Friday, October 20, 2017

Museveni's Kids Can't Read or Do Sums

Are our children getting the best education? Weeks ago, I was invited by former students of Kitante Primary School to read to the children. “P4 students” so Kenneth Kayondo, an old boy of the school and one of the organisers informed.

I'm In Charge
But hold up a minute, WTF do I TB, know about P4 students! Back at home I went through my book collection trying to find something suitable and void of profanity. First book I picked up - Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James. So NOT a good idea! How about Jackie Collins - Confessions of a Wild Child that The Ex left behind when she moved out? Never to have read any of her books so I quickly flipped through it and there on page 68 I think it was, were paragraphs of steamy and raunchy content which, Father Lokodo and his Porn Committee would have wasted no time demanding Aristoc remove from the shelves.

Ten books later and with nothing appropriate I evoked Plan B. Magazines. First magazine that fell out of the dusty box was err, Playboy which featured the model Naomi Campbell. Nuff said. So to Kitante I went empty handed, but I need not have worried because appropriate books were provided.

One thing about standing at the front of the class and looking down at 30+ kids staring back at me, is that within two minutes, I had spotted that boy who was going to drop out and end up as a taxi tout near Radio One and the girl destined to be a salon assistant.

As the reading got underway with the book – Greedy Monkey Loses a Best Friend, there was something troubling about it - nothing to do with content or the illustrations, but with the grammar. Yes, we writers make mistakes and on occasion, I have spotted minor errors in this column when reading it in Sunday Vision, but by then it’s too late to do anything about it.

Full of Errors
In the book, the mistakes were not minor but unforgivably colossal – almost from page one through to the end. Imagine the word ‘father’ was spelt as ‘farther’. In a number of paragraphs some words suddenly sprung up in upper casing. Full stops were omitted and commas put in the wrong places.

Now how are we supposed to get our children to read and write to a level that is above par from books that are littered with spelling errors and grammatical gaffes? Did the author of the book not read through it before it was sent to the printers? And frankly speaking, whoever did the proof reading should be banished to the furthest corner of Uganda to re-read the book – How To Learn Your Alphabet.

Kitante aside, last month Daily Monitor ran a story that made for the most disconcerting reading. It said: “Uganda is second in the world with pupils who can’t count.” At school I was poor at maths, but thankfully when I was in P4, I could easily count past 5 unlike kids today.

The Damming Report
Days ago, a friend of a friend asks if I could “lift him to the main road”. I sat rooted to my seat while my brain tried to decipher what he had said. Brain drew a blank so there was a need to ask that he repeat himself. And again he said: “Can you lift me to the main road?” After going back and forth for an eternity, I eventually grasped he was asking for a lift in the car to the main road. And he’s a Makerere University graduate!    

Suffice to say Uganda is not alone in giving children a substandard education. Recently in Nigeria, 75% of the 21,780 teachers in Kaduna State failed to pass exams set for six-year-olds. Ouch, ouch!            
Oh Dear!
Pictures: Daily Monitor, New Vision, Kitante School Reading Club 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

You're Fired!

In the 80s, I used to work in Canary Wharf, East London. I don’t know how many people the company employed, but sizeable seeing that we occupied three floors.

One evening as we left at the close of day and headed to the pub, one of the boardrooms was being rearranged – not that it concerned us that much because it was something that happened on a regular basis.

Shortly after 11:00am the following morning, an army of men and women in suits and suits skirts trooped in carrying everything from laptops, flip charts, cardboard boxes and set up camp in the rearranged boardroom.

It didn’t take that long after their arrival for whispers to resound through the three floors that the men and women in black trouser suits and skirts were auditors – from Arthur Andersen if memory serves me correct, and had been tasked with helping the company to ‘downsize’ – a term that then, was ‘Greek’ to me.

The Words Every Employee Dreads To Hear
For the record, in a business enterprise, downsizing is “reducing the number of employees on the operating payroll. Some users distinguish downsizing from a layoff, with downsizing intended to be a permanent downscaling and a layoff intended to be a temporary downscaling in which employees may later be rehired”.

