Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Women Who Deserve To Go To Hell

I have always had my issues with religion. Of course, you might think some of them are inconsequential and some are like these three -  1. Why is a church pew always that much harder and aggressively brutal on the bottom compared to your average wooden office chair or the bench in the kafunda? 2. Is it possible to have a church service where you don’t have to keep on standing up and sitting back down every ten minutes? 3. Is there a chance that the church authorities might consider introducing a tea or coffee break on services that go past one-and-a-half hours?

Those are my trivial apprehensions. My graver fears, are centred round the preaching’s of Muslim and Christian Cleric in primary schools.   

While those of the Muslim faith are some ten days or so into the holy month of Ramadhan, I was particularly perturbed to come across a report that made for the most distressing reading. The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), is a UK government and is responsible for inspecting educational institutions, childcare, adoption and fostering agencies and regulates a range of children’s social care services.

So, the peeps from Ofsted decide to go and do what they do best – inspecting schools that is, and what they found in Muslim primary schools is very disturbing. Among the library books they found, one reads: ‘It's okay to beat your wife if she refuses sex’. Another library had a book that stimulated children to read a text that contrasted the ‘noble women of the East’ with the ‘internally torn woman of the West’ while one unabashedly, had a paragraph that reads: ‘Hell is mostly full of women because they are ungrateful to their husbands’. 
Egyptian Cleric - Mansoor Abdul Hakim
I had never heard of the Egyptian cleric, Mansoor Abdul Hakim – probably because I am not Muslim and I don’t follow Muslim clerics. Anyway, in his warped ‘wisdom’, Mansoor Abdul Hakim wrote a book titled - Women Who Deserve To Go To Hell which, I expect you to have already surmised is one of the books found in the school library! In his book Mansoor says: “It is wrong for wives to show ‘ingratitude to their husbands’ or have ‘tall ambitions’. One chapter of the book reads: “In the beginning of the 20th century, a movement for the freedom of women was launched with the basic objective of driving women towards aberrant ways.” Another chapter reads: “…Women who deserve to go to hell include disobedient wives, those who cut their hair, alter their attire, adorn themselves with makeup and women who grumble...” 

Other books found in school libraries said that in Muslim marriages “…the wife is not allowed to refuse sex to her husband…’ or ‘…leave the house where she lives without his permission…’ Other books centred on teaching boys and girls that ‘man by way of correction, he can also beat his wife’ while another book claimed ‘western women attract men and hang around aimlessly in cinemas and caf├ęs’.

In one school, in a book titled Daily Life and Relationships, a pupil had written that men are ‘physically stronger’ and women are ‘emotionally weaker’. And wait for it, the worksheet was covered in approving red ticks from the teacher. Jeez!

Back to Mansoor Abdul Hakim. I trawled the internet looking for reviews on his book and found none. Did Book Reviewer find it not worth reviewing? While I wholeheartedly subscribe to the realms of free speech, there is literature that is most inappropriate and disturbing for primary school children to be reading, let alone it being derogatory to women with baseless comments like its wrong for them to have ‘tall ambitions!’      
Perhaps you now all understand why I have questions with religion….? 

Pictures: Mansoor Abdul Hakim, Internet

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Why Can't Ugandans Simply Resign Or Just Go Quietly?

Many years past, out of the blue I was subpoenaed to see Human Resource. My heart didn’t skip a beat and I took it in my stride seeing it was December and every December, Human Resource would summon me to ask my thoughts on the staff Christmas party.

Except on this occasion, she hadn’t asked me to her office for Christmas party thoughts. Instead she proffered me with two options – resign or be fired. After minutes of deep shock thought, the prudent option was to resign. I wrote out my resignation letter – something along the lines of “…wanting to spend time with my family…” and I was out and facing a most uncertain future.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Recently Wrote To Prime Minister Theresa May And Resigned

With hindsight, I shouldn’t have resigned and I shouldn't have gone quietly because, resigning and going quietly is so NOT a Ugandan thing and let’s reason the arguments out. Justine Bagyenda, former Executive Director – Supervision at Bank of Uganda, was asked to resign or face the sack. Like my encounter with Human Resource – except I don’t think she was summoned by Human Resource, but by Governor Emmanuel Mutebile, with two options laid bare to her.

Justine Bagyenda, Eventually Left BoU After A Lengthy Episode Of Huffing And Puffing

She didn’t resign so she got sacked but, she didn’t go quietly. She went to court, State House and the ‘court of public opinion’ - Facebook and Twitter. However, one thing she didn’t take into account is that, Bank of Uganda is bigger than her. Eventually and with extreme busungu, she packed her box and left.

Before Bagyenda, there was Geraldine Ssali – former Deputy Managing Director at NSSF who, was similarly presented the option of resigning or facing the inevitable. She chose to face the inevitable – being terminated. Before the termination was effected, like Bagyenda, she sought the interference of State House and the court of public opinion. In the end she grasped that NSSF was much bigger than her and left – with busungu.

Geraldine Ssali's Crocodile Tears To State House Fell On Deaf Ears That She Left NSSF With Busungu 

Herbert Kabafunzaki, is Minister of State. Last year, he was snared soliciting a bribe of sh15m from Investor. With audio and picture evidence, the judicious thing for him to have done, would have been writing to Appointing Authority – President M7 that is, along the lines of: “Sir, I have failed you. I was consumed by greed. I needed sh15m urgently and was unable to wait until payday. With the embarrassment I have caused your government, its only judicious that I resign as Minister of State.”
Of course, that didn’t happen nor is it bound to happen because like it has already been stated, resigning is not a Ugandan thing.

