Posts tagged as: university

Activists Challenge Law Used to Charge Stella Nyanzi

Photo: The Observer

Stella Nyanzi (C) at Buganda Road court.

By Derrick Kiyonga

The law under which Makerere University researcher was charged at the Buganda Road court has been challenged at the Constitutional court by the FDC’s chairperson for Katikamu South and two civil society groups.

The petitioners are Swaibu Gwogyolonga Nsamba, Unwanted Witness Uganda and Human Rights Enforcement Foundation. Under challenge is section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.

It states that any person who willfully and repeatedly uses electronic communication to disturb or attempts to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication whether or not a conversation ensues commits a misdemeanor and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty four currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both..

Like Nyanzi, Nsamba was charged under the same section over an offensive social media post against President Museveni. He appeared before Buganda Road court on December 19, 2016 for posting on Facebook that he will announce and mourn the death of President Museveni as and when he dies. The post was accompanied by a photoshopped picture of Museveni.

More on This

Ugandan Court Orders Stella Nyanzi to Undergo Mental Exam

Stella Nyanzi Sent Back to Luzira Until May 10I’m Mistreated in Prison – Stella Nyanzi

Ugandan Activist’s Sanity Queried for ‘Pair-of-Buttocks’ Insult

Makerere Don Stella Nyanzi Charged, RemandedStella Nyanzi, the Vulgar Activist, Takes On the Pair-of-Buttocks-in-Chief

Ugandan Court Blocks Media From Covering Stella Nyanzi’s Case

High Court Orders Prison to Produce Activist Stella NyanziCourt Blocks Journalists From Covering Nyanzi’s Case

In his petition, Nsamba says that the section contravenes Article 29 (1) B(a) of the Constitution when it is applied to an individual who makes critical comments on public affairs regarding a politician or a person who has assumed a public role.The article stipulates that, “Every person shall have the right to–freedom of speech and expression which shall include freedom of the press and other media…”Through Rwakafuuzi and company advocates, Nsamba says the section of the law should be struck down by the court because the Constitution establishes Uganda as a democratic society.”My lawyers have informed me that freedom of expression is a very important element for the sustenance of the democratic order,” says Nsamba, who is out of prison on bail.Also under challenge in the petition is section 179 of the Penal Code Act which provides for criminal libel which the petitioners says is inconsistent with Article 29(1)(a) of the Constitution as well as regional and international human rights and standards.In his affidavit in support of the petition, Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala, the executive director of Unwanted Witness, says the imposition of criminal sanctions for defamation has chilling effect on freedom of expression and the maintenance of democratic order.More on ThisStella Nyanzi Sent Back to Luzira Until May 10

The controversial Makerere research fellow Dr Stella Nyanzi will remain on remand until May 10 to know the fate of her… Read more »

Kumi Host Nkumba in Varsity League

By Elly Kyeyune

Nkumba University can consolidate their top position of Group D with victory over Kumi University when they travel to Kumi for the Nile Special University Football League (UFL) tomorrow.

Coach Patrick Sebuliba’s men have been sensational this term, picking up four points from their opening two top flight fixtures and he is happy with his team’s progression. Sebuliba says his side will be aiming for nothing but a positive result away to ease pressure on them in the second round.

“I believe we have a strong squad which can get a good result away from home. Our goal is to get a good result in Kumi. Our preparations have gone pretty well and the mood is great among the players,” Sebuliba said.

Last week was phenomenal for Sebuliba’s team, which hammered St Lawrence University 4-0 and followed up with a goalless draw at Makerere University Business School (Mubs).

“We shall build on that result we picked against Mubs and improve on our scoring on the road. I think we just need to carry on playing as we have been; the boys know their job and we want to continue our run,” Sebuliba added.

However, Kumi University will have to put in a countless performance against powerhouse Nkumba University side to pick up their first win of the season. Kumi University picked up a vital point in Kampala against St Lawrence, and this is the motivation they have when they take on Nkumba.

