NEW VISION READERS DONATE TO JINJA BLIND COUPLE

Like many of his peers, Jude Lulenzi always looked to the future with a lot of optimism. At school, a young and energetic Lulenzi was not only a students’ leader but a budding sportsman and role model to many youngsters.

At Jinja Senior Secondary School in Jinja town where he studied for his O’ level, Lulenzi won accolades in athletics and represented his school and the district in the post primary athletics competitions in the mid-1990s. In his heyday, he was a champion in the 100, 200 and 400 metre sprints, which earned him the post of sports prefect at Jinja SSS in 1994.
Even when he joined Iganga technical institute for a vocational course, Lulenzi continued pursuing sports but his dream of becoming a professional sportsman was cut short following a string of catastrophes that befell him in 1995.

Lulenzi’s uncle who was sponsoring his education, having lost his father Fred Isabirye as an infant, succumbed to HIV/AIDS. His late uncle’s businesses collapsed and properties that included storeyed houses in Jinja and Iganga towns were attached and sold off by financial institutions he owed money.
Months later, Lulenzi lost his eyesight under circumstances that he cannot clearly explain to date. What he remembers is that there was a long standing dispute over one of his late uncle Wilfred Lukakamwa’s business premises in Iganga.

One morning, as he woke up Lulenzi stumbled upon fetishes splashed at the door way of a retail shop the family operated in Iganga. “I really don’t know what happened but I suspect I could have stepped into fetishes planted by someone who was in a bitter dispute with my uncle,” says the 35 year old man.
Attempts to seek assistance yielded nothing as all medical specialists he visited insisted they did not find any problem with his eyes and therefore no need for an operation. But he had lost his sight!

Lulenzi consequently dropped out of school. He had no one to pay his school dues yet he had not come to terms with the new way of life-blindness.
“It was a horrible and devastating experience. I thought that was the end of me. I would sit down and ask myself questions to which I could not find answers. I did not imagine a blind person could go to school, do business or live a purposeful life,” he says

“When I became blind, my first worry was the thought of sitting along streets to beg, because I had seen many blind people do so,” the father of one adds
Despite the challenges, Lulenzi did not let his situation pull him down. He was determined to do everything possible to become a self-sustaining person without being a burden to others.

 


Jude Lulenzi (second right), his wife Margaret Tuliwangula (left) and daughter Gloria Mirembe receive the donation of a knitting machine and knitting materials from Charles Kakamwa (right) the Jinja Bureau Chief. The donation was made by New Vision readers in the Diaspora(Juliet Dumis GENEVA).

One day while at his grandmother’s home in Nsuube village, Budondo sub county in Jinja district, Lulenzi listened to a talkshow by the Jinja district union of people with disabilities.
The next day he visited their offices in Mafubira Township and during their interaction the union offered to link him to an institute that trains blind people in life skills.

In 2003, Lulenzi with the assistance of the union enrolled at ‘Blind But Able training centre’ in Kyebando a Kampala suburb where for a whole year, he was equipped with various skills.
He learned cookery, crafts making, knitting, stenography, home management, brail writing and reading, as well as agriculture. Each semester cost him sh 250,000 raised by well-wishers. Upon completion of the course, Lulenzi vowed never to despise himself but exploit the skills he had gained and opportunities around him to better his life.

Together with his wife Margaret Tuliwangula a fellow blind with whom they wedded in September last year, Lulenzi has cultivated a name for himself as a supplier of vegetables to markets in Jinja.
Whereas to some, it is unimaginable for a blind person to cultivate, Lulenzi does it with ease. He explains that blind people have a sixth sense that helps them understand certain things without necessarily seeing them. By touching and feeling, he can easily differentiate grass from crops, courtesy of skills he acquired in his training.

He grows Okra, sweet pepper, French beans and egg plants as well as cassava, potatoes and bananas on his 1.5 acre garden in Nsuube, Jinja. However, for some reasons, Lulenzi had to shift to a rented house about a kilometer away from his grandmother’s home. This coupled with the high costs of inputs, and transport costs to markets, affected his farming business.

