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 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.