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News analysis Health Business

What deal between the old, Shutting down social Rice and Ugandan banks post
new opposition leadership? media fuels violence obesity record profits in 2018

Issue No. 571 May. 10 - 16 2019 Ushs 5,000,Kshs 200, RwF 1,500, SDP 8

Museveni’s order
to police is risky
With Ochola, Sabiiti in charge,
it also means more trouble

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May. 10 - 16 2019 1
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Issue No. 571 May. 10 - 16 2019

News analysis Business Health Arts Motoring

Cover story
Museveni’s order to police is risky
With Ochola, Sabiiti in charge, it also means more trouble

5 The Week
30 Comments
Opinion poll battles kick off ;
Bobi Wine ahead of Besigye The case for a global
constitution: Given the extent
of globalisation’s progress we
9 The Last Word
cannot simply stay in our lane
Uganda’s democratic contradiction: and hope for the best.
Why I think Museveni is a liberal
democrat while Bobi Wine and
32 Health
Besigye are potential tyrants
Rice and obesity: Is there
a link after controlling for
14 Analysis a wide range of factors?
Bobi Wine and Kizza Besigye: What
should deal be between the old and new
opposition leadership?
35 Arts & Culture
27 Business Mandela prison drawing
sells for Shs424m
Ugandan banks post record profits
in 2018: Top six banks registered
collective net profit of Shs 620bn

STRATEGY & EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Andrew M. Mwenda WRITERS:Ronald Musoke, Flavia Nassaka, Ian Katusiime,
MANAGING EDITOR: Joseph Were Agnes Nantaba, Julius Businge.
INVESTIGATIONS EDITOR: Haggai Matsiko DESIGN/LAYOUT: Sarah Ngororano
BUSINESS EDITOR: Isaac Khisa CARTOONIST: Harriet Jamwa

PUBLISHER: Independent Publications Limited, Plot 82/84, Kanjokya Street, P. O. Box 3304, Kampala, Uganda
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2 May. 10 - 16 2019
Offline

“If standing for what is right is going to


keep me in this prison, then I will thank
God. I have a lot of work to do even here in
Luzira.” Kyadondo East MP Bobi Wine before he
received bail

President Yoweri Museveni lays the foundation stone of a monument to mark the centenary celebrations
of the Orthodox Church in Uganda on May 05 at Lubya Hill in Namungona in Rubaga Division in Kampala

Residents of “People go to State House as a last resort


Kaazi-Bugaba
in Bufumira Sub because they believe it has ultimate
County, Kalangala political power to get people who say they
district joined many
Ugandans across are untouchable. The other thing is the
the country who rapidness of the response where they push
accuse officers
from the National the police beyond the ordinary routine
Identification of doing things.”Gov’t spokesperson Ofwono
and Registration Opondo on State House Anti-Corruption Unit
Authority of extorting
money from persons
seeking to register
for National Identity
Cards

The General Court


Martial has set
May13 to deliver
judgment in
the case of the
Boda Boda 2010
members led
by their patron,
Abdallah Kitatta “We want the Chief Justice to give a
statement on what took place. This was an
attack on court by security which should be
condemned.”DP Bloc’s Abed Bwanika on court
invasion

Years Uganda
Senior police officers Residents of
100 100 200
Orthodox Church
is marking shuffled by IGP Kaliro district
Okoth Ochola who face famine

May. 10 - 16 2019 3
week
UCC blasted over directive to media houses; journalists vow to defy order
of “minimum broadcasting MPs, lawmakers, media Centre of Media Excellence
standards.” The stations practitioners and the general (ACME) also condemned the
are; NTV, NBS TV, BBS TV, public blasted UCC over the directive from UCC. “It is not
Bukedde TV, Kingdom TV and move in what they described as as if when journalists carry live
Salt TV. Others are; Akaboozi the worst example of regulatory feed of an egregiously brutal
FM, Beat FM, Capital FM, oversight. Critics said the move arrest of a prominent public
CBS FM, Pearl Fm, Sapientia by UCC could set a precedent figure they are making up the
FM and Radio Simba. The where a regulator like Bank story. Over the years, UCC has
media houses were ordered to of Uganda orders banks to acted cynically with the aim
suspend producers, heads of suspend staff they do not like of controlling, not regulating,
news, and heads of programs. or want. Uganda Parliamentary the broadcast industry.” The
Uganda Communications UCC directed media houses to Press Association (UPPA) directive from UCC came a few
Commission (UCC) came suspend 39 staff at the accused described the directive of days before Uganda marked
under fire for issuing a directive media houses however the Godfrey Mutabazi, (Pictured) the World Press Freedom Day
to media houses to suspend latter have vowed to defy the the UCC executive directive as held every year on May 3.
their employees over a breach directive citing its illegality. an act of “madness”. African

Fresh poll for Nebbi Uganda slips further in World Press Freedom rankings
Municipality seat
Residents of Nebbi Munici-
pality will go back to the polls
ten months after they took part
in an election for their MP. The
Arua Hight Court annulled the
election of Nebbi Municipality
NRM MP Hashim Suleiman
over lack of minimum academic
qualifications and ordered for
fresh elections. His FDC rival
Robert Onega petitioned the
court citing irregularities in the
electoral process and Suleiman’s
lack of an A Level certificate.
Court ruled in Onega’s favour “Acts of intimidation and which publishes the annual munication Commission has
saying there were variations in violence against reporters are world press freedom rankings. continued to target TV stations
Suleiman’s four names and that an almost daily occurrence in Uganda dropped eight places in which broadcast the arrest of
there was no legal document to Uganda. The security services, the rankings owing to persistent opposition politicians. As a
back his papers. Suleiman had which are the leading press attacks on journalists by secu- result, Uganda ranks at number
defeated Onega by 124 votes freedom violators, often target rity forces and other authorities. 125, a drop from 117 in 2018.
in July 2018 and it looks to be journalists, arresting them “It is not uncommon for the The report also took a swipe at
another tight race after police arbitrarily and sometimes hold- authorities to intervene directly a social media tax which it said
arrested Onega and some of his
ing them incommunicado,” to block the broadcasting of undermines media journalists
supporters as they took to the
read the entry on Uganda by TV reports.” RSF added and it and media outlets.
streets to celebrate the ruling.
Reporters Without Borders, made sense as Uganda Com-

MPs file petition over Museveni sole candidature, want CEC powers checked
Eleven MPs from the ruling National elections and beyond. The MPs are
Resistance Movement (NRM) have Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Ms
petitioned the Constitutional Court Monicah Amoding (Kumi District),
seeking to quash the endorsement Mr Barnabas Tinkasimire (Buyaga
of President Museveni as the party’s West), John Baptist Nambeshe
sole candidate in the 2021 presidential (Manjiya), Patrick Nsamba Oshabe
elections. They claim the decision is (Kassanda North), Mbwatekamwa
unconstitutional. On February 19, the Gaffa (Kasambya). Others are Samuel
NRM Central Executive Committee Lyomoki (Workers), Silvia Akello
(CEC) sitting at Chobe Safari Lodge in Monicah Amoding John Nambeshe (Otuke), Susan Amero (Amuria),
Nwoya District endorsed Museveni, James Acidri (Maracha) and Moses
who is also the party chairman, as the the current CEC. They say it has no Bildad Adome (Jie).
sole candidate for 2021 and beyond. mandate to declare Museveni or any They are represented by Alaka and
The MPs also want the court to check other person a sole candidate for 2021 Company Advocates.

4 May. 10 - 16 2019
Week
Post Bank in turmoil over fraud
ogy, Augustine Kisitu, the head
of Business Technology and
Emmanuel Mwaka, the finance
manager. The rest are Alex
Kayaayo (Executive Director for
Credit and Business Growth),
Fred Samuel Wasike (Head of
Business Growth) and Gilbert
Nuwamanya (Sales Manager). Bill to stop LDC
They all denied the charges
and are set to reappear in court pre-entry exams
on May 30 for mention of their
cases. The chief magistrate Law students may no longer
issued criminal summons to have to go through the torment
Jackson Mwesigwa, the bank’s of sitting for exams before they
general manager for Finance, can enroll for their bar course
who was not in court. Accord- at the Law Development entre
ing to the Anti-Corruption (LDC). A private member’s Bill,
Less than a month after the They were charged with abuse Act, anyone found guilty of the piece of legislation that is
State House Anti-Corruption of office, causing financial loss causing financial loss is liable seeking to amend the Advocates’
Act to explicitly stop the Law
Unit swooped on Post Bank and conspiracy to defraud to 14 years imprisonment or
Council from conducting pre-
over embezzlement of funds, their employer. Others are a fine of Shs6.7million. Abuse
entry exams, is being pushed
seven of its top employees Safina Wabuna, the executive of office conviction attracts a
by the legal and parliamentary
including the bank’s MD Ste- director for Information and seven year jail term or a fine of
affairs committee.
phen Mukweli (Left) are now Communication Technology Shs3.3million while conspiracy
Parliamentary legal committee
facing corruption charges at (ICT), David Mwesige, the to defraud gets one three years chairperson, Jacob Oboth-Oboth,
the Anti-Corruption Court. head of Information Technol- behind bars once convicted. says the draft Bill is ready and
LDC staff could appear before
Opinion poll battles kick off ; Bobi Wine ahead of Besigye Oboth’s committee in a few
weeks.
“The amendment is not seeking
An opinion poll by Research joined politics two years to strip Law Council of powers
World International, a research ago. Bobi Wine would to regulate training of advocates,
firm, conducted in April 2019 top both Kampala and but rather to stop it from requir-
puts President Museveni at Central region, scoring 35 ing qualified lawyers to sit a
32% with new kid on the block per cent and 33 per cent, special exam as a prerequisite
Bobi Wine at 22% and Dr Kizza respectively. Besigye to pursuing the Bar Course,”
Besigye at 13% if an election would score 10 per cent Oboth-Oboth told journalists.
were to be held now. According in Kampala and 12 per The decision on whether to sit
to the poll, Bobi Wine has risen cent in Central region in the exams has become a heated
fast to eat into the vote share of the same poll. RWI data debate among lawyers. Justice
perennial presidential candi- says it surveyed 2,042 and Constitutional Affairs min-
dates Museveni and Besigye. and FDC supporters dismissed respondents aged 18 and above isters leads the pack of those
The poll indicated that a sizable the poll saying polls have gen- in 60 of 127 districts in Uganda. arguing the exams should be
20% of eligible voters are still erally lost credibility. The poll The country was stratified into scrapped while the Law Council
undecided, two years to the results by RWI further show the 4 broad regions – Central, East- is bent on the exams staying to
2021 presidential election. NRM rising star of the musician who ern, Northern, and Western. tame failure rates at LDC.

AfricellUG @AfricellUG

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Regulated by Uganda Communications Commission

for more bundles

May. 10 - 16 2019 5
Week

Rising workloads lead to continued employment growth-PMI Gov’t unveils oil


advisory committee
The Stanbic such as South
Purchasing Managers Sudan increasing The government has unveiled a
Index (PMI) for demand for seven member committee to offer
the month of April Uganda’s exports. strategic advice on oil resource
has indicated that This diversity in investments as the Final Investment
there was continued Uganda’s trade mix Decision by oil companies looms. The
improvements in should underpin its Petroleum Fund Investment Advisory
customer demand resilience,” he said. Committee (IAC) was inaugurated
and business activity, The PMI is a by the Minister of Finance Matia
leading into increased composite index, Kasaija at the ministry headquarters.
job creation. calculated as a The IAC was appointed by Kasaija
The report weighted average in December in fulfillment of the
further indicates Jibran Qureishi, of five individual sub- requirement of section 67(2) of the
that employment has Regional Economist E.A components: New Public Finance Management Act
risen in each of the at Stanbic Bank said, Orders (30%), Output 2015. The committee is expected
35 months of data “The PMI continues (25%), Employment to start work as soon as possible.
collection so far, and to indicate that the (20%), Suppliers’ Former chairman of Uganda
all five broad sectors private sector remains Delivery Times (15%) Development Bank Samuel Sejaaka
registered an increase in a good place having and Stocks of Purchases will lead the committee that includes
in the latest survey recorded improvement (10%). Joseph Muvawala, the executive
period. last month. Readings above 50.0 director of the National Planning
The headline PMI in “Moreover, the signal an improvement Authority. Others on the committee
April registered at 54.7, ongoing trade dispute in business conditions are Honey Malinga, Jennifer Bigirwa,
up from 51.7 in March with Rwanda has also on the previous Agnes Isharaza, David Wandera, and
and posting above the not hampered private month, while readings Saad Asmahaney. The committee is
50.0 no-change mark sector activity that below 50.0 show a required to submit a quarterly report
for the twenty-seventh drastically, perhaps deterioration. of its performance to the minister of
successive month. due to other markets finance.

6 May. 10 - 16 2019
Humour Did you know?
Older people are more
optimistic

We know optimism is good for your


physical and your mental health. We
Media houses have rejected Uganda Communication Commission order to suspend their staff. know that it is a boost to your personal
relationships and awards you better
coping skills in times of stress. But
we know relatively little about how it
fluctuates over a lifetime.
Recent research involving more than
1,000 volunteers of Mexican origin aged
26 to 71 assessed them four times over
a relatively short seven-year timeframe
using a six-item Life Orientation Test
designed to measure optimism, a 39-
item measure of negative life events,
and a 15-item measure of positive life
events.
In the first survey, participants were
given statements such as “in uncertain
times, I usually expect the best”, which
they were required to answer on a
scale of “strongly agree” to “strongly
disagree”.
Negative life event measurements
included questions like “over the
Cabinet resolved to introduce a new law requiring all political leaders to undergo a drug test. past three months, you got laid
off,” whereas positive life event
measurements included “in the past
year, have you developed any new
friendships that are important to you?”
The team predicted that those with
more positive life events would show
greater levels of optimism and the
reverse would be true for those with
more negative life events. But this was
only partly the case. While positive life
events positively correlated to higher
optimism, negative life events did not
negatively correlate.
What’s more, as with self-esteem and
life satisfaction (and possibly because
of), optimism seems to increase from
early adulthood to late middle age
and then plateau, at least according
to this study. A previous study found
that optimism peaks at around 70 – so,
what’s going on?
Former Principal Civil Engineer in the Ministry of Works and Transport Robert Kakiza who went
into hiding for six years over the Shs4.6bn bicycle scam, has been charged and remanded.

May. 10 - 16 2019 7
News analysis Health Business
Behind teargas for Besigye, Is drinking cold Rwanda-Uganda feud:
house arrest for Bobi Wine water bad? traders turn to other markets

Issue No. 570 May. 03 - 09 2019


Ushs 5,000,Kshs 200, RwF 1,500, SDP 8

Lessons to
Bobi Wine from
Besigye

Inbox
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www.independent.co.ug

Letters are Mwenda is like Besigye!


welcome !
The Editor welcomes short and
Refer to: “Is Uganda’s debt sustainable?” basome,boona bagemwe, oruyongoyongo
concise letters from our esteemed (The Independent April 26). Thank you etc. These are silly slogans but easily under-
readers on topical issues. Please Mwenda for a good article your arguments stood by villagers; a reason to why Presi-
send them to: are right but I can only compare you to dent Yoweri Museveni wins. I would advise
The Editor, The Independent opposition icon Kizza Besigye. When cam- you to remember your audience as you are
Publications Ltd, paigning he tells people about corruption, writing.
P.O Box 3304,
Plot 82/84 Kanjokya St, fairness, justice etc. which are good but
Kamwokya. not easily understood. When the village
William Kagaba
Kampala,Uganda. Mzee comes it is boona bagagawale,boona

Email: editor@independent.co.ug
Mwenda, break it Prof. Hyuha’s Vietnam
When is HIV treatment down like Hyuha example
starting for African? Refer to: “Is Uganda’s debt sustainable?”
(The Independent April 26). Mwenda, you Refer to: “Is Uganda’s debt sustainable?”
I have liked your ability towards what- are a good analyst and writer but sometimes (The Independent April 26). Mwenda, I
ever you do. If this works out, basing on the you write things that don’t make any sense hardly miss your articles and for the first
researchers words of analysis, then we shall to the common reader. Your response to time participating in this page of responses.
be through by 80% nearer to cure of HIV. Prof. Hyuha is written, at best like a paper Let us give credit to Prof. Hyuha. I read his
Just think of that. So when is the beginning presented at one of the World Economic article as a non-economist and to me it was
of the tests to held on African blood? It can Forums and worst from out of this world. down to earth material not book abstract
also give a result. You slapping the public with statistics and theories as you suggest. He did not use
trying to prove your worth at economics complicated economic equations, and his
Kulabako Yasin Salva and so forth doesn’t make most of us get illustrations could be understood by any
the answer to the simple question ” is the borrower even a trader in Kikubo Market.
coffin proportional to the body?” And I Let’s shade light on Prof’s argument
On HIV treatment think Hyuha attempted to argue it out in the by comparing Uganda and Vietnam debt
breakthrough simplest, easy to grasp way. Thanks to his
profession. He knows his class. Beyond the
investment model. Early in 1986-89 when
NRM came to power, a Vietnam delegation
Refer to: “HIV treatment breakthrough” “simplified” figures and percentages you visited Uganda to benchmark coffee pro-
(The Independent Online April 30). Keep up paint for us here, much of it doesn’t make duction. Vietnam was producing average
guys. God will always help those who are it to the service and good of the public. It is 451,000 bags while Uganda 2,800,000 bags.
hardworking to achieve their dreams. And shared among the selected few. What do the Vietnam delegation went back, borrowed
the world is God’s family. I hope with God’s majority have to do? My advice to you is money to invest in irrigation to produce cof-
support, the HIV/AIDS vaccine will too to remember that you are writing for “all” fee. Vietnam was also borrowing for public
reach whole African Continent. to read. Do your analysis and reasoning in infrastructure projects but it was linked with
English, the kind which is taught in Ugan- production to earn forex to service the debts.
David Loki dan schools. By early 2000/2001 Vietnam had become the
Derrick Wintergreen Kitto Second World Coffee producer up to today
next to the giant Brazil. In particular by
Treatment will end stigma 2012-13 Vietnam was producing 11,600,000

