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Buhari Tasks UK to Return Nigeria’s stolen assets

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 14:37

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says he is not demanding “any apology from anybody” after UK Prime Minister David Cameron labelled his country “fantastically corrupt”.

Speaking at an anti-corruption event in London, Mr Buhari said he was more interested in the return of stolen assets held in British banks.

Mr Cameron made the unguarded comments in a conversation with the Queen.

He is hosting an international anti-corruption summit on Thursday.

Nigeria was ranked 136th in Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index.

Asked at the event if Nigeria was “fantastically corrupt”, Mr Buhari: “Yes”.

In his speech, the Nigerian leader described corruption as a “hydra-headed monster” which threatened the security of countries and “does not differentiate between developed and developing countries”.

He said corruption in Nigeria was endemic and his government was committed to fighting it.

The UK government will host world and business leaders at the summit on Thursday in London, aiming to “galvanise a global response to tackle corruption”.

Speaking ahead of the summit, Mr Cameron said: “For too long there has been a taboo about tackling this issue head-on.

“The summit will change that. Together we will push the fight against corruption to the top of the international agenda where it belongs.”

Source: BBC

TP Mazembe’s Moise Katumbi announces DR Congo presidency bid

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 12:50

The owner of one of Africa’s top football clubs says he will run for president of the Democratic Republic of Congo in November’s elections.

Moise Katumbi, a millionaire businessman who owns TP Mazembe, said he wanted to be the sole candidate for the country’s opposition parties.

The constitution bars President Joseph Kabila from running for a third term, but he is yet to made his plans clear.

There are allegations that he aims to stay on in power by delaying the poll.

The electoral commission has already announced that the elections will be delayed.

Mr Katumbi’s role in football has made him a popular figure and he is wealthy enough to run a big campaign, says the BBC’s Maud Jullien in the capital, Kinshasa.

But the former governor of the rich mining province of Katanga, who defected from the ruling People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy, is yet to convince any of the major opposition parties to back him.

A lawsuit was filed against Mr Katumbi on Wednesday, accusing him of recruiting foreign mercenaries to work as his personal security.

Queen calls Chinese officials ‘very rude’

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 12:28

Queen Elizabeth has been caught on camera saying Chinese officials were “very rude” to the British ambassador during a state visit to Britain by President Xi Jinping last year.

She made the comments at a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, the same day that Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, was filmed making undiplomatic remarks about Nigeria and Afghanistan being corrupt countries.

His comments were especially awkward as he is hosting both countries’ leaders at an anti-corruption conference in London on Thursday, while the queen’s comments are not helpful to the British government’s determined efforts to court Beijing to boost trade ties with China.

Under her constitutional role, the 90-year-old monarch never makes any politically or diplomatically sensitive comments in public, and it is rare for the content of her private conversations to be revealed.

In footage broadcast by the BBC, the queen is seen meeting senior police officer Lucy D’Orsi, who is introduced by an official as having been in charge of security during Xi’s visit in October last year.

“Oh, bad luck,” the queen says in response.

GAFFES

D’Orsi then describes her dealings with Chinese officials as “quite a testing time” and recounts that at one point they had walked out of a meeting and told her “the trip was off”.

The queen says: “They were very rude to the ambassador.”

The BBC reported that in China, items about the queen’s remarks were censored from its news bulletins.

The Chinese authorities often censor items they object to from foreign news bulletins, which can only be seen by very few people in China as foreign TV channels are only allowed in high-end hotels and a tiny number of select apartment buildings.

A spokeswoman for the queen said: “We do not comment on the queen’s private conversations. However, the Chinese state visit was extremely successful and all parties worked closely to ensure it proceeded smoothly.”

Xi’s visit was full of pomp and ceremony, with Cameron and his finance minister George Osborne keen to impress the Chinese leader and present Britain as China’s firmest friend in Europe.

The queen has been careful to keep her views to herself during her 64-year reign, but several other members of Britain’s royal family have made undiplomatic comments about China in the past.

The queen’s husband, Prince Philip, warned some British students in China in the 1980s that they would get “slitty eyes” if they stayed there too long.

Her eldest son, heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, has skipped two state banquets for Chinese guests in Britain, and described some Chinese officials in a journal that was leaked to the media as “appalling old waxworks”.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-queen-china-idUSKCN0Y20M1

(Additional reporting by Michael Holden)

Sheebah Karungi, David Lutalo Secure Africell Gig

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 11:32

The Africell Tokota Nnyo bundle is the best deal in town and with it comes some of the best artists to support its rollout.

Sheebah Karungi of the “Nkwatako” fame and David Lutalo who is best known for his hit song “Kapapala” have been unveiled as Tokota Nnyo’s brand ambassadors.

The top selling artists will be the faces on the bundle’s print and billboard ads plus they have also voiced the broadcast adverts for radio and television.

Sheebah Karungi was ecstatic about the new role.

“I have always loved Africell for its superfast internet speeds. I want all my fans and Sheebaholics to embrace the brand because it will give them the best services. The Tokota Nnyo bundle is so fantastic” She closed it off.

David Lutalo on his part said as a rising star he was delighted to be associated with a brand that was growing and believed that Africell would take him places.

He asserted “Africell is reliable. My partnership with them will help me reach my fans better while promoting my music. I encourage all my fans to join Africell”

Africell have always led the way with promotions that are customer centric and rewarding for their growing number of subscribers.

The telecom company has strongly put emphasis on the need for affordable telecom services to enhance growth of communication for business and development

Yellow fever outbreak could become ‘global emergency’

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 10:22

Scientists in the US have warned that the shortage of yellow fever vaccines could spark a global health emergency.

An outbreak of the mosquito-borne viral disease has killed 277 people in Angola since December, according to the UN World Health Organization (WHO).

An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association warns that it could spread to other continents.

The WHO says almost six million people have been vaccinated in Angola, which has a population of 24.3 million.

In April, the WHO said the emergency stockpile of vaccines had ran out.

The virus has already spread to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and China.

BBC Africa’s health correspondent Anne Soy says vaccines take around six months to produce, so there is a time lag in responding to a large outbreak like the current one in Angola.

Drug manufacturers globally produce just enough vaccines for routine immunisation, she adds.

In the article, headlined A Yellow Fever Epidemic, A New Global Health Emergency?, two professors from Georgetown University warned that the shortage of vaccine supplies could potentially lead to a health security crisis if it spreads further in Africa, Asia – which has never experienced a yellow fever epidemic – and the Americas.

Daniel Lucey and Lawrence Gostinsay wrote in the journal that the WHO “should urgently convene an emergency committee to mobilise funds, co-ordinate an international response, and spearhead a surge in vaccine production”.

Yellow fever is a virus that can cause bleeding, jaundice and kidney failure, It is spread by mosquitoes, usually the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same species that spreads the Zika virus.

It is endemic in tropical regions of Africa and South America.

A vaccine can prevent infection but there is no specific drug treatment for people who are infected.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/

Smoking Weed Will Make Your Sex Life A Thousand Times Better

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 10:08

Smoking weed has long been used as a pain reliever in the medical community. So far, 23 states and Washington DC have legalized the use of marijuana medicinally.

It’s also no secret that smoking weed is fun as hell. It relaxes you and makes everything feel like all is right with the world. It’s basically nature’s Xanax.

But did you know that weed can actuallyimprove your sex life?

Yes, marijuana actually has the power to make sex better. We all know getting high is fun, and actually has some health benefits, but throw in a few ultra-intense orgasms and it’s a godd*mn wonder why everyone isn’t smoking weed every single day.

Haters love to say that weed is a “gateway drug” (it’s not), that it’s super addictive (it’s not), and that it ruins your life (it doesn’t). But weed really is a beautiful thing. It gets you high and makes you feel amazing and, yet, you never get a hangover like you do with booze.

