Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Why Bush won’t be prosecuted over CIA torture

Protestors outside the White House in Washington DC denounced CIA torture of terror suspects recently.

New York- The release of the report on CIA torture of suspected terrorists after the 9/11 attacks has been followed by calls for the torturers - and top members of former president George W Bush’s national security team - to be prosecuted. The chances of that happening, however, are slim.

Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said perpetrators “cannot simply be granted impunity because of political expediency”. His words were echoed by other UN experts and watchdogs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Despite the Senate Intelligence Committee’s revelations about waterboarding and week-long bouts of water-soaked sleep deprivation in the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation programme, the reality of seeing Bush-era leaders in the dock seems distant.

The body most directly responsible for prosecuting US officials is in Washington is the Department of Justice, but its officials say they have pursued two probes into mistreatment of detainees since 2000 and found the evidence was not sufficient to obtain a conviction. Reviewing this week’s Senate report did not offer new information to reopen cases, officials said.
US President Barack Obama has spoken of the need to “leave these techniques where they belong - in the past”, indicating he will not push for accountability.

Political pressure
Rights campaigners say US courts are the ideal venues for trials, because they can demand evidence from American officials and because potential defendants - such as Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - live in the United States.

“There’s lots of new evidence in this Senate report, the justice department should take another look,” Kathy Roberts, a lawyer with the Centre for Justice and Accountability, told Al Jazeera. “They shouldn’t be swayed by the political pressure they no doubt feel.”

When national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute cases, the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court can step in. The US, however, is not a state party to the court, denying the ICC jurisdiction.
Some options remain. The ICC prosecutor had previously opened a preliminary investigation into US treatment of detainees in Afghanistan, which is an ICC member.

A potential case would have to meet stringent criteria, though. While torture is a war crime, the 119 detainees described in the Senate report may not warrant prosecution by a court designed to handle the world’s worst crimes.
“It would be a low number to trigger an ICC investigation,” Richard Dicker, an HRW lawyer, told Al Jazeera.

When the ICC was founded, Washington struck deals with allies to ensure that US citizens would not face extradition to the court. In 2002, Bush signed the American Service-Members’ Protection Act, dubbed the “Hague invasion clause”, authorising the use of military force to liberate Americans in ICC detention.
“The US has immunised itself from scrutiny by the ICC,” HRW researcher Reed Brody told Al Jazeera.

Universal jurisdiction
Some courts in Belgium, Spain, France and other European countries can prosecute severe rights abuses committed overseas. Famously, a Spanish court’s indictment led to the arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in London in 1998.

Lawyers have sought prosecutions against Bush-era officials for war crimes in multiple European courts. In February 2011, Bush cancelled a trip to Switzerland, where alleged torture victims were planning to file a criminal complaint against him.
But Washington fights back. In 2003, Rumsfeld threatened to pull NATO’s headquarters out of Brussels because of a Belgian prosecution case against General Tommy Franks, the commander of US forces in Iraq, over cluster bombs killing civilians.

European states have repealed laws after cases become politically damaging. “From WikiLeaks, we know the US leaned on Spain to ensure that a case over Guantanamo Bay detention centre didn’t go anywhere,” said Brody, referring to the web publication of classified US documents.

Melina Milazzo, a policy counsel for the Centre for Victims of Torture, said the Senate’s 500-page report summary, and the unredacted details in the 6,700-page full version, which remains secret, may be valuable to European lawyers.
If I were a senior Bush administration official who was well-known to have engaged in this programme and advocated the use of torture, I would limit my vacations to the territory of the United States,” Milazzo told Al Jazeera.
Pardon me?
Similar cases could follow the Senate report on interrogation practises from 2001-07. “CIA rendition relied on the cooperation of foreign governments,” said Milazzo. “You’ll see many more cases coming up around the notion of complicity of European countries.”

This happened in Geneva last month. The UN’s anti-torture panel criticised US interrogation techniques under Bush and said Washington was not fully complying with the international anti-torture treaty. However, UN committees are often toothless and ignored.

Anthony Romero, director of the American Civil Liberties Union, called on Obama to pardon Bush and his top brass for permitting the use of torture. Granting a pardon “to torturers still makes my stomach turn”, Romero wrote in The New York Times, but it would set a precedent of criminality.

Other rights campaigners disagree. “It’s a clever idea, but we should be able to establish that torture is a crime without having to pardon one of its most important alleged perpetrators,” Roberts said.

The likelihood of seeing Bush-era torture planners in court remains small, but rights campaigners
are upbeat.
At the very least, publishing secret CIA torture techniques marks a breakthrough in government transparency - even if it doesn’t lead directly to justice for victims, they say.

“If you had told me 20 years ago that cases would be brought against sitting heads of state for war crimes and genocide, I would have thought you were reading from a science fiction novel,” said Dicker.
“I wouldn’t suggest these prosecutions are likely now, but you can never say never.”


CIA Director John Brennan has defended the agency’s post-9/11 interrogation methods but admitted some techniques were “harsh” and “abhorrent”.
Speaking at CIA headquarters, he said some officers acted beyond their authority but most did their duty.

A scathing Senate report two days earlier said “brutal” methods like waterboarding were ineffective.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, whose committee produced the report, said torture should now be banned by law.

In his comments Mr Brennan asserted the CIA “did a lot of things right” at a time when there were “no easy answers”.

“Our reviews indicate that the detention and interrogation programme produced useful intelligence that helped the United States thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives,” Brennan told a rare CIA news conference in Virginia.

But we have not concluded that it was the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” (EITs) within that programme that allowed us to obtain useful information from detainees who were subjected to them, he added.
“The cause-and-effect relationship between the use of EITs and useful information subsequently provided by the detainee is, in my view, unknowable.”
While he was speaking, Senator Feinstein was rejecting his arguments on Twitter.

One tweet said: “Brennan: ‘unknowable’ if we could have gotten the intel other ways. Study shows it IS knowable: CIA had info before torture. #ReadTheReport”.

Mr Brennan was a senior CIA official in 2002 when the detention and interrogation programme was put in place.
George W Bush, who was US president at that time, has not commented on the report, but his Vice-President Dick Cheney strongly rejected criticism of the CIA’s techniques.

“The men and women of the CIA did exactly what we wanted,” he told Fox News.
“We said we’ve got to go use enhanced techniques … and we’re going to find out. We’ve got Khaled Sheikh Mohammed who’s the mastermind of 9/11 and he is in our possession, we know he’s the architect. And what are we supposed to do? Kiss him on both cheeks and say please tell us what you know? Of course not,” Cheney said.

