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NTV Uganda has been banned from covering President Yoweri Museveni after reporting he was sleeping in parliament, according to an AFP report.

The television station’s right to report on the president has been suspended while an investigation takes place, with government spokesman Ofwono Opondo accusing NTV of a “lack of professionalism and biased coverage”.

“We have suspended their coverage of the president as we reconsider our relationship with them,” he said.

“The president has habits, he meditates and they know it, and still they go out and say he was sleeping,” government media centre manager Dennis Katungi told AFP.

Last year the government shut the country’s two main independent newspapers for 10 days after they reported arguments among army generals over whether the president’s son should succeed him.
Uhuru Kenyatta
Two events in the last few weeks have bothered me a lot – one in Kenya and the other in Malawi.
In modern times, how do you allow a leader of the opposition to hold a political rally in the middle of the city?


It is probably only in Kenya where such nonsense is tolerated. I was in Nairobi recently and hell fell loose as former Prime Minister Raila Odinga returned from the USA, where he had been in a “self-imposed” exile.


And here was the Kenyan public and Odinga’s supporters dancing and jubilating in the middle of the city, with the police just looking. At Uhuru Park, in the centre of the city, the police only checked identity cards and screened whoever wanted to enter the park!


The Kenyan police is not serious. How could they, well aware that the leader of opposition was coming to address a rally, seem unbothered by the multitude of people that would come to the event?  It seems theyhave something that I am not used to seeing. Please Kenyan police, you must learn to be like your neighbours across the border.


When you are a police officer, your work is not to keep law and order but to clobber the wananchi with such venom that wherever they see a cop, they scamper for their dear lives. A police officer is supposed to be feared and that fear is manifested in the manner you discipline the public, whether they are in the wrong or not.


Had you taken time and learnt what your colleagues across the border do, you would not welcome the leader of opposition in that way. You would instead block him from his house and make sure he does not appear before the public. If he insisted, you would tow away his car, spray him with some pepper, or handcuff him for being a ‘public nuisance’.


It is as if the Kenyan government does not know where tear gas is procured; otherwise, that should have been the best weapon to carry when Raila was coming to town. You see, tear gas is good; it helps in clearing eye glands and ensures that people learn the tricks of avoiding its effects. For Ugandans, that is an art we have all mastered.


Raila peacefully holds the rally and even pokes jokes at the incompetence of the sitting government, and it is broadcast live! Really, why not shut the channels that are embarrassing the sitting government? I thought President Uhuru Kenyatta is part of the East African coalition of the willing – where lessons and the art of ruling a country are easily dispensed?

At a time when terrorism is becoming a major security issue, Kenyatta just had to say:“We are cancelling any events in the middle of Nairobi for the sake of public security since we can’t guarantee that terrorists will not cause havoc”. And that would be it. Please Kenyans, get serious, otherwise you will make us look bad.


Africa never fails to amuse. Down in Malawi, there was an election in which the incumbent, Madam Joyce Banda, lost the election to the opposition. She did not even come second; she was a distant third. When the Malawi Electoral Commission began tallying, Mama Banda began to feel the heat and wanted to annul the elections.


Madam Banda, you do not have to wait until the final day of counting to win the election; you have to plan ahead of time. Now you see what you have done? You have ashamed all African presidents. At least you should contest the election in court and not just hand over power like that. Didn’t you, when you came to power, have “friendly courts” that would annul such results?


How did you pick the Malawi Electoral Commission and its head Justice Maxon Mbendera? Was he a cadre or you simply picked him because he was trusted? Madam Banda, in preparing for any election, you must know who will count the votes and these must be people you trust, not integrity as a yardstick – which has now messed you up.


And how did you allow Peter Mutharika, a brother to your predecessor, Bingu Wa Mutharika, stand for president?  What are the prisons in Malawi for, if not for such characters?


And Mutharika’s party gets only 36.4 per cent of the vote and is declared a winner!  Why not adopt what we use; someone must get above 50 per cent. That would have been the clever way to annul the elections.


And next time, if you ever get one, please don’t annoy the Malawian police chief. You forgot that the Malawi police was the one that would protect the ballot boxes, yet you had audacity to rubbish them as incompetent. You made mistakes, so feel the pain.

nkundad13@yahoo.co.uk
The author is a human rights expert and specialist on refugee issues.
Appearing on BBC on May 28, Col Kizza Besigye, a three-time challenger to President Museveni’s 28 year hold on power, spoke about his pro-democracy efforts and his plans for the 2016 general elections. On May 30, The Observer ran part of Besigye’s interview.

