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The East African : June 23rd 2014
The EastAfrican 20 OPINION JUNE 21-27,2014 LAST WORD Ame≥ican politician in deep doodoo ove≥ a lousy bag of dog poo A US politician is facing po- litical limbo simply because of dog poo. Security cameras showed the mayor of the Southern California city of San Marino tossing a bag of dog faeces on to his neighbour’s property and his opponents harangued him till he was forced to resign even after apologising. Mayor Dennis Kneier had to resign after his neighbour, who had found the small bag outside his home, reviewed his surveillance footage and notified police, who later cited the politician for littering. The neighbour, Philip Lao, Joachim Buwembo Wanted u≥gently: A futu≥e histo≥y of Uganda fo≥ the yea≥s 2014-21 how President Yoweri Museveni clinches his NRM party’s nomination for the 2016 elections, the first step to nearcertain victory in the final polls, will be a very important segment. Then the alignment of forces over the next five years for the 2021 elections in which Museveni will definitely not contest on account of the constitutional age limit, giving the country its first peaceful change of government in six decades, will be another very important phase. But whether this history will be properly recorded is another matter. My fear that the upcoming and A defining changes in Uganda’s history may not be recorded comes after reading the memoirs of Jenkins Kiwanuka, which he has just published in a book, Son of a Rat Catcher. Kiwanuka retired a while ago from Uganda’s Foreign Service, which he joined in the 1960s after a distinguished career as a journalist. Because Son of a Rat Catcher is the story of his life, Kiwanuka only records the events he witnessed personally, but even these leave the reader with a worrying sense of how much of Uganda’s modern history passes unpublished. For instance, Kiwanuka, with a few senior civil servants, attended a trial in 1977 that found Anglican archbishop Janan Luwum with ministers Erinayo Oryema and Illustration: John Nyagah very important section of the future history of Uganda is going to happen over the next seven years. To begin with, Oboth Ofumbi guilty of plotting against president Idi Amin, and was forced to join in the unanimous vote for their death sentence amid a “forest of uniformed officers.” The government then concocted an accident in which the trio are alleged to have died, something nobody believed. But the fact that a systematic albeit unfair trial and sentencing had actually taken place has not been public knowledge so far. Having rubbed shoulders with the men who shaped or misshaped modern Uganda, the writer knows a lot that has been glossed over, and the question arises how many other officials and journalists have gone to t h e i r graves taking valuable information with them. For example, Kiwanuka records cer- tain actions of several men who are still alive that were certainly not in the best interest of the country and ran contrary to common morality. For example, an ambassador at a key mission in Europe maliciously chose to hide performance reports of his entire embassy staff for three years just to punish one man among them over a personal grudge, thereby knocking the entire group out of the promotion process in Kampala. And then there are the unflatter- ing insights about the personality of enedicto Kiwanuka, a man murered while serving as chief justice nd whom many Ugandans look upon s a political saint on account of the road national outlook that pitted im against the Buganda Kingdom f which he was a subject. Kiwanuka lso delivers the positive side of Milon Obote, an accomplished meritocrat uring his first presidency. Uganda is doubtless entering a cru- ial stage preparing for the departure f its longest serving president within he next seven years, into a new era where nobody will conceivably ever wield as much power as Museveni has ver three decades. But we are going nto this phase with very little knowledge of what really happens in the corridors of power. A few more Kiwanukas should share what they have seen nside there. was reported to have suggested Kneier was responding to a “No Poop Zone” sign outside his home as well as his public opposition to a proposed area dog park. “These events continue to be embarrassing to me, and to the city,” Kneier wrote in a letter to fellow City Council members announcing his resignation letter. Stripper, get thee away from the nunnery A group of Chicago-area nuns is suing a strip club behind their convent, complaining of noise, glaring neon lights, fist fights and heaps of litter that include empty whisky bottles and used condoms. The Missionary Sisters of St Charles Borromeo said Illinois mandates a300-metre buffer zone between adult entertainment venues and places of worship or schools. The suit, filed in Cook County, also names the village of Stone Park, where the strip club is located. “The Sisters have eve- ry right to pray and work peacefully without disruption from a strip club in their backyard,” Peter Breen, the lawyer for the nuns, said in a statement. But Stone Park attorney Dean Krone countered that the Cook County limit is unconstitutional because it would prohibit any kind of strip club in the small towns in the county, which would violate free speech protections. No locks, gold shirts,: It’s India Shining India continues to be the champion of weird stories, with three major hits this week. First, the front door to the UCO Bank in Shani Shingnapur, Maharashtra state, has remained without a lock since its opening in 2011 because it is near the temple, which locals believe is protected by Lord Shani, just as their residential houses have no locks. To add to that, supersti- tious parents in India are now resorting to C-sections, or to plan ahead and induce labour at times that are considered auspicious to bring forth children with a better future. Last, there is Pune busi- ness man Datta Phuge spent $230,888 on a purely gold shirt. “I know I am not the best looking man in the world but surely no woman could fail to be dazzled by this shirt,” he told the Pune Mirror. The one-cent stamp that g≥ew up to be $9.5m A 19th century British Guiana One-Cent Magenta postage stamp, dubbed the Mona Lisa, has set a new world record at a Sotheby’s auction, selling for $9.5 million, beating its previous record Sotheby’s says the 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta sold at auction in New York but for less than was expected, as auctioneers estimated it would bring between $10 million and $20 million. Sotheby’s says the buyer wished to remain anonymous. Measuring 1 inch-by-1 inches, the One-Cent Magenta hasn’t been on public view since 1986. It’s the only major stamp absent from the British Royal Family’s private Royal Philatelic Collection. Has the buyer has any connection with the Royal Family?
June 16th 2014
June 30th 2014