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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Persecuted for Aiding rape victims: Dr. Denis Mukwege attacked by Gun men flees to Burundi





Gunmen attack anti-rape doctor Denis Mukwege


BBC News - October 26, 2012

Unknown gunmen have tried to kill a Congolese doctor widely praised for his work helping rape victims, he has told the BBC.

When asked whether he had been targeted because of his work, Denis Mukwege noted that the attackers had not asked for any money.

One of his security guards was shot dead in the attack in the Democratic Republic of Congo town of Bukavu.

Dr Mukwege has won several awards for his work.

Human rights campaigners have accused several armed groups operating in eastern DR Congo of using rape as a weapon of war.

Last week, one hospital in the region said it had recorded 5,000 cases of rape this year.

In 2010, UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict Margot Wallstrom said the country was the "rape capital of the world".

Four armed men broke into Dr Mukwege's home and waited for him to return home, says PMU, a Swedish religious organisation which works with the Panzi hospital founded by the doctor.

They then shot at and narrowly missed the gynaecologist before fleeing in his car, which they soon abandoned.

"They wanted to kill me," Dr Mukwege told BBC Afrique, adding that his work had angered some people in the region.

"It upsets them when we denounce their crimes," he said.

Numerous armed groups have been operating in eastern DR Congo for almost 20 years.

The latest unrest broke out in April and has forced some 500,000 people from their homes.



DRC: Famours gynecologist flee to Burundi


By editor On 29 Oct, 2012 At 03:42 PM

By Josephine Lukoya

Dr. Denis Mukwege left of the Democratic Republic of Congo. “He is in Bujumbura (capital of Burundi) with his wife and two daughters,” said the Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, Sunday, Oct. 28.

Violently assaulted last Thursday by armed men, Dr. Denis Mukwege was “evacuated” Saturday Bukavu Burundi, according to Reynders, Sunday, Oct. 28 at the newspaper Le Soir.

“He has left (DRC) and he is in Bujumbura with his wife and two daughters. He’s accompanied by our ambassador “in Burundi, Jozef Smets has added Reynders

Speaking to Belga news agency in a telephone conversation in the morning, the famous gynecologist, Director of the Panzi hôpitale is not excluded to seek refuge in Belgium.” Reynders also assured that the Belgian Embassy in DRC would “closely monitor the investigation.”

Friday, Didier Reynders had called “the Congolese authorities to do everything in their power to ensure the safety of Dr. Mukwege to quickly introduce the perpetrators of this attack to justice.”

When Rwandans risk their lives every day to tell untold stories: Ingabire Sentenced to Eight (8) Years, but have they sentenced her Ideas? Human rights watch very critical of sentence



FIRST READ:

Mysterious deaths during Kagame’s Rwanda : Theogene Turatsinze the Managing Director of the Rwanda Development Bank from 2005-2007 dies mysteriously




Ingabire was arrested 2010, and her chances to stand for the President faded in air. On her arrival from Netherlands, Ingabire challenged the existence of Tutsi Memorial sites saying Hutu members were not remembered. (http://greatlakesvoice.com/breaking-opposition-figure-ingabire-victoire-given-8yrs-in-prison/

 

The Untold Stories: Ingabire Sentenced to Eight (8) Years, but have they sentenced her Ideas?



 October 31, 2012 By Rwema IT Webmaster

The leader of Inkingi an opposition party in Rwanda Ingabire Victoire Umuhoza has been sentenced by the Rwandan High Court to Eight Years for her political beliefs in which she says that Rwanda should not be under one party state. Many people anticipated the sentence but what was not anticipated is the years of the sentence given to her while her co accused have almost been given a mockery sentence. These gentlemen were just planted there by RPF machinery just to convict Ingabire. And don’t be surprised if after the court these guys will be on Kigali streets celebrating with their masters and sharing a pint of beer.


Could you imagine how RPF machinery used Pastor Noel to destroy Bernard Ntaganda who was consequently sentenced to 4 years just because he wanted to organize his party for an assembly which actually is a fundamental right in our constitution, un fortunately Pastor Noel his political life was short and was replaced by Madam Mukabunani who at an appropriate time will be also replaced.


Why then Ingabire sentenced to 8 years when the prosecution asked life?

RPF is good at these games, first of all Ingabire had nothing to answer as far as the accusations are concerned. But RPF is scared for a strong opposition despite boasting 25 years of their existence. In fact RPF has no support at all in the village level and in the cities. Their policies are so ugly that many people are fade up waiting for the Messiah.
Imagine that all the businesses from selling charcoal to construction of City Tower buildings is controlled by RPF or its proxies, the masses have been eliminated from not only small business but have been pushed to the cliff without mercy. Just to illustrate my point, a lady who is selling bananas on a small basket or avocado will be chased by the local defence and the police bundled in the pickup in the name of keeping the City clean. What a hypocrisy of the RPF elite who drive expensive cars, eating luxury food, from SIMBA, and Nakumart.!

 Poor Rwandans; desperate, impoverished, betrayed and terribly afraid 

They have sold all the prime land in City to themselves without paying a single penny to the national treasury; they have also taken private property in the name of developing the City without proper expropriation of the owners. The RPF regime has muzzled all the opposition political parties save those which are their branches in the name of PSD, PDI, just to mention a few. The mono cropping of maize or any other crop which RPF will use in its industries without care whether it will benefit the common person, These are some of the injustices this lady Ingabire was talking about.


Will her Ideas just fade because she has been sentenced?

