People

2011: Uganda's Top News-makers Named

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cost geneva; font-size: small;”>2011 witnessed the death of Kenyan activist Wangari Maathai and terror kingpin Osama Bin Laden. 2011 took the life of the ‘beloved’ North Korean leader Kim Jon Il and Ugandan envoy to Russia Sam Sakajja, South Sudan rebel leaders George Athor and Khalil Ibrahim and former Czech President Vaclav Havel.

In Uganda, 2011 will be remembered as a year of bloody political riots, murky scandals and heated presidential elections. You will also recall Uganda Cranes fell short of qualifying for the African Cup of Nations, a development that angered the nation.

Here are the Ugandan men and women who made headlines in 2011.

Kabakumba Masiko

The Bujenje MP, well known as chief heckler in Parliament, made the most thrilling headlines in the year 2011 after being nabbed with stolen UBC radio equipment. The loot was picked by police from her private radio Kings Broacasting Services in Masindi. The story went viral with social networkers calling upon Kabakumba to resign. Faced with a hostile media and activist Parliament, Kabakumba was left with no option but quit as Presidency Minister.

Col. Kizza Besigye

The FDC political dynamite was one of the movers and shakers in the year 2011. His active participation in the walk-to-work protests was covered by nearly all media houses in the world. They were recognised by the popular Time Magazine. A vicious attack on Besigye at Mulago round-about was the climax of the fight aimed at wrestling power from Museveni. Besigye, faced with a hostile police, exhibited his readiness to die in the struggle. His trip to Nairobi for treatment of injuries sustained from the Mulago attack was widely covered. The bush war fighter’s return from Nairobi got more media attention than President Yoweri Museveni’s swearing-in ceremony. Besigye could be one of the most popular men in the country. Whenever Besigye sneezes, the nation gets a cold.

Oil Bribe Scandal Ministers

The Ministers who reportedly accepted bribes from oil companies Eni and Tullow made millions of shillings for newspaper barons in the country when the oil bribes scandal broke. Copy sales doubled and hits for news websites shot through the roof when it was alleged by Western Youth MP Gerald Karuhanga that Sam Kutesa, Amama Mbabazi and Hilary Onek were involved in the oil bribery scandal. They became the talk of town and triggered a stormy Parliamentary debate. Sam Kutesa chose to step aside as ordered by Parliament to allow investigations into the matter.

Bad Black

Commonly known as Bad Black, Latifah Nalukenge jumped on the social scene with a bang after reportedly robbing Shs11bn from her British lover David Greenhalgh. Black’s arrest and trial at the anti-corruption court scooped space on covers of top newspapers. Online media outlets showed stories on Bad Black were some of the most read. Black’s convoy of posh cars that snaked through the streets of Kampala shortly after being granted bail, did not only steal the show but also excited crowds.

Julia Sebutinde

The UN General Assembly and the Security Council a few weeks ago elected Ugandan jurist Julia Sebutinde to fill the final vacancy on the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The development confirmed Sebutinde as Uganda’s most powerful woman.

Sebutinde obtained an absolute majority in both the Assembly and the Council, a requirement for successful candidates, during voting this afternoon at UN Headquarters in New York.

Sebutinde obtained 97 votes in the Assembly, compared to 93 for rival candidate Abdul G. Koroma of Sierra Leone, while in the Council she obtained nine votes and Mr. Koroma received six.

She joined Italy’s Giorgio Gaja, Hisashi Owada of Japan, Slovakian Peter Tomka and China’s Xue Hanqin, who were all elected early last month during the first round of simultaneous voting in the Assembly and Council.

Charles Ingabire

The Inyenyeri news editor’s murder in Kampala is still one of the most selling stories in Uganda. Shot dead at Makies Pub in Mengo, Kampala, Ingabire had sought refugee status in Uganda after fleeing Rwanda. Rwanda President Paul Kagame was compelled to make statement on the murder during a press conference in Kampala. He denied Rwanda had a hand in Ingabire’s death. BBC, The Evening Post, Reuters and Netherlands Radio covered the murder that shocked Kampala.

Rebecca Kadaga

She is the first woman to be elected Speaker of Parliament in Uganda’s history. Kadaga is well known for her no-nonsense attitude and being non-partisan while executing her assignments. Most Parliament reporters concur debates chaired by Kadaga are the most lively. Kadaga’s rise from deputy speaker to full speaker was a big leap in her political career. Political pundits say she has been nursing Presidential ambitions. Kadaga’s hard work has inspired women in pursuing higher political offices.

Makerere Electric Car Students

Students at the Engineering College made a record in the history of science by manufacturing an electric car – Kiira EV. The magic car was successfully tested and commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni. Museveni said the development marked a new era of Uganda’s technology advancement.

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