August 2014
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Day August 12, 2014

Court nullifies Odoki’s reappointment as CJ

Senior State Attorney in the Attorney General’s office Kadoli Wanyama, acting on behalf of disgraced Attorney General has initiated an appeal process against the majority of Constitutional Court Judgment that rejected the re-appointment of Justice Benjamin Odoki, now also disgraced, as Chief Justice of Uganda.The case of Justice Benjamin Odoki’s reappointment at the age past 70 years as Chief Justice – even though intended to maximize on his capabilities, is unconstitutional and immoral. There are capable brains in Ugandan legal fraternity that are capable of becoming CJ and able to execute that job with excellence. It is only natural to nurture new talent while honoring those who have served diligently. Museweri should appoint Benjamin Odoki an Ambassador to Tripoli or Gaza if he so badly wants to maximize on Odoki’s residual capabilities.

There are two obvious issues as articulated by the Constitutional Court judgment. First, that there is no provision for reappointing someone who has already served as CJ to the maximum term limited by age of 70yrs as corroborated by respective provisions 130, 133, 142 (1), 142 (3), 143 (1) , 144 (1) (a), 147 (1) (a), 147 (2) of the Odoki’s Constitution. Second, in my lay opinion, the reappointment could have been reasonably acceptable if Justice Odoki had not clocked the age of 70 man years based on Art 253 (1).

Lillian Tibatemwa (Lead judgement): “…The advice of the JSC is a prerequisite for the appointment of a Chief Justice and an appointment done without the advice from Judicial Service Commission is in contravention of articles; 142 (1), 147 (1) (a) 147 (2) (3) (a) and 253.”

Solomy Balungi Bossa: “It becomes crystal clear that one of the conditions that a nominee for the appointment of re-appointment of the Chief Justice must fulfill is that he/she should not be above 70 years, a mandatory age for retirement stipulated under Article 144 (1) (a). Therefore, there would be no legal basis for which to make the re-appointment and doing so would violate the spirit of the Constitution [embedded in]Articles 143, 144 and 253.”

Eldad Mwangusya: “It’s also my view that the framers of the constitution would not have intended that all the appointments of judicial officers including the acting appointments would be made under Article 142 and that of the Chief Justice would be made outside this provision. My conclusion would be that a retired Chief Justice is not eligible for the reappointment under article 253… The advice of the judicial service commission is a prerequisite. There is no doubt that the final authority in appointment of Chief Justice is the President. The President and even Parliament may not be bound by the advice of the JSC on the suitability of a particular candidate. But where like in this case the JSC [Judicial Service Commission] advised against the appointment of a particular candidate, that advice should have been heeded to.”

Appeal Basis:

The Article 253 (1) provides that where any person has vacated an office established by the Constitution, that person may, if qualified again be appointed or elected to hold that office in accordance with the provision of the Constitution (See Chapter 17 on page 114). This is also likely to be the basis of the appeal by State Attorney Kadoli Wanyama. But this claim can fall flat on its face because Benjamin Odoki is disqualified naturally by age – he is over the age of 70. Therefore, even if he may be qualified to all extent, his rather advanced age disadvantages him naturally. I believe that if Odoki were under the age of 70, his reappointment would be in order and consistent with Art 253 (1).

However, is it normal for a man who chaired the drafting of the constitution to be hanging on to a reappointment which is controversial and that which threatens the integrity of the very constitution which he helped nurture? Do we Ugandans still have decorum or conscience? Let them also remove the age limit because that is what Museweri is using the Odoki case to scheme for Constitutional amendment which is coming to the House very soon. Over to your lawyers and Judges of human deeds and character!!


Traffic Noise is Dangerous for Your Health

Traffic noise is the second biggest environmental problem in the EU, according to WHO. After air pollution, noise is affecting health the most.Most of us are not aware that cars today produce as much noise on the outside as they did 40 years ago. However, heavy vehicles have become somewhat quieter. The number of people exposed to noise pollution in our cities remains high. Traffic noise is today linked to stress-related health problems such as stroke and heart disease.

Excessive noise damages thousands of cells in the ear leading to an immediate loss of hearing, which happens in explosions and wars. Constant exposure to noise may lead to a gradual damage of the cells and a gradual loss of hearing. Deafness may even result from a bullet fired or an explosion.Records on workers in Sweden indicate that many are exposed to loud machinery noise daily. About 5,000 people suffered hearing loss in 1973 and the figure rose to 16,000 in 1977. An official report of the Environment Affairs Council in US issued in 1970 indicated that about 16 million industrial workers faced the risk of losing their jobs due to the weakness in their hearing abilities.

