Road rage & lessons in humility.

Last Saturday I was in Kampala for a Rotary training seminar. My mum was in town and we’d made plans to have lunch, siblings and all. I was in a totally upbeat mood. When the seminar was done, they picked me up from Silver Springs in Bugolobi and we headed into town to run a couple of errands.

At one of the stops, I got handed the car keys, probably because I was the only male of driving age, the other occupants being my sisters and 8 year old nephew. The last stop was the Sheraton because I wanted to get my wedding ring resized, those of you who have seen me lately know why, but as we prepared to drive out, one of my sister’s clients called to say she was sending a boda guy to pick up some stuff. I didn’t think the boda guy would be allowed into the Sheraton so I suggested he meet us at the Grand Imperial parking lot.

Errands done, we drive out and I turn right towards the roundabout. And that’s where the story really takes off because as I came out of the roundabout heading up towards the Sheraton, out of the corner of my eye I see a blue car, driven by a guy, speeding down from Nakasero Road towards me and I thought, he’s going to stop, surely he knows he has to stop, so I didn’t brake or anything. And in the very next instant he shot into the road, missing my front end by what felt like a whisker, helped by the fact that I was violently swerving right into the road median that pedestrians use as a crossing mid-point from the Sheraton side to the Rwenzori House side. By the time I corrected the car’s trajectory to avoid crashing into the median, chap was speeding up towards the Sheraton.

Mind you, my sister’s car is a big 4×4 and it’s a bit difficult to miss, visually.

You know how in novels the author describes a red mist of anger descending upon a person? Let me assure you, that stuff is real. I don’t know how it happened but I remember the sequence of my actions quite well. I exclaimed “Bloody hell!” got the car stabilised, turned off the AC, rolled down my window and then stepped on the gas to catch up with him. By now, we were passing the Sheraton gate and my mum was still shaking her head in wonder. Maybe I was exhaling hot air through my ears or had sprouted horns but everyone in the car had gone curiously quiet.

At Kampala Club he turned left onto Ssezibwa Road and I followed, still not sure what I was doing but knowing I was going to do something. As we passed the turnoff to Nakasero Primary School, as if of it’s own accord, my right hand reached into my pocket, pulled out my phone and balancing it over the steering wheel I proceeded to take photos of his rear licence plate.

At which point, conversation resumed, sister no. 1 offered to take the photos for me and then my mum (in the quiet, churchy way of Ugandan mothers) told us how in the US you never look at another driver, even if they are stark naked, lest they are packing heat and looking for an excuse to use you for target practice. Then she asked what I was planning to do because I was obviously planning something. She’s my mum, what can I say, she knew.

I replied, “I don’t know yet but I’m not turning the other cheek today”. By which point we’re entering the roundabout below Fairway Hotel, him cutting right in front of a car heading towards Garden City. Then left onto Acacia Avenue and all this time not a single indicator light has he used, weaving right and left like he sees potholes the rest of us don’t. I was still livid but the mist was clearing and I started to think, “What if he has a gun?” “What if he’s got a woman in labour in there?” “Can sister no. 2 defend me in court yet, when I get arrested for causing this man grievous bodily harm, seeing as she graduates LDC on Friday?” “What if he doesn’t stop soon, how long will I follow him for?” Then suddenly he turns left into the City Oil fuel station at the top of Acacia Avenue.

So I put on my indicator and followed him. He stopped at the fuel pump and I pulled up about 10 feet behind him, turned off my engine, turned on the hazard lights, got out, strode up to his window and tapped on it, twice. When he turned towards me, I motioned for him to roll it down, which he then did, with a blank questioning look.

So I spoke to him.

The attendant fuelling his car had started motioning me to drive over to the next pump but after about half a minute he went very still. I wasn’t yelling, I wasn’t swearing or flailing my hands about but something must have transmitted to all the chaps around because, again out of the corner of my eye, I saw a Somali chap in the City Oil uniform approach me from where I’d parked but he just stood there, a few feet away and didn’t say a thing.

