Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Crime Behind the Lira Medical Workers’ Industrial Action

Albert Einstein, a popular Philosopher Scientist, once said; “only a lived life for others is worth living.”

I am coming back to post here ahead of schedule because of something tragic that happened in the Northern part of Uganda!! It attracted little or no media attention compared to the Land Bill, and the cheap political squabbles.

Apparently, 15 patients died in a Lira hospital as a result of a medical workers’ industrial action over unpaid allowances. Why 15 people had to die, under the perceived care of medical workers, is beyond my feeble understanding!

We join the health care field because most of us hold this deep and personal connection to caring for others. Health care professionals are an embodiment of not only the core values of “caring” but of patient advocacy, collaboration, and accountability.

It is true that there have been numerous medical workers’ strike actions before. The difference is that most of these strikes were carried out in a proficient manner that did not compromise the quality of life and indeed the interests of the patients.

If these heath care professionals had no option but to strike they should have been entirely certain that delegated care was not only professional and competent, but also adequately set in order to uphold the concept of continuous care. And why their union activism did not express their dissatisfaction through advocacy prior to this industrial action, bothers me!

In whatever way you prefer to look at this tragedy, the fact remains that reducing patients into objects of negotiation is a violation of patient rights. In this regard, Lira hospital medical workers appear to have neglected their professed duty of care resulting into deaths and therefore, should face criminal charges (willful criminal negligence, second degree murder et al.) as a result.

By this action, the Lira hospital doctors that participated, whilst neglecting to provide continuity through alternative care, violated the first dictum of medicine: primum, non nocere (translated as: “First, do no harm") and the Hippocratic Oath. What a shame!!

My endless whining about the grotesqueness of the unprofessional behavior of these few bad apples does not negate my belief in industrial action as an effective bargaining tool in the labor market, so long as the actual needs (human life protection and preservation) are respected and put ahead of potential future benefits.

Meanwhile, I pray that somebody is held accountable for these crimes committed at the Lira Regional Referral Hospital.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Should Global Warming Solutions Start At Home?

Happy Easter my inshutis. I hope you all had a blast

A couple of days back, Hopes showed me pictures he was about to upload on to his Flickr page (find one attached here-below). His excitement emanated from the fact that he captured with utmost clarity, the Toronto Skyline from the Hamilton Mountains, which is a distance of about 90 km (56 miles).

Hopes' snap depicting beauty and the beast. Dofasco (above)
accounts for 14.6% area pollution. Both Dofasco & Stelco
have agreed to pay for clean up. Source: Hamilton Spectator

I am not bringing this up to brag about his camera, but rather, the evidence of thick gas emissions from Ontario’s largest Steel Industries (Dafasco Industries and Stelco Inc.) located in our city of Hamilton. According to Environment Canada (Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program) Dafasco alone contributes 14.6% of this area's total emissions and Stelco Inc. 11.5% which is, by simple calculation, a national emission accumulation of 2.6% by both polluters.

According to a similar report, large Industries in this country have emitted into the atmosphere more than 4.5 billion kilograms of pollutants that cause health complications like cancer, respiratory ailments et al. and environmental degradation that accelerates climate change and yet the current regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act that supposedly set national air quality standards, are so flimsy they might as well not exist, owing to the mere fact that they do not trigger any punitive action to violations.

The way climate change is hastily affecting us, it’s up to all of us to commence responsible energy consumption other than laying all the blame onto Industries and Governments. I for one signed a petition against the central government’s planned giveaway of Mabira forest in Uganda, but as petitioning locals, aren’t we late or indeed exhibiting double standards after doing virtually nothing for decades as this forest reserve got depleted for her wood resources, new settlements and farming by the local peasants around her? Shouldn't we - the media, Ugandan environmentalists, anybody agitating against gov't's move today, have tried fighting for the forest ages back?

Like wise a vast majority of Canadians that responded to a recent poll thought that the environment should be the top priority of Ottawa than terrorism and Afghanistan; that they are personally careful to avoid polluting; and that Ottawa should do more to be involved in the International politics of global warming. The million dollar question is, are we individually trying hard to avoid polluting the world or is it just lip service?

I am of the opinion that both the Provincial and Federal gov’ts agree on how to decrease on the supply of energy to consumers other than leaving the initiative to us. If all of us knew that on a certain day between say 10:00pm to 6:00am there will be power cuts but only enough to run essential services like hospitals, then I am sure we will all plan on alternatives like running our clocks on batteries, pouring buckets of water into toilets than flushing or even using energy reserving bulbs that actually save on energy. I believe this fight is contagious. If charity begins at home, I am convinced that big time polluters will finally jump onto this band wagon as a result.

The problem is the difficulty of putting these abstract thoughts into action, because to be fair choices are sometimes difficult. However, if people in Uganda, Rwanda and other developing countries can live relatively comfortably in their world of energy shortage and power cuts, why can’t we?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Kagame; Think Hard Before You Commence Legislating Morality

8 March, 2007 was the International Women’s Day, a day where we all commemorate the achievements of women in all aspects of life and where the rhetoric of the emancipation of women is celebrated.

On this day in Kigali, the Rwandese President General Paul Kagame chose to officially join forces with the ever vocal group that seeks criminalization of prostitution under the belief that this trade has no intrinsic value attached to it and that the advantages of its eradication through indiscriminate enforcement of the criminal law are undeniable.

I agree with the value concept of this school of thought because to me prostitution is something I abhor and distaste. However, despite my beliefs, I concur with the notion that prostitution should only be branded as immoral just like alcohol consumption, but not as a criminal act.

Kagame’s assertion that “the legal arm of this land should take immediate action and sweep our streets of the prostitutes” worries me, because not only does this directive sweep the causes under the carpet, it is also a bold attempt by the executive body to initiate passing laws whose primary concern is morality and not civil value. Laws whose primary objective is civil are intended to ensure the safety and indeed order of all residents of the country and also ensure other values that uphold freedoms, liberty et al.

I believe that generalizing all immoral things as illegal is fundamentally wrong and self defeating. Take for instance the Christians’ stand on worshipping other gods other than the biblical God; it is considered as immoral, despicable and punishable by everlasting condemnation and yet the right to exercise preference in worship is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and indeed the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 by the General Assembly. In my opinion, the state can not prohibit any individual’s liberty in social interactions, most especially where the parties in question are two consenting adults.

Mr. Kagame was right when he observed that “Prostitution is a clear and explicit reflection of moral decay, the erosion of moral values and the collective failure of the family institution in carrying out the responsibility of getting the young internalize and measure up to societal expectations.” But fails to recognize that moral decay is considered an outright sign of government’s mismanagement 'kubanga' prostitution is one of many evils taken to symbolize collapse of the pillars of society.

A quick fix, in my opinion, is government’s lazy way of trying to handle this “problem” of prostitution without meeting her own obligations to society like educating her people about this evil; building an inclusive economy and strong social welfare systems/networks; and promoting/upholding African values – Not legislating morality, because, like I said the primary deliberation of laws should be civil and not a moral function.

I am sincerely hoping that the president had child trafficking, sexual slavery, exploitation and pimping in mind. Heavy enforcement laws against trafficking and pimping would do justice to the plight of prostitutes who are victims of harsh economic environments that lack viable alternatives; victims of the injustice of criminalization and social stigma from "legitimate" society that figures that prostitutes brought their troubles onto themselves; and the education system that promotes job seeking mentalities minting out fresh graduates each year to do just that…job seeking.

Our Rwandese society has digressed to new levels, when daily stories in the media revolve around young university girls exchanging sexual favors for good marks; where essays and thesis are only presented but not prepared/researched by the student; when impoverished parents give away their young daughters to rich men in exchange for a herd of cows in dowry or to work as house girls; where reputable men with assumed inferiority complexes believe exchange of money or other favors for romance rejuvenates them…absurd!!

With such instances stipulated above, the definition of prostitution and the line between consensual and commerce; invisible 'prostitutes' or/and exploiters will be tough to demarcate. For instance, is exchanging sexual favors for good marks or a great thesis a kind of prostitution or likewise isn’t the act of receiving such favors exploition? Btw, by definition wouldn’t I be prostituting if my husband bought me a special gift with expectations of some kind of return or favor? Think about this objectively

Whereas Kagame has good intentions, I believe abolitionism which is a balance between his preferred criminalization and de-criminalization maybe the only legal regime viable to reduce on the alarming rate of prostitution in his country. It criminalizes perceived activities of those assumed/seen as exploiting or coercing prostitution and trafficking whilst absolving the burden of regulation from the prostitutes, period.

Rwanda should endorse the UN’s Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Person and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (if she hasn’t yet). This convention does not condone prostitution but seeks to free prostitutes from the criminal code (according them special protection under the law) whilst endeavoring to reintegrate prostitutes back into society.

It all boils down to the question of morality. I honestly believe that the immorality of hypocrisy in today's society is more dangerous than sex for favors, because all evils attached to prostitution can easily be attached to many other social interactions that are built through lies and hypocrisy. I guess what I am attempting to convey here is my “slippery slope effect forbia.” In future the mere holding of hands and kissing in public by lovers which is deemed immoral in our culture may end up to be legislated without considering the genesis of the “immoral act” and government role.

