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The East African : February 17th 2014
24 The EastAfrican OPINION FEBRUARY 15-21,2014 LAST WORD How do you like you≥ human head? Roasted, boiled? We se≥ve it all A restaurant in Nigeria was shut down after it was found to be selling dishes made from human flesh. The police arrested 11 people including the owner and recovered at least two fresh human heads when they swooped on the eatery in Anambra, Nigeria after a tip-off. The bloodied and disem- bodied heads were found wrapped in cellophane sheets — and police said roasted human head was even on the menu. One local resident said: “We always saw weird people coming and going.” A pastor, who was sur- prised to learn he had been served human flesh, complained to the police.”I ate at the restaurant and the bill was very high. The workers told me that I ate human flesh. I was shocked.” Joachim Buwembo Lette≥ bomb to Speake≥ is no ≥umou≥, Ugandans a≥e ala≥med of a century ago when Nigerian journalist Dele Giwa opened a parcel that killed him. Well, this old-fashioned mode of W murder was late last month directed at parliament Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, and the member of her staff who opened the death letter was rushed to intensive care. Kadaga is not your ordinary leader. She is perhaps the most powerful personality in Uganda today after President Yoweri Museveni. This is because unlike other “powerful” pro-government military and political figures whose power comes from the president, Kadaga has accumulated her own influence, which Museveni cannot easily take away. Although she is from the ruling par- ty, she set a precedent last year that would today make it hard for her party to recall her from her job. The ruling party expelled four socalled rebel MPs from its membership. But the expected loss of their parliamentary seats did not come to pass because Kadaga ruled that they should stay put, t the chagrin of her party boss, th president, who went to court in attempt to unseat the “rebels. Th in addition to the three previou known benches — namely the ru party, the opposition and the so-ca independents — Uganda’s parlia hen was the last time you heard of someone being assassinated with a letter bomb? Probably a quarter got itself a fourth category of MPs — the rebels — technically known as “other shades of political opinion.” So even if NRM expels Kadaga for repeatedly frustrating her party’s positions, she may not necessarily lose her Speaker’s job. Although the Speaker is number three in the hierarchy after the president and vice president, everyone knows that the number two really has no power. Ever since the country got its new Constitution in 1995, no other Speaker, exercised the kind of independent power like Kadaga has. The first, the late James Wapakhabulo, could have used his immense popularity to do so, but in a moment of questionable judgement for a man of his intelligence, he relinquished the Speaker’s job to accept the ambiguous post of “National Political Commissar” and a ministerial appointment. Other Speakers have largely been forgettable, until Kadaga came and gave the post a clout it hasn’t had since Independence. So although Ugandans like to dream of assassinations all the time, the attempt on Kadaga’s life raises the profile of this almost forgotten crime. Recent assassination claims were made after a very young MP died a day after having a noisy altercation with the powers that be, and rumour had it that she had been poisoned. Her boyfriend, who confessed to procuring narcotic drugs for her, was last week found guilty of causing her death. Before that, Julian Assange’s Wikile- aks treated us to revelations of the fears allegedly expressed by our commander chief that his erstwhile friend, the late Muammar Gaddafi, was planning to blow him out of the skies, so much so that he sought extra protection from the US government for his Gulfstream jet when he flew in international airspace. Then, last year, the coordinator of intelligence services, a four-star general, ordered internal security to investigate an alleged plot to assassinate nking persons opposed to an alproject to get the president’s son ceed him in office. But while all remained unproven allegations, omb addressed to the Speaker is legation. How are we supposed act? oachim Buwembo is a Knight nte≥national Fellow fo≥ development jou≥nalism. Email: email@example.com It’s a miracle! It’s a miracle! It’s tears of oil Hundreds of people are flocking a home in northern Israel to view a statue of the Virgin Mary that residents say “weeps” oil. Members of a Christian family from Tarshiha, near the Lebanon border, say they have witnessed a miracle in their living room. The home owner, Osama Khoury said that his wife Amira found the statue “covered with oil” recently. Amira said the statue “spoke to her” and told her not to be afraid. Parts of the statue appear to be slick with moisture, even after it is wiped off. The family says it is most striking when a “tear” seems to roll down the statue’s cheek. It says some 2,000 people have come to see the statue in only one week. Was the Turin Shroud due to an earthquake? Scientists now say that an earthquake in Jerusalem in AD 33 may have caused an atomic reaction which created the Turin Shroud and skewed radiocarbon dating results. The shroud, which is pur- ported to be the burial cloth of Jesus — showing his face and body after the crucifixion — has intrigued scholars and Christians alike. But radiocarbon dating carried out by Oxford University in 1988 found it was only 728 years old. Other scientists have previously suggested that neutron radiation may have been responsible for the ghostly image of a crucified man with his arms crossed. Some have proposed that it came from the body itself, or was generated by an event inside the tomb, pointing to a divine origin linked to the resurrection. I’m Sheila but you can call me Sexy... An Ohio woman who loathed being named Sheila legally changed her first name to Sexy to reflect her personality. A judge approved the request from the 41-year-old Pataskala woman, formerly named Sheila Ranea Crabtree. In her application, Crabtree told a judge that her husband and teenage daughters approve of the change. When the judge asked why she chose Sexy, Crabtree said she’s fun and free-spirited and thought the change would make her complete. A ≥eply f≥om a maths examine≥, 20 yea≥s late≥ A UK woman, who wrote a letter to a maths examiner apologising for not answering a single question, has spoken of her amazement at receiving a reply — 20 years later. Marion Dowling was just 15 when she penned the note during a maths exam she says she was “forced” to take at school. Writing the letter on the exam paper, she says: “I apologise wholeheartedly that my paper came into your hands to mark. Obviously there is nothing to mark. Mathematically-minded I am not,” wrote Marion. Marion’s note was the only thing written on the maths exam paper — but it obviously made an impression on the man tasked with marking it. Now living in Thailand, the examiner returned Marion’s exam paper along with a note — and invited her to go and meet him. “Additional maths has got to be one of the dullest things to mark so I suppose my letter stood out,” Marion said.
February 10th 2014
February 24th 2014