Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Have Always Wanted To Ask...

What the hell is this?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dr. Hilderman shop burned in Cham Towers Fire

There is a saying that when it rains, it really pours. This saying could not be truer for Ugandan musician Dr. Hilderman. Hilderman caused ripples in the Ugandan music industry last year when he announced that his Amelia song had been partly inspired by Ugandan President Museveni’s former Principal Private Secretary Amelia Kyambadde. Kyambadde had just then announced her MP candidature to represent Mawokotta.
Well, after successfully backing Kyambadde in her campaigns, word on the street was that Dr. Hilderman had been handsomely compensated to the tune of several millions. Unfortunately Dr. Hilderman did not have opportunity to bask in his good fortune as his father shortly passed away at the beginning of 2011. Right after Dr. Hilderman had held his first album launch at Kati Kati. 


Now we learn that more tragedy has befallen the musician. The musician saw much of his business investment go up in smoke when several shops on the ground floor of Cham Towers were gutted by an early morning fire on Friday, March 11. The fire destroyed more than 20 shops that specialized in computer and office hardware. Dr. Hilderman’s fledgling business Tuku Investments was housed in one of those shops as Shop No.10. 


The musician and his partner had just taken out an 18 million Uganda shilling loan with the Housing Finance bank Uganda to expand their one and a half year old business. The business partners had also just secured several lucrative deals to supply office material in a bigger consignment than they normally received. Pole Dr. Hilderman!

Monday, March 21, 2011

New York Times Will No Longer be free

In case you missed it, the New York Times newspaper website is no longer be freely available...

Message from New York Times Publisher....



Fine Print 

Dear New York Times Reader,

Today marks a significant transition for The New York Times as we introduce digital subscriptions. It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in The Times, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform. The change will primarily affect those who are heavy consumers of the content on our Web site and on mobile applications.

This change comes in two stages. Today, we are rolling out digital subscriptions to our readers in Canada, which will enable us to fine-tune the customer experience before our global launch. On March 28, we will begin offering digital subscriptions in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

If you are a home delivery subscriber of The New York Times, you will continue to have full and free access to our news, information, opinion and the rest of our rich offerings on your computer, smartphone and tablet. International Herald Tribune subscribers will also receive free access to NYTimes.com.

If you are not a home delivery subscriber, you will have free access up to a defined reading limit. If you exceed that limit, you will be asked to become a digital subscriber.

This is how it will work, and what it means for you:
  • On NYTimes.com, you can view 20 articles each month at no charge (including slide shows, videos and other features). After 20 articles, we will ask you to become a digital subscriber, with full access to our site.
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  • On our smartphone and tablet apps, the Top News section will remain free of charge. For access to all other sections within the apps, we will ask you to become a digital subscriber.
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  • The Times is offering three digital subscription packages that allow you to choose from a variety of devices (computer, smartphone, tablet). More information about these plans is available at nytimes.com/access.
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  • Again, all New York Times home delivery subscribers will receive free access to NYTimes.com and to all content on our apps. If you are a home delivery subscriber, go to homedelivery.nytimes.com to sign up for free access.
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  • Readers who come to Times articles through links from search, blogs and social media like Facebook and Twitter will be able to read those articles, even if they have reached their monthly reading limit. For some search engines, users will have a daily limit of free links to Times articles.
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  • The home page at NYTimes.com and all section fronts will remain free to browse for all users at all times.
For more information, go to nytimes.com/digitalfaq.

Thank you for reading The New York Times, in all its forms.

Sincerely,
Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
Publisher, The New York Times
Chairman, The New York Times Company

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Uganda 2011-2016 for you and me, looking not for a hero but a competent manager

I’m sure I’m not alone in this predicament. As the National Resistance Movement led Ugandan government prepares this May 2011 for the inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni, I’m one of those Ugandans who is not looking forward to another five years of this government. But neither can I honestly say I was looking forward to a Dr. Kizza Besigye led government. I do not support the style of governance Museveni and NRM lead Uganda by but neither can I find anyone in the opposition leaders available I can fully support. Or even half heartedly support. 

I do not want change simply for the sake of change though I appreciate so much the need for change in Uganda. Let me break it down for you this way why I think Uganda needs a change in the way it is governed. On an individual level. The fact that most of my friends will own their first car as they clock 30 years old, they will be 30 years old before they can lay claim to a salary that even comes close to meeting all their basic needs of money for food, enough money to rent a half decent house; they will be 30 years old and needing to fundraise when they wish to get married, on top of adding their savings from many years. They work one or two side jobs on top of their main job in order to be able to afford a blackberry and keep it juiced up. 

They have had to probably bribe to get what should be a citizen’s right, like a passport. Sometimes falsifying who they are to get that passport. They live in permanent dread of anyone in the family falling ill because hospital bills for just a week, a month would not be bearable, almost wipes out the pittances on their bank accounts. If the disease is more ‘serious’ like cancer, kidney aliments, or something that really needs long term specialised care; either it is trooping out to be draft begging profiles in the newspapers and on TV. Or resorting back to ‘traditional healers’ as they await ‘merciful death’ to come to the rescue of the suffering blood kin. 

Yes, I may not live on a dollar a day but as Jose Chameleone’s father pointed out, neither can I afford to go without working for more than a month. We are the month to month wage survivors and when it comes down to it really, I’m no better than the shop keeper in Kikuubo who counts every day because every day he or she works is when she will be able to feed her family. Every day is a tightrope for survival. 

So I know I need change. I know Uganda needs change. 

I want to be able to live in a country where I can fancifully decide that in five years time, the company I’m starting now will have branches in Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam and Kigali because I’m certain of the Ugandan economy. I can predict how the economy, generally, will be performing, and no sudden ‘unexplained’ supplementary budgets will be imposed on it. That certain business tax breaks I expect will be implemented and not remain in the theory of the Serena Hotel conference board room or stuck in the carpet lining in the corridors to the chambers of the members of the Parliament. That when I do decide to expand my business out of Uganda’s borders, I can be certain my country’s representatives will be looking out for me and my interests because my interests are the country’s interests as I will be taking many Ugandans with me. 

But I’m stuck with having to stick with the National Resistance Movement though I know it is bad for me. 

I know, I know, someone might say “seek out other alternatives. Be the creator of your own destiny. Do not compromise.” But I cannot change the country on my own. I know it is not popular to say that but it’s the truth. All the opposition I would have looked to for a vision of another Uganda, a different Uganda, are only interested in shouting, “Agende. Let Museveni leave! Go!” 

Their message does not seem for me. They hardly seem to notice my presence. Or care that I’m not really interested in who is in State House Entebbe. All I really care about is what is who is in charge doing to make my life in Uganda better. I don’t see anyone about to make a positive change in my Ugandan life and I think that is the predicament millions of Ugandans find themselves in today.