Edward Ssekika transcribed the rest of the interview, which gives an insight into Besigye’s thinking.

You have been in opposition in Uganda for more than a decade, what do you have to show for it?
Many things have changed in Uganda over the last three decades that we have been active in politics.

…and that is because of you, isn’t it?
Certainly not; it’s because of very many people but I wouldn’t discount my own personal contribution.

What has your personal contribution been in your opinion?
I think it has been at several levels. First of all, I was involved in the protracted military struggle that brought the National Resistance Movement into office.

Looking at the times, when you were an ally of President Yoweri Museveni, I put it to you that in 2001, 2006 and 2011, you stood in elections against him and you lost each time, pretty badly?
Well it is not fair to say that I lost because you only lose if there is a fair contest and certainly none of those contests were fair, and this is not just my opinion, it is also the opinion of the Supreme court of Uganda, they categorically said that the elections were not free and fair. Therefore, in such a contest you can’t talk about losers and winners.

The Commonwealth Observer Group and the EU both expressed concern that there was no level playing field, [there was] use of money and abuse of incumbency, but they said the question of legitimacy of the outcome should not be raised because Museveni would still have won?
Of course that is not a reasonable conclusion, once you have said that there was a problem with the playing field, once you have said there was abuse of incumbency by bringing in so much money, so once you have highlighted all those things you can’t go ahead and give such a conclusion

But they did
Which I think was a diplomatic conclusion and that is part of the problem that we have with external observers.

Do you still insist that you might have won those elections?
Actually, I know that we won those elections, but incidentally apart from what has been said by the courts of law that had evidence, in 2001 and 2006, court unanimously, agreed that the elections were not free and fair.

Now that you have failed for whatever reason at the ballot box, you are shifting your protests now to the streets are you trying to cause regime change through that way?
First of all, we proved that elections were not free and fair, we proved that we have popular support and we now want a fair election. Our protests are not primarily for regime change, they are for a free and fair elections.

A lot of people say otherwise, Andrew Mwenda in the Independent Magazine, wrote in 2011 during the walk-to-work protests and said ‘this  radicalized group’ largely led by Kizza Besigye has now opted for civil protests to promote regime change
Well, regime change we want, but we don’t necessarily look for regime change without elections. We think we should have free and fair elections and have regime change that way. If there was free and fair elections, definitely Mr Museveni would lose power.

In 2011 on CNN, you said, you would not be surprised if what was happening in North Africa [then] spread to the rest of Sub Saharan Africa, but that hasn’t happened in Uganda?
Well it didn’t happen even in those Arab countries I was talking about for the last 50 years, it doesn’t have to happen the moment you say it, but all the ingredients that caused the Arab spring are definitely there in most of Africa. The fact that there is broad marginalization of large sections of the population, the fact that there is unbelievable corruption and monopoly of power by cliques of people and that there is gross violation of rights…

Again, Andrew Mwenda wrote that the Arab spring is less likely to happen in Africa largely because the political systems are participatory, a factor that mitigates against revolutions?
Obviously, Mwenda is expressing a personal opinion

Let me give you figures then, 65 per cent of all MPs don’t get re-elected in Uganda, the NRM led by Museveni holds 254 out of 379 seats in Parliament, the others are held by five opposition parties and independents, so there is some democratic space in Uganda?
No there isn’t, you see, you have to understand the structure of the state, power is not controlled by the NRM as an institution, it is controlled actually by Museveni as a person, the NRM is Museveni and it is in the interest of Museveni that actually MPs and other leaders are not re-elected, because if they become powerful within NRM, then they undermine his control of the party and of the state. Actually, he wants fresh and uninformed people to form the team around him each time.

I put it to you that there is some democratic space in Uganda, freedom of the press for instance, reporters without borders, has looked at many countries but has put Uganda at 104 out 179 countries with relatively free press,  better than Brazil, Nigeria and many other African countries
Actually in terms of free press, it is possibly a wrong area, because Andrew Mwenda more than anybody else, would know that his organization, the one he worked for and groomed him, The Monitor, has been closed twice by the military, invading it and keeping it closed for weeks because of publishing something that was perfectly factual.

But it is moderately free...…
You don’t need to labour the point. I wouldn’t even myself categorize Uganda as a total authoritarian regime. I think it is a liberal regime, but don’t forget that Mr Museveni and all the leaders that have ruled Uganda, none of them came to office through an election. All of them came to office through bombs; they bombed their way to office, all of them.

