jobaze

Independent opinions

“MARRIAGE” in software terms

This is what a guy wrote to a systems analyst [Marriage Software Division]:

Dear Systems Analyst,
I am desperate for some help!
I recently upgraded my program from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0 and found that the new program began unexpected Child Processing and also took up a lot of memory space and valuable resources. This wasn’t mentioned in the product brochure.

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Wife 1.0

In addition Wife 1.0 installs itself unto all other programs and launches during system initialization and then it monitors all other system activities. Applications such as ‘Boys Night Out 2.5′ and ‘Golf 5.3’ no longer run and crash the system whenever selected. Attempting to operate selected ‘Soccer 6.3′ always fails and ‘Shopping 7.1’ runs instead.

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Boys Night out now crashes

I cannot seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background whilst attempting to run any of my favorite applications, be it online or offline.
I am thinking of going back to ‘Girlfriend 7.0’, but uninstall doesn’t work on this program. Can you please help me?

….AND THIS IS WHAT OUR ANALYST SAID:

Dear Customer,

This is a very common problem resulting from a basic misunderstanding of the functions of the Wife 1.0 program. Many customers upgrade from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0 thinking that Wife 1.0 is merely a UTILITY AND ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM.
Actually Wife 1.0 is an operating system designed by it’s creator to run everything on your current platform. You are unlikely to be able to purge Wife 1.0 and still convert back to Girlfriend 7.0, as Wife 1.0 was not designed to do this and it is impossible to uninstall, delete or purge the program files from the system once it is installed. Some people have tried to install Girlfriend 8.0 or Wife 2.0 but have ended up with even more problems . [See manual under Alimony/ Child support and Solicitors’ fees].

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Wife 2.0 wil complicate your life further

Having Wife 1.0 installed, I recommend you keep it installed and deal with the difficulties as best as you can.
When any faults or problems arise whatever you think has caused them, you must run the C:\APOLOGIZE\FORGIVE ME.EXE Program and avoid attempting to use the *Esc* Key for it will freeze the entire system. It may be necessary to run C:\APOLOGIZE\FORGIVE ME.EXE a number of times and eventually hope that the operating system will return to normal. Wife 1.0, although a very high maintenance program, can be very rewarding. To get the most out of it,consider buying additional software such as ‘FLOWERS 2.0’ and ‘CHOCOLATES 5.0’ or ‘HUGS\KISSES 600.0’ or ‘TENDERNESS\UNDERSTANDING 1000.0’ or even ‘Eating out with the kids 7.2.1’ [If child processing has already began].

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Additional Software: Flowers 2.0

Do not under any circumstance install ‘Secretary 2.1’[Short Skirt Version] or ‘One Nightstand 3.2 [AnyMood Version] , as this is not a supported Application for Wife 1.0 and the system will almost certainly CRASH.

Credit to Mr. Addai Francis, for the original composition

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Closure of media houses: Police fully exercising their mandate

The past few days have been filled with the ‘Tinyefuza letter’ saga which culminated into the closure of some media houses, Red Pepper & Daily Monitor plus a few radio stations too, affiliated to the Monitor. Some analysts called it the ‘rape of the media’, while some activists said the police was gaggwpid-BLRQW5CCEAEBP5u.gifing the media and all sorts of names have been used to describe the situation on our social networking sites. Everyone seemed to have become an expert on Article 221 of the Uganda Constitution which states that “It shall be the duty of (…) Uganda Police Force (…) to observe and respect human rights and freedoms in the performance of their functions” and article 29(1(a)) which states that, “Every person shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression which shall include freedom of the press and other media”.

I am not a lawyer by profession, and can’t claim to know the law that much but I tried to use this situation to learn a thing or two about the different laws that seem to back the police.

 

First of all, The Official Secrets Act of 1964 Chapter 2(3) states that, “Any person who, for any purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the territories of Uganda obtains, collects, records or publishes or communicates in whatever manner to any other person any secret official code word, or password or any sketch, plan, model, article, or note, or other document or information which is calculated to be or might be or is intended to be directly or indirectly useful to a foreign power commits an offence under this act

The next part caught my attention,

“Where any sketch, plan, model, article, note, document or information relating to or used in any prohibited place or anything in such a place, or any secret official code word or password is made, obtained, collected, recorded, published, or communicated by any person other than a person acting under lawful authority, it shall be deemed to have been made, obtained, collected, recorded, published or communicated for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the territories of Uganda unless the contrary is proved by the person accused”.The police has much more legal backing from the Police Act (Chapter 27 mainly), 1995 Constitution of Uganda e.t.c

All those articles, to me, look like they give police the mandate of investigations since neither Monitor nor RedPepper was ‘the person acting under lawful authority’. If a letter was written by the coordinator of Intelligence to members of the security organization, how did journalists, who are non-security members, get access to this letter? Any security personell has reason to worry if such a thing ever happened! This could actually mean that all intelligence information, that has been, is being & will be gathered, is compromised. Such a leak could mean one of two things; Either the author or recipient deliberately leaked it to the media, or there was leak in between the author and the recipient. Both cases are causes for any (and every) security agency to swing into action. Such a leak must be identified and eliminated for the future safety of any more intelligence information.

I’ll skip the possibility of a deliberate leak by author or recipient (which is actually very probable) and go to the leak in between the two. If the media houses are not willing to peacefully identify the source of their information, then a certain degree of force must be used. 3 Monitor personell (two journalists and their managing editor) were summoned to police and showed a court order requiring them to reveal their source which they refused to do. They insisted on keeping their sources confidential which left the police with an option of trying plan B. The tricky bit of this is that the same law gives media houses a right to protect their sources. I was chatting with a friend recently and he told me “Every freedom must not be enjoyed at the detriment of others”. So presence of freedom for a specific group of people is squashed if it infringes on a different group. No freedom given by any law is absolute. It always has its boundaries and once those boundaries are crossed, it ceases to be a freedom. Even the naturally given Right to life is not absolute in some lands!!!images

Shortly after the letter was published, the social media was awash with lots of theories and conspiracies of what was going on. Some people confirmed a ‘Project Muhozi’, others talked of a possible coup orchestrated by armed deserters of UPDF, others talked of divisions within the army top leadership etc.

All in all, police must have decided to find the source of the letter and deal with him (or her) using the military law. Failure of Monitor journalists to reveal the source left the police with one more option, a search of Monitor premises to retrieve the letter and possibly get any further clues as to the source of the letter. To the magistrate, went the police!

The Official Secrets Act of 1964 in Chapter 11(1) states that “If a magistrate is satisfied by information on oath that there is a reasonable ground for suspecting that an offence under this Act has been or is about to be committed, he or she may grant a search warrant authorizing any police officer named in it to enter at any time any premises or place named in the warrant, if necessary by force, and to search the premises or place and every person found in it and to seize any sketch, plan, model, article, note or document that he or she may find on the premises or place or on any such person, and with regard to or in connection with which he or she has reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence under this Act has been or is about to be committed”.

With a court order secured, deployments were done and searches started. It was at exactly this point that there was a general outcry of everyone talking of how police had become brutal and the situation had gone back to the days of Idi Amin.

Truthfully, some people on facebook and twitter just joined the bandwagon and made lots of noise without studying the available facts. Many of them seem to have forgotten that just a few days ago, Monitor had disregarded a Court Order to give information about their source to the police. Everyone took to the social media battlefield and waged war against police for disregarding the court order!!! To me, I believe that right upto this point, the police were following the law to the letter and hadn’t abused any part of it.

More to this, I was actually happy that they first secured a court order because article 11(2) of this same act further states that “Where it appears to a police officer of or above the rank of assistant superitendant that the case is one of great emergency and that in the interests of Uganda immediate action is necessary, he or she may by a written order under his or her hand give it to any police officer the like authority as may be given by the warrant of a magistrate under this section”. Meaning that the police could have actually done the search without a warrant but they went ahead to secure it.