Refer to: “HIV treatment breakthrough” Look at debt service figures bags and Uganda 3,700,000 bags (source
International Coffee Organization Report
(The Independent Online April 30). I wish 2014). Three weeks back a team from UCDA
we can also get this drug in Africa; especially Mr. Mwenda, Uganda paid Shs10 tril- (Uganda Coffee Development Authority)
Nigeria. We are having series of cases but it lion in debt service in the 2018/2019 budget officials returned from Vietnam on a bench-
is because even when one is tested positive which makes for 50% of revenue collection. marking tour for coffee production. Bwana
and identified there is no access to drugs. In your article, you say it is 2.8 Trillion! This Andrew, where is our problem in this simple
Instead what you face is the stigma. Hence is dishonest and misleading. (See: https:// equation trying to illustrate how to finance
everyone involved prefers to keep their HIV- www.parliament.go.ug/news/3016/over- our sustainable debt?
positive status to themselves. half-govt-revenue-pay-public-debt)
DR. Michael MUGABIRA
Richard Anonymous

8 May. 10 - 16 2019
The Last Word Opinion

Uganda’s democratic contradiction


By Andrew M. Mwenda
Why I think Museveni is a liberal democrat while
Bobi Wine and Besigye are potential tyrants

L
ast week, police using heavy-handed can act like this out of power, what would Uganda tolerance of divergent views when
methods stopped the MP for they do when they gain command of the they get into power when they do not have
Kyadondo East, Robert Kyagulanyi repressive instruments of the state – the it now. The conclusion I draw from this
aka Bobi Wine, from holding a army with its tanks, the police with its experience is that there is a struggle for
concert. Even President Yoweri Museveni teargas and water canons? power in Uganda, and no struggle of liberal
agreed that the brutality police employed I appear on television often and criticise democracy.
was uncalled for. To make a bad situation the government and the opposition. I give For all his faults, I find Museveni to
worse, the Uganda Communications government credit where it is due, and actually hold deep liberal democratic values
Commission then ordered television credit opposition leaders like Nobert Mao at heart, even though his desire to retain the
stations to fire reporters, programmers and and Mugisha Muntu whom I feel hold presidency forces him on many occasions
producers who were involved in the live liberal values. In response, the supporters to violate them to protect his power. I grew
coverage of this event. of Bobi Wine and Besigye launch petitions up as a journalist critical of Museveni. I
There was public uproar from Uganda’s to the owners of these stations to block me exposed corruption and human rights
chattering elites on how Museveni has from appearing there. It is of course their abuses of his government not to mention his
continued to “suppress democracy” and democratic right to make such petitions. But own nepotism. Yet throughout my career,
entrench a “dictatorship.” It is cool to it also suggests that when in power and in most especially when I was at The Monitor,
denounce Museveni these days, the very control of the state, they will not allow their Museveni would call me to express
reason many Ugandan elites are addicted opponents any rights. disagreement on an article I had written
to it. Naïve-minded diplomats from One could argue, perhaps innocently – on the facts or the logical consistence of
Western embassies (who have taken over and/or ignorantly, that Bobi Wine and my argument. He even appeared on my
Bobi Wine’s cause) plus media and human Besigye cannot be responsible for the radio show. Of course on occasion he sent
rights groups abroad will applaud your violence and intolerance of their supporters me to jail, clearly demonstrating that life is
“courage”. All these groups look at people because they have little or no control over more complicated in reality. But he would
like Bobi Wine and project them to be them. Such a person can also argue that invite me to State House for discussions or
fighting for democracy. Museveni, on the other hand, has direct call and talk to me on phone. Museveni has
This structure of incentives has created an command and control of the behavior always been consistent in ensuring debate.
uncritical embrace of intolerant extremist of the police. But Bobi Wine and Besigye In the 1990s he used to call into radio talk
individuals and groups seeking to grab have one great power they can exercise: shows to argue his case. He visits radio
power and establish their own fascist they can consistently and loudly condemn stations and appears on radio and television
dictatorship. Bobi Wine and Kizza Besigye these acts in their supporters, insisting that talks shows like Capital Gang where he
have consistently refused to stand for liberal such behavior violets their values. And I debates his opponents. Few presidents in
constitutional values that make democracy know both encourage and organise these Africa do this.
work best. Instead they have consistently tyrannical strategies. As I have grown older, I have become
stood for grabbing power at any cost and in There are many Ugandan intellectuals more reflective of this reality and developed
disregard to liberal values. In spite of these whom I hold in high esteem. However, what I think is a more realistic view of the
actions by his government, I find Museveni I have consistently been frustrated and political terrain in Uganda. Democracy
a more liberal-democratic leader than his disappointed that while they exhibit (which is largely about the procedures of
critics. Thus in their pursuit of power, Bobi extraordinary courage in denouncing acquiring and maintaining power) can
Wine and Besigye have mobilised groups Museveni’s dictatorial tactics, they have be dangerous when not underwritten by
that are intolerant of dissent, violent and exhibited saddening cowardice when liberal values. Liberal values guarantee
uncouth. They do not recognise honest it comes to the opposition. They dare individual rights such as the right to
difference of opinion. Anyone who not speak out against obvious evidence property (which opposition activists
disagrees with them has been bought by of intolerance among these opposition promise to confiscate), administering a
Museveni and therefore has lost his/her activists for fear of being “misunderstood” fair court system, protecting the rights of
conscience and sold his/her soul. In pursuit by opposition activists as closet Museveni minorities and equality before the law.
of ideological purity, they have suppressed sympathisers and then be denounced. There are many weaknesses in Uganda’s
every dissenting voice in their ranks. May be Museveni’s dictatorial ways create regime of property rights and the judicial
Armed with a suffocating self- so much sympathy for his victims that system. However, I can say without fear of
righteousness, they descend on their this blinds such people from condemning contradiction that Museveni respects these
opponents on social media with fanatical the obvious? I cannot understand how rights to a very good degree. That is why his
zeal. They indulge in unrestrained cyber anyone who believes in liberal values that opponents’ properties, including Besigye
bullying: hurl insults and abuses at real and are critical for a functioning democracy and Bobi Wine, cannot be confiscated.
presumed enemies, preach hate, promise can stand silent when those claiming to His opponents need to exhibit similar
revenge and destruction and spread false be fighting for freedom deny it to their convictions for us who believe in liberal
accusations to inflict psychological terror. opponents. Muntu has repeated this many democracy to trust them.
They intimidate and physically assault times: you cannot give what you do not
everyone who disagrees with them. If they have. Bobi Wine and Besigye cannot give amwenda@independent.co.ug

May. 10 - 16 2019 9
cover story

Museveni’s
order
to police is risky
With Ochola, Sabiiti in charge,
it also means more trouble

10 May. 10 - 16 2019
cover story

Police officers rushing to quell a demostration in one of the Kampala suburbs.

O
By Haggai Matsiko Management Act (POMA) which was NRM.
enacted in 2013 to guide on the issue of Now, ahead of the 2021 election, the
n May 04 President Yoweri public assemblies. police plans to recruit 10,000 Probationer
Museveni released a public It has since become a blanket shroud Police Constables (PPCs) and 105,000
statement detailing his for police to break up rallies, make arrests, Special Police Constables (SPCs) according
views on the recent spate and cancel any meeting organised by any to the Budget Framework Paper FY 2019/20.
of violent run-ins between opposition party or individual. According Already about 6000 of these have completed
police and leaders of some to many observers and commentators, the a year-long training and have been
opposition groups. situation is likely to get worse as the 2021 deployed, mainly in the Kampala City area.
“If you want to hold a public meeting general elections campaign approach. But the opposition is likely to be tougher to
(olukungana) or a procession (ekivvulu) handle.
for a legitimate reason, you should liaise Tougher challenge for Museveni Ochola’s biggest headache is likely to be
with police so that your procession does Historically, such pressure has always Bobi Wine.
not endanger the lives of Ugandans or the intensified around police in the buildup, Ochola’s predecessor had learnt the ways
safety of their property,” the President during and after elections. of the main targets around election time,
wrote. Unlike in 2016 when Museveni only mainly then-FDC presidential candidate
He added: “Therefore, if you want to faced two strong candidates, he might face Kizza Besigye.
assemble publicly or hold a procession, it four tough challengers in 2021. Bobi Wine Kayihura had infiltrated the FDC with
must be for a legitimate reason. If it is to of People Power, Besigye of FDC, Gen. informers and could sometimes foil their
preach hate, to decampaign investments in Mugisha Muntu of the new political party— plans long before they acted on them. That
Uganda, etc., then we shall not allow you.” Alliance for National Transformation the Besigye of 2016 and before operated
Museveni’s statement is likely to be read (ANT), and Norbert Mao of the Democratic within the well-known structures of an
over and over by many, but especially by Party bloc. organization—the FDC, helped Kayihura
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Under normal circumstances, Ochola a lot.
Okoth Ochola and his deputy, Maj. Gen. should have nothing to worry about; apart With the departure of Kayihura,
Steven Sabiiti Magyenyi. from just ensuring law and order. However, observers say, police appear to have lost the
The duo will regard the statement as an the ruling party is used to police being ability to penetrate the opposition, know
order. They will assume they are expected part of the machinery that frustrates the what they are planning beforehand and
to implement it. That, however, could opponents and aids the process of keeping demobilise them.
become problematic because Museveni’s power, observers say. Bobi Wine on the other hand is also
statement is open to many interpretations. Sometimes police’s contribution is completely new on the political scene. The
What is a legitimate reason for indirect. In July 2010, for instance, police Kyadondo East MP also does not operate
assembling? What does the President mean recruited 5,500 Special Police Constables within any known structures.
when he says “liaise” with the police? (SPCs) to the force. Officially, these were Yet he has shown that he is able to
What is to “preach hate, to decampaign supposed to assist in the policing of mobilise support locally and abroad to the
investment?” elections. However, observers said they extent of replacing Besigye as Museveni’s
The President’s statement comes about threatened and intimidated people mostly biggest challenger ahead of the 2021.
two weeks after the April 25 meeting at the expense of the opposition. A new poll by Research World
between leaders of the government and Then ahead of the 2016 elections, police International (RWI) shows that if elections
opposition parties to discuss how the police recruited so-called Crime Preventers. These were held around now, Museveni would
force is implementing the Public Order openly identified with Museveni and the get 32 % of the vote, Bobi 22 % and Besigye

May. 10 - 16 2019 11
cover story

Police officers attack a journalist to block him from covering an event.

14 %. the ruling National Resistance Movement doing that.”


Another sign of Bobi’s ever growing (NRM), Ochola presents a fascade of Kagoro adds: “Ochola loves structures
strength is that candidates in any election professional policing. Sabiiti does not hide and from conversations with officers, you
who identify with his `People Power’ his NRM cadre credential but equally get a sense that they have been empowered
slogan, win. They are mostly young and prefers to operate behind the scenes. to take decisions on their own”. For some,
have swept student guild elections at most Commenting on the media shy-duo, Jude the result is a force that appears publicly to
major universities. The biggest percentage Kagoro, a professor at Bremen University, be without direction.
of voters in the 2021 elections will be in the who has researched Uganda police and “Kale used to interrupt officers a lot,”
same bracket—between 18 and 40 years. served as an instructor at the Bwebajja- Kagoro says. While many saw this as a
Since October 2017 when Bobi Wine based police academy, says the main negative thing, others claim that it meant
emerged as a serious contender against difference between Kale and Ochola is that that under Kayihura, decisions were
President Museveni, police has blocked 124 the former was more known, much more centralised, clear, and bore authority. They
of his events, including music concerts. emphatic, and was a politician. claim that that may be lacking today.
On April 22, police blocked Bobi Wine, He says Ochola might, in fact, not be On April 29, for example, when the
smashed his car window and sprayed him giving many of the orders at police today. police arrested Bobi Wine at Mulago
with pepper spray, before arresting him and He says while police as an institution Roundabout in Kampala as he headed
others who were accompanying him. The operates under command and control— to CID headquarters where he had been
attack was similar to another infamous one with orders from above—individual police summoned to record a statement, the Police
in 2011 against opposition politician Kizza officers also have discretionary powers. This Spokesman, CP Fred Enanga issued a
Besigye in Kampala in 2011. The police means that, during operations, when they statement.
subsequently held Bobi Wine under house rarely have enough time to wait for orders, He said Bobi Wine would be slapped
arrest. they tend to make decisions on their own. with “additional charges of holding an
In the Uganda Police case, they tend to illegal assembly and procession, after he
Ochola not giving orders? make decisions that they think could give was accused of organising his supporters to
According to some observers, part of them mileage as individuals and avoid escort him along the way”.
police’s challenge in managing the politics those that might destroy them. But when Bobi Wine appeared
in the run-up to 2021 is the management “Officers are always in a very fluid and before Buganda Road Court, Enanga’s
style of IGP Ochola and his deputy, Sabiiti. delicate situation all the time. You give a claims appeared totally false. The singer
Ochola, insiders and ordinary observers wrong order, you are in trouble, you don’t turned politician was charged only with
say, is the complete opposite of his give any order you are in trouble,” Kagoro disobedience of statutory duty over an
predecessor, Gen. Kale Kayihura. Where says, “If Besigye is whipped and nothing incident from July 2018. Such incidents
Kale was seen as a politician—a cadre of happens, the officers are likely to continue make Enanga look bad. They also discredit

12 May. 10 - 16 2019
cover story
the police leadership’s authority. police under Ochola is not surprising. He and Bushenyi.
says politics in Uganda is shaped in such a Besigye has been dragged out of radio
Police’s unwritten mission way that security forces are part and parcel studios in Bushenyi, Jinja, and Mbarara.
When Ochola and Sabiiti were appointed of government. “We condemn acts of harassing people
on March 4, 2018, many celebrated their “Officers subconsciously refer to NRM and teargasing people by police because this
appointment and hoped the police could as our side and the opposition as the other is not expected of a Force that is supposed
be transformed from a force known more side,” he told The Independent, “under to keep law and order,” he says.
for persecution of the opposition rather such circumstances, Ochola cannot do Besigye meanwhile says Museveni is
than fighting of crime. Little, it appears, anything different.” using the same tactics the British colonialists
has changed on the crime scene and the Kagoro said that from his research, it is used to block opposition groups. He says
targeting of opposion politicians has clear that one of the defacto roles of police is Museveni uses threats and guns.
worsened. to defend the ruling government against the “What you are seeing now is a sign that
In a recent case of torture, the police at opposition. Mr Museveni fears the power of the people.
their HQ in Naguru, Kampala, pounced on “Kale might have brought the police into That is why he does not want us to talk to
a known activist called Nana Mbarikiwa, the centre of politics,” Kagoro explained, them so that they can get empowered,” he
who is said to be seven months pregnant, “But this role has a much longer history. said after police blocked him from holding
and teargased her until she passed out and The colonial government used the police for rallies in Bushenyi.
had to be hospitalised. that, the same applies to the post-colonial Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga says
In another case, police shot dead one government and Museveni’s government opposition politicians are free to carry out
Ronald Sebulime in assassination style in continues to use it.” activities aimed at building support in
broad-day in Mukono. He was suspected of For police officers to build their careers, preparation for the upcoming elections, but
trailing cabinet minister Agnes Nantaba and Kagoro explained, they have to understand many refuse to first notify police.
had been arrested and handcuffed when he this dynamic. “A good commander is He says even when some opposition
was executed. seen as one who is able to contain the politicians write to police, they are
“It was always naïve to think that opposition,” Kagoro said, “If you are deliberately vague.
anything would change under Ochola,” overrun, you are in trouble.” “They just say during this month,
says opposition stalwart Muwanga So police is likely to continue firing we will hold rallies here and there,” he
Kivumbi, who is the Butambala County teargas and live bullets and invading media says,“We are noticing that they are doing
MP, “It is a question of mandate. The
unwritten mission of police is very clear. It
is regime protection and consolidation,” he
adds.
Kivumbu’s views on security matters
are respected because he has been Shadow
minister of Defence and is also a member of
the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee
of parliament that monitors all security
agencies.
He has built a legislative career of
campaigning against the excesses of
security agencies.
From that vantage point, Kivumbi says Mugisha Muntu Norbert Mao Bobi Wine Kizza Besigye
any political police such as Uganda’s, with a
mission of consolidating the regime, would
always behave the same way irrespective of houses to block opposition broadcasts. this because may be they get mileage and
who is its head. And President Museveni’s carry-all political capital out of their confrontations
Kivumbi says if regime protection had statement is likely to worsen the situation. with police. Whenever police comes in, they
not been the sacred mission of police, Already the police and opposition spread the message that police is brutalising
Ochola’s predecessor; Kayihura, would players are locked in contention over them.”
not have lasted as IGP with that level of POMA. The police insist they must grant “There is a deliberate effort to portray
impunity for 13 years. permission before the opposition politicians police in a certain way, turn the public
He said that stick-wielding goons and can conduct any activity. But the politicians against it and then win a sympathy vote.
teargas started under former Chief of disagree. That is not right,” he adds.
Defence Forces (CDF) Gen. Katumba “Out of respect, we inform police of As the political environment gets more
Wamala when he was IGP. Kayihura our activities and we know that according charged ahead of the 2021 elections, there
succeeded Katumba in 2005 until the former to the law, we do not need to seek for are fears that the confrontations between
was fired on March 4 last year and replaced permission and they are not supposed to the opposition and police could worse. With
with Ochola. block us from addressing our supporters,” the police force Ochola oversees already
“The very first time we saw stick Patrick Amuriat, the FDC president, told facing intense criticism for brutality and
wielding operatives leaving a police journalists. persecution of the opposition, it is not clear
station to come and beat people was He says his party always respectfully if he is concerned about a legacy. In any case
under Katumba,” Muwanga said, “Kale informs the police of its activities; be they he is 60 years old and looking at retirement.
only gained more trust and perfected the small in-door meetings or big outdoor Having spent 30 of those years building a
mission. Ochola is a professional with the activities. He says in all cases, police often professional reputation in police, will he see
same purpose. It is business as usual.” disrupts them. retirement as a relief or rejection?
In April alone the police blocked Besigye
More teargas for Besigye and FDC activities in Jinja, Tororo, Kaliro,
Jude Kagoro says what is happening at Mubende, Mbarara, Kigezi, Kabale, Kasese,

