Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Stella Chesang qualifies for Rio, fourth woman on Ugandan team

FILE Photographs of Chesang winning the world mountain running event last year.

World Mountain running champion Stella Chesang continued her strong start to the seniors events by storming to a 5000m personal best of 15.10 and Olympic qualification. The Olympic qualification time for 5000m is 15:24.00.

Chesang, 19 qualified after she finished third in the IAAF meet in Henglo, Netherlands on Sunday behind Gidey Letesenbet  14.58 and Chebet Cheptai in 15.08

The former junior ace started her seniors career on a high by winning Uganda's national cross country championship title early this year, covering the 10km course in 34:33.

Chesang becomes the fourth Ugandan woman to qualify for the Rio Olympics. She joins Peruth Chemutai (3000m steeplechase), Juliet Chekwel (10,000m) and Adero Nyakesi (marathon).

Four women and 13 men have hit the the Rio Olympics qualifying time so far and the total of 14 spots booked for the Brazil athletics event means Uganda has already surpassed the biggest track and field team ever sent, 13 - Seoul 1988.

Uganda is expected to name a final team to the Olympics by end of this month, and officials are optimistic 18 athletes will qualify. Their biggest headache will be picking a marathon team of four from seven qualifiers, led by Olympic Champions Stephen Kiprotich.

Uganda’s track and field team at the last Olympics in London was the biggest (11 out of 15) since Seoul 1988 when we had 13. Kiprotich’s gold in London 2012, was the first Olympic medal since Davis Kamoga’s bronze in 1992 and one of only two gold Uganda has won at the games. The first gold was by Akii Bua in 1972, one of only 7 medals Uganda has won at Olympics track and field.

Athletes who have qualified
Women 4: Stella Chesang (5,000m), Peruth Chemutai (3000mSC), Juliet Chekwel (10000m) and Adero Nyakesi (marathon)

Men marathon 7: Stephen Kiprotich, Solomon Munyo Mutai, Robert Chemonges, Kiprop Jackson, Abraham Kiplimo, Alex Cheskit and Moses Kipsiro.

Men other events 6: Joshua Cheptgei (10000m and 5000m), Timothy Toroitich (10,000m), Phillip Kipyeko ( 5,000m), Ronald Musagala (1,500m) and Benjamin Kiplagat (3,000m SC), Jacob Kiplimo (5,000m)

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Infantino's radical new measures to change world football. First woman Gen Sec, new structures, more money

Infantino defines the way forward with women at the centre
FIFA president Gianni Infantino Friday pushed through new radical measures to change world football and promised a future with women playing a key role.

In that direction, the head of the world's football governing body had his Council appoint a first woman General Secretary Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura, put in place new structures and promised everyone more money at the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City.

“Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time,” Infantino said in Mexico. “She has a proven ability to build and lead teams, and improve the way organisations perform. Importantly for FIFA, she also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organisation.”

“It is essential for FIFA to incorporate fresh perspectives – from outside the traditional pool of football executives – as we continue to restore and rebuild our organisation.No one exemplifies what we need more than Fatma does, and we are thrilled that she has joined our team," the new football supremo Infantino said. 

Who is Fatma Samba Diouf Samour?
**Ms Samoura is a 21-year Senegalese veteran of United Nations programmes.
** Currently the UN’s Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria.
** Masters Degree in English and Spanish at the University of Lyon; and a Post-Masters Degree in international relations/international trade from the Institut d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées (IECS)- Strasbourg-France.

What she said
“Today is a wonderful day for me, and I am honoured to take on the role of FIFA’s Secretary General. I believe this role is a perfect fit for my skills and experience – strategic, high impact team building in international settings – which I will use to help grow the game of football all over the world."

"I also look forward to bringing my experience in governance and compliance to bear on the important reform work that is already underway at FIFA. FIFA is taking a fresh approach to its work – and I am eager to play a role in making that approach as effective and lasting as possible.”

FIFA Forward: a new, tailor-made development programme
To build on his manifesto pledges, FIFA President Gianni Infantino presented “FIFA Forward”, a complete overhaul of FIFA’s football development programmes. FIFA Forward provides 360-degree, tailor-made support for football development in each of FIFA’s member associations and the six confederations. FIFA will significantly increase its investment to USD 5 million for each member association per four-year cycle for football projects and support for running costs. The use of funds will be monitored closely through enhanced compliance, accountability and transparency, with all member associations required to publish independent audits of their finances as per the new “FIFA Forward” regulations.