You know what the funny thing is, the more I assured this chap the angrier I got, to the point that my hands started trembling, my voice got all choked up and I swear I was about to start crying. Mouth slightly agape, dude sat there staring at me and in the back of my mind, a very small, very still voice was whispering, “Please, pretty please say something idiotic right now so I can reach in through your half open car window, pull you out by your ears and proceed to slap you all over the City Oil forecourt until the pump attendants or boda guys pull me off your battered, bruised, bleeding body. Please say something stupid!”

You know what he said?

“Sorry”

In a ka plaintive tone

Still livid, I turned, walked past the Somali chap, got into the car and drove off. As I turned right at the Mawanda Road intersection to head to Kamwokya, Mum goes like, “Aha, tell me, do you feel better now?” and then proceeded to lecture me all the way to Ntinda about loving not just the people who are easy to love but even more so those who are difficult to love.

Eish, mothers!

Road rage & lessons in humility.

But Really!

But really!

 

Maybe I am not the best person to ask this question, because my great, great, great …… grandfather was from present day Eastern Congo, but the Constitution of our great nation declares me a Ugandan many times over (by birth and descent) so it is as a Ugandan that I ask this?

 

Why are we the ones who take in other countries’ problem citizens fwaa?

 

The other day Tanzania evicted cattle keeping immigrants of Rwandese origin and they all flocked to UG. Some of them had been in Karagwe before the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar produced Tanzania. So, why did they come here? Why didn’t they go to Rwanda? Or Burundi for that matter? And why are there stories that some of these evictees hold Ugandan voter’s cards?

 

Now Israel is kicking out Sudanese and Eritreans (while still taking in whites from western and eastern Europe) and they are coming to UG. Why? If you Jews know where your unwanted migrants come from, why would you want to bring them here? And, after what your forefathers went through at the hands of the Nazis and other bigots/racists, why would you terrorise a (dark skinned) minority who are in your country to escape political/economic persecution and/or give their children a shot at a decent life.

 

And who in GoU has sanctioned this arrangement?

 

Is it not enough that we already host the Somali, S.Sudanese, Congolese, Rwandese, Kenyans and Zimbabweans (white & black)? The Kenyans were really nasty to us when we ran there to escape Amin but when Mzee Kibaki stole the election, guess what, we gave their runaways land in Masindi to settle. The S.Sudanese treat Kampala like Little Juba but you go and try to run a ka-business in Juba and see, ever to harass you! The Congolese are stealing our land around Lake Albert and in West Nile but guess who’s killing and eating baboons on Mzee’s farm in Hoima, Congolese refugees! Bazungu are buying up land along the Nile in Jinja – wonder if any Ugandans own land along the Thames, the Seine or the Danube – whilst their governments in Europe aggressively go after immigrants, legal and illegal.

 

Owaaye Mr. President, when you’re busy settling house eviction wrangles of private citizens, who is looking out for UG’s interests here? You for you, you have your land … If you wanted to ringfence political posts in Bunyoro for the indigenous people to protect them from the Bafuruki, why don’t you also protect the land my children will inherit/buy, from non-Ugandans?

There is a place for foreigners who come here to study, work, do business, marry, retire … and I know and love many such people but … large scale mass importation of people … in the same year that we’re giving out Nationals IDs … 3 years before a national election … in a country known for selling its passports to the highest bidder … way too much room for error.

Ffe tufunilamu wa?

But Really!

If I were to write about America…

Dedicated to every American & British journalist/activist/social entrepreneur/blogger and do-gooder ‘expert’ on Africa.

scare-a-hero

…see, I’ve just spent about four weeks in the United States of America, and I am not going to write a ‘journalistic’ piece on my visit there because for some reason the story is simply not as interesting as the one in vice-versa.

Eh?