You were his personal physician; you backed him as a leader at the beginning, you participated in as you put it in the bombing campaign?
Absolutely; and I was involved for good reasons. But the point here is that all through our history, there is no change of government peacefully and all the leaders who have stayed in office have done so with the use of the military. The fact that they were not in the first instance voted by the population, they are not removed by the population, meaning that the population doesn’t have any control over their leaders.

The fact is, if you look at Uganda’s neighborhoods, you have got a lot of instability around you. South Sudan, you have got problems with Somalia and the al-Shabab. I put it to you that actually as being observed in Egypt, that actually sometimes people want to be ruled by a strong person. Look, Hosni Mubarak was removed and people now back Sisi another strong man
We need to be very careful about this whole debate of stability, democracy and the rights of people. There is no doubt about the fact that strong leaders can momentarily create some semblance of stability and even a semblance of peace

Is it a semblance or real stability, you had bombs in Kampala in July 2010, so you have got a problem in Uganda…..
The point I’m making is simply that whereas strong leaders without strong institutions can create some semblance of stability and peace through coercion and abuse of state power, it is not sustainable. Actually, the ultimate effect is worse, because once you have emasculated the institutions of the state and you have a strong individual, once this individual collapses, the state collapses. This is partly what we have in Somalia…

So president Museveni can stay in power indefinitely as long as he is capable of running the country?
No; because first of all, that stability is not sustainable

In September 2013, US secretary of defense thanked President Museveni for Uganda’s leadership in the region, praised Uganda’s efforts to defeat the al-Shabab
If you removed the name Museveni and put Mubarak, the American leaders could be saying the same about Mubarak just a few months before the upheaval that destabilized Egypt up to now. Mubarak indeed created the impression that there was stability in the region

Museveni said on CNN that, “I’m not Idi Amin, who would kill his opponents and throw their bodies in River Nile. I haven’t seen Kizza Besigye’s body floating for the crocodiles to eat”.
Well Idi Amin managed to get himself notorious worldwide by some of his acts. But if you actually see the substance, what both of them are doing, they are not far removed.

Are you saying Museveni is as bad as Idi Amin?
Oh yes, they are not far removed

Would you still be wandering on the streets of Uganda, if Idi Amin was still around?
May be not, but certainly the difference is simply in the extent not in the direction. They are exactly in the same direction.

What is your agenda?
You see what we are trying to fundamentally deal with is injustice. Injustice of marginalizing large sections of our people. Our agenda is mainly in three areas; one is to make sure that we have an informed, involved and active citizenry that can demand and ensure that they are well governed. Two, we want institutional governance rather than personal rule and institutional governance that is underpinned by respecting rights, the rule of law and effective control of corruption.
Corruption has devastated all our services. Three, we want to build an economy that is inclusive and broad based. We have been talking about growth of the economy by 6 per cent, 7 per cent, 5 per cent but a very narrow base growth.

But the World Bank in a report in April 2014 said Uganda has established a strong record of prudent management. The economic growth has enabled a reduction in the number of people in poverty; Uganda has already surpassed the MDG goal of halving extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. So, Museveni has a good track record of tackling poverty?
No, first of all let me say that the starting point of the NRM in 1986 was extremely low because the state had collapsed.

So, Museveni took over a country that was in bad shape?
When you talk about halving the number of people in poverty, in statistics it appears impressive that is if you have been getting one dollar a day and then you get one and a half dollars a day, it appears that you have grown, but the reality is and this is the problem of the World Bank, they just use figures and not real conditions of the people [human development].
In the last 30 years, first of all, Uganda still has one of the highest birth rates, we have the youngest population in the world with more than half of the population less than 15 years and when you are talking about the improvements it is improvements against this extra ordinary expansion of the population and the quality of the people. By the way, maternal mortality has increased from 16 women dying per day to 19, according to the latest reports.

[Finally] are you running [for president] in 2016; yes or no?
No, I won’t run unless there are fundamental reforms which we are investing our time and all our efforts to achieve.
The Observer, UGANDA
Tanzania’s capital city Dar es Salaam will become the fourth city in east Africa to launch a free internet zone service that will help increase innovation among the country’s youth and improve public service delivery.

Dar es Salaam will join other cities in the region like Kigali in Rwanda, Kisumu and Nakuru in Kenya that have all launched a free internet service this year. This trend underscore the growing role of internet connectivity  to east African economies.