After the (now labelled) crime scene was sealed off by the police and the search started, the legal teams of the media houses got a new set of court orders rescinding the search. To quote the court order published in The Monitor, “The search warrant (…) is hereby vacated (…) having been satisfied that in the process of execution of the said warrant, the execution of the said warrant was overstepped” and another directive to the police “(…) is ordered to return the said search warrant to this Honourable Court”, both statements from the same court order.

Apart from the legalties that seemed to be involved in delivering the court order, I don’t seem to find those two statements directing the police to stop the search. Instead, they direct the police to cease using the original court order as a basis for the search. So probably, the police can continue the search, and it would be legal for them since apart from the court order, they can use the authority bestowed upon their mandate to search if “it appears (…jjg) that the case is one of great emergency”!  Once again, people talked of panda gari and to a foreigner following Ugandans on twitter, he/she must have thought that hell had broken loose in Uganda! All hope would have been lost for our country if social media was the only source of news!!!

My worry is not the legal part of their actions though because I’m sure they can defend themselves. What I fear instead is the image they will end up portraying. The way this has been reported in the media (both local & international) will definitely give the government’s PR team a big job to accomplish. The swiftness of the operation, at a time when international dignitaries were jetting into the country, tells me that they weighed out the security interests against the publicity interest and decided to go ahead with the operation. However, the conflict they have opened up with the media fraternity can be disastrous to them in the long run if not corrected. Initially, I read some calls on social media for people to boycott NewVision & Bukedde and the likes till Monitor& Red Pepper would be reopened. I read other calls for the media fraternity to unite against what they called police brutality and cause a media blackout on coverage of gov’t functions! Well, I think the government must start looking at mending faces with these houses lest they keep the beef

I also worry for our economy. When private companies are closed for quite some time, gov’t is losing taxes, many people (who are directly & indirectly) employed by these media houses are now jobless yet children are going back to school and families have to eat and drink. How police (& gov’t) expect people to survive is another story altogether!

For God and my country

jobaze@gmail.com

@jobaze (on twitter)

Father Musaala; A hypocrite or Redeemer of the Catholic Church?

The past has been full of headlines about the Catholic Church, being brought about by Fr. Musaala whose letter ‘leaked’ to the media and has opened up lots of controversy about his integrity, personality & approach to the issues rather than the message.

The Arch Bishop of the Uganda Catholic Church suspended him from “celebrating sacraments and sacramentals, from the powers of governance in accordance to the law of the Church Can.1335 and1336§1n.1, 2and3 as investigations are being carried on”. For those who may have missed the two stories, a blogger put the letter on his site http://www.sebaspace.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/father-musaala-blows-the-lid-off-priestly-sexual-abuse-in-uganda-africa/ and here is Arch Bishop’s responce http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/640841-church-suspends-fr-musaala-over-sex-claims.html as published in the New Vision.

Let me first clarify that I am not a catholic and any view of mine is purely mine and not based on any religious denomination.

I disagree with Father Musaala when he calls for removal of chastity for priests. This is because the shortcomings of one individual should not have a negative impact on the whole Church. The Church is much bigger than Fr. Musaala and it even existed long before he joined it. Taking the celibacy vow was purely on his free will and I would like to think that no one forced him to (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong).

However, some of the issues he raises in his letter have gotten me thinking. Is there some rot in the Church that needs to be corrected? Has the Catholic Church done enough to prevent this rot or they are either deliberately ignoring it, or aware of it but sweeping it under their carpets?

Below is a comment, by a Justine Mugisha, I read on one of the blogging sites;

“Father Anthony thank you so much for bringing this up. It’s time that the catholic religion faced up to its failures. I am a Catholic woman, who is battling the love i have for my church against the ill feelings against the catholic priesthood for their sexual immorality that we Ugandan catholics feel obliged not to talk about. When I’d just left S.6, I was affronted by the sexual advances from several priests – so called family friends – that made me turn against the church for a while. I’m back in the church but i don’t go for confession. I don’t believe that the hype that the catholic church preaches that even if the priest is a transgressor – Christ is present in that sacrament. Recently there was a case at a catholic uni where a nun gave birth to a baby, fathered by a priest, and threw him into a pit latrine! Only by the grace of God did that child survive. And guess what; When the police came in, they had left out the nuns’ abode in the search for the mother. It was the young girls, who after their hostels were searched, insisted that the nuns be searched too. Lo and behold the culprit and her 4 nun helpers were caught. It’s little wonder that this Redpepper material story never reached the public – you can imagine how much of our Tithe was used in shutting up the story. If the Catholic church does not style up and accept marriage among the priests – then it might as well say it promotes promiscuity, irresponsible parenthood and believes that the unborn child has no rights.

Well, let us not hide from reality. there is evil all around us. This evil may not be spiritual but it is affecting people we know including our very own sons and daughter. Our young people are being taken advantage of regardless of where they are. Even in Churches where we go to for redemption, we can never be sure. Children are being abused, Fathers engaging in sexual behaviour e.t.c. This raises a question whether it is any of my bussiness. Well, if you claim to be a spiritual leader, I expect you to be exemplary and you must live to the standard expected from you by the public. If you take a vow, then live by it, especially if no one forced you to take it. That is where I challenge Fr. Musaala on his views of celibacy in Church.

I admire how the papal elections were recently conducted. Despite the changing times, the Catholic Church has managed to maintain it’s traditionalism in all it’s actions. Even the security around the vatican is proof of this, So, why should one ‘disgruntled & frustrated’ priest call for modernisation of traditional beliefs?

My problem comes when these spiritual leaders take oaths and break them. Just like in any country, company, organisation, bussiness, group e.t.c, once you sign a contract, you are legally bound to uphold it. Any breach of that contract is liable to consequences. A Priestly vow is a matter between that individual and their God. I would be wrong to support him if he breaks that vow, especially if he took it on his own free will.

As for the allegations he makes against the Catholic Church; His only credibility will be when he is able to mention the names of his mates who have broken the celibacy vow. If he has no names, then his integrity will have totally been lost. It is common knowledge to very many people that these celibate priests are not celibate in real life. The difference between Father Musaala and these other people is that Fr. Musaala has opted to go public while these others opted for silence. I pray he doesnt succumb to any intimidation he is receiving from the different people who hold different views and instead he comes out and helps in cleansing his Church. I support him when he says thus;

I am therefore compiling cases from all over Uganda.I believe that if all the victims of molestations were to come out and sue the church in civil courts, such abuses would sharply decreased. I am also helping to set up a Victims Support Group, independent of the church for obvious reasons, with guidance and help from similar groups in Europe and the States. I have also engaged a Human rights lawyer to advise on the wider implications of clergy abuse on the basic human rights of individuals, especially women. Join me in this exciting challenge to bring fundamental change and renewal  to the catholic church

which clearly shows he has good intentions for his Church and wishes them good.

Many commentators have decided to attack the messenger and ignore the message which is totally wrong. Yes, Fr. Musaala may have heard his shortcomings in life (The Bible clearly says that all have fallen short of his glory) but that shouldn’t be a reason to ignore his message. I would like to believe he thought hard about this before coming out and weighed out the consequences which (in his view) were worth it. He is an adult of sound mind, and has never been proved insane, so his message (or ‘grievances & frustrations’, as some people would prefer to call it) shouldn’t be ignored!

What if there is some truth in his allegations? What if the Church has been knowing the evil actions of their members and ignoring them? What if we have Fathers who took their Celibacy vows but instead are molesting Children, fathering secret children and even having wives? Many of us have heard these allegations levied against them, I’m sure some of you can even name specific individuals! There is no smoke without fire.

For those who call Fr. Musaala a disgruntled and frustrated person, I say these are the best people to unearth the dirt in their groups despite their ulterior motives!!!

It is in this regard that I didnt like the responce from the Church. They seemed to concetrate more on the Canon law than the Bible when deciding his fate (suspension). I would like to think that just like the supremacy of any Country’s constitution, the Bible is the supreme book of law for even the Catholics. Therefore, I expected the responce to quote much more of the Bible than anything else. Quoing the Bible would have given this a whole new angle! Well, assuming Jesus was still around, or rather assuming it was during his time, would he have suspended Fr. Musaala from the community? Or he would have said, “My son, come & talk to me. Your sins are forgiven”. Let the Church look upto Jesus & God as they deal with this situation lest the administrative policy will overshadow the spiritual law.

