Uganda … gifted by nature 1

And now for something completely different. The images speak for themselves so they don’t need a commentary. Yes, all the plants and flowers are from the same garden in Kampala, Uganda.

Please don’t ask me what their names are. I have no idea. If you know the names, feel free to tell my fans.

You are also free to copy the images. So far as I am aware, there is no copyright infringement as long as you say where you copied the images from.


























Bobi Wine needs an education 5

Big teeth, big mouth: Robert Kyagulanyi (Bob Wine)

Big teeth, big mouth: Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine)

You likely have never heard of him unless you are Ugandan because … well, he is not really that well-known outside of central Uganda.

Bobi Wine (real name Robert Kyagulanyi) is in fact someone you don’t want to know if some of his Facebook postings are anything to go by.

The reason for this is that Kyagulanyi doesn’t seem to understand why he is still a small, “local,” drum-beat, synthesized singer with one tune that he recycles repeatedly despite his rather good voice, and younger musicians are passing him by all the way to the BET Awards.

It would seem that Bobi Wine (I can’t for the life of me figure out what to call him … let’s humor him and call him Wine even though his music is hardly of the quality that reminds you of any wine worth talking about) is struggling as much with realizing his full musical potential as he is with his focusing his intellect on productive pursuits.

Bobi wine presumes to lecture Barack Obama about family and leadership!

Bobi wine presumes to lecture Barack Obama about family and leadership!

You see, if you are still a two-bit singer whose best years are behind you, you don’t also want to open your mouth and show the world that you have limited emotional intelligence.

Should have stayed in the closet: Bobi Wine's hat

Should have stayed in the closet: Bobi Wine’s hat

Wine is a university educated man so it is possible that he can read. To that effect, suffice it to let him know that while the problems of malaria, aids, poverty, dictatorship, human trafficking and modern-day slavery are all too real in Africa (and Uganda for that matter) and deserve all the attention from Africa’s tin-pot dictators (whose misrule creates most of them in the first place), Barack Obama is a global leader whose job requires him to think beyond soundbites while on a day out at the beach, wearing ridiculous porcupine baseball hats.

Mr. Kyagulanyi dear … you  have a young family to raise and one hopes that you have some talent still left. You need to keep the fans who have gamely stood by you through the predictably formulaic tunes your drum machine churns out. You seem too dim to realize it but some of your fans are gay, or they have friends who are gay. While you are entitled to think ill of gay people, it is daft to say it publicly as it can only erode your already diminishing appeal.

Focus on widening your fan base, not narrowing it with unsolicited, foolish, ignorant, uneducated, presumptuous advice to Barack Obama. Even if he needed it, one senses that he would hardly ask for it from a so-so provincial singer who, despite having been around for more than a decade, can’t figure out what type of vehicle he can afford.


PS. Since this post, Bobi Wine has pulled down the Facebook posting he’d put up lecturing Barack Obama about how gays are bad for families. Amen, Amen, Amen.

Modern liberals; misguided, confused, patronizing bullies 4

Naively thinking he was telling us something we didn't know already: Edward Snowden

Patronizingly thinking he was telling us something we didn’t know already: Edward Snowden

For this one I have been prompted by a number of recent events; America’s basketball league, the NBA, forcing an apology as well as $75,000 out of a player who offhandedly said something some people didn’t like, the mentality of Edward Snowden and his sympathizers, and the continued march of all these foreign Non Government Organizations (NGOs) baby-sitting the masses in Africa.

It looks like a lot of Americans suffer from the savior complex. They want to save people from having to be adults.

That’s the typical modern American liberal for you. They feel good about themselves by treating their inferiors like children. Now you know where my beef with modern feminism comes from (James Onen)

Yes, I do.

Edward Snowden signed a confidentiality agreement with the National Security Agency for a job that he didn’t have to accept, swearing to keep his mouth shut about what he learned on the job. Then he got a whiff of conscience and turned snitch. It’s the height of naivete for this man to think that he has the magic wand that will save the world from government intrusion and guarantee 100% privacy. I listened to him arguing that the world deserved to know … blah, blah and couldn’t help a wry smile.