I am out like you know who

Sunday, January 28, 2007

My World Of Inconvenience

Aha, at long last winter finally shows up and with this exhibitionist attitude that is throwing off casual winter enthusiasts like myself. We have been thumped by intense snow for a good two weeks now. This long forgotten daily routine of shoveling drive ways and side walks and scraping snow off cars is back on our “to do” list. Days like these remind me why I should move to an apartment building, condo or a house with a garage and a very narrow drive way.

I feel mysterious when my identity confuses people, most especially East Africans. On so many occasions, I have easily been mistaken for an Ethiopian or a Somali. I can’t recall how many times I have waived off Ethiopians passing off greetings to me in Amharic or Somalis trying to engage me into a meaningful conversation in their language. Anyways, two days ago I ran into an old Eritrean friend/roommate from the Ryerson University days, at the Hamilton Sheraton Hotel where she works as a Reservation Manageress. I do recall with utter clarity the enmity Shreddah had towards me for a while and then a later change of heart to a sweet, warm hearted and generous girl…unbelievable. Apparently, she had thought I was Ethiopian masquerading as a Rwandese until when she had a glimpse of my passport, flight tickets, and other contributory clues!!!! It beats my feeble mind, why people of similar backgrounds i.e. common social-cultural values owing to historical antecedents, could harbor such deep resentment against each other? Well, as a Rwandan, I am in no better position to judge them.

Some time back, blogger Dennis Matanda wrote an article on how loan sharks use these agencies for unscrupulous loan dealings. I must have commented that these are mafia organized agencies bent at exploiting the unsuspecting clients by conspiring to unlawfully cause them to pay interest at a criminal rate. Dennis, to follow up on your post is a Windsor judge who has allowed a class action suit against Money Mart and its parent company, Dollar Financial Group to proceed towards trial. The plaintiffs argue that short term pay day loans end up costing borrowers interest rates that are criminally high. The judge has agreed with this charge and finds that the defendants have a case to answer. The catch here is that if the plaintiffs win this case, disgruntled Rwandese and Ugandans broken by unfair interest rates on pay day loans, will be able to reference this case in their own law suits against these thieving companies. Amen.

Talking of courts, another interesting lawsuit to watch for has been okayed to proceed by a judge in New York, USA. In my opinion, copyright laws are getting out of control because of their complexity. If you own a XM Satellite radio the future of your free lunch is getting uncertain, that is if record companies win this law suit filed against XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. The charge sheet alleges that XM directly infringes on record companies’ “exclusive distribution rights” by letting listeners record songs onto their receivers. I am afraid of the slippery slope effect, if these record companies win this case. Today its XM Satellite Radio, who knows tomorrow it maybe FM radio stations by implication or that dude providing you with that free software that helps record audio from your computer sound card – streaming internet audio, MIDI et al. or even You Tube. Scary notion, eh?

That reminds me, I have failed to keep a promise I made in one of my posts ages back. My inshutis Laurette and Bella (Italian word for beautiful) had been working on a project that would assist You Tube fanatics like myself to download You Tube videos onto their PCs in a format compatible with most DVD players. Needless to say, my computer stars have failed on numerous occasions. Hey, I can’t fault them for not trying and to that I applaud your efforts pretty ladies. Btw gals, my Bottoms Up offer is still open let’s fill ‘em up sometime next week. However, “agitators” like Kadama and Nyakahuma, please visit with YouTube X and follow instructions there. Thanks for your reminders though.

Okay, so the Chinese blow up a satellite and try to pretend nothing happened, yet indirectly sending a message to Washington. Big deal? Come to think about it; figuring out how to neutralize a satellite far away in the sky is one thing, deliberately blowing it up is another. The genesis of all this commenced when Bush thwarted Chinese protests in the UN against an arms race in space by quipping that there is no such a thing as arms race in space and then going on (in contradiction) to smooth talk his Canadian conservative counterparts into a space protection plan or something close to militarization of the space to protect North America. When the Chinese decided to pull the rug under Bush’s flimsy feet, he cries foul loudly. We used to call such reactions from the Americans “hysterical hypocrisy.” We all know that the Russians and Americans have tested satellite eliminations and have capabilities to so. Equally important is that these satellites were installed for military and spying purposes including the GPS satellites. It is only natural that China, in her own national interests, would want to neutralize such military advantages in case of an armed confrontation. The message to Bush; The arms race in space is a reality. Please, get back to the round table and talk it out.

These Washington bullies are at it again. Remember when they cornered the world with that poisoning slogan “you are either with us or with them” whilst starting an illegal war in Iraq? I believe that if you declare war on a sovereign country you are signing onto the benefits of the profit and loss account of that war and occupation. Recently, a pathetic delegation from Washington was in Ottawa urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to disregard the standards and guidelines of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board and accept more refugees from Iraq mostly Christian Iraqis. My question is, why doesn't USA absorb them into their refugee system (they are part of the profit and loss account of that war); why only Christian Iraqis (it seems like persecution in Iraq has no boundaries or religion); and by not taking them is USA indirectly saying that these refugees would not have a safe haven in the “land of the free?” Unless USA meets the full costs of absorption into our system, we should leave Bush and his supporters to learn a lesson in consensus building 101 before starting another meaningless war.

Perhaps blogger Omar Basawad was right, Americans badly need a fresh start probably from a person that is free from power drunkenness. Somebody who will have universal health care high on a priority list, somebody that recogonizes the fact that health care is a right for every american not just the rich or those with health insurance. First, they have to take those blindfolds off to pick the "chafu" from the rice. Right?

I am out. Thanks for your patience reading my endless yada, yada.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mixed Reactions; The New Years' Bash, Warm Weather and Defections

I am back to earth, kuba we survived a road accident whilst driving to my cousin’s family get together party (on new-years’ eve) in Windsor, Ontario. I must say, God was with us that day. Imagine traveling at 140 km/hr on that busy 401 West highway and emerging from the wreck unscathed, GOD IS GREAT.

All this commenced with a fierce knock at the rear, then violent shakes before skidding off the highway. On disembarking we realized in horror that both rear tires were “kaput!!” It turns out six other cars had skidded off the same lane with bust tires, probably something we run over. All in all, this close call was a manifestation of his presence.

Hopes Standing at the scene (like nothing happened) 45
minutes after the accident. I refused, categorically, to have
my snap taken with what would have been our coffin.

Anyways, we made it to Peruth’s home intact and had a wonderful time mingling with all these cousins most of whom were on holidays from Africa. The house basement hosted the party as Chameleon & co. club music mix blared fiercely till morning. It was a wonderful day for me.

Feliste encouraging the troops to trump on.

Btw, I have just learnt that I did not do the Acute Care & Traumatic Condition exams well. Unlike Quantitative Methods which I barely passed, I was certain of a super mark in Acute Care and I am still wondering what went wrong. I do not have to re-write Acute Care exams though since it does not seriously affect my GPA, but a C grade does not cut it with anything dealing with Pharmacology (QM) in a Nursing program. So I am back to the drawing boards, cutting out slacking time to make sure I am sure of a better grade in QM this time around.

Last week Liberal MP of a Toronto area riding of Mississauga-Streetville, Wajid Khan, crossed the floor to Harper’s ruling Conservatives in fashion thus affecting the balance of power in the House of Commons. This is not the first time defections are happening and I am sure not the last time. People like David Emerson crossed from the Liberals to the Conservatives, Belinda Stronach from Conservative to Liberal, Scott Brison from Conservative to Liberal, David Kilgour from Conservative to Liberal, Jack Horner from Conservative to Liberal, Paul Helyer from Liberal to Conservative et al.

The question is, how ethical is it for an MP to defect from one party to another without consulting his constituents? Most voters cast their ballots for a party and expect the person entrusted to represent them in upholding their beliefs, values, principles, ideas, or policies on party lines. Wajid Khan breached the trust the electorate in the Mississauga riding had in him by seeking personal gain over their values. Enough said.

It is January and here I am bedecked in a springtime coat! Mother Nature is still holding her weather cards tightly close to her chest with a poker face on. It seems that the days of long, cruel, cold winters are long gone, but with that poker face, who knows what the future holds?

I have mixed feelings towards this bizarre occurrence. With a black X-mas of a high 10°C in Hamilton (the term black Christmas refers to a Christmas without snow) it was not a surprise that many Hamiltonians directed their anguish, shaking their clenched fists towards the barren sky for all the wrong reasons I would imagine.

A warm winter has finally rejuvenated our financial standing. Gas is as cheap as it comes owing to the low demand for heating fuel and the municipality’s snow clearing. This means many households and indeed corporations are breaking even with a double cut on automobile gas costs, heating costs, miscellaneous expenses (i.e. frozen batteries or fuel lines in cars), a break on tax and fewer potholes on our roads this spring.

However, for that we pay a price. Cold weather usually kills infectious germs and their couriers. This warm winter is helping roaches, pests, rats, snakes et al. to thrive through a normally tough season and as a result the city is expecting a higher population of these rodents this summer. Farmers are not particularly pleased with a snow less winter since the soils need this snow for water and the plants need it to protect their roots from summer’s harsh winds and heat. Wine producers for instance are preparing for huge financial losses, leaving many winery jobs exposed to lay offs. This is a common phenomenon with many other snow dependant industries like ski operations et al.