As for Fr. Musaala, he should engage in dialogue with his team, or rather Church members. He may have a point (and yes, he has the right to voice his views) but let him concetrate on much more of the Church than the media & the public (who may not even be part of the Catholic Church and dont give a damn!). His membership to the Church is of paramount importance, just like any other Catholic, and he should aim at integrating the Church rather than the causing divided belief among the members. He was right to voice out his concerns but let them be aimed more to the Church than to the non-Church members

May God bless the Catholic Church and hopefully, this will help them come out stronger than ever before.

For God & my country
jobaze@gmail.com
@jobaze (on twitter)

Are the youths in Uganda being groomed well by the elders?

When you open a newspaper in Uganda, I bet the front pages will be filled with something about corruption. It has become part of our society and one may be misled to believe it is the only vice affecting us. Reality check; We have many other horrible vices… rape, alcohol abuse, theft, armed robberies, violation of human rights, suicide, reckless driving e.t.c. While they may seem negligible, their cumulative effect is very detrimental to our society!

Intriguing is that many of these cases go unreported for reasons best known to the victims, thus many of the official statistics released by Police are actually lower than the reality. The fear of opening up has left many people (especially youth of ‘campus age’ though even other age brackets do possess this fear) traumatised with no one to confide in. Where are we getting it wrong? Is it because the ‘adults’ and ‘elites’ have been taken up by politics and forgotten that there is a generation which needs grooming before it can fit in their shoes? Dont these ‘elites’ need to revisit their priorities and dedicate more time to their sons and daughters?

I am not a parent but parenting is a core of any persons behaviour. I am who I am because I always looked up to my parents for inspiration even without telling them. The relationship between parents and children, though usually over looked by most fathers, is one of the most important things a child needs. The fear of crossing paths with parents has left most of the youth in an age of secrecy which usually does more harm than good. Stories were always told of strict parents who always locked their kids at home to prevent them from doing things they may regret later in life. Little did these parents know that the moment these children get a sniff of independence, all hell would break loose and lots of ‘fun’ would be had to cover up for the lost time! You can guess the outcome of their behaviours!!!

I recently heard of a story of a campus girl who was raped by her friend. The moron took her out, then instead of dropping her at her hostel, he drove to his home and raped her, breaking her virginity. The poor girl was traumatised but she feared to report to police because she believes that the moron had connections and more to that, she feared it would get back to her parents and she would fail to explain what she was doing with him in the middle of the night. It is this fear that will always affect the children who lack that intimate relationship with their parents. I expect this unfortunate and barbaric incident to affect her view of the male species. It may even affect her in her matrimony life while this moron may continue terrorising other innocent and unsuspecting girls!

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SAY NO TO RAPE

I have also read a story of a UCU student who committed suicide after being gang-raped and her husband-to-be broke up the engagement after the incident thus compelling her to take her life.

Just 2 weeks back, some girls were arrested in Lyantode after being caught engaging in sexual acts with village residents. They were believed to be S.4 students in a local school there.

Rosebell Kagumiire, on her blog, says she contacted a friend about the violence faced by women and this is what he had to say; ““I think the matter can be followed up from Police side to see if we can see what police has done, any arrests and investigations. If nothing has been done (like I highly suspect), we can see how to raise this as a case of negligence and call police to act. Am surprised and shocked that it is not featuring anywhere in the 16 days of activism and am close to pointing fingers on why? Where is Fida, Uwonet and the numerous women organizations in this country? What are they doing about it? Can they do anything about it? Can they hire private investigators to get evidence?”. This was after The Observer published a story (see here ) about a RedPepper sub-editor who committed suicide after being gang raped.

Shame on all these rapers and it’s a pity they are walking scot free somewhere out there, probably looking for other victims!!!

Are these the kind of people we want to lead us 20-30 years from today? Will we (the youth) produce children when we grow up and successfully instill good morals in them? Aren’t you (the adults) putting focus on politics and corruption thus forgetting the ernomous task of grooming us?

Politics are the core of any society. The bills passed by Parliament, or laws put in effect by the President (or his representatives) or even those enforced by police have an effect on everyone in the country. Even the ‘peasant’ in the village tilling his garden is affected though he may not know it. Meaning that leadership contributes a lot to our growth. However much growing up in a corruption-full society has already been harmful, the other vices just worsen the situation. So where does the solution lie? Is it our parents? Teachers & lecturers? Or it is the government? Or maybe maturing is a natural process and these youths should be left to mature by themselves?

Right from the birth of a child, the parents are in charge. In all cases, the behaviour of a child is shaped by the morals of the parents (or caretakers). When these children go to school (primary, secondary and finally university), the eyes of these children are opened up and they then are shaped by the behaviours of their peers and those of their teachers/lecturers. The cumulative effect of all these friendships is finally felt when these former children, now adults, have grown up. Their next behaviour and character is undoubtedly a product of all this. However, when they grow up seeing their lecturers demand for sex in order to give marks, do you expect them to behave any differently when they become lecturers? If their teachers (and parents) drink & smoke, would you blame them if they started doing the same?

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ABSURD!!!

So, is it possible that each stakeholder can put more values at each level where they are responsible? The government, being the overall in-charge of everything that happens within the borders of the country, needs to also start thinking of these youths. Legislations against most of these barbaric behaviours do exist. What lacks is implementation. Even when an attempt at implementation is made, the mandated implementors are the ones who end up breaking the rules knowing that they are untouchables.

Police Annual Crime Report of 2011 records 463 cases of rape, 7542 cases of defilement and 9343 cases of Domestic Violence. If you ask this same police whether the number of cases reported corresponds to the number of offenders in jail, you will most likely get a negative answer.

A blind eye towards the occurances in our country is very disastrous. Reliance on official reports from police, however high the number of criminal cases in the reports may be, actually depicts less than exaxtly what is on the ground. Structures, that reach grassroots, need to be instituted. Right upto families, a mechanism that keeps an eye on a community is necessary to ensure the safety of the youth.

This is why I applaud the church for its efforts in trying to seek out everyone. On a daily basis will you hear fellowship for the marrieds, for the youth, for the singles, for the students, for the campusers e.t.c. These Churches go ahead to provide counsellors for their flock. Cases of some ‘wrong pastors’ are existent but that doesnt make the whole idea a sham. Their contribution to the growth of a morally upright society with vibrant youth is intangible. Their activities shouod be strengthened, and even duplicated to increase their coverage.

Let us not only raise our voices on political issues. Let the vigilance of those who are watching also cover issues like these. Dont be blinded by politics but also issues that affect those who cant report to police

FACT: Unless you groom us (the youth), all you have built will be crushed once you are no longer in charge. Your legacies will be destroyed!

For God and my country

@jobaze (on twitter)
jobaze@gmail.com

A Revived Sports sector is a free marketing tool for the Tourism sector

A guest writer, Jacob Kagina, pens down his thoughts on the support accorded to the Ugandan Olympics participators…

A few days ago, I watched the story of Uganda’s Olympic Gold medalist, Stephen Kiprotich, on

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Stephen Kiprotich crossing the finish line at the Olympics

one of the local television stations and I must admit, it was a touching and inspiring one indeed. This was like a miracle.

At first I didnt believe that we had won a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics and when I heard the news, it was amazing! However, while this man was getting close to the finish line, he was given our Ugandan Flag. image

He said it was a Zimbabwean who gave him the flag not a Ugandan!!!

And he crossed the finish line while waving the flag. To me that was the most touching moment in the history of our athletics for the last 40years.
 
Yesterday during the show on TV, he said one good thing which I believe all the sportsmen and women should learn, “My life is not about money! It’s about how to inspire many young Ugandans to become champions”. 

Not very long ago, before the Olympics, the I.O.C() of Uganda was at crossroads. We had two factions, one for Kabenge and the other for Rogers Ddungu.  What were they fighting for? I attribute the whole confusion to MISMANAGEMENT.