I mean that if I were an American journalist who’d spent four weeks on holiday in Uganda, I’d be able to subsidise my visit costs by writing and selling a couple of stories from my interactions and observations, and possibly even become a sort-of expert on African – not just Ugandan – affairs thereafter.

I only spent time in Arizona and California – which is like an American coming to Africa and splitting four weeks between Kenya and Uganda, or Tanzania and Zambia.

Vice versa, sobriety aside, I’d be filing a piece on my visit to ‘Africa’ with my observations summing the entire continent up along…

View original post 1,112 more words

If I were to write about America…

Old Souls, Young Bodies.

Driving a mature car is the coolest thing ever. Well, since sliced bread. My November is 23 years old and she still runs alllllllllllllllllmost as good as when she first rolled off the Gothenburg assembly line on Thursday September 13, 1990

Her name is November, Helga November. Helga in homage to her Scandinavian origins and November for the month she joined our family. November is … a true character … like that cantankerous Uncle who thinks nothing of introducing you to whiskey when you turn 10, or gifting you the same piece of farmland in Mukono on your wedding day that he’s been giving all of your cousins on their wedding day; when one of them is foolhardy enough to show up at his house to claim the title, he sets the dogs set upon him for his trouble.  

If you have one of those relatives, that’s what November is like. For the most part, she’s quiet, growling and snarling like only she can, transporting you, your family and the kitchen sink (in that enormous boot) from home, to market, to Rotary, to wherever you want to go. Plus, it’s pretty awesome that there aren’t many of her particular model around so when you drove down Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road and a suit type going the opposite direction flashed his lights at you, you instinctively knew it was your induction into a very small, very private club. Since then, you have realised how few of them there are. In Jinja for instance there’s only three others that you know: Mzee’s retired one, one belonging to a retired Doctor three roads up from your home and one other that belongs to a lawyer who once sued your father-in-law and appeared in Kayunga court for the first hearing of the case in front of your magistrate sister-in-law. Yeah, I know, it is a small world!

The court case was all sorted out in the end and Counsel was suitably cool enough about it to let you have his car for your wedding day. What he didn’t know – couldn’t possibly have known – is that the very first one that you ever saw in your life, circa 1993, setting off a lifelong love affair with the marque, was parked on Iganga Road outside the clinic of the Doctor who much later in life became your father-in-law. Of course you only made the connection after you and Madam were well and truly engaged. True written-in-the-stars love; it exists, people. 

So your November, she has a habit, every once in a while, of shutting down and acting dead, just when you Do. Not. Need. the aggravation. But somehow, after a few hours/days, a very good reason (miraculously) emerges for the breakdown. Like the time when you had a settlement meeting in Kampala with a well known tycoon who was buying land in Luzira, and unknown to you, was setting you up for a huge loss of credibility and finances. The car drank a full tank of gas and then, on the morning of the fateful meeting, she started, rolled out of the garage, and promptly shut down. Mechanics were called, apologies were rung in to Kampala, car innards were taken apart and put together but November refused to leave the compound. Eventually, by the time your wife suggested that maybe you were not supposed to attend the meeting, you were too annoyed and pigheaded to listen to reason and it was too late to catch a taxi anyway so you swore colourfully (under your breath of course) and stomped into your room.

Later that evening, there was a storm coming, so figuring you had nothing to lose, you got in the car, cranked the ignition and would you believe it, the bloody car started instantly and drove back into the garage. And took you to church the next morning and to work on Monday … and then you got the email from your client asking what happened to the money they gave you to deal with a certain problem. Money a certain tycoon was claiming he had also spent  (during the meeting you missed) and was claiming a refund for. To make a long story short, had you been at said meeting with the tycoon, you would have been implicated in fraud to the tune of tens of millions. (As a side tip people, if you ever have to account for money you’ve paid on someone else’s behalf to a Ugandan, do what I do. Take a photo of the recipient holding up that day’s newspaper with the headline clearly visible. And get their signature.)  

