Stories from Quick Reads and Uganda
Guinean born and Italian citizen Abdoulaye Bah asks Ugandan blogger Prudence Nyamishana if Uganda can give Guinea their president, Yoweri Museveni, for only 10 years:
“You can have him for as long as you want.” I replied.
This was a conversation I had with Abdoulaye Bah my 72-year-old friend from Guinea during his visit to Uganda.
He was dead serious when he requested for President Museveni of Uganda for only 10 years. He is convinced that if Museveni became president of Guinea for 10 years, he would create a fundamental change. Who am I to argue against Adbdoulaye’s case?
This Guinean born and Italian citizen, former UN staff, retired journalist and current Global Voices contributor, first visited Uganda in 1975 and he says that a lot has changed. When he came with his wife, they stayed at the Sheraton hotel a place that was then reserved for only civil servants. Load shedding in the city was the order of the day.
Talented Ugandan writers take to the Internet to tell positive stories about the country:
We will be honest with you. Stories about poverty porn, hunger, Ebola, tribalism and all negative stories about Uganda, you will never find them here. This is a site to celebrate the positive stories about The Pearl of Africa through poetry, stories, profiles, opinions, music, dance and drama.
This is Uganda (ThisIs256), is a platform of talented writers from Uganda who are determined to tell stories about Uganda and for Ugandans aimed at demystifying stereotypes from people who do not know the real story of Uganda all over the world. The platform is loosely composed of diverse array of Ugandan writers who desire and seek to represent and reclaim an authentic, reflective, honest, and objectively balanced study about Uganda you will never find anywhere else in the mainstream western media.
Rough Studios, a small Swedish production company, has released the first episode of a documentary series about being transgender in Uganda:
We enter the life of Cleopatra Kambugu, a Ugandan transgender girl who was forced to flee to Kenya after being “outed” as homosexual in one of Uganda's major tabloids. It is a story about love, hate and being transgender, in one of the worlds most homophobic places.
Our goal with this film has always been to make a difference. Whether it is to change peoples hearts, their perception of a transgender person or the prejudice people have towards the LGBT community.
Uganda is a country which for long have been criticized for the discriminations against the LGBTI community.
Ugandan bloggers Prudence Nyamishana, Javie Ssozi, Florence Naluyimba, Muwonge David and Chris Igune delivered a letter to the Ethiopian ambassador in Uganda demanding the release the jailed Ethiopian bloggers and journalists:
— Florence Naluyimba (@Floramujaasi) May 9, 2014
“Is Crimea referendum a good model for Africa?” asks Richard Dowden:
Africa’s arbitrary borders, mostly drawn by people who had never set foot in the continent, have always been an obvious target for renegotiation. But Africa’s first rulers, who foresaw chaos and disintegration if the nation states were reconfigured, ruled it out. “Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each State” was one of the founding principles of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the forerunner of the African Union. Despite all the wars, internal and external, this principle has been pretty much adhered to by both presidents and people.
Loyalty to an African state is not always related to the ability of that state to make the lives of its people better. Patriotism, an emotional thing, does not take these benefits into account, even in countries where the majority of citizens are marginalised or oppressed by the government. Even in the catastrophic recent meltdown of South Sudan after just two years of independence, no one is advocating return to rule from Khartoum. In the dying days of Mobutu’s Zaire (now the DRC) I was astonished to find that people felt it to be a great country. I asked why Katanga, the rich south east province, didn’t secede – as it had in 1960. My suggestion was greeted with shocked surprise.
MozFestEA will take place from July 17th – 19th 2015, at Victoria University, Kampala, Uganda under the theme,“Building solutions for Africa's challenges, together on the web”:
MozFest East Africa is an annual event that brings together educators, innovators, learners and makers from East Africa and beyond to share experiences and build the web together laying a foundation for growth of the internet and information technology in Africa.
The event is exponentially spreading across Africa to help address the technological challenges faced in the African continent through meaningful collaborations.
It is a very lucrative business to be a legislator in Uganda as Prudence explains:
Friends, being a Member of Parliament in Uganda is good business.
All you need to do is buy your way into the August House with a few sachets of salt, pieces of soap, some sugar and pledges to your local church. Make sure that you have your academic papers right because when your opponent discovers that your qualifications are found wanting, this is one reason you will be kicked out.
In this job, you will be paid huge amounts of money every month regardless of whether you attend sessions or your are in your farm tending to your cattle, you will travel abroad with fine Per Diem, you can keep quiet in parliamentary sessions , play solitaire on your iPad or take a good afternoon nap – relax no one will hold you accountable.