Over the course of three months there were tears if you got back from lunch to find a pristine white envelope on your desk with a letter that read something along the lines of: “...with regret you are surplus requirement to the direction the firm is taking...” and “...wishing you the best in future endeavours...”

I survived, but not for long for two weeks after the suits had packed up and gone, the boardroom rearranged to the way it used to be, there was a global financial meltdown. The markets collapsed and in a matter of hours, thousands were without jobs and err, including me.

What Next After Getting The Axe?
Closer to home, Auditor needs to take a trip State House. A few weeks ago, I called State House asking to speak to Human Resource. “Reason of your enquiry” Voice asked. I was tempted to tell Voice that it’s of no concern to her but thought otherwise and politely responded that I needed to find out the structure of the payroll and how many people State House employs. A click later, and I guess for 'obvious reasons', the line went dead.

State House employs 32 cabinet ministers and 51 state ministers. In addition, M7 has 20 men and women with job titles of – Senior Presidential Advisor, Assistant Presidential Advisor, Presidential Advisor, Special Presidential Envoy, Special Presidential Assistant, and Deputy Special Presidential Assistant who earn a monthly stipend of between sh15m at the high end for Henry Kajura and sh2.3 at the low end for Tamale Mirundi. For foreign travel, they earn a daily per diem allowance of $460 - $580.  

Advisors Are Raking In A Dime
What bothers, is what on earth do all these people do? To the best of my knowledge and as William Naggaga wrote in Daily Monitor sometime back: “To advise M7 you must meet him, or receive a request for advice. Many have not met M7 nor has their advice been sought, but they still get paid and it would not be polite or prudent to reject either the appointment or the salary that comes with it.” Yesss!!

For example in the job description, what is the difference between Special Presidential Envoy and Special Presidential Assistant except in the titles? Or does the Special Presidential Assistant assist the Special Presidential Envoy?

Whatever the case, downsizing is urgently required at State House but with a proviso – with the money and per diem that Advisor earns, if am offered Special Presidential Envoy status, then there be no need to go rocking the gravy boat - is there? 

Pictures: New Vision, Agencies

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Abiriga Flopped Out His Willy At Ministry of Finance!

Oh dear, but that chap in yellow – Arua Municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga who is almost as comical as Iraqi Information minister, Comical Ali was during the 2nd Iraqi war, is back in the news. A few weeks ago, Abiriga got himself goofed and slapped about in the corridors of parliament by Ayivu County MP, Bernard Atiku. Hmm!
Ibrahim Abiriga, MP
Let’s pause a minute and delve into the lyrics of Coward of The County by Kenny Rogers which, go along these lines:

Everyone considered him the coward of the county, he'd never stood one single time, to prove the county wrong his mama called him Tommy, but folks just called him yellow...

Is there any need to say more on the subject – y’all know what the word ‘yellow’ means in the context of the song and goofing that Abiriga got?

Getting back, less than a week after his hiding, Abiriga decided to go and do the unthinkable – and no, don’t go thinking he went scouring for goons from downtown to go beat up Atiku. After a long day at parliament, he clambered into his yellow Volkswagen Beatle, drove out of the gates of parliament and somewhere along Ministry of Finance on Nile Avenue, he stopped found some shrubbery, unzipped his yellow strides, sprung his thingy out and with no shame did susu. Let me repeat just in case you think it’s a typo error sentence. “...unzipped his yellow strides, sprung his thingy out and with no shame did susu.” And for added measure Police Bodyguard complete with Ak-47 stood behind him and probably encouraged him to shake off the driblets once he was all done.
Caught In The Act
The shame of Abiriga, is that he did not flop thingy out to pee in the dead of the night while the better part of Kampala were tucked up in their beds and fast asleep. He did it the twilight of the afternoon when mothers were picking up their kids from school!

When he was cornered by the media a few days after the incident, with no remorse he admitted that he had and said something along the lines of: “I was caught short. I had to pee. What did you expect me to do, pee in my trousers?”
His Police Bodyguard Standing Guard
Pause up. Is Ministry of Finance not behind Parliament? Could he not have gone to the toilet before he left the house? When he was a kid, did Parent not tell him to go to the toilet before he went on a long trip?