“Farming is a profitable business but the profit margins started reducing since we had to hire labour in preparation of the garden and transportation of the produce to markets. Though we are still in farming, we would also like to try out knitting in which we are both highly skilled,” he says With a timely boost of a donation of a knitting machine by New Vision readers, Lulenzi believes the sky will be the limit to their success.

“This machine looks small but it has the capacity to transform our lives for the better. We are grateful to Vision Group and the donors for such support and promise to utilize it for the intended purpose,” he said as he received the donation that also included sh 100,000 and a bundle of knitting threads on Thursday.

The overjoyed couple who made their marriage vows at Christ’s Church in their village in September last year, vowed to utilize the donation to uplift their welfare.
Lulenzi says using the machine they can make baby shawls, socks, table cloths and sweaters. He has already approached schools around his village to discuss the idea of supplying them with sweaters. Tuliwangula says acquisition of the knitting machine lessens the worries of finding rent and school fees for their daughter Gloria Mirembe, who is in P.1 at St. Patrick primary school, Lwanda a private school in Jinja.

The Lulenzis stay at a two room house for which they pay sh 20,000 monthly in rent and sh 28,000 each term in fees for their daughter.
Lynda Mabikke the Vision Group Corporate Social Responsibility officer says the intervention was a result of a story in Saturday Vision last year about the blind couple’s wedding, in which they indicated a desire to acquire a knitting machine.

 


Margaret Tuliwangula (left) tries out the knitting machine donated to them. PHOTOS BY DONALD KIIRYA

She says after reading the story, the readers including Ms Juliet Dumis embarked on a campaign to raise funds for purchase of the machine as support to the couple’s wellbeing. Lulenzi says despite their visual impairment, they can also engage in other projects like poultry and animal rearing.

NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the 17th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) of New Vision Printing & Publishing Company Limited will be held at the head offi ce of the company, Plot 19/21 First Street Industrial
Area, Kampala on Thursday, November 22nd 2018 at 3:00pm to conduct the following business;

1. To receive, consider and if approved adopt the annual financial statements for the year ended 30th June
2018 together with the report of the Auditors.
2. To appoint directors.
In accordance with Articles 67 and 69 of the Company’s Articles of Association,
Mr. Michael Nyago be appointed a director.
In accordance with Articles 67 and 69 of the Company’s Articles of Association,
Ms. Susan Lubega be appointed a director.
3. To approve the fees payable to the Non-Executive Directors for the period until the next Annual General
Meeting.
4. To confirm the appointment of External Auditors for the financial year 2018/2019 and authorize the
Directors to negotiate and fix their remuneration in accordance with Sections 167-169 of the Companies
Act 2012.
5. To conduct any other business that may be required at the AGM for which notice will have been duly
received.

Dated this 22nd day of October, 2018
By Order of the Board

Rita Kabatunzi
COMPANY SECRETARY
Note:
• Articles 60, 61, 62 and 63 of the Company Articles provide for appointment of proxy if a shareholder is unable to
attend. (“Tear out proxy card” is included in the Annual Report).
• The proxy should be delivered to the Company Secretary at the Company Head Offi ce at Plot 19/21, 1st Street
industrial Area, P.O Box 9815 Kampala or faxed on +256 414 346 432 at least 24 hours before the scheduled time for
the meeting. In default of this, it shall be treated as invalid.
• Shareholders can obtain a detailed version of the audited financial statements from the Company’s registered office at Plot 19/21 First Street Industrial Area Kampala or access it on the website https://visiongroup.co.ug/shareholders/
• Shareholders must notify the Company Secretary in writing of any change in their addresses or bank account details.
• All shareholders who have not received past dividends should contact the Company Secretary by e-mail:
Eshareholders@newvision.co.ug or by phone: 0414 337000.
• Shareholders are required to open Securities Central Depository accounts. Please contact any registered Securities
Central Depository Agent for assistance. The Uganda Securities Exchange has directed all shareholders of listed
companies to immobilize their shares.
• All shareholders are advised to provide their email addresses and mobile phone numbers to the Company Share
Registrars (Deloitte Uganda Limited) for ease of communication.