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Stella Nyanzi (C), a prominent Ugandan activist and government critic, is arrested by police officers as she organised a protest for more food distribution by the government to people who has been financially struggling by the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Kampala, on May 18, 2020

Stella Nyanzi Has Been Arrested for Protesting the 'Slow Distribution of Food' In Uganda

'My children are hungry I want food, I just want food,' said the activist as her and several associates were detained on their way to the home of the Prime Minister.

Ugandan scholar and activist, Stella Nyanzi and other protestors were arrested in Kampala on Monday for carrying out demonstrations against the "slow distribution of food" during the current shutdown.

They were arrested as they marched towards the home of the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to discuss why people were without food despite donations being made, reports the Daily Monitor. According a petition from the "The Women's Protest Working Group," which is led by Nyanzi, many poor Ugandans are yet to receive food relief packages from the government, causing them to go hungry.

A video capturing the scene, shows Nyanzi being dragged away by police officers as she yells "my children are hungry I want food, I just want food."


According to BBC Africa, the events promoter Andrew Mukasa, popularly known as Bajjo was also arrested, but it's unclear what charges the two are facing.

The group criticized the current process for food distribution, suggesting that the role be given to community leaders rather than military officials. "Many Ugandans have been excluded from the distribution of food relief by a hastily assembled military outfit," Nyanzi is quoted as saying before her arrest. "Churches, mosque and other civil society institutions that have closer ties and networking within their communities were unfairly denied a chance to help their communities in the time of need and yet they would have been instrumental in mobilising and distributing food with clear guidelines."

She further added: "We note that the anti-COVID measures have created an apartheid and occasioned avoidable suffering upon many vulnerable Ugandans especially women and low income earners who scrounge a livelihood in closed spaces, rental markets and other ordinary chores."

Nyanzi spent 18 months in jail after being charged with "cyber harassment," in 2018 for publishing a poem on her Facebook page which referred to President Yoweri Museveni's mother's vagina. She was released in February and the charges were dropped.

She won the PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression in January for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

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Kayode Kasum’s Quarantine Watchlist

From 'Wives on Strike' to 'Goodwill Hunting' here's what the Nigerian filmmaker is watching while stuck at home in Lagos.

Kayode Kasum, like most filmmakers, has been stagnated by the coronavirus pandemic. The director behind the blockbuster Sugar Rush and the critically acclaimed Oga Bolaji was working on the post-production of his upcoming movies, The Fate of Alakada: Party Planner and Kambili—a collaboration between FilmOne Entertainment and Chinese Huahua Media— when the Nigerian government announced the lockdown order.

While post-production on Alakada has concluded, the stay-at-home orders have delayed work on Kambili. "Since the team cannot meet at a single point, we are moving hard drives left and right," he says to me over the phone from his home in Lagos. "It is a challenge, but the beautiful thing about a challenge is, when you make it work, it is fulfilling."

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Kasum has turned to books and films for an escape from the unpleasant realities of the pandemic. "I have been reading Elnathan's books: Born on a Tuesday and Becoming Nigeria," he tells me. "I have also been reading film directing books, Directing Actors by Judith Weston." However, Kasum longs for the movies. "I miss going to the cinemas; I miss that experience," he says. "There are times during this pandemic that I'm like 'na wa o, I wish I can go to the cinema.'"

Below are five films he recommends you watch during this pandemic.

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