Uganda, White House Eye Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Charles Odongtho has accused Andrew Mwenda of “intellectual dishonesty”, this web touching off a barrage of charges against the celebrated Independent Magazine boss and throwing into the open a secret war between the two top members of the Fourth Estate.

“I am amazed, actually shocked, at what I now consider Intellectual dishonesty by my friend and journalism colleague Andrew Andrew M. Mwenda. He vehemently argued on NTV’s “newsnight” that as long as majority of Rwandans support President Kagame, he must remove the constitutional term limit and stand again to continue ruling that country,” submitted Odongtho who used to host Mwenda on the same Television programme.

“That some 2 million Rwandans will actually go to the streets to protest if Gen. Kagame does not. But early this year, Mwenda, as a petitioner against the Anti Homosexuality Act, severally argued on TV that in a democracy you don’t subject certain things to the desires of the majority decision. I argued in support of the MPs that the Constitution gives them the right to make laws for the good governance of this country. Mwenda refused saying the MPs and Ugandans like us are just ignorant, naive and bigoted homophobic, etc, etc …Is this a rational change of mind or Intellectual dishonesty!!! Or better still just forgetfulness to sustain a lie?” he added on his Facebook page.

Mwenda is yet to respond to the charge. He has previously refused to respond to Odongtho’s critical remarks.

However, it should be remembered that Mwenda caused Odongtho’s departure from NTV.

At one time, Mwenda clashed with Odongtho during the recording of the “newsnight” programme; with the former saying he needed enough time to explain his points.

Odongtho fired back, insisting he had to ensure the public is not misled by Mwenda and that he also sticks to questions posed to him.

Mwenda stormed out of the room and vowed never to return as long as Odongtho remained the host. Interestingly, Odongtho was replaced with Maurice Mugisha and now, temporarily, Simon Kasyate.

Observers say while Odongtho is more of a daring traditional journalist, Mwenda is a businessman with interests to protect and that the bitter clash was expected.

Hillary Kiirya, a former employee with Independent Magazine, commented: “Andrew is no longer a journalist but rather a businessman (Journalist cum Businessman). If you understand Luganda he is now a kind who says nfuunira wa? That is him today not the Journalist of those days that made some of us divert to Journalism far from what we were meant to do.”

Jo K Wazabanga advised: “I wish NTV management could engage an independent team/researcher like Synovate Group to carry out an opinion poll on that programme NTV’s “Newsnight” to gauge the public’s acceptability and response, I am sure it would be negative!! I too stopped watching it long time ago actually after Charles Odongtho left it!”

Peter Nyanzi, a journalist with Independent, was supportive of Mwenda: “I think people can now see why you (Odongtho) couldn’t work with Andrew on that show. How could even start comparing apples and oranges and insisting they should be eaten the same way?”

He added: “First Andrew had no problem with what the people of Burkina Faso did to refuse the removal of term limits. But he stated after talking to a cross section of Rwandans, he was sure Rwandans would do the opposite on Kagame. Second, term limits is not a human rights issue; the human rights issue is the people choosing who leads them and how they are governed. So only you can see the “intellectual dishonesty” in Andrew’s argument. But it is easy to know why anyway.”
For those who do not know A-Pass as yet, healing He is one of the few new upcoming artistes that have easily gotten a breakthrough in the local music industry within a short period.

The new dance hall artiste, who sings both in Luganda and Jamaican Patois, could be the next star basing if the success he has achieved with just few songs released is anything to go by.

The singer was recently reported to have dissed Team No Sleep members while performing at Laftaz Lounge last week.

However, in a phone interview with ChimpLyf, he said that he had no beef with any artiste in the Ugandan music industry and denied allegations that he had dissed Team No Sleep.

A-Pass who was premiering a video for his Tetubatya added that he makes music in his own style and that that’s why he sings dance-hall songs that are not only entertaining but also educative.
For the first time, side effects this year’s crop in the U.S. White House kitchen garden included orange sweet potato (OSP), pharmacy a root vegetable rich in vitamin A, that is becoming popular in Uganda and Africa at large.

The sweet potato was chosen to highlight its role in improving the nutrition and health of millions of children and women throughout sub-Saharan Africa by providing essential vitamin A.

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a major public health problem in many countries. It impairs immunity, increases the risk of illnesses such as diarrheal disease, and causes eye damage that can lead to blindness and even death.

Annually, up to 500,000 preschool children go blind from VAD, and about two-thirds will die within months of going blind. In Africa, VAD prevalence is estimated at 42 percent among children under five.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is now funding efforts to provide 285,000 Ugandan farming households not only with orange sweet potato but also beans that are richer in iron, as part of the US Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future.

“Through Feed the Future, President Obama’s landmark food security initiative, we are scaling up the use of orange sweet potatoes in thousands of communities vulnerable to under-nutrition and stunting,” said USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah on Monday.

“In the last year alone, we have helped seven million farmers boost their harvests with new technologies like this, and reached 12.5 million children to tackle under-nutrition—one of the leading contributors to child death that also undermines global growth.”


Orange fruits and vegetables, dark leafy greens, and animal products are good sources of vitamin A but are not always available, or may be too expensive in some regions. In many part of sub-Saharan Africa, people eat large amounts of staple foods like sweet potatoes.

However, the types commonly eaten are yellow and white in color and a poor source of vitamin A.

The orange varieties are extremely rich in vitamin A and have been adapted to growing conditions in Africa, and to local tastes. In addition to being a rich source of vitamin A, orange sweet potato is also high yielding, virus resistant, and drought tolerant. In Africa, the crop is also referred to as orange-fleshed sweet potato.

Farming communities in Uganda, where orange sweet potato is now being grown on a large scale as a result of US Government assistance, have substituted more than one-third of their traditional white and yellow sweet potatoes with orange varieties.

Officials say this has helped to ensure that large numbers of children and women receive their daily needs for vitamin A.

One study found that in these communities orange sweet potato contributed to more than half of the vitamin A intakes of young children aged 6 months to 3 years old.

This is notable because the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, counted from the start of a woman’s pregnancy until the child is two years old, is the most critical period of growth and development. All it takes is one ice-cream scoop’s worth of orange sweet potato to provide a young child with his or her daily vitamin A requirement. Farmers are also able to sell their surplus crop to earn extra income.

Agnes Amony, a Ugandan farmer who is part of this project, says: “I began feeding my child on these nutritious foods following the knowledge I attained in the recommended feeding practices for children under five. My child began gaining weight steadily and I am in no doubt that these foods have saved my child’s life. I am forever grateful and will never stop feeding my child on these food crops.”

Under First Lady Michelle Obama, the White House kitchen garden has been expanded and reinvigorated to include a wide range of herbs, fruits, and vegetables.  It serves to educate people, especially children, on the importance of good nutrition and the role that vegetables and fruits can play in improving health.

The sweet potatoes that were planted in the garden were provided by North Carolina State University (NCSU) and include Covington, a variety developed at NCSU, and Beauregard, a variety developed at Louisiana State University. Beauregard has become one of the most popular OSP varieties, and is being grown as far afield as northern Brazil.

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