By now you must be wondering, how can marijuana possibly make sex better? Follow me down the winding path of pot progression and let me blow your mind with the enlightening and ever-so-tantalizing facts about weed and your sex life.

1. Weed helps you achieve orgasms easier.

A lot of women have trouble achieving orgasms. In fact, about 1 in 3 women find it very difficult to orgasm during sex. Luckily, your old pal pot is here to save the day.
The CB1 is the brain’s receptor that’s affected when we smoke marijuana. When this receptor is activated, we get randy, baby.

As Dr. Mitch Earleywine, professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany told NY Mag: “That CB1 receptor seems to be involved in improved tactile sensations and general euphoria.”

This means weed has the power to enhance your physical stimulation and give you a serious body high. If you’re having trouble getting off, try taking a couple hard tokes of a joint and see if you’re not hitting octaves you didn’t even know you could.

2. Weed increases sexual stamina.

Who doesn’t want to last longer in bed? You become the superman of sexual partners when you introduce weed into the picture.

According to a study cited on About, 75 percent of participants reported an increase in the duration of their sexual encounters when they smoked weed beforehand. So, if you get with the reefer, your partner will thank you for the multiple orgasms.

3. Weed makes orgasms more intense.

You know what’s more clutch than an orgasm? A really, really intense, earth shattering, life-altering orgasm. Marijuana has the power to make your orgasmic experience unbelievably mind-blowing.

As a marijuana-loving man noted to NY Mag’s Maureen O’Connor, “Pot tends to make time move slowly for me. Orgasms seem to last for 30 seconds and are incredibly intense. The best orgasms I’ve ever had have been while stoned, whether with another person or solo.”

Unlike with alcohol, which can take the wind out of your sexy sails, weed actually does the opposite — it strengthens it.

4. Weed is good for relationships.

Couples who smoke together are couples who fight the least. It would appear that marijuana might be the key ingredient to having a happy, healthy relationship with your partner.

According to The Daily Mail, the use of weed in relationships is actually linked to lower rates of domestic violence: “Findings suggest that marijuana use is predictive of lower levels of aggression towards one’s partner.”

And according to The Washington Post, the University of Buffalo studied over 600 couples ranging as far back as 1996 and found that couples who smoke weed really do fight less.

Marijuana brings couples closers because it chills people the f*ck out. No one wants to have an argument when they’re feeling mad mellow and relaxed. Maybe we should all listen to Snoop and “smoke weed everyday.” We’d all find our soul mates if we did.

5. Weed is an aphrodisiac.

Weed has long been known as an aphrodisiac. It has the power to enhance sexual desire, hence why all those horny teenagers are constantly pinned for their delinquent, pot-induced marijuana sex.
Psychiatrist, Dr. Lester Grinspoon, told High Times that weed “greatly enhances the sexual experience for many people. There’s no doubt that when people are high, they’re more sensitive to their sexual feelings and urges.”

So, next time instead of eating oysters with bae to get in the mood, smoke a doobie instead. But maybe still have the oysters because we all know the munchies are a real struggle.

6. Weed relieves tension before you get down and dirty.

Everyone knows that smoking the good old reefer has the ability to relieve your aching anxieties. This can be especially useful when you’re about to get naked and do the no-no cha-cha.

It can relax you and put you in the right mindset to get nasty. All the horrible sexual tension that plagued you suddenly washes away, leaving you relaxed and ready to do the deed. According to Medical Daily, marijuana “has a calming and relaxing effect that must be associated with decreased anxiety.”

The effect marijuana has on the brain can be used to treat chronic anxiety problems, too. It can “exert an effect on stress levels through the endocannabinoid system, which regulates pain and appetite. THC interacts with anandamide, which is a neurotransmitter, creating a happy, relaxed feeling, as well as sleepiness.”

After you decide to indulge in that fat joint, you’re going to be ready to indulge in a little more fun once that old Mary Jane kicks in. When you’re high, you’re relaxed and relaxed sex is good sex.

Source: http://thoughtcatalog.com/

New rebel group formed In South Sudan

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 09:19

Officers from the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Opposition in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state have defected and formed their own faction.

The officers previously under the overall leadership of the First Vice-President, Riek Machar, have asserted that the 2015 peace agreement signed with president Salva Kiir, has not addressed the cause of the war.

The group is yet to announce the name of their faction and under whose leadership and the objective of the war they have declared to pursue.

An armed man identifying himself as Colonel James Deng Mayar told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that they have announced a peaceful split from the armed opposition forces under the overall command of General Dau Aturjong, who allied himself and his forces to the First Vice President, Riek Machar.

The group, according to Mayar, has decided to join rank with brigadier General Agany Ayiii, one of the government officers who changed allegiance and joined General Peter Gatdet Yak, one of the senior rebel commanders, who defected from the rebel faction under Machar.

Gadet and several officers, some of whom have already returned to the country under separate arrangements, have rejected the peace agreement signed by the government and armed opposition in August last year.

“I confirm that we have split from SPLA-IO and joined General Agany Ayii,” Mayar told Sudan Tribune during an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

“We decided to continue with the struggle because we have to realize [Machar] was not committed enough to lead the struggle to achieve the objective of the war. We wanted to change that system and to establish a new system based on democratic principles,” he explained.

He accused Machar of having allegedly failed to fulfil commitment he made to change the government under President Kiir and accepted the position in unity government under the terms of the peace deal which did not address the issues which caused the war.

Thousands of lives have been lost and properties destroyed, mainly in Upper Nile region at the height of conflict.

Bernie Sanders beats Clinton in West Virginia primary

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 08:24

Bernie Sanders has won the West Virginia primary in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination, US media project.

The Vermont senator still trails Hillary Clinton in the overall contest for delegates but this win keeps his slim hopes alive.

“We are going to fight for every last vote,” he said in a victory speech that also attacked Republican Donald Trump.

Mr Trump was declared the winner in West Virginia and in Nebraska.

His last remaining rivals dropped out last week but remained on the ballot.

But Mr Trump faces a huge task in trying to get the Republican party behind him, as doubts persist about his substance and style.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, the party’s highest-ranking elected official, has said he is unable to endorse the New York businessman because he lacks conservative principles.

Source: BBC

‘Oldest axe’ was made by early Australians

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 08:17

A tiny stone flake from north-western Australia is a remnant of the earliest known axe with a handle, archaeologists have claimed.

The fingernail-sized sliver of basalt is ground smooth at one end and appears to date from 44 to 49,000 years ago.

This is not long after humans first settled Australia – and several thousand years earlier than previous, similar ground-stone discoveries.

The findings appear in the journal Australian Archaeology.

Although much older “hand axes”, usually made of flint, have been found across Europe and Africa – one well-known example found on a Norfolk beach is thought to be 700,000 years old – those were very different tools.

Axe blades made from harder stone, painstakingly battered into blades, are known from sites in several discrete locations around the globe including northern Asia, the Americas – and Australia.

Image copyrightAustralian Archaeology
Image captionThe surface at the top of the fragment is ground smooth

Archaeologists have deduced that they were usually attached to a handle to form a tool much like a hatchet. Such implements are often associated with the development of agriculture but ancient examples from Australia vastly pre-date agriculture anywhere in the world – and this latest fragment is even a good 10,000 years older than similar finds in the far north of the continent.

It suggests an adaptation to a new environment by the very first Australians, according to the research team who discovered it.

“We know that they didn’t have axes where they came from,” said Prof Sue O’Connor from the Australian National University.

“There’s no axes in the islands to our north. They arrived in Australia and innovated axes.”

Prof O’Connor first dug the fragment up in the 1990s, along with many other objects and samples, from a rock shelter called Carpenter’s Gap in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

It was only when she and her colleagues were studying that haul in more detail in 2014 that they discovered the tiny piece of polished stone. Closer analysis suggested it could be a chip hewn off the blade of a stone axe as it was re-sharpened.

