All Uganda news

Uganda Diaspora

Subscribe to Uganda Diaspora feed
Updated: 1 hour 45 min ago

Reuters | ‘Explosive shock’ as Britain votes to leave EU, Cameron quits

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 22:31

Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), makes a statement after Britain voted to leave the European Union in London. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain has voted to leave the European Union, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing the biggest blow since World War Two to the European project of forging greater unity.

Global financial markets plunged on Friday as results from a referendum defied bookmakers’ odds to show a 52-48 percent victory for the campaign to leave a bloc Britain joined more than 40 years ago.

The pound fell as much as 10 percent against the dollar to touch levels last seen in 1985, on fears the decision could hit investment in the world’s fifth-largest economy, threaten London’s role as a global financial capital and usher in months of political uncertainty. The euro slid 3 percent.

World stocks saw more than $2 trillion wiped off their value. Big banks took a battering, with Lloyds (LLOY.L), Barclays (BARC.L) and RBS (RBS.L) falling as much as 30 percent.

Britain’s FTSE 100 stock index recovered much of its early losses by the end of the day after the world’s main central banks offered financial backstops.

The United Kingdom itself could now break apart, with the leader of Scotland – where nearly two-thirds of voters wanted to stay in the EU – saying a new referendum on independence from the rest of Britain was “highly likely”.

An emotional Cameron, who led the “Remain” campaign to defeat, losing the gamble he took when he promised the referendum in 2013, said he would leave office by October.

“The British people have made the very clear decision to take a different path and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction,” he said in a televised address outside his residence.

“I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination,” he added, choking back tears before walking back through 10 Downing Street’s black door with his arm around his wife Samantha.

INVENTING ANOTHER EUROPE

Quitting the world’s biggest trading bloc could cost Britain access to the trade barrier-free single market and means it must seek new trade accords with countries around the world. A poll of economists by Reuters predicted Britain was likelier than not to fall into recession within a year.

The EU, which rose out of the ashes of two world wars fascist and communist totalitarianism to unite a continent of prosperous democracies, faces economic and political damage without Britain, which has the EU’s biggest financial center, a U.N. Security Council veto, a powerful army and nuclear weapons.

“It’s an explosive shock. At stake is the break up pure and simple of the union,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said. “Now is the time to invent another Europe.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who invited the French and Italian leaders to Berlin to discuss future steps, called it a watershed for European unification.

Her foreign minister, who will with France present other EU founding members with a plan for a flexible EU on Saturday, called it a sad day for Britain and Europe.

The result emboldened eurosceptics in other member states, with French National Front leader Marine Le Pen and Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders demanding their countries also hold referendums. Le Pen changed her Twitter profile picture to a Union Jack and declared “Victory for freedom!”

The vote will trigger at least two years of divorce proceedings with the EU, the first exit by any member state. Cameron, in office since 2010, said it would be up to his successor to formally start the exit process.

His Conservative Party rival Boris Johnson, the former London mayor who became the most recognizable face of the Leave camp, is now widely tipped to seek his job.

“We can find our voice in the world again, a voice that is commensurate with the fifth-biggest economy on Earth,” he told reporters at Leave campaign headquarters.

Lawmakers from the opposition Labour Party also launched a no-confidence motion to topple their leader, leftist Jeremy Corbyn, accused by opponents in the party of campaigning tepidly for its Remain stance.

Source — Reuters

The Washington Post | The World’s Longest-Serving President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Just Appointed His Son as VP

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 04:10

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea – The world’s longest serving President.

The Washington Post — Until this year, Teodoro Obiang Nguema had never won less than 97 percent of the vote in an election. Perhaps the immense international scorn he has faced in recent years caused him to loosen his grip a bit, because he won only 93.7 percent when reelected to his sixth term as leader of Equatorial Guinea this year. He is the world’s longest-serving president, having ruled for almost 37 years.

According to local television stations, he has further consolidated his power by promoting his son, Teodoro “Teodorín” Obiang Mangue, from “second vice president” to simply vice president.

Power has been in the family for Equatorial Guinea’s entire existence as an independent country. The current president toppled his uncle in a violent coup in 1979, before sentencing him to death by firing squad. Since then, he has consolidated his grip over the country’s industries and is accused of diverting tax money into his personal accounts.

The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

Teodoro “Teodorín” Obiang Mangue — Equatorial Guinea’s new Vice President

In 2014, U.S. authorities forced Teodorín to relinquish his $30 million home in Malibu, Calif.; a Gulfstream jet; a Ferrari; and dozens of pieces of Michael Jackson memorabilia worth more than $1 million, all bought with money funneled through offshore bank accounts. Court documents reviewed by the Justice Department showed that Teodorín received an official salary of less than $100,000 but amassed more than $300 million in assets through corruption and money laundering.

“Through relentless embezzlement and extortion, Vice President Nguema Obiang shamelessly looted his government and shook down businesses in his country to support his lavish lifestyle, while many of his fellow citizens lived in extreme poverty,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said at the time.

The problem of dynastic authoritarianism is shared by Equatorial Guinea’s slightly larger neighbor Gabon, which also relies heavily on the oil and gas industry. Omar Bongo ruled Gabon from independence until 2009 — 42 years — and his son Ali is now president. Bongo enjoys close enough ties to the United States that he and his wife sat next to President Obama and the first lady at a state dinner in 2014. Gabon even held a seat on the U.N. Security Council in 2010 and 2011.

Across Africa, leaders have historically resisted term limits and are often accused of doing so to continue lining their pockets. To try to counter that trend, a wealthy Sudanese businessman named Mohamed “Mo” Ibrahim announced a $5 million annual cash prize in 2007 to be given to African leaders who step down in the interest of promoting democracy. In nine years, it has been awarded four times, not counting a prize ceremonially given to Nelson Mandela.

The prize went unawarded this year. No African leader met Ibrahim’s “very high bar” for “exceptional leadership.”

Source — The Washington Post

New Music – Love & Hate | Michael Kiwanuka, interview – I wanted to give up music

Sat, 06/18/2016 - 06:16

There are probably plenty of people who would feel at a pretty low ebb in the presence of Kanye West. For Michael Kiwanuka, it was for musical reasons. The London singer-songwriter was hot stuff in 2012, the winner of that year’s BBC Sound poll, writer of a gold-selling debut album and support act for Adele on tour. It shouldn’t have been surprising that hip hop’s biggest head would have sought him out to sing on his Yeezus album at sessions in Hawaii and Paris but it left Kiwanuka feeling far out of his depth.

“I didn’t even get why he wanted me to be there. I was lost, absolutely lost,” he tells me. “I just felt stupid sitting there with my acoustic guitar with all these producers and rappers. He didn’t tell me what he wanted, he just said: ‘Do your thing and it will be good enough’. I don’t think I really believed that. I wanted him to tell me what to do because I didn’t know how to do it.”

In the end he simply left. He isn’t on Kanye’s album. Instead he brooded and doubted and eventually got together with a more hands-on collaborator, Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton, to make a new album of his own that is an absolute triumph.

Love & Hate, which comes out in July, takes his smooth folk-soul sound into darker territory. There’s a ghostly backing choir, expansive orchestral strings and powerful proof that he knows his way around an electric guitar as well as an acoustic.

His decision to open with a 10-minute song, Cold Little Heart, on which he doesn’t even sing until five minutes in, shows the extent of his newfound confidence and ambition. That strong oak voice, reminiscent of past greats such as Bill Withers and Richie Havens, is worth the wait. I’ve already cleared a prominent space for it on my albums of the year list.

Love & Hate’s brilliance is all the more surprising because Kiwanuka wasn’t building on his earlier success. When he began writing for album two he felt like a failure. His debut, Home Again, reached the top five in the UK and was nominated for the 2012 Mercury Prize, which was won by Alt-J. Jack White reached out to produce a standalone single, You’ve Got Nothing Left to Lose, for him in 2014.

None of those things helped his confidence much. “The kind of success I had was weird. It was good but I wasn’t like Ben Howard or Jake Bugg, selling out three Brixton Academies,” he says. “I was respected musically and people kind of knew it but I felt behind in the league.”

Home Again is a lovely, rich album of sounds so authentically retro that you can hear the dust. But perhaps it fell into the trap of being considered background music for your dinner party — songs to discuss house prices to.

There’s real passion on his new material. Three songs are already available, including Black Man in a White World, a bluesy clapping song that deals with his early experiences as the only black guy with a guitar in Muswell Hill, as well as life in a British music industry that remains overwhelmingly white.

“I didn’t feel that out of place at school. No one was weird to me. It was when I started trying to be an artist. People would ask me, ‘What are you going to be called?’ I didn’t realise my surname would be an issue. And I grew up with guitar music but this was post-Amy Winehouse so I was being told I’d be sold as a soul artist. It pissed me off. When those lyrics came about, I was kind of angry.”

Today he’s relaxed and friendly, more accepting of the idea that with his voice the word “soul” is bound to come up often. He’s dressed down as ever in a checked shirt, thick hair still sprouting waywardly upwards and downwards, feet up on a coffee table. It’s his 29th birthday and I’ve given him the gift of 20 minutes of unexpected me-time by being disgracefully late. He’s lovely about it, which makes me feel even worse.