South Africans celebrate Miss World win

                                                        Rolene Strauss the crowned Miss World 2014

Johannesburg. South Africans are celebrating after Rolene Strauss was crowned as Miss World 2014, becoming the third South African to win the title.
President Jacob Zuma said Ms Strauss had “demonstrated the capability of South Africans to shine on the world stage”.
The 22-year-old medical student was named in London, with an estimated global audience of one billion. Her victory is trending on Twitter in the country, with many users posting #proudlySouthAfrican.
Miss Strauss said she wants to use the platform to raise awareness about the importance of education in South Africa.
“We are very proud that our very own has earned this prestigious title after months of hard work and dedication,” Mr Zuma said in a statement.

Who is Strauss?

born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Rolene Strauss was crowned Miss South Africa 2014 on March 30, 2014. Strauss is a medical student from the University of the Free State. She’s postponing her studies to fulfill her duties as the reigning Miss South Africa.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

EAC leaders sign agreement on air space

L-R: Uganda’s President Museveni, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame pose for a group photo after the opening of the Northern Corridor Integration project at Safari Hotel Nairobi on Thursday


Regional leaders of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan have signed a pact on the management of the Northern Corridor Air Space bloc, which they said will contribute significantly to the development of infrastructure for transmission, power trade, and reduce the cost of air travel in the region.

In a joint communiqué, the heads of State issued after the Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit in Nairobi on Thursday, appreciated the conclusion of the Power Purchase and Wheeling Agreements and the signed Memorandum of Understanding on the management of the Northern Corridor Air Space bloc.

State Minister for Transport Stephen Chebrot signed on behalf of Uganda, while Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure Micheal Kamau signed on behalf of Kenya, Mr James Musoni for Rwanda and Mr Kwong Danhier Gatluak on behalf of South Sudan.

The regional leaders also directed the minister of Infrastructure of Rwanda to convene a meeting of airline industry stakeholders to conclude the negotiations on the 5th Freedom Traffic Rights on the Entebbe-Nairobi-Juba route by December 31, and address the outstanding issues to reduce the cost of air travel in the region. The minister was asked to give a report at the next summit.

The representatives

Ethiopia was represented at the summit by Mr Habtamu Baye Chekole, Special Envoy to the Ethiopian President, Tanzania by its East African Co-operation minister, Mr Samuel Sita, while Burundi was represented by Ms Leontine Nzeyima.

The East African Community Secretary General, Mr Richard Sezibera attended. The heads of State condemned the heinous acts of terror by the Al Shabaab in Mandera.

Earlier in his opening remarks, President Uhuru Kenyatta said if Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan continue their commitment, East Africa will be prosperous and secure for all in the region.

The summit recognised the gains realised from the operationalisation of the Single Customs Territory and on Information Communication and Technology.

They reiterated the importance of comprehensive and speedy operationalisation of One Network Area in Uganda. The summit further directed the ministers to operationalise the One Network Area for SMS, Data and Mobile Financial.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Kampala shops littered with fake products, says Interpol

A vendor displays some of her products in Old Taxi Park. An investigation by Interpol and government agencies has revealed that most goods in Kampala are counterfeit

An investigation by Interpol and Directorate of International Relations has confirmed that most products on Kampala markets are counterfeit.

The revelation came after a week of operations by Interpol officials, several brand owners and Uganda National Bureau of Standards in Kampala metropolitan area.

Interpol deputy director Elly Womanya said their spot checks showed that genuine products in the city hardly exist.

“The operation sought to identify the magnitude of the problem. We realised that it was too big and we couldn’t cover all brands. Our investigations discovered most cosmetics, electronics, seeds and alcohol products to be either to have been counterfeited or fake,” Mr Womanya said.

Interpol arrested 14 people on Gayaza Road, Container Village, Luwum and Ben Kiwanuka streets on a range of offences, including being in possession of counterfeits.

The suspects claimed they bought the products from distributors authorised by brand owners, thinking they were genuine. Interpol is also investigating the suspects’ allegations.

Mr Womanya said they recovered 70 bottles of Black Label, a whisky brand, that were being pirated in a home factory in Kasangati, Wakiso District.

Fifty boxes of fake pesticides, 50 bags of fake seeds, 55 rolls of electric cables and 50 kgs of cosmetics worth Shs150m were impounded.

The long term impact
Counterfeits affect the economy since they aren’t durable and sometimes have health hazards. Interpol is now proposing a creation of a taskforce to deal with counterfeiting of products. Farmers have been complaining of seeds that don’t germinate when planted, and pesticides that don’t eliminate vermin.

Monday, 8 December 2014

No room for luxury in the Maasai Mara

The Maasai lifestyle is very colourful. Both men and women adorn themselves with various ornaments. Bottom, inside Meikuaya’s hut in the Maasai Mara.

A baby lies on the ground, with flies hovering over his face. Just next to her is her grandmother split between preparing an evening meal and milking the cow. As she does all this, her attention is taken by entrance of strangers.
A group of Maasai youth welcome us with a dance and songs in which the ladies clap as the men rhythmically tap their feet and take turns at jumping high up in a unique show of fitness and pride.
Almost everyone in the homestead has abandoned whatever they were doing to find out the cause for celebration. Many join in the clapping, making an impression on us that the Masai are a welcoming people.

Expectant hostess
With a wide smile, granny hurries through the milking, carries her metallic can of milk into the hut and returns with a collection of jewellery- earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces, all traditionally woven. Already, a group of other women are also making their way to where we are standing, near the entrance area, with goods to sell.
Mama, like I hear the younger folks referring to the old lady, would like to make some shillings or dollars off the visiting group. As she prepares to leave, her daughter, and mother of the baby returns, carrying firewood. They speak for a minute and granny leaves, walking towards us, with her hands reaching out with her merchandise.
Happy Mama is one of the residents in the Maasai camp that we visit. Notable about her, as she approaches, are the uniquely big holes in her ears on which hang multi-coloured earrings. Her head is well shaven. Her feet seem comfortable in sandals crafted from car tyres.