Finally, I thank all of you that passed on encouraging and uplifting comments on my last post and to Eddie, I wish you a year flowing with milk and honey. Right there, just translated (for you) the Nyaru greeting in my previous post.


Sunday, December 31, 2006

2007; New Beginnings, Fresh Resolutions

My rafikis and all of you folks who happen to drop by each day, perusing through my boring posts about my dysfunctional life and experiences, HAPPY NEW YEAR. May this New Year bring you many blessings of good health, dreams to come true, prayers to be answered, and gratitude for all. Remember: “Life is a series of new beginnings and in every ordinary moment there are a thousand miracles to behold.” -Flavia Weedn.

I read all your posts blogger friends every day. I may not comment sometimes, but I do read each of your posts. They are all refreshing, inspirational, informative and educational. Blogger gave me new meaning in 2006. Dennis Muhumuza, Jovial, Omar, Zack, Cindy, Joshi, Feliste, L.A, UnDo, The Goddess, Degstar, Minty, Denis Matanda, Kisiki, Jay, Savage, Scotchie, Eddie, Ivan, Iwaya, Carlo, Be Silent, Pea, Baz 2007 uzababere umwaka wa amata nu ubuki.

I always succumb to this popular ritual of listing a galaxy of new year resolutions which I never keep. Tomorrow will be another year and yet another good excuse to party all night long and ofcourse tackle resolutions...lol. This time around my new year resolution grounds at recycling old ones that were not kept hoping that I'll stay true to them.

"A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila." - Mitch Ratcliffe. Well, I am just recovering from this horrible experience of a computer crash. I saw all the warning signs, spyware and viruses, but each time I postponed utilizing registry mechanic. I had noticed, for instance that each time somebody visited or commented on my blog my PC attached my IP address to the source PC. I am still baffled and scared to know that such network manipulation is possible.

Anywayz, I'll take this opportunity to share Prof. Smith's 12 thoughts for a happy new year;

“Live each day so that you will neither be afraid of tomorrow nor ashamed of yesterday.” - Author Unknown



1. To face the coming year’s problems use HOPE, faith, and your trust in God and His wisdom to guide you to the future that’s right for you. You can create your own future by focusing your thoughts on what you wish to accomplish. Know that you are responsible for everything that happens in your life – both good and bad.

2. Make it your ASPIRATION to achieve something worthwhile. Learn a new skill, or seek greater knowledge in areas you don’t now have. Seek and master new ways to do something that’s already been done -and- do it better! Use the power of purpose by giving whatever it is you desire the highest amount of your attention. This determines how successful you will become.

3. Make a concentrated effort to improve, grow, and PROSPER. Increase your financial security. Dare to be happy. Exercise and stay in good health. Keep a positive attitude. Do whatever it takes to improve your personal and business image. And know that your relationship with giving is the spiritual source of your true prosperity.

4. Treat your life, family, friends, and others you meet as a PRECIOUS gift to be enjoyed, and of great value. Regard them with a love that is special and - it will all come back to you. Send forth good and it multiples. Honor every one you come in contact with today, tomorrow, and make it an ongoing behavior. This too, is paid back to you by the Universe.

5. To YEARN is to express compassion. In this coming new year, experience it and show compassion for those less fortunate then you are. Offer ways to help others whenever and wherever you can. Give only good. The more you give of yourself, the more comes back to you. It may help make this a better world.

6. Learn to NETWORK and link to other like-minded individuals; whether it’s in an educational, business, or social setting the benefits can add to your growth and success. Celebrate and share your abilities so that you can attract more of the same.

7. Be EAGER to learn new things. Opportunities are all around you. Having an intense passion or desire to find new opportunities is the sign of an enthusiastic person. This desire comes from God. In order for you to find new opportunities, always move toward your goal with a spiritual awareness.

8. WISDOM - the ability to make well thought out decisions comes from maturity and understanding. In any given situation, it is wise not to judge until all facts are understood. Be open to understanding another’s point of view. Do you look at the world with a positive or a negative vision?

9. YESTERDAY is a day that has just passed. Now you are free to live in the present. Use each new day wisely and full of gratitude for every hour, every minute, and every second. Set goals for each day and take specific actions that will help you accomplish them.

10. ELOQUENT. Are you confident, persuasive and effective in the way you communicate? When speaking with others how would you rate yourself? Are you always voicing negative opinions? Or, are you positive in expressing your thoughts?

11. ADVERTISE. For those in business, always make the positive features and benefits of your product or service known. Appeal to the emotions of your prospective client. Give quality service and products so that your self-esteem is strengthened and your reputation is valued.

12. - In the coming new year, here’s hoping that you will REWARD yourself for any successful personal and business achievements. Improve your skills where and when needed. Change any negative habits, and always follow His guidance in all things you attempt to do.


Monday, December 04, 2006

QUEBEC; A Nation Within A Nation?

One constitutional lawyer Stephen Scott of McGill once said: it would be "disastrous for constitutional negotiations to proceed on the premise that a province, if dissatisfied, can overthrow the state," for no federation could possibly survive such a premise.

Not long ago, our Conservertive Prime Minister, Stephen Harper ambushed a proposed motion by the Bloc Quebecois calling for Quebec to be recognized as a nation by introducing his own motion in the House of Commons, that actually recognizes Quebecers as a nation “within a united Canada.” To quote; “this House recognizes that Quebecois form a nation with in a united Canada.”

Yeah, you heard me right, a nation within a nation. This is where I think Mr. Harper to be playing a dangerous game of dominos, because such sentiments that seem impotent always evolve into something else that sparks off waves of undesired repurcussions ignited by those who least intended them. Take a good example of Mikhail Gorbachev, whose good intentions of democratising and opening up of the USSR to a competitive and a free market economy led to the disintergration of the Soviet giant, her competitive advantage and a economically secure peasantry. The same sentiments in Uganda towards Buganda have left both the central government and the ever whinning Buganda kingdom weakened in the eyes of a Ugandan nationalist.

I recognize that Harper based his convictions on the definition of Quebecois. I agree that in French unlike English, a country and a nation are not synonymous because the later means a people sharing a common culture, background and language, whereas its meaning in English of geographical boundaries is categorically different. His motion scribes its salt from the word QUEBECOIS (people) and not QUEBEC (territory). However, if by constitution Canada is a bilingual country with both English and French recognized as official languages of equal status, who would be able to legally halt the separatists in Quebec from challenging the constitution in their quest for separation using the English definition?

If Quebec seceeded, Canada will cease to be the Canada I know and cherish. Just like Mikhail Gorbachev – the president without a state- the downward slope may catch Harper with no country to govern. Who knows Alberta may be next or New Brunswick. Btw, if the Quebecois are a nation clearly the Cree in Quebec itself are a nation too. Well, actually they will be a nation inside a nation of Quebec, which is inside a nation of Canada. It always has to start with one small thing leading to another and that, unfortunately’ is the problem Harper has not realized yet.

Most Canadians applaud when they hear about other distinct societies pushing for autonomy such as the Kurds who are seeking for self governance from Iraq and Turkey or the Irish from the United Kingdom, ebony Sudan from the Arabic Sudan, Chechnya from Russia et al. We applaud because we believe that separation (of others) as their fundamental right as dinstict peoples and yet, we seldom stomach the Quebec agitation. This is the hypocrisy that envelopes most of us here, if its not in your backyard, it’s a good cause.

I recognize Quebecors as a separate people with a rich history that binds Canada, but again so are the anglo-saxons, the chinese, Italians, acadians and many other immigrant communities that arrived here long ago and established successful communities. In essence we are one Canada by the Confederation Act (1867) with different rich backgrounds that have enabled this society to tolerate other school of thought and cultures manifesting it with the Multicultural Act.

A province can only propel itself in the confederation and not out. If I rented a room in this huge house would I then be justified to nullify the rental agreement, declaring my room a house and commencing paying myself the rent?

One great Canadian once said and I quote; “So the truth seems to be that under the laws of Canada, there can be: No unilateral referendums by provinces to decide the fate of the whole nation. No unilaterally declared “nations” formed inside the nation of Canada. And no unilateral claims by provinces to sovereign territory or property belonging to all Canadians.” – William Gardner.

For once people, Hopes and myself are on the same political page on this contentious issue. We believe in one Canada, because divided we fall.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Tribute to Gerald Levert

I am on a 30 minutes lunch break, not enough time to work through this post, so please bear with me.

First, it is amazing how Gerald Levert’s untimely death passed unnoticed on our ‘kafunda!’ It could have for me if Feliste and Nada didn’t leave SMS’ on my cellular phone a couple of days ago. I am always out of the scoop but these seemed like messages of doom, so I pushed my treo phone to search web news on G.L... I couldn’t believe my eyes and was in utter shock later when much vibe confirmed it on our School of Health Sciences canteen TV!!!

I send my deepest sympathy to the Levert family during these trying times and I hope they stay strong. Teveria said it better and I quote; “God only takes the best. Hold on family and trust in him for comfort. We all are grieving with YOU in your loss, he was a wonderful young man whom we all admired and loved.”

