This week’s links: jailing opponents in Uganda and Zambia, LGBTQ rights in Tanzania, music from Rwanda, and more

Kigali Memorial Center in December 2014 (Rachel Strohm/Flickr).

In remembrance of the April 1994 genocide in Rwanda, we interviewed Kivu Ruhorahoza in our latest episode. We also talked about what a bad week it was for opposing presidents in Uganda and Zambia.

Starting with Uganda, outspoken scholar Stella Nyanzi (@drstellanyanzi) has been arrested. She was charged with cyberharrassment and offensive communication. Her arrest followed critical statements she’s made about Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and the attention she’s brought to First Lady (and Education Minister) Janet Museveni‘s (broken) promise to provide sanitary pads to keep girls in school. The state prosecutor has applied to have Nyanzi committed to a mental hospital.

A Ugandan TV Reporter, Gertrude Uwitware (@Uwitware), was kidnapped and beaten following her coverage of the dispute between Stella Nyanzi and the First Lady. While Uwitware is now safe, Nyanzi remains in state custody; she spent Easter in prison rather than with her family, but a recent update on her Facebook page suggests she is finding ways to cope. Her family and team of lawyers have sanctioned an online fundraising campaign to support her family and legal costs, which we link to here. One way to follow events is to follow the Twitter hashtag #FreeStellaNyanzi.

In Zambia, the main opposition figure, former presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema (known popularly as HH), was arrested for treason this week. It turns out, it’s a treasonous act not to give way to the president’s motorcade. The BBC has a video of the bizarre incident when the motorcade of President Edgar Lungu has to work hard to overtake HH’s convoy.

Some more bad news about freedoms and rights coming out of Tanzania, which was the focus of last week’s episode. Edith Honan (@edithhonan) writes from Zanzibar on how a once-quasi-tolerant atmosphere for LGBT people is now a place of active aggression. Her article, “How Tanzania Is Cracking Down On LGBT People — And Getting Away With It,” reports that men have been subjected to forced anal exams. Tanzania’s deputy minister of health, Hamisi Kigwagwalla, has threatened to out people suspected of being gay.

In this week’s episode, we also mentioned a recent post by David Evans on how sex workers in Nairobi are organizing so that “they can collectively negotiate what they see as appropriate compensation for participating in research.”

If you liked this week’s music, you might also like:

This earlier recording and video for the song, “Genda Rwanda Uri Nziza,” which features some beautiful photos taken in Rwanda:

Or maybe you want to listen to more from our featured artist, Mike Kayihura:

There are a few other links we wanted to share but didn’t have the time to talk about on this week’s episode:

  • Via Africa is a Country, check out the blog/podcast HipHopAfrican.
  • Watch this BBC video of Kenyan ballet dancer Joel Kioko.
  • The first volume of Rachel Strohm’s Africa Update is now out. Sign up for her newsletter if you haven’t already. (Relatedly, guess who took the photo in this week’s post.)
  • Listen to this report from Dar es Salaam of Tanzania’s first church for people with hearing disabilities.


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