If we’d got together in 2014 it sounds like I would have met someone very different. He says he genuinely wanted to give up making music. “I did, for about a year. I wrote a first set of songs for the new album. I liked them, and I still do, but they weren’t good enough. That’s when I started to dip. I thought I was good for a couple of folk ditties and that was it.”

The first breakthrough came in collaboration with British hip hop producer Inflo, who turned Black Man in a White World into something that sounded fresh and exciting to Kiwanuka. “He sent it to me a few months after we did it and I didn’t even recognise me. It sounded like fun again.”

Then his label suggested that he try writing with Brian Burton, who as Danger Mouse has produced hit albums for Beck, The Black Keys and Gorillaz, as well as co-writing the Gnarls Barkley hit Crazy and the song River Lea on the new Adele album.

“The cool thing about Brian is he’s been very credible but he’s also had a lot of commercial success. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in that. When you write songs it’s cool if they’re remembered. The first time around I was a bit tentative, thinking, ‘Woah, I’m in a studio, don’t mess up’. But I do have ambition. I really want to be a career artist.”

He talks about idols including Jimi Hendrix, the obvious black guitarist for a young man of Ugandan heritage, and Prince. “I always think: ‘How did they do so many great records and get better and better so quickly?’ I feel like I’m the complete opposite. It takes me sooo long!”

The indie bands of his teens had an effect too. “It was Elephant by The White Stripes, Razorlight were big. I was obsessed with music, headphones on, walking to school. When you’re finally putting records out, you think: ‘What can I do to make people feel like that?’”

With Love & Hate he’s cracked it. What if Kanye were to call again? “Looking back, I can see that I was there for a reason. I know what it is about my voice or my music that is appealing,” he says. This special songwriter knows now that he could step into any room, head high, and hold his own with the best of t hem.

Source — The Evening Standard.

Ugandan Diaspora News Editorial | The End of the US Primaries and How a Trump vs Hillary Contest Might Reshape America!

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 08:08


Dear Readers,

It’s finally official that what was perhaps the most contested election primary season is now over. Hillary Clinton managed to overcome Senator Bernie Sanders’ movement in California, considered the last stand to clinch the Democratic Party nomination. The Super Tuesday contests covered 5 other states that saw Hillary Clinton carry New Jersey the other big state on the East coast. In the California, with the most delegates of any state, Sec. Clinton won with 55.6% of the vote.

This victory left Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee expected to succeed Pres. Barack Obama if the power of incumbency is anything to go by, since Hillary served Obama as Secretary of State during his first term in office, yet pundits argue that no one party has held onto the White House for 3 consecutive terms. Politics aside, it was quite historic, given the years that have been dedicated to women’s rights — dating from the Senaca Falls meetings in 1848. To see a woman nominated on major party ticket was no mean achievement for Mrs. Clinton. However call him what you may, Sen. Sanders energized the Democratic Party as demonstrated by the surge in voter registrations during this primary season. Sen. Sanders refusal to concede, promising to hold his ground till the last primary in Washington, DC on June 14th, seemed to have rubbed some in the Democratic establishment the wrong way. He held meetings with President Obama before POTUS endorsed Hillary. Some believe that the late endorsement was meant to help prevent acrimony within the party since President Obama is also considered a Super Delegate.

However it must be noted that the unpopularity of Trump and Hillary during this primary election cycle has left both parties fractured and, in a way, looking for alternative candidates. The resulting impact has been the entry of new players and a third party candidate — at the Libertarian Party convention held in Orlando at the end of May, Gov. Gary Johnson, a two-term governor of New Mexico and Gov. Bill Weld, a two-term governor of Massachusetts, were chosen to run on an independent ticket. This should worry Donald Trump, since their appeal is to the Republican establishment dissatisfied with Trump and unwilling to back his candidacy. In 2012 the LP candidate got 1% of the vote and currently the party is polling at about 10% of the national vote. What is required is about 15% to appear on the ballot in November.

In 1992 billionaire Ross Perot was blamed for costing President George Bush Sr. the Presidency, when Bill Clinton defeated an incumbent according to some pundits. Later it was Ralph Nader of the Green Party who played the spoiler in the 2000 election that allowed George Bush Jr. to ascend to the Presidency in an election that was decided by about 537 votes, in part because Ralph Nader received about 97,000 votes that some say would have gone to Al Gore. The Libertarian Party in this case is considered the new Green Party that could split the votes and allow an unlikely candidate to occupy the White House.

Of course, with Hillary dogged by her email scandal while at the State Department and Donald Trump facing the Trump University debacle, these two front runners are the most baggage-laden candidates in US history, which will be fodder for the biggest negative television advertising campaign in US history. And even though Trump was written off he has received the most votes of any candidate in an election primary, something that has puzzled many conservatives that have refused to endorse him, the latest being Gov. Mitt Romney who was the presumptive nominee in 2012. True to his word, Trump has also been quick to use the latest mass shooting in Orlando to his advantage by playing to the Islamophobic sentiments held by some right wing groups that all Muslims must be barred from entering America. Trump’s rise shares similarities to that of Hitler and the rise of the Third Reich in Germany after the Great Depression. A Trump Presidency will definitely reshape America’s foreign policy and probably lead to a new world order given his renegade views!

Back in Uganda there has been a hive of activity and interesting news cycles. Toward the end of May we played host to two great leaders — the President of South Korea was in Uganda accompanied by a delegation of about 100 businessmen and shortly after her visit, Tayip Erdogan the Prime Minister of Turkey, descended on Uganda to strengthen cooperation with the Turkish state. Interestingly, in total disregard to other people’s civil liberties, the country’s only major highway leading to the International airport was closed to traffic, resulting in public condemnation on social media. What was even more bizarre was the Police spokesman attempted justification and later apology for this action that not only resulted in lost revenue for some businesses but also in disrupted international travel for others including tourists. By contrast, the same duo had visited Kenya and saw President Uhuru Kenyatta host his two heads of states in the company of the main opposition politicians, something we have not see in Uganda for quite some time. An olive branch is long overdue, and the part of the population that did not vote for the president also needs representation at all levels, especially state functions.

As promised, and with the powers entrusted to him by the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, the President named his new enlarged cabinet that saw some old timers bounce back. Most interesting was the elevation of the First Lady to the new position of Education Minister while Beti Kamya, after losing her MP race for Lubaga North. will now be the new Minister for Kampala. Of course, given the fights that have paralyzed much of the work at Kampala Capital City Authority, it will be interesting to see how City Manager Jennifer Musisi, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and now the Kampala Minister Beti Kamya will get along. As one of the most unplanned cities in the region we hope and pray that the leaders and new councilors will focus on getting the people of Kampala the services they deserve. http://www.ugandandiasporanews.com/2016/06/06/musevenis-new-cabinet-out-first-lady-named-education-minister-beti-kamya-new-kampala-minister/

From the cabinet arrangement it was also clear that the new government would maintain the previous status quo of a ceremonial vice president, as opposed to a deputy president with substantive powers, a system Kenya adopted and South Africa also uses, as we prepare for transition in 2021. In a few years we might be back to Kyankwanzi to anoint another movement cadre to succeed the President, that is if he does not succeed himself following another anointing by top party officials. President Museveni, known for his political expediency, has perhaps eliminated all opposition in part by forming unholy alliances similar to those we saw in the 1960s between Obote and KY. This time Akena’s UPC faction seems to have sold out, to the dismay of party stalwarts like Olara Otunnu, who have claimed that Akena and his wife, now a Minister in Museveni’s new cabinet, were moles used by NRM to destabilize Uganda People’s Congress.

However the latest and perhaps most disturbing news out of Uganda has been the new talk of a coup plot that has seen some military personnel arrested on subversive activities against the State. While some have treated this move with suspicion, we await to see if the suspects will be produced in the courts of law and charged with treason. Links have also been made to the ongoing defiance campaign, whose activities have largely been banned by the State. However our NRM government needs to revisit the ideologies for which it fought a protracted liberation war if we are to avoid slipping back into the reign of terror that characterized the 1970s and 1980s now that conditions that led to the NRA waging a 5 year guerrilla bush war are increasingly visible today.

Politics aside we are now about 6 months away to our annual Ugandan Diaspora Gala, now in its 6th year. We are pleased to announce that the nomination process has begun for some of the people we shall be recognizing at this year’s gala. Dr. Stephen Kaddu a dermatologist, researcher and founder of Global Telehealth Network, has accepted our invitation to attend this year’s gala. http://www.ugandandiaspora.com/prof-dr-steven-kaddu-ugandan-born-austrian-based-dermatologist-researcher-and-founder-of-a-global-telehealth-network

Other notable awardees will include Phillip Kiboneka, founder of the Hammerkop Travel Group which operates luxury tented camps in Uganda. Their properties include Kasenyi Safari camp in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Prior to his return to Uganda Mr. Kiboneka was a senior director at Plexxikon Inc., a pharmaceutical company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Nandi Mutema Kanyerezi, co-founder of the Village Mall Clinic in Bugolobi and a director at Kololo Hospital, will be among those Ugandan diaspora returnees recognized for their outstanding contributions both at home and abroad. If you know of any outstanding Ugandans that deserve recognition please inbox us so we can include them on our shortlist for this or next year’s awards: info@ugandandiaspora.com. Our fully revamped event website is now live — www.ugandandiaspora.com. We shall also be hosting our 3rd annual Uganda Diaspora Business Breakfast at Kampala Serena Hotel’s Katonga Hall from 9am – 1pm on December 29th and the main event — Our 6th annual Diaspora Social Networking Gala, which will take place at the Kampala Serena Hotel, Victoria Ballroom – Friday, December 30th 2016 starting at 6pm.