Inside the Maasai Homestead
From the outside, Happy Mama’s manyatta looks small, but a family of four fits in, somehow. Her home is part of many huts or manyattas, about 20 of them, that constitute the homestead.
These are lined on all sides, uniting around a quadrangle. In it are cattle which, as I learn from our host Ann Kanini, Kenya Tourism Board’s (KTB) publicist, are an important possession among the Maasai for it is part of the sources of wealth and thus power, and one of the requirements in settling dowry.
There is an effort to keep the general compound clean though cows litter the place with their dung and flies fly off the dung and onto babies’ faces.
Minutes before we make our way into the homestead I have to part with $10 (Shs2,500) for taking photos of cattle being grazed by a youth, David Meikuaya. He tells me that this is a tourist attraction too, and as we break ice, he asks for a token.
There is plenty of open grassland where Meikuaya grazes his family’s cattle, alongside fellow youth. This is just outside their communal homes. The homes are in an enclosure, locally known as Enkang. It is made of fastened thorny sticks. There are various entry points to the community that is made up of many grass-thatched huts, numbering about 20.
When he is done leading the cattle into their kraal, he invites me into his hut, which is small but with so much packed inside. To enter, we have to bend. The hut is dark and cool with two small rooms, one a master bedroom and another for the children, then the common area which is slightly more than a metre wide.
The master bedroom also doubles as a store where cutlery, utensils and goats share space with the main occupants. In a corner is firewood. There is only space for the bed left. There are no luxuries here. The bed is made of wood and looks so uncomfortable that anyone used to cushioned beddings, will find this utter torture.
Then instead of blankets, Meikuaya and his family cover themselves with goat or cow hides. Just above the bed is a small window, which is a few inches wide and long.
From the window, you can see much of the goings-on in the compound; men and women in the evening of their years seated on wooden stools watching the youth put their energy to use through dance or chasing cattle into their kraals.

Doing brisk business
From his house, Meikuaya leads me to the homestead market, which is as busy as a bee hive. Maasai business ladies and gents engage tourists, enticing them to buy their produce, ornaments and other merchandise.
The younger girls who do business with their mothers or elder sisters seek advice in Maa, one of the official languages, before they can sell.
What is unique about the Maasai women is that they pierce their ears to accommodate a lot more than just simple, small earrings. They can carry bigger decorative ornaments because the ear holes are bigger, which is part of their unique physical features.
Experience the Masai adventures
Visitors come and go but the Maasai remain those warriors who have been rated as so fierce that they would fight with lions the way butchers do with goats, cows at slaughter time.
Only for them, it is a fight to win love. It is one of the ways a man can prove to the clan that he can take care of his bride-to-be.
Your visit to the Maasai Mara is a page less if you have not interacted intimately with the traditional community.
One good adventure is having dinner in the middle of the Mara reserve where you get to enjoy the sunset in a beautiful display of orange with a shade of yellow and mystic blue, over the horizon.
We tried that too, by the bonfire, to keep our bodies warm as the chefs prepared tables to warm our stomachs with some sumptuous coastal, local or continental treats.
In a pleasant twist, one of the chefs, John Maina, was a good host and cared to go the extra mile to make a Ugandan dish for us, of mugoyo- a mixture of sweet potatoes and beans.
And as we dug in, and sipped on wine and other frothy stuff, we almost forgot that we were in the middle of the jungle. The Maasai had a surprise that would bring us back to reality.
One of them kept telling us a story as we enjoyed the night in the jungle, by the fireplace and when all our attention was captured, out of the bushes came a noisy group of Maasai who threw us into a panic because we were caught off-guard.
A prank had been pulled on us. We realised this as the chefs and waiters laughed themselves silly as they saw us scampering for life. What followed the short-lived ‘moment of shock’, was some entertainment, with Maasai warriors, dressed in shuka, dancing and singing for us.
The ‘shock game’ is their playful way of breaking ice with guests at dinner time. Their dance around the bonfire provides a good Nikon moment, which captures how the Maasai people have preserved their culture, making them unique, stylish, and a cultural attraction that continues to mesmerise many.

Find your way to the Maasai Mara

If your schedule will not allow you to visit the community then wait on at your hotel. There are some entertaining troupes that come visiting to give you a piece of what Maasailand is made of.
Evenings at the Sarova Mara Game Lodge, where we spent a night thanks to KTB, come alive with African rhythms, lullabies and songs as performed by the Maasai. This earns them some money not just at the Sarova Lodges but also at other facilities where different groups perform.
During your tour of the Mara, ask your guide to include a visit to the Maasai’s communities so that you get to interact with them and get a sense of their lifestyle and the aspects of life that they hold dear.
The Maasai have discovered the beauty of documenting their artistry and cultural customs. They have an association that has written out these norms, online ( you will want to learn about their way of life and some cherished customs, such as Enkipaata (senior boy ceremony), Emuratta (circumcision), Enkiama (marriage), Eunoto (warrior-shaving ceremony), among others.

Kasiwukira's wife, in-law charged with murder, sent to Luzira

                                                  Kasiwukira's wife, Ms Sarah Nabikolo Ssebunya ( in blue dress).

Three people, including a police officer, a wife and a sister in-law of the late city businessman Eria Sebunnya Bugembe, have been charged with his murder.

The trio were on Monday afternoon sent on remand to Luzira prison until December 22 by Makindye grade I magistrate Mr George Watyekere.

Ms Jaden Ashraf, 38, a police officer attached to Muyenga Community Police Station, Ms Nankungu Sandra, 34, also an in-law to the deceased and Ms Sarah Nabikolo Ssebunya, a house wife and widow to Kasiwukira appeared before court where the charges were read to them, before being sent to Luzira.

Prosecution alleges that on 17th day of October at Muyenga diplomatic zone the trio murdered Kasiwukira. Mr George Watyekere advised the trio to apply to the high court for bail.

Bugembe, popularly known as Kasiwukira, was knocked dead in Muyenga, a city suburb mid-October. Police chief Kale Kayihura was quick to rule out a hit-and-run traffic accident and launched investigations into a possible murder

Friday, 5 December 2014

Kadaga: Karamoja leaders should fight against genital mutilation

Ms Rebecca Kadaga (C) signs her commitment to end female genital mutilation in Moroto on Monday

The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has distanced herself from comments attributed to her calling on Karimajong men not to marry circumcised women.

In an interview at her office on Wednesday, Ms Kadaga said contrary to what was published in the media, she appealed to male cultural leaders to increase the fight against female genital mutilation by not pressurising their sons to marry circumcised women.

“I made an appeal to the elder men that if they make a decision to stop putting their sons under pressure to marry circumcised girls, the practise will end. I made the same appeal to the women that if they stop the community pressure on uncircumcised girls, then FGM will end,” she said.

Ms Kadaga made the appeal early this week while attending the third Tebeth cultural day in Karamoja.
In Tebeth, she said, girls who are not circumcised are ridiculed and are not allowed to draw water at the well unless all circumcised women are done.

“I have been fighting female genital mutilation for the last 15 years. How can I be insensitive to the victims?” she asked. “I had gone there to appeal to the community on their behalf and to the elders that the practice should stop.” Ms Kadaga further said the community assured her that they were ready to quit the practice because it is not an indigenous.