“We basically played a good game, but we failed to convert most of our chances and that haunted us after the 90 minutes against St Lawrence University but there is great improvement within the team,” Kumi’s coach Simon Opio said.

“We have heard they are a very good and strong team and we have put in extra effort in training this entire week to handle them.

“A point against Nkumba would do us better,” Opio added.


Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang Tells Museveni to be Careful With Oil

Uganda is looking to tap into Equatorial Guinea’s experience of oil production, in order to build its own capacity… Read more »

Kenya: Snake Blamed For Deadly Minibus Crash

Photo: Pius Maundu/The Nation

A minibus that collided with a lorry near Malili shopping centre in Makueni County on April 27, 2017.

By Pius Maundu and Stephen Muthini

The driver of a matatu that collided with a lorry at Malili on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway, killing eight people, was avoiding running over a snake, one of the accident victims has revealed.

Ms Elizabeth Mwongeli, 28, told the Nation at Machakos Level 5 Hospital, where she was admitted, that just before the crash she heard the driver shout that he had seen a big snake.

“The driver was avoiding a snake,” Ms Mwongeli, who appeared traumatized and in pain, said.

“I heard him shout before he swerved and hit a lorry. I don’t know if the snake was hit.”

Speaking in the casualty ward as she waited for a plaster of Paris to be fitted on her leg, Ms Mwongeli, who was injured on the head and right knee, said she had gone barely two kilometres from her Salama home taking a sick child to Machakos Hospital.

Ms Mwongeli recalled seeing bodies on the road.

I counted five bodies of those who had died on the spot,” Ms Mwongeli said.

The child was also admitted at the hospital.

Seven victims were admitted in the casualty ward and a child was at the intensive care unit.

In the casualty ward were Ms Christine Kitivo and Mr Daniel Kiasya. The couple, who were travelling from Kibwezi, had heavy bandages on the head and legs.

“I was asleep and when I woke up I realised I was injured. We were going to Nairobi to buy spare parts for my machines,” Ms Kitivo recounted.

Mr Onesmus Kiio, 23, a student at Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi, sustained hip injuries and was due for surgery.

Mr Kiio, who said he boarded the matatu at Sultan Hamud, claimed to have heard other passengers caution the driver, who died in the accident, against driving carelessly but he retorted that he was experienced.

The 45-seater minibus, christened Jasho Dreams, shuttles between Nairobi and Kambu shopping centre in Makueni County.

The matatu driver was attempting to overtake another vehicle when the accident occurred, acting Kilungu divisional police boss Zacharia Bitok told the Nation on phone.

Mr Bitok said the eight died on the spot and 10 others sustained serious injuries and were taken to hospitals in Machakos and Makueni counties.

The bus conductor, Mr Justus Musembi, who was being treated for deep cuts on the right leg at Mukaa Hospital, Makueni, however said the lorry was speeding and it swerved into the matatu’s lane.

“It smashed the cabin on the driver’s side and killed or badly injured passengers in the first three rows of seats behind the driver,” Mr Musembi said.

The lorry crew were unhurt.

‘Chinese Not Doing Retail Trade’

By Eronie Kamukama

Kampala — The deputy Chief of Mission at the Chinese Embassy, Mr Chu Maoming, has refuted allegations that Chinese businesspeople are involved in retail trade.

Mr Maoming made the remarks at the launch of the Seeds for the future programme at Makerere University shortly after visiting several stalls that are run by the Chinese businesspeople in Kampala on Monday.

He re-echoed the observation made by the ministry of Trade that Uganda has no law that bars foreign investors from engaging in retail trade.

Mr Maoming further refuted ‘misleading’ claims about tax collections from Chinese business community.

“The Chinese businesspeople pay taxes to the Ugandan government. Maybe they pay different types of taxes from those of the Ugandan businesspeople because this is government policy,” he emphasised.

He asked Chinese businesspeople to do business according to Ugandan laws and urged Ugandans to treat the Chinese people in a rational way in order to compete on a fair and equal basis.

His remarks come days after Ugandan businesspeople operating in Kampala city demanded that government stops foreigners from running retail businesses. The local business people said foreigners involved in retail trade are exposing them to unfair competition because most of them have access to low interest business loans in their home countries.

