Thursday, January 18, 2018

#Museveni's "Congo ADF scheme" suffers a setback - #DRCongo #Uganda #Rwanda #EAC


CHANGE OF GUARDS BLOG - On 7th December 2017, alleged Ugandan rebels, ADF attacked the UN Peacekeeping Force in the eastern Congo close to the Ugandan border killing 15 and injuring over 40 soldiers from Tanzania. The attack shocked the world as every right-thinking person would question not only the motive of the alleged militants but their capacity to launch such a daring and devastating attack. Tanzania called upon the UN to investigate the attack.

Museveni on his part concluded that it was the work of the ADF whom he alleged were preparing to invade Uganda. He went ahead to launch heavy artillery and aerial bombardment inside Congo that he later claimed destroyed nine ADF camps before killing 100 militants. The UN and Congo forced him to halt the bombardment that had already generated his much cherished "foreign aid" in the form of thousands of refugees into Uganda. He has gone ahead to mobilize regional security forces against the ADF which he is now branding as an "Islamic Militant group allied to Al-Shabaab and ISIS".

Museveni recently convened a meeting of regional Army chiefs "to review the security situation in the region". His army Spokesman issued a statement thus; ".... the meeting agreed that the ADF is now a threat to the region and therefore requires a coordinated regional approach to tackle it. It is now reported to be in alliance with elements of Al-Shabaab as well as ISIS."

The UN Secretary General went ahead to appoint a special probe team into the attack headed by Demitry Titov. While meeting Museveni in Kampala early this week, Museveni accused the UN of "conserving terrorism in the region". Opposing the deployment of UN Peace Keepers, he argued that "..... It must be the people of the respective country to fight and defeat terrorism within their territory".

Museveni went ahead to express his desire to deploy his army into the Congo if he can be given clearance by the host. This argument is premised on his trademark rhetoric of “African Solutions to African Problems". What is hypocritical is the fact that when his troops are involved in peacekeeping, like is the case in Somalia where he has spent 11 years without any tangible results, the UN is not "conserving terrorism".

In March 2016 the US Permanent Representative to the UN told the UN Security Council that "Museveni is a threat to Uganda's future and stability". By implication, Museveni is a threat to regional peace and stability.

It is a fact that Museveni is itching to re-enter Congo for obvious reasons as we ( earlier outlined in these two pieces:



Therefore, Museveni’s outburst before the UN Special Investigations team is out of anger, frustration and disappointment. As usual, with time he will manage to dupe Congo and the UN and re-enter Congo but at least for now his perversion has been tamed. Hopefully the probe team will dig out the truth and expose the devil. We can only hope. Electric vehicles are coming up and DRC is the biggest producer of Cobalt which is mandatory for electric vehicles.


Anglophone school district #NB411 in #Canada buses were delayed 60mins

So this was from this morning from yet another snow storm.

Our family lives in a village just outside of Moncton and more like Shediac.

This place can go from beautiful trees to coloured trees to snow capped trees.

The Anglophone and Francophone school districts have snow lines which we have to call before we wake up the kids in case school is closed or the yellow buses are delayed.

This morning, I was awake at 1am as usual to wait for 6am to call the snow line  to see if Mini could sleep in. 

At 6:45Am, she bounces out of her room "I gotta take pictures.  Buses are delayed 60 minutes but doors open at 7:30Am and someone is gonna drive me to school.  Next week is exam week and I gotta go early because I need to review and it will be a good time to catch my teachers to explain a few things!

Usually, it is "call me in late. I am tired."  And our girls have the highest absence / late rates likely in Canada ever.  Since the buses are late why up early?  This is where one can lose the battle.  The pictures had to be taken only after height check. OMG mom, I am like 6ft..omg gosh mom, this is so tall.  I got stop growing.  "Listen kiddo, you were supposed to stop growing 4yrs ago".

Mom, this is very serious.  I mean it is good to be tall but I am so freaking tall.  She is only a midget but rather taller than her mother and always worried about being too tall.

So many tears.  No idea why we even cry.  But now, we have agreed that she is very short.  And will not wear heels or her beloved boots that add 4 inches.  

But not today because I gotta get good grades. What a frightening experience.

We were stomping our boots all over complaining about how tall we had grown while bitching about when the snow gentleman will come to clear the drive way so we can get to school early and meet the teachers because next week is exam and today with the buses being late it is the time to meet the teachers with no extraction.  BUT the boot, klick, klick, kick, kick... as if to say "my time is limited so let you all hurry up".

Humbling experience.  Very humbling.  It is almost like heaven gives you a child to mirror you and show you "OMG, I do not think I was that hard on my parents"! 

