For more information visit: Weaverbird Art Uganda
This is the team Uganda sent to Cana Zone 3 & 4 Swimming Championships in Maputo.
We haven’t had this much diversity on a national sports team since the early 1960s. There’s something oddly intriguing about it …
It takes a crisis to bring Ushahidi to Kampala, but that’s okay.
Report, in real time, any outbreaks of violence in your part of the country at Uganda Witness.
Also, keep blogging, Facebooking, tweeting #Kampala and anything else. Let’s battle through these issues and restore sanity to this country … if we can.
Self Promotion Alert: Before you navigate away from this page, please read the post “Ebola and CHOGM: Exaggeration, Cover Up or Lies” that follows below. Thank you!
The Press Gaggle. There’s a reason why they are called that. And I don’t think it is a vote of confidence in their ability to do a professional job.
Today the Minister of Disease, Stephen Malinga, visited Bundibugyo with a group of the Usual Suspects – New Vision, Daily Monitor, WBS, NTV, NBS and UBC. He and the journalists, together with some senior officials in his Ministry, flew into Bundibugyo aboard a UPDF helicopter.
While the government team appears to have been properly briefed on the situation on the ground, the journalists clearly believed their own lies about the magnitude – or lack thereof – of the Ebola situation. They were afraid to approach the local population for fear of … I don’t know what … breathing in the virus maybe? And they shared with each other their worst fears of contracting the virus, dying on the job and leaving their families in the poor house. Stuffed in their pockets and camera bags were ugly white surgical gloves, which they didn’t hesitate to pull out until a group of children started shouting Muhyembe! Muhyembe! (Ghost! Ghost!)
Malinga played his part for the cameras. It’s his job. He’s a politician and has learned how to act like one. For all intents and purposes, he didn’t say anything new. He didn’t even pay tribute to the 5 medical workers who have died of Ebola by mentioning them by name. But he knew what he had come for and on when the protective gear, the mandatory handshake with an Ebola victim and the required look of pain (or whatever that look was).
I asked a couple of journalists whether they would like to spend the night in Bundibugyo with me to study the situation more subce I’m traveling towards the Democratic Republic of Congo early tomorrow where one Ugandan was beaten as he tried to cross the border on account of bringing with him death and disease. Plus a couple of cuties I met from the medical sector are cooking a meal tonight to say goodbye to their staff who have been in the district for several weeks and I thought it would a really good opportunity to chat with people with an insight into the epidemic. I even offered to buy lunch. But no one was willing to stay.
“Me to stay in Bundibugyo? Shiya! I am not suicidal.”
“As far as I can see, the story here is done. We know the figures and we have a few facts. There is nothing more that the Media Center can’t tell us.”
“Gwe are there even hotels in this place?”
And off they went on the coattails of Malinga and back to Kampala. Nothing new was learned. Nothing important was gained. Expect the reports to be much the same. Shallow and empty. Just like the journalists who write them.
Section 114 of the Penal Code Act of Uganda:
Every person who … commits any trespass in any place set apart for the performance of funeral rites or as a depository for the remains of the dead, or offers any indignity to any human corpse or causes disturbance to any persons assembled for the purpose of funeral ceremonies is guilty of a misdemeanor.
In April this year, The Daily Monitor reported that Lugogo Bypass Cemetery was sold to Ham-Kag Limited, a Ugandan company owned by businessman Humphrey Nsereko. According to the Kampala Town Clerk James Sseggane (who has since been sacked for fraud) Ham-Kag offered 100 acres of land at Maya on the Kampala-Masaka Road where the bodies will be relocated. Ham-Kag intended to replace the cemetery with residential apartments.
The article in The Daily Monitor caused such an uproar that the Mayor of Kampala, Nasser Ntege Ssebagala (a convicted felon who served 15 months in U.S. prison for bank fraud) reversed the decision, announcing instead that the City Council would beautify the cemeteries and maintain them as tourist attractions.
Now barely a year later, several media houses are reporting again that the exhumation of human remains is being conducted quietly at the Lugogo By-pass cemetery.
I visited the cemetery this morning and found this claim to be true. A huge wall, about two meters high, was constructed around the cemetery, which is located opposite City High School. Access to the cemetery is blocked throughout the day, which a big black gate chained and padlocked, preventing the inquisitive from asking questions. The only way I could see what was inside the wall was by parking right next to the wall and standing on the bonnet of my van. Since I am height challenged these are the best pictures I could get.
According to the Kampala City Council spokesperson, Simon Muhumuza, the Asian Zoroastian community, which allegedly owns the cemetery, agreed to move the bodies to Kitigoma in Mukono district to allow the development of the plot. He said, “I think they want to change use of the plot, when they come to us with all the relevant documents we shall consider their proposal.”
UNO PROBLEMO – The story has changed too many times for it to be believable. Who owns the cemetery? To whom is it being sold? Where exactly are the bodies being taken? Why is the exhumation done only under the cover of darkness?
