Saturday, June 30, 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012
SUB - COUNTY COUNCILS SHOULD MAINTAIN ENGLISH IN COUNCIL MEETINGS
If Uganda is to develop at all, it is the sub - county that is focal point hence the councilors should be literate. The law to help debates in local languages is therefore misplaced.
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THE CASE FOR OPTIMISM AFTER RIO+20
Rio+20: reasons to be cheerful Despite the criticisms of the Earth summit in Brazil – many echoing the 1992 meeting – much that was positive emerged People demonstrate in favour of small-scale sustainable agriculture at the Rio+20 summit in Brazil People from various nations demonstrate in favour of small-scale sustainable agriculture at the Rio+20 summit in Brazil. Photograph: Felipe Dana/AP Read the post mortems and commentaries from Rio+20, and you'd think a global disaster had taken place. The UN multilateral system is said to be in crisis, the environment is falling off the edge, and every blade of grass and hillside is for sale. Pundits and NGOs scream that it was "the greatest failure of collective leadership since the first world war", "a bleak day, a disastrous meeting" and "a massive waste of time and money". Perspective, please. Reaction after the 1992 Rio summit was uncannily similar. Countries passed then what now seem far-sighted treaties and embedded a slew of aspirations and commitments into international documents – but NGOs and journalists were still distraught. They said the climate change agreement was too weak, that sustainable development was too abstract a concept, that the promised aid was inadequate, and that the US had guaranteed the felling of the Amazon forest by refusing to sign the biodiversity convention. There were, they said, no agreements on population growth or subsidies, or oceans, or trade, or women's rights … and myriad other issues. In short, just like Rio 2012, the meeting was said to be a dismal failure of governments to co-operate. I was pretty downhearted then, too. So when I returned I went to see Richard Sandbrook, a legendary environmental activist who co-founded Friends of the Earth, directed the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and profoundly influenced a generation of governments, business leaders and NGOs before he died in 2005. Sandbrook made the point (I paraphrase) that NGOs always scream murder because it is their job to push governments, that pundits exaggerate because they are controversialists, and that UN conferences must disappoint because all views have to be accommodated. But what was important about Rio 1992, he said, was not the agreements signed or the promises made – it would be naive to think they would be met, he thought – but that a new global understanding about development and the environment was emerging, which would challenge orthodoxies and bring change. The articulation of the problems and the discussion about the solutions was as important as the limited response that any government could give. So should we be depressed, I asked. Not at all, he replied. Change does not happen in a few days' intense negotiation. It is a long, muddled, cultural process that cannot come from a UN meeting. Had the UN ever stopped torture or war, animal cruelty, or the trafficking of children? Had it ever made trade fair or stopped corruption? No, he said, and you should not expect it to. Real change comes from stronger institutions, better public information, promises being kept, the exchange of views, pressure from below, and events that make people see the world differently. And not from governments, which are always full of empty rhetoric and which follow rather than lead. So, in the light of the vast growth in global environmental awareness and technological change that has taken place in the past 20 years, and which is bound to grow in the next 20, here are a few good reasons to look back at Rio+20 and be a little more cheerful: 1) It didn't fall apart. This was actually a fantastic achievement. Until the last day, the US and developed countries appeared hell-bent on returning environmental negotiations to where they were 25 years ago. As Martin Khor, head of the South Centre in Geneva, said: "The biggest battle in Rio was to get developed countries to just renew the original commitments of the 1992 Earth summit." Only on the last day, under intense pressure from everyone, did the US give in. Phew. 2) Rich countries and western NGOs wanted to rush through targets and timetables for fresh environmental goals, but this was sensibly resisted. Not as some would have it because poor countries like living with pollution, degraded forests, depleted seas and endless slums, but because they rightly said social and economic factors had to be taken into account, too. Besides, it was pointed out, there are already plenty of international targets and timetables; what is needed is stronger institutions to run and police them. 3) Rio+20 was an extraordinary trade fair of political, social, technological and commercial ideas. There were more than 3,000 fringe events. A new generation of business and political leaders has started to connect company success with social and environmental issues that were previously the concern only of NGOs. South-based social and justice movements that barely existed 20 years ago raised the temperature, and technological innovators, social media and traditional NGOs all found their voice. 4) Two eye-catching global bottom-up initiatives emerged, both of which are sure to grow into great global causes over the next 20 years. The first is the push, led by Greenpeace, to protect the Arctic, and the other is to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. 5) The promise of a strengthened UN environment programme and a high-level political forum on sustainable development to replace the existing Sustainable Development Commission was entirely positive. If they are allowed to set an agenda, and are given high political backing, then the modest document coming out of the summit could be transformed in time into a world-changing process.