The African National Congress of South Africa was a party that was built on Ideas of equality in the same way as Inkingi, and Rwanda National Congress, therefore sentencing, its leaders like Ingabire for 8 years, Kayumba Nyamwasa for 20 years or Theogene Rudasingwa respectively in absentia, just to mention a few will not solve the fundamental problem, because the fundamental problem is justice for all regardless of race, sex, religion, regional background etc. RPF regime should address these issues and arrest them, rather than arresting the leaders of these political parties. This was exactly what the former Rwandan King, MUTARA II RUDAHIGWA said, “why should kill Gitera without killing the ikimutera”


Nelson Mandela Madiba, the ANC and South African hero and icon, said “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires”
The Burmese icon lady Aung San Suu Kyi who sacrificed her life for the freedom of her country and country citizen has started reaping the fruits of her struggle after she has been under House arrest for 15 of the past 21 years, on different occasions, since she began her political career, during which time she was prevented from meeting her party supporters and international visitors. But recently she was released from prison and she was elected as a member of the parliament in his country.


Indeed, if Rwanda will be free from the talons of the most powerful monster of the RPF regime, we need ladies and gentlemen of the charisma of Ingabire, Ntaganda, Deo Mushayidi, Ntakirutinka, those who were murdered like Andrew Rwisereka Kagwa and others who have stood in the way of the monster and said no, we want freedom.

When the RPF invaded Rwanda in 1990, and unfortunately our heroes like Gen Fred Rwigema and his colleagues died immedaitely at the initial start of the war, the Habyarimana government rejoiced and all the soldiers celebrated the death of the RPF leaders, but little did they know that the fire had been lit and the ideas and ideology of the reasons had not been killed.


For those who are Christians, the bible says that do not be afraid for those who kill the fresh, Matthew 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell”. Indeed, history has been on the side of those who are oppressed not the oppressor. Idi Amin of Uganda like President Kagame for the Eight years that he ruled Uganda, many people where picked from their offices, murdered by his notorious secret agents the Special Research Bureau of Farouk Minawa in the same way Gen Jack Nziza kills whoever his boss tells him to exterminate.

 Elite Rwandans who are in bed with Kagame

The Archbishop Janan Luwum was murdered in 1977, the CHIEF JUSTICE Ben Kiwanuka was murdered in 1972 in fact he was picked from the chambers of the Uganda High Court, the list is endless, but the days of Id Amin and the power he had came to an end and of course with those who were surrounding him. I’m told that these guys were picked like grasshoppers from their hiding places after the fall of the murderer Id Amin, one by one was answering for the crimes against humanity, while Id Amin was in Saudi Arabia eating chicken from the Saudi Royal family.


This a message to my country men who are used by Kagame, these guys like Tinka Faustin who has been used by the regime to kill an innocent Rwandan Theogene Turatsinze, who was the Director of the Rwanda Development Bank for greed and selfishness of those who robbed the above bank. Gen Jack Nziza who has murdered every living soul that his boss thinks has different views from his; will one day individually answer for these crimes?


There’re is no doubt that Ingabire’s dream is like that of Martin Luther King and has been demonstrated in what will go down in history for freedom in our nation. But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity in our country. And so, Ingabire and others have cashed the check of freedom, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice may be not in our life time but the foundation stone for the freedom of our generation to come has been launched.

Jacqueline Umurungi
Brussels


Rwanda: Eight-Year Sentence for Opposition Leader



Victoire Ingabire Found Guilty of Two Charges in Flawed Trial

(Nairobi) – The guilty verdict on October 30, 2012, in the case of opposition party leader Victoire Ingabire is the culmination of a flawed trial that included politically motivated charges. The High Court in Kigali found her guilty of conspiracy to undermine the established government and denying the genocide, and sentenced her to eight years in prison.


Ingabire, president of the FDU-Inkingi opposition party, was arrested in the capital, Kigali, on October 14, 2010. She was charged with six offenses. Three were linked to “terrorist acts” – creating an armed group, complicity in terrorist acts, and complicity in endangering the state through terrorism and armed violence. The remaining three − “genocide ideology,” divisionism, and spreading rumors intended to incite the public to rise up against the state − were linked to her public criticism of the government in the period before the 2010 presidential elections. In its judgment, the court changed two of these charges and acquitted her of four others.


“The prosecution of Ingabire for “genocide ideology” and divisionism illustrates the Rwandan government’s unwillingness to tolerate criticism and to accept the role of opposition parties in a democratic society,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The courts should not be used for such political purposes.”


Human Rights Watch cannot comment on the veracity of the charges relating to Ingabire’s alleged collaboration with armed groups, but is concerned that some of the evidence used to convict her appears to be unreliable.


The trial, which began in September 2011 and closed on April 25, was complex and marred by setbacks and delays. Ingabire, who pleaded not guilty, was tried alongside four co-defendants − Vital Uwumuremyi, Jean-Marie Vianney Karuta, Tharcisse Nditurende, and Noel Habiyaremye − who implicated her in alleged collaboration with armed groups.


All four pleaded guilty to charges of belonging to a terrorist movement, participating in terrorist acts, and creating an armed group. Uwumuremyi was sentenced to four years and six  months in prison,  Nditurende and Habiyaremye to three years and six months each, and Karuta to two years and seven months. All four are former members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an armed group operating in eastern Congo that consists in part of individuals who took part in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The FDLR has committed numerous atrocities against civilians in eastern Congo in recent years.


Ingabire was accused of collaborating with the FDLR and planning to form a new armed group, the Coalition of Democratic Forces (CDF).


“Several factors lead us to conclude that Ingabire did not receive a fair trial,” Bekele said. “These include the politically motivated charges, such as “genocide ideology,” doubts about the reliability of some of the evidence, senior government officials’ public statements before the trial about Ingabire’s guilt, and broader concerns about the lack of independence of the Rwandan judiciary in politicized cases.”


Possible Coercion in Military Custody and Witness Intimidation

During the trial, it emerged that three of Ingabire’s co-defendants had been detained at Camp Kami, a military camp. A witness for the defense cast doubt on the reliability of the testimony of at least one of them, raising questions about their detention conditions and the possibility of coercion.


