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The East African : Aug 22nd 2015
18 The EastAfrican OPINION AUGUST 22-28,2015 LAST WORD Se≥etse Khama ma≥≥ied a white woman and Af≥icans we≥e unhappy? Ask Mugabe Outgoing SADC chairman Robert Mugabe was in the mood to give historical family lessons to his successor, Ian Khama of Botswana. “I was glad that your father saw our Independence,” The octogenarian told Khama how he agreed to invite his father, Seretse Khama to Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) despite the fact that his people together with those of South Africa were angry when he married a white woman. “They all said he was a bad example to the rest of Africa. A bad example just to marry a white woman!” said Mugabe. He continued; “He was Illustration: Patrick Gathara Joachim Buwembo C≥eative manage≥s do magic with numbe≥s, they just don’t build ≥oads the mind. Over the past eight years, roads have been allocated the largest share of the national budget. And, sure enough, the recently instituted judicial commission of inquiry into the Uganda National Roads Authority’s affairs has in barely a month provided a huge cache of examples of creative financial management by UNR For exam U who start years ago rifice and people — you under istrator do manager of pur had to be thereby on the sal the procu partment. brought board som very crea tive cont r a c t o r s indeed. There w this cons who pro services t and was s never rent ganda’s public managers have over the years developed a culture of creativity that basically boggles operated from his briefcase as he valued land worth hundreds of billions of shillings where a road was going to pass, for compensating claimants. He further saved time by not dealing with physical claimants and instead created most claimants on his laptop and collected their payments on their behalf, thus saving them transport costs. That was on the Kaiso-Tonya road intended to open up the oil fields of western Uganda. As UNRA staff acquired valuation disof inaling press ucted city port. eated land. y plot title cates bilpaid ation. thus its other ernn t a r t - s, in case egis- regtitles plots when one plot can do for all the 15 titles needed to process 15 payments? As they were processing payments for the Entebbe expressway, they devised ways of spreading equity and creating more landowners, in the interest of social justice presumably. So some public lands, particularly in protected wetlands and forest reserves, were issued with titles in real people’s names, thereby creating a few new landlords who were paid billions in compensation. UNRA staff also showed creativity in preventing overuse of weighbridge equipment. All over the country, they let three-quarters or so of overloaded trucks bypass the weighbridges, thereby increasing their lifespan by not overworking them. On the Kawempe-Kafu road that con- nects the capital to northern Uganda, the creative staff hired a ghost supervising company that earned several million dollars without wasting anybody’s time on the ground. Work that was supposed to last 18 months thus took 120 months. If they had brought in a physical company, it would probably have taken 240 months as they would have kept on distracting the road builders. It takes unassuming heroes to make such phenomenal organisations actually work. In UNRA, these were the midlevel managers who kept avoiding promotion, which would have taken them away from working in the sun and disrupted their creativity. trained and prepared to take over the royal chieftainship, but like a young man, when he fell in love, the sin he committed was that it was a white woman.” ... But God is happy with Bob; ask Grace On to Grace Mugabe, who believes that God wants her 91-year-old husband to stay on as president because the Heavenly Father is not impressed by his would-be successors. Speaking at a function in Matabeleland, the first lady asked the crowd to think about why her husband continued to be strong despite his age. “Just ask yourself why God continues giving a 91-year-old strength to lead the country. Where have you ever seen a 91year-old who can stand for two hours?” she said. She announced that Mugabe plans to contest in 2018 at 94 and warned his opponents “play safe,” and not forget the fate that befell his former vice president Joice Mujuru. Humans think he will fall in four months But former finance min- ister in the government of national unity, Tendai Biti, wasn’t having any of that. He predicted that the Mugabe regime will fall by 2016, insisting it was near impossible for the veteran leader to manage the current economic turmoil beyond the next four months. “When you have this vul- ture scenario married to the fudging scenario where you move from month to month, you don’t know how wages have been paid, you don’t know why we still have electricity, then you have got a problem. It will lead to one thing, the implosion,” said Biti, the Movement for Democratic Change renewal team leader. Seattle police witness an authentic miracle Seattle police patrolman Anthony Reynolds pulled over a car he saw speeding through red lights at about 3.45 pm local time. As the officer approached the car, the father-to-be jumped out of the driver’s side and shouted that his wife was in labour, and pleaded with the officer to let him keep going to a hospital. The officer thought the lady was safer in an ambulance and called for medics, but it was too late. “The couple’s baby was determined to beat medics to the scene,” a police spokesperson said, adding that the officers witnessed the “miracle of childbirth.” He’s got something up his sleeve: A thi≥d ea≥ A performance artist and professor in Perth, Australia, always has something up his sleeve: An ear. For the past nine years, the artist known only as Stelarc has been growing a third ear on his left arm, all in the name of art. The extra ear was made from a scaffold of biocompatible material commonly used in plastic surgery. “As a performance artist, I am interest in post-hu- man and what it means is that human will no longer be determined merely by your biological structure but perhaps also determined largely by all of the technology that’s plugged or inserted into you,” Stelarc said. The 45year-old first thought about getting an extra ear in 1996. However, he couldn’t find any surgeons willing to hear him out until 2006.
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