The fetus floats on fluids that protect it from jerking movements, but barely from noise. It can hear internal sounds (the mother’s heart beat, the movement of the intestines, and the air in her lungs) as well as external sounds (the mother’s voice and any surrounding sounds or voices). Studies indicate that the fetus experiences muscular spasms if the mother is exposed to excessive noise.

UK’s HSBC Closes More Muslims’ Accounts

In a systematic anti-Muslim campaign, HSBC British Bank has closed the account of a renowned British Muslim activist,Azzam tamimi, who is the founder of the Arabic language Al Hiwar TV channel, and his wife, amid reports of an imminent closure of more accounts held by Muslims organizations.

Last month, HSBC closed several accounts held by key Islamic organizations across UK, sparking anger among UK Muslims and the organizations’ leaders who said they were being unfairly targeted in an “Islamophobic campaign”.

The Cordoba Foundation think-tank, Finsbury Park Mosque in north London and Bolton-based charity the Ummah Welfare Trust were among Muslims NGOs that faced accounts closure by HSBC that claimed they were “too risky”.

A similar action is expected to be faced by more UK Muslim NGOs, according to the Guardian.According to Muslim activists, the main reason behind the closure of Tamimi’s account is because of his support for Gaza and Syria.

Israel Speaks: “We Purposefully Attack Civilians”

In a video recording dated in 2012, Netanyahu can be seen speaking to what presumably are family members, women and children, completely unawares to the fact that his remarks are being recorded the entire time.

Netanyahu explains that, “The main thing, first of all, is to hit them [the Arabs]. Not just one blow, but blows that are so painful that the price will be too heavy to be borne,” a policy doctrine we are now seeing play out in Israel’s current assault on Gaza in which the “price” that is intended to be “too heavy to be borne,” is measured in the indiscriminate murder of innocent civilian lives, their homes, their playgrounds, their beaches, their schools, their mosques, their hospitals.

The Prime Minister further clarifies the “pain” he wished to inflict upon the Arabs, “A broad attack on the Palestinian Authority, to bring them to the point of being afraid that everything is collapsing.” A women can then be heard asking the question, “Wait a moment, but then the world will say ‘how come you’re conquering again?’”

Netanyahu’s reply?

“The world won’t say a thing. The world will say we’re defending.”

Israel has shown in Protective Edge that no one and no place in Gaza, not even children’s playgrounds and hospitals in which no militants whatsoever are present, is immune from the all-powerful roar of the highly-tuned, well-oiled and technologically sophisticated multi-billion dollar US-made killing machine that it has now descended upon the mostly defenseless, economically strangled, and poverty-induced population of Gaza (a WikiLeaks cable quoted an Israeli official in 2008 telling the US that they would “keep Gaza’s economy on the brink of collapse,” to ensure that the economy was “functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis”).

I have not registered, because my traditional elders are still studying the motive to brief me.

Hello Gen.Aronda,

I have not registered, because my traditional elders are still studying the motive behind this exercise to brief me. First of all, I believe that this registration shouldn’t have deadlines. It should be done by Passport and Immigration Office non-stop.

Secondly,citizenship by ‘decent’ is not on the registration form! When you look at the form, Part A 4, under citizenship type there are: 1. By Birth, 2. By Registration, 3. By Naturalization and 4. Dual Citizenship. I think citizenship by Descent means an inherited citizenship status as a descendant of the forefathers of this land, which is already clearly defined in the constitution, that is the only supreme document in this country. A mere form designed for registration process can not override the Supremacy of the Constitution. I questioned those registering about the nature of my citizenship. They told me that all Ugandans are being registered as Citizens by birth! I thought that category belongs to persons who were simply born in Uganda but came from somewhere else. Some one should explain this anomaly for me, please.

Anyway, what does our constitution say about all this:

Article 17(1) para (h) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, of course not Explicitly stating ID registration provides thus: ” It is the duty of every citizen of Uganda – to register for electoral and other lawful purposes;” I submit that the National ID registration is a lawful purpose but I haven’t just taken part because i suspect bad motives such as corruption.

Paragraph (d) ibid states also that ” its the duty of every citizen of Uganda – to protect and preserve public property , (I) to combat corruption and misuse or wastage of public property;

Article 9 – on the Citizenship of Uganda, states that, “Every person who, on the commencement of this Constitution, is a citizen of Uganda shall continue to be such a citizen.”

Article 10. Citizenship by birth. The following persons shall be citizens of Uganda by birth
(a) every person born in Uganda one of whose parents or grandparents is or was a member of any of the indigenous communities existing and residing within the borders of Uganda as at the first day of February, 1926, and set out in the Third Schedule to this Constitution; and
(b) every person born in or outside Uganda one of whose parents or grandparents was at the time of birth of that person a citizen of Uganda by birth.

