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NAACP Image Awards | Madina Nalwanga Among The Nominees For Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

5 hours 26 min ago

(CNN) — Here’s a look at the Winners of The 48th NAACP Image Awards were held on February 11, 2017 –

History: The Image Awards were established in 1967 “to honor outstanding black actors, actresses, writers, producers, directors, and recognize those working in Hollywood who supported those artists.”

The Image Awards is now “a multi-cultural awards show from an African-American point of view.”

There are 54 competitive awards in the fields of film, television, literature and music. There are also several honorary awards.

Voting rights for the Image Awards are restricted to members of the NAACP only.

1991 – First prime-time broadcast.

2017 winners (Selected):

Entertainer of the year: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series: Anthony Anderson in “black-ish”

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series: Tracee Ellis Ross in “black-ish”

Outstanding TV Drama Series: “Queen Sugar”

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series: Sterling K. Brown in “This Is Us”

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series: Taraji P. Henson in “Empire”

Outstanding Motion Picture: “Hidden Figures”

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture: Denzel Washington in “Fences”

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture: Taraji P. Henson in “Hidden Figures”

Outstanding Album: “Lemonade” – Beyoncé

—————————————————————————————————

See complete NAACP nominees per major category:

Entertainer of the Year
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Regina King
  • Dwayne Johnson
  • Beyoncé
  • Viola Davis
Outstanding Motion Picture
  • Hidden Figures
  • Moonlight
  • Fences
  • Loving
  • The Birth of a Nation
Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
  • Don Cheadle, Miles Ahead
  • Will Smith, Collateral Beauty
  • Stephan James, Race
  • Denzel Washington, Fences
  • Nate Parker, The Birth of a Nation
Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
  • Madina Nalwanga, Queen of Katwe
  • Tika Sumpter, Southside with You
  • Ruth Negga, Loving
  • Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures
  • Angela Bassett, London Has Fallen
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
  • Alano Miller, Loving
  • David Oyelowo, Queen of Katwe
  • Trevante Rhodes, Moonlight
  • Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
  • Chadwick Boseman, Captain America: Civil War
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
  • Viola Davis, Fences
  • Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
  • Mo’Nique, Almost Christmas
  • Aja Naomi King, The Birth of a Nation
  • Lupita Nyong’o, Queen of Katwe
Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
  • Lion
  • Miles Ahead
  • The Birth of a Nation
  • Moonlight
  • Loving
Outstanding Comedy Series
  • Insecure
  • Black-ish
  • Survivor’s Remorse
  • The Carmichael Show
  • Atlanta
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Dwayne Johnson, Ballers
  • Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
  • Donald Glover, Atlanta
  • Don Cheadle, House of Lies
  • Kevin Hart, Real Husbands of Hollywood
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Issa Rae, Insecure
  • Keesha Sharp, Lethal Weapon
  • Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
  • Niecy Nash, Soul Man
  • Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Laurence Fishburne, Black-ish
  • David Alan Grier, The Carmichael Show
  • Deon Cole, Black-ish
  • Miles Brown, Black-ish
  • Tituss Burgess, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Laverne Cox, Orange Is the New Black
  • Erica Ash, Survivor’s Remorse
  • Yvonne Orji, Insecure
  • Marsai Martin, Black-ish
  • Tichina Arnold, Survivor’s Remorse
Outstanding Drama Series
  • Power
  • Empire
  • Underground
  • This Is Us
  • Queen Sugar
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
  • Terrence Howard, Empire
  • Mike Colter, Marvel’s Luke Cage
  • Kofi Siriboe, Queen Sugar
  • Omari Hardwick, Power
  • Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
  • Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Underground
  • Taraji P. Henson, Empire
  • Rutina Wesley, Queen Sugar
  • Kerry Washington, Scandal
  • Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
  • Trai Byers, Empire
  • Jussie Smollett, Empire
  • Joe Morton, Scandal
  • Jesse Williams, Grey’s Anatomy
  • Alfred Enoch, How to Get Away With Murder
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
  • Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away With Murder
  • Lynn Whitfield, Greenleaf
  • Amirah Vann, Underground
  • CCH Pounder, NCIS: New Orleans
  • Naturi Naughton, Power

Ugandan Diaspora News Online salutes Madina Nalwanga ‘Queen of Katwe’ Character for getting nominated in the Outstanding Actress in a Major Motion Movie Category along Seasoned Actresses!!

BBC Travel Special | Uganda Tops World’s Friendliest City According Expat Insider Survey

6 hours 38 min ago

By Lindsey Galloway — For many expats, finding new friends can ease the often overwhelming task of adjusting to a new life abroad. But with huge variances in local culture and language capabilities, some places can definitely feel more welcoming than others.

To determine where expats might find the best success of fitting in fast, global community network InterNations recently conducted their annual Expat Insider survey of more than 14,000 expats from 191 countries, asking residents to rate a number of aspects about life abroad, including how easy it was to settle in, a country’s friendliness and ease of making friends.

We talked to residents in the countries ranked high for friendliness to find out what makes these places so hospitable to newcomers.

Uganda received the highest marks for friendliness (Credit: Tom Cockrem/Getty Images)

Uganda
This East African country received the highest marks for friendliness. According to the InterNations report, 57% of expats in Uganda gave ‘general friendliness’ the best possible rating (the global average was 26%). Not only that, not a single respondent ranked this factor negatively.

Charlotte Beauvoisin, a British expat who writes about living in the capital Kampala at Diary of a Muzungu, said that welcoming all nationalities is an intrinsic part of the culture, and residents are quick to offer smiles to newcomers.

InterNations Ambassador Nadya Mileva, originally from Bulgaria and now living in Kampala, agrees, saying that the people are ‘amazingly friendly’.

“The country has a lot to offer, from breathtaking landscapes to high-end restaurants and bars to year-round summer,” she added.

Many expats live in Kampala, where English is widely spoken (Credit: Tom Cockrem/Getty Images)

Uganda isn’t without its problems, however, including the occasional power outage, pollution from old cars and infrastructure growing pains that can make traffic come to a complete standstill. But “the overwhelming majority of visitors to Uganda love the place. Many of us extend our contracts; many of us decide to settle here,” Beauvoisin said.

The majority of expats live in Kampala, where English is common and international restaurants abound.

“It has a high-energy core with a relaxed periphery well suited for families and others who prefer to stay at home,” Mileva said. While the southern half of the city is culturally diverse and less expensive, with easy access to Lake Victoria and the airport, the northern half is home to more affluent neighbourhoods. But expats live everywhere.

“There are not neighbourhoods predominated by mazungus [foreigners] and others only for Ugandans,” Mileva explained.

The country is also very affordable for food and labour – meaning that expats are usually able to maintain a high standard of living.

Expats are drawn to Costa Rica’s beaches where they can surf and swim (Credit: Andria Patino/Getty Images)

Costa Rica
The Central American country ranks high across all factors when it comes to how easily expats fit in. Almost nine out of 10 expats (89%) are pleased with the general friendliness of the population, and eight out of 10 (79%) feel at home, according to the survey.

Foreign- or native-born, the community is connected by the ‘pura vida’ sensibility, said Diana Stobo, owner of The Retreat Costa Rica. “The idea of living a ‘pure life’ is the promise here, and those who are tired of the hustle and bustle want to live that way.”

She believes the socialist government plays a part in maintaining this equality and openness. “People all live within the same means; it is difficult to get ahead financially, and therefore most find peace and harmony in what they have. No sweat, no worries, no problems, just ‘pura vida’.”

While English is widely spoken, learning Spanish will get you far with the locals, said David Black, an InterNations Ambassador who lives in Santa Ana, 15km west of the capital San Jose, and is originally from the UK.

Costa Ricans are connected to the ‘pura vida’, or ‘pure life’ (Credit: Jean-Pierre Lescourret/Getty Images)

“If you make an effort to understand and embrace the Costa Rican culture, you are very much welcomed with open arms and considered a friend.”

While expat retirees flock to beach locations like Guancaste in the northwest and Jacro and Manuel Antonio, both in the central west, many professional expats live in the Central Valley near San Jose.

“Santa Ana and Escazu [8km west of San Jose] are very popular with North Americans and Europeans in particular,” Jones said.

The cost of living in Costa Rica has increased in the past 10 years, with Jones noting that a cup of coffee and a cake can cost just as much as in central London in some places. “However, like most other places, if you know where to look and wish to survive on a modest budget, there are still plenty of local places where you can eat and shop at a reasonable cost,” he said.

According to expats, Colombia ‘feels like home fast’ (Credit: Jane Sweeney/Getty Images)

Colombia
This South American hotspot feels like home fast, according to many expats.

“The Colombian people are eager to show their country in a positive light and are very receptive and hospitable towards newcomers,” said Anne Marie Zwerg-Villegas, an InterNations Medellín Ambassador living in Chia (a suburb north of Bogotá) and originally from the US.

“Colombia is one of the countries in the world with the lowest percentage of foreign-born residents, so we are a novelty. Locals tend to think of us as tourists and treat us as tourists.”

William Duran, who lives in Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city, where he hosts a digital nomad bootcamp, says this gives expats a unique opportunity to feel immediately welcomed, without the shine wearing off. “Out of the 40-plus countries I have been to, there is no other place where I’ve seen foreigners feel such a great balance of familiarity and novelty,” he said. “Colombians are very helpful and cheerful. The country is warm in every sense of the word.”

Colombians are ‘very receptive and hospitable towards newcomers’ (Credit: John Coletti/Getty Images)

Most expats live in Bogotá, the metropolitan capital with nearly 8 million residents. Since traffic in the city is ‘horrendous’, according to Zwerg-Villegas, it pays to live close to your office. Most professional expats live in the northeast quadrant of the city, in neighbourhoods such as Chicó, Rosales, Usaquén and Cedritos.

“These neighbourhoods have modern commercial centres with international brands, restaurants with a variety of ethnic cuisine, and social and athletic clubs. Exclusive nightlife spots like Parque 93, Zona T and Zona G are also in these neighbourhoods,” Zwerg-Villegas said.

Younger and more adventurous expats might consider parts of the city further south like Teusaquillo or Soledad, where craft beer bars and inexpensive nightclubs are everywhere.

Since Colombia is an agricultural economy, fresh fruit and vegetables are available year round at affordable prices, and services are cheap too.

“Most expats will easily afford a maid, a driver and a nanny,” Zwerg-Villegas said. That said, expat incomes usually qualify as upper-middle class, which means a surcharge on utilities is levied to support the lower income earners.

Oman’s welcoming culture reflects its warm climate (Credit: Gavin Hellier/Getty Images)

Oman
As one of the sunniest countries in the world, Oman also has friendly residents who reflect the warm climate. A welcoming culture rooted in faith also leads to an openness with newcomers.

“Traditionally speaking, Omanis are very hospitable to strangers. With their strong Islamic background and belief, they love to help their neighbours or those in need, and will easily bring a stranger or new person into their home for coffee or dates or fruit,” said Nicole Brewer, who lives in Nizwa (160 km south of the capital of Muscat) and blogs about her experience at I Love to Globetrot.

The country is known for outdoor living and adventures, with great weather, camping and adventure spots.