“They said they copied it from the Turkana in neighbouring Kenya and they are willing to stop it,” she said, adding that she is going to join forces to campaign against surgeons crossing from Kenya to come and circumcise girls in Uganda because it is a lucrative business.
FGM is criminal in uganda
FGM is prohibited in Uganda. The Act provides for; Criminalisation of FGM and other related activities; prosecution of persons who practice FMG and protection of victims of FGM. Early last week, Reproductive Education and Community Health (REACH), a local NGO revealed that married women were leading in promoting female genital mutilation (FGM) in Sebei sub-region.

The report said married women who are still stuck in traditional beliefs account for the highest percentage of the cases of FGM.

According to Reach, more than 200 women who underwent operation in 2012 in Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwo districts were married.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Kadaga to men: Do not marry circumcised women

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga being decorated by a Karimojong woman during celebrations to mark the Tepeth Cultural Day in Moroto District on Monday. Ms Kadaga advised men to shun women who have gone through Female Genital Mutilation, describing them as burdening women who will not help transform the society

 The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has advised men to shun marrying women who went through Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), describing them as ‘burdening women’ who will not help transform the society.
The Speaker made the call on Monday during celebrations to mark the Tepeth Cultural Day, which is against FGM. The ceremony was organised by United Nations Population Fund and other development partners.
“A woman who is circumcised is no longer a valuable woman. Leave those who went through FGM and get normal women who can create a good society,” she said.
The World Health Organisation defines Female Genital Mutilation as “the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for cultural and other non-therapeutic reasons.”
This practice, also known as “female circumcision, or “female genital cutting,” is deeply rooted in many traditional cultures, and in Africa, it often serves as a rite of passage or as preparation for marriage.
In Uganda, the cultural ritual is mainly practiced in eastern Uganda among three tribes, including the Pokot, Sabiny and Tepeth, mainly in the districts of Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwo.
Ms Kadaga, who was accompanied by State minister of Gender Rukia Nakadama, both signed a commitment to end FGM in Uganda.
She also warned parents in the region to stop forcing their young girls into marriage and appealed to them to send their children to school.
However, Ms Grace Nachap, one of the former FGM surgeons appealed to government to support the group of surgeons who have denounced the practice.
“Cutting women and girls had been our main source of income, so we need government to help us,” she said.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Uganda beats Spain in UK tourism opinion poll

Tourists tour Murchison Falls National Park recently. Ugandans are encouraged to promote the country’s tourism sites

Kampala- A poll conducted online by the Guardian, a UK news website, has revealed that Uganda is a better holiday destination than Spain.
Seventy-nine per cent of the people that participated in the poll said they would rather visit Uganda than go to Spain.

According to the website, President Museveni said tourism in Uganda goes beyond chimpanzees and criticised tourism officials in the country for not doing enough to promote the many attractions in the country.

“The biggest problem with tourism is poor promotion. In Europe, people go to the Mediterranean coast. I visited Spain; it is very hot and humid in summer. I think Uganda would be a better destination than some of those destinations,” the President said.

Mr Amos Wekesa, the proprietor of the Great Lakes Safaris, said the poll is a good thing for the country and will help boost the tourism sector.
He urged all Ugandans to rally behind the President to help in promoting and popularising the tourism sector.

Mr Wekesa said Ugandans should not leave this to the tourism board only but be proud about their country and promote it.

Uganda’s tourism sector employs more than half a million people in the country and contributes to 8 per cent of the country’s GDP, a number which he said can go much higher if everyone put effort in the advertising the country.

According to the Guardian, the country drew international displeasure after the passing of anti-homosexuality legislation in February. However, court has since declared it null and void.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has also turned off international visitors from visiting the continent.

However, some contributors defended their preference, saying they would visit the country because of the people and for adventure.

Guyeverton: “Of course, I don’t support the Ugandan discrimination of homosexuals, but is it a reason not to visit? I’ve thought for a while about visiting Israel - does the fact I despise its State affect whether I could visit it, speak with people there, go and find some different stories to the ones you read constantly in the news?”
WhetherbyPond: “I have lived there[Uganda], it is a wonderful country, with warm, welcoming people, it is an amazingly culturally rich and diverse place and the landscapes are breathtaking. I would recommend it to anybody.”

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

How smuggling ivory limits tourists from streaming in

Uganda Wildlife Authority executive director Andrew Seguya (C) with law enforcement officials display ivory impounded in Kampala in 2012. Mr Seguya says the consignment is used to make chop sticks and jewelry in Middle East, mostly China.