Independently of its research into this trial, Human Rights Watch has received information that other detainees in military custody, including at Camp Kami, have been put under intense pressure, and in some cases tortured, to extract confessions. Some alleged that they were ordered to incriminate Ingabire and other government opponents, even though their cases were unrelated.


During Ingabire’s trial, a witness called by the defense undermined the credibility of testimony against Ingabire by Uwumuremyi, one of the co-defendants. The witness, Michel Habimana, said that he and Uwumuremyi had been detained together in Camp Kami in 2009. He claimed that Uwumuremyi was induced to incriminate Ingabire and had admitted to Habimana he did not even know her. Habimana said that Uwumuremyi had once asked him to collaborate with the intelligence services too to incriminate Ingabire, but that Habimana had refused. The court did not discount Uwumuremyi’s evidence, however.


Habimana, also known as Edmond Ngarambe, is a former spokesman for the FDLR and is serving a prison sentence in Kigali on genocide-related charges. After he testified in court, he was subjected to intimidation. Prison authorities searched his prison cell on the orders of the prosecution. Habimana told the court that all his personal documents were seized, including notes he had prepared for his court statement. In court the prosecution confirmed the search by producing the notes. In a highly unusual procedure, Habimana was also questioned out of court by prison authorities, without a lawyer.


Two of the other co-defendants, Nditurende and Habiyaremye, revealed in court that they too had been detained for several months incommunicado at Camp Kami. Nditurende stated that he had been questioned several times by people he believed were intelligence agents, without access to a lawyer.


Political Bias in the Justice System

The atmosphere surrounding Ingabire’s trial was politically charged long before her first court appearance. From early 2010 − several months before Ingabire was arrested − senior Rwandan government officials, including President Paul Kagame, publicly undermined the presumption of innocence, using language that strongly indicated their belief that Ingabire was guilty.


For example, Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told The Independent newspaper on August 7, 2010: “She is a criminal… She is bad news, she is connected to the FDLR and terrorist groups and she has a criminal history” and told The East African on May 3, 2010: “There is no place for people like Ingabire in Rwanda. Not now and not in many years.”On June 30, 2010, Local Government Minister James Musoni was quoted by the Rwanda News Agency as saying: “Ingabire is like the advance party of the FDLR.”


Such comments were amplified in pro-government newspapers, in particular The New Times, which published numerous articles extremely hostile to Ingabire, particularly in the months leading up to the 2010 presidential elections.


“The odds were stacked up against Ingabire before any evidence had been produced,” Bekele said. “In these circumstances, it was highly unlikely she would receive a fair trial.”


Human Rights Watch noted that the Rwandan justice system has undergone positive reforms, but said that these have been undermined by the politicization of the judiciary. The Rwandan justice system lacks independence, and judges, prosecutors, and witnesses remain vulnerable to pressure from the government, especially in cases involving opponents and critics.


Crushing Dissent
The 2008 genocide ideology law, under which Ingabire was charged, has been used as a tool to silence criticism of the government. The definition of “genocide ideology” is very broad and imprecise, leaving the law open to abuse. People such as Ingabire who have spoken out about crimes committed by the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) against Hutu civilians since 1994 have been particularly vulnerable to accusations of “genocide ideology.” Ingabire challenged the constitutionality of the accusation of genocide ideology but on October 18, the Supreme Court ruled that her challenge was unfounded.

Initial reports indicate that in its judgment on October 30, the High Court did not convict Ingabire for genocide ideology but for genocide denial under a 2003 law.


“The Rwandan government has a legitimate responsibility to prevent the kind of hate speech and incitement to ethnic violence that led to the genocide in 1994,” Bekele said. “However, the responsibility to prevent violence should not be used as an excuse for stifling criticism or prohibiting discussion of certain events − nor should it be invoked as a pretext for delaying democratic reforms.”
In 2010, the Rwandan government embarked on a revision of the genocide ideology law. An amended version was approved by the Council of Ministers on June 27 and is currently before Parliament.


Human Rights Watch urged the government to ensure that the revised version of the “genocide ideology” law guards against abusive prosecutions and the criminalization of speech that lacks the intent and effect of provoking violence.


Preventing Political Pluralism

Freedom of expression and association are severely restricted in Rwanda. Two years after presidential elections in which Kagame was re-elected with more than 93 percent of the vote, Rwanda effectively still has no functioning opposition parties. The RPF dominates the political scene and faces no meaningful challenge from other parties represented in parliament.


The FDU-Inkingi has not been able to register as a political party, despite several attempts before the 2010 elections. It has been further weakened since Ingabire’s arrest and, like other opposition parties, is now barely able to function in Rwanda.


Several other members of the FDU-Inkingi have been threatened, arrested, and detained, and some prosecuted. In September, eight members of the FDU-Inkingi were arrested in Kibuye, in western Rwanda, and accused of  holding illegal meetings. They were charged with inciting insurrection or trouble among the population. They remain in preventive detention. On September 8, Sylvain Sibomana, secretary general of the FDU-Inkingi, and Martin Ntavuka, FDU-Inkingi representative for Kigali, were detained overnight by the police near Gitarama, after making critical comments about government policies during an informal conversation on a bus. The police reproached them for being too critical of government policies and claimed their party was holding illegal meetings. They were released the following day without charge. In April 2011 two FDU-Inkingi members, Anastase Hagabimana and Norbert Manirafasha, were arrested in connection with a draft statement by their party criticizing an increase in the cost of living in Rwanda. Manirafasha spent two weeks in prison and Hagabimana four months.

Other opposition parties have had similar treatment. Bernard Ntaganda, founding president of the PS-Imberakuri party, is in prison for expressing his views and criticizing the government. He was arrested on June 24, 2010, just weeks before the presidential elections, and charged with endangering national security, “divisionism,” and attempting to organize demonstrations without authorization. On February 11, 2011, he was found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison – a sentence confirmed by the Supreme Court on April 27, 2012.