Could this man really be so blind as to think that there was an educated adult on this planet in 2013 who didn’t know that the sort of prying that he revealed was going on? Did he know that if it hadn’t been for the type of spying on people that he thinks ought not to be happening the entire Europe would be speaking German today? Could he have been so foolish as to think that there was a country in the world that didn’t spy on its citizens as well as foreigners? What on earth did he think embassies,  and most of these ubiquitous NGOs were really set up to do? Sing Kumbaya with the host countries? Tsss.

The irony would thus likely have been lost on Snowden that he chose to run to one of the most repressive countries in the world, China (Hong Kong), and he now seems holed up in yet another one, Russia, whose human rights record often reads as though Josef Stalin is back in charge.

Roy Hibbert: hobbled by hypocritical political correctness

“No Homo” Roy Hibbert: hobbled by hypocritical political correctness

Modern day liberals flatter themselves in thinking that they have  the panacea – their consciences – to the world’s injustices such as hunger, poverty, malnutrition. That would be very well if pie-in-the-sky dreaming is all they did. But they are increasingly adopting  the sort of overarching, supercilious, militancy that extends to telling everyone what they can and can’t say even as they, rather puzzlingly,wrap themselves in the colors of free speech.

Which brings one to the Roy Hibbert controversy. He used “anti-gay” language in a press conference; language that is doing the rounds in rap music which graces many of Hibbert’s detractors’ airwaves ad nauseam, causing nary a stir. I have not taken any poll but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the majority of Hibbert’s critics are/were left-wing, highly educated, white liberals. It’s what we have come to expect;  shrill, bleeding heart, shrews assuming a moral authority that they feel entitles them to wail louder than the mother holding the dying baby.

The Jackboots of liberal political correctness are having open season in America

The Jackboots of liberal political correctness are enjoying open season

It’s exactly the same syndrome you see in Africa where NGO agendas are dictated from London and Washington, DC. They still find fertile ground on the dark continent because, mostly due to crashing poverty, activism is a job and not a calling. Therefore the activists that will lay down supinely and allow themselves to be twiddled like Marionettes are usually more than grateful for the pay check, and will learn to live with the arrogant diktats disguised as “aid” or “caring.”

Yet, for the most part, even Africans know what works in their own backyards and have their own ideas about how their constituencies can best be served. But when the holder of the purse strings has decided that they are dealing with a child that has to be held by the hand every step of the way, anyone relying on their handouts has little choice but to fall into line.

So, Edward Snowden and his sympathizers are really the same people as those who screamed blue murder when Hibbert made that throwaway remark that had the NBA pretending that they were terribly offended. They are egotistic, condescending, intolerant, colonial-minded militants who  believe in free speech only if what is said agrees with them. Anyone with a modicum of commonsense of course knows that there is nothing that doesn’t offend someone. But these liberals’ argument sounds reasonable enough because it is camouflaged as selfless benevolence. You thus have to be a very brave soul to so much as raise your eyebrows when the Jackboots of political correctness are trampling everything in their path.

After all, who wants to be branded with the scarlet letter of not caring about world hunger, gay rights, freedom of information or women’s rights?

Male Genital Mutilation? 2

A lot of times, when we don’t have anything to do, it’s best we get a hobby such as knitting, playing pick-up basketball, singing in the choir, gardening, playing Solitaire on our laptops … you know … all those wonderful tangential pursuits that nonetheless fulfill our lives, often better than our professional pursuits.

For it is usually in the absence of a wholesome hobby or leisure pursuit that you find the kind of argument being engaged in by those who have found time to coin the term … wait for it … Male Genital Mutilation (MGM)!!

Male genital mutilation?

The reason this is so preposterous is that they have coined that expression from Female Genital Mutilation; the cutting out of women’s clitorises with razor blades; a practice so terrible and barbaric that women themselves have cried out against it for decades. A practice so traumatizing that no modern medical facility anywhere in the world will undertake it.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a practice still carried out mostly in parts of Africa on pubescent girls ostensibly so that they are made ready for marriage. The thinking behind it, at least in Mali and the Sabiny regions of Eastern Uganda, is that if the girl’s clitoris is removed, she will not have any interest in any other man beyond the one who eventually marries her. In other words, FGM in that part of the world is conducted for the sole benefit of the men.