Félix Moronta Barrios is a Venezuelan biologist who spreads scientific culture among Spanih speaking community. He recently explained the researches and biotechnologic findongs about transgenic bananas in Uganda and the United States.
The banane cultivated in Uganda has no A vitamin. That's why its modification is necessary. Moronta Barrios warns the skeptical:
Antes de que piensen cosas como “natural es mejor”, “otra vez los científicos jugando a ser dios”, “lo modificado genéticamente es malo malísimo”, etc, etc, etc. sepan que la transgénesis también ocurre naturalmente, como expliqué aquí. Que el plátano, banana o cambur que consumimos hoy en día es un invento humano, tal como explica Ciencia de Sofá en “El oscuro pasado de los plátanos“. Y para que no termine ahí la sorpresa, les cuento que es un alimento radiactivo por su alto contenido en potasio; tanto, que camiones cargados de plátanos hacen saltar las alarmas en algunas aduanas. Incluso hay una unidad de medida al respecto, la dosis equivalente a un plátano.
Before you think of things such as “natural is best”, “again scientists playing God”, “genetically modified is not good”, etc, you better know that transgenesis goes on naturally, as explained here. The bananas we eat are human creation, as stated by Ciencia de Sofá on “The dark past of bananas“. And for more surprises, let me tell you this is a radiactive fruit, due to its high content of potasium. So much that banana trucks start the alarms in some customs control. There even is a measuring unit about that, the dose equivalent to a banana.
As Rwanda pays tribute to the victims of the genocide 20 years after the tragedy, President Kagame states again that France must “face up to the difficult truth” of its role in the 1994 genocide [fr]. As a result of this statement, France has pulled out of the commemorative events and former Foreign Affairs Minister of France demands that president Hollande defends the Honor of France and its army. Rémi Noyon at French site Rue 89 lists the reasons why Rwanda accuses again France of aiding the genocide [fr] :
1) La France va « de facto » prendre le commandement de l’armée rwandaise face au rebelles du Front patriotique rwandais (FPR).
2) La France craint alors que l’offensive tutsi ne soit télécommandée via l’Ouganda par les Anglo-saxons, et ne vise à enfoncer un coin dans l’influence de la France sur la région
3) La France ne semble pas s’intéresser outre mesure aux négociations de paix.
4) Les soldats n’embarquent pas le personnel tutsi présent à l’ambassade de France (sauf une personne). Ils seront tous massacrés.
5) Quant à l’opération Turquoise, elle continue à diviser : elle a certainement permis de sauver des vies tutsi, mais l’armée est accusée d’être restée passive – et donc complice – face aux atrocités.
1) France commanded some branches of the Rwandan army against the rebels of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).
2) France feared that the Tutsi offensive was remotely piloted via Uganda by anglophone countries and was intended to drive a wedge into the influence of France in the region.
3) France did not seem overly interested in peace negotiations before the conflict.
4) The soldiers did not evacuate any of the Tutsi staff present at the Embassy of France (except for one person). They ended all being killed.
5) As for Operation Turquoise, it continues to divide: it certainly saved Tutsi lives, but the army is accused of having remained passive – and therefore was accomplice – to the atrocities.
Kristoff Titeca looks beyond a single explanation on Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill:
A crucial point is that President Museveni has never been an outspoken supporter of the bill, instead being rather dubious about it: he was fully aware of the disastrous international consequences. In his first public reaction after the introduction of the bill, he argued how it did “not represent the party of government position” and how “Uganda cannot risk its foreign policy by allowing the Bill to pass in its current form”. In the following years, the bill was weakened and consistently shelved, (in 2009, 2011 and 2013), until it reappeared on 20th December 2013, when it was passed by parliament.
After its passing, Museveni continued to pursue an ambiguous position: he claimed how the bill was passed without his consultation, and in a rushed manner, by a small number of MPs led by speaker Kadaga. This had then forced him to look further into the matter. In his interviews and statements, Museveni has consistently focused on two issues: On the recruitment of homosexuals (and related with this, the ‘recruited’, those who become homosexuals for ‘mercenary reasons’), and secondly, ‘exhibitionism’ of homosexual behavior. In doing so, he left a loophole, being that there was a possibility that certain people were ‘born homosexual (…) rare deviations in nature from the normal’. In doing so, he could both satisfy the domestic constituency – he was criticizing homosexuals – but also the international constituency, by leaving this loophole open. For example, even after announcing that he was going to sign the bill, in a response to Obama’s criticism, Museveni argued how he encouraged the US government to provide evidence that some people are born homosexual, which would then allow him to review the legislation.