Two other PS-Imberakuri members, Sylver Mwizerwa and Donatien Mukeshimana, were sentenced in August 2010 to three years and two years respectively for “rebellion” and destruction of property, allegedly for breaking into the PS-Imberakuri office after the landlord had reclaimed it. Mukeshimana was released in August after serving his sentence; Mwizerwa remains in prison.


Other members of the party have been repeatedly harassed, threatened, and intimidated, and questioned repeatedly by the police in connection with their political activities. On September 5, Alexis Bakunzibake, vice-president of the PS-Imberakuri, was abducted by armed men in Kigali, blindfolded and detained overnight in a location he could not identify. His abductors questioned him about the PS-Imberakuri’s activities, its membership and funding, and its alleged links with other opposition groups. They tried to persuade him to abandon his party activities, then covered his eyes again, drove him to an undisclosed location, and dumped him across the border in Uganda.


A third opposition party, the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, has been severely affected by the murder of its vice president in July 2010 and the subsequent decision by its president, Frank Habineza, to flee the country. Like the FDU-Inkingi, the Democratic Green Party has been unable to register in Rwanda, due to a succession of administrative and other obstacles by local and national authorities. In September, Habineza returned to Rwanda to try to register the party once again with a view to participating in the 2013 parliamentary elections.


Targeting Journalists

Journalists and other critics have also been prosecuted in connection with the expression of critical views. In August, Stanley Gatera, editor of the newspaper Umusingi, was arrested in connection with an opinion article published in his newspaper about marital stability and the alleged problems posed − in the author’s view − by the supposed allure of Tutsi women. He was charged with discrimination and sectarianism and tried in October. He remains in prison awaiting the court’s judgment.


In April, Epaphrodite Habarugira, a radio announcer at Radio Huguka, was arrested and charged with “genocide ideology” after apparently making a mistake when reading a news broadcast and accidentally mixing up terms when referring to survivors of the genocide. He spent three months in prison before being acquitted and released in July. The state prosecutor has appealed his acquittal.


Agnès Uwimana and Saidati Mukakibibi, of the newspaper Umurabyo, are both in prison after being sentenced in February 2011 to 17 and 7 years respectively in connection with articles viewed as critical of the government and Kagame. On appeal, the Supreme Court on April 5 reduced their sentences to four and three years respectively. It upheld charges of endangering national security against both women, and a charge of defamation against Uwimana, the newspaper’s editor. It dropped charges of minimization of the 1994 genocide and divisionism against Uwimana.




Rwanda: Two journalists appeal to the African Court

http://greatlakesvoice.com/rwandatwo-journalists-appeal-to-the-african-court/

By editor On 14 Oct, 2012 At 11:17 PM



RWANDA-Two Rwandan journalists has filed a complaint before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Great Lakes Voice has independently established.

Agnes Uwimana-Nkusi and Saidati Mukakibibi, who wrote for the private bimonthly Umurabyo, were formerly sentenced respectively to 17 in 2011 and 7 years in prison for denying genocide, insulting the president and inciting public disorder.

The Supreme Court reviewed the sentence in April, raising the charge for genocide denial. On the offences of spreading Genocide dogma and divisionism, the Supreme Court pronounced Uwimana clean since the court did not see the intention to commit those offences

The duo were sentences to four and three respectively. But, considering themselves innocent, they have now decided to enter the African Court.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights headquarters in Abidjan until October 22, and then should decide within days on the admissibility of the complaint filed by two Rwandan journalists.

After getting a new lawyer the duo has delegated one Nina Jansen, one of the lawyers of the two journalists to file a case in African Court. the lawyer says the two journalists had done nothing wrong only exercising their profession.




Rwanda: Police detains Umusingi editor



By editor On 1 Aug, 2012 At 01:06 PM

By Robert Mugabe


 Gatera Stanley, Editor of Umusingi

Stanley Gatera, Editor of Umusingi Newspaper has been detained at Kicukiro Police station after two days of Interrogation by Police CID on grounds of arranged divisions and gender discrimination based on the opinion published in his paper.

In Late June publication Umusingi run an opinion story in love corner that Tutsi women are responsible of family breakdown. Police spokesperson, Theos Badege was not answering our call when contacted.

Jean Bosco Rushingabigwi, the chair of Rwanda editor’s forum told Great Lakes Voice that editors are trying to discuss the way-forward. “Yes, Stanley has been under interrogations for some time, we have tried to avoid his arrest and now we are going to discuss the issue as soon as possible.” Rushingabigwi said

Two journalist also who were detained have been set free temporary. Some Rwanda journalists are seen protesting against Police move. “This profession seems to be getting bitter but stay ethical and vigilant,” Fred Muvunyi, advisor at the bord of Rwanda journalist association (ARJ) said.

“The use of divisionism laws is now a major threat to the existence of free media in Rwanda. The media does not understand why police continue to detain journalists when it is impossible to prove criminal intent in courts of law. The supreme court has already set a precedent in this regard.” Gonzague Muganwa, the independent journalist said

A meeting of a group of journalist is to take place at 0400hrs local time to discuss the way-forward.




Is Ingabire jailing the death of the ‘voice of dissent’ in Rwanda?


By By Edmund Kagire

Posted  Tuesday, November 6  2012 at  10:15

By Edmund Kagire
The jailing of politician Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire, who was seen as the “last standing real opposition member”, has raised concerns that the Rwandan government is stifling democracy.
The High Court in Kigali last week handed Ms Ingabire, the head of the yet-to-be registered Union Democratic Forces-FDU Inkingi, eight years in jail after finding her guilty of complicity in treason and genocide ideology.

The sentencing followed a two-year trial in which the prosecution had sought a life imprisonment sentence.

