UGANDAâ€™S No1 COLUMNIST.. INFORMED, CONTROVERSIAL AND PROVOCATIVE
Is it me or is life getting increasingly dizzier recently? In taking a look, what better way than to start with ABC? In the fight against the Aids scourge this stands, not wholly grammatically,
Is it me or is life getting increasingly dizzier recently? In taking a look, what better way than to start with ABC? In the fight against the Aids scourge this stands, not wholly grammatically, for Abstinence, Be Faithful, Condoms.
The meaning is clear: Abstain from sex, Be faithful to your partner(s), if unable to follow these two, slip on, or indeed in, a Condom. â€œCondomsâ€, to zealots, has become a dirty word, and yet without condoms, millions of our citizens would have been wiped out. In that sense Zealotry Kills. The Moral Enforcer is an insidious thing, and while others write lists on every conceivable subject, including virgins, so your columnist is pondering starting one on moral enforcers.
Our country has become a byword throughout the world for having taken Aids full on and holistically with the ABC approach. Indeed the super-careful might change it to CAB. So why are some now frightened of the C-word?
One theory is that we are kowtowing to the fundamentalist and simplistic American G Bush â€œBible Beltâ€ line. But right here in our midst, are forces which constantly out-Bush Bush. It is very frightening. Should we rent a crowd to shout it for condoms?
I was very relieved when in a recent interview, President Yoweri Museveni stated categorically that condoms had not been dismissed; if you couldnâ€™t do A and B, then C was the answer.
Speaking of rallies, are we in for a plague of them? I pray not, they are extremely time consuming and a curse on city dwellers. Perhaps they could be transferred to Mabira Forests and left there. Earlier in the week, there was a noisy one on behalf of four wives each for consenting Muslims. When I looked at the picture, all men, not a single one looked capable of supporting two, much less four, wives.
But perhaps, donâ€™t judge a book by its cover! In any case, pictures of rally-goers seem to show the same faces; call it the oneness of our nation. On Thursday, Haji Sebaggala and his equally peripatetic new friend, Pulkol, went to the Police to be interviewed about their illegal rally. It must have been like old times to ex-con Sebaggala. Not so to returning Mr Obote, twice Ugandan president, whom Government wont charge with anything.
True enough, â€œDrâ€ Obote in his second term, presided over one of the worst regimes ever in Africa. But he retains Ugandan citizenship, and it looks as if he wants to return before he is frailer.
It broke the heart to see on Thursdayâ€™s Vision with what sorrow my old friend Rwanyarare and his sidekick, Wegulo, were taking the return of their master, looking suspiciously spruce in a painting behind them. But any sympathy for Rwanyarare at losing his eminent UPC position at the Obote return vanished like the morning dew when he opened his mouth to say, of the USA and the EU, â€œThey have been dealing with the wrong person. They should support freedom fighters like ourselvesâ€¦â€
But it is, of course, true that the UPC has always fought freedom wherever found!
Ugandans will never elect this murderous gang again. Where is â€œDrâ€ Paul Ssemogerereâ€™s Black Book about them? There was also the return, from a much shorter sojourn, of the now nearly world-famous chief â€œmediatorâ€ in the Kony excesses, Madame Betty Bigombe.
Whether she had rested well in the US, it was impossible to say, because inexplicably, there was no picture of the pretty lady. This time round, will she start to openly criticise the unspeakable Kony for actions like cutting off peopleâ€™s bodily parts?
I am not holding my breath. But a friend reminded me of some thing I had forgotten. After her time in Parliament, and indeed in Government, she had expected that in the next elections, she would be supported by the Movement. But if memory serves, the support of some heavy hitters there went instead to a youthful Mao. They didnâ€™t consider she had much of a following. Could it be she never forgave the Government, and we are now seeing her baleful reply? For she never resists a chance to kick it, to be â€œdisappointedâ€ in its Peace Talks role. Some â€œmediatorâ€! The sages well put it when they said there was no fury like a woman scorned.
There is a delightful saying in Kampala. It concerns the Batooro, whom I have long loved for their voices and faces, to mention but two! One thinks of the nearly immortal Princess Bagaaya, of her sister Mabel and of numerous others, men and women of that family. But in the main, this tribe has its share of happy-go-lucky, live-today-tomorrow-may-never-come characters.
Thus the saying, â€œOmutooro wo wamufunye dda?â€ (Have you already got your Mutooro?) I was asked this years ago when I had an involvement with building a fish factory. The meaning was that for future good luck for the structure, you would get one, get him thoroughly drunk and crucify him into the foundation.
How we laughed! Now of course I regret that the super-muyaaye airwaver was not used for this purpose; another time perhaps. But let us end on a happier note. Does the phone number 185 mean anything to you? If you have any problem with your electricity, ring it and find out. If there is better public relations from any firm around, I want to know about it. They are courteous, efficient and good natured, not the surly and sullen voices, which usually accost your ears in this country of ours. Take a bow, 185.
What a week!