Commenting on the rift between Ugandan traders and foreign traders, Private Sector Foundation Uganda executive director Gideon Badagawa said this is a wakeup call for government to strengthen laws that govern trade and investment.

“Because there are loopholes in the regulations, any foreigner can take advantage of the market. The Chinese will say you have opened up so allow us to compete and they are right in a way but I know when you go to China, you do not simply establish a business because they have strict regulations,” he said in an interview with Daily Monitor on Wednesday.

Mr Badagawa said Uganda’s porous borders have played a huge role in the influx of foreign investors including those doing petty trade.

He further asked government to enforce procedures and laws on immigration, investment licensing and trade to ensure genuine foreign businesspeople meet the investment threshold and carry out trade as per foreign investment.


Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang Tells Museveni to be Careful With Oil

Uganda is looking to tap into Equatorial Guinea’s experience of oil production, in order to build its own capacity… Read more »

South Africa: Minister Senzeni Zokwana On Sun Farming Technology

press release

Minister Senzeni Zokwana yesterday called for a partnership between government, higher learning institutions and the business. Zokwana visited the SUNfarming project at the North West University in Potchefstroom.

The solar powered vegetable project was born from a partnership between SUNfarming and the University of Potchefstroom in 2013, establishing the first Solar Training centre in South Africa. The centre has trained over 450 people since 2013, providing skills on solar PV technology.

The project began production in June 2016 producing tomatoes, spinach, cauliflower and other herbs. No soil is required to grow vegetables in the tunnels and water productivity is increased through drip irrigation.

The project has three tunnels with six young women trained per tunnel. Sola tunnel production has much higher yields compared to conventional farming.

“The project provides an opportunity to grow affordable and nutritious food in local municipalities. This is an opportunity to effectively address household food and nutrition insecurity.

This is innovative technology for agriculture and we want to see this replicated in other parts of the country as it effectively deals with the issue of climate change and the scarcity of water and land, said Zokwana.

Buni Maretlwa, one of the workers at SUNfarming said she was excited to have been in the first group of people who were trained on this project. “We are no longer planting our vegetables using the soil, but coco fibre. Our system of farming saves water. Our vegetables pots irrigated on time and we produce fresh vegetables,” she said.

“The North West province is blessed with a lot of sunshine and all that was needed was creative innovative minds to come up with great initiatives to make use of this sunlight in order to increase agricultural production in the area.

Sun farming is good for our future and what we experienced here today with the Minister was great. In Potchefstroom, we have more agriculture land that must be utilised “said Prof Fika Janse van Rensburg, University of North West Potchefstroom Campus Rector.

“I am excited about the project and the potential it has for our municipality and I want to pledge our full support to this project “said Councillor Kgotso Khumalo Executive Mayor for Tlokwe municipality.

Issued by: Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

South Africa

While Others Are Throwing Insults in Pretoria, We’re Celebrating – Zuma

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Mkapa Foundation Builds Quarters for Health Professionals

By Sylivester Domasa

Benjamin Mkapa Foundation (BMF) has constructed nearly 500 houses as part of an effort to help address a chronic shortage of staff quarters for health professionals across the country.

While the country’s health sector faces a serious shortage of health providers, estimated at 52 per cent, the providers themselves are grappling with insufficient accommodation. Reliable data show that the ratio of doctor/ patient in Tanzania stands at 1:78,880 for rural areas compared to 1:9,095 in urban centres.

As the health sector requires at least 145,454 workers to add-up to the existing 70,244 professionals, observers say one of the reason for shortage of doctors in rural areas is the working environment. Housing problems are among the reasons inspiring many doctors to work at private hospitals, mostly located in urban places.

World Health Organization and researchers have suggested that poor housing conditions are associated with a wide range of health conditions, including respiratory infections, asthma, lead poisoning, injuries, and mental health.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony of 30 houses in Kigoma recently, BMK Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Ellen Mkondya- Senkoro said the foundation built 480 houses across the country. “The Mkapa Foundation built two modern houses per every health centre,” she said.