Thanks to its great weather, Oman is known for outdoor living (Credit: Franz Aberham/Getty Images)

“Don’t consider moving to Oman for the city life,” warned Rebecca Mayston, an InterNations Ambassador originally from New Zealand who lives in Muscat. “Move here with an open mind for outdoor experiences. For me, the life is endless adventures, amazing weather and landscapes, diverse nationalities and friendships.”

Muscat has more bars and restaurants than any other city in Oman, and Mayston says many of her expat friends enjoy clubbing here on the weekends. Nizwa has more of a small-town feel, even though it used to be the capital of the country, but has plenty of history, including the Nizwa Fort and its famous souq, a shopping district filled with gems and pottery.

While the cost of living in Oman is growing more expensive, it was recently ranked by Mercer as one of the more affordable places to live in the Middle East.

“For me, I can live a better life here than I do back home, and still get ahead with financial benefits,” Mayston said.

Expats are drawn to the Philippines’ tropical lifestyle (Credit: Danita Delimonte/Getty Images)

The Philippines
This island nation has become an outsourcing capital with many multinational companies opening offices here and attracting expats from across the world. Currently, residents of 159 countries do not need even need a visa to enter the Philippines.

English is a primary language and residents are eager to welcome newcomers.

“Locals are very outgoing and helpful, which makes foreigners feels accommodated,” said Eleanor Webley, a Manila native and InterNations Ambassador.

There’s also a strong culture of going out – to festivals and parties, or even just getting outdoors – which means newcomers can easily find opportunities to meet new friends.

“The people here are very friendly and are always smiling,” said Wendell Yuson, an InterNations Ambassador who was born and raised in Manila, adding that the slogan of the Philippine Department of Tourism also reflects this vibe: ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines!’”

The Philippines’ going-out culture gives expats plenty of opportunities to make friends (Credit: Tom Cockrem/Getty Images)

While most expats work in Manila, many choose to make their home near the country’s beautiful beaches. Tagatay, 74km south of Manila, is a popular island for expats who want to be out of the fray, but still within reach via public transportation (buses connect the cities).

“The Philippines has 7,100 islands, and expats love the tropical lifestyle here,” Yuson said. Those who prefer city living usually stay in the Central Business Districts (including Makati, the primary and largest CBD; the newest district Bonifacio Global City; and centrally located Ortigas Center in Manila) or live in Cebu, the second city of the country located in the central islands.

The cost of living here is generally not high, and budget-minded expats can easily make ends meet, with costs in Manila about 60% less expensive than London in housing, transportation and food, according to Expatistan.com. Still, living in high-end districts or using serviced apartments, where residents enjoy hotel-level amenities and services, can push costs up substantially.

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ABC News | Mugabe’s wife says he could run in election ‘as a corpse’

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 06:28

Zimbabwe’s 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe should run “as a corpse” in next year’s election if he dies before the vote, his wife said Friday.

Grace Mugabe accused some ruling ZANU-PF party officials of plotting to take over from her husband and said that even if he dies, supporters should put his name on the ballot to show their love for him.

“If God decides to take him, then we would rather field him as a corpse,” she told thousands of cheering supporters at a rally in Buhera in eastern Zimbabwe. She spoke in the local Shona language.

The president, who will turn 93 on Tuesday, has slowed down on public engagements while his 51-year-old wife has become increasingly visible in politics.

Mugabe has been in power since white minority rule ended in Zimbabwe in 1980 after years of war. A big celebration for him is planned on Feb. 25, a few days after his birthday.

Grace Mugabe warned associates of Mugabe from the era of guerrilla war against white rule that they can’t take power because they also are old.

“Anyone who was with Mugabe in 1980 has no right to tell him he is old. If you want Mugabe to go, then you leave together. You also have to leave. Then we take over because we were not there in 1980,” she said, pointing to herself.

Grace Mugabe has professed fierce loyalty to her husband, previously saying she would get him a wheelchair if necessary and push it for him so that he can continue to rule.

Mugabe has declared he wants to live until 100 and rule for life, and has complained about ruling party factions that are jostling for influence as a succession battle looms.

Source — ABC News

Opinion | The Confusion, Ingratitude As Well As The Danger Of Western Liberals And The Trump Therapy – By President Yoweri K. Museveni

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 05:29

I have been either closely following or actively involved in World and African political events for the last 56 years. In those 56 years, I have noticed many happenings, behaviours, etc. One of the groups that I have observed with interest are the Western “Liberals”, “Leftists”, etc. In particular, I have noticed the confusion, ingratitude and, therefore, danger of these groups. Liberals are supposed to be people who are not conservative and hardliners in economic, political and social issues. Leftists are supposed to be progressive as far as the same issues are concerned. In order to keep this piece brief, I will not go into the history and details of Western Liberalism and Leftism. That should be for another day.

Suffice it to say that the freedom fighters from Africa, who have been fighting colonialism, neo-colonialism, slave trade and marginalization for the last 500 years, would have counted the Westerns Liberals and Leftists among our automatic allies because these should be people that should be fighting for freedom and justice for all peoples, including the formerly Colonized Peoples.

Instead, we notice confusion, ingratitude and, therefore, danger from these liberals and leftists. Let us start with the confusion. During the US campaign, I noticed President Trump using the words: “convergence rather than divergence”, while handling international affairs. That is exactly what the Western Liberals and Leftists should have been looking for. Instead, we would spend endless hours arguing with the Western Liberals on matters on which we cannot have convergence bearing in mind that our societies were still pre-capitalist and traditional while theirs have been industrial for centuries now. These are issues to do with family, forms of democracy, homo-sexuals, central planning versus economic liberalization, etc., etc.

One had to control irritation to politely get through these meetings. Yet matters of convergence were there and uncontested: fighting extremism and terrorism (narrow-mindedness and indiscriminate use of violence); modern education in natural sciences and social sciences; the emancipation of women; trade; democracy; etc. This is what, in brief, I regard as the confusion of the Western Liberals and Leftists. I do not want to say much on this because I want to get to the next two points and space is limited. Nevertheless, by the Western Liberals trying to impose all their views and values on everybody in the World, they generate not convergence but divergence and even conflict.

Owing to the confusion of these actors, it leads them to two other mistakes: ingratitude and, therefore, a danger to peace in the World. As colonized Peoples, the Africans were greatly assisted by two earth-shaking events in the last century: the October Communist Revolution of 1917 in the Soviet Union (Russia) and the Victory of the Communists in China in 1949. You should remember that by 1900, the whole of Africa had been colonized except for Ethiopia which Musolini would soon add on the list (in 1935). Colonized by whom? By the Western Countries (Britain, France, Portugal, Germany and Spain). The Communists, on the other hand, in both Russia and China, were totally opposed to Western Imperialism and were for de-colonization. They opposed Imperialism by word and action (support for the Liberation Movements)

The greed and flawed logic of the Western Imperialists soon led to two World Wars (the 1st and the second ─ 1914–18 and 1939 – 45). How? In 1453, the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople (Istanbul) and, therefore, blocked the overland trade route opened by Marco-Polo in the years 1272 – 1275. The trade was mainly in silk and spices – very much in demand in Europe at that time. Now, the Ottoman Turks cut off this route.

The Europeans had, therefore, to look for sea routes either around the massive African Continent or through the unknown Western Oceans ─ the Atlantic and the Pacific. Frantic efforts by Western rulers to go by sea around Africa and over the Western Oceans, were soon rewarded. In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba, discovering for the Europeans a new continent occupied by the American Indians. This new continent was North and South America. In 1498, Vasco Da Gama went around the Cape of Good Hope and spent the Christmas day at Natal. These two events should have been very beneficial to humanity if it was not for two weaknesses: the greed of the Europeans and the bankruptcy of the African Chiefs as well as the under-development of the indigenous Peoples of the Americans. The bankrupt African Chiefs would not organize us to resist slave trade and colonialism. In fact, many of them actually assisted both. Especially for Africa, both slave trade and colonialism would not have been possible, if it was not for the collaboration and bankruptcy of the African Chiefs. Owing to the social under-development of the Indigenous Americans (the American Indians), they were exterminated by “the Christians” from Europe, using war and disease. It is an amazing miracle of God when I go to the UN and see the very American – Indian face of Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia.

So, some American – Indians survived in sufficient numbers to generate a President from among themselves!! How great God is even in the face of evil!! I have never had a chance to talk to him. What language do these Indians speak? Do they still speak their indigenous languages? Therefore, in the four centuries between Columbus landing in Cuba and 1900, three most terrible things had happened to the non-European children of God: the indigenous People of the Americas had been exterminated and their land had been taken over by “the Christian” Europeans; millions of Africans had been up-rooted, taken into slavery in the Americas or perished in the process; and the whole of Africa (except for Ethiopia) and much of Asia had been colonized by European Countries (Britain, France, Spain, Holland, Portugal, etc.). The Europeans had polluted the efforts of the explorers that were looking for the sea routes to the East. Unlike Marco Polo who opened a trade route to the East for the flow of silk and spices, the Europeans now unleashed conquest, slave trade and even extermination on the People of the three continents: Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Nevertheless, the Colonized Peoples, initially betrayed by their bankrupt chiefs, were beginning to organize themselves. The ANC of South Africa was, indeed, founded in 1912. I attended their Centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein in 2012. In the USA, by around 1905, people like Du Bois, later on joined by George Padmore, started agitating for Pan-Africanist ideas. It is this re-invigorated resistance by the African and other colonized peoples that formed the first pillar of our ability to regain our freedom. Indeed, Mahtma Ghandi was also in South Africa as a young lawyer when this awakening was taking place.

It is at this stage that the 2nd pillar of our freedom took shape: the sparking of the inter-imperialist war of 1914-1918. What were these imperialists fighting for? They were fighting over us ─ we the Colonized Peoples ─ the property of the imperialists. The Germanic tribes inhabiting the forests of Northern Europe, had defied the Roman Empire and contributed to its decline and collapse in 450 AD. By 1870, these tribes were still governed under 39 Kingdoms, Principalities etc. On account of the growing Junker pressure in one of the Kingdoms, Prussia, a war took place between Prussia and France in 1870. France was defeated by Bismarck and the German Kingdoms were united. A United Germany now cried foul on account of being “cheated” by the other European countries in the enterprise of having “Colonial possessions” – i.e. us. Germany demanded a “fairer” redivision of the World Colonies.

That is how Bismark organized the Congress of Berlin in 1884 – 85 to solve this “problem” ─ the problem of being “cheated” as far as we the “possessions” were concerned. That is how Germany now joined the League of the Imperialists by being awarded: Tanganyika, Rwanda, Burundi, Cameroon, Namibia, Togo, etc. It seems, however, that Germany was not happy with the redivision. That is how, eventually, the 1st World War broke out in 1914. The results of the 1st World War did not please Germany and Germany, now under Hitler, started the 2nd World War. The good thing was that the Imperialist Countries had been so weakened by their criminal wars, that the anti-colonial movement grew in strength. The Imperialists tried to re-establish control, but they were defeated in Indonesia, Indo-China, Kenya etc. This, therefore, was the second pillar that enabled our emancipation.