Reforms in action
FIFA updated its member associations on the progress in the implementation of the reform process since new measures were approved in February. Reforms are now operational within FIFA’s structures: 

·       Enhanced compliance for revenue and spending

·       Eligibility checks for new members of committees and senior positions

·       Publication of individual compensation of senior FIFA officials

·       Appointment of first independent members on key committees

The president announced the creation of a women’s football division in the FIFA administration to further support the promotion and development of women’s football.

Regular “football summits” for member associations will start in the third quarter of 2016, with inter-confederation conferences involving about 20 associations designed to address important regional topics in football.

FIFA Legends programme
Clarence Seedorf and Sun Wen presented the “FIFA Legends programme” which will support the organisation’s goal of giving a stronger voice to people directly involved in football. The FIFA Legends Team is designed to bring together former top players from the men’s and women’s game to promote and support football and its wider mission around the world, and to give something back to the game. 

The Legends will focus on three main activities:

·       The FIFA Legends on Tour – Four two-day tours will take place in the first year, including additional events from grassroots clinics to fundraising and fan engagement.

·       The FIFA Legends Forum – think-tank sessions – as started yesterday in Mexico – will create a platform to hear their views on current football affairs. These views will be shared with top decision-makers, authorities and policy committees in football.

·       The FIFA Legends Initiatives – Members of the Legends Team will act as ambassadors in key areas such as event promotion, football development, women’s football, diversity, health and sustainability projects.

Kosovo and Gibraltar admitted as FIFA members
The FIFA Congress followed the recommendation of the FIFA Council and confirmed the admission of Kosovo (141 "yes" to 23 "no" of valid votes cast) and Gibraltar (172 "yes" to 12 "no" of valid votes cast) as the 210th and 211th FIFA members. Both associations will be entitled to take part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, with UEFA tasked to look into the best way to integrate Kosovo and Gibraltar in the preliminary competition.

Election of new FIFA committee members:

·       Governance Committee: Luís Miguel Poiares Maduro (Portugal) has been elected as Chairman and Mukul Mudgal (India) as Deputy Chairman. Both will also head the independent Review Committee. Luis Felipe Cantuarias Salaverry (Peru) was elected as a member of this Committee.

·       Disciplinary Committee: John Simmonds (Jamaica), Leonardo Carlos Stagg Peña (Ecuador) and Carlos Manuel Terán Valero (Venezuela) have been elected as members.

·       Ethics Committee: Akihiro Hara (Japan), Oscar Vicente Scavone Rivas (Paraquay) and Anin Yeboah (Ghana) have been elected as members in the Adjudicatory Chamber.

·       Audit & Compliance: Enrique Bonilla (Mexico) and Jorge del Solar Bueno (Bolivia) have been elected as new members.

·       The Congress authorised the Council to appoint office holders for the remaining vacant positions within the judicial bodies, the Audit & Compliance Committee and the Governance Committee until the 67th FIFA Congress, and to dismiss any office holder of these committees until the 67th FIFA Congress.

Ahead of the FIFA Congress, the Council also appointed the following Committee members, including former international top players Luis Figo, Mia Hamm and Theodoros Zagorakis:

·       Independent members:

o   Finance Committee: Vanessa Ames Wittman (USA); Theodoros Zagorakis (Greece)

o   Development Committee: Deputy Chairman Luis Figo (Portugal); Deputy Chairwoman Mia Hamm (USA)

·       Football Stakeholders Committee:

o   Chairman Ramón Jesurún (Colombia)

o   Deputy Chairman: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Germany)

o   Deputy Chairman: Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire / TBC)

Other decisions:

·       Ahead of the Congress, the FIFA Council lifted the suspension of the Football Association of Indonesia imposed in May 2015.

·       The Congress confirmed the suspensions of Benin and Kuwait, and asked the FIFA Council to lift these suspensions as soon as the necessary requirements are fulfilled.

·       The Congress extended the mandate of the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine, which was set up by the 65th FIFA Congress in 2015. Chaired by Tokyo Sexwale, the committee reported progress in facilitating the free movement of Palestinian people and goods connected with football. The FIFA President announced that he would travel to Palestine and Israel to help resolve the outstanding issue of five clubs playing in the disputed area that are affiliated to the Israel Football Association.

(SOURCE: @fifamedia and FIFA.COM)

** READ THE COMPLETE #LJfiles here (click)

Friday, 13 May 2016

BASHIR: US journalists question Ambassador Malac's presence at #M7SwearsIn

The video and transcript from yesterday's US Department of State Daily Press Briefing in Washington.  Thursday's press briefing was by Elizabeth Trudeau and came hours after President Yoweri Museveni's swearing in.