Several tech startups in the region are hosted in small open-plan spaces such as iHub and mLab in Nairobi, KinuHub and TanzICT in Dar es Salaam, and Outbox and Hivacolab in Kampala. But with these increased free networking opportunities, more techpreneurs are expected to come on board.
In Tanzania, the focus of the free connectivity has mainly been placed on hospitals starting with Muhimbili National Hospital, one of  the busiest places in the city, accommodating a big number of people every day.

Tanzania’s Minister of Communication, Science and Tecnology, Makame Mbarawa, said the technology would ensure that innovations take centers stage in public service delivery, whereupon WiFi can potentially transform the city into a health and medical hub for the sub-Saharan region.
Mbarawa however added the initiative will not stop there but will also be rolled out to other hospitals, big shopping malls in the city in an effort to ensure that people access free internet services.

“The government has realized that there is serious need of free internet in most of these places and will ensure that the goal is achieved,” IPPMedia quoted the minister saying.

Smart Cities

Mbarawa noted that after realizing the importance of the service, he convened mobile phone operators in the country and sold the idea to them. The company entrusted with launching the service roll out would not be named until the government was ready to start the service.

The minster noted that he was optimistic that other service providers would follow suit as the government plans to provide the same service to other major urban areas like Arusha, Mwanza and Mbeya.

Kigali became the first city in East Africa to launch free wireless internet in specific areas of the capital last week under the “Smart Kigali” initiative, joining the ranks of “digital cities” such as Toronto, Houston, Buenos Aires, Bangkok and Taipei.

Reports show that in the past five years, Rwanda has registered one of the highest Internet user growth rates in Africa with 8,900 per cent compared with the continent’s growth rate of 2,450 per cent and the world average rate of 444 per cent. Rwanda now has an Internet penetration of around 800,000 users and is targeting five million users by 2016.
AFKINSIDER

President Yoweri Museveni,
Kampala, Uganda: The government of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, already one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, on Tuesday told the country's opposition that it would have to wait until 2056 before it stood any chance of winning an election. 

Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) "is in for a long journey with Ugandans" under 69-year-old Museveni, who has led the impoverished east African nation since 1986. "However much the opposition tries, they will not win any elections because they do not have a proper programme for Uganda. Probably they will have to wait up to 2056, when they are mature enough," he said. "It is under the capable leadership of President Museveni that Uganda for the first time is stable," he added. 

The spokesman was replying to a question over a post on Twitter after an opinion poll showed Museveni as a clear favourite for elections in 2016 and in which he said the opposition would have to wait another 40 years. 

The comments were greeted with anger by Ken Lukyamuzi, a leader of the opposition Conservative Party. "The statement by the government is what we expected. Museveni is not ready for democracy but for hereditary rule," he said. "We long suspected he has a family agenda of transitioning from him to his son", Muhoozi Kainerugaba, he added. Kainerugaba, 39, is an army general who heads a special forces unit notably tasked with presidential security. He has previously dismissed speculation that he was seeking to succeed his father, saying in June last year that "Uganda is not a monarchy."
Channel 4 News has exclusive video of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arriving at a private hospital in Singapore. Mr Mugabe's wife Grace and his bodyguard attempt to stop the cameraman filming.


The Gleneagles Hospital was named one of the world's top 10 hospitals for medical tourists in 2013. In a statement, Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba said the president was on a week-long "private visit" during which he will undergo "a routine eye check-up following a recent procedure on the same". There have long been reports though that Mugabe is suffering from cancer. There is a well-regarded cancer clinic at the hospital.
Earlier this month Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa suggested that the Zimbabwean government could criminalise discussion of both Mugabe's health and the presidential succession. It is Mr Mugabe's second visit to Singapore for medical reasons this year.
President Paul Kagame has received the 2014 World Telecommunication Information Society Award along with President Park Geun-Hye of Korea and Carlos Slim Helu, president of the Carlos Slim Foundation.

President Kagame is presented with the 2014 World Telecommunication Information Society award by ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure in Geneva, Switzerland. Village Urugwiro.
The Award is presented by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to individuals who have made exceptional contribution to improving lives of world citizens through ICTs.

"I want to express the sense of honour I feel in receiving this award. I do it in the humblest of ways knowing that this is an award of value that builds on the efforts of all Rwandans that have worked hard and embraced the policies and strategies of our development, that in a big part have been driven by ICT," said the Head of State, following the presentation of the award, a function that took place in Geneva.

"This is the result of their efforts and progress and working together in our country, and also working notably with ITU that has been very supportive of efforts in Rwanda."