May. 10 - 16 2019 13
news analysis

Bobi Wine and Kizza Besigye


What should deal be between the old
and new opposition leadership?
By Gaaki Kigambo individual and collective struggles to to move out to his business. No two

T
end Museveni’s long rule. politicians have been treated in similar
he manner in which the Police The Police, with elements of the army manner in Museveni’s Uganda.
attacked and arrested popular in tow, shielded Bobi Wine’s car from On the face of it, the two men are
musician cum politician Bobi prying journalists as they smashed its aligned as regards their declared aim
Wine (real names Kyagulanyi windows with batons and gun butts in and they demonstrate the same resolute
Robert Sentamu) on April 22 was the order to arrest him for trying to access determination to see it through come
same as when in 2011 they arrested Dr his One Love Beach. hell or high waters.
Kizza Besigye; a four-time presidential He was there to hold a concert the Both have a way with the people
candidate against longtime President Police had cleared five days earlier but gained, inadvertently, nearly over
Yoweri Museveni. So why did Bobi had cancelled at the very last minute. the same stretch of time: 2001 to date;
Wine’s arrest not produce the same Whereas the Police claimed he had Besigye through turning on Museveni
shock effect? not fulfilled their safety and security while Bobi Wine through singing largely
It could be because for most standards, it quickly became clear they protest music against Museveni’s
Ugandans such misconduct by the State were acting on the orders of Museveni regime.
has become so commonplace it hardly who, according to Daily Monitor, has Both men are powered by the
surprises anymore. outlawed all Bobi Wine’s concerts. idea, carved in Article 1 of Uganda’s
Yet if there is any one thing it Soon afterwards, they confined him Constitution, that real power lies with
underlined, it is the fact Besigye and in his house, which is illegal in Uganda, the people. Thus, Bobi Wine’s formation
Bobi Wine are birds of a feather who the same way they have repeatedly is ‘People Power’ while Besigye’s is
must hasten their flight together in their done Besigye, when he attempted ‘People’s Government’, their looseness

14 May. 10 - 16 2019
news analysis
and vagueness, particularly the latter’s, of dominating opposition space. the two men were close associates;
notwithstanding. What’s more, he has shown himself Bobi Wine a quasi-protégé of Besigye,
gifted to attract sympathy whenever who looks nowhere near done battling
A superficial contest he is mobbed as happens to be the case Museveni.
Yet rather than close ranks and currently. This has happened in all Besigye’s politics inspired Bobi Wine’s
harness their energies, the two have elections but one, that of 2011, he has popular protest music against injustices
pitted themselves against each other participated in. and unfairness the state generates and
since Bobi Wine’s instant rise to political In 2016, for instance, Besigye was exacerbates. He articulated in song what
stardom hardly two years ago. It is a mobbed out of The Democratic Alliance Besigye thundered out on and off the
clumsy superficial contest that, as all (TDA) in preference of Amama Mbabazi, stump.
superficial contests go, benefits none of who up till then was the engine At one time when none of Bobi
them. running the NRM. He not only drew an Wine’s peers could touch Besigye even
Buoyed by a landslide victory in a outpouring of support at his nomination with a long stick, the sensational afro-
2017 parliamentary by-election that that personally overwhelmed him, he dancehall star visited with and offered
launched him into active politics, Bobi added 1.5 million votes to his 2011 tally him musical comfort when Police
Wine has ridden the wave of those who against Museveni’s 0.5 million votes. detained him in his house shortly after
have fashioned him as an able, fitting So, if indeed iron sharpens iron, the 2016 polls for daring to express
and timely successor to Besigye. The the person Bobi Wine will benefit his rights without fear or beseeching
fashion owes to his charisma that likens from allying with is Besigye. As the anyone.
to Besigye’s with which he quickly But then the 2017 by-election
locked horns with Museveni. Many happened in Besigye’s backyard. Pleas
who intensely dislike Museveni admire and negotiations for Bobi Wine to
those abrasive and unapologetic ways. shelve his interests for the sake of the
As with Museveni, people who wish
Besigye off Uganda’s political stage do Bobi Wine FDC candidate, who had lost the seat
in the first place, fell on deaf ears. The
not necessarily dislike or undervalue
his contributions to the country. They
believes in quasi-protégé adjudged the time as ripe
enough to strike out on his own. The
simply express a yearning for an orderly standing on rest is the currently unfolding story that

the shoulders
transition of power in national level presently more unifying opportunities
politics, whether in the major opposition neither man should allow to go to
or the ruling NRM party, which in
Uganda is rarer than rubies. of giants, the waste.

Bobi Wine has fuelled the clamour


as Besigye’s successor by successfully
reason he What (and How) Alliances Work
It is in Besigye’s interest to live up
backing a string of candidates in other peppers his to the bigger person that he already
by-elections that Besigye couldn’t
support for one reason or another. talk with quotes is anyway and reach out to Bobi
Wine in real terms and hammer out a
He has jabbed him over largely
misconstrued comments Besigye made
of famous solid, respectful alliance with him as
opposed to occasional media platitudes
over his slogan Twebereremu (Let’s All
Get Involved), or his ability to defeat
foreigners like professing collegiality and openness
to working together. Such an alliance
Museveni at the polls. Furthermore, he Martin Luther would have to acknowledge Bobi
has aligned himself more with an odd
coalition of small parties led by the King, Nelson Wine’s fresh energies pumping into the
opposition’s cause and agree pathways
grand old Democratic Party. Their vote
haul in all previous elections is hardly
Mandela of amplifying and flourishing them.
Contrary to fears this might present
a fraction of Besigye’s whom they have Besigye as weak and supplicant, the
dedicated quite some time to attacking. opposite could not be truer. Besigye is
beyond proving anything to anyone.
Besigye’s Spent Force? Moreover, it would settle the cardinal
Those who think Besigye selfishly accusation against him, that is; wanting
dominates opposition space seem to to hog opposition space.
equally believe if he steps aside or State increasingly turns on the screws Equally, it is in Bobi Wine’s interest
is successfully attacked out of it, the against him, only Besigye has been to identify and invest his newfound
support he draws will gravitate towards through what he will likely be put political capital in opposition stock
whoever emerges in his place as the top through and what better person to with the best returns possible. So
oppositionist. That is engaging in flights seek encouragement from than one far, none beats Besigye’s. He has
of fancy. who has been there and endured it all. maintained top spot for the last two
For one thing, political loyalties do Besigye did not have the advantage of a decades and built resilient networks
not shift quickly and easily as sand forerunner to look up to as he tumbled nationwide. Bobi Wine believes in
unless they are nudged so. Otherwise, into the rough politics Museveni standing on the shoulders of giants, the
Besigye himself would have been a dictated. Bobi Wine need not squander reason he peppers his talk with quotes
different proposition had Nasser Ntege the opportunity. Luckily, he does not of famous foreigners like Martin Luther
Ssebagala, the political magnate of have to start from scratch. King, Nelson Mandela, etc. Besigye
2000/1, not urged his supporters to back is the homegrown, more useful and
him. Good old days relevant giant he should demonstrate
Besigye has yet to fail politically. To be sure, there was a time, not too more affinity to.
Otherwise, he wouldn’t still be accused long ago, when there was no doubt

May. 10 - 16 2019 15
news analysis

Shutting down social media


Why it does not reduce violence, but rather fuels it
By Jan Rydzak network shutdowns or large-scale disrup-

R
tions to digital communication that year
esearch Scholar and Associate Di- all around the world, according to digital
rector for Program, Global Digital rights advocacy organisation Access Now.
Policy Incubator, Stanford Univer- Overall, since the Arab Spring began in
sity 2010, governments have carried out at least
In the wake of a series of coordinated 400 shutdowns across more than 40 coun-
attacks that claimed more than 250 lives tries. Those include hundreds of ephem-
on April 21, the government of Sri Lanka eral shutdowns in India, where they first
shut off its residents’ access to social media emerged as a localised response to unrest in
and online messaging systems, including the northern region of Kashmir and subse-
Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat quently spread to most other states.
and Viber. The official government concern The number also includes so-called
was that “false news reports were spreading “digital sieges,” which last for weeks or
through social media.” Godfrey Mutabazi months at a time. For example, long-lasting,
Some commentators applauded the government-imposed blackouts have rav-
move, suggesting the dangers of disinfor- find out who had survived and who was aged burgeoning digital economies such
mation on social media justified shutting among the dead and injured. Most strik- as that of Anglophone Cameroon and have
down communication networks in times of ingly, recent research suggests that the disconnected businesses, relatives and com-
crisis. Five years of research on the impact blackouts might have increased the poten- munities in Chad for more than a year.
of shutdowns and other information con- tial for protest and violence in the wake of In study after study, civil society organ-
trols on societies worldwide have led me to the attack. isations have documented the human rights
the exact opposite conclusion. problems caused by internet shutdowns
A diverse community of academics, busi- A constellation of control and the economic damage they produce.
nesses and civil society groups shares my Sri Lanka’s latest social media shutdown Only recently have researchers begun
view. The blackouts deprived Sri Lankans was not an isolated incident. The first time to ask a more fundamental question: Do
of impartial news reports and disconnected Sri Lanka took a similar action was amid massive disruptions to digital communica-
families from each other as they sought to violent unrest in 2018. It was one of 188 tion achieve their intended purposes? Sri

16 May. 10 - 16 2019
news analysis
Lanka’s government is one of many to pub-
licly claim that their goal in severing com- Internet shutdowns around the world
munication links is to prevent the spread of
200
disinformation and decrease violence based Since 2011, Internet shutdown have become
on those falsehoods – but not a single one more common in more countries with 188
has followed a shutdown with any sort of estimated to have happened in 2018. There may
evidence that it worked to protect public be more that researchers have not detected.
safety.
150
Exploring the (dis)connection
Of course, the coexistence of social media
and social turbulence does not necessar-
ily imply that one causes the other. Many
scholars have tried to figure out if there is a
100
link between access to social media and vio-
lence, but it’s an extremely difficult task.
For one thing, social media websites and
services are always changing how their sys-
tems work, making them hard to study over
time. Connectivity also advances at a light- 50
ning-fast pace: In 2018, for instance, internet
penetration in rural India increased at an
annual rate of 30%, connecting hundreds of
millions of people for the first time. Today,
roughly three Indian citizens are introduced
to the internet every second. 0
Shutdowns, however, are fixed in time
and space, and their effects blanket large 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
swathes of an area’s population. This lets Chart: The Conversation; Source: Global Network initiative.
scholars study their effects with more con-
fidence. Paradoxically, then, one of the best police reports that falsely identified a stu- were ambiguous and inconsistent. In no
methods of evaluating technology’s effects dent at Brown University as a terrorist fol- scenario were blackouts consistently linked
on society may be to examine what happens lowing the recent attack. to reduced levels of protest over the course
when communications are suddenly cut off. of several days. Instead of curtailing protest,
Research on early blackouts has shown What happens without a connection? they seemed to encourage a tactical shift to
that Egypt’s disappearance from the global Protests are not monolithic forces, and strategies that are less orderly, more chaotic
internet in 2011 backfired spectacularly, their participants can adapt to changing and more violent.
spreading protesters away from Tahrir circumstances – including a sudden lack
Square and into numerous decentralised of information and even a blockage of Darkness is a phone call away
pockets of resistance. Coordination of the communication and coordination. The Recent events only seem to confirm
demonstrations swiftly moved from Face- global proliferation of shutdowns and rapid these dynamics. The regimes of Abdelaziz
book event pages to individual efforts in improvements in data about protests and Bouteflika in Algeria and Omar al-Bashir in
each neighborhood. This proved impossible conflicts enable researchers to analyse not Sudan both resorted to shutdowns before
for security forces to subdue. Ten days later, only whether protests continue during imploding. The drastic measures did noth-
the Mubarak regime fell. internet blackouts, but also how they shift ing to rein in the protests in either country.
In the Syrian Civil War, the government and change. Instead, shutting off internet access may
used shutdowns as a weapon of war, fol- In India, state governments have faced have accelerated their downfalls.
lowing up with increased violence against thousands of peaceful demonstrations, as Even if shutdowns are ineffective, they
civilians. In Africa, authoritarian govern- well as episodes of violent unrest. The coun- can be tempting for governments that
ments that own the communication infra- try has become by far the world’s most pro- need to be seen taking action. Vague and
structure and leaders who rule in virtual lific executor of deliberate internet blackouts often antiquated laws let them implement
perpetuity are more inclined to pull the over the last several years. drastic measures like shutdowns easily
plug, but there is no evidence to suggest To find out the role of internet access in and quickly, with a written order or even a
that shutdowns are effective in discourag- these events, I used precise, daily-level data simple phone call. But every time a govern-
ing street protest or violent unrest. on thousands of protests that occurred in ment uses the tactic, it makes others more
Indeed, official explanations for shut- the 36 states and Union Territories of India likely to follow suit – in the same country
downs – if the government acknowledges in 2016, as well as data tracking the location, and around the world. The evidence shows
them at all – are often at odds with their timing and duration of shutdowns from a that this takes a heavy toll on their citizens,
likely true motivations, which include variety of cross-referenced news sources both economically and in terms of human
silencing opposition figures and ensuring and civil society groups. rights, without offering them any additional
a state monopoly on information during The results were striking: Under a black- protection or safety.
contentious elections. In the midst of a cri- out, each successive day of protest had
sis, this leaves the government as the only more violence than would typically happen Jan Rydzak is Research Scholar and Associate
official gatekeeper of information. That as a protest unfolded with continued inter- Director for Program, Global Digital Policy
becomes especially problematic when the net access. Meanwhile, the effects of shut- Incubator, Stanford University
government itself becomes a conduit for downs on peaceful demonstrations, which Source:theconversation
false and potentially harmful news, as was are usually more likely to rely on careful
the case when Sri Lankan media circulated coordination through digital channels,

May. 10 - 16 2019 17
news analysis

HIV prevention breakthrough


Doctors warn it is not a cure
By The Independent Team you are taking your treatment diligently so introduction of highly active antiretroviral