The third pillar was the emergence of Communists in the Soviet Union in 1917 and in China in 1949. These groups were anti-capitalist but also anti-colonialist. To the advantage of the Colonized Peoples, a big anti-imperialist camp had emerged by 1950. They opposed imperialism morally and also gave material support to the liberation Movements. Genuine freedom fighters in Africa can, therefore, never forget this history changing solidarity. When “Christian” countries from the West were enslaving us, these atheist communists supported our freedom and they never interfere in our affairs even today. These communists, especially the Soviet Union, did not only support our freedom, they also defended, at a great cost to themselves, the freedom of the imperialist countries themselves. Although the imperialist countries had intervened in the Soviet Union so as to defeat the new communist power, which efforts had failed between 1918 and 1920, by 1938, the pragmatic Stalin was calling on the West to form an Alliance with him to oppose German aggression.

The Western leaders, on account of their narrow interests and myopia, refused. Soon Hitler attacked Poland and overrun it; he had gobbled up Czechoslovakia in March 1939. He overran the whole of Western Europe except for Britain and Sweden. Spain, Portugal and Italy were Hitler’s allies. Fortunately for the West and for us all, Hitler made the mistake of attacking the Soviet Union on the 22nd of June, 1941. It is the Soviet Union that defeated Hitler after alot of sacrifices with over 60 millionpeople dead etc. Hitler, had to deploy 195 Army divisions against the Soviet Union compared to only 75 divisions in the West against the Western allies ─ the USA, Britain, France’s De-Gaulle, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, South Africa, not forgetting the hundreds of thousands of African soldiers fighting for the Colonial Masters. The Western countries only opened the second front with the landings in Sicily in July 1943. This was after the defeat of the Germans by the Russians at Moscow (1941 – December), Stalingrad (1942-43) and Kursk (July, 1943).

It is this Soviet Union, that did not only support the freedom of us, the Colonized Peoples of the World, but saved the whole of humanity by defeating Hitler, that is ever the target of the ungrateful, confused and, therefore, dangerous groups in the West. These groups were against the Soviet Union after the October Revolution in 1917, throughout the inter-war period (1918 – 1939), during the Cold War and even after the Cold War. It is unfair, it is wrong and it is dangerous for World Peace. True, the Soviets made their own mistakes. Why did they occupy Western Europe after the defeat of Hitler? Would the mighty Red Army not have earned more admiration from the Peoples of the World if they had withdrawn from Eastern Europe in 1946 and left those People’s to shape their own destinies? They would not have, then, involved themselves in Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968 and there would have been no Berlin Wall. Why did Brezhnev invade Afghanistan in 1979? I was part of the massive anti-Soviet demonstration in Dar-es-salaam in 1968 following their invasion of Czechoslovakia. However, to me, who is not biased, those mistakes neither compare with the mistakes of the West, past and present, nor do they deem the great historic contributions of both the USSR and China to the cause of humanity in general and the African Peoples in particular.

The Soviet Union broke up to the wild acclamation of the groups in the West. They welcomed the break up but did not bother about the how. You, therefore, had residual and consequent issues to the break-up. If the old internal borders of the USSR were now to become the new international borders of Sovereign Countries that were successors to the old Russian Czarist Empire and the USSR, was it not necessary to discuss that phenomenon frankly and fairly? How about the mixed populations ─ Russian and Non-Russian? How were they to live thereafter? No, all that was none of the business of the Western governing circles. What was crucial was that the “enemy” was down. Moreover, all the positive contributions Russia made to global peace or can make now are of no consequence to these Western circles. Russia must submit to the dictates of the West. This is where the danger of these groups comesin. Russia is a very powerful country even after the break-up of the USSR. It is (17,021,900 km²) seventeen million square kilometers in land area ─ that is like almost combining the USA and China. The Communists developed Russian technology and it can develop more. To think that you can trample on Russia like they have been trampling on other unfortunate Peoples, is to be very reckless and dangerous to World peace. Yet there are so many issues on which all of us (Africa, the West, Russia, China, India, Brazil, etc.) agree: universal education; improved health; industrialization; freedom of Peoples; the emancipation of women; anti-terrorism; etc. Why not take advantage of these convergences? We who were colonized and brutalized by the Western Countries forgot and forgave those mistakes. Why can’t these countries of the West have a just and balanced attitude to the countries of the East that are growing in capability and getting millions of Peoples out of poverty?

This is where Mr. Trump comes in. He says: “Why do we not examine the possibility of working with Russia against common threats, such as terrorism?” The liberals then shout that Mr. Trump must be having a secret agenda with Mr. Putin etc. This is why we could think of looking into the possibility of talking about the Trump Therapy for strategic myopia and recklessness in the West.

Gen. (rtd.) Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

Source — President Museveni’s Blog.

The Hill | Trump’s Africa Policy Finally Gets Going, And There’s Reason For Hope

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 06:24

The Hill — Since the election of Donald J. Trump, I have dedicated three columns to imagining Africa policy under the new U.S. president. With “imagination” being the operative word, because few hints had been offered up by the president, or by his top advisors during the 18-month campaign, or thereafter.

Admittedly, it hasn’t been easy to stay positive. There have been hiccups and misfires.

Such as in December, when it was rumored that Trump’s first meeting, as president-elect with an African leader would be with Sassou Nguesso, president of the Congo, a man who had changed the constitution so he could extend his 30-year rule indefinitely.

Africa watchers were outraged! The meeting was later cancelled, (or never on the books), depending on who you listen to.

In January, Helene Cooper of the New York Times reported that the Trump transition team, in questions submitted on Africa, grilled the State department on whether engaging in Africa was worth our time, given “so much corruption,” and with, “so many problems at home.”

At that point I called myself “utterly dismayed.”

Today, however, it appears that there is reason to be guardedly optimistic that the long-standing bi-partisan policy that has guided successive U.S. administrations on Africa, anchored in democracy, respect for human rights, shared threats to security, and private-sector led development, may indeed continue.

Here’s why.

Tuesday morning, President Trump placed his first phone calls to African leaders since being elected, reaching out to President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and Jacob Zuma of South Africa. They represent two of Africa’s largest economies, attracting thousands of U.S. investors, and whose cooperation is essential to facing shared challenges and threats.

These were the right calls to make out of the box, and the conversations, as reported, were on point.

In talking to President Buhari, Donald Trump expressed America’s continued support for the fight against Boko Haram, Nigeria’s militant Islamist group which has caused havoc in Africa’s most populous country.

Researchers estimate that between 2011 and the close of 2016, Boko Haram has killed more than 15,000 civilians, in addition to the horrifying kidnapping of 276 Chibok school girls, and regularly deploying children as suicide bombers.

This was an essential intervention by the U.S. president, particularly after last week when the White House list of “underreported” terrorist incidents included only a sole reference to attacks in Sub Saharan Africa — at the U.S. Embassy in Chad — and was silent to Nigeria’s suffering against Boko Haram, something that did not go unnoticed on the Continent, particularly in social media.

In South Africa, according to reports from the South African presidency, the two presidents reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the already strong bilateral relations between the two countries. They “also discussed the need to work together on multilateral issues… especially the quest for peace and stability on the African continent.”

All of this took place in the midst of major shakeup at the National Security Council, where Michael Flynn’s pick for the senior Africa Director, Robin Townley was denied security clearance by the CIA, according to reports.

As we look at what’s next, President Trump plans to attend the G-7 Summit in Sicily on May 26, where the focus will be on Africa and Migration. Then, July 7-8, the U.S. president has accepted the invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel to participate in the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany where the topics will include terrorism, migration and refugee flow, among others. Two meetings with our allies; two formal discussions on Africa.

Merkel, and other European leaders, are calling for investing in programs that support youth education and training, and on strengthening economies and the rule of law to support African growth and development, and to stem the flow of migration from its source. This is a long stretch from the White House’s current focus on implementing an immigration ban and reinforcing the border.

It looks as if the Trump administration is finally off to a start on Africa. But is there a true appreciation of the importance of Africa to U.S. economic, environmental, health and national security interests?

Is there an understanding that partnerships with Africa’s people, its businesses, and leaders make America stronger?

We can only hope, and continue to advocate, reminding President Trump that not everyone who disagrees with him is part of “the resistance,” some of us are just trying to help.

K. Riva Levinson is President and CEO of KRL International LLC www.krlinternational.com a D.C.-based consultancy that works in the world’s emerging markets, and author of “Choosing the Hero: My Improbable Journey and the Rise of Africa’s First Woman President” (Kiwai Media, June 2016).

Source — The Hill

Opinion | African Nations Increasingly Silence Internet to Stem Protests — The New York Times

Sun, 02/12/2017 - 08:22

People waiting to vote in the presidential election outside a polling station in Banjul, Gambia, in December. Government officials said security concerns prompted internet services to be shut off and international cellphone calls to be blocked.
MARCO LONGARI / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES

DAKAR, Senegal — Julius Ikena’s trade business is at a standstill because he cannot make electronic payments to his partners. Andrew Mofor cannot get access to the small fortune — 800 euros, or about $850 — that his daughter sent him through an online banking system.

And Angela Atabong, a 29-year-old economics student in Cameroon’s capital, can no longer tap out sweet nothings on the internet messaging service WhatsApp to her fiancé, who lives six hours away.

All three have been thwarted by Cameroon’s government, which is the latest in sub-Saharan Africa to switch off the internet in parts or all of a nation, or to put other limits on online communication in hopes of snuffing out protests and other opposition.

Officials in Cameroon and elsewhere say internet blackouts are a security measure. But they are also a hit to the fragile economies of developing nations that are increasingly reliant on online business transactions as internet access and cellphone use have exploded in recent years.

Authoritarian regimes have long limited communication with the outside world during tense times. Most notably in 2011, Egyptian government officials cut internet and mobile network access to 80 million people as thousands of protesters gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo. Governments in Myanmar, Nepal and other countries have also shut off internet access in recent years.

Now, sub-Saharan African governments are increasingly employing the tactic: Blackouts have grown most rapidly in the past two years, researchers say. In recent months, governments in several countries have turned off internet access during elections when violence broke out or was merely expected.

In December in Gambia, the president at the time, Yahya Jammeh, a ruthless leader known for human rights abuses, shut off internet services and blocked international cellphone calls as votes were cast in a presidential election that eventually ousted him from office. In Gabon, officials cited security concerns for an internet blackout during presidential elections that prompted deadly demonstrations after the vote was considered by observers to be fraudulent.

And in the Republic of Congo, internet access was blocked, television networks switched off and the nation’s main airport closed during an election that spurred violence. Government officials were accused of using airstrikes on opposition forces.

Elsewhere on the continent, Ethiopia has shut down some social media sites and internet services after demonstrations. In Zimbabwe, after protests over the travails of daily life, officials raised prices on cellphone data, a move widely seen as an effort to curb the use of social media. Lawmakers also pushed measures to allow the police to intercept data and seize electronics like laptops and cellphones, levying charges of terrorism for misuse. The Democratic Republic of Congo has blocked social media sites and text messaging amid demonstrations over the president’s attempts to extend his tenure in office.

Freedom House, an American watchdog organization, said in its annual Freedom on the Net survey of 65 countries that 24 nations experienced restrictions on social media and communications last year, up from 15 countries the previous year. Network shutdowns occurred in 15 countries last year, more than double that in 2015, the survey found.