Recently there was this very controversial scuffle between FUFA and USL officials. Now this one is a nasty one which I don’t even want to hear. They are all accusing each other of interpreting the new constitution poorly. There was that for the URU. Before all those, we had the scuffles of UBF, UKBF and so many others. In the past Olympic events, Uganda has at least taken some boxers to the event. So what went wrong? What is the problem? What is going on? What is the National Council of Sports doing for that matter? What is the Ministry of Sports doing? What is our media doing? What are you doing for that matter.

In August this year, I sat down and listened to a radio talk show called ‘Ground Zero’. That day, the show was about SPORTS and it was a good one. Very many people had good views about how we can revive the sports sector. One person suggested that government should make sure atleast every region has a well facilitated sports facility to tap and develop different sports. Again, I heard the state Minister Of Sports saying that they had proposed for a full ministry of sports.

I agree that all these are good ideas but why for example should you ask for a ministry when the country is only surviving with one stadium.  Don’t we have any other alternatives? In the past few years, our neighbours Kenya have done what Uganda used to do in the 70s. They have managed to invest in sports. Don’t be surprised if they say the government is getting a lot of revenue from tourism simply because they have marketed the country through sports. Who doesn’t want to be known? Just imagine now if Uganda qualifies for the AFCON in South Africa! Just imagine the coverage that will be there, the attention! I believe something can turn around.

In politics, there is something they call ‘cheap popularity’. Sometimes this works for some of our politicians, they get arrested and get sympathy and that’s another term of office. For our Sports, the solution is simple; Invest in sports, nature talent, get it exposed and get Uganda known! That’s all.

Why should we first ask for a Ministry, cars, fuel, salaries then blaahh blaah for getting Uganda another 10 or more Gold medals. Is it what it takes?

Get all the structures functioning and the money will bring itself. After all, I have observed that every time we get a good investor in football, wrangles emerge. Why can’t some people really sacrifice for the better of the country? You have a Pay Television company giving you money and on top of that broadcasting your games, really why bring in this confusion?

I think we still have a lot to learn. Somebody should wake up the leadership. Pledges must be fulfilled and we must resist corruption in the game. In China, Olympic Champions begin to be groomed when they are as young as 5. These guys even flog their kids to go for training. This tells you how they value the sports culture and gives you a reason why they keep on top of that medals list.

In Uganda, it’s even rare for a parent to tell their kids to pursue their sports dream.  To be a champion you have to be prepared. At least that’s what I also learnt from the story of Kiprotich. He used to wake up early, be the first to enter the bus, the first to get to the track for training, the first to eat and also had some divine intervention.

Last week, we witnessed Namboole stadium being closed off for renovations. Surprisingly, that is where the Uganda Cranes were training from, barely 2 weeks and 3 days to the game. I thought they did these things already!!! Didn’t the management know that there was an international match that was to be played there? Look at Nakivubo, a very terrible state it is in!

Somebody wake government up. Much as we need electricity and good roads, we also need the sports pride of the country to be restored.  Sports, if revived, can be a powerful tool in marketing Uganda in the next generational years. Let the story of Kiprotich open our eyes, I pray the Mighty Uganda Cranes use this inspiration.

For God and My Country
@jackagina (on twitter)
jackagina@gmail.com

Kyambogo University closure: A failed education and administratve sector

Last week saw the closure of a public univerity, just a few weeks after it had opened to usher in the beginning of a new academic year, 2012/2013. The closure of the university by the University Council was solely blamed on the refusal of Prof. Isiah Omolo Ndiege, the embattled Kyambogo VC who refused to resign saying he can’t bow down to the mob justice he is currently facing and further says that if he stepped aside to pave way for investigations into the mismanagement of the Univesity, he would have

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Students at Kulubya hall packing up after the University was announced closed

set a bad example for other institutions to follow and the lecturers refusal to teach if Prof. Omolo didn’t resign. The closure was the most ideal alternative for the University Council since the students were idle at the campus (due to the refusal of the lecturers to do their work) and “an idle mind is definately the devil’s workshop’. Well probably, they could have gone back to class had the VC resigned (whether

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Police ready to quell any violence that may have risen

willingly or forcefully) but that didn’t happen!

The only story that comes to my mind when I heard all this was when the Hon. Prime Minister and some of his cabinet members were being asked to resign to pave way for investigations and they refused, later coming up with the term ‘stepping aside’. This really shows that the VC has people who inspire his actions in top positions of the gov’t.

“You must set a good example for the rest of society to follow…” were Prof. Mondo Kagonyera’s words, the Chancellor of MUK, as he officiated at the handover ceremony of the Makerere University Vice Chancelorship.

However, the University Council Chairman, while appearing before an education committee in Parliament said that it would take atleast two months for the University to re-open!!! 2 months??? Either i’m not getting something right, or if I am, then there is rot in our educational sector. Barely after a 2 month holiday, the students are being forced into another 2 month holiday because the staff failed to agree with the top administrator?

The University Council came out to clearly state that if Prof. Ndiege resigned to pave way for investigation, then he would be re-instated once found innocent. He still refused to resign!

How can one man have more power than the lecturers and the University Council combined? Is it really fair to the students who just paid about a million each in tuition (without considering other charges) to have the university closed?

One of the petitioners, Mr. Jackson Magola, a part time lecturer at the university, believes that the lecturers are employing mob justice so as to cover up the indiscipline, mismanagement and criminal cases against them. With Prof. Ndiege momentarily out of office, he believes the lecturers will have bought more time for themselves and will thus kill any available evidence against them

The guild president of Kyambogo, Mr. Buni Christopher, had this to say when asked for a comment about the whole situation; “The problems of kyambogo are as old as kyambogo. It is not lack of professionalism or lack of human skill but it is just simple; Kyambogo lacks managers. It is not compulsory to have just any professor manage an institution. We need someone who can manage Kyambogo as a business module with parents as suppliers, students as raw materials, graduates as the finished products and the outer world as final consumers”.

Interestingly, the University Council had asked the VC to step aside thus lecturers calling off their strike. The council surprised many when it overturned it’s decision and re-instated him back to office citing serious legal implications if they forced him out of office. Reports in the media have it that H.E Sabalwanyi had written a strongly worded 7-page letter to the Council, through Hon. Charles Bakabukindi, ordering (or rather requesting) the council to put Ndiege back to office! ‘The orders from above’ had to be followed which did not go down well with the lecturers who thus resumed their strike.

When two elephants fight, it is the grass which suffers. All the students, some of whom, are not even aware of exactly what is going on, are flabbergasted at the effects of the closure as they are now idle and have got nothing to do.

In the book ‘Secrets of fascinating leaders’, the author, Agaba Ronald Bills, a commentator on leadership and current affairs of Uganda says that “Leadership becomes important during a crisis, this is the perfect opportunity for you to stand up and hold situations together” which clearly, the administrators of Kyambogo have failed to do. When asked for his opinion about the incident, Mr. Agaba said “Kyambogo suffers a leadership vaccum. This is not to say people dont have titles but they lack the competences of leadership. No group is talking about students who are the main objective of increased pay for lecturers or Vice chancellor management. All you see is hunger for recognition and selfish bickering”.

It is true that it is competely impossible for the University to operate when there are wrangles in the top most administrative body. That is the exact reason why I had no problem with the closure of the university. However, the conflict resolution process must be swift, quick and done in the shortest possible time. A 2-months closure is the worst that can happen to the students since this will affect those who are in their final years (and probably already have jobs pending the completion of their courses), the parents who struggle hard and end up seeing their money put to waste, the christmas holiday (since i expect lectures to go on into this holiday when campus re-opens to cater for the time currently being lost) and even the integrity of all parties in this conflict.

