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Charcoal fire destroys more than 200 homes in central Uganda

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- At least 950 people have been left homeless after fire destroyed about 202 homes at a landing site in the Ugandan central district of Mukono.

Sam Mugisha a district branch manager of Uganda Red Cross Society, told Xinhua by telephone on Friday that no casualties had been registered.

"During our assessment, we were told that the fire which started at night until this morning could have been caused by one of the residents who left a charcoal stove burning," Mugisha said.

He added that the fire destroyed almost all the houses at the Damba Island on Lake Victoria where most of the residents were fish dealers.

"So far there is lack of shelter, food and first aid supplies. The children have nothing to eat," said Mugisha.


Uganda Central Bank warns of impact of looming global economic recession

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Uganda’s central bank on Thursday warned that the looming global economic recession is likely to have an impact on the country’s balance of payments, which could result into exchange rate volatilities.

Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, governor of Bank of Uganda, told reporters that although Uganda’s economic growth is projected to grow at 6 percent to 6.3 percent in the financial year 2019/20, there are downward risks to the outlook.

"On the external scene, lower external demand due to depressed global economy could weigh on Balance of Payments developments, particularly financial flows and services such as tourism and lead to volatility in the domestic foreign exchange market," Mutebile said.

He said that on the domestic scene, weather-related constraints to agricultural production and delays in the implementation of public investment programs could dampen economic activity.

Adam Mugume, executive director of research at Bank of Uganda, said the country has had a decline in exports by 9 percent resulting from decline in coffee, beans and maize export.

On the foreign direct investment (FDI), Mugume said that in the financial year 2018/19, the country registered 1.8 billion U.S. dollars, the highest the country has ever received in the past four years.

He said the FDI flowing into Uganda came Europe, America, China and India.

Uganda ruling party leaders leave for study tour in China

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Senior leaders of Uganda’s ruling party, National Resistance Movement (NRM) on Friday traveled to China’s Jilin Province on a study tour.

The party in a statement issued here said the reciprocal visit is aimed at learning poverty eradication models from their counterparts, among others.

The 20 member delegation is headed by the party Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba and the National Treasurer Rose Namayanja Nsereko.

"In April we invited a team from Jilin Province of China.

"They came to seek partnerships to improve bilateral relations between the Communist Party of China and the NRM.

"They expressed interest in investing in our industrial parks.

"The NRM leaders are expected to meet investors in China and convince them to come and invest in Uganda," the statement said.

The statement added that the party leaders will also be seeking technical advice and financial support.

Huawei refutes reports of spying on Ugandan opposition politicians

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Chinese telecommunication company Huawei on Thursday refuted a U.S. news report alleging that the company aided the Ugandan government to spy on opposition politicians.

Huawei in a statement referred to the report titled Huawei Technicians Helped African Governments Spy on Political Opponents by the Wall Street Journal as unfounded, with inaccurate allegations against its business operations in the east African country.

The multinational company said its code of business conduct prohibits any employees from undertaking activities that would compromise its customers or end users’ data or privacy or that would breach any laws.

"We have also never developed any intelligence monitoring project for Uganda or signed any contract related to spying and intelligence related activities," the company said.

The statement said the only security-related project that the company has in Uganda is the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. This is specifically for public security surveillance and identification of criminal activities.

"The training therefore we offer police officers is only how to manage the CCTV system," the statement said, while refuting allegations that the company accompanied Ugandan officers to Beijing for technical training.

Uganda beat Zambia 38-22 in Victoria Rugby Cup

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Uganda Rugby Cranes have defeated visiting Zambia national team 38-22 in a 2019 Victoria Rugby Cup game at the Kyadondo ground in Kampala on Saturday.

Saudi Semwani gave the visitors an early try before Uganda’s Philip Wokorach converted two penalties to make it 6-7.

Justin Kimono, Ivan Magomu and Faraji Odugo picked tries for Uganda, while Semwani was also on the scoring end for Zambia again. Uganda took a 28-15 lead at half time.

Desire Ayera later scored another try for Uganda, while the visitors also fought back to get a try and a conversion in the second half.

Head coach Robert Seguya told Xinhua after the game that he is happy that his team got a win at home after losing to Kenya and Zimbabwe in Kampala. "This is hard earned victory and we should celebrate it," said Seguya.

Uganda started the Victoria Cup campaign with a win away to Kenya before they lost to the same side on return in Kampala and followed with a 31-26 defeat to Zimbabwe last month.

The Victoria Cup is a tournament involving Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Zambia and they are playing a double round-robin system.


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