Mai Truong, program manager for the survey, said, “It’s a strategy that the authorities are increasingly turning to as a method of controlling both the information landscape and citizens’ ability to mobilize, in recognition of the fact that the internet has become a fundamental tool for people to realize their rights and participate meaningfully in society.”

The United Nations Human Rights Council last year condemned the practice of intentionally preventing or disrupting access to information on the internet, saying access was a fundamental human right.

Network blackouts also have economic consequences. Many residents of some regions of Africa where joblessness is soaring are increasingly using online or mobile transfers to receive money from relatives in urban areas or abroad. If the internet is shut off, users cannot use Wi-Fi to transfer cash and must pay for mobile data to go online. The cost is prohibitive for many people.

Between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, 81 short-term internet shutdowns in 19 countries cost at least $2.4 billion in gross domestic product globally, according to Darrell M. West, founding director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution.

“As the digital economy expands, it will become even more expensive for nations to shut down the internet,” he wrote in an October analysis. “Without coordinated action by the international community, this damage is likely to accelerate in the future and further weaken global economic development.”

Mr. West estimated that the election-time shutdown last year in the Republic of Congo alone dealt an $72 million hit to the economy of the struggling nation.

Cameroon’s continuing internet blackout affects only English-speaking regions of the country. It followed weeks of protests from lawyers, teachers and other residents in those areas who have been agitating for better treatment from the French-speaking government, which they say has long marginalized their communities.

Before independence in the early 1960s, Cameroon was colonized by the French and the British. The Constitution allows protections for both languages, but Francophones rule the government. Most official documents are offered in French and not translated, evidence that Anglophones cite as proof of their marginalization.

Some demonstrations in English-speaking areas have turned violent, and security forces have fired on protesters.

The blackout has attracted attention from Edward J. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who revealed extensive surveillance and data collection programs operated by the National Security Agency. He recently criticized Cameroon’s government on Twitter, saying, “This is the future of repression.” A hashtag #BringBackOurInternet has been circulating.

Yet the shutdown is a stopgap measure until another filtering system can get up and running, said one diplomat with knowledge of operations in the region, who declined to be identified because of continuing tensions there. The government is buying technology from Chinese companies that will allow officials to filter websites in the same fashion that the Chinese government has long employed to control content.

Still, the blackout could have political ramifications for Cameroon’s government. Bankers have largely stayed apolitical over the more than three decades since President Paul Biya has been in office. But as the shutdown starts to hurt their business, they could become a potent adversary, analysts fear.

The blockage has also made it difficult for local journalists to report on what is widely viewed as an overly harsh government response to the demonstrations. Before the internet went dark, some cellphone users received ominous messages from officials.

“Dear subscriber,” one message the government circulated on WhatsApp warned. “You incur six months to two years imprisonment and 5 to 10 million fine if you publish or spread on the social media information that you can’t prove.”

Another message read, “Do not be an accomplice of disinformation or destabilization of our country through the social media.”

Some citizens in blackout areas have come up with clever ways to get around the shutdown. Cellphone users type out messages and then pay drivers who gather garbage bags full of phones and take them outside the blackout boundaries. After crossing into an area where the network is up and running, they hit the send button on each phone.

Since the blackout, Henry Boh has not been able to send money to Bamenda in the northwest, where his brother needs cash to take his nephew to the hospital for treatment.

“This is a clear sign that the government of Yaoundé doesn’t listen to its people’s voices,” said Mr. Boh, who lives in Yaoundé, the nation’s capital.

Mr. Boh said the shutdown further proved the Anglophone protesters’ point that the government mistreated them. In the nation’s Far North region where Islamic militants from Boko Haram wage deadly attacks, they say, the internet is operational.

“The government respects Boko Haram more than us,” Mr. Boh said.

Dionne Searcey reported from Dakar, Senegal, and Francois Essomba from Bamenda, Cameroon.

Source — The New York Times.

Irish Times | Lawyer Seeking Order Forcing Facebook to Reveal Ugandan Blogger’s Identity Loses Appeal

Fri, 02/10/2017 - 08:50

A High Court judge has said he could not, “in conscience”, order Facebook Ireland to reveal the identity of a blogger who has made clearly defamatory allegations against a Ugandan lawyer. Mr Justice Donald Binchy said he could not do so because the blogger’s bodily integrity or life might be under threat having read an Amnesty International report on Uganda. He said the Amnesty report – referring to the arrest and charging of people who spoke out against the Ugandan government – seemed to echo some of the concerns put forward by Facebook.

The social media company opposed an application by lawyer Fred Muwema for an order revealing the identity of the blogger who goes under the pseudonym TVO (Tom Voltaire Okwalinga). TVO posted material on Facebook alleging Mr Muwema had accepted bribes and that a break-in at Mr Muwema’s office had been staged. Mr Muwema denies the claims and sought to sue TVO for defamation. He brought proceedings in Ireland as it is home to Facebook’s headquarters outside the US and Canada. Mr Justice Binchy last August refused Mr Muwema an injunction requiring Facebook to take down the material but was prepared to make an order relating to disclosure by Facebook of basic subscriber information relating to the identity of TVO.

Fake TVO page — Facebook asked the judge to revisit his decision on revealing his identity after it said it had learned a second, or fake TVO page, had been set up on Facebook. A former employee of the US Embassy in Uganda was arrested by police on the incorrect presumption he was TVO, Facebook’s lead litigation counsel, Jack Gilbert, said in an affidavit. Facebook was also concerned about a number of international reports, including from the US State department in 2015, about the lack of respect in Uganda for human rights involving unlawful killings and torture of detainees. Nicholas Opiyo, an advocate with the Chapter Four human rights organisation in Uganda, said he defended the man who had been arrested by police who believe he was TVO and he was held for 48 hours at a notorious detention centre in Kampala.

Mr Opiyo believes if the identity of the real TVO is revealed, the latter will be subjected to similar or worse abuse at the hands of security agents. Mr Justice Binchy said on Thursday his decision was 80 per cent complete but Facebook had behaved very responsibly in bringing the information before the court. While he did not believe TVO’s identity should be revealed, the court would have to make an order in circumstances where Mr Muwema had been defamed and was entitled to a remedy.

Andrew Walker, for Mr Muwema, said his client needed the identity to sue TVO for defamation. The Ugandan judicial system was robust enough to protect TVO who had broken that country’s Computer Misuse Act, he said. Rossa Fanning SC, for Facebook, said the real TVO, who has 80,000 followers, had set matters up where an order of the court relating to his identity may be ineffective while the “fake TVO” had not. Facebook found itself in an unusual situation where it felt compelled to ask the judge to revisit his order at its own cost. It was prepared to deal with this matter on the basis both sides pay their own costs of the litigation so far, counsel said. Mr Justice Binchy said he hopes to finalise his decision soon.

Source — Irish Times of Ireland.

Daily Monitor | Opinion | If Eala Aspirants Have to Bribe MPs For Votes, What’s Left? By Charles Onyango-Obbo

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 04:36

Opinion — When I read in Daily Monitor that money was changing hands in the campaigns for what it called “the much coveted East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) seats”, I wondered why it took so long. The report said “votes in Parliament are up to the highest bidder with legislators demanding cash and other inducements in exchange for their vote.” That is what corruption and transactional politics leads to. People in power and influential positions steal elections and money, buy votes, bribe opponents to cross to their side, and when they are caught, they pay off the police and courts.

When the government or ruling party wants support for, especially, an unpopular measure, it bribes MPs. These monies come from funds that would have improved schools, health, infrastructure, or been invested to create jobs and all sorts of economic opportunities. The result is that the voters get nothing after elections. So they wisen up. With every other election, they demand to be paid upfront by the politicians, before they can vote for them.
The politicians now need even more money to win, so they borrow heavily, sell their precious property, and by the time they get to Parliament they are broke, and need to pay back their debts, build up funds to keep paying voters to remain behind them, and to run the next election.

If to pass every contentious Bill, and to amend the Constitution to give the President some president-for-life pass, MPs charge, it is not surprising that they would levy a fee on an Eala vote. The matter, Daily Monitor reported, is so serious that it has reached the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), prompting the party’s electoral commission chairman, Tanga Odoi, to wag a warning finger.
Though Tanga didn’t say it, he must know the wider political dangers of money entering into such things. Political parties have ideological goals, and use these positions in Eala to reward key constituencies, or to appease aggrieved groups, so that they can preserve the alliance that enables to win the next election. Money, messes all that up. The Eala member or parliamentarian with the money to buy votes, might not be the one who helps the party’s cause most.

For example, after the Rwenzururu “massacre”, the government might want to take a candidate from the area to Arusha as a peace gesture, but he could be broke. However, the one from Fort Portal, where it has no major political problem it needs to solve, might be the one with the money, and could win if you don’t force him to stand down (and make an enemy of him and his supporters), or raid State coffers and outspend him. The result is that you are spending money you never intended to, but also ensured that at the next vote in five years, the price of the Eala vote will go up. The cure to all this is not to commit the original sin. Not to eat the forbidden fruit, in the first place. For the NRM, that was 31 years ago. But all these corrupt goings on, should worry the leaders because it affects them the most, and perhaps in ways they didn’t expect.

Consider this. When the former Cuban leader Fidel Castro died last November, one of the stories that got so much play was that he survived more than 600 assassinations and coup attempts, most of them engineered by the US. That’s more than any leader in human history, some claimed. How was that possible? Broadly, because though Cuba was a poor country, and people needed money, their ideological and national commitments to the revolution were higher. If Castro had driven around in gold-plated cars and had six luxury jets, he wouldn’t have survived long. The thing is that when corruption is rampant like in Uganda, and money can reach the most unlikely places, national duty, loyalty, patriotism, and political commitment all soon come with a price.

Anyone entrusted with the safety of MPs, ministers, and even the President can easily betray or harm them, if their adversary pays enough. Soldiers guarding a critical dam, can look the other way if a terrorist wants to blow it up, as long as he pays them enough to make it worthwhile. That is the final stage in which corruption, becomes a national security threat. A country cannot be led by demons (figuratively speaking), and expect that its gates be guarded by saints, and its citizens will forever remain angels. The only question now is whether Uganda still has time to turn back, and avoid that final fall over the cliff.

Onyango-Obbo is the publisher of Africa data visualiser Africapedia.com and explainer site Roguechiefs.com. Twitter@cobbo3

Source — Daily Monitor

Ugandan Diaspora | Editorial | February 2017 | The Hypocrisy Of Trump’s Travel Ban

Sat, 02/04/2017 - 17:07

Dear Readers,

Greetings and Welcome to February — Black History Month.

After just a couple of weeks in office President Trump has been true to his promise to shake things up, issuing executive orders whose ripple effects are bound to be felt across the globe.

In a pure departure from Obama’s appeasement policy, Trump is pandering to his conservative base which he knows won him the election and brought him to the White House. The latest political victory for the conservatives has come in form of the Supreme Court nomination that some see will be a compromise pick following the death of Justice Scalia last February. It largely expected that many of Trump’s nominees will be filibustered by the Democrats as a way to frustrate Trump but the Republican majority is expected to confirm many of these appointments.

While running for office Trump promised to “drain the swamp” but his appointments for Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of Education (as yet unconfirmed) have all been billionaires that have spent huge sums in support of Republicans.