A glowing tribute to Gerald Levert

Is it only me, but doesn’t it seem like all our pure R&B and Swing music icons of the 90's are sailing off the earth crust? We need them here to restore the dying R&B respect back to the mainstream…classics from Al B Sure, Shai, Silk, Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill, NE, Jodeci, After 7, Portrait, Boyz II Men, All 4 One, Azyet, 4 PM, Tevin, 3T Brotherhood et al. speak for themselves. It is against this background that I attempt to revive some of my favorite old school 90's courtesy of YOU TUBE links, just in case something happens to any of the remaining R&B soldiers. Enjoy in rememberance of the hasky voiced teddy bear GL...

Baby Hold on To Me (GERALD LEVERT)
If I Ever Fall in Luv (
My, My, My (
Freak On You (
Water Runs Dry (
Hard To Say I am Sorry (
Freak with You (
Nobody Knows (
Why Me Baby (
Right Now (
Tell Me Its Real (

R.I.P Luther Vandross, Left Eye, Gerald Levert, Barry White et al. A quick recovery to Al B Sure, Teddy Pendergrass…

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Umeze Gute My Rafikis

Muraho my inshutis? I have been attempting to post something here since I got back. It has been hard to cope without my kids and the mayhem that seems to follow them. Believe me; this house is like a quiet cathedral lately that I am disheartened! I have lost a lot of weight as a result and if this continues, I may lose my cherished plump mass in a wink! That my friends is a frightening …

Back home; do you agree I lost alot of weight? I am not
pleased that my pleasantly plump body is yielding to a cough
and malaria.

Equally important, I developed malaria symptoms a day after my arrival only to realize in horror that I had somehow managed to leave my Fancida pills in Kigali! Horror, because tropical symptoms here can easily be misdiagnosed, which is fatal. I recall with utter clarity, one Congolese lady who was rushed off the plane to an evacuated hospital (evacuated in advance) with “Ebola-like” symptoms; it turns out a year and so later that she had malaria that had turned cerebral! By that time the whole fiasco had cost the tax payer a ton and the biased media’s profiling reports reduced the poor lady to a psychological mess! I am Thankful to Zahor whose malaria pills (Arinate 100g) came handy for me.

My trip was uneventful really, other factors remaining constant. I was so worried about that 12 hour transit at Frankfurt; with two hyper kids, I was bound to go nuts. For the test of things to come, we waited in line at Pearson International Airport in Toronto for at least an hour and my daughters were going “this is boring mummy” and “why do we have to stand” whilst running and pushing empty luggage carts all over, Geez! We had failed to nail down a last minute reservation with any of the hotels close to the Frankfurt airport only to be rescued by a cousin whom I had no clue worked in Germany…oohff, what a relief that was.

We camped at my sister’s joint in Remera as planned, which is a 20 minute okapi ride to downtown Kigali and a mere 5 – 10 minutes if I hitched a ride with either my sister or brother in law. It appeared to me that most people (at least those I visited with) led polished lifestyles with huge double storied homes bedecked with red tiles and had lavish cars. I wondered aloud how they could not only afford but sustain that lifestyle in such a costly and economically unstable environment. Wouldn’t you?

Think about it; the cost of living is higher than I had imagined, so savings should be hard to mantain. Secondly the gap between the haves and have-nots is wider than the land depression of the East African rift valley, which raises red flags about the management of the economic factors that sustain the middle class and those on top, do you smell class friction In future?

It is a costly environment, IMO, because there does not seem to be anything in abundance to drive prices down; you know the demand and supply thingies? Everything seems to be imported, from food to… I am told taxes and the cost of importation fattens the retail price. For example; creamy cheese spread 300g costs $20 at La Galette and $9 in Mbarara. I settled for Nutella at $12. These exorbitant prices do not stop with packaged/bottled groceries but extend to fresh food and fruits, basic needs that require a fortune to satisfy!

Kigali has seen her share of economic growth though, signs of growth stare at you from every corner. There were so many changes that I gasped for air in sheer disbelief. I heard about some of the changes such as our national instruments notably the national anthem and the flag but the airport? It should not be a surprise though, but I did not see it coming you know, changing the name from Kayibanda to Kanombe and not Kigali International Airport which is used by IATA.

The city is so clean with waste bins planted everywhere for ease of access to habitual city trashers. BTW, I hardly saw anybody carrying along bags/kaveera (with groceries) rather paper bags are the norm with all supermarkets and vendors alike that I suspected it maybe a by-law. If that is not a brilliant idea then I do not know which one is, especially in countries where garbage recycling is unheard of. We all know what buveeras can do to the agricultural productiveness of soil and indeed our environment.

Cleanness aside, Kigali is summed up into three things; Dust, dust and more dust! Since I did a lot of walking to the city in the first days, dust became part of my menu so much that I quickly developed a bad cough and partially lost my voice in the second week of my pilgrimage. My cloths had to be washed everyday and that’s when it hit me, a serious lack of water in the city. That people, is a big problem especially if your washrooms are flash toilets, you are so picky to have your cloths washed everyday and those twice a day showers!! Rationing of water is not a bad idea in this case after all.

The city is littered with internet cafes, which is a good sign of things to come in future. However, the internet was ridiculously slow in every café I visited! I tried on two occasions to access my blog and a Toronto sports channel (Fan 590 AM) but got stuck in search mode for a whole 11/2 minutes that I lost patience. I tried my brother’s and a cousin’s connections with similar results. Basically, I needed to write a draft posting on my brother-in-law’s PC, save on a disk and later transfer all that to my blog, a practice a despise. Well, I reserved two hours for just that and waited for what seemed like ages for the computer to load my blog and just as I was reconfiguring my entries, bheew…power outage!!

All in all I was thrilled to be in Kigali, and despite the shortcomings and household economic hardships, people are happy and stress free. They enjoy the little things they have and seldom whine for not having much. Ibihyimbo (beans), igitoke, Inyumbati (cassava) and posho on a daily basis seems to be the main diet for most folks here. If such sudden power cuts were here in Canada life would stop believe me, and yet my people go ahead with having fun enjoying whatever little they are blessed with. I applaud the spirit.

Fun of course revolves around intoxication from local brew or beer. Believe me some hobbies die hard, I was dying for a gulp of Primus after a long time, but the soapy blunt taste and the fact that one has to contend with a 1 litre bottle threw me off. The cough didn’t help my good intentions either. I recall my encounters with primus at the Mardi gras in Hamilton, but this taste in Rwanda seemed different from the Hamilton one, bootlegged?

Interesting that alcoholism has not been identified as a potential threat to Rwanda’s social/economic growth since a lot of “abled” members of the workforce spend quite a lot of valuable time ‘socializing’ and that is every night! Drinking a bottle for recreation and relaxation is one thing and routinely drinking gallons upon gallons of beer as a hobby is another? Just imagine having half of your employees showing up with dreadful hangovers each morning!

Nevertheless, the way I see it Africa is on fast track to the take off stage of economic dev’t. However there is an urgent need to invest in people (as a resource) and emphasize on scientific subject matter at early childhood education level. It is rewarding to have a job creating human resource to fire up an economy than a vast army of job seekers. There are too many skilled and qualified people in Rwanda seeking to share a piece of the pie other than baking their own. Why should a Computer scientist graduate be on the street for 3 years searching for a job, unless I am missing something here? I understand Rwanda has adapted Uganda’s UPE or “bonna basome” which is a good start in achieving a self sustaining human resource. IMO, the investment in people should not end at education alone.

I also think we need reliable sources of energy that are renewable. Rwanda's reliance on imported energy that in itself is not reliable is costly. I know nuclear energy is a taboo in today’s world order of arms race control and environmental protection. But if 45% of Ontario’s energy comes from nuclear plants, why shouldn’t developing countries seeking to fire up their economies with a reliable, renewable and cheaper energy source be granted supervised or limited access? I still believe that with this out of hand population growth and decreasing water to levels that can hardly sustain hydro consumption, adaptation to nuclear energy is inevitable. One thing is for sure though, there is a need to educate the “baturagyes” on how to and why they should conserve power and water because our existence and that of our environment relies on conservation, atleast to some degree.

Hey, I am not lecturing what folks there have to do, but that is my honest and amateurish take on things there. One thing I have learn't is that earthly things are nothing, just "bisusunku na birerya" if I am to borrow Hopes' term. The world does not end when one suddenly runs out of salt. Actually it doesn't...

I have no clue whether what I have just posted makes sense because it is random, but one thing that pumps me up is that you had the gutts to stay the course and actually read it. Thanks.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Blogging Time Out; Off to East Africa

My rafikis I have read all your comments in my last post Satan's Mind Games , and I appreciate all your kind words. Believe me, my soul is at peace now because of your support; Kiiza, Kandi Kandi, Katureebez, Hodari, Musayidiziz, Mbonyez and R. Nagenda, your emails were unbelievable; and to my Blogger pals I once again send props to you, asante sana.

In just 12 hours the kids and myself will be trekking to East Africa and hoping that the "bisiraani" do not follow us to my mother land. My Canadian born kids are excited to see the land of their ancestors and will be making Kigali their niche for the next 2 years whilst I complete my studies. It seems like a brutal and selfish decision to be taking, but deep in my heart I know that this though hard was the right decision I had to take, if not the last option. One thing is certain, I am gonna miss them soooo much...actually, I am missing them already.

