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The East African : Dec 8th 2014
20 The EastAfrican OPINION DECEMBER 6-12,2014 LAST WORD You have tu≥ned Zanu-PF into a pa≥ty of amphibians, Com≥ade Bob In a spirited attempt to discredit Vice-president Joice Mujuru in the succession race, the octogenarian claimed his deputy consulted witch doctors in her alleged bid to eliminate him. The wonder is that his explanation on how she went about it is as if he was there. “One of the witchdoctors Joachim Buwembo The≥e is no c≥ime in Uganda except to be a c≥usading jou≥nalist hanged or stay in prison for too long, except maybe in very special circumstances that compel the system to keep you in prison. You see, bail is a constitutional right T in Uganda and while human-rights activists keep fighting the government whenever it wants to abolish automatic bail for certain categories of crime, nobody seems to oppose bail for convicted criminals. So if you don’t want to be bothered too much, you steal several billion shillings, get convicted and then apply for bail pending appeal, while the public rapidly loses interest in your case. Don’t ask me how it works, it just works. Ask the lawyers. And don’t blame to- day’s judges for the quick bail given to convicts. It has been around for about as long as Uganda has been independent. I am told it started in the early 1960s when some robbers hijacked a truck carrying the payroll to western Uganda. They pulled it off in the style of the legendary Great Train Robbery of the UK from which one Ronald Biggs escaped and became the subject of Illustration: John Nyagah he beauty of murdering a person or stealing a huge amount of public funds in Uganda is that you don’t have to be many myths. Well, one of the unlucky Ugandan robbers who was caught was convicted, sentenced and a judge decided to grant him bail. Then that little thing called precedent was established and we have never looked back. The murderers are even luckier. In the late 1990s, a wave of anti-capital punishment gripped virtually all Ugandan prisons officers. Understandably, they were aware of many prisoners who had been wrongly convicted, and that was one reason they opposed hanging to the extent that they said they would never implement a death sentence. Yes sir, they actually advised the government to outsource the killing to some private company. So there are no more hangings and capital punishment has been redefined to mean many years but not being put to death. Today, it would be very risky to hang a person since Ugandan prisons have very many innocent convicts. This is not my claim, by the way; it is the principal judge who has been saying it repeatedly, disclosing that too many people are pleading guilty when they know they are innocent, but just want to get over with the harrowingly slow justice machinery. The PJ has thus been pleading with innocent people to stop pleading guilty! But some people are not so lucky after being convicted. Staying free on bail may not always come easy; as we said, there can be special circumstances to keep you in jail. The special circumstances can include being a journalist. There was this crusading journalist Teddy Sseezi Cheeye who rose to fame for exposing grand corruption. Then his NGO failed to account for less than $100,000, and he has to serve 12 years in jail for it. In the same city, an official can confidently tell parliament that he doesn’t know how $5 million vanished from his office and he does not even get prosecuted. Unlike the journalist, such an official has not stepped on the toes of big people. said look for two tadpoles of different colours one should be named (President) Mugabe and the other should be called (Ms) Mujuru and put them in water,” he said at the party congress to elect new leadership. “That’s what happened. They were made to fight and if (President) Mugabe’s tadpole dies then she will rule. Now if mine won against yours, it seems that is what happened then,” he added. Ha! So Mugabe believes that what happened, as critics wonder he didn’t do it himself. As if the amphibian trend is not enough, Mugabe has fingered veteran freedom fighter, Emmerson Mnangagwa—known as “crocodile”—as the next vice-president. The party is surely going under water. Out-of-form Ade goes to the witchdoctor... Not to be left out, Togo- lese football star Emmanuel Adebayor claims that his mother and relatives, are using ‘juju’ to end his football career prematurely. The Tottenham Hotspurs striker has stayed away from his family including his mother and he insisted that he cut off links with his family because they are plotting evil against him. Really? Are you not losing form? His elder brother, Kola, claims that he is being misled by the Muslim spiritual men—Alfas—into thinking that he is being “bewitched” by his mother and sister. The Togolese star, popularly known as “Ade”, despite being a Christian, is said to have the tendency of consulting Muslim seers before the game to predict how he is going to perform in the field. Mthembu has been to heaven and seen God Sibusiso Mthembu, a 64- year-old man from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, says that there are 11 heavens, each of which he has visited. The first time was in 1998, and subsequent visits were made in 2004, 2006, and 2008. The self-proclaimed prophet says it all started in 1993, when a white man paid him a visit and told him he was needed in heaven. “An angel, whom I later realised was Gabriel, appeared at my house and led me by the hand to the Mandeni River where he baptised me then returned to heaven,” “I was then taken to the fifth heaven, called Crista, where I met Jesus in a city called Sharomy. There was also Silvertus-devil’s angel there,” claimed Mthembu. He claims he met God during his second journey in 2004. Mthembu has drawn a map of heaven and locals have been flocking his house to see it. . My name is not to be sha≥ed with anyone; that’s a dec≥ee North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has ordered all party organs and public security authorities to make a list of residents named Kim Jong-Un and train them to voluntarily change their names. The process involved revising names on official documents, including social security cards and school diplomas. Of- ficials were also directed to reject birth certificates for any new-borns named Kim Jong-Un. However, it runs in the dynasty: the Pyongyang regime was known to have banned citizens sharing the names of founding president Kim Il-Sung and his son, Kim Jong-Il.
Dec 1st 2014
Dec 15th 2014