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The East African : December 23rd 2013
22 The EastAfrican OPINION DECEMBER 21-27,2013 LAST WORD Ba≥ney, the puppy with wei≥d tastes: He can’t stop eating women’s ‘clothes’ A STRAY puppy has flabbergasted veterinarians in the UK because he can’t stop eating women’s knickers. Barney, a nine-month-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier had eaten and digested three entire sets of pants. Investigations reveal that a pair of knickers had been swallowed whole and passed through Barney’s system completely intact. Barney doesn’t seem to have suffered any ill effects, despite his unusual ‘all cotton’ diet, which is quite contrary to known carnivore diet. It’s not the first unusual case where Battersea dogs have swallowed something unusual. In the past, vets have had to remove a toy bus, a corn on the cob, a squeaky toy, and even a kebab skewer from dogs’ stomachs. Joachim Buwembo A thief fo≥ a son-in-law, any day; he will exploit available oppo≥tunities F or a while, it looked like Uganda was losing the battle of sanitation. Stories from all over the place indicated that we had decided to give up on leading a decent, clean life. What with people being killed by jiggers fifty years after independence! Jiggers thrive in a dirty environment and invade people who do not bathe regularly. However, from a recent meeting in Jinja, the country’s second largest town, it looks like all this is set to change. It was at a huge public rally, where the master of ceremonies decided to ask the people about their living conditions. So he put the question: All those whose homes are infested with bedbugs put up your hands! The instruction was given in the lo- cal language, so there was n of being misunderstood. raised their hand. That is a very big step, fo to solve any problem, you must first acknowledge its ence. The next step is to u stand its nature, that is, its c then devise ways of tackling Before admitting that a pro lem exists, it is not possible to start solving it. That is how lifestyle diseases grow t dangerous stages because th ferers do not want to accept they have a problem, for exa ple alcoholism and obesit Similarly, issues arising out poor sanitation cannot be t led until the communities accept that they are living in filthy conditions and they need to clean up. The Jinja rally could therefore be the small step at the beginning of the long journey to finally clean up Uganda in different aspects of life. If residents of a big town can all admit that their houses are ridden with bedbugs, then a campaign to fumigate and clean up thereafter is likely to get everybody’s cooperation. This is because the entire community has admitted that it is a problem. After the Jinja experience of dealing with laxity over sanitation, it could be possible for the rest of the country, especially the public sector to admit that stealing public funds is a problem. This may sound obvious but unfortunately it is not. Very few Ugandans are aware Illustration: John Nyagah that stealing public finds is bad. We have been conditioned to believe that stealing public funds is just about exploiting an opportunity. As such, thieves are even respected instead of being shunned. Someone from another culture may find it difficult to understand but in Uganda, people will strive to associate with a thief and avoid an honest person. Most parents, given a choice between an honest young man and a thief to marry their daughter, would readily give her hand to the thief who regularly dips his finger in the public till. No wonder, all highly promoted social development programmes like universal primary and secondary education have suffered massive failure rates. From recent surveys, most children who attend priy school these days are not much er off than those not attending. Yet ation takes the biggest portion of national budget! is just possible, therefore, that the ion lies in appealing to the people, hey pay the taxes that get stolen. If realise that it is their money that ing stolen, they can put a stop to because Article One of our Constiution says that power belongs to he people. Joachim Buwembo is a Knight Inte≥national Fellow fo≥ development jou≥nalism. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Will the real Santa please step forward? BRITAIN’S IDEAL Father Christmas eats mince pies, drinks sherry, drives a sleigh bicycles, and is happily married to Mrs Claus, a survey has revealed. But “real-life” Santas, who take on the role in department stores and shops across the country eat roast beef, drink bitter, drive a Toyota and are likely to be divorced. A survey of 50 “real-life” Santas, who are donning suits and hats to become Father Christmas at department stores and agencies across the UK this year, revealed many don’t fit the traditional image of St Nick many children hold dear. About 55 per cent are divorced and most say their ideal woman isn’t exactly Mrs Claus. The survey, by men’s clothing chain High and Mighty, found that while Santas don’t meet the tradi- tional “fat and jolly” image, they are nothing like the skinny Father Christmas a home for the necklace A FLORIDA man charged with burglary was found to have swallowed two necklaces. The X-ray machine revealed a dark mass near the stomach of 21-year-old Joseph Ramos while he was being booked into jail. Pinellas County Sheriff’s officials say the mass turned out to be two necklaces stolen during a December 10 burglary in Safety Harbour. When he was stopped for driving a vehicle that was stolen during the burglary, various items from the home were inside the vehicle - just like the necklaces in his stomach. A foetus as old as a middle-aged person AN 82-year-old woman in Colombia, who went to hospital complaining of stomach pains, has been found to have a 42-year-old foetus in her abdomen. All along, the Bogota woman thought she was suffering from a gastro bug. Although the condition sounds implausible, and more than a little shocking, there have been almost 300 recorded cases in medical literature stretching back to 1582, when a French woman was found to have been carrying her stone baby, or foetal rock, for 28 years. A 92-year-old Chinese woman discovered to have a 65-yearold foetus inside her in 2009 — she had been informed she has lost the foetus in 1948 but didn’t have it removed because of lack of money. The stomach is as good P≥ime Ministe≥ Came≥on and Cathe≥ine the G≥eat... BRITISH PRIME Minister David Cameron has been discovered to have an uncanny resemblance to the former Empress of Russia Catherine the Great. An 18th Century painting of Catherine the Great went viral after Sophie Gadd, a student at York University, noticed the likeness to Cameron and tweeted a picture. Thousands of people agreed. Ms Gadd, a student at York University, viewed the painting at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin. It has been re-tweeted more than 2,500 times since then — which left her somewhat shocked. The oil on canvas was completed in 1794 by Johann Baptist Lampi. Catherine the Great ruled Russia for 30 years and was known for giving more power to the rich during her reign.
December 16th 2013
December 30th 2013