Archive for April, 2013

Amuru

Land is Acholi’s richest asset; the people of Acholi have the mandate and hold the mantle to decide on what they want to use it for.  Such decisions must be made by sober minds rather than business leaning and corrupted minds.

Now, a one Professor Latigo has turned out to be a Poster Boy for scheming businessmen and unscrupulous politicians who are targeting the Amuru Land for its worth that a common man cannot easily tell, especially during this oil booming Uganda. The People of Acholi must decide what they want to do with their land.

One and probably the only unscrupulous entity known to be targeting Amuru land is the Madhivani sugar conglomerate who in conjunction with some “thinking with my belly politicians’’ are advancing the notion that this land is only good for Madhivani’s sugar project.

I have followed the Madhivani story in Jinja closely, where men and women employed on the plantations, some whom are former land owners whose land was taken away by Madhivani have to stage demonstrations and burn a few hectares of Sugar Plantation for them to get a meager pay increase or basic social rights. Is this what Acholi people want? Be beggars on their own land?

My brothers and sisters i beg to differ, the Amuru land can be put to better use than sugar cane growing. After all, even if the sugar cane increases, sugar from Kakira is more expensive than even that which is produced in and imported from Brazil even after it is taxed to enter Uganda.

Professor Latigo must respect the intelligence of the people of Acholi, other than play business politics with their minds. Can he demonstrate how Acholi people will be better off than the folks back in Jinja (Kakira) whose livelihoods were ripped apart by the fake promise of the sugar industry? How is sugar cane growing going to make the Acholi differ and be better off than the fore bearers of Kakira?

This smells like a ploy for land grabbing and very selfish gains on the part of some people other than to the benefit of the Acholis. Do such proponents of sugar cane growing in Amuru honestly believe that the best the Acholi can do after decades of war and suffering is sugar cane growing? Whose interests are the likes of Latigo have at heart?!!!!

Professor Latigo should learn to respect Ugandans. And for God’s sake Acholiland is so fertile and why not use the Billions staked in NAADS project to help start up serious farms in Acholi? With the shortage of food that we are encountering as a country and the region, Acholi can become the food basket of Uganda and East Africa.

The debate should be on reviving government ranches in the Acholi region not giving away land to Madhivani whose sugar the masses can hardly afford. Sugar cane growing comes with a pack of problems and for the benefit of those who don’t know below are some of those.

The Documented hazards of cane growing.

An estimated 5-6 million hectares of cropland is lost annually due to severe soil erosion and degradation. Soil is a living, dynamic resource, made up of different sized mineral particles (sand, silt and clay), organic matter and a diverse community of living organisms.

Different soil types display different properties, including vulnerability to erosion, salinisation, acidity and alkalinity. Cultivation of sugar crops can contribute to soil degradation impacting on soil quantity (by increased rates of erosion and soil removal at harvest) and soil quality.

Soil erosion

Erosion is a significant issue in areas under sugar cane cultivation, particularly in tropical and equatorial areas (where most cane is grown), since erosion rates in such agro ecosystems are usually greater than the rate of soil formation. The physical loss of soil by erosion is influenced by a range of factors including rainfall and irrigation, wind, temperature, soil type, cultivation disturbance and topography.

Economic and environmental aspects of soil erosion.

 In agronomic terms, the loss of soil by erosion is a major problem that can affect future yields and ultimately limit the sustainability of sugar cultivation by redistributing or removing soil organic matter and nutrient rich material. Soil erosion also represents a substantial environmental threat from the washing of sediments, which are often polluted, into rivers, estuaries, and marine ecosystems.

Impacts on soil health.

Soil health includes a wide range of biological, chemical and physical variables, but can be broadly defined as the sustained capability of a soil to accept, store and recycle nutrients and water, maintain economic yields and maintain environmental quality. A healthy soil is estimated to contain 1000kg/ha earthworms, 2700kg/ha fungi, 1700kg/ha bacteria, 150kg/ha protozoa and 1000kg/ha arthropods and other small animals. Combined impacts can lead to a loss of soil fertility, a particular risk under cane, which is generally grown as a continuous monoculture.

Soil compaction

A particularly significant impact of cultivation on soil physical characteristics is compaction resulting from a loss of soil structure. Heavy infield transport machinery is most commonly associated with soil compaction problems. Loam-rich soils are more vulnerable to compaction than clays or sands, and compaction risk increases with soil moisture content. Soil compaction increases bulk density and soil strength, restricting the rooting ability of the crop, and decreases porosity and water infiltration rate, which can negatively affect the soil mesofauna. Soil compaction may particularly affect invertebrates in the upper strata of the soil, and it is in this zone where numbers of certain invertebrates is greatest. Increased rates of surface water runoff due to reduced infiltration can also alter peak flow leading to flooding events.

