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A message from the most bombed nation on earth | Nuclear weapons

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You never know what is killing you when it is done in secret.

I watched my uncle suffer from horrible cancer that ate away at his throat and my grandfather die of an auto-immune disease that is known to be caused by exposure to radiation. They say he had a heart attack, but when your skin falls off, that puts stress on your heart.

Many of my cousins have died. Last year, my cousin, who is about 50, had a defibrillator put in his chest. Now his daughter, who is a toddler, has heart problems as well. At around the same time, one of my cousins told me his mom has cancer. And then a week later, he found out he has it, too.

A few months ago, an elder here died from a rare form of brain cancer.

Every family is affected. We have seen mental and physical retardation, leukaemia, childhood leukaemia, all sorts of cancers.

The US military industrial complex

I am the Principal Man of the Western Bands of the Shoshone Nation of Indians – the most bombed nation on earth.

Our country is approximately 40,000 square miles (25.6 million acres), from just west of Las Vegas, Nevada all the way to the Snake River in Idaho, including a 350-mile (563km) wide strip in the Great Basin. There are approximately 25,000 to 30,000 Shoshone lineal descendants but the United States places the number much lower based on blood quantum (a percentage of ancestry).

We have been on this land for at least 10,000 years.

Our relationship to the US is based upon the Treaty of Ruby Valley signed in 1863. In the treaty, the Shoshone continued to own the land but we agreed that in exchange for $5,000 a year for 20 years, paid in cattle and other goods, the US could establish military posts on the land, that US mail and telegraph companies could continue to operate telegraph and stage lines on it, that a railway could pass through it, that the US could mine for minerals on it.

But shortly before the end of World War II, we started to be overrun by the US military industrial complex, in ways we are only now beginning to understand.

Nuclear fallout

In 1951, in violation of the treaty, the US established the Nevada Proving Grounds (what would later become known as the Nevada Test Site and is now known as the Nevada National Security Site) on Shoshone territory and began testing nuclear weapons – without our consent or knowledge. We suspect that Nazi scientists brought to the US as part of Operation Paperclip – to help the US develop nuclear weapons – were involved.

On January 27, 1951, the first nuclear test took place on our land, when a one-kilotonne bomb was dropped from a plane flying over the site.

Over the next 40 years, it became the premier testing location for American nuclear weapons. Approximately 928 nuclear tests took place on the Shoshone territory – 100 in the atmosphere and more than 800 underground.

When the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945, 13 kilotonnes of nuclear fallout rained down on the Japanese city. According to a 2009 study in the Nevada Law Journal, between 1951 and 1992, the tests conducted on our land caused 620 kilotonnes of nuclear fallout.

I was born in 1964, a year after above-ground testing of nuclear weapons was banned. But the US continued to test weapons of mass destruction under our land almost every three weeks until 1992.

The downwinders

The fallout from these tests covered a wide area, but it was Native American communities living downwind from the site who were most exposed – because we consumed contaminated wildlife, drank contaminated milk, lived off contaminated land. For Native American adults, the risk of exposure has been shown to be 15 times greater than for other Americans, for young people that increases to 30 times and for babies in utero to two years of age it can be as much as 50 times greater.

When the fallout came down, it killed the delicate flora and fauna, creating these huge vulnerabilities across thousands of square miles of Shoshone territory. The pine trees we use for food and heating were exposed, the plants we use for food and medicine were exposed, the animals we use for food were exposed. We were exposed.

As a result, we have watched our people die. Some of the strongest defenders of our land, of our people, just gone.

But we have to protect our land and our people. Our identity is the land. Our identity is the pure pristine water coming out of the ground, flowing for millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions of years. We see that pure water as a medicine. People need that pure water to heal.

But what we find is that we have the US brokering for the nuclear industry, brokering for the mining industry, the destruction of our property for profit.

We cannot endure any further risk, whether from nuclear weapons testing or coal ash or oil tracking, any radiation source at all.