What annoys is that while KCCA Executive Director, Jenny Musisi took action and dragged him to court for being a 'public nuisance' amongst other things, Parliament Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga has kept mum on the incident and allowed him to get away with it. I have always thought there is a code of conduct that governs MPs and doing susu in the streets of Kampala City is just one of those conducts. But did he turn up to answer the charges? Bleak, so I guess that's that then?
How New Vision Online Broke The story
Perhaps we could forgive him - can’t we, because we all don’t come from backgrounds reaped with etiquette and moral values. If Mr. Bukumunhe - dad that is, discovered I had peed on the walls of Ministry of Finance regardless of the time, he would have been mortified. Then disown me.

But I figure the reason why Kadaga has not fined or reprimanded him, is after doing some research on what might have possessed him to unleash in town, I came across a Daily Monitor article and the headline was to the point - ‘In Arua, Latrines Are A Luxury’ - that many homes have to make do with flying kaveera toilets. And Abiriga comes from and wait for it, wait for it...err Arua! I guess his doing susu on walls in the centre of town was no big deal because its an everyday occurrence back home in Arua.
Could This Be the Real Reason Abiriga Peed In The Streets?
Ministry of Finance should erect a commemorative plaque on the wall just above the patch of dead grass that Abiriga’s susu killed that reads: “Kino kyekifo omukungu wa Palamenti Owekitiibwa Abiriga Weyakunkumula omusolo mu Seputemba 2017.” (This marks the spot where Hon Abiriga peed in September, 2017). 

Pictures: New Vision, Daily Monitor

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Abiriga, The Yellow Coward Who Got Goofed

A melee is a melee. Be it in a boxing ring, the kafunda, Old Taxi Park and even in parliament where round the world, it’s been happening for years - from Taiwan to South Korea, Japan to Ukraine, and Italy to Greece... The list is endless.

Closer to home, Africa’s most illustrious parliamentary brawler is South Africa’s Julius Sello Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a political party. For Malema, tussling in parliament is his way of life – part of EFF’s DNA and they relish in it.

South Africa's Julius Malema

 Here, I have asked and nobody can recall if any of our legislators has been involved in a physical melee at parliament. Of course there have been numerous ranting spats on the steps of parliament, but not a physical melee though I do stand to be corrected on that.

Well, until last week of course.

But hold up a second or two before we get into the gist of today's ramble. Remember what Kenny Rodgers crooned all those years ago in his song - Coward of The County, that......

 "Everyone considered him the coward of the county, he'd never stood one single time, to prove the county wrong his mama called him Tommy, but folks just called him yellow...
Bernard Atiku, Ayivu MP (wherever that is) and Ibrahim Abiriga, Arua Municipality MP (and at least I do know where Arua is), were in parliament for obvious reasons. They are members of parliament. That aside, they were going to discuss a topic to do with age.
Ibrahim Abiriga MP

Somewhere in the corridors when they met up and faced each other, they had a verbal spat that words such as “stupid” and “fool” were hurled at Atiku and that was it. The fuse was lit. Akitu charged at Abiriga. In retaliation, Abiriga grabbed Akitu by the neck and as the scuffle unfolded, Cop stepped in. The basis of the fight, is of course of no concern to us in this column but what is, is that both MPs did NOT observe ‘melee protocol.’

Melees are usually preceded by a crowd baying for blood as both sides square up. In this case there was no baying crowd. In the absence of a baying crowd, they could have had a curtain raiser – like an artiste to sing a song or two before the fight. Seeing that Bobby Wine is not just an MP but a musician too, he could have crooned one or two songs. 
The Melee Going Down

Secondly, in this day and age, who still uses “stupid” and “fool” as words of insult and worthy of a fight? There is an arsenal of vulgar swear words that are more effectual – that sear though the soul and sever anything to do with rational thought. I would have laid bare some of the words, but the ladies who sit on Sunday Vision Censor Board are very effective at their job.
Cops Rush In To Save The Day

Once the dust had settled, what did Abiriga ask for? Hmm, water while Akitu probably went off to celebrate with friends and drink a muzinga of JW Blue label and pop a bottle or two of Moet champagne.