“Nowhere else in the world do you get axes at this date,” Prof O’Connor said.

“Australian stone artefacts have often been characterised as simple. But clearly that’s not the case when you have these hafted axes earlier in Australia than elsewhere in the world.”

Image copyrightThinkstock
Image captionThe fragment was dug up in the 1990s in Windjana Gorge National Park, Western Australia

Evidence like this tell-tale basalt chip is difficult to come by. A ground-stone axe would take an investment of hours or days to manufacture and would then probably be used for years – so there are not many of them to be found.

But they are also not very widespread, according to co-author Prof Peter Hiscock from the University of Sydney.

“Although humans spread across Australia, axe technology did not spread with them,” he said. “Axes were only made in the tropical north, perhaps suggesting two different colonising groups or that the technology was abandoned as people spread into desert and sub-tropical woodlands.”

That north-south discrepancy persists in the archaeological record, Prof Hiscock added, until axes become more common across Australia within the last few thousand years.

Image copyrightStuart Hay/Australian National University
Image captionThe researchers believe the stone came from an axe head like these

Prof John Shea is a stone tool expert at Stony Brook University in the US. Commenting on the new ground-stone finding, he said its very singular nature makes it difficult to draw confident conclusions.

“The evidence is essentially one flake – one piece of stone out of hundreds and hundreds that they’ve excavated from this rock shelter site,” he told the BBC. “They would make a stronger case if they could show that similar chips with edge abrasion occurred at a greater number of sites.”

Further finds, Prof Shea explained, could link this very ancient discovery to times and locations where ground axes are more common.

Without that link, he said there is “still reason for doubt” that the little fragment is, indeed, from an axe blade.

“It could’ve been smoothed off for some other reason. It might have been the edge of a tool, abraded to make it smooth so that it doesn’t cut into the handle that it’s lashed to, or it doesn’t cut the hand of the person using it.

“But it’s a cool find. Again and again, the archaeological record suggests these people were far more clever than past archaeologists were willing to give them credit for. The aboriginal Australian ancestors had a lot more complex technology than we think they did.”

Follow Jonathan on Twitter

Source: BBC

Nsereko Rejects Museveni’s Plea on Deputy Speakership

Tue, 05/10/2016 - 16:46

Kampala Central Member of Parliament Muhammad Nsereko has rejected calls from president Museveni asking him to denounce his deputy speakership bid and support National Resistance Movement (NRM) status quo.

NRM has fronted current speaker Rebecca Kadaga and deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah for the two positions.

In a meeting held at state house yesterday, Muhammad Nsereko said he also persuaded president Museveni to ditch Oulanyah and support his bid.

“We have heard a cordial meeting with His Excellence President Museveni and other independent Members of Parliament. He particularly wanted to address us on the issue of speaker and persuade us to support Rt. Hon Jacob Oulanyah,” Nsereko revealed via his official Facebook page.

Adding; “With support of many of the members, I have respectfully disagreed with him on stepping down for Oulanyah. We shall settle the matter in a free and fair vote on the 19th in parliament. Our values are different and I will stand by the will of our voters to protect our constitution. My question still is, why ask me to stand down if Oulanyah is strong like they say? I have advised him to support me instead of Hon Oulanyah.”

Museveni has so far persuaded National Resistance Movement (NRM) legislators including Monica Amoding, Agaaba Abbas, Jovah Kamateka, Dennis Hamson Obua, Lwemiyaga county MP Theodore Ssekikubo and independent leaning Budama South MP Jacob Oboth Oboth who had expressed interest in the deputy speakership to quit.

Nsereko is among the NRM rebel MPs who were kicked out of the party after failure to follow party lines in 2013.

In 2011, he won Kampala Central parliamentary race on the NRM ticket but contested as independent candidate in the recent elections.

North Korea Coworkers, Families Speak Out On Abduction Case

Tue, 05/10/2016 - 15:43

Coworkers and employees at a restaurant in Zhejiang Province of China have ‘disclosed the truth’ behind the case where South Korean regime abducted in group women employees of the (DPRK), who were working at the restaurant.

Families and Coworkers during a press conference called to ‘disclose truth of group Abduction Case’

Last month, 13 North Koreans working at a Pyongyang-run restaurant in China were ‘abducted’ to South Korea, shortly after the United Nations slapped toughened sanctions on the North over its nuclear and long-range rocket tests earlier this year. Pyongyang has accused Seoul of kidnapping the workers and demanded their repatriation. South Korea insists the defectors came of their own will.

In this regard, fellows of those abductees and their families called a press conference last Tuesday to disclose the truth of the case.

Statements were made at the conference by Choe Rye Yong, Jang Su Ryon, Sin Song A, Ri Mi Song and Han Yun Hui, who were DPRK employees of the restaurant and witnessed the case. All of them contended that the case was a carefully premeditated, organized allurement and abduction by the South Korean puppet clique.

According to them, agents of South Korea’s Intelligence Service (IS) bribed the chief of the restaurant, who was greedy and engaged only in immoral life, in order to carry into practice their group abduction scheme. In mid-March, the bribed chief told his employees that the restaurant would move to the other country at an instruction of the ruling office.

On April 5, some strangers arrived there with a bus and told that they were to leave for service at a new restaurant. Choe, one of those employees, happened to hear that the chief called one of the strangers “team leader of IS”, who had frequently met with the former. Feeling a critical situation, she told the others to escape from the spot.

After all, the abductors ran away in a great hurry on the bus with employees already aboard. Before putting their plot into practice, the IS agents gathered passports of the employees in advance for exit formalities and cleared all formalities for their departure with already prepared south Korean passports. And they took the abductees on an airplane for Seoul.

When the abductees noticed after boarding that they were destined for South Korea and had a row to get off the plane, the agents and the chief deceived them by telling they were on a “special mission” to be carried out in South Korea.

Choe Rye Yong, Ri Mi Song, Sin Song A and Kim Yun Hui told reporters that the south Korean regime’s assertion about “group defection from the north at free will” is a sheer fabrication. And they stressed that Jon Ok Hyang, Ryu Song Yong and all other fellows were taken in by the South Korean puppet group and they have had strong feelings of love for their parents and brothers and sisters and socialist homeland.

“Those abductees have been reportedly staging a hunger strike in demand of their immediate repatriation, despite the persistently forced “allegiance”, and some of them are in a critical condition after falling in a faint. We are eager to cut the South Korean puppet group to pieces,” Choe said.

At the same time, mothers of abductees Ri Ji Ye, Jon Ok Hyang, Pak Ok Byol, Ri Pom and Han Haeng Bok expressed their surging wrath at the Park Geun Hye’s group of traitor.

“Our daughters have grown up in happiness with nothing to envy under the loving care of the DPRK, that’s why, we say it is a whopping lie that they “yearned after” south Korea, a living hell. The South Korean puppet group is forcing “defection” on them and keeping them in solitary rooms,” The mothers cried out.

The families of abductees and witnesses contended that the case of “group defection from the north” is aimed to divert elsewhere the sentiment of the South Korean public critical of the “government”.

FDC’s Besigye Unleashes Mounting Evidence of 2016 Election Fraud

Tue, 05/10/2016 - 14:10

Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate in the just concluded February 18 elections  has unleashed what he termed as “mounting evidence of 2016 #UgandaDecides election fraud” on social media.

Through his Twitter Handle @kizzabesigye1, he said that; “Today we present mounting evidence of 2016 #UgandaDecides election fraud in a 23-part tweet series @usmissionuganda @UKinUganda @EUeomUganda”

Below are the 23 tweets.

