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The East African : January 13th 2014
18 The EastAfrican OPINION JANUARY 11-17,2014 sni∞ng pet≥ol fo≥ a high LAST WORD Nine yea≥s late≥, B≥ian Taylo≥ still can’t stop Gas-guzzler Brian Tay- lor has a history of attacking petrol pumps, obtaining petrol and consuming it. He loves nothing better than to have a sniff or drink of petrol, before doing a little jig while high on the fumes. The 45-year-old ended up in court on New Year’s Eve for flouting an order banning him from all garage pumps. The hapless fuel-addict was caught yet again topping up on his favourite tipple from a garage near his home. He attended meetings to beat the habit — but stank so strongly of petrol he was deemed a fire hazard and kicked out! The Mirror first reported on Taylor’s bizarre taste in 2005 and nine years later he is still at it. The snail ate my tax disc, says UK man A garage owner in the UK Joachim Buwembo P≥ofesso≥, thug, supplicant: The th≥ee faces of b≥ibe≥y in East Af≥ica I t is now a decade since I started driving on Tanzanian roads but I am yet to encounter a burning car. Could it be because possession of a fire extinguisher in the car is the most enforced traffic law on Tanzania’s highways? During a “two-year” road trip across the country (from late December at Mutukula to early January at Namanga) covering almost 3,000 kilometres, I got stopped at least 20 times. The car was in perfect condition, all its documents and mine in good order, but I was still found guilty of not having a fire extinguisher and a reflector triangle by every traffic policeperson who stopped me. They all forgave me and received a New Year gift of five thousand Tanzania shillings. By the time I exited the country after a weeklong working drive, I had spent enough money (Tsh100,000) in New Year police gifts to purchase four brand new car fire extinguishers. A typical hig ter with Tanza personnel on th starts with you to slow down in 50 km/hour at where the fading you should. You g down and they s the speed gun reading say, hour. An excruci lecture starts, the traffic cop so ing like an eloq law professor, quoting sections of the Traffic Act. After finding all your papers in order, he inevitably asks for your fire extinguisher and triangle reflector. After you fail to produce those, another lengthy lecture follows, quoting legal subsections and preaching the necessity of promoting safety for yourself and other road users. The whole process takes about 30 minutes after which you donate a 5k gift. When you get to Kenya, the approach changes. The Kenyan police value their time — and presumably yours. They tell you have broken the law and in a menacing tone say you should escort them to the station because any delay amounts to obstructing the process of law enforcement. Your mind replays the horror stories you have heard about what happens in Kenya police stations. One common story goes that at the station, as the contents of your pockets are be- ing listed, the officer pulls out a drawer and gets out stuff to include among your properties. Stuff that could include a few rolls of marijuana or some firearms ammunition. To avoid such a fate, you pay up quickly, without daring to go and find out if the stories are really true. Then you finally enter Uganda at Bu- sia to see a different face of policing. Like elsewhere, you get flagged down. But not for lectures or threats as in Tanzania and Kenya respectively. The Ugandan cops assume a humble position before the motorist and start telling you about the pangs of hunger in their stomach. They call you Big Man, Mzee, Madame, Auntie and say things to make you feel important and them, unfortunate souls. You do not want to hear their tales of misery so you quickly part with what you have and they flag you off with prayers for more blessings from God as you drive off.s hree faces of the three African territories; l lectures, stone faces r aid in exchange for essings. m Buwembo is a ht Inte≥national ow fo≥ development u≥nalism. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org escaped a £100 ($165) fine for a missing tax disc after proving to police a snail ate the important document. Jon Roles, 33, found the hefty notice on a broken down van he was meant to pick up in Yeovil, Somerset. But on closer inspection the garage owner saw a snail eating the last remains of the disc. The fine was upheld until police were sent a picture of the snail eating the tax disc. “It is almost unbelievable. I think snails like glue and ink so maybe that’s why it ate the disc. It was very much a ‘the dog ate my homework’ moment, but we still had the penalty notice to deal with,” said Mr Roles. Poor Rich Wisken, what a stink of a flight Disgruntled Rich Wisken from Australia blogged about how he had been forced to sit next to a passenger that smelt “like the decaying anus of a deceased homeless man” who “appeared to be an infant hippopotamus.” “His scent possessed hints of blue cheese and Mumbai slum, with nuances of sweaty flesh and human faeces sprayed with cologne. I spent the remainder of the flight smothered in side-boob and cellulite, taking shallow breaths to compensate him for physical pain and mental suffering on the four-hour flight.” Jetstar has offered him $100 in compensation. Wanna enter UAE?Not with that moustache! An Indian national has re- portedly been denied entry into the UAE after refusing an immigration official’s demand to shave off his moustache. A passport control official allegedly retained Sujeev Kumar’s passport because he did not like his moustache. The software engineer said that the passport control officer told him he would only return the passport if he shaved off his moustache. Italian Supreme Court redefines love ITALY’S SUPREME Court overturned a 60-year-old’s conviction for sexual acts with a minor, saying the verdict did not take into account the “amorous relationship.” Pietro Lamberti, a social services worker in Catanzaro in southern Italy, was convicted in February 2011 and sentenced to five years in prison for sexual acts with a minor. But the Italian Supreme Court ruled that the verdict did not sufficiently consider “the ‘consensus’, the existence of an amorous relationship, the absence of physical force, and the girl’s feelings of love.” A d≥unk, upset Kim Jong-un, is a kille≥ Kim Jong-un North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un was “very drunk” when he ordered the execution of two aides close to his purged uncle, according to Japanese newspaper reports. The young leader ordered the execution of two aides after they reportedly failed to respond immediately to a request to hand over a profitable business to the military. Jang Song-thaek, Kim’s uncle, was dramatically stripped of his powerful posts and executed in an effort by the leader to consolidate his grip on power. The failure of Ri Ryong-ha, the first deputy director of the administrative department of the state’s ruling Workers’ Party, and Jang Sugil, a deputy director in the same department, to respond quickly to his order reportedly left Kim “upset”.
January 6th 2014
January 20th 2014