Finally the world mourned one of the greatest sports athletes of our time, Muhammad Ali, as he was known the world over,  saw his greatness transcend his sport. He boasted he was “The Greatest,” and in the prime of his charismatic career, many agreed. But as brilliant as Muhammad Ali was in the ring, perhaps his true greatness was outside it when he fought the United States government. His refusal to accept induction into the armed forces on religious grounds cost him millions and his heavyweight title, but in the end Ali came up victorious in the most significant battle of his life as ESPN rightly quoted!

God bless. — 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 | @rmayanja | http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronniemayanja

WSJ | Tech News | Microsoft to Acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 04:54

Microsoft Corp. snapped up LinkedIn Corp. for $26.2 billion in the largest acquisition in its history, betting the professional social network can rev up the tech titan’s software offerings despite recent struggles by both companies.

The deal is Chief Executive Satya Nadella’s latest effort to revitalize Microsoft, which was viewed not long ago as left behind by shifts in technology. Mr. Nadella hopes the deal will open new horizons for Microsoft’s Office suite as well as LinkedIn, both of which have saturated their markets, and generally bolster Microsoft’s revenue and competitive position.

Mr. Nadella said today’s work is split between tools workers use to get their jobs done, such as Microsoft’s Office programs, and professional networks that connect workers. The deal, he said, aims to weave those two pieces together.

“It’s really the coming together of the professional cloud and the professional network,” Mr. Nadella said in an interview on Monday.

For instance, connecting Office directly to LinkedIn could help attendees of meetings learn more about one another directly from invitations in their calendars. Sales representatives using Microsoft’s Dynamics software for managing customer relationships could pick up useful tidbits of background on potential customers from LinkedIn data.

Microsoft also sees opportunities in Lynda.com, a channel for training videos that LinkedIn bought for $1.5 billion last year. Microsoft will be able to offer Lynda’s videos inside its own software, such as Excel spreadsheets. Mr. Nadella also talked about giving its Cortana digital assistant access to data from LinkedIn.

As for LinkedIn, the deal offers hope to renew decelerating growth as well as an exit for shareholders after the stock tumbled from a peak of $269 in February 2015 to as low as $101.11 last February.

Microsoft will pay $196 per LinkedIn share, a 50% premium to the social network’s closing price on Friday. Both boards approved the deal, and Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn’s chairman and controlling shareholder, supports the transaction. LinkedIn Chief Executive Jeff Weiner will keep his current job when the deal closes, which the companies expect to happen by the end of the year.

The tie-up will also test Microsoft’s ability to meld a large acquisition with its own operations. The Redmond, Wash.-based company has struggled to integrate previous purchases including Nokia Corp.’s handset business and aQuantive Inc., costing shareholders billions of dollars in the process.

The deal dwarfs other Microsoft acquisitions. Its next largest deal, buying the Nokia handset business, led to Microsoft taking charges that exceeded the $9.4 billion price. That deal was orchestrated in 2014 by Microsoft’s previous chief executive, Steve Ballmer.
Microsoft’s prior efforts at weaving social networking into its productivity software haven’t caught fire. In 2012, Microsoft bought workplace chat service Yammer Inc. for $1.2 billion, but has seen rival products, such as Slack, gain momentum.

“Sadly, history has shown [synergies] are very difficult to realize when two big companies combine, especially to the extent LinkedIn is remaining an independent fiefdom within the Microsoft empire,” said Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corp. and partner of venture firm Kapor Capital.

Some business leaders look forward to benefits from the tie-up. Tech companies and their customers “are looking for ways to get even more out of social media,” said Steve Phillips, chief information officer of Avnet Inc., an electronics supplier that uses Microsoft products including Office 365.

Mr. Nadella and Mr. Weiner met at a Microsoft gathering of CEOs a few years ago, and the pair talked earlier this year about working more closely, according to a person familiar with the matter. That person said there was “such a mind-meld” during those discussions that the conversation moved toward the possibility of an acquisition. Mr. Hoffman was also “actively” part of the takeover talks, which lasted a few months, the person said.

Another source said that Messrs. Nadella, Weiner and Hoffman and Microsoft exec Qi Lu, who worked with Mr. Weiner at Yahoo Inc., met for dinner in April to discuss potential scenarios. Microsoft and LinkedIn leaders dined at Mr. Hoffman’s house Sunday night, the person said.

The deal highlights Mr. Nadella’s bid to reshape Microsoft, a little more than two years after taking the helm. Mr. Nadella, who rose through Microsoft’s ranks in its business applications and server groups, has focused much of the company’s efforts on products and services for corporate customers.

As CEO, he has extended Microsoft’s software to platforms that it doesn’t control, including Android mobile phones and the Linux desktop operating system. And he has pushed to connect Microsoft’s products to data sources that can provide customers with timely, useful information, and to develop services intended to anticipate information users want and actions they’ll take.

Growth has been a challenge for both Office and LinkedIn. In the quarter that ended March 31, revenue at Microsoft’s productivity and business processes unit, which includes Office, grew by 1% to $6.5 billion. Office users number 1.2 billion, the company said.

Growth at LinkedIn, which in the first quarter claimed 105.5 million monthly active users of its web and mobile apps, has decelerated in the past two years. UBS Securities LLC analyst Brent Thill estimates that LinkedIn revenue will climb a bit more than 25% in 2016, down from more 35% growth in 2015 and more 45% growth in 2014.

Microsoft said it expects LinkedIn, which will be part of its productivity and business processes segment, will have a minimal negative impact—about 1%—on adjusted earnings for its fiscal 2017 and 2018 years. The deal is expected to add to Microsoft’s per-share earnings in 2019.

Following news of the acquisition, Moody’s Investors Service said it would review Microsoft’s triple-A credit rating for a potential downgrade. Moody’s said the only companies that hold its triple-A rating, which indicates pristine credit quality, are Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and Exxon Mobil Corp. Morgan Stanley served as Microsoft’s financial adviser to Microsoft, and LinkedIn was represented by Qatalyst Partners and Allen & Co.

Analysts said a competing bid from another tech company is unlikely given the size of the transaction. Credit Suisse analyst Stephen Ju also cited “the lack of clear strategic fit” between LinkedIn and other major tech companies.

Source — The Wall Street Jounal

Uganda Dual Citizenship Law | Diaspora Community Petitions Constitutional Court to Change or Interpret Dual Citizenship Law

Wed, 06/08/2016 - 03:55

Fellow petitioners, supporters and well wishers,

After awaiting parliamentary action on the Dual citizenship law in vain, we have invoked our constitutional right to seek expert interpretation of the Dual Citizenship Law as it pertains to Ugandans residing abroad in the Constitutional Court. This is not a criminal proceeding against the Ugandan Government but rather a quest for justice through expert interpretation of the law.

We need your support, to provide concrete examples of how you have been disadvantaged or had your rights abused as a naturalized citizen of Uganda by the Dual Citizenship Law or its implementation in Uganda. For example: have you been unfairly treated because you are a dual citizen. Have your children been made to pay visa fees, denied entry into Uganda or denied Ugandan passports etc.

Please contact us with facts on: dualuganda@gmail.com so that we include your evidence in our affidavit. Alternatively you can contact our lawyer: M/S Frank Tumusiime & Co. Advocates. Plot 4, Pilkington Road, Fourth Floor, Suite 63B, FAMI HOUSE (next to Colline House) Tel +256 414 668596 email info@franktunusiimeadvocates.com

Furthermore, we need monetary contributions to help pay for these proceedings. The money will directly go towards the costs of engaging a Constitutional Lawyer and the administration of filing our case.  We shall soon be giving you details of the exact costs involved and an account where to deposit the money.

We believe that we have a credible case of many Ugandans that have been unfairly treated by the law which must in its current form does not favor the contributions of those hard working Ugandans abroad.
We look forward to hearing from you and adding your voices to this petition as we seek redress and interpretation of the dual citizenship law.

Your social justice advocates,

  1. Kamara (Australia), S. Twinoburyo (South Africa), S. Asiimwe (Luxembourg) and Ronnie Mayanja (USA).
    Ps. Below is a link to the case in the news:
  2. http://www.ugandandiasporanews.com/2014/01/03/uganda-the-dual-citizenship-petition-what-are-real-facts-and-how-can-you-join-this-cause/
  3. http://www.ugandandiasporanews.com/2013/11/19/more-signatures-required-the-ugandan-diaspora-community-petitions-internal-affairs-ministry-to-change-dual-citizenship-law/

Museveni’s New Cabinet | First Lady named Education Minister – Beti Kamya New Kampala Minister

Mon, 06/06/2016 - 19:24

In Exercise of Powers conferred on the President of Uganda by Articles 108(1), 108 (2), 113(1), 114(1) and Article 99(1) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, I have appointed the Vice President, the Prime Minister, created new Departments of Government (Ministries); and appointed Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State as indicated below, Mr Musevni has said.