High Court Judge Alice Rulisa, delivered the verdict in the case in which Ms Ingabire, along with four others, faced charges of terrorism, inciting citizens against the government, genocide denial and promoting the genocide ideology and ethnic divisions.
Ms Ingabire joins Bernard Ntaganda, the former leader of Parti Sociale Imberakuri, who was sentenced to four years in jail for organising an illegal assembly and inciting divisions based on ethnicity, and Deo Mushayidi, serving a life sentence on charges related to terrorism, genocide denial and treason.

Several other politicians, including former President Pasteur Bizimungu and Charles Ntakirutinka, have been imprisoned for criticising the government and later released on pardon or after serving time. Mr Bizimungu and Mr Ntakirutinka were charged under the same laws.

With Ms Ingabire’s jailing, key opposition members in Rwanda are now either in jail or living outside Rwanda, something Human Rights Watch (HRW) says confirms fears that the government is increasingly becoming intolerant to dissenting voices.

“The prosecution of Ingabire for ‘genocide ideology’ and divisionism illustrates the Rwandan government’s unwillingness to accept the role of opposition parties in a democratic society. The courts should not be used for such political purposes,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director of HRW.

Crush dissent

The rights group accused Rwanda of using anti-genocide laws to crush dissent, with all the politicians in question charged under the same laws. It noted that the government has a duty to prevent hate speech.
“However, the responsibility to prevent violence should not be used as an excuse for stifling criticism or prohibiting discussion of certain events nor should it be invoked as a pretext for delaying democratic reforms,” said Mr Bekele.
Rwanda’s Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama said the rights group was merely seeking media attention “by involving itself in matters of national interest that are entirely legal.”

Mr Karugarama, who is also the Attorney General, said, “It should be noted that it was a total of six charges and she was acquitted on four after thorough investigations and analysis of evidence.”

HRW argues that the sentencing of Ms Ingabire means that there is no functioning opposition party, with the ruling party, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) dominating the political scene without any meaningful challenge from other parties represented in parliament.

Two types of “opposition groupings” exist in Rwanda, with the one serving in a coalition with the ruling party not considered “true opposition” while the stronger ones led by Ms Ingabire have all had run-ins with the government and the law.

Ms Ingabire’s FDU-Inkingi has not been able to register as a political party, despite several attempts before the 2010 elections.
Mr Ntaganda’s PS Imberakuri split into two, with one part registered and the other remaining loyal to the detained politician.

Ms Christine Mukabunani, the leader of the registered breakaway PS Imberakuri told The East African that "opposition" does not mean to "break the laws of a country" as they are bigger than individuals or parties.

“When the actions of opposition are deemed to be against the law, it is the court to decide. Our job is to criticise the government but not to fight laws,” Ms Mukabunani, also the spokesperson of the political parties’ forum said.
'We are worried'


KUDOS : Superstorm Sandy: Christian Relief Organizations Ready for Massive Deployment



 

Kato Mivule
Kudos: This is one of the best Christ-Like Responses I have seen from Billy Graham et al, rather than BLAME the Hurricane on Gays, Abortionists, Muslim-Socialist Kenyans, and Liberals, they have decided to go minister freely to locals affected by the Storm...

 

Superstorm Sandy: Christian Relief Organizations Ready for Massive Deployment



By Alex Murashko , Christian Post Reporter

October 30, 2012|8:23 am

Several Christian disaster relief organizations, including those focused on providing emotional support to victims, announced yesterday that they are ready to head into the heavily damaged areas of northeastern United States in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. As the storm made landfall a little after 8 p.m. EDT, it was declared a post-tropical cyclone with damaging winds reaching lower hurricane strength.

"Three mobile office units will leave Charlotte tomorrow morning headed into the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy," stated the Billy Graham Rapid Response team Monday afternoon. "We will have teams on the ground within 24 hours of the hurricane's passing. Please pray for safety in travel for the chaplain coordinators who will be driving the mobile units, and the volunteer chaplains coming from around the country."

The purpose of the response team, a part of the renowned evangelist's organization, is to "deploy chaplains who will bring a ministry of presence and prayer and appropriately share God's love, comfort, and hope with those affected by a man-made or natural disaster."

In terms of food and shelter relief, some Christian organizations such as the Salvation Army were already in place.

"The Salvation Army is mobilized and ready to serve," said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army in the U.S. "Our mobile feeding units and staff are strategically positioned and already beginning to serve at shelter locations throughout the East Coast."

The Salvation Army maintains a fleet of disaster vehicles and supply warehouses across the nation to enable speedy mobilization. There are more than 300 emergency response vehicles in the eastern and southern U.S. alone and nearly 600 units nationwide.

Specific Salvation Army activities include:

• In New Jersey, The Salvation Army is serving meals, snacks and drinks at 11 shelters in five counties. A full fleet of emergency response vehicles is ready to deploy if needed. This includes 10 fully-stocked mobile feeding units (canteens), two service vehicles, and one mobile command unit. A canteen is embedded with Task Force 1, the State's official search and rescue team, at Lakehurst Naval Base and may travel with them as they are deployed throughout the state.

• In New York, The Salvation Army is coordinating with the local American Red Cross to provide volunteer support for shelters throughout Suffolk County. Eight canteens are equipped and ready to be deployed from the northern and western parts of the state.

• In Philadelphia, the Christian-based organization is working closely with the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management and as of yesterday was preparing three shelters within the city to help ensure those impacted by Hurricane Sandy will have access to essential services and safety.

Shelter from the group was already provided in Virginia since Saturday. Relief plans and help are in place in North Carolina and Maryland as well.

The Salvation Army's mission includes providing a ministry of presence that gives compassionate care to residents looking for hope in the midst of turmoil. Pastoral care is available for all those impacted, but is not a prerequisite for receiving assistance.