What could therefore be the solution to this? The lecturers have refused to go back to class, Minister Bakabulindi tried to negotiate and bring in a fair resolution but failed and parliament has been disrespected (or rather not heeded to) by the VC. The two parties to this conflict seem to have ‘equal power/authority’, thus a battle of egos that could end up complicating the conflict more. It gets more complicated when reports had it that the letter from the president said those calling for the VC’s resignation were being misguided by some fellows in the opposition who were fighting the gov’t (See the observer news piece here http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20706&catid=85&Itemid=106 ). SERIOUSLY???

While appearing before the committe set up by Parliament to investigate the whole situation, the Secretary to the University Council threatened to reveal rot in the method which was used to select the embattled VC. To me, it seems there will be a lot of rot that will be revealed in both sides, the VC and the lecturers, by the time these investigations are complete.

My conclusion is that right from the start, ‘above’ seems to be fuelling the conflict and taking sides. Unless this above decides to become neutral and have the wellbeing of staff, administration and most of all students, at heart, then the only hope for a quick solution will solely lie in the hands of VC, staff & the university council. I hope this Council will quickly broker a reconciliation and put bussiness back to normal at this great institution since not only the university will face the consequences but also all future companies and institutions which hope to recruit fron this gallant university. The faster the rot is unraveled, the quicker a solution will be gotten and the easier it will be for the University to re-open and operate smoothly.

@jobaze (on twitter)
jobaze@gmail.com

Anne Mugisha: A hypocrite or Patriot?

This week saw Anne Mugisha secure herself a place with the UN. The social media was full of different opinions about this incident since she was deemed to be an active member of the opposition who would always have nothing to do with the gov’t. Here is a full version of the letter she wrote to the President, H.E Museveni, seeking his endorsement for the post, as reported in www.monitor.co.ug and www.chimpreports.com.

H:E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

President of the Republic of Uganda

Entebbe, Uganda

April 30, 2012

Your Excellency,

I am writing to request your clearance for an appointment to a position with the United Nations.

I was selected through a highly competitive process for the position of Public Information officer at the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS).

Upon completion of the selection process but prior to the offer being made, some Ugandans intimated to the UNPOS Mission that while I was a highly competent professional, I was a also a public figure in Uganda’s opposition and the Uganda military in Somalia might have difficulties working with me.

The Secretary General’s Special Representative (SGSR), Ambassador Mahiga requested communication from the Uganda government that I would satisfy him that I would not have difficulties working with the military in Somalia.

The SGSR sought to avoid any conflict that may arise between his office and Ugandan troops/government as a result of my recruitment to this position.

I am therefore writing to make a personal commitment to you as Head of State and to the government of Uganda that I will carry out my role as a Ugandan patriot and as a dedicated international civil servant.

The United Nations Charter states that UN staff should adhere to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity.

The organisation’s values include loyalty, neutrality, transparency, diligence, impartiality, and other values that may be specific to the public services of individual countries. The founders believed UN staff should mirror the diverse political, ethnic, social and cultural systems of the member states and operate in anon-partisan, neutral manner.

Moreover, UN staff rely on the host government or in the case of Somalia, they rely on regional governments, particularly Uganda for protection and security.

Accordingly, I am putting an end to twelve years of opposition activism in order to concentrate on building a career with the UN and this position in UNPOS offers an invaluable entry point.

My decision to join United Nations is also motivated by personal reasons to care for an invalid child with a debilitating condition that needs constant and expensive treatment and therefore- good insurance which the UN can provide

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to pay attention to this matter, which even though not your priority means a lot to me and my family.

Signed: Anne Mugisha Bwomezi.

I find this letter very mature, coming from an opposition member to the head of state of Uganda and I totally disgarre with those who think (or believe) that it is a show of hypocrisy.

I do not want to be part of the barbaric shallow minded-ness of very many people who believe that an opposition member can’t work for UN, or any other organization in the same field! It is a very shallow argument when I see a person capitalizing on only one statement in the letter that says “I am putting an end to twelve years of opposition activism” and ignoring other statements like “…I will carry out my role as a Ugandan patriot and as a dedicated international civil servant” to say she has been a ‘snake’ in the opposition. This whole debate made me ask myself, Aren’t members of the opposition fighting for our rights? Isn’t activism there to ensure that we live a better life? If we all can answer yes to the above questions, then I see no reason why Anne Mugisha can’t work for UN! Even if she was appointed a Minister in the cabinet of Uganda, she would be in the right position to fight for our rights.

The basis of any commentary on Anne Mugisha should be based on her competence, conduct, discipline, professionalism and any other virtues expected to be upheld by her, but not her political affiliations. If she passed the interview that was set for her by the UN, what is wrong with seeking a ‘go-ahead’ from the President? Or do people want to be misled into believing that an opposition member should never ask for anything from a member of the ruling government?

One of my favorite opinions about the whole incident was “Shame on you guys who are pointing figures to Anne Mugisha. If the President was determined to tarnish her future, he would have, through the state mechanism, subjected her to a period of observation to ensure that she has relinquished her party affiliation. Am impressed and humbled with what the President has done. To Anne Mugisha, I wish you the best in your carrier”. People should stop believing in the shallow politics of ‘if we don’t belong in the same party, then we are enemies‘. To hell with that ideology which will always push our country far from development.

I want to use this forum to denounce any thoughts that Anne Mugisha has become a hypocrite by working for UN. Her new job doesn’t mean that she has become an NRM member (and even if she became one, I would assume she got to see the ‘light’). I would appreciate it if any comments about her work came based on her performance and not these shallow initial opinions I read all over the social media. We should all be in position to work where we can impact on the well-being of the citizens of Uganda, whether in opposition, gov’t, an NGO, UN, or any other relevant office, but not blackmail and lash out at those who want to use their efforts to attempt making a change on our lives.

To Anne Mugisha, I wish you luck on your new job. I hope you will always stand by your values and I am ready to judge you based on your performance at work. Do not be derailed by ‘haters’ who have no idea what impact you can create on their lives by working for them.

@jobaze

jobaze@gmail.com

Where does Uganda get the fight against graft, corruption, bribery, embezzlement of funds e.t.c by public officials wrong?

 

One of the biggest problems Uganda is facing is corruption and embezzlement of funds. Our public leaders have been cited in continuous scandals where the nation has lost big sums of money. Despite identification of the losses we have made as a country, we have failed to recover those monies and neither have the officials cited/implicated in these scandals been brought to book and justice issued. The most commonly known scandals included Temangalo, bicycle saga, national ID saga, name them. During campaigns, NRM (and all other political parties) talked of “zero tolerance to corruption” but little is being seen of their promises. The Head Of State recently asked MP’s to exonerate his ‘(former) ministers’ who he claimed had acted “in the best interests of the country” which, to me, showed a lack of will from ‘above’ to fight these terrible acts that have spread into all offices of the country.

According to www.transparency.org, corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for personal gain.

In defining corruption, there are three aspects which should be considered;

1. The citizens

2. A weak system

3. The corrupt officials

1. The citizens: Whereas some people may say that it is the poor system of governance and harsh conditions of living which make the citizens look for shortcuts in order to have their agendas pushed forward, I disagree. I personally took up a ‘pay no bribe’ policy which I consider a positive step towards improving our economy. What if all citizens did the same? If we all agreed to never pay a bribe, then how would these gov’t officials we blame receive the bribes? More so, if we used our role as voters to efficiently evict those deemed to be corrupt, how would they get access to the funds we blame them for embezzling? If we used our rights as citizens to demand accountability for the taxes we pay, and punishments to those who fail to account, wouldn’t we have contributed a lot to the safeguarding of our funds? There have been reported cases where the citizens’ cries at the injustice committed by police and that issued by the courts of law have been reversed. Invoking our natural rights is therefore within our means. The MP’s we voted into power are also there to ensure that they provide an oversight role in gov’t expenditure. They are our representatives and if we are not satisfied about their performance in executing their duties, then we should be in position to tell them when they come back to their areas. If they are ‘big-headed’, then the alternative is giving them a vote of no confidence or voting them out of power at the next election.