I was cleared of any wrongdoing in the tycoon refund saga, and for her role in that, November got a full tank of V-Power as ‘kasiimo’.

However, when you get up on Sunday to invite yourself to lunch at the parents’ and November won’t start for a coupla minutes – two weeks after you put in a new fuel pump and floater – and you get a sinking feeling in your gut, you just know its going to be one of those days. You let her idle for a little while, you even caress her spark plugs (she likes that), you speak a little German to her (it’s the closest to Swedish that you can get) you even remind her that her new shocks and air-con unit will arrive from Nairobi next week.

Then she allows, you back out of the driveway and as you slowly drive down the side-road to the main road, some idiot in a mini Pajero shows up in your rear view mirror and November starts spluttering. You do the decent thing, turn on your hazard lights, pull over to the side of the rather narrow road, shift into neutral and start revving the engine. Universal signs for ‘I’m in distress here, why don’t you just edge past and be on your way?’ But no, this ka Pajero driver must stop right on your bumper and start hooting at you. After taking a quick look out your window to make sure that the ka Pajero can make it past you, and confirming that it can, the driver hoots that one time too many, you open your ki heavy door, lean out and assure them loud enough to wake the neighbours who are still sleeping. “’Oi, if I’ve got my hazard lights on and I’m not moving and I’m revving my engine and I’m not parked in front of someone’s gate obviously something is wrong! Go past me or turn around and bugger off but DO NOT HOOT AT ME!”

They get the message; they hoot just one more, rather pitifully, and then back away. Funny enough, after they have started to turn halfway round, November settles down. She gets you to the main road, and just to be sure you take her to your mechanic’s workshop. This entire time she’s purring like a baby, making you look like an idiot, ‘cause sure enough your mechanic sends you on your way with a wry look on his face.

Then there’s a long queue of trailers and taxis because in their wisdom the fellows fixing the bridge over Owen Falls Dam have chosen Sunday morning to work. Why they don’t do this stuff at night, using the bridge’s overhead lights and when trailers are forbidden to travel I have no idea. Anyway you join the queue, roll onto the bridge, and quarter way across it she goes silent. Hazard lights on, wave following taxi on, shift into neutral and crank the ignition. Luckily, the traffic is slowing to a halt, just as she fires up again. You keep your hazards on and the driver from the taxi that’s just pulled in front of you walks up to you and asks if you need help. You tell him you’ll just have to wait and see if she acts up. Three quarters of the way across, she acts up again. The cars in front of you pull away and suddenly you’re that guy … holding up the traffic on the bridge with your stalled car as if you don’t know where the fuel station is … you panic-call the mechanic, asking, nay, ordering him to show up and sort this out.

Luckily, no one is hooting and the guys going slowly past in the opposite direction are offering advice as you crank the starter, “give it some gas”, “let it warm up a bit”, “don’t crank it so hard”, “why don’t you get the traffic policemen and soldiers at the end of the bridge to come push it”, “don’t worry, it will start” … You wonder, if it was a kikumi, would they have been this empathetic? Then, without warning, the engine’s back on and we’re pulling away with a great big howl. The chaps repairing the speed hump at the Jinja end of the bridge must have seen all of this because they stopped the car right in front of you but waved you on past him! Bless y’all! You were just so relieved, and let’s be honest, quite embarrassed, so you didn’t bother slowing for the … oh Lord … a new set of humps … whose colossally stupid idea was that?!

Well, you got to the parents all right. The mechanic has been rung and given directions to the house. November is sitting there looking like butter wouldn’t melt in her grille. Little does she know, the words were on the tip of your tongue to tell Madam that you’re trading in November for an electronic, curvy V70 … until she smiled her smile and said, “Thank you for getting us home”.

Well then. Another few months with November won’t hurt.

Old Souls, Young Bodies.

Cats & Dogs.