QUESTION: What’s your reaction to the Sudanese president slipping into Uganda today, in defiance of an arrest warrant, and slipping back out again without being arrested?
QUESTION: And was anyone from the U.S. Embassy present at the inauguration of the new president? And if so, how did they react?
MS TRUDEAU: Okay. Thank you very much for the question.
QUESTION: Re-inauguration of the old president.
MS TRUDEAU: So the United States has made its position with respect to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s travel very clear. We’re concerned that President Bashir has been able to travel to Uganda as well as Djibouti in the past. In Kampala, President Museveni made disparaging remarks about the ICC in front of attendees, including other heads of state. In response to President Bashir’s presence and President Museveni’s remarks, the United States delegation, along with representatives of the European Union countries and Canada, departed the inauguration ceremonies to demonstrate our objection.
We believe that walking out in protest in an appropriate reaction to a head of state mocking efforts to ensure accountability for victims of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, particularly when his country has committed to accountability as a state party to the Rome Statute. While the United States is not a party to the Rome Statute, which is a treaty that established the ICC, we strongly support the ICC’s efforts to hold accountable those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Darfur.

QUESTION: What did he say?
MS TRUDEAU: I’m – I don’t have the exact transcript in front of me. It was my understanding he spoke to – you know what? I’m going to have you take a look. I’m not going to extrapolate here.
QUESTION: Can I ask a couple on this?
QUESTION: (Inaudible.)
MS TRUDEAU: I’ll come to --
QUESTION: Prior to the actual inauguration, was there any contact between the U.S. and the – the U.S. and Ugandan governments about the appropriateness of President Bashir attending?
MS TRUDEAU: When U.S. officials who were present at the ceremony learned of President Bashir’s arrival, we relayed our concerns immediately to the Ugandan prime minister and foreign minister in light of President Bashir’s status as the subject of ICC arrest warrants for genocide and other atrocity crimes in Darfur.
QUESTION: And did – I mean, I’m not – was the decision made that it was – even though he did arrive, they didn’t – basically they ignored your complaint and presumably the complaint of – complaints of Europeans. But why did they even then go to the ceremony if President Bashir was going to be --
MS TRUDEAU: So Uganda is – we do have bilateral ties with Uganda. However, they found that President Museveni’s comments about the ICC with President Bashir there – the two issues together. And --
QUESTION: So – but they went, so – they obviously went, because they walked out.
MS TRUDEAU: They did, they did.
QUESTION: But why was it appropriate for them to even go in the first place if your concerns about President Bashir were ignored?
MS TRUDEAU: So considering our bilateral ties with Uganda – it was the presidential inauguration – we did make our concerns known. However, when President Museveni did make those comments, we found it appropriate to leave.
QUESTION: Okay, but I mean – so, first of all, who was the U.S. delegation? Was that --
MS TRUDEAU: Which was Arshad’s question.
QUESTION: Yeah, sorry.
MS TRUDEAU: It was Ambassador Malac as well as our Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Bruce Wharton.
QUESTION: So there was someone from Washington.
MS TRUDEAU: Washington, yes, there was.
QUESTION: But here’s what – I mean, why is it okay to sit in the VIP section with President Bashir, or wherever it was they were – why is that okay or it was deemed to be okay and then it was only when President Museveni made his comments that – against the ICC that it was determined that they shouldn’t --
MS TRUDEAU: So we raised our concerns, as I mentioned --
MS TRUDEAU: -- with Uganda, as we did when he was previously in Djibouti. And consistent with our bilateral relationship with Uganda, we did feel it was appropriate to attend.
QUESTION: Well – so there was no walkout at the Djibouti inauguration, correct?
MS TRUDEAU: No there was not.
QUESTION: Is that only because the president – the --
MS TRUDEAU: We did not --
QUESTION: -- re-inaugurated president of Djibouti didn’t make any disparaging comments about the ICC?
MS TRUDEAU: So we had no interaction with the Sudanese president at the inaugural ceremony in Djibouti, but they did feel at this time, considering both President Bashir’s presence as well as President Museveni’s comments, that it was appropriate to show --
QUESTION: Right. I --
MS TRUDEAU: -- to show our concern.