Kampala. It was supposed to be the biggest day to showcase Uganda’s tourism to more than 1,300 foreign delegates from the world travel industry. They had convened in Kampala for the Africa Travel Association Congress, the biggest event in Africa’s tourism.
Twenty two foreign journalists had been flown in as part of the country’s marketing initiatives of its tourism attractions to boost Uganda’s image amidst stories of Ebola and Marburg that were scaring away tourists.
Instead, it is the missing 1,335kgs of ivory from Uganda Wildlife Authority’s (UWA) strong room that dwarfed the international tourism conference.
“It was a wrong timing,” Mr Amos Wekesa, one of the leading tour operators in the country, said reflecting on Uganda’s embarrassment before the international tourism fraternity. The alleged theft put Uganda on the spot for poor conservation credentials.
The ivory in UWA’s stores is collected from dead elephants or rescued from poachers.
There is also a worldwide ban on ivory since 1989, with only two sanctioned sales to China and Japan in 1989 and 2007. All forms of ivory trade are also illegal in Uganda.
However, loopholes in the system expose the animals in the parks to the lucrative illicit trade. The ivory said to be missing in the stores has been valued at $1.1 million (Nearly Shs300 billion).
Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in Uganda’s economy. Last year, it grew at 21 per cent. The industry, therefore, has become one of the leading foreign exchange earners ahead of coffee, fish and fish products, tea and cotton.
More than $1.4 billion (Nearly Shs4 trillin) is collected in Uganda from tourism alone and there are more than 1.3 million arrivals in Uganda making tourism a lucrative business at the same time a sector no one should be playing about.
Mr Andrew Seguya, the custodian of the UWA, currently on leave, was attending an international meeting, the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney Australia.
During the meeting, Uganda came under attack as one of the eight countries accused of failing to do enough to tackle the illegal trade in elephants. The countries had just escaped sanctions when they presented actions plans to respond to the problem.
Mr Seguya, who is under fire for failing to secure the ivory, however, he denies wrongdoing, saying he instituted the stock taking exercise on the stock piles to ensure the safety of ivory.
“Since 2012 to date, two ivory stocktaking exercises have been conducted at UWA. The two stock taking exercises were conducted on my instruction in June 2012 and in September 2014,” he told Daily Monitor.
The two audits are the only ivory stocktaking exercises on record that have taken place in the country.
When UWA was established in 1996, no ivory was handed over to the wildlife agency, even when there were elephants dying naturally, or ivory confiscated from poachers or traders.
“The September stock taking exercise is yet to be concluded. I have only seen purported results of this stock taking in the media, complete with analysis,” Mr Seguya insists.
The results of the exercise are expected at end of this month and will be followed by analysis and subsequently any actions that will need to be taken.
President Museveni immediately ordered for investigation to pin the culprits while the US ambassador, Mr Scott DeLisi, said: “We hope there will be an investigation and that the culprits will be identified and prosecuted to demonstrate commitment to wildlife protection.”
Illicit trade in ivory has doubled since 2007 and more than tripled over the past 15 years, according to wildlife groups.
Between 430,000 and 650,000 elephants are said to be remaining in Africa,
Uganda and other African countries experienced a global increase in volumes of ivory under illegal trade from around 2010 to date.
Mr Seguya says seizures of contraband ivory have also increased in Uganda in recent years.
The country began to register a high number of elephants poached in the national parks between 2010 and 2013.
In 2010, Uganda lost 12 elephants. In the subsequent year, the country would lose the highest loss after more than 40 elephants were lost to poachers while 26 died in 2012 and 22 in 2013.
However, poaching is worse in neighbouring countries particularly Kenya and Tanzania where more than 200 elephants are lost annually.
However, Uganda is a weak link in regard to being a source and transit country. This is largely driven by weak wildlife laws when caught. Mr Wekesa says it works against conservation efforts if one kills a rhino for instance, and he is fined Shs50,000 when the same animals goes for Shs500,000 on the local market.
He also blames legislators from protected areas who encourage rersidents to poach.
The tour operator notes that in Tanzania, 420,000 jobs were created last year from tourism related businesses, adding that if MPs want jobs to be created, they must support efforts by sectors such as tourism.
On conviction, poachers or traders get a maximum of one year jail sentence or a fine of Shs1m. “As a result, many illicit ivory traders found Uganda to be a favourable environment from which to export ivory,” Mr Seguya says.
According to Mr Seguya, elephant population is on the increase despite the challenges of illegal ivory trade.
This is happening even as most African countries are experiencing rapid declines in elephant populations since 1990.
Figures from the elephant population census for key national parks in Uganda, elephants have increased in Queen Elizabeth from 150 in 1980 to 2,900 this year.
Murchison Falls park has recorded 1,350 in 2014 from 1,400 in 1980 and Kidepo registered 552 from 400 in the same period, according to UWA Monitoring and Research Unit.
Uganda has continued to witness an increase in populations of key wildlife species particularly elephants, buffaloes, hippos and other big game.
“We still have challenges with carnivores whose populations are declining but this is not unique to only Uganda,” Mr Seguya says.
Mr Edwin Muzahura, the marketing manager of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), says tourists are sensitive on matters of conservation and ivory trade must be controlled.
Mr Stephen Asiimwe, the CEO of UTB, says UWA and other agencies should be given time to investigate the lapses.
“We need to look at the root. Let us look beyond the stolen ivory, where ivory coming from in the first place. All agencies and citizens should be concerned because conservation is everyone’s business,” Mr Asiimwe says.

There is an ongoing general capacity building, logistical support to acquire high tech equipment for surveillance and monitoring of the illegal ivory trade. Cabinet approved the Wildlife Policy in March and the technical review of the Wildlife Act was concluded and amendments are before the first Parliamentary Council.
UWA says they have recruited and trained 634 rangers in the last three years and set up an 80-man intelligence force to combat wildlife crime.
Police have sniffer dogs currently undergoing training at the police canine section that will be deployed on the porous borders as well as at Entebbe International Airport. There are also plans to acquire other high tech equipment, including a helicopter for UWA for wildlife surveillance and monitoring.
The Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) provided two ivory detectors to UWA.
One of the detectors deployed permanently at airport, has been instrumental in the ivory seizures. Last year, 13 of the 20 arrests of illegal ivory possession took place at the Entebbe.
The detectors have also been very handy and helpful for on spot checks along major high ways following intelligence tip offs of vehicles carrying ivory.
The measures have resulted in the seizure of more than 500 Kgs of illegal ivory and arrest and prosecution of 22 suspects in connection with illegal ivory trade between 2011 and November 2012.
In 2012, six pieces of raw ivory weighing 26kg was in August was seized while on transit to Kampala after tip off and the culprits arrested and successfully prosecuted.
In September 2012, three separate seizures were made involving 30kg of worked ivory at Entebbe Airport and a Chinese national arrested, two pieces of worked ivory and seven bracelets of worked ivory confiscated in a major operation in Entebbe and 279 pieces of worked ivory impounded in another operation in Entebbe.
Ivory is smuggled in forms of spears, polished ivory, bangles, necklaces, Finger ring, and Horn shapes.
Some culprits have, however, been just cautioned and left to go, or, fined to up to Shs.2.3 million. Dong Fuxian, a Chinese national was found in possession of 700gm of ivory in a form of a status on October 25, 2013.

Number of elephants that were killed in 2012 in Africa.

Highest number of elephants lost in the country in 2011.

Estimated number of arrests related to smuggling of ivory made involving nationals of Uganda, Vietnam, China, Kenya and Sudan.

Christina Aguilera Returns to The Voice as a Mentor For Team Gwen Stefani Three Months After Giving Birth

Christina Aguilera can’t wait to reclaim her red throne on The Voice! The pop diva, 33, who is set to return to the hit NBC singing competition for season 8 this spring, revisited the show on Monday, Nov. 24, serving as a guest mentor for Team Gwen Stefani
Aguilera, who welcomed daughter Summer Rain with fiancĂ© Matt Rutler in August, looked incredible just three months after giving birth. Wearing a loose printed red top, black skinny jeans, and her signature stilettos, the original Voice coach advised Stefani’s three remaining contestants.
Prior to the live episode, the “Hollaback Girl” crooner, 45, tweeted, “Tonight #TeamGwen is getting the #GirlPower treatment with @xtina,” to which the “Beautiful” singer replied, “SO FUN! xo.”
Aguilera worked closely with the artists, giving them critical notes on their song selections for the Top 10. 
“I love being able to come here and be on the opposite side of the spectrum as a mentor,” she said, adding, “Gwen, can you please take it home this year? Get a female to win it!”