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IT IS RUBBISH TO ARGUE THAT BECAUSE UGANDA IS A YOUNG DEMOCRAY, THERE SHOULD NOT BE REGIME CHANGE
It is common knowledge that the Electoral Commission (EC) is an organ of the NRM. It is no secret that the vote register on which billion have been spent has many ghosts. They can sing praises for the NRM, but the day they get to their senses, they will realise that what they call a young decocracy and a leader can cling on may turn and they may be worse victims. Stop taking Ugandans for fools. People are looting the country left and right , all injustice is going on including some of the acts the EC is involved in. But time is now for all of use to get to our senses and do things right. William Kituuka Kiwanuka ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- REGIME CHANGE FINDINGS FALL SHORT, EC SAYS By John Njoroge Posted Friday, June 29 2012 at 01:00 In Summary Hasty process. Electoral Commission officials say the researchers of the report should have exhaustively acquainted themselves with the democratic process in the country before making conclusions. Researchers should appreciate Uganda’s growing infant democracy while assessing the political atmosphere in the country, the Electoral Commission (EC) has said. The comment came a day after researchers from Makerere University’s Political Science department and the French Institute for Research and Development said it was unlikely for change of government to occur in Uganda through elections in the current political environment. Declining to comment further on the research inference that election outcomes in Uganda do not necessarily reflect the will of the people, EC spokesperson Willy Ochola yesterday said the researchers should have exhaustively acquainted themselves with the country’s past history before drawing such conclusions. “Our democracy is still young and you cannot judge it like European democracies that have lasted hundreds of years,” Mr Ochola said. Although yet to be published formally, the preliminary findings of the new research state Uganda has a disillusioned electorate. Uganda has also been described as to have a complex hybrid regime which combines open restrictions of the enjoyment of democratic rights while seemingly allowing free will of the people to flourish. Share This Story Share The researchers also concluded that the 2011 post-election violence reflected public dissatisfaction with Uganda’s electoral processes. President Museveni was declared winner of last year’s elections with 68.38 per cent over a 26 per cent reported as having been garnered by Dr Kizza Besigye, the Forum for Democratic Change president. Outright rejection of these results by the combined political opposition sparked off a series of protests countrywide which were brutally slapped down by the security services last year. The researchers also looked at the roles played by the opposition and donors in Uganda’s democracy. While donors have been accused of sacrificing democratic ideals for other interests like Uganda’s oil and its role in the war on terror, the opposition has also been accused of involvement in electoral malpractices and voter bribery during last year’s elections. FDC’s Salaam Musumba yesterday questioned the timing of the new research. She, however, agreed with the researchers that the country’s political atmosphere cannot allow for political change through the ballot. “It should be noted that no opposition party has ever won a (presidential) election in this country since 1996. The political environment is anti-change,” Ms Musumba added. firstname.lastname@example.org
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MUSEVENI WILL HEED TO PUBLIC OUTCRY AND NOT RETURN COME 2016
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EARLY PREGNANCIES BRING HIGH MORTALITY RATE FOR TEEN GIRLS
No girl should die giving birth A report from Save the Children ahead of the London summit on family planning argues that too many young girls die because their bodies are not ready for childbirth Another report on family planning – in what I suspect will become a deluge as the London summit nears – is published today. This one is by Save the Children and I find it particularly interesting because it broadens the debate. The issues highlighted so far have been largely logistical – how do you supply clinics in far-flung rural outposts of Africa with all the injectables and condoms that couples want? Married couples, that is usually, who have maybe four or more children already and want to stop. Certainly they need and deserve assistance, but Save's report also looks at another group entirely – the young women, sometimes no more than children themselves, who risk their lives and those of their babies if they become pregnant inside or outside of marriage. This is what it says: Worldwide, complications in pregnancy are the number one killer of girls and young women aged 15-19. Every year 50,000 teenage girls and young women die during pregnancy or childbirth, in many cases because their bodies are not ready to bear children. Babies born to mothers are also at far greater risk than those whose mothers are older. Each year around 1 million babies born to adolescent girls die before their first birthday … Many adolescent girls know little or nothing about family planning, let alone where to get it. Their low status within their families, communities and societies mean they lack the power to make their own decisions about whether or when to have a baby. No girl should die giving birth, and no child should die as a result of its mother being too young. This touches on some of the crucial issues which have caused such tension in the past among groups with strong religious, cultural or social views that the need for family planning has been pushed aside into a backwater. The low status of girls and their power to make decisions over their own bodies is fundamental. A recent report by Gordon Brown on child brides looked at the shocking reality from a different perspective – another way to tackle it is through education. The London summit on 11 July will hopefully be a golden moment. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and DfID, which have made it happen, want it to be the launch of a global movement for family planning. That will have to encompass the needs and lack of empowerment of girls as well as older mothers, and the solutions lie way beyond the family planning clinic. If the summit can raise expectations and aspirations for girls and women all over the world as well as raising money, it will be doing a great job.
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Thursday, June 28, 2012
GLOBAL DRUG USE IS SHIFTING FROM DEVELOPED TO DEVELOPING WORLD
Global illicit drug users to rise 25% by 2050, says UN Most of the increase expected to take place in urban populations of developing countries, but US prescription drug abuse is rising Heroin users There are about 27 million problem drug users, mainly chronic heroin or cocaine users, says the UN. Photograph: Pervez Masih/AP
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MOST SCHOOL FIRES ARE SET BY MALICIOUS PERSONS
There is a lot of rivalry in schools in Uganda. The basic indicator for more children and higher fees is normally how well or highly the children pass national examinations. Given this situation/position, proprietors of schools ought to do much more home work to ensure that the security of children is there. It is clear that those who burn schools are experienced at it and in many instances, it looks like they use petrol which is very difficult to put out. Schools ought to employ better trained personnel. Many times they employ school drop out who may not be that good at handling the challenges of the day. The prayer remain moral rehabilitation for our people who are morally sick. God help them change their ways. William Kituuka Kiwanuka ----------------------------------------------------------- 5 CHILDREN KILLED IN MASAKA SCHOOL FIRE Police have arrested two suspects in connection with a blazing fire that killed five pupils at St. Leos Junior Academy, Nyendo, Masaka on Wednesday night. Eli Kiyingi and Serwanja Sengoobi, all school administrators, have been detained at Nyendo Police Station for not swiftly alerting police when the raging fire gutted the school’s two dormitories. Detectives told Chimp Corps that instead of telephoning 999 for police rescue, the school authorities spent a staggering two hours trying to put out the fire using water, tree branches and soil. By the time a Good Samaritan telephoned police, the dormitories had been reduced to rubble. Five Primary One kids were burnt to ashes. The charred bodies were a disturbing sight, according to eyewitnesses. Southern Regional police commander Simon Peter Wafana confirmed the arrest, adding, investigations into the cause of the fire are under way.
