Business Day, Tale of two cities, 2 August 2004

I AM an 82-year-old Somali presently living in Addis Ababa as a refugee. In Somalia I worked as a teacher and a school inspector until my retirement in 1980. I fled my country in the aftermath of the civil war in 1991.

I first took refuge in Kenya. In Nairobi we were constantly harassed by the police, who were asking for money. They would threaten to deport us or put us in prison if we didn't pay.

Every night they would break into the lodge where we were staying. It was a frightening sight, and we had to pay each time.

In 1995, I decided to move with my family to Addis Ababa.

Arriving in Addis Ababa and passing the first nights in a peaceful atmosphere was like waking up after a very bad dream. During the following nine years no policeman ever asked me for a paper or money. Rather, if anything happens we ask the police for help. In fact, in Addis Ababa, Christians and Muslims live side by side peacefully and in a brotherly atmosphere.

I have even observed Muslims and Christians burying their love ones and mourning together.

I don't think such a religious harmony exists anywhere else in the world.

Mohamed Sheikh HusseinTo the Addis Tribune

It takes more than ABC

UGANDAN President Yoweri Museveni, speaking in Bangkok, Thailand, was absolutely right on abstinence being a key pillar in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. It is a fundamental law in medicine and nature that prevention is better than cure.

The best way to prevent any disease is to completely avoid the source. The condom gives a barrier only to those with a high, uncontrollable sex urge. It does not keep you away from the source of infection.

I am compelled to believe that those who were of a contrary view to the President's had ulterior motives, if not to distort the fundamental principle of disease control and prevention.

It indeed takes more than ABC (Abstain, Being faithful, Condom use) to prevent HIV/AIDS. Pragmatic but painful decisions will help us bring down HIV/AIDS, not kid gloves.

Dr Myers LugemwaUganda Medical AssociationTo New Vision, Kampala

Why raise passport fees?

I WAS shocked to realise that Zimbabwe's Registrar-General's office had hiked the passport fees so outrageously at a time when the media says prices are going down.

People from as far afield as Mhakwe and Mutsvangwa in Chimanimani intending to apply for a passport are being charged exorbitant prices.

If the value of the US dollar is falling against the Zim dollar, why should the imported material used for passports be so costly?

Moreover, Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede's sweeping powers to conduct elections have also slackened the processing of passports. The service being offered and the charge for it are incongruent. Zanu (PF) should accept that it has been cheating us all these years.

Moses Semwayo,MutareTo the Daily News Online

Leave the president alone

WHEN President Museveni came to power in 1986 he instantly became a popular leader. He was a crowd puller wherever he staged rallies.

Museveni has done this country proud and has achieved a lot, but the truth is that his popularity has reached a level of diminishing returns.

If Museveni is no longer a crowd puller, let it be, because every leader reaches this level. Please let "our man" rest peacefully.

Moses Mugolo Kasolo,To the Monitor, Kampala

Aug 02 2004 07:53:32:000AM Business Day 1st Edition




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