Then (2) The following persons shall, upon application, be registered as citizens of Uganda

– every person married to a Uganda citizen upon proof of a legal and subsisting marriage of three years or such other period prescribed by Parliament;
– every person who has legally and voluntarily migrated to and has been living in Uganda for at least ten years or such other period prescribed by Parliament;
– every person who, on the commencement of this Constitution, has lived in Uganda for at least twenty years.

This whole thing of registration is bogus – for instance why are Ugandans below 18 years not being registered, are they not Ugandans? How can registration of citizens have deadlines? What service does GOU provides to its citizens in the first place? Honestly, How many ID’s do we need to identify ourselves? I have 7 valid ID’s and a passport totaling to 8 and all these are used to identify me. How many really!? simply put, some of us have refused to register. So what will you do?


UNAA must be saved, UNAA must be cleaned, UNAA must be …………

In his response to one of the questions which was asked as to why after the promises which were made way back in January promising to release the venue for next year’s UNAA convention, Mr. Kwesiga, blamed the delay on the fact that some members of the “Council laid their tools and walked away!”

Without explaining why some Council member’s chose to “walk away…” Brian Kwesiga, went on to solicit for more help in San Diego during his convention because his Executive is “Short handed!”

What the UNAA President does not and will not explain to the unsuspecting listeners and a handful of his remaining followers is that it is the duty and responsibility of the UNAA Executive to select the convention host city, not the Council as he intentionally chose to mislead his THIRTY members of the audience who called in yesterday during his first “UNAA Town Hall” meeting. Thanks for the UNAAcauses team from whom Kwesiga borrowed a leaf of the need for reaching out via “Town Hall” meetings.

It is always anybody else and everybody else who have been in the wrong! Brian Kwesiga and his team of advisers see nothing wrong in whatever they have been doing for almost one full year of violating and abusing the organizations constitution. If only Kwesiga, was to take account of his mistakes and own up to his mistakes and arrogance, UNAA’s negative image and a divided organization would have been a different story today. Like his boss Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who is known for calling his opponents, “Swine, empty headed,….belong six feet under….” Brian Kwesiga, was heard yesterday addressing elected UNAA Council member [8] who are opposed to his misrule as ” Narrow-minded….!”

Assuming that the founders of UNAACauses who have successfully organized THREE “Town Hall” Meetings with a record attendance of the highest having been 110 callers plus compared to Kwesiga’s THIRTY with his Executive combined, surely, the “Narrow-minded” must be doing something attractive that the “Broad-minded’ needs to emulate!

But that is not all, when the “Narrow-Minded” a derogatory remark which is not the first from Kwesiga’s camp towards his fellow UNAA leaders, decided to openly oppose his constitutional abuse and decided to negotiate an alternatively affordable Hotel next door to the Hyatt, the self styled “Broad-Minded” said the hotel would never fill up in fact his surrogates did everything they could including and not limited to calling in the hotel to make bogus reservations using fake names. In spite of all the old village like rotten antiques, the Marriott has been filled with registered with members interested in making an impact in the future of UNAA by advancing the core values of what the actual Causes of UNAA are.

During yesterdays Town hall meeting, it was also alleged by some planted confusing agents that UNAACauses is “Illegal!” and only out there to confuse people! If truth be told, UNAACauses is legitimate. The pressure group is constitutionally bound under UNAA constitution. Just like Brian’s UNAA is partnership with so many indigenous organizations, the UNAACauses as a pressure group is in partnership with some locally owned Church groups in the Sn Diego area which Church groups will be holding Church Services and “All night prayers” alongside the Festival programs.

Indeed, as the idiom goes, “When it rains, it pours…!” Out of desperation, a lot has been said, many prophets of doom have surfaced and vanished in thin air because fighting the truth based on falsehood and manipulation cannot succeed given the determination and will of members behind the protracted war against such evils as, nepotism, fraud, lies and deception and dictatorship. It is always a matter of time. And the time is now for the Grand Ayatollah’s of UNAA and their puppets to smell the coffee.

UNAA must be saved, UNAA must be cleaned, UNAA must be brought back to it’s original values, objectives and Causes.

RevJoseph Kamugisha.

M7 too hires lobbyists in Washington DC To Further his Ills!

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has an interesting strategy to lift the recent sanctions imposed by the US over the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act. His plan involves using its own lawmakers and other political powerhouses in the US’s own backyard.According to federal disclosure filings, the government of Uganda has hired the services of DC consulting firm Mercury to aid in its public relations and lobby in US soil. The signing of the one-year, $600,000 contract came one month after the Obama administration announced its initial substantial sanctions against the African country for its harsh laws against the LGBT community there.