“Living quarters for hospital workers have been a major problem for decades. Addressing housing issues offers public health practitioners an opportunity to address an important social determinant of health,” she says.

The public health community has grown increasingly aware of the importance of social determinants of health including housing, but it remains unfortunate to health professionals especially in rural and remote areas. This year alone, the foundation also inaugurated 20 similar houses in Arusha and 10 others in Tanga Region for local medical workers.

The Foundation was permitted by the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children to build the facilities in 51 councils across the Mainland. Initially, it allocated 50bn/- for 700 houses.

The project was to be carried out in 70 districts between 2011 and 2016. Since its inception, eleven years ago, the Foundation has trained and hired nearly 800 medical workers and posted them to remote areas of the country .

In Kigoma for instance, three-bedroom apartments were built in Kibondo, Kasulu and Kigoma Urban councils. “Each house costs around 58.7m/-,” she noted. “The facilities were either connected to national electric supply company or solar energy depending on the location,” Dr Senkoro noted.

“We’re complimenting government efforts to improve health sector in the country.” To date there is no clear information on the magnitude of shortage of houses for health workers but Health Minister Ms Ummy Mwalimu says the government was working to address the problem.

She admitted that such a problem had multiple effect on the living standard and economic prosperity. “Worse still, these are people whom the public expect would set example in health and hygiene. We will ensure they have access to modern housing,” she said in the National Assembly.

The Minister maintained however that the problem is too far from being addressed considering the pace of hiring new health providers. Citing Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Science (Muhas) newly constructed college at Mloganzila in Dar es Salaam, the facility would need some 1,400 health workers. At least 263 staff will be needed when the stateof- the-art facility opens later this year. This means more than 200 houses will be needed adding up to the number of structures needed for the health sector alone.

Kigoma Regional Commissioner (RC) Brigadier Gen (retired) Emmanuel Maganga expressed gratitude to BMF and to sponsors, The Global Fund for helping address the problem that had turned to be a nightmare to many health care workers in rural areas.

“These structures will be in use right from now as we expect more professionals who had no interest in working in rural areas today would have all the reason to smile,” he said. The 30 buildings in Kigoma according to the RC cost 1.7bn/-. “These buildings are a game-changer to all health providers.

This will add-up to morale to improve health service provision,” Tanga Region Medical Officer Dr Asha Mahita said. The office of the President (Regional Administration and Local Governments) reported last year it was planning to recruit 10,780 health professionals. This means more housing will also be needed for such a big number.

Makerere Expels PhD Student Over Irregular Admission

Makerere University Institute of Social Research (MISR) has thrown out social media critic Vincent Nuwagaba, saying he was irregularly admitted for a PhD programme.

Nuwagaba is one of the seven students who enrolled for the 2016/2017 academic year Interdisciplinary Masters of Philosophy/PhD programme.

However, in an April 03 letter authored by Dr Okello Ogwang, the Makerere University deputy vice chancellor in-charge of Academic Affairs, the institute says that while reviewing PhD admissions, the board of research and graduate training found that Nuwagaba didn’t apply for the programme.

“The board agreed that; you were not a university student since you never registered with the university. The university therefore had no obligation towards your demands,” reads the letter addressed to Nuwagaba.

At least 69 candidates applied for admission at MISR for studies under the thematic areas of Cultural Studies, Political Studies, Political Economy and Historical Studies.

After a rigorous process, seven students were recommended for admission including Nuwagaba. MISR has been running a multidisciplinary PhD programme in Social Studies specializing in areas of Political Studies, Political Economy, Historical studies and Cultural Studies since 2011. The programme is funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) based in Canada.

It is aimed at creating a pool of scholars in the third world countries to provide solutions to problems within their societies. Trouble for Nuwagaba started when he appeared among the shortlisted candidates for admission without reportedly applying for the programmme.

On September 16, the acting MISR director, Dr Florence Ebila, wrote to Prof Edward Kirumira, the principal College of Humanities and Social Science (CHUSS) forwarding the list of candidates for the 2017 scholarship offer.