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief leaders were ready yesterday for a large-scale response once the storm cleared, according to the Baptist Press.

"We worked through the weekend to make sure we have a solid plan in place," said Fritz Wilson, disaster relief team leader for the North American Mission Board. "And not only a plan, but we have already begun to make sure the people to work the plan will be in place to respond and meet needs."

Wilson transported one of NAMB's recovery units to Harrisburg, Pa., on Monday. Also yesterday, the organization said the Pennsylvania-South Jersey state convention's mission house in Harrisburg will serve as the area command center for the storm response. Given the wide range of possible damage and the potentially large area affected, Wilson said yesterday he fully expects multiple incident command centers to be established for the response.

Convoy of Hope's Rapid Response Team was in State College, Pa., on Monday. The team was scheduled to remain there overnight, then head east as soon as it's determined safe to assess areas with significant damage.

Around 80,000 pounds of additional relief supplies are in the queue and are tentatively scheduled to leave Convoy of Hope's World Distribution Center on Tuesday. The loads contain meals, drinks, cereal, trashcans and cleaning supplies.

Hurricane Sandy Threatens $20 Billion in Economic Damage




By Chris Burritt and Brian K. Sullivan - 2012-10-30T22:41:40Z


Hurricane Sandy’s economic toll is poised to exceed $20 billion after the biggest Atlantic storm slammed into the Eastern U.S., damaging homes and offices and flooding subways in America’s most populated city.

The total would include insured losses of about $7 billion to $8 billion, said Charles Watson, research and development director at Kinetic Analysis Corp., a hazard-research company in Silver Spring, Maryland. Much of the remaining tab will be picked up by cities and states to repair infrastructure, such as New York City’s subways and tunnels, he said.



“It is really hard to tell at this stage since the system is still moving, but it will be among the 10 to 15 most damaging storms and probably the top three in the Northeast after Irene and Agnes from 1972,” Bill Keogh, president of Eqecat Inc., an Oakland, California-based provider of catastrophic risk models, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

Sandy, spanning 900 miles, slammed into southern New Jersey at about 8 p.m. local time and brought a record storm surge of 13.88 feet (4.2 meters) into Manhattan’s Battery Park. Flooding, high winds and fallen trees cut power to about 8 million customers from South Carolina to Maine, and travelers were stranded as U.S. airlines grounded more than 16,000 flights. U.S. stock trading is closed again today in the first back-to- back shutdown for weather since 1888.

Magnitude Unexpected

New York City committed $29.2 million to emergency contractors and the costs related to Sandy will probably reach “the tens of millions of dollars,” City Comptroller John Liu said. The city “will easily be able to absorb the actual cost of the clean out” and state or federal agencies will help cover the expenses, he said.

“Nobody expected a storm of this magnitude to hit New York City,” Liu said today in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We will keep people safe, and we will start helping people dig out from this storm.”

Record tides from the storm combined with hours of pounding wind and rain to flood seven subway tunnels under the East River and electrical substations and shut down New York’s financial district. Power was lost in Manhattan south of 35th Street. Some outages were deliberate as Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED), the city’s utility, proactively shut off parts of downtown Manhattan, including Wall Street, and Brooklyn.

Infrastructure Damage

In the borough of Queens, a fire in Breezy Point destroyed 111 homes and damaged 20 more, according to Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano. On 57th Street in Manhattan, a crane on a 90-story residential building under construction partially collapsed and was dangling over the street.

Heavy losses to public infrastructure would in some ways mirror the effects of Hurricane Katrina, which flooded New Orleans in 2005, said Watson, of Kinetic Analysis. Katrina was the nation’s most costly natural disaster with an estimated $41.1 billion in insured property losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

“It kind of reminds me of Katrina, the actual wind damage from Katrina and coastal storm surge damage was easy to pull down,” Watson said. “But once you start getting water going over your protective measures and getting into your infrastructure the numbers start to go crazy.”

Insured Losses

Eqecat’s Keogh reiterated today his estimate that Sandy would cause as much as $20 billion of economic damage with about $5 billion to $10 billion of that in insured losses. It may take six months to a year to nail down precise costs, he said.

The superstorm may have caused insured losses of as much as $15 billion in the U.S., according to modeling firm AIR Worldwide.

Hurricane Irene came ashore in North Carolina in August 2011 and raked the East Coast to New England. It caused an estimated $4.3 billion in insured losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute, based in New York.

With Sandy set to continue as a non-tropical storm throughout New England over the next several days, economists and analysts have varying estimates on the potential damage.
The storm may cut economic output by $25 billion in the fourth quarter, according to Gregory Daco, a U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. He said that could reduce the annual pace of growth to between 1 percent and 1.5 percent from his earlier estimate of 1.6 percent.

Sandy ultimately may subtract 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points from U.S. gross domestic product in the fourth quarter as spending drops on services such as restaurant meals, according to Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. The economy, with annualized GDP of $13.6 trillion, expanded at a 2 percent pace in the third quarter.

Airports Closed

New York’s main airports may stay closed until Nov. 1 after flooding inundated the runways, extending the travel disruptions centered on the busiest U.S. aviation market.

“Substantial” flooding occurred at New York’s Kennedy and LaGuardia airports and New Jersey’s Newark Liberty, Andrea Huguely, a spokeswoman for AMR Corp.’s American Airlines, said today.

Boeing Co. (BA), the world’s largest aerospace and defense company, said work will resume at 11 p.m. local time at its plant near Philadelphia, where about 6,000 employees build H-47 Chinook helicopters and V-22 Ospreys.

The company hasn’t yet decided when to re-open sites in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey where about 4,000 work at the various headquarters for cyber-security, government-operations and the Network & Space Systems divisions. There was no notable damage from the storm, which forced the company to suspend operations in the region yesterday, Damien Mills and Jenna McMullin, spokespeople for Chicago-based Boeing, said by e-mail.