2. A weak system: By system, I mean the laws in place to enable public officials account for the funds they receive and failure to do so, the means through which they can be prosecuted. This includes the implementors of these laws i.e Executive, IGG, Parliament, Courts of law e.t.c. We have the laws in place to fight graft but do we have the will from the officials mandated to perform their oversight and prosecutory roles? Recently, we saw the President begging MP’s to pardon those who were implicated in a recent scandal. Does this show will from above? I agree that 100% transparency is impossible to achieve but the hidden part should be in the interests of the nation and not individual interests.

3. The corrupt officials: If we were to come up with a list showing the number of gov’t officials implicated or suspected to have been involved in scams that caused losses to the country, I guess the list would be endless. Question is; Why do those implicated in scandals still go ahead to maintain their ministerial positions? Why do they go ahead to be appointed at later dates to these big offices? When a corrupt official is appointed to a gov’t office, then that should automatically make that appointing authority corrupt too. We should keep our eyes open to what is happening all over our country. A censure and vote of no confidence is within our means. 2016 is also a year when we can express our gratitude or disappointment at the performance of these leaders.

So, how can this unpatriotic vice be terminated? The first thing we should all know is that the power lies in the votes we give during polls. My friend on twitter stated that if the votes were 90% against a candidate (whether incumbent or not), wouldn’t that be clear at the announcing of the results, or even before official results are announced by the EC? If you talk of rigging, power lies with the citizens according to the constitution! All you have to do is compile evidence (proof of your allegations in form of pictures, video footage, sound recordings, witnesses e.t.c) and head to the Courts of Law. We have had cases where Courts have overturned an election result and ordered a re-election. Whatever excuse you may give to facilitate vote rigging, I say there is always a way votes can be protected and the truth comes out.

Similarly, we need ‘above’ to be willing to fight members of executive who are involved in this horrible practice. The president should cease involving himself with any of these members till they have been cleared by the relevant authorities. That puts in place a question about how independent and honest these authorities are. Will we be sure that they are facing no intimidation & obstruction of their investigations by the senior members of the executive? This allegation has been raised on several occasions and the Court of public opinion has always made it’s own judgement when that given by the Courts of Law has seemed to be against the commonly known ‘facts’. Therefore, the trust in our judiciary system must be reinforced otherwise the misconception that it holds a fair judgement for only the rich will keep on widely being spread and believed.

Let me quote the Constitution of Uganda; In the National objectives and directive principles of state police XXVI Accountability (ii) & (iii) respectively state that “All persons placed in positions of leadership shall in their work be answerable to the people” and “All lawful measures shall be taken to expose, combat and eradicate corruption and abuse or misuse of power by those holding political and other public offices

The story of the Principal Accountant in the Prime Minister’s office is still unfolding before our very own eyes but we all know that something sinister is going on. Quoting Red Pepper “With Musana, Kazinda led the detectives down his 101-roomed house. The detectives are obviously humbled and awed by the imposing structure. Occupying only two huge rooms including a master bedroom on the first floor, Kazinda keeps most of the house’s room closed“. Read full story from this link http://redpepper.co.ug/welcome/?p=41415 about how he was arrested or view the story on NTV Uganda (You tube) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgZ733WkhZg&feature=player_embedded

The most important of all is the citizens. All citizens must be aware of performance measurement indicators to use in assessment of their leaders performance. We ensure that our neighbours, relatives, friends, village-mates and any other people are aware of the specifications to use in gauging the performance of their leaders. That way, we’ll be rest assured that all voting is done from a well-informed point of view which is not characterized by bribery or gifts to induce votes.

Like I always tell my friends, let’s all contribute to the development of our country by being helpful in any possible way as we realize that corruption is very dangerous to our economy (See http://www.unodc.org/southeasterneurope/en/Corruption.html for the UNODC South Eastern Europe on Corruption)

For God and my country

@jobaze (on twitter)

jobaze@gmail.com

 

The tale of a theft on Jinja road

Friday 13th July evening, on my way home from Uganda Management Institute (UMI) at about 6:30pm or 7:00pm in the evening, I was thugged. I would like to share my story with you. Maybe in future, someone may remember what happened to me, and prevent it from happening to him or her.

I came out of UMI in the evening after a discussion with a couple of friends and I was headed to Mukono. I stood at the taxi stage next to the entrance of UMI and waited for a taxi for about 15 minutes but none was coming. As I was about to cross the road and take a taxi to the park so that I board from there, a half full taxi came by and parked slightly after the stage, avoiding where many people were standing. Had I been security conscious, I would have recognized that as the first sign of something not right and resisted the urge to board that taxi but being in a bit of a hurry, I waved it to stop and quickly boarded it. The conductor had locked the passenger door and told me (with a lot of urgency in his voice) to sit in front. There was already a person occupying that seat, so I beckoned him to extend and I sit, which he willingly did. I then exchanged pleasantries with that guy and the driver and sat down, relieved to have gotten a taxi. There were about 6 youths, all looking to be in their mid-20’s.

As soon as we had set off, the driver asked me to help him correct the positioning of the side-mirror on my side. I leaned forward to do the needful, which he politely told me I was doing the wrong way. The other passenger in the front seat also leaned forward to help me correct the mirror, but little did I know that instead, he was helping the driver by providing a screen for him, through which I wouldn’t feel or see what that driver was doing behind my back. The driver successfully managed to pull out my wallet and one of my phones. The driver then slowed down the speed of the taxi, and pushed me out of the vehicle with the help of that other passenger in the driver’s seat and sped off. It took me only a few seconds to realize that I had been stolen but by the time I tried to trace that vehicle, I got a glimpse of it as it maneuvered into other vehicles and disappeared from my view. This took place close to the police station on Jinja Road, so the first thing my instinct told me was to report the robbery to the police (primarily because the stolen wallet had my identity card in it) which I did before calling a friend of mine (using my second phone which had survived the theft) who came to my rescue.

It is on a daily basis that I read such stories in the newspapers or on Facebook and twitter but I never realized that it can happen to me. The harsh reality hit me only when I realized my pockets were empty.
These cases of theft happen frequently but most of them don’t get reported to the police and media. The more annoying bit is that some of these theft cases are conducted by the security officers who misuse their weapons and fighting tactics to earn more money using unethical, immoral and barbaric means. See http://www.in2eastafrica.net/uganda-private-guards-lead-security-personnel-in-crime/ for more details about this.

Some thieves have even gone ahead to insert needles in their arms and when you shake their hands, they inject you with a sedative which knocks you out and they rob you clean. See http://www.weinformers.net/2012/07/05/beware-of-thieves-using-needles-to-sedate-their-victims/

In order to prevent (or even stop) them, more vigilance has to be undertaken by both the police and us. By us, I mean that had I taken safety precautions before boarding that taxi, or even gotten the whole number plate of that vehicle and given it to the police, tracking those thieves would have been much easier. If the police would apprehend some of these men on a daily basis, and give them strict punishments, the rest would be deterred from committing the same act. Ofcourse, many of these crimes occur due to high levels of unemployment and the search for more money, which doesn’t seem to appear easily. That shouldn’t justify this barbaric act though.

If we also were able to share the stories of how we have been robbed, then those who haven’t been robbed before might be able to read the signs that a theft is about to happen and probably save their property before it can be stolen.

The Central gov’t needs to have a very big input in controlling this by implementing policies that will increase our security, reduce the high levels of unemployment and probably Cost Of Living too. This high level of unemployment has caused very many people to seek alternate ways of earning money because they have to spend yet they can’t afford to buy anything. More measures should be taken by the responsible authorities to curb these tendencies. My friend, Muhame Giles, tells me how cameras planted on the streets of Rwanda have helped reduce the high crime rate there. Atleast this would make the would-be thieves afraid to be caught on video.

It will take a joint effort by us (the citizens), police, KCCA, Local Council Authorities et al to ensure we are well guarded. Let’s be careful when in the company of people we don’t know and ensure both our property and lives are safe before we make ourselves ‘feel at home’.