1- Convincing statistical evidence shows substantial election fraud occurred AND it changed the outcome of the 2016 #UgandaDecides election

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

 

2- Statistics is independent of opinions, beliefs or political alliances – 4 separate tests showed evidence of fraud pic.twitter.com/7K6aCH4kKP

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

3- Test1: When humans make up ‘random’ #s (eg entering false tallies), patterns emerge. Ppl tend to choose #s w/ higher digits #BenfordsLaw

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

4- Tallies have too many 4, 5, 6s, not enough 0s & 1s. This indicates human interference not expected in fair elxn pic.twitter.com/y3HWS4ZvCS

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

5- Test2: Patterns of the last digit in polling station tallies by district also tell a story – a uniform pattern of all digits is expected

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

6- A simple but powerful test showed 4x expected number of districts had “suspicious” patterns – EVIDENCE of fraud pic.twitter.com/5AZLtsMOkz

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

7- Test3: Election fingerprints create a picture of electoral fraud by examining voter turnout – a smeared fingerprint indicates fraud

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

8- Left fingerprint is typical fair election. Uganda 2016 voter turnout on the right – smear clearly indicates fraud pic.twitter.com/B0ARbTxASV

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

9- Test4: Statistics can also detect ‘incremental fraud’, like a vote counter shifting some votes for the opposition over to the incumbent

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

10- Applied to Uganda data, 3 mil votes are in question – enough to change election outcome https://t.co/rAr93KHTpg pic.twitter.com/CVCPsuCURO

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

11- These tests, together with other evidence – intimidation, teargas, violence, national ID registry – cast serious doubt on the election

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

12- By our calculations, we won the 2016 election by a minimum of 52% https://t.co/cRiLpk022f #UgandaDecides

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

13- In democracy, independence of judiciary, executive, parliament = critical. Judges + courts must act independently w/o influence of gov’t

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

14- We live under dictatorship: judges + courts serve at will of the state. History shows Supreme Court very reluctant to rule against #M7

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

15- Current legal framework and court process DOES NOT allow meaningful examination of the election https://t.co/eCSKHHX4GG #UgandaDecides

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

16- To nullify an elxn one must show fraud occurred AND changed elxn outcome #SubstantialityTest. But proof of fraud ALONE should be enough

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

17- In 2001/06 elxn petitions Supreme Court judges publically acknowledged extensive fraud but did NOT nullify elxn pic.twitter.com/X3rAEDtCT6

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

18- Our 2009 petition to Constitutional Court argued substantiality test = unconstitutional. Case was dismissed *DURING* 2016 elxn campaign!

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

19- In #UgandaDecides 2016, we were required to prove substantiality AND assemble all evidence from across country in 10 days after elxn!

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

20- Because I was detained for 47 days post-election, my constitutional right to petition the Court to contest the results was violated

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

21- Our people collecting evidence faced interference, violence & arrest: https://t.co/sOVm1xo3QN https://t.co/qIxyGryp1J @amnesty

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

22- We call for internationally observed, independent audit of 2016 #UgandaDecides election similar to those in Kosovo, Afghanistan & Haiti

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

23- If Mr #M7 legitimately & irrefutably won this election then why would he not support an audit? #UgandaDecides

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

23- If Mr #M7 legitimately & irrefutably won this election then why would he not support an audit? #UgandaDecides

— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 10, 2016

North Korea’s army chief is ‘back from the dead’ after false claims Kim Jong-un had him executed

Tue, 05/10/2016 - 13:36
The former chief of North Korea’s army is NOT dead, despite claims that Kim Jong-un had him executed earlier this year.

Military chief Ri Yong Gil was the chief of the general staff for Kim Jong-un’s regime, after having been appointed to the role in August 2013.

Reports earlier this year suggested he had been executed following a series of allegations involving corruption.

It was also claimed that Gil was forming a political faction to rival dictator Kim Jong-un.

Getty North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un with Ri Yong Gil

And reports of his demise only gathered pace when North Korea announced a new chief of staff, Ri Myong Su, in the weeks after the rumours surrounding Gil emerged.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry spokesman Kwon Ki Hyun declined to confirm the report at the time.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un at the North Korean Workers Party Central Committee

However the story was put out by intelligence agencies working in South Korea.

They have now been left red-faced though, as Gil this morning was named as having been appointed to a new, high-ranking position for the Workers’ Party of Korea’s Central Committee.

The reshuffle has also seen many senior officials in the North Korean army demoted.

It is thought that Kim Jong-un has promoted young blood in a bid to solidify his position.

Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/

Africell Uganda unveils May Mother’s month promotion

Tue, 05/10/2016 - 12:53

May is the month dedicated to mothers. Last Sunday Mothers Day was celebrated worldwide with media awash of happy mothers Day messages.

As a reward for being nation builders, Africell today launched the May Mothers promotion together with Vision group that will see Africell subscribers call into all Vision group radio stations across the country to win money for themselves.

Africell will then double the amount won as a reward for the winners mother.

The Africell May Mama promotion which kicked off at the start of the month will have a total of over 100 million up for grabs.

Speaking at the launch, Africell Uganda’s commercial director Milad Khairallah said Africell recognizes the role mothers play in society and therefore found it fit to have them rewarded in the month that celebrates them.

He said “We want Mothers Day celebrated in style. Our mothers are the reason we celebrate mothers day. Its important that we show them the love and gratitude that they deserve. As Africell, we will always give our subscribers and their relations the best of what our network offers. We encourage everyone to buy an Africell simcard, participate in the Double Dimes promotion that will have them win money for themselves and their mothers”

Africell have always led the way with promotions that are customer centric and rewarding for their growing number of subscribers. The telecom company has strongly put emphasis on the need for affordable telecom services to enhance growth of communication for business and development.

Africell Commercial Director Milad Khairallah insists their offers will change the scope of telephony in Uganda. He says “At Africell, we still consider our customers as our biggest asset and as such we will continue to give them the best and most affordable rates of any network. Our range of cheap services will continue to flow as we grow”.

DPRK Is A Responsible Nuclear Weapons State — Kim Jong Un

Tue, 05/10/2016 - 12:05

The leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has described his country as a responsible nuclear weapons state, saying it will strive for world denuclearization and faithfully fulfill obligations of nuclear non-proliferation.

People watch television news report delivered by North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday

Kim Jong Un said this at the 7th party congress where he was delivering work report of the central committee of the ruling party. His speech was aired by the State TV.

“As a responsible nuclear weapons state, our Republic will not use a nuclear weapon unless its sovereignty is encroached upon by any aggressive hostile forces with nukes, as it had already declared, and it will faithfully fulfill its obligation for non-proliferation and strive for the global denuclearization,” Kim said.

“The WPK and the DPRK government will improve and normalize the relations with those countries which respect the sovereignty of the DPRK and are friendly towards it, though they had been hostile toward it in the past.”

Kim started the three-hour speech by reviewing and lauding the past achievements of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) accomplished under the leadership of two late leaders, Kim II Sung and Kim Jong II, in building a thriving country and in the development of the military.

“At a time when the socialist cause was advancing victoriously along the orbit of Juche under the rapidly changing situation and a bright prospect was opening up for national reunification, our party and people suffered the greatest sudden loss to the nation, the demise of President Kim II Sung whom they trusted and followed like Heaven. It was a bolt from the blue,” Kim Jong Un said.

He added, “After the greatest loss to the nation, the imperialists and their followers have reached the height in their political and military pressure, moves for provoking a war and economic blockade. To cap it all, the country was hit by severe natural disasters, bringing untold hardships and trial to the economic construction and people’s living.”

In the speech, Kim mapped out a five-year plan for national economic development from 2016 to 2020, and emphasized that it was imperative to fully implement the five-year strategy for growing the national economy. He laid out tasks for the ruling party in terms of completing the socialist undertakings, improving people’s livelihood, independent reunification of the Korean Peninsula as well as further strengthening of the party.

“As required by the prevailing situation and the developing revolution, the WPK advanced the strategic line of simultaneously pushing forward the economic construction and the building of nuclear force and worked hard for its implementation,” He said.