The Honourable Move Kabafunzaki Could Have Pulled, Would Have Been To Resign

Ibrahim Abiriga, is Arua Municipality MP and of course you all know what happened to him but in case you had forgotten, lets remind you. He was photographed doing susu on walls of Ministry of Finance. And he didn’t humble himself nor offer an apology. Rather, he was defiant and chose to validate his actions. Secondly, resigning as MP was also not an option – presumably because in his Aura Municipality, it might be ‘the norm’ to pee on public walls.

Robert Mugabe used to be Head of State. But when ‘time to resign’ for the greater good of Zimbabwe came, he didn’t. With his busungu, he held steadfast and waited until the army sacked him. And before him, there was Muhammar Gadaffi who also didn’t resign - preferring instead a grisly death in the sewers.  

Meanwhile, veteran New Vision columnist, Joachim Buwembo couldn't  have put it better while commenting on the woes of embattled Minister for Lands, Betty Amongi, who is accused of trying to steal Asians' property in  Kololo and abuse of the Land Fund money.
Jo Buwembo's Take On Betty Amongi's Land Grabbing Scandal

By the way, have any of you heard of Dr. Peter Okello? I first heard of him this Friday gone and it turns out he is the acting academic registrar at Kyambogo University. Wait, I tell a lie. He used to be, but is no longer in the position and was supposed to have handed over office to his replacement - the new academic registrar, Dr Annie Begumisa who was appointed last month. I could carry on with the tale, but I guess you already know the rest of the script and what stunt Okello has pulled, so can I leave it at that? Cool.
How New Vision Reported Dr Peter Okello's Refusal To Go

Surprisingly enough though, there are a few good men who do have the conscious not only to resign, but to go quietly like current minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kahinda Otafiire who years ago, did resign after pulling his pistol on Sam Kutesa’s wife following a row. More recently, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, resigned following protracted anti-government protests while Kale Kayihura, appeared relieved that his 'ordeal' as IGP was finally over when The Man With The Hat relieved him of his duties. And no, he didn't throw his guns about, but left quietly to go and play tennis at Lugogo Tennis Club.

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, Resigned Rather Than Opt For The Gadaffi Sewer Way Out

Pictures: googbob.com, eagle.co.ug, New Vision, Jo Buwembo

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Two Years After The 2016 Elections And Badru Kiggundu Still Has His Woes

After years of serving the country as a politician, CEO or merely winning accolades as a sporting icon, academician, artiste or whatever, many go off into retirement, lounge back and start writing their memoirs. If not, they hit the lucrative lecture circuit.

Rather Than Write His Memoirs, Obote Spent His Retirement Writing Angry Letters On State House Entebbe Stationary That He Had Fled With Into Exile  

Here in Uganda, when former president Milton Obote ‘retired’ in 1985, his life pretty much went into limbo. He didn’t write his memoirs nor did he hit the lecture circuit. Rather, and if I recall an article written back in the day by Andrew Mwenda – I think it was, he said something along the lines of: “He (Obote) seems to spend the best part of his day writing angry letters on State House Entebbe stationary…” Can we have a moment for a sidebar? Of all things Obote could have fled with into retirement, were a stash of State House Entebbe stationary and not his dairy where he documented his reign? Hmm.

Casting back, there are a number of people who sadly, are no longer with us and whose memoirs would have made for good reading. Thomas Katto who was famed for Sanyu FM and International Credit Bank is one of them as is Suleman Kiggundu, (Governor, Bank of Uganda and Greenland Bank), Paulo Mwanga (Military Commission), Idi Amin (President), John Aki-Bua (Athlete), Philly Lutaaya (Musician) and Yusuf Lule (President) to name but a few.          

The Memoirs Of Former Bank of Uganda Governor,Suleman Kiggundu Would Have Been A Good Read 

In the US, many who have held high office or won honours have scribbled their memoirs. Take Barack Obama for example - fifteen months after leaving the Oval Office, he has shed the constraints of the White House and made a start on a lucrative career. Upon his retirement, he set a record for US presidential memoirs by signing book deals reportedly worth over US$60 million with Penguin Random House.

Obama is paid up to US$400,000 for a speech. Since May 2017, he has made paid appearances at events in Italy, Germany, Scotland, Canada, Indonesia and South Korea. He also gave three speeches on Wall Street, spoke at a conference for the private equity firm Carlyle Group in September; and at investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald’s health care conference in October.

Barack Obama Bagged US$ 60m For His Memoirs 

Enter Badru Kiggundu, former head of The Electoral Commission. Ever since he stepped down from the post, little has been heard from him. If we were to engage in some speculation, perhaps he has been ensconced in his home study and working on his memoirs that might be titled: ‘Kiggundu – My Journey To The 2016 Election Victory’. If such a manuscript is in the making, then no doubt, it would be a much sought-after read or would it?

But wait up. Is an in-retirement Badru Kiggundu, as popular as an in-retirement Barack Obama? If Obama went to Sidwell Friends School where his daughter Sasha is studying and during the PTA, he was called upon to take charge of the elections of the schools’ new office bearers, would they be hullabaloo from parents? We highly doubt.

Two Years After the 2016 Elections And Society Has Not Forgiven Badru Kiggundu

Kiggundu was never popular with the electorate during his tenure at the EC. And recently when he went to Gayaza High School, there was an outcry from parents who rejected the motion that he oversee the election process of the schools’ new office bearers. Ouch!

Pictures: Blackpat.org, The Observer, Daily Monitor

Expelled From School And Sent to Prison

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