosmetic and simple ways for referees to tell one side from another. They are quite serious stuff.