@jobaze (on twitter)
jobaze@gmail.com

Police: An abused institution that has kept up it’s good work

It was a few days ago when I met an accident on my way to work early morning. A police pick-up truck had collided with a tipper lorry and three police men died on spot. This happened on Entebbe road around a place we always call Kitubu. These courageous men had just saved a man from mob-justice only to meet their death a few minutes later. Many of us don’t appreciate the fact that these officers put their lives on the risk to save our very own. When a bomb is announced in any building in town, all of us will try to distance ourselves from that building as fast as possible while the officers will enter the building to try to find it and diffuse it while others will stay around the building to ensure that everyone is evacuated and is safe from the damage that the bomb may cause. Can someone be more courageous than that?
Police is a body of persons empowered by the state to enforce the law, protect property, and limit civil disorder. Their powers include the use of force though the force used should be proportional to the threat they are facing.
There have been cases where police officers on duty have made fatal mistakes that have led to the deaths of civilians but all these cases have been dealt with by the police, thanks to the Professional Standard Unit (PSU) of the police which works on strict guidelines and has tried to ensure that discipline prevails in our armed forces.
“The Uganda Police Force, according to http://www.upf.go.ug, is nationalistic, patriotic, professional, disciplined, competent and productive”. Atleast this is their target.
The traffic officers who have maintained their presence on all roads, at all times of the day and night, should also not go unmentioned. These men have worked tirelessly hard to ensure that our roads are safe from cars in dangerous mechanical condition, drunk drivers, drivers without permits e.t.c.
The Annual Crime Report of 2011 says “the fatality rate from accidents has since 2007 continued to decline, from 71% in 2007 to 46.5% in 2010, (with a slight increase in 2011)” . Bravo to these officers.
I applaud our Police for introducing and promoting community policing. Community policing is a philosophy that promotes police strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime. The participants of community policing include media, community members, NGO’s, other gov’t agencies e.t.c. Community policing helps in such a way that each member of the community participates in keeping the community safe and being more vigilant to their surroundings.

It is the work of the police to ensure law and order, that can’t be doubted at all. I always ask people to imagine a day in the city without police. By police, I mean counter terrorism, traffic, security guards, mobile patrols e.t.c. Don’t you think criminal acts like pick pocketing, disobeying traffic lights, theft in businesses, theft of cars e.t.c would take place? Would anyone expect order since there is usually disorder even in the presence of these officers? Is that what we want for our city?
Gone are the days when our police would wait for crime to take place, then they react. In this 21st century, police acts even before the crime has been committed. Intelligence information has saved us from many terror attacks though we rarely get to know since the threats are ‘neutralized’ before they actually take place. The foundation of any country (or business or institution) is security. We have a police that has been funded (though not yet satisfactorily well) and equipped with gadgets to avert any threats that may arise. We, the citizens, have failed to realize that when crime doesn’t take place, it may not necessarily mean that it wasn’t there in the first place. It could instead mean that the crime was stopped before it could take place.
Comparing the current Police force to the one’s before 1986, I think this one is doing a tremendous job in cleaning the country’s image. People have frequently abused, threatened & attacked it but the response has always been professional, a statement that can’t be said of the previous forces!
The government is now trying to modernize the armed forces by setting the minimum requirement for a cadet course as a bachelor’s degree and that for a Constable is S.6 leaver’s certificate. The excuse of the police officers are doing ‘this & that’ because they are illiterate or these guys joined the police because they had nothing to do in the villages and were fed up before joining the police will soon be phased out. I predict that the armed forces will be composed of patriotic men & women, who will join due to the love for their country and not the commonly assumed reason of desperacy!
My Science tells me that no machine ever invented is 100% efficient. What the operators do is try to minimize the inefficiencies or seek a way of changing those inefficiencies to suit the needs of the operator
A friend of mine in the Police had this to say, “The police gets better and more professional every day given the fact that it continues to take in graduates and professionals. The current IGP has set a high standard of discipline, education and proactivity than reactive, methods of policing. He has introduced community policing which continues to make the public understand and appreciate police as they also participate hence building confidence. Gone are the days when police used to be for failures as stereo typed by people. It is very hard to join without qualification and still you must pass the set standards. With Gen Kale Kayihura at the top, or anyone with the same plans for the force, Uganda police will be in its rightful position, nothing but the best”
Rather than spend every day ‘backbiting’ these courageous men, I want us all to appreciate their use, embrace their effort to keep security in our community and assist them where possible. They may have made errors sometimes but as we identify their errors, let’s use the same energy to applaud their good deeds and encourage them to improve but not criticize them always as if their intention is to cause harm. To the police officers out there, pole sana
@jobaze (on twitter)
jobaze@gmail..com

 

HOMOSEXUALITY: HOW RIGHT IS IT?

The constitution of Uganda states that ‘Every effort shall be made to integrate all the peoples of Uganda while at the same time recognising the existence of their ethnic, religious, ideological, political and cultural diversity’.

Chapter 21 (1) states that ‘All persons are equal before and under the law in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life and in every other respect and shall enjoy equal protection of the law’.

Chapter 29 (2) further states that ‘Without prejudice to clause (1) of this article, a person shall not be discriminated against on the ground of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, social or economic standing, political opinion or disability’ implying that under our constitution, the gay are part and parcel of our society and there is no reason as to why we should discriminate against them.

However, I would like to appreciate that there are two perspectives relevant in such a case; the legal perspective and the moral perspective. I have come to understand that currently, there is no clear law in Uganda that can be used in a litigation case against homosexuality specifically. So, I’ll base my argument, not on a legal perspective, but on a moral perspective. This perspective encompasses our conscience too.

Under this perspective, I will use the guidance of two books namely the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Bible. The Bible in Leviticus 18:22 says ‘’Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman. That is detestable.’’ Romans 1:27 also says ‘’in the same way, men stopped having natural sex with women and began wanting each other all the time. Men did shameful things with other men, and in their bodies they received the punishment for those wrongs’’ I don’t think this can get any clearer than that! The Bible thus pronounces itself on homosexuality! As for the Holy Qur’an, I have not been able to avail myself a copy, but my Islamic friends could help me here and shed more light about this.

If there is anyone who can quote me a bible verse where homosexuality was practiced in any Bible scene, please let me know. Or if we were to consider our core African value; Does any of our African teachings encourage homosexuality? Did our fore fathers really carry it out? Where did it originate from? Has it been imported from out? Should it really be promoted or discouraged?

While having a conversation with one of the gay activists in Uganda, I asked him how he became gay and he told me that he was born that way and realized it during his Primary School level. I don’t concur with that because I believe feelings and emotions are determined by what we believe and no one is born with a specific attitude towards anything. The attitude anyone has about anything is due to the influence of the surroundings. This may include films, friends, family norms and many more. We only may be born with specific physical attributes that we may not be able to change (though recent technology has proved this otherwise)

Personally, I disagree with David Bahati’s bill because I think it is too harsh and it spells out punishments which I think are too excessive and need some revision. For example rather than a death sentence, I would rather a rehabilitation programme be put in place (i.e if homosexuality acts are finally declared illegal)

I don’t intend to violate anyone’s human rights but I think that however much homosexuality may be legal in some countries, is it morally right?

When someone argues that we should leave what happens in people’s bedrooms to those in that bedroom, does he realize that that is impossible because it will finally be translated onto the streets and even into schools (primary, secondary and even university) where young people may be swayed by immaterial objects and recruited into this vice. If I were to ask, how many of you would accept and encourage your 15 year old child if he/she told you he/she is gay?

More to that, let’s look at the sexual perspective of this; The Bible says sex is existent for pro-creation purposes and not re-creation purposes. Feel free to enlighten me if there is any pro-creation that takes place between homosexuals. The sex between gays even goes against all natural (and biological) laws.

My personal take on homosexuality is that till it is declared illegal by means of a legislation, no one should segregate against them. However, on a moral point of view, I totally discourage this vice and would appreciate it if a rehabilitation programme would be put in place to help the people engaged in it. Killing them (or giving them a life sentence) will not help them reform but will drive the rest of them into hiding thus won’t stop the vice at all. Encouraging them to come out, giving them a welcoming atmosphere and accepting them into the society as measures are being put in place to try to revert their sexualities would be much more welcome. In the fight against STD’s, monitoring their actions would help in curbing the spread of this disease.