My daughters Prim and Faith.

The most disheartening thing with this trip is the 12 hour transit at Frankfurt airport! We bought the tickets late (very late) and couldn't nail down atleast a reservation with any affordable hotel or motel close to the airport. Now with kids, especially the youngest notorious for running riot, at any slightest opportunity, in malls and shopping centres, I am destined for a looooong and treacherous wait...the right word? Docker! Nevertheless, I have amassed a huge collection of video now cartoons from Treehouse TV and Leapster L-Max Learning Game Systems to help baby sit them, atleast for a while. You can't blame me for having a toddler leash handy too, eh?

Equally important is the realization that I may not be able to blog or even peruse through all your blogs for all that time I'll be away doing rounds at the base. Yes, I know a couple of my cousins and a brother-in-law have direct access to internet and I have heard of the various internet cafes in both cities, but I figure time will be a factor if my planned grass root 'networking' with the "baturagyes" is to hold in such a short time! So please bear with my disorganised agenda.

I hope to be in Kigali for two weeks before flying to Kampala for a week to check out my mama at the Mousa Courts, the grannies, Hopes' family and hook up with Feliste (who has not showed up at McMaster yet!!). I know 24 days aren't enough to enjoy the festive moods of these two countries most especially if one has been away for a while, but shuleni commences early next month...no choice people, no choice!


a) North American Sports TV channels. Why would I when what they show lately is baseball, American Football (NFL) and Pocker. Have you folks noticed how pocker is slowly creeping into our pyche as a real sport? I don't get it!

b) My fridge, the freezer, microwave, oven et al. You know where I am going with this folks? Freshly cooked food not frozen and microwaved; real milk; Ecoli free spinach; roasted fresh corn/maize...do I have to go on? I 've never learn't how to cook, so frozen food and vegetables have been high there on my limited food chain, lol. Thats ganna change, count on that.

c) The monotonous and ridiculous music blaring out so often from my kenwood stereo or Much Vibe, BET, MTV et al. I must blame this on maturity or probably having my own kids, but I found myself redefining african taste even to sounds I hated with a passion. Its time to give a deserved recess to my iriver mp3 player.

d) Bottoms up with their bad beer. I can't wait for the wakina Primus, and Bell lager mixed with a iced sprite for a shandy. I can't remember the last time I galloped Fanta orange and Mirinda?

People, I can rant endlessly with this thing. Somebody once said to me; "time is money..." It is high time I commenced sorting out the minor details of the journey before anything tragic happens...like forgetting my passport back home. With this, my dear rafikis I say, thanks for your readership and all the heart warming responses. It won't be long before I am back on blogsphere though, phew...how time rushes! I am out wishing myself a safe and uneventful pilgrimage.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Satan's Mind Games at My Door Steps

Hola amigos. I know it’s been a while since my last rant, but planet earth hasn’t been kind to me lately. Btw, it had never occurred to me that my seemingly aimless rants had a staunch following not until my email gat kind of roughed up by numerous concerns, I mean complaints about my slacking. I am humbled by that gesture, but a lot has been happening that blogging just got relegated to the bottom of my to-do list.

Catching a break has never been my middle name most especially this month. I traded in my VW Passat a while ago for a Nissan Altima 2005 model under the notion that i will be saving on parts in the long run. However, that is not the catch though, because a couple of weeks ago the Altima was stolen for a teen joy ride. I did not even know of the theft until the cops came knocking on my door, mbu my car was found crashed in Ancaster and that it had been towed to Lockwood. That is the price you pay for having a house that has no garage and no drive way, anti you get to park on designated road sides! Grrrr!

Just like that my budget gat under intense threat ariko I have Liability coverage popularly known as one way insurance. I had to foot the extravagant towing bill and a daily parking charge at Lockwood as I settled with the police. If I had known that this car is a high risk car to teen thefts, I would not have departed with my faithful servant the Passat! Come to think about it, the Passat is even cheaper on gas (4 cyl), safer and rivarls the altima in handling. Jesus, what was I thinking?

Parked at the wreckers/body shop. I paid $85 a day plus taxes
for storage amounting to $387.60, never mind towing charges.
You see how unforgiving this world can be?

The dusty interior.

Atleast the engine seems to have survived the ordeal.

Adding insult to injury, three days ago Hopes finds his truck broken into and vandalized in a 7 storey parking building by the Jackson Square Mall. The passenger side screen or window had been smashed; the car phone plus other items like the CD/MP3 changer, music CDs (more than 50 of them; mostly Ugandan & 'bootleged' ofcourse), car ownership cert., auto insurance slips, two new tennis rackets, the Nikon D50 SLR camera (my favorite), personal letters and some other items intended as gifts to folks in Kampala and Kigali, stolen! Yet another dent into the overstretched budget. We are advised not to leave valuable belongings in our cars at a public parking lot, why Hopes did not heed to those warnings, which are plastered all over like grafiti, beats my feable mind! Anyways, owing to all that and other contributory factors blogging, people, has been the last thing on my mind!

This is Hopes truck with the vandals work in clear view.
That glass will probably cost him a cool $200 to replace and
about $50 labor charges plus taxes ofcourse.

Shattered glass all over. A huge vacuuming job for him

The phone mount and jerk glaring at the camera. That phone
is one thing I do not miss...

Lets forget all these calamities, my sense of belonging seems to have been restored kuba Hopes just bought a new digital camera, not a Nikon (because that would have cost a fortune) but a Sony's Cyber Shot DSC-H5! I am thrilled that at least I have a camera to carry with me and my kids whilst on a pilgrimage to East Africa. It may not be a SLR but sure has a huge LCD (far larger that D50's), 7.2 Mega pixels (compared to 6.1 Mega Pixels of the D50) and x12 “optical” zoom. I think it is worth all the bucks it costs. If you have some disposable bucks handy and you are a photographic enthusiast who can't afford those high priced SLRs, this maybe just what you need...a blast, thats what it is.

On a different note, please take a moment to watch this very enlightening video about our black children in North America and the education system that imposes mind degradation and self discrimination at a tender age. It displays how even today the minds of our black children are warped by the images they see in our country, from advertisements to the daily news... Check it out... Pay particular attention to the pre-schoolers who are given the choice between a black doll and a white doll..... See which one they think is bad and which one they think is good, and then watch as the little girl realizes which one looks like her... It's kind of sad for real... All I can say is do your best to show your kids that they are beautiful and can achieve anything!

I am out like the Nikon.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Aids 2006 Conference and Harper's Disinterest

Ontario's capital Toronto has seen her streets buzzing with activity the past three weeks. Caribana Festival for instance usurped this mega city in fashion as usual, filling her blue skies with Caribbean/afro beats and jamming up her streets with energized people of African descent from Southern USA to Nunavut- Canada, dancing away in memorably colorful festival costumes.

We had no costume for the festival, so we dressed as appropriately as we possibly could. Despite the glamour Caribana exhibits, Hamilton's Mardi gras is the most exciting to me, simply because the afro-beats are only downed by the sunset on the harbor front by Lake Ontario. Equally important, where else do you get to feast on real African & Caribbean chicken (e.g. luwombo) and roast corn/maize? South Africa's very best Castle lager and some Primus from Rwanda flowed at the Mardi gras like the source was Lake Ontario.

Caribana (Mardi-gras) militants strolling at the Lake shore

However that is not why I am blogging today, because the last days have seen a galaxy of delegates, media and observers converging onto Toronto once again for the 2006 Aids Conference. They all had a great reason to offer their presence to the largest aids conference to date. The biting slogan adopted; "time to deliver" is a telling story to the neglect and misconceptions of the disease and its problems that has led to hundreds of thousands infections each year unabated! They all attended in appreciation of the fact that this is a global problem in escalation which needed a robust awareness campaign to wake up western dwellers to the effects showing up at their door steps unnoticed, and yet for doing just that, some Delta hotel employees received their employer's wrath for wearing buttons supporting AIDS awareness. Misconception at its best!

One such person that needs a rude awakening is the Conservative Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper, who despite being the host chose not to attend or even offer contribution to the fight. We chanted our disapproval in unisom at the elaborate skydome when Clement the Health Minister showed up and applauded each speaker that showed disdain towards Harper's childish stunt! He and his fellow conservatives still believe that this is a gay, crack addicts and a sex trade problem and that they should (the conservatives) not be seen as offering support to such sinners being punished by God!!

Instead our Premier chooses to bolster Canadian influence in Afghanistan and elsewhere (a costly adventure) in apparent attempt to outbid Tony Blair in pleasing Bush, at the detriment of AIDS Research, control, prevention and treatment funding promised by the previous Liberal government. Actor/Activist Richard Gere echoed my sentiments whilst responding to the lukewarm showing by the Conservatives. He stated, "Aids is the true terrorist on the planet today." How I grinned with pomp, the message was simple but loud and clear.