Malac and Museveni at State House (FILE PHOTO)
QUESTION: But I’m just trying to find out – maybe this is a protocol question, but why is it okay to sit with him, but – and it’s only when another leader insults the ICC that it’s --
MS TRUDEAU: I think it was – I think it was the two issues together, Matt.
QUESTION: Yeah, but, I mean, why did they go in Djibouti?
MS TRUDEAU: So again, we have bilateral relations with Djibouti.
MS TRUDEAU: We have a strength of relationship with both Djibouti and Uganda on this. What we found is what happened with President Museveni’s comments as well as the presence of President Bashir.
QUESTION: Right, but do you understand what I mean?
QUESTION: My question is: Why is it – why is it only appropriate to walk out if the – if President – when President Museveni makes comments, when they were perfectly happy to --
MS TRUDEAU: Yeah. I’d refer you to President Museveni’s comments, as we mentioned, mocking the --
QUESTION: Yeah. And I can understand why they would walk out if that happened. What I don’t understand is why they were there in the first place after the Ugandan Government ignored your concerns about President Bashir being there in the first place and President Bashir showed up and participated or attended.
MS TRUDEAU: Again, it was a bilateral decision to attend the inauguration of an important U.S. partner.
QUESTION: Here’s something I don’t quite understand.
QUESTION: Your decision to walk out was a function of dismay at Museveni’s comments about the ICC or Bashir’s presence or both?
MS TRUDEAU: It’s both. This goes back to Matt’s question.
QUESTION: Okay, so it’s both. And then secondly, was there – I know you said that as soon as you learned of his presence at the ceremony – do you mean, like, that he had actually shown up at the ceremony, or rather --
MS TRUDEAU: So it was after President Museveni’s comments that our delegation left, as well as other delegations.
QUESTION: No, no, no, I get that.
QUESTION: But what I didn’t understand was at some point you were asked – and I believe you said that as soon as you learned of President Bashir’s presence, you raised your concerns.
MS TRUDEAU: As soon as we learned about his planned travel and his presence, we did raise our concerns with the --
QUESTION: And how did you do that?
MS TRUDEAU: We raised our concerns with both the prime minister and the Ugandan foreign minister. I’m not sure if it was a demarche or --
QUESTION: Can you check that?
MS TRUDEAU: I can. If I have anything to add --
MS TRUDEAU: It’s a question of detail on that. But if I do have something to add, I’ll get back to you.
QUESTION: And following on that, apart from your concern about President Bashir presence and the Ugandan president comments, are you concerned also about the fact that the Ugandan president is starting his fifth term as president?
MS TRUDEAU: So the United States and Uganda have a longstanding and strong partnership. We are concerned the Ugandan Government’s recent actions could endanger the economic and political process that has allowed our strong bilateral relationship to grow. We do urge the government to take steps to reverse this troubling trend.
QUESTION: On the Sudan – the Sudan Government held a referendum last month in Darfur and they said it was very successful and it’s going to end the crisis in Darfur. Do you accept that?
MS TRUDEAU: We actually put out a statement, I think you remember, on April 9th that specifically spoke about our concerns with the referendum in Darfur. We spoke about our concerns with the timing of the Darfur referendum due to conditions on the ground not being right for holding a vote – a widespread insecurity currently exists, there are millions of internally displaced individuals still. Again, we thought that the referendum posed a risk of setting back efforts to secure a monitored cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access in the conflict-afflicted areas, so --
QUESTION: Thank you.


When Kerry called Museveni (click here)

Thursday, 12 May 2016

UGANDA: Swearing in programme

The swearing in and inauguration of the President of the Republic of Uganda is a ceremonial event marking the commencement of a new five-year term of a president of the Uganda.

President Yoweri Museveni will today take a presidential oath of office and make his inaugural address.

The Oath of Allegiance: I swear in the name of the Almighty God (or solemnly affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Uganda and that I will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. [So help me God.]

The Presidential Oath: I swear in the name of the Almighty God (or solemnly affirm) that I shall faithfully exercise the functions of the President of Uganda and shall uphold, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and observe the laws of Uganda and that I shall promote the welfare of the people of Uganda. [So help me God.]

LIVE twitter feed

Entebbe Road closed to public, this is what happened next....

The journey from Kampala to Entebbe usually takes one hour. With the new Express Way being built, it will take less than 45 minutes.

But with Entebbe hosting Ugandan’s main airport, residents close to the highway have gotten used to occasional inconveniences whenever “Very Important Persons” have made a grand entry into the country, or when the country hosts big occasions.

