Friday, October 06, 2006

Shall we tell the President?

Today morning I went to see my IT repair guy over a laptop he’s taking Ugandan time about fixing and returning to me. I should probably go on and denounce him for the scoundrel he is but, he is my friend, ish, and his wedding meetings start today so lemme give him a break till after we’ve all contributed to his wedding and when he’s been married a few months then we’ll deny him business so that he can style up his act.

I took a taxi into town and on the radio was Radio 2 which is the vernacular version of Radio 1. The DJ introduced the current-est topic in local Kampala politics, or one of them at any rate – that of relocating western Uganda bound buses from downtown Kampala to Nateete which is that suburb 2km out of Kla as you head to Masaka, those ends. The mayor, His Worship Al-Hajji Nasser Ntege Ssebaggala – street name “Seeya”, had in his wisdom issued an edict to the effect that the bus peoples should forthwith repair to the environs of Nateete and the bus peoples had in their infinite bullheadedness refused, insisting on continuing to clog Ben Kiwanuka Street and the New Taxi Park area with their buses. To put it in perspective for our Kenyan family and friends, I think that’s the equivalent of River Road chockfull with 30+ Kenya Buses (the old long ones by the way), at any given time. For the record the bus park is itself undergoing renovation so the buses have over the last few months been parking on the street, get that, where u would park if you were brave enough to drive down there.

Now, in his (what was he thinking!) wisdom, the Kampala Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Dr. Stanley Kinyatta, has pronounced himself on the subject. He will not see the buses relocated to Nateete, on the grounds that to do so would be to expose the incoming travellers to the risk of highway robbery and brigands on the stretch from the would be Nateete terminal into downtown Kampala, seeing as they are loaded with huge amounts of cash for the purpose of commerce in Kikuubo, Owino, Luwum Street, Mukwano arcade, et cetera. Once again, for the Kenyans - where are the Tanzanians btw? Shooting another bongo flavour vid for EATV? I digress – from Nateete to downtown Kla is like from Yaya Centre to River Road, give or take a few hundred metres. Now, for a recap of the facts;

1. The mayor was elected by the people of Kampala, even though all of us bloggers didn’t vote for him, so assumedly he speaks for us. The RDC was appointed by the Govt of M7 after being de-ministered (he was like Minister of State for Animal Husbandry or something) in what is generally regarded as a way of keeping Movement functionaries in employment. So then, who does he speak for? U and I? The Movement? The Government? M7?

2. Kla is growing. The Greater Kampala master plan, which I have seen, has the city extending peke Entebbe in the South, Mukono in the East, Busega -right after Nateete - in the West and Bombo in the North. It makes sense to me to have the buses parking on the outskirts and only commuter buses – the new EasyBus ones – operating in the city centre so we have no more kavuuyo the way things are now. The taxis would then feed the city centre buses with commuters from the suburbs. Everyone gets their slice of cake.

3. The bus fare from Kisoro to Kampala is still going to be Ushs. 15,000 whether the bus leaves me in Nateete or brings me into town? So why are the bus people complaining?

4. Mr. RDC, allow me to point out to you that if I was a highway man, it would be very foolhardy for me to ambush cash loaded travellers on the populated and policed 2km urban stretch between Nateete and downtown Kampala, when I have the entire mostly unpopulated definitely un-policed 400 or something km from Kisoro to do the same. So again I ask you, for whom do you speak?

5. Mr. Ssebaggala has in the 6 or so months he’s been Mayor, has done more to generate a sense of belongingness amongst us Kampalans than Christopher Iga ever did in the 10 or so years he was Mayor. Seeya is DP, Iga was Movt. Seeya is academically challenged, Dr. Kinyatta is a Doctor. Seeya is a proven successful businessman, what did Dr. Kinyatta do before he was thrust upon us by the President? Shouldn’t he lending his medical expertise to whatever field he gained it in, as opposed to placing announcements for Nigiina groups?