So, what do those people who love infants’ foreskins so much, so that they are ready to put their literary reputation on the line to save them do? They coin the phrase male genital mutilation and then look for research proving that the foreskin is the be-all-end-all of sexual gratification.

Surely enough, they find it:

If you wish to prove a point to ANYTHING, there is research out there to help you do it.

This  ‘research’ proves to them that ” circumcised men and their partners suffer from higher rates of sexual difficulty than uncircumcised men and their partners. Eleven percent of circumcised men and only 4% of uncircumcised men reportedly experienced frequent difficulties reaching orgasm. Thirty-eight percent of the female partners of circumcised men versus 28% of female partners of uncircumcised men experienced incomplete sexual fulfillment; 31% versus 22% experienced frequent sexual difficulties; 19% versus 14% experienced difficulties surrounding orgasm.”

Game, set and match for uncircumcised penises.

Basically what this research is saying is that the entire Jewish and Muslim population of the Middle East, 90% of Nigeria and the parts of Africa where circumcision is a traditional rite of passage for young men is not enjoying sex. No, that they have practiced sexual abuse of the male child for eons, to unacceptable harm of generations of men and their sexual partners. The best sexual experiences and, presumably, the most superior are to be found in European and Scandinavian countries where circumcision is not that common. If your foreskin was removed at birth, you were automatically condemned to a life of bad, incomplete, difficult, unfulfilled sex.

The arrogance is breathtaking!!

Forget the arguments about circumcision reducing the potential catching of HIV by 60%. That is a new, tangential, argument that likely doesn’t take into account anal sex (which is why a lot of circumcised gay men caught and are still catching HIV). For someone, anyone, to trawl out a study trying to prove that millions, billions of circumcised men (plus the women they have had sex with) since time immemorial have had less satisfactory sex than those with foreskins is surely the pinnacle of superciliousness.

Needless to say, this study doesn’t say what ‘satisfactory, complete, fulfilled’ sex is. How could it when something like that is so subjective?

But, hey, it is enough for the friends of the foreskin to prove that removing it is abuse … mutilation.

It should be interesting to hear what the babies themselves have to say about it. Oh, but the proponents of the foreskin already know the answer to that. Babies cry out loudly when their foreskins are removed so that is the answer to that question. It is painful and so it is abuse.

To which I can only say the following to these MGM agitators:

You DON’T know what babies think about their foreskins being removed because they can’t tell, have never told anyone. We know women’s clitorises are vital for their sexual pleasure because they have told us themselves. The men too, at least in the parts of Africa where FGM still occurs, have told us why they want it to continue; for their own selfish reasons.

Are circumcised Muslim, Jewish, African men coming to you in equal measure to cry out that their sex lives are unhappy or unfulfilled because they have no foreskins? More to the point, are their wives, girlfriends and, dare one say it, boyfriends coming to you to complain that they are unhappy with their sex lives because their partners have no foreskins?

If so, then set up pickets outside clinics and traditional festivals that undertake the practice; it is time to save the sex lives of future generations of young men and, possibly, secure the sexual future of the world.

If not … decorum prevents one from really saying what’s on one’s mind.

Related articles

Note: This article is re-published from September 2012.

Let him go. Please! 1

James Mulwana: same dignity in death as in life.

James Mulwana: same dignity in death as in life.

In Uganda, there was once a man called James Mulwana. Easily one of the richest people in the country, you wouldn’t have known it, given the humility with which he carried himself and the embarrassment he could barely hide whenever attempts were made to put him up on a pedestal as someone very special.

When James Mulwana died, his wishes were carried out to the letter … well almost; no lengthy vigils, closed casket, no flowers except from the Kabaka of Buganda, the president, and the immediate family.  He had suggested that he should be buried the day he died if it was possible but that didn’t happen, and he was laid into the ground the next day instead.

A man who had almost single-handedly revived Uganda’s manufacturing and kept it fighting against tawdry foreign goods from India and China left behind what should be the most enduring legacy of hard work, thrift, getting on with it,  honesty and integrity – all qualities that you will not find in 95% of Ugandans today if you offer love or money –  went as as he had lived; without fuss.