And MP listen up, when you fight make sure the TV cameras are nearby and don’t simply go in for a scuffle of grabbing necks. Swing hot slaps, put fingers up his nose, tear his shirt – at least pull one sleeve off. If not, leave it in tatters.

Then lunge for his trousers – get that belt off him so his pants fall. And as he flees do a ‘Muntadhar al-Zaid’ and throw your shoes at him because all this makes for great Bukedde TV news.
Only Losers Ask For Water

Once the dust has settled and you face the media, this is how you handle it.

If You Got Goofed:

“It’s very unfortunate that my honourable friend attacked me. I am a family man and uphold family values. God is my saviour and will see me through.”

If You Triumphed:

“That MP, tumbavu! Who does he think he is? I could have kicked his butt all the way back to his constituents so they see the coward that his is. I wouldn’t be surprised if his wife left him to come live with me because I am a real man! Now I hear he went crying to M7. What will M7 do, send mambas to arrest me? Adangamu!”     

By the way, Muntadhar al-Zaid is the Iraqi journalist whose claim to fame is throwing his shoes at George Bush in December 2008.   

Muntadhar al-Zaid

Pictures: New Vision, Agencies

Friday, September 22, 2017

Govt's sh12bn Bulls Are Mere Sex Slaves

Is there something wrong with government? Let’s fast track to Entebbe and to the National Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC&DB), who so newspaper headlines screeched last week had spent a staggering sh12bn on purchasing eight bulls from South Africa. This is how they spent part of the money.

* $29,000 (sh104M) for four Romagnola bulls
* $24,000 (sh86m) for four Braham bulls
* $974,392 (sh3.5bn) in insurance and maintenance
* Sh1bn on a stud farm

How New Vision Broke The Story And A Tweet I posted

Am not a farmer, but thankfully, Google ‘is’ and a quick search on both bulls reveals that the disposition of Brahman cattle is often questioned. 

Apparently, Brahmans are intelligent, inquisitive and shy. They are unusually thrifty, hardy and adaptable to a wide range of feeds and climate. However, these characteristics also suggest careful, kind handling methods. Brahmans like affection and can become very docile. They quickly respond to handling they receive, good or bad. Well bred, wisely selected and properly treated Brahmans are as easily handled as other breeds. They originated from India.

On the other hand, the Romangnola breed derives from the Bos primigenius podolicus, a wild ox which lived on the Italian peninsula and, to a great extent also, from the Bos primigenius nomadicus, a bovine originating in the Euro - Asian steppes, which came to Italy during the fourth century A.D. with the Gothic invasion led by Aginulf.
A Romangnola Bull
That said, why did NAGRC&DB feel the need to splurge sh12bn+ plus on eight ‘exotic’ bulls? Were they going to be zapped, have their throats slit in an abattoir and end up on a fine china plates along with roast potatoes, Bistro gravy and vegetables at a State House dinner? Or was it much cheaper to get them from abroad rather than procuring them from Herdsman in Karamoja or Mbarara and Bushenyi?

Transgressing slightly, I have heard of cases on the Indian subcontinent and especially in South Africa and Nigeria where women have been known to abduct healthy young men, lock them in a room and forcibly make off with their sperm without their consent. Why they feel the need to steal the sperm, some say it has everything to do with juju. Others say because the men are healthy and of ‘good stock’ the women have the sperm implanted in themselves so they bear kids with good attributes but without actually having sex with the men.

In the article I read (New Vision, Tuesday 12th September), there was no mention of the bulls being of ‘good stock’ or that they would sire cows and bulls of good stock.
Digging deeper, the peeps who run NAGRC&DB are merely a bunch of morbid sadists who are twisted, perverse and full of sinister raison d'être. The reason why they bought the bulls has nothing to with good stock. They bought them to be sex slaves!

Like the women who steal male sperm they (the bulls), will also have their sperm taken without their consent and will not have any physical contact with a cow. Rather, the semen will be extracted by artificial insemination in a sh1bn centre and stored in a fridge somewhere in Entebbe.