Even Western countries have hired lobbyists in Washington DC. That is how they get favourable policies passed to advance their economic interests. In DC, it is who you know that gets you through the door. It is big money business and the lobby firms usually staffed by both Democrats and Republicans to ensure access irrespective of which party in power gets things done. So there is nothing wrong with African leaders doing what Western countries routinely do. Actually it is long over due.

The Whitaker Group worked to engineer a turnaround in Uganda’s troubled image, assisted by, Rosa Whitaker, a former top official for African affairs from both the Bush and Clinton administrations. Rwanda, Tanzania and others have all paid for representation from K Street insiders.The Whitaker Group was credited with promoting investments in Uganda’s cotton industry and boosting trade by helping global giant Starbucks purchase Ugandan coffee. But in 2009, President Yoweri Museveni’s government continued its suppression of political opponents and gays. Museveni then maneuvered to change the constitution to allow him cling to power. The firm broke off its relationship.

The old guards are uncomfortable as the face of diplomacy has changed from the traditional to modern diplomacy. Studies in modern diplomacy indicate new diplomatic approaches.Somalia’s 2011 contract with Park Strategies was $240,000.
Somaliland and Puntland, autonomous regions in Somalia, hired their own lobbyists. Puntland hired the Moffett Group – a Washington firm run by former Connecticut Congressman Toby Moffett – to help get ConocoPhillips to reinvest in its oil exploration leases. Somaliland hired the Glover Park Group – run by former Clinton administration officials Carter Eskew, Joe Lockhart and Michael Feldman – and in March signed a new contract worth $22,500 per month.

Last summer, Nigeria agreed to pay the Glover Park Group $30,000 a month, plus expenses. Documents show Nigeria was particularly concerned with U.S. policies related to security cooperation between the two countries.

Madagascar hired the U.S. Fed Group to arrange a series of meetings for its transitional president President H.E. Rajoelina in key American states – and an invitation to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) conference in June 2012. Records show U.S. Fed paid Quintairos, Preito, Wood and Boyer in Chicago $75,000 to score the invitation and an appearance with Bill Clinton and meetings with the mayor of Chicago, governor of Illinois and other officials.

Mauritius paid the Washington firm Ryberg & Smith LLP $600,000 from 2003 to 2011. This year, federal records show, it is paying Mercury LLC a $20,000-a-month to advance issues related to its “sovereignty.” (Mauritius claims sovereignty over the Chagos islands, where the key American military base on Diego Garcia is located).

Kenya paid Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter and Associates $2.4 million in 2008, followed by roughly another $2 million in 2009, to lobby policymakers and burnish the country’s reputation among business leaders in Washington, New York and other cities. In 2010, the Kenyan government entered an agreement with both Chlopak and the Moffett Group for advocacy and communication services.

South Sudan hired the firm Independent Diplomat when it seceded from the north in 2011, to help the new country secure diplomatic recognition as an independent state.

Traditionally, only diplomats accredited by their nations discussed and lobbied on behalf of their governments. In modern diplomacy however, there are many diplomats outside the docket of embassies; here we find INGO, cultural groups, friends, fraternities (sports, religious, businesses, media houses, etc) etc all doing different roles traditionally done by accredited staff. That does not mean embassies have lost value or power, what this means is that they have to change approach.

The traditional approach is no longer attainable as it has been overtaken by events. Imagine with the advent of modern media, nationals everywhere do see events happening thousands of miles away at the comfort of their sitting/living rooms; and powerful lobbyists can get what they want done there in a short time.

To get something, diplomats have to use several approaches including hosting parties in their embassies, in the homes where the spouses play a big role to help the main person.So when our leaders send their political appointees to embassies, you know the level of representation your country has. The spouses should be well educated persons who could as well be appointed to diplomatic positions because they are part of the diplomatic team but when you appoint a person who never studied diplomacy, there are more chances that the fellows have no idea of what they are supposed to do.

In other countries (especially developed countries) diplomacy is a career where one advances accordingly and for others not directly working under foreign affairs, the guys may have studied international relations and/or have done similar assignments which qualify them to do the same even if they were politicians.
Uganda has well trained and real diplomats who could do our country much pride. I am surprised to read political appointees complaining of being undermined and the ministry of foreign affairs stating that the problem concerns money.It is just because such people are used to free money otherwise, huge money can be got in those countries if only the officers are well educated in diplomacy.

I challenge government of Uganda to fill those positions with career diplomats and the country’s image will be for the better, there is no need spending too much money buying white wash. As a diplomat, I will not fear to advise my government on the way forward, that is my work as a career person.

Peter Simon.

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