Pads, hoes, malwa and Museveni’s hollow campaign promises

Leopard

Uganda’s long-term president Yoweri Museveni ‘beat’ seven other contestants to stretch his presidency to an astonishing 35 years.

BY ALEX TAREMWA

While campaigning at at Alira Primary School in Alebtong District, northern Uganda, long-term Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni promised to give school going girls free sanitary pads the following financial year if he was voted to power.

This promise later made an interesting twist when his wife Janet Museveni who also is Minister of Education, Sports, Science and Technology told Parliament’s education committee in a budget proposal meeting that there is no money to allocate to the purchasing of sanitary pads her husband promised.

Her comments attacked a backlash from Ugandans – notably prominent Scholar at the Makerere Institute of Social Research – Dr Stella Nyanzi who called the First Lady insensitive and unworthy of the title ‘Maama’ as she does not act as a mother of the nation.

“She is not only wife to dictator Yoweri Museveni who lied poor Ugandans during his presidential campaigns about giving sanitary pads to their daughters, she is also the dry-eyed beneficiary of nepotism as the Minister of Education. What is the usefulness of powerful women who sleep under dictators to poor women in the masses?” Nyanzi wrote on her Facebook on March 5, 2017.

Nyanzi was arrested, charged and convicted for allegedly calling the Museveni a #pairofbuttocks in one of her Facebook posts.

Nyanzi even started a campaign dubbed #Pads4GirlsUg to raise funds to sanitary pads for school going girls. The campaign was widely embraced and has since covered over 20 schools.

The sanitary pads are not the only campaign promise from Museveni that the National Resistance candidate has since turned back on. Below a a few.

The 18 million hoes

This is probably the most unprecedented that most people have called illogical – 18 million hand hoes to six million subsistence farmers.

Museveni promised that hoes will be delivered in the 2016/2017 budget at a cost of Shs135 billion ($39.5m), which was 28 per cent of the Agriculture ministry’s budget for that fiscal year.

Never mind that the NRM manifesto talks about transformation from peasant to modern agriculture by availing machinery for bush clearing, ploughing, harrowing, planting and harvesting.

This promise was particularly ridiculed and ‘peed-on’ from great heights of Civil Society, Private Sector and the media as critics argued that for a country eyeing Middle Income Status by 2020, a focused president should be talking agriculture mechanisation for better economic output rather fuelling petty subsistence  otherwise known as hand to mouth.

“Who talks about hoes when we should be talking of agricultural mechanisation?” Kassiano Wadri, a former legislator for Terego County in West Nile told a local daily.

But Museveni is not one to bow down to pressure, rather than increase its budget, the Agriculture Ministry took a budget cut with government allocating it a meagre 2 per cent of the total budget in 2016/2017.

Despite the prolonged drought that hit the country destroying crops, increasing hunger levels and killing about 100 people, the government is not poised to increase the ministry’s budget to the recommended 10 per cent as the Maputo Declaration.

Shs 2million to Malwa groups

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Somewhere in Uganda, clients enjoy a pot of Malwa, a local brew (Credit: Daily Monitor)

If you thought 18 million hoes in the digital age was a crazy idea, then you have not had of the ‘revolutionary’ Shs 2 million the president pledged to give every village that has an organised group that produces millet beer locally known as malwa.

Museveni made the promise in December 2015 while he was campaigning in Karamoja region, north-eastern Uganda.

The president said the pledge was to help women in each of the 82,920 villages across the 112 districts in the country boost their incomes.

The problem however is that Museveni needs to squeeze  at least Shs1.6 trillion, equivalent to the total amount allocated to Defence and Security ministries in the 2015/16 Budget to meet the pledge in all the villages countrywide.

Aside the above promises, Museveni needs Shs13 trillion to fulfil host of personal pledges he made while seeking what he has come to call ‘Kisanja Hakuna Muchezo’ (the term of hard work) that will him see him hit 35 years at Uganda’s top chair.

One does not need to look far to validate the claim that manifestos are just declarations of good intentions, all they need to do is look at Yoweri Museveni.

 

Talent, passion for art saved Kisitu from the unemployment syndrome

The Transparent Magazine

John Kisitu stands in admiration of his art pieces inside his workshop PHOTO BY ALEX TAREMWAKisitu in his workshop in Mbarara. TTM Files/2012

BY TTM STAFF

Through his early childhood ,  John Kisitu, 26, used clay to mold different sculptures as his imagination would serve. It wasn’t until secondary  that he actually realised how good he was at Fine Art often from complements of his classmates and teachers.

“I always got into school competitions and different exhibitions that gave me a true picture of what talent and art are and how I could exploit them,” he said.

Upon completion of secondary school, Kisitu had to convince his parents beyond reasonable doubt that Fine Art was what he wanted to pursue at university against their own perception that he should do a Bachelors in Business Administration. After several attempts to change his mind hit a snag, he was allowed to do  Industrial Fine Art and Design at Kyambogo University where he majored in Fabric Decorations.

While at University, Kisitu started an…

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The Trump Therapy: Inside the confusion, ingratitude and the danger of Western Liberals

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Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni. Photo: Forbes.com

BY YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI

President of the Republic of Uganda

 

I have been either closely following or actively involved in World and African political events for the last 56 years.  In those 56 years, I have noticed many happenings, behaviours, etc.

One of the groups that I have observed with interest are the Western “Liberals”,“Leftists”, etc.  In particular, I have noticed the confusion, ingratitude and, therefore, danger of these groups.

Liberals are supposed to be people who are not conservative and hardliners in economic, political and social issues.  Leftists are supposed to be progressive as far as the same issues are concerned. In order to keep this piece brief, I will not go into the history and details of Western Liberalism and Leftism.  That should be for another day.

Suffice it to say that the freedom fighters from Africa, who have been fighting colonialism, neo-colonialism, slave trade and marginalization for the last 500 years, would have counted the Westerns Liberals and Leftists among our automatic allies because these should be people that should be fighting for freedom and justice for all peoples, including the formerly Colonized Peoples.

 

Instead, we notice confusion, ingratitude and, therefore, danger from these liberals and leftists.  Let us start with the confusion.

