By Ismail Nsambu
On the 25th Day of June 2020, an overjoyed 64 year old Safina Namukwaya was blessed with her first born baby. After 47 years in marriage of trying and waiting in vain, the intervention of scientists who subjected her to an IVF procedure helped in making her dream a reality. She had in her early years suffered an ectopic pregnancy which had blocked her fertility passage/tubes. You must be wondering why all this information, it is necessary just so 60 plus years old Jajjas don’t give up on sleep hoping for a late homerun. We Congratulate Safina on eventually becoming a biological mother.
Safina’s story has similarities to some of the 7 new cities that Parliament approved on 1st July 2020. Some of these had suffered from an ectopic pregnancy of sorts like Safina. It is a shame that it’s taken all this long for particularly Jinja, Entebbe, Soroti, Arua, Masaka, Mbale and Gulu to become cities. These were big towns as far back as the 70s and hadn’t it been for the poor economics and leadership they should at the very least have become cities in the 90s. Despite the delayed achievement, just like in Safina’s case, jubilating on this attainment is justified, there isn’t much to celebrate lately after all.
But as we celebrate we should take a moment to reflect that a town doesn’t become a City by mere pronouncement, just like Mothers are not simply declared. One must first have a baby like Safina did. For a town to upgrade to City status, there must be a large human settlement with extensive organised systems of housing, transport, sanitation, utilities, communication among others and with administratively defined boundaries. Am not sure our newly announced Cities make this grade especially the part of systems. May be the plan is to go about it in a backward engineering style, that is to declare the cities first and then work on systems to make them seem like one. Else they’ll remain just big towns with a City tag. Most are Byooya bya Nswa for now.
The story of these new cities reminds me of the many new districts that have been created over the years. FYI we have now reached 134 districts. Over 30 of these don’t even have a proper district headquarter. Last week still, Parliament was attempting to create 15 new counties. All these creations translate into increased expenditure for the government and you wonder why they come now at a time when the economy is shrinking due to Covid19. Yes you guessed right, they all must have representation, Mayors, MPs, Chairmen etc. Of course someone is creating offices for kinsmen to occupy. There’s enough time for cabinet and parliament to make such approvals but not for the long overdue electoral reforms that court recommended 5 years ago. Without these electoral reforms, please stay tuned for the 2016-like drama or even worse in 2021 polls.
It’s the season for political office grabbing, and anyone that cannot find any of these offices to occupy must engineer their own way to survive. In attempting to engineer survival, a one Ssegane Peter and Suuna Jimmy were arrested for encroaching on land in Gomba District belonging to a one Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. It is alleged that these two had fraudulently acquired 5 land titles on this land which was already registered in YK Museveni’s name. I salute you two gentlemen for your bravery. The State House Anti-corruption Unit of Lt Col. Edith Nakalema is on top of this case at the moment. If the President had any doubts on land grabbing happening in this country, now that he is also a victim, his doubts must be cleared. This is daily bread for the wanainchi, not even Museveni’s famous Bamugemereire land commission could solve it.
It is trying to provide solutions to such failures by Museveni’s government that has prompted the young people to want to take over his seat in 2021. In the next election he will have to tussle it out with a plethora of candidates. The famous body guard of Candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi(JPAM) in the 2016 polls Aine Christopher Kato has already put himself forward to run for office. He hopes to succeed where his master failed. The story of 2016 elections can never be complete without a Chapter on Christopher Aine and his disappearance antics (only to later reappear at Gen Salim Saleh’s house). Against this background, I struggle to consider him a serious candidate, he seems to be more of someone’s project or at best another Kyaalya or Mabirizi in my opinion. BTW Kyaalya returns to the race in 2021.
Joseph Kabuleta a former journalist turned pastor also officially announced his intentions to run last week. He is a brilliant guy Joseph Kabuleta, he has always excelled wherever he’s invested his energies. In his time as Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) president, his smooth operations earned the association a blank cheque sponsorship from a one Mike Ezra the only Ugandan philanthropist of that time. BTW where is Mike Ezra Muzira? Going back to Joseph, he announced his candidature with swagger and you could say he’s the JPAM of 2021. Hopefully he won’t replicate JPAM’s results of 2016, though I worry his strategy may not deliver any better. I hope am wrong.
Kabuleta’s key campaign message is unlocking the Financial Liberation of Uganda(ns). He doesn’t consider himself opposition but rather proposition. He is not running against Museveni but the reverse is true he says. He asserts he is the only one with a message/promise (Financial Liberation) to Ugandans unlike his opposition colleagues who he alleges put dethroning Museveni as their message. With this strategy he believes he has discovered the mojo to take office and he has no doubt he is the next president of Uganda. I wonder if Joseph has been following Ugandan politics keenly over the last 2 decades, but if he has like am sure a journalist of his caliber should, then he’s totally miscomprehended a lot about it, particularly underestimating the person of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Joseph is certainly young in this arena and it is only fair to allow him teething time. I love his message but am realistic enough to know that things don’t work that easily here, nevertheless I wish Joseph LUCK in this endeavor, his ultimate goal is a win for Uganda.
The other aspirant, who is also the most potent of them (youthful aspirants) in Hon Robert Kyagulanyi. He held another live concert dubbed the FREEDOM CONCERT recently. If you missed to watch the show run to Youtube after here, it was a thing of beauty. Part of it was captured on a boat floating on the calm waters of Lake Nalubaale and then on the shores at One love beach Busabala. The show was blessed by a fine, beautiful, bright June sunshine. At the beach, the calm Lake breeze made the flowers and branches of the trees dance as the rays of the sun calmly penetrated through spaces allowed by the light canopy and gracefully reaching the nicely trimmed green grass. Birds are heard in the background joining in the melodies of the live band, what a beauty of nature we are blessed to have in this country. Winston Churchill was spot on to call Uganda the pearl of Africa. We’ll talk about Bobi’s candidature another day. What a talented team he had on this show Nubian lee, Aziz Azion, Hilderman, King Sah, Joseph Sax, Mike Ouma, the guys on the drums, piano, the back-up lady Sharon et al. Wow. Not to forget the guys on the cameras, what a fine recording. The music was awesome, relaxing, inspiring, motivating name it, it’s best to watch and listen through it for yourself. I’ll share the link.
It is unfortunate that Uganda hasn’t capitalized on her beauty to create at least one million tourism related jobs. It is sad that we have to export our young people to the gallows of the Middle East deserts where most of them face all nature of racism, discrimination and exploitation read near slavery. Correcting these mistakes will take youthful energy and the presidential aspirants show real promise.
For obvious reasons the freedom show was aired on line, YouTube and Facebook et al and not on local TVs over which UCC has direct control, regulation and censorship. Truth is that the future of TV is online. UCC crowned the week with suspending the popular Scoop on Scoop Urban TV Program which is said to offend some individuals of the public. There is precedence of offended individuals filing civil suits against presenters and media houses instead of suspending a program that comes with more than just offending a few people. But what do I know. I won’t be surprised to see Scoop on Scoop returning in an online version over which UCC has minimal control.
As we sign out let’s congratulate our neighbors from the south (Tanzania) on reaching Middle Income status as declared by the World Bank last week. We should also continue to pray hard that we achieve the same feet this year 2020 (6 months to go) as was promised to us by our dear President. Apologies for a very long one this time. For God and My Country, see you in episode 21.