Here are some facts that will help those following American politics to appreciate the issues behind the news. Rarely has a party been able to hold on to the White House following a two-terms presidency. This feat has only been accomplished once since 1950, when George H.W. Bush succeeded the highly popular Ronald Reagan in 1988.

In 2008 Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States, perhaps the most liberal President of modern times, after defeating Sen. John McCain. After what some felt was a tumultuous two terms for Bush 43 Americans were prepared for change. President Obama’s presidency came with some major policy changes that included greater rights for the LGBT movement. With Obama’s liberal agenda came consternation by the opposition over some of his policies on guns and healthcare. The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare has seen more than 20 million Americans get insured. However most Republicans seem determined to revoke this and fulfill a major campaign promise by President Trump.

The recent executive order on immigration put President Trump on a collision course with the Acting Attorney General and career diplomats in the State Department, some of who have now quit. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, appointed under Obama, was fired for refusing to implement the presidential ordinance and many immigration rights groups are up in arms over these anti-immigration policies.

The travel ban to the US for nationals of 7 Muslim countries appears to arise from recent terrorist massacres in Europe. Such incidents also helped to sway the Brexit vote and their effect has spread to the North America. A tweet by Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau urging those rejected by the US to come to Canada, a country that derives its strength from diversity, was answered with a shooting at a Quebec City mosque.

For some the immigration ban seems a contradiction, coming as it does from a man who has had two foreigners for wives. Social media sites and other forums have pointed to the fact that the majority of the 9/11 terrorists came from madrasas in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan yet those countries, notable as breeding grounds for terrorism, are not included in Trump’s travel ban. But in breaking news as of February 4, a federal judge in Seattle has placed a has placed a temporary hold on the ban, marking the third time that a federal judge has interceded in the matter in less than a week.

Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the US border with Mexico and finance it with a 20% tax on imports from that country has created a fierce backlash that could degenerate into a trade war and even lead to an economic slump. Canada and Mexico as two of the top three US trading partners, ahead of the European Union, and many of the jobs in the US that pay a low wage, e.g., picking and processing fruit and janitorial work, are done by minorities and immigrants. Although President Trump pushes for Made in America his Trump fashion brand and that of his daughter Ivanka have been largely Made in China.

http://www.ugandandiasporanews.com/2017/01/29/press-release-department-of-homeland-security-statement-on-border-security-and-immigration-enforcement/

America is still coming to terms with all the changes that have dominated the first two weeks of the Trump Presidency. With the nomination to elevate 49-year-old conservative Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Trump, if the nomination is approved, would be fulfilling a major election promise sure to please many evangelicals, pro-lifers, pro gun rights and anti-LGBT supporters as such a new Supreme Court Justice will end the deadlock that has seen the Court evenly split on some issues following the vacancy left by the death of Justice Scalia.

Obama’s nominee for the vacant seat was never confirmed but with the Republicans controlling the White House, Congress and the Senate a confirmation for Gursuch would deal a bitter blow to the Democrats, who are still regrouping after the DNC Wikileaks scandals and Hillary’s defeat. A more Republican-aligned Supreme Court will also mean that some cases could be appealed to reverse previous rulings.

And so as we ride this wave of the Trump Presidency over the next four years we await to see the real impact of his decrees that are largely meant to appeal to his base of supporters and perhaps win him another term in the White House. A large part of the electorate however is fearful of Trump and his advisors in the West Wing. His lack of diplomacy and run-ins with world leaders has many on edge, as they feel that the leader of the free world is not living up to the standard befitting the POTUS.

Only time will tell if the radical views and the constituency driving the Trump presidency will be sustainable beyond the usual Fox News paranoia. Some have said Obama’s shoes would be hard to fill but it looks like Trump came to town with a new approach. Among other things, he is trying to shake up things in an attempt to impose term limits on Congress. Let’s buckle up for an era that is bound to be riddled with controversy and could change America forever.

As for the Dems, it remains to be seen if they can deliver a midterm shellacking to the Republicans that will slow or stop Trump’s momentum. With issues of race relations, immigration, healthcare, gun control and violence still looming Democrats will need some redemption and a new leader to steer the ship now that minority leader Nancy Pelosi looks more like a leader whose season has passed.

Turning to things back home, Uganda has a new list of ambassadors featuring the usual familiar political appointees whose political fortunes have diminished. Many career diplomats have largely been phased out in favor of cadres that support the regime, too often not qualified to serve as ambassadors. The time has come for the Uganda Parliament to reassess the impact and individual contributions of each of the previous ambassadors. We have continually been short-changed by these appointments, few of which help sell our image or result in tangible business opportunities for the Ugandan people.

http://www.ugandandiasporanews.com/2017/01/27/daily-monitor-museveni-appoints-dr-kiyonga-ugandas-ambassador-to-china/

Finally, wishing all my people a Happy Black History Month!

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” — Booker T. Washington

— Ronnie Mayanja Ugandan Diaspora News | www.ugandandiasporanews.com |
Ugandan Diaspora Network | Event website | www.ugandandiaspora.com |
US | +1-978-235-2459 | UG +256-773-212-007 | +256- 794-999-898 |
Skype | ronnie.mayanja | Twitter | @rmayanjahttp://www.linkedin.com/in/ronniemayanja

Press Release | Department of Homeland Security Statement on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 05:59
Release Date: January 29, 2017

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security will continue to enforce all of President Trump’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people. President Trump’s Executive Orders remain in place—prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety. President Trump’s Executive Order affects a minor portion of international travelers, and is a first step towards reestablishing control over America’s borders and national security.

Approximately 80 million international travelers enter the United States every year. Yesterday, less than one percent of the more than 325,000 international air travelers who arrive every day were inconvenienced while enhanced security measures were implemented. These individuals went through enhanced security screenings and are being processed for entry to the United States, consistent with our immigration laws and judicial orders.

The Department of Homeland Security will faithfully execute the immigration laws, and we will treat all of those we encounter humanely and with professionalism. No foreign national in a foreign land, without ties to the United States, has any unfettered right to demand entry into the United States or to demand immigration benefits in the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security will comply with judicial orders; faithfully enforce our immigration laws, and implement President Trump’s Executive Orders to ensure that those entering the United States do not pose a threat to our country or the American people.

See below — President Donald J. Trump’s White-House Executive Order.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/25/executive-order-border-security-and-immigration-enforcement-improvements

Source — Department of Homeland Security Press Statement.

Daily Monitor | NRM Day January 26th 2017 | I am not anyone’s servant, says Museveni

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 10:23

By GEORGE MUZOORA — MASINDI. President Yoweri Museveni yesterday declared that he is not a servant or an employee of anybody but a person who fights for himself and his beliefs.

“I am not an employee. I hear some people saying that I am their servant; I am not a servant of anybody. I am a freedom fighter; that is why I do what I do. I don’t do it because I am your servant; I am not your servant. I am just a freedom fighter; I am fighting for myself, for my belief; that’s how I come in. If anybody thinks you gave me a job, he is deceiving himself. I am just a freedom fighter whom you thought could help you also,” he said. The President made the remarks in Masindi Town yesterday while presiding over NRA/M Day celebrations to mark his 31 years in power.

Dr Kizza Besigye, a four-time presidential contestant, has repeatedly said Mr Museveni, by the virtue of being president, is a servant of the people. Such views are misplaced, Mr Museveni said, backpedaling from his 1986 inaugural speech in which he said the government must be a servant of citizens.

Yesterday, the President cautioned teachers and health workers to stop being money-minded and scouting for jobs. Citing a Nakawuka Health Centre IV employee he said stays in Jinja, about 90 kilometres away over lack of staff housing, the President said:

“For us we stay in grass-thatched houses and work. Lack of good accommodation is an employee mentality, personally I am not an employee…,” Museveni said. He also said the government’s priority in the coming years is to concentrate on reducing imports, worth $7b, and increase exports that currently fetch only $5b.

“It does not make sense to import products which can be made locally,” he said. He said government is committing money into the Innovation Fund, Uganda Development Bank and Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisations (SACCOs) to support local processing and manufacturing.

“Imagine Uganda is importing furniture from China yet we have timber from Budongo. Such items can be made locally,” Mr Museven implored. The President promised to build a shelter to house a workshop and showroom for furniture dealers in Nsambya, Kireka and Ku Bbiri suburbs; all Kampala city suburbs.

“All those people are manufacturers who need to be assisted with common user machines and showrooms so that we can eliminate importation of furniture,” he said. The President also said pumping oil from the ground is another government priority. He said Uganda discovered oil in 2006 before Ghana which has now moved ahead and is already pumping their oil.

He, however, said government and other key players have agreed on major points including how much oil will be pumped, construction of the refinery, revenue sharing and the oil pipeline and where it should pass. According to President Museveni, government has implemented 10 per cent budget cuts in all sectors to facilitate infrastructural development mainly roads which will support oil production.

“There should not be any argument on that because we must do all the roads and railway to facilitate oil production,” he said, adding when Ugandans starts producing oil, the begging for foreign aid will stop. The President said he wants to build the country’s financial base using revenue from oil. He said once Uganda begins selling oil, it will earn over $2 billion when the price of oil is down and $4 billion dollars when the prices go up per year.

“Please everybody, let us get our oil and gas out. Let us do anything possible to achieve that,” he said. Mr Museveni also highlighted on Operation Wealth Creation programme, saying it was not meant to handle all problems in agriculture but to promote food security and commercial farming.

He however said in the urban areas, there is need to promote small-scale manufacturing to increase exports and reduce on imports. On education and health, Museveni said there is need to reform the curriculum. He admitted there is a big gap in education.

“We pledged one primary school per parish, one secondary school per sub-county, one technical school per constituency which we have not yet fulfilled,” he said in regard to the health sector. He commended the people of Masindi for their contribution during the NRA guerrilla struggle. “You gave support by giving us your children, food and information which helped us win battles in Masindi, Hoima, Biiso and other areas,” he said.

Earlier, he had commissioned his ruling party’s monthly newsletter code-named NRM Lense. “It is my pleasure to launch an NRM paper because many people are calling our party dumb,” he said, adding that NRM has now come out and will start speaking through its newspaper.

Museveni’s Qoutes
“I am just a freedom fighter; I am fighting for myself, my beliefs,..If anybody thinks you gave me a job, he is deceiving himself.
January 26, 2017

“The sovereign power in the land must be the population, not the government. The government should not be the master, but the servant of the people.”
January 29, 1986

Source — Daily Monitor.

Read President Museveni’s Full Liberation Day Speech January 26th 1986 —  http://www.ugandandiasporanews.com/2015/01/26/liberation-day-revisiting-president-musevenis-inaugural-fundamental-change-speech-29-years-later/

Reuters | Uganda’s Crane Bank Assets, Liabilities Transferred to DFCU – Central Bank

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 07:33

Reuters — Jan 27 The assets and liabilities of Uganda’s Crane Bank, which was put into receivership, have been transferred to dfcu, another mid-tier institution, the central bank said on Friday.

The Bank of Uganda said in October it had taken management control of Crane Bank because it lacked sufficient capital and posed a systemic risk to the financial system.

Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile told a news conference an external auditor found Crane Bank’s liabilities exceeded assets, rendering it insolvent.