Mandela as we have all known him (left) and as we shouldn't (right)

Mandela as we have all known him (left) and as we shouldn’t (right)

So it should be with Nelson Mandela around whose slow, inexorable, march towards death everyone seems to be jostling to feast upon. There is that cringe-inducing image of a barely lucid Mandela sitting at the head of the dinner table with his current wife, Gracia Machel, and ex, Winnie, sitting on both sides of him. Then Gracia takes a napkin and wipes Mandela’s mouth, perhaps to prevent him from drooling. All the time a smug-looking Winnie is looking on with barely concealed glee that she is part of this scene at all.

It is an undignified spectacle that the world shouldn’t have been allowed to witness. We can also guess that, given how Mandela once publicly vowed that he would never have “anything to do with that woman ever again,” Winnie is sitting at his side with the cameras rolling because Mandela had nothing to do with that decision.

South Africa is making the biggest cardinal sin of all; taking a man we have loved and admired over five decades and showing him to us in all his fallibility, thereby diminishing him and his stature needlessly.

Gracia ma’am, South Africa, Mandela’s family: if he survives this latest bout of illness (and one hopes he doesn’t), please don’t let him appear in public again. Don’t take any more pictures for the media with anyone, anyone. Let Mandela rest to wait out what must be a very limited time of what’s left of his exemplary life.


Western square pegs in African round holes 5

I don’t know if this has ever happened to anyone else. You feel you know what you want to say, it’s at the tip of your tongue, but then … you just can’t find the words.

That’s been my mental state for months, perhaps years regarding why a lot of monetary and intellectual “developmental aid” is wasted on Africa, why the West has precious little to show for the billions of dollars spent in cash and kind over the years, and why, despite our claims to be “developing,” African countries remain bogged down in a quagmire of corrupt, thieving leadership that we, however, continue to embrace repeatedly in election after election.

I would write all sorts of stuff, some of it merely critical and thus not very helpful, a lot of it meandering and so not very helpful either. Time and time again, I would end up asking myself … “but what are you really trying to say?”

Marslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

What I have been trying to say finally came to me during a conversation with a friend in London recently. As we chatted away merrily, he casually dropped Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs into the conversation whose subject now eludes me.

Of course! Good old Abraham Maslow from all those years ago in sociology class at university! It was like a light bulb had finally been switched on in my brain.

Taken at its most basic level, Maslow’s pyramid of needs encapsulates why gay marriage in America and Europe is on the march while Africa is still struggling to spell the word ‘sexuality.’

In societies where physiological, safety, belonging and esteem (see image above) needs have been met, there is nothing for it but to seek self-actualization or what one might crudely refer to as self-indulgences; stuff that makes us happy and which we come to eventually look upon as needs or rights but which we can actually do without. Examples that come to mind are: allowing yourself to go on television to sue a relative over $123.76; spending thousands of dollars on changing your appearance in a bid to look like a popular doll; buying a pump that enlarges your penis only long enough for you to take a photograph of it.

No wonder then that the great debates in the West have shifted to feminism, atheism, sportsmen coming out of the closet, gay marriage and adoption, political correctness, pre-emptive medical surgeries etc. Talking about and finding solutions to food security, adequate shelter, water, preventable childhood diseases was done generations ago and the focus has logically turned to self actualization.

Jocelyn Wildenstein: all the self actualization that money can buy

Jocelyn Wildenstein: all the self actualization that money can buy

Even on the challenge of HIV/Aids which hasn’t been overcome yet, an acceptable safety point has been reached in the West because, for the most part, you can go to a hospital or clinic, pick up anti-retro-viral drugs and pop them daily to keep you alive. HIV/Aids is thus no longer such a  “pressing” concern  in the Netherlands or New York because of the perception that there is something those who catch the disease can do about it.

Segue backwards to sub-Saharan Africa where food, shelter, clothing, driving a car, even having sex are still considered luxuries by 90% of the population. “Sex?” I hear you asking. Yes, casual sex abounds in Africa of course but there are so many invisible vested interests in the sex lives of any two people in most African countries that the sexual freedom you might find in San Francisco’s Castro District, for instance, or in a gay sauna in London, would blow the minds of citizens in any African capital.