Hammers and nails

We are beginning to understand what has happened to us. For more than 50 years, we have been suffering from this silent killer and the US government’s culture of secrecy keeps it silent. But we need relief.

In every other part of the world where there have been nuclear catastrophes or nuclear testing – such as Kazakhstan, Japan, even Chernobyl – there are health registries to monitor those who have been exposed, even if the numbers are kept artificially low in some places. We do not have that here in the US. We do not have that for Native American downwinders. We need that kind of testing. We need health registries. We need monitoring. We cannot wait any longer for the health disparities we are experiencing to be identified.

We are having to fight the US to get it to understand our basic health needs.

We have managed to obtain documents that were declassified in the 1990s. But there are almost two million pages. Trying to understand all of that is daunting. We do not have any funding and we do not have the support of the US to get that work done. So we are having to do this ourselves as we suffer through this continuing health crisis.

And all the while, military activities are still being conducted on our land.

We continue to endure and we live with the understanding that the radiation is there on the ground, it is there in our plants, in our animals, and inside of our people.

Killing Shoshone people was never part of the treaty we signed. Our people would never have engaged in something that would result in our own destruction.

Our custom is sharing, but when all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail, and that is what the US military has been doing, hammering the Shoshone with bombs.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema

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When court sat on Friday to hear the Kiggundu’s application to stop independent audit, he did not have a written application, and Justice Henry Adonyo instead ordered the plaintiff’s lawyer Fred Muwema to go make a written application seeking court to dismiss the audit and return to court on September 30 for a hearing of the application. But this adds more pressure on Kiggundu who is choking with the loans.

On 31 August, the judge ordered the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to carry out and independent audit into the accounts of the businessman and financial statements exchanged between the two parties, and present a report to court.

When asked by journalists why he has filed for an application seeking dismissal of the audit, Fred Muwema had this to say. “We are saying that let the validity and legality of those credit facilities (loans) be decided first before you can audit” He said.

The ruling on the application of the main suit to determine whether the businessman owes loan arrears to the bank is set for 5th October 2020, after which a date for hearing of the case will be set.

Background

Hamis Kiggundu through his companies Ham enterprises and Kiggs International (U) ltd sued DTB branches in Kenya and Uganda for deducting money from his accounts something which the bank contends and said they only acted as per the loan agreement of deducting 30% from Kiggundu’s accounts to recover the credit facilities rendered to him between February 2011 and September 2016

But Court documents filed by the bank in their defense shows that Kiggundu, between February 2011 and September 2016, was granted various credit facilities by the said DTB Banks.

First, via Ham Enterprises Limited, Kiggundu obtained a loan of $6,663,453 and another Sh2.5bn from the DTB (U) to finance his projects in the real estate business.

Later, according to New Vision, he got a facility worth $4.5m through Kiggs International (U) Limited from DTB (K) and mortgaged his properties, which include Plot 328 located at Kawuku on Block 248 Kyadondo, three plots that include 36, 37 and 38 on Folio 1533 Victoria Crescent II situated in Kyadondo and land on Makerere Hill Road on LRV 3716 Folio 10 Plot 923 Block 9.

Documents show that as of January 21, 2020, Kiggundu was in default on payment obligations of $6.298m on the loan facility of $6.663m, as well as sh2.885b on the demand overdraft facility of sh1.5b and the temporary demand overdraft facility of sh1b.

The banks say that Kiggundu was in default on the payment of another $3.662m out of a total loan facility of $4m and another $458,604 on a loan facility of $500,000, as of January 21, 2020.

The DTB consequently served him with a demand notice to either pay up or lose the assets that he submitted as collateral security. The bank threatened to attach a plot on Makerere Hill Road and other prime commercial properties.

Analysts says that Kiggundu’s lawyer is playing delaying tactics aimed at stopping the independent audit as ordered by the court earlier. Kiggundu had wanted court to believe his own audit of loan transactions, but that would amount to injustice to the banks that gave him money-DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya.

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded

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The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      





Source – observer.ug

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

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Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  





Source – observer.ug

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