H.E. the Vice President ─ HON. KIWANUKA
EDWARD SSEKANDI

1. Rt. Hon. Prime Minister ─ DR. RUHAKANA
RUGUNDA

2. 1st Deputy Prime Minister ─ GEN. MOSES ALI
& Deputy Leader of Gov’t
Business in Parliament

3. 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and ─ HON. KIRUNDA
Minister of East African KIVEJINJA
Affairs

4. Minister of Education and ─ HON. MUSEVENI
Sports JANET KATAAHA

5. Minister of Public Service ─ HON. MURULI
MUKASA

6. Minister of Trade, ─ HON. KYAMBADDE
Industry & Cooperatives AMELIA ANNE

7. Minister of Internal Affairs ─ GEN. JEJE ODONGO

8. Minister of Agriculture, ─ HON. SSEMPIJJA
Animal Industry & VINCENT
Fisheries BAMULANGAKI

9. Minister of Finance and
Economic Planning ─ HON. KASAIJA MATIA

10. Minister of Foreign ─ HON. KUTESSA
Affairs KAHAMBA SAM

11. Minister of Health ─ DR. ACENG JANE

12. Minister of Works and ─ ENGINEER NTEGE
Transport AZUBA

13. Minister of Lands, ─ HON. AMONGI
Housing & Urban BETTY
Development

14. Minister of Water & ─ HON. CHEPTORIS
Environment SAM

15. Minister of Justice ─ MAJ. GEN.KAHINDA
& Constitutional Affairs OTAFIIRE

16. Attorney General ─ MR. BYARUHANGA
WILLIAM (ADVOCATE)

17. Minister of Defence and ─ HON. MWESIGE
Veteran Affairs ADOLF

18. Minister of Local ─ HON. BUTIME TOM
Government

19. Minister for Karamoja Affairs ─ HON. BYABAGAMBI
JOHN

20. Minister of Energy and
Minerals ─ HON. MULONI IRENE

21. Minister of Information, ICT ─ HON. TUMWEBAZE
& Communications FRANK

22. Minister for Science, ─ DR. TUMWESIGYE
Technology and Innovation ELIODA

23. Minister in Charge of ─ HON. BUSINGYE
General Duties/Office of MARY KAROORO
the Prime Minister OKURUT

24. Minister of Disaster
Preparedness &
Refugees ─ HON. ONEK HILARY

25. Minister of Tourism, ─ PROF. KAMUNTU
Wildlife & Antiquities EPHRAIM

26. Minister for the Presidency ─ HON. MBAYO ESTHER
MBULAKUBUZA

27. Minister of Security ─ LT. GEN. TUMUKUNDE
HENRY

28. Minister without ─ HAJJI NADDULI
Portfolio
29. Minister for Kampala City ─ HON. KAMYA BETTY
Authority

30. Government Chief Whip – HON. NANKABIRWA
SENTAMU RUTH

31. Minister of Gender, Labour ─ HON. MUKWAYA
& Social affairs JANAT

MINISTERS OF STATE:

Office of the President:

1. Minister of State for ─ HON. KASIRIVU
Economic Monitoring BALTAZAH ATWOKI

2. Minister of State for ─ HON. LOKODO
Ethics and Integrity SIMON

Office of the Vice President:

3. Minister of State
Vice President’s Office ─ HON. ONZIMA ALEX

Office of the Prime Minister:

4. Minister of State for
Relief and Disaster ─ HON. ECWERU
Preparedness MUSA FRANCIS

5. Minister of State for ─ HON. KWIYUUCWINY
Northern Uganda GRACE

6. Minister of State for ─ HON. KIZIGE MOSES
Karamoja

7. Minister of State ─ HON. GALABUZI
for Luwero Triangle DENNIS SSOZI

8. Minister of State for ─ HON. AKIROR AGNES
Teso Affairs

9. Minister of State for
Bunyoro Affairs ─ HON. KIIZA ERNEST

Ministry of Public Service

10. Minister of State for ─ HON. KARUBANGA
Public Service DAVID

Ministry of East African Affairs

11. Minister of State for ─ HON. MAGANDA
East African Affairs JULIUS WANDERA

Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries

12. Minister of State for ─ HON. KIBAZANGA
Agriculture CHRISTOPHER

13. Minister of State for ─ HON. ACHIENG
Fisheries RUTH

14. Minister of State for Animal ─ MRS. KABATSI JOY
Industry

NEWS

First lady named Education minister
Page 2 of 2
Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs

15. Minister of State for
Defence ─ COL. ENGOLA

16. Minister of State for ─ MAJOR RWAMIRAMA
Veteran Affairs BRIGHT

Ministry of Education and Sports

17. Minister of State for Higher ─ DR. MUYINGO JOHN
Education CHRYSOSTOM

18. Minister of State for ─ HON. NANSUBUGA
Primary Education, ROSEMARY SENINDE

19. Minister of State for Sports ─ HON. BAKABULINDI
CHARLES

Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development:

20. Minister of State for Energy ─ HON. D’UJANGA
SIMON

21. Minister of State for Minerals ─ HON. LOKERIS
AIMAT PETER

Ministry of Finance, Planning & Economic Development:

22. Minister of State for Finance ─ HON. AJEDRA
(General) GABRIEL GADISON
ARIDRU

23. Minister of State for Planning ─ HON. BAHATI DAVID

24. Minister of State for ─ HON. ANITE EVELYN
Privatization and Investment

25. Minister of State for Micro- ─ HON. KYEYUNE
Finance HARUNA KASOLO

Ministry of Works and Transport:

26. Minister of State for ─ HON. BAGIIRE
Transport AGGREY

27. Minister of State for ─ HON. OROT ISMAEL
Works

Ministry of Water and Environment:

28. Minister of State for Water ─ HON. KIBUULE
RONALD

29. Minister of State for ─ HON. KITUTU MARY
Environment

Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development:

30. Minister of State for ─ DR. BARYOMUNSI
Housing CHRIS

31. Minister of State for ─ HON. MUSUMBA
Urban Development ISAAC

32. Minister of State for ─ HON. NAMUGANZA
Lands PERSIS

Ministry of Health:

33. Minister of State for ─ HON. OPENDI
Health (General) OCHIENT SARAH

34. Minister of State for ─ DR. MORIKU JOYCE
Primary Health Care

Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs

35. Deputy Attorney General ─ HON. MWESIGWA
RUKUTANA

Ministry of Trade and Industry and Cooperatives:

36. Minister of State for ─ HON. KAFABUSA
Trade WERIKHE MICHEAL

37. Minister of State for ─ HON. NTABAZI
Industry HARRIET

38. Minister of State for ─ HON. GUME
Cooperatives FREDRICK NGOBI

39. Kampala Capital City ─ HON. NAMUGWANYA
Authority BENNA

Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

40. Minister of State for ─ HON. ORYEM
International Affairs OKELLO

41. Minister of State for ─ DR. MATEKE
Regional Affairs PHELEMON

Ministry of Local Government

42. Minister of State for ─ HON. NAMUYANGU
Local Government JENNIFFER

Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities:

43. Minister of State for ─ HON. KIWANDA
Tourism GODFREY

Ministry of ICT

44. Minister of State for ICT and ─ HON. NANTABA AIDA
Communications ERIOS

Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development:

45. Minister of State for Gender ─ MADAME MUTUUZO
and Culture PEACE

46. Minister of State for Youth and ─ MRS. NAKIWALA
Children Affairs FLORCENCE KIYINGI

47. Minister of State for Labour,
Employment and Industrial ─ HON. KABAFUNZAKI
Relations HERBERT

48. Minister of State for the Elderly ─ MRS. TIBALEKA
and Disability: ADRIAN

Ministry of Internal Affairs

49. Minister of State for
Internal Affairs ─ HON. OBIGA KANIA

SIGNED this …………………..day of ………, in the Year of our Lord Two Thousand Sixteen.

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

Source — Daily Monitor.

Obituary | Celebrating the Life of The Late Deborah Kiguli-Birigwa Born Oct 25th 1959 – Died May 30th 2016

Sun, 06/05/2016 - 22:29

The life of the late Deborah Kiguli-Birigwa was celebrated in a memorial service held at Saint Peter’s Church of Uganda in Waltham on Saturday June 4th. The service was led by Rev. Christine Nakyeyune-Busuulwa assisted by other leaders from the St. Peters Church of Uganda Waltham.

Born on October 25th 1959 in Uganda, she was the daughter of the late Aloni Kiguli Mikisa Sekadde and Mary Nambalirwa Kagwa. She attended Gayaza High School and later joined Makerere University were she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree.

She later began her career as a researcher at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe. From here she was nominated to continue her microbiology training at Yale University in the city New Haven, Connecticut. She also undertook further studies obtaining a degree in Computer Networking at Clark University in 1999.

In 2002, Deborah married her long time best friend David ‘Enoka’ Birigwa. Deborah was also a mother to Sarah and May and also a grandma to Rayhan and Xavier. Whether in good or bad times she genuinely invested in people in her world.  To her family members she was a remarkable sister, daughter and friend.