Looking at the pictures now which Mini was taking before school and I was sauntering along, Scoudouc is really God's country.  Such wonders are few and far in between. 

X-Files from the village in #Uganda



January is generally a “hot month” and it has been known to be so for as long as Bugisu has existed. In their wisdom, our forefathers prepared for this season so that like us they never remained idle neither did they plant in November and December lest the crops are destroyed by the simmering heat of the January sun. Sometimes this dry season spans to the second month, but when it reaches the third and fourth month like it did in 1984, it becomes shimiyu or drought, it is not a normal season. It is such that lead to “kumurira”.

Some of the great famines like the one of the 1920s have their special names derived from the prevailing circumstances. One that stands out is the famine of nalubya. Nalubya means something metalic and it was derived from the railway that had just been constructed through the land of Bugisu to Teso. What was referred to as the “iron snake” among the Kikuyu reached Bugisu in the 1920s and went upto Soroti at the shores of Kyoga. It is said that during that time, the White man conscripted our great men and women into their ranks to construct the railway.


The locals treated the railway with a lot of suspicion and those who were not conscripted had to run away to distant lands or into the mountains. The farming patterns were distorted and this was made worse by the dry spell that followed. It is after the construction that some people returned to their lands. During this great hunger of nalubya, Bugisu lost many of its men and women, cattle and children. Those who did not die of hunger were killed after eating poisonous roots while others were killed by wild animals as they also came out to look for food. Places like the big tree in Wakutuma used to harbor leopards and the “namunyu” from Namwalye.


During the great hunger of the early 1900, circumcision was even put on halt and it is around that time that our wise fathers started skipping years between circumcisions. They chose “even years” for circumcision while the “odd years” were used for restocking the granaries and preparing for the next circumcision the following year.

The patterns have now become our ways of life and we have adapted to them without even questioning as to why the “odd year” when we don’t circumcise boys is known as the “year of girls”.


In our times, we have also witnessed other famines but nonetheless the elders keep telling us that the other one stands out. It was caused by a combination of human factors and nature. Some people thought it to be a Whiteman’s curse, brought by the railway. It is why in certain places there was resistance. This resistance has however never been brought to book. We hope that one time, if anyone has kept record, these legendary acts of valor shall be writ down for the future generations.

In the past, such famines led to immense migrations to Kenya and notably to Kitale where our forefathers could work in the tea plantations.


These stories and more are told to us by the elders whenever we start complaining about the sun being hotter than last year. “It gets hotter every year since the white man started to fly the planes in the sky. They say God is not happy! Now the very white people are telling us that the world is going to end in 2000”


However, to us January is just another month to mix and mingle; when all the grass in the plains has dried, we are now expected take the cattle grazing along the shores of the river where the grass never dries. For us it is fun to be there. We always look forward to fights between the boys of our side with the ones from Namwalye side. What normally starts as a provocation or argument between two people can end up in a fight between the two ridges.

As we grazed our cattle, swam in the river, stole sugar canes and banana fingers to roast today was going to end with no fight between the two ridges. Since last year’s fight in which we beat up the boys from Namwalye, all that have been happening are petty fights that are always resolved in jokes. In the evening, tt so happened that one of our cows wanted to be mounted and we intentionally crossed it to Namwalye side where we had seen a bigger and healthier bull. As soon as it crossed, the bull mounted it while the Namwalye boys were away in the sugar canes as the cattle roamed on their own. They only returned to find us beating our cow back across the river.

We did not intend to beat them until they attempted to get hold of our cow. It is then that we rallied our ridge and the boys crossed to our rescue. After beating them, we also took their sugar canes, guavas and everything they had collected. Like warriors from a victorious fight, we returned home a happy lot.

But even after winning these fights together, what unites is the fact that we are from the same ridge and the other group is from Namwalye. But even at the local level, we have our sub divisions and sometimes the fights are between different villages, clans or families.

The fights are not only between boys, we sometimes set the fights between bulls, cows or even girls. The most interesting is when a girl fights a boy; in many cases, the girls win.


And the legendary remains that if the Whiteman had not come to Bugisu, they would not have made a train. We all know that it was after seeing a milipede in Bugisu that the White man went back to his country and made a train.

It is a popular riddle even in our schools.

“Nanu uwelekela umuzungu khukhola likari?”

Who taught the Whiteman how to make a train?


A milipede!

Till then we shall keep you posted


Most #Ugandans hate reading - #Parenting #Teach #Education

One time when we were in church at St. Martin in the woods (Anglican Parish of Shediac), Tish then age 6 took a pen and crossed out many words in the church bulletin.

At the end of service, she took her now perfect corrections and gave them to the priest saying "that is very bad writing. The person does not know how to write English".

