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dfcu Bank threatens legal action over “fake news campaign”

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DFCU bank

By Our Reporter

After continuously being shown in bad light in sections of the media, dfcu Bank has warned it will take the legal course to seek reparations if the media attacks continue. In a legal notice that has surfaced online, the bank accuses Rajiv Ruparelia of orchestrating the smear campaign against its business over the last 10 months since they took over some of the assets and liabilities of Crane Bank.

Through its lawyers, Kalenge, Bwanika, Ssawa and Company Advocates (KBS), dfcu claims Rajiv “sponsored, coordinated and propagated a fake news campaign” through online news sites and blogs with a motive to cause a bank run and eventual collapse of the bank.

“You have variously paid the operators of online news sites and blogs to spread malicious falsehoods about our client and its senior management, all to create an impression that our client is in a precarious financial situation and an ownership and management crisis whereas this is not the case,” reads part of the letter dated 5th October.

“Once the malicious false hoods have been crafted into sensationalist online content you have been repeatedly sending web links to the sites carrying these falsehoods using social media particularly Whatsapp,” the letter further reads. “You have done this repeatedly and to a very large number of recipients with a view to driving traffic to the false stories you had paid for and in the hope that the links would go viral and cause maximum damage to the reputation of dfcu Bank.”

KBS also outed several online publications and bloggers whom they claim are Rajiv’s vessel for executing the fake news campaign, which they say amounts to corporate defamation and economic sabotage.

“Your repeated conduct amounts to the civil torts of corporate defamation and interference with our client’s business by unlawful means,” KBS notes. “Your repeated attempts to destabilize the second largest financial institution in Uganda also amount to economic sabotage and have national security implications.”

dfcu bank is demanding a written apology from Rajiv as well as restraint from engaging in this “nefarious and malicious” campaign or it will initiate criminal complaint and commence civil proceedings against him.

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Local Business

MTN Foundation donates Advanced Blood Storage Refrigerator to Arua Regional Blood Bank

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By Our Reporter

MTN Uganda Foundation has officially handed over a blood storage equipment to the Arua Regional Blood Bank under the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS). This is in a bid to address the issue of blood shortage born from inadequate blood storage facilities.

The Arua Regional Blood Bank serves 3.38 million people including 815,000 from South Sudan living in the 9 districts of West Nile. However, the facility is faced with a challenge of blood storage.

To alleviate this challenge, a state-of-the-art blood refrigerator was handed over to Hon. Dr. Joyce Moriku, the State Minister for Primary Health Care in a ceremony held today at the regional blood bank in Arua district.

Even when the blood is collected, proper storage of the blood remains a challenge in many facilities. Statistics from World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that Uganda has an annual demand of about 340,000 units of blood but falls short by over 100,000 units. Last year, only 240,000 units were collected against the country’s target of 340,000 units.

As a result, MTN Uganda committed to step in, investing UGX 347 million shillings to procure equipment that includes; an automated plasma extractor and three refrigerators. This year, the Uganda Blood Bank is aiming to collect 300,000 units of blood.

While the automated plasma extractor is stationed at the Nakasero Blood Bank, the blood storage refrigerators have been delivered to each of the three respective regional blood banks.

Arua is the third regional blood bank to receive its equipment after Mbarara and Mbale Regional blood banks which received their refrigerator early this month.

While handing over the equipment, Mr. Bryan Mbasa, the Acting Senior Manager, MTN Foundation reiterated that MTN Uganda is committed to supporting the Government of Uganda’s goal of meeting the Global Sustainable Development Goal No. 3 which aims at ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all, at all ages.

“We are proud of this partnership with the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services and Ministry of Health in ensuring that Ugandans have access to enough blood and blood components across the country,” Mr. Mbasa said.

While receiving the equipment, Hon. Moriku, who was also the guest of honor thanked the MTN Foundation for working together with the government for the good of the people of Uganda.

“Thank you MTN Foundation Uganda for this equipment. It will address the blood shortage issues that arise from lack of adequate storage of donated blood to save lives,” Hon. Moriku said, “The MTN Foundation has shown its passion for maternal health. By supporting safe blood storage, more mothers will be saved since more blood will be available, thanks to this initiative.”

Dr. Isaac Atiku, the Arua Regional Blood Bank In-charge noted that the additional refrigerator from MTN will enable them store more blood than before.

“Out of the 2000 units of blood collected every month, we were only able to store 1400 units, therefore, with this state of the art blood refrigerator, we shall be able to store an extra 720 units of blood,” said Atiku.

Dr. Grace Otekat, the principle Technologist in charge of all the regional blood bank laboratories in the country noted that by supporting the facility with an additional blood bank, the MTN Foundation has saved them daily trips to Kuluva hospital every day to store and collect blood.

“Blood is a very delicate substance which without proper storage, becomes poisonous to the body. So because of our limited storage capacity, we used to store some of our blood at Kuluva hospital, a private facility about 9kms outside Arua Town. A number of times, the blood got destroyed due to these movements,” Otekat said.

