For Online E-newspaper
The East African : Apr 27th 2015
20 The EastAfrican OPINION APRIL 25 - MAY 1, 2015 LAST WORD New Zealand p≥emie≥ pulls woman’s hai≥, wonde≥ what he does with sheep? A prime minister with a hair-pulling fetish? New Zealand Prime Minster John Key apologised when an Auckland waitress confessed that he had repeatedly tugged on her ponytail, a pattern of conduct she regarded as harassment. The woman said the hair- pulling started around last year’s election and continued through until last month. “At first she believed it was playful and jolly, but when it continued _ Mr Key sometimes pretended it was his wife Bronagh who did it — she became angry. She said it was humiliating but it persisted and it wasn’t until March that she got it to stop. “How humiliating would Illustration: Patrick Gathara Joachim Buwembo In the Ugandan t≥adition, should we apologise to King Goodwill? Kampala and the third abroad. First, the Kabaka of Buganda celebrated his birthday as he attained 60 years “of youth,” as his Baganda subjects adoringly put it. A marathon to raise funds for the A treatment of fistula victims attracted a sea of participants on the eve of the birthday. On the big day itself, another sea of subjects and dignitaries turned up to celebrate and catch a glimpse of the king. Ugandans are refusing to accept the whole idea. But if you asked what the Kabaka does exactly, it is both easy and difficult to answer. But we can say that what he is, is more important than what he does. He is simply the Kabaka and his subjects love him for it. It is said that three decades ago, the NRM leaders, whose armed struggle he endorsed and supported until they captured state power in 1986, were baffled when they offered him big positions and were told that the Kabaka cannot work for anybody. He is expected to be, not to do. Even when he makes a mistake, the subjects are supposed to apologise to him for it, for indeed it is their mistake for failing to advise him against it. At the birthday occasion, another be- loved Ugandan king, the youthful Oyo of Toro kingdom, made a faux pas, literally. Cameras caught him as he sat with Illustration: Joe Ngari king is a king, and in the past fortnight this point was driven home by three events happening at the same time, two in one leg crossed over the other above the knee, as he listened with apparent disinterest to the Katikkiro – prime minister – of Buganda. The Baganda were fuming at the apparent disrespect the young king showed to their Katikkiro, who is traditionally called the “king outside the palace” because he administers the kingdom on the Kabaka’s behalf. Social media was clogged with criticism of King Oyo, with the offensive sitting pos- ture being dubbed the “Oyo Challenge” — thousands posed similarly, posting the photos on social media. But the Kabaka’s court did not take offence, and continued treating Oyo like the monarch that he is. Soon after the picture was circulated, Oyo was seen enjoying a hearty tete a tete with the birthday boy, fellow king Kabaka Mutebi. The “Oyo Challenge” craze was rudely interrupted by news from South Africa that foreigners were being murdered by xenophobic gangs. Ugandans were shocked, recalling how they hosted and trained ANC battalions when the apartheid regime kicked the freedom fighters from the frontline states, accounting for Nelson Mandela’s early visit to Uganda when he was released from prison. The murderous xenophobia had been whipped up by another king. Because a king is a king, a position he attains not because of personal merit but through birth, he commands a loyalty that is difficult to comprehend. He is capable of turn- ing good, law-abiding citizens into manic killers, by just saying so. It was a rude reminder about the power of a king, which can be abused. Suddenly, King Oyo’s sitting pose diminished into significance. He can sit as he wishes. If we don’t like the way he sat, it is our duty to apologise to him for that! He is a king! it be to have to stand before the prime minister, his wife and security personnel and a handful of customers and say John, Mr Prime Minister, Sir, could you please stop tugging on my hair, I don’t like it, please stop, please?” I, Robo, will personally prepare your meal Would you eat a meal pre- pared by a robot? The prototype of a “Robochef” for an all-action kitchen has been revealed in Germany. The high-tech cook can chop ingredients, mix food in a pan and do the washing up afterwards. It has been designed by a London-based company and shown off at a technology fair for new gadgets. The Robochef learns how to perform kitchen duties by capturing the movements of a human in the action of preparing a meal. These movements are then turned into commands that drive an intelligent pair of robot hands. But the product is still two years away from being available in shops. Woman in coma gives birth A Tennessee woman awoke from a four-month-long coma that doctors had feared would be permanent and learned that she had given birth to a baby boy. Sharista Giles, 20, was pregnant when she was involved in a car crash. She suffered head trauma in the car crash, which occurred when a friend dozed off behind the wheel, slamming into a concrete barrier. Doctors told her family she had only a 10 per cent chance of coming out of the coma, it said. In late January, she gave birth to a baby boy whom the family calls Baby L. Recently, Sharista opened her eyes for the first time since the accident, acknowledged her father, and saw a photo of her son. Man murders computer, computer reboots “Man kills his computer.” Police in Colorado have cited a 37-year-old man for carrying his computer into an alley then shooting it eight times with a handgun after what authorities said had been a long battle with the uncooperative machine. Lucas Hinch was cited for discharging a firearm within city limits after officers responded to a “shots fired” call. Hinch told officers he had not realised he was breaking the law. A judge will decide what penalty the citation carries, but definitely not a “murder charge” Violation of the non-human ≥ights of chimps challenged An animal-rights group has been granted a court hearing in which it will argue that two chimpanzees who live at a New York university cannot be held captive because they are autonomous, intelligent creatures. In the first case of its kind in the world, the Nonhuman Rights Project claims that because chimpanzees are autonomous, intelligent creatures, their captivity amounts to unlawful imprisonment under the law. They want the pair of chimps, who are used in re- search on physical movement at the university, to be sent to a sanctuary in Florida. Judge Barbara Jaffe issued a writ of habeas corpus, requiring the State University of New York to defend its right in court to keep the primates. Under the law, such orders can be granted only to “legal persons,” so Jaffe would need to find that chimpanzees have at least some limited rights traditionally reserved for humans.
Apr 19th 2015
May 3rd 2015