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The East African : Jul 19th 2015
20 The EastAfrican OPINION JULY 18-24,2015 LAST WORD How many child≥en would you like, o husband to be? E≥, eleventeen? 15+6=17! A bride in India Illustration: Patrick Gathara walked out of her wedding ceremony after the groom failed to solve a simple math problem. The bride in Utter Pradesh tested the groom on his maths skills by asking” How much is 15 plus six? His reply: 17. The groom’s family tried persuading the bride to return, but she refused, saying the groom had misled them about his education. “The groom’s family kept us in the dark about his poor education,” said Mohar Singh, the bride’s father. “Even a first grader can answer this.” Local police mediated between the families and both sides returned all the gifts and jewellery that had been exchanged before the wedding. Joachim Buwembo When the Pope comes visiting, I have just the place fo≥ him to stay beds as they sought independence before they owned a coin. After building their hut, they got I sticks that they fixed firmly in the ground as posts and then joined them with cross bars. Then they put grass, or in my area, dry banana leaves to make a mattress. Thus they became proud owners of a bed, which entitled them to do things that are done on a bed including sleeping, without their parents’ eye on them. Now if sudden economic activity that attracts many people erupts in your remote village today — it could be a catastrophe that brings the media people in droves or a mineral discovery that brings prospectors and those who “mine the miners” like the ones we get every other day in Uganda — you can erect a shack with such beds in it in one day and hey presto, you become a hotelier. With your smartphone, you can start marketing your “five star” hotel, posting pictures of rooms from any real hotel in Kampala. One such “hotel” was cited by angry officials of the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) recently as they finally started classifying Ugandan hotels. So now hotels in Uganda will bear stars according to international classification standards, so that visitors know what to expect in a Ugandan hotel, and equally important, how much f you are some decades old and ever lived in or visited the village in those good old days gone by, you may remember the boys’ first to pay, depending on the number of stars displayed. The hospitality industry is growing and there is no turning back. Many hotels will take a long time to get any stars at all, but at least they have been given the standards to aspire to – thanks to UTB. With the establishment of total se- curity in the country, locals are now travelling much more ternally, not only for business but also for pleasure. I was amazed to learn recently that even boda boda riders in Kampala have started forming touring clubs when they are off-duty and hiring a mini bus to them upcountry to “eat their i n - cash,” as they say. Classifying standards using stars will not take Ugandans by surprise. They have been seeing the vehicles of military officers classified by stars on the road for several years now. When a dark green Land Cruiser or Prado with one star passes you, you know that it is a brigadier. If it has two stars it is a major general; three stars indicate a lieutenant general and four stars, well, mean there is a four-star general inside. But back to the hotels and tourism. Some hotels are temporary and UTB may have to issue temporary stars in the very near future. There is this massive tourism event that takes place at the Uganda Martyrs Shrine of Namugongo near Kampala every year on June 3. What happens is that people with homes at Namugongo village — and many good ones are being built these days — have learnt to convert them into hotels every year for a couple of weeks. And they enjoy full occupancy. Well, in a few months’ time, Namugongo will gets its “one million” visitors when the Pope comes visiting to celebrate the Martyrs’ canonisation golden jubilee two and half years belatedly. Let Illustration: John Nyaga me go paint some temporary stars for sale. They will not have the UTB seal though. Not as stupid as I appear? You said it “I don’t think I am as stu- pid as I appear.” That was Ugandan Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Gen Kahinda Otafiire answering House Committee on Public Accounts for allocating legal costs to a ghost law firm. The committee was scrutinising a value-for-money audit report by the Auditor General, John Muwanga, in which he raised the red flag on the mismanagement of the pension sector. Denying that it was his signature on the payment authorisation, he said “I don’t think I am stupid as I appear. With all due respect, you’re insulting my intelligence,” Otafiire told MPs. Vote for Amama… over my dead body The same Gen Otafiire has urged the Ugandan electorate to consider voting for former prime minister Amama Mbabazi only when the 27 original NRM leaders who went to the bush have died. “You should probably consider him when we have all died,” he said during a fundraising ceremony in Rakai district. He claimed that he had worked with Mr Mbabazi and know him as dishonest. Gen Otafiire alleged that the persistent disputes, which have marred previous NRM primaries and the 2011 general election, were Mr Mbabazi’s own creation to satisfy his egocentric interests at the expense of the party. British humour bottoming out? A mayor in the UK has re- fused to apologise for joking that all women in a town he represents have fat bottoms. Francis Purdue-Horan provoked outrage with a comment he made just before a music festival in Bingham, Nottinghamshire. As he welcomed the festival’s headline band to the stage, he announced he had arranged for them to sing Fat Bottomed Girls “for all the girls of Bingham.” Purdue-Horan is the mayor for the district of Rushcliffe, which includes the market town of Bingham. Bingham resident Kelly Rayner said: “He should have thought about what he was saying. I think he has lost a lot of Bingham folks’ respect.” Can a god be held in contempt of cou≥t? Only in India… A local authority in Bhind in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has given notice to a temple’s main deity — Lord Hanuman — for encroaching on a road reserve. Pursuant to a directive of Gwalior High Court to remove the encroachment, the municipal authorities issued a notice addressing Lord Hanuman instead of the temple’s priest or the trust. The notice to Lord Hanuman reads: “You have illegally encroached the road which causes public inconvenience, leading to possibility of accident. Despite earlier directive to remove the encroachment, you have not complied. You were given the Gwalior High Court’s order. But you didn’t comply. A contempt of court case has been initiated against you.” Top municipal officials later said the notice was mistakenly issued and would be recalled.
Jul 12th 2015
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