Atlantic City

Tropicana Entertainment Inc. (TPCA)’s casino in Atlantic City suffered “very minor damage,” which appears to be the case with other gambling properties, Tropicana Chief Executive Officer Anthony Rodio said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today. He based his assessment on conversations with other casino executives.

It’s possible the city’s casinos may open as soon as Nov. 1 if state of emergency and evacuation orders are lifted, Rodio said. Operators need a notice of about 24 hours to get staff in place, he said.

Rodio declined to estimate the financial impact of the storm, saying he thinks investors will view storm-related closings as a “one-time occurrence.”

Home Depot Inc. (HD) and Lowe’s Cos., the largest U.S. home improvement retailers, said today they reopened most of the stores they had closed as Sandy approached. They reported glass broken by wind, leaky roofs and other water damage.

“We are starting to see some customers come into the stores,” Aaron Flowe, president of Home Depot’s northern division, said today by telephone from company headquarters in Atlanta. “The storm is still occurring. There is still a lot of rain and even wind. Slowly as the storm moves to the north, we’ll get more and more customers out.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Burritt in Greensboro at cburritt@bloomberg.net; Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net




The pathetic Christianity of Bill and Franklin Graham: Franklin Graham: 'This Could Be America's Last Call ...'




Kato Mivule My Take: Have you ever wondered why these Political Men of God NEVER say that America is one Nation under JESUS CHRIST but they always say one Nation under GOD? Reason is that Jesus Christ is an antithesis to whatever they claim to stand for, and a mere mention of Jesus Christ and what He stood for eviscerates their political and social arguments.

 Franklin Graham

FIRST READ:

Has Billy Graham Suddenly Turned Political?




Franklin Graham: 'This Could Be America's Last Call ...'

http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/34407-franklin-graham-this-could-be-americas-last-call

9:00AM EDT 10/30/2012 Franklin Graham

The Bible says that government has been ordained by God Himself.

“For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God … for [the one who is in authority] is God’s servant for your good” (Rom. 13:1, 4, ESV).

In just a few days, we in the United States have the privilege of electing the people who will serve in office for the next several years. Since we believe this is one of the most important elections in our lifetime, my father and I have taken a strong stand in the past few months to encourage voters to support candidates on the national, state, and local levels who embrace biblical values.

My father watches the news every day, and he is deeply concerned about the enormous moral issues facing our country. That’s why your vote on Nov. 6 is so critical.

This is a crucial hour for our nation. Above all, this is a time for deep, intercessory prayer on behalf of our great country, which is in grave danger unless we repent of our sins and turn back to the God of our fathers. The Bible says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim. 2:1–2).

When America’s leaders actively promote and legislate immorality, restrict the religious freedoms that our country was founded on, and are openly hostile to men and women of faith, then I believe we are ripe for God’s judgment.

So pray and then vote on Nov. 6, asking God for His mercy and grace upon our land. There’s still time to turn from our wicked ways so that He might spare us from His wrath against sin.

Just about one year from now—in November 2013—we will be holding one of the largest evangelistic events ever in this country, My Hope with Billy Graham. My father believes God has allowed him to live this long—he will be 95 then—so that he can participate in this massive undertaking to bring the gospel to our nation using television, Internet, training, and partnership with local churches.

This could be America’s last call to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, who is coming again one day very soon to save His own and to judge those who don’t know and worship Him.

When African governments become very afraid of their citizens: Ugandan Govt bans critical play



 


  
Govt bans critical play



Tuesday, 30 October 2012 23:18

Written by Emma Mutaizibwa

Media Council to review ‘The State of the Nation’ drama
The Media Council has banned a play, ‘The State of the Nation Kku Girikiti’, whose portrayal whips up sentiments of an insurrection against a regime that has failed to honour a social contract with its citizens.

In the Luganda vocabulary, girikiti is a tree that is of no value, where carcasses of dogs are usually dumped. The play, staged by Afri-Baka, a union between Afri Talent and Bakayimbira Dramactors, has been showing at the National Theatre since October 19. It was intended to coincide with the jubilee celebrations to mark 50 years of Uganda’s self-governance.

In the drama, interspersed with veiled barbs and jocular scenes, characters caricature corrupt regime cohorts who favour their relatives and cronies. With scenes on nepotism, corruption and intolerance, the play attacks families that want to turn a state into a dynasty, with army generals speaking one language yet their contribution to the cause was minimal.

Several opposition politicians attended the opening show on October 19, which attracted a packed auditorium. Notable among these was FDC president Dr Kizza Besigye, whose speech was an extension of the hilarious play. He gave the outfit Shs 2m.

Others included: MPs Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu (Kalungu West), who contributed Shs 500,000 for the play to be taken to Kalungu; and Latif Ssebaggala (Kawempe North); Kawempe mayor Mubarak Munyagwa, who contributed Shs 400,000; and Kampala deputy lord mayor, Sulaiman Kidandala.

The Media Council communicated the ban in a letter dated October 29 and signed by Pius Mwinganisa, the Council secretary. It was addressed to Benon Kibuuka, one of the play’s directors and copied to the ministers of Information and Internal Affairs, and the Inspector General of Police.

“Pursuant to section 9(1) (e) and 9(2) of the Press and Journalists Act, the Media Council hereby directs that you immediately avail to the Council a copy of the script and synopsis of your intended stage play, ‘The State of the Nation Kku Girikiti’ by the 31 Oct 2012,” it read.

“Pending review by the [Media] Council, we further direct that you suspend the play until conclusion of the review and thereafter officially communicate to you the position of the Council regarding the suitability of this play for public consumption.”

 

 





Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Ugandan Pentecostals give Speaker Kagaga a heroine welcome: Speaker Kadaga promises to revive shelved gay Bill



 

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga (L) on her arrival from Canada at Entebbe Airport on Monday. She said she will stand firm against homosexuality. PHOTO BY G. SSeruyange.  

