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Your mail: Let's think twice about terrorism

As part of combating terrorism, it is unwise to pinpoint sections of the population and act also without credible conclusive investigation. Such are cases of unprofessionalism, which make the authorities end up doing the exact job done by the terrorists.

Having looked at these issues with a second view, I feel that, either the state can decide to run out of citizens or run out of bullets.

The explosions that took place at Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere’s palace during the ugly attacks of November 2016 that left over 100 people dead and 250 others arrested and the 2020 Kampala riots have taught some Ugandans a number of lessons.

People are aware of the direction the government has taken where it is hardly taking sides. Can government win the war by acting like the groups it claims to fight?

After all the ugly events, who truly takes care and participates in the search for justice of those who die while fighting for the rights of those who are not physically demonstrating on the street.

The president has linked directly the names of Muslims to terrorists just by mere change of name without a good analysis of what exactly it means. For example Mr. Museveni over repeated the Name Ubaida Bin Bukenya. “How can an African from the ngabi clan have Arab names like this?"

This raises a question to whether the president is denied adequate information deliberately for sabotage or he lacks independent probes.  The word 'Bin' inserted between the two names is a phrase which means “son of.” For females it is Bint. What about Marriam Bint Ibrahim a Kenyan coastal Muslim currently staying and carrying out business in Uganda.

Should she be castigated for being a Muslim? According to the school of thought of “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter should be respected”.

Chrispus Mubale Muke
Kampala

Keep safe this festive season

Christmas and the New Year festive is upon us. This annual event often comes with great joy and celebration across the world. It is also a great time for family re-unions.

The season often leads to massive exodus of population from urban areas to the country side and vice versa. However, this time round, we need to be extra careful regarding the way we are to celebrate the festive season if it is to be meaningful.

To begin with, we need to keep and uphold Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to minimize and control the spread of Covid-19 epidemic. This is because the threat of the epidemic is still real. Apart from putting on masks and social distancing, we need to remain cautious that the virus could even be picked on unsanitized surfaces. This is an orientation we should continue with.

We need to take high precautions regarding any terror threats. Security begins with us. Let us cooperate with security personnel regarding regular check-ups as our civil responsibility.

The third aspect we need to pay attention to is observing road safety precautions. Let us avoid reckless riding or driving. There is no need to over speed while driving. The best principle in all this is that always drive or ride at a speed you can be in control of.

Minimize exposing family members to overcrowded areas. Parents and guardians must consistently explain all important precautions regarding Covid- 19 prevention.

For those traveling, keep the speed of your vehicles or bikes under your control. Let’s also be one another keeper by reminding each other to observe the prescribed SOP’s.

John Vianney Ahumuza
Mukono

Govt should serve everyone

Since Uganda became a multiparty dispensation, the struggle of parties has seemingly grown. The sole purpose to transit from single party politics to multiparty politics was to allow the thriving of democratic competition, which is healthy for any democracy.

One can say that it is evident that Uganda is a multiparty dispensation if they choose to go by the data. If one chooses to go by the data that Uganda has over 29 political parties, they will quickly pass off as being the most democratic! However, given all these political parties, Uganda still runs as a single political dispensation!

The NRM has consolidated itself into power for the last 36 years and the multi party dispensation has seemingly died off. Of course, there are opposition parties that have stood the test of time to challenge the status quo but whether they have been allowed the same opportunity to carry out their activities is another story.

I have heard many ‘leaders’ blame poor services on citizens for allegedly voting opposition instead of the NRM. The notion to deny citizens services simply because they did not elect an NRM cadre in their area is unfortunate.

To say that only those that worked/supported/ collaborated with NRM will be the ones to receive services is a loss of political sight. A government in power is supposed to serve all citizens regardless of their political inclination or pronouncements.

Michael Aboneka
Kampala

We can save maize exports

Ugandan farmers who export grain to Kenya continue to suffer because of the high levels of aflatoxin in the crop.

Aflatoxin is a poison produced by the fungus, Aspegrillusflavus. The fungus resides in soil and decaying organic matter in the field. It contaminates many crops but the most susceptible are maize, sorghum and groundnuts. Aflatoxins are also found in livestock products such as milk, eggs and meat when livestock are fed on contaminated feed.

It is also found in mother’s breast milk if they have consumed food contaminated with aflatoxins and they are able to pass it on to their infants when they breast feed. Aflatoxins cannot be seen with naked eyes, do not have a particular taste or odour.

Hence, it is difficult to detect their presence in food and feed. Consumers are highly exposed to these poisons in staples such as maize, sorghum and groundnuts. Aflatoxin damages our health and business opportunities.

Exposure to aflatoxins over long periods (chronic exposure) results in immune suppression, stunting in children, low birth weights and liver cancer. Exposure to high levels (acute exposure) may result in acute symptoms and death. Aflatoxin contaminated foods and feeds decreases productivity in humans and animals.

We can reduce aflatoxin contamination by following good agricultural practices. These include: timely harvest of crops, ensure the crops are properly dried as per the recommendations. Do not spread the crops to dry on bare soils. Spread them over tarpaulins or other materials.

During harvesting, sort to remove the immature pods or cobs damaged by birds or rodents before drying and before storage.

Store your crops in a dry cool place. Ensure the produce is not rained on or attached by insect pests. Use pesticides to prevent pest from attacking the produce while in storage.

Using a safe and highly effective biocontrol product developed by IITA and partners called Aflasafe which drastically reduces aflatoxins in crops.

Aflasafe contains native non-toxin producing strains of Aspergillus flavus that out-compete toxin-producing ones when applied in the field.

One annual application of Aflasafe provides multiple-year and multiple-crop benefits. Aflasafe can be used together with other management practices such as use of resistant varieties and good agricultural practices.

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