A
that you are able to suppress your virus to therapy (HAART) in the mid-1990s, which
study in Europe has found that undetectable levels. Once the virus is unde- transformed treatment, leading to a nearly
it is possible not to contract HIV tectable, it means you don’t transmit to your 85% decline in death rates.
from an HIV-Positive sexual part- partner, he added. HAART; commonly referred to today as
ner even when you do not use a Musoba said, however, the best way of “ART,” generally involves a combination
condom and long as your partner is using HIV control is prevention is to ensure that of three treatments from at least two drug
antiretroviral treatment (ART). But HIV we remain HIV free. classes and has become the cornerstone
healthcare experts in Uganda are counsel- “The public must not get confused that of HIV treatment. Each drug class works
ing caution. there is a cure and say that since there is to suppress the replication of the virus
The study monitored nearly 1,000 gay treatment, we can move about anyhow,” he through different mechanisms, reducing the
male couples across Europe over a period warned. amount of HIV in the body and prevent-
of eight years, where one partner was HIV- The past decade has seen remarkable ing the disease from compromising the
positive and receiving antiretroviral treat- advances in treatment and disease manage- immune system.
ment (ART) and the other was HIV nega- ment of HIV. Recent advances are also offer- Treatment regimens are tailored to each
tive. The findings were published on May ing greater protection, when used along patient and often evolve with the patient
03 in The Lancet. with safer sex practices and other awareness over time.
A patient diagnosed with HIV ten years
ago was fortunate to benefit from multiple
treatment options available across four
major antiretroviral drug classes.
Although twice-daily dosing was fea-
sible for most patients, treatment was far
from perfect. Few combination treatment
regimens contained more than one class
of antiretrovirals in a single dose, and pill
burden and patient adherence remained
a challenge. In addition, the side effects of
available treatment options made it difficult
for some to adhere to prescribed treatment
regimens. Side effects commonly included
diarrhea, nausea and headaches. Serious
long-term complications included lipodys-
trophy, a redistribution of fat in the body,
and lactic acidosis, which can lead to muscle
aches and liver failure.
The scientists found that ARTs suppress strategies, to prevent infection and transmis- Although much had been done to reduce
the virus to a level where it is undetectable sion of the virus. mortality for HIV patients a decade ago,
in the blood at which point, the virus cannot Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is an treatment regimens remained complex and
be transmitted. HIV prevention strategy where individuals the side effects of treatment were a chal-
“This powerful message can help end take certain HIV medications before com- lenge for many.
the HIV pandemic by preventing HIV ing into contact with HIV to prevent the Additional treatment options were need-
transmission, and tackling the stigma and spread of the virus to HIV-free individuals ed to help patients better manage the dis-
discrimination that many people with HIV who may be at high risk for infection. It was ease and enjoy better overall quality of life.
face,” said Alison Rodger of University approve in America in 2012 and has since Today: Continued Advances Improve
College London, who co-lead the research spread worldwide. When taken consis- Patient Outcomes through Greater Adher-
explained. “It’s brilliant – fantastic. This tently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the ence
very much puts this issue to bed.” risk of HIV infection in high risk individuals An HIV patient diagnosed today can live
Back in Uganda, however, Dr. Nelson by up to 92%. close to a normal life expectancy if they are
Musoba, director general of Uganda AIDS Unlike the early years of the AIDS crisis, appropriately treated with the broad range
Commission, was more cautious. HIV is no longer considered acutely fatal, of medicines available.
“It is a good thing. The treatment does but rather has become a chronic and man- This decade has seen the approval of 15
not only benefit the victim but it is preven- ageable disease for those receiving appro- antiretroviral medicines—five of which
tion because if you take your drugs well, priate treatment. combine an entire HAART regimen into a
you will also be able to protect your HIV Today, average life expectancy for once-daily pill. In addition, three entirely
negative sexual partner. That’s what makes patients has increased 10 years relative to new classes of medicine and several thera-
it very important,” he said. that seen just a decade ago. pies focused specifically on alleviating com-
He added that the means using ARTs mon side effects of treatment have been
serves as HIV prevention as well. Dramatic shift introduced.
“But for one to achieve that, it means that This dramatic change followed the Relative to a decade ago, patients today

18 May. 10 - 16 2019
news analysis
Once-Daily, Single-Tablet, Multi-Class HIV Combination Products Then
Approval Year Drugs Contained in Single Tablet Drug Classes  Four antiretroviral drug classes were
available to patients suppressing the
2006 • Efavirenz • Non-Nucleoside Reverse
• Emtricitabine Transcriptase Inhibitors virus through different mechanisms
• Tenofovir disopxil fumarate • Nucleoside Reverse of action.
Transcriptase Inhibitors  Patients required twice-daily dosing
2011 • Rilpivirine Non-Nucleoside Reverse of multiple medicines and pill bur-
• Emtricitabine Transcriptase Inhibitors den remained a challenge.• Patients
• Tenofovir disopxil fumarate • Nucleoside Reverse developing resistance to medicines
Transcriptase Inhibitors
from existing drug classes were lim-
2012 • Elvitegravir • Integrase Inhibitorsc ited in alternative treatment options.
• Cobicistat • Pharmacokinetic Enhancersd  Patients were limited in treatment
• Emtricitabine • Nucleoside Reverse
• Tenofovir disopxil fumarate Transcriptase Inhibitors options for the management of side
effects of antiretroviral therapy.
2014 • Dolutegravir • Integrase Inhibitors
• Abacavir • Nucleoside Reverse
• Lamivudine Transcriptase Inhibitors Now
 Three new classes of antiretroviral
2015 • Elvitegravir • Pharmacokinetic Enhancers
• Cobicistat • Nucleoside Reverse medicines are available to patients
• Emtricitabine Transcriptase Inhibitors offering important new options for
• Tenofovir alafenamide those failing or developing viral
resistance to existing therapies.
have a reduced pill burden, decreased side integrase inhibitors do not interfere with  Five once-daily, single-tablet, multi-
effects, and improved ease of use, which human cellular processes, they can also have class combination products signifi-
in turn, has reduced barriers to treatment fewer side effects than other drugs. cantly reduce pill burden, provide
adherence, leading to better health out- Also approved in 2007 was maraviroc, greater efficacy and fewer side
comes and improved quality of life. the first of a class of medicines called CCR5 effects for patients, thus contributing
Once-daily, single-tablet, multi-class treat- antagonists. The medicine was approved for to improved adherence and success-
ment regimens have become an integral part use in patients infected with a specific type ful disease management.
of HIV management over the past decade. of HIV (the CCR5-tropic virus) and who  New treatments are available to
These fixed-dose combinations are better have evidence of both viral replication and help patients manage common and
tolerated and have not only been associated HIV strains resistant to multiple antiretrovi- debilitating side effects of antiretro-
with greater viral suppression, but by com- ral agents. viral treatment.
bining as many as four different therapies in In 2012, another class of medicines known  Average life expectancy for patients
a single tablet, they have also dramatically as pharmacokinetic enhancers joined the has increased 10 years relative to
reduced pill burden for patients. arsenal of treatments. These medicines are that seen just a decade ago.
Relative to HIV patients taking two or termed “boosting agents” because they do  Prophylactic medications offer to
more pills per day, those on once-daily, not have antiviral activity on their own but reduce the risk of infection by 92%
single-tablet regimens are more likely to instead inhibit enzymes in the body that among high risk individuals and 33
achieve the adherence levels needed to normally metabolise or degrade antiretrovi- vaccines are in development offering
avoid the development of drug resistance. ral medicines. Adding these boosting agents great hope for a future without HIV.
Moreover, adherent patients on single- to HIV treatment combinations allows HIV/AIDS
tablet regimens have been found to experi- antiviral medicines to remain effective in
ence fewer hospitalisations and lower health the body for longer periods of time, thereby QUICK FACTS
care costs. reducing pill burden and offering simplified  The human immunodeficiency virus
Five such medicines have been approved dosing schedules. Cobicistat was the first (HIV) gradually destroys the body’s
since 2006 which have simplified dosing, of this class to be approved by the FDA in immune system by entering and
reduced pill burden and maximized poten- 2012. taking over infection-fighting T-cells.
tial for successful disease management.  If left untreated, HIV will attack the
New therapeutic options manage side immune system until it progresses
New Classes of HIV Treatments Increase effects to acquired immunodeficiency syn-
Options for Patients drome (AIDS).
Over the past decade, advances in HIV  1.3 million people are currently liv-
Three new classes of antiretrovirals have treatments have helped to decrease the side ing with HIV in Uganda, and 35
also offered tremendous advancements and effects patients experience. In addition, treat- million globally.
expanded treatment options for patients. ments have become available to help better  Antiretroviral drugs for the treat-
Because HIV can sometimes become resis- manage common side effects of antiretrovi- ment of HIV suppress the virus—
tant to drugs within the same class—a ral treatments. Advances such as these are sometimes to undetectable levels—
process known as “cross-resistance”—the particularly important for HIV patients as by interfering with viral replication.
availability of additional classes of medi- they continue to live longer lives.  Uganda has 50000 new infections
cines that target the virus through different Long-term prevention efforts today each year
mechanisms is important in providing treat- continue to focus on the development of  Uganda has 26,000 AIDS-related
ment alternatives for patients. a preventive vaccine, which many experts deaths each year
In 2007, raltegravir, the first medicine in believe is the best strategy for controlling or  73% of adults who need it are on
a new class called integrase inhibitors, was even ending the HIV epidemic. Currently, ART
approved. This class of medicines works by 33 vaccine candidates are in clinical develop-  68% of children who need it are on
interfering with HIV integrase, an enzyme ment, offering tremendous hope for a future ART
the virus needs to replicate itself. Because without HIV/AIDS.

May. 10 - 16 2019 19
news analysis

UNRA ED Allen Kagina conducts a leadership session for her staff.   COURTESY PHOTO

Kagina builds new


culture at UNRA
Four years later, her corruption-proof strategy takes
shape amidst huge expectations and challenges
By Ian Katusiime the impact she has had over four years at leaders need to have economic and financial

I
UNRA. skills, including how to plan for and invest
n 2015 when President Yoweri Musev- It appears Kagina has focused on build- personal resources while at work and even
eni appointed Allen Kagina to head ing people skills, systems, and a new into retirement. It was vintage Kagina. She
the Uganda National Roads Authority culture at UNRA. Her approach has been sees everything in life and leadership as a
(UNRA), the body had sunk deep into almost similar to the programme she used transition. Nothing is permanent.
jaw dropping corruption. Exposure and as Commissioner General at URA. At her handover ceremony at URA in
investigations into the infamous Mukono- Kagina’s first public move came five 2014, Kagina underscored the importance of
Katosi saga in which UNRA lost about months after she started work when she planning for change.
Shs25 billion in a scheme abetted by some of asked all 900 workers in UNRA to reapply “I told a few colleagues earlier that we
its managers had led to a mass sacking. for their jobs. The screening exercise was have not built URA and all the systems only
Still, Kagina needed to know the man- part of a grander restructuring that was to be handed over to outsiders,” she said.
ner, extent, and means by which previous planned to raise the staff levels to 1800. And so Doris Akol, a long time insider at
managers enriched themselves fraudulently There was a public uproar and threats of the tax collection body, smoothly succeeded
on taxpayers’ money. When an inquiry law suits. But Kagina’s core team appeared her. Now it appears, she is building some-
appointed by Museveni and chaired by prepared for that and quietly quashed any thing similar at UNRA.
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire uncov- dissent. So, she has been conducting leadership
ered the dirt at UNRA, many wondered With that out of the way, Kagina moved sessions for her senior management team.
how Kagina would fight what came to be to setting up the core elements of her Dubbed ‘Exceed Leadership’, the train-
dubbed the “UNRA mafia”. restructuring plan. At its centre was a fun- ings take the top brass of the roads agency
Kagina was a proven corporate reformer, damental question: How do you ensure that through leadership and management tenets
after her years as head of the Uganda Rev- staff at UNRA which has the biggest budget at corporate and personal levels.
enue Authority (URA) saw it transformed of any organisation in Uganda does not The sessions take place on Mondays and
from a low performing den of corruption to see that as an opportunity for corruption kick off at 7am lasting for about an hour.
an efficient, result-oriented and relatively and self-enrichment? Since the government “It’s a mission of hers to train leaders,” says
clean organisation. But corruption and inef- decided to go big on infrastructure, the Mark Ssali, the Head of Public and Corpo-
ficiency at UNRA appeared to more deeply roads sector has taken a lion’s share of the rate Affairs at UNRA. The management
entrenched and syndicated. How would national budget. This put whoever was at team of Uganda Road Fund, a sister body,
Kagina fix it? the helm at UNRA in charge of big monies; also attend these sessions.
Kagina started work on May 01, 2015 an average annual budget of Shs3 trillion. “Under self-leadership, she believes you
and this month is a good point to assess Kagina’s answer was that the UNRA have to first manage yourself before you

20 May. 10 - 16 2019
news analysis
can manage others,” Ssali adds. about Shs120 billion. With its annual bud- Road was heavily damaged by heavy rains
The sessions involve studying selected get, the increment is a drop in the ocean. But almost a year ago. The responsiveness has
topics, watching documentaries and biog- it is influencing perceptions and its success been in large part due to UNRA’s own con-
raphies of renowned people. The range of or failure could be used to critique Musev- struction unit which went in and fixed it.
issues includes how to get the best out of eni’s fixation with road infrastructure and Among other things he says Kagina has
people, working for a common cause, and what he considers its effect on economic done is creating a place for research and
taking an organisation forward. growth. Every penny must, therefore, be documentation. “The old UNRA did not
When the staff visits successful business accounted for. have much information on projects.”
ventures and farms, the point is to expose Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko, the MP for With all those strong points, Muta-
them to opportunities of self-growth that Nakifuma County who is the Chairperson bazi says Kagina needs to bolster UNRA’s
do not involve corruption. Occasionally, of the Parliamentary Committee on Physical efforts on some urban roads such as the
Kagina invites successful individuals to give Infrastructure, says Kagina has so far per- Kira Kasangati-Matugga-Wakiso ring road.
pep talks to her staff. formed well; especially on reducing opera- He mentions the Kampala Northern Bypass
She has put together a curriculum where tional costs at UNRA. in this category too.
self, team, and strategic leadership are “Kagina is a very strict person when it He says the retooling of UNRA has also
taught. Kagina’s leadership philosophy is comes to authorisation of funding. She pays made it a little bureaucratic. “If you need
one that believes in managing transitions at zero tolerance to corruption,” Ssekitoleko any information especially if you are a
corporate and personal levels. told The Independent. researcher, it might be difficult.”
“She says it would be wrong for a leader Ssekitoleko argues that not being a tech- Mutabazi also says Kagina listens a lot to
to exit an organisation after serving and nical person could have created some chal- development partners who may not have
there is nobody in top management to take lenges for Kagina as some projects could the goodwill of the country.
over,” says Ahmed Ayub, a UNRA media have been done in a shorter time. He says
relations officer. also that government processes have also Chinese dominance must end
been a setback for UNRA. Pathias Akabanjuna, a Construction Man-
The political questions “As parliament we appropriate funds agement Professional, told The Independent
Meanwhile, UNRA has been designing and expect Ministry of Finance to secure that the delivery of projects and contract
and planning expressways, flyovers in the the loans but they end up not getting the administration by UNRA has slightly
city on top of expanding and maintaining money,” he says. improved under Kagina but he still has
the national road network. These projects He says one of Kagina’s biggest changes some concerns.
mean she has had to wither a number of at UNRA has been to reverse the tide of “Why does UNRA continuously go
tides. Basic project management decisions work that could be done internally being ahead to sign contracts with contractors
often easily become a very political exercise contracted to outside companies. before obtaining right of way, which always
at the largest parastatal in Uganda. “Now that has changed. Even the design leads to delays and financial penalties by
Kagina was shaken by a proposed gov- of roads is being done internally at UNRA the contractor (loss to tax payer)?”
ernment merger of ministries and agencies which was all being contracted to people,” He says this is important because when
that seemed to have UNRA in target. But Ssekitoleko says, “We encourage her to do the contractors have idle equipment on site
she was not stirred and the move to clip her more of that.” as a result of UNRA not giving them access
wings appears to have died down quietly. to a particular part of the work, they charge
Now UNRA and Kagina appear set to From 120 to 200 road projects damages.
control and manage an even bigger budget; Sam Mutabazi, the executive director Akabanjuna adds that the assumption
the so-called oil roads money. This respon- of Uganda Road Sector Support Initiative under the contract is that the equipment is
sibility will test Kagina’s culture change (URSSI), an NGO that facilitates coherent hired to do work and paid for per day.
effort so far. and timely development and planning of “So each day it doesn’t work is a loss to
The oil roads total to about 600km. They road transport and urban development in the contractor which they transfer to UNRA
will be mainly in the Albertine region in Uganda, tells The Independent that one of because it’s not the contractor’s fault.”
the districts of Hoima, Buliisa and Masindi Kagina’s strengths has been bringing in He also asks, “Is it possible to put land
where close to 70% of Uganda’s 6.5 billion young engineers at and giving them con- acquisition as the first step after project
of barrels of oil are located. They are neces- fidence to do certain things. This crop of design so that procurement of projects is
sary to move heavy equipment in readiness young engineers has taken over as project done when at least 50% of the land has been
for the oil sector entering the next produc- managers and has been empowered to acquired?”
tion phase in the next few years. work. Akabanjuna also raises a persistent query
The increased budget will also cater for Mutabazi says Kagina has increased the thrown at UNRA: The mechanism through
tourism roads that are spread all over the number of road projects from 120 to 200, which UNRA can ensure knowledge and
country snaking through national parks and both development and maintenance. He skills are transferred to Ugandan companies
game reserves. adds that although Kagina has concentrated considering the proliferation of Chinese
The budget for the Works sector under on maintenance due to pressure from devel- contractors even in maintenance of upcoun-
which UNRA falls has been going up. In opment partners who insist on maintaining try roads and small bridges. Related to this
2006, it was a mere Shs398 billion and then what is in place, she is doing a fairly good are the restrictions put in place to ensure
a deliberate government decision saw it go job. local content.
up to a trillion shillings and now it currently He has Kagina’s biggest win has been in He is also interested in knowing the suc-
stands at Shs4 trillion for the Financial Year restoring public confidence in UNRA. cesses and challenges of centralising design
2018/2019. “She employed a strong PR machinery. and construction supervision of projects, a
In the National Budget Framework Paper Previously, the engineers were not good departure from the model of the old UNRA
FY2019/2020, the proposed budget for the at saying what they are doing. In terms of where consultants did most of this work.
Works and Transport sector is Shs5tril- public relations, they are really responsive.” For Kagina and UNRA, therefore, it looks
lion with UNRA’s at Shs3.25 trillion. In He says the responsiveness of UNRA like it is still a long road ahead in spite of the
FY2018/2019, UNRA was allocated Shs3.13 is also reflected in the way they handle achievements they have registered so far.
trillion. The new added money is only incidents such as when the Kabale-Katuna

May. 10 - 16 2019 21
news analysis

Testosterone: How
By Daniel Kelly

T
he South African athlete, Caster
Semenya, has lost her case against

much is too much for


the athletic governing body, IAAF,
which means that she will have to
take medication to lower her testosterone
levels if she wishes to continue competing

a female athlete?
internationally in running events.
Last year, the IAAF introduced new regu-
lation for female athletes with “difference of
sexual development” (DSD). Athletes with
circulating testosterone of five nanomoles
per litre of blood (5nmol/L) or above and
who are androgen-sensitive, have to meet
certain criteria if they wish to compete inter-
The Caster Semenya case
nationally. One criterion is that DSD athlete
must use medication to reduce their blood
testosterone level to below 5nmol/L for a
continuous period of at least six months.
Semenya felt that the IAAF was targeting
her, specifically. She took her case to the
Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but
the court rejected the 28-year-old athlete’s
challenge against the IAAF’s new rules.
Although CAS found the rules to be dis-
criminatory, it also said that they were “nec-
essary, reasonable and proportionate”.