I applaud all the organizers that worked hard to make this event a success, the delegates that included stars like Gere, Alicia Keys, Bare Naked Ladies et al; Members of both provincial and federal parliaments; the Governor General of Canada Michaelle Jean; VIPs like Bill Clinton who offered his time to be there most especially where its known that his presence and speeches usually costs organizers a cool 100k in US dough and Bill Gates, who recently donated a half a billion dollars towards international research efforts and everybody out there that attended in spirit & soul. To all those conservatives digging in with Harper, I say, AIDS is not only a developing countries’ catastrophe. In this era of open boundaries, movement of people and globalization, when the south catches a cold the north sneezes and that’s why this epidemic is a direct global threat to the economic, social and political development and stability of humanity as a whole. The good news is that it is preventable.

Let’s get back to earth for a moment; when will the days of investigative journalism come back? Remember the days of Water gate? If you happen to watch CNN American edition or Fox News, you must have noticed how these two have become Bush's mouth piece. Seriously, what airs as a statement from the white house becomes fact without adequate scrutiny I must say. The 'mayinjas' in the media are spending more time and money reporting on unhelpful events when our respective countries and the essence of globalization are being run into gutters! As if that is not frightening enough, Harper's conservatives are reading from Dubya's script and threatening to perfect it. If you thought Uganda's investigative journalism is disheartening, you must be throwing up now, as you wake up to the realization that we have passed on our 'values' to the western world with much success. Small world!

Btw, has anybody noticed that every time there seems to be an election closing in, suspected terrorists get arrested in high profile raids? Not that I do not believe these intelligent services and their political masters. If these people in London were being trailed for a year as reported, what was with the hype all of a sudden? What is with no fluids, gels, alcohol, and lotion et al. on planes? Jesus, what next? The next thing we'll know, we won't be using planes since the human body is made up of 70% water according to my Human anatomy professor. Humans are easily controlled by medals and fear, it would seem. IMO, too much power availed to governments under any circumstance is the genesis of dictatorship in a democracy, because governments more often than not abuse their powers. It is therefore pleasing to me that ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) gave the ‘Bushites’ a bloody nose in a recent court case that attempts to protect Americans from government excesses .

My best quote of the day; Safe and Free: "There has never been a more urgent need to preserve fundamental privacy protections and our system of checks and balances than the need we face today, as illegal government spying, provisions of the Patriot Act and government-sponsored torture programs transcend the bounds of law and our most treasured values in the name of national security."- ACLU (2006).

I watched Kassim Ouma fight (on tele) a couple of weeks ago. Like everybody, I was impressed with that great personal story he enveloped himself with (don't most of us Africans make claims of killing lions protecting cattle and our pride? I know I did). This dude throws a galaxy of punches in a frightening succession, but for some reason I am not yet sold on him until that time when he develops a hard punch to actually hurt an opponent. Imagine what the hard punching and ferocious Ike Quartey would do to Kassim if they met! OK forget Quartey, the Monitor reported yesterday that our man wants to go toe to toe with Jermain Taylor; Are u kidding me Kass? I think he will be minced meat if he steps in that ring with Taylor. Hey Kassim, if you want to throw billions of punches with 'femalish gloves' against Taylor, it’s your prerogative but I won't be watching unless bulky pays a visit with your gloves. Period!! I hope it is a bluff.

I do not want to take a lot of heat on this one; but Bill Clinton just turned 60, Chuck wonders if he is spending quality time with Hillary? Is he spending any time with Hillary? He seems to be all over the world at the word GO!

OK, so Dikembe Mutombo threw a few million bucks (US$15M) here and there to build a hospital in his native DRC and yet some haters insist he is exploiting a donation loop hole in the US taxation system (IRS). You got to be impressed with the guy's commitment though, as he prepares to open this US$29M hospital. The idea that he is doing this for tax purposes is absurd, degrading and shallow.

At least some things are off my chest, phew! I am totally out.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Showed Up with My Mouth Shut

1) Inshutis, I do not know about you but believe me I am better off chilling somewhere in the Sahara than Ontario! The weather in this part of the world is brutal lately. That my fried egg will easily be well done on the hood of my Passat is an understatement. With all these irrefutable signs of global warming and the damn temperature already having a devastating impact on people, landscape and wildlife, how on planet earth can the conservatives in Washington and their new born cousins in Ottawa be so disconnected from reality? I will spare the weatherman from my unending complaints; January will be here before we know it.

2) My friend Nada just dumped her model boyfriend, reason? Inquiring minds (courtesy of Chuck) want to know; do real men wear cologne?

3) Hey Muhakanizi and Bella, I am feasting on a humble pie right now. Just landed a you tube of Andrea Bargnani, the 2006 NBA draft 'numero uno.' The SOB is unconscious beyond the ark, dropping treys like its hot, and what's up with that sick cross over move at the Vegas summer league....I am sold on him and that's my final word so get off my case! BTW, check out this And1 athletic dude, just gat himself in the genius book of world records with his sickening 720 dunk. No spin here and the video is not doctored...lol.

4) Now I know why the turbulence in the Middle East will go on for generations to come

Monday, July 17, 2006; Kiryat Shmona. Israeli
girls write messages on a shell at a heavy artillery
position to be fired into Lebanon.

...and to that, the Lebanese respond. "To the children of Israel, Thank you. We have received your peaceful gifts here in Qana."

5) With the Qana massacre and the dirty bombs dropped in Beirut and Gaza, Olmert just made it more difficult for himself and his cheer leaders in Washington to distance themselves from the factual assertion of Israeli state terror. Bravo...you just become the first terrorist to use a dirty bomb on non-combatants. One question for u though; how did you get to beat Osama and his terrorist friends in P'yongyang and Tehran to the finish line? I know, I know you are some smart guy.

GR8ONES4 queries;

6) Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant or airplane like making a peeing section in a swimming pool? Hats off to the Liberals in Ontario, they not only passed the law banning smoking anywhere under a roofed enclosure but also stood by it whilst under pressure from powerful smoking lobbyists.

7) Ever wonder what the heck name abbr. and shortenings accomplish? Respectability, popularity, instills fear? OK...so if Kaguta is known as "Kags," the Jacksonville Jaguars as " Jags," Ninsiima as "Ninsy," Toronto Raptors as "Raps," or Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the "Bucs," what does that make the Tennessee Titans?

8) My friend Meere thinks Dr. Kiiza Besigye is a cutie...never mind her, it must be the heat wave going bonkers on her.

9) Lets get this straight, you cast a presidential vote today and wait 30 days for results, damn it. Apparently, this is an acceptable practice by the elections body in Kinshasa, if Wana's attestations are anything to go by. I hope the Congolese mojo is back for good.

10) "If Israel is not in violation of the principle of proportionality, by which Christians are to judge the conduct of a just war, what can that term mean? There are 600 civilian dead in Lebanon, 19 in Israel, a ratio of 30-1, though Hezbollah is firing unguided rockets, while Israel is using precision-guided munitions.
Thousands of Lebanese civilians are injured. Perhaps 800,000 are homeless." -
Pat Buchanan. Remember this dude?

11) Trust humans coming up with philosophical terms like knocking photo-journalists over with a non-inviting term Paparazzi. Now, if you are a cunning up to no good rascal, the malevolent world I live in will happily call you a Materazzi. If you figure there is a Materazzi in your life click HERE and you will automatically turn into Sheriff Zidane. Just left click to coup de boule/head butt all your Materazzis before the chief/ref catches up with you. Have fun.

I am out like Mr. Gagne, Nada's on and off beau...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Olmert and Nasrallah; Same Wine of Terror in Two Different Bottles

Before you watch that Ugandan bootlegged music video below or read through my rantings, let us first pray to the almighty for peace in the Middle East. Pray for all the innocent caught up in this quagmire of human evil and international disconnection and hypocrisy. Pray for the children living under such horror. Pray for the women who shed blood to bring a life on this planet and yet suffer the consequences of violence. Let us pray for wisdom; appreciate the reality that whether you are American, Rwandese, Canadian, Lebanese, Ugandan, Isreali, stateless et al. we are all humanly the same in blood and in manifestation of God.

At long last the World cup came to a rude close, like it is said every good thing comes to an end. As I contemplated on how I would be wasting my early morning time to replace the month long World cup rituals, things went bonkers in the Middle East in a blink. Suddenly, Iraq, Afghanistan, N. Korea, and the new Tsunami in Asia took a back seat! I am still puzzled at how things deteriorated drastically and so violently in so short a time. Puzzling still, is the wave of good press Israel is enjoying in the western world with each indiscriminate 'laser' bombing?

The disproportionate response to the capture of Israel soldiers is being justified with utmost tongue twisting in most of our daily tabloids. Jesus, it does not matter how you look at it, but terror is terror whether administered by Hezbollah or by Israel. Look up the definition in any dictionary and you will surely understand where I am coming from with this. The art of targeting people/civilians with deadly weapons is criminal whatever form it may be packaged. Remind me on this one, but we used to call such insanity "crimes against humanity" or war crimes in the good old days. Maybe I am missing something here, but haven't the international community tried Slobodan Milosovich at the Hague for the crimes he committed whilst president of Yugoslavia; pursued Joseph Kony; Intarahamwe and the agitators of genocide in Rwanda; Charlse Taylor et al. for acting in a manner that departs from the general appreciation of the "laws of humanity?" With these horrific events in the Middle East, the list just got longer.