Also attached were the detailed minutes showing how MISR arrived at the list of the candidates at its sixth Higher Degrees Committee meeting held on August 12, 2016. In the CHUSS academic board meeting held on October 20, Dr Ebila presented the list of applicants who had been admitted and asked the College board to approve them.

The board declined to endorse the admissions after members raised queries on Nuwagaba’s admission. They explained that Nuwagaba, who was number three on the list and was highly recommended for the intake, had lost his fellowship at MISR due to mental health related issues he developed in November 2014.

In September 2014, Nuwagaba posted an open lengthy letter to Professor Mahmood Mamdani, the MISR director on his facebook page, accusing the MISR leadership and Prof Mamdani in particular of running down MISR and targeting critical voices at the institute.

“The PhD administrator together with the librarian who occupies offices they are abusing body and soul I knew that I was too truthful to be subservient and started harassing me and ultimately subjected me to the most shameless, egregious, unforgivable torture and de-humanization. He used (read misused and abused) the powers he had to tie me with ropes and dumped me in Butabika mental hospital where he connived with the staff of the hospital to subject me to injections, which I am sure would kill me had I not survived by the grace of God,” Nuwagaba wrote.

It is this fight pitting Nuwagaba on one side and MISR and Prof Mamdani on the other, which alerted the College Board to halt his admission. The board had insisted that there was need for MISR to address the issue of Nuwagaba’s health before awarding him a fellowship to undertake doctoral studies.

Nuwagaba was tasked to avail MISR with medical clearance letters from Butabika and Makerere University Hospital as well. Nuwagaba declined to present the medical clearance from Butabika national referral mental hospital insisting he was a registered student at MISR. Nuwagaba claims on April 15, 2008 he was forcefully taken to Butabika mental hospital, by people he called state agents.

He ‘escaped’ from the hospital on April 24, 2008. He says he is being witch-hunted for his sharp criticism against the government on the provision of social services.

On Tuesday this week, Nuwagaba appeared before Juliet Hatanga, the Law Development Centre (LDC) Grade One Magistrate on charges of malicious damage and grievous harm for allegedly assaulting a staff at the institute. He was remanded to Luzira prison until May 11.

Voters Need to Resist Allure of Voting for Usual Suspects

analysisBy Yvonne Rowa Woods, University of Adelaide

Fledgling democracies in Africa tend to experience cyclical radical shifts between democratic booms and the doldrums. This suggests that the democratisation process in some parts of the continent is erratic.

However, there are elements of democracy even in authoritarian states. The reverse is also true – there are elements of authoritarianism in democratic states. Proof of this can be seen in the current democratic struggles in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda and South Africa, just to mention a few.

Kenyans refer nostalgically to the gold standard that the 2002 polls set for successive elections. This period in the country’s history signalled a new political dispensation, paving the way for major reforms that culminated in the promulgation of a new constitution in 2010.

A poll conducted by Gallup International in 2003 ranked Kenyans as the most optimistic people in the world. But this euphoria was short lived.

In 2008, Kenya rolled back its democratic gains when parts of the country descended into chaos following contested election results. Over 1 000 people died and more than half a million were displaced. In the 2013 elections the government successfully contained an impending political crisis even though the elections were marred by electoral malpractices.

The opposition claimed that in both 2007 and 2013, the election results didn’t reflect the will of the people, a situation that’s since left the country sharply polarised.

Another chance for change

Fifteen years post-2002, Kenya is on the cusp of yet another democratic revival ahead of the upcoming August 2017 elections.

Voters have a crucial role to play in the electoral process by ensuring that the leaders they elect are committed to the values of good governance. If these ideals have been compromised, the process should empower voters to elect different leaders. But voting patterns in Kenya have demonstrated this is often not the case.

Kenyan voters are aware of their central role in the electoral process and yet they tend to limit their choices within the spectrum of tribalism, kleptocracy and personality cultism.

