View Point: Act Before Forests Become Deserts

Thursday, 20 September 2012 00:00 Written by  Readers of The Observer

But by the look of things, the ministry concerned with protecting the environment has reneged on its role of conserving this attribute.

It seems things have been left to NGOs and it’s they who are playing the major role in this endeavour. As we mark our independence golden jubilee, I am beginning to get worried that the once thick forests will soon become man-made deserts in this Pearl of Africa. The ministry of Water and Environment needs to wake up and call to order all those involved in environmental degradation.

Peterson Sserungaya,
Kampala University.

Kikungwe’s remarks were insensitive to the deaf

Your story, Many MPs to retire (September 17-18, 2012), quotes Issa Kikungwe, the Kyadondo South MP, referring to people who do not listen when he talks as ‘deaf persons.’

I find his statement quite insensitive and offensive. Kikungwe, you have really disappointed your deaf supporters, especially my friend Abdul Musoke, who has been supporting you for a long time!

I would like to remind Kikungwe that deaf persons are better listeners than hearing persons. This is because a deaf person who lip-reads has to ensure that he/she is able to understand the movement of lips to identify the right word – and that is critical listening.

Those who use sign language, like me, have to watch all signs to follow the conversation – that is informative listening. So, deaf persons listen when one is talking!
Didn’t I once listen to you when you were talking using a sign language interpreter in the parliamentary canteen when I was campaigning for EALA?

Didn’t I answer your questions? It is important for MPs to be mindful and sensitive of whatever they say. There is a wrong thinking that deaf persons, like other persons with disabilities, are represented by only MPs for PWDs. Deaf persons also participate in all other elections.

Kikungwe should accept his mistake and at least apologise to the deaf persons of Kyadondo South. Uganda National Association of the Deaf will be happy to conduct capacity building training for lawmakers so that they understand the needs of deaf persons.

Ambrose Murangira,
Chairman, Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD).

ICC not the devil it’s made out to be

Recently, during the 16th conference of Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association (MJA) held in Kampala, the chief justice of Rwanda, His Worship Rugege, was reported calling upon East African leaders to constitute their own International Criminal Court (ICC). Rugege was of the view that the current ICC at The Hague in the Netherlands is “biased”, a view held by many other Africans as well.

I, however, disagree with this view because, who does not know how some African governments have scored highly in as far as the violation of human rights is concerned? Thus, if the ICC comes out to extend the might of law on the perpetrators of heinous crimes on African soil, why should we be complaining?

Don’t we want such people punished? Why should we care more about a criminal who goes unpunished in the West, and in the process the criminal in our midst gives us the slip?

After all, as the saying goes, flies always go to where the stench of rot is. I am not, therefore, surprised that the ICC always comes to fish out the criminals from our troubled continent.

On East Africa forming its own ICC, how sure are we it won’t also be biased in one way or another? I am of the opinion that all the countries that are signatories to the ICC should continue to work hand in hand with the court by surrendering any criminals who could be hiding within their borders to the court to face justice.  

Kennedy Musekura,


Your reporter distorted Kalungu story

I appreciate The Observer story of September 7-9, 2012 on the President’s visit to Kalungu East constituency where he was hosted by my brother, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja (See MP Ssempijja impresses Museveni).
However, I noted the following remarks:

“As Musoke sought an appointment with the President to meet him in Rwakitura, the mainstream NRM leaders in the district, notably the Woman MP, Florence Kintu and the district party chairman, Bonny Kiddu Ssali had stayed away.”

Your reporter continued to state: “Word soon went around that NRM leaders, majority of whom were loyal to a camp headed by former Kalungu East MP, Umar Lule Mawiya and Florence Kintu, had resolved to boycott the function that was seen as giving Ssempijja political mileage.”

I wish to correct the un-researched information and rectify the impression made by your reporter as follows:

  • I was out of the country in Boston, USA, for a conference of which the President was very well aware, and, therefore, he couldn’t have expected me to be present.
  • I am the NRM district vice chairperson, and there is no way I could boycott the national chairman of my party whatsoever.
  • My colleague Ssempijja understands me politically and both of us practise mature politics and work together in harmony.
  • I have never belonged to any one politician’s camp. Each candidate, I believe, creates his/her own base. In this case, I had my own; we can only collaborate depending on common interests.

I would like to thank the national chairman of the NRM and President of Uganda for the good he has done for the people of Kalungu.

Florence Kintu,
Woman MP, Kalungu

Don’t judge and no one will judge you

I have read in the press with dismay a story about a bishop who refused to pray at the funeral of a former NAADS coordinator simply because the Anglican Church prohibited him from doing so.

According to the doctrine he was supposedly following, whoever doesn’t attend church services regularly will not be prayed for when they pass on. Church doctrines are very clear and need to be strictly followed, but what beats my understanding is why there is a lot of human judgment amongst us these days.

Because of this, such unusual occurrences happen, yet nobody knows about life after death! Does going to church on a regular basis really make one a good believer? Honestly, it would be absurd to judge an individual from our own point of view.

The Bible teaches us not to judge, for no one will judge us, save the Almighty God. I have seen people believed to be pious, even the clergy, who do wrong yet they are regular churchgoers! We should endeavour to follow the teaching that requires us to ‘do unto others what you want to be done to you.’

Desmond Kenyi,


Information Source

The Observer