Difference of sexual development


So what exactly is DSD and does a serum
testosterone level above 5nmol/L really con-
fer an unfair advantage in running events?
DSDs are a group of rare conditions that are
acquired before birth, where the reproduc-
tive organs and genitals don’t develop as
expected. While the condition can be inher-
ited, it usually occurs at random.
A person with DSD may have a mix of
both male and female sexual characteris-
tics. For example, they may be genetically
female, but with reproductive organs that
are of the opposite sex (or the other way
around), a combination of both male and
female, or not clearly either.
As the testes are the primary site of tes-
tosterone production, if a female is born
with these male reproductive organs, their
testosterone level will be high, often reach-
ing male levels. normally range from 0.1 - 1.8nmol/L. Judg- Dutee Chand, the female sprinter who
Testosterone is involved in many factors ing the actual benefit of testosterone and was also barred from competing against
that may confer athletic benefit including where to draw these lines would require a women in 2014 because her natural levels of
increased muscle size and strength, along lot more research and investigation. testosterone exceeded guidelines for female
with the ability for the blood to deliver oxy- athletes, publicly expressed her disbelief as
gen to those working muscles. This is why Where does it stop? to why she was penalised for her natural
elite male athletes are generally faster and However, Semenya hasn’t artificially body when she competes against women
stronger than females – and also why males altered her testosterone levels and while who are taller and from wealthier back-
don’t compete against females in most her condition is rare – and gives her a grounds, which certainly put them at an
sports. Semenya has high levels of testoster- large advantage as a track athlete, they advantage.
one so she will undoubtedly have at least are naturally occurring – so is it not dis- Cases like Semenya and Chand will
some associated metabolic benefits. crimination to make her change her body always be contentious and generate more
How much benefit testosterone gives to compete? Does this take the phrase “all questions than solutions, and there will
female athletes is difficult to define as wom- men are equal” to the extreme and try to always be disagreement among athletes
en cannot convert testosterone into its more make everyone the same, even by artificial and fans over the right way to approach this
potent form and do not possess the same measures? And where does this stop? Many sensitive issue in elite sport.
numbers of testosterone receptors (to carry genetic physical attributes can contribute to
out its actions) as men. The IAAF level of athletic performance such as height, muscle Daniel Kelly is a Lecturer in Biochemistry,
5nmol/L is still high for female levels, which composition and aerobic capacity. Sheffield Hallam University

22 May. 10 - 16 2019
news analysis

Defining `normal’ testosterone


Why it is so difficult to do it precisly
By Daniel Kelly in men can result in a lack of energy and onto its receptor in any particular cell in

T
strength, a reduced sex drive and putting on our body. But how well it does this to bring
estosterone is the main sex hormone weight. Many of these symptoms are actu- about the functions mentioned above differs
in men. It’s best known for its role ally the same in women who also have low from person to person, which is influenced
in the development of male sexual testosterone, and now research suggests by genetics. So what might be considered
characteristics and physical features, that low testosterone can be a risk factor for a low level for one person may actually
but there are also many surprising and developing heart disease, diabetes and obe- be OK if they have a more sensitive recep-
lesser known functions of testosterone that sity in both men and women. tor capable of carrying out testosterone’s
make it an important hormone in health actions at lower concentrations. In fact,
and disease. Identifying whether someone The Goldilocks zone when we look at some diseases in men that
has too much or too little testosterone can Really high testosterone levels in men are thought to result from low testosterone,
predict future diseases and even treat them. tend not to occur naturally, but it is known not everyone below the normal range devel-
But knowing what is high, low or normal that male athletes abusing testosterone or ops the disease.
for an individual isn’t straightforward. other similar steroids for performance gains It is unclear whether it is also due to simi-
Testosterone plays an important role in often have problems with their heart. Like- lar genetic factors, but testosterone can also
how male reproductive tissues – such as the wise, certain diseases in women that result be different depending on where you live
testicles and the prostate – develop, as well in high testosterone also lead to similar risks and how wealthy you are. So a universal
as promoting what are known as second- for heart disease. This means that testos- “normal range” may not apply to all groups
ary sexual characteristics, such as increased terone appears to be best for health when of people.
muscle, bigger bones, deep voice and the it stays within a certain range: not too high Establishing a “normal” level is complex,
growth of body hair – all the things we and not too low. and measuring testosterone on its own may
associate with being male. Females also pro- Complicating this matter is the fact that not be enough to estimate what is the cor-
duce testosterone, although in much lower testosterone levels don’t stay the same rect level to have in the blood for any one
amounts. It helps with the growth and through life, through the year or even person. Still, research tries to define levels
maintenance of a woman’s reproductive through the day – at least in men. Testos- that are healthy, and levels that may be
tissue, strengthens bones and can influence terone levels change throughout the day in related to disease so patients can be identi-
mood and behaviour. men, peaking at around 4-8am and falling fied and treated. Still, these are approxima-
As with many hormones, the importance to their lowest at about 12 hours later. They tions of the truth in specific populations
of testosterone becomes even more appar- can also vary across the year, although these with specific genetics, backgrounds and dis-
ent when we look at people who don’t have seasonal highs and lows will differ around ease. Like the story of the blind men feeling
enough. the world. These daily and seasonal varia- different parts of an elephant, we can only
Doctors measure testosterone in nano- tions can see levels change by as much as build up a picture of the truth from small
moles per litre (nmol/l) and the reported 19%. parts in the search to find the answers.
“normal” healthy range in males is any- Men’s testosterone levels in the blood are Using average levels of testosterone from
where from 9.2 to 31.8 nmol/L. It is about thought to fall with age, although this may lots of people from different populations
ten times lower in females, with “normal” actually be more related to diseases that to establish normal ranges is useful to help
levels considered to be between 0.3 and occur with age. Women’s testosterone levels identify people outside of this range with
2.4 nmol/L. Despite these lower levels in are a bit more stable, without any known a related disease. But many factors have
women, testosterone circulates in the blood daily or yearly changes. As with men, how- to be considered when deciding whether
at higher concentrations than oestrogen, the ever, they also decrease a little with age. someone has normal testosterone or not and
typical female hormone. And it is these falling levels that increase the whether there truly is a “normal” testoster-
But it is difficult to know what is the right risk of disease. one level at all.
level of testosterone, and these ranges are Complicating matters even further is the
often not agreed on by experts from differ- fact that everybody is different, particularly Daniel Kelly is Lecturer in Biochemistry, Shef-
ent societies, countries or laboratories. in the way that testosterone works. field Hallam University
Nevertheless, low levels of testosterone Testosterone takes action when it joins

May. 10 - 16 2019 23
Ugandan banks post
record profits in 2018
Top six banks registered collective net profit of Shs 620bn

U
By Isaac Khisa a new record in their profit growth and Standard Chartered Banks that
amidst decline in interest rates. recorded 6% and 3% growth in their
ganda’s commercial The country’s interest rates oscillated net profits to Shs107bn and Shs96bn,
banks surpassed investor between 18-22% throughout last year respectively, during the period under
expectations with 14 of following the central bank’s decision review.
the 15 banks that have to lower the central bank rate to 10% Similarly, Bank of Baroda recorded
published their financial late 2017 – the lowest since 2011 when 48.73% jump in net profit to Shs 73bn
performance results a monetary policy instrument known in 2018 compared with Shs 49.36bn
posting good profit margins in 2018, as Inflation Targeting Lite (IT-lite) was recorded in the previous year.
analysis by The Independent shows. introduced to tame inflation. On the other hand, Barclays Bank
Banks like Stanbic, Centenary, Stanbic recorded a surprise increase and dfcu Bank recorded a 5% and 52%
Standard Chartered and Bank of Baroda in net profit from Shs 201bn in 2017 to reduction in their profits to 68bn and
zoomed ahead in their earnings, setting Shs215bn in 2018, and so did Centenary 61.7bn, respectively, for 2018 compared

24 May. 10 - 16 2019
business
with the previous year. advanced to customer waned.
The top six commercial banks in Net profit in billions Last October, the Bank of Uganda
the country recorded a combined Shs Banks 2018 2017 ordered the sacking of the then
620bn in net profit during the year, managing director, Sameh Mahmud
representing a whopping 88% of Stanbic Bank 215 201 Krekshi, for overdrawing his account.
the Shs700bn net profit in a banking Centenary Bank 106 101 In 2016, the lender also made another
industry that boasts of 25 commercial Standard 96 93
loss worth Shs 13.4bn.
banks. Chartered Bank Tropical Bank also registered an
This growth in the banks’ profits increase in bad loans written off from
Bank of Baroda 73 49.3
was due to increase in loan books and Shs 12bn to Shs 17bn during the period
investment in government securities. Barclays 68 72 under review.
Interestingly, small banks, majority dfcu 61.7 127 However, the good development
of which are simply making a decade coming from the Libyan owned bank
in the market, also pulled a surprise Equity 35 28 is that its assets increased slightly from
performance to maintain their growth Brac Uganda 17.2 21.5 Shs 283bn to Shs289.54bn during the
trend. Bank Ltd period under review.
Equity Bank, for instance, registered DTB 18 15 At the same time, customer
a 26% growth in net profit to Shs deposits increased from Shs 166.6bn
UDB 9.4 8.3
35.29bn driven by increase in loans and to Shs182.6bn as the bank’s Non-
advances to customers and decrease in Finance Trust 5.58 2.36 Performing Loans dwindled.
non-performing loans (NPL). Bank
The lender’s loans advanced to Ecobank 4.78 1.5 NPLs decline
customers increased from Shs 495.95bn UBA 4.9 1 Meanwhile, dfcu recorded a decline
to Shs 699.78bn, with the NPL reducing in Non-Performing Loans though it
from as high as Shs 30.7bn to Shs Opportunity Bank 4.4 2.2 remains the highest in the country’s
12.63bn during the same period under Tropical Bank 5.78bn 5.52bn banking industry. The dfcu NPL fell
review. loss loss from Shs 96.6bn in 2017 to Shs 80bn in
In a similar manner, increased income 2018.
earned from deposits and placements Dfcu was followed by Barclays and
and investment in government Non-Performing Loans in billions Centenary Bank that also recorded a
securities helped Diamond Trust Bank decline in NPL’s from Shs 106bn and
Banks 2018 2017
to record a 22% growth in net profits to Shs 62.2bn to Shs 53bn and Shs 39.8bn,
Shs 18.4bn. dfcu 80.8 96.67 respectively during the period under
The government owned Uganda Barclays 53 106 review.
Development Bank, which is charged Similarly, DTB, Standard Chartered
Centenary Bank 39.8 62.23
with the mandate to loan long term Bank and Tropical Bank recorded a
businesses or projects, also made DTB 27 40 sharp decline in NPLs.
a surprise Shs1.1bn increase in net Stanchart 22 78.5
profit to record a Shs 9.4bn for the Future outlook
Tropical Bank 21.9 28.7
entire year. The bank’s asset base also Financial observers told The
increased from Shs 297.47bn to Shs Bank of Baroda 16 35 Independent in an interview that the
370.11bn during the period under Equity Bank 12.63 30.7 performance of the banking industry
review. follows a similar trajectory to that of the
Finance Trust Bank, which graduated Ecobank 10.3 9.8 economy.
from a microfinance institution five Opportunity Bank 3.2 2 “The NPL have been coming down
years ago, saw its net profit more than because customers have been able to
double from Shs 2.36bn to Shs 5.85bn borrow and repay the loans because of
driven by loans and advances, interest the good performance of the economy,”
on securities, fees and commissions. bank’s earning on loans and advances said Aeko Ongodia, the Chief Executive
The income from interest on loans and increased from Shs2.9bn to Shs 4.3bn Officer of Xeno technologies, an online
advances increased from Shs 33.29bn to while interest charged on government investment management platform based
Shs 36.38bn, interest on securities from securities and foreign exchange earnings in Kampala.
Shs 1.29bn to Shs 2.07bn, and fees and increased from Shs 12bn and 2.4bn to “This implies that if the economy
commissions from Shs 17.93bn to Shs Shs 17.4bn and Shs 5.3bn during the performs well, we are also likely to see
19.15bn, respectively, during the same same period under review. good performance in the coming year.”
period under review.The bank’s balance However, the bank’s provision of bad Uganda’s economy is projected to
sheet also registered growth of 16% to debts increased from Shs 777.16million grow at 6.3% in the current financial
Shs 206.53bn. to Shs 1.13bn during the same period year 2018/19 and also in the next
“The bank will continue to focus under review. financial year 2019/2020, following
on growing market share through Equally, Opportunity Bank saw its a recovery from the slump during
customer acquisition and retention as net profits double from Shs 2.2bn to financial year 2016/17, according to the
well as targeting women as its primary Shs 4.4bn whereas the Togolese based International Monetary Fund.
customers. Leveraging technology Ecobank posted an increase in net profit Ongodia, however, said multinational
will remain central to the growth of from Shs1.54bn to Shs4.78bn. banks such as Stanbic and Barclays tend
the bank,” said the lender’s managing Nevertheless, Tropical Bank Uganda to benefit more especially in areas of
director, Annet Nakawunde Mulindwa. posted a loss for the third consecutive trade finance due to their wide network
UBA saw its net profit more than year. The lender saw its losses widen across globe.
triple from Shs 1bn to Shs4.9billion. The from Shs 5.52bn to Shs5.78bn as loans

May. 10 - 16 2019 25
business

Equity Bank’s expansion in Africa


The lender’s entry into Zambia and Mozambique will
enhance trade between East and Southern Africa
By Julius Businge Group through exchange programs EGH said that investors are advised to

E
but also gain a good understanding exercise caution while dealing in EGH
quity Bank’s move to acquire and knowledge of other markets and ordinary shares on the Uganda, Rwanda
banking assets of Atlas Mara in industries in the southern Africa. and Nairobi securities exchange,” James
four African countries will create Equity Bank’s parent company, Equity Mwangi, the Group Managing Director
new opportunities for traders in Group Holdings (EGH) announced on and Chief Executive Officer at EGH.
the East African region, according to the April 30 that it is acquiring assets of This comes four years since the Equity
bank’s Executive Director in Uganda, Atlas Mara in four African countries Bank entered the Democratic Republic of
Anthony M. Kituuka. including Zambia and Mozambique, a Congo market through a 79 % acquisition
Kituuka, who spoke to The Independent step that place it ahead of other banks in of SME-focused ProCredit Bank in 2015.
in an interview on May 03, said the new East Africa to venture into central and Atlas Mara is a subsidiary of Fairfax
transaction will enhance trade flows southern Africa. Africa Holdings Corporation, a Canadian
between East Africa and Southern Africa EGH plan to acquire a 62% company listed on the Toronto Stock
as it strives for growth. shareholding in Banque Populaire Exchange whose investment objective is
“We are optimistic that with our du Rwanda in Rwanda and 100% to achieve long term capital appreciation
focus on the entire ecosystem around shareholding in the African Banking while preserving capital by investing in
the various industry segments in these Corporation Tanzania. The lender public and private equity securities and
countries, the bank will be able to already has operations in these two debt instruments of African businesses or
expand its lending portfolio right from countries. other business with customers, suppliers
the micro individual to the multinational The Bank also seek to acquire 100% or business primarily conducted in or
corporate because it has the relevant shareholding in the African Banking dependent in Africa.
skills, capacity and technology to do so,” Corporation Zambia and the African On the other hand, the Nairobi listed
he said. Banking Corporation Mozambique. Bank has operations in six countries
He said traders hoping to tap into the Following the KShs10.7billion including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda,
emerging markets in these new markets (Shs396.8billion) transaction that is Rwanda, South Sudan and DRC.
will be in position to do so leveraging on subject to regulatory approval from the Last year, Equity Bank maintained
the Equity Bank’s wide network. respective countries, Atlas Mara will its position as Kenya’s second-most-
Kituuka said the expansion will also become shareholder in EGHs. profitable lender as strong growth in
provide opportunities for its staff to “Until further announcements income from government securities lifted
not only develop their careers in the regarding the transaction are made, its net profit by 5% to Shs 723.25bn.