Tillage

Although zero tillage farming can promote compaction in heavy soils, since the soil is not regularly loosened, conventional tillage commonly promotes erosion by exposing soil aggregates to rainfall. Conventional tillage i.e. deep ploughing, also drastically changes soil structure and is probably one of the most disturbing agricultural practices for soil fauna. In addition, tillage in cane cultivation systems has been found to promote organic matter breakdown leading to declines in soil structure and health.

Soil salinisation

Salinisation of soils is a problem that principally affects cane growers and typically results from over irrigation, inadequate drainage and cultivation in a flood plain or where sea water intrusion occurs. Salinity of soils has been linked to serious cane yield declines.

Surface sealing

Surface sealing and crust formation can occur on heavily compacted cane growing soils, resulting in a relatively impermeable layer at the soil surface. Sodic soils are particularly vulnerable to sealing, and the loss of organic matter, often associated with cultivation, can also render soils more susceptible to sealing. Sealing reduces water infiltration and increases runoff, enhancing the risk of erosion and pollution of waterways, as well as reducing the water available to the crop and inhibiting seedling emergence.

Soil acidification

Increased soil acidity affects plant health and crop yield in some parts of the world. Acidification is also more prevalent in cane growing areas, largely due to the use of inorganic nitrogenous fertilisers such as urea and ammonium sulphate. Under high rainfall conditions nitrate leaching occurs, which also promotes acidification.

So much can be said as there are more hazards than mentioned above. With such documented facts is Amuru land only best for sugar cane growing? Or it can be put to other more productive agricultural ventures. Over to you Professor Latigo!

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Uganda has enough problems at hand and in these is the low production of food from our farmers, the problem is not the hoe that has not contributed the best it can in making food production sufficient for all of us, but the surrounding markets for example South Sudan, Congo, Kenya and other countries are feeding in the same food basket that we feed in as a nation. Now after Somalia becomes safer for our traders to do business, we will be faced with another country to take care of in terms of selling our produce.

Our government funding is the number one problem to the Agricultural sector and hence the low production of food to all the above mentioned markets. With NAADS, the story was supposed to be a better one, but it seems that it was created for a few to benefit. With the 3.1% from 3.6% is indeed a drastic fall, agriculture will continue to suffer and the farmer will not see the reason for the budget allocation.

Uganda has enough challenges to deal with, we can still fight on to maintain our country as an organic nation, because GMOs come with a cost to a nation. Below are the seven ways proving why GMOs are not good for man, plant and animals.

1) GMOs disrupt digestion.

Purveyors of GMOs claim that the human body is unable to tell the difference between GMOs and natural food. But a 2004 study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology tells a different story, having found that transgenic plant DNA actually persists in the human gastrointestinal tract upon consumption. According to this important study, which is the closest thing to a human clinical trial that has ever been conducted with GMOs, genetic material from GMOs actually transfers into the DNA of living bacteria in the gut, where it reproduces indefinitely. (http://www.anh-usa.org)

2) GMOs cause cancer.

The most recent study to identify a link between GMO consumption and the formation of cancer, the so-called Seralini Study provides solid evidence showing that GMOs are processed by mammals far differently than natural foods. According to this study’s findings, rats fed a lifetime of GMOs sprayed with the toxic Roundup (glyphosate) herbicide developed serious tumors that took over their entire bodies. An earlier study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences arrived at similar results, with the addition of organ failure as a symptom of GMO consumption. (http://www.naturalnews.com)

3) GMOs increase herbicide use.

Contrary to industry claims, GMOs have not reduced the need for chemical inputs, but rather greatly expanded it. According to a comprehensive, 16-year review of chemical use in conjunction with the advent of GMOs in 1996, researchers from Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources found that herbicide use has increased by an astounding 527 millions pounds since GMOs were first introduced. To make matters worse, Roundup, the chemical of choice for many GMOs, has been found to persist in soils, waterways, and other environmental nooks and crannies, and sometimes it even ends up contaminating water supplies. ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com)

4) GMOs damage native species.

