Thursday, 19 July 2018

Why lawyer Nicholas Opiyo has not yet paid #socialmediatax

Lawyer Opiyo is using VPN to access social media. PHOTO NOPIYO FACEBOOK

Nicholas Opiyo, a leading human rights lawyer, has explained why many Ugandans like him have opted not to pay the social media tax.

In a facebook post, via a Virtual Private Network VPN, Opiyo argued that "the principle is not that we do not want to support the government to provide services. We just do not want to pay taxes to buy the minister huge cars while our road networks are either bad or killing hundreds; we do not want to pay money to enable the minister to get medical treatment outside Uganda when our national hospitals are collapsing and health centres have no drugs, the arguments goes on an on and the list is long."

Uganda's ICT Minister Frank Tumwebaze defied critics of a controversial tax on social media on Tuesday and insisted the compulsory sh200  daily levy to use sites like whatsapp, Twitter and Facebook would continue.

Since the start of July, access to social media networks, as well as dating sites Tinder and Grindr, has been blocked unless users pay a 200 shilling ($0.05, 0.04 euro) daily tax.

Parliament will vote on the proposals today July 19, but Opiyo shot back (see 4 points bottom).

Opiyo's logic:
  1. Most VPNs are open source technologies. They are largely free to download on various sites. Dr Ham Muliira (former ICT minister) would get this. 
  2. The principle is not that we do not want to support the government to provide services. We just do not want to pay taxes to buy the minister huge cars while our road networks are either bad or killing hundreds; we do not want to pay money to enable the minister to get medical treatment outside Uganda when our national hospitals are collapsing and health centres have no drugs, the arguments goes on an on and the list is long.
  3. The broader aim should be to enable more access to the internet and social media. It has a multiplier effect on the economy - more young people create jobs, sell products that feed the economy. In fact, you will raise more revenue from increased access to the internet and social media in the long run. It is the same logic that Frank used when he sold the idea of internet access zones (never mind that it was hot air). 
  4. From a security perspective, it helps traceability as all users leave digital footprints. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Uganda Airlines finally orders two Airbus A330-800neo planes

This is what Uganda airlines will look like. PHOTO @airbus

THE AIRBUS A330-800neo
  • ➡️ Range 15,094km (7,500 nautical miles )
  • ➡️ Typical seating 257
  • ➡️ Overall length 58.82m
  • ➡️ $250M each (sh940 billion)  
  • ➡️ Latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines
  • ➡️ 257 passengers in 3 classes 
  • ➡️ Capacity 406 in a high-density configuration
  • ➡️Airbus' largest customer for the A330 neo series is Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia X with 66 on order. 
Uganda Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding for two A330-800neo planes, Airbus announced today in a press statement. This follows a Firm Order earlier in the day for Four Bombardier CRJ900 Aircraft.

"Congratulations to #UgandaAirlines on your order for 2 latest generation #A330neo. We hope your passengers will love it as much as we do!" Airbus said on twitter.

The agreement was announced at Farnborough airshow in the UK by Ephraim Bagenda, CEO of Uganda Airlines and Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.

According to the Airbus statement released Wednesday, the planes will be the new version of the best-selling A330 widebody airliner, featuring new wings new Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines, new systems and a new Airspace cabin interior.

Uganda Airlines plans to use the A330-800neos to build its international long-haul network with the aircraft offering cutting-edge technologies along with most efficient operations. The name "neo" stands for new engine option. 

The aircraft will feature a three-class cabin layout comprising 20 Business, 28 Premium Economy and 213 Economy seats.

“This agreement demonstrates our ambition for economic growth supported by a robust aviation industry. The A330-800neo combines low operating costs, long range flying capability and high levels of comfort. We are looking forward to launch operations and offer our customers best-in-class service”, said Ephraim Bagenda, CEO of Uganda Airlines.

“We are delighted to welcome Uganda Airlines among our A330neo customers, the A330neo will bring a range of benefits offering unrivalled efficiencies combined with the most modern cabin. We look forward to see the A330-800neo flying in the colours of Uganda”, said Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.

Bombardier 4 plane deal struck earlier

Earlier in the day, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft also announced that it has signed a firm order for four new CRJ900 regional jets with Uganda Airlines. Based on the list price for the CRJ900 aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately US$190 million.

“We congratulate the Government of Uganda for the revival of its national flag carrier, and are thrilled that the new airline has selected Bombardier and the CRJ900 regional jets for its upcoming debut,” said Jean-Paul Boutibou, Vice President, Sales, Middle-East and Africa, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

“Recognized for its superior economics and efficiency, the CRJ Series aircraft have enabled airlines worldwide to serve communities with better connectivity, and we look forward to supporting the development of Uganda’s regional air travel with these CRJ900 regional jets.”

