Saturday, 3 January 2015

2014 women in the news in Uganda

L-R: Uwera Nsenga, Margarette Zziwa, Desire Luzinda, and Leah Kalanguka.
L-R: Uwera Nsenga, Margarette Zziwa, Desire Luzinda, and Leah Kalanguka. Photos by Abubaker Lubowa. 

Posted  Saturday, December 27  2014 at  02:00
If it was not for an alleged crime, it was for a tragedy that thrust them into the limelight. Let us face it, women were, more than anything else, quite scandolous this year.

Some have seen meteoric success such that one can say this has been their year. For a few, this has simply not been their year. Here are the women who kept us looking at our TV screens, login on to our social media accounts and turning our newspaper pages in the last 12 months. 
Kagina announced she would resign from her post as Commissioner General of URA in July. In October , after 10 years at the top seat of the tax body, she called it an era. Kagina is credited with transforming the organisation during her tenure. Her refusal to hold onto power and ability to provide a smooth transition from her regime to the next, moreover to someone from within the authority, was a win for women in leadership.
The 44-year-old Akol succeeded Kagina as the commissioner general of URA continuing the girl at the top trend. The lawyer who has worked with URA for close to two decades has pretty big shoes to fill but from how she is described and her qualifications, she should not have such a hard time doing so.
It seems as like as long as she is the boss of this city, we shall see her in the news. Under her stewardship, more of the city has seen a much needed facelift this year, from roads, to markets. This while holding firm against criticism and opposition.
Julian Kanyomozi
The songbird suffered a major blow in July when her only child Keron passed away after being hospitalised for a short while in Nairobi. An avalanche of sympathy was sent to the beloved vocalist by fans and detractors alike. 
Jacqueline Uwera Nsenga
At the beginning of last year we woke up to the news that Jacqueline Uwera Nsenga had ran over her husband, city tycoon Juvenal Nsenga at their palatial residence gate in Bugolobi. He later died of injuries sustained from the incident. For the rest of the year the country was captivated by the circus that followed. This year the drama continued with the highly publicised trial for the mother of two. Uwera and ultimately her defence team was adamant that what happened that night in January 2013 was an accident and that the decision to try her for murder was a ploy by the in laws to compel her to sign over property left behind by Nsenga. The prosecution maintained there was strife in Uwera’s marriage and that she had motive to murder Nsenga. It all climaxed in September when she was found guilty for the murder of the father of her two children. The ever stoic faced Uwera Nsenga face broke down as she was sentenced to jail for 20 years. 
Sarah Kagingo
The president joining twitter, many wondered how he found the time to hash tag anything. It turns out he did not have to because Sarah Kagingo was the face behind the presidents social media accounts. The former Makerere University Guild president hit headlines when security operatives raided her home in Muyenga where she allegedly held and mistreated a housemaid. Kagingo who was not arrested later said the accusations were an attempt to pull her down by some people she did not name then. More intrigue was later to follow that only exposed what appeared to be deep rifts between female staff in the president’s media office. Did someone say something about women being their own worst enemies?
Jemimah Kansiime 
The 20-year-old is better known by her stage name Panadol wa basajja. Her claim to fame has been a series of videos that are riddled with risqué nude scenes and overtly sexual displays. It is for this that she was eventually roped in and charged in court under the anti-pornography act. Her co accused March Mugisha better known as producer Didi, pleaded guilty and was fined. But Kansiime dug in her heels saying that is the only way she knows how to earn a living and pleaded not guilty. Though she was released on bail at the beginning of this month, her ongoing case means this is not the last we have read or heard of this young woman.
Margret Nantongo Zziwa
When she trounced compatriot Dorah Byamukama to become East Africa Legislative Assembly’s(EALA) new speaker in 2012, it was congratulations everywhere. She had given EALA its first female speaker and there was optimism that the former Kampala Woman MP would make Uganda’s turn at the helm a memorable one. 
No one knew just how memorable it would get. Zziwa will go down in the annals as the speaker with nine lives, surviving attempts to censure her severally. The latest one and closest was in November when majority members of the regional parliament moved a motion that Zziwa no longer serves as speaker in a session that they conducted without her. But the former woman representative for Kampala and wife to prominent politician Captain Francis Babu is not about to give up. She says the bids to remove her from a position she was elected to before her five year term is over are illegal. She has been impeached and replaced by Dan Kidega after court obeyed the process.
Desire Luzinda
For as long as she has been on the Ugandan Music scene, Luzinda has been tabloid fodder. If it is not ridicule over celebrating yet another 24th birthday, then it is her rumoured relationships with several prominent men. This year after a spate of rumours on the paternity of her daughter, it was hype for her ambitious project, a solo concert at the Serena which she said would raise money for charity. At the end of October, it emerged that the concert may not have been that successful as before announced after Luzinda was arrested for failure to pay a Shs16m debt. Shortly after her nude pictures begun doing the rounds ostensibly leaked by a jilted lover, a Nigerian Businessman. The mother of one trended on social media, rather a parody of her posing naked did. 
Jolly Tumuhiirwe
This school dropout from Kabale gained international notoriety after a secretly filmed video of her brutalizing her young charge emerged and went viral in November. The house help ironically named Jolly Tumuhiirwe, 22, is now better known as the monster maid.
She later apologised saying that anger for not receiving assistance to help her ailing father caused her to lash out to the child. Tumuhiirwe pleaded guilty to baby torture. The disturbing video opened the discussion of maids, and who parents are really leaving children with. Others wondered whether the sacrifice is at all worth it. It might have also spiked sales in CCTV camera’s as parents felt paranoid about what goes on in their houses when they are way. She has been sentenced to four years in prison and everyone seems content with the sentence.
Leah Kalanguka
A few months ago, she was a little known 23-year-old computer science student at Makerere. Had she given up after her first attempt at pageants (Miss Tourism 2014, where she was eliminated in the primaries), she would still be a little known tall slim girl with a stunning smile. But she registered for Miss Uganda and the rest is history. The Mushroom farmer and dark skinned beauty was crowned as Miss Uganda 2014 in October.
Unfortunately, it was not love at first sight for the beauty queen and Ugandans on social media went on to shred her to bits, apparently believing the country could do better. The tide has since changed in favour of her as supporters came out to silence the critics just as fiercely as her detractors had attacked. Her excellent performance at the Miss World has helped matters as she turned out to be one of the favourites for the overall crown. The stone that the builders rejected.