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JOBS FOR GRADUATES IN UGANDA
Someone said that the most visited websites in Uganda are those to do with job offers. I would love to lecture to graduates on how to generate own employment, however, I would also love those who can access the Internet to get my write-up the reason why I have used "Jobs for graduates in Uganda." Thank you William Kituuka Kiwanuka --------------------------------------------------------- HOW THE GRADUATES CAN GO ABOUT WITH OWN EMPLOYMENT CREATION The Theme: ‘Unemployment of graduates could be a blessing in disguise’ “Graduates should eventually have the dream of employment under their control.” WHAT UNEMPLOYED GRADUATES MUST BE PREPARED TO DO: 1. Cultivate Trust – and be Trustworthy; 2. Improve Communication Skills; 3. Learn Project Proposal Writing Skills; 4. Change time spent on Social media to more productive time; 5. Ready to Venture with Minimal Financial Resources; 6. Ready to Learn and thereafter Implement; 7. Make their existence and abilities known 1. Graduates MUST cultivate trust before getting involved in any self employment initiatives. People MUST trust you to be able to work with you. Stop the greed of being rich too soon. “What grows very fast dies fast.” Graduates MUST equally “Cultivate hope” in what they venture out to do. 2. Graduates MUST improve their Communication Skills. It is a fact that a number of graduates have poor spoken and written English language. When you write something and it is so poorly made, the one to whom the communication is made loses interest in reading poorly constructed sentences which at times don’t bring out the meaning the writer intended to portray. Whenever possible, be straight to what your subject is about, not beating about the bush. 3. Project Proposal Writing Skills is a MUST for anybody who wants to generate own employment. There is a lot on Internet Search Engines regarding Project proposal writing skills. In fact some Calls for proposals make illustration of how the project write-up should be made. 4. Graduates ought to get from the time wasting on social media because it does not have ready returns, and instead use such precious time to dig for opportunities. Once in a while it is possible to make some appointment with executives who are in the area one wants to venture into. However, one has to be careful as some people are not positive to innovators, wherever you can grow your idea alone or as a group the better. 5. Venture out with minimal resources, but focused knowing that some party somewhere may be interested in the information/research you may have undertaken, and may be ready to pay a token to support your work. 6. When one is unemployed, one MUST be ready to learn or even read on one’s own if learning new ideas has the capacity to boost the graduate’s knowledge of venturing into the unknown. 7. If people get to know about you, even if you are not paid for that type of work, there are chances that they can take you on. It is a real disaster to keep in the dark because you are not viably employed. At worst open a blog and post something sensible on a daily basis. In this respect, a digital camera is a necessary equipment. This can help you take images whenever you wish and also record voices, which add taste to your work. 1. Most companies or organizations start small, but determination and continued innovation helps them to weather the times: “Lamans s.a Management Services says, “Lamans was established in 1980, with registered offices in Athens, Greece. The company commenced its business activities focusing on the agricultural sector with the provision of services to cooperatives and private individuals, and subsequently expanded its services to Regional Development, undertaking projects for Local Administration. Having established its presence in the private sector by providing the entire spectrum of consultancy services, at the end of the 1980’s, the company began to develop activities selectively in the public sector.” 2. Think of an MSME with multiplier effects and has capacity to attract funding: “The vast majority of countries – developed and developing alike rely on the dynamism, resourcefulness and risk taking of private enterprise to trigger and sustain processes of economic growth. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) represent perhaps one of the best vehicles for grassroots economic growth in Uganda; according to the ILO/JASPA African Employment Report, MSMEs are the emerging private sector in poor countries, and thus form the base for private sector-led growth.” 3. Government programmes which need players to implement: i. The Premier Executive, A Quarterly Newsletter of the Office of the Prime Minister, Vol.7, 2011 has the story, “Government Earmarks shs 1.2trillion for Peace, Recovery and Development Programme (PRDP) 2012 – 2015. The amount is (US$455million). A graduate from Northern Uganda from one of the 55 districts and nine beneficiary Municipalities can reach out to his/her district and find out the possibility of designing a project that can benefit from the funding. ii. Many Local Governments have financial resource constraints. You may however come up with a strategy that can boost incomes of the locals and thereafter increasing the tax base of the Local Government. It is very possible for the Local Government to buy your idea and may be you will have a role in its implementation. There was a time when land on which Kajjansi market lies was for sale after the owner of the land defaulted on loan repayment. Someone reached out to the district, and the district bailed out the land and it currently has a better market infrastructure. 4. Donations for work on ground: “Uganda Science Journalists get Canadian dollars 12,000.” Uganda Science Journalists’ Association (USJA) got Canadian dollars 12,000 which was donated by the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) to strengthen the Association’s ability to sustain its programmes.” What this brings out is that if graduates can sit down, organize themselves against an identified problem, work on its solution, their work can get rewarded through support which may be in form of grants solicited like in the case of (USJA).