While the debate was going on, a female functionary from Kinyattas politburo called in to make her comments, “we in the administration … blah blah … will discuss with all stakeholders … blah blah … equitable solutions … yawn!” and prefaced her comments by;
1. inviting all women from Makindye division to a meeting this Sunday at which many things will be discussed and several resolutions passed and nothing implemented and a lot of soda drunk and some photos taken and if we’re lucky we’ll make the 9:00 o’clock news on UBC-TV
She then proceeded to state that;
1. Dr. Kinyatta was there with her listening to the talk show as they sipped on Milk chai with pancakes from Macarena. Didn’t he have more important things to be doing at 9:30 am? Doesn’t he have aides for this sort of thing? To listen to the radio I mean?

6. Aforementioned sense of belonging has its roots in the fact that after realising we “elites” had by our laziness at the polls let Boda-boda riders and women with flaming red hairdos and lime green skirts – the power base of Seeya – decide our leadership for us, inwardly resolved “Never Again” so we’re going to help Seeya finish his term as quickly as possible so that Pastor Peter Se…se…Sematimba can take his rightful place at the helm of the city. To do that I will personally litter less, express my gratitude to Seeya’s peeps who’re cleaning out the drains in Ntinda, even though they left the muck on the roadside so long that it sprouted Dodo, and generally be an all round good citizen.

7. That means I will give credit where it’s due. Moving the buses to Nateete is a good idea, Mr. RDC, its okay to want to score political points, however the elections are long over, ok, so get with the program already – the Queen is coming down, and I don’t think you want that particular headache adding to the one caused by all that traffic madness with the buses downtown.


Blogger ish said...

is that the bottom line of everything that's happening in K'la lately?? The Queen's bloddy visit???

(not that I'm mad about it, I just like the way that whenever I use the word 'bloddy', i can almost hear the beer mugs clinking in my head as all my imaginary Brittish friends agree with me in some pub in SoHo)

Fri Oct 06, 02:41:00 pm  
Blogger Iwaya said...

@Goddess of Sorts: it should show you how little we have to look forward to in kampala and maybe ug these many years. apart from the premiership games on the weekend, pork sometimes, a wedding or two and the queen's visit, whatelse is there to look forward to? we have all become weary eyed pessimists.

Fri Oct 06, 09:44:00 pm  
Blogger scotchbiscuits said...

long posts know how to be a trick to read....naye this one is addictive!
all the ongoings about kla that make a biscuit want to go home to it's tin, and the women with lime green skirts-god help you dude! and while he's at it,I'll be having an almighty LOL!!

Fri Oct 06, 10:43:00 pm  
Blogger Degstar said...

no self respecting Brit goes for a pint in Soho. Soho is 4 gay people, artistic types, pretentious Italians, impressionable Japanese n Americans with more money than class. U want a pint in London, u go round the pub to "The Altrincham Arms" or the "Fox and Hound" or if u're of Ugandan extraction, u buy a 6 pack of Heinecken/Stella/Kronenburg n go home to wash it down with your Chameleon CDs

Arr'ight Luv?

Sat Oct 07, 04:24:00 pm  
Blogger minty said...

Yes, yes, the buses should get out of town. Only boda bodas should stay - efficient and fast, little parking space needed, free adrenaline rush, - and the Queen should ride at least one in her life

Tue Oct 10, 12:41:00 pm  
Blogger baz said...

I was going to comment on the translation for Kenyans and Tanzanians, but I was distracted by the loud voice of Osuofia telling his oyibo wife about the time the Queen came to Nigeria and everyone called her "Ashawi."

Good times.

Tue Oct 10, 05:13:00 pm  
Blogger ish said...

thanx for making my imaginary british friends that much more real to me degstar!

we have now shifted our rendevous from SoHo to.. erm... this one pub, i forget its name, but there's black-and-white snapshots of no-name-peoples on the walls and color-drawings of vintage cars on the coasters!

Thu Oct 12, 09:14:00 pm  
Blogger countryboy said...

Guys, being the country boy am who regulary travels upcountry & understand like no other the politics of westernbound buses, i hereby outline why it's such a big mistake for the buses to stop at Nateete;
*How will the kamumye carry our sacks of potatoes & heavy bunches of matooke 2 K'la?
*For our brothers who never have been 2 the city -how will they be able 2 marvel at the tall buildings, considering kamumyes are low?
*How abt the congestion, in view of the fact that passengers that fill one bus will be filling five omni-buses??
*On and on and on.......

Sat Oct 14, 01:31:00 pm  

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