Despite it being 2013, Africans haven’t yet arrived at the stage where a married couple can tell the in-laws to mind their own business should they ask why they are childless two years after getting married. Yet in the West, that is an expression that is served up for breakfast, lunch and dinner by children to their parents, who are in turn expected to apologize if they don’t want to be ‘divorced’ by their offspring.

What has all this got to do with anything?

Whenever you have people who are living or have grown up at the apex of Marslow’s pyramid, to whom self-actualization has become a need, you are likely to have them advocating solutions that reflect what they know. So, because the “rights” being pushed in the West are about lack of prejudice, women’s liberation, being able to divorce your parents if you don’t like them, having a child by any means your money can pay for, gay marriage, it stands to reason that western donors will push for their money to support the same ideals in Africa, without taking into account the realities on ground.

It was that sort of overarching arrogance that prompted an American activist and blogger, Melanie Nathan, to bully a university in Uganda that educated and employed Ugandans, some of them gay, into closing because, in her view, it had to abide by her own Western gay rights ideals rather than those of a “tiny country”.  Her superciliousness aside, Melanie Nathan had a point: she was pushing for the only ideals she knows; those that espouse self-actualization as a human right.

Square western pegs trying to fit into round African holes

Square western pegs trying to fit into round African holes

Yet, it is to miss critical development stages to ask societies where putting food on the table is still a daily challenge to focus on, let alone respect, the feelings of intersexuals, albinos or fourth wives. In Africa just being alive at all is a luxury and you should forget your emotions and get on with it.

So, if you were raped by your uncle or the neighbor’s son, at least you lived to tell the tale.  If your husband dies, consider it a privilege if his sibling agrees to inherit you as his third wife. Sticks and stones don’t hurt a marriage, neither does serial philandering. If you lose a loved one due to verifiable medical negligence or neglect, you should thank the doctors for hastening God’s will. If you are a gay man, marry an unsuspecting woman! If you are a lesbian, how about a dose of corrective rape? If your married lover beats you to a pulp for looking at other men, why did you bring it upon yourself?

Those are the African minds human rights groups based in New York and the Hague are trying to lecture about homosexual loving and its logical consequence: gay marriage. Those are the people whose exposure international women’s groups want to broaden with stage showings of the Vagina Monologues. Those are the people Uganda’s parliamentarians were bribed with $2,000 to go and  ‘consult’ over the Marriage and Divorce Bill  that would have given Uganda’s women more rights over their bodies, marital property and self-esteem.

It is the story of  attempting to pull minds still grappling with physiological needs up to self-actualization when they haven’t yet figured out how to achieve safety, love/belonging or self-esteem.

It is like demanding that a baby run before it has learned how to crawl.

And, if yours truly, with his average mind, has finally figured it out … it is impossible that all those foreigners who daily exhort Africa to emulate this and that Western standard don’t already know this.

Teach a man to fish or give him the fish? 1

You know the age-old adage about how if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day and if you teach him how to fish he is fed for a lifetime?

The former is what aid agencies tell you they want to do when they set up development programs in Africa and elsewhere they have decided, usually unilaterally,  that their money, technical expertize and presence are needed.

Papa Chavez

Papa Chavez

What brought this into sharp focus for me was the death of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez recently. The “poor” came out in numbers almost not seen since Jesus conjured two fishes and a loaf of bread into a feast that fed the 5,000. The jury is still out as to whether Chavez really gave his poor people a fish or taught them how to fish. And it is on that issue that it seems appropriate to segue to Uganda.

It is absolutely true that if you have money to give away, you will always have willing takers.

And so, it seems, it is the case for what passes for gay activism in Uganda. In just a matter of two or three years, the number of gay activists organizations in Uganda has mushroomed from around 5 to more than 30. All of them seek funding from have foreign constituencies in Europe, the United States, Canada, South America, Britain trying to … help. Most of the would-be helpers are Chavez-like paternalistic do-gooders with clear terms of reference to showcase their caring credentials.