Deborah breathed her last surrounded by her family members on May 30th 2016 in Stoneham, Massachusetts after losing her battle cancer. Following the funeral service held at St. Peters Church of Uganda in Waltham. The Late Deborah Kiguli-Birigwa will begin her final journal to Uganda were she will be laid to rest at her ancestral home in Bukuya, Nabuttiti in Mityana. Body will depart on Tuesday aboard Emirates Airlines arriving on Thursday at Entebbe International Airport.  More details to follow as we get them.

A special thank-you to all those who led the order of service and to the entire Boston community for their show of support. To the family members we pray that the good lord will continue to strengthen you during this difficult time. Fare Thee Well Deborah!

Below are some of the images of the church service held at St. Peters Church of Uganda in Waltham, Massachusetts – USA. A Ugandan Diaspora News Report. Courtesy photos by Patrick Nsubuga and Ronnie Mayanja.

[See image gallery at www.ugandandiasporanews.com]

BNONews | Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dead at 74

Sat, 06/04/2016 - 07:40

Muhammad Ali, who is widely regarded as the greatest heavyweight boxer in the history of the sport and one of the most recognized people in the world, has died at a Phoenix-area hospital, his spokesman says. He was 74 years old. (more)

Family spokesman Bob Gunnell said in a brief statement that Ali died late Friday. It came just days after he was hospitalized near Phoenix for treatment of a respiratory issue that was complicated by Parkinson’s disease, prompting speculation about his deteriorating health.

“After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening,” Gunnell said in the statement. His funeral will take place in his hometown of Louisville in Kentucky.

Ali had been hospitalized several times over the past few years and looked increasingly frail in public appearances. He was admitted for a mild case of pneumonia in December 2014 and returned for treatment of a urinary tract infection in January 2015 after he was found unresponsive at a guest house in Scottsdale, Arizona.

A three-time World Heavyweight Boxing champion known for his “rope-a-dope” technique and clever rhymes, he is arguably the most famous boxers in the world. He won his first world championship in 1964 from Sonny Liston in what some called a stunning upset, and he later went on to win an Olympic gold medal for boxing during the 1960 Olympics in Rome.

His success in boxing, which was seen around the world, made him one of the most recognized sports figures on Earth. Unsurprisingly, in 1999 he was named “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC.

Ali retired from professional boxing in 1981 and revealed several years later that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which is commonly the result of head trauma caused by boxing. Despite the diagnosis, he appeared at WrestleMania I as a special guest referee just months later.

Source — Bnonews.com

State of the Nation 2016 | I cannot have a country which is a supermarket of foreign products- Museveni

Wed, 06/01/2016 - 08:18

Daily Monitor — It is a shame for a minister to ask for a bribe from foreigners, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has said. Mr Museveni said he gets reports of some of his ministers asking for bribes from foreign investors to facilitate their investments in the country.
“How do you tell a foreigner that you have failed to complete your house or pay school fees for your child? If you fail, talk to your [National Resistance Movement] party, not a foreigner,” he said. Mr Museveni equated such government officials to rats that damage the stored crops.

“Struggle to live within your means, corruption is disgusting and will be stamped out. In this five year-term of office, corrupt officials are going to be dealt with accordingly. In this term the corrupt officials are going to see how a Muyekera (resistance fighter) looks like,” he added.

President Museveni soon after delivering the State of the Nation Address 2016 at Kampala Serena Conference Center.

Mr Museveni said former president Idi Amin’s regime was blamed for corruption because most of the officials who served in his government were illiterate. “When we were fighting Amin, we would say there was corruption because they were illiterate. But for educated people to be corrupt, it’s disgusting,” he noted further. According to him, the Shs4 trillion that was lost in Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) – in which a number of ministers were implicated- could have constructed a 5000kms of road.

Mr Museveni made the remarks in his State of the Nation Address on Tuesday during the second sitting of the first session of the 10th parliament at Serena Hotel in Uganda’s capital Kampala.

Mr Museveni also talked about industrializing the country which he said is dominated with foreign products. “I cannot have a country which is a supermarket of foreign products. I’m told there are some young people who make a living by importing second hand clothes. This is good but also suicidal to our economy,” he said. In order to address some of the economic challenges that Uganda is currently faced with, there should be no more delays in investment decisions if the country is to achieve middle income status by 2020. “Because our travel industry is very profitable we shall fast track the resuscitation of Uganda Airline’s. We shall work with partners abroad to increase number of tourists to at least 4 million per annum from the current 1.3m per annum.”

Source — Daily Monitor Report and NBS Television video.

Observer Editorial | Democracy needs political parties engaged – (FDC’s Minority Leader)

Tue, 05/31/2016 - 20:09

The leadership of the Forum for Democratic Change, Uganda’s largest opposition political party, last week named its chiefs in parliament; among others, Kasese Woman MP Winfred Kiiza is leader of opposition, while Kira municipality’s Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda is the chief whip. Former opposition whip Cecilia Ogwal (Dokolo Woman) will now sit on the Parliamentary Commission.

As an organization with an interest in the democratic health of our country, we commend FDC leaders for this decision, given the controversy that preceded it. Some vocal party members and leaders had argued that the party should not take up these positions in parliament because that would mean legitimizing the Museveni government yet they believe FDC’s flag bearer won February’s elections.

They also said the party would be seen as having betrayed its founding president, Kizza Besigye, who is now languishing in Luzira prison.

It is easy for any neutral political observer to sympathise with these arguments.  While perfect elections do not exist anywhere in the world, blatantly flawed ones are an antithesis to democratic culture.

But the reality is that there is a government and parliament in place, never mind the imperfect election that brought them. Now, the dilemma for opposition parties is whether to use the platform of parliament to expose what is wrong and push for what is right, or to cede that space to someone else.

If democracy is supposed to be a fair contest over a country’s political soul, then even in the most desperate of times, it needs all sides to engage rather than disengage.

For the most part, political power cedes little or nothing without pressure. That is why opposition pressure is part of true democratic culture. And parliament, where FDC has three dozen legislators, can be one of the more important pressure points in our democracy. The last 30 years have seen intense contestation over the political space, but engagement has seen the opposition make some modest gains.

President Museveni, for instance, openly admitted that the freeing of political parties was because of pressure. But FDC can also look at the gains Besigye made on his 2011 vote tally, by engaging the people of Uganda in 2016 elections.

Source — The Weekly Observer Editorial

Death Announcement | Mrs. Deborah Kiguli Birigwa of Stoneham, Massachusetts Passes on.

Tue, 05/31/2016 - 18:53

Mr. Enoka Birigwa of Stoneham, Massachusetts announces the death of his wife Mrs. Deborah Kiguli Birigwa who passed away last night at their home. A vigil and family gathering will be held at 45 North Street, Apt 58 Stoneham, MA 02180 — Enoka can be reached at +1508.488.0765. Our condolences go out to the entire Birigwa family. Kitalo nyo.

Animation | The Adventures of Nkoza & Nankya, Help Vote for us to Win a Mocap Suit

Tue, 05/31/2016 - 02:59

Please help VOTE for the Adventures of Nkoza and Nankya TV Series to Win a Perception Neuron Motion Capture Suit and $5000 Dollars, this will go a long way to help us complete the promotional episode and create even more stories featuring Ugandan Folklore tales, Languages and songs.

To Vote, visit the link below and click on the heart at the top, it will turn red to indicate you have voted, you can vote each day for the next 49 days when the contest ends ~ http://setyourworldinmotion.hscampaigns.com/entry/25 ~ see the reference screen capture

Daily Monitor Editorial | Shrine visits – Officials must act responsibly

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 07:13

The Parliament Speaker, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, is in the news for visiting a shrine ostensibly to thank ancestral spirits for her re-election as Speaker and Member of Parliament. Ms Kadaga is a self-confessing Christian. The dissimilarity of her action is telling and explains the public furor and, in some cases, ridicule following her supplication to traditional mysticism.

The Speaker’s split personality manifests the duality of our society and its leadership: an unending battle of allegiance to indigenous cultures and customs as well as a simultaneous embrace of Western religion. In his book, Sowing the Mustard Seed, President Museveni writes that he was, while in the bush as a guerilla leader, persuaded to jump over a decapitated chicken to guarantee success of the National Resistance Army rebellion.

Gilbert Bukenya, a professor of medicine, while still Uganda’s vice president and on official duty, strayed to and prayed at a traditional shrine for his and President Museveni’s political feats. And Koboko Municipality MP Evelyn Anite paid homage to spirits at a native ancestral sanctuary. What we question is why all these high-profile political leaders, if they choose to follow traditional religion, visit shrines in official vehicles and accompanied by media?

It is both unfathomable and unjustifiable that fuel bought, and official guards and a coterie of subordinates paid, by tax payers’ money were engaged to chauffer Uganda’s third most important citizen deep into a thicket where she hunkered in an under-rocks grotto littered with fetishes in search for benediction.

Maj Eria Nantamu, the prime minister of Kadaga’s Baise Igaga Clan, said each clansman and woman is required to visit the traditional sacred site at least once a year in fulfilment of a long-standing cultural norm. Such defence does not go far in explaining why public resources were expended on a trip structured for a presumed individual gain.

