By Watchdog Team
Watchdog Uganda news and opinions website watches our society in a way no other media does in Uganda. We pay attention to the big story, and don’t forget the small ones, which many a time become a big deal.
We cover everything but there are segments we believe drive the development of our country which we pay more attention to.
As we watched events unveil each day, we carefully came to a conclusion that the following people and events made 2017 what it is.
Here below they are and this is why we believe so.
Sports: Uganda Cranes
Probably, if Uganda Cranes didn’t feature on this list, it would mean nothing had happened in 2017.
It was year 2017, the Uganda National Football team made the nation proud after re-qualifying for the prestigious African Cup of Nations having spent almost 40 years to find a way through the quest.
Though their stay in the tournament was short lived, the boys managed to unite Ugandans who vehemently supported them.
On Top of that, Uganda Cranes was named CAF National team of the year following its achievement of qualifying for AFCON.
Politics: MP Raphael Magyezi, Age limit mover
No one took MP Rapheal Magyezi serious until he ‘sacrificed’ himself to table and move the controversial age limit bill.
The Igara West legislator has been the talk of town for months having successfully moved the bill aiming at scrapping the presidential age limit which will help President Yoweri Museveni stand for presidency even after clocking 75 years of age.
If we are not mistaken, the ‘Magyezi’ bill is the most infamous bill ever tabled in the history of Uganda and just recently, a Civil Society Organisation carried out a survey which alleged that 85 percent of Ugandans don’t support the bill.
Ever since he moved to draft the bill, Magyezi has been hated on, threatened but he has stood his ground to make his boss happy.
Business: Sudhir Ruparelia
2017 has not been an easy year for Uganda’s richest property mogul Sudhir Ruparelia.
First it was selling his Crane Bank to DFCU, and months later he was also dragged to court by the Central Bank on allegations that he siphoned some cash from the bank he privately owned.
But as any successful business giant, Sudhir has fought to remain on top irrespective of the troubles he has faced.
The Ruparelia Group Chairman has managed to keep his businesses flourishing through setting up more mega commercial buildings, state of the art apartments among others.
Undoubtedly, he is still on top of the game.
Showbiz: Eddy Kenzo
Ever since he won the BET award in 2015, singer Eddy Kenzo has lived as a true definition of a hero who rose from Zero.
For two consecutive years now, the ‘jubilation’ singer has proved his worth in Uganda’s music industry after raising high the country’s flag.
Apparently, there’s no Ugandan musician who has made a name outside in the Diaspora like Eddy Kenzo and on top of that he has won tens of awards both on local and international level.
Tourism & travel: Amos Wekesa
We should admit, without Amos Wekesa, the tourism and travel fraternity would have been a step behind.
Amos Wekesa with his solely found Great Lakes Safaris Limited has greatly improved the quality of tour operations in Uganda and the Great Lakes region at large.
Social enterprise: Little Hands Go Green
If they ask you about something which has managed to put smiles on kids’ faces this year, you cannot fail to mention ‘Little Hands Go Green’.
Founded by Joseph Masembe, Little Hands Go Green has managed to engage kids throughout the Uganda to conserve the environment through planting trees. On top of that, throughout the year, the movement has been offering endless entertainment to kids through organizing parties and retreats.
Best Ugandan Diplomat: Alintuma Nsambu
Alintuma Nsambu took over the ambassadorial in Algiers after the end of his tour of duty in Ottawa, Canada. As soon he arrived in Algiers, the former ICT state minister has already secured fruits for the country including doubling scholarships to 150 to different Algerian universities; he has created partnerships and will soon start to take Ugandan footballers to play in Algeria and the long awaited CCTV security cameras consignments from Algerian government has been dispatched under his stewardship. Kudos to the Uganda diplomatic corps in Algiers.
We hope next year you will do even better.
Security: Gen David Muhoozi
Gen David Muhoozi is the current Chief of Defence Forces having replaced Gen Katumba Wamala on 9 January, 2017.
Gen Muhoozi is one of the few young servicemen who go by the title of a General, which is the highest military rank in Uganda.
In his reign, Gen Muhoozi has managed to register stability in Uganda and Somalia were UPDF is deployed as far as security matters are concerned.
Corporate social responsibility: Kampala MTN marathon
With no dispute, the MTN marathon is the biggest corporate social responsibility of the year 2017.
The just concluded event was attended by thousands of well wishers who ran for the cause of helping the health sector targeting maternal health and cancer among school children.
Media: Red Pepper newspaper
Though, the eight Red Pepper directors and editors have already been granted bail after spending some good weeks in Luzira Prison, their arrest in November was a clear sign of violating press freedoms.
The journalists were arrested after they published a story alleging that President Yoweri Museveni wanted to overthrow his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame.
Many activists came out to condemn the government’s act saying it violated the constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of expression and the media in Uganda.
Health: Dr Ekwaro Obuku
Since November, several media houses have featured Dr Ekwaro Obuku, the president of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) of doctors, who declared a nation-wide strike on November 6, protesting poor working conditions and low pay.
His popularity on the talk show circuit is just as apparent. On the other hand, minister for Health Jane Ruth Aceng has blundered from one misstep to another; first threatening doctors with the sack, then attempting to drive a wedge between interns and senior doctors before making the questionable claim that UMA is illegal, yet seeking dialogue with the same entity.
Despite the upheavals from the state, Dr Ekwaro stood his ground to protect the rights of medical officers until government bowed to pressure to listen to them.
And due to his uncompromised spirit, last week, government managed to work on some of the doctor’s demands.
Slogan of the year: Togikwatako
‘Togikwatako’ initially was paraphrased as ‘Kogikwatako’ literally meaning ‘If you dare touch it’. It didn’t really make sense for many in August when it was launched as a campaign phrase by DP as they protested against the move to amend article 102(b) of the constitution to remove presidential age limits.
Unlike Walk-to-Work that was cadre-based, this idea was conceived on achieving a national objective and was sold to everyone right from the grassroots.
But on 21 September when some MPs turned up for plenary with their heads wrapped in red bandanas, caps and ribbons as an initiative of a small party of only 15 flag bearers in a 426 member-strong parliament, they gained instant attention.
Then K’ogikwatako changed to Togikwatako – ‘Don’t touch it’ and has since taken every one by storm including President Museveni who seemed not bothered at first.
Now Togikwatako is the moving slogan for all Ugandans who are against the contentious bill.
Religion: Fr aka Bishop Kibuuka
Father Jacinto Kibuuka was excommunicated from the Catholic Church last year and months later he broke away to join the antiochian central and Eastern Orthodox Church .
In November, he was ordained the first bishop of the church at his MAMRE International Prayer Centre in Namugongo.
His new segment is estimated to have a following of about 1.8million followers.
Since this year begun, the controversial clergy has been at war with the catholic leaders and just recently he has been in court battling with accusations of uttering words and engaging in acts that “injured feelings” of Roman Catholic Church leaders and followers.
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