When we got married, one of our life plans was to get some pets. A dog or two, maybe even a cat. I, wanted a Rottweiler, Madam wanted a Great Dane. We agreed we’d save until we could afford one of each, the last time I checked a Great Dane pup cost $800.

Then one day in early 2012 we were in Kampala running errands, and in a moment of weakness, I let Madam talk me into a visit to the Uganda Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) in Mbuya. What started out as a sightseeing visit, ended up with me ringing our long suffering mechanic Apuuli to commandeer his car for the purpose of taking home our 2 puppies, Jinja & Ssesse, and 2 kittens, Dexter & DeeDee. 

Image  

Such is the power of a woman.

She picked Ssesse because she was the hottest bitch puppy, I picked Jinja because he was the runt and had sickly blueish eyes and I just knew no one else would take him. As for Dex and Dee, their mother was returning to her owners after they returned from outside countries Christmas holiday and they didn’t want the kittens. Plus they were the last two and it didn’t seem fair to separate them.

The vet only told us one of the kittens was male but, not knowing vet code we didn’t know how to tell which was the boy so we figured we’d name the black one DeeDee and the white one Dexter. Then one day in the middle of the year, DeeDee suddenly dropped a (huge) pair and the mystery was solved. We were stuck with a tomcat which bore a girl’s name.

The four of them were adorable as puppies/kittens, quickly finding themselves a spot under the kitchen table until they grew too big for it and were shown the door. They did everything together, from feeding & grooming to play-figting & poo-ing. Ssesse grew into an even hotter bitch, Jinja into a strapping well behaved young male, Dexter ran off the first night we spent away from home – probably followed the car and got lost – and, Dee discovered neighbours and now only shows up at mealtimes.

Sadly, Ssesse thought her good looks were enough to go by and refused to develop any discipline or regard for household rules. I recall the morning we woke to a compound stinking to high heaven of cow dung; Ssesee had snuck out in the night and ended up falling into the bio-gas pit of a house down the road.  Eventually she had to be put down after she reacted to the goading from the neighbour’s kids and took a dislike to all the kids in our village. In her defence, the neighbour’s kids are ill mannered, lying, spoilt brats but then again, we had to choose between someone else’s (horrible) kids or our dog. We took the easy way out.

Then there was Kali, another pretty but otherwise useless mutt, who we adopted from a Canadian friend after he moved into a smaller house. We shortened his name because the original name was that of the Canadian’s former landlord, a longstanding family friend of our parents. When Kali came from his sheltered background and discovered girls in our neighbourhood that was it. He left home, because we imposed a curfew, took up with a sheepdog we’d never seen before, lost a lot of weight (no more regular meals plus all that mating) and was eventually fatally wounded in a fight for her attentions with two bigger and I suppose, hornier, dogs.

Then Mum gave us a Jack Russell pup to keep Jinja company. We named him Halfsac after a character from Sons of Anarchy. He was cute when he was all puppy fat and stubby legs.

Image

Now he’s a teenager and forever devising mischief to get into. If it isn’t sneaking into the kitchen to test our new maid, it’s finding ways to get into annoying neighbour’s backyard. As if we need that stress. Just last Sunday we were informed by the neighbour, another one, that Halfsac has eaten 14 of their free-range chicks. Of course we denied strenuously, until – in the middle of the argument across the backyard fence – we spied him stealthily stalking the 5 remaining chicks as they wandered a bit too close to the chain link fence.

The moral of this tale; do not get a pretty dog for a pet; they will bring you much joy as puppies and much-er heartache as adults. Get you a Rottweiler.

Cats & Dogs.

ROAD RAGE

The Rt. Honourable 2nd Deputy Prime Minister General (Retired) Moses Ali MP, (and your driver).

Dear Sir,

The next time you are driving behind a slow moving trailer on the Owen Falls bridge and you figure you’re in too much of a hurry for us ordinary mortals, do not, I beg you, attempt to speedily overtake in a 20km no-overtaking zone as you come off the bridge.

