This is Uganda, not Zimbabwe!

Almost all of the main stream media news outlets are covering political developments in #Zimbabwe that have peaked with the resignation of their president.

The developments are ‘big’ news in Uganda because Uganda’s president is one of the longest serving leaders and ofcourse given the current on-going political developments within Uganda’s borders (#Togikwatako and #Bagikwateko).

The other is that like in Zimbabwe, many believe their a leadership qeue of bush-war fighters who hope to one day take on the mantle of leadership as president of Uganda. Prime minister (former) Amama Mbabazi, it believed, was punished for positioning himself to be first in that long qeue, leading to his ousting. You know the rest.

The most logical and realistic thing that can be said, just like Uganda has been told off by politicians in Portugal or demonstrators on the streets of Kenya, is that: ‘This is Uganda,’ not…. Zimbabwe. Uganda needs to pride itself it it’s exceptionality.

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Network marketing in Uganda: ‘It’s after you’ve joined that you realise you are bound to make losses’

Network marketing seems to be a common temptation for many in Uganda.

The promise of overnight riches, wealth and prosperity for new recruits is often hard to resist.

Especially for a population that is young, desperate and filled with ambitions, many of whom are unemployed, this sounds just like the right kind of thing to get into if one’s to get ahead in life.

It’s a sure bet for many, if you like. Sadly not many speak praises of this business, after getting burnt.

With companies like Forever Living Products, GNLD, Questnet, Dynapharm, Tianshi, Oriflame and many others expanding across the country, many more unsuspecting people are yet to taste the bitter pill of network marketing.

You see, network marketing firms make their money by getting new recruits to buy products from them – often food and nutrition supplements – at what you can call high prices.

With the recruit gaining by (1) selling the products at a profit, and (2) getting a percentage (commission) off the sales of those they recruit into the network.

Disappointment

The NewVision ran an exposé on the subject matter in a story published Saturday February 2, 2013.

Below is an exerpt of one woman’s cry about her experience with Forever Living, a network marketing firm.

SaturdayVision investigations have revealed that the distribution system does not guarantee profits and majority of members dropout along the way, after losing millions.

Sarah Mukisa, a smallholder poultry farmer in Bulenga, Wakiso district, bought a combo of assorted Forever Living products in March last year [2012].

Mukisa’s up-liner (the person who recruited her) had promised her high profits of over 43% return on investment.

But for two months, Mukisa failed to recruit anyone despite spending about seven hours daily, teaching other people the benefits of joining the network.

She also barely sold 10% of the products she bought.

“Whoever I told about the products complained of high prices. I used some of the products and gave away the rest,” she recalls.

In network marketing, the sales force is given bonus not only for the sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of others they recruit.

Her first recruit came in the third month, and Mukisa was paid sh60,000 as commission. Encouraged, she sought sought alternative ways to woo more people to join her network.

“I began paying for those willing to join, hoping to earn commission from their sales,” Mukisa, also an assistant pastor of Busega Miracle Centre, reminisces.

She paid sh400,000 for one of her recruits and sh200,000 for another. She never profited from any of the two, since both quit after a two-week futile hunt for buyers.

Mukisa also recalls spending over sh700,000 on fuel during travels to teach and recruit others into the business.

“One Sunday, we drove over 40 miles to a church in Mukono district. We spent about sh300,000. I was disappointed when no one joined at the end of the day. I quit the business there and then.”

It was clear she had lost her investment which by that time was close to sh3m.

“It is after you have joined that you realise you are bound to make losses,” she states.

For anyone wishing to join, a look at the full article is a must. Now you know.

CatholicAnswers: ‘I can’t afford another child, is sterilisation morally correct in my present circumstance?’

QUESTION:
To determine if a moral act is a sin, I was told that the intention of the person and the circumstances surrounding the moral act must be taken into consideration then following our conscience, we each must decide for ourselves whether or not an act is sinful for us
. Therefore, if I undergo sterilisation with the intention of saving my marriage, or because I can not afford another child then sterilisation could be morally correct for me.

Worried woman

ANSWER:
What you were told is wrong. Some acts are intrinsically evil and can not be done even to secure a good, such as saving a marriage or living within one’s means.

Scripture is explicit on this point (Romans 3:8, Why not say as we are being slanderously reported as saying “Let us do evil that good may result?” Their condemnation is deserved).

Only if an act is intrinsically permissibe does the question of whether the circumstances warrant that action become relevant.

The proper procedure to follow is to first look to the church and the sources of revelation to determine whether the act is ever permissible and only if it is, then ask whether the circumstances warrant it in this case.

One can not pre-empt the former question by assuming that every action is potentially permitted.

While some theologians try to advance that way of thinking, it is far from what the church teaches or has ever taught. The expression “The path to hell is paved with good intentions” works very well here.

Good intentions or circimstances can never change an immoral act into something good.

If a person is ignorant of the sinfulness of a moral act he commits, however, and his ignorance is through no fault of his own, his culpability is less than someone who knew the sinfulness of the act or intentionally failed to investigate the moral value of the act.

Forming a true conscience and then following it is essential if we are to live morally upright lives.

A true conscience is based on objective moral truths – namely the ten commandments.

In Matthew 19:16, the rich young man asks Jesus what he must do to have eternal life. Jesus responds, “If you wish to enter eternal life, keep the ten commandments.” The ten commandments require that we love and respect God and our neighbour.

