It’s four (4) months already into 2019, almost everything that would happen in one year has taken place, and some expected others unexpected. I will not wait for the year to end to take stock since 2019 seems to be passing away very fast, with a lot of drama. The gods must be looking down in wonder. With things like Brexit that is happening and not happening at the same time, I personally wanted to buy the sterling in case it had tanked but the House of Commons had other plans. Trump is still all over the place with his many investigations that have made him think his term of office should be extended. What to see how that will end. I don’t how Trump feels about those that take the rime light away from him like Smallet of the fox TV show Empire, who arranged to be mugged in order to get a pay rise, the things we humans do for money. R.Kelley and leaving Neverland are all in the run for the historical events of 2019.
With many elections happening all over the world like that in India that takes about two (2) months, the one in North Korea need its own blog to be explained. DRC finally had there election that also unfolded with a lot of drama.
Nigeria was no different with that last minute postponement for a week, but happened and this time the Nigerian did not have many options since the two front runners leading to the polls were from the same ethnicity-a key issue in African election. The Election here in Uganda is still two (2) years away but the ruling party has already put its Chairman up for yet another term. This set the political arena in motion to the polls, the opposition has followed with its own measures that seem to have many calculations in there. In East Africa the Uganda-Rwanda boarder crisis happened or it’s still happening since there is no official explanation, but many idioms and parables flying around.
The best was to recount what I think will define the first four months of 2019; I should shade down month by month.
Starting with January.
Am I the only one who thinks this time around Ugandan spent properly coming into 2019. This January didn’t feel like the past ones, we didn’t cry a lot of brokenness, bars were working normally. That’s the best way to put an estimate on our disposable income. But I still see SUVs in Kampala with water Jerri cans when there are water shortages and when the rains keep away, it’s disappointing. If one can afford to have a nice SUV of about $ 25,000 dollars then why not a water tank of about $ 300 including installation.
On the world stage the month saw the rise of the yellow vest protests in France which are still going on every weekend since, according to CNN about 50,000 people have taken part. They were against certain economic reforms put forward but the Republic on the Move-the party in power, but they are now demanding for resignation of the Government led by Macron. In South America the attorney general Pedro Chavarry in Peru resigned due to a corruption scandal involving a Brazilian construction company, he has since been replaced by Zcriada Avalos who took a former president in his line of work.
After the rise of the yellow vest protests in France on January 12th there was an explosion in Paris that would have halted the protests if only the government was not honest with its citizens, it turned out to be a gas leak that claimed the lives of 3. If it had been a terrorist attack the yellow vests would be no more. Still in Europe Macedonia changed its name after reaching an agreement with Greece on the 25th, and it’s now called the Republic of North Macedonia. It seemed like a simple move but it is a big geopolitical score for the current government in Greece and a matter of National pride for the Greek. There was also a stabbing of a mayor in Poland on stage when he was officiating a charity event, the event led to his death. In Asia they were protests that had plagued India after a court allowed women to go to temples for prayers during that time of the month. How have written that could get me into trouble one day. Philippine church bombing by a group connected to ISIS, set up a pace for attacks on places of worship that are plaguing the world in 2019.
A lot happened in Africa in January, from protests in Zimbabwe to Sudan and then Algeria but for now I will pick out what happened in West and East Africa. The government in Burkina Faso resigned, strange on the continent. With no reason on January 19th the Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba with his all government decided to leave office. In the Kenyan capital Nairobi, there was an attack on a hotel that led to the deaths of 21 people, after hours of fighting five (5) militants committed suicide. Al shabab claimed responsibility and they put out a statement saying the attack in Kenya was in response to Trumps illegal (according to international law) move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. So we paid for USA’s sins in the Middle East. That was January, I have left out Venezuela and Nicolas Maduro they deserve their own write up.
2019, is full of sports world cups, the Cricket World Cup will take place in England. The Netball World Cup too will be staged in England a special one for Uganda. The Women’s FIFA World Cup and my favorite in the Rugby World Cup that will be going down in Japan but still worried about the upside down time zone. What’s with the world cups? In February the AFC Asia Cup took place and Qatar won the show piece after defeating Japan in the finals. It was big statement from the small gulf nation that will host the next FIFA world cup; they seem ready as hosts not to be tourists but are ready to play football. Since Qatar is under a political siege from its neighbors it was also a political statement. Sports is a very nice way to make statements Qatar has joined the club of Nations that use the avenue, just like Rwanda and Cricket. Enough of sports for now.