A major point of contention with GMOs is that they can very easily pass their traits onto non-GMO, organic, and native crops and other plants, effectively destroying their very integrity permanently. Hundreds of farmers have actually been sued by Monsanto and other GMO giants over the years after their crops were inadvertently contaminated by GMOs. GMOs are also responsible for killing off bees, bats, butterflies, and other pollinators, whose bodies are unable to handle the onslaught of altered DNA and chemicals that are characteristic of GMO technologies. (http://www.naturalnews.com/035511_insecticide_bees_collapse.html)

5) GMOs pollute the environment.

Mainstream scientists and industry spokespersons often gloat about the supposed environmental benefits of GMOs. But the truth of the matter is that GMOs and the chemicals used to grow them are a major source of environmental pollution. A 2011 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that the Bacillus thuriengensis (Bt) bacteria engineered into Monsanto’s GM corn can now be found in hundreds of streams and waterways throughout the U.S. Midwest. Another study published in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry revealed that Roundup herbicide is also present in many waterways and groundwater sources throughout America as well. (http://naturalsociety.com)

6) GMOs deplete soil minerals, destroy beneficial bacteria.

The presence of Roundup, Bt bacteria, and other GMO byproducts in our water and soil would only be half as bad if these toxins merely persisted as innocuous pollutants. But studies have shown that these chemicals actually degrade and deplete soils of vital minerals and beneficial bacteria, both of which protect crops from pests, viruses, and other threatening elements. Glyphosate, the active component in Roundup, also does not biodegrade, which means it is continually accumulating in the environment without restraint, perpetually altering soil composition and contaminating natural resources. (http://www.psrast.org/soilecolart.htm)

7) GMOs spawn crop-destroying ‘superweeds,’ ‘superbugs.’

The basic premise behind how GMOs work portends that artificially engineering crops with resistance to certain chemicals and exposures that would otherwise harm or kill them can improve yields and protect the environment. And this built-in resistance has allowed farmers to indiscriminately spray chemicals like Roundup on their crops without worrying about killing them. But this system is now failing, as the weeds and pests targeted by GMO technologies have mutated and developed resistance to crop chemicals and Bt toxin. As a result, pestilence and disease is on the rise due to GMOs, which spells eventual disaster for the food supply. (http://grist.org)

With all the seven grounds on how GMOs are dangerous to our health, environment and our land how can we continue with enacting a law that allows GMOs to enter our country? The law that Uganda needs is one which will protect our territory not to allow GMOs to enter or be used on our soil.

Bhutan plans to become the first country in the world to turn its agriculture completely organic, banning the sales of pesticides and herbicides and relying on its own animals and farm waste for fertilisers.

Uganda can follow Bhutan to choose to be an organic agricultural nation.

Ugandan reading the Daily Monitor articles on corruption

Ugandan reading the Daily Monitor articles on corruption

Corruption is like cancer in the country whether it is a democratic or a republic or a monarchy. If the roots of this evil are not destroyed, it tends to grow again and again, spoiling the very foundation upon which the government can be built.

Corruption not only spoils the self but is also infectious as it has the capability to tempt others around to do the same sin. In corruption, not only those who receive must be punished but also those who offer because they encourage corruption.

Lord Acton said “power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely.’’ So those who are in power must be more aware of corruption and see to it that they do not fall a prey to this obnoxious practice of corruption.

Amnesty is a controversial option to NRM Promise to Ugandans in the 2011 Manifesto.

I find it absurd to hear that one who is seeking Amnesty for the corrupt is one who has been soaked in it but forgiven by his brother who is the President in the current administration. I would like to argue that giving amnesty to the tax payer’s money thieves is one green flag for those who have not stolen to go ahead and steal then later seek amnesty. My brother Godber Tumushabe and Chris Obore have indeed fired a blank on this one.

I have failed to understand why our brothers and sisters sought to take such a controversial stand against the NRM manifesto of 2011, if I may, let me remind them that NRM agreed and promised Ugandans to fight corruption to Zero. So by calling upon the Inspector General of Government to institute amnesty to the thieves is one way to say that the NRM government has totally failed to fight corruption.

The current scandals show how much Ugandans have lost to these selfish greed men and women in public offices has drastically shot up to record numbers. I want tell all Ugandans that the will to fight corruption must come from the President. 

The question on the floor as we tread the way to 2016 should be has NRM failed to fight corruption? The crystal clear answer is ‘YES’, The way President Museveni tends to handle the corrupt in his government clear shows that under his administration, corruption will always thrive like selling gold and coffee on the world market.  I have come to a clear cut knowledge that It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.

Now these Godbers and Obores of this world I call upon you to resist the temptation of the evil one who has encircle himself upon you and taken away your power of judgment towards the subject of corruption. There is only one way to fighting corruption those who are subject to it must be face the law and be punished if found guilty. The lady justice Irene Mulyagonja the IGG is right to reject for the call of amnesty.

