Monday, 1 February 2016

Cast The Vote Anyway!

Elections are just around the corner. It's Election time. It’s the talk of town. Everyone is on and about with politics, dominating chats, it’s the fable.  All & sundry high spirits, the politicians are bringing nothing less than their A-game. It's a quagmire for voters. Voting isn’t as easy after all. To some, it is an opportunity to boot out those they deem incompetent. The antebellum. Others simply hope to wake up to an unfamiliar face not sure whether it’s for better or for worse. Obviously, some are comfortable with keeping the incumbents with others believing their vote will be as popular & relevant as Senator John McCain's presidential bid. Who's that? Google is your best friend. As expected, there's a bunch not bothered with what will happen come the election. One thing is for certain, the talk in town is elections.
Eyes are glued to televisions, ears to radios, fingers perambulating various keyboards, the desire to be part of the discussions is unprecedented and not even LVG’s attempts to foil Manchester United can get people to stop squawking. Do you recall how silent the room would be when an episode of "Sunset Beach" was airing? Do you recall how heated discussions would be after a Salvador and Isabel Aroyo episode of "El Cuerpo Del Deseo" aired on TV? Another embodiment of such fanaticism is the general elections buildup. Informed and uninformed parties all have "pertinent" issues to put across, each one feels that they are an authority on the topic of elections. From the grapevine, we hear all sorts of tales.

Let's ask the big questions here, shall we? “Are these individuals apt for the tasks that lie ahead? Steering Uganda forward or have we forsaken the simplest of ideologies and been taken aback by the ridiculous manifestos spawn forth by the various candidates? Candidates in a bid to convince the electorate that they are the best?” What are the "capable" parties doing as we are left to choose between the few that have opted to take on the mantle of leadership? The doctorate holders in various fields that could make meaningful decisions in various ministries. The outstanding C.E.O’s that have driven corporations from near sinking points to heights that stake holders never supposed they would experience. The “learned fellows” so they call themselves, with vast knowledge of the proceedings and legal issues that surround the country. A legislator it is called, and yet we have personalities who haven't a single ounce of knowledge as regards law, vying for decision making positions in this country. I cry my beloved country; I cry.

“When the aliens attack, I shall be ready." This particular slogan hails from the "prestigious" Makerere University. Juxtapose the locality and slogan and you'll hide your face in shame. 

“I am the bridge you await." Does this have anything to do with that bridge a one @andsjeff on Twitter advised us to go practice "Temple Run" from?

Omusaawo wabwe."

To mention but a few are some of the hideous slogans I have seen being put forward by candidates who are religiously seeking our votes. Is this the best that we as a country can front, or have we simply left the country to whoever cares? We have surely done no wrong to the gods to deserve such damnation. Comedians, musicians, have also joined the race for leadership of the country. I do not undermine their ability to serve and move us to better days, but all I ask is; is this the best that the country can offer? Is there a diversity requirement when you get to a certain point of these careers?

"One Uganda, one people!" If the doctor-cum-retired Colonel hoped this was the slogan all would adopt post-presidential debate, the overtly tribalistic Maureen Kyalya wasn't on the same page with him. (Please note that the writer here can differentiate between adopt and adapt, unlike an unnamed presidential candidate.) And so were the moderators. Enemies of steady progress. If only they could subscribe to accelerated progress.

The first ever presidential debate. Media was awash with predictions of what would happen. Different people were fronting their ideas. It was happening. The first ever presidential debate. What a time to be alive! Just as lopsided as life is, many were bound to fall, others to rise. Save for those that chose to listen to the man with the hat, the rest of us, high school-goers like he said, had fun. I am not certain if we have Netflix to thank for this. Or comedy central. Was there an advert of the above networks taking on 256 content that I missed? Was there? Because, eminently, the political program in Uganda for the past 12 months has had ratings only second to The Ebonies legendary show "That's Life Mwattu" in all time seeding.

See, there was the beautiful Nancy Kacungira. Very composed behind the mic. She was the amalgam of beautiful and dangerous. Fierce like a baby-mama lioness. Then there was the man in a suit. He's the guy rugby coaches would position at #1. Slayer of wits. Tough tackler. Crasher of the timid. Allan Kasujja. All were pint sized, with respect to Allan. There was no room for bullying. The combination of Allan & Nancy was as intimidating as they come.

What this country needs are leaders who can't afford to have their tails served to them between their legs. Allan and Nancy were out to unmask the seven. Madam Maureen Kyalya struck me as a passionately lost volunteer. Her continuous pleas for woman emancipation were dealt a huge blow as she was discredited for her failure to fully represent to their expectations. We'll not delve into her ideas on different policies.

One statement in, and everyone else was crestfallen on Eng. Elton Mabiriizi's behalf. The Prince of debt management. So much for being the people's president with the people's manifesto. Just like Mesut Ozil, the good engineer has a verb/noun/adverb/adjective after him.

"Please Mabirizi that I said that."

With M(9-2) MIA, JPAM was inadvertently going to answer for every flaw in this nation's governance spanning 30 years or else say hello to the guillotine. And boy didn't he bring the house down! Tactfully, he feigned ignorance where need be. What a lawyer! Plead the fifth, no one will say a thing. At least that's what Cynthia told me.

Who knew the good Colonel could stutter? With Allan behaving tougher than Oliver Twist's chefs, he was pushed into a corner. Failed to ably dissect his policies. Dr. Abed. Clearly the one with all the notes. Well, not all, given the fact the accents from the moderators caught him off guard. Applicable policies he had though. Gen. Biraaro Benon. One thing's a given, not all of us can be farmers. Nonetheless, this nation could use your brain on many other things. Lastly, the young professor. I struggle to recall an outstanding moment for Prof. Barya but I'll go on and say, "Running a university is in no way comparable to running this nation." If the university in question is MUK, the   professor needs not to be anywhere in the proximity of this country's instruments of power. There'll be strikes every other day for Christ’s sakes. Professor Barya's rallies. A1 comedy.

It is clear that this is a period of panic, with everyone on tenterhooks but the only way to beat the fear is facing it head on. Come the elections' days, we'll have to cast the votes and hope that our voices count. With all said, let's entrust the future of this country to persons with potential, tangible work plans and most importantly, the love for the country.

Compiled by I (@Lewis_Bond007) and Nas (@nasasira_)