During the US campaign, I noticed President Trump using the words: “convergence rather than divergence”, while handling international affairs.  That is exactly what the Western Liberals and Leftists should have been looking for.  Instead, we would spend endless hours arguing with the Western Liberals on matters on which we cannot have convergence bearing in mind that our societies were still pre-capitalist and traditional while theirs have been industrial for centuries now.

These are issues to do with family, forms of democracy, homo-sexuals, central planning versus economic liberalisation, etc. One had to control irritation to politely get through these meetings.

Yet matters of convergence were there and uncontested: fighting extremism and terrorism (narrow-mindedness and indiscriminate use of violence); modern education in natural sciences and social sciences; the emancipation of women; trade; democracy; etc.

This is what, in brief, I regard as the confusion of the Western Liberals and Leftists.  I do not want to say much on this because I want to get to the next two points and space is limited.

Nevertheless, by the Western Liberals trying to impose all their views and values on everybody in the World, they generate not convergence but divergence and even conflict. Owing to the confusion of these actors, it leads them to two other mistakes: ingratitude and, therefore, a danger to peace in the World.

As colonized Peoples, the Africans were greatly assisted by two earth-shaking events in the last century: the October Communist Revolution of 1917 in the Soviet Union (Russia) and the Victory of the Communists in China in 1949.

 

You should remember that by 1900, the whole of Africa had been colonized except for Ethiopia which Musolini would soon add on the list (in 1935).  Colonized by whom?  By the Western Countries (Britain, France, Portugal, Germany and Spain).  

 

The Communists, on the other hand, in both Russia and China, were totally opposed to Western Imperialism and were for de-colonization.  They opposed Imperialism by word and action (support for the Liberation Movements).

The greed and flawed logic of the Western Imperialists soon led to two World Wars (the 1st and the second ─ 1914–18 and 1939 – 45).  How? In 1453, the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople (Istanbul) and, therefore, blocked the overland trade route opened by Marco-Polo in the years 1272 – 1275.  The trade was mainly in silk and spices – very much in demand in Europe at that time. Now, the Ottoman Turks cut off this route.

The Europeans had, therefore, to look for sea routes either around the massive African Continent or through the unknown Western Oceans ─ the Atlantic and the Pacific.  Frantic efforts by Western rulers to go by sea around Africa and over the Western Oceans, were soon rewarded.

Vasco de Gama

Vasco de Gama. During his voyage to India, Vasco de Gama landed at Malindi, on the coast of what became Kenya. Here, early in 1498, he managed to obtain a pilot to guide his fleet across the sea to his goal – the trading port of Calicut. Original artwork

In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba, discovering for the Europeans a new continent occupied by the American Indians.  This new continent was North and South America.  In 1498, Vasco Da Gama went around the Cape of Good Hope and spent the Christmas day at Natal.

These two events should have been very beneficial to humanity if it was not for two weaknesses: the greed of the Europeans and the bankruptcy of the African Chiefs as well as the under-development of the indigenous Peoples of the Americans.

The bankrupt African Chiefs would not organize us to resist slave trade and colonialism.  In fact, many of them actually assisted both. Especially for Africa, both slave trade and colonialism would not have been possible, if it was not for the collaboration and bankruptcy of the African Chiefs.

Owing to the social under-development of the Indigenous Americans (the American Indians), they were exterminated by “the Christians” from Europe, using war and disease.

It is an amazing miracle of God when I go to the UN and see the very American – Indian face of Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia. So, some American – Indians survived in sufficient numbers to generate a President from among themselves!!  How great God is even in the face of evil!!  I have never had a chance to talk to him.

What language do these Indians speak?   Do they still speak their indigenous languages?

Therefore, in the four centuries between Columbus landing in Cuba and 1900, three most terrible things had happened to the non-European children of God: the indigenous People of the Americas had been exterminated and their land had been taken over by “the Christian” Europeans; millions of Africans had been up-rooted, taken into slavery in the Americas or perished in the process; and the whole of Africa (except for Ethiopia) and much of Asia had been colonized by European Countries (Britain, France, Spain, Holland, Portugal, etc.).

The Europeans had polluted the efforts of the explorers that were looking for the sea routes to the East.  Unlike Marco Polo who opened a trade route to the East for the flow of silk and spices, the Europeans now unleashed conquest, slave trade and even extermination on the People of the three continents: Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Nevertheless, the Colonized Peoples, initially betrayed by their bankrupt chiefs, were beginning to organize themselves.  The ANC of South Africa was, indeed, founded in 1912.  I attended their Centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein in 2012.

In the USA, by around 1905, people like Du Bois, later on joined by George Padmore, started agitating for Pan-Africanist ideas.  It is this re-invigorated resistance by the African and other colonized peoples that formed the first pillar of our ability to regain our freedom. Indeed, Mahtma Ghandi was also in South Africa as a young lawyer when this awakening was taking place.

It is at this stage that the 2nd pillar of our freedom took shape: the sparking of the inter-imperialist war of 1914-1918.  What were these imperialists fighting for?

They were fighting over us ─ we the Colonized Peoples ─ the property of the imperialists. The Germanic tribes inhabiting the forests of Northern Europe, had defied the Roman Empire and contributed to its decline and collapse in 450 AD.

By 1870, these tribes were still governed under 39 Kingdoms, Principalities etc.  On account of the growing Junker pressure in one of the Kingdoms, Prussia, a war took place between Prussia and France in 1870.

France was defeated by Bismarck and the German Kingdoms were united.  A United Germany now cried foul on account of being “cheated” by the other European countries in the enterprise of having “Colonial possessions” – i.e. us.

Germany demanded a “fairer” redivision of the World Colonies. That is how Bismark organized the Congress of Berlin in 1884 – 85 to solve this “problem” ─ the problem of being “cheated” as far as we the “possessions” were concerned.  That is how Germany now joined the League of the Imperialists by being awarded: Tanganyika, Rwanda, Burundi, Cameroon, Namibia, Togo, etc.

It seems, however, that Germany was not happy with the redivision. That is how, eventually, the 1st World War broke out in 1914. The results of the 1st World War did not please Germany and Germany, now under Hitler, started the 2ndWorld War.