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012
WE NEED TO REGAIN OUR COMMON SENSE IN UGANDA
It is reported that in the by-election in Bushenyi - Ishaka municipality where NRM's Nasser Basajjabalaba lost to FDC's Tayebwa, over shs 1 bn was released to bribe voters. Whether the voters got the money is not the issue. If this is anywhere near the truth, Uganda is doomed. We are going through hard economic times more so after the Uganda Shilling got badly depreciated given the amount of money the NRM got into circulation to facilitate their re-election, call it bribing voters! Common sense would dictate that after the experience the Ugandans are going through, no one worth his salt would again put such money into buying voters, but NRM does! The same NRM sings patriotism as if they are really patriotic - what the irony! We need to get back to our senses and do things the sensible way. It is a shame upon all those behind such hopeless schemes. William Kituuka Kiwanuka ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Why FDC candidate won Bushenyi by-election WHY FDC CANDIDATE WON BUSHENYI BY-ELECTION Thursday, 14 June 2012 23:00 Written by Wilber Muhwezi Bushenyi-Ishaka municipality voters have spoken: they want FDC’s Odo Tayebwa to replace NRM’s Nasser Basajjabalaba in Parliament. Wilber Muhwezi looks at some of the reasons behind Tayebwa’s victory: Urban elite As Kampala and Jinja demonstrate, NRM always has difficulty winning in Uganda’s elite bastions – urban areas. Ishaka and Bushenyi are small towns, but they have a significant peri-urban electorate which must have made Tayebwa’s work easier. Of the 22 municipalities, at least eight are represented by opposition MPs. By-election It is easier for the opposition to win by-elections given that they have a smaller area to concentrate on in terms of mobilisation and plugging loopholes that could result in rigging by the ruling party. Of the five by-elections so far held, only Busiro North has gone to Gilbert Bukenya of NRM. The other four have gone to FDC and DP with two each. Basajja arrogance Nasser Basajjabalaba is a protégée of his elder brother, Hassan Basajjabalaba, who is perceived as an arrogant man who believes his money can buy everything. As NRM district chairman, he created sharp divisions during the NRM primaries in September 2010. Despite President Museveni’s best efforts, these wounds have not healed. For instance, junior health minister, Richard Nduhura, has never forgiven Basajjabalaba for sponsoring Mawanda Maranga (Igara East) against him. Mawanda defeated Nduhuura in the primaries. Nduhura didn’t appear at any of the rallies. Perhaps due to pressure from his colleagues and the party, he recorded a message of support that was aired on Bushenyi FM on Monday. Other area MPs like Maria Karooro Okurut, Mawanda and Magyezi spent substantial time in the constituency campaigning. Local heavyweights Amanya Mushega contemplated standing for this constituency in the 2011 elections and even won FDC primaries. But he abandoned the race after Tayebwa, who had lost to him, insisted on standing as an independent candidate. This must have cost Tayebwa some votes, as he came third. However, the FDC big guns put their differences with Tayebwa aside and worked for his victory, with Mushega, Mugisha Muntu, Salaamu Musumba and Jack Sabiiti among those manning polling centres. Others were Ingrid Turinawe and Francis Mwijukye. Besigye was reportedly out of the country. Unspiring campaign Basajjabalaba’s campaign team was made up of mainly old political failures in the district politics. These included Elidad Katunda, who served as LC-III chairman for Bushenyi-Ishaka town council for a long time until he was defeated by Jackson Kamugasha in 2006. In 2010, he tried to run for the divisional chairmanship for Ishaka but again lost to Deus Mukyenga. Others were: former minister, Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere, who lost Igara West to Raphael Magyezi, and Yoram Tibasiima, who lost to Willis Bashaasha in the NRM primaries for the LC-V chair – among many others. Capturing DP, UPC While Tayebwa managed to galvanise all opposition supporters in the constituency, Basajjabalaba, a former Youth MP, failed to win over the youth who make up the majority of voters. Influential youth like Douglas Rwamutojo didn’t support his bid and are, instead, believed to have quietly supported Tayebwa. Weak candidate Basajjabalaba’s poor performance in Parliament dates back to when he was Youth MP in the 7th Parliament. He was ranked one of the worst legislators at the time. During the last one year that he has been in Parliament, according to The Hansard which was distributed by his Igara West counterpart, Raphael Magyezi, Nasser only contributed in the Budget and Finance committee meetings but never ever spoke in the plenary, whose proceedings are televised. “We don’t want to vote a dumb [man] again. This is our opportunity to vote for an MP who will talk about our problems,” said Nicholas Niwagira, a youth councillor. Protest vote Many voters said they were tired of the biting economic situation. Goodman Kamuntu, a central ward councillor, told The Observer by phone that a protest vote against President Museveni cost the NRM candidate. He made reference to the state of the nation address in which the President belittled teachers, saying that they could be replaced with ease. Sociable too Tayebwa is a man of the people who goes to every funeral, party or gathering whether during campaigns or not. He has risen steadily from a town councillor to district speaker and now to MP, gaining immense experience and contacts along the way. He is a good mobiliser and this was not lost on the President who said while campaigning for Basajjabalaba on Monday that Odo was “very busy in women’s gardens digging and harvesting crops”. Religion Religion is believed to have been a factor in the election, as Tayebwa did very well in the areas of Bunyarigi, Ruharo, Ward II and St Kaggwa which are predominantly Catholic.