Some of the donor organizations, however, don’t seem too interested in accountability for the money they disburse. The popular rationale for this tends to be that they can’t demand accountability from the oppressed and downtrodden who are operating in secrecy. The oppressed gays, lesbians, bisexuals (LGBTI) of Uganda would be putting themselves at risk if they so much as cast around for a part-time auditor to make sure that donations are being used for the reasons highlighted in their proposals, wouldn’t they?

Gay activism is the latest “sexy” bleeding heart bandwagon to roll into Uganda. on the back of a pro-gay worldwide wave that is sweeping everything in its path. So far so good; after all what caring soul would decry any efforts to help the downtrodden?

A typical example of a Ugandan LGBTI public begging bowl

An example of a Ugandan LGBTI public begging bowl set up on the internet a couple of months ago –  and eventually pulled down

This being Uganda, savvy people haven’t taken long to figure out that there is money to be made in gay activism. I have it on reliable authority that some donors are nonetheless disbursing to groups and individuals enough money to pay 10 teachers’ salaries in Uganda for 8 months –  even when they are cautioned that they might be funding little more than a jamboree of conspicuous consumption. I have received e-mails from people complaining that money sent to them for their “security” is being diverted to other purposes by their leaders.

Then there are the fictitious membership roll calls. My phone number and name appear on the members’ lists of two relatively new Ugandan LGBTI organizations. But I am not aware of when I signed up to be their member or attended any of their meetings.

Left-right dichotomy

Left-right dichotomy

Can the donors really be this gullible?

Yes and No.

Yes, some of the organizations going around cup in hand in the West ‘on behalf of ‘suffering Ugandans’ are run by naive young people,  barely out of school, who are out of their depth in dealing with crafty Ugandans. The internet campaigns that have sprung up in the last few months are good examples of this.

No, in 2013 the more experienced donors know that there is waste and misuse of resources going on but gay rights are highly sexy worldwide right now and it is good public relations to be seen to be doing something towards the LGBTI cause in Africa. So they simply turn a blind eye to the more egregious evidence of charlatanism.


I think it is part of a worldwide ideological war between left and right in the Americas (mostly) and Europe that leads to such disregard for standards of accountability that the donors demand of organizations in their own countries and mainstream NGOs in the developing world. If Scott Lively’s Defend the Family is using money to fight the ideological battle for minds in Africa, the argument tends to go, so can the left.

With the right-wing in retreat even in their last bastion, the United States of America, the liberal/left wing has an excellent opportunity to prove their caring credentials by wearing their bleeding hearts on their sleeves. If some of the funds are being wasted, so be it; the wider goal of changing mindsets globally justifies relaxing some of the oversight on the donated funds.

It is a disturbing trend but you will not see it change soon because that is how practically every crooked, thieving, lying, inept regime in Africa has managed to stay in power; with a lot of unconditional help from friends in America, Canada, Britain, and Europe and so on.

As someone told me when I asked her about why the demand for accountability seems more lax with some LGBTI donors than one would normally expect, “it’s the nature of the beast.”

Long may Maggie Thatcher’s legacy live! 2

When all is said and done there will be no doubt about this woman’s transformational impact on Britain and the world.

Even as the haters parade their ignorance, check out out this image of Leicester Square, London, in the 1970s, shortly before Maggie Thatcher took over Britain and wrested it back from the ruinous control of  Arthur Scargill and the trade unions:

Leicester Square London under the grip of the unions

Uncollected rubbish: Leicester Square London under the grip of the unions

And this is what Leicester Square looks like today, thanks almost entirely to Thatcher’s resolute refusal to kowtow to Arthur Scargill’s blackmail:

Leicester Square, London, today

Leicester Square, London, today

And of course, thanks to Maggie Thatcher the left wing haters can afford to toast her death with champagne in former council flats that they now own. If it had been before her time, they would have had to settle for stale ale drank through rotten teeth and stinking breath on soulless, drab council estates. But look how glamorous they look, thanks to the changes Maggie forced on Britain. The irony is totally lost on them.

The haters can now look glamorous and well fed

The haters now look glamorous and well fed

Don’t be surprised if these are the same people who keep awake at night wondering how Britain should give people in Africa an education. They need the education far more but this irony, too, would be totally lost on them.