26 May. 10 - 16 2019
Executive Style business

Uganda’s tourism growth presents


opportunities for hospitality market
As Director of Hilton Hotels & professionally operated
Resorts is committed and maintained. This
Development for Hilton
is to ensure that we
in East Africa, what to two hotels in offer services that our

A
exactly do you do?
s Developers, we
Uganda – Hilton international customers
view ourselves Garden Inn and expect without having
to over rely on ex-
as the custodians Hilton Kampala – to patriates. Currently, we
of the growth serve different market are investing heavily in
of the company. My role segments. Samantha training programmes
is to work with investors and partnerships
and developers to identify Muna, the director
with universities and
opportunities that we can of development for schools in order to
go into partnership with in the hotel brand in not only bring young
order to open new hotels East Africa spoke to people in at entry level
under our brands. A lot jobs but inspire them
of people don’t know that
The Independent’s
to become our hotel
we actually have as many Isaac Khisa about managers of tomorrow.
as eight brands available, their plans and These sustainability
from the mid-market sector opportunities in the initiatives form part
(Hilton Garden Inn and of our ‘Travel with
Hampton by Hilton) which
country’s hospitality
Purpose’ programme
are quicker and cheaper industry which has committed to
to build, through upscale double our social impact
products which includes while halving our
Hilton Hotels & Resorts environmental footprint
and right up to luxury can be seen by the fact that are always ups and downs as a by 2030.
level. We don’t build the we have committed to two result of economic trends, but
properties ourselves, so finding hotels in different market what we focus on is continuing What other plans does
the right partners to work with segments. Hilton Garden to better serve our customers Hilton have in the region?
us is key to our expansion. Inn Kampala, which is due to and get ahead of the market. Speaking about Uganda,
In Uganda we are lucky to open imminently, and Hilton aside from our projects in
have two very good partners, Kampala under our flagship What is driving your Kampala, we see potential
TWED Property Development Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand. expansion into Kampala? in markets like Entebbe
for Hilton Kampala and High We see Kampala as an and Mbarara. In general
Gate Investments for Hilton How many properties and important regional center and anywhere that is a centre
Garden Inn Kampala. Once we rooms does Hilton have in the will likely experience a strong for tourism is interesting
come to a mutual agreement region? increase in corporate activity to us and an opportunity
we help our partners identify We’ve been in East Africa for and conferences during the to explore as are any
the best possible type of hotel nearly 50 years, Hilton Nairobi next five years, resulting in large cities with a sizeable
and the right brand for them to and Hilton Addis Ababa are hotel demand growth. So, business travel component.
maximise their investment. two of our longest standing we’ve been looking at the
hotels on the entire African market here for some time What is the future outlook
What is your assessment of continent. Right now we have but before we commit to a of the region’s hospitality
the hotel industry in Uganda built our African presence in project, it is very important industry?
compared to the rest of the up to 44 hotels and we have for us to have an established If you look at Africa as a
East Africa region? a further 56 in the pipeline. relationship with the right local whole, the opportunity for
Every market has its own Increasing these numbers has partner who will build a hotel the industry has never been
characteristics but in many become a renewed focus for us that matches the expectations greater. In 2018 demand for
ways Uganda is experiencing in recent years. of our customers. hotel accommodation on the
the same trends that apply to What challenges does the continent grew by 6.8%, more
the broader region. Tourism How has Hilton’s hotel industry face and how than any other region globally.
arrivals in Uganda and on the performance been amidst stiff can that be overcome? We’re positive about the
continent are increasing year competition? We need to train and outlook and firmly committed
on year and there is a golden We are a global company develop local talent so to further growth.
opportunity to support the present in over 100 markets that the new hotels we are
growth of the industry. Our worldwide. This means there opening in the region are
confidence in the market

May. 10 - 16 2019 27
business
CSR AVIATION

Coca-Cola promo winners head to Greece in June Kenya Airways


Promotion, the company said on May 02.  posts Shs273bn loss

K
The grand prize winners will be travelling to
Santorini in Greece on June 01 and then return enya’s national carrier,
June 06 this year with one family member each. Kenya Airways, posted
While in Greece, the beneficiaries will have a Shs273bn loss for the year
chance to tour various places and meet up with ended December 2018 as
other winners from the African continent. higher operational costs offset the
“We are happy to have rewarded our con- rise in revenue.
(L-R) Nsubuga, Ssesanga and Jimmy sumers over the past few months. When we The carrier’s full year results do

B
started this campaign in March, we promised not have a comparable period as it
everage Company, Coca-Cola, has that 300,000 to 400,000 Ugandans would stand changed its reporting period from
handed over three all-expense paid a chance to win, with three lucky ones travel- ending in March 31 to now end in
air tickets to Geoffrey Nsubuga, Eria ling to Greece. We have fulfilled this promise,” December 31.
Ssesanga and Jimmy Ayo – winners said Ivan Oboth, the Coca-Cola Beverages Kenya Airways had made a net
in the ongoing ‘Coke Studio under the Crown’ Africa sales director. loss of Shs231.8bn billion in the
9-month period between April 1
and Dec 31 2017.
ICT
The carrier’s revenue in 2018 hit
Shs 4.12trillion largely driven by
Now Infinix S4 in Kampala passenger bookings. Its revenue in

I
the previous 9-month period stood
nfinix mobile has display screen, a triple rear Infinx. at Shs 2.9trillion.
unveiled its latest camera for much better The Infinix S4 available in Kenya Airways chairman
smartphone, S4, on the portrait images, super-fast three different color variants Michael Joseph said in a statement
Ugandan market in octa-core chipset, a large at all Infinix outlets retails at that “Fuel, personnel and the cost of
Kampala, two weeks since 4000mAh battery power and Shs 585,000. aircraft remain the top three drivers
unveiling the same product additionally comes with XOS Gladys Liu, the Marketing of airline costs contributing to about
on the Kenyan market. 5.0 out of the box. Manager said the “S4 is a two thirds of total operating cost for
The S4 comes with a On the front, it has must have for all selfie lovers the airline.”
premium glass finish, three minimum bezels with the as it has a beautiful still and This development comes as
cameras at the back, a 32MP new water drop notch and video chat sessions.” Uganda Airlines plan to hit the
AI selfie camera that is on the back it has the square The new development is skies in July this year to share in
packed with the latest AI fingerprint reader. expected to stir competition the region’s aviation business that
imaging techniques. S4 runs on XOS v5.0 in the Uganda’s smartphone is currently dominated by Kenyan
The S4 also comes Cheetah on top of Android market currently dominated Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Rwan-
with a 6.2’ water drop 9.0 Pie which is a first for by Sumsung dAir and South African Airways.

HOSPITALITY CSR

Serena Hotel’s profits hit NSSF sinks Shs450million in school libraries


Shs6.5bn in Jinja on April 29, Richard Byarugaba,

S
the Fund’s managing director, said the
erena Hotels’ holding company TPS world of education is being powered by
East Africa reported a 50% increase information communication technologies
in profits to Shs of Shs 6.5bn in 2018, and all efforts should be geared towards
according to atcnews. equipping learners with computer
Sales during the past financial year rose knowledge.
by a modest 3% to some Shs 235bn, which The initiative, which is part of the
makes Serena arguably the leading com- Fund’s corporate social responsibility, will
pany in its field, not just in Kenya but across enable students and teachers to use digital
Eastern Africa where the company owns or technology in classrooms to improve
manages properties. NSSF MD Richard Byarugaba (C) launches digital learning. It is being implemented in
With footholds in Kenya, Uganda, Tanza- library at Mpummudde Seed Secondary School conjunction with the National Curriculum

T
nia, Rwanda and Mozambique will Congo Development Centre (NCDC).
join the Serena ranks when later this year a he National Social Security Fund Apart from Mpumuudde, the other
brand new hotel in Goma opens door. has injected Shs450million in benefiting schools include; Nabumali
This comes as plans are underway to digital libraries for 11 government (Mbale), Atutur (Soroti), Muni Girls (Arua),
refurbish and technologically upgrade the backed secondary schools Paicho (Gulu), Sir Tito Winyi (Hoima) and
Kampala Serena Conference Centre to the countrywide. others. Byarugaba said they are donating
latest standards for conference and meeting Speaking at the handover ceremony 440 digital learning tablets for this cause. 
facilities. at Mpummudde Seed Secondary School

28 May. 10 - 16 2019
business

Uganda Airlines to be
listed on stock market
By Isaac Khisa receive two more Bombardier

U
aircrafts in September for
ganda’s revived na- regional flights and two Airbus
tional carrier, Uganda aircrafts by 2021 for long-haul
Airlines, will be listed flights.
on the stock market The Uganda Airlines is
once it becomes profitable, ac- scheduled to start commercial
cording to Finance Minister, flights with the regional cit-
Matia Kasaija. ies such as Nairobi and later
Kasaija, who spoke on the unveil direct long-haul flights
sidelines of CIC Insurance to Asian countries to boost
AGM in Kampala recently trade and tourism.
said the government plans to Founded by former Presi-
run Uganda Airlines through dent, Idi Amin, in 1976, Ugan-
Uganda Development Cor- da Airlines was liquidated
Thomas Kamphuis, Country Director Nile Breweries Limited (Far R) and poration commercially within in 2001 by President Yoweri
Pamela Bayenda, Sustainability Manager, share a moment with pupils of a given period and thereafter Museveni under a broader pro-
Naminya Church of Uganda Primary School in Njeru recently. NBL staff give opportunity to the local gramme to privatise troubled
donated reusable pads worth Shs5million to 500 girls from six schools in population to own shares. state firms and open up the
Buikwe District.   COURTESY PHOTO. “UDC, on behalf of govern- economy to private enterprise.
ment, will invest and operate But in 2017, President
this airline commercially and Museveni and other govern-
once it starts making profits, ment technocrats started pur-
we shall list it on the stock mar- suing plans to revive national
ket,” he said. carrier to share in the region’s
This comes a few days since growing aviation business.
the government received two Receiving the aircrafts at the
passenger planes – Bombardier Entebbe International Airport
CRJ900 – on April 23, a key on April 23, Museveni said
step in the country’s efforts to there are four clientele constitu-
revive its collapsed national encies that will support the air-
carrier and share in the region’s line business; Ugandans in the
aviation business that is domi- diaspora, families of Asians of
nated by Kenyan Airlines, Ethi- Ugandan descent expelled by
opian Airlines and RwandAir. Idi Amin, Ugandan business
The government expects to people and the tourists.
(L-R) Catholic Relief Services Humanitarian Response Vice President,
Jennifer Poidatz, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and
Communication Technology & National Guidance, Vincent Bagire and CRS
Country Representative, Niek De Goeij address the media on the sidelines of
the 11th ICT4D conference at the Speke Resort Munyonyo on April. 30.

Weekly share price movement (April. 29)


Security April 29 March 29 Movement
BATU 30,000 30000 00
BOBU 129 130 0.7
CENT 1,178 1,182 0.3
QCL 173 190 8.9
DFCU 670 670 00
EABL 8,118 7,610 6.6
EBL 1,531 1,487 2.9
JHL 15,313 15,202 0.7
KA 183 185 1.1
KCB 1,660 1,619 2.5
NIC 14 13 7.6
NMG 2,140 2,214 3.3
Uganda Breweries Human Resource Director, Catherine Khabure (R) shares NVL 334 334 00
a light moment with a 2nd year Fashion and Design student, Mariam Nakku SBU 29 30 3.3
(seated) during a tour of Datamine Technical Institute. This was during UCHM 14 22 36
the launch of the UBL Skills for Life Programme at the Institute where 20 UCL 16 16 00
students will be benefiting from scholarships from the brewery. Looking on UMEME 300 298 0.6
are the institute’s Register, Silver Drory and UBL Communications Manager, ALSI -- -- --
Rhona Arinaitwe.   COURTESY PHOTO.

May. 10 - 16 2019 29
comment
By Marius Dragomir
Europe’s captured media
Independent media is fleeing attacks by government
and involvement by large financial groups

I
n its March 22 edition, the Slovenian media-capture models and practices are media; and PPF Media, a conglomerate
weekly magazine Mladina featured on now proliferating across Central and controlled by Petr Kellner, one of the
its cover a cartoon of Hungarian Prime Eastern Europe. Two trends stand out. Czech Republic’s wealthiest entrepre-
Minister Viktor Orbán performing a The first is imitation, with governments neurs.
Nazi salute while being hugged by right- across the region learning from their Then there is Czech Media Invest
wing politicians of the Slovenian Demo- neighbors – especially from Hungary. (CMI), led by Daniel Křetínský, a lawyer
cratic Party (SDS). And Orbán, whose gov- After Fidesz won the 2010 election, the and entrepreneur formerly on J&T’s
ernments have asserted near-total control new government appointed party loy- payroll. CMI been making media acquisi-
over his own country’s media, wasn’t taking alists to lead the public service broad- tions not only in the Czech Republic and
it lying down. caster. Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Romania, but also in Western Europe:
The cartoon was linked to an article (PiS) party followed exactly the same in 2018, Křetínský bought a stake in the
about the decision of the European model after its victory in 2015. French daily Le Monde.
People’s Party – a transnational group of The second – and more worrying – The increased involvement of oligarchs
center-right political parties that, since trend is the cross-border expansion of and large financial groups in the media,
1999, has retained the largest number oligarchic structures, led by Orbán’s coupled with unrelenting attacks by gov-
of seats in the European Parliament – to loyalists. In the last two years, Orbán- ernments, has suffocated independent
suspend the membership of Orbán’s linked Hungarian businessmen have reporting across the region and driven
Fidesz party. The SDS had strongly aggressively taken over media outlets foreign media operators to flee. Over the
opposed that decision, even threatening across Central and Eastern Europe, last decade, 11 of the 17 most prominent
to quit the EPP if Fidesz was kicked out. including NOVA24TV.si in Slovenia, Alfa foreign media owners in Central and
The Hungarian embassy in Slovenia TV in Macedonia, and Hungarian- and Eastern Europe have left the region,
reacted swiftly to the cartoon’s publica- Romanian-language newspapers run by owing to rising political pressure and
tion, demanding that the country’s for- Russmedia in Romania. declining revenue.
eign ministry “prevent similar incidents Financial-industry oligarchs are also In February, the Swedish-owned
from occurring in the future.” Zoltán rapidly expanding their media activities broadcast conglomerate MTG sold
Kovács, one of Orbán’s most devoted in Central and Eastern Europe. Compa- Nova Broadcasting, Bulgaria’s leading
flunkies, slammed Mladina’s leftist sym- nies include Penta Investments, a Slovak commercial television operator, to two
pathies in a blog post. firm that has been buying media outlets local entrepreneurs with investments in
But the Slovenian government didn’t at home and in the neighboring Czech maritime shipping, pharmaceuticals, and
budge, pointing out that it “strictly” Republic; J&T, another financial group football clubs. The sale marked MTG’s
respects freedom of the press. The that invests directly and indirectly in the exit from the country. A cluster of finan-
contrast with Hungary’s government – cial groups from Slovakia and the Czech
whose tolerance of dissent has plumbed Republic is eying Markíza TV, Slovakia’s
new depths in recent years – could not be most popular television channel.
sharper.
Since 2013, Hungary has plummeted Financial- As a result of these trends, media
freedom in Central and Eastern Europe
31 places in Reporters Without Borders’
Press Freedom Index. With more than
industry arguably is at its lowest level in the
three decades since the region’s com-
three-quarters of Hungary’s news media
now controlled by pro-Fidesz oligarchs,
oligarchs are munist dictatorships were toppled. And
it is likely to deteriorate further, as the
Hungary ranked 87th in 2019, below also rapidly region’s oligarchs continue to fill the

expanding
Sierra Leone, Kyrgyzstan, and El Sal- ownership void left behind by foreign
vador. media operators.

their media
There is little reason to expect a change At this rate, Hungary’s government
for the better. Last November, Hun- soon will not need to ask a foreign gov-
gary’s media-owning oligarchs donated
a total of 476 outlets, including popular activities in ernment to stifle media criticism. Orbán
will just have his cronies handle it.
television stations and news portals, to
the Central European Press and Media Central and Marius Dragomir is Director of the Center
Foundation (KESMA). According to one
of Hungary’s few remaining indepen-
Eastern Europe for Media, Data, and Society at Central
European University, and managed the
dent news outlets, Atlatszo, KESMA was research and policy portfolio of the Program
created specifically to consolidate all pro- on Independent Journalism in London.
government media assets. Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
But the dire state of media freedom in www.project-syndicate.org
Hungary is just the beginning. Similar

30 May. 10 - 16 2019
comment
By Kaushik Basu
The case for a global constitution
Given the extent of globalisation’s progress we cannot
simply stay in our lane and hope for the best.

