KAMPALA, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- The use of digital payment systems in Uganda has grown considerably both for mobile money service providers and banks for the year that ended in June, a new report by the country's central bank said Friday.
The demand for digital payment services was mainly driven by a favorable policy environment, evolving consumer behavior, and recovery in economic activity, said the latest Quarterly Financial Stability Review, issued by the Bank of Uganda (BOU).
The value of internet and mobile banking fund transfers rose significantly by 98.9 percent and 164.5 percent respectively in the year to June, compared to the previous year, BOU said, adding that the value of mobile money transactions rose considerably by 37.6 percent.
"The BOU continues to implement regulatory and supervisory measures to foster safe operation and usage of digital financial channels, which is key to deepening financial inclusion," the report said. - Xinhua
Six officials from Kabale district local government have been released on police bond after refunding part of the missing Shs 289 million meant for the Parish Development Model (PDM) that they allegedly embezzled.
Edmund Ntimba, the former Kabale chief administrative officer, Christopher Namara, the district community development officer, Beda Mwebesa, the district production and marketing officer, and district planner, Boaz Kakuru were arrested on Friday last week.
Others arrested were Erasmus Natumanya, the Kabale district commercial officer, and chief finance officer, Julius Mujuni. They are accused of failing to account for the funds during an impromptu meeting organized by Joverine Kaliisa Kyomukama, the deputy national coordinator PDM in the ministry of Local Government.
In February, the government disbursed Shs 400 million to the Kabale district account meant for parish Saccos in sub-counties. The ministry of Finance ordered district officials not to withdraw the money until the government issues fresh guidelines for proper use.
However, the officials only disbursed Shs 111 million. On Monday, civil servants in the district started a drive of mobilizing funds to bail out their colleagues. Area MPs also contributed and raised Shs 120 million.
Yesterday Tuesday, Shs 120 million was deposited on Kabale district account number 01983501007176 in dfcu bank. The suspects committed to refunding the balance at the beginning of next month.
The suspects were later released on police bond. Elly Maate, the Kigezi regional police spokesperson said that the release of the officials was reached after a meeting with Kaliisa.
"They have agreed they can be bonded as they sort themselves out. Police bond is just an agreement between a suspect and the state. It is a temporary release from custody as inquiries continue and still the outcome will determine the way forward. So that is why they are being released on police bond," said Maate.
Kaliisa said that they opted to have the suspects out of detention to allow them to recover the funds. She however said that investigations into the case will continue.
"They accepted that a mistake was done and agreed to reconnect it by paying. As of yesterday, they’d paid Shs 120 million, the rest of the balance will be paid in 5 days. We have committed them and we all agreed, the PS [permanent secretary] and the minister and said that our interest is to recover the money as the law takes its course," said Kaliisa.
PDM is a government strategy or approach for organizing and delivering public and private sector interventions for wealth creation and employment generation at the parish level as the lowest economic planning unit. This is aimed at ensuring support for more Ugandans to increase demand for goods and services. - URN/The Observer
A group of Turkish volunteer students visited an orphanage in Luweero, central Uganda, and participated in social, cultural and humanitarian activities.
The Turkish students arrived in Uganda as part of the Experience Sharing Program (ESP), a project run by the Turkish state aid agency, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), Anadolu Agency, and TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) among others.
The students also painted and repaired the orphanage, gaining practical skills and sharing their experiences with their hosts.
Merve Kara, a student at Karadeniz Technical University in Trabzon province in northern Türkiye, told Anadolu Agency that she was thrilled by the life-changing experience of volunteering in Uganda.
“Spending time with the orphans and volunteering at the orphanage is invaluable. I would love to come back many more times,” she said.
Esma Nur Yildirim, a student at the University of Inonu in Malatya province in central Türkiye, told Anadolu Agency that they painted the main school entrance and several classrooms.
“We have brought smiles on the faces of many children today. We painted their walls, played with them and learned a new culture through this exchange program,” she said.
Under the program, TIKA is sending some 300 Turkish students from all the 81 provinces in Türkiye to 30 countries between July 1 and Sept. 10 to take part in different projects and activities in their host countries.
Omer Aykon, the TIKA country coordinator in Uganda, said the project aims to create a space where children can be happy and have an opportunity to learn life skills.
“The emotional situation of the orphans changed today, and this is what we work for every day. We will continue supporting life-changing projects like this to better the living conditions of orphans,” he said.
The students under the Experience Sharing Program (ESP) will participate in social, cultural and humanitarian activities and renovate schools, orphanages, libraries and places of worship in the host countries. - Hamza Kyeyune, Anadolu Agency
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