This is Uganda! 3

I owe a lot of people an apology. But because I can’t reach them all, I am going to do a public mea culpa here.

I have just returned from the trading center near my home where I went specifically to apologize to a woman who sits in the Airtel sales center. You see, I went in there the other day, found her behind a desk that hid her completely because she was sitting on a footstool. So, until you walked up to the desk and craned over, you couldn’t tell if there was anyone behind the desk or not. The short of it is that she wasn’t ready to offer a service, showed no interest when I asked for service and rolled her eyes when I asked for service. So, I laid into her. She rolled her eyes some more, asked why I was getting worked up and then went back to whatever she’d been doing before I interrupted her day.

I left, frustrated and angry but keenly aware that the woman I’d left behind was totally unaffected by my anger.

What then has prompted me to apologize to her?

This morning I tried loading mobile money on the MTN network. The treatment I received was eerily similar to the Airtel experience – when the MTN mobile offices were open which most weren’t, an hour after they were meant to be.

Which got me to thinking … you are really living in cloud-cuckoo-land if you expect the service provision to live up to reasonable expectations in this country.

But before I came to that conclusion, I had also been woken up from my dream-like slumber by the cautionary advice of someone I feel I should take seriously because he has lived and worked abroad as well as in Uganda. In a nutshell, he told me that rather than crow about this or that failure in the activist world in Uganda, it’s best to live and let live, while you do the best you can where you can. Sound advice I assure you.

If you expect anything to run on time, find another country other than Uganda to live in. If you expect professionals to keep their word, start disabusing yourself before you deal with Ugandan ones.

If you think a government contract is worth the paper it is written on in Uganda, you need to have your head examined. If you expect enthusiastic and/or knowledgeale service in a  Ugandan restaurant, you are best advised to stay home and prepare your own meal.

As tends to be the case, our eyes are usually opened by those around us who are better at reading and articulating our frustrations. So it has been with my constant gripe about the abysmal customer service in Uganda, the mind-boggling levels of corruption even at the most basic levels, the endemic incompetence of ministers and toilet cleaners, the ease with which we misappropriate money that’s donated so that we can help those less fortunate than ourselves … and so on and so forth.

I am thus going to give a nod to the words of a friend from another forum who finally helped open my eyes to how forlorn my hopes are that anything in this country can ever be done right, that those who  represent the masses will ever pretend that they are in it for anything other than their own self-aggrandizement, that … you get the point.

Here is my friend’s sobering assessment of what Uganda is today:

I’m at that point that I think [most Ugandans who understand how to survive in their country] reached about 25 years ago; where one knows that “it” won’t work, if it works, it won’t last, if it works and lasts then I’m probably dreaming it in my sleep.

What is the “it”?

It is those things plumbers, permanent secretaries, ministers, MPs, mechanics, presidents, judges etc., try to do for us in the name of duty and service.

Trying to talk about how “it” should be done is useless because those I’m talking to sometimes understand the matter better than I do. Trying to talk to those in charge is also useless since they believe they know best. So where does that leave me? Well, exactly where [most Ugandans] arrived at 25 years ago; calm and unbothered.

So a thieving politician gets a slap on the wrist by the judicial system.  No big shock there! So the Northern bypass has serious flooding at Bwaise a few months after opening – hmm, no big shock there! That my mechanic replaced the wrong wheel bearing and in the process damaged my ABS – hmm no big shock there! That my experienced painter who was given a tin of paint, thinner and hardener to be mixed but put the thinner and hardener  to one side and used the undiluted paint on the floor. It took 2 days to scrape off the mess plus cost of wasted paint. Hmm – no big shock there!

I am in tune with this place now! I don’t [nitpick] too much, or ask probing questions. I pay my money and calmly put my packet under my armpit and walk off. I took 10 curtains to be dry cleaned at [the cleaners]. I picked them up, put them in the car, paid 180K and drove off. 18 months ago I would h have inspected the curtains before paying. But what’s the point?  If it’s a bad job, they will not make it better, so why invest in the aggravation?

No, this is Uganda – if it works thank God, if it doesn’t work don’t dwell on it, another failure is always looming round the corner!