 

FIRST READ:

Bishop Kiganda organizes heroic welcome for Kadaga: Ugandans Hail Kadaga For Blasting Canadian Minister

http://watchmanafrica.blogspot.com/2012/10/bishop-kiganda-organizes-heroic-welcome.html

 

Speaker Kadaga promises to revive shelved gay Bill


By Isaac Imaka

Posted  Wednesday, October 31  2012 at  02:00

In Summary
The Speaker’s promise follows her experience in Canada, where foreign officials asked her to block the bill.
Entebbe
Days after her defence against a Canadian minister’s attacks on Uganda over homosexuality, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has promised to expedite the debate on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Ms Kadaga made the assurance while addressing religious leaders and journalists at Entebbe International Airport on Monday. “They said I should stop the debate on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill but I assured them there is no way I can block a private members Bill,” she said.

At the Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting in Quebec, Canada, Ms Kadaga was involved in an altercation with that country’s Foreign Affairs minister, Mr John Baird, after the latter accused Uganda of trampling on human rights.

The accusation saw Ms Kadaga tell the minister to stick to the day’s theme and respect Uganda’s sovereignty. “I will not accept to be intimidated or directed by any government in the world on matters of homosexuality,” she said, adding that she was not aware she was speaking for many people in the world, some of whom were in the conference.

“I was surprised when colleagues came and thanked me saying that’s what they have always wanted to say but they had never gotten the courage to. That when it came to me that I had spoken for the whole of Africa, for the Arab world and Asians,” she said.

The welcome ceremony and press briefing was organised by religious leaders, former Ethics and Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo and the mover of the Bill, Mr David Bahati, all of whom are pushing for the enactment of the anti-homosexuality Bill.

A large procession comprising members of different Pentecostal churches, Makerere University students and boda boda cyclists camped at the airport from 10am to after midnight when Ms Kadaga emerged to greet them as they ululated and waved placards appreciating her boldness in Canada.

“You are our saviour, we want the bill now,” one of the placards read.
Pastor Michael Were, who spoke on behalf of the religious leaders, called on other national leaders to follow Ms Kadaga’s footsteps for the sake of the country’s culture and traditions.

Asked whether she was not mindful of Uganda being denied aid and her being denied entry visas to pro-gay countries, Ms Kadaga said such countries were welcome to keep their aid and visas.

Uganda told to repay Irish aid funds lost in OPM fraud








Irish ambassador Anne Webster
newvision


FIRST READ:

Museveni says we should not blend politics with emotions because it is purely scientific: Amazing positivism Mr. President; you mean even the corruption in your government as well as the harassment of opposition politicians are pure inevitable scientific processes

 


Uganda told to repay aid funds lost in OPM fraud


Publish Date: Oct 30, 2012

By Vision Reporter

The Irish Government has told the Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi that it wants the misappropriated funds to be repaid.


In a frank meeting held Monday, Irish ambassador Anne Webster made it clear the Irish Government expects the funds to be repaid. Webster and other ambassadors met the prime minister in the capital Kampala.


Irish Ambassador Anne Webster and her counterparts from the other countries affected by the €12m fraud met the Ugandan government.


According to an Irish newspaper, Independent, Uganda is considering paying back the €4m of Irish aid funds that ended up in a bank account operated by officials from the prime minister's office.


Ten senior officials from the Prime Minister’s office and six others from the finance ministry have been suspended over the alleged fraud.


A number of others from the finance ministry and Bank of Uganda are also to be interdicted, according to Mbabazi.


This was after a meeting with the donors’ representatives in which he said they held “extensive discussions” about the alleged fraud.


Mbabazi, however, insisted that the interdiction was not due to the pressure from the donors.


He declined to reveal the details of the discussions with donors’ representatives, but said the Government regrets what happened.


“We regret that this happened. As a country and Government, we are sorry it happened. It was obviously a criminal act. The theft was massive. We regret. It is a pity,” he said


Suspended officials

The suspended officials from the OPM include Martin Owor, principal accountant Geoffrey Kazinda, Arthur Mumanyire, M. Byekwaso, Isaiah Oonyu, Beatrice Kezaabu, K. Lubega, Yahaya Kasolo and Charles Oyugi.


The officials from ministry of finance are; aid liaison officer Mariam Kiggundu, Wilbert Okello, Tony Yawe and David Mugisha.


Two officials in the OPM sent back to finance with express instructions to be interdicted are Irene Birungi and Lydia Nalwanga, according to Mbabazi.


He also stated that a Bank of Uganda official, Milton Opio who verifies signatures, is also to be interdicted.


Mbabazi said OPM permanent secretary, Pius Bigirimana had not been interdicted.

He said Bigirimana was required to answer some audit queries and that their decision would depend on his answers.
He added that it was Bigirimana who blew the whistle on the fraud which necessitated investigations by both the Police and the Auditor General.


The alleged fraud involved sh16.2b that was meant for the Northern Ugandan Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP).


The money was from Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Britain. The Irish government on Friday suspended all funding to the Ugandan Government.


Mbabazi said the money that was stolen included that from donors and the Ugandan tax payer “Ugandans are as angry as the citizens of the development partners,” Mbabazi said.


“We condemn that act in the strongest terms and want to assure everyone that all the necessary measures to bring those responsible to book will be carried out.”


The foreign envoys, who attended the two-hour meeting with Mbabazi were Anne Webster (Ireland), Ambassador D. E. Frederickson (Denmark), Urban Undersson (Sweden) and Thorbjoorn Gaustadsaether (Norway).


Others were Daniel Graymore (head of the Department for International Development), Theo Hoorntje (the Charge of Affairs of the European Union) and Ahmadou Mustafa Ndiaye (World Bank Country manager)