                                                           Gwen and Gavin's sweetest moments


Riots erupt after US jury fails to indict killer officer

Protestors display signs outside the White House on Monday in Washington, DC following the announcement that the white policeman who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, will not face charges

Ferguson. Protesters set buildings ablaze and looted stores in the US town of Ferguson on Monday after a grand jury chose not to press charges against a white officer who shot dead a black teen.
US President Barack Obama and the family of late 18-year-old Michael Brown appealed in vain for calm after a prosecutor said a grand jury had found the policeman acted in self-defense.
The shooting of Brown back in August sparked weeks of sometimes violent protests and a nationwide debate about forceful police tactics and race relations in America.

No ground for charges
St Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said Officer Darren Wilson had fired 12 times after getting into an “altercation” (noisy quarrel) with Brown, and that the jury had found no grounds to file charges.
As McCulloch rounded off his summary of the grand jury’s decision, Brown’s mother burst into tears and the crowd began to chant: “Hey, hey, ho, ho! These killer cops have got to go.”
Members of an angry crowd outside the police station where Wilson had been threw bottles and stones. A police car was set alight and nearby stores looted.
Riot officers responded with teargas, batons and flash grenades, and running battles broke out in the streets of the St Louis suburb, with armored cars moving slowly through the area.
Looters smashed their way into a mobile phone store opposite the police headquarters and ransacked it.
Pam Bailey, a retiree from St Louis in her 60s, said she had expected the decision. “I have lived long enough to know that African Americans are not considered human beings,” she said.
Protest marches began in several more US cities, including New York, Chicago and the capital Washington DC.
Outside the White House in Washington, a crowd waved signs urging the government to “Stop racist police terror.”
Inside the executive mansion, US President Barrack Obama made a rapidly-organised televised appearance to appeal for calm in the Midwestern town, echoing the sentiments of the dead teenager’s family.
Michael Brown’s parents have lost more than anyone. We should be honouring their wishes,” President Obama said.
“I also appeal to the law enforcement officials in Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint in managing peaceful protests that may occur.”
Michael Brown’s family speaks out

The family of slain black US teen Michael Brown said they were “profoundly disappointed” by a grand jury’s decision not to charge the white police officer who killed him, but pressed for calm.
Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden, in tears after the St Louis County prosecutor announced the grand jury’s decision, was hugged by supporters outside the police station in Ferguson, Missouri.
“We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions,” the Brown family said in a statement. “We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction.”

Monday, 24 November 2014

Janani Luwum knew of a coup plot by Acholis - Ford

Ms Margaret Ford during the interview in Kampala last week
I am a farmer’s daughter who grew up in a typical village in Nottinghamshire [in the UK] overlooking Lincoln Cathedral. I come from a Christian family but was dismissive of the Billy Graham sort of evangelism, until when I attended a youth rally in Sheffield in 1970, then I was a secretary with the Church Missionary Society (CMS) youth department in London.
When the Church of Uganda wrote to the CMS requesting for a missionary secretary to work with the new Bishop of Gulu, I was posted to Uganda where I arrived in January 1972. When he left Gulu after being appointed archbishop in 1974, I stayed there working with the new Bishop Benon Ogwal.
Two years later when Janani’s secretary, also a missionary secretary from the CMS in London, went on leave and got engaged, Janani asked me to come and work with him in Kampala. I recall one Saturday morning Bishop Ogwal called me to his office and said, “I have received a letter from the Archbishop asking you to go and work with him in Kampala.”
By May 1976 I was a resident of Namirembe hill, residing just below the provincial office. On Namirembe hill we lived as a family, food and water were in short supply. Kampala turned into a city of rumours. No venturing out after sunset and at night we kept awake, fearful of midnight knocks on the door.

Things fall apart
A number of events started happening that grabbed the Archbishop’s concern. First was the death in June 1976 of Teresa Nanziri-Bukenya. The eight-months-pregnant then warden of Africa Hall [Makerere University] paid with her life when she refused to sign a false statement about the disappearance of a Kenyan girl. When Janani heard of her death, he wept.
When students learnt of Teresa’s death at the beginning of a new academic year, they wanted to stage a strike to register their protest, but the vice chancellor prevailed over them.
However, on August 3 when the army had surrounded the university because students had opposed the way Amin’s son who was flashing his gun around the university and the way his security detail was treating them Janani went to the university where he found all offices closed.
The following day he returned to the university with Cardinal Emmanuel Nsubuga to meet the vice-chancellor, who did not tell the two religious leaders what exactly was happening at the university. He painted a calm picture at the campus only to hear later that students had been herded into trucks and taken to Makindye Military Police Barracks. It took the intervention of the vice president to have the students released.
Outside the university fiasco was the raid at Entebbe airport by the Israeli commandos to rescue their nationals in a hijacked plane. Amin reacted by accusing the Kenyan president Jomo Kenyatta of supporting his enemies. In response, Kenyatta reminded him of Uganda’s trade debts to Kenya, and ordered no more goods to come into Uganda through Kenya until all the debts were settled.
This caused a fuel crisis; public transport came to a standstill making the already bad situation worse. Church officials and government institutions were given a small allocation of petrol, for instance Mengo hospital was allowed to keep one ambulance on the road.
These events forced both the Anglican and Catholic churches to make political criticism, a thing they had desisted from doing for some time. The first of the joint religious efforts to bring government to account for its actions was when Janani and Cardinal Nsubuga agreed to call the bishops of both churches to a joint meeting at Lweza. Also invited was the Mufti of Uganda.
I drove to Lweza with Janani on the morning of August 26, it was Thursday. Janani was asked to chair the meeting and I was one of the three secretaries appointed to take minutes of that meeting, one from each religious group present. Those in the meeting were convinced that it would be wrong to keep quiet about what was happening in the country. They discussed the killings, harassment, looting and the excessive power given to the intelligence officers.
The meeting ended having agreed to have a meeting with the president to talk things over and to share their concern, but it was never granted. Instead, Amin sent a warning to Janani reprimanding him for having held a meeting without permission, and demanded minutes of the meeting, which were also sent to him. From this time on, Janani was seen by the authorities as the leader of those opposed to the government.
After the daily office prayers at 8 O’clock, people would walk in the office saying “My husband has not come back,” or “my son has been taken” and Janani would jump into his car and go to the various places where people were often taken and ask why a particular individual had been arrested.
Initially, the security men would apologise saying “Oh your Grace, we are very sorry, we did it by mistake” and release the person. But this was short lived as the killing and disappearance continued in bigger numbers.
During the annual coup anniversary in 1977, Amin declared a number of days public holidays to celebrate the anniversary, with the main celebrations at Nakivub stadium. Janani attended. When he returned, I asked him who else was there.
“I, the cardinal, Amin, and the soldiers were [at Nakivubo], but there were no people. This upset Amin very much,” Janani said.
The following weekend was the consecration of the new Bishop of Ankole at Bweranyangi grounds where close to 30,000 people attended.
In his sermon that day, Bishop Festo [Kivengere] said to the new bishop: “You have now been given a position of leadership, are you going to use it to uphold people or to push their faces into the dust.” People knew that Festo was saying this to Amin; his leadership was not upholding people but putting them down. On the way back to Kampala I recall Bishop Okoth saying to Janani, “If you and Festo are not careful you will get us all killed.”
Journey to martyrdom
Janani’s official residence was raided by security operatives who searched for weapons and accused him of being part of a group plotting a coup against the government. When this happened, everybody was disgusted and this led to the calling of a meeting for all Anglican bishops. After the meeting, a small team was set up to draft a response to the raid at Janani’s home.
Festo and I were part of the draft committee, his choice of words was very critical of the government. I typed the letter that was to be presented to Amin, but I can tell you there is always a Judas in every situation. This letter was leaked from the provincial office because Amin got wind of the letter before it got to him.
However, Janani had told me earlier that there are some Acholis planning a coup. He knew something was afoot, he knew his people and they confided in him. But I know he was not involved in the coup plans, his idea of forgiveness was against that of the Acholis of kill your enemies. Amin knew the best way to get Janani was to accuse him of plotting against his government.
I had plans of travelling to Kisumu [in Kenya] to sort out tuition related issues of one of the girls I was supporting before the events at Namirembe happened. Following these events, I decided to postpone my travel but Bishop Festo insisted that I leave and take the letter to Bishop Henry Okullu of Kisumu.
Bishop Festo told me, “Tell Henry time has come for the world to know what is happening in Uganda.” Bishop Okullu had contacts in foreign media having been a journalist earlier. I confirm that it’s me who took that letter out of Uganda and it found its way to London before Amin received his copy.
With that letter in London, Amin could no longer hide what he was doing. Thereafter, he was determined to get rid of Janani. He called together a big meeting which was like a trial of Jesus where they separated him from the rest and later killed him.
I returned from Kenya on a Thursday just after the death of Janani and on Saturday the bishops decided that I should not stay in the country and must leave immediately. I was taken over the border by a fellow called John; he had been involved in smuggling bibles in the country, pretending to be two expatriates going to Kenya for a weekend break.
Along the way, I tore the minutes of the last bishops meeting and scattered the pieces along the road. Also before departure, I and the provincial secretary then, Canon Wesonga, burnt all church records showing how much foreign aid it was receiving, thus creating a gap in the church archives.
When I got to Kisumu, Bishop Henry asked me to write what had happened in Uganda. And in May 1977, I went back to England and I did some research and wrote the manuscript for the book Janani, the making of a martyr published in 1978.