Parliament of Uganda should by now have a law to punish and confiscate those caught in the racket of having sticky fingers in the tax payer’s monies.

I have not read the whole Vision 2040, but if at all the vision lacks anything to do with the Sports then this is indeed a dead dream. World over sport is more than a discipline but an industry where billions of dollars are being invested and the world’s biggest brands like Nike, Coca Cola, Heineken, Orange Telecom, Virgin Money, Rolex, etc rush to leverage for space to associate with sport.

When I was growing up in a small town called Jinja in eastern Uganda, I enjoyed to see sportsmen like Charles Jalendo, Steven Bogere and many others who through their talent earned a living and by then companies like BAT Uganda Limited, Nile Breweries Limited, Uganda Grain Milling Limited and Nytil all had football teams. When privatization caught up with many of these industries, sports was cut out to cater for the small budget or the new investor who had bought the industry saw no reason to invest in sports.

In the late 90s, many of these teams started to vanish completely off the face of the football scene, because the fans of these clubs couldn’t do much to support their teams financially in order to run the clubs and maintain the players. And this saw players like Dhaira Bright and many more joining KCC FC.

Football stadiums followed suit, in these include Tobacco stadium in Jinja located in Walukuba Masese, this was the home of Tobacco (BAT) FC, a team that had players like Dhaira Bright, Leti and many. Tobacco stadium according to engineers that worked on it said; this stadium was best in Uganda because it was built in a swamp area, there are pipes built beneath it inorder to help drain the water off the pitch after a heavy down pour. But the stadium started dying out when it was not maintained as it was supposed to for along hence the blocking of the pipes.

Currently it is facing land grabbers who have not spared its extension land meant for futures plans to make it a bigger and better stadium something that Jinja Municipal Council did not fight to protect but aided the land grabbing. This exposes government through the Ministry of Education and sports who have continuously carried out business without a sports policy in the land.

Tobacco Stadium is not the only but sports grounds are being mortgaged throughout the country without providing an alternative. Government now banks on Namboole Stadium which is also being used for its intended purposes hence destroying it.

The Vision 2040 if without a sport plan for this country is a dead dream that puts Uganda in the 18th Century. The increasing unemployment gap in the country can be addressed through aiding and financing the sports sector just like other government sectors.

What the legislature can do for Ugandans is to form into law a sports policy for the sports industry. This will empower the industry with the authority to look for investors in that category to come and invest in Uganda. The sports sector is powerless and orphaned without the executive and legislative arm forming a law to protect and regulate business in the industry; there will be no changes in sports in this country without a sport policy.

Isaac Musumba

Isaac Musumba

The news dropped in from Mumbai in India that Isaac Musumba and his friends had made us proud by exporting some of the bad manners that kept the ruling government labeled full of corrupt men and women. Isaac and his friends are being questioned by the MRA marg police on a registered case of extortion, fraudulent removal or concealment of property, and common intention against the trio.

ImageWhen President Museveni visited his Rwandese counterpart President Kagame he said; “Uganda has “so many thieves” who have frustrated government programmes that should have benefitted its citizens.”

This statement was not red flagged by the members of the executive or legislature, but it was a sweeping statement that was acknowledging the fact that all reports made on Uganda were true that President Museveni is fully aware of the plunder that is taking place in his government but has just chosen to give it a deaf ear.

Seya Arrested in United States of America

On June 13, 1998, by then Mayor of Kampala Al Haji Nasser Ntege Ssebagala was arrested in United States of America, Nasser Ssebagala, was pulled off a Sabena Airways flight enroute to Brussels and then to Entebbe. Initial reports indicated that he had been arrested in a case involving stolen traveler’s cheques.

In court, the US authorities charged Ssebagala with six counts of fraud and two of making false declaration.

According to them, the man, fondly known by his supporters back home as Seya, had engineered a grand scam to defraud a bank in the United States Bank Boston. What followed was a court process that stirred up enough drama to dominate Uganda national news for the next six months.

Now the former fraudulent man and former Mayor of Kampala was later appointed by President Museveni as his adviser on general duties a sign that integrity was not part of his government and when people like Isaac Musumba are arrested for fraud and extortion, they will still be in the legislature proving another point that there is no rule of law in Uganda or certain individuals belonging to NRM are above the law.

You can imagine Isaac Musumba who is not in the “Kintu” using “Kintu Like” Tactics to defraud an organization in another nation where orders from above and no NRM caucus to help him walk free don’t exist. What do you think he can do in Uganda where that setting favors him?