But that’s not all. The bulls are required to produce a mind boggling 192,000 doses of semen over a period of four years (4,000 doses a month) and that semen will be flogged sh50k a dose which translates to well over sh8.3bn. And there is no mention of what happens to the sh8.3bn.

Animal right activists have been surprisingly muted on the subject but I am sure former agriculture minister, Specioza Kazibwe must be frothing at the mouth. Remember what she said all those years ago when she was still minister – that, “even bulls like to have sex!”

"Even Bulls Like To Have Sex" - Former Agriculture Minister Dr Spe Kazibwe

Pictures: New Vision, Agencies 


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Pastor Mbonye Meeting Jesus is Like Saying Michael Jackson is Still Alive and Living in Ndeeba

Let me say it as it is from the onset and get it over and done with. The fetish of kissing shoes or feet is known as podophilia

I rarely watch television but by chance, I caught an interview with Elvis Mbonye who as you all know, has a job title of Prophet. Just to make sure we are all on the same page, Wikipedia defines prophet as: “An individual who has been contacted by a divine being in order to speak on the entity's behalf, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings from the supernatural source to other people.” And Jesus is the divine being Mboyne is supposedly in contact with. Hmm!

As the interview unravelled, Mbonye with not a trait of guilt in him shamelessly admitted how he had met Jesus. That he (Jesus) came to his bedroom and far from being anything like the pictures of him (Jesus) with a scraggily hair and unkempt beard that have circulated the globe for years, he is a young man who is handsome and beautiful.

However, Female Interviewer should have thrown the book at him – probing and digging further because there are a number of unanswered questions.

1.       How did he get to heaven – with KQ, Ethiopian, Emirates or first class with Heaven Airlines?
2.       Was he there by invite and how was the invitation communicated?
3.       What was Jesus wearing – Jeans, T-shirt and baseball cap or it was a strict all white dress code?
4.       Seeing he was in heaven, did he get the chance to seek out the Ugandan community who have died and might        have made it to heaven?

I have never met Pastor Mbonye and I doubt we will meet in the near future because I hear he tends to wander all over the land holding fellowships which, I do not have the time for and would rather be ensconced in one place like El Classico, with a bucket and in the company of Julio, Kayos, Doc and Paulo.

Apart from his ‘I met Jesus’ revelation, a few weeks ago Pastor dressed up to the nines in white – right down to his shoes which, was reminiscent of former Liberian warlord, Charles Taylor, Napoleon Bonaparte and former emperor of Central African Republic, Jean Bedel Bokassa and of course both God and Jesus, then sat in a lavish white chair with lashings of gold on the edges of the head and arm rests.

The dinner was not free and I have never known Pastor to do anything for free. They always take but never give back. Tickets to eat with him started at sh1m for platinum, sh750,000 for gold, sh500,000 for silver and sh300,000 for kayola. Considering he got a near full house, he must have been laughing in the back of the bullion van all the way to the bank.

Sacks of money aside, at some point during dinner and perhaps overcome by emotion or maybe a infusion of momentary lunacy, people felt compelled to get out of their seats, clamber up to his alter and spread themselves on the ground much like the subjects of Kings’ Oyo and Mutebi do when they (Oyo and Mutebi) are in the vicinity.

But then some decided that merely falling to the ground was not befitting of Mbonye in his eminence as Prophet. They had to give more to him and they did. So what did they give? Err, they kissed, they snogged his white shoes!

Why would educated people feel the needed to go start kissing some chaps shoes? Mafia Don’s underlings don’t kiss his shoes, nor does Minister kiss M7s or Catholics kiss Pope’s feet - though I do stand to be corrected on M7 and the Pope.

But as happens with all religious cults of sort, the end is always nigh – remember how Rev Jim Jones of Guyana ’78, his flock perished after they all drank poison? And David Koresh of Waco ’93, his followers were burnt alive while closer to home in Kanungu in 2000, Joseph Kibwetere and his ranks (Below) met their death in a grizzly mass suicide fire.  