President Kagame commended the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and ITU Secretary General Dr Hamadoun Toure, who he said had kept the ICT agenda relevant in the socio-economic development of countries.

Responding to a question at a round table following the awards ceremony, President Kagame said Rwanda's ICT strategy is based on integrating key sectors in a system that combines connectivity, enabling policy and regulatory framework, as well as skills development and networks.

President Kagame, who co-chairs the UN Broadband Commission with Mexican mogul Carlos Slim Helu, reiterated the importance of public-private partnerships in developing the ICT sector.

He pointed out that it was a win-win situation and that no one entity can do everything on its own.

In his keynote address at the ceremony, Dr Toure called for broadband to be a central element of the post-2015 development agenda.He highlighted the increased investment in the ICT sector in Africa and noted that since the 2007 Connect Africa Summit in Kigali, the private sector had invested $70 billion in Africa.

"One example is in 2007 there was no undersea cable connecting the Cape to Cairo, now we have four," Dr Toure said.

The event served as the occassion to mark The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day which has been celebrated annually on May 17, since 1969 and marks the establishment of the ITU in 1865.
On April 22, I attended a controversial lecture at Tufts University by Paul Kagame, president of the Republic of Rwanda. I was invited to attend the lecture due to my work as a researcher and consultant for a genocide prevention NGO in Rwanda. The lecture was a ticketed-only event in a packed 350-seat auditorium. 

The media, press and op-ed pages of major newspapers and blogs exploded after Kagame's visit to Tufts. The government of Rwanda stated that the lecture was simply part of international awareness events surrounding the 20th commemoration of the Rwandan genocide, this year called Kwibuka (Kinyarwandan for "remember"). Activists, on the other hand, claimed that Tufts University provided a soapbox for a repressive leader to deliver biased rhetoric. One pointed op-ed in the Tufts Daily newspaper, entitled "Why did Tufts give a platform to a dictator?" condemned Tufts officials, who the author claims "made an intellectual sacrifice and allowed a dictator to be whitewashed." As a scholar who has worked both with the government of Rwanda and local, non-political NGOs and survivors' organizations, I question the legitimacy of the claims made by both the government of Rwanda and the op-ed in the Tufts Daily. Tufts is not different than any other academic institution seeking opportunities for students to develop independent views about world leaders and pressing global issues.

Many have trouble defining Kagame. Activists and scholars from Rwanda, Africa, and the Western world protest President Kagame's human rights record. They outwardly declare that his government has stifled opposition and has committed human rights violations. These claims have recently resurfaced with the January 2014 assassination of Rwandan opposition Patrick Karegeya in Johannesburg, South Africa, and with the April 2014 20th commemoration ceremony toting Kagame's development agenda without mention of opposition leaders' opinions on the mandated commemoration period. Yet they also cite and applaud his development agenda and leadership in improving health, education and business indicators in Rwanda. When traveling in the country, survivors seem happy, healthy and proud of Rwanda. But Kagame remains in a difficult position, where he cannot escape the criticism that has once again placed Rwanda's challenges at the forefront of international discussion.


News articles in response to Kagame's visit to Tufts claim that the university should not have invited him to speak in the first place. Other articles state that Tufts should have had an open venue where students and faculty could ask the most challenging questions. What venue is appropriate for a senior statesman to be free of the politicization of issues and positions, where he can be ignore ties to constituents and can avoid the scrutiny of the international community? This does not excuse Tufts from presenting all of the facts and prevalent public opinions about President Kagame's visit. While Tufts has strong ties to Rwanda, through its Veterinary School, Medical School and business program, the university should encourage and create space for students to hear all aspects of criticism and praise for President Kagame and form their own opinions accordingly. 

Kagame is just one of a number of controversial speakers who have been invited to address members of Tufts University. Earlier this year, the former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili spoke at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, where he also served as Statesman in Residence. Saakashvili has been accused of running an autocratic regime that tramples human rights and stifles democracy. Eve Ensler, author of the groundbreaking play The Vagina Monologues and founder of the V-Day global activist movement to end violence against women and girls, also spoke at Tufts University this year. Ensler has been accused of violating privacy and disrespecting women in conflict countries who have experienced sexual violence, by using their personal experiences for her own intellectual gain. While Tufts University and members of the Tufts community do not necessarily agree with its speakers' positions or records, the university is facilitating dialogue and learning about complex international issues. Perhaps that should be the ultimate goal of an institution of higher learning.