Missionary refuge

While in London, the CMS got a request from the archbishop of Juba asking for a secretary missionary. That was how I ended up in Juba in late 1978 where I stayed until 1983. My leaving Juba was caused by a book The Uganda Holocaust in which the author mentioned me by name as the person who had taken the Bishop’s letter out of Uganda.
When my identity was made public, it was no longer safe for me to stay in Juba. The authorities in Sudan learnt that I had been living in Juba and they sent police to pick me up, fortunately I was in London on leave, my neighbour alerted the CMS in Nairobi of the situation and they stopped me from coming back.
I stayed in London until 1984, until another request a missionary secretary from the Bishop of Egypt came and I was assigned to Egypt where I stayed for 10 years, and eventually I retired in Lincoln in 1995 because by that time I was 65 and at that age I could not be hired. I had reached the retirement age. But I kept my links with the Anglican Church in Uganda, Sudan and Egypt.

Maid in torture video faces murder charge

Mr Kamanzi and baby Arnella in Kampala


Police have amended the charge sheet of the 22-year-old maid, who was caught on camera brutalising one-and-half-year-old child, from torture to attempted murder.

Jolly Tumuhirwe, the maid in the footage, had been remanded in Luzira prison by the Nakawa Magistrates Court for torture under Section 41 of the Anti-Torture Act and was set to re-appear in court on December 8.

However, Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, said in a press statement: “The charge against her has been amended to attempted murder upon re-perusal by the Resident State Attorney and the pending lines of inquiry in advanced stages.” He added: “The maid admitted to partly hitting the infant with a torch, a process that was captured in the video clip. She was further subjected to medical tests and established to be a person of sound mind.”

Mr Enanga cautioned employers to reflect on the selection criterion of their domestic staff, arguing such acts could be linked to “psychological problems suffered by maids and helpers”. Ms Mary Karooro Okurut, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, yesterday commended the restraint of Arnella’s parents.

“Given the magnitude of torture meted out on their child, anybody would have picked the nearest object and killed the maid but he followed the law. We are also forwarding to Parliament the 2014 Children Amendment Act to strengthen the law on child abuse,” she said.
Mother narrates tortured baby’s ordeal

Baby Arnella Kamanzi strikes you with her contagious smile. Her charming baby white eyes and cute lips twinkle as she throws her tender arms and legs around her mother and mutters an innocent word or two. The moment a stranger holds her, those cheerful eyes get teary and a strange frown overlaps the adorable sweet smiling face. She screams and struggles to liberate herself. When her parents embrace her, the jolly face returns instantly and beams with an even brighter smile that mellows your heart.

For the last three days, baby Arnella has arguably been the most passionately discussed topic on social media. In the video, a visibly angry Jolly Tumuhirwe is seen feeding baby Arnella using a spoon, forcefully putting the spoon in her mouth and angrily barking at her while she herself partakes of her food from the same plate and spoon. The baby vomits on the floor. Tumuhirwe pauses, gathers her anger and viciously throws the baby off the couch, hitting her head on the tiled floor. She follows her, spanks her severely with a torch as the girl cries her heart out. She then kicks her and puts her entire weight on the girl’s back before dragging her to be washroom, where the recording ends.

Thus is the emotive power of the video that when Daily Monitor visited the 18-month-old baby at her parents’ home in Nalya, a Kampala suburb, the family was yet to recover from the ordeal.

Her mother, Angella Mbabazi, is still overwhelmed with emotion that a narration of the ordeal leaves her with bouts of tears, often breaking down. “Another maid had recommended her to us. She told us she was from the village (Rukungiri). It is only after this nasty incident that she told us she was actually a maid in Nakulabye before coming here,” she told this newspaper yesterday.

The mother of two said whenever she attempted to dig out her background, Tumuhirwe would shift in the couch, get sweaty and blubber a standard one-word response. Ms Mbabazi did not read between these lines that signaled danger early. She hoped one day her house-help would open up. She had only worked with them for 26 days.

As days went by, the two parents returned home from work only to find Arnella limping, with wounds and bruises. Not once, not twice. Tumuhirwe feigned ignorance and gave a standard response coated with a thick Rukiga accent, “Simanyi.”