I
n my book `The Republic of Beliefs: A Meanwhile, in another domain, there is – and urgently must – adopt a global consti-
New Approach to Law and Economics’, a growing realisation that current antitrust tution in the here and now. At a minimum,
I was eager to demonstrate how the laws may be insufficient for managing such a compact would outline basic rules
methods that have emerged from the the issues raised by the digital economy. of behavior that all can agree to follow, and
long and fruitful dialogue between these Though the United States is home to 12 of authorize enforcement by a third party that
fields could, with a little help from game the world’s 20 largest tech companies, it is actually empowered to carry this out.
theory, be applied to multilateral disputes has failed to curb their worst practices. In We often appeal to individual morality
and multi-jurisdictional conflicts. So, I in- the absence of an international framework, and basic human decency when trying to
cluded a section on the challenge of creating national and regional governments such resolve political and cultural conflicts. The
a global constitution. This is an idea with as the EU have begun to pursue unilateral assumption is that if everyone would just
quite a long history. regulatory action, at the risk of stoking ten- respect everyone else’s right to practice their
In the fourteenth century, for example, sions with US President Donald Trump’s own religion, many of our problems would
Italy’s semi-autonomous city-states devel- dithering administration. disappear. In fact, such conflicts are often
oped the “statutist doctrine” for resolving Likewise, from the Mediterranean Sea to intractable, for there are some customs and
the problems that arose with trade and the US-Mexico border, the flow of people practices that are fundamentally incompat-
commerce across multiple legal jurisdic- with different customs and beliefs, from ible with one another.
tions. As Stephen Breyer, an associate justice countries with different legal frameworks, Imagine two societies. In one, the domi-
of the US Supreme Court, suggests, in the is stretching existing immigration systems nant religion requires everyone to drive on
absence of institutional dispute-resolution to the limit. Some of these differences can be the left; in the other, everyone must drive
mechanisms, a case brought against a Flo- comical. A pest-control technician treating on the right. Were they forever to exist on
rentine native by a native of Rome could my house in Delhi, India, once assured separate islands, there would be peace. But
have pulled both states into war. me that my home would be termite-free with globalization and the movement of
Or, consider the Dutch East India Com- because he was using strong chemicals, and people between the two islands, the seeds of
pany’s seizure of a Portuguese merchant added, for further reassurance, “Ones that conflict will have been sown.
vessel, the Santa Catarina, in the Strait of are totally banned in the US.” But there are Societies can either perpetuate such con-
Singapore in 1603. That episode gave rise also more serious conflicts of beliefs and flict through war and domination, or they
to such fraught multi-jurisdictional ques- customs, not least those involving clashes can agree to a common code. Some par-
tions that the Dutch jurist Huig de Groot of religions. Unabated sectarian conflict in ties may need to be compensated for their
(Grotius) had to be brought in to mediate, an age of sophisticated weapons and cyber sacrifices; or each party may need to offer
leading to one of the earliest attempts to warfare could be catastrophic. concessions on some issues in exchange for
codify international law. While the details of international law will favorable terms on others. That is the point
Despite this long history, attempts at continue to be debated indefinitely, we can of negotiation and compromise, for which
establishing international law have met there is no alternative other than enduring
with only limited success. Creating a system conflict.
that is sensitive to the wellbeing of all indi- Compromise is rarely easy, especially
viduals – what the University of Chicago’s where interest and identity overlap. But
Eric Posner calls the “welfarist approach”
– quickly runs into the problem of nation-
We often appeal given the extent to which globalization
has already progressed, we cannot simply
state sovereignty. As the sole enforcer of the
law and guarantor of citizens’ rights within
to individual stay in our lane and hope for the best. The
US, long a leader in establishing global
its jurisdiction, the nation-state has the pre- morality and norms, is retreating behind a psychological

basic human
rogative to ignore or overrule laws or rights wall. We will need ordinary citizens,
recognized by third parties. members of civil society, and, indeed,

decency
Still, we cannot simply wait around for religious leaders to recognize the need
academic debates on such matters to reach a for global collaboration and demand that
conclusion. The world is mired in disputes
that cut across jurisdictions, not least the when trying to policymakers take the initiative.

United Kingdom’s Brexit debacle. How will


the flow of goods and people between the resolve political Kaushik Basu, former Chief Economist of
the World Bank and former Chief Economic
European Union and Britain, and between
Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ire-
and cultural Adviser to the Government of India, is Professor
of Economics at Cornell University and
land, be managed? Neither British Prime
Minister Theresa May nor anyone else has
conflicts Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings
Institution.
a decisive answer. The outcome of Brexit
remains uncertain, even as the likelihood of Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
May’s own exit becomes a foregone conclu- www.project-syndicate.org
sion.

May. 10 - 16 2019 31
comment
By Kathleen Cronie
Why comedians make good leaders
Researchers on humour know that being a funny person
should not be mutually exclusive to being a great boss

I
f you were browsing Netflix’s comedy without alienating their followers. An 6. Eliciting goodwill of followers
section recently, you might have noticed easy and effective way of managing (Almost) everyone likes to be liked.
the Ukrainian sitcom, Servant of the this is to deliver this criticism in a Leaders, however, can really benefit
People. In it, an ordinary history teacher lighthearted way. This is particularly from being popular. Research has shown
is unwittingly elected president of the useful if the leader wants to get along not only that humour can encourage
Ukraine. In an unusual turn of events, the well with their followers. Speaking of followers to think positively of someone,
star of that series, comedian Volodymyr which… but that it can also suppress negative
Zelensky, was recently actually voted in as feelings towards them. You do, of course,
the next president of Ukraine. While there’s 4. Balancing power and politeness have to be careful, as it’s possible to
no doubt Zelensky is a popular comedian – Leaders depend on their followers overcompensate – just think of David
does he really have what it takes to lead the respecting them. They will also, however, Brent’s relentless nonsense in TV series
country? have an easier time working with their The Office.
As part of my ongoing doctoral team if they do so politely as opposed
research, I surveyed 230 musical to dictating. Using humour is a great 7. Fostering creativity
directors to find out what skills they way of positioning yourself as leader Humour comes in many forms
think they need to lead successfully. of a group without rudely reminding but a common type of joke involves
Many of these leaders reported that everyone that you’re in charge and they unexpected combinations of incongruous
telling a joke or a funny anecdote was have no choice but to follow you. ideas: “One morning I shot an elephant
important. Of course, we all enjoy a in my pyjamas. How he got in my
good giggle, but is cracking jokes really 5. Diffusing tension pajamas, I don’t know” (Groucho Marx).
a useful way for leaders to spend their Even under the best of leaders, One of the byproducts of combining odd
time? The research I have been exploring mistakes happen and occasionally ideas in this way is increasing creativity
on humour and leadership suggests tensions will run high. In this situation, levels in groups, making teams more
that we might be better off employing as a leader you have two choices. productive and innovative.
Michael McIntyre than Bill Gates. Here, Maintain a stiff upper lip and plough
are eight key ways that leaders can on in the face of revolt. Or make a joke, 8. Benefiting health
usefully use humour in their work: lighten the mood, and diffuse the tension We all feel better after a good laugh, but
in the room. Using comedy in this way the benefits of a good giggle go further
1. Creating a ‘team’ smooths over friction and resets the than just cheering us up. Humour expert
Good leaders want a unified team mood. John Morreall puts this best: “Physically
behind them, if for no other reason than and mentally, humour is the opposite of
it drastically reduces the chances of stress. Laughter lowers blood pressure,
a coup occurring (UK prime minister increases blood circulation, reduces
Theresa May can doubtless tell you more
about that). Using humour has been 230 musical muscle tension and pain, and boosts the
immune system”.
shown to strengthen solidarity between
colleagues and successful leaders can
directors So what does this mean for aspiring
leaders? Well, comic timing isn’t going to
channel humour into team spirit, uniting
their followers behind them.
said telling turn a terrible leader into a hotshot CEO,
but it turns out that if they use humour

2. Avoiding fatigue
a joke or carefully, leaders can turn laughs into

a funny
votes or giggles into team spirit.
Laughter might not always be the best Perhaps Volodymyr Zelensky isn’t

anecdote
medicine, but if leaders want to motivate really unprepared for his new job at
flagging followers, a well-placed joke all. David Brent probably had the right
might do the trick. Using humour
relieves boredom and raises energy was an idea all along: “When people say to me:
would you rather be thought of as a
levels. This is a handy trick for leaders
and not just in formal workplaces. important funny man or a great boss? My answer’s
always the same – to me, they’re not
Leaders of exercise groups, for example,
might use humour to motivate class
skill for mutually exclusive.”

members, enabling them to feel the burn


for longer.
leaders Kathleen Cronie is PhD Candidate,
University of Aberdeen

3. Softening criticism
Often, leaders have to deliver criticism

32 May. 10 - 16 2019
Rice and
obesity
Is there a link after
controlling for a wide
range of factors?

A
By Tim Newman account as many confounding variables as This has several drawbacks; for instance,
they could, including average education certain regions of some countries might eat
study that used data from level, smoking rates, total calories con- substantially more rice than others. Also,
more than 130 countries sumed, money spent on healthcare, percent- obesity rates can vary within a country from
concludes that eating more age of the population over 65, and gross region to region.
rice might protect against domestic product per capita. Another concern is the use of body mass
obesity. After controlling for All of these variables were significantly index (BMI); although it is a standard mea-
a wide range of factors, the lower in the countries whose residents ate sure that researchers use widely, it is not
team found that the results remained sig- the most rice; however, even after account- a measure of overall health. The scientists
nificant. Despite this, big questions remain. ing for this in their analysis, the researchers did not ascertain how many people have,
Obesity in the Western world and beyond found that the positive influence of rice over for instance, an unhealthily low BMI, which
is on the rise. However, some countries are obesity persisted. From their data, they esti- would skew the data by bringing the coun-
not facing the same challenge. mate that an increase of just one-quarter of try’s average BMI down. It is also worth
According to the Centers for Disease a cup of rice per day (50 g per person) could pointing out that the researchers have not
Control and Prevention (CDC), 39.8% of reduce global obesity by 1%. That equates published these findings in a journal and,
people in the United States now have obesi- to a change from 650 million to 643.5 million therefore, they have not been through a
ty. In Japan, however, the figure is just 4.3%, adults. “The observed associations suggest peer-review process.
say the World Health Organization (WHO). that the obesity rate is low in countries that
The array of factors that could be eat rice as a staple food. Therefore, a Japa- Rice types
involved in differences such as this are diz- nese food or an Asian-food-style diet based Another potential issue is that the team’s
zying — so where would one begin? on rice may help prevent obesity,” says analysis does not take into account the type
According to one group of researchers, a Lead researcher Prof. Tomoko Imai. of rice that a population tends to consume,
good place to start might be rice. When considering exactly why rice might which could be important. For example,
The average food intake of someone in influence obesity rates, Prof. Imai says: white rice is much lower in fiber than less
the United States is very different to that “Eating rice seems to protect against weight processed types. How much fiber someone
of someone in any country outside of the gain. It’s possible that the fiber, nutrients, consumes may play a part in obesity risk.
Western world. However, diets in some of and plant compounds found in whole Also, a meta-analysis published in the
the countries with low obesity rates share a grains may increase feelings of fullness and BMJ in 2012 looked at the relationship
common staple: rice. prevent overeating.” between white rice and the risk of type 2
Researchers from Doshisha Women’s Prof. Imai adds, “Rice is also low in fat diabetes. Its authors concluded that: “High-
College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto, Japan, and has a relatively low postprandial blood er consumption of white rice is associated
decided to take a closer look. They recently glucose level, which suppresses insulin with a significantly increased risk of type 2
presented their findings at the Euro- secretion.” diabetes, especially in Asian (Chinese and
pean Congress on Obesity (ECO2019) in Japanese) populations.”
Glasgow, United Kingdom. Significant limitations Another study that involved more than
The researchers know that distinguishing 10,000 Korean adults found that a diet
A global look at rice consumption between cause and effect is incredibly chal- centered on white rice was associated with
To investigate, the scientists took data lenging when looking at diet — especially obesity.
from 136 countries. They found that coun- on such a large scale. Doubts remain, so scientists should con-
tries where people ate an average of at least Though they accounted for as many tinue to study the impact of rice on obesity.
150 grams (g) of rice per day had signifi- confounding variables as possible, it is still If such a cheap, readily available food as
cantly lower rates of obesity than countries likely that they did not consider many other rice could play even a small part in the fight
where people ate less than the global aver- important factors in the analysis. against obesity, it is worth pursuing. How-
age amount of rice, around 14 g per day. They also explain that they used country- ever, for now, the jury is out.
The researchers attempted to take into level data, rather than person-level data. Source: Medical News Today

May. 10 - 16 2019 33
health

God can `save’ you –


literally, scientists find
How religious experiences may benefit mental health

By Ana Sandoiu the experience was

A
“among the most
survey of thousands personally mean-
of people suggests ingful and spiritu-
that mystical experi- ally significant
ences positively af- lifetime experiences,
fect a person’s mental health, with moderate to
regardless of whether they are strong persisting
naturally occurring or a result positive changes” to
of psychedelic drugs. their mental health.
New research suggests Furthermore,
that having deep religious 70% of participants
experiences may significantly in the drugs group
improve people’s mental said they had a
health. decreased fear of
Religion may have a wide death as a result
range of health benefits, of the experiences,
research suggests. whereas 57% of the
For instance, a study that (e.g., an angel).” The survey also inquired non-drug partici-
appeared last year found that religious about how the participants felt after the pants reported the same feeling.
believers tend to live 4 years longer, on aver- experience and how it changed their lives, Approximately 15% of the participants
age, while another study found that attend- if at all. Approximately 69% of the partici- in both groups said the experience was “the
ing religious ceremonies slashes the risk of pants were male, aged 38 years on average, single most psychologically challenging
premature death among seniors. and the vast majority of the respondents experience of their lifetime.”
Emerging research is also looking into the were white. The study looked at mystical In the non-drug group, 59% of the
mental health benefits of various psyche- experiences that occurred both naturally respondents described their experience as
delic substances. and as a result of taking psychedelics, using meeting “God” or “an emissary of God,”
For example, several studies have shown two different surveys. whereas 55% of the psychedelics users
that psilocybin — the psychoactive com- A total of 3,476 participants answered the chose to describe it as an “ultimate reality.”
pound in so-called magic mushrooms — psychedelics survey, and 809 answered the The lead researcher comments on the
has the potential to treat severe depression non-drug survey. findings, saying, “Experiences that people
without the side effects of conventional Specifically, in the former group, 1,184 describe as encounters with God or a rep-
antidepressants. participants took “magic mushrooms,” resentative of God have been reported for
Now, a new study is bringing these 1,251 took lysergic acid (LSD), 435 took thousands of years, and they likely form the
research topics together, as a team of psy- ayahuasca, and 606 reported taking N,N- basis of many of the world’s religions.”
chologists sets out to examine the effects of dimethyltryptamine (DMT). “ (A)lthough modern Western medicine
naturally occurring and drug-induced mys- “Most participants reported vivid memo- doesn’t typically consider ‘spiritual’ or
tical experiences on mental health. ries of the encounter experience, which ‘religious’ experiences as one of the tools in
Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor of frequently involved communication with the arsenal against sickness, our findings
psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the something having the attributes of being suggest that these encounters often lead to
Johns Hopkins University School of Medi- conscious, benevolent, intelligent, sacred, improvements in mental health,” said Prof.
cine in Baltimore, MD, led the team to look eternal, and all-knowing,” report the Roland Griffiths, Ph.D.
at the effects of spontaneous and chemically researchers. The researcher stresses the fact that their
induced religious experiences among thou- research says nothing about the existence
sands of participants. ‘Encounters’ improve mental health of a higher being. “We want to be clear that
Prof. Griffiths and colleagues published Overall, the study found that most par- our study looks at personal experiences and
their findings in the journal PLOS One. ticipants who had “God encounter experi- says nothing about the existence or nonexis-
The researchers asked 4,285 study partici- ences” reported positive effects on their tence of God.”
pants to answer a survey in which they had mental health. Furthermore, the scientists caution that
to describe their “God encounter experi- Namely, the mystical experiences people should not use psychedelic drugs
ences and mystical experiences.” improved their life satisfaction, purpose, without professional guidance, as there are
The surveys asked the participants about and meaning, and these positive changes various psychological dangers to misusing
their experiences with the “God of (their) lasted for decades after the experience. these substances, in addition to legal risks.
understanding,” a “Higher Power, Ultimate In fact, about 75% of all respondents (in Source: Medical News Today
Reality, or an Aspect or Emissary of God both the drugs and no-drugs groups) said

34 May. 10 - 16 2019
ART | BOOKS | SOCIETY | TRAVEL | CULTURE

A worker holds a sketch by Nelson Mandela ‘The Cell Door, Robben Island’ on 26 April, 2019 in New York City. Picture: AFP

Mandela prison drawing


sells for Shs424m

T
By Agencies off Cape Town from 1964 to 1982. Mandela shows, from the outside, the door of the cell
served as South African president from 1994 with a few bars and the key on the lock. It is
he wax pastel crayon draw- to 1999. one of the rare paintings that Mandela kept
ing shows a few bars of the “Holding a painting of one of the most until his death in 2013.
cell door and a key in the important men of the twentieth century ... “After leaving the presidency in 1999, he
lock, sketched in purple. It is a is something remarkable for any collector,” (Mandela) started painting, he had more
drawing by late South African said Giles Peppiatt, “This is the first work of time at his disposal.”
president Nelson Mandela of Nelson Mandela sold on the market”. Giles He is said to have painted a total of 20 to
the door of his prison cell on Robben Island Peppiatt called the work “personal” and 25 paintings, according to Giles Peppiatt.
-- where he was held for 18 years. And it “moving”. There were claims of forgeries when five
sold on May 02 in New York for $112,575 Others have described it as a “very prints of Robben Island prison went on sale
(Approx. Shs424 million). It exceeded the simple work” and “sober”. Never exposed in London’s Belgravia Gallery in 2009. The
top end of the estimated range provided publicly so far, it simply signatures on the pictures were said not to
by Bonhams, which put its value at be Mandela’s according to his lawyer, but
$60,000 to $90,000. the gallery said it could prove authenticity.
Tilted `The Cell Door, Robben It was a twist in a painful story. Mandela
Island’, it is said to have been com- created the images to raise money for his
pleted by the Nobel peace laureate charities for homeless children and victims
in 2002. The work is one of the few of Aids. He took lessons with an artist,
that Mandela -- who was jailed for Varenka Paschke, under whose guidance
27 years in total and inspired the he made his own drawings, based on new-
struggle against apartheid -- kept ly taken photographs of the prison island;
until his death in 2013. It was previ- his strong colours infuse the lithographs
ously held by Mandela’s daughter, that a printmaker produced from his
Pumla Makaziwe Mandela. originals. But the experiment turned sour
South Africa’s first black president in 2005 when Mandela sued his lawyer,
did a total of 20 to 25 drawings, Ismael Ayob, for failing to account prop-
according to Giles Peppiatt, the erly for sales of the lithographs. He even
auction house’s director of modern claimed some of “his” signatures were
African art. Some were reproduced forged. Ayob stopped selling them and in
as lithographs to raise money for the 2007 paid Mandela.
Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Mandela was jailed from 1962 to
1990. He was held at Robben Island

May. 10 - 16 2019 35
Man wines and dines women before conning them
A conman who pretended to women he befriended online his wish to start a family lure
be in a relationship with his vic- to make them fall in love with them in. Once he gained their
tims before conning them out of him. The romance scammer trust, Vyas, would encourage
almost £650,000 ( Approx. Shs tricked his victims into believ- the women to invest in various
2.4 billion) has been jailed for ing he was an affluent busi- business ventures for a large
six years and one month. Keyur nessman working in finance return. However, the businesses
Vyas, 32, wined and dined six and would use religion and didn’t exist.