Microsoft has warned consumers that a vulnerability in its Internet Explorer browser could let hackers gain access and user rights to their computer.

The flaw affects Internet Explorer (IE) versions 6 to 11 and Microsoft said it was aware of "limited, targeted attacks" to exploit it.

According to NetMarket Share, the IE versions account for more than 50% of global browser market.
Microsoft says it is investigating the flaw and will take "appropriate" steps.

The firm, which issued a security advisory over the weekend, said the steps "may include providing a solution through our monthly security update release process, or an out-of-cycle security update, depending on customer needs".

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been named as the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year at an awards ceremony in London on Sunday. 

The Uruguayan, 27, travelled down to the ceremony after the Reds' 2-0 defeat at home to Chelsea earlier in the day.

"The Premier League is full of really great players and so it is a great honour when these players recognise your work on the pitch," Suarez said. 

Chelsea's Eden Hazard was voted Young Player of the Year.

Suarez's strike partner Daniel Sturridge, 24, and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard joined him in the Premier League Team of the Year, along with three Chelsea players - goalkeeper Petr Cech, defender Gary Cahill and midfielder Eden Hazard.

The line-up was completed by Manchester City's Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure, Southampton left-back Luke Shaw and midfielder Adam Lallana, plus Everton right-back Seamus Coleman. 

Liverpool defender Lucy Bronze was named the Women's Players' Player of the Year while her team-mate Martha Harris was voted the Young Player of the Year.

The award capped a remarkable rehabilitation for Suarez who is the Premier League's top scorer this season with 30 goals, despite missing six games at the start of the season as part of a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last April.

PFA Player of the Year winners

2013-14: Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
2012-13: Gareth Bale (Tottenham)
2011-12: Robin van Persie (Arsenal)
2010-11: Gareth Bale (Tottenham)
2009-10: Wayne Rooney (Man Utd)
2008-09: Ryan Giggs (Man Utd)
2007-08: Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd)
President Paul Kagame on Saturday addressed Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, during an event held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Addressing the congregation, the President described commemoration as a time to honor the lives lost and the resilience of survivors:

"We remember the more than a million lives we lost in the Genocide. We honour the strength of survivors, as well as the resilience of Rwandans, that has kept our nation alive," he said.


Pastor Rick Warren described President Kagame's leadership as key to Rwanda's development.
"I have never met a leader like Paul Kagame, he is an uncommon leader in an uncommon country. When the nation of Rwanda was destroyed to ashes, people said it can't be done. But it was done and Rwanda confounded its critics. Rwanda has chosen forgiveness. They are not denying the pain, they are willing to work together and move forward," Pastor Warren said.

Ignoring negativity

Kagame pointed to reconstruction as one of Rwanda's challenges over the last twenty years.
"The Genocide destroyed Rwanda's social fabric which had been deliberately damaged over decades. Our work as a new nation in the last twenty years, has been about restoring social cohesion and the dignity of Rwandans," Kagame said.

Addressing the criticism Rwanda has received over the years, Warren said: "As Rwanda continues to be blessed, the criticism will ramp up. Those critics are not God and Rwanda does not need their approval. God chose a nation the world turned its back on during its darkest hour to give the world a new model."

President Kagame attributed Rwanda's progress to a common quest for human dignity.
"Human dignity and aspirations are the same for every human being. In Rwanda, we sank so low, we couldn't go any lower. Our only choice was to move up. We look back and say we deserve better and we can do better."


Saddleback Church was founded in 1980 by Warren. The church currently runs nine campuses in Hong Kong, Philipines and Argentina.

Pastor Warren is also a member of the Presidential Advisory Council of President Kagame.
The Zimbabwean president is allowed to meet the Pontiff as EU travel ban does not apply to the Vatican 

Pope Francis met Robert Mugabe on Sunday during a ceremony in Rome to make saints of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II
The ageing Zimbabwean president, who was with his wife Grace, was among a number of heads of state to attend the ceremony. He is barred from entering the European Union because of alleged human rights abuses and vote rigging at home, but the ban does not apply to Vatican City, which is not a member of the EU.
President Mugabe, who describes himself as a committed Catholic, also attended Pope Francis’s inaugural Mass last year, following his election by cardinals in the secret conclave held in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. He also came to Rome for Pope John Paul’s funeral in 2005 and for his beatification in 2011.

 Last year, the EU suspended sanctions against 81 officials and eight firms in Zimbabwe, following what it described as a "peaceful" referendum on a new constitution. However, sanctions remain in place against Mr Mugabe himself, partly at Britain's insistence.