PROBLEM DEUX – All manner of people, not only members of the Zoroastian community, are buried in Lugogo.
See that large tree in the back? That’s where my Aunt Enid is buried in 1997. Her sister, Aunt Patience (beloved Aunty Ssenga) visits the cemetery every year to take flowers to the grave. You cannot imagine how incensed Aunt Patience was when I showed her the pictures today. She was never contacted about the exhumation and the desecration of the grave has brought back all the grief surrounding her sister’s death.
SHIDA TATU – The rules of universal human decency dictate that death is sacred. It is a taboo, and not only for the old or superstitious, for graves to be desecrated and the dead to be disturbed. Who and what gave the Kampala City Council the right to mess with my ancestors?
KCC is known as a den of thieves. It is the place to which the corrupt are elected to get first-hand lessons on how to become even more corrupt. I have had enough of this amorphous, rotten, useless institution and I am taking it to court.
Granted that the Red Pepper has never been a reliable source of news, E-to-the-E-to-the-E to the W W W!
“This is why we pay ‘em the big bucks.”
It’s a shame Uganda doesn’t yet have an Equality Commission because I really want to sue someone for age discrimination.
This is why it is true that you don’t need to know English to be a highly successful professional in Uganda.
A new council-NGO-money-making thingy in Uganda? Yay perhaps, but what the *&^*?!
Where is that dastardly communist when you really need him?
A recent post about a near-imbecile editor is going to get me beaten up or at worst rejected by Iwaya, my most recent web crush. My conscience hates me. Didn’t I tell you that? Why didn’t she warn me to separate my feelings about a good man man from his lousy op/ed? Why is she now forcing my big smelly foot into my mouth? Mmmmph! Gasp, gasp, unsuccessful …
After several weeks of ridicule, the media committee of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is taking down its ridiculous billboards … and replacing them with even more preposterous ones. Here’s a sneak peak of one that’s been running as an advert in The New Vision.
The CHOGM media committee apparently doesn’t read the newspapers otherwise it wouldn’t boast that “Uganda has been ready for centuries.”
I thought advertisers were not supposed to willfully tell lies about a product. Maybe the guys at QC Saatchi and Saatchi missed that course.
No I don’t have any proof that the statistics presented in Saturday Vision and Sunday Vision this weekend were doctored, but something is just not right.
I want to believe what I am reading in the Vision, but it is really, really hard. On Saturday I was told that one in six Ugandans has attempted suicide and that the suicide rates in Kampala have doubled in the past 25 years. Hours later, I read that 59 percent of Kampala residents are happy. Huh?
Granted that the articles were based on two separate surveys conducted two years apart, something is not quite right. Am I being lied to or is this an ‘innocent manipulation’ of statistics?
Learned me a few things this week –
The media center of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is expected to host about 100 journalists from all over the world. It is intended to be a modern, multi-media facility located in the heart of Kampala in close proximity with all the Presidents and the important meeting sites.
Two months from CHOGM, this is the venue for the media center.
Three cheers for the Imperial-Royal-Disaster-Waiting-to-Happen Hotel.
The new U.S. Embassy in Iraq is the largest foreign mission headquarters in the world. It is the size of Vatican City, fully equipped with six apartment blocks, spacious residences for the Ambassador and his deputy, a school, shopping center and a food court. Also has a cinema, a shopping center and a social club.
So much for troop withdrawal. Those guys are planning a whole other country inside Iraq. More at The Times.
Her name is Anna Nalick. I am in love with her. Her music, that is … before I have gay-bashers burn down my house. She is brilliant. I have no idea why I had never heard of her before.
Breathe (in part)
… 2 a.m. and I’m still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to
But you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.
And breathe, just breathe …
FALLING IN LOVE WITH OLDER MEN
Is really very easy. Especially if is a Hollywood character who I will never meet.
You know it is a good show if David Morse is in it. His performance in House M.D., season three, is out of this world.
Uganda’s largest private television station, WBS TV, has a near-imbecile for an editor. I understand freedom of speech and so on, but what I don’t understand is how the editor of such an important station cannot write coherently, cannot sustain an argument and is published nationally.
“There is no clear-cut evidence that cross-generational sex results in HIV/AIDS infections. There may be some statistics to back the activists, but I contend that these are inconclusive, since infection can occur ‘within generations’ as well as across.”
“What about the growing number of young women who now find themselves single in their mid-30s to early 40s simply because they chose to delay marriage to find some economic stability in their lives? Many are stuck between dating work colleagues, who may be at least 10 years younger, or what I call reconditioned bachelors, the newly single, who may also be 15-25 years older. Which is worse?”
GOODBYE SADE, HELLO NAYO
Sure Sade has a voice that reminds you of the comfort of your mother’s womb, but she’s old news now.
Say hello to Nayo. Another Nigerian chick and she rocks!
Check out her African Girl track here.