The good thing was that the Imperialist Countries had been so weakened by their criminal wars, that the anti-colonial movement grew in strength.

The Imperialists tried to re-establish control, but they were defeated in Indonesia, Indo-China, Kenya etc.  This, therefore, was the second pillar that enabled our emancipation.

The third pillar was the emergence of Communists in the Soviet Union in 1917 and in China in 1949.  These groups were anti-capitalist but also anti-colonialist.

To the advantage of the Colonized Peoples, a big anti-imperialist camp had emerged by 1950.  They opposed imperialism morally and also gave material support to the liberation Movements.

Genuine freedom fighters in Africa can, therefore, never forget this history changing solidarity.  When “Christian” countries from the West were enslaving us, these atheist communists supported our freedom and they never interfere in our affairs even today.

These communists, especially the Soviet Union, did not only support our freedom, they also defended, at a great cost to themselves, the freedom of the imperialist countries themselves.

Although the imperialist countries had intervened in the Soviet Union so as to defeat the new communist power, which efforts had failed between 1918 and 1920, by 1938, the pragmatic Stalin was calling on the West to form an Alliance with him to oppose German aggression.

The Western leaders, on account of their narrow interests and myopia, refused. Soon Hitler attacked Poland and overrun it; he had gobbled up Czechoslovakia in March 1939.  He overran the whole of Western Europe except for Britain and Sweden.

Spain, Portugal and Italy were Hitler’s allies.  Fortunately for the West and for us all, Hitler made the mistake of attacking the Soviet Union on the 22nd of June, 1941. It is the Soviet Union that defeated Hitler after alot of sacrifices with over 60 million people dead etc.

Hitler, had to deploy 195 Army divisions against the Soviet Union compared to only 75 divisions in the West against the Western allies ─ the USA, Britain, France’s De-Gaulle, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, South Africa, not forgetting the hundreds of thousands of African soldiers fighting for the Colonial Masters.

The Western countries only opened the second front with the landings in Sicily in July 1943.This was after the defeat of the Germans by the Russians at Moscow (1941 – December), Stalingrad (1942-43) and Kursk (July, 1943).

the-battle-of-stalingrad-was-one-of-the-most-important-battles-of-the-second-world-war

The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the most important battles of the Second World War.

It is this Soviet Union, that did not only support the freedom of us, the Colonized Peoples of the World, but saved the whole of humanity by defeating Hitler, that is ever the target of the ungrateful, confused and, therefore, dangerous groups in the West.
These groups were against the Soviet Union after the October Revolution in 1917, throughout the inter-war period (1918 – 1939), during the Cold War and even after the Cold War.  It is unfair, it is wrong and it is dangerous for World Peace.True, the Soviets made their own mistakes.  Why did they occupy Western Europe after the defeat of Hitler?  Would the mighty Red Army not have earned more admiration from the Peoples of the World if they had withdrawn from Eastern Europe in 1946 and left those People’s to shape their own destinies?

They would not have, then, involved themselves in Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968 and there would have been no Berlin Wall.  Why did Brezhnev invade Afghanistan in 1979?  I was part of the massive anti-Soviet demonstration in Dar-es-salaam in 1968 following their invasion of Czechoslovakia.

However, to me, who is not biased, those mistakes neither compare with the mistakes of the West, past and present, nor do they deem the great historic contributions of both the USSR and China to the cause of humanity in general and the African Peoples in particular.

The Soviet Union broke up to the wild acclamation of the groups in the West.  They welcomed the break up but did not bother about the how.  You, therefore, had residual and consequent issues to the break-up.

If the old internal borders of the USSR were now to become the new international borders of Sovereign Countries that were successors to the old Russian Czarist Empire and the USSR, was it not necessary to discuss that phenomenon frankly and fairly?  How about the mixed populations ─ Russian and Non-Russian?  How were they to live thereafter?

No, all that was none of the business of the Western governing circles.  What was crucial was that the “enemy” was down. Moreover, all the positive contributions Russia made to global peace or can make now are of no consequence to these Western circles.

Russia must submit to the dictates of the West.  This is where the danger of these groups comes in.  Russia is a very powerful country even after the break-up of the USSR.  It is (17,021,900 km²) seventeen million square kilometers in land area ─ that is like almost combining the USA and China.

The Communists developed Russian technology and it can develop more.  To think that you can trample on Russia like they have been trampling on other unfortunate Peoples, is to be very reckless and dangerous to World peace.

Yet there are so many issues on which all of us (Africa, the West, Russia, China, India, Brazil, etc.) agree: universal education; improved health; industrialization; freedom of Peoples; the emancipation of women; anti-terrorism; etc.  Why not take advantage of these convergences?

We who were colonized and brutalized by the Western Countries forgot and forgave those mistakes.  Why can’t these countries of the West have a just and balanced attitude to the countries of the East that are growing in capability and getting millions of Peoples out of poverty?

This is where Mr. Trump comes in.  He says: “Why do we not examine the possibility of working with Russia against common threats, such as terrorism?”  The liberals then shout that Mr. Trump must be having a secret agenda with Mr. Putin etc.  This is why we could think of looking into the possibility of talking about the Trump Therapy for strategic myopia and recklessness in the West.

Excitement as Nokia 3310 sets to hit the streets – again -17 years later

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How the new Nokia 3310 is rumoured to look like. Emphasis on rumoured.

Rumours suggest that Nokia are planning to bring back their iconic 3310 phone.

Mobile users of a certain age have been getting very excited on social media about the return of this sturdy, reliable handset.

If you were in the market for a new phone in the year 2000, then the 3310 may have been on your wish-list.

The Amazon listing describes a range of features, including a clock, calculator, the ability to store up to ten reminders and four games: Snake II, Pairs II, Space Impact, and Bantumi.

Snake was so well-loved that it’s currently available for iPhone, Android and Windows phone users to download.

As much as the phone render looks cool with a dash of Android built-in, don’t fall for these tricks just yet. There has been no official teaser from Nokia on just what the new 3310 will look like — no image leaks, no specs or features confirmation. Nothing yet.