Crowds of around a million gather in Rome to witness historic canonisation in St Peter's Square 

Pope Francis has proclaimed two of his predecessors, Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, as saints of the Roman Catholic Church at a ceremony in St Peter's Square.
The open-air event was watched by up to a million people at the Vatican and on giant screens positioned around Rome, while millions more watched on television around the world. 

At the beginning of the canonisation ceremony, Pope Francis greeted and embraced Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, his predecessor, who has looked increasingly tired and frail since his resignation last year.
It is the first time in the history of the Catholic Church that two living Popes have presided over the canonisation of two of their predecessors. 

A bishop arrives for the canonisation ceremony in St. Peter's Square
"We declare and define as saints the blessed John XXIII and John Paul II," Francis said in a Latin prayer from an altar in front of St Peter’s Basilica. 

He was flanked by foreign dignitaries, various royals and hundreds of cardinals and bishops.

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Liverpool is hosting Chelsea in one of the biggest games of the season. Chelsea trails league-leading Liverpool by five points in the table, and they need a win to keep their Premier League title hopes alive.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, the game is sandwiched between two legs of their Champions League semi-finals. Mourinho could go two season without a league title for the first time in his career if they don’t beat Liverpool. If they don’t get to the Champions League finals, Mourinho could be going two years without a trophy for the first time as well.

“I’m not worried about it. I think match after match,” Mourinho said, via ESPN FC.

“When you give everything you have, when you try everything, when you work hard, when the group is good, when the group respects the club and the fans, you wait for the end of the season and you see what destiny has for you.”

Date: April 27
Start Time: 9:05 a.m. ET
Location: Liverpool, England
Stadium: Anfield
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Movement for Democratic Change suspends former PM over "fascist tendencies", deepening divisions in opposition ranks.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Zimbabwe's main opposition movement, has been suspended along with other senior party officials for "fascist" tendencies and failing to oust President Robert Mugabe, a faction of the opposition announced.
 
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said on Saturday that it suspended the former prime minister, his deputy Thokozani Khupe, chairperson Lovemore Moyo and four other senior party officials, deepening divisions in the opposition ranks.

The group led by Tendai Biti, secretary-general of the MDC, accused Tsvangirai and his lieutenants of resisting a leadership change after losing a third general election to Mugabe last July and of using violence against internal challengers.

"The MDC as we know it has abandoned its original founding values and principles," it said in a statement. "The party has been hijacked by a dangerous fascist clique bent on destroying the same and totally working against the working people of Zimbabwe."

The group also said Tsvangirai had violated the MDC's constitution by expelling deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma, after he suggested Tsvangirai should step down as leader of the party following last year's election defeat to veteran ruler, 90-year-old Robert Mugabe.

The party's treasurer Roy Bennett, who is exiled in South Africa, and other officials have also made similar calls for Tsvangirai to resign after losing to Mugabe in the July 31 general elections, igniting tensions within the group.

Tsvangirai's faction, however, immediately dismissed the move as unconstitutional and meaningless.
"The MDC leadership cannot be changed by a bunch of desperate power-hungry officials, a minority that cannot win a leadership contest at party congress," national party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told reporters, calling the suspension a legal nullity.

"That meeting is a culmination of a sustained covert programme involving state security, Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and a few malcontents to destabilise the MDC," he said.

The MDC, formed in 1999 by an alliance of trade unions and civic groups, has been seen as the most credible challenger to Mugabe's grip on power. The 62-year-old Tsvangirai has led the MDC since its formation.
But it has been riven by tensions since Tsvangirai was beaten at the polls last year.

Source:Aljazeela

She has an amazing slim but curvy figure and Rihanna has never been shy about showing it off. The singer strips off for the May issue of Vogue Brazil, going topless and sporting a pair of retro high-waisted cream satin knickers. The sexy images were shot in Ilha Grande beach, Rio de Janeiro, and one sees Rihanna at an outdoor sink, also sporting a pair of flat sandals.

Rihanna is gracing the cover of the magazine’s 39th anniversary special, and it’s twice as nice for her fans as there are two versions to choose from. The first sees the singer in a jungle setting, sporting an extremely racy dress that leaves little to the imagination. The frock is metallic green and has a deep plunging neckline that goes all the way down to her waist, showing off her chest tattoo in the process. 