@jobaze (on twitter)
jobaze@gmail.com

 

 

WHY MP’s DEMAND FOR CAR GRANTS IS UNREALISTIC TO THE NEEDS OF THE COMMON MAN

So, our dear legislators are asking for money to acquire new cars for their use. This money is being termed as ‘CAR GRANTS’. I agree they do a lot of work and keep travelling upcountry to serve us and therefore they need facilitation to carry out their duties.
A grant is defined as ‘’give formally, transfer legally’’ meaning without interest
Below are the allowances they receive in Uganda Shillings:
Monthly salary 2.3 Million
Constituency allowance 3.2 Million
Subsistence allowance 4.5 Million
Mileage allowance 5.4 Million
Town run allowance 1.6 Million
Monthly gratuity 780.000
The highest paid MP earns about 21 Million and the lowest earns about 15.4 Million.
With this amount of income per month, is it possible that an MP may not be able to save some of this money over a certain amount of time depending on his/her current expenses and afford to buy a car in the long run? When campaigning, most (if not all) of them assured their constituency members how they will work hard to ensure that these people get all available services. Have the people gotten all (or even most) of these services? Can a yes answer be evident if one travels away from an urban area to a rural area?
Take note that some of these MP’s double as ministers and therefore receive allowances and salaries as ministers and then as MP’s separately. With such an amount of money being earned by someone who claims to be working for the good of the country, is this the right thing to ask for? How many MP’s do not own their personal cars? Most of them have a car for themselves, another for their wives and some of them even have a car that stays home for day-to-day activities like taking children to school and any emergencies that may arise in the absence of both parents!
The current plan by leadership in Kampala is to decongest the city. The MP’s should be the first to push this initiative forward by agreeing to own one car and even leave that car in a location outside the city and have one (or two or even three) of the buses that are being brought into the city to transport the rest of us (who may not be able to get a 103 million car grant) be set aside to collect them from these parking spots, rather than have 365 more cars headed to Parliamentary Avenue. This would really encourage the rest of the citizens to do the same.
Alternatively, couldn’t they think of asking for the 103 million shillings and pay back over time with interest thus contributing to the economy? In such a way, those who believe they may not be able to pay back this money would opt out and keep using their personal cars or even public transport to enter the city! Those who would pick the money would pay back over time, with interest, thus contributing more money to the economy through the interest accrued.
There should also be a legislation barring MP’s from being Ministers. That way, more employment opportunities would be created and the independence of the Legislature would be preserved. The enjoyment of different gov’t benefits (including cars, salaries, allowances, offices, et al) by one individual would also be avoided thus contributing to fair distribution of income among the general public.
To me, this money being asked is more of a personal investment than a public investment. It is such behavior of using tax payers’ money for personal benefits that must be condemned from our public leaders and instead encourage them to serve without any self interests. If anything, the reasons being given for the failure to increase teachers’ salaries to their request and expectation should be understood by the MP’s as having the same impact across public leaders and civil servants. Otherwise, I don’t see how the MP’s can get this car grant, drive back to their constituencies and explain to the teachers that there is no money to facilitate increase of their salaries at a much faster rate. It is these same MP’s who take ‘official’ tours to Mulago, other public health facilities and educational facilities in their areas and promise work on these lacking facilities but never get back to fulfill their offers. All they do is blame gov’t for the dilapidated structures and facilities yet it can be in their power to cause a difference of a much higher magnitude.
On a daily basis, I read newspaper advertisements of people (usually children) asking for contributions of donations to surgery of major parts of their bodies but on very few occasions have I read of these politicians contributing to these surgeries!
I find their request totally lacking in patriotism for the fights they always claim to spearhead in Parliament and I pray they realize the urgency of many more needs by other people than these multi-million personal investments!

@jobaze (on twitter)
jobaze@gmail.com

A4C, Police & the Gov’t

A4C announced it’s reloaded demonstrations and so did the well known police commander Omara make an announcement that police was also reloaded to crush these demos. As part of their mission to keep law and order, police has the role of being present to ensure security of demonstrators, participators and any other person in the vicinity of the venue of the demonstration.
Let’s face reality here; Is there anyone who would expect Col. Dr. Kiiza Besigye to walk through town without attracting a very big crowd? Peaceful walks through town will definately disrupt traffic, inconvenience non-participants and crime (like pick pocketing, hooliganism etc) will take place. So the presence of police needs to be appreciated at every public gathering.
The motive of the opposition, too, can be questioned. Calls for citizens to raid police stations or carry out Tahrir-style demos by the opposition leaders also make the gov’t ‘intimidated’ by what might happen if things go out of hand making the gov’t use every means possible to stop or reduce the occurrence of these demos.
Chapter 29 1(d) of the Constitution of the Republic Of Uganda says , ’Every person shall have the right to freedom to assemble and to demonstrate together with others peacefully and unarmed…’
Question is; How far does the police’s role in regulating these demos go? Black Mambas, Kiboko Squad and other ‘militia’ have been seen on many occasions reigning terror on unarmed civilians. The police denied having any connection with these ‘militia’ but didn’t arrest them or stop them from terrorizing the citizens in full view of the police and public.

Article 221 of the constitution states that it shall be the duty of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces and any other armed force established in Uganda, the Uganda Police Force and any other police force, the Uganda Prisons Service, all intelligence services and the National Security Council to observe and respect human rights and freedoms in the performance of their functions

The streets of Kampala and every free field like City Square have been heavily deployed for a relatively long time now to prevent any demonstrations. Whether it is an act of intimidation or prevention of a crime or even crime itself, the constitutional right of freedom of assembly seems to have been violated. The new legislations like the Public Order Management Bill also seem to ‘add salt to injury’ and further regulate (or prevent) this constitutional right.

The police have been infiltrated by army personell right from the Chief Of Police, Maj-Gen Kale Kayihura who has been seen as a military hardliner close to state house and his independence may be debatable. The President being the Chief-In-Command of the armed forces further complicates issues since the police is an armed force and the president is a political leader. What can be done to ensure the neutrality of this police?

The police (and armed forces in general) have been given so many powers and a lot of authority which needs to be reviewed and reduced. Community policing should be emphasized much more. The powers that the police currently have should be shared with the general public so that we also have a say on how we can ensure our own security

We need to condemn militaristic tendancies that are exhibited by the police during demos. The harsh reaction in form of ‘kiboko’, harsh arrests and teargas that are used on unarmed civilians don’t solve the problem that the people are trying to put forward.

An independent (and private) institution needs to come in existence to specifically analyse every police move and keep it in check. This institution can work with the Human Rights Agencies and keep the police on its toes and hold each police officer accountable for his actions.

The police officers also need to be psychologically prepared, on top of the physical training they get, for these demos. Preparation that will encourage the use of non violent means to quell a demonstration. I am always amazed at the fact every police officer I meet on the street has his/her finger placed on the trigger and waiting for ‘action’!

The opposition too should realize the ineffectiveness that the riots are starting to exhibit and seek alternate means to fight for their cause. A reknown journalist, Mr. Nicholas Sengoba, argues that the demos have caused more harm than good and the organisors (A4C) should devise other means to push forward their campaign.

The gov’t should also encourage it’s officials (Ministers, Police Chiefs, Presidential Advisors, and even the president himself) to join the social networking sites (facebook & twitter). This is because whereas many people may not get the opportunity to personally and physically meet these important people, the networking sites brigde that gap. Any query to one of them can simply be pushed forward through these sites and relevant action taken.

Finally, let us all take part in governance of our country by identifying errors and providing possible alternatives to the problems we may face. Let us interact more with our leaders and give them our honest opinions so that wherever they may be (parliament, caucass meetings or even casual chats with their fellow leaders), they may be able to discuss the general feeling being felt by the public.

The constitution lists one of the objectives of the state as being based on democratic principles which empower and encourage the active participation of all citizens at all levels in their own governance

@jobaze (on twitter)
jobaze@gmail.com

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