Tribalism props up kleptocracy particularly when citizens claim that their communities are being victimised when their political kin are implicated in graft. Ethnic loyalties to tainted populists undermine the fight against corruption and ensure the survival of corrupt politicians.

While Kenyans have been willing to welcome change at the grassroots by rejecting some preferred party nominees at the ballot box, voters seem to have settled into a comfort zone that has in turn created a governance gap.

As a result, leaders have been able to re-engineer their political DNA to gain re-election by gullible voters. This has, in turn, led to politicians’ impressive capacity to revive their political careers.

Recycling leaders

The incumbent Jubilee government score card reports a mixed bag of results. There is a raft of significant achievements that President Uhuru Kenyatta outlined in his final state of the nation address, but these achievements notwithstanding, Kenya is in limbo with many promises unfulfilled including the creation of one million jobs for the youth and the realisation of universal health care.

A section of Kenyans blame politicians for this state of affairs. Others argue that the electorate must urgently move beyond ethnocentrism and engage with issues in their quest for the right leadership.

Surprisingly, the high level of political consciousness and vibrant civic engagement belies the fact that Kenyans continue to recycle the same brand of politicians. Even so, as the August 8th general election approaches, Kenyans feel that both the government and opposition offer little by way of rattling the status quo.

Kenyans are cynical about the lack of suitable candidates on both sides of the political divide as well as the risk that electoral irregularities may favour a predetermined winner.

Yet on election day, there’s a high likelihood they will once again defy logic and demonstrate the uncanny ability to turn out in droves to vote along ethnic lines. Admittedly, the dominance of select political parties can limit choice and impede democratic progress.

Are Kenyans ready to break with tradition?

All things considered, is there a possibility that Kenyans could be galvanised to cast their votes for a little known political lightweight? Possibly, but some of these political unknowns can come across as elitist, bland and anti-tribal establishment. They therefore have little appeal to most Kenyans.

Kenyans need a leader with chemistry, someone who can dance with the people, but also be in tune with their aspirations. But some of the less influential leaders abandon their supporters when they fail.

In this scenario, ethnic dynamics cut both ways. Leaders who embrace patriotic ideals are held hostage by tribal voters and compelled to abandon not only their non-tribal political base, but the principles they uphold as well. This unpredictability pushes both leaders and voters back to the safety of traditional, ethnocentric voting patterns.

In reality, even at this momentous crossroads, the prediction of a win for the usual suspects in either government or the main opposition is not far off.

The Kenyan experience demonstrates that the electoral process can be disruptive to democratic progress. As an instrument for legitimising governance, elections have at times presented Kenya with moments of democratic breakthroughs, which have been short lived.

While there are multiple structural factors responsible for the current democratic slump, blaming politicians will not fix the politics. There needs to be a shift in mindset. Kenyans need to resist the allure and comfort of prevailing political norms.

Perhaps interrogating and re-calibrating basic individual democratic values will help reclaim the 2002 gold standard and put Kenya back on track. Until that happens, Kenyans and the politicians they elect will continue to be strange bedfellows.

Disclosure statement

Yvonne Rowa Woods does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

We produce knowledge-based, ethical journalism. Please donate and help us thrive. Tax deductible.

Zimbabwe: Understanding Excessive Sleep Disorder

columnBy Sacrifice Chirisa

Dr Sacrifice Chirisa Mental Health Matters Scientists do understand sleep critical functions, and the reasons we need it for optimal health and well- being.

One of the vital roles of sleep is to help us solidify and consolidate memories. Healthy sleep is critical for everyone, since we all need to retain information and learn skills to thrive in life.

While adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, one-year-olds need roughly 11 to 14 hours, school age children between 9 and 11, and teenagers between eight and 10. During these critical periods of growth and learning, younger people need a heavy dose of slumber for optimal development and alert- ness.

I will discuss an excessive sleep disorder called Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterised by excessive sleepiness, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, and in some cases episodes of cataplexy which is partial or total loss of muscle control, often triggered by a strong emotion such as laughter.