Still on February
United States is never short of drama, in Virginia the governor there Ralph Northam was faced with a scandal that involved his old photos of him wearing blackface and relations to the Ku Klux Klan. He never resigned but gave explained what happened back then. For millennials there is a lot to learn from this scandal, what could social media and the many photos we take every time almost documenting our every aspect of life do to us 30 years down the lane. Northam did what he did because he was young and not thinking straight back then.
February also saw the USA decided to suspend it’s part in the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with the USSR. The Americas realized Russia was making big strides in the field. The treaty did not really cover research so the USA can’t use it has a credible reason to pull out. But the move makes the arms race back and official for any Nation on this planet.
In New York the Drug King El Chapo was found guilty and he was sent to a prison in Colorado to avoid escape since he had become good at it when he was still in Mexican prisons.
In Europe on 5th of February 10 people were killed in a fire at a Paris Apartment. The suspect who was taken in by the police was a 40 year old French woman and charged with arson. Everybody thought it was someone from the Middle East or North Africa so she was not called a terrorist just because of that.
As Sudan declared a state of emergency in a bid to hold onto power by Omar Al Bashir, Bouteflika in Algeria on the 10th of the same month announced that he would seek a 5th term in office at his 81 years of age and suffering from a stroke.
This February Trump urged Europe to take back over 800 captured ISIS fighter or else USA would release them since they were leaving Syria claiming to have defeated ISIS or after failing to overthrow Assad and handing Syria officially to Putin and Iran. Speaking of Iran, their Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif resigned on instagram, but the Iranian President denied his request. There was also another crisis in Asia that almost turned into a full brown war between India and Pakistan which was somehow defused by Pakistan returning a captured Indian Pilot to India.
The month of started with many protesters get injured in Algeria, about 183 of them, the intensity of the protests later saw President Abdelaziz Bouterflika announce that he would not run for presidency but decided to delay the election.
March was made darker on 10th when an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff killing 157. The incident put the manufacturers (Boeing) of the jet (737 Max) on spot. The crash was similar to that of Lion Air of the same jet in 2018. There was a battle when the flight recorders where recovered and the USA wanted them but the Ethiopian government decided to send them to France. The Initial report indicated that the (737 Max) had crashed the same way like the one from Lion Air. The report from the Lion Air crash has recommended that the 737 Max 8 and 9 were not airworthy. Since then the jet has been grounded world over apart from the USA where they were in denial led by Trump, and they too have had a crash of the 737 Max only that no one died this time and it did not nose dive.
So far March is the darkest month of 2019, on 15th March there were shootings at two (2) Mosques in Christchurch New Zealand. 49 people were killed by a white supremacist that I will not name, not on my space on the internet. I too will not give him what he sought for “fame”. The court Judge ruled that his face be pixelated and the Prime Minister Jacinda Arden of New Zealand said in her address to parliament that his name should never be mentioned.
March was dark but Brexit and Theresa May and the deadlock tried to give it some light with political drama. There was also Volodymr Zelensky a comedian that won the first round of voting with 30% of the vote.
My last bit of my review of the first four months of 2019 is about April, full of mixed emotions. In the last days of a 30 year rule in Sudan they were death as the military tried to fire live bullets onto the masses that had camped outside of the military headquarters. Then the army turned on its self. They were all kicks of a dying horse now that the former president is in Prison now.
On the 10th of March in a 119-1 vote New Zealand parliament voted to ban military style semi-automatic weapons. This was after that Mosques shooting in Christchurch. Wish all governments were like New Zealand.
In Africa, 59 Ethiopian officials were arrested for corruption and economic sabotage. The New Prime Minister is working on his promise to clean up the politics.
Then things changed along the way, it was this April that Julian Assange the founder of WiKiLeaks was arrested in London, he was charge with contempt of court but he is also fighting extradition to the USA. No man has impacted modern history like Assange and his WikiLeaks. It’s sad that his story is turning out the way it is.
Downstream the River Nile. Egypt passed constitutional changes that could allow Sisi the president to rule till 2030 not 2022. He is trying to consolidate himself in power driving the country to future uncertain future.
On 21st of April which was Easter Sunday, 290 people were killed and hundreds more injured in coordinated explosions at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Christchurch is ringing bells already. The revelations after the attacks were both saddening and alarming. Like prior intelligence from India to Sri Lank months old, the rift in the Sri Lankan government.
Can’t write down everything that has happened so far in 2019, like the Jumia and Lyft IPO that are internet unicorns. The monthly kitara Nation Uganda theater poetry productions since December 2018, A son for a daughter by Maryburd and Lus the Poet. The climate change on our door steps. Some topics need specific attention and guest writers to team up with.