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The East African : December 30th 2013
20 The EastAfrican OPINION DECEMBER 28, 2013 - JANUARY 3, 2014 LAST WORD Man bites police dog, gets a≥≥ested (now that’s news, says my edito≥) If you bite a police dog, then you have bitten an officer. A warrant has been issued for a man in Utah, USA, who had earlier been charged with biting a police dog. Erasmo Guadalupe Garcia-Serna was arrested after police found him causing a disturbance at a Costco car park in Utah. A naked Garcia-Serna was spotted trying to tear the hoses off the petrol pumps; when the police released the dog Lobo on him, the dog bit him on the chest, whereupon the 27-year-old retaliated by gnawing on the dog’s neck and clawing at its face. The officer was unable to stop Garcia-Serna from attacking the dog and had to taser him three times to subdue him. Garcia-Serna was charged with injuring a police service animal, lewdness, interfering with an arresting officer and disorderly conduct. Joachim Buwembo Idi Amin is the new cool, all we need now is an Anti-Slippe≥ Act C hristmas is a time of family reunion, forgiveness and starting afresh. It is therefore fitting that during this festive season, our parliament in Uganda has decided to reconcile with some of the tough policies of our departed leader, Field Marshall Idi Amin Dada, which for many years were castigated as draconian. So for our Christmas present, the MPs gave us back Amin’s dress code, and outlawed the miniskirt as he had done by decree 40 years ago. So as soon as the president appends his signature, it will be criminal for a female person to wear anything that does not cover her knees. Long live Idi Amin Dada. Why many of Idi Amin’s edicts fell by the way side is because he did not have a properly constituted parliament to put them in nice legal language and link them to big documents like the Penal Code and the Constitution. Now finally parliament is doing it. In the same festive season, the par- liament has also passed a tough law that will lock away people found guilty of homosexual activities for life. Good old Idi must be smiling in his grave under the Saudi Arabian sand. But back to the dress code. Some Aminist decrees have stood the test of time, like the by-law for Kampala passed by one of his military governors outlawing wearing slippers in town. To date, you do not find anybody wearing slippers in Kampala. The military had a simple penalty for slipper wearing — j and diet ber man dan maj not tim dec sued ago slip Any pec ena per M are the of t that law By it i amo por do nog ing med with seem are the Med mor they not h skin. And this time, the as angry as the women. s there even been a law is popular with the ofders? There are, of course, me phenomena that were abundant in Amin’s but which our MPs to- need to address the same hey have done the miniTake the plastic bottles astic shopping bags loled kaveera. These are biggest menace to our nt (and therefore our oday. The kaveera is y more dangerous to ns than miniskirts. We w millions and millions llars just to clear the ubo Channel, which is ala’s natural drainage. ver, even before the work shed, the Channel gets by kaveera and plastic Meetings have been held ters of the five East Afriuntries over the kaveera ce and Rwanda moved utlaw it. Uganda’s MPs d treat kaveera like s, even more urgently. 2 chim Buwembo is a night Inte≥national Fellow fo≥ development jou≥nalism. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Woman saves pregnant cat, gets arrested An army medical officer in Kosovo who saved a pregnant cat’s life is facing a minimum of one year in jail for her actions. Lieutenant Barbara Balanzoni was forbidden from approaching any stray animals near her army facility and if found guilty, could spend more than a year behind bars. Lieutenant Balanzoni has insisted she followed military regulations when the stray cat had a difficult birth, and was simply preventing a large-scale health hazard. According to the military prosecutor’s indictment, Lt Balanzoni violated a written order not to “approach or be approached by wild, stray or unaccompanied animals” near the army facility known as the Italian Village. She has since returned to her civilian job as an anaesthetist in Tuscany, and now stands accused of “gross insubordination” for disobeying the order, signed by the commanding officer of the base in May 2012. Woman says she’s Kate, gets arrested A 44-year-old woman in New Zealand tried to avoid prosecution after allegedly speeding the wrong way down a one-way street and rolling her car, by claiming to be the Duchess of Cambridge. The woman told police who arrived at the scene that she was Kate Middleton and could not be prosecuted because she was a royal. The officer who was handling the case said, “She’s obviously someone who is not in a fit state of mind to be driving.” The woman was being assessed by mental health professionals and it was unknown if charges would be laid. Sisters have babies, get on Facebook Two sisters who live nearly 5,000 kilometres apart amazingly gave birth within minutes of each other. The bizarre coincidence happened to Andrea Mansfield, from Liverpool, who gave birth to her sixth son, Michael. Minutes before the delivery, her sister Audrey Westich, 29, gave birth to a baby boy, Levi, in Pennsylvania, USA. “We both had home births, we both had boys and we gave birth on the same day, 19 minutes apart, although because of the time difference I was in the afternoon and she was in the morning, “ said Andrea. Both women even monitored each other’s progress on Facebook and Skype as they each went through labour. We is the new gove≥nment of the count≥ie of Egipte It is “unconstitutional” for Egyptians to get the spelling of the country wrong in a banner promoting the new constitution. Egypt has apologised for a banner promoting the new constitution that misspelled the word “Egyptians” and carried images of foreigners instead of locals, embarrassing the government as it tries to rally support for the document. The banner was unfurled at a high-profile news confer- ence on Sunday to promote the constitution. The Arabic text misspelled the word “Egyptians” as “determined” and Google image searches identified three of five people on the banner as foreigners. The State Information Service apologised for the misspelling, saying the error was unintentional, but did not mention the controversy over the nationalities of the people portrayed in the banner.
December 23rd 2013
January 6th 2014