“Thanks to the dynamic struggle waged by the army and people of the DPRK to carry out the strategic line of the party, a sure guarantee was provided for finally concluding the confrontation with the imperialists and the U.S. and accelerating the final victory of our cause.”

Kim said that his party and people dynamically waged the drive to implement the strategic line of socialist economic construction to lay firm material and technical foundations of self-supporting national economy and provide a springboard from which to build an economic giant.

“The entire party and all the people have achieved the single-minded unity of the whole society in which they are united closely around the leader in thinking and purpose and sense of moral obligation. This is the great success and feat achieved by our party during the period under review,” He said, adding, “the WPK has trained the young people as successors to the revolution who carry forward the blood line of Juche, thus building the youth power without an equal in the world.”

USA, European Union Not Invited For Museveni Swearing In Ceremony

Tue, 05/10/2016 - 11:57

United States of America (USA) and European Union (EU) have not been invited to president Museveni’s swearing ceremony which will take place this Thursday, May 12 2016.

According to a statement issued by minister for presidency Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, USA and EU aren’t listed among the expected guests.

“Government has invited and expects a number of Heads of State including those from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kingdom of Lesotho, South Sudan, Tanzania, Mali, Togo, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Swaziland, China, Nigeria, and Russian Federation. Two former presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi of Tanzania and Mwai Kibaki of Kenya are also expected,” the statement reads.

Adding; “Countries that will send representative are Rwanda, India, Japan, Germany and other guests from East African Community.”

Museveni won February presidential polls with over 60 percent, but the election has received relentless criticism from the United States of America and European Union.

This comes at the heels of a meeting between President Museveni, head of European mission in Uganda Kristian Schmidt and US Ambassador Deborah Malac.

In its final report, the European Union observer mission criticized the manner in which elections were held saying the electoral commission lacked transparency and accused the police of using heavy-handed tactics in detaining an opposition candidate.

President Museveni won polls! But it should be noted that president Museveni is still waiting for a congratulatory message from both the United States of America and European Union.

Below is Tumwebaze’s Full statement

Swearing In and Inauguration Ceremony of the President-Elect HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

Press Statement

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Swearing in ceremony of the President Elect HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will take place on Thursday May 12, 2016 at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds under the theme ‘A firm foundation built for Uganda’s steady progress.

Government has invited and expects a number of Heads of State including those from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kingdom of Lesotho, South Sudan, Tanzania, Mali, Togo, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Swaziland, China, Nigeria, and Russian Federation. Two former presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi of Tanzania and Mwai Kibaki of Kenya are also expected. Countries that will send representative are Rwanda, India, Japan, Germany and other guests from East African Community.

The program will begin at 7:00am with the arrival of invited guests who include out-going and in-coming members of parliament, political party leaders, former presidential candidates, delegations from all the districts, members of the diplomatic corp., religious leaders, traditional and cultural leaders, members of the academia, and the business community among others.

The President Elect, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and First Lady and Minister for Karamoja Affairs Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni will arrive at 10:40am.

This swearing in ceremony is a statement and a confirmation of the people’s will. Its the final destination of a journey that was launched on 3rd of November 2015, when the independent electoral commission of Uganda nominated different candidates vying for the office of President. All Ugandans therefore, are invited to Kololo Ceremonial Grounds to witness this momentous occasion in our democratic process.There will be performances from several cultural and entertainment groups to bring out the beauty of our rich national heritage.

This is the 5th presidential election held in Uganda through Universal adult suffrage. The other four were in 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011. Before 2006, elections were held under the movement system namely the Movement system.

I take the pleasure on behalf of the entire Staff of the Presidency and on my own behalf to most Sincerely Congratulate our Principal, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for having successfully led and executed the campaign of our party in the recently concluded general elections for having led us to victory as the NRM fraternity . It was a tough journey to walk, but he did so courageously and made us to triumph over our opponents .Striving to Win an election is always one thing and its what every contending individual/group works for. But having an able candidate of a “selling brand” to lead you to that much desired and coveted victory is is always another and a tall order for many political entities. And of all the factors that sell and have sold NRM over the years, “Brand Museveni” has always been our biggest trade. His Excellency Museveni’s personal ability to communicate a message that resonates well with the citizens’ day-to-day livelihoods, his virtues of patience and tolerance, his magnanimity especially towards his opponents and even enemies ,his physical ability and relentless efforts that enable him to carryout countless day and night long meetings, outreaches/rallies and not to mention his historical achievements of the liberation struggle, all combined contributed enormously to the victories we have been getting.

There is no doubt therefore , that Uganda under the stewardship of President Museveni has built a strong foundation for sustainable economic growth through establishment of peace and security, development of enabling physical and technological infrastructure , development of the energy sector and good economic management.

The NRM government has managed over the years, to steadily maintain a positive rate of sustainable economic growth in terms of real GDP. Since 1992/93, fiscal policy in Uganda has entailed very strict budgetary discipline. Government has kept firm control over its own expenditures to ensure that it does not have to borrow from the domestic sources to finance budget deficits. Fiscal discipline has been absolutely essential for the control of inflation. In turn, low inflation is a prerequisite for the higher levels of private investment that have sustained rapid economic growth in Uganda. For all this long, the main macroeconomic objectives of Government that have been steadily pursued without any policy reversals or deviations have been: to ensure rapid real GDP growth, to keep consumer price inflation to five percent or below, to maintain a prudent level of foreign reserves, and to ensure that the real exchange rate is compatible with a competitive external sector. Maintaining low inflation is an especially crucial objective of economic policy because high inflation has a number of harmful effects on the economy. In particular it increases uncertainty about future economic variables and thus discourages investment. Low and stable inflation is a prerequisite for private investment in long term productive assets. It is very difficult to make long term forecasts about the commercial viability of an investment project in conditions of high inflation, because the future prices on which the viability of the project will depend are very difficult to predict when inflation is high. Hence inflation makes long term investment much more risky. High inflation also erodes the real value of money and thus discourages savings. It often leads to shrinking of the financial system, as happened in Uganda in the 1980s.

For these and more reasons, the control of inflation has been and still is a central objective of macroeconomic policy, and an objective which the NRM government has succeeded in achieving since 1992/93 to date because of being able to maintain strong budget discipline at the aggregate fiscal level.

Another indicator of a well managed economy is the way how a government manages its borrowing in order to finance its fiscal deficit especially for a developing country like Uganda that was characterized by long periods of civil strife and general economic collapse. If the Government runs a fiscal deficit which is too large to be financed from donor funds, it must borrow from the domestic banking system, which generally entails borrowing from the Central Bank. When the Central Bank lends money to Government it creates credit – which means that it prints money. When Government borrows from the Central Bank there is an injection of high powered money into the economy, which money is not backed by production. Domestic borrowing by government also squeezes out the private sector players from the domestic credit market.

Our government has been sensitive to these effects of excessive borrowing and has tried as much as possible to mitigate them. Just a few days ago the IMF confirmed that our external debt is sustainable.

In the last five years alone and despite the inevitable external challenges mainly,like destabilization of some of the regional export markets like juba, the economy has been growing at various rates of 3.4%, 6.0%, 4.7%, 5.3% and 5.8% in financial years 2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 respectively and is projected to grow at 6.5% for the next five years. Inflation has been kept at 2.7% from a record high double digit of 30% in 2011/2012. Total tax collections are projected at Shs. 13.884 trillion 2016/2017 up from Shs. 11.333 trillion in 2015/2016. Our tax to GDP ratio is expected to grow from 13.7% to 14.9%

I have dwelt sightly much more on economic management because it’s a variable highly dependant on the nature of the country’s Political leadership and it can therefore be a good measure in assessing governance credentials of any government. No wonder the first alarming signs that come with effects of instability or bad governance in any country are inflation levels. This should be the yard stick in my opinion to evaluate President Museveni and his long service, biases notwithstanding.