Known primarily for its plentiful battery life and nearly indestructible build, the 3310 was released at the turn of the millennium as a replacement to the also-popular 3210.

HMD Global Oy, the Finnish manufacturer with exclusive rights to market phones under the storied Nokia brand, is planning to announce four such handsets at Mobile World Congress later this month.

Give refugees a chance – Liverpool star Dejan Lovren

By  for The Guardian

lovren-455128In a new documentary, the Liverpool defender opens up about being forced out of his childhood home during the Balkans conflict, losing a member of his family and then being asked to leave Germany and settle in Croatia. There is only one moment, recounting the horrors that shaped his childhood and life as a refugee from the Bosnian war, when it all seems like it might be too difficult for Dejan Lovren to continue.

Lovren is telling the story of how he and his family had to flee their home in Kraljeva Sutjeska, the village where he grew up outside Zenica, and what happened to those who were left behind. “Zenica was attacked because it was a bigger city,” the Liverpool player explains, “but it was in these small villages where the most horrific things happened …people being brutally killed. My uncle’s brother was killed in front of other people with a knife. I never talk about my uncle because it’s quite a tough thing to talk about, but he lost his brother, one of my family members. Difficult …”

It is a remarkable piece of television, courtesy of LFC TV, and rare to see a Premier League footballer speak of such jarring memories on a club’s own TV channel. Lovren was only three years old when the civil war broke out that finished with more than 100,000 deaths. “We had everything, to be honest,” he says of their life before that point. “We never had problems. Everything went well with the neighbours – with the Muslims, with the Serbs, everyone was talking very well between each other and enjoying the life, everything was how they wanted. And then it [the war] happened.

“I wish I could explain everything but nobody knows the real truth. It just happened. It just changed through the night – war between everyone, three different cultures. People just changed. I just remember the sirens went on. I was so scared because I was thinking “bombs”. I remember my mum took me and we went to the basement, I don’t know how long we’d been sitting there, I think it was until the sirens went off. Afterwards, I remember mum, my uncle, my uncle’s wife, we took the car and then we were driving to Germany. We left everything – the house, the little shop with the food they had, they left it. They took one bag and ‘let’s go to Germany’.”

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Lovren in action for Liverpool F.C in the EPL last season

His family have since told him the 500-mile journey to Munich took 17 hours, not least because of all the security stops.

“We had luck. Me and my family, we had luck. Our granddad was working in Germany and because of that he had the papers. If not, I don’t know what we could have done. Maybe I could see my parents and me under the ground. I don’t know what could’ve happened. One of my best friends in my high school – his dad was a soldier – and I remember he was crying every day. I was thinking: ‘Why?’ And he said: ‘My dad died.’ So, you know, it could have been my dad.”

In the documentary, Lovren – My Life as a Refugee, he goes on to recall how after seven years in Germany his family was told they had to leave the country they had come to think of as home. “My mum and dad were asking for permission to stay more but every six months it was declined.

The authorities said: ‘When the war is over, then you can go back.’ So every six months my mum and dad had their bags packed to go back. It was quite tough – you never had a future in Germany.

“Then that day came and they said: ‘You have two months to prepare your bags and go back.’ For me it was difficult because I had all of my friends in Germany, my life had started there. I had everything, I was happy, I was playing in a little club, my father was the coach – it was just beautiful. My mum said: ‘Germany is our second home’ and it’s true. Germany gave us their open hands. I don’t know which country could have done that, at that time, to welcome refugees from Bosnia.”

The Lovren family moved to Croatia where a boy with a German accent was picked on at school and the parents struggled for money. “My mum was working in Walmart for €350 per month, about £280. My father was working as a house painter. We had a difficult situation with money. My mum said: ‘We cannot pay the bills for electricity, for everything,’ and for a week we didn’t have money.

“I remember my dad took my ice skates. One day I asked my mum: ‘Where are my ice skates?’ because I loved to skate in the winter. And she said through tears: ‘Dad is selling them now … we don’t have money for this week.’ I swear this is the point in my life that I said: ‘I don’t want to hear this any more.’ He sold them for 350 Kuna, it’s about £40. My ice-skates: sold. It was a tough time for my parents.”

Speaking about these years is not easy, especially when Lovren’s own family do not always wish for it to be discussed. “It’s like the war happened yesterday. It’s quite a sensitive thing to talk about, so people still avoid talking about it – it’s sad. Mum said to me [before the documentary]: ‘Don’t tell them,’ and I said: ‘I will tell them.’ And she was crying again. It’s always sensitive to speak about. She remembers everything.

“I hope for the next generation that it’ll be much easier, for my daughter and my son, maybe they’ll forget it and move on. I don’t know if they’ll ever understand my life or my situation, what I’ve been through, because they live in totally different worlds. If my little girl wants a toy, sometimes I say: ‘I don’t have the money.’ It’s quite difficult to understand why I’m saying that but she needs to understand that nothing comes easy. I’m working hard for her so she needs to understand you don’t need 20 toys, sometimes you need just one or two and you’re still happy – it’s about other things.

“When I see what’s happening today [with refugees] I just remember my thing, my family and how people don’t want you in their country. I understand people want to protect themselves, but people don’t have homes. It’s not their fault; they’re fighting for their lives just to save their kids. They want a secure place for their kids and their futures. I went through all this and I know what some families are going through. Give them a chance, give them a chance. You can see who the good people are and who are not.”

Watch the full documentary now, for free, on LFCTV GO

Why anger should not control you

In marriages and relationships, anger is usually a major wave. To some, anger is a worse enemy than lust. But as ALEX TAREMWA writes, anger can be kept at bay before it can do harm.

It is 1:45am on a chilly Saturday night and Ronald Agaba is seated in a secluded corner of Chills bar and restaurant in Mukono town. He is sipping the last pint of his seventh bottle of Guinness beer.

With this last swallow, Agaba is hoping to forget his nightmare – the sight of his girlfriend Cynthia making out with another man. In Mbarara town is Herbert Akampwera, a 27-year-old studio photographer, who recently realised the girl he was about to wed is already a mother of two children from two men.