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FINDING CAUSE FOR HOPE IN RIO+20 DISAPPOINTMENT
Beyond Rio: Pursuing ‘Ecological Citizenship’ By ANDREW C. REVKIN I’m posting a few final reflections related to the “Rio+20” United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which marked the 20th anniversary of the first “Earth Summit” and concluded ingloriously in Rio de Janeiro on Friday. If there is to be a 40th anniversary, what approaches or initiatives would you want to see there that weren’t in play this time around? Here’s Ilan Safit, a colleague of mine at Pace University who teaches philosophy and religious studies with a focus on the environment. He sees the focus of Rio and related discussions as too mechanistic, and skirting around the need for fostering a new kind of “ecological citizenship” as a precursor to progress on planet-scale environmental issues: The focus of the United Nations Rio+20 conference was, in a non-derogatory sense, largely technical — on a “green economy” and the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development. It seems that the U.N. has given up on the role it can play in shaping a global community along the lines of ideas, identity, and identification, rather than restricting such important summits to practicalities, important as they are. I am talking about the ideas that deal with the reshaping of our identities, as both individuals and communities, given what we now know about the changing living conditions on our planet, and of a new sense of identification with, and commitment to, those who will be affected in the future by the way we live right now, by both what we are doing and what we are not doing yet. I am talking about a new notion of citizenship that is called for by the demands of the ecological crisis, an “ecological citizenship” of a global scope, that can best be promoted by, well, the one global body of nations we have. The notion of ecological or environmental citizenship has been theorized in academia for the past decade or so, with British political theorist Andrew Dobson taking a leading role in combing the discourses of political and environmental theory to construct a new concept of citizenship. According to Dobson, who prefers the term ecological to environmental citizenship, this kind of citizenship is centered around an obligation to reduce one’s ecological footprint, an obligation that carries the status of citizenship from the public sphere to the private one. After all, much of our energy consumption and waste production takes place at home. It is — please notice this, U.N. officials — a non-territorial citizenship, departing from the nation-state as the source of citizenship. Yet, Dobson emphasizes, those who reside in the regions of greater negative impact on the ecosystem have a greater obligation to reduce their own ecological impact. A resident of Bangladesh, for example, has very little to reduce in terms of negative impact and everything to lose from the cumulative effects of North Americans’ life styles and habits of energy consumption. Non-territorial, asymmetrical, non-contractual, and couched in obligation, such ecological citizenship bets its stakes on the embracing of virtue, the virtue that dictates that being a good citizen means being a minimal impactor (for one use of this new term, see The Impactors). These are some possible theoretical dimensions within which particular meanings of ecological citizenship can be formed and specific actions and activities could be introduced. In a panel discussion I chaired recently at Pace University’s Center for Ethical Thinking, Dr. Mirele Goldsmith, a New York based environmental psychologist, recounted a case of communal activism as an example of a specific kind of environmental citizenship. This case concerned the coming together of unlikely partners, the affluent communities of southern Westchester County and the pronouncedly less privileged residents of the Northwest Bronx, in a failed attempt to prevent the city’s plan, currently well underway, to build the country’s largest water filtration plant beneath Van Cortlandt Park in order to treat the water flowing into the city from the Croton portion of its system of reservoirs. The action here was political in the old sense, its partnerships new, its instigation human activity in relation to the environment, its source of fear the impact of the transformed environment on the humans residing within it. Laurel Whitney, an energetic environmental activist and blogger who teaches at Pace’s program in Environmental Studies, described a project she assigned her students in which they followed the example of No Impact Man, Colin Beavan, in minimizing their ecological footprint. Showers, laundry, food, electricity usage were all slashed in this two-week experiment. Jessica Lagoutte, a student in Prof. Whitney’s class, survived to tell the audience about her experience and the realizations it triggered. Dr. Rachael Sotos, who teaches philosophy at Pace, contributed philosophical reflections on the notion of environmental citizenship examined through the prophetic political thought of German-American philosopher, Hannah Arendt. So what does this new kind of citizenship mean? Whether named “environmental” or “ecological,” participatory membership in societies whose habits contribute to the deterioration of living conditions on the planet means taking part in a process of transformation. Speaking politically, we live in times of revolution, an ongoing revolution in which the perils of the future dictate the change of everything now. Whether we cycle, recycle, buy local, or write academic papers on the meaning of the environmental crisis, we are already repositioned through these acts and newly acquired habits in a joint effort and in trends of communal change. This makes for change in the meaning of citizenship and the roles of the citizen, now understood as an ecological citizen in the times of environmental crisis and a silent spring of political revolution. Naming this new kind of citizenship, still in search of its full identity, “ecological” seems fit. For it is ecology on both ends of this thinking that refashions citizenship: thinking ecologically leads to a reformulation of citizenship with the specific goal of reducing ecological footprints. But what does it mean to think ecologically? Ecology, which is a relatively new science, offers also a new conceptual paradigm; studying the life of organisms in relation to their environment and to other organisms around them, ecology from the start sees relationships. No entity, living or nonliving, the science of ecology recognized at its inception, exists on its own. The full picture of life in an environment can be produced only through a study of the relationships that constitute each entity in its position and its function within the whole. This model is immediately applicable to citizenship, understood as the participatory, active and reactive, life of individuals in a community residing in a shared space, even as the borders of this space extend globally. Ecological thinking views citizens and citizenship within co-defining relationships from the start, and by doing so it incorporates ecological impact into the picture it draws: as an element in a system, a citizen is both impacted by and has impact on this system. Thinking