The priest "maybe Natasha, we will get you to edit the bulletins".

Our parish prints all the lessons in the bulletin and the kid had gone awol all over the first reading which was from the Old Testament. Ahem.

The following Sunday, she had to read the second reading.  She was so tiny they had to adjust the mic down and shw had to stand on a stool to reach up to read.

Afterwards, two of the elders came to me and said "oh that was nice".  But the congregation had clapped when she had finished reading after she said "This is the word of the Lord".

Our congregation has many teachers though.

This is where Ugandans go wrong when I say they must read. Read anything and everything as if your life depends on it.  Because it does.

Canada has a very strong education system but reading starts at home.  Then we have dedicated teachers who believe they are teaching future leaders.

All schools have well stocked libraries and a computer centre.

During the summer holidays of 2 to 3 months, public libraries hold Read A Thorn where kids have to read and log as many books as possible on their library card.  And all libraries have computers with Internet.

We have a company which publishes writing from kids starting from Kindergarten and you should see some of the stories which P1 kids write.

We do not have national exams but imagine some kids have been published at age 6.

Sure, Ugandan kids do not have libraries all over but most houses have a Bible. Then help your kids to read the Bible or Koran.

Many of us grew up in Uganda with only the Bible and Telephone directory.  Do you think we read both books for the information in both?  Non, we read for the fun of reading.

We read so that we would know about Bethlehem. We read telephone directories to know how to spell names from Masaka.  We read because we were curious and inquisitive.

My generation had to read the newspaper daily just so we would know what was happening in Kampala or Apac.  We were curious.  Very inquisitive.

But in our reading, we learned to write words and compose sentences.

Some friends have accused me of over sharing stories on Facebook and WhatsApp.  The goal is to entice my people to read.

Because one day, you will become so curious that you will read about ICT, business, finance, creative writing and want more.

You will read about human rights, politics, how to start a business or even one day your rights and the constitution.

Read everything you get your hands on. Use your phone to read. One day you will be happy that you are a reader.

Then you WRITE YOUR STORY. I just wrote my story.

Write your story.  The world is waiting.

Martha Leah Nangalama
Born in a Shithole and incubated in Canada. I am an editor.  How about you send me your first story and I edit it for you for free?

Ex-US ambassadors to #ShitHole #Africa write to #Trump

Former US ambassadors to 48 African countries have written an open letter to President Donald Trump expressing concern about his reported dismissal of African nations as “shithole” countries. By PETER FABRICIUS.

The former envoys, including four who represented Washington in Pretoria, and three former Assistant Secretaries of State for Africa, have urged Trump to “reassess” his views on Africa and to recognise the importance to the US of its partnerships with most of the 54 African nations.

This included “brilliant entrepreneurs” who had been critical to the success of American companies and African military and intelligence officials “who often assumed real risks to help achieve outcomes critical to our shared security”.

“We know that respectful engagement with these countries is a vital part of protecting our own national interests. The United States of America is safer, healthier, more prosperous, and better equipped to solve problems that confront all of humanity when we work with, listen to, and learn from our African partners. We also know that the entire world is richer because of the contributions of Africans, including the many Americans of African descent.”

DAILY MAVERICK - The four former US ambassadors to South Africa who signed the letter are Patrick Gaspard, who left the post a year ago, his immediate predecessor Donald Gips, Princeton Lyman who served in Pretoria from 1992 to 1995 and Edward Perkins, who was posted here from 1986 to 1989.

The three former Assistant Secretaries of State for Africa are Johnnie Carson, Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Herman Cohen.

“Africa is a continent of great human talent and rich diversity, as well as extraordinary beauty and almost unparalleled natural resources. It is also a continent with deep historical ties with the United States,” the letter reads.

“As American ambassadors abroad we have seen Africa’s complex and rich cultures, awe-inspiring resilience, and breathtaking generosity and compassion. Even as some nations have faced challenges, we have counted among our contacts dynamic entrepreneurs, gifted artists, committed activists, passionate conservationists, and brilliant educators.

“We learned of novel solutions to complex problems, helped American companies find partners critical to their success, and counted on African military and intelligence officials who often assumed real risks to help achieve outcomes critical to our shared security.”

Not only the US but the entire world was richer because of the contributions of Africans, including the Americans of African descent, the former ambassadors said.

“We hope that you will reassess your views on Africa and its citizens, and recognise the important contributions Africans and African Americans have made and continue to make to our country, our history, and the enduring bonds that will always link Africa and the United States.”


Letter to President Trump From Former U.S. Ambassadors to Africa

January 16, 2018President Donald J. Trump The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear ...