Rihanna’s dress also shows off her sides and lots of leg as it is loosely tied together at her derriere. The 26-year-old has several bronze bangles on each wrist and matching cuffs along her lithe arms, and the saucy look was completed with hoop earrings, smoky eye make-up and a pout. Rihanna proudly shared the image on her Twitter and Instagram pages, tweeting: ‘I am the G in Vogue!! Is it too late now?’ referring to the fact her head covers up one of the letters in the magazine’s logo. 

 Kenya's President was referring to the violence in S Sudan, but stopped short of spelling out any action to end the increasingly ethnic slaughter.

 Four months of fighting between government and rebels in the world's newest nation has raised fears of a wider conflict that could further destabilise a fragile region and send hundreds of thousands more refugees over borders.

Uganda, another neighbour of oil-producing South Sudan, has already sent in troops to back the government. Regional bloc IGAD, which is brokering troubled peace talks, has said it will hold a meeting in coming days to "consider options". "We refuse to be witnesses to such atrocities and to remain helpless and hopeless in their wake," Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement late on Friday.

"We especially reject the possibility that we are creeping into genocide again in our region. We shall not stand by and allow it to happen."
Fighting began in December between troops loyal to South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy, Riek Machar. Clashes spread quickly beyond the capital, often pitting Kiir's Dinka people against Machar's Nuer. The United Nations said rebels slaughtered hundreds of civilians when they seized the South Sudan oil hub of Bentiu earlier this month, hunting down men, women and children who had sought refuge in a hospital, a mosque and a Catholic church. The rebels dismissed the accusations.
Days later, Dinka residents of Bor town in Jonglei state attacked a UN base where about 5 000 people, mostly Nuer, were sheltering, the UN said. Kenyatta's use of the word "genocide" has resonance in a region that has vowed never to see a repeat of the ethnic slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Rwandans twenty years ago.
The stalled talks are due to resume in Ethiopia on Monday to try and thrash out a deal on political reform after a long power struggle between Kiir and Machar triggered the unrest. South Sudan's government, under growing pressure from regional and Western powers to end the conflict, on Friday released four senior political figures it had accused of helping start the violence in a bid to seize power.
Machar's negotiation team on Saturday welcomed the release of the four detainees: a former top ruling party official, national security minister, deputy finance minister and ambassador to Washington, after treason charges were dropped. But rebel spokesman Hussein Mar Nyot said another of their key demands, the exit of Ugandan troops and other militia supporting the government, had not been met.
"If these forces from outside are withdrawn, this will give a very strong ground for peace to come," Nyot told Reuters. US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel next week to Ethiopia, another South Sudanese neighbour which is leading the mediation, to discuss peace efforts in the region.
South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in 2011 under the terms of a peace deal that ended decades of civil war fuelled by ethnicity, religion, ideology and oil rights. - Reuters
The Chelsea manager, José Mourinho, refused to confirm or deny whether he will pick a significantly weakened team to play leaders Liverpool on Sunday in a match that could effectively decide the Premier League title.

Chelsea are five points behind with three games to play and Mourinho has suggested he would give priority to the Champions League semi-final second leg against Atlético Madrid on Wednesday. After the first leg, a goalless draw in Madrid, he threatened to "play the kids" at Liverpool, keeping his senior players fresh for the game at Stamford Bridge.

That would infuriate Manchester City, who are six points behind Liverpool but have a game in hand and want a Chelsea win on Sunday. It could also lead to sanctions from the Premier League or the Football Association.

Asked about his selection at a news conference on Friday, Mourinho said: "Wait for Sunday and on Sunday you will know our team. The most important thing for me is my club and the supporters of my club. I have to defend my club and I have to defend Chelsea supporters."

The Portuguese manager has regularly complained this season that Chelsea have not been helped by the football authorities as he claims teams representing other countries are, in having domestic matches moved to give more preparation time for big Champions League games.
"If we are not helped to try to follow our dreams and objectives, one more reason for us to try to think about us and only about us," he said. "Chelsea fans think Chelsea deserve more respect than they are getting. They are the most important football club in this country in European competitions."

Chelsea could still field a team of internationals at Anfield. Frank Lampard and Jon Obi Mikel are both suspended for the Champions League match, while Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are ineligible. But important players such as Petr Cech, John Terry, Eden Hazard, Ramires and Samuel Eto'o are all unavailable for Anfield.

Mourinho dismissed speculation that he could be a candidate to replace David Moyes as the next manager of Manchester United.
"I told Chelsea they never have to worry about me because I don't want to leave," he said. "I stay as long as the club wants me to stay."
 
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