The next time you do so, and come straight at me, I. Will. Not. Move. Out of the way.

I will stop, as I did today and switch off my engine. No amount of hooting, flashing your headlights at me, waving me frantically to the side of the road or, wagging your finger at me from the front seat of the Landcruiser Prado that my taxes bought you will get me to move. You are neither the President nor Vice President, you did not have a police escort car like your self-important cabinet colleagues and you were not driving an authorised emergency motor vehicle (and I do not know of any Ministerial statutory order designating your vehicle as such) so, you do not have right of way over me.

You might not know this, but you and I once shared a urinal at the Law Development Centre, on January 30, 2008 to be exact …

GEN ALI

Standing at the urinal, holding my dick, next to the Right Honourable Lieutenant General Moses Ali MP, while he wheezed, grunted and generally splashed his piddle everywhere but into the bowl of the pisser, I felt, almost equal, if not in bulk, in stature, to the hunk of Ugandan history next to me. We both pay tuition, take passport size fotos for our library cards, line up for meal coupons at the canteen and have to write our own notes during lectures. Now if only the person grunting on the throne behind the cubicle door, if only that was the Right Honourable Lieutenant General Jim Katugugu Muhwezi MP, then my day would be complete.

https://degstar.wordpress.com/2008/01/30/gen-ali

… and let me assure you, once a man has ‘seen’ another man, there is nothing to be in awe of. And as for the policeman in your back seat, the one who made that hand gesture village kids make to “kokolima” someone, tell him to grow up already.

Today I moved. But only after yelling at you to lead by example. And only because I had my wife and baby in the car enroute to a well earned celebratory dinner. You were lucky that I was in a good mood.

The next time you are in a hurry to find your evening tea still hot, why don’t you do what the rest of us do … leave the agricultural trade show early enough to beat the Kampala traffic jam(s).

Next time … next time you will see me!

Your humble servant,

ROAD RAGE

Drink, Be Merry & Pay Taxes.

Last night I was at dinner at the home of a neighbour, who happens to work in a brewery. Over some well-done goat muchomo, my tablemates and I got to discuss the brand of beer one of them was drinking. He explained that it was one of their own brands (a lot of the guests work in the same brewery). We asked because we’d never seen it before, not being beer drinkers ourselves.

He then qualified his answer by explaining that even if he was not bound by duty to drink his own beer, the state of beer sales in this country lately compels him to do something proactive about the amount of beer that’s being drunk.

Mbu, wait for it, people are not drinking beer!

Ever since a traffic police boss announced, as certain official types sometimes do willy-nilly, that anyone with alcohol in their system would be arrested if they were found behind the wheel of a vehicle … whether or not they were above the legal limit notwithstanding … as long as they had alcohol in their system, they would be arrested.

The announcer of this news, who I think is a PhD, has apparently singlehandedly reduced beer consumption to the level that one brewery has/is laying off workers as we speak; they have had to reduce their brewing frequency to thrice a week because they don’t have that many production lines to start with and a lot of their product is trucked in from Kenya. My dinner companion’s own company is itself contemplating reducing their own workforce and he warned us that we might soon see him out of a job. This in spite of the fact that his company is soon finishing construction of a new plant in Mbarara.

Why, you may wonder. Apparently, our companion explained, Ugandans heard the announcement, watched a few of their friends and drinking buddies get hauled in by the traffic cops for the merest whiff of alcohol, and decided that it was simply too much hassle to go out and have a drink in Munyonyo – where it tastes better and where all your mates congregate – when you live in Naalya. So chaps are going home and catching a pint there instead.

But you know how catching a pint at home doesn’t flow, you can’t house a round or be housed a round, there are no weave-wearing high heel & mini-dress rocking brown things to buy drinks for or cute waitresses to run up your tab for. The music is frankly depressing, you can’t be loud and tell off colour jokes, when the beer is finished, it is finished and let’s be honest, nothing spells sad loser like drinking alone. At home. In front of the telly.