“Whenever we returned home we would find the house clean, she would bathe the children, feed them and take them to bed. Our first born goes to school so no one could tell us the source of Arnella’s bruises. That is when we installed CCTV cameras in the house,” she shares. After fixing the close circuit television camera (CCTV), the parents again found their daughter unwell and checked the footage, only to find the horrific video of a near-hell experience.

On November 13, Mr Eric Kamanzi reported the matter to Kiwatule Police Post where he tendered in the video. The maid was immediately arrested and the case transferred to the Divisional Police Headquarters at Kira Road for better management.
Asked if she considers employing another maid, since theirs is a young couple barely in the afternoon of their careers, Mbabazi is speechless and gets emotional, falling on her husband’s chest. “It is sad. I can’t describe how I feel. We shared the video on social media so that other parents can learn from it,” she says, adding, “By the grace of God, baby Arnella is fine. She got medication and recovered. She is well and God protected her, we are grateful.”

At this point, baby Arnella innocently interrupts her, keeping her eyes off strangers, as though to cement fear for anyone else but her parents. The effect of the brutality meted out on her speaks volumes.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Maid captured on video torturing baby to appear in court on December 8

The Maid that was captured appearing to be torturing a toddler in a video is set to appear in court for a second hearing on December 8.

The video that went viral on social media on Friday depicting a maid torturing a two-year-old toddler has sparked mass outrage.

In the video, which went viral on Facebook, Jolly Tumuhirwe, a 22-year-old housemaid in Naalya in Kiwatule suburb, appears to be battering the baby with a hard object on the face. When the child starts vomiting, the video shows the maid throwing her heartlessly on the floor of the living room. She then beats her with a hard object before standing on the baby’s back several times and the toddler groaned in pain on the floor.

Police said the motive of the assault had not yet been established but added that Tumuhirwe had worked for the couple’s home for only 26 days. The parents said the baby had been discharged from hospital and was improving.

“We took her to the hospital for medical checkup and she is ok. We will be returning to the hospital next week,” the girl’s mother only identified as Angela said by telephone yesterday.
Suspect remanded
According to the police spokesperson Fred Enanga, the case was reported by the girl’s father Eric Kamanzi on November 13 at Kiwatule Police Post after he had viewed the footage of CCTV camera installed in the house.

The matter was transferred to Kiira Police Division. After the investigations, the maid was charged with torture in Nakawa Magistrate’s Court on Thursday and remanded to Luzira prison.

Mr Enanga said Ms Tumuhirwe was charged under Section 3 of the Anti-Torture Act. The section stipulates several offences including “systematic beating, all of which attract a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail on conviction. However, Enanga said the police had sought advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions to amend the charge to attempted murder which attracts up to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment on conviction.

Ms Tumuhirwe will re-appear in court on December 8.


The torture video was released a day after another horrific event in which another two-year-old Allan Ssemaganda was run-over by a Kampala Capital City Authority vehicle. The child had been taken to the authority headquarters to be breast fed by the mother who was due to appear in court at City Hall. The KCCA officials insist the knocking was not intentional but accidental.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Now or never for Uganda Cranes

Cranes striker Geoffrey Massa looks to the heavens during the game against Togo. Cranes will need prayers going into tonight’s game against Guinea

March 16, 1978; the day Uganda came closest to winning Africa’s biggest football showpiece only to fall 2-0 to hosts Ghana in the final.
Sadly, it has been one painstaking wait ever since. Eighteen Nations Cup tournaments have since been played and Uganda have only come agonisingly close. Not close to winning the title, but earning rights to compete for it.
That wait could end tonight. That agonising suspense could face its extinction today if Uganda can fashion a draw against Guinea in Group E’s final 2015 Afcon qualifying game at Casablanca’s Complexe Mohammed in Morocco.
The needed point would see Uganda move to eight, and in Equatorial Guinea - the 2015 hosts - regardless of the result between Ghana and Togo in Tamale. Ghana are on eight while Cranes opponents today, who they beat 2-0 in Kampala, are level with Uganda on seven. Togo are bottom on six.

Any winner today will progress among the top two although a draw in their respective games will see Uganda and Ghana, who the Cranes better head-to-head, qualify. “For us it is a dream,” said Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic ahead of the tie to be officiated by Senegalese referee Malang Diedhiou,
“It is our driving force. It will be tough against Guinea but we really want to get the best out of ourselves and we look forward to qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations.”
His Guinea counterpart Michel Dussuyer, whose side thrashed Togo 4-1 at the weekend, is aware of the task at hand. “We must remain focused on our game and our goal,” he told local press, “I told them (his players) that victory in Togo is useless if it is not followed by a victory against Uganda. “Uganda concedes few goals. This is a team that is difficult to maneuver but we will have to find an opening.”
Uganda have conceded just thrice while Guinea eight times, including Geoffrey Massa’s brace in Kampala.
Micho is expected to employ a balancing act since he cannot go all out in attack, nor can he set out to defend for a draw. The agile Guineans will punish any lapse in concentration.
The Serb is likely to make at least three changes by starting Godfrey Walusimbi – returning from suspension – at leftback at the expense of Brian Majwega.
Dennis Onyango should retain his place in goal with skipper Andy Mwesigwa, Savio Kabugo – scorer in the 1-0 victory over Ghana, and Isaac Isinde completing the back four.
Geoffrey ‘Baba’ Kizito is likely to replace Farouq Miya in the middle alongside in-form Tonny Mawejje to add more protection to the back four. Daniel Sserunkuma, so impressive against Ghana when he replaced Yunus Ssentamu, should help Mike Sserumaga and Kizito Luwagga to craft chances for Massa in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Danger man Soumah Seydouba, hat-trick hero against Togo, is likely to trouble Uganda the most.

Cranes probable
Dennis Onyango, Godfrey Walusimbi, Andy Mwesigwa (captain), Savio Kabugo, Isaac Isinde, Tonny Mawejje, Geoffrey Kizito, Luwagga Kizito, Mike Sserumaga, Daniel Sserunkuma, Geoffrey Massa
Subs: Robert Odongkara, Habib Kavuma, Martin Kizza, Khalid Aucho, Farouq Miya, Brian Majwega, Robert Ssentongo
Afcon qualifiers, 10/09/2014:
Uganda 2-0 Guinea
WCQ, 23/04/2000: Guinea 3-0 Uganda
WCQ, 08/04/2000: Uganda 4-4 Guinea
Afcon finals 1976: Guinea 2-1 Uganda
Uganda (1 win), Guinea (2 wins), 1 draw
Fifa ranking: 55 - Guinea, 84 – Uganda