That brings to six the number of aircraft the airline has ordered today.


Why the A330-800neo?

 Eric Schulz, Chief Commercial Officer Airbus / Ephraim Bagenda and Chief Executive
Officer of Uganda Airlines . PHOTOS @AIRBUS

The A330-800neo – one of two A330neo versions, along with the A330-900neo – is a more efficient aircraft that will generate savings through its reduced fuel burn.

The jetliner incorporates the latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, along with multiple aerodynamic improvements.

With a range of 7,500 nautical miles, the A330-800neo typically will seat 257 passengers in three classes of service, while offering capacity for up to 406 travellers in a high-density configuration.

Estimated cost for each plane is $250 million (sh940 billion).


Last year, President Yoweri Museveni promised to revive the Uganda Airlines to tap into tourism and the growing business community..

He  said that once revived, the Uganda Airlines will succeed mainly because of the direct travel opportunities that it will offer its citizens in the diaspora, the business community  and tourists. He said the airline would also benefit from the vast domestic travel opportunities. 
President Museveni welcomes Monsieur Patrice Bouedo last year. 

Museveni made the remarks in June last year while meeting Patrice Y. Bouedo, Vice President ATR Sales in Africa that works closely with Airbus Group.

Airbus Group is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services while ATR (Aerei da Trasporto Regionale or Avions de transport régional; Regional Air Transport) is a Franco Italian aircraft manufacturer headquartered in Toulouse Blagnac International Airport in Blagnac, France. It was formed in 1981 by Aérospatiale of France (now Airbus Group) and Aeritalia (now Leonardo) of Italy.

Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. It is a European leader based in Netherlands, providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft.

Uganda is looking to revive the defunct Uganda Airlines with these new planes. Earlier, cabinet passed a resolution to revive the airline to boost the country’s air transport system and boost its trade and development prospects in the region.

The old Uganda Airlines

Indian community a key factor

"I am convinced that Uganda airline will succeed mainly because of six factors: Ugandans in the diaspora, the Indian community, businessmen, tourists, regional traffic and internal travel," Museveni said at the meeting with the Airbus officials last year.

Museveni explained that the Ugandans in the diaspora especially in South Africa, Canada and United State of America, and United Kingdom based Indians who were expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin, are inconvenienced by airlines that must pass through other capitals, but once Uganda Airlines is revived, they will benefit from direct travel.

"Uganda has a captive travelling population. Many people want a flying schedule that suits them and yet most of the airlines look at nationalism and must first pass through their countries of origin," he said.

He said that once the airline is revived, Ugandan tourist sites will be well marketed to the world in a way that no country would compete with Uganda.

"In terms of tourism, no country can compete with Uganda if we have an airline and promote our nice weather, wildlife and the other tourist attractions."

The meeting was attended by Ugandan Ambassador to France Nimisha Madhvani,  the Minister of Works and Transport Azuba Ntege, and other government officials.

Uganda meets the airlines officials last year 

Industrialization will boost airline trade

Museveni also said that Uganda airline will survive once revived because there are many industries developing in the country that will use the airline to export their products.

He said this would increase the number of exports and reduce of imports thus earning Uganda foreign revenue.

Museveni added that regional travel and internal travel would also ensure that the airline survives.

"Although Uganda is not big geographically, the road network is improving, there is a need among Ugandans to spend less time travelling," he said.

He also explained that there are many Ugandans traveling and exporting cargo to Bunya in Democratic Republic of Congo, Juba in South Sudan, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Lagos and the airline would make their travel and business faster and more direct.

Patrice Bouedo reassures Museveni

Patrice Bouedo commended President Museveni on the move to ensure that the airline will have internal in country flights.

"What makes the success of an airline market is the feeder market. You need nationals flying within Uganda and not only abroad," he said.

Bouedo also urged government to develop Soroti Aviation School saying that it was greatly linked to the airport industry through training of pilots, engineers and other aviation related jobs.

While addressing his new cabinet at State House, Entebbe in 2016, president Museveni assured that government will focus on the national airline because Ugandan travelers suffer a lot, which he described as a shame.


Monday, 16 July 2018

Kiplimo and Chemutai shine as Uganda finishes 26th in World U20 meet

FILE PHOTO: Uganda's Kiplimo

Silver Medals - IAAFworlds
✅  🇺🇬  Chemutai 3000mSC
✅  🇺🇬  Kiplimo 10000m

Jacob Kiplimo settled for one silver medal after two frustrating races in the World U20 Athletics Championships that ended in Tampere Finland yesterday.