So there we are, peeps are not drinking beer! Who woulda thunk it?  Aside from all those tax dollars going unpaid from unsold and unconsumed beer think of the potential taxes on airtime (to rally quorum), fuel (to get to the joint and back), salon expenses (to look worth the beer spent on you) and imported condoms (unless you want the freebies of UHMG). Things got so bad for URA that The Dear Visionary was forced to direct the traffic cops to stop disturbing taxpayers. And as for the farmers of barley and sorghum, well, I don’t know who’s looking out for them. At least now I know why I haven’t been able to get as much brew mash as I would like, for my pigs to also be in a full full condition.

So, fellow citizens, to paraphrase JFK’s words, in the spirit of asking not what your country can do for you, but instead, asking what you can do for your country, go out and drink some beer! Then URA will collect some tax dollars and maybe, just maybe, Ms. Maria Kiwanuka will not have to increase/introduce taxes on processed fish, processed milk, fuel (again), domestic water (WTH!), motor vehicle registration, international calls and mobile money transactions.

Drink, Be Merry & Pay Taxes.

Our Man Kadaga! And a Tale of Two Lawyers.

May 2, 2013 | 21:30 Hours

The Speaker of Parliament, the Honourable Rebecca A. Kadaga MP has pronounced herself on the eviction of 4 members of Parliament from the NRM party. Quoth she, Article 83 of The Constitution covers the circumstances under which an MP’s seat may be declared vacant and the present scenario is most definitely not catered for. Let the talking heads run riot.

Gabriel Epenu, host of NTV news at nine then handed over to an unnamed reporter who proceeded to interview Julius Galisonga, introduced to us as a constitutional lawyer. More on that in a bit. When the reporter was done with Galisonga, we returned to the studio where Epenu introduced his studio guest, Robert Kirunda, a lecturer of law at Makerere University and a political analyst.

Now, I have a vested interest in ‘how lawyers be’, to use a Ugandanism. My baby sister is in training to become an advocate and I am constantly bothering her with info on law firms, interesting cases, inspirational lawyers/barristers/solicitors & advocates, so when I see stuff where lawyers are involved, I take notes.

And boy, did I take some notes tonight.

On air, Kirunda was the lovechild of Denny Crane and Alan Shore with Harvey Specter as his nursemaid. He was eloquent, he looked straight into the camera, he spoke up, he enunciated his words, his diction was precise, he was informed, quoting case law here, precedent (William Lenthall & Charles I) there, and throwing in a Latin maxim or two here and there with explanations for good measure. He was on point, and then some.

Let me digress a bit.

My dear learned friends, as far as I know (unless you are an ambulance chaser), your chosen profession frowns upon advertisements of yourself. Your work, I suppose, should speak for itself. But just like you cannot tell that a beautiful woman has a heart of gold unless you are initially attracted by her beautiful kiwaani and other material inducements, we cannot tell that you are a ‘good and successful lawyer’ unless we hear you speak and see your shiny suit and Mercedes C200 – the apparent choice of motor for almost every lawyer I went to school with.

In that respect, Galisonga shone. I mean, his suit did. And little else. Listening to him prattle on was like being in a kafunda discussion chaired by an administrative clerk. His biggest contribution was asking on which side of the parliamentary aisle the 4 expelled MPs would sit.

And as for this business of introducing him as a constitutional lawyer; granted he might very well have majored (is that the right term?) in constitutional law but when you’re watching national news, one expects to be presented with the expert opinion of … an expert. When I think of experts on constitutional law, my mind prepares to bow at the feet of Prof. G. W. Kanyeihamba, Prof. Frederick Ssempebwa, Peter Walubiri, Busingye Kabumba et al not an individual who until today I knew only as the lawyer of one Bad Black. Yes, I read everything.

As I was saying, when you’re in a business where people will hire you for the quality of what comes out of your mouth, it pays to adhere to the advice of Mark Twain, ‘it is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot, than to open it and remove all doubt’.  