“Bank of Uganda has now transferred the liabilities, including the deposits, of Crane Bank to dfcu Bank Limited and in consideration of that transfer of liabilities has conveyed to dfcu Bank, Crane Bank’s assets,” he said in a statement.

dfcu Bank reported profit before tax of 46.92 billion shillings for 2015 and total assets of 1.651 trillion shillings ($460.53 million) at the end of 2015.

The bank, which was listed in 2004, says its core businesses are consumer banking, development and institutional financing and treasury.

Crane Bank, set up in 1995, offered corporate and retail services, with a focus on micro, small and medium-sized businesses. Its 2015 report said the bank was controlled by businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, who had 48.67 percent of voting rights. Forbes listed him as one of Africa’s 50 richest men.

See full statement from the Bank of Uganda website below. https://www.bou.or.ug/bou/bou-downloads/press_releases/2017/Jan/DFCU-Bank-Limited-takes-over-Crane-bank-Limited.pdf

($1 = 3,585.0000 Ugandan shillings)

(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; writing by Edmund Blair; editing by Susan Thomas)

Daily Monitor | Museveni Appoints Dr Kiyonga Uganda’s Ambassador to China

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 16:13

Dr Chrispus Kyonga has been appointed new Uganda’s ambassador to China

By Job Bwire — President Museveni has appointed 37 new ambassadors, including former defence minister, Dr Chrispus Kiyonga who has been sent to China. Dr Kiyonga replaces Charles Wagidoso.

According to a statement issued by senior presidential press secretary Mr Don Wanyama, the list of names of newly appointed ambassadors/heads of mission will be sent to parliament for consideration and approval.

“Pursuant to Article 122 (1) of the Constitution, the President has appointed the following Ambassadors and Heads of Diplomatic missions,” reads part of the statement.

See full list below;
1. Brig. Ronnie Balya – JUBA
2. Kibedi Zake Wanume – COPENHAGEN
3. James Kinobe – KHARTOUM
4. Prof Sam Turyamuhika – MOGADISHU
5. Mubiru Stephen – ANKARA
6. James Mbahimba – KINSHASA
7. Onyanga Aparr Christopher – GENEVA
8. Nelson Ocheger – ABUJA
9. Dr Kiyonga Chrispus – BEIJING
10. Hyuha Samali Dorothy – KUALA LUMPUR
11. Wonekha Oliver – KIGALI
12. Sam Maale- CAIRO
13. Olwa Johnson Agara – MOSCOW
14. Nimisha Jayant Madhvani – ABU DHABI
15. Nduhura Richard – PARIS
16. Nsambu Alintuma – ALGIERS
17. Betty Akech Okullu – TOKYO
18. Katende Mull Sebujja – WASHINGTON
19. Maj Gen. Matayo Kyaligonza – BUJUMBURA
20. Moto Julius Peter – LONDON
21. Blaak Mirjam – BRUSSELS
22. Solomon Rutega – GUANGZHOU
23. Grace Akello – NEW DELHI
24. Phoebe Otaala – NAIROBI
25. Tibaleka Marcel – BERLIN
26. Napeyok Elizabeth Paula – ROME
27. Dr Kisuule Ahmed – RIYADH
28. Rebecca Otengo – ADDIS ABABA
29. Ruth Aceng – OTTAWA
30. Prof. Joyce Kikafunda – CANBERRA
31. Nekesa Barbara Oundo – SOUTH AFRICA
32. Dr. Ssemuddu Yahaya – TEHRAN
33. Ayebare Adonia – NEW YORK
34. Richard Kabonero – DAR ES SALAAM
35. His Highness Gabula William AMBASSODOR-SPECIAL DUTIES – OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT.
DEPUTY AMBASSODORS:
1. Ocula Michael
2. Mohammed Kezaala

Source — Daily Monitor

Ugandan Diaspora | Editorial | January 2017 | Lets Buckle-Up For The Age of Trump and What Could Be The Rise of Fascism in America?

Wed, 01/25/2017 - 06:44

Dear All,

Greetings and a Happy New Year. President Donald J. Trump assumed the Presidency of America as its 45th Commander in Chief in a country bitterly divided by race and politics. In what some viewed as a repudiation of President Obama’s policies Republicans turned out en masse to elect their man who has refused to make his tax returns public and has never held public office.. But the Dems are now regrouping and Saturday’s march of several million women in Washington and other cities may mark the beginning of a series of moves by the Dems to reorganize at the grass roots levels. Critics have been quick to ask why these crowds did not turn out in similar numbers last November to vote for Hillary Clinton, but they probably did, since Clinton won the popular vote by a considerable margin. Trump has already signed orders defunding Planned Parenthood and barring international non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortions from receiving US government funding. Next will be an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare and his promise to rebuild the wall and restrict immigration to the US.

For those watching Trump’s inauguration it became apparent that he, together with his movement were going to follow the Bush doctrine of you are either with us or against us. Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, spoke about crowd size, one of his bosses’ favorite topics during the campaign. In his first White House briefing, Spicer stated that Trump had attracted the biggest crowd of any inauguration (but video and panoramic images of the crowds seem to disprove this). For a man whose show ‘The Apprentice’ enjoyed good ratings for over ten years it will take alot to deflate Trump now that he has defied the Washington establishment and his own party political elite.

There is already talk that Trump’s presidency represents the rise of modern-day fascism, recalling Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. who rose to power riding a wave of populist views that shut out dissenters. With Trump and his angry supporters, who questioned Obama’s birthplace, claiming that he was not eligible to serve as president, we need to buckle up for a bumpy ride ahead. After witnessing first hand how Bush 43 dragged America in two senseless wars, depleting the budget surplus left by his predecessor, we need to pray that a Trump presidency will indeed “make America great again” and not result in a third world war or the apocalypse!

After 8 years in the White House Obama and his administration can be credited with departing scandal-free, even though some of his policies on same-sex marriage and the LGBT movement divided America. Trump is now under increasing scrutiny when it comes to his taxes or business practices. Even after the groping scandals were made public, many did not question whether Trump was morally fit to lead the world’s superpower nation. Trump’s inaugural speech was regarded my most as a radical departure from those made in the past as it did not inspire and rally a nation to unify under new leadership during major crises. His call for putting ‘America First’, is an answer to Globalization!

In my view, the Dems handed Trump this presidency when they blocked Bernie Sanders. The scandals at the Democratic National Committee showed what was wrong with the establishment and Democratic Party as a whole. Wikileaks later exposed these underhand methods that have largely been blamed on Russian hackers. Coupled with all this came talk that Hillary lost in states like Wisconsin that are traditionally democratic because she overlooked the electorate and never bothered to engage the electorate or visit these key democratic constituencies. These blunders would come back to bite Hillary and the Dems resulting in a shellacking at the electoral college though she would win the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes. Hillary won big in California and New York, both heavily populated liberal states, but Trump held his own in rural America, mostly conservative states, allowing Trump to lock in the magic number of electoral votes way ahead of Hillary in the country as a whole. Trump owed his victory of 304 electoral votes to Clinton’s 227, to wins in the swing states of Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

http://www.ugandandiasporanews.com/2016/10/30/opinion-the-october-surprise-and-why-this-us-election-will-shock-the-world-by-ronnie-mayanja/

Trump would do well to realize that he is also President for those who did not vote for him. America is a divided nation and after losing the popular vote by almost 2.9 million votes he needs to build bridges, not walls, if he is to succeed. Others fear that his trigger-happy twitter politics and war with the media might cause his impeachment, given his continued blunders and alignment with extreme right-wing groups. The obsession to repeal Obamacare, overturn NAFTA, get rid of section 8 and make changes to the tax code might be greeted with disdain and result in a loss for the Republicans during mid-term elections. He will need to let his press secretary do the talking instead of relying on his Twitter feed that many have described as an accident waiting to happen. And so we wait to see if, just like his rise to the presidency, Trump will prove us wrong by becoming a great leader for these entire United States!

As we start the new year the story of the defeat of Yahya Jammeh the Gambian leader who was forced out after losing an election and refusing to step down, should put African despots on notice. The resolve of regional institutions like ECOWAS and the UN that have come out to defend emerging democracies is a sign of hope for Africa that has seen leaders overstay their welcome and manipulate electoral processes to keep themselves in power indefinitely. More recently, it was Kabila of the DR Congo who called off elections, deciding to stay on but Jammeh’s unceremonious departure should be a wake up call to those African leaders entertaining the thought of lifting term limits or changing constitutional laws to perpetuate their stay… Why some will prefer to be smoked out of power, as happened to Laurent Gbabo of Ivory Coast is beyond understanding– indeed power corrupts and some of these leaders become so consumed with their egos that nothing they hear or see moves them.

http://www.ugandandiasporanews.com/2017/01/18/the-new-york-times-yahya-jammeh-presidents-term-running-out-gambia-shudders-as-he-refuses-to-quit/

Finally Uganda Cranes needs to be applauded for putting up a good fight. Although we were the first team to be disqualified at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon our boys did try against all odds. After nearly 30 years of international drought Uganda made it and this time put on impressive performances against Ghana and Egypt. If only our leaders devoted more resources to the sport we would be back to the top were we belong enjoying the same level of success that saw the Cranes reach the 1978 Africa Cup finals that they lost against Ghana in Accra. But we are still happy that Dennis Onyango, Uganda’s goalkeeper, at least scooped the African footballer of the year award for players based on the continent.

Now that Uganda is out of the Africa Cup its time to refocus on the presidential handshake that has many divided over the ethics of rewarding a few public civil servants who are paid hefty salaries while teachers go unpaid and healthcare facilities are collapsing. Some are willing to defend such payment in public institutions, comparing them to private companies where CEOs are rewarded with bonuses for good performance.

http://www.ugandandiasporanews.com/2017/01/14/daily-monitor-presidential-handshake-is-a-sign-of-the-oil-curse/

This is one of the things that is wrong with Uganda,. When some defend such actions and justify wanton corruption and the failure of government to build institutions and follow proper procurement procedures it points to the politics of Animal Farm. I cannot wait to see the complete list (including the ghosts) of the 46 civil servants that were the beneficiaries of this $1.6 million dollar handshake when its finally becomes public. If I were among the civil servants named I would return this money to avoid the semblance of any wrongdoing.

http://www.ntv.co.ug/news/local/23/jan/2017/revival-national-carrier-hits-snag-uganda-airlines-name-now-owned-private#sthash.JWdnSCVo.dpbs

The talk of reviving our national career is also back for debate in Parliament. The problem however is during a recent committee probe the Works State Minister alluded to the fact that after liquidating the Airline, the name Uganda Airlines had been sold off and Air Uganda is not available. So what will the new airline be called? Hopefully the airline routes were not divested the same way the ground handling services – the airline cash-cow was sold off to ENHAS!

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man — Benjamin Franklin

Happy New Year!

— Ronnie Mayanja Ugandan Diaspora News | www.ugandandiasporanews.com |
Ugandan Diaspora Network | Event website | www.ugandandiaspora.com |
US | +1-978-235-2459 | UG +256-773-212-007 | +256- 794-999-898 |
Skype | ronnie.mayanja | Twitter | @rmayanjahttp://www.linkedin.com/in/ronniemayanja

Charity Events | Robert Katende and Phiona Mutesi Hold Successful Fundraisers In Bellevue, Washington State

Sun, 01/22/2017 - 05:01

Two of the real life characters portrayed in Disney’s “Queen of Katwe,” are in Bellevue this week from Uganda.   Robert Katende and Phiona Mutesi — attended a lunch fundraiser at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue Tuesday, Jan.17, to benefit Ugandan-based SOM Chess academy, an outreach started by Katende that teaches chess to street kids there; and Bellevue-based, non-profit America’s Foundation for Chess, also known as First Move.