about citizenship through the ecological paradigm makes it impossible to overlook our ecological impact. But it is the role of ethical thinking—the one that poses the question of responsibility—to unblind us to the impact we have as such citizens, whether we assume this citizenship actively or “passively” (the passive has an impact too!), and to translate the new visibility of ecological impact into obligation. This obligation is not merely a question of individual responsibility, as there are no individual citizens without a community, nor a community without individual citizens. Citizen responsibility, obligation, action all have a meaning, a semantic meaning, only within the set of relationships that reciprocally define citizens and communities. Hence action, too, can only have an impact when larger units, societal systems, transform their practices on a scale larger than the one of the individual. Ecological citizenship is the framework in which we can see both the need for individual responsibility and the absurdity in laying the onus of responsibility on the individual, both the ecology that sustains communities and the sustainability demanded from communities in order to maintain a balanced ecology.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012
PARENTS SHOULD BE LECTURED TO AS A STRATEGY TO SEE GRADUATE EMPLOYMENT A REALITY
Many parents are the type who see their obligation complete when the children graduate. However, if these parents are talked to such that they either give their children to work with them on the job ventures they are involved, chances are that many graduates will get into employment. Many have businesses where the children could provide some input, but the children in many instances have not been given chance. I have attended a graduation party where the parent openly showed that his load was now complete. Parents need to be lectured to so that they either give children to come up with ventures which the parents can finance or allow them to develop family and and where possible improve on agriculture where there is agricultural land. I believe when the parents realize that they can play a role in seeing their children employed, the unemployment levels may gradually get reduced. William Kituuka Kiwanuka
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EMPLOYMENT OF GRADUATES IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES
The high unemployment levels of graduates in Uganda is not news. However, Government should review its focus on funding graduate employment which is to see the opening of retail business outlets. My opinion is that Government should encourage graduates who can go on ground in rural settings where they can be involved in mobilization of the communities into better productive entities. A case in point is that many people in the rural settings are yet to get on board as regards mobilization of savings in groups out of which members can borrow to see to expansion of their entities. The focal point of my argument is that Government should encourage and promote grants to graduates who can prove that they have projects or proposals that can see better community mobilization for increased productivity, hence increased output. A graduate could for example come up with a proposal targeting mobilization of farmers to increase production by using better methods, knowing that with a budget say of shs 5 million in the 1st year, he/she will be able to see more output by farmers who are organized in groups and when shs 5 million gets invested in increased production, that money is capable of creating more value, out of which the graduate can be able to get a salary as well as see increased productivity and production hence greater returns to the farmer , and this process should be able to carry on without additional support from government. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? We are aware that many people have redundant land. A graduate can come up with a proposal to mobilize these people to come together and work as a group. They may then embark on clearing land collectively under the graduates supervision, and in the end, many acres of unproductive land can end up producing so much in tonnes of Maize. The seeds for planting may be procured from the grant the Government may have released to the graduate. The same graduate could advise farmers to undertake crop and animal enterprises at a go where droppings from the animals are used as fertilizer to the crop enterprises. And at the same time, a graduate can advise farmers on managing fewer animals, but constantly improving the breeds through artificial insemination. the productively will definitely be boosted. Giving graduates grants of the nature outlined can be very positive and many graduates will get down and work on feasible proposals and where possible consult with technical personnel to see that the ventures they get involved in actually work out, as grants may be for once. Given the regional markets, graduates employment can be greatly enhanced if they are given the challenge to sit down and come up with proposals that can positively boost the income for the people in rural communities where poverty is most concentrated yet when the people have land resources that are basic to see to better income. William Kituuka Kiwanuka
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Monday, June 25, 2012
I WILL ONLY TEACH POLITICIANS TO STOP EATING PEOPLE’S MONEY, SAID ARCHBISHOP ELECT NTAGALI
I am not a politician, says Arch Bishop elect The outgoing Assistant Bishop of Kampala Arch Diocese Bishop Zac Niringiye (L) hands over a crozier to retiring Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of the Anglican Church after handing over office at All Saints Church in Kampala yesterday. Photo by Stephen Otage By George Muzoora, Francis Mugerwa & Stephen Otage ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Posted Monday, June 25 2012 at 01:00 The archbishop-elect of the Anglican Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, says he will be a spiritual leader, not a politician, in the first public comments about what kind of leadership he intends to offer. Bishop Ntagali of Masindi Kitara Diocese was elected on Friday as the eighth archbishop of Uganda to replace the retiring Henry Luke Orombi in December. He made the comments Saturday before a mammoth crowd that gathered at St Mathew’s Cathedral in Masindi Municipality to celebrate his election. “I will only teach politicians to stop eating people’s money,” Bishop Ntagali said. The archbishop-elect’s statement comes amidst a quiet fight between Church and State, with President Museveni publicly accusing religious leaders of turning their pulpits into political campaign platforms. Bishop Zac Niringiye, the face of the religious leaders who want the church to be more vocal about the governance of the country, yesterday delivered his last sermon at All Saints Church, Nakasero, in which he said he is retiring from the church to work towards the restoration of justice in the country. The outspoken assistant Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese, who was once tipped as a potential successor to Archbishop Orombi before he chose to take early retirement, said he was worried about the state of the country and the impunity of those who commit crime. He said people behind killings and human rights abuses in the country have been glorified as heroes while corrupt ministers are recycled in Cabinet and receive support from Christians and church leaders. “The church is falling apart yet we have a false impression that things are well,” he said. “Look at corruption; there are no people telling the truth, and they keep saying the cases have been lost on technical grounds. Share This Story 7Share “We are satisfied with mediocrity. We cannot get plumbers to do a good job. When I visit churches on Sunday they are empty and here we collect offertory of 30 million yet among the congregation, there are people who blow Shs 100 million in a week.” Bishop Niringiye is expected to continue his public campaign for a restoration of presidential term limits as well as improved teaching and feeding in public schools. email@example.com
