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UN closes its human rights offices in Uganda.

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The United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, has announced the official closure of the UN Human Rights agency’s offices in Uganda.

The closure comes in the wake of the Ugandan government’s decision not to extend the agency’s mandate, marking the end of 18 years of operations.

In a statement released on Saturday, Türk expressed regret over the decision, acknowledging the years of collaboration with civil society and various stakeholders in Uganda. The agency had actively engaged with state institutions to promote and safeguard the human rights of Ugandans.

The agency’s operations were centered in Kampala since its establishment in 2006, originally focused on addressing human rights concerns in conflict-affected regions of Northern and North-Eastern Uganda. Its mandate was expanded in 2009 to encompass the entire country and all human rights issues.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the government chose not to renew the agency’s mandate, set to expire in March 2023. In a letter to the agency’s head office, the Ministry cited Uganda’s enhanced capacity to monitor, promote, and protect human rights without external support.

The decision to close the human rights offices triggered strong opposition from human rights activists and civil society groups. They perceive the move as the government’s response to mounting scrutiny over reported abuses, including torture, forced disappearances, detentions without trial, and re-arrests of individuals already legally released by the courts.

Despite discussions between the agency and the Ugandan government urging a reconsideration of the closure decision, President Yoweri Museveni stood firm. He stated during a press conference in March that the agency’s presence had created confusion, as people were uncertain where to report grievances, given the existence of the Uganda Human Rights Commission – a constitutional body responsible for protecting human rights.

As the UN Human Rights agency concludes its 18-year journey in Uganda, Türk acknowledged the nation’s progress in human rights. Yet, he expressed concerns about the persistent challenges that continue to impede the full enjoyment of human rights for all Ugandans. In particular, he highlighted the tense environment in the lead-up to the 2026 elections, which poses threats to human rights defenders, civil society actors, and journalists operating within Uganda.

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Benon and Vamposs share rehearsal teaser videos

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The much-awaited fifth episode of Tusker Malt Conversessions is about to drop, and oh boy, it’s going to be a musical rollercoaster like no other!

The teaser videos that have been circulated on social media have left fans tapping their feet in anticipation as the dynamic duo, Benon and Vamposs, gear up to deliver a heart-warming episode.

The teaser gives us a sneak peek into the rehearsals where Benon, with his signature smile, promises fans, “just be ready for surprises, and I think people should expect a premium Benon & Vamposs.”

These two maestros have been instrumental in shaping the Ugandan music scene, and now they’re back to spill the beans on their journey, success, and maybe a bit of their infamous banter.

“The creative process has been hectic; we still have the chemistry, and I think it’s something that comes from performing together for a long time and the many years we have crafted our art…,” reveals Benon in the teaser.

But it’s not all serious. Vamposs can be heard poking fun at Benon’s love life, adding a dash of humour to the mix. “I don’t see where you even got this love that you are writing about except lying to this crowd,” he jokes.

On a more sombre note, Vamposs shares, “We have a lot of different stories. We are working with the band to see how mellow we can get. It’s not going to be all that rough,” hinting at a different stage presence which will be more intimate in comparison to their usual vibrant performances.

Music lovers should save the date; Sunday, March 3. The fifth episode of Tusker Malt Conversessions featuring Benon & Vamposs will be live on the Tusker Malt and Swangz Avenue YouTube channel at 6 pm. Don’t miss out on the chance to witness the magic, the music, and the memories.

You can also catch up on previous episodes featuring the likes of Kenneth Mugabi, Lilian Mbabazi, The Mith, and Juliana both YouTube pages.

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Ronald Mayinja reveals the inspiration behind his classic song “Necklace”

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Renowned Ugandan singer Ronald Mayinja has shared the story behind his popular song “Necklace.” Born in 1976 in Benja-Gomba, Ronald Mayinja has produced numerous hit songs throughout his career.