The first $25,000 will go directly to SOM and will be matched by Disney. The rest of the proceeds are going to First Move.

“Queen of Katwe,” which comes out on DVD and Blu Ray on Jan. 31, chronicles the story of Mutesi, when she was a 9-year-old girl living in the slums and on the streets of Katwe, Uganda. She hears from her brother about a chess club that is giving out food and she goes there.

The man spearheading the club, Katende, a Christian outreach worker, sparks her interest and mentors the young chess prodigy, coaching her to become the chess champion of Uganda and beyond to win international tournaments.

The film about Katende and Mutesi has created much buzz in Hollywood and in film festivals around the globe, and has ties to Bellevue’s Elliott Neff, a chess National Master and founder of the for-profit, Bellevue-based Chess4Life, a business which teaches children ages 5 -12 life skills through the game of chess.

Neff became involved in 2013 when he heard about the story of Ugandan children being empowered in life by this program and learned that Mutesi and Katende were coming to town to speak at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He quickly organized a fundraiser chess tournament for the Ugandan program and met the two Ugandans at that time.

Since then he has been in touch with Mutesi and the Ugandan program. He has helped mentor and teach long distance, and even made a trip to Uganda to help Mutesi and others prepare for the World Chess Olympiad. Neff was on the red carpet when the film premiered in Hollywood Sept. 22, seated with his friends Katende and Mutesi because of his major support for them.

Continuing to cheerlead, Neff says two local universities have offered Mutesi full tuition scholarships, including Seattle Pacific University and Northwest University. In addition, one of the other young people portrayed in the movie, Benjamin Mukumbya, is here as well and has been offered a full tuition scholarship to Northwest University.

However, the scholarships for each of these young adults do not include living expenses like room and board, which could amount to more than $10,000 a year.

Neff’s Chess4Life, which, since its founding in 2005, has reached more than 25,000 children and has also grown beyond teaching kids directly in schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, and in its own four locations throughout King County.

Through specially developed, proprietary Chess4Life curriculum and online tech tools, Neff’s expanded vision is now to reach more than a million kids a week. These tools train educators and others to teach this all-important strategic game. “Those tools are in use in Washington; Arizona; California in Los Angeles and San Diego; Texas; and now in the launching phase in Florida, and in a school in Boston and Uganda as well,” says Neff. “ I believe these tools can take children from beginners to national champions.”

Robert Katende and Phiona Mutesi were named Uganda’s Tourism ambassadors on Friday January 6th 2017 by the Tourism State Minister, Godfrey Suubi Kiwanda, at the ministry’s head offices in Kampala. He said the dual will enjoy diplomatic privileges, including a red passport, VIP protection while on official duty.

Ugandan Diaspora News is proud to celebrate Robert and Phiona’s accomplishments as Uganda’s goodwill ambassadors abroad. We now bring you some of the images from Bellevue, Washington State were the duo has held successful fundraisers for SOM Chess academy during these past two weeks. The article above was first published in the Sound Business Journal and the images below have been provided by Chess4Life and Mr. Robert Katende.

[See image gallery at www.ugandandiasporanews.com]

The New York Times | Yahya Jammeh | President’s Term Running Out, Gambia Shudders as He Refuses to Quit

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 06:24

BANJUL, Gambia — President Yahya Jammeh once predicted that his rule could last a billion years. Now, the fate of his nation is hanging on one more anxiety-filled day.

After acknowledging defeat in an election last month, Mr. Jammeh abruptly changed his mind, refusing to step aside for the inauguration of the new president scheduled for Thursday and threatening to drag the nation into a bloody standoff.

Mr. Jammeh, who has long been criticized for human rights abuses and grandiose claims like being able to cure AIDS with little more than prayer and a banana, has insisted on a do-over election. He declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, warning the nation not to engage in any “acts of disobedience.”

West African nations are preparing to enter the country and force Mr. Jammeh’s ouster if he does not leave. In response, Mr. Jammeh has threatened that his own military is prepared to defend Gambia’s sovereignty.

Senior officials in his government have resigned in protest or left the country. At least 26,000 Gambians have fled to across the border into Senegal, the United Nations says. Hundreds of tourists on beach vacations were also being evacuated.

Now, his opponent in the election, Adama Barrow, who has retreated to Senegal but has the overwhelming support of Gambians and international leaders, is forging ahead with plans for an inauguration ceremony on Thursday, throwing continental Africa’s smallest nation into uncertainty.

“What we are simply and rightfully asking for is to return to the polls and allow Gambians to elect who they want to be their president,” Mr. Jammeh told the nation, rejecting the previous vote as riddled with irregularities.

Parliament added to the confusion on Wednesday, voting to extend Mr. Jammeh’s term for three months, state television reported, although it was not clear whether the move was binding.

“Right now all we want is for Jammeh to go,” said Lamine Ceesay, a taxi driver. “Even if they inaugurate Barrow in Jamaica or America, he is already our president. We want change. That’s all”

Dueling claims to the presidency have upended nations in the region before, coming to a violent end in Ivory Coast in 2010.

Back then, Laurent Gbagbo, the president, refused to step down after the challenger, Alassane Ouattara, won a presidential election. Mr. Gbagbo declined to vacate the presidential palace, while Mr. Ouattara was forced to hide in a hotel with United Nations peacekeepers watching over him.

The standoff led to months of turmoil and the deaths of more than 3,000 people as armed groups swept across the country and battled for control. Finally, France, the former colonial power, attacked Mr. Gbagbo’s compound and helped drive him out, culminating in his arrest in April 2011.

Many Gambians are worried about a repeat in their country. Samsudeen Sarr, Gambia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, predicted that military intervention in Gambia would lead to a similar civil war if foreign forces intervened.

“Starting a war may be easy, but the aftermath of the war is what should be our major concern,” Mr. Sarr said. “The Gambian Army has been very loyal to President Jammeh, and it should not be underestimated.”

At first, Gambia seemed on track for a surprisingly simple transition. Mr. Jammeh has stiffly ruled the nation for 22 years since seizing power in a coup. His government has prosecuted and imprisoned critics, some of whom wound up dead. Thousands of citizens have fled the country amid soaring unemployment. Threats of imprisonment have been a fact of life for years.

Without warning, the country cut off telephone and internet service around the time of the election, raising fears of government repression to hold on to power. But after election results showed that Mr. Jammeh had lost, he suddenly conceded in a polite, jokey phone call to Mr. Barrow. Gambians erupted with relief that his rule was over.

Behind the scenes, Mr. Jammeh was fuming over the results. His advisers eventually persuaded him to concede to avoid unrest. Then talk of his prosecution for human rights abuses began. Mr. Jammeh announced that the vote was flawed and appealed to the Supreme Court.

Since then, Gambia’s election drama has unfolded with strange twists. Regional leaders flew in but failed to persuade Mr. Jammeh to accept the vote. A hashtag circulated on social media — #GambiaHasDecided — with citizens calling for him to step down. The court effort stalled, largely because Gambia has not had a full panel of Supreme Court judges in more than a year, after Mr. Jammeh fired justices and refused to refill the bench.

A court hearing on the case was recently rescheduled, but not until May, potentially leaving the fate of the country uncertain for months.

Mr. Jammeh called Liberia’s president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is also the chairwoman of the Economic Community of West African States, appealing for help in assembling a panel of Supreme Court justices to hear his case immediately. Mr. Jammeh broadcast the phone call to the nation, unbeknown to Ms. Sirleaf, who apparently thought the conversation was private.

Mr. Jammeh’s cabinet is showing cracks. His information minister, who for years had staunchly defended him, fled the country. This week the minister of finance resigned, and a day later his replacement also resigned. The minister of tourism and the health and social welfare minister have also quit.

Mr. Jammeh has fired others who have called on him to respect the election results. Sheikh Omar Faye, Gambia’s ambassador to the United States, was called back from his duties after publicly appealing to Mr. Jammeh to step down.

Mr. Faye said it was morally difficult for him to remain silent while Gambians were in a state of uncertainty.
Alhaji Moamar Njai, the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, also fled the country, citing fears for his safety.

Joining them are tens of thousands of citizens who have run to the countryside or poured across the border in fear of bloodshed. Even the election winner, Mr. Barrow, has left the country. Last week, he flew to Mali to meet with other regional leaders who pledged their support.

For now, he is in Senegal, planning his inauguration ceremony and avoiding security risks that might emerge in Gambia. Over the weekend, his 7-year-old son back home died of a wound from a dog bite. The funeral took place without Mr. Barrow, who had been advised to stay in Senegal for his safety.

In recent days in Banjul, the capital, shops in the main markets have stayed closed out of fear. Food prices have shot up, tripling in some areas.

Gambia’s intelligence officers have arrested several opposition sympathizers and have shuttered three independent radio stations. At least six people have been detained for wearing or selling T-shirts bearing the #GambiaHasDecided logo, according to Amnesty International.

The huge presence of security forces across the city is making everyone uneasy. Amy Sakho, a resident of Serekunda, said she went out on Monday to buy a Barrow T-shirt for inauguration day but backpedaled when she saw the police on the streets.

“I went back home without the shirt,” she said. “I am really worried about Gambia. I don’t know what to look forward to.”

Jaime Yaya Barry reported from Banjul, and Dionne Searcey from Dakar, Senegal.

Source — The New York Times

Uganda Adventures | My Visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kasenyi Safari Camp!

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 08:49

By Ronnie Mayanja — In 1907 Winston Churchill embarked on an African safari, setting off from Mombasa and traveling through Kisumu to Uganda. At the end of his sojourns he would write a book, My African Journey, and coin a phrase that would later be used to describe Uganda to the outside world.

For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for profusion of brilliant life — bird, insect, reptile, beast — for vast scale — Uganda is truly “the Pearl of Africa.” The Kingdom of Uganda is a fairy tale. The scenery is different, the climate is different and most of all, the people are different from anything elsewhere to be seen in the whole range of Africa….what message I bring back….concentrate on Uganda.

Churchill’s descriptions came to mind as I headed to Western Uganda from Kampala on a 6-hour, 400 km journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park includes the Maramagambo Forest and borders Kigezi Game Reserve, Kyambura Game Reserve and Kibale National Park in Uganda, as well as Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and occupies an estimated 1,978 square kilometers (764 square miles). I had last visited the area as a youngster when my dad took us along on his many safaris.

For this trip I had received an invitation from a friend and old Budonian diaspora returnee, Philip Kiboneka, who moved back to Uganda with his son after more than 30 years in the US where he worked for a biotech company. Philip left a successful life, choosing to return home to help tourism in Uganda live up to its potential.

Without a concession from the Uganda Government or the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Philip managed to buy some land outside the park boundaries and construct Kasenyi Safari Camp, which sits on about 40 acres of land in a prime spot frequented by tree-climbing lions in close proximity to Lake George, huge volcanic craters, lakes and various ecosystems of the African savannah.