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Local Business

Uganda Breweries launches Ugx 10 Billion Water Recovery Plant

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L-R: Uganda Breweries Supply Chain Director Anthony Njenga(L) and The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water and Environment Alfred Okot Okidi (R) during the commissioning of the water recovery plant at UBL. Looking on is the  EABL Group Managing Director Andrew Cowan and UBL Managing Director Alvin Mbugua (Extreme Right)

Uganda Breweries Supply Chain Director Anthony Njenga(L) and The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water and Environment Alfred Okot Okidi (R) during the commissioning of the water recovery plant at UBL.

By Our Reporter

As Urbanization puts more strain on existing water sources and bodies, Uganda Breweries is looking for ways to reduce the amount of water they use in their production processes. As such, Uganda Breweries Limited has announced the launch of a Water Recovery Plant worth over 10 billion Uganda Shillings.

Speaking at the launch of the recovery plant, the Uganda Breweries Managing Director Mr. Alvin Mbugua said that this plan is a Strategic investment to deliver Diageo 2020 Water targets of reducing water consumption by 50% vs the 2018 baseline when the brewery was using 4.9 litres of water per every litre of beer. “Uganda Breweries, a subsidiary of Diageo has adopted this ambitious goal to ensure that as a company, being mindful of the scarcity of water as a commodity frugally minimise the amount that we already use. We aim to achieve continuous improvement in environmental performance, concentrating our efforts on areas of greatest impact at our manufacturing and distribution points. Our company’s stringent environmental policy ensures that all our facilities are challenged to keep improving their performance in these areas.” he said.

The Water recovery project offers treatment capacity of 1000 m3/d water from the Effluent Treatment Plant with ability to deliver 80% permeate recovery. The water is to be treated according to the UBL specifications for general purpose use.

At usage efficiency of 3.2L/L from the current 4.3L/L, the Effluent Water Recovery shall improve efficiency to 30% at minimum use and to 80% at maximum use clocking 2.6L of water per liter of beer by 2020.

Water Recovery is the process of converting wastewater into water that can be reused for other purposes. Reuse may include irrigation of gardens and agricultural fields or replenishing surface water and groundwater. At Uganda Breweries Limited, the recycled water will be used for general purpose cleaning of the plant.

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Celebrity Gossip

‘No Excuse’ Campaign goes to Kampala bars

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By Reporter

Nile Special, the leading brand of Nile Breweries Limited, has joined the rest of the world to commemorate the 16 days of Activism against Gender based Violence (GBV), starting November 25, under the ‘No- Excuse’ campaign in collaboration with the US Embassy.

In commemoration of the 16 days of Activism against Gender based Violence (GBV), Nile Special on Monday (25 November 2019) launched  ‘No Excuse’ in-bar activations at Beverly Hills Bar in Kansanga.

The ‘No Excuse’ in-bar activations are targeting 50 bars in Kampala with the aim of ensuring that over 1000 bar goers especially men make a personal pledge to stand against sexual harassment and violence.The ‘No Excuse’ behavioral change campaign was launched on August 16, 2019, with the aim of addressing the predicament of sexual harassment in the country.

“Our ultimate goal is to reduce and prevent the incidences of sexual harassment, which affects the lives of too many women, both directly and indirectly, and thereby enabling a much safer society,” said Thomas Kamphuis, the Nile Breweries Limited Country Director.

“As one of the leading Ugandan brands, we have decided to champion the cause and get valuable partners like US Embassy & USAID. We want to get our consumers and the public to question themselves and their behavior. We are saying it is simple. There is No Excuse for Sexual Harassment,” he said.According to Kamphuis, the brand addressed the subject by calling for smart drinking measures among its consumers, since alcohol abuse has been identified as one of the primary catalysts for sexual harassment.

Through partnerships with US Embassy and USAID, as part of the campaign, victims will also be guided to access appropriate support services.

“This is a perfect example of a public private partnership. Together we are leveraging Nile Special’s #NOEXCUSE social responsibility campaign to create awareness and promote available public resources supported by U.S. Mission funding to strengthen systems and provide Ugandans with a place to turn when violence occurs and families need help,” says U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah R. Malac.According to Francis Nyende, Brand Manager Nile Special, at the different outlets, customers are urged to take a stand against sexual harassment by putting up a symbol of their pledge and commitment, on boards that will be in the bars.

“Information on available support systems provided by our partners US Embassy and USAID will be shared on different communication channels such as flyers, bill boards and posters around the country,” he said.

As part of the No Excuse campaign, from August, Ugandans were asked to participate in a survey on the website www.noexcuse.ug to share their understanding of what constitutes Sexual Harassment. The information will be curated and the data presented into a communication campaign to both raise awareness and also educate the public about sexual harassment while changing people’s attitudes and beliefs.

Through partnerships with stake holders and Bar Owners, Nile Special aims to create awareness and guide victims to access appropriate support services.

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