Procedure of swearing-in

The swearing in ceremony will begin by the Chairman Electoral Commission, Dr. Eng. Badru Kigguundu inviting and introducing to the public the President Elect through reading a proclamation. He will then invite the Chief Justice, His Lordship Bart Magunda Katureebe to administer the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of President to the President Elect.

President Elect will be guided into taking and signing the Oath of Allegiance and Oath of President by the Chief Registrar. Thereafter, the Chief Justice will present to the President the instruments of power which include; the Constitution, the National Flag, the Presidential Standard flag, the National Anthem, the National Court of Arms and the Seal.

Thereafter the President will take the Presidential Salute, inspect a Guard of honor before introducing the visiting Heads of State and addressing the public. Thereafter HE the President will host the visiting delegations for State luncheon at the Commonwealth Speak Resort, Munyonyo.

Members of the Public and all invited guests will be served drinks and lunch.

Frank K. Tumwebaze, MP

Minister in Charge of the Presidency and KCCA

Japan vagina artist convicted in obscenity case

Tue, 05/10/2016 - 11:20

Japanese artist who makes objects shaped like her vagina was convicted Monday after a high-profile obscenity trial, in a decision likely to reignite accusations of heavy-handed censorship.

Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi

The Tokyo District Court slapped Megumi Igarashi with a 400,000 yen ($3,700) fine, but the penalty was half what prosecutors had demanded and she was also cleared of one of several charges.

“I believe I’m innocent. I’ll fight until the end,” Ms Igarashi told a news briefing after the ruling.

“I’ll appeal to the higher court. I want to fight these charges.”

The 44-year-old artist, who had lined a table with vagina-shaped figurines, waved to and greeted supporters who showed up to court.

Ms Igarashi was arrested two years ago for trying to raise funds online to pay for the construction of a kayak in the shape of her vagina, by disseminating a coded 3D image of her genitals that would allow users to make copies.

While Japan has a multi-billion-dollar pornography industry, actual depictions of genitalia are banned.

Igarashi who calls herself Rokude Nashiko – slang that loosely translates as “reprobate child” – was released days later following a legal appeal and after thousands of people signed a petition demanding her freedom.

But several months on, Tokyo police arrested her again for distributing “obscene” items – displaying decorated plaster figures moulded in the shape of her genitals and giving away CD-ROMs containing the computer code.

On Monday, justice Mihoko Tanabe convicted Igarashi of distributing obscene material.

I’ve been working to change the concept of obscenity, which is usually seen from the perspective of men

Megumi Igarashi

The artist and her supporters scoffed at the fact her genitals were the focus of a court case.

“I’ve been working to change the concept of obscenity, which is usually seen from the perspective of men – I’m mortified the judge didn’t understand that,” Ms Igarashi said of the judge, who is female.

Kenya Sumi, one of her lawyers, said it was “disappointing” that the court did not see the data as an artistic work – and warned the decision could have a chilling effect.

“It would be regrettable if (the ruling) has the effect of intimidating other artists,” he said.

Prosecutors, who did not ask for jail time, had called for an 800,000 yen fine.

Japan’s prolific pornography industry caters to all imaginable tastes, but tough obscenity laws mean genitalia normally appear pixellated or blacked out.

Images of male and female genitals can be found throughout the country, however.

Last month, revellers carried giant phalluses through the streets of Kawasaki, near Tokyo, to worship the penis and pray for fertility in an annual festival.

Robert Mugabe Beaten Up By His Wife Grace In Public, Again – Police Guards Slapped In The Face Too

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 17:06

Police deputy commissioner general and close relative of president Robert Mugabe Innocent Matibiri is being blamed for failing to protect the dictator as details emerge of the embarrassing altercation in which the president was beaten up by his wife Grace Mugabe.

Footage of the incident shows Grace Mugabe slapping her husband in a fit of rage. Matibiri, Mugabe’s chief police guard, rushes in and tries to calm the situation, telling Grace Mugabe that if she wants to fight her husband she must do it in their bedroom, not in public.

Grace Mugabe slaps Matibiri hard in the face and he withdraws in shame, leaving Mugabe to face further abuse from his wife, who is 40 years younger than the 92 year-old despot now afflicted with poor health.

The beating left Mugabe and his aides shell-shocked. Mugabe has previously complained of abuse from his wife, who harbours presidential ambitions and has declared: “Who has more right than me to be president?”

The failure by Mugabe’s guards to restrain his violent wife has left the president exposed and allowed Grace Mugabe to institute a reign of terror within Zanu PF where her entry as the women’s league chairperson has sparked chaos amid allegations of sex scandals.

Grace Mugabe has declared that she will not follow protocol because she is ‘superior’ to all of Mugabe’s aides by virtue of being “their boss’s wife”.

  • Zimbabwe Newsday

MAKERERE FLYING AT HALF MAST!! Nyanzi Nudity Scandal Unravels Deeper Rot At Uganda’s Prime University

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 15:27

Makerere University was in the recent past heralded as the Harvard of Africa.

And considering that this 94 year old institution has produced five African Presidents in Milton Obote (Uganda), Julius Nyerere and Benjamin Mkapa (Tanzania), Joseph Kabila (DRC) and Mwai Kibaki (Kenya), such hype can even pass as an understatement. Currently however, this institution seems to be fast losing its past glory. According to London-based Times Higher Education magazine, Makerere ranks fourth best university in Africa, three places worse than it was at its peak times. Several challenges account for this unfortunate shift in fortunes. Overtime, Makerere has seen an explosion in student numbers, which growth has brought with it a litany of challenges that have slowly compromised the quality of education. “Today strikes at the university are the order of the day and critical research attaches them to underlying challenges like corruption and other pertinent administrative loopholes,” noted a veteran Makerere University lecturer, on condition of anonymity. A fortnight ago, the prestigious institution suffered a mega blight to its image when outspoken research fellow, Dr. Stella Nyanzi, went nude in protest against what she termed as unfair eviction from her office by Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) Executive Director, Prof. Mahmood Mamdani.   The impasse which came on the heels of a sex scandal involving a don (Prof. Chris Bakuneta) accused of raping his student in a laboratory, was touched off after Nyanzi allegedly refused to teach on MISR’s PhD programme. By press time, Nyanzi had threatened to undress at the university’s Freedom Square after being suspended by the university’s Appointments Board led by Bruce Balaba Kabaasa. Whereas the country has been taken aback by the accusations and counteraccusations being traded by Nyanzi and Mamdani respectively, many observers say the whole scandal is an indictment on the Vice Chancellor (VC) Ddumba Ssentamu led administration as it’s just a tip of the bigger rot at Makerere University.

INSTITUTIONAL BREAKDOWN

Weighing in on the matter, former VC, Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, accepts that embedded in the ongoing Dr. Nyanzi nudity scandal is more than meets the eye. He partly attributed the impasse to institutional breakdown whose trickledown effect has affected the various facets of the institution. “I wouldn’t wish to comment on issues of Makerere University for fear of being construed to be undermining the current leadership because I want to go back there. It’s far from that . I’m convinced that I served my time there and I have comfortably moved on. However, as an observer, I think there’s a lot of institutional breakdown that must be quickly addressed,” said the former Presidential candidate who is now Proprietor of Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU). Another Don currently serving at the university who preferred anonymity for fear of reprisal by the Appointments Board said; “Makerere’s biggest problem is inaction from the VC and the Human Resource Directorate on crucial matters that need urgent redress. You may for instance ask yourself why they left this issue to reach this far. Remember Prof. Mamdani says he wrote to the VC in 2014 about the matter while in her rant Dr. Nyanzi complained that nobody had offered to listen to her case for the entire two days her office was locked before she undressed on the third day. That shows you the kind of reluctance on the VC’s side yet he is supposed to be the Chief Supervisor of everything at campus being the university’s CEO.”