Followers of the Middle East current affairs know for sure that this onslaught is not a result of self defense from Hezbollah katyusha rocket attacks and the capture of the two soldiers, but a well planned strategy to deface the new Arab identity from solidifying in Israeli’s vicinity. If that does not hold water, how then would we explain the savage and brutal attacks on civilians and Lebanon’s symbols of economical revival/development such as her infrastructure, power stations, business entities et al. or the continuing reference of Syria and Iran as sponsors of terror and the convenient relegation to oblivion the mention of the mammoth sponsorship Israeli terror receives from USA and her obedient allies. I say it again, terror is terror, there is no in between, no good terrorists and no bad terrorists especially when innocent civilians are dying in a hurry as collateral damage.

We also know that the capture of the two Israeli soldiers did not come as a surprise to the state of Israel since the Hezbollah leadership had been publically expressing their desire to capture Israeli troops as bargaining chips for Lebanese prisoners. Equally important, is the fact that Israeli has not only been violating Lebanon’s sovereignty but had continued to occupy some parts of southern Lebanon at will. With such 'bwiino' it is hard to ascertain who the aggressor is and who is justified to press the self defense mode button. The bottom line is that innocent people, women and children mostly, are dying as a result of this madness and just like in Rwanda, the world looks on in horror but doing nothing to stop the senseless carnage, which leaves the impression that some lives are worth more than others.

The effects of this will be felt far and wide and I am not talking about forking a buck more for gas (which is innevitable) but something permanently shaking our understanding and viewing of the world; if any of you thought everything will go back to normal after Israel and Hezbollah achieve their goals then think again. For starters, one thing is for sure; the young democracy in Lebanon is under siege from the very people that funded it. Go figure!! I say TERROR ON BOTH SIDES MUST STOP, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! And to that I say, amen.

My dear Yvette in Kampala 'you tubed' me with this killer hit from Uganda, I am drowned in the melodies of this song and I hope it chills down your frustrations and stress too. Meanwhile, my inshuti Laurette is on a mission to create a downloadable software that can help us bootleg you tube videos on to our PCs and also converting them to formats compartible with DVD recordables (mpeg etc) and VCD for free. Check this space.

Take care people; it is a wild world.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Feeling Militant for Peace and Human Rights

I had a chance to have a glimpse at a World Vision report of 2004 on displaced and refugee children, whilst researching on the economics of child labor in the developing countries recently. Never have I ever sat back and gave an objective thought to the plight of many disadvantaged children in the world and yet their presence is so obvious in my day to day life! Homeless or street children are a common sight today as a result of the disintegration of family, which is the foundation of society; child labor, yes that dreadful “houseboy/girl” tag popular in Rwanda and Uganda which, by selfish design, deprives these children of a fundamental human right to access an education; orphaned and abandoned children; sexually abused and exploited children and so forth. My depleted powers of observation towards this have shamed me to my last nerve that I decided to do something small but substantial. My inspiration came from Ninsiima's peace rantings, Omar's struggles for equality and human rights and Cindy's proposed invisible children project.

I am targeting refugee children, who are suffering from a despicable form of double jeopardy in that they were deprived of their basic human rights in their respective countries of origin thus fleeing the comfort of their homes, but continue to suffer human rights abuses in countries of asylum. I beg you to step in the shoes of children languishing in Darfor, or Gaza, or the Eastern DRC, northern Uganda or even children who seek refuge of Gulu at night (night commuters). I am sure when you open your eyes after the ‘pretend’ tour you will have felt the pain, grief and untold suffering they go through day in and day out. The clip below courtesy of www.ninemillion.org seeks to tap on your generosity to help make a difference. Please watch the clip (by clicking on the bottom play button twice) and visit with nine million refugee children to make a donation or send a prayer and your efforts will be appreciated.

On a different note people be warned that there is a devastating computer virus going around luring World Cup fanatics to supposedly naked pictures of the world cup by email. I understand that the attachments are severely malicious to the extent that they disable your anti-virus products, crumble the firewall, download more malware on your hard drive and also forwarding itself to your e-mail addresses saved on your PC. Do any of you remember the much hyped about 1998 World Cup virus that wiped out hard drives? What about the VBSChick-F virus of the Japan-Korea world cup that was intended to cripple PCs. Well, if you were so damn shaken by those seemingly dwarfy viruses then, do not attempt to open up this one because we hear that it is a mother of all PC annihilators. I warned you!

I am still perturbed at the many cases tried by the military tribunals in Africa, ariko my study group had a lively debate over this a couple of days ago. Yes, I know the ‘Bushites’ in Washington have tribunals and use them at any slightest opportunity, but should a soldier committing a civil/tort like domestic abuse be charged under such uncompromising laws? If you look at it, our civilian courts are actually different from military courts. For example, different rules of evidence apply; you have no guarantee of appealing a conviction in a military court; a senior officer has more credibility in the eyes of their laws than a junior officer/private; and a presiding judge can actually be incompetent in the matter of law (have no law qualifications). Many of the protections afforded to defendants in civilian courts do not necessarily apply in military tribunals. Must I go on?

In Uganda we have heard of many cases tried in these tribunals such as Tinyenfuza’s and Tumukunde's but what about in Rwanda where Col. Patrick Karegeya (ex- ESO boss) faces 7-10 years in jail for insubordination and desertion from the RDF. Karegeya in his defense claims he received no such orders from his boss General Kabarebe and that is where it fails to add up. How can one decide a case whose charge sheet has not been proven owing to the fact that the orders in question were in private conversations and thus no supporting paper trail? What about the just acquitted Brig. Gen. Alex Ibambasi who was charged in the military tribunal for falsification of his marital documents. You may recall in 1989 Alex married Dorothy Uwantege in Uganda, but was being accused of marrying one Immaculate Mutoni before nullifying the first marriage. That is my point exactly; the tribunals that were mean't for grave military offences and security threats are becoming trivial (with ‘kanjanja-ism’) for my liking and while still at that, should one human being have different fundamental rights from another because of his service in the military? Do you see the contradiction here?

Everybody has been filling us in with the excitement of the World Cup. I am sooo excited about Ghana’s performance that I jumped on Hopes’ bandwagon bedecking my VW Passat with a huge Ghana flag. Hey, we even stormed 'bottoms up' a club in uptown. I have this feeling boiling through my pleasantly plump body, that Brazil is our next main course despite Essien’s absence! Yes I know it sounds like a long shot but anything can happen and at this stage who the hell knows? That reminds me, whoever came up with such fraud that rated USA 5th in the world should pack up his space bags and go back to Mars! Lol. What about these portuguese fans (or should I say vandals?) running riot in Hamilton, destroying anything in their path in celebration of each win! Now, yesterday this rot was taken to another level when this one Portuguese fella poped two Italiano dudes on James Street North for virtually nothing!! That can not be blamed on soccer craze, its inner demons unleashed unto the unsuspecting law abiding citizens. Period!!

I am getting sick and tired of every Tom and Dick criticizing referees on issues they have no clue about. Take an instance of Allan Ssekamate’s absurd article “Referees bungling up in Germany” in the Sunday Monitor June25- July 1 2006. He criticizes the Referee in the Switzerland vs. South Korea match for overruling his linesman. Does Allan care for the Fifa's standards and guidelines set for fans, players, coaches and indeed anybody interested in the game? I do not think so.

Here’s what FIFA says about offside:

A player in an offside position is only penalized if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:

- interfering with play or
- interfering with an opponent or
- gaining an advantage by being in that position.

The definitions of elements of involvement in active play are as follows:

- Interfering with play means playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a team-mate.

Mr. Ssekamatte, from match reviews, it is clear the ball passed from a Swiss player was deflected by a Korean defender before finding Frei. He sought no advantage since the ball was actually passed to him by his Korean opponent. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe with all my heart 'nti' that was a great call.

Nshutis bumping at bottoms up

I am out like the Dallas Mavericks losers of the NBA world championships.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Did The Apocalypse Pass Me By?

Trying new tricks with the Nikon D50, the trick was to make everything other than our faces B&W, and oh shortening our legs by compression. That’s me wearing a marooned out blazer and next to me is Hopes. Justine stands at the extreme end.

All my nshutis, it is official we all survived the fore told apocalypse in one piece, at least my family did. Do you remember sitting up from midnight waiting for something horrible to happen during the Y2K? Yesterday was no different but a freaky weird day in its own right, apparently the biblical 666 was to somehow manifest the end of the world on 06-06-06 (6th June, 2006). It seemed like a normal day to most folks, but to a devoted Christian waiting for Armageddon, and who has watched "The Omen" movies and has read numerous end-of-time novels like Tim LaHaye's best seller "Left Behind" the day was worth betting on at www.betus.com a service that posted 10-1 odds that there will be an apocalypse. Though the odds of the world surviving 'black Tuesday' were far much better, betting on the odds of the apocalypse would have netted one devotee a cool $10 millions. The question asked by everybody is how the winner would have collected, since they will be in heaven. Lol.

The only bad thing was all those babies that have been robbed of their actual birthdays because their expectant mothers were so afraid of bearing an anti-Christ child that they had their appointments to induce labor meant for Tuesday changed to either Monday or Wednesday. We are now being prepared vigorously for the end-of-times by most evangelicals at Rapture Ready with innuendoes like "fasten your belts..." I have been asked to access a book called "Nostradamus: Countdown to the Apocalypse and into the 21st century" written by Jean-Charles de Fortbrure, (I think) mbu I will be taken aback by some of his predictions that are creepy. For starters "The Countdown to Armageddon" by Paul McGuire will rhyme closer to home, so go get it if you are so true into the book of Revelation.