Snakes drive Woman lived to 99 with most organs on wrong side of body
president out Rose Marie Bentley
was an avid swimmer,
opened the abdominal
cavity, they discovered
of office raised five kids, helped
her husband run a feed
all the other organs
were on the wrong
Liberia’s president is being store, and lived to the side. The discovery of
forced to work from home after ripe age of 99. It was the rare condition was
two snakes were found in his only after she died that presented recently at
office block. George Weah, who medical students discov- a conference of anato-
is African player of the century, ered that all her internal mists. People with the
along with other people, has organs — except for condition known as
been told to stay away from the her heart — were in situs inversus with
ministry of foreign affairs until the wrong place. Cam- levocardia often
the building can be fumigated eron Walker’s medical have life-threatening
after the reptiles were spotted. students in his Oregon cardiac ailments and
Liberia is home to poisonous Health & Science Uni- other abnormalities
snakes and so officials have versity were examining and die early, accord-
decided not to take any chances. the heart of Bentley’s ing to Oregon Health
The black snakes were seen body, when they noticed & Science University.
emerging from a hole in the wall the blood vessels were It occurs only once in
in the building’s reception area. different. When they every 22,000 births.

Poor sense of smell could mean you’re going to die soon Blinged gold Porsche
A poor sense of smell a 10-year period than who’s focused his research ordered off road!
may predict premature individuals with sensitive on the sensory deficit German authorities have ordered a
death, even among healthy noses, the study showed. in older adults, said the blinged-out golden Porsche off the road for
individuals, research Testing people’s sniffing surprising revelation being too shiny. Its 31-year-old driver was
suggests. Older adults who power should become a was that the healthier stopped in the northern city of Hamburg
had trouble recognising regular part of a visit to the participants at the start of and told his Porsche Panamera, sporting
or telling apart common doctor, researchers have the study were found to be a reflective gold foil finish, might blind
odours were almost 50% said. Professor Honglei largely responsible for the other drivers and was a danger. He was
more likely to die over Chen, an epidemiologist higher risk. told to remove the foil and re-register the
car. He continued to drive it and when he
was stopped again, the police took his keys,
Thieves pinch guns as Kenyan police watch UEFA papers and license plate, before the vehicle
was towed to a garage. He was also fined.
The temptation to watch UEFA screen. As they watched two matches
Champions League quarter-finals - Manchester United against Barcelona
football on TV both featuring Lionel and Juventus against Ajax - on TV at a
Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo back- nearby shopping mall, thieves raided
fired for some Kenya policemen when the post and escaped with three rifles
thieves raided their unmanned post and ammunition, according to a police
and made off with weaponry. The inci- report seen by Reuters. European foot-
dent occurred on Tuesday night after ball, particularly the English Premier
the officers shut down the Kamor- League, is highly popular in Kenya
won police post in a western region and across the African continent.
of Kenya and went in search of a TV

36 May. 10 - 16 2019
Is bigger car
safer in collision?
By Motoring Guru is not clear how driver airbags are impacted heavier car will push the lighter car back-

D
by vehicle size. ward during the impact, which means the
o you think a smaller car can be as Generally speaking, however, big cars velocity change of the heavier car will be
safe as a large car if the two col- will do better in a collision with a smaller much less than that of the lighter car.
lide? Really, doesn’t size matter in car. This is a result of the physics of the The age of car also matters. If you’re in
a collision? Many people would crash, where the heavier object will experi- an older, heavier type of 4×4 and you hit a
say it does. But some experts say the answer ence a lower deceleration and therefore low- lighter more modern vehicle with a crumple
is not quite clear. er forces on the occupants. But a big vehicle zone, the occupants in the smaller but mod-
Occupant safety in a collision could come hits a larger stationary object, then there’s ern car will be better off. Crumple zones
down to a range of other factors whether a lot more weight in a larger car, which absorb the energy, ensuring that the pas-
the vehicle is big or small. The development means more crash energy to deal with. senger cell remains relatively intact with the
of crumple zones and vehicle crash struc- A research conducted in mid-1990s vehi- front and rear airbags firing to further pro-
tures, airbags and even things like multi- cles determined that SUVs weren’t any safer tect the occupants and the impact deflected
collision braking can have a huge effect in for their drivers than the ‘average’ medium along the vehicle’s sill, A-pillar and roof.
collisions. or large car and not much safer than many In older heavier cars, the solid main chas-
It is also argued that mass could be a compact and subcompact cars. sis member doesn’t budge. This sends the
more important safety feature than size When a car crashes into a solid barrier, shock of the impact cannoning through the
for most car-to-car collisions. But size may the outcome depends in part on the size of rest of the vehicle causing the vehicle to
predominate more in rollover crashes and the front end. If one car’s front end is long crush and deform. Passengers may suffer
single-vehicle accidents generally. enough to crush twice as much as another leg crashes from the dashboard and steering
Other studies like to look at mass (size) car’s in a barrier crash at the same speed, its wheel.
in combination with other safety determi- restrained occupants will experience half as So the passenger cell construction and
nants. For example an unbelted driver in a much force as the people in the smaller car strength is important. In some small cars,
2000kg car has the same amount of protec- because it takes them twice as long to stop. it is designed to crumple in a collision to
tion as a belted driver in a 1140kg car. This When two cars going the same speed protect the occupants. So, is big better in a
means drivers of small cars gain more from crash front to front, the outcome depends vehicle collision? No, not always.
being restrained than those of larger ones. It in part on the cars’ relative weights. The

May. 10 - 16 2019 37
Najjemba Mbabali: On Museveni’s letter
that took four years to reach her
`Serving as a minister was a struggle because
many ministers clash for visibility and work’
By Agnes E. Nantaba In 2006 Najjemba was elected Woman Progressive SS for Advanced level.

R
MP Gomba District. Her focus was Today, she is married to Muyanja Mba-
osemary Mariam Najjemba Mbaba- health promotion and she became the baali, the MP for Bukoto South constitu-
li is a former politician, turned fash- chairperson of the Parliamentary Com- ency. She is a mother of three children.
ion designer and owner of Celebrity mittee on HIV/AIDS and Vice Chair- She says her constituents still ask her to
Styles; a boutique. She was Minister person of the ICT Committee. return to politics and she is yet to decide
of Urban Planning between 2012 and 2016. In her second term, she was appointed to return or not.
She is the former two-term Woman MP for Minister of Housing in charge of Urban
Gomba District until 2016. Development.
Najjemba says her “turning point” “It was another struggle but I am
came when she met President Yoweri grateful for the opportunity by the Presi-
Museveni in 1996. It was all arranged by dent to allow me to serve my country,”
her mother, the late Aisha Nababi, who she says, “Many ministers clash for vis-
was Local Council Woman Secretary and ibility and work.”
co-organizer of the president’s visit to During that time, Najjemba was also
their area in Maddu a few miles away elected National Women’s chairperson, a
from Kisozi. Her mother ensured that position she held until 2018.
Najjemba caught the President’s eye She quit politics after two terms, and
during question time. And Najjemba did now concentrates on her fashion busi-
not disappoint. ness. She sees it as one way to keep
As arranged, Najjemba spoke about her interacting with people; especially
the difficulty young graduates faced women.
in finding jobs. She had just finished Najjemba says that as a child, she was
writing her final examinations for a not keen on politics although she held
bachelor’s degree in Political Science and leadership positions in school and
History at Makerere University Kampala was “politically alert”.
and cited her example and said she could She went to Bat Valley Primary
help people of Gomba District; especially School for primary education when
with health promotion. her father, Samuel Muganga, moved
She later met privately with the Presi- to Kampala from Gomba in pursuit of
dent and he even appointed her to be better jobs and education. Her father
his “political officer.” But the letter came was polygamous and had a big family.
four years later! So Najjemba says she was among the
“The whole process was sluggish and many “middle children.” She later joined
yet I could no longer meet with the Presi- Kitante Hill School
dent,” she says. for Ordinary
From the same meeting, however, she Level and
was also assigned as a health promotion
officer in Gomba. There was an outbreak
of cholera that many misconceived to
be witchcraft. The role meant studying
short courses in health education facili-
tated by the Ministry of Health and
Mulago Hospital. Four years
later, she was appointed as
Presidential Assistant in
charge of Research. She
did that for five years.
The job exposed
her to the political
system and even-
tually influenced
her joining active
politics.

38 May. 10 - 16 2019
news analysis
Q&A

Rosemary Mariam Najjemba’s Liteside


Any three things that perfumes. But I also appearances and can What do you regard
we don’t know about love so many beautiful never reveal their true as the lowest depth of

S
you? things. selves. misery?
ome people say Struggle for the
that I am tough What is your current What is the quality scarce resources;
and yet I am state of mind? you most like in a especially for children
so loving and I am happy. woman? born in very big
caring. I am a pillar in True love and care. polygamous families
my father’s home. I get What do you consider with financial
so hurt seeing people the most overrated What is the quality struggles. It results
I thought were close virtue? you most like in a into unhealthy
to me only for them to Perceptions about man? competition.
stab me in the back. culture and beliefs are Companionship,
too strong to the extent loving and comforting. What do you most
What is your idea of that some people do value in your friends?
perfect happiness? so many things not What or who is the Genuineness and
Family time is real for themselves but to greatest love of your honesty.
happiness for me. please others. I would life?
rather someone takes My husband, family, Who are your favorite
What is the trait a decision that makes and siblings. writers?
you most deplore in them happy and Bill Clinton in
yourself? realise their goals for When and where were his book ‘My early
I am too frank the good of society. you happiest? days’; in his book he
something that doesn’t Some issues don’t In 2004, when I describes how he went
go well with most need approvals from gave birth to my son, through struggles but
people. They prefer others and are meant I couldn’t believe I with perseverance,
to have things sugar to be self-propelled could bring life to he made it to being
coated as opposed to because it starts from this world. I was also president of USA.
the honest truth. within. happy at the birth
of my second child. Who is your hero of
What is the trait What does being I will always live to fiction?
you most deplore in powerful mean to remember the first I love passionate
others? you? time meeting with fashion stars.
Being two faced The power to decide, President Museveni
doesn’t go well with choose and influence and it remains my Which historical
me. However, I first for better. Being turning point. I figure do you most
take my time before powerful also means have never felt as identify with?
signing-off someone. self-approval. happy and shaken Bill Clinton proves
as I felt the day Hon that life is a process
Which living person On what occasion do Mbabali made his first of ups and downs. It
do you most admire? you lie? official visit to my helps to appreciate
President Museveni I strive to live with parents. The feeling is life the more and live
remains a father the truth. unexplainable. meaningfully.
figure to me.
What do you most Which talent would What is your greatest
What is your dislike about your you most like to have? regret?
greatest appearance? I sing a lot but only I don’t regret
extravagance? I have managed to for fun. anything because life
I can’t work on my weight is a process.
travel and and so nothing else Where would you
return bothers me. most like to live? How would you like
without Nowhere else apart to die?
Which living person from Uganda. Peacefully
do you most despise?
I despise men What is your most What is your motto?
who keep double treasured possession? Stand out
standards. They I treasure life for
only live to keep up myself and family.

May. 10 - 16 2019 39
Global comment
By Josh Friedman
The value of fake news
Officials in young democracies who constrain irresponsible
journalists impede development of a credible press

O
n a trip to Ethiopia in the 1990s, seeking historical evidence for his claim Likewise, after the collapse of the Soviet
I met with Prime Minister Meles that insufficiently professional journalism Union, media of all types flourished. But
Zenawi to try to persuade him to justified suppression of the press; that way, some of the newly independent successor
stop jailing journalists. Since Me- I could counter his argument on my next states embraced the idea that media “guide-
les’s guerillas had ousted a repressive So- trip. I found one precedent in early U.S. lines” were needed. Many enacted laws that
viet-backed dictatorship a few years before, history. In fact, Meles’s words were eerily were advertised as ensuring a free press, but
there had been an explosion of exuberant similar to arguments made in the eighteenth that have been used to penalise journalists
and sometimes wildly inaccurate little century by U.S. President John Adams and for aggressive, critical reporting. Libel was
newspapers, many of them attacking Meles. his Federalists, who denounced a free and criminalised. Enormous fines were imposed
So he had cracked down, introducing laws enthusiastic press that disseminated criti- on independent publications, broadcasters,
criminalising what he called “insults” to the cism – both accurate and inaccurate – of the and bloggers.
government and fining and imprisoning new country’s politicians. China and Turkey – both Olympic-level
journalists for inaccuracies. Ethiopia quickly Arguing that an unrestrained press threat- jailers of journalists – have ramped up their
became one of the world’s top jailors of ened America’s future, Adams succeeded repression in recent years. Just last month,
journalists. temporarily in stifling journalists in 1798, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed
Now, with a new reformist prime min- when he signed the Alien and Sedition new laws authorising punishment of indi-
ister, Abiy Ahmed, in office for just one Acts, which authorised imprisoning and viduals and online media for spreading
year, Ethiopia has made so much progress fining journalists who “write, print, utter, or so-called fake news and information that
in freeing jailed journalists and lifting press publish any false, scandalous and malicious “disrespects” the state.
controls that it is hosting World Press writing” against the government. Twenty U.S. President Donald Trump is trying
Freedom Day. newspaper editors were subsequently to go in the same direction. His constant
But don’t celebrate yet. Some in the newly jailed. branding of journalists as “liars” and “ene-
freed press are publishing sometimes inac- But Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic- mies of the people” echoes the Nazis’ pre-
curate stories – whipping up ethnic and Republicans pushed back against the Feder- ferred label for the media: the Lügenpresse
tribal enmity and attacking Abiy. With the alists, both in Congress and the courts. And, (lying press).
first free elections in 15 years taking place fortunately for U.S. journalists, Jefferson was Even in the European Union, journalists
next year, he is in the same spot Meles was, elected president in 1800. Within two years, are still jailed for criminal libel and insulting
and is considering restoring some of the the alien and sedition laws either expired the government, according to a 2014 Inter-
press controls he had canceled. or were repealed. That opened the way for national Press Institute study. “The vast
Before he does that, he should take a long the American press to experiment, thereby majority of EU states maintain criminal
and critical look at Meles’s crackdown and developing – over more than two centuries defamation provisions that provide impris-
the lesson it holds: journalists are irrepress- – a culture of deep and accurate reporting, onment as a possible punishment,” the IPI
ible, and controlling them achieves nothing including consistent fact-checking. found. “Prosecutions continue to be carried
in the long run. In fact, it merely delays the There’s no shortcut to a vibrant free press; out and journalists continue to be sentenced
development of a more professional media. it takes a long period of trial and error for to criminal punishments.”
Meles had offered a simple explanation the norms and institutions of professional Allowing the press to experiment, make
for his government’s actions. “Our journal- journalism to develop. Politicians must trust mistakes, and learn from them has been
ists are not professional like those in the the process – and maintain a thick skin. crucial to the success of democracies world-
United States and Western Europe,” he told While repressive media laws may benefit wide. That is why governments and civil
me. “They do not know how to report the leaders in the short run, in the long run, societies need to be vigilant in supporting a
news accurately. We must set guidelines for they stunt the development of a country’s free press, even – or especially – if it is still
them until they learn how to do their jobs.” press. developing.
If he were alive today, Meles would prob- There is quantitative evidence of this
ably be railing against “fake news.” effect. When the French Revolution began
Over more than three decades of fighting in 1789, press restrictions were lifted. Four Josh Friedman, a Pulitzer-Prize winning
for a worldwide free press, and as an early years later, there were more than 400 news- journalist, was Chair of the Committee to
chairman of the Committee to Protect papers in the country, including 150 in Paris Protect Journalists and Director of International
Journalists, I have heard arguments like alone. By 1799, that figure had risen to 1,300 Programs at the Columbia University Graduate
Meles’s many times. Journalists, officials in newspapers across the country. That was School of Journalism. He now chairs the Logan
emerging democracies often insist, must be 1,300 venues for aspiring journalists to learn Nonfiction Program advisory board, sits on the
constrained by the state until they are able and hone their craft. advisory board of the Dart Center on Journalism
to carry out their work responsibly. But But the revolution took a repressive turn. and Trauma, and serves as Vice-Chair at the
rather than accelerating the development of By the time Napoleon Bonaparte took Carey Institute for Global Good.
a credible free press, this approach impedes power in 1799, the number of newspapers
it. in Paris had plunged to 72. He soon reduced
After my meeting with Meles, I began that number to 13, and then, in 1811, to four. Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.

40 May. 10 - 16 2019
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