HUMAN RESOURCE DEPARTMENT INCOMPETENT?

“The university’s Human Resource Directorate does just the basic things and nothing extraordinary. In fact it is like a Secretarial bureau whose work has been reduced to filing and drafting documents yet its duties are well stipulated in the university’s Human Resource Policy,” a lecturer said while assessing the competence of the HR department. Headed by Mary K. Tizikara, this Directorate is mandated to oversee, initiate, develop and implement Human Resource systems and processes in line with the Human Resources Policy, consistent with the University Strategic plan. It is also supposed to develop the Annual Development Budget and monitor the utilization of the Directorate’s resources in line with the financial regulations. Tizikara, whose grounding is in Education but holds a certificate in Human Resource, Management is currently doing her PhD (in Education). She is deputized by Deputy University Secretary for Pensions, Godfrey Bazanye Nkangi, Training and Development Manager, Josephine Apolot Opolot, Manager Employment Division, and Dora S. Zake, Manager Performance and Appraisal Division. Also on her team is Manager Records and Information Division, Lawrence Ssanyu and Human Resources Manager, Richard Mugisha. Staff we spoke to for this article revealed that although each of these officers have stipulated roles to play, their response to problems is usually slow and at times not transparent. “If it wasn’t for their lethargic approach to staff concerns, the Nyanzi–Mamdani saga wouldn’t have reached this far. The problem is that these people simply rely on heads of departments’ reports and can never go down to the workers to investigate issues,” a staffer said. A case in point is the unending row over staff wages and pension. In 2012 Makerere lecturers dragged the University to court over Sh13bn ($5.2m) it deducted from its employees’ wages but failed to remit to either the Staff Retirement Scheme it operated under the National Insurance Corporation between 1996 and 2005, or to the current Managers of the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme. Staff benefits have been a thorny issue at Makerere, and disputes over what is owed to the staff have inspired numerous staff strikes, at one point leading to the closure of the university for several weeks in September 2011. The consequent disruptions of student class schedules produced an unusual arrangement where students sat examinations during the Christmas season. To date, the Retirement Benefits Scheme has not been properly managed. The University Council stopped it in 2009 but the Human Resource Department suggested that those who had not served the university for 10 years by 2009 were not to get their money. There are however disparities. For example one of the staffers revealed that whereas the university contributes 7% of their salaries to the benefits scheme, a colleague with whom he is on the same salary scale will get Shs8m while he (staffer we talked to) will get a paltry Shs520,000.

MESS IN COLLEGES

Sources also revealed to us that due to lack of efficient supervision at the top, Makerere now survives on the hard work and efficient administrative acumen of some of the College Principals. “If a head of College is creative, then you will find such a faculty working efficiently while the reverse is true for those colleges led by not very- shrewd heads,” a source said. We for instance learnt during our investigation that whereas the Faculty of Mass Communication currently has over 100 computers, the university administration has not procured any computer for this department in the last 20 years. “If the heads there were asleep we would probably not have any element of ICT in the Mass Communication department. All these PCs have been acquired through donations and grants accruing from proposals by the departmental heads; that’s how bad things are,” a lecturer said. The general environment of the university is also wanting. For instance at College of Computing, the lift in Block B has never been installed yet there are many facilities beyond 4th floor. This makes accessing higher levels of building difficult— especially by disabled students. The toilet facilities are also deplorable, with a terrible stench occasionally filling the corridors. This has since raised fresh worries about the safety of thousands of students who use the dilapidated toilet facilities and nearby lecture rooms. Creeping plants can be seen ‘waving’ to students at Block A, pointing to a neglect of even the infrastructure. The College’s grim picture doesn’t however mean it’s a case in isolation. Last week during the MUASA general assembly, Ass. Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga, the Deputy Principal at the College of Education, shocked many when he revealed that students doing sciences at the College have not done  practicals in a long time due to lack of laboratory materials. This is despite the fact that students are mandated to do the practicals.

 

Retrogressive Registry

When former VC Baryamureeba took reins at Makerere University, he, in 2008, contracted a UK-based company, Smith & Ouznan, to print certificates which would be given to graduands two weeks after the graduation. This was after the same graduands had received their transcripts on graduation day. The milestone which had taken the university 87 years to achieve, was to save graduates from wasting time returning to the university to pick their academic transcripts. To achieve this, issuance of transcripts was decentralized at faculty level to avoid congestion at the Senate building. However, this system died the day Baryamureeba left Makerere. Today getting a transcript at Makerere University is a totally complicated laborious process that can take one ages.  Yet speaking to us, a don at the university noted that these days are intentionally occasioned by the officers in the registry for financial benefit. “Currently tens of thousands of students graduate in a year at the university. The rogue officials at the registry know that if let’s say just 10,000 of these students are to part with averagely about Shs50,000 as bribes to have their transcripts quickly processed, that’s about Shs500m for the officers concerned. That explains the delay and is among the reasons Baryamureeba was fought because he had blocked that money tap,” the don told us. When contacted on the issue, Prof. Baryamureeba could not rule out the bribery theory as a catalyst for the ‘complicated’ transcripts. He however advised that enforcing the practice he introduced is very easy and simply needs the will of the administrators and instilling a culture of accountability in the registry officials. “What I did was to streamline the processes and identify who is accountable for what in the registry. Whenever there was a glitch, it would be easily identified and the person responsible put to task to act. The people involved know what to do but you can’t rule out the money aspect because we’re talking about very big numbers and sums here,” Baryamureeba said. Barya (as is commonly known) added that to achieve this, he ensured that exams would be done in time, the scripts marked in time and all results submitted and computed within a specific time with emphasis on deadlines.

 

DELAYED RESULTS, MISSING MARKS

Sources say that today missing results and delays to submit the same are the order of the day. For instance, on May 9, 2016 the students are scheduled to begin their end of semester exams. However, we discovered that by press time yesterday some lecturers, mainly in the Colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences under Prof. Edward Kirumira and that of Computing and Information Sciences under Prof. Okello Obura, were yet to release results for the previous semester. What is baffling though is that such lethargy has been going on unchecked despite being a source of some of the student strikes at the university. Results had not been uploaded online as required by university guidelines but students told us they had been left in limbo as explanations from the college authorities had proved futile with no one willing to speak. Standard procedure dictates that results are published online and the students access them using their respective student numbers. The issue of missing marks has also become a perennial weakness on the university authorities’ side. The complaints range from missing course works, marks that are never displayed online. To this effect, last year students stormed the Administration Block in protest against missing marks and other related issues. They put administrators to task to explain why the problem is persistent. What is frustrating though is that many students have failed to graduate over the years due to missing results.

 

GRADUATION MESS

In January 2014, rivers of tears of graduands flowed endlessly at the campus after they learnt at the eleventh hour that their names were miraculously withdrawn from the graduation list. In the most inexplicable situation, nine students who had long completed their studies were withdrawn from the graduation list because they actually sat for, and passed the wrong exam for their programme. The university regulations require lecturers to submit grades to their colleges for compilation of scripts, well before October. The University Senate is supposed to have examined and passed all the transcripts of graduating students by the end of November. All appeals are required to have been cleared by December 5, before the final graduation list is pinned on all noticeboards and all college websites shortly before the Christmas break. By graduation day, in the third week of January, graduands are required to leave the university with their transcripts. Despite such clear guidelines, the university last respected these regulations in 2012. Since then, university officials are regularly confronted with appeals on the graduation list, as late as January. In many cases, the students complain that although they had completed, their details were lacking grades. It is understandable that final-year students who fail to complete all their academic requirements are punished by denying them the chance to graduate. But one wonders why there is no action against lecturers who fail to fulfill their end of the bargain (i.e. marking exam scripts in time). Bribery in exams is also a burning issue. In October 2012, police arrested two officials in the office of the Academic Register for altering students’ marks. There had been complaints from the School of Economics and Management that examination results that had been approved by the Senate and pinned on the students’ noticeboards and uploaded on the university website were different from what the school had submitted to the Senate. To date little is known on what became of the investigations into the matter. For a long time, there have been claims that some lecturers and university officials receive bribes to offer free marks to students. Last year former guild president David Bala Bwiruka revealed to Red Pepper that at least 17 girls had approached him accusing some lecturers of promising them marks in return for sex. The girls were furious that whereas they met their part of the bargain, the lecturers reneged on theirs. He forwarded the matter to one of the university’s deputy VCs but to date no report has been outed to that effect.  There is also information that some students graduate without completing their research dissertations while others get degrees they did not study for. There have also been reports of lecturers not marking students’ examination scripts but forging the results, making marks disappear or giving marks to students who fail the pass mark.