We must never use others a means to an end, for each person has dignity and is an end in himself.

When we thwart the sex act through sterilisation or contraception, we not only violet the natural law, we violate the commandments by using another as a means for selfish gratification instead of as an end, that is, someone whom we give of ourselves entirety and selflessly.

Sterilisation done in order to prevent childbirth is never permissible, and so no particular circumstances including your own warrant it.

Source: St. Augustine Chapel Bulletin Makerere University, 1 Oct 2017

Public administrators and health professionals most sought after on Uganda’s labour market

Uganda National bureau of statistics recently released results of a survey carriedout between 2011 to 2015.

It looks at the demand patterns in the labour market focusing on job advertisements carried in the daily monitor and newvision papers.

An accountant

This survey was the subject of a recent article by the Observer Newspaper that concluded – accoutants, secondary school teachers and business administrators were the most sought after during the period of the survey.

Here’s a breakdown of the survey’s results as reported by the observer newspaper

– Jobs in the public sector accounted for 49-60% of all advertised jobs

– 18.4% of jobs were in health and education in 2015

– Going by education level, most jobs required diploma as a minimum with the accounting profession at 43% (5502)

34.1% (4331) needed degree as a qualification

Only 52 out of the 12687 jobs advertised in 2015 required a phD

– At graduate level, accountants, secondary school teachers and business administrators took 15.6%, the highest

African nurse

Health professionals (doctors and nurses) came in at 5.8%

– And going by regional distribution, Kampala accounted for most (35%) of all jobs advertised

Western region (20.7%)

Northern Uganda (18%)

Eastern Uganda (16%)

Age limit or not; common-sense, introspection and cool-heads need to prevail

For a country who’s main preocupations have always been politics and sports, it comes as no suprise to pick-up talk on politics from any buzzing market – markets are a political constituency in themselves – or sports from a bodaboda stage at the next stage – its no secrete they are a target demographic for Uganda’s proliferating sports betting houses.

What about the economy? You may ask. Well, if you must know, the economy isn’t the talk of the town, atleast in good terms. To put it simply, the economy has grown at an average of 5% as the years have gone by but hardly has that growth translated into money in people’s pockets. Reason? Uganda’s study the wrong things at school and are thus unemployeable. Is anything being done? Well yes. Some adjustments and modifications are being done to create a more market oriented education syllabus, so we are told.

As I was saying; salaries are almost stagnant, employment as you know…etc but there’s hope, we are told. Chameloen’s motomoto is good therapy for you who’s in despair. It should be said though – there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

uganda parliament

That said, for some time the general public has been rather aloof and indifferent to the politics prefering to be passive – calling into political talkshows and tweeting, or posting on facebook – rather than actively getting involved.

The public had developed the ability to tolerate the buzzing that is often characteristic of Ugandan political class, and to be fair, has always come and gone with successive political outfits.

That rather looks to have changed in recent time.

The buzz eminating from the chambers and corridors of the legislative arm of government seems to have gotten louder and deafening as well as disconserting enough to the point of being unbearable for what has hitherto been a tolerant and largely unresponcive character of the wider public, that has compelled the public to take a keen interest in the affairs of parliament.

The overnight spike in the serial murder of women in Entebbe – to which no widelly convincing answer exists yet – has shocked and scared many in equal measure.

The attempts being made at reforming the land laws of the land to allow for compulsary takeover of individual private land by the government, none of which is new in the law books.

But the proposals’ suggestion of transfer of land from private hands to the government without adequate and prompt compensation before takeover of the land in question has incensed many a people, bringing to the fore of the longstanding but deep seated suspicions that the general public has haboured about the government’s intentions – many controversial land evicitions or ‘land grabs’ have government officials at their centre.

This hasn’t been helped by the on-going land commission traversing the country that has only formally confirmed the extent of the land grabs.

The land grabs have always been a common topic for discussion in public domain.

And now the protracted debate on the removal of the upper and lower age limit for the presidency under the disguise of making it possible for the youth to run for elective positions without them being subjected to “discrimination” is proving a hard-sell.

A significant number of the populance are yet to buy into it.

All this has stirred quite a political storm within the political circles that the public couldn’t help but notice.

This turn of event has been fuelled by those opposed to the above issues rallying the public against all three issues. Those in power have found themselves on the firing end prompting them to respond.

The ruling class has always sought refuge and comfort in knowing that they have the numbers to overide any opposing side when it came down to a vote in the August house.

That hasn’t been the case f late particularly with the age-limit debate. There is dissent within their own ranks with a cohort that has been known as “rebel MPs” leading the dissent.

The shift of the debate from within the controlled evironment of the political class into a passive ordinary and often unpolitical public has turned the debate into a war for the minds of the general public, a “war of ideas” if you will.

This change of tact now spreads the debate to two frontiers – on the floor of parliament and the minds of the general public.

Could this be a pivotal time in the politics of Uganda? That the general public takes more and more interest in the discussions taking place within the political circles?

As the country continues to be polarised along those in favour and against the lifting of the lower and upper cap on the age for the presidency, it should be noted that the current political debate within the country is good, healthy and worthy of encouragement if the dividends of a multiparty political dispensation are to be harnessed and used to create a politically astute public.