Pictures: New Vision, Agencies


Saturday, September 9, 2017

IGP Kayihura Gives Malaya's Civil Servant Status

‘Transparency’ so the IGG’s office constantly wails and ‘the need to be above the board in awarding government tenders, jobs, contracts and so forth to the best there is, because it makes for better government and due diligence has been exercised.’

Two weeks ago, Kale Kayihura’s Uganda Police and Father Lokodo’s Ministry of Ethics and Integrity hired people to fill various vacancies within their departments. There is nothing wrong with that except, I’m of the approach that transparency and due diligence were not employed.

Let’s start with IGP who hired 200 prostitutes to boost the spy ranks of the police force. But pause a jiffy while I twirl this in my head for is prostitution not an illegal activity in Uganda? Are these not the same prostitutes Father Lokodo is trying to rid the city of who are now being offered 'civil servant status' as spies to elicit information from punters whilst in the throes of a sawa ya malaavu session in some backstreet lodge?

That aside, there are many peeved prostitutes who operate on Speke Road and in Capital Pub, Kabalagala and Deuces in Kansanga. Listening to their beef with IGP, they maintain that no job adverts were placed in New Vision or in Bukedde. They further argue that they are more qualified than District Prostitute who were given the jobs because they (District Prostitute) don’t have access to the internet and a diverse range of Foreign Punter to know the latest hooker trends and modules on the market. Another question, will their names be added to Ministry of Public Service employee payroll list so their salaries can be paid into the bank? 

Prostitutes being rounded up by police
But why does IGP need to hire Prostitute to gather intelligence? The police force has a number of directorates – Counter Terrorism, Metropolitan Police, Criminal Investigation and Crime Intelligence to do that and now there is a Directorate of Prostitution. Unless of course, Prostitute has been hired to gather a different type of information from Suspect like – ‘size, technique he used, passion depth, kissing style, romance in bed, preferred type of contraception....?’

Moving on, Porn Cop, Father Lokodo that is, also leaped into the fray in an attempt to grab the headlines from Kayiura. He too, has been hiring people to sit on his sh2bn Porn Committee and has appointed Dr Annette Kezaabu Kasimbazi, deputy vice-chancellor academic affairs at Kampala International University to chair the committee. Hmm!

No offence meant to the good Dr because I’ve never met her, but did Lokodo ask about her porn qualifications? What about the rest of the committee, how did Lokodo pick them? Were interviews conducted? What criteria was used? Where they shown the clip from Halle Berry’s 2001 movie, Monsters Ball and asked to write an essay on it? And hold up, has anybody seen Lokodo’s porn qualifications or does Appointing Authority know something the rest of us don’t?

With a sh2bn budget and the opportunity to spend the day in a murky room in the basement of La Bonita theatre watching porn flicks and perusing through back issues of Hustler and Playboy, did nepotism come into play?

I know many Ugandans are wasted in the jobs they currently do. I know because of the porn they post on their WhatsApp groups. Secondly, I doubt Dr Kasimbazi and her fellow committee members – Dalton Opwonya, Sheikh Mohammad Ali Waiswa, Pastor Martin Sempa and the rest know what they have let themselves in for.

Father Lokodo wants to make her unemployed
During a New Vision interview, Kasimbazi said her committee will start work in September after induction. “Induction” I hear you squeal? Most likely they are off to Kyankwanzi to go though back issues of Playboy. And if she get through the first five minutes of the pig scene without throwing up in the porn movie - Animal Farm which I might add, has nothing to do with George Orwell's bestseller book, then perhaps, Kasimbazi might just have the right qualifications for the job. 

But I seriously doubt. I expect her quit by the time she gets to the graphic images on page two of Hustler magazine where the naked model has spread her legs wide open and is ...... Let me leave it at that. 

And in a final act of utter porn lunacy, Porn Committee has decided that if you text Wifey, Girlfie, Boyfie or whatever and the message sizzles that you end up having sex, you will be deemed guilty of having sent porn and deserve to be punished.

How NTV reporter Raymond Mujini tweeted the news from Kasimbazi
Pictures: The Daily Monitor, New Vision, Raymond Mujuni