 

HOW STRIKES HAVE

AFFECTED THE RUNNING OF THE UNIVERSITY

The incessant strikes at the university are caused by most times avoidable policies and scenarios yet research shows that they greatly disrupt studies thus lowering the quality of graduates churned from Makerere. For instance, our analysis shows that this semester is supposed to run for 17 weeks — 28th January up to 27th May. However, it has been characterized by unending strikes at the institution and as well public holidays. Most of the students reported after the 18th February presidential elections and serious studying began in March. This means students lost four weeks of studies. As soon as studying began, students went on strike over the infamous 60% and 100% tuition policies. The strike lasted a full week, forcing the university council to suspend tests. As soon as the strike ended, tests were reinstated, forcing some students like those at the School of Computing and information Technology (SCIT) to reject them on grounds of ill-preparation. “The problem is that when lecturers realize that so much time has been lost coupled with the fact that many of them dodge lectures, they set exams from a narrow scope of the whole syllabus and tell the students which specific areas to read. That explains why at times you see students passing with high grades yet they lack requisite skills for the labour market. It’s after they reach the field that they realize the ugly truth that they actually never studied most of what they needed to survive on their jobs,” a lecturer explained.

 

FAILURE TO GET STUDENT LEADER

Currently, there is a leadership vacuum at the guild presidency after the winner of the recent elections, Bazil Biddemu Mwotta, had his victory annulled by the University Elections tribunal on allegations of vote rigging. As such, his ardent supporter, a one Mugarura Samuel aka Falcao Mugarura, a Botany student, is soliciting signatures to allow him assume the guild presidency without going through elections. We have learnt that Mugarura has so far collected 2,500 signatures from students out of the 8,000 that he needs to be endorsed as the 82nd guild leader. Interestingly, ever since the election the vice chancellor has not commented on the matter while the University Council Chairman, Dr. Wana Etyem, recently expressed his ‘concern’ over the failure to get the students’ leader in time.

 

  1. NYANZI-MAMDANI IMPASSE

A lot has been said about the Nyanzi-Mamdani saga, with the VC, John Ddumba Ssentamu coming in to open a can of worms against Prof. Mamdani. Weighing in on the matter however, Prof. Baryamureeba, under whose stewardship Mamdani was hired at MISR, believes Mamdani is a great resource that shouldn’t be lost. His sentiments are borne out of Prof. Ddumba’s declaration that Mamdani can go if he wishes as MISR will not miss him. “When we were forming colleges, MISR was placed under the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. We thus made the previously standalone MISR the research arm of the college. To strengthen it further, it was allowed to host a PhD pogramme following a proposal by Prof. Mamadani. And because it had to have core staff, we gave Mamdani as Executive Director the powers to appoint the people at the unit as part of the core staff. Dr. Nyanzi refused to take on the workload allocated to her by her supervisor which tantamountS to abscondment from duty and insubordination. The relevant university organs should have taken appropriate action when this became evident since the Human Resources Manual is very clear on cases of insubordination and abscondment from duty. It appears this has never taken place to hold her accountable for neglecting her assigned duties,” Baryamureeba said; still pointing to the inaction amongst the administrations.  For the record, Prof. Mamdani has raised MISR’s revenue from $1.7(Shs5.5bn) which the previous director raised from 2005-2010I to $7.2 (Shs23.7b) during his tenure (2010 to 2015). This is an increase of 435 per cent and word is rife that the Dr. Nyanzi-Mamdani saga could be a financial war in disguise; with Mamdani’s detractors eyeing the billions at MISR. Barayamureeba also revealed that using his international contacts, Mamdani has been able to bring over 100 professors from across the world to offer academic support at Makerere University. It is thus utterly shocking that Ddumba can suggest that such a resourceful man can leave if he wants.

 

STAFF MOVE TO IMPEACH UNIVERSITY COUNCIL

We have also gathered that currently, there is a silent war going on at the university between the lecturers under their umbrella, Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) and the university council. Sources say that MUASA members have threatened to impeach the council if the gross mismanagement issues are not rectified. “Council members deceived us before they were elected to represent us. We need to disband them because they just eat allowances for nothing, they should step down. Whenever council members sit, their target is only allowances, which should be paying lecturers. What has the chairman done to help us?” said Ass. Prof Muwagga Mugagga. Prof. JB Nyakaana, expressing his disgust with his bosses, said; “Our biggest problem is council. They have not done anything to ensure government listens to problems of Makerere University.” These sentiments were aired during the recent General Assembly, in respect to pending staff salaries. The staff also feels there’s a deliberate ploy by the Council to deny the young lecturers their due promotions under the guise of lack of establishment.

 

DDUMBA’S CATCH-22

Sources revealed that even if Ddumba would have implemented policies to push Makerere forward, he is a prisoner of so many factors beyond his control; right from his appointment to the internal politics of the university. To begin with, it’s worth noting that following recommendations by the Search Committee during the search for the substantive Makerere University VC, Ddumba emerged a distant third behind top candidate, Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba. However, he thrived on the gymnastics of the university council (the voting organ) to defeat Baryamureeba in an election that was reported in the media to have been blighted by rigging. Baryamureeba even threatened to go to court over these elections before opting otherwise.   Speaking to us, an analyst revealed that unless the university Council’s composition is overhauled, Makerere will fall short of getting best candidates for the VC job. “The voting organ has so many interest groups such as academic staff (2 representatives), support staff (1 vote), students (2), convocation (1), senate (2) and PWDs (2 voters) among others. These interest groups are easy to manipulate especially by someone well-grounded at Makerere. This is why we have so many cliques based around religion, faculties, tribes, among other things. Anybody who can best manipulate these enjoys a big share of the 60% vote that the Council holds when it comes to determining the VC,” a source said. “When these people help you into office well knowing you were not the best candidate, you owe allegiance to them and so you need to be extra tough and careful to reprimand them and get things moving. This could be the current VC’s conundrum.”  In 2018, Ddumba’s contract will expire; meaning he will be at the mercy of college heads and university council for reelection in case he needs it renewed. Analysts opine that Ddumba clearly knows that in Mamdani he has no vote given their publicized fallout. If Mamdani truthfully says that Ddumba is fighting him, then it would help the VC have a new person and new voter at MISR when voting time comes. It is said that the voting system at Makerere has also brewed the culture of ‘inbreeding’ where less qualified/competent candidates are put in bigger offices simply because they have been part of the university for long. “This is bad because it denies chance to outside people with the required competencies to come with new ideas that can move the university forward,” an analyst said. A lot can be said but until effort is made to streamline the administrative flaws, Makerere’s glory may forever remain a painful legend.

VIDEO: Men Play Piano Using Their Penises

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 15:08

Here in Uganda, our evenings are packed with boring competition shows like Rated Next, Tusker Project Fame in which teenage girls and boys sing for cash.

That’s why this clip from the show’s much more awesome Greek incarnation—of two guys playing a piano with nothing but their penises

Shown on ‘Greek’s Got Talent’, these two gents share their skill of playing the piano with only their rhythm sticks

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