Wednesday marked yet another low for everyone living next to the Entebbe Highway. A day or two earlier, it was announced that most of the highway will be closed for security and convenience purposes Wednesday-Thursday-Friday.

The announcement also came out with what government officials thought was an elaborate plan to divert traffic.  All it did was expose a complete lack of coordination by all the related agencies, absence of feeder and alternative routes worth talking about  – there was NO PLAN. 

Here is what happened next....

This is what had been promised

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Miya impresses, to sign 3-year contract at Belgium's Standard Liege

Farouk Miya has done very well in the handful of matches he has played for Standard Liege since joining in February and the Belgium side have agreed to sign him on permanently. 

Cranes ace struggled initially due to injury, but when he got his stride, became a regular starter in the final games of the season. He joined on  "loan" - a trial spell on the professional circuit - from Ugandan soccer giants Vipers.

"Farouk Miya will sign a 3-year full contract with Standard Liege. Happy that his performance and great football and human qualities have earned him this," Cranes coach Micho said.

Usually very lethal in front of goal, Miya's performance in Cranes games since moving lacked the spark expected, but now all hope is that after signing full contract, and his confidence high, he will play a key part in Uganda's make-or-break Nations Cup tie against Botswana away June 4. 

The break-through on the European scene for Miya should spur several other players like Joseph Ochaya, Khalid Aucho and Murushid Jjuko who are waiting to hit the big stage. 

MARCH 20, 2016: Miya wins first trophy 

Miya and goalkeeper 
Valdes celebrate last night

In a sign of the confidence his new club have in in him, Ugandan international Farouk Miya was part of the team as Standard Liege lifted the Belgium Cup yesterday at the King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels.

Miya was on the bench as Standard Liege's Croatian striker Ivan Santini headed the winner three minutes from time to snatch their 7th Belgian Cup with a 2-1 final victory over holders Club Brugge.

VIDEO: Miya arrives for the final

Jean-Luc Dompe had earlier put Standard Liege in the lead that lasted 10 minutes. Israeli international Lior Rafaelov, who scored the winner in last year's final, had put Bruges back in the game.

It was just the second game (CLICK HERE to READ STORY) that Miya has featured in after joining the club from Uganda's Vipers last month. His first game was a week back, coming on as a substitute in his club's last regular season match.

Miya is now expected to return to Uganda for international duty. Uganda takes on Burkina Faso in two games in 4 days next week!


How "we" broke the news in February

Miya in action for Uganda against Mali at CHAN recently

Ugandan football star Farouk Miya has finally signed for Belgian football giants Standard Liege.

Standard de Liège @Standard_RSCL tweeted the photo above early today, saying...."Le milieu offensif ougandais Faruku MIYA est arrivé au Standard de Liège ce vendredi ! #WelcomeFaruku #RSCL"

Thursday, 5 May 2016

#OMF16: The informal sector "An Invisible Force With Visible Impact" in Uganda

The Informal Sector was the focus of the 9th Uganda Revenue Authority Open Minds Forum #OMF16 Thursday May 5, 2016 in Kampala.

It was revealed at the forum that while close to 80% of Uganda's workforce is in the informal sector, their percentage contribution to the country's revenue is below par.

According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2014 figures, the informal sector employs 70-80% of the labour force, yet is estimated to contribute just 52.4% of Gross Domestic Product. 

Andrew Rugasira, proprietor of Good African Coffee, was the 9th Forum's keynote speaker (SEE HIS FULL PRESENTATION AT BOTTOM) and helped stir  several points of discussion with the audience on how best to convert the informal sector into partners with the Uganda Revenue Authority.

The debate got heated at times. Rugasira's wise words were that the conversation should continue...as "change starts with a conversation," as was happening at the forum. 

URA's CG Akol makes a presentation before Rugasira's keynote address (top)

Over the past year, URA has courted the informal sector through, among others, sensitizations on tax. These engagements have occurred in Kampala, the East, North, West Nile and Western Uganda. 

Additionally, last year’s taxpayer appreciation awards dubbed Omugano Gwa URA, targeted the informal sector.  Indeed, some recipients of awards were players in the informal sector.  

URA has also established an office close to Kikuubo, a busy trading hub where hundreds of sector players are involved in flourishing businesses.

Panelists were Dr. Joseph Muvawala Executive Director National Planning Authority and Private Sector Foundation Uganda Executive Director, Gideon Badagawa.

Other speakers were Kampala City Traders Association chairman, Evaristo Kayondo and the proprietor of Kazaire Health Products, Edward Kazaire.