Due to depression, stress and anger, Akampwera has lost at least 10kg already, according to his close friends. Although he is not resigned to the bottle like Agaba,  Akampwera’s breaking point was even more extreme as he contemplated suicide twice.

“I would be living in denial if I told you that I have not thought about taking my own life. I didn’t see the point of life anymore,” Akampwera intimates to TTM.

Third is death row convict Thomas Nkulungira alias Tonku who was found guilty of killing his girlfriend Brenda Karamuzi for reasons best known to him. Tonku, together with his former houseboy Fred Ssempijja, went ahead and dumped the body of the former NTV Uganda receptionist in a septic tank behind their house in Kampala. Karamuzi was also a Uganda Christian University (UCU) alumna.

Cited above are some of the cases of how men deal with anger in relationships. Anger, according to psychologists, has been the biggest stimulant of domestic violence in most families.

In 2013, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics reported that close to 70 per cent of married women aged 15 to 49 had experienced some form of violence at the hands of their partner.

Statistics also showed that there were 2,461 victims and 1,339 cases of domestic violence reported by April 2013. Joshua Kafuko, a psychotherapist at Ruharo Mission hospital in Mbarara, acknowledges that anger is one of the most difficult and often frightening emotions to manage in any relationship.

“At one end of the anger spectrum, couples are shouting, name calling, frequent bickering, wanting to have the last word, blaming, criticising and eventually physical abuse.”

“These behaviours are the more obvious expressions of anger and can be highly- destructive in a relationship. If prolonged, they can be difficult to recover from,” he says.

HOW SHOULD A REAL MAN EXPRESS ANGER?

Women can be provocative. They don’t let anything slide without a fight or at least a word. If anger is an intrinsic problem that is only a product of an individual’s ability to control his/her emotions, how then should a man react in face of such provocation?

Growing up, Ronald Awany, a radio announcer at the Namanve-based Juice FM, remembers his father returning home one evening with a set of kitchen glasses.
These glasses were never meant for serving water or soft drink as the case normally is. As it turned out, they were for defence mechanism of sorts.

“Whenever Mum raised her voice above what Dad could take in, he would send one glass through to the wall and break it into countless pieces. After that, Mum wouldn’t say another word,” Awany narrates in retrospect.

However animated their marriage may seem, Awany’s parents have been legally married for over 40 years. As he confesses, they have never fought.

According to counselling psychologist Joseph Musaalo, couples ought to avoid physical confrontation and endeavour to listen to one another than interject and raise voices.

Musaalo explains that in relationship, some parties either fear expressing anger or don’t know how to do so constructively. This anger then goes underground and leaks out as sarcasm, undermining comments, sulking, silent standoffs and avoiding each other. All this, Musaalo explains, leads to a highly-tense atmosphere as the issues are not talked through and resolved.

“Men these days live life in a big hurry. They don’t have the patience to listen and resolve problems in their relationships/marriages. When their wives/girlfriends share their problems with a third-party, they [men] go up in arms,” – Musaalo.

Esther Ahurira relates with Musaalo’s argument. The TV West presenter notes that managing anger is a product of effective communication between the two affected parties.

“If my partner is doing things that I don’t like, talking about them together would help a lot,” she says, adding that it is important to express hurt, anger, or sadness in a direct but non-violent manner.

However, Victor Twine, a Makerere University student, sees things differently. He argues that sometimes a man’s reaction depends on the gravity of the situation at hand.

“There are things that I would not lose sleep over,” he says, referring to the ‘Busia man’ who made headlines for sending his wife and six children out of the house after allegedly eating his piece of chicken.

For serious situations, however, Twine says he would rather cut communications with his spouse for some time as he clams himself down.

PLAYING THE SILENT CARD

Silent treatment is a common response to conflict in relationships, but it is also one of the most destructive, according to a 2015 article published in the Communication Monographs journal.

The author, Professor Paul Schrodt of Texas Christian University, argues: “One thing that couples tend to do is blame the other person for the situation, which will in no way help resolve the conflict.”

The person giving the silent treatment, he adds, and the person receiving it should both take some responsibility.

Schrodt’s analysis encompassed studies on over 14,000 participants. He found, women were usually (though not always) the demanders while men were the ones who tended to withdraw from their partner’s demands, or responded with silence.

WHEN AND HOW DOES A WOMAN COME IN?

To bring a house back to order, Comfort Nantongo, a mother of three, advises women to be careful how they approach an angry man. Men, she argues, have to be given time to be angry before they can calm down to amicably discuss the matter at hand.

“Give his anger as much respect as you do with your own. His anger is often just as real as yours. It may not always be valid but it is still his feeling. And I believe feelings deserve space and respect,” she says.

In many relationships, Nantongo maintains, the woman’s feelings naturally take precedent because women can be overpowering with emotions. But it is imperative that men’s emotions be treated with the same courtesy and respect for mutual benefit.

“If you are so angry and hurt that you can’t put up with his feelings, you won’t be the first woman,” she says.

As the Bible says, be quick to hear; slow to speak and slow to anger for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore, one of the greatest battles in marriage should be to stay away anger and not just to control its expressions.

alex.taremwa@yahoo.co.uk

Copping with job loss: a first-hand experience

BY ALEX TAREMWA

Losing a job is probably the most heart-rending thing anyone should endure. If it doesn’t break your spirit, it will – like in CHRIS MUGASHA’s case leave you with a tale to tell.

After eight years of ‘hard-work’ as a sales executive of an insurance company, Chris Mugasha, 39, was discharged indefinitely for alleged sexual harassment.

Mugasha remembers being summoned for an urgent meeting on a Wednesday morning of May 25, 2016 only to be lectured about how ‘reckless’ he had been.

He was then sent on forced leave – more like a suspension really – to pave way for further investigations after which he was permanently sacked.

In a wink, the once powerful salesman covering West and South Western Uganda went from employed to jobless.fired-642x336

All he had – after the four hours he was given to clean his desk –  was a laptop bag, a pack of business cards, three books and a golf cap.

Although Mugasha admits to having had a sexual relationship with a co-worker contrary to his terms of employment, he maintains that the manner in which he was dismissed was not only disgraceful but also illegal.

