Sunday, 16 September 2007

Headlines Round-Up

  • The floods in the North and East of the country have dominated the papers over the weekend. Although not as bad here as in parts of West Africa and Ethiopia, people here have lost their lives and many roads have been closed. On top of that an estimated 400,000 subsistence farmers have lost their crops. The Government has been criticised for its slow response. Kampala, though, continues as normal.

  • Makerere University staff are revealed as the biggest PAYE taxpayers to the treasury, much to the amusement of the more cynical lecturers. There are still serious problems with the countries tax base as a whole. 83% of the take comes from just 1,000 companies and tax avoidance is very high.

  • The debate over rights for homosexuals continues to rage. This is the single biggest social issue in Uganda at the moment and fills the letters' pages everyday (e.g. "Legalising homos is like endorsing adultery or murder, Tom Mutete, Kampala"). On the whole there are very few people prepared to defend homosexuals and politicians have jumped on the bandwagon. I don't want to paint Uganda as an intolerant or unwelcoming country because that would be unfair, but on this issue there has been a lack of any constructive comment from political or religious leaders. I'm sure with time attitudes will moderate but at present external pressure from groups like Human Rights Watch ( have only served to harden opinion that homosexuality is an 'alien' concept to Uganda and should be resisted. I'm going to have a think about this issue and blog on it properly later in the month.

  • Pork and alcohol sales have allegedly fallen in Kampala as Ramadan gets underway and followers curb their indulgences.

1 comment:

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