We hold the view that these highly publicised shrine visits by national leaders, even if for cultural purposes, have the unintended potential to romanticise witchcraft or sorcery as acceptable as long as it brings blessings.

This should worry in a country where child sacrifices by fortune hunters are, according to police crime reports, on the rise. If presumably sophisticated leaders believe that visiting shrines and making offering bring personal and professional prosperity, it hamstrings them to tell the under-class in their constituencies that, for example, sorcery is debauched. National leaders must act with the responsibility that their high offices bestow upon them.

Source — Daily Monitor and NBS Television News video.

The Observer | First son Muhoozi denies harboring Presidential ambitions

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 06:24

Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, son to President Yoweri Museveni dismisses as baseless, reports that he is being groomed to succeed his father as president of Uganda.  Muhoozi, who is among 727 promoted on May 12, also describes as “non-existent” a succession plan hitherto referred to as the ‘Muhoozi Project’.

The reported project was the basis of a 2013 dossier by the former coordinator of intelligence services Gen David Sejusa. In the dossier, Sejusa hinted on a grand plan to have Muhoozi, the commanding officer of the Special Forces Command replace his father as president and that anyone who stood in the way risked assassination.

In his dossier, Sejusa suggested that then those opposed to the ‘Muhoozi Project’ were Gen Aronda Nyakairima (RIP), former prime minister Amama Mbabazi, Inspector general of police (IGP) Kale Kayihura among others.

CDF Katumba Wamala in pictures with newly promoted/Rtd UPDF officers and spouses after pipping ceremony at Ministry of Defence, Mbuya – Photo credit Sarah Kagingo

But Muhoozi who was addressing journalists at the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Mbuya, Kampala this afternoon said he was happy in the military and has no ambitions to assume the presidency. He added that he would go through the right procedure if he ever wanted to be president.

“I am very happy in the military and in case I wanted to join politics, I know the procedures to go through,” he said.

“As you heard, I don’t have the ambition to be president. I am very happy being in the military and that is where I intend to stay for some time. It [Muhoozi Project] doesn’t exist, non-existent – that is a red herring. You have never heard of a message where I promote myself, it is always from the promotions board. That is the process in the military”

Muhoozi also expressed excitement with his latest promotion to the rank of Major General and downplays concerns that his promotions were fast-tracked.

“I am sure the promotion was done on merit by the promotions board,” Muhoozi said.  He adds that he will concentrate on developing his career in the army as a dedicated officer.

Source — The Observer and NTV News report.

The Observer | Amicus Curiae | ‘Why the hell are you befriending the court?’ By Prof. Joe Oloka-Onyango

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 02:39

In March, a group of law academics secured an amicus curiae (friends of court) status before the Supreme court rejected the petition in which Amama Mbabazi sought nullification of the President Museveni’s recent reelection. One of the amicus curiae, PROF JOE OLOKA-ONYANGO, now discusses their experience and the implication of court’s final decision.

INTRODUCTION

On March 12, 2016, I joined eight other Makerere Law School dons in filing an amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) application in the presidential election petition brought by John Patrick Amama Mbabazi (JPAM). Mbabazi was the third-place finisher in the poll, garnering 1.4 percent of the final tally after incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (60.6%) and runner-up Kizza Besigye (35.6%).

When the news of the amicus application was announced, I received a call from a long-time colleague and friend: “What the hell are you doing befriending the court: Don’t you have enough enemies already?,” she asked me.

Makerere University law dons at the Supreme court after the court granted their application of amicus curiae

My friend’s reaction may have been extreme, but it was by no means exceptional. When the Supreme court accepted our amicus application, the reaction of Ugandans from all walks of life ranged from hope, to confusion, to disdain, to delusion.

Among the many views proffered about our action were the following: + Now that we had become “friends of the court,” our views would favourably (and conclusively) determine the outcome of the petition (as in… we hope you are “friends of Amama”);

+ By filing the petition we had “legitimized” the 2016 sham election and provided a veneer of legal authority and expertise to a fundamentally flawed political process (as in… we were really “friends of M7”); + My Political Science colleagues cryptically reminded me: Politics always trumps Law!

Engaging with the Supreme court was thus a waste of time because the result was a foregone conclusion (which would make us “friends-of-nobody”).

DIVERTING COURT

Finally, some opined that even if the courts agreed with our submission, how would that affect the outcome of the main petition? In other words, we were diverting the court from the more fundamental and important issue at hand, which was: who really won the election?

Given how much interest and popular comment the application raised in the print, broadcast and social media—jua kali businesses and restaurants were renamed “Amicus”— I thought it was important to answer my friend’s question: why indeed did we go to court?

Secondly, what did the JPAM petition in general tell us about the state of governance in post-2016 Uganda? To answer these questions, this article is divided into three parts.

It begins with some very brief remarks about the state of judicial politics in Uganda. Secondly, it outlines what the Mbabazi election petition was all about and its significance for the law and for politics in NRM’s Uganda.

Finally, I address the reasons why we filed the amicus curiae application, highlighting its implications for the place of the Judiciary within the framework of the NRM scheme of governance as we head off towards 2021.

1. LAW, POLITICS AND THE JUDICIARY IN UGANDA

Courts in post-colonial Uganda have always provided an interesting and contentious framework within which political issues have been engaged, going back to the most famous 1966 case of ex parte Matovu which dealt with the “pigeon-hole” Constitution or the case of Uganda v. Rajat Neogy & Abu Mayanja (1968) which precipitated the banning of the magazine Transition.

During the Amin period, courts were dispensed with as possible terrain on which political action could be pursued, ultimately culminating in the murder of a Chief Justice. The Obote II era largely treated the judiciary as an inconvenience.

Under the NRM, and especially since 1995 courts of law have been extensively used as an arena for political battles, e.g. David Tinyefuza (on his right to resign from the UPDF), Paulo Ssemogerere (on the Referendum of 1999/2000) and most recently on whether the President had the power to re-appoint a Chief Justice (Benjamin Odoki) who was above the stipulated age of retirement (in the case of Gerald Karuhanga).

Supreme court election petition

Although there have been several victories for democratic governance and enhanced constitutionalism via the  judiciary, there have also been many setbacks where the courts have been reluctant (even hostile) to transformation, finding recourse in legal technicalities, unearthing obscure and outdated colonial-era laws or taking refuge in the infamous Political Question Doctrine (PQD) which basically states that certain matters are beyond the purview of judicial scrutiny.

In short, the context of judicial struggle in Uganda has been one where progress is very often circumscribed by reversal, lack of enforcement or sheer impunity. Needless to say, the judiciary remains an important arena within which to gain a more complete understanding of the nature of the NRM regime of governance.

2.CONTEXT OF MBABAZI PETITION AND OUR AMICUS CURIAE APPLICATION

As you may be aware, the courts in Uganda have twice before provided the arena for presidential election petitions, the first of which was in 2001 and the second following the 2006 election. Both petitions were brought by runner-up Kizza Besigye who scored 27.7 percent in the former, and 37.4 percent in the latter.

Both were lost, and after the 2006 failure, Besigye swore that he would never again seek recourse in the courts of law because they were in no position to deliver genuine justice. Indeed, in 2011, when he ran for the third time, Besigye refused to go to court, arguing that there was no way in which he could secure a fair result from the judiciary.

Instead, he resorted to the streets with the “walk-to-work” protests. In certain respects Besigye was right—both on the broader context in which the election was held, and more specifically with regard to the preconditions for a successful petition.

The broader conditions have been well laid out in numerous books and articles, but most importantly in the 2001 and 2006 decisions of the Supreme court when addressing the matter. These included:

A. Extensive bribery and the misuse of state resources and incumbency;
B. Serious interference by the security apparatus of the state, ranging from the police, to the armed forces to the intelligence services;
C. The partisan and partial (some would say near-criminal) incompetence on the part of the Electoral Commission, whether in terms of pre-election arrangements for the poll or in the delivery of the results;

D. Massive disenfranchisement of voters through the deletion of names from the voters register, and
E. A generic atmosphere of intimidation, manipulation and coercion (and one in which courts of law were extensively abused in order to subvert the

Besigye candidacy, e.g. through the trumped-up charges of rape and treason).

In other words, in the unanimous opinion of the Supreme court neither the 2001 nor the 2006 elections were “free and fair.”

Ironically, neither court overturned the election, with a 3-2 verdict in 20011 and a 4-32 ruling in 2006. The ostensible legal reasoning behind both decisions was rooted in two issues:

1. The question of whether the Supreme court should conduct an “inquiry” or a “hearing,” given that Article 104(3) requires the Supreme court to “inquire into” the grounds of the petition; and

2. The burden of proof, or the main test which is applied to the allegations being made in the petition, i.e. whether the alleged irregularities affected the results in a “substantial manner” (a.k.a. The Substantiality Test).

Both issues are also directly affected by the unreasonably-short periods applied in presidential election petitions. A petition must be filed within 10 days after the declaration of results and court must deliver its decision within 30 days of filing the petition.