“They organized kangaroo panel to try me. They didn’t even give me time to respond to the allegations. Even after they sent me on leave, they seized paying me and after I was publicly fired, my benefits and allowances were withheld,” he narrates.

What was perhaps the more perturbing is that the lady with whom Mugasha was having [sic] an ‘inappropriate sexual affair’, was one of the committee members trying him.

This, to him, was the most hypocritical thing he had ever witnessed. His letter of dismissal, a copy of which TTM has seen, reads that Mugasha was dismissed for sexual harassment on a fellow staff and inappropriate behaviour.

“You see I don’t deny having had an affair but I didn’t have it with myself. I don’t understand why she was exonerated, later on allowed to even take a stand not to testify but to prosecute me,” he says.

The organisation did not stop there. It went to further to publish his picture in the newspapers warning the public as he (Mugasha) was no longer its employee asserting that he should be dealt with at one’s own risk.

Despite the cited conflict of interest and arguably unfair dismissal, he decided not to sue. Asked why, he says he neither had the strength not the money to fight back.

“I no longer had an income. If I was to sue, I would have to use my life savings to fight a battle that could go both ways so I decided to divert my frustrations elsewhere.”

Luckily or unluckily enough, Mugasha is not married – at least not yet. He however has a cohort of dependents, mostly school going siblings who have suffered effects of his lack of an income.

They did not only have to change to third-class schools that he could afford, they also had to leave the boarding section to the more affordable day-school section, a change that affected their academic performance.

Previously, Mugasha who rented a two-bedroomed self-contained apartment in upscale Ntinda at shs750,000 had to shift to a modest one-bedroom rental in Kisaasi, in the outskirts of Kampala where he pays rent of shs250,000.

This is not the only thing that changed about Mugasha’s lifestyle. He also had to sell off his Toyota Mark II to meet financial demands.

Like the former Apple founder Steve Jobs (RIP) described his dismissal from the tech giant in a commemoration speech to graduates at Stanford University back in 2005, it was “an awfully tasting medicine.”

Although Jobs later returned to Apple, it is unclear whether Mugasha will have a similar opportunity and even if he did, he would most likely turn it down owing to his life’s recent turn-around.

SILVER LINING APPEARS

firedFor a man of his experience, Mugasha has gotten a number of job offers since his dismissal.

He has however been reluctant to take up any opting for more relaxed consultancy work.

Together with his two of partners Joshua Wadada and Sheila Ngabo, Mugasha is finalising plans to register their firm CK Consults in a bid to formalise operations.

“We have been doing some trainings for organisations already but the big companies want to deal with registered, formal and organized people who pay their taxes so we want to move a step ahead,” he says.

Stress, they say, is the fertiliser of creativity and Mugasha is certainly proof of this assertion.

Besides his consultancy work, he opened up a retail shop in which he sells groceries and other household supplies to keep financially afloat.

EXPERTS WEIGH-IN:

According to Connie Musisi, the Career Development and Placement Officer at Uganda Christian University (UCU), an employee goes through five emotional stages following a job loss.

These stages include: denial, inner self-criticism, withdrawal, reflection and acceptance.

“You’ve known for months that it’s over but you cling to the hope that it was a mistake. After all, you have been with the company for many years. You have produced great results. The company can’t survive without you. You’re living in denial,” says Musisi.

Musisi advises that the earlier someone recognises the different stages, the quicker they move through them lest they waste valuable time languishing for weeks yet they still have to face the arduous task of conducting a tough job search with all its inherent frustrations.

After a job loss, Musisi urges victims to open up to family and friends, keep regular work plan and sustain the momentum to necessary for success in the job search.

When one no longer has a job to report to every day, she says, they can easily lose motivation. Therefore, one has to treat their job search like a job with regular times for exercise and networking. This helps one remain more efficient and productive.

“Don’t let your job search consume you. Make time for fun, rest, and relaxation—whatever revitalises you. Your next plan will be more effective if you are mentally, emotionally, and physically at your best,” Musisi adds.

Mugasha acknowledges undergoing the emotional stages but he offers a different remedy to the nightmare of job loss.

For him, it is always about people and one’s relationship with them that makes all the difference. Had he not had a supportive family and a good network to begin his next life charter with, he would still be crying over what he calls ‘split milk.’

“Network like crazy. Whenever you get within three feet of someone, engage them in a conversation and find a way to help each other. You’ll be amazed at how resourceful people are,” he says.

In spite of how hard a knock that losing a job is, it can be overcome with hard work and persistence.

With the combination of the two, Mugasha is confident that anyone will come out of recession saying that losing his job was the best thing that ever happened to them. Mugasha may regret having had a sexual affair with a co-worker but what he doesn’t regret is losing his job. It only validated the Luganda proverb that “akugoba yakulaga ekubo.”

alex.taremwa@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

Would you inherit that widow?

BY ALEX TAREMWA

As I approach her home, dogs bark in unison. A dog keeper myself, I gather that there must be three of them in the compound. She emerges from the garden with muddy feet, offers me a stool and takes her rest on the mat.

Margaret Kiwumulo was happily married to Richard Kaijuka and together they had produced two children until the night of July 4, 2002, when unknown assailants ambushed him as he left his bar for home, beat him to death and took his belongings.

Stuck with two children, Kiwumulo, then 27 – but currently 41 – struggled to fend for them as a single mother until Kaijuka’s brother Peter Ziryabareeta, a veterinary doctor stepped in to help.44_10155_d12s

He gave the family a much needed boost, gave the children a father figure and eventually, to the widow, he gave a husband in spite of the fact that he already had a family of his own.

Besides the children Ziryabareeta ‘inherited’, he has been able to father two more with Kiwumulo and she was vividly pregnant when TTM met her for an interview.

The case of Kiwumulo and Ziryabareeta is not unique, especially in the African context. It is a tradition that has seen days since the 1800s – fueled partly by culture with traces visible in Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Uganda and the rest of Sub-Sahara.

The arrangement, known as widow inheritance, allows for a male relative of the deceased to take over the guardianship of the deceased’s family, including the widow so that the deceased’s inherited property stays in the family.