I would have asked for Kirunda’s phone number but my aforementioned baby sister will be my lawyer of choice when she finishes LDC shortly.

And now, to borrow a quote that Robert Kirunda used, ‘Vox Populi, vox Dei!’

Go Kadaga!! Good on you for stating the obvious.

 

Our Man Kadaga! And a Tale of Two Lawyers.

Banange! Mutugambire ku ba Editor wa Sunday Vision!

A week ago I wrote about shoddy editing in the Sunday Extra and was roundly assured (by both Vision & Monitor people) that these things happen and sometimes things slip through the cracks. Well, what do I know? I’ve never worked on a newspaper. But I do know that this Sunday I woke at 6:36 am to prepare for church and was so excited at the thought that much later on I would be holding a perfectly edited copy of the Sunday Vision that in my haste, I put aside 3k for … not one but two … newspapers – in the chest pocket of my shirt – before I even put aside money for the offertory.

It was only when we were in church and singing the hymn that comes before the reading that I opened the Bible and found 10k, which my beautiful and organised wife then whispered she had slipped into my Bible as offertory, that I remembered I hadn’t carried church money, and yet there in my shirt pocket … looking at me accusingly whenever I glanced down at the hymnal … was 3k for newspapers.

Just as well that today’s reading was from Ephesians 5, v.22 to v.33 … instructing women to submit to & respect their husbands …

 So imagine how I felt when I finally got home, lovingly took the staple out of the Sunday Vision and quickly scanned through, mentally deciding which articles to read now and which ones to read later when TV gets boring, and which ones to read tonight while beautiful organised Wife does her online jigsaw puzzles, only to land upon the following gems, reproduced here word for word.

Gem No. 1; Pg 4, Man killed over waragi sacket, by Innocent Anguyo

As they say, a fish starts rotting from the head.

Gem No. 2; Pg 5, Thousands grace Kabaka’s Birthday, by Moses Mulondo

Para 2, “High profile people ranging from religious leaders, Buganda MPs, the Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and lands minister Aidah Nataba graced the occasion. Besigye, Beti Kamya and Ken Lukyamuzi also attended.”

Besigye?! Besigye?! BESIGYE?! What is this? When did Dr. Kizza Besigye attain one name iconic status ala Madonna, Bono, Cher, Sting, Prince, Beyonce etc? Come to think of it, which ‘high profile person’ do you refer to like that fwaaa?

Gem No. 3; Still Pg 5, Thousands grace Kabaka’s Birthday, by Moses Mulondo

Para 4, “The Kabaka later gave special recognition to local artistes Mathias Walukagga for composing songs which depict the plight of Ugandans and Noerine Kaleeba for her outstanding efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

Obwedda? Mukyala Kaleeba, co-founder of TASO and UNAIDS programme development advisor, has been moonlighting as a local artiste?! At least she was singing songs about her outstanding efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Well done Ms. Kaleeba!

Anyway on behalf of my Jajja Namusoke, and on my own personal behalf (as you Ugandans like to say), I would like to wish The Kabaka a Happy Birthday! Wangala ayi Ssabasajja ne Nabagereka agelekele Obuganda ayigilize ne Mulondo spelling ne grammar!

Gem No. 4; Pg 51, By P.5, Sekyanzi was paying his own fees, by John Semakula & Henry Nsubuga

Para 8, “When he joined S.1 at Mukono High School, he discovered that photography payed even better, especially among the students”.

2 writers, 2 Subeditors, 1 Chief Subeditor and, I’m assuming, a Features editor before the paper goes to print and y’all publish that?

Is it just me? Am I expecting too much just because I payed for the paper? Should I just chill my lugezigezi? Namwe aba New Vision mubeleko fair!

And now, once again, for the tagline;

The Vision Group. National Pride·Global Excellence

Banange! Mutugambire ku ba Editor wa Sunday Vision!