By Sim Kyazze
In Uganda, authorities arrested over 100 people in a dragnet that was launched to catch criminals who have been brutalising parts of the capital Kampala, with machete attacks in the still of the night. The only problem is that Ugandan authorities have a history of arresting and parading innocent people to show. To wit, Dr. Stella Nyanzi, a fiery academic and foul-mouthed feminist at Makerere University, was recently arrested and charged with defaming President Yoweri Museveni. The learned woman had referred to the big man as a “pair of buttocks” in a Facebook post. Her defence? Well, last year, President Museveni himself warned opponents that he was the anus of a leopard; and dared them to touch it. “Do you know what would happen if you did that?” he asked. Seriously he said that!
In the great KwaZulu Natal, the Inkatha Freedom Party appears to be making the most of voters’ loss of confidence in the ANC. In the 25 May by-elections in the Nquthu Municipality, the IFP won an outright majority with 58 percent of the vote; 14 of the 17 wards; and 19 of the council’s 33 seats. Nguthu has about 100,000 registered voters, and the election has been billed as a rehearsal for the 2019 polls in which the ruling party is sure to lose ground.
For the long-suffering fans of Manchester United (and they are many even here in Grahamstown), 24 May was a great day because they beat Ajax Amsterdam 2-0 to win the Europa Cup and sneak into the UEFA Champions’ League next season. United fans have Coach Jose Mourinho to thank for their three trophies from five competitions this year (the aforementioned Europa, the Community Shield, and the League Cup). The Portuguese manager has made a habit of winning trophies wherever he goes. And leaving the said clubs in a big hurry.
Back in Manchester, United fans are still mourning the death of 22 people in a bomb that was set off at a concert by the American pop singer Ariana Grande on 22 May. Another 59 people were injured in the suicide attack in which a 22-year old son of Libyan immigrants targeted mostly women and very young girls, the core of Ms Grande’s fan base.
Not to be outdone by Manchester, alleged terrorists took the fight right into the heart of London on Saturday 3 June. Three young, apparently radicalised Muslims drove a van into a crowd of party-goers, before jumping out and hacking stragglers with knives and a cutlass (a sharp curved blade used to harvest hay and wheat. The three were eventually shot dead by police, and should, if their propaganda is correct, be counting their 72 virgins in heaven. More realistically, this latest attack in UK, which had an election yesterday, will only make people in the West even wearier of anyone with a beard, short trousers and tunic. A bearded man with brown skin is rapidly replacing a black man in a hoodie as the most feared person on the street.
And staying in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Wales (and these are the people who brought you the English language), citizens went to the polls yesterday in what Prime Minister Theresa May of the Conservative Party hoped would be a thumping win over Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn. Except, er, except, Jeremy had other ideas. See, Corbyn, like Barney Sanders of the Democrats in America, is hated by business people, talking heads and journalists because he wants to use tax-payers’ money to pay for things that people need (like the National Health Service, public transport, child and frail care), and reduce expenditure on stuff the country might not need, like its nuclear weapons. The cost of replacing Trident, UK’s nuclear weapons system is Pound Sterling 200 billion! Convert that into ZAR and you’ll see why weapons mongers hate Jeremy Corbyn.
The day for our continent was marked on 25 May, with EFF leader Julius ‘Juju’ Malema speaking out against xenophobia and President Zuma saying that locals had always got on with other Africans. foreign nationals are not impressed one bit. Foreigners from the rest of the continent, as well as those from the Indian sub-continent have been the main targets of xenophobic harassment and attacks, and many allege that law enforcers harbour criminal elements.
In the Western Cape, Twitter-happy (and now suspended) DA Premier Helen Zille recently declared the entire province a Disaster Area following the persistent lack of rains that plunged dam levels to less than 20 percent capacity; a fate that probably awaits Grahamstown and the Eastern Cape if the gods of rain refuse to cooperate soon. As soon as they were done whingeing, however, the good people of the Cape were battered byarguably the storm of this century this week. And they moan still. No wonder the gods have not been answering their prayers. You hate the drought; but hate the rains more! Make up your minds guys! Respect to those who lost their lives.