Narcolepsy occurs equally in men and women and is thought to affect roughly 1 in 2,000 people. The symptoms appear in childhood or adolescence, but many people have symptoms of narcolepsy for years before getting a proper diagnosis.

The main symptoms of narcolepsy are:

– Very sleepy during the day and may involuntarily fall asleep during normal activities.

– Cataplexy is muscle paralysis during REM sleep occurring during waking hours. It causes sudden loss of muscle tone that leads to a slack jaw, or weakness of the arms, legs, or trunk.

– Dream like hallucinations and paralysis as they are falling asleep or waking up, as well as disrupted nighttime sleep and vivid night- mares.

Narcolepsy is caused by the loss of a chemical in the brain called hypocretin. Hypocretin acts on the alerting systems in the brain, keeping us awake and regulating sleep wake cycles. In narcolepsy, the cluster of cells that produce hypocretin located in a region called the hypothalamus is damaged or completely destroyed. Without hypocretin, the person has trouble staying awake. Currently, there is no cure for narcolepsy, but medications and behavioral treatments can improve symptoms for people so they can lead normal, productive lives.

If you are experiencing extreme sleepiness, you should talk to your doctor about the duration and intensity of your symptoms, they will in turn refer you to a psychiatrist

Diagnosis is by means of a physical exam, taking of medical history and psychiatric history as well as conducting sleep studies. Getting a diagnosis of narcolepsy and managing the symptoms can be overwhelming and the disorder is not well understood by the general public.

The most effective treatment is often a combination of medications and behavioral changes. It helps to learn best practices and access support through others who have the disorder.

DISCLAIMER: This column contains information about mental health related issues. However, the information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. The writer accepts no responsibility for misuse and misrepresentation caused by the use or misunderstanding of this article. No warranties or assurances are made in relation to the safety and content of this article and attachments. Sender accepts no liability for any damage caused by or contained in any attachments. No liability is accepted for any consequences arising from this article.

Dr S.M. Chirisa is a passionate mental health specialist who holds an undergraduate medical degree and postgraduate Master’s degree in psychiatry, both from the University of Zimbabwe. He is currently working as a Senior Registrar in the Department of Psychiatry at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and is also the current national treasurer of the Zimbabwe Medical association (ZiMA).

Stella Nyanzi Sent Back to Luzira Until May 10

Photo: The Observer

Social Activist Stella Nyanzi in the dock.

The controversial Makerere research fellow Dr Stella Nyanzi will remain on remand until May 10 to know the fate of her bail application.

This follows a decision by High court judge Elizabeth Kabanda to refer Nyanzi to Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s court to determine the application seeking to establish her mental status.

She was ruling on an application by Nyanzi to High court to review her bail application, which wasn’t handled by Buganda Road Chief Magistrate, James Mawanda Ereemye. She also asked court to nullify the order by the Magistrate’s court to have her mental status checked.

In her ruling this afternoon, Justice Kabanda said High court will hear the bail application after knowing the outcome of the application on Nyanzi’s mental health status, which can only be heard by the Magistrate’s court. She said the State can can seek to exam the mental status of anyone – accused or not, and that the Magistrate’s court has the powers to entertain such an application.

She therefore directed Ereemye to dispose off expeditiously the application before his court. Justice Kabanda however faulted the Magistrate’s court for not having given Nyanzi her right to apply for bail.

Dr Nyanzi is battling two counts of cyber harassment and offensive communication contrary to the Computer Misuse Act. She was also charged with using the internet to disturb the peace and right to privacy of the president.

Prosecution alleges that Stella Nyanzi used her social media pages to refer to President Yoweri Museveni as “a pair of buttocks.”

She pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying she always writes ‘metaphorically’ to deliver messages to ‘those in power’.

On learning that she was to spend at least another two weeks in prison, Nyanzi let her frustration out, bellowing out insults and obscenities to the State, President Museveni, Justice Kabanda, First Lady Janet Museveni.

More on This

I’m Mistreated in Prison – Stella Nyanzi

Makerere University researcher Stella Nyanzi, who is facing charges that include calling President Museveni “a pair of… Read more »

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