When combined, these limitations place the party with fewer resources—usually the losing petitioner—at a disadvantage especially when up against an incumbent president. Secondly, it limits the amount of evidence which can be gathered in the form of affidavits.

Neither factor would be a problem if the courts were to adopt a more qualitative approach to the substantiality test and also if they were to conduct an inquiry and not a hearing. An inquiry, would allow the court to expand the horizons and the material on which it relied to make a finding.

Adopting a qualitative approach would mean moving away from a mathematical approach to the issue to an approach which assesses, in the words of Justice George Kanyeihamba, “… the extent to which, deliberately or otherwise, the Constitution and laws of Uganda were substantially violated.”

Because of those limitations, going in to the JPAM petition, it was quite obvious that the odds of success were about as good as those of the Leicester soccer club at the beginning of this year’s English Premier League.

Indeed, we can even debate the larger question of whether a court of law—anywhere in the world—would overturn an election, especially one in which the effect would be to remove a sitting president.

There was simply no way that the Supreme court would have nullified the election, because in many respects 2016 was similar to the previous two instances in which matters ended up in court. But 2016 had several important differences both pre-petition and in relation to bringing the petition itself which warranted some third-party intervention.

Regarding events that took place in the period before the 2016 election, the most important were the protracted efforts at reforming the electoral laws and the Electoral Commission. Those efforts were executed mainly through the campaign for free and fair elections spearheaded by a group of civil society organizations.

Although the campaign gained widespread support, it eventually failed because of government reluctance to make changes to the electoral playing field. Secondly, there was also the question of the composition of the Supreme court.

For the first time in the history of the Judiciary in Uganda, all members of the bench were appointees of the same president, with Chief Justice Bart Katureebe having been President Museveni’s attorney general from 1996 to 2001.

Amam Mbabazi lawyers at the Supreme court

Five of the judges (Mwangusya, Nshimye, Opio Aweri, Mwondha and Ekirikubinza) had only five months earlier (September 2015) been moved up from the Court of Appeal. In sum, the context was ideal for testing the mettle of the new-look highest bench in the Judiciary. Regarding the immediate conditions preceding the petition, the following are important:

1. Even though Besigye had stated that he wouldn’t go to court, every effort was taken to stop him from doing so in the event he changed his mind.

Thus, not only was Besigye physically prevented from leaving home to file a petition but the authorities variously harassed, intimidated and even detained potential witnesses who would provide the evidentiary support to a petition. The culmination of this action was the invasion of FDC headquarters and the confiscation of all election-related material;

2. When the ball shifted to Mbabazi, likewise, the government engaged in a process of intimidation, coercion and even bribery of lawyers and witnesses.

The culmination of these actions was a raid on the offices of Mbabazi’s lawyers;

Why then did we file the amicus application? First of all, we believed that this was an opportunity—even if the petition failed—for us to draw attention to the structural problems affecting the election, underscoring the point that an election is a process, not an event.

Secondly, we viewed the petition as the opportunity for the court to reassert its authority in a context dogged by institutional collapse and growing Executive impunity. Thirdly, it was to test the judicial waters for future governance struggles which will invariably end up in the Supreme court in what is a fairly new bench.

SHAKY GROUND

And finally, it was an opportunity to entrench the mechanism of amicus curiae which was standing on shaky jurisprudential ground in Uganda. Given that under the law an amicus is confined to making only submissions which the parties to the petition have not made, we decided to focus on the structural conditions in which the petition was being heard.

What were those conditions? (1) That in both previous Supreme court petitions, observations were made about the context in which the election was held, i.e. the proverbial “playing field”;

(2) In both previous petitions, the Supreme court had pointed out that conditions in the playing field had in effect rendered the election unfree and unfair;

(3) The main culprits responsible for such conditions were: (a) the law; and (b) the institutions, especially the Electoral Commission, the police and the army; and (4) The government had persistently failed to take appropriate action on all the above, and especially with respect to the process of electoral reform. The amicus brief we filed, therefore, basically made three points:

1. That the conditions observed by the Supreme court in 2001 and 2006 still persisted and had affected the 2016 election in the same way, rendering it unfree and unfair;

2. That the failure on the part of those responsible (especially the Attorney General) to take the necessary measures amounted to contempt of court at best, or blatant impunity at worst; and

3. That the Supreme court should adopt a new method of enforcement of its broader observations about the conduct of the election forcing the government to take supervised measures that would ultimately result in electoral reform.

In other words, we argued that the Supreme court should use the mechanism of the STRUCTURAL INTERDICT which is an order to a government body—in this case the Attorney General—to take certain steps within a specified period of time and to report back to the court, failing which would amount to contempt of court, with attendant sanctions, including the detention of the offending state officials.

In sum, our argument was that the two earlier judgments of the Supreme court had, in their obiter dictum commentaries, simply condemned the operations of the EC and other state actors but failed to make the logical connection to the nature of the election that resulted from its incompetence and partiality.

The net effect of the two decisions was to give legal sanction to executive impunity and to bring us exactly back to yet another election petition. Given developments since the decision of the court, the judgment still did not provide the necessary closure to the issue.

In other words, it is the structural questions affecting the election and which have dogged the electoral landscape in Uganda since the reintroduction of multi-party politics which are the problem.

In the absence of reform in this area, the country can forget ever having a free and fair election. The Supreme court was thus being implored to take a bold step in transforming Uganda’s political landscape.

3.IMPLICATIONS OF MBABAZI DECISION

Ultimately, the amicus petition was only partially successful; over the objections of all three respondents, the court allowed us to file a comprehensive brief which reiterated our view that there was a need for a more structured approach to the issue of electoral reform in Uganda.

Moreover, the court’s judgment accepting our application for the status of amicus curiae consolidated the mechanism as a well-established and uncontested element in the jurisprudence of Uganda.

In delivering its interim ruling on March 31, the court took note of our suggestions and alluded to making a more comprehensive response to the issues we raised in the final judgment of the court expected to be delivered two months later. Of course there is still the larger question of the place of the judiciary within the governance struggle in Uganda as we move on from 2016.

Ugandans do not place a great deal of confidence in the courts of law and the Amama petition in certain respects dealt the judiciary an even more significant blow to its standing in the eyes of most citizens.

However, both a review of the jurisprudence over the last 20 years (since the enactment of the 1995 Constitution) as well as consideration of some of the major governance issues which are certain to arise as we head on to 2021 suggest that the Judiciary is going to be an extremely important arena in which many of the future governance battles are going to be played out.

Aside from the question of rights and freedoms, the nature and extent of presidential power is certain to be an area of increased focus, including the question of term and age limits.

Even if this particular battle was lost, the petition brought significant attention to bear on what is actually going to be a long drawn-out war—legal and otherwise in the run-up to 2021.

In other words, ignoring the courts in Uganda is obviously a serious folly. One would do well to recall that old African proverb: he or she who believes that small things cannot cause significant change or damage has never spent a night with a mosquito.

Source — The Weekly Observer

Opinion | Rebuttal to Whitaker | Uganda’s Foreign Sanitizer – The Whi-Takers and the Losers

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 03:59

By Dr. Daniel Kawuma — Following a grueling season of bad press and missteps by the Ugandan government, it was inevitable that they would recruit the Washington DC based Whitaker Group to sing hymns of praises and great fortune for the Pearl of Africa. Rosa Whitaker Africa’s networking business guru and at times PR machine has in the past offered the NRM regime a letter to US congress for a clean bill of health that cost tax payers $75,000 that we know of.

Whitaker’s assault on US diplomats in Uganda was an act of sanitizing the bloody mess left behind by the Uganda government through the lens of foreign actors. Her rationale stems from classical realism where morality and justice for all Ugandan people is irrelevant but survival of the State and preservation of foreign interests paramount. This reductionist approach grants priority to the political regime at the expense of the citizenry with the rationale that universal moral principles are in-existent.

Uganda in the eyes of the Whitaker Group is a cash cow milked for its reliable economic ties and talk of morality and rights of citizens is background noise to the primary objective of foreign stake holders. Whitaker argues that diplomats have no moral or legal grounds to hold the Uganda government in contempt of the ICC treaty for which the US is not a signatory. They should instead bow to the regime and be grateful for regional stability and the joint antiterrorism front in Somalia. Whitaker insinuates that foreign diplomats and Ugandans have no right to complain about their predicament as long as the cotton is picked and the plantation runs efficiently.

United States diplomats Bruce Wharton and Ambassador to Kampala, Deborah Malac are accused of activism and failure to abide by the foreign relations script that includes holding the nose while executing your mission to the country. Whitaker’s goal was not winning the hearts and minds of the Ugandan populace but rather serenading and massaging the egos of policy makers on Capitol Hill as a lobbyist. The mission was to remove any doubt for the benefit of her clients that Ugandans had a fair election, the people voted for peace and that the true President of Uganda is not the man behind bars in Luzira prison.

Whitaker was strategically pressuring diplomats in Uganda by reminding them of their responsibility to represent America’s business and strategic interests and not trivial issues such as the suffering of African people. Whitaker in fact singles out law makers in the United States including International Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce and Congress members Charlie Rangel, Karen Bass and Senators Chris Koons, Johnny Isakson and Jeff Flake for not walking off the reservation.