In some clans, it is not subject to debate while in others, the widow has a say in whether or not she needs the stewardship and chooses the suitor among the kinsmen of the deceased husband.

The practice has however come under heavy criticism from politicians, clerics, civil society movements and “molarity protectors” who argue that widow inheritance has not only taken away widow’s rights to make independent decisions, it has also kept HIV/AIDS prevalence on a high.

With the coming of modernity and civilisation, the practice has lost popularity with most men rubbing it off as uncouth – a practical example of cultural practices that should be condemned by every right thinking members of society.

Given the intricacies of today’s world, Roggers Akanyijuka, a Visual Editor and Producer at Vision Group said he would not, for any reason accept to inherit a widow. This, he added, not only increases the financial burden he has to carry but also shoulders him more family obligations that consume his much needed time.

“It is an ancient mind-set. In today’s life circumstances, it is very inapplicable and not worthy of thought,” he told TTM.

Indeed, men who already have financial obligations of their own may not be open to widening them by inheriting more, unless of course there is something to gain.

As Suleiman Tiguragara Matojo Ssalongo, a veteran journalist and Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Lyantonde district explained, the practice was/is exploited by men, often seeking to “cheat” widows out of land, cattle and other properties left by the deceased.

Widows, he argued, often shackled by poverty, have continued to rely on inheritors to take care of them as a fulfillment of cultural obligations not knowing that their vulnerability is being exploited.

“Our senior citizens (elders) had their issues in the past. When a husband died midway the marriage, the widow, due to fear of losing all the property he left, would accept to marry one of his kinsmen,” he said.

Because some of the widows would have had children with their deceased husbands reducing their odds to compete in a market filled with single, educated, independent women, being inherited becomes better option to consider.

Bad cultural practice or just bad timing?

Although this writer could not accurately quantify the percentage of the prevalence of widow inheritance in Uganda, a survey he conducted portrayed how just unpopular the practice is in 21st century.

Of the 20 respondents he reached out in preparation of this article, all said they would not, whether wilfully or otherwise, inherit a widow although most indicated that they may be willing to help take care of the children, if any.

Does this mean that widow inheritance is a barbaric cultural practice or has it been merely overtaken by events?

When TTM passed this question to 67-year-old Richard Bahaburana, an opinion leader among the Bashambo, one of the largest clans in the defunct Ankole Kingdom, he had this to say: “We would be fools to say that everything practiced by Africans must remain so. But we are totally against abandoning our culture.”

He added that: “It (widow inheritance) was the tradition here. We are all supposed to do it. Church leaders don’t like it. The president may not like it. But it is our tradition.”

Bahaburana, a polygamist with three wives – one inherited – may be wrong about something – say- the president not liking the practice as he (H.E Yoweri Museveni) is not on record on the subject but he is right about church leaders not having kind words for it.

Speaking to TTM via email from the Vatican, Italy, Fr. David Kampiira, born in Kazo, Kiruhura district, argued that “when they become irrelevant as social changes take place, certain cultural practices must be allowed to die out.”

“This is one of the difficult battles to win. We have tried discouraging it but few seem to understand its effects especially in the era of HIV/AIDS. It seems some people are genetically wired to it,” his email response read in part.

Comparatively, in areas where widow inheritance is still secretly practiced, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is higher.

Since an inheritor already has his own family, he infects his first wife and the widow he has inherited. When he dies and men inherit the women he leaves behind. They, too contract the scourge and die and their widows are inherited, hence the increasing number of new HIV infections.

One, then would wonder, if inheriting a widows poses these economic, social and health threats, why is it still silently practiced and seemingly condoned? Logically, it is a matter of opportunity cost. To make a choice, something has to be foregone.

For Ziryabareeta, it was his way to guarantee that his brother’s children get the property their father left them when they are of age and to have them grow knowing they are part of a family, give them a sense of belonging.

“I felt obligated when he (Kaijuka) passed on to carry on his legacy. I didn’t want to see his property get torn to pieces by people who did nothing for it,” he said.

As the case is in most parts of Africa where customary law is still followed, upon a man’s death, his property is inherited by his adult sons. If they are still minors, it is repossessed by his family.

Luckily enough, all the children – including those fathered by Ziryabareeta – are in school. The eldest, whose name we shall not disclose, is already sitting her O-level examinations. She is 17 years.

For Kiwumulo, being inherited was a bitter pill but one she doesn’t regret swallowing. It may not have been the right thing to do but it has turned out to be a good thing in the end.

Ironically, all the men who denounced widow inheritance in the survey were open to the suggestion of having a wife’s sister as a “caretaker” when one lost a wife. In other words, they would rather be inherited but not to inherit.

alex.taremwa@yahoo.co.uk

Janani Luwum: a lion in human skin

On February 16, 1977, a man like no other armed not with a gun or a dagger but the Bible and the cross was assassinated at the then Ugandan ruthless president Idi Amin Dada.

According to historical accounts, the Most Rev Janani Jakaliya Luwum, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Uganda, Rwanda Burundi, and Boga Zaire had become a sharp critic of the gross atrocities including murders orchestrated by Idi Amin.

On the day of his demise, it is said that Luwum met with President Idi Amin who accused him of smuggling arms and other “subversive acts” before being driven away with two government ministers, Erinayo Wilson Oryema and Charles Oboth Ofumbi in a Land Rover. On the morning of February 17, 1977, Radio Uganda announced that the archbishop had died in a car accident as he attempted to escape and in his flight was involved in a car accident that resulted in his death.

This theory would be later refuted after his body was found riddled with bullets only planted in a fake car crash allegedly on the orders of the president.

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Rt. Rev. Janan Luwum(L) with the Inspector General of Police, Oryema standing by the car which was presented to the Bishop on February 25, 1969. Credit: The New Vision/Files

A planned funeral service for the following Sunday was forbidden by the government, and the Archbishop’s body was not released. Nevertheless, according to records The Standard has seen, about 4,500 people gathered at St Paul’s Cathedral on Namirembe Hill, and a funeral service was held albeit his body missing.