O.K people, lets get to earth shall we? If you are like me who is pissed off by ubiquitous integrated voice response systems usually called 'Emily' every time you call big government offices or corporations, you should be smiling now because www.gethuman.com a U.S. based database company that offers shortcuts to reach humans other than voiced computers, that offer no help but usually ask you to hold the line for the "next available agent to take your call," has come up with a valuable cheat sheet you can use to by pass Emily. One of them is to press '0' or # sign at each prompt, or absolutely saying nothing which always confuses the computer. Well most offices that use these IVRS may have a point when they say these systems are cost effective and time saving, but they are more often abused by the bureaucrats seeking maximum comfort and minimum service to the public. Alas, I don't have to wait on-line for half an hour anymore. Thank God.

I am not sure how auto theft is treated in Rwanda and Uganda, but here in Canada it is treated as a simple property crime equated to household thefts like a stereo or bike! Section 334 of the of the Criminal Code treats auto theft just like that, a theft. That is absurd most especially when you glance at statistics from the OPP and Insurance Bureau of Canada that tell a disheartening story that many stolen vehicles are either involved in fatal accidents or used in gang related activities that often lead to deaths of innocent people. A recent spell of gang violence in North York, Toronto has ignited combined efforts to strengthen gun control in the province but none of the politicians has considered the fact that deaths caused by auto accidents far surpass gun deaths. My friend's car, a Malibu, was stolen a week ago only to be found in Scarborough involved in a deadly accident that killed a pregnant woman from the Bahamas here visiting with her sister. The young lad driving, probably the thief is in custody, but knowing judges here a lenient sentence awaits!

Word of a victory in favor of democracy and freedom has been doing rounds here the passed hour. The senate in U.S. has rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage hyped by dubya. They (dubya-ists) are now saying that the defeat is not in the wisdom of the American people and that it does not serve the interest of their 'great' nation. Wow, all along I have been thinking that the strengths of U.S. lay in the fundamentals of human rights and freedoms they enjoyed. I was wrong, but I should have known better because even their democracy is a great myth where certain voters can easily be disfranchised! Governments should not choose for us what we should do and not everybody is Christian or Muslim et al. to adhere to such religious norms cushioned in federal laws. The senate has now kicked Uncle Sam out of the American bedrooms so please bring, all other liberties and freedoms you dubyas profess to stand for, back to the American people.

Pay attention to the WC Brazil shades that costs a fortune.
These were damn FREE.

I can't believe the world cup is finally here. The hype is too much for me to handle and yet I have not zeroed in on some bucks to meet a certain need...a new TiVo or a DVD recorder and time is running out! The other day free Nike WC Brazil shades were given out to all of us that did a Umuganda around the Hamilton Art Gallery and Jackson square for the environment. Umuganda is a Kinyarwanda word for a country wide ggwanga mujje cleaning up for occasions or for bulungi bwansi every Saturday by all Rwandese citizens. Of course, the gipangu owners cheat the system leaving moderate and poor baturagyes to toil. Anyways yesterday somebody mentioned that these shades can go for $200! OMG! Any takers? I will try my luck on eBay, maybe and if not so, keep them for bragging rights just in case Brazil wins this thing again.

I am out like the Armageddon...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Walking a mile for nature and life

"We love whales" exhibition from kindergarten kids

My life with animals is a long path of contradiction. My father is blessed with a 'galaxy' of domesticated animals, infact too many to count. I have always had an inner connection to cattle for instance, beddecked with this strange feeling of oneness that is profound that I felt cows were not only family but also great communicators to the ear of good intent. I have vivid memories of conversing with these cows whilst growing up and the therapeutic resonance that came along with it. With this affection towards animals, you would think with good reason that I was a fanatic vegetarian, waaa! I would have probably been a vegetarian then if I had not crossed paths with my friend's mom, a very prominent and illustrious woman in Kigali, whose understanding of the role of humans and animals contaminated my inner convictions. To her, humans' desire to kill each other with impunity is still hampered by the presence of animals to which the thrill of indiscriminate killing is legal and that the protection of wild animals, though in good taste, is increasing competition for nature's decreasing free gifts such as fresh air and water.

I easily succumbed to this school of thought because, as Maslow once attested, It is only natural for me to fulfill my basic needs first before pursuing higher needs, because if I were hungry my desire to find food will be more powerful than the need to establish a sense of belonging with my cows, sheep et al. However, that was then and this is now. First, a few months back I joined the NDP cause against the inhumane seal hunting in Northern Canada and the arctic; secondly, I do not find beef or pork as a delicacy of inevitable inclusion in my diet anymore; and lastly I bumped into a SAVE THE WHALE community courtesy of Omar Basawad. Despite international efforts to oppose whaling and numerous global Endangered Species Acts and legislations passed to protect whales, the Japanese whaling machinery is not only unfazed but has increased killings of whales dramatically, 860 in this year alone under the ingenious disguise of scientific research! If you feel the same way I do about this please visit with IFAW and take action to help protect whales, or show your benevolence by signing this campaign and sending it to all your pals.

Talk about the Japanese fronting of the scientific research fracas to over shadow greed and the culture of 'profitism.' Their Ugandan cousins in trade at MARASA Holdings, a company I worked for as an executive more than 5 years ago and where I met my hubby Hopes (an auditor/F&B controller then), have taken the fracas to another level by trying to pull a quick one on Ugandans with their proposed golf course project at the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mweya penisula to be precise. That Mani Khan, the Executive Operations Director, could sell the Kruger National Park golf course in South Africa as a tourist enigma with a straight face is unfortunate, but for Daudi Migereko the ex-tourism minister to give MARASA a blank cheque for a pleasure of the few at the detriment of our environment and ecological system is scandalous!

My hubby and MARASA Holdings former employee Hopes
(with military cap on) and the 'baturagyes' of Stoney-Creek,

I do not golf and I could probably mistake a rugby ball for a golf ball, but even I know that to maintain a perfect golf course in a semi arid/savannah-like area such as Mweya, you will need litres upon litres of water, a need that will deprive the local population, the wild animals and vegetation the very craddle of life and therefore survival. Look, isn't Egypt floating around war threats to her fellow River Nile dependants because of her waters? Heck, East Africa's cost of consuming energy has increased to goliathan heights due to decreased water levels of Lake Victoria and these guys have the nerve to even consider such a travesity. If this golf course goes through, I am afraid that the habitant vegitation for the animals in the park will be destroyed, and the only few wetlands in the area altered. What about the potential for increased runoff from the golfcourse, which could carry chemicals into the Kazinga channel and thus affecting both Lake Katwe and George, seriously degrading and indeed destroying these water bases. God forbid!!

It is interesting that I mentioned the supply shortfall of energy as the reason for the sky rocketing costs of consuming this energy. I have reliably learnt that the most consistent thing in Uganda lately is the inconsistence of electricity supply. The increasingly dwindling resources of non-renewable fuels for energy supply is creating an un-easy feeling of global energy insecurity that is bound to transform into conflicts. Population growth in Rwanda, Uganda and indeed East Africa is higher than before and yet energy sources have remained constant in supply. We need more energy input to accelerate economic growth and yet in our paths there lies a huge burricade from the western world fearcely trying to keep our endevours at bay.

It is a good idea for Kaguta to commence construction plans for two more hydro-dams, but not the best idea as it does not address the shortfall of the resource, in this case the decreasing levels of water in Ugandan lakes supposedly caused by either drought or over consumption. That is why I am thrilled the East African Community is getting larger, together they can afford the cost and the consequences of pursuing non-conventional energy sources like nuclear energy and renewable energies like solar, geothermal, biomass and wind. I know you guys are going to have a feat over this; Iran is trying nuclear energy and being blackmailed, you will chant in unisom. But don't forget that Brazil has just finished theirs and thus joined the exclusive nuclear club with minimal hussles from the Bushites. Besides nuclear is the future, and therefore innevitable if we are to survive decades from now. You read it here first. Lol.

Folks just as we thought that Zimbabwe's land issue was the worst handled by both Mugabe and the British govenment, and as we went along with our own lives thinking Zimbabwe woes were a distant and unfortunate saga, too complicated for us to follow, then one such standoff erupts here in Caledonia, North Hamilton. The standoffs is between the aboriginals and developers and later Caledonia residents (mostly white) over land. The aboriginals are trying to reclaim all their land and to stop the illegal construction of housing projects on six nations land. Blockades by the aboriginals have been countered by those raised by the residents which has led to confrotation and violence. Govenment is moving slower than a snail to curb the escalating situation...too much procrastination on the part of both the Federal and Provincial govenments to deal with this issue. An issue that has been hidden away, far away from public scrutiny. The pictures below attempt to tell the disturbing story. I hope I was not sooo boring, but hey atleast something is off my chest.

The occupation of Caledonia...

Whats your next move six nations people...

Native protesters 'taking over' the hood

Native protesters burning tires on rural highway 6