Archive for August, 2011

Dora Byamukama

What affirmative action should be taken for marginalised groups?

As the war in Libya rages on and as the television pictures capture what is happening, one particular section of the society is missing in action—where are the women?

Women in Libya were famed as Gadaffi’s bodyguards. Will their absence at such a critical time work against their future participation in public affairs?

Closer home, in Kenya women leaders want 80 new constituencies expected to be created before the next general elections of 2012 to be reserved for female candidates.  This proposal is to ensure that not more than two-thirds of MPs are of the same gender as stipulated in the Kenya Constitution. (more…)

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A team of government officials failed to locate that part of Mabira Forest that the President claimed had been degraded

Mabira part II
Dear esteemed readers, you should know by now that our President is planning to give away part of Mabira Forest Reserve to the Sugar Corporation of Uganda Ltd (Scoul), a Mehta Group company where government used to own some share. The company wants to clear about 7,100 ha from the 28,000 forest cover for sugarcane plantations as a solution to the current sugar crisis. But readers you should know that this Mabira Forest has been protested as a reserve since 1932.

While there is no evidence that giving away part of Mabira Forest Reserve to Mehta would transform the lives of more than 10 million Ugandans who are currently stuck in abject poverty, our President is convinced that our future lies in sugarcane growing. (more…)

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“President Museveni should know that he is the Chief Executive Officer of an enterprise called Uganda. As long as this enterprise starts making losses, he will be the first person to be thrown out,”’ Mathias MPuuga.

Action for Change has vowed to mobilise Ugandans to walk-to-work for the second time. The group is also planning to hold vigils in honour of those who died in the previous protests. It expects government to do more by clearly addressing the key issues affecting the economy.

Mr Mathias Mpuuga is the coordinator of Action for Change, the organisation behind the resumption of walk-to-work campaigns. He spoke to Risdel Kasasira about the second phase of the campaign.

1. Don’t you think the Walk-to-Work campaign is doing more harm than good because people could die?
The harm would be appreciated if it was unlawful to walk. As long as there is no law that bars us from walking, there is no harm about it. Graphically speaking, I would say the most important thing is for the public to (more…)

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President Museveni and Minister of Defence Crispus Kiyonga (L) are guided on a tour of the new Hima Cement plant by Mr Hussein Mansi (R), the Chairman Hima Cement

Starting in June 1990 and gaining pace in 1991, the Ugandan economy underwent the most radical change since the 1972 expulsion of non-citizen Asians by the Idi Amin government.

In June 1990, for the first time since independence the foreign exchange market was taken out of government control. The official and black market currency markets fused into one. Foreign exchange bureaus started to open for business in Kampala.

Then 20 years ago in 1991, the NRM government embarked on a large-scale selling off of previously state-owned (parastatal) companies. The general reason given for this privatising of the economy was that Ugandans had failed to manage their own national assets, and so it was better to sell them off.

This article explains how a privatised Ugandan economy, while at first seeming to unleash the potential of Ugandans, actually ended up binding them in chains and making Uganda a much more incompetent and stifled state than it had Trading experience been before 1990. (more…)

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Is free land for sugar producer Scoul economically viable?

                                                                                                              Advise to sugar company.

Bundles of sugarcane being prepared for crushing at the factory. Outgrowers say the sugar producers pay them little money yet the sugar is sold expensively to consumers.

Outgrowers say the sugar producers pay them little money yet the sugar is sold expensively to consumers

Instead of the President giving out parts of Mabira Forest Reserve to Scoul, environmental specialists say the sugar company should carry out research in order to improve, rather than the quantity, the quality of their sugarcane.

President Museveni’s insistence to hand over 7,297 Hectares of the Mabira Central Forest to the Mehta group for sugarcane growing is continuing to spark dissenting views across the world. It is largely not understood why Mr Museveni would forego a natural resource of ecological importance for commercial gains.

On Tuesday, while meeting the NRM party Caucus, Mr Museveni said Uganda was suffering from low sugar supply due to lack of land for sugarcane growing. He said giving out part of the ‘degraded parts of the Mabira Forest would restore the ecological imbalance caused by an apparent encroachment’.

In an apparent bid to double sugar production, the Mehta Group approached President Museveni in 2006 seeking to be allocated 7,297 hectares of land within the Mabira Forest Reserve. By then, it was estimated that Scoul was producing as high as 55,000 tonnes of sugar annually and had expected to double their production figure to 110,000 tonnes if they were allocated the land. (more…)

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Common Sense: Why do people misuse God’s name?

Common Sense: Why do people misuse God’s name?

By Robert Kalumba 

It’s one of the most visible badges worn by many Ugandans on their hearts and determines how they conduct themselves in this life…so they say. It’s the badge of the born-again Christian. And many confess to embody the principles that come with being one.

Right from the political class, down to your immediate boss, many profess to be God-fearing. All like to be seen and known as portraying the word of God in their works, thinking, behaviour, even dressing. Some go as far as establishing churches with numerous branches countrywide, to spread the word of God and help the needy.

All achievements, be it in their leadership skills, job promotions, salary increment or the husband’s coming back home from the bar at 10pm not his usual 2am, are credited to God. Some even take it as far as crediting their latest addition to their fleet of luxury cars, a Mercedes Benz CLK-Class, to the Almighty, God. (more…)

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Taboos that kept in-laws in check

In the past, our ancestors had taboos that prevented in-laws from getting too close and falling into sexual temptation. Agnes Kyotalengerire highlights the taboos

Central region
A father-in-law or daughter-in-law was not supposed to talk to the son or daughter-in-law directly. All communication was done through the aunt.

A married mother was not allowed to wear short dresses

A mother-in-law was not to supposed to shake hands with her son-in-law. She was supposed to avoid eye contact when greeting each other. A curtain was put to separate the two from seeing each other

A parent-in-law was not allowed to sleep in the same house as their children. They would spend the night in the servants’ quarters or the kitchen. (more…)

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