Necklace, in particular, has remained one of the favourites among fans, especially those in love. At a press conference for his upcoming concert Old is Gold Mayinja at 49, the singer disclosed that the inspiration for the song came from his girlfriend Julie.

Julie, who attended boarding school while Mayinja was in day school, sparked his fears of losing her to someone else. He penned down “Necklace” as a request for her to entrust her necklace to him to cherish in her absence.

However, after receiving advice from Mariam Ndagire, Mayinja decided to make the song more relatable by expanding its meaning beyond his personal experience.

He hence created a song that resonated with anyone who has ever been in a long-distance relationship or felt the ache of missing someone they love.

He crafted lyrics that painted a vivid picture of two souls yearning for each other’s presence, using the metaphor of a necklace to symbolize the connection they shared.

Over the years, “Necklace” has remained a timeless classic in Ugandan music. Its universal theme and emotional resonance have allowed it to transcend time and continue to touch the hearts of listeners, regardless of age or background.

Mayinja’s decision to expand the song’s scope and make it relatable to a wider audience proved to be a stroke of genius, cementing his status as a celebrated veteran musician in Uganda.

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MTN Uganda| CEO’s congratulatory article for UCC@25

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MTN Uganda congratulates UCC on its silver jubilee.

Sylvia Mulinge, CEO of MTN Uganda spoke to our journalist about the significance of the Uganda Communications Commission’s 25-year celebrations. UCC regulates the communications sector, which includes telecommunications, broadcasting, radio communication, postal communications, data communication and infrastructure.

Below are excerpts of the conversation;

Q: What message would you like to convey to George William Nyombi Thembo on his appointment as the Executive Director of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and to UCC as they celebrate 25 years?

A: We extend our heartfelt congratulations to George William Nyombi Thembo and the entire team at the Uganda Communications Commission on their 25th anniversary. Their dedication and leadership have played a pivotal role in shaping Uganda’s telecommunications landscape and driving digital transformation. We look forward to continued collaboration with the UCC in advancing our shared goals of connectivity, innovation, and economic empowerment for all Ugandans. Cheers to 25 years of excellence, and here’s to many more years of success ahead!

Q. Let’s delve into some of the milestones achieved in partnership with the UCC. Firstly, could you elaborate on MTN Uganda’s support for UCC’s projects such as the Uganda Film Awards?

A: Thank you. Indeed, our partnership with the UCC has been instrumental in driving initiatives like the Uganda Film Awards. At MTN Uganda, we believe in the power of youth and creativity in propelling Uganda’s development forward. Supporting platforms like the Uganda Film Awards not only celebrates local talent but also empowers the youth to showcase their creativity on a global stage.

Q: That’s commendable. Another area where MTN Uganda has made significant contributions is the Uganda Communications Universal Service and Access Fund (UCUSAF). Could you shed some light on MTN’s involvement with UCUSAF and its impact?

A: MTN Uganda has always been committed to bridging the digital divide and ensuring that all Ugandans have access to essential communication services, because we believe everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. Since its inception Our contribution of UGX 36 billion alone to the Uganda Communication Universal Service and Access Fund in 2023 underscores this commitment. This investment has facilitated the expansion of communication infrastructure to underserved communities, ultimately enhancing connectivity and socio-economic development across the country.

Q: Let’s shift gears now to the groundbreaking announcement of MTN Uganda being granted 5G spectrum license by the UCC. What does this milestone mean for MTN Uganda and the country’s digital landscape?

A: Receiving the first 5G spectrum license from the UCC is a testament to our shared vision of driving economic growth and empowerment in the digital era. Embracing 5G technology opens up a world of possibilities for Uganda, from attracting more investments to fostering innovation and positioning the country as a digital hub in the region. We are excited about the prospects that 5G promises and remain committed to leveraging this technology to transform lives and businesses across Uganda. It’s these collaborations that inspire our brand’s clarion call that together, we are unstoppable in the pursuit of common aspirations to progress our communities.

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