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UGANDA AT 50 YEARS IS A MUST VISIT DESTINATION
A few useful websites to a prospect visitor to Uganda: Uganda Tourist Sites http://www.ugandatouristsites.com/ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Welcome to Uganda | The Pearl of Africa http://www.visituganda.com/ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Uganda Country Specific Information http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1051.html --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Uganda Tourist Attractions http://www.acaciasafari.co.ug/ugandatouristattractions.html --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Uganda Tourist Attractions http://www.whenwegetthere.com/tourist_destination_attraction/africa/uganda/5_320/uganda.jsp --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- By William Kituuka Kiwanuka. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Blog:www.williamkituuka.blogspot.com
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Sunday, June 24, 2012
WE SHOULD WORK WITH BISHOP SAMUEL KAZIMBA MUGALU TO GET HIS PLANS WORK FOR MITYANA
i got disappointed when Bishop Samuel Kazimba Mugalu was not elected new Arch Bishop of the Church of Uganda. However, the plans and effort which the Bishop had for the Church of Uganda should be concentrated into the development of Mityana diocese to be a leading diocese in Uganda. I wish to appeal to the children of and from Namutamba to work together as a force starting at Namutamba through the whole of Mityana diocese so that our Bishop has no regrets. Below I have the dream of Namutamba Parish which I believe the Bishop can give a hand given the contacts he has as we mobilize ourselves to see Namutamba shine again. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NAMUTAMBA MUST DEVELOP (NAMUDE) For a child who was nurtured at Namutamba, I cry tears when I get there. The place is so backward yet it would be among the most progressive in Uganda. To me Namutamba was one of the 1st places in Uganda to get civilization in the actual sense. The role played by the Lea Wilson Family when they got to Namutamba and eventually evolved the Namutamba Tea Estate and Dairy Farm as well as a primary school which later came to be called Namutamba Demonstration School was very instrumental in the initial fame which Namutamba enjoyed. It was real civilization; there was a lot of togetherness more so with the Rwandese who came from Rwanda to work on the estate. Today, Namutamba is a sad story. It is poverty, yet there are resources which can see the area come up very fast, however, these have to be nurtured and the community can easily be got to participate in their eventual welfare. I would love to spearhead the Namutamba Must Develop (NAMUDE) initiative. As a trained Rural Economist, an innovator, a man who loves to see the welfare of others, it is my desired goal to see the area which saw me in childhood develop given the current indicators which are symptoms of poverty. This to me would be a worthy task as a reward to the area whose manpower (teachers) I was able to get a bursary to one of the best schools in the country – St. Mary’s College Kisubi after being one of the top 10 pupils at my primary Leaving Examinations in the then Mubende District. Currently, Namutamba a parish is found within Bulera Sub – County in Mityana district. The focal area I wish to have my base is about 12 – 15 miles from Mityana town along Bulera road via Kitemu. The development I wish to be part of should see the following among others: 1. Easing of transport to and fro Mityana. Currently, if one misses the very early vehicles to Mityana, he/she has to hire a commercial motor cyclist for 12 or more miles at the cost of shs 7,000. This means that there should be improved taxi availability so that people are sure of getting a taxi to and fro Mityana at anytime they wish to travel; 2. There is need to use a better health facility as a magnet to attract people to be party to the innovations that may eventually change them, this, to offer services at highly discounted rates is in the right direction and also offer a number of services including maternity, antenatal, laboratory, admissions and a full time doctor and other specialized medical personnel. People to be encouraged to have savings with the facility and also be allowed to get treatment on credit or even pay in kind using what they produce in their gardens may all go a long way in promoting the health facility; 3. Conducting a baseline survey to bring out the people’s ills and endeavouring to cater for them can go along way in easing the lives of the people at Namutamba. These may include: i. Availing a Filling station in close vicinity. Currently, those with vehicles can only fill from Mityana! ii. The mobile money facility calls for going to Mityana to cash or even to send. Getting these services to the people is critical and very time saving; iii. There are a variety of goods which people have to buy from Mityana yet they would buy them from some big shop around in the area and save, this calls for opening up such a shop with a hardware component; iv. Setting up a collecting centre for merchandize which may be taken to market in Mityana or beyond; v. 4. There is need to set up an NGO arrangement to oversee most of the community mobilization in the area this may undertake among other things: a) Encourage the formation of single sex Self Help Groups (SHGs) as a vehicle to enhance the savings culture among the people and the working in group arrangement for their betterment; b) Help with better innovations, for example the area has many cattle keepers who need to move from quantity of animals kept to quality as well as undertake zero – grazing; c) The NGO may be able to encourage innovations which may help farmers to grow in bigger quantities and hence get means to process so as to get a bigger margin from their products; d) There is poor agricultural undertaking. Better soil management as well as enterprise management can help the poor people move away from the misery they are currently in; e) 5. There is need to work on the roads. The road from Mityana gets bad when one starts climbing Namutamba Hill after Bakijjulula. If there is away this road can be worked on, chances are that greater economic activity will be undertaken. The above is my dream, it is my prayer that the Almighty God helps me to get partners with whom we can see the development of Namutamba real.