Whitaker is a textbook case of the revolving door between government and the private sector. As Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa under the Administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Whitaker took advantage of her position and acquired access to regimes across the continent for a seat at Africa’s tax-payer buffet while laying the foundation for lobbying in the private sector. It’s no mystery that Whitaker has been in bed with the Uganda government and the pillow talk got her business ventures on Karuma and Isimba dam projects, African Growth and Opportunity Act dealings, Standard Gauge Railway project, and sugar coating Uganda’s image in US congress among others.

Whitaker is a symbol of the marriage between African regimes and influential foreign actors where citizens are not invited to the feast. In spite of her accomplishments that include awards as one of the top 100 Global political thinkers in 2010, it’s irresponsible to legitimize regimes that are sowing the seeds of unrest around Africa after a period of relative stability. America has certainly made mistakes from interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria among others. However, the power vacuum created by post- bigmanism and neopatrimonialism in African states is our own making. Consolidation of power through annihilation of opposition parties, manipulation of constitutional term limit safeguards and failure to accommodate peaceful and predictable transfer of power will inevitably lead to chaos with or without the intervention of foreign actors. The failure for Whitaker to acknowledge the underlying abuse of power by the NRM government beyond the will of the voters in her critic of the actions of Bruce Wharton, and Ambassador Deborah Malac is intellectual dishonesty.

When Rosa Whitaker looks Museveni in the eyes who has ruled Uganda since 1986 and his inauguration invitation list that includes Robert Mugabe Zimbabwe ruler since 1980; Paul Biya Cameroon ruler since 1982; Omar Bashir Sudan ruler since 1989; Iddris Debby Chad ruler since 1990; Jose Eduardo do Santos Angola ruler since 1979 and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Equatorial Guinea ruler since 1979; does she see the hopelessness of the populace, the poverty, the suppression of free speech, the corruption, erosion of individual liberties, the spilled blood and mass graves across the continent or does she only see investment opportunities for her clients? We see the suffering of Ugandans not Whitakers!

Dr. Daniel Kawuma

Maryland, U.S.A

busuu001@gmail.com

Opinion| Museveni Inauguration | Amateur theatrics; An insult to Africa By Rosa Whitaker

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 15:39

Last week, I watched with dismay as two American diplomats walked out on the inaugural address of a respected African leader who continues to make a major contribution to our shared objectives in the region and who has been a steadfast ally in the battle against global jihadism. Other African leaders attending the ceremony were visibly angered. To see two decades of goodwill built up under Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush so carelessly forfeited was deeply saddening. Having worked for years in both administrations and the Congress to build a strong American partnership with Africa this unprecedented walk-out was personal.

The behavior of our officials reeked of arrogance. It served no US interest and advanced no conceivable strategic goal. America pays for such gratuitous grandstanding with loss of influence in Africa and in multilateral institutions where we need African support.

The target of our diplomats’ abuse was Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni. He was being sworn in following his reelection. Although his defeated rivals have challenged the result, his share of the vote as officially tallied — 61 per cent — was entirely in line with what independent polls indicated. This was not a stolen election.
The chairman of the African Union and 14 other African heads of state were present at the swearing-in. Representing the US were deputy assistant secretary of state, Bruce Wharton, and our recently installed ambassador to Kampala, Deborah Malac. Their theatrics, leaders told me, were an insult not just to President Museveni but to all of Africa. The Russian and Chinese delegations were gleeful.

Wharton and Malac gave two reasons for their walk-out: the presence of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir and President Museveni’s reference to the International Criminal Court as “a bunch of useless people”. Why did the US follow the EU in this embarrassing walk-out? We followed the EU into Libya, the result — an expanded ISIL.

America’s attitude to the Court is hypocritical. We refused to sign the treaty that established it out of a legitimate concern it would be used against our own people. When I was in government, I had explicit instructions to lobby African countries not to sign. Since when did homage to this Court, whose jurisdiction we reject, become American policy?

In the case of Bashir, we should remember lessons learned in Iraq, Syria and Libya, ousting incumbent leaders, however unlovely, doesn’t inevitably mean change for the better. The unintended consequences have been dire.

Ugandans largely voted for peace and stability, which their government under Museveni has delivered. Predictably, the State Department was peeved by the home arrest of the opposition’s flagbearer. However, his verbal threats to overthrow an elected government through violence would also not be tolerated in the US or any country. A joke about arms at US airports warrants arrest as does a false claim of fire in a movie theater.

What makes the churlishness of our diplomats especially disgraceful is the contempt it shows for the support President Museveni is giving us — and the rest of the international community — to see that Somalia does not become another province of ISIL. Ugandan troops are fighting and dying to stop our enemies from achieving yet another haven from which to attack us.

As saddened as I am by the poor judgement exhibited by the two diplomats, I take comfort knowing that wisdom still prevails elsewhere in Washington, not least on Capitol Hill where the leadership on African issues is particularly strong at the moment on a bipartisan basis. There is not space to mention everyone, but on the House side, I would single out International Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce and Congressmembers Charlie Rangel and Karen Bass; in the other chamber, Senators Chris Koons, Johnny Isakson and Jeff Flake.

America needs internationalists like these who know how to disagree respectfully and secure change through engagement and persuasive argument, as opposed to amateur theatrics.

Rosa Whitaker served as Assistant US Trade Representative for Africa in the Administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and was also a career diplomat with the State Department.

Source — The Hill, Congress Blog

Deputy Speaker’s Race  | Nsereko warns Museveni on interfering with parliament

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 06:11

The Observer Report — Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko has advised President Museveni not to interfere in the management of issues in parliament.

Speaking to NBS television on Monday, Nsereko urged Museveni to respect the principle of separation of powers, and leave issues of parliament to MPs.

“Do as you say, don’t interfere into the management of issues in the Parliament of Uganda. Believe yourself first in the principle of separation of powers. You cannot dictate a deputy speaker to the Parliament of Uganda,” Nsereko said.

Nsereko says he is determined to replace Omoro MP Jacob Oulanyah as deputy speaker.  This has reportedly angered Museveni who had earlier persuaded both the NRM Central Executive Committee and party MPs to retain Oulanyah as deputy to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.

But MP Nsereko wondered why a president who detests foreigners interfering in Ugandan affairs would wants to dictate what should be done in parliament.

“You want independence but the same independence you cannot give to the legislative arm. You don’t want others to interfere in your rights; so, why do you interfere in the rights of others?” Nsereko said on NBS.

Last week, after swearing-in for his fifth term, Museveni railed against Western donor nations for what he sees as meddling in Uganda’s affairs. The president also attacked the International Criminal Court (ICC) which he described as “a bunch of useless people.”

In protest, Western diplomats walked out on the president.

“The most important thing is tolerance; whereas you can share your views and even say them in the most disrespectful way, other people can tolerate you, but for those who even respectfully disagree with you, you may not be able to tolerate,” the MP said of Museveni.

Reports indicate that Muhammad Nsereko was kicked out of a State House meeting on Museveni’s orders, after he refused to step aside for Omoro MP Jacob Oulanyah for the post of deputy speaker. Nsereko maintains that no one has influence over him and he will contest against Oulanyah.

“I’m perfectly independent from anyone. Whereas I’m dependant on their support, my views are independent of anyone’s opinions,” he said.

He denied reports that he was endorsed by Speaker Kadaga.

“She [Kadaga] has never called me to say that, but if she supports me, that is a plus; she’s a voter.”

Source — The Weekly Observer Report and NBS news video.

New Movie | Queen of Katwe in theaters September 23rd – Based on a True Story

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 05:35

Queen of Katwe is the colorful true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.

Directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding) from a screenplay by William Wheeler (The Hoax) based on the book by Tim Crothers, Queen of Katwe is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher (The Darjeeling Limited) and John Carls (Where the Wild Things Are) with Will Weiske and Troy Buder serving as executive producers. The film stars Golden Globe® nominee David Oyelowo (Selma), Oscar® winner and Tony Award® nominee Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.

Lupita Nyong’o looks on as Phiona Mutesi the star of the new movie – The Queen of Katwe makes her point.

For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. Her mother, Harriet (Nyong’o), is fiercely determined to take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their heads. When Phiona meets Robert Katende (Oyelowo), a soccer player turned missionary who teaches local children chess, she is captivated.

Chess requires a good deal of concentration, strategic thinking and risk taking, all skills which are applicable in everyday life, and Katende hopes to empower youth with the game. Phiona is impressed by the intelligence and wit the game requires and immediately shows potential. Recognizing Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess and the fighting spirit she’s inherited from her mother, Katende begins to mentor her, but Harriet is reluctant to provide any encouragement, not wanting to see her daughter disappointed.

As Phiona begins to succeed in local chess competitions, Katende teaches her to read and write in order to pursue schooling. She quickly advances through the ranks in tournaments, but breaks away from her family to focus on her own life. Her mother eventually realizes that Phiona has a chance to excel and teams up with Katende to help her fulfill her extraordinary potential, escape a life of poverty and save her family. Disney’s Queen of Katwe will open in U.S. theaters on September 23, 2016.

Like Queen of Katwe on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/QueenOfKatwe/

Follow Queen of Katwe on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/queenofkatwe

Pages