Amen. Amen. Amen. That’s exactly why I went back to apologize to the Airtel sales woman.

My sincere apologies to all those Ugandans I can’t reach who I have nagged, harangued or embarrassed on account of what I perceived as their failure to deliver. I assure you it will not happen again.

This is Uganda – if it works thank God, if it doesn’t work don’t dwell on it, another failure is always looming round the corner! …

Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga responds to Father Musaala 14

Here is the Archbishop of Kampala’s press release. It’s not clear whether this was before or after Father Musaala was suspended from conducting his priestly duties ‘pending investigations.’


Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga

Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga


Dear people of God

“I deeply think of the immense suffering caused by the article produced in the media authored by Fr. Anthony Musaala, that seems to be casting a dark shadow of suspicion” over all priests.

Above all, the Church takes seriously the allegations in this article. On behalf of my fellow Catholic Bishops in Uganda I wish to assure the public that as leaders of the Catholic Church in Uganda; we are committed to the protection of the minors and rights of everyone. Investigations about these allegations are to begin immediately with of course cases that are proved.

It should however, be clear to everyone that the value of the choice of priestly celibacy according to the Catholic tradition still stands, and the need for solid human and Christian formation is underlined, both for seminarians and for those already ordained.
The Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law states the stand of the Catholic Church on celibacy in Canon 277, which mandates clerical celibacy that: “Clerics are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven and therefore are obliged to observe celibacy, which is a special gift of God, by which sacred ministers can adhere more easily to Christ with an undivided heart and can more freely dedicate themselves to the services of God and mankind.”

This Church law is embraced willingly as prescribed by Can.1037 which states that: “A candidate for the permanent diaconate who is not married, and likewise a candidate for the priesthood, is not to be admitted to the order of diaconate unless he has, in the prescribed rite, publically before God and the Church undertaken the obligation of celibacy, or unless he has taken perpetual vows in a religious institute”. This means therefore that no one is forced to embrace this discipline before or at ordination.

Everyone should once again remember that until Christ came along (Mt 19:12), and then Paul (1 Cor. 7:32-35), the only state of life known was marriage but when Christ came, He made it clear that some people would remain celibate (“eunuchs”) for the sake of the Kingdom of God (Mt 19:12). St. Paul further recommended it for those who would be dedicated to serving God in this world (1 Cor. 7:7, 17, 32-35), for the salvation of souls and it is totally a freedom of choice as the above biblical quotations suggest.
If one fails to comply with this discipline, he does it on his own and not on behalf of the Church. Consequently personal failure in this regard is not an offence sanctioned by the Church. However we as Bishops deeply regret such failures and seek forgiveness from those who have been victims.
I indeed applaud all the many religious men and women who have remained faithful to this promise and there is nothing we can offer but our prayers for them.

It is very unfortunate that the author of the published document stands to call for suspension of this discipline through his proposed forum that has no Church legitimacy and yet the Church’s legislation and practice is clear on this point. None-the-less we are going to investigate into the allegations in the article with people concerned together with certainty of the author of this document.

As per now, after the acceptance of Fr. Musaala that he authored this document, the law prescribed by the Church in can. 1369 takes its course. This law states that: “A person is to be punished with a just penalty, who, at a public event or assembly, or in a published writing, or by otherwise using the means of social communication, utters blasphemy, or gravely harms public morals, or rails at or excites hatred of or contempt for religion or the Church.”

This means therefore that Fr. Musaala because of the publication of his article in the public media which damages good morals of Catholic believers and further expresses a wrong teaching against the Catholic Church’s teaching and that this stirs up hatred and contempt against the Church, he incurs a Ferendae sententiae penalty as prescribed by Can.1314. This means that Father Anthony Musaala is suspended from celebrating sacraments and sacramentals, from the powers of governance in accordance to the law of the Church Can.1335 and1336§1n.1, 2and3 as investigations are being carried on.

Once more I feel sorry of the inconveniences caused by this article and let us entrust the whole matter to our Lord the most chaste, for the conversion of hearts to do good.

Yours Sincerely in Christ,

+Cyprian K. Lwanga