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The East African : Feb 14th 2015
20 The EastAfrican OPINION FEBRUARY 14-20,2015 LAST WORD None to be wo≥shipped but Modi? Indian PM insists he lacks the divine spa≥k India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi confessed that he was appalled that some of his fans had built a temple to deify him. Hundreds of his followers in the western city of Rajkot, Gujarat, donated funds for a temple that features a seated statue of Modi and is topped out with a wind gauge shaped like a lotus, the symbol of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “This is shocking and against India’s great traditions. Building such temples is not what our culture teaches us,” Modi said. But some of his fans remained adamant. “We love Modi and worship him because he is the finest leader we have ever had,” said Paresh Rawal, an edible oil trader who donated the land for the temple. Joachim Buwembo F≥om Oz with ambition: Museveni finds he has an unlikely challenge≥ U ganda’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) got itself a brand new executive committee a month back, led by a woman in her early 40s, Justine Kasule Lumumba, as secretary general. The NRM lays claim to having emancipated the women of Uganda in a number of respects, including according them automatic extra points over boys when they apply for admission to public universities and reserving a third of the seats in parliament for women district representatives. Ms Lumumba was recently quoted as having told the media about her team’s mission and it was quite interesting — it is to ensure that the NRM retains power after 2036. The NRM caucus of MPs has been meeting at the National Leadership Institute located in a place out in the bush called Kyankwanzi where last year they met and issued the interesting resolution that President Yoweri Museveni should take the party ticket to contest in next year’s general election unopposed. So it is almost a foregone conclu- sion that with NRM’s general dominance of the country, Museveni will be re-elected next February. Another little matter that keeps coming up is the age limit for presidential candidate of 75 being removed from the Constitution. A survey carried out last year showed that most Ugandans want the age limit scrapped. Museveni, 70 this year, would not qualify to stand in 2021 if the age limit were not removed. So the party parliament caucus could one of these days decide to remove the limit in order to accommodate the wishes of the people and since they have an overwhelming parliamentary majority, the amendment would pass rapidly. It is against this background that the declaration by Australia-based Ugandan cardiologist Dr Aggrey Kiyingi of his plans to return and stand against President Museveni in next February’s election needs to be understood. Because of Museveni’s entrenchment, Dr Kiyingi’s entry into the fray represents the frustration of the anti-Museveni groups. For Kiyingi would not be an easy candidate to sell. The wealthy doctor first came to public notice in 2005 when he was charged with the cold-blooded murder of his wife Robinah, who had seven AK 47 bullets pumped into her head. The gunman who pulled the trigger and was expected to be the prosecution’s key witness against the good doctor (who was charged as accused number one), was also murdered while in prison. Army Private Atwine was served a poison so sophisticated that forensic labs in Uganda failed to trace it in his body samples. The poison was only traced in a South African lab. Acquitting Kiyingi of the murder, the judge said he had doubts of his innocence but since the prosecution had failed to prove the case against the doctor beyond any reasonable doubt, he had no option but to release him. In 2000, Dr Kizza Besigye’s surprise Illustration: John Nyaga entry into the electoral race electrified the campaign but his repeated attempts have become less exciting. If the surprise candidate the opposition has been waiting for to dislodge Museveni is Dr Kiyingi, they should not expect very many women’s votes. But Jesus told you, don’t try this at home! If Jesus could walk on water, so can I. A Nigerian pastor ministering in Gabon drowned while trying to re-enact Jesus’s miracle of walking on water. Pastor Franck Kabele, 35, told his congregation that he was capable of re-enacting the very miracles of Jesus Christ. Referencing Matthew 14:22-33, Kabele said that he received a revelation that told him that with enough faith he could achieve what Jesus was able to. According to an eyewitness, Kabele took his congregation out to the beach in Gabon’s capital city of Libreville. He told them that he would cross the Kombo estuary, which is normally a 20-minute boat ride, by foot. By the second step into the water Kabele found himself completely submerged. He never resurfaced. Another one for Redtube: 356-3 defeat A Belgian rugby club that succumbed to a record defeat of 356-3 is seeking to have the result annulled because the referee arrived more than an hour late after most of its players had gone home and it fielded only 17 players against the opponent’s 22. Soignies, who play in Belgium’s top division, lost 356-3 to Brussels-based rivals Kituro. Soignies, who had beaten Kituro in the Belgian Cup a week earlier, claim they arrived at their opponents’ ground expecting to play at 3 pm but the referee did not turn up. A substitute referee was found but he arrived about an hour later, with the match itself starting at nearly 4:30 p.m. Bonus pigs don’t have wings Chinese animal rights ac- tivists criticised company bosses who gave workers the chance to win live pigs as end of year bonuses. The real-estate firm, based in the city of Changsha, set workers the challenge of carrying the live animals down a specially marked track during their Chinese New Year celebrations. If they succeeded, they then had to kiss the animal and pose for pictures. And they also got to take home the bacon. But the stunt has sparked widespread condemnation from animal rights activists. Hui Cheng, from an animal rescue centre, said: “The managers seem to have ignored the fact that most of these people live in flats, and so don’t have anywhere at all to keep a pig.” We always suspected it: Selfies can land you in jail I am a criminal and dumb! Pittsburgh police caught up with a man trying to flee assault charges because he posted a selfie on Facebook while sitting on a bus out of town. “We like it when dumb criminals assist us in our investigation,” Ambridge police chief James Mann told the Beaver County Times. The suspect, 22-year-old Donald Harrison, was charged with assaulting a woman and refusing to let her leave her apartment after an argument in January. Police couldn’t find him right away but then the selfie gave him away after the victim noticed it and alerted the authorities, enabling the police to have his image.
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