I arrived with my niece Angela her best friend Anita around midnight and were greeted by Philip and his crew who had stayed up to direct us at the edge of his camp. It was quite interesting driving this stretch of vast savannah in the dead of night, the natural setting only interrupted by the security checkpoints that dotted the way till we got to the National Park. Security has been beefed up in the Rwenzori region due to sectarian unrest in recent years. After exchanging some pleasantries, Philip moved us to our cottage that had been built in an area I could call “lion alley”, being a popular spot for lions and their prides in the area.

I was pleasantly surprised to find, after driving many miles from Kampala, a hot shower and a flushing toilet on the fringes of a protected national park. Following a long day of travel I soon fell asleep, only to be awakened a few hours later by our host, who wanted us to experience the morning game drive at 6am., this being the ideal time for animals to do their hunting before going into seclusion to escape the savannah heat.

The view was spectacular and those doing hot-air balloon safaris must have enjoyed the panoramic sky view of the lakes and craters.The first night in the camp went smoothly but on Day 2 in the dead of night I startled from my slumber to a sound like no other– a male lion calling its pride to go hunting. It was then I knew why they call lions the king of the jungle.

Nothing can prepare you for the roar of a lion and it is no wonder all the animals tremble in fear when they hear it. I was stone-faced when I realized that our tent was the last one and perhaps most vulnerable to lion attack (later Philip would tell me that this adds to the adrenaline rush for some tourists). Later that morning I would learn that this was one of the biggest pride sightings, resulting in more than 100 vehicles driving down to the edge of Kasenyi Safari Camp to get a look.

The drive around this vast savannah was also the most interesting and the view a spectacle to behold, even exceeding my experience at Murchison Falls. I was able to see craters that were filled with thick forest and those that perhaps have not been disturbed by civilization since their formation.

This must be part of the underground forests that define the western Rift Valley and stretch down to Kyambura Lodge. We also drove 40 kilometers to Kazinga Channel, a body of water around Mweya Safari Lodge, rich in hippos, buffaloes, Nile crocodiles, elephants and a wide array of bird species.

The hippo boat ride provided some cool refreshments and a closer look at some of the amphibious life and scenic beauty of Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward. For the birders this would be described as ground zero given the many species of birds you will find in this area.

Whether we have done justice in marketing this part of Uganda is a story for another day but for those living in the diaspora and have not experienced Uganda’s wildlife, Queen Elizabeth National Park will help you understand why many have described Uganda as “gifted by nature”. I was impressed by the UWA staff and the patrols there to enforce park regulations.

If you are looking for a safari that will allow you an opportunity to see lion prides up close and experience the sprawling savannah grasslands, you need to book a safari with Kasenyi Safari Camp. The professionalism of Philip Kiboneka, his son Wasajja and staff, along with the amenities offered, will leave a lasting impression when touring Queen Elizabeth National Park, the most visited national park in Uganda.

A night at the Kasenyi Safari Camp will range anywhere from $288 dollars for singles and $390 dollars for doubles. For details on how to book a Safari experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park call +256756992038 or +256791992038 or please visit www.kasenyisafaricamp.com or https://www.facebook.com/kasenyisafaricamp/

Photography by Ronnie Mayanja and Phillip Kiboneka.

Diaspora Returnee| The Courage To Return Home By Jaffar Tonda

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 09:17

By Jaffar Tonda — From inception, the plan was never to settle in the USA. A similar feeling resonates with most diaspora immigrants – the typical plan is to achieve a target and return “home.” I staged a plan to graduate from University, work for one or two years to get international experience and return to my motherland. Being coined an immigrant/foreigner was never appealing. After graduating with a degree in Accounting at Brigham Young University (BYU) Utah USA in 2006, I received numerous job offers from all the leading accountancy firms I applied to, thanks to BYU’s highly ranked accounting program.

My stint in formal employment entailed working as a treasury analyst with Morgan Stanley, New York and thereafter with Ernst & Young in Boston. However, despite the glamour that came with working at renown top firms, I chose to stick to the plan to return to Uganda. I chose to be proactive and remained committed to my return strategy. In this regard I encourage those towing with this idea — to avoid procrastinating their intended return home. Set a target, and execute it despite the general fear that may abound.

In 2008, Synergy Partners – a real estate development company was born. Why real estate? The numbers in the real estate sector were/are glaring: according to the National Planning Authority, Uganda faces a housing shortage of 8 million units. Therein I saw an opportunity to work towards bridging the housing gap. I did not have adequate resources when I embarked on becoming a real estate developer – it is a capital intensive business.

In all honesty I had no money. I chose to overcome the self-limiting belief that you cannot start a business if you do not have capital. Instead, I worked towards being knowledgeable, hardworking, and honest/trustworthy in my business dealings. I formulated concepts and like most entrepreneurs undertook the difficult patient task of prospecting capital until I found investors who believed in me.

Network, network, network. To aid my transition to home, I actively sought to expand my contacts/circle of friends. I encourage returnees to join various groups for example: health clubs, rotary, health clubs, business and professional associations, religious groups, and harness varied volunteer opportunities. I made an effort to not only join as many groups as I could, but also sought advice from established business leaders/mentors. If people trust you, they are typically willing to share their experiences. Learning from past experiences of others can help encourage, and/or help you avoid potential pitfalls/mistakes that you would otherwise make.

Uganda being a developing nation presents numerous opportunities for self-driven individuals to create additional value – both through formal employment and self-employment. I have discussed various tenets like planning ahead (and saving as a result versus “buying” that nice car on credit), being proactive, persistent/dedicated, overcome self-limiting beliefs, and networking.

Above all the aforementioned, I will close with persistence! From the inception, you will find challenges returning home – right from the airport! Eight years after my return, I am still saddened by the under development I see right from the airport to Kampala. You will face challenges finding a job that adequately rewards your skill set. You will face challenges registering and operating your business. However, remain positive by the reminder that the challenges you face are OPPORTUNITIES to add value!

This article was first published in the Ugandan Diaspora Event Magazine — 2016 edition as a way to inspire those wishing to return home but find themselves in the valley of indecision — Here is a story of someone who walked away from a successful accounting career in the US and is now doing well back in Uganda.

Email — jaffar@synergypartners.co.ug, Website — http://synergypartners.co.ug/

 

Daily Monitor | Presidential Handshake Is A Sign Of The Oil Curse

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 01:49

By Expedito Olimi — It’s close to a fortnight that Uganda is filled with utterances against the action of presidential handshake which saw the government’s treasury lose Shs6 billion. The money in question was given as appreciation for the contribution of the 42 officials towards winning a tax dispute that was a protracted legal battle in different courts, including a Ugandan Tax Appeal Tribunal and a commercial court in London.

After a deep reflection on the animal farm story, I am derived to say that Uganda is in a comparable situation of a once united farm built on the seven commandments of animalism. Now, the seven commandments that defined animalism have been corrupted by the “pigs” as defined in the context of the Animal Farm book. Esteemed readers who have come across this universally respected book clearly know how Mr Napoleon changed the game of politics and inequalities escalated the daily miserable life at animal farm.

This story in whatever scenario but to a greater extent in an abused political environment finds its application inevitable. In a Ugandan context, the application of this script is beyond the scope of the wanainchi because the drama going on is past what even Hollywood stars can offer.

Everyday, a scandal crops-up and all that is done is to defend the thieves of the home. Corruption which is total theft has been coined sweet names as handshake to justify dignified theft. The Shs6 billion cash handshake as it is called was an unconstitutional offer and more over the parties engaged such as the Attorney General as an advocate for government and his team in their respective jurisdictions were obliged to defend the country in the case where the government was engaged with the multinational oil company.

They did this as a constitutional mandate of serving the country as vowed during the State oath taken by each of the implicated parties upon assumption of their official roles. The positive results of winning the case would have been well celebrated if the compensation made was put into the national treasury to support government budget.

Quite a number of Ugandans have made exceptional contributions to the State but such handshakes are never made, except the decoration with a medal if one is lucky and close to the awarding sources. Since this case emanates from the oil treasure, it is sorry to state that the oil curse as it was coined is at conception stage. However, this oil curse could well be avoided if proper government accountability and zero tolerance to corruption in all its forms is enforced in Uganda. For God and my country.

Expedito Olimi,
olimicls2015@gmail.com
Centre for Life sciences

Source — Daily Monitor

Events | Ugandan Diaspora Social Networking Gala Highlights — 2016 Edition

Sat, 01/14/2017 - 18:42

As Ugandans prepared to end the year Friday 30th December 2016 all roads led to Kampala Serena Hotel Victoria Ballroom — Venue for the 6th annual Ugandan Diaspora Social Networking Gala. The event officiated by the H.E The Vice President, Hon. Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi recognized the continued positive impact on the economy by Ugandans living and working in the diaspora whose remittances now total 3.6 trillion shillings annually.

The Vice President further noted that the revenues remitted have empowered many people to start their own business investments resulting into further employment and generation of taxes for government.

Ssekandi thanked the sponsors of the event which he said is noble since it recognizes the work and services of Ugandans in the diaspora who are undertaking professional and semi professional activities that are not only marketing them as individuals but the country in general.

The Vice President later presided over the annual Diaspora Recognition Awards ceremony that saw this year’s Uganda Diaspora Lifetime Achievement Award jointly go to the King and Queen of Katwe — Coach Robert Katende and Ms. Phiona Mutesi where recognized for their role in marketing Uganda abroad through their new film ‘Queen of Katwe’, representation of the country at the international chess tournaments and rehabilitating a number of street children by giving them hope through chess.

Other 2016 awardees included Mr. Henry Kerali Rupiny, in absentia, who is the World Bank Country Director Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Ambassador James Mugume, retired Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs who was celebrating 46 years as a foreign service official and under whose tenure the Diaspora desk in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was established, Dr. Nadaula Kanyerezi Mutema founder of the Village Mall Clinic who has ploughed back her professional expertise to treat Ugandans, Dr. Stephen Kaddu Deputy Director Dermatology and Dermatopathology Medical University and State Hospital in Graz, Austria.

The Patron Uganda Diaspora Network, Dr. Maggie Kigozi appealed to Diasporas to shift from giving money to their relatives but source for them appropriate machinery like hand tractors, produce millers that add value to commodities and which will enhance self sustenance.

Ronnie Mayanja, the coordinator of the Uganda diaspora network encouraged government to address the loopholes within dual citizenship and allow for Diaspora voting rights given the annual remittances. He also pointed to the negative tone and wrong mindset harbored by Ugandans back home who refer to the diaspora as nkuba-kyeyos, abasamma etc despite comprising a sizable number of professionals who are marketing the country positively.

The night was characterized by performances from artists Winnie Nakanwagi (Nwagi) Michael Ross, Jackie Akello, Kenneth Mugabi, Comedian Daniel Omara and fashion designs from Arapapa led by Santa Anzo and K. Raphael.

Event Production was done courtesy of DVI company and a special thank-you to Kampala Serena Hotel and all our partners for the continued support. See you at the next diaspora business breakfast and gala meet — Dec 29th and 30th 2017.

Source — Inside Report. Ugandan Diaspora News Photo Gallery appears courtesy of Guilio Molfese

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