#BlackDeath outbreak: Latest maps shows plague outbreak in #Uganda

Express UK - DOCTORS in Uganda are frantically working to contain a deadly new virus that has already killed four people and infected many others sparking fears it could be deadlier than the Black Death. These maps show where the outbreak is taking place. 

Health bosses have warned that the spread could be “catastrophic” following the shocking death of a child in Uganda earlier this week. 
The young girl contracted the Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), which has been dubbed the “bleeding eye fever” and is thought to be even more deadly than the Black Death. 
As many as 60 people are now thought to be infected by the illness.
The viral disease, which can kill up to 40 percent of all those infected, is usually spread by tick bites or contact with infected livestock.
Like the plague, symptoms include muscle pains, headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding from the eyes, mouth and anus.
The maps below show the Nakaseke District where the girl picked up the disease. 
The region has a population just under 200,000 and borders the Nakasongola, Luweero, Wakiso, Mityana, districts.
Rapid response teams were also called out to Luweero, where an eight-year-old died earlier this month, sparking fears the disease is spreading.
After an initial confusion over the Nakaseke girl’s cause of death, tests have confirmed that she did have CCHF.
Sarah Opendi, state minister for health, said: "Results from Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe tested positive for the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever and negative for other viral Hemorrhagic Fevers like Ebola, Marburg, Rift Valley Fever and Sosuga." 
Authorities at the hospital said that the body would have to be buried by health teams due to the "sensitivity" about a further outbreak.
In the wake of her tragic death, family member Harriet Nalunkum said: "We are stranded on what to do because the health teams took away the body.
"We are waiting for a communication regarding the burial arrangements."
News of the CCHF outbreak in Uganda comes after at least three people died of an unknown type of viral hemorrhagic fever disease in neighbouring South Sudan.
WHO investigators also discovered a worrying number of animals had died from similar symptoms.
A recent report from the international health authority said: "The outbreak of suspected viral haemorrhagic fever in South Sudan could rapidly evolve, and critical information including laboratory confirmation of the aetiology of the disease is needed to direct response efforts.
"Strengthened surveillance in affected human and animal populations is needed to facilitate rapid detection of human and animal cases and response; strengthened capacity to clinically manage any new cases is also needed in the affected area."

#Mnangagwa: #Zimbabwe to hold elections in four to five months

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will hold elections in four to five months, a newspaper on Thursday quoted President Emmerson Mnangagwa as saying, the first time since independence the southern African state will conduct a vote that does not involve Robert Mugabe.

The vote, a litmus test of Mnangagwa’s democratic credentials, will be crucial to unlocking badly needed financial assistance and repairing relations with Western powers and international financial institutions.

Mnangagwa, a protege of Mugabe, came to power in November after a de-facto military coup when the 93-year-old was forced to resign after the military confined him to his Harare mansion.

It was the culmination of a power struggle between Mnangagwa and former first lady Grace Mugabe, who was being groomed by her husband as his potential successor.

Now Mnangagwa, 75, is under pressure himself to deliver on the economy and show that he is breaking with the policies of Mugabe, whose 37-year rule since independence in 1980 turned a promising country into a basket case and international pariah.

He promised the elections for the presidency, parliament and local government would be peaceful and told business leaders their investments would be secure and their profits safe.

“Zimbabwe is going for elections in four to five months’ time and we have to preach peace, peace and peace because we know it is good for us and we have no doubt that we will have peaceful elections,” Mnangagwa was quoted as saying by the official Herald newspaper during an official trip to Mozambique.

“We will ensure that Zimbabwe delivers free, credible, fair and indisputable elections to ensure Zimbabwe engages the world as a qualified democratic state.”

Under the constitution, Zimbabwe should hold elections between July 22 and Aug. 22, but parliament can choose to dissolve itself, triggering an earlier vote. The ruling ZANU-PF holds a two-thirds majority in parliament.

Since 2000, elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by political violence and disputes.

But the 2018 vote could catch the opposition flat-footed.

Mnangagwa’s main rival Morgan Tsvangirai is suffering from cancer, which has helped expose divisions in his Movement for Democratic Change party as officials scramble to take over leadership of the party.

The economy is suffering acute shortages of foreign currency, increases in prices of basic goods, high unemployment and low levels of foreign investment, making it the biggest challenge for Mnangagwa.

At a function ahead of next week’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Mnangagwa said the extent of economic problems required Zimbabweans to work together as he promised to safeguard all investments in the country.

“All investments will be safe and secure in Zimbabwe. Foreign investors will be able to repatriate profits,” he told a gathering of government officials and business leaders.

He said he was going to the Davos meetings, the such trip first by any Zimbabwean leader, to “dispel the perception” that Zimbabwe is “an isolated island”.