In a sane government that respects the rule of law, these two MPs would be out of Parliament for violating the leadership code. The last I heard from Mary Karooro Okurut was that the ruling party was in negotiation with the Indian government to send back these men.

When Ugandans were arrested in China on charges of selling drugs yet they had been committed to serve harsh punishments including death in China the government was silent about it. Many Ugandans have been arrested and the ruling government has not engaged any of the governments like UK and China to send back Ugandans to serve their prison time in Uganda.

For your information, the Isaac Musumba case is normal in the eyes of the ruling government and they can even plead for them because they are members of systems that tolerate such unacceptable manners in any organization state and law abiding country.

So having a Muslim name in America/Canada makes you a terrorist? Africans being questioned thinking there are Somalians or Libyans! For one, i have a Muslim name it makes me no terrorist or Somalian but simply i am a Ugandan who is Colonizing Somalian for United States of America and the UN. And also giving them an opportunity to govern themselves and bring back sanity to their land. My brothers and sisters in uniform have laid their lives in that land for the sake of Somalians.
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I have come to believe for a man or woman to be an extremist or a terrorist they loose faculties that understand that human deserve to live and just like a man believe that taking drugs makes you feel cool and on top of the world is the way these heartless men and woman are brain washed.

I want to make it known that Islam not at one time teaches that when you kill a man, woman or child who believes not in the Islamic doctrine will give you an automatic ticket to Allah’s paradise (Jannah) but it indeed passes on a one way ticket to ever lasting fire (Jahannam).

The whole ideas preoccupied in our brothers and sisters in the US, Canada and other parts of the world that every Muslim or name that has a Muslim roots simply means that the person is terrorist is an ignorant and wishful thinking that can be compared to a person who is about to cross a road and remembers to check his or her safe in the middle of it.

In Africa particularly Uganda our boarders are so porous and for sure we can have people come in and go out without even noticing. I believe that with the technology and vetting capabilities the west has their staff deployed on all boarder entries are the ones that must be sober at all times checking every point with a singleness of heart and making sure that there is no gap for that particular person to cause harm to the innocent citizens of their nation.

Being a Muslim name is not in anyway an equation to being a terrorist. So what can we call those Americans who are not even Muslims but buy guns and go on rampage and kill innocent students in high schools and universities if you don’t call such people terrorists what can you call them.

The fact that America or Canada are nations with such great freedoms the government should limit or even ban certain materials to be bought by any person if companies and stores that selling materials that can be used to make harmful objects or elements must be monitored without a drop of a minute to make sure the citizens of that country are safe then let it be down.

Give The Official Bribe To OTTO.

Posted: April 15, 2013 in Politics

Odonga Otto - MP for Aruu County

Odonga Otto – MP for Aruu County

Last week after hearing that MPs were to receive UGX 5,000,000 for the Marriage and Divorce Bill but the sober ones in the political opposition led by their leader Hon. Nathan Nandala – Mafabi agreed that the money was not needed because they are paid enough to do the same consultations in their consistencies.Why cheat the tax payer by assisting the executive to siphon more from the treasury from a bleeding economy.

But when the media faced Odonga Otto a legislator for Aruu County, he told them that he would not take back the money, Otto has never seen no reason to take back such kind of money and also he is no stranger to controversies regarding parliamentary money given to legislators by the President Museveni.

During an interview by The Observer he said; “My view is that all opposition MPs who want to return the money should instead give it to me.’’ I find it unfortunate for a lawyer and MP to call this money an official bribe. So does this mean that he is tired of receiving the official bribes that have always been provided by President Museveni? For him to compared himself with Nelson Mandela is such an insult ridiculed to the man who has done so much for the people of South Africa.

I find the man’s interview responses simplistic and childish, if Parliament cannot help mature and transform certain members into mature political personalities then there should be a specific age bracket that should be legislated for an MP to contest and become one.

His call for all the opposition MPs who will return the money to mature and take the official bribe is such an immature call that should be disregarded to render him as money minded and selfish.

When I engaged the legislator last week all I got from Odonga Otto was “silly’’ as a response something I never expected a man of his caliber to use and after this interview I have been able to qualify him childish and immature.

How is the call for maintaining a moral ground in order to have respected and more independent vessels in our MPs to check on the excesses of the ruling government be thrown to the dogs because Otto wants more money to add to his purse?

Shame upon this 15 years experienced MP in eating the official bribe and we will always remember him as a eater than a leader.