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THE GRADUATES' UNEMPLOYMENT IN UGANDA COULD BE A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
I would love give a lecture to unemployed graduates in Uganda. This however will depend on the availability of sponsorship to be able to meet the following: 1. Cost of a venue; 2. Availability of power Point presentation facilities; 3. Cost of publicity of the lecture on mass media; 4. Cost for facilitating media people to cover the event given its importance for scaling out. The theme of my lecture is: "The graduates unemployment in Uganda could be a blessing in disguise." "Necessity is the mother of invention" times are hard, more so after the parents and benefactors of many unemployed graduates have spent millions of Uganda shillings to see their sons and daughters read to degree level. The graduates have to think hard. The unfortunate thing is that many such graduates instead resort to social media and exchange messages, instead of using the resources at their disposal to discover where they could make money from. I joined Uganda Commercial Bank in 1984, and shortly Nile bank opened its doors in 1988. I went for an interview and I was recruited. Little did I know that i was to be a scape goat, and in 1991, i was sacrificed instead of my bosses who had opened a fraudulent Uganda Electricity Board account in the bank which caused my dismissal! The lesson I learnt was that many employers can instead cause you untold suffering. i spent a number of years reading seriously to get a University degree, and it was so easy for my former bosses to circulate my signature among all banks in the country that they had dismissed me! If i had by then started a Community Based organization, i would be very far. The message i have for the unemployed graduates is that they should take time off and think, there are so many opportunities that are in disguise which they can slowly but steadily exploit and the future will definitely be bright. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ IS A DEGREE STILL WORTH IT? By Conan Businge THE S6 exams have just been released and many students are eying one of the more than 20 universities in the country. But is it university education that the students really need to get a job? With the plan to spend millions of shillings on higher education, many youth face a job market that does not seem to need them. Not only is the Ugandan economy producing few new jobs, the ones that are being added are overwhelmingly on the lower end of the skill and pay scale. In fact, surveys from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicate that most job gains in the previous years have gone to workers with only a high school certificate or less, casting some doubt on the conviction that a university degree is the ticket to the prosperous dream. Close to a half of the jobs routinely advertised do not require much more than on-the-job training. One would not need a university degree to have the job. Many people in Uganda work in the agriculture sector or are casual labourers. According to the labour force flow figures at the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and UBOS, of the more than 480,000 Ugandans who enter the labour market each year, only about 80,000 are absorbed in formal employment, leaving the rest for the informal sector. There are about 30,000 students who graduate with degrees every year. The UBOS findings indicate that illiterates are more likely to be available for work. The remaining majority are left to try their luck in the informal sector, venturing into the entertainment industry, retail trade in places like arcades, Owino market as well as in the motorcycle transport business, in Kampala and other towns of the country. The less enterprising languish on the streets or simply remain a burden to the already overstretched parents. Unemployment in Uganda is highest among graduates compared to other categories of the workforce, a labour report has disclosed. The 2005 State of Uganda’s Population report warned that if the youth unemployment rate of 23% persists, then about 4.37 million youth will be jobless and there will be social tension and a lot of crime in the country. In Kampala, the youth unemployment rate is at 32.2%, while among university graduates the unemployment rate is 36%. The country’s labour force can accommodate only 50% of the deserving university graduates. But one of the greatest challenges is that the current workforce appears to be under-skilled. Roughly about 15% of the employment covers semi-skilled occupations. Although the labour force grew by some 1.1 million persons from 2002/3 to 2005/6, job openings did not expand by a commensurate rate, locking out thousands of qualified youth. However, civil service jobs increased by 6% in 2008, possibly due to creation of new districts, but the new opportunities are grossly inadequate to absorb job seekers churned out by educational institutions every year. The most startling finding is that was that only about 545,000 of Ugandans (5% of total labour force) hold permanent jobs, indicating temporary or contract employees plus those in the informal sector largely power the country’s 7% GDP growth. The latest report follows a recent World Bank warning that an increase in joblessness, during the pressing times of economic downturn, could trigger an explosion in crime, resulting in civil unrest. But why are most graduates unemployed? According to the available indications, official reports say, the current business and technical system does not meet the requirements of the economy. A 2006 survey by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicated that a majority of individuals entering the labour market do not have the necessary skills and knowledge. Agriculture and the informal sector are the most important sectors of Uganda’s labour market, according to the report based on business, technical and vocational education and training (BTVET). About 15% of the employment covers semi-skilled occupations, “for which lower level BTVET might be an adequate preparation.” “Agricultural employment continues to cater for some 70% of the Ugandan workforce, and subsistence agriculture still accounts for about 55 to 60% of it. “The service and industrial sectors absorb only 20% and 10% respectively,” adds the report. It says that these proportions are not expected to change in the near future. The same report says there is a big disparity of labour productivity between Uganda’s firms and those in other countries. “Value added per worker in Uganda has been 68% lower than that in India and 96% lower than that in China.” Based on these findings, that is why the education ministry and Government are putting so much emphasis on the development of vocational education in the country. The education ministry’s Permanent Secretary, F.X. Lubanga, argues that with the development of tertiary education, the country will reduce on unemployment since there will be more job creators. Though he does not campaign for people to step off the track of formal education, he believes that informal and formal education should be taught concurrently, for graduates to attain skills. All schools in the country will soon be asked to embed skills and vocational subjects in their teaching time tables. Primary schools, according to Lubanga, will be asked to teach their pupils at least two integrated production skills. Such skills for instance may include handwork sessions. All secondary schools, on the other hand will be asked to take on vocational subjects. The new move is aimed at ensuring graduates obtain the required skills before they can graduate from formal education. But that is for formal education. To boost job creation in the country, there is need for more students to embrace vocation education, which the Government is gradually shifting lots attention to. Every district will soon have a BTVET institution. “We will be constructing these schools in every financial year, till each district has one boarding BTVET institution,” Namirembe Bitamazire, the education minister explained. Published on: Saturday, 26th March, 2011 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------My contact; email@example.com William Kituuka Kiwanuka M
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