It is at this exact venue (St Paul’s Cathedral) that activities to mark the 40th anniversary of the commemoration of slain martyr will be launched on February 5, 2017. According to a Church of Uganda statement, the activities will be a precursor for the main event that will be held at Mucwini, Kitgum District, the burial ground for deceased, 22km north of Kitgum in northern Uganda.

The purpose of the Kampala event is to create public awareness about the martyrdom of Archbishop Janani Luwum as we plan for the main event but also to enable and allow those who cannot make it to Mucwini to celebrate it in Kampala,” the statement, largely attributed to the Archbishop Stanley Ntagali partly reads.

The activities, which will include a walk from five different centres in and around Kampala, will be followed by a service at St Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe where the body of Janani Luwum was meant to have been buried.

The guest of honour for the Kampala celebrations is the Rt. Hon Ruhakana Rugunda, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, while the main celebrations in Kitgum are expected to be graced by the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

Road to martyrdom

Archbishop Janani Luwum was the first sitting archbishop in the entire Anglican Communion to be martyred in office since Archbishops of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer and William Laud who were martyred in AD 1556 and AD 1645, respectively.
Luwum’s death inspired the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral to establish a chapel to commemorate “Modern Martyrs.”

Canterbury Cathedral was hence the first ecclesiastical authority in the whole of the Anglican Communion to proclaim Archbishop Janani Luwum a 20th Century African Martyr.

According to Rev Jasper Tumuhimbise of All Saints Cathedral, Kampala, one of the starting points for this year’s walk to Namirembe, martyrdom gained a bad name for its association with violence and linkage to cruelty, manipulation and death.

But when we consider Christian martyrs like Luwum, we see something else. Instead of violence, there is peace and a seeking of reconciliation.

Instead of cruelty there is dignity and mercy. Instead of manipulation there is integrity. This is the ultimate martyrdom,” he said.  During similar 2015 celebrations, President Museveni declared February 16 an annual public holiday arguing that people should celebrate his life in the same manner as other Uganda Martyrs.

Life and ministry

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Rt. Rev. Janan Luwum installed Bishop on June 16, 1974. Credit: The New Vision/Files

Janani Luwum was born in 1922 in the Acholi district that time and spent his youth as a goat herder. Although he didn’t have a formal early education, he was given a belated opportunity to begin at school and quickly showed his resourcefulness and ability to learn.

His conversion to Christianity happened in 1948 while he was a teacher but would later quit teaching for evangelism. In 1949, he joined Bishop Usher Wilson Theological College, Buwalasi, to study theology. After a period as a lay preacher, he was ordained priest in 1956 of the then Upper Nile Diocese in St Phillips Church, Gulu and thereafter served as parish priest and chaplain in a number of parishes and church schools in Northern Uganda.

As Uganda gained independence from Britain, Luwum was noted as a rising indigenous leader in the church. He became bishop of the newly formed Diocese of Northern Uganda in 1969. Following his consecration, Janani was appointed to the Anglican Consultative Council and served on the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.

In May 1974, Bishop Janani Luwum succeeded his mentor Archbishop Erica Sabiti, who had been the first Bishop of Kampala Diocese between 1972-1973. Thus, Bishop Janani Luwum became the second African Archbishop of the Province of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire and the second Bishop of Kampala Diocese.

After his assassination, his body was taken to the Churchyard at Wii Gweng, Mucwini, on February 19, 1977 where he was later buried. He is survived by his widow, Mary Luwum, seven children, four sisters, two brothers and several grandchildren.

Yahya Jammeh and how not to be a refugee

Source: nbcnews.com

Former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh boards a private jet before departing Banjul into exile

BY ALEX TAREMWA

Last week, Rev Simon Feta, my philosophical friend, invited me to a four-day excursion in the West Nile region.

The trip was meant to give Uganda Christian University students of Bachelor of Governance and International Relations a real life field experience of how bad governance breeds conflict and how international players come together to handle its off-shoots.

After visiting the Rhino Camp Refugee Camp in Arua and Bidi-Bidi Refugee Camp in Yumbe District, it became increasingly obvious that the only way not to be a refugee is not to be African.

In fact, former Sudanese and later South Sudanese Senator, Rev Canon Clement Janda, put it more bluntly when he told the students that “as long as you are Africans, we are all potential refugees.”

As I was still grinding his statement, former president of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, proved him right. He went from being president to being a refugee in Equatorial Guinea in a space of just four hours.

If this is your first encounter with the name, let me take a few lines to explain just how powerful Jammeh was. He took over power when he was just 29 years old and ruled the country with an iron fist for another 22 years.

After losing and accepting defeat in a recent election, he made a U-turn, refuted the election results and threatened not to leave power forcing his opponent, a victorious Adam Barrow to take oath in neighbouring Senegal.

Although Jammeh finally bowed to pressure and relinquished power, he left Gambia into exile after emptying state coffers of a whopping $11million (Shs38 billion).

The similarity between Jacob, a 29-year-old refugee from South Sudan and Jammeh, is not that they are both refugees but that they are both victims of poor governance systems in their respective countries.

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Alex Taremwa engaging three-time refugee and former Senator of Sudan and South Sudan Rev Canon Clement Janda. Photo by Ronald Awany

The total number of refugees at the end of 2016 reached 75.3 million that is to say one out of every 85 people on Earth, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Whether in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi or Syria, only war can account for the massive influx of people from their homes to refugee camps.

Not that conflict represents the absence of a more peaceful and long-lasting solution but rather a mechanism through which governments and those against them across the world strive to maintain and conquer power respectively.

And I have it on good authority that most leaders maintain a tight grip on power not because they enjoy their stay but because they are afraid of prosecution from their opponents when they leave.

In that case, if we shifted political rhetoric from prosecuting corrupt, murderous, long-serving dictators, to forgiving their wrongs and offering them a safe passage to retirement, it would in a way motivate them to peacefully step down and avoid bloodbaths.

The bottom line therefore is that peaceful coexistence and good governance go hand-in-hand. The absence of one automatically translates into the absence of the other, and in that regard, a refugee status cannot be ruled out for anyone.

Alex is the Managing Editor of The Transparent Magazine