The Ugandan World Cross Country junior champion arrived at the 16th IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018 (July 10 –July 15) as one of the favourites in the two races he entered, the 5000m and 10000m.

He has in the past three years competed in the Olympics, the 2017 World Championships in London, the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, and at home in the 2017 World Cross Country Championships where he won the U20 title.

On the track this year, he was fourth in Commonwealth 10,000m in 27:30.25, and more recently, sixth over 5000m in the Stockholm leg of the IAAF Diamond League.

After dominating the first 10 laps in Tampere on July 10, Kiplimo,17, failed to shake off the 10,000m chasing pack that included African junior cross country title Rhonex Kipruto, 18.

According to, Kipruto upped the tempo in the second half of the race, opened a 10-metre lead with nine laps left, a lead he extended to some 30 metres two laps later. Kiplimo managed to defend the gap over the ensuing three laps, but seemed to hit a wall with one kilometre to go, as Kipruto extended his lead to more than half the distance of the home straight before wining in a championship record 27:21.08.

Kiplimo held on for second, finishing in 27:40.36. If he was disappointed, he didn't show it. "My performance was really good today and I am really happy being second," he told His time was below his previous best, 27:26.68 he set as he got bronze in the World U20 10,000m in Bydgoszcz in 2016.  Uganda’s Victor Kiplangat finished 6th in a personal best of 28:42.77.

Only three Ugandans have won gold at this junior event before, Joshua Cheptegei in 2014,  Boniface Kiprop in 2004 and Dorcus Inzikuru in 2000.

Kiplimo’s attempt at the 5000m on July 15 also ended disastrously, completely outpaced into 6th position in the final. He could only manage 6th in 13:23.35, one place ahead of colleague Oscar Chelimo in 14:00.68.

The other outstanding Ugandans in the Finland Championships was Sarah Chelengat who finished fourth in the 5000m in 15:43.01

Chemutai gets silver

Uganda finished a credible 26th out of 60 countries with two silver, Peruth Chemutai grabbing a silver in the 3000m steeplechase. Kenya topped the medal table with six golds, with Jamaica second and USA third.

The 3000m steeplechase women final was one of the highlights, with Kenyan Celliphine Chepteek Chespol Kenyan winning gold in 9:12.78 on Friday in a championship record. Chemutai, 20, came second in 9:18.87.

“This means a lot to me and for my country,” Chemutai told “I didn't have any tactics going into the race but it was a very tough race. It feels great to win silver.”

Uganda's history in the World Junior Championships
2018 - Two silver -  🇺🇬  26th overall
2016 - Bronze 2016 in Poland -  🇺🇬  39th overall
2014 - 1 gold - Joshua Cheptegei - Eugene  🇺🇬  14th
2012 - No medal
2010 - Two Bronze  🇺🇬  35th
2008 - Silver  🇺🇬  25th
2006 - 1 bronze  🇺🇬  39th
2004 - 1 gold - Kiplimo  🇺🇬  14th
2002 - No medal
2000 - 1 gold Inzikuru  🇺🇬  18th
1998 - 1 bronze  🇺🇬  31st

Uganda’s team in Tempere
CHELANGAT, Sarah        Women              UGA     05 JUN 2001       5000 Metres
CHELIMO, Oscar             Men      UGA     12 DEC 2001      5000 Metres
CHEMUTAI, Albert          Men      UGA     25 NOV 1999     3000 Metres Steeplechase
CHEMUTAI, Belinda       Women              UGA     30 APR 2000      1500 Metres
CHEMUTAI, Peruth         Women              UGA     10 JUL 1999        3000 Metres Steeplechase
CHEROTICH, Denis         Men      UGA     22 SEP 2000       3000 Metres Steeplechase
KIPLANGAT, Victor          Men      UGA     10 NOV 1999     10,000 Metres
KIPLANGAT, Hosea         Men      UGA     01 MAR 2000     1500 Metres
KIPLIMO, Jacob Men      UGA     14 NOV 2000     10,000 Metres, 5000 Metres
KIPROP, Daniel  Men      UGA     30 DEC 2000      1500 Metres
WONRUKU, Stella           Women              UGA     16 JUN 1999       400 Metres
3United StatesUNITED STATES38718
5Great Britain & N.I.GREAT BRITAIN & N.I.3137
6South AfricaSOUTH AFRICA3014
13Pr Of ChinaPR OF CHINA1102
18Czech RepublicCZECH REPUBLIC1001
18New ZealandNEW ZEALAND1001